Thursday, June 14, 2012

Midnight ramblings

I'm up late because this is usually the time I am nursing M...he decided to take a late nap and is STILL asleep...I'm guessing this does not mean good things for my sleep. I should be sleeping while he is sleeping, but of course I am wide awake. I'm sure I will get sleepy just about the time he decides to wake up. I'm guessing tomorrow will be a rough one. Even with that I can't help but think about how that is such a wonderful "problem" to have. It's a beautiful thing to be kept awake from his cries and not my own. I will take this "problem" any day of the week.

For the most part M has been sleeping 5-7 hours IN A ROW each night. Of course there is always the off night where he sleeps like 2, but for the most part I have it pretty easy.

Breastfeeding remains my biggest challenge. I am loving every moment except for this one thing and it makes me so sad because I really expected to enjoy it. Sure it would be hard at first, but eventually it would stop hurting and be wonderful...well almost 8 weeks in I can say that I dread it. It is still so painful every time. I don't feel like it is beautiful or that it creates bonding time. It has gotten better as I don't curl my toes or grit my teeth quite as hard, but my breasts hurt all the time and even a hug from someone causes pain. I feel like a jerk for not loving it...I'm so lucky to have enough milk and to have a live baby to feed. I'm not giving up, I know it's best and will continue until my nipples fall off...oh God, please don't let them fall off! So that's my disappointment in my mommy duties, but I'm working on it and I can't complain about a thing because we all know the alternative is a gazillion times worse.

Another BLM told me it took her a couple months to feel like her son belonged to her like at anytime the "real mommy" would come and take him back and I feel like this as well. Mason doesn't feel like he belongs to me. I love him, I'm protective of him, but I constantly feel like he is not mine to keep. I feel like I have been given this amazing gift, this little boy who was entrusted to me, but will be taken back with no notice. I am waiting for this feeling to pass. I know there will always be fear in losing him because I don't have to imagine what it would be like, but I want to feel that he is mine to keep and it is so sad that I can't believe it yet. Maybe I don't feel like he is mine because he "belongs" to Addi. If not for her he would most likely not be here. I can live with the feeling that he belongs to her and she is trusting me to take care of him, but that hasn't sunk in either. In time.

As I was trying to fall asleep I couldn't help, but think about both my babies. My living, breathing son lying next to my side of the bed and then my sweet little girl whose urn is next to her daddy's side of the bed. All four of us together, but also so far apart. I was trying to imagine how things would be if Addi were here. What would she look like, what would her sleeping habits be, would she be gentle with her brother or rough, would she be a mommy's girl or a daddy's girl. Sometimes I can imagine what she would be like, but tonight I can't come up with anything. I'm struggling with the feeling that she was never really here, but I know better. Why can't I still make any sense out of this?!? What was the point of getting her just to have her taken away? I know I will forever wonder.

Tonight I am missing her. I miss her always, but I think this is what is actually keeping me up. So here I am in her space doing the one thing I know that helps me feel closer to her because I can't just go into her room and kiss her goodnight.

Down the hall I can hear her brother giggling in his makes me smile. I hope his sister is whispering in his ear. Isn't that a lovely thought?!?

Sorry this is such a ramble. I'm tired and missing Addi and that combination makes my head mush. I can hear M stirring, which makes sense since I am ready for bed, but it's okay. My life with him is SO worth it.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Mason's Birth Story: Part I

After having our first induction date cancelled last minute I was freaking out about when it could be rescheduled. I was worrying about how we would get the doctor and nurses we wanted lined up so perfectly for a second time and of course about Mason's safety.

We were rescheduled to Saturday, April 21, 2012. The plan was to arrive at 8pm just in time for Nurse D to start her shift with us. The other hope was that by coming in at night we had a smaller chance of being rescheduled on again!

We were given the best gift because the second nurse we had with Addi who no longer works at this hospital was in town and offered to come be our Doula. Our doctor was not the on-call doctor, but said he would come in for us so that was a huge relief. All three were going to be there for us...we actually pulled off the "dream team".

Saturday, Brian had to work and I had planned to get a lot done around the house. I pretty much did nothing because there was just so much on my mind. I went out with my mom for a bit and then came home and tried to take a nap. Brian got home form work and we just kind of sat together trying to take in what this night could mean for us. I made the call to Labor and Delivery to make sure we were still "on" and to my surprise we were! They said it would be okay to eat first so Brian and I went out for out "last meal". We decided to try a new place called "Mac and More", it seemed fitting for our "Mac".

The tables are chalk boards so this is what Brian wrote

I think I had like 6 bites...nervous!

It was hard to eat because so much was on my mind, I just couldn't fully comprehend that this was real and happening. We pulled into the hospital and both felt nervous and sick to our stomachs. Brian didn't even want to unload all of our things from the car "just in case". We walked into the hospital and sat down at the sign in desk. The lady made the comment that this must not be our first baby because we were "so calm". Psh as if she had any clue how I was feeling on the inside! But she was right, this was not our first baby.

It took almost a half hour to get signed in because of this new computer system the hospital has. When we were finally let back into L&D, we both took a big breath in and walked through those doors hand in hand. Our hearts were pounding, minds racing, but we were doing this and we were doing it together. We were given a room we had never been in before, which we were okay with. As we got closer to the nurses station we saw our Doula and were able to give her the biggest hug. The last time I hugged her was the day she took Addi away for the very last time. My trust in her is too high for words. Before we were even done hugging out came nurse D. More hugging. In that moment my anxiety was gone and I felt like we were in the very best hands...Mason was in the very best of hands and things were going to be okay this time.

We walked into our room, the four of us and there were flame less candles all around, birthday streamers and a present for Mason. They said they were ready to have a birthday party and it was so beautiful, so peaceful, so what I needed.
You can't really tell how cute it was by the pictures, but it was!

This was a beautiful site...we didn't have a need for this last time :(

I changed into the hospital gown and was not nearly as freaked out as I thought I would be. It turned out that I wasn't dilated as much as they thought so we started with misoprostol. Basically a pill was inserted in my throat uterus to help soften and get things going. We basically just slept in the hospital that night, but it was good. I hated having Brian be on the couch and half the room away from me, but it was great to know that Mason was being monitored and we were so close.

The next morning I got up and curled up with Brian on the couch. I just needed to be close to him. When our nurse came in she had a plan of action. I was dilated to a 4. We started with the pitocin about 8am and around 10am my doctor arrived to break my water. I don't remember how it felt when it was broken with Addi, but this time I was amazed at how much there really was. Everything was calm and easy. Seeing my doctor just made me feel so at ease.

My plan was to go as long as possible without the epidural because I didn't want to slow my labor down. What I didn't realize was that once my water was broken my contractions would go from 0 to 60. I made it about 45 minutes before I was begging for the epidural. Not my best in the holding out category, but the contractions were coupling and when you have them back to back like that, there is no time to recover before the next one hits. As soon as I got my epidural I expected to feel better, but much like last time it was not working on my left side.
Didn't get a picture when they were at their worst, but you get it. (Mine was the middle section).
After waiting to see if it would kick in, the anesthesiologist came back with some sort of super shot that made all the pain go away (bless him). When I was checked after that I was at 8cm! We had no idea how close I was. Brian was frantically calling our family to come to the hospital. We had asked them to wait at home so we wouldn't have an entourage, but we had no idea how fast things would go. Soon after that I was at a 9, but in no pain!

Love me some epidural!
I had been wanting the delivery to be just for Brian and I, but at the last minute we asked my mom and sister to stay. I started pushing and then it was decided that I should stop because Mason was turned in a weird angle and we needed him to move. So they put me in a weird position and had me wait a half hour. I didn't feel like it was time yet so I wasn't surprised for this set back. We tried again and again they stopped me to re-arrange me and leave me for some time. Everyone went on a lunch break, which I thought was pretty funny. I had in my head that Mason wouldn't be born until later that evening so an afternoon baby didn't seem possible to me anyways!

Since we are stuck here let's pose for pictures...oh jeez! (My parents with us) Doo doo doo waiting, waiting, waiting.

When everyone came back from lunch they seemed a little more serious and once I saw our doctor putting on all the gear it occurred to me that this was really happening!

Pushing this time was different and we were all more serious about it. Brian was amazing just like last time. So encouraging and right there with each pushing holding me up and coaching me.
I'm this really happening?!?

And then at 2:51pm after approximately 5 hours of active labor he was here...ALIVE! His cry was the best noise I have ever heard.
Our first look at each other
Sweet relief (side note: my pillow case was made by a friend and has flip flops on it).

And then there were four (I love that you can see Brian is wearing his Addison bracelet in this picture).
I really thought the second Mason was born I would be a bawling mess, but because of our "dream team" I was calm. I knew we had done everything we could to insure Mason would be here safely and even if he wasn't these people would take care of all of us.

When Mason was placed on my stomach it took just a moment for him to cry, but when he did it was everything I was waiting for. I couldn't believe that he was here, alive and safe. I was able to have him on my chest for the recommended two hours of bonding and then nursing. I felt bad Brian couldn't hold him right away, but I felt so lucky in that moment. I didn't just get a living baby, but I got the ideal birthing scenario. I know not everyone gets that and I was grateful for it all, the easy/fast birth, complication free, our medical staff we wanted, my family and a healthy baby who never spent a moment in the NICU. I was/am completely aware and grateful for each aspect.

I just stared into his eyes...his wide open and bright blue eyes. Listening to his cry and soaking it all in. I was in such shock. I didn't expect things to go so fast and I didn't expect things to go so smoothly...surely something would go wrong right?!?

I know the look on my face was not what people were expecting, but I just couldn't comprehend that things went okay, great even. Had Addison been there it would have been perfect, but it was as "perfect" as it gets and I am grateful.

I started this post only 6 days after Mason was born and I am just getting around to finish it so I between that and already being super long I will write more later, but I needed to get back this part finished first.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

18 Months

Eighteen months...a year and a half. Wow. This seems like a big one and maybe that's because it is. Oh the things I would do to have a life that involved my year and a half daughter.

It stings so much to go to the store where I see mothers and daughters. I cringe, I look away and my broken heart breaks just a little bit more. The only thing worse is seeing families with an older girl and then a little brother...I wish that was us.

I've been in a funk thinking about today's milestone. No tears, but they could come at any time. I have been trying to get to the laptop all day. Wanting so badly to get to Addi's space, to feel connected in the way that only this place allows. I can't believe I only wrote two measly posts last month...pathetic. I swore I wouldn't be the one to stop writing once a baby was born and now...ugh. This month will be different...I think...I hope. I was having trouble getting Mason to bed and all I could do was to stare at the clock watching it get closer and closer to midnight. I love that boy, but there was almost a feeling of resentment towards him knowing that I couldn't get to her space because I was too busy with him. I don't really resent him being here, I just wish I could balance it better. My time for her, my time for him, my time for them. When I finally got him down and it was before midnight it was like I took a breath and relaxed that I would make it in time...not that it really matters, but it does to me.

Dear Addison,
A year and a half. So much has changed in that time, but missing you and loving you has stayed the same. This month I haven't been able to write much, but I have been to your headstone 4-5 times a week with your is just to convenient of a location and making sure your spot looks nice feels like something I can actually do for you.

I get asked so often if your brother is my first and it punches me in the gut every time. I always say no, because you my girl will always be my first. This month your brother hit the 8 lb mark that you will forever be. Without even weighing him, I could tell. That morning I picked him up and I just knew that was how much you were. It was a crazy realization. That weight was so familiar and so wonderful in my arms. Now he outweighs you, which make me sad and grateful all at the same time. Each milestone of your that he passed was like that. Making it to 40 weeks and 5 days with him (even though he was an outside baby for part of that) made me so thankful. On that day I felt like something bad would happen and then when we made it to the next day I took a breath and then was sad that you never got that. It's all hard, mostly wonderful, but really hard.

This life your dad and I are living is so different than what we had imagined. Every day without you there is a clear hole. You are so missed, nothing about having your brother here is a replacement for you. You are both loved so so much.

I love you baby girl.