Sunday, August 15, 2010

EK has arrived

as might want to grab a dr pepper or a caffeinated beverage of your choice. because this will not be brief. i don't want it to be. and for EK's sake, it shouldn't be. there's a potential for a lot of pictures as well. if i get my act together tonight. though that's up in the air at this point.

i'm sitting here on a friday night, listening to buz play playstation in the background. and my THREE kids are asleep at the same time. and i don't know how to let that soak in.

i just checked in on big h's room, and there he was, asleep in his ironman2 jammies with his two build-a-bears next to him. he looked so big and yet so small.

i checked on goo on the monitor. (because we still have a monitor in her room. we're sneaky and nosy like that.) and there she was, asleep in her tinkerbell jammie top and ariel jammie bottom. heaven forbid if her jammies actually, you know, matched. and in her bed was...honestly, i don't know what WASN'T in her bed. her purple and pink unicorn pillow pet. her three build-a-bears that are all either wearing princess dresses or ballerina tutus. and every. last. stuffed. thing. that she owns. but...alas, she is asleep.

and then. i looked on ANOTHER monitor where sweet EK sleeps. all swaddled as tightly as possible. with her head to one side like her older brother used to sleep.

and my heart is full. and i can't believe my life is so rich.

i want "doodle" to know her birth story. and this is the only place i'll actually record it.

i had so many things planned before her arrival. it was almost like christmas season. we had play dates with people we hadn't seen in ages. i had text after text from people wanting to know how i was feeling and if there was anything i needed. we went swimming a lot. we went and saw movies at the movie theater. just because we could. i took pictures of my belly in relation to wherever we were. at dinner. at the computer. sitting with goo. writing thank you notes. you name it, my belly was with it. i had started going to the OB every week, and i loved it. love my OB so much. i had so much fun being pregnant. wearing maternity clothes. feeling the baby move inside. watching the baby move. talking to H and G about the baby coming.

my delivery date was scheduled for thursday, july 29 in the afternoon but was rescheduled at the last minute for friday, july 30 in the morning.

thursday, we had lunch with bigH's kindergarten teacher, mrs. b. originally, we were going to eat at purple cow because it's yummy. but her response to that was, "hmmm...i would've thought we would've eaten at chipotle because it's bigH's favorite restaurant." have i mentioned just. how. much. i LOVE mrs. b? no? because i freaking LOVE mrs. b. so we ate at chipotle. and to my surprise, my kids were TOTAL HELLIONS. i was mortified. but i just repeatedly used the line, "we don't get out much." and that seemed to do the trick for a couple of minutes. we left and headed straight for the movie theater to meet dad to see despicable me. i got to sit with goo on my "lap" most of the movie, which was sheer joy. when the movie was over, buz took them home, and i headed to my ultra fancy pregnancy massage and pedicure. oh my word, talk about luxury. i should do that more often. if only i had unlimited funds. it was incredible. then, i met up with buz at one of my favorite restaurants, and we had a SIT DOWN dinner. we did NOT know what to do with ourselves. we talked and laughed, and i just stared at him. man, my husband is the cat's meow and is SO NICE TO LOOK AT. wow. then, we walked around the mall for a little bit. we had gotten a hotel room for that night for several reasons. my parents were staying at my house in our room, so technically we didn't have anywhere to sleep anyway. :) but also, we had to be at the hospital at 530 in the morning, and we wanted to be able to get up and get ready without tiptoeing.

we could hardly sleep. buz could more than me. but i slept at 30 minute intervals. eve for me. and for the record, we were still discussing boy names. at 1030 that night. we couldn't decide if that meant we were definitely having a boy because we didn't have anything ready. or if we were definitely having a girl because clearly, we were ready for her. ???

we woke up friday morning at 4. i took my shower and dried my hair and had a lot of energy. a LOT for ME at 4 in the morning. we got there (not surprisingly) too early. we checked in, got my hospital band, filled out 1438 forms, signing my life away. and she took us to our little observation room C. i got changed into my rockin hospital gown and we were introduced to our labor and delivery nurse, who would only be with us until 7. little did we know how rad she'd be. we had a great morning with her. (um, we're facebook friends with her now. love social media.)

we were later introduced to the nurse who would actually be in delivery with us. she was hand-picked. one of the benefits of working at a hospital and knowing people...i've known all my L&D nurses or had them hand-picked for me. she was incredible. sweet, gentle, kind. we then met my anesthesiologist (who, by the way, was easy on the eyes. i'm just sayin.) and our anesthesia nurse, anesthesia ann. anesthesia ann has been around the block a time or two. she was hard core, and i LOVED her. finally, i got ready to be wheeled back to the OR.

and funny side note: the nurse who had to get my IV in was my early morning L&D nurse when i had goo. so fun.

it was when we actually got IN the OR that i finally got scared/nervous. very bright lights. a lot of people working to get things ready for me. a lot of instruments that would be used on me. a lot of people behind masks. the very definite smell of alcohol. music. and i saw my anesthesiologist and anesthesiology nurse. and then i saw my OB. who looks a LOT different in scrubs than he does on a regular 'ol tuesday afternoon in the office. and we were ready for the epidural/spinal. i had two back surgeries as a kid, so regular epidurals don't work for/with me. so i have something different, and i always have to tell my surgery "story" so they know exactly what to do. i made sure i told everyone that i was officially nervous.

and everyone talked about someone specific on so you think you can dance. and the OB assisting my OB with the surgery apparently watches it. and so does the anesthesiologist. but he is a closet fan. and my nurse watches it. but i talked to my OB who does NOT watch it. and neither do i. useless information.

and then i was ready. for the spinal. to put my legs on one side of the gurney. to hug the pillow. to lean forward into my cute little nurse (who by the way is 4'11). and to breathe deeply. wow, it hurt. a lot. and it seemed to take a long time. i don't think it did. but it felt like it took a sweet forever. and i was supposed to tell him each time i could feel any pressure. which was a lot. i could've sworn i was going to fall on top of my 4'11 cute nurse and pummel her to the ground. which, i think, would've started the surgery off on the wrong foot.

that part was finally over. they laid me down, and everything started to progress. and all of the sudden, i couldn't breathe. i yelled the name of anesthesia ann and the anesthesiologist (who requested i call him by his first name). i told them i couldn't breathe. something was pressing on my chest and i couldn't get a good deep breath. i was so scared. really scared. buz wasn't in the OR yet. honestly, i don't remember the last time i was that fearful. they continued to tell me that my levels were perfect and that i WAS breathing and doing a great job at it. they told me this over and over again while placing oxygen on my face. and then...all of the sudden, i felt like i could breathe again. and then anesthesia ann started having fun conversations with me. like where she wanted to go shopping after her shift was over. and what mall was closest. and what time did it open. and what was my favorite store at that mall.

and who knew??? when i get scared/nervous, i start talking. a lot. i know you can't believe it. but i do. i mean, i started talking. a LOT.

finally, i heard buz come in, and he sat right next to my face. my OB and his partner (who i've come to really like a LOT) were there and said they were going to get started.

things seemed to start. and i could tell we were going to have a baby any minute. that fun anxiety.

mind you -- we didn't know the gender of our baby.

i finally felt like something was different. like baby was out. and they called a time. 808. i thought to myself, "how cute. 808. what a fun time. easy to remember."

and then i didn't hear anything else. and i heard very faintly 809, 810, 811, 812.

and i knew this wasn't good.

and then, the revealing of my baby's gender came by way of "she's just floppy. we're going to bag her and get her breathing."

i tried not to freak out. and enter my FREAKING AWESOME RAD HUSBAND. who basically just told me things (white lies) like "they're just cleaning her" and "they're just getting her all warm" and "you did so great and i am so proud of you."

but i knew.

i knew something wasn't right.

and then...

i heard her. HER. my DAUGHTER. i heard my daughter cry. and i started to cry. because she was ok. and i didn't care about the fact that no one declared in glory "IT'S A GIRL." because i cared more that someone said, "there. now she's breathing."

and buz went over to see her and kept coming over to me, reporting how great she looked and how cute she was. i was elated.

for those of you in health care, her apgars were 2/7.

i know.

and then the NICU doctor came over to introduce herself to us. SCARY. to let us know that EK had experienced a substantial amount of trouble breathing on her own at first. and that if she experienced anything like that again, she would be transferred to the NICU.

but everyone kept telling me how great she was doing. and how great she looked. and one of the nurses even brought her over to buz and me to let me look at her. and oh...her beauty. i wanted to touch her and hold her. but i kissed her and knew she needed to be taken care of. by medical professionals. i would have my time with her.


they finished sewing me up, and i continued to talk. seriously...someone make me stop talking. like i know these people personally or something. i talked to anesthesia ann about going to the local mall and the fact that she was wearing a university of texas lanyard holding her name badge and that i was sorry that i made a comment about it since i'm an OU fan. and i thanked the anesthesiologist for letting me call him by his first name. and yes, i may have let him in on the secret that i thought he was nice looking. nice. i'm classy like that. and i talked to my OB about who knows what? have i mentioned how much i continued to talk? oh my goodness.

the NICU doc came to talk to us again. about EK. and how she was doing. it looked like she didn't breathe for the first four and a half minutes. apparently, she was very high up and comfortable inside mama. so she took a while to get used to the idea of being on the outside. the NICU doc said she looked much better, had a great color, was breathing well, and would not need to go to the NICU unless something changed with her breathing. she congratulated me and congratulated buz on the birth of our daughter. she was the first person to say the word daughter. ten minutes before, i was afraid of that woman. now, ten minutes later, i loved her. i thanked her for all of her help taking care of my daughter. honestly, i didn't know what she did to help EK, but i know she did everything she knew to help her.

buz went with EK up the nursery to watch her take her first bath and for them to do all the testing they needed to do with her. i stayed with my sweet nurse. all of the people in the OR helped me transfer from the operating table back to my gurney. i'll be honest...i felt like a farm animal at a vet's office. i couldn't feel a single thing and they all literally just rolled me onto a different bed. very, VERY humbling. but they did so with grace and dignity. which i very much appreciated.

and in true fashion, i thanked everyone for a good time and that i had appreciated all that they had done. and i told dr. b to have a good day and that i would see him later. and to tell his wife hi? um, i've never met his wife. ahem.

i got wheeled back to my observation room C. where i talked to my cute nurse and anesthesiology nurse for a while. i was SO RELAXED. i couldn't feel my legs. and my arms were dead weight. and it all felt surprisingly good. like it was over. she was ok. she was with people she knew. buz had gone to the waiting room where my mom, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, niece and nephew were. he was going to tell them baby was here. but he was going to bring them into my room, so i could tell them the gender and name and how everything went. apparently, when he got to the waiting room, he said, "mom and baby are fine" and then started tearing up. in the twelve years i've known buz, i've seen him cry twice. this being the third time. he came back into my room to let me know he had told them, and the first thing i noticed were his red eyes. i thought surely something was wrong. he told me that everything had finally hit him when he said the words, "mom and baby are fine." then, he mentioned something about how cute EK's toes were. i kept asking, "what's wrong" over and over again because why would he be crying. he assured me nothing was wrong but that the moment caught up with him.

my mom came into the room. i told her it was a girl and what her name was, and i started crying. guess the same thing happened to me.

then, my BIL and SIL came in, and i told them about how the morning had gone and finally told them the gender and name.

both conversations were sweet. and very meaningful to me. and then everyone went upstairs to the nursery to watch her and look at her.

and all of the sudden, my cell phone rang, and it was my brother and his family who were vacationing in wyoming. i told them and i could hear my two nieces in the back say, "we KNEW it was a girl." it was fun to talk to him for a minute. man, i love him. a LOT.

finally, i was wheeled upstairs to look at her in the nursery. she looked beautiful. beautiful hair. beautiful body. beautiful face. beautiful features. and i just looked at her. and marveled at how the Lord can create such an intimate and detailed and complicated being who is such a gorgeous masterpiece. then, they wheeled me to my postpartum room.

once again, i got moved like a farm animal from my gurney to my postpartum bed.

soon after, i heard that my dad and kids were here. my dad hadn't wanted me to tell him anything about the baby, other than "it" was here. he wanted to hear the gender and name along with bigH and goo.

i heard them outside the door. i heard bigH say, "i see the baby! i see mommy holding the baby!!!!" they came in, and bigH immediately said, "so, is it a boy?"

i had no idea how to handle that question. so i did the best i could and said, "it's a girl! are you excited?!" and he responded with, "oh mama, look at her cute fingernails!" and i knew everything would be ok with him.

i was worried about goo's response, no matter the gender. all she said was, "oh what a cute yittle bandaid." (EK had a little laceration on the side of her head, and they had used a little steristrip on it.) and then she just wanted to color. figured.

and that was their reaction to her. and surprisingly, it had gone better than i had expected. so i was happy. and so we all sat/stood/laid in my postpartum room looking at her and enjoying the moment.

my BIL and SIL and niece and nephew headed out, along with my mom, dad, bigH, and goo. and all of the sudden, it was just EK, buz, and me. and i couldn't believe it. here was our third child. who was here. who was safe. who was breathtaking.

i met my day mom nurse and my day baby nurse. and it was so fun because i recognized my baby nurse from when i used to work there. and she remembered me. and it felt like i was among friends. and literally, all i remember about the rest of friday was texting people and calling people and having the phone in my hand constantly and being elated at the news i was getting to share. i was tired because i hadn't slept the night before but oh my, the adrenaline.

that night, two of my buddies came to visit. one was a friend from bigH and goo's preschool. and one was one of our closest friends, and the whole family came.

over the the next several days, we had visitors and wonderful nurses. wonderful day nurses for EK and for me and wonderful night nurses for EK and for me. some were new to us, and some we remembered from either when i worked there or when i had bigH or goo. we had great lactation nurses who were willing to help us feed EK, who by the way, is the best eater out of our three kids.

my OB was off for several days after our delivery, but we saw the other OBs in his practice. and he also personally called me everyday to check on me. please, PLEASE tell me i've mentioned once or 672 times how fabulous my OB is. (by the way, now he's just my gynecologist. sad.)

monday was a tough day. we had a tough day with EK losing some of her birth weight. she also failed her hearing screen three different times, which meant we'd have to bring her in as an outpatient. we just had several different things that were frustrating. so if you called or came by that day, we're/i'm really sorry. i was not very pleasant. BUT...the Lord knows exactly what we need when we need it. in the course of about two hours, i had my bff just drop in bringing jersey mike's for buz and me. homegirl speaks my love language. i had one of my good buddies who's become even closer lately stop by (with her mom -- sorry jenny's mom for my uncontrollable tears) just to see EK and bring some freaking fabulous hand-me-downs and hang out. AND i got to meet a twitter friend of a friend who i'd been dying to meet for some time. AND she brought Sonic DPs for buz and me. and a freaking awesome babyGap outfit for EK. did i mention we had never met? and she came to the hospital. and we hugged. and she gave EK baby love. and got to see me looking ultra fabulous (insert sarcasm). and that was monday. remember when i said monday was our worst day? i love when God works like that. He knew what we needed. and when we had no visitors, buz, EK, and i got to be together. and enjoy our quiet time together.

tuesday was going home day. i was nervous. excited, but nervous. i know there are plenty of people who don't share my view, but everything seems safe in the hospital. easy. if you have a question, you push a button, and someone comes to your aid. if your stomach hurts, you push a button, and medicine comes through an IV. the first time you get out of bed, and you're lightheaded, and you're afraid you're going to slip and fall, you...wait for it...PUSH A BUTTON. and miraculously, a patient care tech comes to your room and helps you up AND to your first shower. (and you SO don't care that someone you don't know is seeing you in ALL YOUR GLORY).

and guess what happens when you go home? there is no button. and the two other kids who've been taken care of and treated to days of neverending entertainment by nana and papa? yeah, they're at your house. waiting to hear what fun things you're going to come up with. and nana and papa? they go home to sleep. for days. because they're 60+ and not used to taking care of a 4yo and almost 7yo nonstop.

more to come re: life at home.

but for now?

EK, we can't imagine you not being with us. we can't imagine life with only two kids. we can't imagine not knowing what it's like to see your brother and sister fall madly in love with you in a matter of seconds.

we love you more than you will ever know. and we are so excited to be your mommy and daddy. welcome to the world, EK.

papa getting some lovin.

nana gettin' some too.

big h, goo, daddy, uncle rick (daddy's brother), aunt tanna.

you...hours old.

our first family picture.

daddy asking your brother and sister if they were ready to come meet you.

one of THE BEST night nurses around. buz and i LOVED her. we got to have her our last two nights.

our cute L&D nurse.

my cute twitter friend i had just met about forty-five minutes before this was taken. (thought: wow, i look like a HOUSE standing next to my new, cute little petite friend.)

buz and i were strongly entertaining moving shortly after EK was born but the Lord kept us here. while we were entertaining this idea, i had decided to invite some of my closest friends to the hospital for a pajama pizza party. once we decided to stay in dallas, i decided that the pajama pizza party needed to happen anyway. some girls were missing. but OH MY WORD, it was the best night. so incredibly blessed to have such amazing women in my life. (bff, why were you not in this picture?)

one of mommy's favorite nurses. we were blessed to have her for THREE NIGHTS. bliss.

bigH showing you one of his new legos. this will NOT be the last time, i assure you.

of COURSE your babysitter came to visit. wouldn't be right without her.

one of dr. b's partners. we LOVE dr. a. she helped deliver goo. she is fabulous!!

one of our night nurses.

we made sure you got to look at bigH and goo everyday.

this stuff was the BOMB.COM while i was on my clear liquids diet. oh my word, DELICIOUS. (except they don't carry the watermelon flavor i remember from having bigH or goo. still.) along with the hospital beef broth. yummy.

you and your daddy.

the BEST PCT ever. she knows your brother and sister so well. and daddy and i LOVE her.

the three of us alone together. just getting to know each other.

you were/are delicious. just look at you.

my last picture of us together before i met you. notice daddy's shoes. those are his birthing shoes. he has worn them for the birth of all three of his kids. love him.

the forecast for while we were in the hospital. why, EK, do we live in dallas?

they could NOT get enough of you.

your sister didn't want to be in this picture. NOT surprising.

you started sucking your fingers right from the get go.