Saturday, September 25, 2010

Birth Story--Thomas William

To my newest son Thomas:

I have yet to finish a birth story for your siblings. Their deliveries were a bit traumatic and I always have a hard time writing them out. But I am determined to write out our story this time. We had a rough pregnancy but quite a good birth, and I am so utterly in love with my newest baby I can't control my tears. But here goes:

I found a wonderful obstetrician this time around, and he gave me such confidence about my pregnancy and delivery even before I was pregnant! He prescribed progesterone supplementation both to help prevent miscarriage in the beginning and to help prevent pre-term labor at the end, and it worked! I had one little scare after our day at Disneyland in July and was so worried I'd be having a California preemie, but all was well and you held out until it was time for your arrival.

We had some adventures at our weekly trips to the OB office for my shots starting at 24 weeks. I'll write those out with the accompanying photos from my phone sometime soon. But for now, I'll focus on your arrival. On Monday, September 20th we had a long morning. We attended daily mass and dropped Mary Clare off at her Faith Formation class. I took Steven Joseph and Ellie to a resale store and they were so wild, and I was having some tummy issues and was anxious to get home!

I rested for a few hours while the kids played dance class. Your poor big brother was in a leotard the entire afternoon! We had stir-fry for dinner and everyone went to bed. Except Mommy. I didn't feel quite right and was having lots of stomach cramping. Soon it turned into more obvious contractions, but they weren't too painful so I started getting ready. I showered, picked up the house, set out clothes for SJ and Ellie, and packed my bag. I finally woke up Daddy around 3 and told him that the contractions were 4-5 minutes apart, and I didn't think they were stopping. We called Aunt Jill to watch the kids and continued to ready ourselves to head to the hospital. It was Tuesday the 21st, the Feast of St. Matthew, and you were exactly 37 weeks gestation. Perfect timing.

We arrived around 5:00 a.m. and things moved slowly. My contractions weren't really enough to show up well on the monitors and they became irregular. They kept me for about 3 hours but weren't ready to admit me for the surgery because they weren't sure I was actually in labor and were worried that you wouldn't be ready. I already had my OB appointment scheduled for 9:00 a.m. to check your lungs on ultrasound and possibly schedule the c-section. We waited nearly an hour for the doctor only to be asked to get the ultrasound first. She thought you were about 7 lbs 9 oz and said she couldn't be sure your lungs were ready. You were still at a "2" and needed to be a "3" for us to be sure your lungs were mature enough for delivery.

We talked things over with the doctor and he encouraged us that we should probably wait another few days. I was really worried that I'd be sent home while I was still having contractions! I told Daddy that I was going to want to just deliver at home. I was tired of people thinking I wasn't in labor! Well, then the doctor checked and found out I was 3-4 cm dilated. The plans changed right away and we were sent back across the street to the hospital to prep for the c-section!

My nurse Shanna was so sweet as we did all the preparations for the surgery. I got an IV after one vein blew (ouch!), had blood drawn, signed consent forms, and tried to distract myself while Steven made a quick run home and back. We met the anesthesiologist and talked with the student nurse. I played around on my phone and called family members. We were waiting for someone else to deliver before me, but things changed and they called my doctor to see if he could come now. He didn't call back but soon showed up at the door, surprising the nurse who wasn't ready yet! Things started moving really quickly.

I was asked to walk down to the OR and sit on the table. The bright lights and nurses quickly setting things up made me really nervous. I just looked at the floor, tried to pray, and listened to the Christian radio station songs on KSBJ. Finally the anesthesiologist came back and started my spinal. Ouch! I didn't remember feeling those strange sensations in my back before, likely because I was in such hard labor for previous deliveries that I was thrilled that my pain was ending. Daddy was asked to come in and seemed nearly as nervous as me. I was shaky and panicky the whole time. I kept asking him to talk to me; I didn't want to hear the doctor/nurse chatter and wanted to be distracted.

Every few minutes I would start to feel really light-headed like I was going to faint. I think I was hyperventilating. I was wondering why I'd ever wanted to go through that surgery again and was worried that I'd never want to have more children. I was so scared and miserable. But soon I felt that tugging and they said your head was out! You had a huge knot in your cord and a head full of black hair. Dr. R asked Daddy to stand up and announce your gender. He started laughing and said, "It's a BOY!"

Daddy announced your name (Thomas William after your grandfathers and uncles and so many other Thomases and Williams in our families), and as they were cleaning you off Dr. R told everyone to sing Happy Birthday to you! It was so sweet but I was still feeling so faint that I couldn't even sing. I just smiled and enjoyed those few minutes of watching you and then seeing your face up close as Daddy held you close to me. Then they sent you and Daddy away and he asked the student nurse to come and sit by me. That was such a nice gesture. She talked to me and distracted me through the rest of the surgery. Dr. R said that my uterus looked great and could handle another 5-6 kids! I was glad to hear that but still felt pretty bad. The anesthesiologist asked if I'd like some kind of anti-anxiety medication, but the doctors said they were almost done. Soon enough they were wheeling me back into the recovery room with you and Daddy and I was so happy. They said you were 7 pounds even, and 19.5 inches!

It took a good half-hour for me to calm down and I slowly started to feel my lower body again. Daddy took some pictures and they continued to take our vital signs. We got to breastfeed and after an hour or so, your sisters and my parents got to come in to see you! Your godmother Veronica was there for your birth too, but had to leave before seeing you since she had her 4 little boys with her. You were doing a lot of grunting with your breathing the first few hours, so they kept having the NICU check on you, but every time the tests showed you were oxygenating just fine! I was still concerned that you'd need time in the NICU, and you spent all of 10 minutes there before you met me up in our room on the 2nd floor!

We had a few visitors that afternoon...your siblings, my parents, and the K family. You got really sleepy that evening and had no interest in eating. That got the lactation consultant a little concerned. She brought me a manual pump and suggested we feed you with a syringe once you woke up. But as soon as you awakened, you were ready to nurse and haven't stopped since then! If you are awake, you are crying or nursing!

We had a quiet time in the hospital. Daddy had to go back to work at lunchtime the next day, so you and I spent lots of time watching HGTV and TLC together those next 3 days. We hung out in bed while I ate the great hospital ice, apple juice, and graham crackers...and a few great meals of bacon, chicken fingers, and chicken caesar salad! Someone came from Sts. S&J every day to bring me communion, what a blessing! I was up and walking the 2nd day and felt really great with my overall recovery. I didn't sleep much with all the hospital staff visits and TV shows and your nursing schedule, but we did have some nice afternoon naps. I had some times of loneliness missing all the family, but I always treasure that special time at the hospital with my new babies!
My recovery has been so much easier this time around. I'm not sure if it's because I didn't go through so much laboring, or if it's to the credit of a talented and experienced surgeon. I'll give credit to both and just be thankful that I'm now 5 days out and haven't taken any pain meds since last night! You have looked a bit yellowed, but all the tests showed your jaundice level was normal. I just couldn't believe what an easy check-out it was at the hospital! I am so thankful for our health.

Your siblings spent time with Aunt Jill, NeNe and PaPa, Grampatti, and the O family while we were in the hospital. They were thrilled to come visit you each day and were so happy to make special welcome home signs for your arrival! They have been doting and fighting over holding you, wanting to climb in bed with us, trying to pick out your clothes, and just doing whatever they can to get close to you. What love they have for their newest sibling!

We've now had a few days at home and are settling in well. You are either sleeping or eating, or crying if you're not able to do one of those! You spend your days being held by Mommy, Daddy, or one of your grandparents, and are getting lots of cute outfits and gifts each day! You're still too small to fit into most of them though! Your last weight check put you at 6 lbs 9.5oz, but hopefully you've gained back some since then.

We are enjoying every new day with you, Thomas, and we can't wait to share all the events of the coming months with our new little blessing! We can't wait to introduce you to the rest of our family and friends, and to have you baptized sometime in the coming week. We are so thankful to God for our newest treasure, making us a family of 6. Oh the adventures we'll have as we watch you grow up! Be strong and true, Thomas William, and know that your family has loved you from the first moment we knew you were with us until now until forever!


Mrs. G said...

Beautiful Blair. You made me cry! Congratulations! I hope I can meet him soon. :)

Anonymous said...

Those lungs look pretty strong and healthy to me!! :-)
Welcome to the world little Thomas,,,,you are in good hands with 2 older sisters who arehold hands at this baby brother business,,,is SJ wondering when you will get up and play?!
Theresa in Alberta

Colleen said...

What a beautiful story, Blair! I prayed for you the entire day of Thomas' birth and I am so glad that you and he are doing so well. What an amazing little blessing he is! Congratulations! Enjoy your babymoon!

Hallie @ Moxie Wife said...

Thank you so much for sharing your birth story! He's absolutely precious! Should we consider an arranged marriage? ;)

ViolinMama said...

Oh - he is gorgeous...what a story. You had me emotional!

He looks so much like you!! :)

God Bless you!

Jessica said...

Loved reading this birth story! He's so beautiful and precious. Congratulations on your latest blessing.

Kimberly said...

What a beautiful story Blair...and a beautiful baby to go with it.

Congratulations again, and I'm praying your recovery continues to go smoothly.

The Baskette Boys! said...

What an absolute JOY! I loved your post and I am just thrilled for your whole family. Congratulations and welcome to the world Thomas!

Josie said...

A beautiful birth story Blair. He is a sweetheart! Congratulations to you and your family!!

Neen said...

The story is as beautiful as he is. Oh my goodness he is precious.

JulieC said...

What an amazing story. You made me cry. Happy tears!!:) I'm so glad that all went well and he is such a precious blessing. Can't wait to meet him.

Melissa said...

Beautiful Blair. Thank you for sharing your special gift with all of us. He's so beautiful!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on a precious little boy and kudos to you for a lovely detailed birth story! What a treasure that will be for him someday. I can't wait to hold Thomas William. And, oh, how I love his name! Hugs to all the Bailey family!!!
Love, Beverly (and all the Kloesels)

Elizabeth said...

Beautiful! I am so glad that it went well. Ann Marie had a knot in her cord, too. They can cause tons of problems, including stillbirth- I like to think that these bambinos have guardian angels working overtime in utero too. Enjoy your sweet baby!

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