My sweet baby boy–birth story and then some!

Jeremiah James Maag- my account of his birth
It started Monday evening, I had been moving around and felt what I thought might be fluid, went the bathroom and found signs that labor might start soon or within a few weeks according to the internet so who knows, but I still wondered if my water had broken some. So I put on pad and a laid in bed for 30 mins, the pad didn’t appear to be too wet so I chalked it up to not being my water broken. I eventually went to sleep that night and woke at 2:30 feeling very wet–went to the RR and nothing. I laid back in bed and contractions started (nothing new from the past few weeks though). But at 3:30 I went to the RR again and saw more evidence of labor–this time with blood tinge so I woke up Josh and told him we may have to call the DR. My contractions were also seemingly stronger. We decided to start timing them vs. calling just yet. After 45 minutes they were 6-8 minutes apart lasting just over a minute. Went to the RR with more blood tinged evidence of labor–it was time to call the Dr. They advised we go to the hospital to be checked so I called mom and told her we might be getting a baby! She was there quickly and off we went…contractions at this point had increased to 3-4 mins apart but only lasting 30-45 seconds. Josh did a great job getting us safely to the hospital and avoided most potholes! The only hiccup was we went to ER, it was 5:15 and forgot the main entrance opened at 5…the person asked us if I was in labor and I said yes and she advised we drive over vs. the long walk through the hospital so out the doors we went to the correct entrance. I think I walked faster in labor than my last week of pregnancy!

We arrived, were checked in and I was sent to triage in obvious pain. I was given the option of being checked by the nurse or by an OB with speculum and the nurse answered for me that she would just do it because of my pain. The risk of her doing it is if she couldn’t tell about my water, I’d have to be seen by an OB anyway so she didn’t want me to need to be checked twice. They let Josh back there quickly with me to hold my hand and comfort me. Thank you for that!! I was 1.5 cm at my last appt so not sure what I was going to be but finally the nurse checked me and said “OH, you’ll be happy you’re at 4 cm and I feel a head!” WOW! Ok, it’s go time…my body figured it out, I was really in labor!!

I was given an IV and moved to my room, the IV actually hurt worse than the contractions at this point. My cervix was still way high so the nurse recommended we use the birthing ball or an all 4s position to help–I chose the ball, seemed more fun. So we labored on our own for awhile and until my epideral showed up, it was shortly after 7 (earlier than I thought I’d get one) but thought it was good to get the person right at shift change so I wouldn’t have to wait later. The epideral was actually the worst part of my labor, so much so that I may not do it again. They gave me a local anesthetic to dull the pain, so when she put in the needle she said you’ll feel pressure not pain, pressure is normal, pain isn’t. Ok, I thought, I can handle this, did it before–well no sooner did she say that then I felt tremendous pain in my back like a popping of air about an inch in diameter- I screamed and burst into tears it hurt SO BAD! They gave me more local medicine but I still felt pain every time she moved the needle. She would barely move it and I felt the popping pain and pain down my hip. Finally it was in place and I was ok. It went to work quickly and I couldn’t believe how numb I was, I wasn’t nearly that numb with Jonathan. I felt like I’d been sitting on ice for hours, that’s how numb I was. All was going well, Josh was sleeping and I was daydreaming of Jeremiah for the next few hours. I couldn’t feel any of my contractions so all I had to do was flip side to side when the nurse came in. The Dr came around 10 or so and finished my water breaking and checked me–still only 4 cm, bummer. But alas I was laboring away, happily and feeling nothing, a little weird actually. I was checked again about an hour or so later an up to 6cm–whoo hoo, making progress:-) It was near noon that a nurse came in and asked me if I felt any pain, and I said “actually yes” I had just felt that last contraction. She said uh oh, you’d better press your button (to get more drugs) so I did. I wasn’t too concerned, I liked that I could feel my contractions with Jonathan so this wasn’t all bad news to me–except the button didn’t help me at all. My contractions grew worse and the pain medicine wasn’t helping, in fact I could now feel my legs again and contractions were almost full on as when I came in that morning. So, the anesthesiologist came in and gave me a booster, it was lighter so I could push but all that did was make me nauseous. I was starving right after my epideral and remembered saying after the booster that “all this stuff does is make me hungry…or nauseous, yup definitely nausea…help!” I was given a bucket and puked for a few minutes–not my most glorious moment. The cold rag helped and eventually the heaving subsided–horrible! I was checked again and at 10cm!! Oh my, time to go for real, except DR was 20 mins away so we kept laboring in pain waiting. Finally the DR arrived but luck has it that there were 3 of us in labor that were his patients and all ready to push. One had the head practically out so I knew she was first, and they finished her fairly quickly but then I heard a nurse say the other baby was “crashing” that sounds scary and quickly realized the nurses might be delivering my baby if he has to go to her and she goes into an emergency c-section. I started crying again at that point, I was tired and done waiting for my baby boy. I told this to Josh who relayed it to the nurse as she couldn’t understand me. They let me push some without the DR because they knew he’d be in any minute. Sure enough, he arrived and I really got to push–had a mirror set-up so I could see him coming down the canal and finally his head was out! I didn’t hear anything and immediately asked if he was ok as they suctioned him out. I was also still pushing through this and trying to push, breathe and listen to the nurse was too much so I ignored the nurse. I buckled down and just pushed pushed pushed because there were no breaks this time, he was out in less than 10 minutes. I heard him cry and he was put up on my chest, my beautiful son was finally here and in my arms, what a miracle!

The recovery this time was quite different, we had to be in the room for 2 hours but it was a long 2 hours. We were left alone with him for awhile and no one was there to rush in and greet him yet, we had some time bonding together after all of his checks and it was quite peaceful. I did ok, not too much pain at this point and overall a sense of relief that he was here, happy to eat and so healthy.

My parents, and Jonathan were ready to greet us in our recovery room–Jonathan made quite the face when he first saw Jeremiah. He wasn’t too sure about this and wasn’t too happy mommy couldn’t hold him. But, once we got home and now 2 weeks later, he is a wonderful big brother who gives lots of kisses to his baby brother. So sweet.

Now–2 weeks later, here is what I know about Mr. Jeremiah:
1- He definitely looks like me, a lot!
2- He doesn’t like to be moved if he is sleeping and he let’s you know this with chirps and little cries of discomfort
3- He spits up A LOT, he needs extra care after eating to let his tummy settle, he is also extremely gassy- gas drops help a bit
4- He gets hot quickly, he loves to have air blown on his face either by momma or a fan if he is over heated
5- He will smile if you stroke his cheek in the right place and he appears to have dimples!
6- He loves to snuggle in the center of my chest, he will migrate there after burping on his own or with a little help
7- He still loves to have his feet up like he was in the womb,he’s not quite uncurled yet
8- He is very strong–already held is head up at 1 day old and amazing everyone he meets with how good his head control is already
9- He is huge! At 6 days old was up to 9lbs 6oz, at 11 days old was up to 9lbs 15oz…can’t wait to see how big he is at his 1 month appt!
10- He makes his momma fall in love more and more every day, so thankful to be his momma and to be spending this time with him. I <3 my boys very much and thank God for them every day with all the thanks I can give. What a joyous gift they are in my life.

My Great Week

The first week of September 2011 is one of the best of my life. One week ago today, Sept 2nd, Josh and I were quietly celebrating 5 years of marriage. He hadn’t made any big plans because there were other Bigger plans to celebrate at any moment–which came on Sept 6th. We went to Unos with Jonathan and then to Culvers to for ice cream. A simple celebration which we shared with our little boy.

On Saturday the 3rd I went into the nursery and started arranging some baby clothes, I am not usually a procrastinator but knew this wasn’t truly urgent so it could wait. Well, my heart couldn’t wait any longer…I snuggled the little clothes and softly cried to myself as I waited for my next little boy to come into this world. He’d already been in my world longer than 9 months and I had a heavy heart that night. I truly thought he would have been here by now. But alas, I was still waiting. Josh came in and we talked for a bit–very content with our decision not to induce him any earlier and knew he’d be here soon.

Sunday came and went…Monday came and went…no Labor Day for me. The weekend was spent relaxing around the house, waiting, playing with Jonathan and more waiting.

We have a BIRTHDAY!

I will write a post officially about his birth, but quick summary: Monday night had pre-labor signs but didn’t get too excited as it could be a false alarm. I woke up around 2:30 feeling like my water may have ruptured but it hadn’t so I laid in bed and contractions started–went and got Josh at 3:30 to time the contractions and by 4:30 or so we needed to call the DR as my contractions were getting closer together and stronger. They advised we go to the hospital so called mom to come take care of Johnny and off we went.

Around 9 hours later, God gave me another precious gift. Jeremiah James Maag was born into this world weighing 9 lbs 5.2oz and 22 inches long…also scored a 9 9 on the apgar test beating his brother on all measurements except possibly his head. I am so in love with him and was quite relieved when he was here, healthy and secure in my arms.

When Jeremiah was a few hours old he got to meet his grandparents, Aunt Case and big brother Jonathan! I couldn’t wait to see my big little boy, I was missing him by that point. Once the boys were able to meet Jonathan immediately knew something was up and made the scrunchiest little face as if to say send him back, I don’t want him yet! He wasn’t ready to give up all of mommy and daddy just yet. However, once we arrived home he definitely warmed up!

Our stay at the hospital was another great experience, we had great nurses and I felt well taken care of. I was in a lot of discomfort with back pain and cramping due to nursing but the nurses gave me good advice and Josh was very supportive. He had visits from my parents, sister and a few friends–the perfect amount in my opinion.

We decided to stay all day Wednesday vs. going home, I think my OB and the pediatrician liked this better than us leaving even though both cleared us to leave if we wanted to. We took advantage of the nursery at night to help us get a little more sleep than we knew we’d be getting at home. However, the highlight of this day was seeing Jeremiah hold his head up! He held it up off of my chest first but then I saw him do it several times in Josh’s arms and I tried to snag a few pictures of it. Pretty remarkable for being 1 day old!

Thursday we were discharged, we went home settled in and Josh went to pick up Jonathan from my mom’s care. I was so excited to be home as a family of 4 and couldn’t wait to see Jonathan, my heart missed him quite a bit in the hospital. Once he was home, he saw Jeremiah and said “baby” and even took the little giraffe rattle to Jeremiah!! Soooo precious. I knew he’d be a good big brother:-) So far he is continuing to amaze me and has shown limited signs of jealousy. When they met at home, Jeremiah was in a bouncy seat but when I picked him up for the first time Jonathan got a little jealous and did this mehmemehme type of cry. He came and put his head on my shoulder and I hugged him with my other arm and comforted him and he was fine. It was precious though broke my heart a little at the same time. Fortunately, he’s done this minimally and overall is adjusting very very well to having his little brother around. Our first night home went better than with Jonathan but still went through several outfits–what is it about being at home and peeing through so many outfits??

Friday–first full day at home. I am so glad Josh has this time off work. He is such a wonderful daddy and does a remarkable job with Jonathan. Things have worked out well for Josh to focus mostly on Jonathan while I care for Jeremiah. The day went smoothly for the most part though I did get peed on for the first time and was left at home with Jeremiah by self. Being home with him was fine, doing this for the second time has been much easier (so far!!) for me as I know what to expect and Jeremiah is pretty calm though I have been peed on at least 4-5 times now (as of Sunday night). I’m working to get better at not letting that happen! Friday evening my parents brought us a wonderful meal and we had a mini celebration for my mom’s birthday. We had cake and ice cream and Jonathan was so happy he wasn’t a baby because he got the cake and ice cream too!

Saturday- I was left with Jeremiah again while Josh and Jonathan went to a baby shower for Dan and Barb. Timing worked out best this way and I was actually able to nap when they were gone. I feel so much more comfortable with Jeremiah and at ease being with him than with Jonathan. I know that is what parenting experience gets you but it still amazes me. I can shower, take care of myself, nurse, snuggle my baby, etc without panic or stress (so far!). And, Jeremiah is a little cuddle bug! He loves to migrate from my shoulder during burping to the center of my chest where he can feel my heartbeat. He has his little legs curled up and just falls right asleep–I am in heaven. Jonathan never liked to cuddle so I am so excited to have a snuggly little one, though when Josh goes back to work this might be a challenge as I’ll have to take care of Jonathan too 3 days a week. Saturday evening ended with a wonderful visit from Dan and Beth. We enjoyed dessert with them and talked for hours–so blessed to have them as such wonderful friends!

Sunday- today was the kickoff for Football season and I think I watched about 15 minutes if that of football.  It was much better spending the day with my family–including mom bringing breakfast and helping me organize clothes for the boys and start switching out wardrobes for fall/winter. One of my biggest highlights of the day was spending time outside with Jonathan while Josh looked after Jeremiah who was sleeping away in his swing. It was much needed mommy/Johnny time and I loved watching him climb, play, kick his ball and grin huge smiles outside with me. I missed this so much this past week and during the end of my pregnancy because my ability to chase after him became limited. I can’t wait until we have a new routine, I am healed and can get down and play with him lots. He is such a fun energetic little boy! The second highlight was Jeremiah’s first bath. We were geared up for this to be a tear fest for mommy and Jeremiah but he didn’t cry at all! He was very very calm and didn’t even squirm, such a different experience from his big brother–I will eventually stop comparing the two, I promise! But, bathing him, cuddling him and feeding him is such an honor, so humbling to realize God has given me this little boy to look after, care for and nurture. I absolutely love being a mommy to my two precious boys. Life can’t get much sweeter than this…