Another Year Over and a New One Just Begun

The lyrics to the title of this post mean more to me than ever now. I simply cannot believe we just celebrated another New Years. It truly doesn’t seem like that long ago we were at the same friend’s house ringing in the new year together or that I was putting things together for Jonathan’s first birthday. It was a blessed year for our family, fully of some ups and downs but overall what a wonderful year. Here are my highlights: Continue reading

Emotions are Running High

So my emotions are running extremely high these days…maybe it’s the mini pills? I am starting to feel extremely anxious about returning to work. Fortunately my mom will be watching Jonathan so there are no worries there…but I know it will be very rough. I wonder what it will be like for him? Will he miss me? Will he like his bottles better? What milestones will I miss? But then I also think How much better of a mom will I be? What great opportunities I can provide him with later and how much greater will our evening and weekends be? I know it’s for the best but it doesn’t mean I won’t cry about it…and cry a lot ;-(

We’ve had a busy few weeks. I took him to work with me on the 18th to visit with friends and he wore his cool shades there (though not inside). Everyone thought he was very cute and he was very well behaved.

This was a huge blessing considering the weekend before we took him to Longhorn, the Home and Garden show and Rock Bottom Brewery and he wasn’t too happy at the restaurants. He did do well at the show though. After work, Cheryl, Ira and I went for a walk around Sharon Woods. IT was a 2 hour walk and we both fed and changed our kids on the trail. The fresh air was very refreshing and it’s nice to see we’ve both adapted to motherhood and can take care of our kids anywhere. On Saturday we went to lunch with Terri from work and Jonathan was very well behaved. I also discovered a new favorite restaurant- Mimi’s Cafe. It was wonderful! That night Grandma watched him while Josh and I went to Buca Di Beppo’s with ADX sisters and then to Alice and Wonderland. It was nice to be on a date again!

This week has flown by like all of the others! Sunday I had a spa party and had about 10 girls over for pedicures, facial steams and hand treatments. I think everyone had a good time. I don’t even remember Monday though I was probably putting my house back together after the party. On Tuesday I had PT in the morning and mom took care of Jonathan. We also went to Western Hills for lunch at Fridays and to the candle store. Wednesday I had a play date with Kendra & Darren and Cheryl & Ira. We enjoyed ourselves and our kids and hopefully we can squeeze in one more before I go back to work. I also got out in the evening to go grocery shopping. Since when did grocery shopping become such an event and treat?! Ahh I feel very old now. That is definitely a big life change.

Today is Thursday and I am enjoying a nice 2 hour break right now while Josh takes care of JT. I am finally getting around to some emails and trying to catch up with people that I’ve been late getting back to.

Play Date

Today, I went to Kendra’s house and met her and Cheryl there for lunch and our kid’s first “play date.” Of course at this point it was really more of a mommy play date but the kids seemed to enjoy themselves too. Kendra made us lunch and we hung out for four hours comparing mommy stories and enjoying our kids. It’s amazing that right around a year ago Kendra was telling us she was pregnant and a year later we are both sitting together with kiddos. How much can change in a year.

Jonathan is four weeks old today and I still find myself wanting to go back and re-live his birth and our time with Josh. It was such a great week that I don’t want to let it go. Eventually though, that too will pass and I’ll be able to look towards the future instead of the past but I haven’t gotten that far yet.

J.T. is really changing, he just grabbed Josh’s glasses and he discovered my hair a few days ago. I get lots of hair tugs now so ponytails are the only way to wear my hair it seems. He’s also holding his head up a lot more and being more alert. He still loves 11PM-2AM as his favorite time to be awake. Last night though he fell asleep around 1 (yay!) and slept til 4 and went right back to sleep after his 4AM feeding. I am still looking forward to him sleeping through the night eventually. I know it will come in time but for now I am grateful that he goes right back to sleep after the 4AM feeding instead of being up and fussy.

Week With the In-Laws

We had such a great week! Josh’s mom flew in Friday night (the 12th) but unfortunately her flight was very delayed and didn’t get in until about 3AM. Josh picked her up in Dayton and they were at our house by 4:30AM. She got to hold Jonathan that night because he was due for a feeding shortly anyway. I’m glad she did because she was headed to Findlay the next morning and I knew she’d want to see him before she went! She returned Sunday afternoon to babysit for him while we went out to dinner and coffee. We went to Carlos and Johnny’s and had a wonderful meal. We had a crab cake appetizer, salad, mac and cheese, I had a fillet, and Josh had lamb chops then, we finished it with their special Valentine’s Day dessert. It was quite yummy. I wasn’t quite ready to go home yet so we went to Starbucks for coffee. I asked Josh not to go anywhere that I would be upset if I wanted/needed to leave early because I wasn’t sure how ready I would be to leave Jonathan home alone for so long. But his grandma Maag took care of him and gave him his first bottle which seemed to go well. When we did get home we built a fire, had champagne and chocolate covered strawberries and spent time with J.T. and Julie before heading to bed.

Monday and Tuesday Josh worked from home due to the snow which was great because I love it when he’s home. I know he doesn’t but at least we could eat lunch together. On Tuesday, we tried to go to Hot Doggin’ It but they were closed so we went to this yummy bagel/deli sandwich place which I liked a lot. That night we taught Julie to play settler’s which was a lot of fun, but she beat us her second time playing. Good for her! We played again later in the week with Josh’s dad and she almost beat us again.

Wednesday, I got out of the house and went to Bethesda’s maternity store to get a few necessities. It was weird to be back at the hospital but not pregnant or with J.T., I was surprised at how quiet the floor was because it felt like there was more going on when I was there but then again I never stepped out into the hallways until I was leaving. I also went grocery shopping by myself and it felt wonderful. I know it’s a silly thing but it still felt great to be doing something normal and not worrying about J.T. My mom had come over to watch him.

Josh’s dad flew in on Wednesday night and arrived at our house as I was feeding him. That was finished shortly and I brought him downstairs to meet his grandpa-Grandpa could not have been more happy or proud to hold Jonathan. He was beaming ear to ear as I placed Jonathan in his arms and he fell naturally into place with him. We all sat around and talked a bit before retiring to bed.

Thursday and Friday are a bit of a blur other than Thursday night we went to Silver Spring House with both sets of Jonathan’s grandparents. J.T. slept through dinner well and only woke up at the end when we were all ready to go. It was nice to be out with both of our parents at once and it was nice that my bonus from work had just arrived so we/I was extra celebratory. Friday, Julie and I went to meet Holly (a friend of hers from Lima) at Taco Bell while she was between doctor appointments. I got to meet her sweet kids and we had a nice visit before venturing out to the grocery store to get a few things for Saturday. J.T. did really well and only woke up when we hit traffic and the car stopped moving and then some in Meijer…but he was a hungry boy. He had made it almost four hours without eating so he had every right to start fussing.

Saturday was our Welcome Jonathan party. We invited family and close friends to help us welcome J.T. into our lives. Wow, we had a great turnout! I was a bit overwhelmed by the gifts and continue to be as throughout my pregnancy people have been beyond generous to us. It is so wonderful to know how loved Jonathan is and has been even before he was here. He is set for clothes for awhile because he got lots of cute outfits. I really enjoyed seeing my cousin Patrice’s daughter Laurelei, she is 14 months old and walking around. Such a cute little girl! It was also a good time to catch up with Kevin and Carly who we hadn’t seen much in the recent year. She is 30 weeks along with their son and it will be cool to see Oliver (their son) and .T. grow together because they are close in age. Our parents did a great job hosting the party and getting the food together, my dad’s appetizers were delicious and it all went well with the punch that Julie made and the delicious fruit. I’m glad there is lots of extra fruit, it will be good to snack on this week:-)

Sunday, we ventured up to Lima so the rest of Josh’s family could meet Jonathan. We took a 4 generation photo which I really wanted as well as other photos of Jonathan with his great-grandparents. Pretty neat to see everyone together and to introduce J.T. to his extended family. He is the first great-grandchild so everything was extra special. We stayed in Lima for about three hours during which we looked at photos, passed J.T. around and had Lee’s Famous Recipe Chicken for lunch. It was a good visit, just wish it wasn’t a 2 hour drive each way though thankfully Josh’s mom drove both ways so we could nap a bit in the back! After Lima we ordered LaRosa’s for dinner and played Settlers. Then turned in for bed after a few more photos and sharing of photos. Their flight was at  7AM on Monday so they had to leave at 5AM for the airport. I was sad to see them go, I really wish we weren’t all a plane trip away. I can’t believe the week is already over, they say time goes fast but it seems a little unfair at how fast it really goes. *sigh*

The highlight of my week though was seeing Jonathan smile for the first time! Saturday night, his grandpa was playing with his face and he grinned in delight. We couldn’t get it to repeat but on Sunday night his grandma was holding him and we were playing with him a bit and he smiled several times. Josh got out the video camera but his big smiles were mostly finished at that point. Still though, seeing those smiles was AMAZING! Before that all I got were gassy smiles :-)

Joshua’s Version of the Birth

I don’t update here nearly as often as I should, but I figure Crystal does a pretty good job at keeping this blog updated as to what is happening with us. In any case, my beautiful wife asked that I write my story of Jonathan’s birth for posterity.

Tuesday night I took Crystal to the hospital so they could give her some medication to prepare for the induction the following day. To my great surprise, Crystal told me I should go home and get a good night of sleep to prepare for tomorrow and had her mother (Tricia) stay with her at the hospital while I went home and slept in our bed.

The next morning I got up, ran to get some flowers and balloons my Crystal, then a quick stop at Panera and into the hospital. They checked Crystal’s dilation and since she was far enough along they began giving her the inducing medication through her IV. She didn’t seem very comfortable from that point on, but the contractions were definitely getting stronger. Crystal tried to get some sleep and at some point Tricia and I were playing cards just to pass the time.

Dinner was approaching, so Crystal told me to go ahead and go get some food, so I went out and as soon as I got to Quizno’s I noticed I had missed three calls from Tricia and one from Crystal. My voicemail said to get back to the hospital, so I skipped the food and ran to the car. I waited for what seemed like an eternity at the time to get out onto the street to head towards the hospital. Of course every light was red on the way back as I went. I got back to the hospital and there were about five people in the room with Crystal all busily doing whatever it was they were doing. Crystal was on oxygen, I was worried I had missed something, but it eventually turned out to be nothing special, the baby just hadn’t responded well to the forced contractions.

I stayed with Crystal mostly from that point and about an hour or two later the hospital staff had her begin pushing. I felt mostly useless in the entire situation, all I did was hold Crystal’s head and foot while she pushed. I also fed her ice chips from time to time as she pulled away the oxygen mask. The birth took about an hour and suprisingly, it felt like that. It didn’t seem longer or shorter than it actually was. I saw Jonathan’s head slowly work its way out and when the head was all the way out Crystal gave a final push and everything else came out very quickly. There was a big emotional high seeing him for the first time. Crystal had this connection with him for nine months, but to me all I got was an ultra sound and a kick on Crystal’s tummy once and a while. Crystal was ecstatic to see him when they placed him on her stomach, I cut the cord and then they took him away for a short bit to get him cleaned up. I got to hold him, which was exciting and scary all at once.

Every day since then has been a blessing and I’m very glad he is now part of our life.

Sweet Sounds

Well it’s 1AM and I can’t sleep. I napped today from 4:30PM to 7PM between J.T.’s feedings which felt good. I just walked into my bedroom and found both of my men sound asleep and both snoring. Normally snoring is not a lovely sound, but when I am wide awake it’s not so bad. I have a lot of peace knowing my family is sleeping soundly, bundled warmly and happy. Having a sick husband and newborn child was not a fun combination but I realized that it is a great honor that I have been given to care for this infant and help my husband get better. It is a gift to have people to care for, love and nurture. I am not happy that he was sick, but after he took care of me for nearly 9 months it was nice to return the favor. I am very thankful he is better though.

Having Jonathan has renewed me spiritually. Not a day goes by that I don’t thank God for my baby boy, his health and his life. Being pregnant and giving birth has given me a different perspective on mothers and babies and I feel so connected to other mothers, especially those that experience heartache. My heart breaks for the broken hearts of parents who lost a child or didn’t get to have their child (name of Angels on the wall at the hospital). Even before I was married I always answered the question of “what is your biggest fear” by saying losing a child. That is even more true now that Jonathan is in my life, I want to protect him from everything that might bring him harm but know that won’t be possible when he is older. For now, he’s the sweet little boy that I get to cuddle with every day, love, kiss, feed, and nurture. Still trying to stop time so I can keep him this way. Thank you Lord for this precious life you’ve entrusted to me and Josh.

Fun and Trying Times

We had our pictures done on Sunday, we are never going to Sears again! They were late and didn’t have time to sit with us to view our photos. We bought copyright to the photos and some prints which I still need to pick out. Josh started getting really sick at the end so we needed to leave. That started it all, Josh was sick for a good two days and J.T. decided 1AM-4AM was his favorite time to be awake. Right now is Wednesday (Happy second week birthday, baby boy!) and I’ve gone three straight nights with J.T. by myself and most of the day by myself. Mom was here on Monday so I coud run down to the neighbors for a bit so I did get some relief. Megan and Nate also brought us dinner Monday night and Megan held him quite awhile, again more relief! I am blessed to have such good friends. Cheryl also made us some homemade Chicken noodle soup which Coleman brought all the way up to us. That was so nice of them especially having their own new baby to care for.

I mailed the announcements today, well, most of them. Looking forward to the welcome party for Jonathan!

I am amazed at the resilience of my body. Two weeks postpartum and I was out shoveling snow. I’ve actually been feeling great for several days now, not much going on with my stitches and all and I am able to lay on my stomach, pull my legs up, sit cross-legged, and do so many things that I couldn’t while pregnant. It’s amazing how much function and mobility you lose in nine months but because you lose it slowly it’s not a drastic difference. My body is still in recovery, I am just amazed at how quickly I have returned to “normal”. A small part of me does miss being pregnant though and feeling that life inside of me. I think that will always be the case as there is nothing like carrying a child for nine months and the closeness that is experienced during that special time. It is definitely something that I want to do again.

I have been losing weight petty rapidly, part of that is the baby and part could be not eating much. I have little appetite so I have to remind myself to eat a lot. I hear this is normal and my appetite should return eventually. I weighed myself the day after returning from the hospital and if I only gained 30lbs, which is the ballpark that I gained, then I was only down 4 lbs! How is that possible with a 9lb baby?!? I didn’t weight myself again until he was 1 week old and by then I was down 19lbs or so, which is 11lbs away from pre-pregnancy weight! Today, being 2 weeks old I weighed myself again and am down to just needed to lose 4 more lbs. I am not stressing about this or even trying to lose weight, after all just because I get back down to that weight does not mean I am the same size. I certainly have some toning of my stomach to do!

Tomorrow, I take J.T. to the doctor to have his eyes looked at and hopefully his little tear ducts are unblocked. Today we gave him his first big boy bath because his cord fell off over the weekend. He was not a fan. But his eyes didn’t gunk after the bath so that is a great sign.

We started PDF tonight, hopefully that leads to routine and sleeping through the night by 5-6 weeks or so though 7-9 is typical.

Jonathan Is Ten Days Old

Wow! Ten days old already? My baby boy seems to be getting old fast, even though he is till so young at ten days. We’ve had a good few days but not so great nights. On Wednesday, Josh went back to work and I thought it would be extremely hard for me but it wasn’t. Jonathan was easy to take care of by myself and the day went by quickly enough that I didn’t miss Josh too much. I was also excited that I had lost 19 lbs of the 30 or so I’d gained…only 11 lbs left to get to pre-pregnancy weight!

Our friends Jen and Jordan brought us dinner on Wednesday night and we had some delicious enchiladas. Thursday morning I wasn’t feeling so great, I had a stomach ache and hot/cold spells. Luckily my mom came over to help me out so I could get a bit of a break. I felt sick well into Friday afternoon before I finally felt well again. Thursday, my dad brought chicken noodle soup for dinner which was perfect for me not feeling so great! Thursday night was a rough night, I couldn’t get J.T. to settle back to sleep on my own so I had to wake up Josh for help. I was so tired I was afraid I might drop him and kept dosing and seeing myself drop him. We did manage to hit a new milestone though on Thursday, it marked the first day that Jonathan could stay in the same outfit for 24 hours. Either he’s getting more regulated or we’re getting better at putting on the diapers! Either way, it’s been nice to be more accident free.

Fortunately Josh was able to work from home on Friday, not that he could help with J.T. but it was nice to be able to see him during the day. I was spoiled by having him with me almost non-stop for an entire week! Mom and Dad also brought us Panera bagels for breakfast which was very thoughtful and helpful since I tend not to eat breakfast anymore. Not by choice, just by focusing so much on Jonathan.

Friday night Dan and Beth brought us LaRosa’s which was great. It was nice to eat dinner with them and see friends since we haven’t gone out at all since he’s been born. Josh and I also spent time together Friday night while J.T. was sleeping which was wonderful. We knew the night would probably be similar to the night before so we were gearing up for another night of difficulty with Jonathan. He has his days and nights flipped as he is alert during the night and extremely drowsy during the day.We did give him another bath and I put lotion all over him which he seemed to tolerate. I can’t wait to give him a real bath soon, we just need his cord to fall off.

Saturday, my brother, Becky and Josie came over. Josie was instantly taken by the baby but lost interest rather quickly. Clint helped Josh with the board under our sink and then held J.T. for a bit. It was sweet to see Josie holding J.T. and I’m sure J.T. liked meeting his cousin and uncle! Josh and I managed to watch another episode of LOST tonight together and again were able to spend time together while Jonathan was down for one of his naps. That little bit of cuddle time goes a long way these days! Saturday was also a big day for Jonathan as he moved on from newborn diapers to size 1.

Tomorrow we go for family photos at Sears, hopefully they will turn out well considering I have no idea what I am going to wear. We also need to buy him a new outfit tomorrow so he has something super cute to wear.

We’re home!

Jonathan and I were discharged from the hospital on Friday morning. We had a bit of a rough exit but were excited to get to go home when it wasn’t snowing. Yay for that answered prayer. Grandma and Grandpa Mahany brought us a delicious pork dinner on Friday night, we had applesauce, mashed potatoes, carrots and rolls to go with the pork. They also brought sparkling wine to celebrate. Josh was able to go to bed really early and I was able to get a shower while Mom and Dad attended to J.T., a nice little break.  I then went to bed shortly after as I didn’t know what to expect from our first night with the baby with us all night. It ended up being quite an ordeal that night, we went through one bassinet sheet and 3-4 outfits due to accidents. Josh did a great job with all the diaper changes and helping me take care of myself. Despite the chaos, I enjoyed every minute of taking care of him. I still couldn’t believe he was my son and I was his mommy.

On Saturday, he was very calm throughout the day and slept much easier than he did at night time. He was so good that Josh got to play some video games and I caught up with a few people over the phone. Around 3ish Sara, Kendra and Megan came over for a visit. They all got to hold him though he cried a bit, I was able to calm him back down for the most part. One of the best parts about being his mommy is that my voice and touch can calm him down, usually. When he’s screaming on the changing table or upset just grabbing his little hands and getting close to his face or putting him on my chest makes him better or completely calm. I didn’t expect that so it was such an amazing sensation the first time it happened at the hospital.

Kendra brought a beef stroganoff casserole which was delicious and Sara brought me some snacks which is awesome because that’s what every nursing mom needs! They all hung out for a while and we took pictures with Darren…who has grown up way too quickly. He looked very big to me for 4 months which makes me want to cherish this newborn time even more as I know my time is limited. I wish I could make time stand still and re-enjoy this week forever! Saturday night was better than Sunday though we still had a few accidents and went through more clothes, at least we weren’t as surprised this night. We also learned that 2 changing pad covers is not enough…so we added at least one more to the need to get list.

Sunday was another calm day, I actually got to take a nap which felt amazing. J.T. was very good during the day and enjoyed a visit from Aunt Casey and Tahnee. Casey got to hold him and burp him and Tahnee got to hold him for quite awhile too which was a nice little break. He also got his first bath on this day which he did not enjoy though I didn’t expect him to. We moved a space heater into the bathroom to try and make it a better environment for him so he wouldn’t be as cold. I wiped down his hair and top half and Josh took care of his legs and feet. We took some video which will be treasured. We need to keep taking video as that’s why we got the camera. We also did some still shots and after shots of him wrapped in his hooded towel less angry at us.

Monday, we had our first outing away from J.T. Grandmother Mahany came over and took some photos of us for the announcements and then we went to Target and Lowes. I about cried at Target looking at the clothes, I spent so long looking at the baby stuff and daydreaming of when he’d be here but never could have imagined things would be the way they are. I am so in love and blessed by him and yet have to way to describe it.  I am overflowing with emotion right now anyway due to hormones so it’s a lot to handle, poor Josh. I bought him a Valentine’s outfit that says momma’s Prince on it which is so adorable! We also bought a few other things off our registry since it was baby sale week so we got some of the things we needed at an even better deal. At Lowe’s we bought a new Chandelier for our dining room which is exciting as we both didn’t like the one that came with the house. I am hoping to do a few other upgrades around here soon as well. We were only gone for 2 hours, probably less but I missed my little guy. We’ve bonded so much already!

Tuesday, our last day home with daddy before he goes back to work. We had an O.K. day though. The morning was a bit rough as J.T. managed to spray poo over half of his nursery while daddy changed his diaper. He hit every cloth piece of bedding in his crib including the dust ruffle, his diaper genie, diaper stacker, the wall, the changing pad, etc. It was quite a mess but daddy cleaned it all up. We had our first doctor appointment that morning and J.T. slept the entire time we waited in the waiting room which was ridiculous because it was 50 minutes! I do not go to that office regularly as a result. He had a clean bill of health except for his clogged tear ducts. We got a prescription for that and the DR wasn’t too concerned. He just had lots of eye boogers. The doctor did remark that he had a one month old body with a newborn face…he was already back up to 9lbs 1 oz which was up from his 8lbn 12 oz weight that the home nurse weighed him at on Sunday. My little boy needs to slow it down a bit, I want him to stay tiny as long as possible if he is healthy of course. After the doctor, we went home and all ate lunch. Mommy even ate at the same time J.T. ate which was a success. J.T. slept most of the afternoon only waking up for changes and feedings but we had a few friends over that he got to meet. The Crousey’s came by for the LOST premiere which was ridiculous, but J.T. didn’t settle as quickly as usual so I spent a good hour trying to get him to finally sleep. He was also up lots through the night so maybe I was rushing him a bit on his feeding times. We managed to let Daddy sleep from at least midnight to 6Am while Mommy had total baby duty. Luckily I survived.

It took me two days to write this post and it is now 9:30AM on Josh’s first day back to work and so far I am doing O.K. Had a very emotional night last night with the thought that J.T. is already a week old and that daddy already had to go back to work. Whew, I am ready for my hormones to balance out, I cry every day multiple times a day, usually out of happiness, joy, or feeling so blessed to have J.T. be so healthy.

Welcome home, Johnny!

Wow, I am a mother! I can’t believe he is finally here and home and healthy. He made me wait for what felt like ages those last few weeks. I feel so blessed and overcome with emotion that I can’t control it. I cry about every other time I look at him which is partly due to hormones and partly due to pure joy.

Here is my version of how he entered this world:
On Tuesday, January 26th Josh and I left for the hospital as I was going to be admitted around 10PM. When we arrived we got to our room quickly and called mom so she could get on her way to stay the night with me. At first, they didn’t have the orders from my doctor but after a few phone calls they were able to proceed with my procedure. Unfortunately I was still only 1.5 cm so they gave me the Cervidil and a sleeping aid so I could rest. Josh left sometime around midnight so I could try and get a good nights rest and so he’s be refreshed for the big day on Wednesday.  I woke up around 2 or maybe 4 in the morning very sad and in tears over being at the hospital. I wasn’t sure if what I was doing was right as I was choosing to induce my labor at 6 days overdue which is not medically necessary but near the point that the doctor and I agreed we wouldn’t go over.  I was nervous also that they didn’t have my doctor’s orders which didn’t help my uneasiness. My mom calmed me down and I was able to go back to sleep and found a peace about what I was doing.  In the end, I know it was the right thing to do and I am happy I did it.

Wednesday morning,  I woke around 8AM and was brought breakfast and started mentally preparing for my day ahead. Josh got to the hospital around the time the doctor did (shortly after 10AM) with Panera that I couldn’t have yet and beautiful flowers. The doctor checked me and “with help” I was at 3cm which was a good sign for the morning. He chose to take out my medicine and start my Pitocin (around 11AM) so we get on with having this baby. I was having my own contractions that morning but had been having them for two weeks so again didn’t think much of them.  By 1PM I was getting very uncomfortable and the contractions were happening about every 2 minutes and lasted for 1 minute. Josh and I played Rummy but I could only do one game as I was very uncomfortable. I regrettably said yes to some pain medication to “take the edge off”, I do wish I would have tried getting up and walking around instead but for some reason chose to stay in the bed. I say regrettably because the medicine made me very sleepy but didn’t help enough to not be in pain so I couldn’t actually sleep. Who really hopes to sleep in labor anyway?! Ha! Oh well.

I was checked again and was barely 4 cm which was disappointing. At that time I opted for the epidural as I didn’t think I’d get out of bed being so sleepy! Getting the epidural was the hardest part (as my doctor said it probably would be). Due to being sleepy from the other medication I couldn’t sit straight up which was required. I kept falling to the side so the nurse had to stabilize me, they had my bed lifted so high that all Josh could do was put his hand on my knee and mom was booted from the room. Once that was administered I was given a catheter and bound to the bed until he was born. This all happened around 2:30PM. I then proceeded to rest as much as possible for the next 2 hours while Mom and Josh played cards and brought me ice. I never fell asleep as I could still feel my contractions but I was only in pain in my lower left pelvis.

Around 4:45 I had a nurse change (I had 6 nurses in all from the time I got there to the time he was born, not typical but someone was sent to triage, someone to a class, someone home to sick kids, etc). My last nurse, Melanie was amazing. I let Josh go get dinner around this time as it took so long to get that extra cm that we thought we were in for a much longer night. They checked me again and told me I was 8 cm! Wow, that happened quick. I asked if I should call Josh back and they said I shouldn’t because I still had more time. Just a minute later, however, slight chaos ensued as the next contraction caused Johnny’s heart rate to drop and each subsequent contraction was “squeezing the life out of him”. Of course they didn’t tell me any of that in the moment, they had me hold oxygen over my nose and I yelled to my mom to call Josh. His phone didn’t pick up the call so I had her give me mine and sent a quick Google Chat message which is what he got and why he came back.

For 20-30 minutes I had a doctor (not mine) and 3-5 nurses in the room flipping me over trying to get me in a position that was better for J.T. They gave me a drug to stop my contractions which caused my heart to race and my whole body to shake. They also inserted an internal fetal monitor which was used to better measure his heart rate. Josh arrived as things were calming down and the doctor explained everything to us (again). He had already explained it to me but I was a bit out of it and didn’t know exactly what he had told me. All I could think about was that Josh wasn’t there and that I needed to not panic, I wasn’t actually thinking about J.T. and what was happening to him because I didn’t know exactly what was happening and when the doctor introduced himself to me he reassured me that his team could take care of the situation so I felt he was in capable hands. I just wanted my husbands hand to squeeze on to help keep me calm. Luckily, Mom was there and held my hand and was a good stand in. I think I did a pretty good job of staying calm even through the shakes. My DR arrived and everything was going much better but I was still happy to see him.

I was stabilized and when they rechecked I was 9cm! The DR said he’d  be back in 30mins to check on me again but when he came back he told me he was going to give me another 30mins to ensure I stayed stable. Then we would be ready to re-check and hopefully have this baby! He came back around 6:30PM and I was ready fully dilated, we were ready for practice pushes. I did my first practice push to test how well J.T. would withstand the pressure. The doctor said I was a highly likely candidate for a c-section and based on how high he was probably forceps if I was able to deliver vaginally. Luckily the first push was a huge success as I moved him quite a bit (go me!) but I wasn’t out of the woods yet. J.T. handled the pushing well enough but was facing the wrong way (10 o’clock vs. 6 or 12) and his head was at an angle both of which made a vaginally delivery not possible. Around 6:45PM I started pushing continuously with each contraction, which I am so glad I could feel coming on and eventually had control over my pushing. I didn’t make any sounds when pushing other than the occasional “come on” to encourage Johnny to come on out. I loved this part of my labor, the last hour was the best by far as I felt so much control and comfort over what was happening. It felt like the doctor, nurse and Josh were all very close to me helping me through the situation though when I look at the video they don’t look quite as close. Still, he was moving as he should and the doctor was able to do his part to help Johnny get turned towards a 6 O’clock position and his head straight. Yay! No necessary c-section at this point as long as he continued to descend and didn’t go into distress again. Forceps were still discussed but eventually not at all needed as I was determined to push this kid out without giving him more of a cone head or bruised face. The doctor was able to remove the internal monitor so it was up to me to indicate when I was having contractions. I loved this as I really felt like I was in control of my pushing which I didn’t necessarily expect with an epidural. I did agree to an episiotomy to help get him out a bit quicker, he was under so much stress earlier that this made sense. The doctor also said I was going to tear either way and need stitches so this helped me agree to the procedure. I could feel what he was doing which was a bit startling as I didn’t realize he had his tools with him, I assumed he’d need to get up to get something. Once that was done J.T. was just a few pushes away from coming out, on one of my contractions I even pushed a fourth time just trying to get him further. During the delivery they had a mirror set-up where I could see him coming, the doctor encouraged me to reach down and feel his head too which was pretty cool and scary. I barely touched him and pulled my finger back, it was weird!

The doctor paused to aspirate his nose and mouth when his head was out, I thought it was cool to get to witness that part and his shoulders coming out. I didn’t see the whole birth as the doctor blocked the mirror a bit and my eyes were closed with pushing so hard. Just before his birth was imminent, I thought it was crazy that that they had me pause for a few contractions to get his warm towel ready and the doctor had to do a few things to get ready. They also busted out the stirrups for this part I guess so the nurse could be free. Finally the final pushed began and he was born at 7:47 PM. They put him on me right away after Josh cut the cord but I was laying so far back I could barely see him…due to his distress once I was in a position that didn’t bother him I had to stay that way. I can’t explain enough how awesome this last hour was for me and how amazing the whole end process was. Josh did a good job holding my head and rubbing my hand between contractions. He also kept feeding me ice chips like we were in the desert or something which was fantastic. After he was placed on me they took him away to get cleaned up and a quick check, he got an 8 and 9 on the Apgar test which isn’t bad I guess considering he wasn’t crying when he was on me. They said he weighed 9lbs 3 oz (WHOA, BIG BABY!), I couldn’t believe it! they also did his little baby foot prints at that time too. Then they brought him back (he was just a few feet away) and Josh got to hold him as I was being finished up. He was here, healthy and perfect! Now the recovery began…Mom and Dad came back very quickly to see him and hold him for a minute before I fed him for the first time. He was a natural, we were properly positioned and latched all on our own while the nurse finished some of my charting. When she came to check on us she was impressed and let us continue our feeding. A short while later my Aunt Susan came for a visit and held him for awhile until it was time to go to the recovery room.

I was in my recovery room for about 36 hours, 10 PM Wed night to noon or so on Friday. I never left the room which seems like a long time but I was content where I was and enjoyed having my baby with me all day long. He did go to the nursery at night and was only brought to me for feedings. I had great nurses and a great husband taking care of me so all of my needs were met. J.T. was well taken care of too and the staff said he was very good in the nursery though for one session he did spit up “a lot of garbage” but that only meant he would be feeling better with me. We had some visitors in the hospital, my parents came, Holly and Aaron came and brought J.T. some presents, David came, Casey and Tahnee came and hung out for a bit as well. It was so nice to have people visit and want to meet J.T. He is such a blessing, I can’t even describe how awesome it is to be his mother. God gave me the greatest gift I’ve ever received and I’m determined to take care of my precious Jonathan.

Hopefully this captures as many details as possible of the best day of my life.