Monday, May 22, 2017

he is here

on the morning of wednesday, may 17th, at precisely 8:00 am, guster james joined our family. he weighed in at 6 pounds 15 ounces & 19 inches long. apparently, my babies don't get very big, & that is ok by me. he came out kicking & screaming - dr. larsen joked that gus had a baritone cry & i would have to agree. this boy has a nice deep cry. it's adorable. everything about him is perfect. we are definitely in love.

so here is the story of gus' delivery.

my doctor gave me the ok to do a vbac & i spent most of my pregnancy trying to decide if i would rather a vbac or go with another c-section. see, the nice thing about roo's delivery is that i didn't have a choice. she wouldn't be here if it weren't for my mama gut telling me something was off & an emergency c-section. with gus, i had a full nine months to go over all the pros & cons, to let it stew around in my brain for hours each day. i reached out to many women that i knew had had multiple c-sections to get their perspective on things. honestly, i wanted to experience the "whole thing" - the contractions, pushing, watching my baby come into the world, BUT i was afraid. i cannot handle the thought of pain, though i like to think i am typically ok when it comes to actually feeling the pain.

i went into this pregnancy assuming i would attempt a vbac. then things happened - i began to doubt my body, specifically my scar that didn't heal correctly the first time. i saw a sister give birth, & while everything turned out 100% perfect, i drove home an emotional wreck. suddenly the idea of a vbac made me very anxious. & of course, the opinions of other women got to me too - some negative, some positive, but most were negative towards multiple c-sections. i felt fear behind the idea of both, but ashamed to choose to have another c-section. it's hard to explain, but it was almost like i was being selfish for choosing a c-section. i would never think less of another woman for choosing a c-section, yet, somehow i still felt like i was being judged? it's a feeling i didn't have with rooney.

ps. just so you know, c-section guilt is a real & common thing. check out number 5 in the article i linked. ding ding ding. that was me.

so after my appointment last thursday (5/11), ashton & i had a lot to talk about. we asked dr. larsen about risks. we discussed how many kids are possible via c-sections. he told us that after two c-sections, i would most likely need to deliver all the rest of my babies the same way. we considered how ashton is leaving for the academy in a month & he wanted as much time as possible with baby gus. we also considered the fact that i wasn't dilating or showing any signs of progress. yes, i know i still had a week of pregnancy left. i told ashton that i wanted someone else to make the decision for me. he didn't hesitate to tell me he thought a c-section would be the better way to go for us.

so, after a blessing (which did not tell me which to choose, like i was selfishly hoping it would) & lots of talk, we decided to go with another c-section. i emailed dr. larsen that saturday morning & monday morning one of the nurses called me to say it was scheduled for wednesday, may 17th at 7:30. monday & tuesday were two VERY long days - two days where i continued to go up & down & all around in my emotions.

wednesday finally came. we had to be to the hospital at 5:30 am that morning. so early. but great too, because i didn't sleep much that night anyway. we open the front door to walk to the car & it is S N O W I N G. you guys. mid may & there was snow. snow is not my favorite, but, it did make for an extra memorable day.

we got to the hospital right on time & they set me up, gave me an iv, & monitored the little man for a few hours. as 7:30 drew closer, my nerves began going crazy. i was on the verge of tears & shaking - must have been the adrenaline & i think my second bag of fluids was cold. the anesthesiologist came in to prep me & just after 7:30, ashton & i followed him into the OR.

once in the OR, the dam broke all my emotions poured out in the form of tears. hormones, anticipation, excitement, fear - it had built up & everything was about to change. the anesthesiologist kindly told me this was normal & then began to insert the spinal block. not my favorite part. definitely some pain & some bizarre-ness (the best word i could think of to describe it) as i could feel the center of my spine. gives me the chills thinking about it. immediately my body started tingling & my legs were getting heavy. they laid me down & then i could feel (but not feel at the same time) them moving my legs around, positioning my body on pillows, placing my catheter. i started feeling sort of panic attack-ish & dr. quiel hooked me up with some oxygen - which helped calm me down. at the beginning i said something about still being able to feel my toes & dr. larsen said, "well, it's a good thing i am not doing surgery on your toes."  ashton & i couldn't stop laughing, it was fun to be able to interact with the doctors since it wasn't a stressful situation like it was with roo. it was nice to calmly go into this c-section, rather than rushing because my baby's life was at risk. it was beautiful to see gus as soon as he was pulled from my body. & then to hold him nearly immediately & keep him with me the entire time i was in recovery was everything that i missed with rooney.

gus immediately began searching for food. we spent the majority of our time in recovery nursing, which is wonderful, but i couldn't really just stare at his face. i wanted to soak in every little bit of his newborn face. from his droopy bottom lip, furrowed brow, & adorable (but masculine) nose. ashton brought rooney in to see her baby brother during recovery - a treat for me! i didn't expect to be able to see her that quickly, but i am so glad i was able to. she was the one person i wanted to see before surgery, but thanks to the snow, that wasn't possible. i think it's safe to say that she is in love with her baby brother.

at the end of our time in recovery, gus' temperature was low. they tried several times & it never went up, so he was taken to the nursery to be put under some warm lights while i was rolled back to our room. gus spent a good half hour being warmed up, while i sat waiting for my baby. luckily, i was surrounded by family & knew that ashton was with our handsome little guy. while in the nursery, a nurse who was in the OR with us, told Ashton that that was the quickest c-section Dr. Larsen had ever done. I believe it took four minutes to get guster out & then another nine minutes to get me all stitched up and surgery to be over.

the rest of our hospital stay was fairly boring - which is perfectly great! gus eats like a champ, except for when it come to my left breast. just like rooney, he prefers the right side. he sleeps deeply - so much so that sometimes it makes feeding really difficult. we had some great visits with family & friends. we were so well taken care of by the sweet nurses & everyone thinks our little mister guster is the absolute cutest. we couldn't agree more.

we have officially been home from the hospital for one full day. i am so glad ashton is here & taking monday off too - it's taking us time to get rooney back on her schedule and then figuring out our routine again. i am also very grateful to all of our family who has stepped up, visited, brought meals, kept us in prayers & sent us their love. we are truly enjoying this together time with our little family of four.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

the adventure continues

we have been waiting & waiting for ashton to get his firm offer letter (FOL) for air traffic control. this whole process has been nuts. all i can say is that it is a good thing ashton is more patient than i am (hopefully it rubs off on me eventually).

on april 11th, that day finally came! he got a phone call asking him to accept a position & start at the academy in oklahoma city on may 9th. ahhhh! he mentioned baby boy coming at the end of may so she tentatively told him to plan for june 21st while she gets it approved. ON HIS BIRTHDAY (april 13th), it became officially official!!!

dinner date celebrating his birthday and the big news

i am so proud of ashton. he never gave up, even when there were so many reasons to justify quitting. he has found other ways to provide for us as he has waited for this dream. he continued to have faith & relied on experiences we have had throughout this journey.

so our adventure begins! ashton will leave a few days before the academy starts while rooney, baby boy, thor, & i stay home, pack, & miss him dearly. then he finishes september 15th, drives home to us (& hopefully a u-haul completely packed), because we will head to our new (currently unknown) home almost immediately. it is going to be a whirlwind, not easy, but totally worth it type of adventure. & luckily we are surrounded by family to help us along the way.