Friday, October 9, 2009

Welcome Baby Jack!!

A baby will make love stronger, days shorter, nights longer, bankroll smaller, home happier, clothes shabbier, the past forgotten, and the future worth living for

About my 37th week, I started to feel much more pressure and I remember going to our appt that week and the doctor saying we might have a baby very soon!  I was so excited especially after our false alarm...which I won't embarrass myself by sharing.

I felt great that week..did a lot of cleaning.  Sunday, June 21st we went to Ted Drewes for some frozen custard with a couple from our child birthing class, Gilly and Andrew.  They were a week ahead of us in their pregnancy and Gilly and I were huge!  I remember ordering a "Dutchmen" concrete (chocolate custard, butterscotch, almonds and hot fudge) and eating every single bite.  Then the 4 of us went on about a 2 mile walk...well, actually the boys walked, Gilly and I waddled. :)

We got home around 9:00 and were both exhausted.

Side note: St. Louis in June is MISERABLE!! It's 100% humid and HOTTTT!  So, after our stroll, Michael and I were drenched in sweat and desperately needed a shower.

We eventually went to bed, and I remember around midnight feeling a sharp pain in my abdomen...not painful really...just alerting.  So..I drifted off to sleep and around 1:00 am..the same thing.  I thought, "I shouldn't have eaten all that ice cream" and tried to go back to sleep.  However, those sharp little pains were coming every 10 minutes and by 5:00 am they were coming every 6 minutes. I was totally calm...I woke Michael up and told we kept timing the contractions and at 6:00 Am they were between 5-6 minutes apart.  So, Michael and I let our employers know that we were going to most likely have a baby!  I took a shower and calmly packed my things.  At 9:30, we decided to head to the hospital and the triage unit confirmed that we were in labor.  I was 4 cm dilated and 80% effaced, with contractions 5 min apart.  They said I could walk around to speed up the process.  So I walked, and walked and walked! I bet I walked 5 miles that day going up and down those halls in my gown.  People were laughing at me and my doctor couldn't believe how fast I was walking.  But it really helped handle the pain.  At around 2:30...I was 7 cm dilated and fully effaced, but my water hadn't broken.  My contractions were 3-4 minutes apart and getting much stronger.  Around 3:45 I allowed Dr. Parks to break my water.  Immediately afterward, the contractions intensified and the pain made the other contractions look like toe stumps in comparison. I was bouncing on a ball and I finally yelled, " I have to push!"

Then my parents arrived.  Perfect timing.  They drove all the way from Chattanooga and left at 8 am that morning and my mom said she knew that our baby was coming!

 So I got off my ball, into the bed and Michael took one leg and the nurse took the other and at 4:51pm, our beautiful son entered our world! (FYI - pushing is very very hard!!)   I am pleased to say that I did this with no medication but with A LOT of effort!  I remember being absolutely exhausted and kind of in shock when he was finally born.

Jack was crying and getting cleaned up.  He received a high apgar score and was perfectly normal.

I remember holding him..thinking..."Oh my goodness...this is our son!" I had looked so forward to seeing what he looked like, and he was beautiful.  He had a little hair, big blue eyes and was fair in complexion.  He was perfect.

We tried nursing immediately, but he didn't seem to be interested.  So I kept trying and lactation came in, but he wasn't latching.  This didn't alarm us because we felt like he would get it eventually. But we also didn't know that he had Down Syndrome and was hypo tonic, meaning that his muscles are quite weak and latching would be difficult for him.

We stayed in the hospital Monday and Tuesday night, and I remember Monday night, after everyone had left, holding my son in my arms and just crying and thanking God that he was finally here and healthy and just wonderful.  I was just amazed. I couldn't believe that we had been blessed with such wonder and love.  And I couldn't believe how much I loved him!!! It was crazy.  I felt like there was so much love inside of me that I was going to explode! I remember telling Jack...promising him that we would always love him...that there was nothing he could EVER do to make us love him less and that we would always, always, always be here for him!

Before you were conceived
I wanted you
Before you were born
I loved you
Before you were here an hour
I would give my life for you
This is the miracle of life.
~ Maureen Hawkins

Our Family had a new member, and Michael and I were pleased.  No one mentioned anything to us in the hospital about the possibility of Jack having Down Syndrome and he looked like a typical baby to us, so we went home and began our life as a family.

"Sometimes," said Pooh, "the smallest things take up the most room in your heart."

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