I'm back! I guess I was on maternity leave. Is that a thing bloggers can do? At any rate, my last blog came out on Valentine's Day and four days later at 2:14AM, Jonathan Sigmund came flying out into the world. It's been a crazy six weeks. Let me recap.
After symptoms of Preeclampsia, my doctor decided to go ahead and induce me the evening of February 17th. Ryan was really excited because that's Michael Jordan's birthday (oh, and his sister Juliet's as well), but with all the IV drips and things we had to wait around for, midnight came and went before the baby was born. Sorry, honey. Anyway, I had the IV drips and medications they suggested, then they broke my water. Then the contractions hit me, HARD, and were right on top of one another. As the nurse came in and out, I got more and more desperate about that epidural. She said once I had one more IV bag of saline, I could have the sweet sweet drugs (my words, not hers). Finally, the time came, and I'd been clutching the bed rails every few minutes in agony in the meantime, shaking my head at Ryan when he'd try to ask me questions, my leg muscles shaking uncontrollably. The anesthetician came in and she and the nurse helped me sit up to receive the epidural between contractions, which were now about 30 seconds apart. As soon as I sat up, I screamed. I gasped between pained breaths that I thought I might poop on the table. They lay me back down and called Ryan back in (they ask the partner to step out during the big scary needle part), and I was just yelling, "Ow!' in different lengths and volumes. That baby was coming out right that moment and there was nothing I could do to stop it. The nurses started racing around, telling me to stop pushing (right, like I had a choice), telling me to "blow out the candle" (which was a breathing technique, but I didn't know that. Ryan and I thought it was nurse code for something, so we ignored that), then imploring me to let the resident get her gloves on at least! My doctor didn't even make it into the room. I never even pushed. Jonathan came out in what felt like seconds. There was no, "I can see the head!" There was no, "Okay, now push!" There was just me, yelling, "Ow!" and then an entire baby on the hospital bed. I didn't have any pain medication at all, which was not my initial plan, but I did it. Holy hell, I did it.
Jonathan cried and I held him for a few precious seconds, but then they explained he'd need some help breathing after being born so fast. Apparently babies are meant to be squeezed like tubes of toothpaste on their way out of the birth canal to get all the gunk out of their lungs. When you shoot outta there like you have places to be, you end up needing some extra help. So we spent our first night with our second newborn in our hospital room without him. It was weird. He was down the hall in the nursery, on some machines and breathing tubes and such. We were allowed to visit whenever we wanted, but we weren't allowed to hold him. Oddly enough, all I wanted to do was hold him. I felt like I could help him breathe if I could just hold him close to me. Turns out, there's an entire study about just such a thing called "Kangaroo Care," but I didn't know that then. I just knew I wanted to help him. They ended up transferring Jonathan to the NICU in another hospital, so they released me a day earlier than they normally would have (knowing I'd go insane, probably, though I also forgot to take care of myself, so maybe they should've kept me one more night). We visited Jonathan in the NICU for the next few days, holding him finally, and watching him get healthier and stronger each day. We finally brought him home on Day 6, introducing him to his big brother, Harrison. Harrison's godfather, Brian, had flown in to be with us and watch his godson while we went through the chaos of having another baby, even staying while we went through all the NICU madness as well. My folks came up as soon as they heard I was being induced, but had to go back to Florida before we brought Jonathan home, so they only held him for a moment in the NICU, attached to machines. It was a rough start. But wait, there's more.
We got Brian to the airport the next day, took Jonathan to his first pediatric visit, then grabbed some fast food dinner so we wouldn't have to cook on our first night home as a family of four. Later that evening, I got violently ill and thought it was my medications. Then I threw up uncontrollably all over the living room... and Harrison. Five hours later, Ryan got violently ill. Five hours later, Harrison started throwing up. That's right, folks, we all got food poisoning. Miserable. Violent. But we handled it. We recovered (some of us more quickly than others---Ryan and Harrison bounced right back, but I was down for two days), then Ryan had to go back to work for a week, but then he had a week off around the original due date. We were so excited for a bonus week of settling in. The first night, Harrison threw up every hour for 8 hours. The second night, Ryan got hit with the GI distress. The third night, Jonathan had the runs, but luckily never showed signs of dehydration. The fourth night, I had a fever, then the next night I got the stomach flu, too. We went down, one by one, into misery, only able to drink Gatorade or Pedialyte and eat Saltine crackers. We watched a lot of animated movies, took care of one another, and wondered why in the world we needed to suffer this much in such a short amount of time. I sprayed everything in our house with Lysol, twice, and washed everything we'd ever touched. I still want to get rid of our couch.
So now? People ask me how things are going having two under two. Frankly, any day without vomiting or diarrhea is the best day of our lives at this point. Seriously, yes, it's a juggling act. One of them is always needing something and you can't tend to both at once, so someone is usually upset, but you manage. It's been about being ahead of the game. I have pre-made bottles for Jonathan. I have activities for Harrison to do in his high chair while I'm getting his meals ready. It's the little things that save you a moment's headache. It's chaos, yes, but now that we've adjusted, Harrison will sit next to me on the couch while I'm holding his baby brother and he'll pull my arm around him. We'll sit there, the three of us, and watch a show for a few minutes. I'll put Jonathan in the bassinet all swaddled and napping peacefully for a moment and sit on the floor to roll a ball with Harrison. Ryan comes home and we all sit down for a meal together or put music on and dance or play basketball with the mini-hoop now in the living room. There's love and joy and laughter in our house. There are four of us now and it feels so wonderful and whole. We had a rough start there, but we don't take anything for granted. My posts after this one may be from a standpoint of frazzled craziness, but for now, I'll happily take it.
Come on over to the Sincere Mommy Facebook page for updates and photos during this crazy adventure!
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Filed under: Storytelling
Tags: 2 under 2, appreciation, baby, birth, birth story, born, childbirth, contractions, drug free birth, epidural, family, family of four, fast childbirth, food poisoning, grateful, gratitude, induced, labor, love, new baby, newborn, NICU, no epidural, preeclampsia, pregnancy, second baby, sincere mommy, stomach flu, taking nothing for granted, Tara Schile, two under two