I know it's going to sound cliche, but this year has absolutely flown by! This morning, I couldn't wait to get little Nathan and thank the Lord for blessing my little boy with a full year of life. I also woke up a little sad, thinking that it can't already be his first birthday.
Here is Nathan, on his first day of life...
The following may be considered TMI, but I never blogged about having him. Once we arrived home, we hit the ground running and I didn't even get back into blogging until he was 6 months. Only close friends and relatives have heard the story, but I love to tell about the day I had him because it brings so much GLORY to my Heavenly Father.
I have been extremely blessed with easy pregnancies and semi-easy deliveries (well, except for Joseph who made me work for about 3 hours before he decided to join us.) However, with each pregnancy I have had a hard time keeping my platelet counts up. With Joseph, it was never brought up, with Christian, it was brought to my attention the day we went in to have him and I was told the count was borderline and would result in me possibly not getting an epidural. They decided to do a clot test on me and my blood clotted at a good rate, so they were comfortable with me getting the epidural. I get asked a lot what does the platelet count have to do with an epidural? Well, if your platelets are low, your blood could potentially not clot, causing you to bleed to death. That being the case, they require your platelet counts to be at 90,000 or higher before blindly sticking a needle into your back. The risk with low platelet counts and epidurals is that the anesthesiologist can't see where he is sticking the needle, so if he "nicked" something and caused me to bleed inside, he wouldn't know and I wouldn't either because I can't feel anything.
At my 36 week appointment with Nathan, they took some blood to see where my count was. That weekend was a Fall Festival at church and everyone was asking the usual questions, "how you feeling? "How many more weeks?" That day, I was telling everyone that I talked to, to be in prayer that my numbers be high or that I go early so he is small (my other two were pretty good sized, so I thought if I had to do it on my own, I would prefer that he be small) and I experience little pain. That was a Sunday and also Halloween. So that night we went trick or treating with my little Superman and Spiderman. Monday came and I was a little sore and tired. My weeks turned on Mondays, so everyone Monday I would notice myself getting a little more sore and fatigued. I went about my day feeling pretty good. Went to my mother in laws and hung out with my sister in law, who was also pregnant. We let the older ones run around while we talked about the excitement of our babies. That afternoon I went home and at about 4:30p I got a call from Doctor. M. She informed me that my numbers were low (74,000) and that she was going to put me on a steroid to help boost the numbers so I could get that epidural. I hung up and went straight to FB, put out a message asking for prayers for peace, comfort, and that my numbers increase. I remember just sitting on the couch, wanting to burst into tears and just looking at my older two and hoping that nothing would happen to me.
I pulled my self together, got up and started dinner. As I started cooking I began to feel a little cramp here and there. I didn't think anything of it, but then it was like the Lord kicked me on side of the head and I thought, "Hey, these are pretty frequent and in the same place, maybe I should start timing." As I did, at 5:30p they were already 7-10 minutes apart. I didn't want to make a big deal of it, so I just kept track, told Jeff and he too didn't think much about it. At dinner I looked at Jeff and said, "Maybe we should call your mom and tell her that I am having some cramping and to keep the phone close by." We didn't.
After dinner, I asked Jeff to go and get my medication while I stayed home and gave the older two a bath and ready for bed. As I was getting them ready, the cramping was getting a little more intense, you know, the kind where I had to stop and breath through it. Once the cramps got to this point, I went ahead and packed the boys bags, just in case.
After putting the boys to bed, I went and took a really warm shower hoping that would help. Up until this point, I was thinking I had done too much that day and was just needing to get to bed. Once I was done with the shower, I went and laid down on the couch and was flipping the channels between the World Series game between the Rangers and Giants and the Monday Night Football game between my favorite team, the Colts and the Texans. As I was laying there, I was beginning to believe what I was experiencing were indeed contractions. They were getting more and more intense. After laying on the couch for a while, I was starting to feel exhausted, so I grabbed a big thing of lemonade and told Jeff I was going to go lie down.
When I went to my bed, the contractions started to get more intense, so I got up to walk around. I felt like a dog trying to find "the right place" to poop. I was just going around in circles because every time I laid down it was miserable. I began to start keeping track of the contractions again, because I was becoming more and more convinced this was real labor. Finally, I had Jeff keep track and they were about 3-4 minutes a part. After about two or three of the contractions being that close, I decided to call the on call doctor. It was about 12:30am, I got a hold of the doctor and I told him, "I am having pretty intense contractions about 3-4 minutes a part. " He then asked how long they were lasting, without knowing (because I hadn't been keeping track of that), I said, "I don't know, maybe 30 seconds." He said, "Well, if it's real labor, the contractions will be 5 minutes apart, intense and lasting about a minute." I kindly said, "Sir, I have 2 of the 3." He told me to go back to counting and if they were lasting longer than a minute to go ahead and head to the hospital. I went back to my room and immediately experienced a contraction. When it was done, Jeff told me it lasted a minute. Then the next one came about 3 minutes later, that one lasting a minute and a half. I stood up and said lets go. We called my mother in law, but when we were unable to reach her, we called my brother in law Kyle. Once he got here, we were off. We got the hospital in record time.
On the way there I was telling Jeff to go as fast as he could because I needed to push. We pulled up to valet. I called for a wheel chair and we were on the elevator in no time. At this point I knew I was going to be doing this without an epidural. So far the pain had been bearable. I tried so hard to breath and get through the pain that was happening and not think about how much worse it was going to be. With the other two boys, I had gotten to 5 cm without a lot of pain, so I knew I could do that. So on the elevator, I looked up at Jeff, probably with the saddest eyes and said, "I hope I am at least at a 7." We got off the elevator and went to check in. After all the dumb questions that I don't think they need to ask a women who is in labor, we were wheeled to a room.
Once we got to the room, the super calm nurse was like ,"Okay, get this gown on and go to the restroom because this may be the last time you get to go for a while."I started to head to the restroom and turned right around and told the nurse, "Ma'am, if I sit down on that toilet, I am going to push this kid out." She then told me to come to the bed and she would put the monitors on. As she started to put the monitors on me, she could see that I couldn't relax and said, "Let me check you real quick." All I could see were her eyes and they got huge. She said, "Uh, you are 9 1/2cm and bulging bag, I'll be right back." She ran out of the room and came back with a crew of nurses. When she left, Jeff and I just looked at each other and both breathed a huge sigh of relief and he hugged me and said, "You did it!"
When the entourage of nurses came in, they were asking a thousand questions and having me sign papers between contractions, which, there was NO IN BETWEEN, they were one right after the other. As I was signing, I told a nurse that I was going to get sick. They rushed over a peach colored, kidney-bean shaped bucket and I released a good amount. After the third vomit, my water broke. The nurses were cleaning up the vomit and then I looked at one nurse and said, "My water just broke." I have to laugh when I think about the nurses early in the morning. There they are, at the nurses station enjoying a nice cup of coffee and then I come in. They were going crazy in my room. I come in, about have this baby, vomit all over them and then bam ,my water broke. They were probably thinking, "slow down woman!"
As soon as my water broke, my body took over. I really only remember pushing 3 or 4 times and he was here. I had arrived and checked in at 1:06 am and had Nathan at 1:45 am.
When Nathan arrived I was worried about him being so early (he was 19 days early), but he had the loudest scream of all three. Then I was concerned about him nursing well. I knew from my mom who works on a post-partum floor, that early term babies can be lazy nursers and I knew from my previous babies, that they lose weight before they leave the hospital. He was 5lbs. and 12oz, so I really didn't want him to lose any weight. God was so amazing to us that entire week. Nathan took to nursing like a champ and didn't lose much weight at all. The only thing was that he would fall asleep after nursing about a minute or so. So we had to strip him down to his diaper and constantly rub his ears, feet and back to keep him awake. Then at his two week check up he was a pound past his birth weight, which blew his doctor away. They were just wanting to see him back to his birth weight, but here he was, an entire pound more.
God's grip was felt that entire evening: The peace during the contractions while at home, the safe drive to hospital, the super speedy delivery, no hemorrhaging (which I had really bad with Joseph, I lost a liter of blood, and then a little more than normal with Christian), Nathan coming out screaming and very alert, Nathan's strength and wellness, Nathan eating well and gaining. I have also heard with early term babies, that they tend to get sick more often than full term, but we have been blessed that he has been a fairly healthy little boy.
It always amazes me when God will show you His peace. I know He is always there, but sometimes you feel his presence more when you are going through things that are completely out of your control. During those time, I am reminded of that verse in Exodus, "The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still."
I can't believe my baby boy is a ONE YEAR old. We feel so blessed God placed little nay-nay in our care. We treasure him so much!! Thank you God, for this wonderful, precious gift.
*You may be wondering where we came up with the nickname 'nay-nay?' Well, when we brought him home from the hospital, Christian had just turned 21 months and didn't talk much at all. When we told Christian, this is your brother Nathan, he couldn't say it. Then one day, he called him nay-nay and of course, we thought it was the most adorable thing ever. *