Friday, February 2, 2007

Falling down.. again

If you're just tuning in, let me say these first several entries are all back story, because right now, nothing terribly interesting is happening in my life. But when I last left off, I had just given birth to my son. During my time in the hospital, Nicole stayed with my mom. It was a school weekend for Rob, and it was just easier for Nicole to have some dedicated Grandma time. I had signed Nicole up for a vacation week at day care for the following week, because she needed some time to get used to this new tenant at our house too. And there was Thanksgiving in there anyway, and somehow keeping her home just made it seem more normal.

The following week however, we were pretty done having all four of us around at the same time. I know it's a terrible thing to say, but we all were already ready for some time apart. So Nicole went back to day care. Rob got up with her in the morning, got her ready, and took her and came right back home. It was a lovely week - well, I think it was. I was mostly too tired to remember it, but I think it was pretty good.

The following Monday was time for Rob to go back to work. It was all planned out - he was going to take Nicole to school during the week, and then go to work, and the baby and I would just hang out and watch TV and enjoy each other's company. And that's pretty much how that Monday went. I even got myself on our exercise bike and figured that would be a good way for me to spend Jake's nap time. Rob called in the afternoon and said that if I could get Nicole from school, that he'd go to the grocery store and do the shopping we needed. He'd just call when he got there and have me read the current list to him. Sounded like a deal to me. As promised, he called at about 6:30. I told him to give me a minute while I went to go get the grocery list. Not necessary, he tells me. He's in the ER. He doesn't know what happened. The last thing he remembers, he was in Best Buy. Then he was at the hospital. He vaguely recalls feeling faint.

I was sick. I mean, he had been back at work for all of one day, and now what was thought to be a freak fainting incident (he recalled feeling faint in the kitchen, several hours after the fact), is now a recurring fainting problem. But I called my mother again to come watch the kids, and as soon as she got there I headed for the hospital. I'm barely cleared to drive, and I'm certainly not supposed to be hauling the baby around in the car seat yet. Way too much lifting for 2 weeks after surgery. Anyway, once again, the tests come back normal and they send him home. Again, they recommend no driving for a couple of days. So Rob's back home with me now, at least for two more days. His primary doc wants to see him and do a bunch of other tests, so I turn into taxi mom - taking Nicole back and forth to day care, and taking Rob back and forth to the doctor.

We don't get anything interesting from the doctor, except for some elevated levels of some muscle enzyme. This test was done because Rob had some strange pain in his legs following each incident - like he'd been working out. But even though these levels were elevated, it didn't really offer any new information. It was just another strange twist to the fainting mystery.

So after two more days at home, Rob goes back to work again. But not before I have a complete breakdown. Oh, by the way, I had to pick up Nicole early on Wednesday, because she had a fever. So she had to stay home with me on Thursday. Meanwhile, my husband, who seems to mysteriously pass out for no reason, is leaving the house again. This completely freaked me out. The next two days were pretty long, but he got to work and got home just fine. He even went back to taking Nicole to day care on Friday.

But Friday was the last day before our life changed. Yep, we had a new family member who was only 3 weeks old, but even that was a walk in the park compared to what was about to happen next.

Thursday, February 1, 2007

Surprise! Jacob's Here!

Nicole's birth was a c-section. Not because I wanted it that way, but rather because just as I was getting ready to push, the baby's heart rate dropped and wouldn't come back. So lucky me, I got to experience labor (well, up to 7cm anyway, then they ordered the epidural) as well as a c-section. Well, not again. When the subject came up of VBAC vs repeat c-section, I gave it some thought, and decided that if I tried VBAC, it may still end up with surgery, and I'd rather just stick to one kind of pain, thank you very much. So we decided on a c-section, so as to guarantee I wouldn't have to deal with labor. And I'm told that if there's no labor, the recovery from surgery can be much smoother. So great, sign me up. All parties agreed on November 20th - nearly 2 full weeks before my due date.

Well, you know what they say about the best laid plans. Apparently, Jake didn't get the memo. On Thursday, November 16th, I went to work, planning on tying up all of the loose ends since the next day was the last day before I started my glorious 12 week maternity leave. I had experienced some labor-like pains the night before, but with Nicole, I had labor pains for two full days before she was actually born. So I didn't think anything of it. And they really weren't that painful anyway. But at about 2pm, I started noticing some contractions again. I went on with my work, but by 3, they started getting a little more painful. So I started timing them. Seven minutes, then a few at 5 minutes, some more, some less. I had a meeting with my boss at 4 to talk about project management while I was gone. I also had two other people that I had promised some information to by the end of the day, so I continued with my Gantt chart, and then went to talk to one of the people who had been wanting my attention. I told him it was now or never, because I was going home after we talked. I told him I was having contractions so I was going to go home early and put my feet up.

At 4:00 I knew I wasn't going to last much longer if I wanted to be able to drive myself home. So I went to my boss and told him I needed to go home. He understood, and said he hoped I felt better and hoped to see me tomorrow. Well, by the time I had logged off and gotten to my car, I had changed my mind and decided to drive to the hospital instead. They hooked me up to some saline, thinking I was probably dehydrated and they might be able to stop the labor if I got re-hydrated. My husband had called just as I was walking into the hospital and said he was running late and wondered if I could pick up Nicole. Um, no. I don't think so.

By the time Rob had Nicole and got up to the hospital, they had been pushing saline for an hour, and the contractions did nothing but get worse. So the nurse came in and said they'd called my OB, and that he'd be here at 9:00 to do the c-section. It was now 6:00. The contractions were two minutes apart. The next three hours were the most painful hours of my entire life. The plan for the surgery was to do a spinal, which they can't administer until minutes before the surgery. So now, all of my plans had officially backfired. Not only was I going to have both labor *and* surgery, but I was going to experience full labor, with no pain medication, and as luck would have it, as they were administering the spinal, I was ready to push. Instead, I got another surgery, because after all, that was the plan.

Jake was a tiny little thing, at 7lbs, 1oz and 21.5" long. He was totally beautiful, of course. But given my two birth experiences thus far, I can say with confidence that I am quite done. Unless we adopt, we will not be having any more children. Me and childbirth simply aren't the best of friends. But at least I've got the next 12 weeks to just hang out with Jake and enjoy some time off of work. At least, that's what I thought.

In the next installment: Falling down, again.


Hi. I'm Julie. I've been married to Rob for 9 years, and have a (nearly) 4yo daughter named Nicole and a newborn son (11 weeks today) named Jacob. My life is typically fairly boring and not nearly blog worthy, if I do say so myself. But the last few months have been packed with enough drama that I figured I might actually start to have some stories that someone else may actually be interested in.

So here's the background material. It all starts the first week in November. I'm starting my 9th month of pregnancy. It's a normal Thursday night. My husband always picked up Nicole from day care (I did drop-off), so I wasn't in a massive hurry to get home. I wish I had been that night. I came home and walked into the kitchen. The first thing I saw was Nicole perched up on a stool at the kitchen island, staring down at something. When I came in further, I saw that she was staring at her father, lying unconscious on the floor, seemingly bleeding from his head. His eyes were open, but he wasn't even close to lucid. And there was Nicole, just staring. She's 3 (but turns 4 at the end of this month), and could easily have decided to leave the house and look for help. But thank goodness she stayed put. I called 911, and they had almost arrived by the time I got off the phone. Rob started coming to a little bit while they were there, but was still clearly confused. His speech was slurred, and he wasn't entirely sure where he was. They took him to the hospital, since we all suspected that he fell somehow and possibly had a head injury.

All tests came back fine, and after they got him all cleaned up, I took him home. My neighbors all came over when they saw the ambulance, and all asked if they could help. One of them has a son Nicole's age, and she took Nicole to her house so I didn't have to take her with me to the hospital. I called my mother (who's about 45 minutes away), and asked her to pick up Nicole at the neighbor's house and take her home and put her to bed. Rob and I got home around 1am. I e-mailed work and told them I'd be late the next day. This was partly because of the exhausting evening, and partly because I had to take Rob in to school the next day. Yeah - he's going to grad school. He works full-time, but attends these marathon classes every other Friday and Saturday. And this weekend was a class weekend. The doctors recommended he not drive for two days, because he still may have had a concussion. Class didn't start on Fridays until 1:00, so I went into work after I dropped him off. By the way, he attends classes at the same university where I work, so at least it wasn't out of the way.

Fortunately, my mother-in-law had already made arrangements weeks before to pick Nicole up from day care that Friday and have her spend the night at her house. So I was able to stick around and bring Rob home from school and take him back the next morning without having to worry about Nicole. We had plans with Rob's mom and my parents to go out to dinner Saturday night. So we all met up for dinner, and afterwards, returned to our place where we discussed plans for a "meet the baby" party that my mother-in-law decided to do. I'd had two showers when I was expecting Nicole, and while we knew we were having a boy this time, we weren't even hurting for clothing, since I'd done some shopping already. So even though her original thought was to have another shower, we talked her out of it but agreed to a post-baby holiday party instead. So, it seemed that "the fall" incident was behind us (a mystery as to what exactly happened, since Rob didn't even know), and we could just resume our present course of dealing with the anxiety of the upcoming expansion of our family.

My plans for the next installment - Jake's surprise birth.