He’s Here!

Our son made his entrance into the world this week! As you know, there were a few times that we actually thought he’d be arriving very early. Needless to say, there was a lot of stress.

For the past three weeks, every time Sam had her OB/GYN appointment, I was ready with bags at the door. I knew that at any time, the doc could say that he was going to induce. Sam had a rough go this pregnancy. She had high blood pressure, and a few other things that may have led to an induction.

Thursday – Last Week (10-7)

The doctor visit the week before had the doc on the fence. Do we induce or not? After this appointment, he was pretty sure that the baby was going to come that weekend. Just to be safe, he scheduled an induction for Monday morning (10-11). Sam called me on her way home from the appointment and told me she was coming home.

I worked Wednesday night, so I stayed up anticipating us going to the hospital. When she got home, I went to sleep so I could get some rest before work. Every night last week, I was on edge, I had my phone on me awaiting the call. The doc had already told us that if the water broke, things were going to progress quickly. I work an hour away, so I was very worried. The last two nights, I only had one patient, so that if I had to leave, my coworkers wouldn’t be overwhelmed.

Sunday (10-10)

It became very obvious over the weekend that Sam was struggling. She was not feeling well and was in more pain than she had been in. We debated taking Ella to Nana and Papa’s Sunday night so we could just get up and go, but we elected to keep her home. Ella must have known something was up, because she spent lots of time snuggling mommy on the couch and daddy in my chair. It was wonderful.

After Ella went down for bed, Sam and I gathered what we needed and had everything ready by the door. Sam got very emotional, as any mom would. Things were going to change. We were going to have another little one at home. The “what ifs” start running through your head and those only make you a nervous wreck. It was all we could do to actually fall asleep.

Monday – Induction Day

We were all up at 4:30am Monday. Induction was set for 7am.

We got Ella up and took her to Nana’s. We got to her house at 6am. We had to call the hospital at 6 to make sure that they were still going to do the induction. Thankfully, we were still set. When we left, Ella really wasn’t sure what was happening, but she did well.

We stopped to grab a bite to eat, because once you get to the room, Sam wasn’t allowed to eat or drink anything except ice chips. We arrived at the hospital about 15 minutes early and they checked us in and got us to our room. By 8am, the induction process began.

Sam had been dilated to 2 or 3 for about three weeks and nothing happened. They checked her again and she was still the same. Once they got her IV in (which was a challenge because she was so dehydrated), they gave her some pill which was supposed to thin the cervix and help kick start things. The pill takes about 4 hours to work, so they really never even came to check until then.

At about noon they came in and checked her and things were progressing. She was actually starting to feel some contractions toward the end of the fourth hour. They did not start Pitocin yet. They wanted to wait an hour or so and see how things were going. About 1pm they came back in and said that they would need to start the Pitocin. At about this time, Sam was given her epidural.

When they checked her she was still dilated to about 2 or 3. The waiting was driving me crazy! At one point, they knew she was contracting, but couldn’t really tell the intensity of them, and they added some sort of pressure thingy that went up next to the baby’s head. This showed the staff exactly what they needed.

A little after 6pm, she was dilated to 4. Most OB/GYN’s will tell you that you kinda “stall” at 4 and are there for awhile. I was watching the little strip that the fetal monitor was printing and I could see the contractions getting more consistent and more intense. Sam was actually starting to feel them, unlike with Ella. 40 minutes later they checked her and she was obviously ready, because the nurse looked surprised. She told one of the other nurses, “get him on the phone and tell him we’re gonna start pushing!”

My rock star wife went from 4cm to 10 cm in 40 minutes! As they got the rest of the room ready for delivery, we got ready to start pushing. The doc walked in just as Sam was getting ready to start. Once she started pushing, it became pretty clear that it wouldn’t be long. As the baby started to come out, there looked like there might be a problem and the doc told my wife that he was going to need the vacuum to help get the baby out due to the fact that he was turned a bit and that his hand was up next to his head.

As he mentioned this, she started to have another contraction and the nurse told her to push through it. She did and that was all our son needed and he was out. It was truly amazing to witness. My wife only pushed for 7 minutes! 7 minutes!!!! The doc handed me the scissors and I cut the cord, which is always a memorable moment. I noticed that the baby wasn’t crying. That freaked me out a bit. It freaked Sam out even more.

As they were cleaning him off, I heard a little cry, but nothing like I had heard with my other children. Once he was cleaned off, they brought him over to Sam for skin to skin time. There was our second little miracle and he was perfect!

Holding mommy’s hand

While I was pacing the floor, I posted on Facebook that people should give their guesses as to what time he’d be born and how much he would weigh. My friend Sharon from high school almost nailed it! She was closest with her guess of 7:11pm and 7 pounds 11 ounces. She was only off by 4 minutes and 4 ounces.

My boy!

When she was born, my daughter looked just like Sam. My son, however, tends to look a lot like me. I say that because he was making what I call “Grumpy Old Man” faces. One of the first pictures I took of him, he has the funniest grumpy look on his face. Even in the picture above, he looks a bit angry. The picture from his birthday that just cracks me up, and reminds me of a look I would make, is this one:

Grumpy!

I love that look and pose!

They keep you in the hospital for 24 hours and then they want to discharge you, as long as nothing is wrong. My son was jaundice and so they kept checking levels. The same thing happened with Ella and she would up being readmitted to the hospital after discharge. We wanted to avoid that at all costs if possible.

They came in at about the 24 hour mark and said that the levels weren’t bad and that we could go if we wanted to. They said if we left, we’d need to follow up with our pediatrician in the morning and have blood drawn again to check levels. We opted to stay one more night so they could check levels first thing in the morning.

Ready to go home

Wednesday morning the levels were fine and we were discharged. It was time for the little man to meet his big sister! We had video chatted with her a couple times and showed her the baby. “Baby!” she would say, but not really comprehending that this baby was her brother and would be coming home with us.

We were lucky that we were able to get discharged fairly quickly that morning. We headed straight to Nana’s to pick up our little princess. She hadn’t seen us almost three days. When we walked in the house, she screamed happily and clapped her hands. She was SO happy to see us. Then it was time to introduce her to AJ.

Not sure what to think….

I’m sure that there was a lot of confusion at that particular moment. She had a lot to process. Nana and Papa got to hold their grandson before we left to go home. The ride home was unusually quiet. For me, it was weird because as I looked in the rearview mirror, it was the first time that both kids were back there. It was an eyeopener!

When we got home, Ella seemed a little more comfortable. I know she still really has no clue how to process it all, but she seemed generally happy to have the baby home. I will be framing this picture – I think it is just marvelous!

Sibling love

We were up early again today for well visits for both kids. They both are doing great!

The events of the past week only reinforce what a lucky man I am. I am so blessed!

There was so much more I wanted to write, but AJ kinda sums up what we all feel like over here….

Goodnight, friends!

Sooner Than Later?

To quote the Beatles song, “It Won’t Be Long!” It’s been some time since I’ve given an update on our baby boy, and after today’s OB appointment, now is a good time to do so.

Sam has really had a rough time the last few weeks, and as we enter the final month her discomfort grows daily. She’s been having Braxton Hicks contractions for quite some time now. There are nights that I will roll over in bed and can tell that she is having them. Of course, (because I’m a dumb guy) I always ask, “Is it time? Do we need to go to the hospital?”

She had a visit to the OB today and it looks like he may decide to make an appearance sooner than later. The due date is October 13 (or 14, depending on who you ask), and the doc had already said that he would probably induce a week early to avoid either one of us being at work when Sam goes into labor. Today’s visit really made us realize just how NOT ready we are.

The doc said that baby seems to have turned and is getting into position for delivery. He is “sunny side up” or posterior. This is basically what happened with Ella. Being in that position leads to extremely painful back labor.

When the baby is in the posterior position, the baby’s head pushes against the mother’s back, which causes the pain. I remember how excruciating the pain was for Sam when Ella was in that position. We can hope and pray that he turns over before she goes into labor.

At her last OB appointment, the doc told Sam that the baby would probably be a little early. At today’s appointment, he said that the baby could be here as early as next week! This was quite eye opening for Sam and I, as we don’t even have a bag packed! Now that I think about it, we don’t even have a BAG! I think we loaned it to someone!!

Needless to say, I need to sit down and start looking at the “baby bag checklist” and get that bag packed! We also have to get a bag packed for Ella. She obviously can’t go to the hospital with us, so we’ll have a “sleep over bag” ready for her, too.

There were a few other things that we sat down and realized that we still needed to pick up to be ready for baby. We still have some bins in the basement with newborn stuff in them that I will need to go through ASAP to be sure that everything is upstairs and available.

I actually chuckled on my way in to work tonight because I remember how our living room was all about Ella when she was a baby. We had bouncy seats, floor time mats, stacks of burp cloths, the pack and play, and just about every other item in there. Today that room is literally Ella’s play room! There are toys all over the place! I laughed because I wondered just where in the world we are going to put all that other stuff!!

So the countdown is on … we are excited and anxious to meet the newest member of our family. Rest assured that you’ll be able to read all about it here – sooner than later!

Baby Waves Hello

For the first time in months, I got to accompany Sam to her OB/GYN appointment today. Up until just recently, they were only allowing the patient into the office. As I mentioned in a previous blog, the pregnancy has been a bit rough on Sam. I have hated not being there for support. I have hated having to hear things second hand. It was hard to not be there with her.

We did an offsite ultrasound early on to find out the sex of the baby, and that was the last time I have been able to see him. So today, I was glad to be able to go with Sam to the ultrasound. As I sat in the waiting room, I could feel myself getting nervous. I’m not really even sure why, but I was.

When the finally called us back, I took my seat in the chair across from Sam. She got up on the table and the tech went through the standard questions and such. She finally put the gel on the wand and began to search for the baby. I sat on the edge of my chair as I watched for his image to appear. I could see he was moving around a bit. One of the first things we saw was his hand. It looked like he was waving to us.

They did a lot of measuring today. This will supposedly will tell you what the baby weighs. As the tech continued to move the wand around, I saw him holding his foot. He is breech, which means his head is up instead of down. Ella was this way around the same time, but she turned, which is what we are hoping he will do.

We were able to see his face pretty good at one point. This is where I wish the doctor had a 3-D machine. I can only imagine how amazing he looks in 3-D.

It was pretty awesome to get him looking right at us.

As she was doing all of this, I kept waiting for her to let us hear the heartbeat. Usually that’s like the first thing you get to hear. She hadn’t done it yet. There is something so amazing about hearing the heartbeat. I was so anxious waiting to hear it and finally, she played it. That’s all it took. I started crying, not an loud audible cry, but tear were falling from my eyes. All the emotions came to a head at that point. Watching the ultrasound, you see the baby moving, you marvel at it all, but when you hear that heartbeat – it becomes real. I thanked God for our little miracle and was so grateful to have finally be there to see him.

The tech then snapped a profile picture, in which you can see his foot up in the air, and finished with the measurements. He is about 4 pounds right now. He will gain 1/2 pound every week from here on out. They are guessing he will be about 8 pounds 8 oz when he is born.

I am so happy that I got to be with Sam today. I am so thankful that the baby is doing well and exactly where he needs to be. I can’t wait for his arrival. I am excited to meet our son.

The Countdown Has Begun

Technically we are about 8 weeks away from the arrival of our baby boy. He is due on October 13th. I have a feeling, though, that he will be arriving earlier than expected.

I have to give major kudos to my wife. Sam has had a very difficult time with this pregnancy, I won’t go into all the details, but we had a few scary moments along the way. She is in much more pain this time around. She hasn’t really been sleeping well. It is much more difficult for her to do some of the things she was able to do when she was pregnant with Ella. It’s been very hard for me to watch some days. I help when I can, but sometimes, there is nothing I can do to help her.

Because of Covid protocols, I haven’t been able to go to any of the OB appointments with her. This in itself drives me crazy. I feel “disconnected” this time around. One of the highlights of the OB appointments was getting to hear the heartbeat of the baby. We have a doppler thingy at home that we can use, but because of the position of the placenta, it is hard to find it.

They literally just lifted those Covid protocols at the OB and on Monday, I will be able to go and see the Ultrasound with her. I am beyond excited. There is something special about seeing our baby on the monitor together. As silly as it sounds, I love being able to be there and watch my wife smile at the baby. It is one of those “moments.” I hope that they will print off some pictures for us to add to his baby book.

The old wives tale is that baby boys tend to be low in the belly during pregnancy. That would certainly be the case with our baby. The doc even said that the baby is much lower than he expected. Now, whether he meant that he is dropping and getting ready to come early, he didn’t say. However, he does seem to want to deliver a week or so early.

In the meantime, we are well aware that the baby will come when he decides to come. So this week, we had the conversation about making a checklist. Not only do we NOT have a bag packed for the hospital yet, this time around, we also have to have a bag ready for Ella. She’ll be staying with Nana a couple days while baby brother is in the hospital. I actually found the “Birth” book they gave us when we did birthing classes before Ella was born. I plan on going through it and making sure I have all the stuff on the check lists!

My wife has been such a trooper through this pregnancy. I can tell she is ready for the baby to arrive. She’s kind of over the pain, the fatigue, and all that has come with this pregnancy. Through it all, she remains beautiful and radiant. She is such a wonderful mommy and amazing wife.

Ella is excited to be a big sister. Mommy is excited to hold her first son. Daddy couldn’t be more excited to have the chance to be a dad again. Thank you, God, for all you have blessed me with!

Obligatory Baby “Bump” Picture

Ok, Ok, I’ll Write ….

I’m writing under protest.

I still don’t feel up to writing today. My last post was three days ago, and I wish I could say that I am past it. I’m not. I have nothing planned out, which is kind of a “no-no” when you are writing. I am only writing because I am forcing myself to sit here and write.

Ideas?

Do I have things I can write about? Sure. I have a few ideas I just jotted down in my blog notebook. A blogger I follow has been going through the Alphabet and featuring his favorite TV shows. I liked the idea and feel like I might be able to do something with that. Another blogger is featuring an episode by episode review of one show in particular. I might think about doing something like this, too.

A music blogger I like has a weekly post that features their five favorite albums from a certain year, while another features the Top 10 songs from that week in a specific year. Those are easy to do and can be fun at the same time.

I also have some personal things I can blog about. I was recently going back through some of the ideas I have for the project my brother and I are working on about my mom. I’m LONG overdue to work on those.

My Favorite Game Shows? What exactly makes a YouTube “star” a Star? Yeah, I have ideas….. I just don’t feel like writing about them.

I’m Hurting

With all the things going on in my life right now, I should be smiling more! I’ll be the first to admit that. Don’t get my wrong, I am happy. It’s just that right now, there are things I am trying to process.

In the past month, I’ve seen my sons only one day – for breakfast. It seems that he “doesn’t want to come over” anymore. I have given him absolutely no reason whatsoever to not want to come. This is something that I have been fighting for some time. I’m not going into detail about it, especially since I know that my ex has trolls who share things from my blog, my Facebook, and my Instagram with her.

I’ve never understood why some people get so much pleasure in making others miserable. These people spread lies, rumors, and gossip because it brings them joy! Shame on you. You profess to be loving Christians and you get your joy from those things. Hypocrites! The Bible has over 100 verses about gossiping alone! Maybe you should read them!

Ephesians 4:29 says “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.”

Easier Said Than Done …

Despite the issues above and all that goes with it, I do have a lot to be happy about:

My beautiful wife and I are having another baby. Another miracle! Just the thought makes me happy!

I believe, after much discussion, that we may have decided on a name for our baby boy. It was a lot harder than we thought. Of course, he is not due until October, so there is still the possibility that it can change! LOL

Lesson Learned

I wonder if my daughter has any idea that she teaches me a lesson every day. What lesson? “Find happiness in the little things.”

I need to look amongst the chaos of every day life and find “it.” I need to find that one thing that makes me wonder. What is that one thing that makes me smile? I experience these things daily, but so often over look them.

Watching Sam read a book to Ella. Watching how excited Ella gets when she goes outside.

Little things – Big Happiness.

She see’s beauty in what we see as a weed –

She gets excited to watch and try to catch bubbles –

She is thrilled to pet the new puppy that our neighbor’s brought home –

It truly is the little things …. I guess I just need to focus on them.

And the baby is a ….

I’ve been waiting for today for weeks! Because of Covid, my wife’s OB/GYN is only allowing the patient in the office. With Ella, I was at every ultrasound. I looked forward to hearing the baby’s heart beat each month. I loved that special togetherness that we felt when we were at the office. It has killed me to not be at those appointments. Today, I finally got to hear the baby’s heart beat – and we found out the gender!

You may recall that we went to a 3-D ultrasound place to find out Ella was a girl. They can tell you the gender at the 15th week of pregnancy. We called a few weeks ago and made the appointment. So I have been waiting patiently. Today, after only 4 hours of sleep, I was up and excited to go.

Today, made this more real to me. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve noticed my beautiful wife’s baby bump growing, so I know it is real. Not being involved with those OB/GYN appointments has really been driving me crazy. Today, I actually got to see the baby!

Regular ultrasounds are cool enough. We tried to get a 3-D shot of Ella, but she kept putting her hands in front of her face. We never really got a full face shot of her. Check out what we saw today…

It’s a little blurry, but there is the baby, looking right at us! WOW!

As I stated in a previous blog, Sam was leaning boy and I was thinking girl. We found out today. We were originally going to only tell a few people and keep the results a secret. However, since Sam kind of spilled the beans on Facebook, I can share them here….

Ella helped us make the announcement:

It’s a boy! Ella will be welcoming her little brother in October. Sam and I are naturally excited. It’s perfect. One girl and one boy!

We found out we were expecting around Ella’s birthday (2/10). On February 15th, I had a dream that my mother told me it was a girl, and actually blogged a draft when I woke up so I wouldn’t forget:

I was in asleep in our bed. Suddenly, the kitchen light turns on. I get up, not knowing if it’s a burglar. To my surprise, it’s my mom and she’s making making soup for her and my dad – in my kitchen. As I walk out I hear her say, “Oh, damn it,” as she spills it on the floor.  I told her I’d get her something to clean it up, so I grabbed some baby wipes.  She looked at me and said “It’s a girl.”

Then I woke up. It was a very vivid dream. She looked me right in the eye and said it. Of course, I thought it would be really cool if the baby was a girl because the dream would have been sort of prophetic…LOL Instead, it was probably just me and my early gut feeling. I won’t lie though, over the past couple weeks, the pregnancy has been VERY different for Sam. Because of that, I guess I kind of knew the baby was going to be a boy.

We are very excited for our son to arrive. We’ll have to do a bit of preparation, as we have all girl clothes. We also had no trouble picking a girl’s name. Finding a boy’s name has been a challenge…

This weekend, we’ll be spending time in those baby name books again!