Thomas came home when I did, Wednesday the 7th (his due date). It was looking like they were going to keep him in the NICU, but at the last minute they decided his jaundice was getting better (my milk had just come in, so he was getting more liquid), and his test results came back fine. It's been a whirlwind. I didn't appreciate the extra time I had with DS1 without a preschooler around. Even with DH home, I have had very little time to do anything. I'm finally giving up having a nap to get some email and pictures out.
The birth story: Sunday the 4th I had sporadic contractions all day long. One or two an hour, nothing different than the previous week had been. Around 5pm, I had a few more. By 6pm I started keeping track of how often they came. By the time 8pm rolled around, I was sure that I was in labor so I called the midwife. He (yes, a male midwife, one of my favorite midwives in the practice.) asked me to call back in an hour to see if the contractions were increasing. I called him back and 9:15pm and told him that they were increasing in frequency and intensity and that I wanted to come in. I think he was skeptical that I was in labor. But I knew my body well enough to know that this was it, even though I could talk through contractions. It was like this with my two previous deliveries.
We arrived at the hospital at 9:45pm. The nurse took me to a triage room and directed me to the bathroom down the hall to pee in a cup. While I was gone, my husband convinced the nurse to put me in a real room rather than a triage room, given my previous history, and the fact that I was GSB+.
They hooked me up to the monitors, and the midwife checked me. I was 7cm at 10pm. By 10:40pm I had decided to get the intrathecal, because I was laboring so fast, there was no rest in-between contractions and they were intense. I knew that I would have no control over pushing in this much pain. (I couldn't imagine being able to push through the pain). My midwife suggested the intrathecal instead of an epidural because the epidural would never take before I delivered at the rate I was going.
My midwife didn't want to check for dialation until I felt the pressure to push. By 12:45am he decided to check me since it had been more than a couple of hours. I was 10cm dialated and probably had been that way for a while. He then told me I could push when I felt the urge. The intrathecal doesn't go low enough in the pelvis to eliminate the pain when the baby is really low. It was quite painful, and I'm glad I got the rest in-between. I pushed with several contractions. At a few minutes to 1am, my water broke, and a couple of pushes later, Thomas was born. From arrival at the hospital to delivery was just over 3 hours.
Will and Thomas
Dad and Thomas
Mom and Thomas
Because I was GSB+, and I didn't get 2 doses of antibiotics, when Thomas was chilly (96 degree temperature) they had to treat that as a possible sign of infection. Once in the NICU, they monitored his oxygen levels and he wasn't keeping his numbers high enough. So for three days he was hooked up to a bunch of monitors and had oxygen for the first two days. He got better at breathing and keeping his temperature up, then he had signs of jaundice. That improved when my milk came in. I nursed him every 2-3 hours around the clock. It was hard at night because my room and the NICU was on a different floor, so I'd set my alarm, trek down to the NICU, feed him, and then trek back up to my room, get an hour to an hour and a half rest and then repeat the cycle. Occassionally I'd not even get that much time as they would call me when he was hungry. I was thankful that he was breastfeeding well so it was worth it.
It was hard to see the babies in the NICU. There was one boy (a twin) who was finally going home. I talked to his mom in the lounge one day. Her due date was May 9th (two days after mine) and she had the boys in JANUARY. I was floored. The other twin was not yet ready to go home. They are still only 4-5lbs. Thomas looked like a giant in the NICU compared to all the other babies. It really made me appreciate his health.
Now we're just settling in. Thomas is a good nurser. By his 5 day appointment, he was back to his birth weight. He was tongue-tied just like his brother and we had them clip it in the hospital and then a little bit more at his 5 day appointment. That made things much easier as before he gave me blisters on each nipple as he couldn't get his tongue out far enough. I've healed now and he latches great. He's a calm, laid back baby. The only time he gets upset is if he's ready to eat and we try to change his diaper instead. Will was like this too. I'm feeling pretty good, just tired. I am so glad to not be pregnant. I can sleep, have an appetite, no heartburn, it's marvelous. I am feeling nostalgic about being pregnant, knowing that I probably won't ever do that again. But I'm very thankful for our healthy boy that we waited so long for.
Long time, no update. The sleep deprivation is something I remembered, but forgot all at the same time.
Thomas' umbilical cord fell off on May 16th, but it took us until yesterday to give him his first submerged bath. He was a good baby for it, no crying at all. I feel guilty for waiting so long for a bath. Since we cloth diaper, and use cloth wipes too, every diaper change, he essentially gets a sponge bath from the belly button down, so he wasn't really dirty. His belly button started out as an outie, that looked like a donut, but it's gradually getting to be an innie. We'll see.
Today Thomas had his first bottle. Mike and Will both fed it to him, Thomas did really well. Let's hope that continues. DS1 never really got good at it and turned into a power nurser when I got home from work. It made the nights kind of long. I actually went somewhere without Thomas (though at the last minute, William wanted to come with me, so I didn't get to go alone...). It wasn't an exciting trip, just to Walgreen's to get a prescription for Thomas, as he has pink eye. The second kid is different -- much more germs around. We've already been to the doctor 2 times for sick child visits. I think Will was 2 years old by the time that happened for him. The good news is that he weighs 10lbs 4 oz, up from 8lbs 9oz at birth. He's already grown out of clothes, we had to break out the 3-6 month stuff. What's interesting is that he's growing out of them in length. Neither me nor DH are tall, I wonder where he gets this from??? His namesake, my uncle (the Harlow part) is tall, where my dad is short, so maybe he got some of those tall genes that run somewhere in my family.
I'm off work until August 11th, but so far, the weather hasn't been cooperating. I had visions of hanging out with the baby outside, but today it was in the 50s. Not baby outside weather at all. At least I can look forward to it warming up soon. Not so with DS1 who was born in October. All it did was get colder.
Thomas is doing great. He's growing like a weed -- probably up to 14 lbs by now. We go in for our 2 month appointment soon, so I don't have an official weight.
My maternity leave is half over. It's gone fast, and I know from here on out it will go faster. We finally got some nice summer weather here, but I haven't gotten outside as much as I would like. We're busy with just normal everyday things.
I've finally gotten back into having some time for knitting. Thought it means giving up sleep to do it. Now I just figured out that I have to start pumping more so Thomas can get used to a bottle. We need to start to transition to DH taking care of both boys at once.
I do find it hard to call Thomas by his name. I don't know if because he doesn't look like his name, or if it's the "wrong" name, or it's just because he looks so much like Willliam. I've been practicing, but it doesn't come naturally.
I started Weight Watchers last week. Tonight is my first weigh in. I'm back to my pre-pregnancy weight with Thomas, now I need to get to my pre-pregnancy weight from Joseph. It's a bummer that after having lost so much weight in 2005-2006, I put it all back on with Joseph.
Thomas is 13 weeks today. I go back to work in 1 week. I can't believe all the plans I had for maternity leave and I feel like I didn't get anything done. Thomas isn't even taking a bottle well. Things are busy, but I don't feel like we get anything done. Maybe that's just how it is with having kids????
It's gone by fast. I'm back at work and hating it. It's bad enough to 1) go back after maternity leave, but also influencing it is 2) I had the whole summer off, who likes to go back after the summer 3) My company is closing my location, so as of March 31st, I'm out of a job, so all the "good" work goes to people at other locations. So I'm essentially getting the crumbs -- work that needs to be done, but nobody else wants. Sigh.
Thomas is doing great. He was sleeping through the night until I went back to work. Now he's up 3-4 times. It figures, when I really need to get a good night's sleep because I have to get up in the morning and I can't nap. He misses me (the milk) during the day, so he makes up for it at night. It's good to be loved, but could he love me in the daytime?
I've been seriously slacking on keeping up this. I am trying to update my blog instead, because people outside of preg.org can read it. I really don't want to direct people here because you never know if they'll read my other posts!
We're doing fine. Thomas is 6 months already. I haven't done a birth annoucement yet, but I will. Mostly because all his first pictures he has stuff all over his face in the NICU. I'm working on it though. I don't want to not do it because I did one for the other boys. It just wouldn't be fair! Whose to say I have to send it to a bunch of people. I figure if I send one, that counts.