Samuel’s Birth

IMAG0954Our repeat C-section was scheduled for 7:30 a.m. on 8/15 at our local birthing center we had to arrive at 5:30.  We both got some sleep, although not as much as normal of course.  I got up, showered, put on makeup and clothes and finished packing a bag.  I took a last-minute belly pic:

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We drove the 15 to 20 minutes to the hospital in the half dark.  We were pretty quiet.  We checked in in the same front pass-through office room where we checked in when we arrived to deliver Luke.  We started down the birthing center and stopped to check in at the inside desk.  She gave us a small stack of items which included a birth announcement card just like Luke’s.  This made me tear up, seeing that same card that I treasure as one of the few items I have physically proving Luke’s existence. 

As we were walked to our hospital room, I silently hoped it would not be the same room where we delivered Luke.  When we got there, I knew it wasn’t the same room because it was the first room in the hallway.  To deliver Luke, they put us at the far end of the hall, farthest away from others.  I was grateful for that last time because I only heard a baby crying the one time I ventured out for a short walk when I was trying to get labor started.  That, as well as the sad looks and hugs we received from a couple of staff people, had been enough to make me stay in the room after that.  I felt a small feeling of pride at being worthy of the closest room this time.

A nurse came in and introduced herself.  She attempted to get an IV started.  After 2 failed tries and a blown vein in my hand (ow, big bruise still), she got another nurse to help.  The nurses didn’t know our history and I don’t remember exactly how, but it came up and we told them about Luke.  They were okay, but I was very happy when one of my favorite nurses from Luke’s delivery showed up at the shift change at 7.  She was the one who had also lost her first son at full term. She went on to have 2 more sons, who I have since learned attend the first elementary school I worked at when I moved here, where some of my close friends teach.  It’s a small town.  Having her was a true blessing and not an accident.  She stayed in the room with us most of the day, to the point I asked her if she had other patients to see and if we might be hogging her too much, although I wanted her to stay.  She was so helpful and kind.  She has a really peaceful demeanor and talked some more about her own experience with the loss of her baby. 

Around 6:45, my parents and sister arrived.  Josh got suited up in his protective gear and we enjoyed laughing at the silly appearance of that, which relieved a little of the tension.  IMAG0883

Around 7:00, a nurse and Josh wheeled me back to the operating room.  They did the epidural while Josh waited outside.  It hurts a small amount, but was better than the first time around.  I began to feel tingly, heavy and sleepy.  My beloved OB came in and introduced everyone.  They began prepping.  I asked if Josh could come back in and they said yes.  He entered and sat by my head.  The began the procedure and Josh held my hand.  I was nervous.  About the baby obviously and also about being awake for the whole procedure this time.  With Luke, the kind anesthesiologist asked me if I wanted to go to sleep for 15 minutes or so and let me miss the cutting and sewing up parts, as well as the silent removal of Luke’s body.  Josh was clearly nervous also as he looked pale and his leg was bouncing frantically. 

At 7:58, Samuel entered the world crying.  It was as beautiful a sound as you imagine it would be.  My OB held him up briefly over the curtain.  Josh got up and watched them do a couple things to him.  His smiling face was beautiful.  He looked back to me and said, “He’s perfect”.  They let Josh hold him close to my face for a minute and I got to kiss him.  I had expected to do an audible, messy cry, but instead it was more of a silent tears-streaming-down cry.  I think someone asked what his name was and Josh finally said Samuel, which I had been waiting for his final confirmation on, having myself decided on it several days before.  He didn’t officially get his name until he came out and Josh saw him.

Josh and Samuel went back to our hospital room to finish the checking-out and cleaning as they sewed me up.  This was a bit of a strange part as I felt somewhat removed from the scene.  My OB and the other staff discussed their kids and the new charter school they just began attending.  I remember my OB saying her daughter is taking Mandarin this year.  When they were done with me, they wheeled me back to the room where Josh and Samuel were.  Probably to their chagrin, I had requested that my family not come back in the room to see Samuel until I was back from surgery so that I could see that moment occur.  The first hour after the birth/surgery was really busy with nurses doing a bunch of things to me, but I can’t remember what all they did, just that there were 3 or more of them hovering around me hooking things up and checking my blood pressure, etc.  I  remember wanting them to hurry up, so that I could try to feed him.  I had read and heard that you should try to feed as soon after the birth as you can because they are alert and ready for the first hour or 2 and then get really sleepy for a long period.  This proved to be true. They did finally allow me to try to breastfeed, but it was not as prompt as I would have liked.  By then, I was worrying about the clock since my family was waiting impatiently to see him in a waiting room.  Josh had been out to talk to them several times and said my mom was going crazy.  I felt I needed to rush to let them come back to the room. 

Around 9:30, they entered.  After this, the nurse came in to finish cleaning Samuel up and weigh him, etc.  I watched from the bed as everyone else gathered around the baby warmer to view him.  I had to keep asking them to stand to the side so I could see too.  IMAG0891

It is interesting to me that he had an even weight and height, 7 pounds and 20 inches.  Nice and simple.  He weighed one ounce more than Luke did 2 weeks further along, but he was 1.5 inches shorter.  Josh and I both commented that his hair looked like Luke’s and as time has gone on, we have discussed their other similarities.  I am happy he has similarities to his brother.IMAG0890 IMG_5038-20130720-095525-1-20140514-102842-1

We stayed in the hospital until Sunday late afternoon.  The first day, I was afraid to go home and care for him alone, but by Saturday, I was ready to be away from the constant hustle and bustle and repeated questions.  We were happy to go home.

The most bittersweet moment for both of us came when we were actually packing up to leave.  Gathering our things, checking for missed items, but also securing a live baby in a car seat. IMAG0928

There was no way not to be strongly reminded of having to pack and leave the hospital without Luke 15 months before.  I started crying and all I could say was, “We didn’t get to do this last time.” My mom hugged me.  If the nurse we had that day heard or saw me crying, she didn’t respond.  Josh told me later that that moment made him sad too.  Such a contrast. 

We have been home for 10 days now and I have plenty to write about these first 1.5 weeks too, but it’s time to feed my sweet baby, so I will write that post another time:)  Hope you are well, friends!  I am still praying for your hearts and rainbows.

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Samuel Hudson is Here!

Samuel Hudson arrived safely Friday, 8/15/14 at 7:56 a.m. weighing 7 pounds even and measuring 20 inches via repeat C-section at 37 weeks 1 day.  He is amazing.  It is still surreal.  We are so thankful to God, to you all, to our family and friends, and to the many people who prayed for him before he was even conceived.  Take heart in hope, friends.  There will be dreams come true in this life!  And so much more in heaven.

Samuel means “asked of God”, which he certainly was.  I think the meaning is perfect.  Hudson is Luke’s middle name and Josh’s mother’s (who died in 2005) maiden name.  It was Josh’s suggestion to give Samuel the same middle name as Luke.  He said he wanted there to be something concrete that will be a reminder of Luke even 20 years from now.  I would not have thought of this myself as I thought Luke’s first and middle name were his alone, but after Josh explained his view on this, I loved it.  It feels perfect.  I treasure his name as I do Luke’s name (finally! 😉 ) He will eventually go by Sam and probably many other cutesy names between.  So far he has been called poop monster (more on that later–wow!), butternut squash, Sammy Cakes, little miracle, little squeaker mouse… He has a lot of light colored hair like Luke did and looks a lot like him, Josh and I and the nurse who was with us both times all think.  That makes me happy.

I have a ton more to say and will post again soon with more details.  It is completely wonderful, but also very emotional, overwhelming and still the bittersweet road you all know with many reminders of Luke’s loss and absence.  There were tears of sadness at the same time as our hearts swelled to bursting with joy.

We got to go home from the hospital last night.  Here are some pictures:)

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36 Weeks 5 Days

This end piece continues to be a roller coaster.  The last couple of days were good.  I smiled, laughed and felt positive.  Baby boy passed his NST yesterday easily. They tried me on a different machine and found the heartbeat immediately–wish they’d figured that out earlier!  My fluid was fine at an 11.4 (This time the tech said the norm is 5 to 25, slightly different than the last one said).  Only one more OB appointment to go.

Today has been a rough day.  I went to bed upset last night about money/budget worries and couldn’t seem to feel okay all day. I enjoyed a few quiet moments on the back patio reading and eating breakfast first thing in the cool post-rain air, but then I felt stressed and frantic about getting things done for the remainder of the day.  I cried several times in the morning by myself.  In the afternoon, my mom came over to help for a few hours and cleaned a bathroom, vacuumed, helped me hang pictures, etc.  When we were having a quick lunch, I cried and vented to her, but she didn’t say much except “Oh, don’t stress”, which was just not possible today.  She’s often a woman of few words.  She went around the house making happy sounds and calling out cutesy things to my dog, which just highlighted the contrast to how I was feeling. I have genuine things to be worried about, but this must also be hormones and the nearness of the delivery day.  I feel a little crazy.  This is like nesting gone wild.  Josh seems to be feeling this way some too as he started yelling at me as soon as I came in the door from seeing my speech client.  Which did not help.  Although he is not quite having the same nesting instinct as he keeps telling me he will get these things all done while he’s on his 2 weeks paternity leave.  I want them done NOW.  Before that baby comes home.

I have one more part of a day at home alone tomorrow, before my last trip to 45 miles south to see 3 speech kids.  I really wish I could skip that appointment actually, and just focus on getting things done and maybe relax a little, but we need the money and I don’t want to be flaky to my newest clients.  Hopefully the first part of the day seems long and I get enough of the to-do list done.  And it would be nice to feel a little less crazy!

On Thursday, Josh starts his paternity leave and we have appointments all day: the fire station to get the car seat installed at 9:30, the pediatrician for a meet and greet at 10:55 (Yes I know I am very last-minute on these things, but they were just hard to do too far ahead and I procrastinated), then my last OB appointment and NST at 1:45.  I’m looking forward to hearing from my doctor what exactly will happen the next day.  After that, we have to go to the hospital for a pre-opp appointment and some blood work.  I don’t know exactly what that will entail as the secretary at the OB office just told me about this pre-opp appointment on Monday. 

I think we are to go in at 5:30 or 6:30 a.m. on Friday, with the delivery scheduled for 7:30 or 8:30.  I have not packed a hospital bag yet.  The living room rug is not vacummed yet.  One of the nursery shelves is still hanging askew by 1 nail, waiting for Josh to fix it.  I still have several necessary paper work items to do.  But the breast pump parts have been boiled and assembled (hopefully correctly), the carpet and rug are cleaned and velcroed down in the nursery (the dog likes to roll on that wool rug so it’s constantly getting flipped up and haired.  I’m hoping the Velcro will at least help keep it in place.) 2 more pictures got hung today.  His first little clothes are washed.  Many previously owned items have been washed or wiped down with disinfecting wipes.  The bathtub in the bathroom we will use to bath him has been washed of dust (it never gets used currently).  There are no dishes waiting at this moment. I did some major grocery and toiletry shopping. Hopefully we will be okay.  I feel like the world is going to stop and I’m never going to have time/energy/focus to do any of these menial things again once he comes.  And I kind of look forward to that!  I just want to hear him cry, feel his warm soft skin, and bring home a live baby this time.  I hope it takes over my life and makes the world a totally new place.  I mourned the absence of every one of these small things last summer and I so want them this time around.  Every new, scary, possibly stressful one.

2.5 days.  Lord, please help me to stay calm and kind and to discern what the real priorities are.  And if my back and feet could hurt a little less and I could quit having phlegm in the back of my throat every night that makes me feel like I’m going to choke while I sleep, that would be great.  The drool on the pillow every morning I can deal with. Actually, don’t worry about any of it.  I can do  2 more days of anything really.  Please take care of this precious baby and help his lungs and body get ready for coming out into the world.  I would love it if he could not need any interventions so that they don’t have to take him away and I can hold and feed him right away.  Please let him love you most of all and be a happy, sweet baby.  Please help me to be brave and calm during all the medical pieces that frighten me.  Please give my Luke a goodnight kiss and tell him I love him. Thank you, Lord.

We are very close to choosing his name (2 favorites to decide between) and I am starting to finally feel some peace about it.  Whew!  Thanks, Lord.  I am praying for you friends who are are in various stages of TTC, grieving and hoping for or carrying rainbow babies.  You are very dear to me and I couldn’t do this without you.  I read all of your comments and treasure them in my heart.

It make take a few days until we are home to post a birth announcement on here, so don’t panic if you don’t see it right away.  I wasn’t planning to lug my laptop to the hospital and I’m not sure if I can post from my phone?  I will let you know though!