Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Birthdays Past Part 2

I continue this week to remember the boys' birthdays as we patiently wait for Baby Girl to get here, which will hopefully be Thursday March 26th.  If things go according to my plan.  Which would be a first these last 6 months or so.

Aidan was, um, a bit of a surprise.  Dane was 11 months old when we got pregnant with Aidan, and I remember staring at that pregnancy test thinking "I can't be pregnant.  I already have a baby."

Note to all of you newlyweds:  You have to actually take those little pills for them to work.  And when you run out, you have to get them refilled and keep taking them for them to keep working.  Consider this my wedding gift to you.  This information will be much more useful to you than the cookie sheets I was going to give you.

So Aidan's due date was to be August 31, 2005, a mere 20 months after Dane was born.  Two babies.  

One of the memories I have of my pregnancy with Aidan (it's amazing how little you remember when you're chasing a one year old around.)  Our master bedroom is upstairs in our house, directly above the garage.  It is also about the same size as our two-car garage, with a single air conditioning vent, blowing cool air from our single overworked air conditioner.  That spring, with the knowledge that I would be extremely pregnant in the summer, I had an AC man from our church out to apprise our little AC situation.  I basically told him, "Do whatever you have to do to make our bedroom cold at night."  And a lot of money later, he did.  And our bedroom is now the coldest room in the house.  Worth every penny that summer, and still worth every penny.

Given my history of having a shallow pelvis and a very comfy uterus with a Cervix of Steel (sorry, fellas), my doctor scheduled me to have a c-section with Aidan on August 24, 2005.  I was pretty happy with that.  It was a week before my due date, and I was excited about having a plan.  About knowing exactly when he was going to be born and what to expect from the experience.  I was very excited about skipping the whole "Pitocin" thing.  About not having to interrupt all of Brandon's reading and leisure activities with a little thing like labor.

August 24 was a Monday that year, and my surgery was scheduled for 7am.  The night before, Brandon and I went to Chili's for dinner (not exactly sure where Dane was).  At Chili's, I thought I was feeling a few contractions.  I ignored them.  We went home, the contractions were definitely continuing and very gradually developing into a pattern, getting closer together.  I decided to continue ignoring them, with the knowledge that they were most likely not achieving their purpose.  After all, with Dane, 12 hours of Pitocin only dilated me to 1 centimeter.  I was not in danger of having this baby on my couch that evening.  Brandon took an Ambien that night (he had a long history of insomnia) and went to bed, while I tried to also sleep.  But I found that I could not sleep through the contractions I was having.

That should have been my first clue that perhaps these were the "real deal".  I could not sleep through them.  So I got out of bed, and laid on the couch watching Tivo'd episodes of the Gilmore Girls all night, knowing that Brandon had taken an Ambien and would not be functional until early morning hours.  

At about 4 am after (11 hours after Chili's), my contractions were coming every 3 minutes, and I decided it was time to wake up Brandon and get to the hospital, even though I wasn't supposed to be there for the c-section until about 6 am.  Brandon managed to drive me to the hospital in his drug-induced state, and once there I was promptly hooked up to the monitors so the nurse could admire all of my contractions.  

A quick check revealed that my Cervix of Steel was holding:  I was not dilated even a single centimeter.  Nothing.  Nada.  Contractions for 11 hours, 3 minutes apart, and nothing to show for it.

But I got my epidural.  Because after all, I was going to have a c-section anyway.

7 am came, and I was wheeled in for my c-section.  I knew what weird sensations to expect, which managed to calm the nerves a bit.  The nerves came back quickly when I realized how quiet the room was as I was being filleted with an 8 inch incision in my abdomen.

Quick note:  Did you know that people who have had a previous c-section are not supposed to have contractions for 11 hours at home while watching Gilmore Girls on their couch?  I didn't either.  Apparently, a previous c-section puts you at risk for uterine rupture during a subsequent "trial of labor".  Would have been helpful information to learn on Sunday August 23, not Monday August 24.

Back to my quiet c-section:  after an eternity of minutes in my mind, Aidan Cooper was born, red and screaming, at 8 pounds 9 ounces.  As my doctor was closing, the doctor who was assisting him was leaving the OR.  She stopped to pat me on the shoulder and congratulate me.  She also said to me, "It's a good thing you had a c-section.  If you had VBAC'd, your uterus would have ruptured."  (Google VBAC, fellas, I'm not going into it here.)  My uterus was so thin at the site of my previous c-section scar, that they could see the baby through it.  And apparently, it's not good for a uterus in that condition to contract a whole lot.  Again, information that would have been helpful YESTERDAY, DOC.

Guys, I'm sorry for saying "uterus" so much in this post.  That's as graphic as I'll get, promise.

I don't remember much of the next 12 hours.  I had not slept a wink the night before Aidan was born, and My Favorite Nurse In The World (I have no idea who she was), put a nice little button in my hand.  Every time I pushed the magic button, morphine was pumped into my body, easing the pain of the 8 inch gash in my belly and facilitating sweet sleep. 

When I finally came out of it, I vaguely remember our bachelor-at-the-time friend Jeremi coming to visit.  Jeremi is one of our dear friends, and he and Brandon work together, go to the gym together, and are good buddies.  Knowing how restless Brandon would be in the hospital room with me for a couple of days, Jeremi thought it would be a good idea to bring his XBox to the hospital to loan to Brandon while he was there.  He could just hook it up to the TV that was right there in the hospital room!

Now isn't that sweet of Jeremi.

Mere seconds after Jeremi left, Brandon left to go to Blockbuster and rent a video game that he had just been dying to play.  Just dying to play!  (Our house had been video game-free for a couple of years at this point, so Brandon was going through what can only be described as withdrawl).  Another memory I have of the hospital stay after Aidan was born is trying to go to sleep in my bed, at about 11pm (because this is, after all, the last sleep I am getting for the next few months), and Brandon keeping me awake playing stinkin' video games at all hours.  On the TV IN MY HOSPITAL ROOM.  
Brandon just informed me that "That was awesome, and I beat that game in, like, 2 days."

(By the way, if anyone has any idea of a suitable way to repay sweet Jeremi for his generosity in sharing his XBox that would not adversely affect his new wife, please let me know in the comments.  I have been trying to figure out what would be a suitable, um, thank you gesture, for the last 3 and a half years.)

One of the highlights of that time was Dane meeting his baby brother.  He was so excited and so sweet, and he's still pretty fond of his little brother.  Hard to believe that this little baby is going to be a big brother himself in just a few short days.

Look!  Brandon took a break from his video game to hold his new baby!  (Love you, honey.)
Here's Aidan and I the day we brought him home from the hospital.  He was very blonde, and jaundiced to boot as you can tell from this picture.  This blanket wrapped around him became known as his "alligator blankie".  It had a green leather alligator sewn into one corner, and Aidan slept with that blanket and hauled it around everywhere we would let him until the alligator disintegrated sometime last summer.  He has had no interest in the blanket since then.
We can't wait (but we WILL wait--till Thursday, that is) to meet this new baby.  Can't wait for her brothers to meet her, and to see what she looks like and if she'll be happy and laid back like Dane, or fiery and headstrong like Aidan.  I can't wait to swaddle her and have a sleeping baby (did you hear that Baby Girl, I said SLEEPING BABY) in the pack-n-play in our room.

See you Thursday, Baby Girl.


Anonymous said...

I want more baby stories!! I love them! Oh wait...we will get some...THURSDAY! Hang in there Mandy & Harper!

Jenni Carnes said...

The new wife will babysit for free as many times as necessary so as to avoid like treatment with the video games sometime in the future!! I will repay my husband's debt!!

Adrienne said...

Dane was with Aunt Ade, the live-in babysitter, of course!!

Anonymous said...

I can't wait to read all about Baby Girl's grand arrival! Maybe Jeremi can bring you a laptop to the hospital so you can blog while Jenni snuggles your new little darling! Just a thought...

:) Sheila

PS - And maybe he can remember to bring whatever cords and attachments might be needed to upload a billion pictures too!

Lindy said...

I am ready for birthdays part 3 (plus photos)