Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Locke's First Week

Today is Locke's 1 week birthday.  So far, he has been an exceptional baby!  Locke is a very good eater and nurses every 2 hours or so -- just as expected.  He sleeps pretty well at night, extending his nursing breaks to 3 or 4 hours (and sometimes longer!) which allows Mommy to get some much-needed sleep.  He has these long skinny fingers and toes and dark hazelish eyes.  He has adorable chubby little cheeks and moves his head around a lot, so Daddy has nicknamed him "Cheeks McWhiplash".  Today he had his one week check-up and Dr. Bridge thinks he is looking good.  He weighed in at 8 lbs 4 oz, which means that he is starting to gain weight now that my milk has come in.

Locke has to keep up with his big brother, who says that Locke is "our baby".  Ledger really seems to love his baby but is definitely starting to act-out for attention, which is really out-of-the-norm for him.  We hope that some normalcy will start to return to our family soon.

Finally, we're a family of FOUR!
Mommy with her little boys -- Ledger and Locke.
 Locke's first week of life has been very busy.  Since we got out of the hospital on Thursday morning, we have welcomed a lot of visitors. Which means there has been a lot of extra arms to hold our sweet little baby.  Here are a few pictures of all our family visiting Locke!
Oma and Dooda with Ledger and Locke.

Daddy and Locke enjoying their paci-naps.

BoomPa and Locke.

BoomPa and BoomMa with Ledger and Locke.

BoomPa with Ledger, Kinley, and Locke.

Aunt Emily with baby Locke.

Emily with Locke and Mommy with Kinley.

Grammie with Ledger and Locke.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Locke's Birth Story

After a busy working weekend, we spent Monday cleaning the house and running last minute errands before our planned cesarean section on Tuesday.  I had some mild on-and-off contractions throughout the day, but nothing that stayed consistent.  Early Tuesday morning, I woke up to some stronger contractions that really kept going for a while.  I was awake from 1 a.m. to 3 a.m. and when the contractions finally stopped, I was able to sleep comfortably until my alarm went off to get us moving at 4:30 a.m!  We showered and loaded the car and arrived on time to the hospital for our 5:30 a.m. check in time.  We walked right into the registration area where we were officially checked in and then sent to the sixth floor.

We were met by a labor and delivery nurse who quickly got us into a room, got me changed into a hospital gown, and started strapping me into monitors.  She drew blood for blood work, placed an IV catheter, and went over lots and lots of lots of paperwork.  At this point, I expressed my desire to avoid any codeine products (including hydrocodone and oxycodone) because they make me really nauseous and typically cause me to vomit.  Knowing that I would be dealing with significant abdominal pain, the last thing I wanted was to be vomiting and using those sore muscles.  My mom was able to join us in the prep room while we waited for things to get set up for surgery.  We were visited by the anesthesiologist, a surgery resident, and another two or three nurses.  Everyone expressed some surprise/concern at my plan to try to avoid traditional pain medications, which started to increase my own anxiety over this decision.  After a fairly long wait, we finally had to ask my Mom to go to the waiting room and Chris was sent into a dressing room to change into his scrubs.

By 7:10, I was walked into the surgery room.  I can't describe how strange it is to WALK into the surgery room and have a nurse help you climb onto the surgical table.  Again, I was hooked up to all sorts of monitoring devices and the anesthesiologist began prepping me for my spinal block.  The lidocaine used for a numbing agent prior to the block was pretty stingy, just as I knew it would be.  But, it worked and I had no idea what Dr. Marek was doing back there until she said OK, you are probably going to start feeling warmness in your legs now.  By 7:15 a.m. my spinal block was in and my legs were getting warm and heavy.  I was moved into a laying position and surgery nurses started prepping my surgical area.  I could feel them pushing and pulling on my abdomen, but couldn't move at all and when they tested my sensitivity, I couldn't feel a thing.  Dr. Boo and his team of doctors walked into the room around 7:25 and with a few reassuring words, we were headed into surgery.  The nurse called incision time 7:35 a.m. which is the only way I knew that they had made an incision at all.  I could feel some pushing and tugging and two minutes later, at 7:37 a.m.,  Dr. Boo announced that we had a big, healthy baby boy.  He carried him over to the nursery nurses in one corner of the surgery room and Chris went with them to see him get cleaned up and snap his first pictures.  I barely glimpsed him as he went by, but he looked like he had dark hair.

Happily, only a few minutes later, they brought the baby to me and let me hold him on the surgical table.  Since I barely got to hold Ledger before he was whisked to the NICU, this was a big important change for me.  We were also able to take a few pictures of Mommy and Daddy with the new baby.

Chris then went into the attached nursery room where the baby was weighed and worked up.  With the important business of a baby being born, I tried to keep myself distracted by paying attention to the conversation of the doctors in the room.  (The topic of discussion was wild boar hunting in Texas and Oklahoma.  lol.)  I had a mild reaction to some of the medications where I became flushed and hot and also started developing pain in my right shoulder.  The anesthesiologist quickly gave me some medicine to correct the flushing but told me that the pain was a referred pain due to the pressure on my uterus and would probably persist even after surgery was done.  (She was right)  Dr. Boo had agreed to do a little extra tuck during surgery to get my incision to lay flat -- and if it helps my jeans fit a little better in the future, then all the better.  That little "extra" meant that suturing the incision took longer than usual, but by 8:15, I was rolling into the recovery room where the baby and I would be monitored until we were deemed fit to move into a mother and baby suite.  During this time, we had a chance to get a good look at our son and I got my first chance to try to nurse.  He's got long fingers and long toes and a head full of short, dark hair.  He weighed in at 8 lbs 15 oz and 21 inches long.

Chris went out to the lobby to introduce our youngest son to the awaiting family - Oma Korey, BoomPa, and Grammie Pam.  (We only have pictures of Oma and Ledger, but hopefully I'll add more soon.)  Everyone was very excited to meet our baby and anxious to find out if we had finally decided on a name.  We officially announced him as Locke Steven Michel.

By noon, my spinal block began to wear off and the pain began to set in.  We took a few pictures before things started to feel too bad.  The rest of my hospital stay will be documented in a separate post to spare the general public the details!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

The Last Hurrah

This week we have been taking full advantage of the gorgeous weather to have a bit of a last hurrah! We are still planning on a Cesarean section on Tuesday.  As you can see from the picture above... I'm pretty huge and definitely FEELING it.  My last day of work was Friday and my body is looking forward to a few days of rest before the baby arrives.  Wait, what am I saying??  REST??  Not likely!

On Tuesday, temperatures got all the way into the 80s and we decided to grab some ice cream and take it to the park to feed the ducks.  Unfortunately, we weren't the only people with that idea.  The ducks were FULL and not very interested in any more bread.

This weekend, we've managed to talk my Dad into coming to visit a little early and working on our back fence.  It's been an eyesore since we first moved into this house and we've just been waiting for the right time to get that project done.  Well, since our backyard neighbor called and offered to pay half for the repairs, we decided that it's finally the right time!  As usual, Ledger was a very big help.  BoomPa is very patient with him and they are just the best of buds when they are "fixing".