Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Two Boys!

Welcome Oliver Wesley!

I just finished typing out my (exhaustive) birth story for Oliver. I figure I wrote a novel for Sebastian, couldn't let Oliver feel slighted, eh? So here it is, if a few days late!
Oliver’s Birth Story:

On Wednesday evening, March 10, I started having regular contractions (again) about every 1-3 minutes apart from 9-11pm. They felt a bit different than usual, but I wasn’t sure whether to call the midwives. I went up to take a shower to see if they’d slow down or stop. Got out of the shower at 11ish, and while the contractions had slowed down some, they hadn’t stopped. After I sat on the couch again for a bit, they picked up. I decided to call at 11:30 to see what he midwife suggested. Paula was on call, and said that I should probably come in to get checked. She said that if I waited too long and was too close to delivery by the time I got there, I wouldn’t have time to have an epidural, and I really wanted to be sure I could.

So we called my parents, and told them that we needed to go to the hospital, and that we might have the baby tonight or tomorrow, or we might be coming home. Pappa came over to stay with Sebastian (who had been asleep since 7:30 or so), and off we went. We hit every red light on Route 7 on the way to the hospital, but the contractions seemed to have slowed down again, so it wasn’t a big deal. We got to the Birthing Inn around 12:45am on March 11; got set up in triage, hooked up to monitors, etc. Oliver’s heartbeat was strong and steady, as usual, but the contractions seemed to have petered out during the drive over. Blah! My midwife Paula came in and checked me, and I was 4-5cm dilated. She said we could go home if we wanted, or we could stay and see what we could do to get labor started again and have a baby!

We figured we were there, Sebastian was taken care of, we had everything in the car, we’d stay! Crazy! They got me admitted, IV started (since I wanted an epidural), and we waited to see if the contractions would pick back up. They didn’t, so we started a low dose of pitocin just to get them going again at 3am. At 4:30am, the contractions were regular again, and were getting painful, so I got my epidural started. It was quite painful at a few points getting it in, but then was working fine. The nurse, Christy, was great and helpful.

At 5am, I was still contracting regularly, so they stopped the pitocin and broke my water. That was very painful, despite the epidural. They said it might just need a bit more time to get set, but that they could turn it up if I was still in pain in a while. From 5-6am I tried to sleep some, but couldn’t sleep because the contractions were still pretty painful, and I was feeling a good amount of low pressure. At 6:10, the anesthesiologist came in to administer more meds to get the pain more under control, said they’d kick in about 10 minutes later.

At 6:30 am, I was still feeling a lot of low pressure/pain during contractions, but not as bad as before. Contractions were about 2 minutes apart, lasting about a minute. I waited until the nurse came in again to ask her to check me, because I was feeling a lot of pressure during contractions. It as a different nurse, because Christy’s shift had ended; the new nurse was named Mary. She came back in and checked at 7:30am, and she said, “Well, that’s why you’re feeling so much pressure! You’re complete!” I was still at -1 station, though, so she told me to get on my side and hopefully that would help him get into a better position.

Paula came in at 8:20am and checked me…he was “right there.” The nurse asked if I wanted to use the mirror, and I figured that I did last time with Sebastian, and it was pretty cool, so I said sure. They told me to give a practice push when I felt the next contraction (this was around 8:40am). I barely did anything…just kind of gave it a try (I was honestly a bit nervous it would hurt because I felt so much more than last time…it didn’t, though, just felt lots of pressure), and they told me to stop.

Everyone rushed to get dressed and ready, because his head was already visible! The most surprising thing was that it looked like Oliver had TONS of very dark hair already! Paula quipped that no WONDER I was feeling pressure, half his head was out already! She told me that we’d take it slowly so that I didn’t tear or anything, and we’d ease him out. Said I could push on the next contraction.

So the next contraction started, and I pushed to a count of 10. They told me to stop and I did, but his head just came out on its own, and the rest of him right afterward, SO quickly! His little hand was under his chin (his big brother was born head-and-hand first, too!), cord tucked into the crook of his arm (just like his brother!), with the cord was wrapped around his body. It was huge and thick, just like Sebastian’s was…we all compared it to a garden hose! Oliver Wesley Harman officially entered the world at 8:56am on March 11, 2010. That’s just under six hours from when they started the pitocin to get my contractions going again!

The nurse put him on my chest and they did all the initial evaluations there, which was nice, since I got to snuggle him and hold him. After the cord stopped pulsing, Ken cut it. We couldn’t believe all his dark hair! He was tiny and red and looked a lot like Sebastian, though I couldn’t believe he was ever that small! They took him to the bedside scale to get weighed and measured and further evaluated. He weighed 7 lbs. 6.6 oz, and measured 18 ½ inches long. He scored 9 and 9 on his APGARs. We checked him out and saw that he has detached earlobes (like I do, and Sebastian does), long fingers, and wide feet.

After he was all done and bundled up, I got him back and everyone cleared out of the room. We started our first breastfeeding session at around 9:20, and he latched on right away and did great. He’s an amazing little guy…really mellow so far, and so cute! He looks like a little doll! We’re in love, of course, all over again!

Following Birth:

They didn’t have a room available yet in the Postpartum wing, so we just stayed in the Labor & Delivery room until the afternoon. Mummo and Pappa and Sebastian came to visit at around noon. Oliver was in the nursery getting cleaned up when they arrived, so I got to say hi to Sebastian without the new little guy there at first. He was a bit wary (he’s always a bit nervous, it seems, in medical settings, and I don’t think he liked that I was in the hospital bed, even though I had changed out of the gown and into a regular shirt to make it easier for him). But he warmed up eventually and explored the room and played with my iPhone while we waited for Oliver to come back.

When he did get back, we introduced Sebastian to his little brother. He just kept looking at him and saying “Ooooh!” and pointing. He wasn’t sure at first, but after just a few minutes was wanting to touch him (pointing out his nose, his mouth, etc.), pat his head, and even give him kisses. It was adorable. Mummo got to hold Oliver, too, and we got a bunch of pictures of us as a brand-new family of four. They left after a little less than an hour, and Sebastian thankfully didn’t seem upset to leave, which is something we were worried about. He waved bye and we were left there with just Oliver again.

Around 2pm we were finally moved over to the Postpartum side, and got settled into our room there. The next few hours were just taken up by looking in awe at the new little guy, him nursing, and various check-ups for both me and him. Ken left around 6pm to go home to put Sebastian to bed and sleep there, since he didn’t get much sleep at all the night before (but more than I did!). I was nervous about being left alone with Oliver, but it turned out fine.

I managed to sleep a little bit in between feedings while Oliver went to the nursery (he was asleep anyway, so I figured I may as well sleep too), and before long it was morning and Ken was back. We told them that we’d like to take advantage of the option to leave the hospital after 24 hours, and not stay longer, since it would be easier for me to get help at home than being at the hospital alone. Also, hospital beds are NOT comfortable, and I was looking forward to busting out of the joint.

Of course nothing in hospitals is ever as simple as it should be, and it was almost 1pm before we were finally discharged. Our new nurse, Stefanie, was upset to see us go, because we were “cool” and she needed some laughter to get through her shift (apparently she had a few difficult patients already!). Ahh well, she helped us get on our way and out!

After a very silly trip to the pediatrician (long story, but basically they wanted us to have Oliver seen for the first three days after his birth, and since our pediatrician isn’t open on Saturdays, they consented having him seen twice on Friday (once at the hospital, and once in the afternoon at our pediatrician), we were on our way home!

We stopped at my parents’ house to pick up Sebastian, and he kept ooohing over his little brother, and wanting to see him and be near him all the time. While it’s proving to be quite difficult to deal with two very young children, we’ll manage and they’ll be the best of friends. So that’s our story, so far. Stay tuned for Sebastian and Oliver: The Continuing Chronicles!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Bedtime Routine

With Oliver's pending arrival "any day now," I thought it could be fun to post Sebastian's bedtime routine, as it is right now, with just one 19-month-old boy. Of course we'll do our best to keep things as normal as we can for him after the new arrival. But life with a newborn and a toddler will surely take some adjustment, and we'll all have to make some changes to make it work. So here we go, Sebastian's current bedtime routine:

Sebastian goes to bed around 7-7:30pm. Around 6 or so, we head up to Sebastian's room and play quietly. Usually he'll play with puzzles, read books, or make out with his stuffed animals (see recent blog post...) for a while, usually with Ken since he's been home lately. We sing songs, too (his favorites right now are "The Wheels on the Bus," "We Are the Dinosaurs," "Monster Boogie," "Itsy Bitsy Spider," and the "ABC Song," to which he tries to sing along)
, and sometimes dance around a bit . I usually take that time to fold his laundry and/or put away clean diapers. And of course I read with him, too, but I stay in the glider and don't get on the floor like I used to...who knows if I'd ever be able to get up again!

Around 6:30, we change his diaper and put on his nighttime one (which is hilariously bulky because we use cloth and he pees a TON at night and needs it double-stuffed) and pjs. Then he asks Ken for his toothbrush (he's obsessed with brushing his teeth), and first I brush his teeth a bit and then he wanders around with it on his own for a while, brushing away. When he's done he gives it back to Ken and watches at the door as he goes and rinses it. Then he "lets Daddy back in" and we play/read/do puzzles for a while longer.

Around 7 or 7:15 (or a bit later if he seems a bit wound up and needs some more cool-down time), we'll start giving him warnings about "two more books" or "one more puzzle" and "then it's time for Good Night Moon." Sometimes he'll whine and try to pretend like he's not tired (all the while rubbing his eyes and yawning...), but he always settles by the time we get a few pages into "Good Night Moon."

Ken dims the lights while Sebastian comes and sits on my lap. Then Ken reads the book (more like recites it, at this point...I think we could both "read" it in our sleep at this point!). Sebastian snuggles with his purple froggy friend (with the paci part cut off) while we read. When the book is done, he turns around and hugs me and gives me a kiss. Then it's Daddy's turn, and he gets a hug and a kiss. Then Sebastian points to his crib and Ken puts him down, turns on his music, puts one of his Carebears next to him, and puts on his blanket (which S promptly pulls off and puts by his head...the kid hates being covered with blankets...weird, huh?). Then we both tell him good night and sweet dreams, and leave the room.

Usually he goes to sleep without a peep, but sometimes he'll whine or cry a bit right as we leave, but I think he's just wanting to stay up and play, even though he's tired. He always settles within 5 minutes. I feel like we're really lucky that he's a good sleeper, and sleeps through the night until morning. He wakes up between 5:00 and 6:30am, usually, usually on the earlier side if he's teething or otherwise not feeling well. He very, very rarely wakes up at night, and even when he does, he settles himself down within minutes, usually, without any need for us to go in. He takes one nap a day, now, around noonish, and that lasts between 1-2 hours, usually more like an hour and a half, and sometimes as long as 2 1/2 hours.

I can only hope that Oliver is as good a sleeper. It'll be hard, at first, I'm sure, figuring out sleep routines for both boys, but then Oliver won't be ready for any kind of schedule for a few months yet. In the meantime, we'll try to keep as much of a sense of normalcy for Sebastian as we can, and I really think that having such a solid, well-established bedtime routine will help with that. So there you have it...bedtime at the Harman house, as of March 8, 2010. Who knows what tomorrow will bring. But for tonight, Sebastian is sleeping happily in his room, hopefully dreaming sweet dreams about slides and puddles and matchbox cars, and all those great little boy things. Sleep well, my sweet boy.