Whew, it's been quite a week. Our little sweetheart is one week old today. Our life is pretty nuts right now. We are, unfortunately, experienced in the Level II nursery...Bryce is camped out in the same spot that Connor was 2 1/2 years ago. My life is broken down into 3 hour segments.....feed Bryce, pump, wash the pump, deliver the milk, pass time for an hour, repeat. In the middle of all that, I am also trying to be a wife and a mother to Connor as well. It is not easy. I'm exhausted. I want Bryce out of here so we can be a family. I don't want to choose between my boys any more...but I have a feeling we'll be doing it for a while longer.
As many of you readers know, we received a shock when, about 30 minutes after delivery, we received the news that our baby most likely had Down Syndrome. We had no clue. I will save this part of the story for another post. That post is going to take some time, thought, and tears. I think I can share his birth story, though.
On Monday, July 30th, I had a doctor's appointment. I was about two and a half centimeters dilated, and was feeling a little nauseous. Even though I wasn't having many contractions that morning, I kinda had a feeling it was coming soon. My goal had always been to make it at least until August 1st, when I'd be 34 weeks. That evening, my contractions started getting more frequent and painful. I'd been to the hospital quite a few times with false alarms, so I didn't go in that night. My contractions were strong, but still not regular (they didn't get regular with Connor until late in the labor process either). I took one of the pills I was on for contractions and went to bed. I actually slept about 4 hours, but then I woke up at 3:30 in a lot of pain. Finally at 5:00 am, I decided to go in. I still wasn't convinced it was real (for some reason), so Mike did not go with me. We didn't want to wake/do anything with Connor until we knew if it was real. By the time I got checked in at the hospital, I was in excruciating pain. If this wasn't real labor, there was something majorly wrong with me :)
They finally checked my cervix at about 5:45 and the nurse went to get a second opinion. She probably couldn't believe I was already dilated 5 cm....but I was. I called Mike to arrange something for Connor, and they moved me to a delivery room. Time is a little fuzzy, but as I waited for Mike to get there, I labored hard. There is a wonderful nurse named Amy (who had been one of the people with me during one of my false alarms) who just came in to sit with me, since I was an orphan mom with no husband there :) My mom also arrived to be with me. By probably 7:30 I was up to 9 cm and really feeling like I had to push. They gave me a dose of medicine to slow my labor until Mike and the anesthesiologist could get there. They also gave me a dose of narcotics that took the edge off. I was literally holding the baby in at that point. The anesthesiologist gave me an intrathecal (a shot that goes into the spinal fluid that somewhat numbs/eases the pain for about 2 hours), and then we had to wait for my doctor to get out of a c-section. Mike had also arrived by this point. It was seriously crazy...I could have delivered probably 45-60 minutes before I did. They just made me comfortable and then I had to wait. Finally, about 8:20 or so I was feeling the need to push again. My doctor finally arrived, broke my water, and 3 contractions later, Bryce James was born at 8:40 am. I wanted him out so badly, I pushed like a mad woman :) It was such a whirlwind. 4 hours earlier I didn't even know if I should go to the hospital!
When you have a preemie, you don't know if you'll be able to hold them right away or not. With Connor, the doctor literally cut the cord and instantly handed him off to the NNP (neonatal nurse practitioner). My doctor delivered Bryce and told me she would put him on my tummy right away like everyone else gets to do. Mike was even able to cut the cord (which I didn't discover until later). The NNP checked him out and then let us hold him for probably 5-10 minutes, which was really nice. They then took him to the nursery, and Mike was able to follow him down there. It was shortly after this that we saw some things that made us think of Downs, and the NNP came in to tell us she was suspicious as well--again, there will be a blog about this sometime soon.
So, there is the story of how our little man came into the world. It was hard to imagine loving another one as much as Connor, but he of course has completely stolen our hearts.
Take care! Julie