8.30.2013

Scott's Birth Story

If you are reading this, thank you. You must be bored to read an entire post dedicated to the day my son was born. It's important to me, of course, but I understand that it's not a big deal to anyone else. I want to keep these memories in written form which is why I write most of the things I post. Thanks for hanging around here! 

My birth stories don't involve any dialating, effacing, contractions (that I can actually feel), or any of that normal stuff. My body gets to 9 months pregnant and has no clue what to do next. I'm certain that if it were up to the natural order of things I would still be pregnant with Scott. I can't tell you how thankful I am for that. Not because I don't care for the labor pains...I had my stomach muscles sliced in half. That's not exactly painless. I just really prefer the surgical means of getting a baby out of my uterus. However, I'm sure that if I spent hours in labor FIRST before major surgery, I would not feel the same.

There's just something special about going in the OR pregnant at 6:58 and at 7:18 my innards are sprawled all over the place and the nurse is letting me kiss my swaddled sweet baby Scott for the first time.

Wheel me in. Slice me open. Get him out. Staple me up.
Bodda bing. Bodda boom.

I have thoroughly enjoyed both of my c-sections. They get such a bad rap. I think they are splendid---the planned ones. Yes, it's risky major surgery. Yes, it's more expensive. Don't GET me started on the dang bills we are STILL getting in the mail 8 weeks later. But I love it.

And I loved this one even more...I'll get to that in a minute. Let me start from the beginning.

Surgery was scheduled for 7, so we had to be at the hospital at 5. That means we had to leave the house at 4:15, so I had to be up around 3:15. Do you think I slept at all that night? No. Oh wait, that's no different than any other night while I was pregnant with Scott.

Brent and I walked out to the car around 4:20 Wednesday morning of July 3, and we heard this low and slow voice say, "Gooooood Luuuuck".

It was Dwight. Our elderly neighbor. Wishing us good luck for the delivery of Michael Scott. How perfect :). (A reference to The Office for those of you that have never watched the best show ever produced).

Dwight leaves his house every.single.morning at 4:30. He cranks up his old Ford F-150, sometimes has to crank it more than once, and he leaves at 4:30 on the dot. I guess he has a breakfast club at Waffle House? Apparently he hangs out in the garage until 4:30 because that's where he was at 4:20 when he wished us good luck. Peeking his head through the broken glass window in the garage door. He was smoking, so there was a smoky haze wrapping around his head. Maybe a little bit creepy. But you have to know him. Sweet, sweet man that doesn't think it's weird at all to speak to your neighbors in the dark wee hours of the morning through a broken glass window.

So off we went to have a baby! We checked in to the hospital and within 30 minutes I was in a triage room getting prepped for surgery. This is the part where I almost passed out because the nurse tried to put the IV in the back of my forearm???  Actually, she dug and jammed that needle into my arm THEN realized it wasn't going to work there, so she dug and jammed in another place in my arm. I have absolutely amazing veins. Seriously. A decapitated caterpillar could put an IV in my arm and have success the first time. I don't know what the problem was. All I know is that I almost passed out. She was a sweet nurse. I felt bad for her. But MAN it hurt! She was thankful for the shift change. She switched me over to the daytime nurse really quick!

In the middle of the shift change (I guess all the nurses were in the hallway catching each other up) some man in scrubs walked into my room. Didn't knock, didn't introduce himself, just walked in and stared awkwardly at me. If he hadn't been in scrubs and had a name tag, I would have called for hospital staff because he was super weird. He asked me what I was allergic to, told me he had never paralyzed anyone, and said he would see me in a few minutes. Oh...so you must be the one who is going to stick a very large needle into my spinal fluid to temporarily paralyze me from the chest down. Nice to meet you too. I feel very safe in your care. That must be why the nurse at the front desk collecting our co-pay said, "You'll only be charged more if you want a different anesthesiologist." I considered it because paying any extra amount sounded life-saving.

Just a few minutes before 7:00 am the nurse wheeled me down to the OR. I love that moment. It's the small span of time between "let's get this over with--I'm ready to see my baby" and "OH MY GOSH I can't do this. I'm such a wuss. SOMEBODY HOLD MY HAND!!!" It's that surreal moment when I can truly relish the fact that in a matter of minutes my life is going to drastically and wonderfully change and I am ecstatic.

I left Brent in the hallway to get scrubbed in and I went in to the OR to see that crazy anesthesiologist again. I was nervous and apparently it was written all over my face. All the nurses were trying to make small talk to keep my mind off things. Small talk just makes it worse. But in all that small talk the nurses discovered the baby's name is Scott and they got all excited. Guess why? The awkward anesthesiologists name is Scott. He wasn't thrilled at all, as you can imagine. But I felt slightly more at ease knowing he shared a name with my soon to be born son.

I sat up, hung halfway over the table like I didn't have a watermelon in my way, hugged the nurse like she was my momma, and trusted that Scott (not my son) knew what he was doing as he put the needle in my back.

Ahhh...the absolute relaxation after you get a spinal.

My doc made sure I was good and numb, they let Brent in, and the surgery began. All I could see was the blue sheet they had hanging in front of my face, so I kept asking Brent to keep me updated. He just stood there and complimented me on my fabulous looking guts. Then he casually said, "I can see him." Like, just no big deal. WHAT? YOU CAN SEE HIM? SERIOUSLY? ALREADY? WHAT DOES HE LOOK LIKE? DOES HE HAVE HAIR? IS IT CURLY? WHAT COLOR IS IT? ARE HIS EYES BLUE? Poor thing, all he could see was a bloody mess of body fluids. And before I knew it, I heard the doc say, "We're about to have a baby." It happens so fast. Milliseconds later I heard those sweet first cries and just loved it. But I still couldn't seen him. Ugh. The sweet nurse anesthetist (an old man who stood by my side the whole time and took such good care of me) told me to keep my eyes on the scale (the one thing I could see other than the blue sheet) because they would soon be weighing Scott and I would finally see him for the first time.

Oh, but THAT didn't happen because you know whose butt was in my face?! The awkward anesthesiologist's. You better believe I picked up my nearly numb left arm and shoved that hiney out of my way and somehow formed a slurred but complete sentence, "I CAN'T SEE MY SON!"

7 lbs 7 oz of handsomeness. Then they swaddled him up, brought him to me, and I gave him his first kiss and told him how much I love him. The doc let Brent and Scott stay in the OR with me while they stuffed everything back into place and stapled me up. I loved this c-section so much better. When Lily was born, the nurse immediately took her and Brent to the nursery after I saw her. But this time, I got to hang out with Brent and Scott and have a moment to ourselves (with about 10 other hospital staff) before I went to recovery.



There wasn't much to recovery. I just laid there and kept staring at the clock to see how long I had been in there. Just like when a college professor tells you he is going to let you out of class 10 minutes early and then doesn't; don't tell me recovery is only 45 minutes if you are going to keep me in there for 46 minutes. I will get antsy! I was so anxious to see the big sister and hold Scott for the first time. The nurse gave me my pain pump full of the WORST pain medicine in the world. I wanted Morphine. She gave me Dilaudid. I've never had it in the past, so I didn't really know what was to come. All I knew was that Morphine has always done the trick anytime I've had it.

Meanwhile the family kept waiting...







Sometime around 10ish am I was in a regular room and Brent and Scott came in with me. I finally got to hold my sweet baby. I had a strict rule that no one other than Brent and hospital staff could hold Scott until I did. A few minutes later, my dad came in to get the camera ready to capture big sister's first time to really see and hold him (she had already seen him through the nursery window). Then the rest of the family came in to ooo and ahh over Scott.


 


First pic as a family of four

Oh, she is SO proud of her little brother. Love the look on her face.
  
Opening her big sister gifts from Scott...an assortment of Disney princess stuff

 Meanwhile...I barfed every five minutes. It was horrible. I have never been so nauseous in my life. I was 100% sure it was the Dilaudid. I was bombarded by the nursing staff doing everything under the sun except taking care of my constant vomiting situation. Every nurse that walked in my room heard my demand for another pain killer. But they gave me 1,000 other reasons why I might be sick:

"It's the anesthesia. It usually makes people sick."
"We'll get you some Zofran."
"I'll get you a bed pan to hold in your lap. You want a wet rag too?"

I just quit pushing my pain pump. In that moment I preferred the pain to the barfing. Do you know how impossible it is to sit up in a bed and unavoidably use your abdominal muscles to upchuck after a c-section? IT'S NOT EASY. And in the midst of all that, the nurses kept asking me all kinds of questions and I was so nauseous that I couldn't make any noise come out of my mouth. I really needed Brent to talk for me but he was busy talking to family and such. There was just too much going on in that room. I was in some serious pain. The three doses of Zofran I took within the span of like two hours wasn't working. I was flat out exhausted and frustrated. So I just cried. And I got really ugly with a nurse. I didn't know how else to make it clear that I needed Morphine, not that devilish Dilaudid. She finally got a stinkin' clue and asked the awkward anesthesiologist to prescribe morphine.

And just like the flip of a switch, I was 100% better in no time. But all the tears and barfing made the family leave, haha! They came back later though :).

The rest of the hospital stay was very restful for me. I get some of the best sleep in a hospital. Ok, that might be due to the Percocet they gave me 'round the clock after my pain pump was out...but it's just so quiet and the bed is so comfortable (yes, I love an automatic bed) and the room is so dark. It's the perfect setting for good sleep. That's not normal, I know. Despite my above complaints about nursing staff, they were all really great and took such good care of me. Except that one nurse that kept checking my rear end for hemorrhoids...just whatever.

I came home on Saturday, July 6, to my mom, dad, and Lily who had made a yummy pot roast lunch. I ate and went to bed. And life began as a family of four...

Photo credits TSW Photography (my dad)




8.23.2013

Grace without guilt

I have a hard time accepting grace without guilt.

I've always known what a kind-hearted, selfless man I married. I've known it for at least 12 years. But having babies with that man has amplified what a kind-hearted and selfless man he truly is. Seeing him care for me, Lily, and Scott while handling all the other responsibilities he has on his plate is the closest picture of love anyone can display next to the love of Christ.

Brent does so much for me and his reason is always the same, "Because I love you".

But I always fear that one of these days he will resent me. He'll add up all the things he's done for me and find that he has more tally marks than I do and he'll resent me. I fear he will compare the two of us and find that I fail him miserably more than he fails me. I fear he's going to get so worn out giving and giving and giving to his family that one day he'll just throw his hands in the air and say "I quit." I fear he's always waiting for me to return the favor, to make equal the list of things we've done in one day.

He pours out all of himself for me and the kids day in and day out. It's all grace and it's all because he loves us. But it leaves me feeling guilty. Like I'll never be as good to our family as he is.

I must remember that he's not that kind of man. He's a man of great integrity, love, faithfulness, and understanding. But more than that, I must remember that it's not Brent doing all these selfless acts for his family. It's Jesus.  It's Jesus loving me through the hands and feet of Brent. That changes everything because the love of Jesus is unconditional. He doesn't offer grace with a side of guilt (and neither does Brent). Jesus will never resent me. Jesus will never keep a record of who's done more because He will always have more tally marks. Jesus won't compare because no one can compare. Jesus can't get so worn out that He quits. Jesus has a standard of holiness that I can't live up to without Him. Jesus will always offer me grace because that's just what He does.  He will continue to give me what I don't deserve because that's Who He is.

And His reason is the same as Brent's. Because He loves me...perfectly and infinitely more than Brent.

if we are faithless, he remains faithful--for he cannot deny himself. 
2 Timothy 2:13

8.20.2013

Sister is REAL (at least for a day)

Sister has an identity. Other than the fact that Sister's name is Toni yet we call her Sister...there's more to it and I think it's down right special and it kinda blows my mind...

A couple of weeks ago I had just stepped out of the shower and was getting dressed. Before getting in the shower, I put Scott on Lily's bed and asked her to watch him while I took a quick shower.

There's no quicker shower than the one you take when your 3 year old wanna-be-mamma is watching your infant child in her bedroom. I take advantage of the fact that she loves to help and, quite frankly, she's great help. She takes an active part in caring for Scott when I'm busy for a few minutes during the day. She reads, sings, laughs, dances, and doesn't flip out when he screams. She gives him his paci, whispers sweet things in his ear, and does her best to calm him down. But even in her great effort to help me out, I have visions of how quickly things could go down hill if I don't hurry with that shower.

I was in my room but could hear Lily talking to Scott. She was telling him every single made-up detail about Sister's pretend existence. If you don't already know, Sister is a make-believe friend that has been around for about 18 months. Lily forgets nothing. And there's been a lot of made-up stuff said in a little over a year about Sister. Lily had many many things to tell Scott about Sister.

I heard her say the word "heaven" and that caused me to pause and listen intently. What was Lily telling her brother about heaven and what in the world did that have to do with Sister?

"Sister lives in heaven. She used to be in mommy's belly."

No way. There is no way Lily remembers that! That can't be. But I was curious because it dawned on me that Sister showed up shortly after we lost the baby.

I didn't want to ask her about it in that moment. I waited until after nap time so she had plenty of time to forget what she was telling Scott about Sister.

"Lily, what were you telling Scott about Sister earlier? Who is Sister?"
"She's my sister. Sister is in heaven."
"Where was she before she went to heaven?"
"In your belly."
"Is Sister the baby we lost last year?"
"Yes."
"Is that why you talk about Sister all the time?"
"Yeah, I talk to her because she can hear me in heaven."

I'm sure I've mentioned it before, not only does Lily talk some crazy made-up stuff about Sister she also talks to Sister...actually, we all are obligated to talk to Sister by request of Lily. Now it makes a little more sense why Lily acts like Sister is so real and why she expects us to follow suit.

Because she is real. And she (or he) really is in heaven. And maybe Lily really thinks Sister can hear her if she talks to her.

Now I can't guarantee this is the story you'll get if you ask Lily about Sister today. Sister's identity has always been unclear. Her age fluctuates, her family members change, and her whereabouts are unusual. But at least for a day, Sister was real and Lily found it necessary to share everything about Sister with her brother.

8.03.2013

Scott's First Month

Our handsome little man. 

Fun Fact: My doctor told me you tied a knot in your umbilical cord some time while you were in the womb. That usually happens when the baby moves so much that a loop is created in the cord and the baby swims right through it. Maybe you'll be an Olympic swimmer one day?

Firsts: Everything is a first! Some of the big ones are: pool party (aka the redneck water park at our neighbor's house where you laid in my lap the whole time), fish fry, Sunday at church (you went to PBC to surprise Granny Rosie for her bday), surprise birthday party/trip to Bham (again, for Granny Rosie), first trip to a restaurant (Burrito Express), trip to Kiddie Carnival

News Headlines: Trayvon Martin/Zimmerman case, Edward Snowden gets asylum in Russia

 Favorite Toy/Activity: Watching the ceiling fan and lights, your floor gym

Mommy's Favorite: Your soft cheeks, how you smile when you are falling into deep sleep, your hands when you get startled (see pic), your wrinkly forehead

Daddy's Favorite: Watching the British Open with you, having a guy around instead of "being surrounded by girls all the time"

Lily's Favorite: Kissing you and playing with you

Milestones: Tummy time is becoming more and more successful. You are following sounds and are becoming more and more aware of your surroundings. At 3 weeks we moved you from the cradle to the crib, you move so much during your sleep and kept hitting your head on the side of the cradle. Many times you would wake up from having your face up against the side. Understandably, I got no sleep for worrying about you. Moving you to the crib this early wasn't what I planned, but it was for the best.

Weight/Length: At your first well-baby check up you were 8 lbs 2 oz and 20 3/4 inches long. I'm sure you are close, if not surpassing, 9 lbs now.

Like Mommy: Your hair is closer to my color and is showing a teeny weeny bit of a wave. I get more comments that you look like me rather than Daddy. Yay!

Like Daddy: You have Daddy's short big toe, but the rest of your toes are from Mommy.

Like Big Sister: We lay you on your back, but you always manage to roll to your right side with your hands curled up around your face. You enjoy listening to music/singing. Your sister constantly made noises the entire time she drank a bottle and/or slept. You aren't as noisy, but you do make the same sweet noises when you eat and sleep. You like to stare at the tag on your bouncy seat. Big Sister also had a thing for staring at tags.

Best Memory: When the docs said, "We almost have a baby" and your Daddy told me that he could see you. I was jealous and couldn't wait to lay my eyes on you and kiss your sweet face.

Biggest Challenge: Recovering from major surgery while keeping up with a 3 1/2 year old and caring for you. Thankfully, you are typically a good sleeper at night. I'm actually getting more sleep now that you are here than I did when I was pregnant with you. But let's not deceive anyone...Mommy and Daddy are still very sleep deprived! Another challenge is getting you to fall asleep for nap in your crib. You'd rather scream.

How we spend the day: You are eating every 3-4 hours. Just a few days ago we started giving you 4 oz and we're trying to make each bottle stretch a full 4 hours. Your schedule changes daily so there really is no routine, but Mommy likes to keep you on a eat, play, sleep schedule. You are getting up twice at night to eat usually somewhere between 11-1 and 3-5. Mommy usually takes the first one and Daddy takes the second. You are up for the day between 8-9 and you eat, play, and sleep. While you are awake Mommy and Lily talk to you, sing to you, dance with you, and read to you. Lily loves to get toys out of your room to try to keep you awake. She LOVES it when you are awake! Most nights are spent watching Friday Night Lights with Mommy and Daddy as you drink your last bottle and drift off to sleep.

Nicknames: Scotty 2 Hotty the WWE wrestler. You can thank your Daddy for that one!


Funniest Moment: Watching your sister change your dirty diaper in the hospital



How we celebrated your first month: We had a lazy Saturday at home. Daddy and Lily are both under the weather with allergies or some sort of cold, so we didn't venture out of the house.

This is your "I'm done eating" face. You stick your bottom lip out and refuse the bottle. 

This is your smile while falling asleep! Do you know how many times I took pictures to try to capture this? Too many to count. 

Bis Sis is already a prankster.

First time at the Kiddie Carnival (Lily's first time too)

Pretty sure this is my favorite pic of you all month. You are SO handsome! 

Bless you!

The princess loves to read to you

These are your "You just scared the mess outta me" hands. They CRACK me up! 

She ADORES you, Scott! We all do :)

Lily has been begging me to get in your crib ever since we put it together back in April. I told her she had to wait until you were here. 


You and your buddy Parker. He was born 5 days after you. God has been so gracious to Parker's mommy, Katie, and me. He allowed us to walk through the sorrow of miscarriage together and then walk through the joy of pregnancy together. Katie is a very special friend of Mommy's and I know you and Parker are going to be best buds! 



We love you little guy! Your life has completely lit up our world! We are thankful you are healthy and happy. As with your sister, we pray daily that you will know the Lord. He is the One who made you and knows you and loves you more than any other. You are the perfect addition to our family and we look to the future with such joy to raise you. We are blessed, buddy! 

Happy one month, Scott!!!

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