Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Long, long overdue birth-week story

I know, you'd think that if anything would get me out of my blogging funk, the birth of my little girl would be it, right?  So why has it taken me almost 2 months to write (and rewrite) this?  It's because there was so much bad around the one amazing thing, and I think I've been holding my breath to see how it would turn out.  I also initially wrote this post with graphic detail, but it occurs to me now that I don't want to remember the bad things in detail; maybe if I skim over it, it will fade.  And besides, it was starting to read like "Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day."  And that's no way to announce the birth of my daughter!

First, just so I don't get any grief from you, here are pictures of moi on Monday, March 10th at 39 weeks pregnant.  Tada!

This pregnancy was the easiest so far.  I had so much energy during the second trimester that I was easily able to do some full-time lawyering and stay up until midnight most nights editing pictures for my part-time photography business.  My blood pressure was only slightly elevated so I did not need to be on bedrest at all.  And while I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes, it was such a mild case that it was easily controlled with diet, and it had the positive effect of making it so I only gained 25 pounds.

And here's the crap part that I'm going to skim over:   On Tuesday, March 11th -- one day before I was scheduled to give birth to our daughter -- things went to shit.  All three littles had terrible colds and were generally inconsolable.  Roar was in terrible pain from a medication he was taking, was barely able to eat, and had lost 14 lbs in one week so we were planning to take him to the hospital that day (his pediatrician ended up getting him an emergency visit with a gastroenterologist at the hospital, so no trip to the ER was required for him).  But the part of Tuesday that I still have nightmares about?  I watched and felt my dad, who had flown in from Iowa the night before to help my mom take care of my kids when I went into the hospital, near death on the floor of my hallway.  Making the 911 call, seeing my mom holding my dad in the hallway, and hearing dad's vitals (bp 70/30, temperature 90) that day, is not something I'm going to forget. 

Here's dad looking healthier in January
But I said I would skim over the crap, so here's the positive spin:  My dad was admitted to a hospital near my home, and one day per month, a pediatric gastroenterologist practices there.  The one day that month just happened to be on Tuesday, March 11th, so when I had to take Roar there for his emergency appointment, it was convenient to stop and see my dad as well.  :)  I also realized that I have good neighbors who came running over to give out hugs and see if there was anything they could do when the ambulance and fire truck showed up in our neighborhood.  And was reminded again, that I have a dear, dear friend in our former daycare provider, Cindy, who sped right over for a hug, to take care of me and my children, and to give me peace of mind that my children would be well taken care of the next day despite the fact that my well-planned childcare plan had gone to hell.

Okay, enough with that!  On Wednesday, March 12th (my mom's birthday), The Husband and I got up early to check in at a different hospital for our 7:30 am c-section.  Other than nearly passing out and throwing up after an IV was inserted incorrectly (lordy, that pain was worse than anything I've experienced in my child birth experiences), pre-op went smoothly and it was nice to just sit and chat with The Husband.  (Thanks again to my mom for taking such good care of my dad, and for Cindy for taking care of my kids; because of them I was able to concentrate on the beautiful thing that was going to happen that day.)  The c-section went off without a hitch, and my sweet, surprise baby girl, Alessa Soundari (named after my mom), was born at 8:04 am.  She was 7lbs, 5 oz, and 19 inches long.

As things were, The Husband was not able to stay with us in the hospital the whole time, and at nights, Alessa and I were on our own.  But we made it through, and I was able to spend some time getting to know this little sweetie who had been kicking me for so long.  She was ready and willing to nurse (but not good at latching in a way that didn't make me want to scream), she slept well when she wasn't refluxing, and very rarely cried.  Despite some concerns over her reflux and my then sky-rocketing blood pressure that earned me a prescription for weeks of post-partum bedrest, we were discharged in two days.

It was sweet coming home to my other little ones who were still sick and thus unable to get close to their baby sister (thus, no pictures of them together).  They were fascinated by her, and not the least bit jealous.  Zachary kept saying "Mommy, she's so cute!"  Inserting gratuitous pictures of Samantha and Conor here:

So that's pretty much it.  We've survived the first month of sleeplessness, and things are settling down.  I was released from bedrest last week, and I'm very grateful that Alessa is such a laid-back little girl who is happy to sleep or just be around people.  We are totally, madly in love with this girl.


  1. I honestly don't know where to begin! It's almost unfair of you to put so much stuff in one blog post. How dost one process so much all at once?! OK, lemme try to start, since I missed your call earlier (SO MAD about that!)
    1. Your DAD! OMG! What happened? I know you don't want to go into the gory details, but geeeez louise! I know you must've been so scared. What a freaky and frightening thing to happen right before giving birth! Are you on Xanax? If not, I don't know how you got through those first few days. I'm so glad he's better now. And I want to hear about his recovery. Will be praying for him, as well!
    2. Alessa -- My GOD, what a sweet and gorgeous child? Those pictures you posted made my ovaries cry just a little bit. And that is saying something - as my ovaries are some hard and cold bitches these days. You are truly blessed, my friend. She just looks like she is going to bring you so much joy.
    3. I totally thought Conor was Zachary in that picture with the hat on!! TOTALLY! He is soooo cute!
    4. Samantha looks like a little GIRL! Not a baby! I can't stand it! When did that happen? And look at all her hair! OMG. What a darling! I wish we could talk because I want to hear all about her -- what is she like? What's her personality? I think she and Clair will be good friends, don't you? When can we come visit? (Forgive my stream of consciousness. I told you I had so much to say!)
    5. You looked UH-MAY-ZING at 39 weeks pregnant. How on Earth are you so freakin' cute? No wonder why you keep getting knocked up. It looks so good on you! I hate you! (No, I love you. But you know...)
    6. What did Roar get that made him lose 14 lbs? Can he give it to me?
    7. I miss you so much!! I'm so glad you blogged! I know you are UNDER it with all the little ones, so I totally understand why you are unable to communicate with the outside world. But just know I am waiting patiently for you to adjust to your new normal, and get back to not-so-regular blogging, and also to the occasional text or phone call or email. I miss you!
    8. You are officially the old woman living in a shoe.
    9. You are so blessed! I'm so happy for you!
    10. Kisses and hugs to all the children and one for Big Rory and one for you, too. In fact, you get the biggest ones. Xoxoxx.

  2. P.S. I'm serious about us coming to visit. Is there a holiday weekend coming up that might work? A Sunday of a 3-day-weekend would be perfect for us. And we will bring food!

  3. Hugs!!! Your photos are beautiful and I'm so glad to see this post. And I love A's middle name - the male version is my uncle's name.

  4. CONGRATULATIONS!! I am like Tanika, no idea how to respond to everything so I will just say - beautiful beautiful photos and beautiful children!