Saturday, November 15, 2014

The Birth of Bo Matthew Lanter

Before all of the details are lost I wanted to capture the very exciting and very emotional weekend that our little Bo made his entrance.  In the back of my mind I was really hoping I wouldn't get to my due date.  Jake was born at 38 1/2 weeks and since I was planning to try for VBAC I knew I couldn't be induced so every day past my due date would be one closer to the planned c-section on September 18th. 

Mamas have a sixth sense about things I think.  I was really savoring all the things I knew would change, at least for a little while, after the baby came.  It was such a special nearly 2 years with my little Jake, 2 years he surely won't remember, but that changed me forever.    I felt a lot of anticipation leading up to the 37 week mark, knowing that was considered full term it was like in my mind, it was ok, this baby could come anytime after that.  I packed my hospital bag and was on Brian to do the same as well as get the carseat in the car.  I was over at my parents house on Thursday and my Mom said she could tell I was ready just by looking at me.  I struggled with varicose veins during this pregnancy and then my ears starting getting plugged all the time because of extra fluid.  The constant echo in my head was starting to bother me.  She even said "This weekend would be a great time to have a baby", knowing that my sister and her husband were actually in town from NY to run the Hood to Coast. 

On Friday morning Jake and I got going like any other day.  I didn't have any plans for us so we walked (he rode his bike) to Starbucks about 12 blocks round-trip and it took about 2 hours, no joke. It didn't matter, we had nothing else to do! It was all about Jake and I'm so glad it was that way.  Brian got home early from work and we went down to Hopworks Brewery and sat outside.  Jake played in the dirt, I envied people's ice cold beers, and looked at the family next to us with their toddler boy and baby in a car seat and thought, "that will be us soon"….I wasn't thinking tomorrow.

After dinner we went home, got Jake to bed, watched some TV and I went to bed around 9.  I laid in bed and was feeling the baby move all around.  I loved that feeling so much and that time of night was always active.  He was really active and I remember even thinking then that he could be laying next to us just as easily, I think I even said something like that to Brian.

At 12:30 I woke up to go to the bathroom.  I didn't turn out the light and when I was headed back to bed I felt a drip on my foot, when I laid down I felt more like a gush and thought, "oh my gosh, is my water breaking?" So I went to the bathroom and turned on the light and all I saw was red blood, on my underwear and in the toilet bowl.  That was scary.  I said to Brian right away, "Brian, I'm bleeding, we need to go to hospital."  The next several minutes are a bit of a blur.  Brian flew out of bed and put some clothes on, I am pretty sure whatever was laying next to the bed.  I had packed my bag for the hospital and made a list of last minute items that I started grabbing.  I got dressed, I have no idea in what.  I found the number for labor and delivery that you are supposed to call if you have questions or to tell them you are coming.  We didn't call when I went into labor with Jake, but I did call this time.  I was so scared and I wanted someone to tell me it was ok.  I talked to a triage nurse who asked me questions about the amount of blood, how far we lived from the hospital, if I was having contractions, and if I could feel the baby moving.  I told her the blood flow was off and on, that we lived across town, I wasn't having contractions, but that I could feel the baby moving a lot still.

Meanwhile Brian had gotten Jake out of his crib, grabbed some clothes (which turned out to be more pajamas) and was getting him in the car. I did grab his doctor kit (thinking he might need something to play with) and also the diaper bag to give my parents.  I called my Mom as soon as I got in the car for them to meet us at the hospital.  She didn't seem scared which made me feel better too. Jake was really sleepy, but once he woke up you would have thought it was the middle of the afternoon.  We were all in the car within 15 minutes and on our way to the hospital.  I know I didn't say much, but Jake talked most of the way, pointing things out - bridge, tunnel, etc.. I was really scared, I think I said that a few times.

When we got to the hospital we parked and took the wrong elevators (again, also did with Jake)…finally made it to labor and delivery and once we checked in the triage nurse I had spoken with on the phone was the first person we saw when we came through the doors.  We got in one of those tiny rooms, I changed into a gown and they got me hooked up to everything for monitoring the baby, who sounded just fine.  I asked who the doctor on duty was from my clinic - it was actually MY doctor.  Such incredible luck in a scary situation.  Once we got settled my parents came, they took Jake, so much was happening in the room I am not really sure how it all worked.  I just know I wasn't worried about him.  I mean it was the middle of the night, my parents had to take him, they didn't have a car seat I don't think, but we knew we were going to at least be admitted for the night and that is when they left.  (Taking Brian's car with carseat :) My doctor said she would be very surprised if we didn't go home with a baby eventually too.  I knew we were going to have the baby that night as soon as I got up from bed to use the bathroom.

So it was just Brian and I and what seemed like a lot of doctors and nurses, they were monitoring me and the baby.  I could feel I was still bleeding and I told them, they would check every now and then, but said everything was fine, the flow wasn't too heavy.  My doctor thought it was a placental abruption, but it very difficult to be sure.  She did an exam and I wasn't dilated. She had an ultrasound to check fluids and they weren't changing so she didn't think my water broke.  Many times with an abruption it can jump start really fast labor.  I had planned to try for a VBAC, my doctor thought I was a great candidate and really wanted that for me.  She said we had some time to wait and see if I went into labor.  They still had an anesthesiologist come in to take me through everything, which is totally routine in case of surgery, but the minute he mentioned the chance of having to go under I knew I didn't want it to get to that point.

I really wanted a vaginal delivery, but in the event that it was unsuccessful or the baby went into distress and it became an emergency I DID NOT want to miss the birth of my baby. I told my doctor I didn't care if I had to have another c-section, I said lets just go now.  I didn't want an emergency and my doctor said she would not let it get to that point.  She was making arrangements to take me to a labor and delivery room (which I am yet to get to see), the labor nurse came in to introduce herself, and we were about to get moved.  Thats when they changed the dressing that I was laying on and my doctor's face changed.  There was a lot of blood, I could feel it, but it was hard to tell how much.  She turned to us and said, on second thought, I think we might just go to the operating room, and I think within about 7 minutes we were there.  She told me not to be scared but that they were going to work with some haste to get me in there.  I was shaking, Brian still seemed so calm.  The baby's heartbeat was so loud on the monitor and I just tried to focus on that.  When I had Jake, even though it was surgery and unexpected, it was a lot more calm.  I walked to the operating room, we watched tv before, it just didn't seem so scary.  They wheeled me down to the operating room and Brian got all changed and waited in the hall.  If  I was nervous, I would still rather be me than the one waiting in the hall.  The room was all abuzz as they got everything ready.  It was all women again, except the anesthesiologist.  They sat me up and gave me the spinal.  They laid me down and got everything ready on me, the screen went up and they brought Brian in.  After a few minutes they started to test me for the numbing. Out of everything that happened, I still feel 3 months later this was the worst part.  He used pinching and cold swabs to see if I was numb up far enough…I was not, but you start to question yourself.  I was pretty sure what I felt was a pinch, not just pressure…but what if I was wrong? The anesthesiologist started talking to my doctor that it wasn't moving fast enough.  My doctor's voice sounded urgent, she wanted to move, I was still bleeding.  She asked what the options were, he said he can't give another spinal, so either an epidural (if she thought there was time) or he was going to have to put me out.  Thats when I really started to shake.  She said do the epidural NOW, so they undid all of the dressing, took Brian out, dropped the screen and sat me up again.  The epidural went in and instantly I felt the numb I should have felt the first time.  Somewhere in there I guess there was a shift change and a different anesthesiologist was with me the rest of the time.  Only significant because I liked him better, he seemed more relaxed, he was playing music, and he was by my head, the only person I could kind of see besides Brian.  I was finally numb….really numb.  They brought Brian back in and got started.

It took a little longer this time, they had to get through scar tissue from the first surgery.  When they got to my uterus she said it all looked fine, which was a relief.  Even though we probably won't have more children, I didn't want the option taken from me on that table.  There was some tugging and moving, I could tell they were close to delivery, but then something happened and my doctor said to hold up.  Turns out that because of the abruption, my placenta tried to deliver before the baby and she had to hold it down while they sucked out the baby.  It all still happened very quickly.  She said "Who is going to tell you the sex of the baby?"…Brian did not want that pressure, we said "you are" and she said "it's a boy." He was crying right away.  He had so much hair and was so little.  Brian was with him to get weighed and everything and then they wrapped him up and brought him over.  When Brian was on his way back to be by my head he got a glance of a bit too much surgery action…a lot of blood, and felt light-headed.  He had to sit down and a nurse got him some apple juice.  My guts were on the table, but Brian needed some juice.  Hilarious.  The nurses were all so young (at least thats what I remember) and worried about him and about him dropping the baby so one of them brought him over.

It was Bo at 6 lbs 10 oz, 20 inches long - born at 3:20 am.  Our sweet little son.  He was early, he was dramatic, but he was here and he was so cute and loved.  It was less than 3 hours from when I woke up to go to the bathroom at home and we now had 2 kids.  What?? Later I would find out that I had a 10% abruption and lost quite a bit of blood.  I never had to have a transfusion though, thank goodness.

Brian went with Bo to get his bath and stuff and I would see them both in recovery for skin-to-skin and feeding.  I laid on the surgery table getting put back together.  I was shaking really bad from the epidural and the nerves and that was awful.  My blood pressure was really low, but they couldn't even get an accurate measure because my arms were shaking so much.  I wanted the anesthesiologist to talk to me, suddenly I felt very alone.  I asked how much longer, I wanted out of there, the scary part was over and I wanted to snuggle my baby.

It was Saturday morning, a sunny August day and until Tuesday morning we would call St.Vincent hospital our home.  I hadn't slept and wouldn't sleep until that night.  I was excited and it was still too surreal.  I loved being in the hospital again.  I had some of the same nurses, one was a family friend that we had for two days. They are all so incredible.  I love everything about being there, even recovering from surgery. I love ordering my own meals, I love the adjustable beds, I love how nice everyone is. I love the ice cubes…seriously those little pebble like ones, make everything better.  I love the quiet little newborn in the rolling bassinet.  I love the excuse to not do anything but snuggle.

  My Mom was the only one that came on Saturday, it was actually really nice.  My Dad stayed with Jake and Brian went home to get himself some stuff since he hadn't been able to pack.  We had basically been up all night so it was just nice to relax and not have a lot of visitors.  It was such a happy day after such a stressful night.  Jake came up on Sunday with my parents to meet his brother.  He was definitely more interested in the gifts that "Bo" brought him.  My Dad got to meet Bo.  Auntie Danielle was able to come up too.  My sister and Sammi were in town and Monday they got to come meet their nephew.  It was really special to have them there. As long as we are on opposite coasts it will be very rare that we get to see each other's kiddos within days of their birth.  The fact that they got to come to the hospital was just amazing.  The Powells came to see us and also Blair and Tammy and Jenna with Ashley.  The last night Brian went home to be with Jake and my Mom stayed the night with me which was fun.

During those early days Bo was just a sweet little bundle.  He slept all the time, all wrapped up like a little burrito.   He was so small, even less than 2 years later it was still shocking. He was a good eater from the beginning. I got really engorged and we had a bad latch for a while, but we got things figured out.  He ate often, about 12 times a day.  He liked to be held, but needed Bo time all swaddled in his bassinet too.  Brian and I really wanted to learn how to swaddle this time and we did get better at it, but thankfully all the nurses are masters.

I was ready to go home when it was time, but I was sad that the time I had looked so forward to ( I seriously love the hospital stay and the anticipation of a new baby) was already over.  Now we would go home, a family of four and figure out this new gig out.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Summer in Sunriver

With a baby due in early September we decided our family vacation this year would be to Sunriver.  We knew we would be spending several long weekends down there, but we wanted to make a point of Brian taking a full week off and us making a real trip out of it.  It turned out better than we could have imagined and is one my top vacations of all time.  We left to spend the July 4th weekend down there and Auntie Steph and Uncle Sammi made last minute plans to come to Portland, which became Sunriver too!  It was such a treat to have them there, not knowing the next time I was going to see my sister I was so excited they could come.  My parents were there and the house was full of lots of laughs and celebrating of Stammi's recent engagement.  After a fun long weekend everyone left except the 3 of us.  We spent the week golfing (Brian), riding bikes, going to the pool, playing in the dirt, looking for fancy rocks, scooter riding, squirrel and deer hunting, bubble blowing and everything in between.  We visited breweries for dinner, sat on the deck to relax during nap time and made it feel like a true vacation.  One of my favorite nights we rode bikes out into the meadow on kind of a warm stormy evening.  We took Jake to the stable and the airport, both of which he found less exciting than a practice putting green…and then ate burgers on the lawn in back of the lodge while Jake played.  It was simple and special and great end to our time together.  

At the end of the 10 days I wasn't ready to come home so Jake and I spent another week there, the last few days of that with my Dad who then gave us a ride home! Jake and I then came home for a week and headed down for one more week of fun with my parents.  We had the best time and Jake was in heaven every second.  Jake and I had our little routine…every morning we would go out and look for the rocks (that I would hide the night before), then around 9:30 we loaded up the bikes with the chariot with all of our pool stuff and ride down to the SHARC for their 10 am opening.  We played in the toddler pool, the sand area, the fountains, and the shallow end of the big pool.  As the Summer progressed Jake became more and more confident in the water, less afraid of getting splashed and more eager to "swim."  He still won't get his face in the water, but we started with a simply lean over to Mama from a sitting position to "jump" into the pool to him backing up for a running start to jump to me by the end of the Summer.  We had a snack at the pool and then rode home for a nice long nap (Jake) and then more play and dinner.  We had an awesome time and we got a great tan too…especially my little bronze baby.  

I am so grateful to have these memories in the Summer before we became a family of four.  I know it won't ever quite be like that again and it really was a special time.  I am so grateful that my parents bought this house that we can all spend time together in, so grateful that Jake can wake up and see deer out the kitchen window, so grateful that we can all sip wine on the deck in the sunshine, so grateful we are in the mecca land of breweries, so grateful to make memories in a place that has always been so special to me.