I was actually very surprised it was a boy! Even though I've been calling the baby a "he," I was fully expecting a girl. So when the doctor was holding him and I saw boy bits, I laughed. Paul is very proud, of course. What daddy wouldn't be thrilled to have two sons?
I know you're all itching for the details, so I'll give them to you. And I'm a very detail-oriented person, so you know this is going to be long-winded. (And by details, I mean - guys, you may not want to read.) And rambling, because my thoughts still aren't coherent.
We spent all day Wednesday at my parents' house. Paul needed to work on our lawnmower, and didn't have all the tools necessary to do so, so we hauled it out there. I should have known when the "simple" belt replacement became a major undertaking, complete with having to cut off and replace a pulley, that we'd be having a baby that night. (We had a similar minor-turned-major project we worked on the day Nathan was born.)
I'd been having contractions on and off all day Tuesday and Wednesday. I'd have several 10 minutes apart, but then I'd go an hour or two without any. And they'd be varying intensity, so I was getting a little frustrated. Come on already! I was tired of wondering, "Is this it?" About 4 o'clock Wednesday afternoon, I had 3 that were 10 minutes apart, and they were a little more intense. But then I didn't have one for 20 minutes. Then I had a couple more closer together. About 5 o'clock, I told Paul I'd been having some, maybe we should go home and start paying closer attention. He'd just finished the mower, so we loaded up and headed home.
As soon as we got in the truck, the contractions started coming 5 minutes apart. I was pretty sure this was the beginning of "the real thing," so we called his parents and had them meet us at our house. We finished packing the hospital bag, and both of us took a quick shower, and then headed to the hospital a little after 6. I had three contractions in the ER waiting room as we answered the million questions getting checked in. Finally an orderly comes around the corner in the office and asks, "Is she in labor?" When they told him I was, he immediately brought me a wheelchair and took me up to the delivery unit, leaving Paul to finish up the check-in process. Why it took someone that long to figure out to do that is beyond me.
By the time Paul got upstairs, I was changed into the sexy hospital robe and they were hooking up the baby monitoring equipment. The nurse checked me and told me I was dilated to a 6 - this definitely wasn't a false alarm. The nurse left to call my doctor. She came in a few minutes later and said, "Dr. Sinclair is in Kansas City. I'm sure she'll be back in time, but we're going to have you meet the on-call doctor just in case."
I had a moment of - I don't know if you'd call it panic, but I definitely was thinking, "You've got to be kidding me." I made it through a week of her being gone to Florida, only to have her here, but not able to get here? And then also, I was sick - my two worst "fears" seemed close to coming true: being sick and coughing a baby out, and not having my doctor there.
Meeting the on-call doctor didn't do much to alleviate my fears. He was really nice, don't get me wrong. But he was about my age. It's one thing, to have a man who's old enough to be your father delivering your baby. It's quite another to have someone your own age sitting between your knees. They checked me while Dr. Nichols was up there, and said I'd dilated another two centimeters. I refused to get out of the bed, for fear that gravity would bring the baby faster.
Never have I been so glad to hear my doctor's usual cheery "Hello, hello!" as she walked in the door. Paul said my relief definitely showed on my face. She checked me and said, "I feel nothing but head." She went to change, and I had a huge contraction. The minute she walked back in, they told me to start pushing, and the cheer-leading began from her and the nurses. "You're doing a great job." "You're so strong." "You're a great mommy."
I felt like I didn't know what to do, even though I'd done this before. She said push, and I pushed while the nurse counted to ten. They let me take one breath, then push again, and again. She told me to stop while she checked for a cord, and then had me do a set of pushes again, and it was over! I was like, "That was it?" I felt like I hadn't been really pushing (even though Paul told me later that I was purple, so apparently I was putting a little more into it than I thought).
This is the one part of delivery I wasn't happy with. After I had Nathan, they immediately put him on my chest. This time, the doctor handed him to the nurse and they took him over and checked him and weighed him before I got to hold him. I could hear him crying, but I couldn't even see him because of the rail of the bed. I don't know if they were worried about something, or if they just forgot I hadn't held him yet, but it was driving me crazy - especially not even being able to see him!
Finally they put him in my arms, and it became real. That 8 pound baby was out and in my arms! I was still incredulous that the delivery had been that easy. I didn't hurt! With Nathan I had torn a lot, but I didn't have a single tear with Jacob. The only thing that hurt was my tailbone, and I have no idea why. I'm glad I opted to not have pain medication, because I definitely didn't need it. And getting it probably would have taken longer than the entire delivery!
I think it was totally God, though. Had I torn, with all this coughing and this cold, it would have been REALLY painful. As it is, my stomach hurts more when I cough, mainly because the muscles I need to use aren't there!
Two hours after I had Jacob, I was able to get out of bed - on my own - to go to the bathroom. (The nurse was right there, just in case.) During the night I was able to walk the hall while they did his hearing test (after they unhooked me from that blasted IV). When my parents showed up to see Jacob the next morning, I was sitting cross-legged on the bed. My mom about fell over when she saw that.
Janice sent us a text message that morning and told us Nathan had woke up with a fever. I told Dr. Sinclair, and she said to schedule an appointment for him and they'd check him for the flu. Paul met Janice at the clinic later that morning, and called me about 11. I don't know what I was expecting to hear, but Paul told me that Nathan has H1N1, and I shouldn't see him for 5 days.
At this point, I still hadn't slept. I had taken an hour-long nap at my parents' house Wednesday afternoon, and it was nearly lunchtime on Thursday. So I cried. It wasn't that I was worried he was going to die - I don't think this H1N1 is nearly as serious as all the media hype - it was more that he'd think we'd abandoned him, and then we'd have a new baby, and he'd hate us.
After lunch, I finally got to take a nap. I nursed Jacob, and he fell asleep. The nurses took him to the nursery and told me that if he woke up, they'd hold him and take care of him. I took two Tylenol with codeine, and passed out for about 3 hours. You know it's been a good nap when you wake up and your pillow is soaked with drool.
Paul came back that evening. He'd gone home to shower and nap and feed the animals. He started coughing when he got back. We just figured it was from the cold damp weather. When Dr. Sinclair came in the next morning to check on us and circumcise Jacob, I mentioned Paul's cough. She called in a prescription for Tami-Flu for Paul as well, as a precaution.
We got home about lunchtime on Friday, and it was naps all around. Paul said he felt weird, and I was worried, but the weather, plus two nights in a hospital, the emotions of having a new baby and being worried about your sick two-year-old, and add a prescription side-effects list to that..... It would be enough to make anyone feel weird.
Then he started running a fever.
So we called his parents, and his Dad came and picked him up to go to the "infirmary" at their house. My mom came over to stay with me. And our family was thus divided for the next few days. We talked about whether Paul should go to the doctor, but we figured he already had the prescription, so basically he'd sit in the waiting room for two hours (and possibly pick up some other disease) only to find out that yes, he did have H1N1. Since he had the prescription already, we decided a trip to the doctor was pointless.
Saturday night I started running a fever. Initially, I freaked out. If I was getting sick, how could I avoid passing it to Jacob? (Although while nursing Nathan, I was sick several times and he never got it.) I called the nurses at the hospital, and they said that hand-washing is the best defense.
Then after Jacob fell asleep again after nursing, I realized that I was completely full. Still. And I recalled that being engorged can cause you to run a fever. So decided to try pumping and relieve a little pressure. I pumped 5 ounces! That may not sound like a lot, but for only having had a baby three days ago, it's a huge amount. My fever went away pretty much right away, only to be replaced by a hormone surge (hot flash). I laid in bed sweating, with no covers on and the ceiling fan running for the rest of the night.
Saturday and Sunday were fairly uneventful. Eat, sleep, nurse Jacob, and gab with my mother. It was tough being away from Paul and not getting to share those precious first days with him. Sunday I sent some clothes and Paul's phone charger out to him. I texted him to see if he needed anything else, and he texted back: "My bed house kids and wife." Which made me cry.
Monday morning I talked to Paul on the phone. He told me they were coming home that day. I was expecting them to stay another day (which would have been 5 days since Paul got sick), so I was overjoyed. But neither of them had had a fever for 48 hours, and Paul said they needed to be home.
When Paul walked in the door, I felt a huge rush of peace. Not that I'd been stressed out with having my mom there, but it just felt like once they were home, my world was whole again. Nathan had fallen asleep in the car. Paul carried him in, and I kissed Nathan's head. He opened his sleepy eyes and sighed, "Mommy." We sat in the chair and he just hugged me and cuddled with me for several minutes, like he was afraid I was going to leave. Then he saw all his toy tractors he'd been living without for almost a week, and he was a brand new little man.
So that's the birth story, plus some. I feel like I can't just talk about how his birth went, because Nathan and Paul getting sick plays into it so much - all the emotions. But we're all together again - that's what matters - and on the way to recovery.
Nathan meets Jacob. (He's pretty dis-interested most of the time, but every once in a while will come and pat his head or blanket. And tonight he asked to hold him for the first time - that lasted like 5 seconds.)
Re-acquainting with Daddy.
I can't tell who he looks like. I think he looks like my baby pictures when he's got his eyes open. But some features look like Paul, and sometimes I think he looks just like Nathan. His eyes look kind of brown at this point - we'll see if they stay that way.