Thursday, April 14, 2011

Welcomed With Love

A star is born.  Truly.  Given Noah was born on March 16 and I can hardly believe that he is almost a month old.  He was born 3 weeks early, but came into the world with a strong voice and a strong preference for his mother.  Yet again, I am humbled by the gift of motherhood and am completely in love with my child. 

After three weeks of bed rest and medications to keep me from going into full blown labor, my son entered the world less than 24 hours after stopping my medications.  I was convinced that he would be full term but God had something else in mind.  At 5 a.m., I awoke in intense pain and my contractions started soon after.  The hubby and I headed into the hospital and a few hours later, our son came into the world amidst much drama.  My doctor is amazing in her chose career and she is a wonderful person as well.  She chose to talk me through the prep for my 6rh c-section and I enjoyed the pleasant distraction.  No matter how many times I have gone through this procedure, I find the prep time the most stress inducing.  My nurse was called away and she had asked a student nurse to step in and take her place.  However, my OB chose to step in instead.  She stood in front of me while my epidural was put in place and we enjoyed a great conversation.  The beginning of the surgery went very smoothly but then I decided to mix it up a bit.  I had envisioned my son being born and then being able to focus on him completely as the procedure was finished.  Not so.  Instead, my body decided to revolt and I started dry heaving.  UGH!!  The first time, it seemed to go on forever and eventually I began begging for help.  Of course, my anesthesiologist, had been working non stop to end my suffering, but it took him a bit to get it under control.  Eventually, my stomach settled and I could glance lovingly at my son from across the room.  A few minutes later, my stomach started in again.  I gave warning and my hero began making the needed adjustments to settle my body down again.  This bout was shorter and again I lapsed into mommy bliss.  The anesthesiologist asked me to give him as much warning as possible if I started feeling nauseous again.  As he put it, "I'm throwing everything but the kitchen sink at you."  This made me chuckle and I promised to let him know as soon as I started feeling anything.  Of course, a third round of misery was in store for me, but this time the man in the mask was ready for it and put an end to my discomfort quite quickly.  He even left and got an anti nausea ear patch for me.  I appreciated his concern and he even followed me into recovery and came to check on me the next day just to ensure that I was truly feeling better.  Between him and my OB, I had an excellent medical staff.  During my stay and with each staff change, one of two things was said to me with each new nurse I encountered:   "Oh, your the woman with eight children," or "Oh, your the woman who got so sick in the operating room."  I found the cause of my reputation quite comical. 

Having a preterm baby has kept me on my toes.  He is very sensitive to over stimulation, movement, and has struggled with learning how to eat.  These first three weeks have been a challenge for me in regards to getting him to gain weight.  We finally had a break through this last week and he is finally back up to his birth weight.  He has struggled with learning how to suck and I only learn this out of sheer desperation in the fight for weight gain.  I am breast feeding and decided to try supplementing him with some formula.  He began to get very upset with my using a syringe and so I caved and used a bottle.  He struggled with figuring out how to use the nipple and continues to struggle.  I am hoping that he will get the hang of it now that he is a bit older.  We haven't given up on this battle and I'm trusting that all of our prayers will not go unanswered.  I'm praying that he will be solely breastfed in the next few weeks and thankfully God has kept my milk supply up during this time of uncertainty.  My children have been priceless to me during this time with helping me out and even giving me opportunities to catch up on sleep during the day.  I'm only getting between 3-5 hours a night and naps have become vital to my ability to function. 

I am so thankful and happy and in love with my son.  He is an amazing gift and I am thankful to God for the deep well of love and patience and wisdom He has been giving me during this time of discovery and sleep deprivation.  Peace has permeated our house and hearts and my other children have been full of love and concern for their brother.  Three weeks into his life, and Given has a fan club with people fighting over who gets to hold him next. 

I am feeling great and my recovery has been swift.  I truly am overjoyed and enjoying my days with my children.  Spring has brought out the birds and I have loved having their beautiful music added to my days.  The kids are drawn to be out of doors and they enjoy filling their play time with physical activity and make believe.  The scraped body parts has begun and we have had to expand on our band aide reserve.  Scraped elbows are still the worst but it only slows them down briefly. 

We are still facing about 10 weeks of school, but the end is in sight and my oldest has been dutifully plugging away at her studies.  Life studies have increased as well as they have learned to change diapers, make bottles, help mommy with the breast pump, be gentle, not freak out over puke or poop messes, not wake the sleeping baby, eat what is fixed, and to try and find matching clothes for the baby.  These are only a few examples, but you get the picture.  I'm touched by their love for their brother and how they have so completely embraced this new person that has taken center stage.  Only God can orchestrate this much love, grace and peace. 

Our journey as a family of 10 has begun and we are looking forward to what the Lord has planned for us.  We are so thankful for His plans to give us hope and a future. 

Until next time:  Be blessed and enjoy your days.

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