Monday, June 2, 2008

Finally, An Introduction.

My little Jacob Benjamin entered the world, quite loudly, on May 22, 2008. It was 8:00am on the dot. He weighed in at a whopping 7lbs 15oz, and measured 21.5 inches long. (I find it fascinating that every single nurse commented on how big he was, while all I could think of was how tiny he was compared to his 10lb 6oz brother!) He had a perfectly round c-section head, skinny little ankles, loooong fingers, pointy ears (although his left one was almost completely flat for the first couple of days...I guess he favors his left side - at least when he's squished up inside of me, that is) steel blue-grey eyes, very very light eyelashes, and no eyebrows. He's got a darling little cry, made even more darling by the fact that he rarely uses it. He doesn't like having a dirty diaper. He was an almost-instant pro at breastfeeding. He falls asleep in his car seat. He sleeps in his bouncy seat. He even (okay, until last night) sleeps in his bed.

I am absolutely crazy in love with him.

One of these days I'll get his birth story into his baby book. But for now, that story will come in snippets. So, below, you will find my list of the things that made me cry - for better or for worse - over the past eleven days. "The good, the bad, and the ugly," if you will of how we got our second beautiful boy into the world. And so....

Things that were AWFUL....

1. The FOUR (yes FOUR) attemps at inserting a successful IV, which left me with FOUR (yes FOUR) nasty bruises all over my arms and hands. I'm not an addict, but I look like one.

2. Walking into the operating room. Even though it's a joyous walk, I'm having a hard time imagining anything more nerve-wracking than kissing your husband (your pale, nervous, about to pass out husband) goodbye in the hallway and then walking into that sterile space only to step up on the stool and hoist your mammoth body onto the operating table.

3. Sitting on the table with your entire backside exposed to the anesthesiologist with the german accent while he gives you INCREDIBLE drugs. Drugs = good. Showing the doctor the side of the moon that is bigger than it's ever been in its entire existance = bad.

4. Finding out that your pale-faced husband really did almost pass out while waiting for you in the hallway.

5. The post-recovery transport from stretcher to hospital bed, which you are responsible for managing almost entirely on your own. I swear, that was on par with the IV attempts for being the most painful and exhausting part of the whole day.

6. Wanting to ask your husband (who was planning on going home to be with the boy while your mom was planning on spending the night with you, bless her heart) to stay with you because you were just tired and emotional and just really really really wanted him to be there with you for that last night. And not asking him.

7. Getting a call from said husband about an hour later to let you know that he had taken a nasty fall once he'd gotten home, had DISLOCATED HIS SHOULDER and was on his way to the emergency room while his sister babysat the boy.

8. This emergency room was in a separate hospital from the one in which you were now SOBBING.

9. Not being able to talk to this same husband once he returned from the ER that night because he was so sick from the anesthesia that he nearly passed out instead.

10. Finding out the next day that he was still so sick that his sister would be picking you up from the hospital. Not him. This was not winding up the way you had dreamed it would for the past nine months.

11. Wondering WHY IN THE WORLD you didn't just ask him to stay with you in the first place when that's what you really wanted to do. Oh yeah, because he was going home to make things easier for your older, very darling boy, who needed his daddy.

12. Realizing how hard it is to sometimes be a good mommy over being a needy, emotional wife.

13. Not being able to pick up Christopher.

14. Tim not being able to pick up Christopher OR Jacob.

15. Feeling angry and sad over this ridiculous turn of events....and yet realizing how grateful you are that he hurt his shoulder rather than his head and imagining how badly it could have turned out.

Things that were FABULOUS....

1. realizing, on my way to the hospital that neither my pants nor my shirt that were currently gracing my body were of the maternity variety.

2. Driving to the hospital with no traffic and no labor pains, while video taping my husband talking to the baby. (Granted, we did it the same way last time, but okay.)

3. Getting to the hospital and having NO ONE even ask my name - they were expecting me and escorted me straight to my room. So far, five stars.

4. Having the nurse tell me that as they saw us walking in with me carrying the pillows and the camera bag over my shoulder and Tim having his hands down at his sides, they thought that I was carrying everything and he was carrying nothing. They were preparing themselves for quite an interesting day. My dear husband was redeemed, in their eyes, when he came around the corner with my HUGE bag that he was carrying by the handle straps.

5. The nurses. They truly are the heart of the operation. God bless them.

6. The anesthesiologisy who was on her way home but stopped in my room to finally get an IV into me that no one else could do.

7. The anesthesiologist with the german accent who took care of me throughout the surgery. He took care of my needs before I was even aware of them. "Are you veeling anxious? I could geev you somesing to make you veel better."

8. Hearing the most beautiful sound imaginable: MY CRYING BABY BOY.

9. Pulling the curtain aside a little bit so that I could see these skinny little legs and feet hanging from the nurse's hands while they put his hat on his head.

10. Sharing, for the second time, with my husband the most magical moment of our lives.

11. FINALLY being able to eat at 3am on Friday morning.

12. The fact that my night nurse that night was 7 months pregnant. Had anyone else been the one to tell me that I could finally eat (after abdominal surgery, you can't eat until you fart. Seriously. Obviously the whole thing is on the honor system....but you can bet that I was BANGING on the "call the nurse" button the INSTANT I felt the slightest rumbling) I would have been far too self-conscious to ask for donuts. My wonderful, pregnant nurse probably would have sat there with me with a donut in each hand. I swear - each nurse that I had was perfectly suited to what I needed at each individual moment. I do not believe this is a coincidence.

13. Greeting my parents and my in-laws when the nurse let them all sneak into the recovery room to meet the baby for the first time.

14. Greeting the many other family members and friends who came to visit us on that first day, including my Aunt and Grandparents - Chris and Jake's great-grandparents and watching them hold their second great-grandchild.

15. Realizing what a privilege it is for me to get to witness that moment.

16. Seeing Christopher walk into my hospital room carrying a bouquet of flowers, wearing his "I'm the big brother" t-shirt, and climbing up on the bed to give his baby brother a kiss on the forehead.

17. Having a shower in my room.

18. Feeling SO MUCH BETTER throughout the entire 4 days than I felt even weeks after Christopher's birth.

19. Putting Jake in his carseat so that we could go home and start our life as a family.

20. Walking down the pathway to my front door, feeling so good that it honestly felt like I was returning from a day of shopping, rather than surgery and a four-day hospital stay.

The list goes on, of course. Both lists, actually. It has been a challenging 11 days - far more challenging than I had anticipated in a variety of different ways. But we're settling in. Tim and I are both getting stronger every day. Christopher already has his own name for Jakey - "Yaya." Don't ask me where this came from. My mom has gone home and we're all settling in for the end of our first day alone as a family.

And you know what? So far, so good.

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