Giving Thanks

What a special Thanksgiving!  We usually head to Palestine to spend Thanksgiving at Crystal Lake with family.  My cousin and his family come in town and it's such a fun holiday!

Obviously with our 1 week old son, we didn't make the trek this year which made us so glad we'd visited them this Fall.  We stayed home, my mom cooked up a wonderful Thanksgiving meal, and while Jeff's mom was in Baltimore visiting her other new grandchild, Jeff's dad came for dinner, too.  

We are so thankful this year.  Thankful for our health, thankful for our new family, thankful for the Love of the Savior, thankful for amazing friends, thankful for the undeserved grace and mercy showered down on us daily.

We needed a low key holiday, and that's just what it was!  But a low key holiday, still needs a cute holiday outfit, right?  :)

 CRAZY toddler.
 ADORABLE toddler.

 First family picture of 4! I don't know why Jack looks so angry...
 My mom...
 Jeff's dad.  The boys.  :)
 Does everyone take a picture of their table settings like our family does?
 And sweet baby Owen, saying his thankful prayers at dinner. 

How it all went down

Jeff's mom came to sit with Jack so my mom could go with my to my appointment on Monday, which was so nice.  I was expecting Dr. Hardt to say, "Ok, looks a little better, back home to the couch, see you in a week for a check up!" so I wasn't too worried.  I mean, if my feet tell the story, the story is easy to tell.  

First up, I got a sonogram to check on little Owen.  Which is always fun!  Fun to see him, see that he's ok, etc.  The stenographer confirmed that he was still a boy, looked good, and commented that he was measuring a few weeks behind where he should be.  Hmmm. 

The nurse took my blood pressure, said the doctor would be in to see me in a minute, and walked out.  Last week, the nurse (a different nurse) had said right away that my blood pressure was high, and since this nurse didn't say anything, I assumed it was fine!  Whew!

Then my doctor walked in.  First thing she said was, "Molly, what have you been doing!"  Um, sitting on the couch....but somehow my blood pressure was even higher than the week before.  168/108 She said with this news, she wanted to go ahead and send me to the hospital to check me in and get ready for an induction tomorrow.  Um, what?  What?  I wanted to yell, "But my feet!  My feet!  Look at my feet!"  But instead I just cried.  This was not supposed to happen.  I sat on the couch for 5 days!  This was not supposed to happen!!!!  But again, my doctor reassured me that everything was ok, Owen was going to be ok, he would be fine delivered at this point, and it would be better for him to be out with us than staying inside me because he wasn't getting what he needed.  My mom asked if we could go home and get my hospital bag, and she said that it would probably be better to go straight to the hospital and have someone else bring it to me.  I was scared.

I walked out of the office stunned and, like I said, scared.  It was 3:50pm, and Jeff was set to be on the air at 4 for the 4:00 show, so I called him and bawled as I told him I was headed to the hospital.  Talking about it later, somehow we kinda knew this was coming.  He'd felt weird all day, I'd repacked my hospital bag the night before....but it was still really shocking.  I was only 36 weeks.  We had a month left as a family of 3!  And now we find out that Owen would be here tomorrow!  He found Larry, who was still in his street clothes, told him I was heading to the hospital, and Larry said he'd cover it, and he headed out.  Jeff stopped at home to get my bag and change clothes, and pack his bag.  Thankfully, Jeff's mom was at the house with Jack so she just took him home for the night.  And thankfully my mom was with me so I wasn't doing all this alone!  

We got checked into Maternal Observation and they immediately started monitoring my blood pressure.  The job of the nurses at Maternal Observation is to see if you really need to be admitted, so they monitored my blood pressure, monitored Owen, and drew blood.  Jeff made it to the hospital before they officially admitted me and boy, was I glad to see him.  

So we got settled into our room and they put in a cervex softener so that when they started the petocin Tuesday morning, I'd be ready to go!  It was all happening so fast.  They hooked me up to a blood pressure machine that would monitor my blood pressure every hour over night and set off an alarm if it got too high.  And they gave me two Ambien.  The cervix softener sometimes makes you cramp, they said, but this would ensure I'd sleep through it.  At this point, Jeff and I were starting to get kind excited.  We would get to meet Owen tomorrow!  And, we'd get a full night's sleep!  I went to the hospital with Jack at 9pm and he was born at 3am, and I've always said that the newborn days might have been easier if we didn't start off sleep deprived...and here's our chance!  We prayed for Owen, for my body, for things to be ok, and went to bed.

Sometime around 4am I woke up and couldn't really go back to sleep because of the cramping.  Which was weird.  I mean, I just took 2 Ambien.  At 7am, the nurse came in to unhook me and help me to the bathroom.  And that's when my water broke.   Um, what?  I went ahead and took a shower, and when I got out, I asked the nurse if it was possible that my water broke.  She said, "Well, it's possible.....let me check you."

She checked and sure enough, it did!  And I was dilated to a 6!  Epidural, stat, people.  The contractions were coming fast and hard at that point.  We made phone calls to let everyone know that Owen would be here sooner than expected and by the time the epidural was in, she checked me again, and this is what I hear: "Oh, that's the baby's head.  Someone call Dr. Hardt!  Get Dr. Hardt on the phone, she's ready to push!"  

Oh my Lord.

Everyone's running around like crazy, my epidural doesn't feel like it's working because I've had to lay on my side to keep my blood pressure down, there are doctors from Cooks Children's Hospital in my room, just in case Owen isn't doing well.  It was crazy.  Five minutes later, Dr. Hardt literally runs into the room, puts on gloves, no time for the doctors gown, I push 4 times, and Owen Patrick Jamison is born at 9:21am.  4lbs 9oz, 18 inches long.  AND healthy.  Praise the Lord.  Yes, he's a tiny thing, but he's healthy.  God is good, all the time.

Everything happened so fast.  My blood pressure was still sky high after delivery, so I laid on my side and watched while Owen was assessed....and all at once, all of the pediatric doctors left the room.  And my baby got to stay.  Praise the Lord!  

The hardest thing was to be laying in that bed, strapped to monitors, bound my my anti seizure IV meds (in case the blood pressure caused a seizure), watching while everyone cooed to my baby. I couldn't get out of bed to see him.  I didn't get to see Jack meet his brother for the first time.  I watched from afar, but that's not how I pictured it.  

I didn't get to be the first one to hold him.  I didn't get to be the first face he sees.  But, I did get to nurse him, and that was precious precious time.

We stayed in Labor and Delivery over night so they could continue to monitor my blood pressure and administer my IV meds, and finally made it to the postpartum floor the following morning. Although the monitoring continued and the blood continued to be drawn every few hours, I wasn't hooked up to an IV any more and I got to hold my sweet little boy as much as I wanted! 

My blood pressure hadn't dropped to normal, but they felt comfortable releasing me the next afternoon and we got to go home to be a family of 4. 

I'd like to say that Jack is this sweet to him all the time, that he always kisses him and is gentle, but really...

this is more like it.  :)

The build up.

I wish you could have seen my feet at the fabulous shower my sweet friends threw.  I looked through all the pics, and there isn't one of my feet.  Go figure.  Anyways, they were swollen like whoa.  Swollen like I was walking on two inflatable devices.  Swollen so that I could wear very few pairs of shoes, and even those, my feet spilled out of them and it was a bit embarrassing.  

So when I went to my doctors appointment the following Wednesday, I wasn't super surprised that my blood pressure was high.  I had high blood pressure towards the end of my pregnancy with Jack, so I somewhat anticipated it with Owen, too.  It hadn't gotten too high, they would just take it, say it was high, lay my on my side for a few minutes, retake it, it had gone down, and bye bye.  

But not this time.  My doctor is the nicest doctor ever.  Soft spoken, and just a sweet and soft spoken person.  So when she told me that my blood pressure was troubling her and that I needed to be on modified bed rest for the next few days and I started bawling, she was very understanding.  She reassured me that things with Owen were ok, and that he was almost full term (I was 36 weeks) and worse case scenario, it doesn't go down when they check it again the following Monday, they would need to induce me, but that it was ok, because the most important thing is that Owen was ok, and that I was ok.  So, I left in tears, but reassured that things would be ok.

And then I remembered that I had a toddler at home.  And bawled all the was to my lunch date.  I called Jeff, bawling, who reminded me that it would be ok and promptly sent me flowers (so sweet) and called my mom and bawled to her while I asked her to pick up Jack from Mother's Day Out and bring him home...and stay with me until Jeff got home to take care of Jack. 

One of the things that I wrestled with the most about thinking about having Owen is saying goodbye to Jack as we head to the hospital.  I cry now, even as I think about it!  The last goodbye as an only child.  The last time my heart is not divided.  The last time I hug him and squeeze him and kiss him before his little world rocked.  So I'd thought of all these fun things we'd do before Owen gets here, and now, here I am on bed rest.  And I cried some more, feeling like I was now unable to make these last few weeks special. 

Jack had a really hard time with me sitting on the couch and being shuffled from one grandparent to another.  Don't get me wrong, he LOVES his Nana and Papaw and Grammy.  But he knew something was wrong.  He wanted me to do everything.  Every diaper change that I sat on the couch through, he cried and fought whoever was changing him, even if it was Jeff, screaming for me.  Every dinner that was lovingly prepared for him, he would just say over and over, "Mamma do it!  Mamma do it!"  Every toy that needed to be played with, he wanted me to do it.  It's like he knew something wasn't right, and he just wanted to me get myself together and "do it!"  It was rough, yall.  You can't explain bed rest to a 2 year old.  I did get up to do bedtime, because that's just the most precious part of the day, and I just could...not...miss that. The first two days were the worst.  Then he got a little more used to it and would just come and sit on my lap.  And those times were so so so special to me. 

So I sat.  And I sat.  And sweet friends brought us dinner.  And I sat. And Jack spent the night at Nana's.  And I sat. And he spent the afternoon with Grammy.  And I sat.  I sat ALOT.  The swelling in my feet went down to almost nothing, so I was expecting a great report come Monday!  Yay me, for sitting on the couch for 5 days straight!  And there is never more to do than when you're bound to the couch.  All I could think of was all of the things I could be doing when he was at Nana and Grammy's house!  The nursery isn't finished, the house is a mess, etc.  So seriously, yay me for sitting on the couch for 5 days straight!

Quick Catch Up

I have neglected to post about SO many here's a quick catch up.  

Jack was a pirate for halloween.  The cutest pirate EVER!  The cutest pirate ever who wouldn't wear his hat or vest but loved his eye patch.  

When we were expecting Jack, Vincent tested out the equipment.  Now, Jack tests out the equipment.  It's his boat, you see.
We visited Dad and Barbara in Palestine, since my doctor said don't count on traveling that close to my due date.  (Um, good thing we listened.)
I had a fabulous baby shower thrown by fabulous friends!  The food was amazing, the ladies were generous, and there was great crafting to be had as they helped me put he finishing touches decorate Owen's room!  The project isn't done yet, but when it is, there will be pictures.  Lots of pictures.
Mary Claire had to leave early and I forgot a hostess pic before she left!  :(