So why exactly did I stop back in the summer? Well...things got crazy, for one thing. And it's a real long story, so I'm just going to give the short, edited version. On July 4th, I started having what felt strikingly similar to contractions. At only 21 weeks, that was obviously pretty unnerving. I downed my water, and tried to ignore them as we headed off to our annual family dinner and fireworks. But by the next day, it was obvious they weren't going to go away on their own, so we headed into Labor & Delivery, panic stricken. They hooked me up and confirmed that I was contracting, and did a fetal fibronectin test, which came back positive. For those of you who are lucky enough to never have had to worry about preterm delivery, it's a test that picks up a certain protein that is generally only present within two weeks before you deliver. A positive test means that you have a higher chance of delivering in the next two weeks, and a negative means you're probably good to go. Through all the drama and hospital stays with Landon, I never once had a positive. Never. But on July 5th, at 21 weeks, I got a positive with Lucas. And since the age of viability is 24 weeks, I was told pretty much just cross my fingers, say my prayers, and don't move too much.... there was nothing else they could do for me. And so we left the hospital in tears, thinking this was the end, and we had to just go home and wait for it all to come crashing down.
If you know the rest of the story, you know that I made it to my scheduled c-section at 39 weeks and 1 day. Ridiculous, right? A lot went down in between there, including a few more trips back to the hospital, an overnight stay, a LOT of progesterone shots and NST's, every day spent with my mother in law in the morning, and my mom in the afternoon, some weird reactions to medications and a lot of tears and frustration. But, at the end of it all, I was a staple at the doctor's office, closer to my mother in law, and I had a beautiful, healthy baby boy. And the cherry on top was that my two year old didn't completely hate me for being a big blob all summer long.
But the real point my return to this world is that I want to document Lucas' birth story, before all the details start to get blurry. Landon's was traumatic, and every second seems like it is just burned into my brain and will never leave. Lucas was a completely calm, peaceful experience, and I feel like small bits are already starting to fade as I adjust to life with two boys.
So around 34 weeks, my doctor told me we could officially schedule my c-section, and if I made it that far, great. If not, I was past the critical point and we knew would be safe. So we scheduled me for Wednesday, November 6 at 9:45 am, never thinking I would actually make it that far. I had this ideal dream of an October baby, but was petrified of a Halloween baby. So naturally, I was fairly certain he would show up on the 31st. But....October came and went, I passed my 35 week 4 day mark, which was when Landon was born, and pretty soon it was November and it was obvious that since I had made ZERO progress in over three weeks, I was going to make it to November 6th.
The night of November 5th was a surreal one. It was our last night as a family of three. The last night I would be tucking Landon in as an only child. The last night I would be struggling to sleep with the now GINORMOUS belly. I cried when I put Landon to sleep, lingering next to his bed, holding his hand for just a bit longer, taking in every ounce of him. And I was grateful that it took him a little longer to drift off. When I finally tore myself away, it's safe to say that I maybe slept for 20 minutes the whole night. How do you sleep when your life is about to change so monumentally in just a few short hours? You don't. Not if you're actually putting any thought into it at all.
When the alarm when off at 4:45, I knew there was no turning back. This was it. So I got up and showered, and did my hair and my make up (ridiculous most of you will say, but to me, I knew it was the last time for a long while that I would have the chance to do this, so I was going to live it up.....and look much better in post birth pictures than I did in Landon's). Of course, Landon isn't stupid, and he heard us both up, so we had a 2 year old up and joining the party at 5:15. But again, secretly, I was thrilled....I couldn't stand the thought of him waking up and us not being there and then when he did finally see us again, his whole world would be changed. So the 5:15 wake up was welcome, and the early morning snuggles were exactly what I needed.
It's strange, but I wasn't nervous at all. Maybe a little anxious, but I think it was more just excitement to finally meet him, not so much worried about the surgery. Which, after Landon, it was kind of amazing to me that I had such a sense of calm going into it, but I did. I was confident with the doctor delivering me, and something was just telling me it was all going to be ok. I don't know which of my angels it was, but I'm thankful they were there. Shockingly, I didn't even cry when leaving Landon. We got our hugs and kisses, told him we were going to meet baby brother, he told us he was excited, and we were off. Everyone was just....ready. And happy.
We walked into the hospital together, calmly, in no real hurry. Checked in, relished in all the congratulations and "good lucks" we were wished, and made our way up to Labor & Delivery. We were thrilled to find that our favorite nurse was there, and she was taking me. She would be with me through pre-op, the surgery, and recovery. Any anxieties I had lingering at that point disappeared. Everything was lining up.
The whole pre-op process is kind of chaotic. There are a ton of people coming in and out, taking blood, asking questions, making you sign things, telling you things, overwhelming you. But still, I felt good with Jeremy, my parents and my nurse by my side. I was thrilled when the doctor finally came in, talked to me for a few minutes and told me we were about ready. This was it. And just after 9:45 am, I kissed my parents goodbye, watched Jeremy get suited up, and walked myself down to the operating room. That's when it started to get real.
Operating rooms are never calming. Ever. They're stark and they're scary. Thankfully, I had a group of women in the room with me that was hilarious, and we clicked well. I laughed through getting my spinal while my doctor held my hand and told me jokes. The anesthesiologist and I had an understanding, and she loaded me up with anti-nausea meds every time I started to feel a little woozy. And my nurse was right there to continually assure me that I was doing fine. If you've never had a spinal, then you don't know how weird it is to suddenly look down and see people maneuvering your legs and realizing you can't feel a thing, like you're just a torso and head laying on a table. THAT freaked me out. Not a fan. But....hey....better than feeling them slice me open, I suppose.
It didn't take long, and pretty sure Jeremy was back next to me, and they told me it was go time. My only job was to lay there and wait for them to tell me I was officially a mother of two. It felt like an eternity laying there waiting. I know my stomach is huge, but come on, how long can it take you to get to this kid? And then suddenly my doctor looked over the drape and told me they were about a minute away. Holy crap. One minute. In one minute my second son would be here. And I am not screaming in pain, or exhausted from pushing for 4 hours. This is amazing. And sure enough, about a minute later, at 10:22 am, I heard his first screams. Beautiful, gorgeous screams. They held him up for just a second and I got to finally see the face I had been praying for and loving for 39 weeks. And he was damn gorgeous.
Lucas Michael Teltow
November 6, 2013
7lbs, 7oz. 20 inches.
And just like that, we went from a family of three, to a family of four. Another very surreal feeling.
Because he was born via C-Section, he had some fluid on his lungs that didn't quite get squeezed out, so my fears came to fruition when they whisked him off to the special care nursery. I had this vision in my head that since I made it to 39 weeks, I would have him with me from start to finish and we wouldn't have to see another child hooked up to monitors and IV's. No such luck. But once again, we were so fortunate, and anything "wrong" with him was minor, and our stay in special care was short lived, and by Friday afternoon, we had him in the room with us.
Next came some lessons. Things they don't tell you about when you have a C-Section. The spinal will take HOURS to wear off. And you will feel certain that you are paralyzed for life when they ask you to move your toes, and you realize your brain can't even compute how to tell your toes to move, let alone actually make them move. The morphine they give you will make you itch like crazy. And you will continue to itch, especially your face, for hours. You will swell. And I mean.....swell. Like crazy. So crazily that you won't even recognize yourself. Case in point....
But on the flip side, there are the side effects of becoming a mother of two that people don't warn you about. There is more swelling. Of the heart. Way bigger than any bodily swelling you'll experience. When people say you don't realize that your heart can love another human as much as you already love your first, they aren't lying. But it's a completely different kind of love. The love I have for Landon can't really be explained....he made me a mom. He taught me everything. That's not the same love I have for Lucas. Lucas completed me. I thought was complete, but I wasn't. I thought our family was perfect, but we were missing something. Now we aren't. That's pretty big stuff for such a small little dude. But he manages to pull it off well.
The first few days were challenging. I had hormones to deal with, I was missing Landon, I was in pain, I wanted Lucas with me, I was struggling with breastfeeding and all the emotions that go along with it (that's a post for another day), and um.....having a baby is just a lot in general. But we had a small birthday party for him, per Landon's request, and there were lots of visits from my favorite two year old to pull me through.
We finally made it home three days later, and life officially began. Landon fell right into the role of big brother perfectly. He has been wonderful. He has his moments of desperation for our attention, but he is such a great helper, and he truly loves his brother, which makes it all worth it.
As for me....life as a mother of two is intense. It's non-stop chaos. But it's also non-stop love. I am running on fumes most days it seems, but neither of my boys seem to notice. And they love me just the same after a full nights sleep, or only a few hours. And the feeling is mutual. Although.....I do have a slightly higher appreciation when Luke will go for a four hour stretch in the middle of the night ;).
I don't know how frequently I'll be back here to update on every day happenings, but I do have a lot of things I want to write about, and this little session here has been incredibly therapeutic. I snuck out this morning to a local coffee shop, and I'm sitting here with a coffee in hand, by the fireplace, listening to Christmas music, and writing. And for the first half hour or so, I was trying to decide if I was proud of myself for taking the time to do it, or if I was guilty for not being at home with my boys. I'm thinking now that it's the first. I'm about to head home refreshed....which means I'll have more patience with terrible two happenings and spit up. So this might have to become a ritual. It's a nice recharge.
So, until the next time, I'll be with these dudes, loving life.