Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Thor's Birth Story

I know I haven't even documented our son's pregnancy, but lest I forget the details of his birth I'd better record it somewhere. And, neglected as this blog is, it still serves an invaluable purpose as an easily referenced journal.

I found out I was pregnant in mid-july 2013 after realizing the constant fatigue and lack of appetite I was experiencing might be due to more than just being busy. I'll admit I was less than excited by the positive pregnancy test. I felt like was already doing a pretty crappy job parenting my two girls that I had no business adding a third child to the mix. Also, we hadn't totally decided we would attempt for a third at all. I hadn't yet shown any signs I was even ovulating again and we were taking precautions to avoid a pregnancy, so the news came as a total surprise. Once I finally got in to see a doctor I was even more shocked to learn I was already done with my first semester. We were having this baby and it would be here soon. (His original due date was March 5th). Consistent with everything else about this pregnancy, we were again shocked to learn this addition would not be another girl like we expected but a BOY! (I did mourn the little girl I though we would be welcoming...she would have been named Petra Gold and I'm sure she would have been a joy. Anyway, back to the boy.)

Despite stressful circumstances surrounding our situation (mainly of a financial nature),  Kenny often commented that I seemed unusually calm throughout this pregnancy. (I was incredibly stressed/anxious/worried throughout my other two pregnancies.) I attribute my calmness to a few things: first and foremost, I hadn't planned to or attempted to get pregnant this go around. The whole experience seemed out of my control and I was therefore resigned to my fate, come what may. No use getting worked up over things. It was going to happen however it was meant to happen and that was that. Second, and more significantly, I had an undeniable outpouring of the Spirit anytime I started to get worked up internally. That's the only way I can describe it. I didn't know how, but I was continuously assured that things would work out. Somehow. (And so far, they have thankfully.) The pregnancy progressed fairly easily, although the demands of parenting two toddlers made it hard for me to take care of myself in the manner I would have liked. That being said, I was able to make it to the gym most days and eat well. I didn't experience any major issues and truth be told, I often forgot I was pregnant at all (until it was time to eat/cook or until I was too big and uncomfortable to ignore it).

And suddenly it was time for the boy to make his arrival. And he was late. By four days. Which was actually fine. We squeezed some last minute projects into those days and tried to just enjoy the extra time as a family of four. We decided on Friday night (March 7th) to go ahead and switch bedrooms with the girls on the rationale that the bigger room would accomidate all three kids much easier and provide them a place to play (that wasn't the sole common room in the apartment). So most of Saturday was spent moving furniture, clothes, toys, and books in addition to building a new dresser. We squeezed in some time at the beach, but overall it was a busy, labor-intensive day. And in retrospect it may have been what put me in labor.

That evening while on a run to Target, I noticed the frequent contractions i had been experiencing all day (nothing new, I'd had them for weeks) had started to be felt in my lower back. My prior two labor experiences had felt the same... when the contractions didn't really let up we texted Amelia to let her know that this baby might be making his debut soon. Around 12:30am (1:30? It was Daylight Savings that night) we finally called the hospital and let them know we'd be coming in soon. Amelia came to stay with the girls until Ana and Michael showed up at which point Amelia came to the hospital ready to photograph the arrival of our son as she had done with our girls. I was already dilated to a 6 by the time we got to the hospital and they quickly got me an epidural. EPIDURALS (when given time to work) are AMAZING!  The contractions which had become really painful were suddenly PAINLESS. I kept staring at the monitor and marveled that I really couldn't feel a thing. Such a difference from my prior labors. Had I known the staff was just going to let me hang out like that until the doctor felt like coming in (which wasn't until after 8:00am) I would have tried to sleep. But instead we all chatted and hung out ALL NIGHT. A doctor finally came to check me around 6:30 and was surprised to learn I was already at a 10 (and likely had been for some time). They decided to break my water, but that there was still no rush. They'd let me "labor down" and told me to call them in when I "felt pressure." Ha! I couldn't feel a thing! Anyway the doctor made his way in around 8:30 and got prepped. He walked over and said alright, you know the drill, here's a contraction PUSH! Just like that. So I did. I think. I still couldn't feel anything, so I made a pushing face and hoped it was working. Three pushes later the contraction was over and the baby's head was already out. What?! This was SO EASY. Next contraction came, and I pushed once and he was out. Thor Kenneth True Brady was born 8:43am, was 20.5 inches long and wighed 8 lbs 13 oz. BIG BOY! Thor had lots of dark hair and looked just like Lola but with two dimples instead of one. He was perfect. He immediately nursed and for a time I thought i'd finally have an easy time nursing. that sadly would not be the case, but after bout of mastitis and a few weeks of strictly pumping to let my torn up nipples heal, things seem to be improving in that department. He was born with a "healthy set of pipes" to put it nicely, but thankfully he doesn't use them often. He's a pretty mellow little guy. or Big guy. And we love him.

Lola immediately was in love and couldn't get enough of him. She's a little too confident in her handling of him, so we are careful to monitor their visits carefully. I thought Jade would mostly be indifferent to her new brother like Lola was to Jade. Or maybe she'd be a bit resentful if anything. She definitely was aware of Thor, but avoided him. I'd catch her peering into whatever room Thor was in, but she'd run off when she noticed we could see her. She wouldn't approach him at all for the first week, but after that curiosity slowly won out and now she too is in love. Her behavior has been a bit rough - she gets aggressive with Lola and acts out more than usual - but we're hoping that she gets over it soon. Having my mom come down and help with the girls was fantastic. SHe took the girls and got them outside most of the day. Just what I needed (especially when the Mastitis had me completely out of it for three days. Kenny doesn't get much time with Thor except for during night time feedings the girls demand his attention the rest of his time at home. I know that will change over time.

In all...things went really well (except the nursing part) and we're all doing great. Thor is already so loved and adds such a calming, almost healing, element to our family. Although he wasn't planned, we're so happy he came when he did.