Thursday, March 20, 2014

Postpartum Thoughts

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So, here I am, on maternity leave, with little sleep, holding my precious new baby much of the day. And, I, like every woman recovering from pregnancy, am in that postpartum period of crazy hormones, a body going through changes to get back to "normal" and a changing life. I am lucky that it appears I will not be inflicted with the debilitating depression many women face at this time in their life. But, I am affected by these hormones at this time...so while I'm hormonal and crazy, I thought I'd write a post about it. Ahem.

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The thing is, I am over the moon with this little boy - with my family - my wonderful husband and two boys. But, now that I know, with my age mainly being the determinant, that this baby boy will indeed by our last, each day I think about how this boy will be my last newborn. Now, when I haven't slept most of the night, I think thank goodness! But, when I smell his sweet head, feel his tiny body, and hear his sweet newborn sounds, I tear up at this "last" in my life. 

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One might point out to me that it wasn't that long ago that this life of mine - this turn of events - two healthy, lovely, loving boys - was not part of what I thought I would ever experience. And one would be right to point this out. The truth is, I feel so incredibly blessed. I know this part. I know. I get it - I AM blessed beyond measure. And, this only increases the aforementioned tears...the blessing they are - and the pleasure they bring to this life of ours - and this is it - the end of this phase of this wonderful blessing. 

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To that point - when I get a bit weepy over this turn of events - the last little one to hold and to love - even when I have had no sleep - I try to remind myself of the adage "don't be sad it is over - be thankful it happened at all!" And, I truly, in my rational brain that comes around from time to time between the lack of sleep and the hormones, I truly do feel that way. I am so pleased it has happened. That I have these memories of not one but TWO baby boys. That I have so many memories and adventures to come. 

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And, the hormones will level out one day. And I'll be able to process all this more rationally. However, for now, I will continue to remind myself to be thankful it IS happening. Again and again. And I will live in the moment and soak it all in. All of it - the lack of sleep, the sweet sounds, the crying, the eternally perfect smells, the tiny hands and soft skin. All of it. It is all precious and wonderful and an eternal blessing.

See you soon.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Going Home - and The Myth of the Flat Belly

As I mentioned in the last post, they did eventually let us go home. On the morning we were to be discharged, I took a shower and put actual clothes on for the first time in five days. And, I seriously felt as if my belly was SUPER FLAT. I'm not kidding. When I looked in the mirror, and looked down from my vantage point, I was amazed at the transformation! 

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I even took a photo to prove it.

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And, let's be honest, it IS flat compared to THIS.

But, my friends, that tummy ain't flat. Nope. It is far from flat. I asked S to take a photo of me with BB, convinced it would prove my tummy's flatness...and here is that photo:

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Um, yeah. Not flat. At all. Oh well...how about flatter - we shall go with that. Ahem.

Anyway - this was all on going home day, as I said, so that meant we also put BB in "real clothes" for the first time - in a "going home" outfit I bought just for him. Most of what he will wear for the next several years of his life will be hand-me-downs from big brother LM, but for going home, he needed his own outfit.

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And he swam in it...of course.

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But he was cute in it nonetheless.

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And he looked oh so tiny in the car seat as well.

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That's the receiving blanket his Nana made him...

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And we made it home.

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And took a nap.

See you soon.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Other Hospital Visitors and Goings On

We had a few other visitors to the hospital while we were there. I want to share those with you today, and tell you a little bit more about our boy, and about our time in hospital.

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Uncle Jim and Aunt Sis stopped by!

First, a little about BB's name. The first name is one we chose especially for him. We looked and searched through family records for a name we thought would fit him and our family, and while some made the final few, the one we ultimately chose, as far as we know, has no significant familial history. As I think I mentioned in the pregnancy posts, we had a time choosing this boy's name. With LM, the name just came to us, early on, clear as day. This one seemed a bit more challenging. We even bought a baby name book to help! With the help of family names and the baby name book, we came up with a list of about 20 names we felt might work - and this was around the first of the year. Then we whittled away at that list until we had it down to three or so that we agreed would work. 

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Miss Margaret...

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...and Todd stopped by for a visit.
Todd was disappointed we didn't name him Nugget. ;-)

Early on, I really wanted to try to find a name that didn't have a nickname associated with it - not that I disliked the nicknames associated with the other names we contemplated - just that I sort of liked that LM's name didn't have a nickname, and neither did ours, really, so it might be nice to meet that criteria. And, of course, we wanted this name to go with our long last name - so in our minds, that meant it needed to be no more than two syllables, nickname or not. I sort of gave up on the "no nickname" thing, but in the end, we chose a name that complied with that parameter anyway. 

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The library came by too - Karen...

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...Mark...

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...Katie...

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...and Chelsey!

Then, for the middle name, we definitely wanted to make it a family name - preferably on my Dad's side, since LM's middle name, while it appears on my Dad's side too - it's Uncle Kenny's middle name - it is most associated with my Mom's side of the family. LM's first name is associated with S's family, and of course so is his (and BB's) last name. So, we contemplated possibilities from all sides, but ended up with my maiden name as his middle name. This is really the only way to name a boy after his mother in any way, and it honors my Dad and his family in the same way. So, that is where his name came from, more or less, for better or worse! I am pleased with his name - it seems to fit him, and our family, and I think after all of the discussing and indecision, we made a good choice.

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The nurses were so nice to LM - here he was able to use the stethoscope!

While in hospital, I ended up with a spinal headache - this happens in 2-3% of epidural cases - but due to the number of epidurals given at that hospital, that means they see a few every week. To fix it, I had a "blood patch" put in my spine - where they inject my own blood back into the epidural space, and it clots and stops the spinal leak - immediately. It is amazing. The night after the procedure, I had to stay lying flat, so this meant S had to stay with me overnight to give me the baby throughout the nighttime hours. Since the procedure, I have had no return of the headache. 

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Other than that, we just did a lot of hanging out and getting to know one another. Then, finally, on Saturday, we were able to go home! I'll share our trip home sometime soon.

See you soon.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Baby Boy #2 is Here!

In lightning record time as compared to posting about LM's birth, I am here to share the wonderfully good news of Baby Boy number 2's birth day! Adam Craig Wagliardo was born last Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 7:47 am. He weighed 7 lbs, 2 oz, and was 19 3/4 inches long. I think, after today, we'll know him as BB on this here blog, to stand for Baby Boy - I contemplated other options, because what if I'm still writing here when he's something like 14...but even at 14, he'll still - and always - be my Baby Boy. So, BB it is - joining LM (Little Man) and S to the cast of my family's characters as we move on down the road. So, here we go - here is BB's birth story:

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The last photo of the most pregnant I'll ever be.

As you may or may not remember, I had a procedure done back in 2008 that now precludes me from laboring - or having a baby the old fashioned way. I have, now, been pregnant twice, and have never felt what a contraction feels like. I know, strange. In all honesty, I was sort of hoping for one over the weekend, you know, just so I could experience that. But, it did not come to pass. My body will hold and grow a baby just fine. It just will not push it out. So, I had a c-section with LM, and I had another one last week. We scheduled this, as the nurse at my doctor's office puts it, my "Hollywood delivery" several weeks ago, and we chose the first spot of the day - might as well get on with it.

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This meant we were scheduled at 7:30am - which meant we were to arrive two hours before that - at 5:30am. LM went Monday night to stay at Nonna and Papa's house, and they came up to the hospital a little later in the morning, when we could get upstairs and into a room, where they wouldn't have to corral a 3 year old in a waiting room. My mom met us at the hospital and said hello and good luck before we went in, and we were signed in and prepping by 5:33am. 

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Selfie of a dad of one...soon to be dad of two.

They went through all their procedures, prepping me for surgery. The procedure was slightly different than three years before with LM. First, they moved me into the operating room prior to giving me an epidural, which I think worked way better than the way they did it when LM was born - this way, I was already on the operating table to start - they didn't have to move me until afterwards. 

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The operating board - just like on TV! 
(tongue in cheek, people - tongue in cheek)

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We were in the operating room and ready to go by 7:19.

Dr. Angel, my doctor, was able to deliver this baby, as we scheduled it on a day she was available well in advance, and the date didn't have to be moved. Dr. Pero, in the same office, assisted. They had some nursing students on hand on this date, and asked if one could stand in for my procedure - we said sure, and we got Jeremy, who is hoping one day to be a nurse anesthetist. He was a very nice young man, and told us after it was all over that ours was the first birth he had ever witnessed, and he would never forget us. The anesthesiologist was a very personable fellow - I think his name was Dr. Koenig - he and the nurse anesthetist on the case - P Dan, they called him - were really great. And, since the nursing student was in the room, Dr. Koenig and the others explained what they were doing every step of the way, which made it pretty interesting for us too.

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Much like I reported with LM's birth, having a baby by c-section is truly an out-of-body experience. You are numb from the chest down, but you can feel them move you around as they cut and then push/pull the baby out, then clean you and sew you up. But, there is a curtain up so you can't actually see what they are doing. This was all very much the same with BB's birth. 

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And there's the magic time of birth!

What was different was Dr. Angel brought the baby around to me to let me see him almost immediately. And, Dr. Koenig took the camera from S and took photos for us along the way, so S could go over and be totally into watching them clean and check the baby.

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 There he is, just being born - cord being cut.
Apparently, he had a very LONG cord.

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Dr. Angel with the baby!

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So, right as BB came out of the womb, he made a couple small cooing sounds - I could hear he was "here" but not the screaming right away that his brother let out. However, by the time he made it to the warming table to be checked out, he was screaming full throttle. Since this signifies a pair of lungs that are working well, it was again a welcome and reassuring sound.

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My reaction upon seeing him.

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You will notice this boy has some HAIR on his head - not a ton, but more than LM had.
And, said hair is not black - or even dark brown. 
Dare say - some of it is even BLONDE. 

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Besides his coloring, here and for his first few days of life, it felt like I had given birth to a little clone of LM. I think part of this was just getting used to having another baby in my life - I called him LM, and he looked, to me, just like LM at birth. Or pretty darn close to just like LM. But as the swelling in his face went down and I got to know him, he and LM definitely look alike, but they are not clones. They are two beautiful boys, who I am so blessed to have in my life. 

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Here is another deviation from LM's birth story.

When they were done cleaning and checking out LM, which he screamed all the way through, when S brought him over to me, and I spoke to him, he stopped crying immediately. I did not have the same immediate effect on this little boy. Eventually, yes, he did stop crying and seemed to be listening for my voice. But, it took a while sister. He was not going to be deterred from telling the world what he thought about this string of events, even for a chat with his mother. 

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You'll notice through all of this, they were still working on me.

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Love this one of the baby with both of our hands near him.

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OK, here's another procedural change.

So, after the surgery we went back to the prep/recovery room. Previously, with LM, we stayed in this room for a while as they made sure my vitals were good, etc, and then they sent us upstairs and whisked the baby off to the nursery. Now, the nursery comes to the baby - that's right - they did all the nursery check stuff right in the recovery room! In fact, if the pediatrician had not shown up right when we made it upstairs, we would not have been separated from the baby at all that morning. Which, I have to say, was really nice.

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The nursery RN had a nursing student with her too.

Which made the whole nursery check more interesting for us as well, because as she went along, she was explaining what she was looking at and for at every step of the check. So, while BB was completely perfect, we had a little insight into why he was so, and what made that the case.

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Then it was time to head upstairs.

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So, since the pediatrician WAS there right as we arrived, there was about 30 minutes when all the grandparents and LM and us were hanging out in my room, waiting for BB to return. 

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It gave us time to answer all of LM's questions about the room.
And what I might be eating.

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We also let him open up his big brother present.

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Which Grandpa went promptly to work to help assemble.

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Then the baby arrived...

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And LM met his baby brother.

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He is so proud!

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Then the grandparents got a turn to check him out!
Nonna and...

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...Papa

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Nana

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Grandpa and...

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...Grandma all got a look-see.

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Then we took a couple of the new family of four.

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Don't forget LM...don't forget LM.

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Oh - and Daddy arranged for this hat to be readily available for photo ops...

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And we undressed him for a second to show off his little feet...
...which are carbon copies of his Daddy's big feet - complete with a massive big toe.

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Then Nana got LM this great doctor outfit.
Which he loved!

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Throughout the course of the rest of the day, we had some other visitors too!
Aunt Brooke

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Uncle Michael

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Aunt Sally and Cousin Cathy

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(Uncle Mark), Aunt Kim, Alexandra and Sophia

We had a few other visitors, and a couple of turns of events before we left the hospital, which I'll share in another post sometime soon. I cannot put into words how incredibly blessed and lucky I feel to have turned out with this family of mine. May God continue to bless us beyond measure.

See you soon.