Friday, December 27, 2013

a better day, a real hope

sunday, i delivered our third son via c-section. that sounds like i performed the operation on myself. though quite good at multitasking, i did not do that. i'm not sure how to phrase it other than that, though, so there you have it.

we came home on christmas eve, tuesday, in the afternoon, with our two-day-old baby. our older sons are almost 2 1/2 and 15 months old. if this gives you anxiety, you're a normal person.

there was lots of unpacking to do, laundry, general day-to-day things, feeding now three kids (the older two have meals that rival three-ring circuses some days, but the baby is quite easy, thankfully), baths, teeth-brushing, diaper changing (oh yes, all three - the oldest says he is *never* going to go on the potty, and i'm starting to believe him), laundry, taking out trash, laundry, and so on.

unfortunately the bulk (pretty much all) of this is on my husband's shoulders right now. a c-section is a major surgery that just happens to result in a baby. it can be rough. my recovery so far has been painful but steady, though i'm not far into it. i take the medicine they prescribe for pain because it helps a great deal and is a gift from God for moms who have to deliver like i do. i'm mostly ok with it, but for periods of time, it also makes me sleepy, dizzy, and generally out of it (sometimes in a funny way and sometimes it's like i have the IQ of a jello mold). at certain times after a dose, i get about 30 minutes where the medicine and my body can handle light housework. i'm still pretty efficient, so i can help quite a bit in those times, especially doing a few a day. still, five days out from the surgery, justin has it rough right now, and is pretty much handling everything a family of five needs completely by himself.

and let me tell you, this week has been hard. each day has ended, and i've said or thought (or both) how tough it was. just tough. hurting and knowing i can't help more, knowing that justin is doing so much work, both of us wondering how. on. earth. we are going to learn to be parents of three little (really little) boys, and laundry. always the laundry.

today i had my post-baby appointment and the doctor said i was healing well (and advised me not to lift toddlers...which i may have done yesterday and may have not been the best choice). i took medicine regularly today, but only napped a little, which is a big step forward. i was able to help more, and we caught up a lot of housework and justin put away a few christmas decorations and organized some things. (tell him the dining room looks nice - it does, even though you don't know that without me telling you.) things were looking up! we would maybe even get to sit together during the kids' nap and watch tv or dual facebook on our respective tablets or something exciting like that.

and then levi decided to pull my coffee off of the end table and drink it. except he is one, and he just sat in the puddle he made, holding my coffee cup, saying, "nummy! nummy!" justin scrubbed the love seat, carpet, end table, and levi for 30 minutes. and darn it, it was really good coffee, too. and there went the day, the chance at tv time, sitting down together.

while justin cleaned, i cleared out the dishwasher and reloaded it. as i rinsed out the coffee cup that levi had just spilled, a song came into my head.

my hope is built on nothing less
than Jesus’ blood and righteousness;
i dare not trust the sweetest frame,
but wholly lean on Jesus’ name.

our tough week, though still tough, came into perspective. if i have three boys two and under, and my hope lies in easy days and catching up on laundry, i. am. in. trouble. big trouble.

but, if my hope is in Jesus, i can do these tough first days of triple motherhood. i can be a hurting, post-c-section wife relying on her husband for so much help. i can have laundry until the day i die - which is good, because i will.

and so, we continued with our day. we had dinner at the table as a family and talked and laughed and put the boys to bed and commented to each other that it had been a good day. after several agreed-upon tough days, a good day.

because our hope doesn't lie in having good days, we can have good days. because our hope is in Jesus, we can have good days.

may your hope lie in Jesus and not the sinking sand of a clean kitchen or coordinated naptimes, moms and dads.

josiah's birth day

Justin had to work Saturday, the day before my c-section. Well, he worked Friday night, starting at 11pm, until 7am, and then again at 11:45am Saturday, until about 5:15pm. This kind of thing happens whenever there's a ball game or other event that he has to work. I found out around 2pm Saturday that we would be going in for the c-section the next morning, so it was a whirlwind. Thankfully we prepared as much as we could early, though we were left behind on laundry. Lots of laundry.

Sunday morning, we traded cars with my parents because they were keeping the boys during our hospital stay, and then headed off to the hospital. We got checked in, and I got paperwork filled out and blood drawn and an iv hooked up and monitors stuck onto my belly, the usual for that kind of thing.

It was time to go back, alone so they could do the spinal block. Relax, they tell you, and then you know they're sticking something into your spine, so it's hard to really relax, but anyway. The first person tried three times, maybe four, and couldn't get it in right. The way you know that is when you feel crazy pains or pressure shooting down one leg or the other. It's freaky and unnerving, and, after several times, a little scary. Meanwhile, you're supposed to be relaxing. "If it doesn't take," you replay them telling you, "we'll do general anesthesia." So this is when I started worrying about that.

Finally the actual anesthesiologist stepped up, said confidently that he would get it, and he did. Boom. Done.

Spinal blocks make your blood pressure drop, so my blood pressure took a dive, then my heart rate went down, then they gave me two different medicines to raise my heart rate (all of this happened without me even knowing, probably just a surgery/keep me alive and conscious thing). I said I was going to puke and they shot zofran into my iv. It worked, thankfully. I felt dizzy from the bp drop and finally they brought Justin in.

I mouthed the words, "pray for me," because I was scared and I wasn't sure if I was going to pass out. Then I started to feel better, and then my heart felt like thunder. I commented on this and they filled me in on my blood pressure and heart rate issues and the medicine they gave me. Oh. OK. That did explain it. I hadn't had those issues with my other two c-sections, so I wasn't anticipating that, but I was alright.

Then they began the surgery. It's gross and weird because you can't feel it but you *can* feel it. You feel movement that you know is cutting and pulling. It's true. After a while I felt the familiar pushing of everyone's hands and elbows - it just feels like a lot of pressure on the top of your stomach. I told Justin, "get ready, he's coming. They're getting him out right now." I think I got overwhelmed and worried again, because the next thing I really remember is Justin making me focus, saying, "listen for the cry, listen, he's going to cry."

And he did. And I smiled and cried. A new life! A baby boy! And then he peed all over me and everyone on that side of the blue curtain. True story.

They wiped him off and weighed him and wrapped him up and to my delight let us keep him with us, which I had begged for with the first two but their policy didn't allow at the time. Justin held him while I got put back together again. They transferred me to a big, comfy, rolling bed and took us all to recovery, where they monitored me for various things and asked me every so often if I could move my legs yet.

I have a sinus arrhythmia they found when i was in surgery. What's that? I have no idea because I was on morphine when they told me about it. I'll probably go Google it. Because of it, they pumped potassium into my iv and it burned so bad i was sobbing. They stopped. They set it up to run with my regular fluids and it didn't hurt anymore.

During the time in recovery I held Josiah. I was too weak to really hold him well and Justin had to help me a lot but it was so nice to have him with us. They seemed worried about me while I was there so that's kind of an anxiety-inducing thing, but I was OK. I think physically it was the hardest time I had had in a c-section and I'm thankful it was the last instead of the first.

Then we went back to our room. It was a temporary room because they were so full of moms and babies that weekend (they cited a full moon and the weather for this) that we had to wait a few hours on a regular room. It wasn't bad at all; we still had a private room and it was still nice. When we went to our regular room, Justin got to press the button to play our lullaby. It plays through the whole hospital and each baby gets one played for him or her.

We stayed two nights in the hospital and left on Christmas Eve. I was very glad to go home, though it's been a very busy two weeks! I am recovering well but still recovering so I have certain things I still can't do. I've been lifting toddlers the whole time except for the first few days, out of necessity, but I don't carry them far or take the laundry up and down stairs, things like that.

Josiah is doing great. He has already had a little cold and a clogged tear duct and both are better! He is a good eater and sleeps a lot. Today I've noticed more times when he is awake. He is extremely content and great to snuggle with. We just adore him. Sam and Levi both pat his soft hair and say awwwww. Sam calls him oh-si-duh and Levi calls him si si (long i sound on those si parts).

So that's the story of Josiah's birth. :)