Man, I don't even know where to begin! I make it a lot harder on myself by waiting so long to post things--I procrastinate, everything builds up, I have so much to say but half of it I'm sure is pointless and as always, I'll ramble on. The truth of it all though, is it actually feels therapeutic once I finally sit down and put things in writing. Secondly, It makes me happy to have something to look back on that documents how I was feeling during this time. You'd be floured by the amount of things we forget and the things that run together--hell, the first two weeks of Nash being on this earth with us are already a blur and that breaks my heart! As people, I feel it's our nature to have preconceived views of things, to plan and idealize things, to rush, schedule and go go go! Life leading up to Nash's arrival was all of those things (not necessarily for the bad of course--it's normal to get excited and daydream of what will be). I had a scheduled C-section with Nash at 39 weeks and 1 day--I had somehow convinced myself that he would come before that date simply because his sister came at 38 weeks. Also, holy pain and pressure for the last month or two of pregnancy! I swore some days my pelvis would just split in two and he'd fall out; I'm happy to say that did not occur ;) This go round was certainly a lot harder than my first two. I was so used to never being restricted; working 12 hour Wedding days on my feet no problem and cramming in sessions, easy peasy--and only experiencing the normal pains and pulls but by that third go round I guess my body was a little pissed ;)
In all honesty, I remember laying in bed talking with Brian at 38 weeks saying that I just didn't feel ready. Then I judged myself of course; why didn't I feel ready? Wasn't I over the moon excited to meet my son? Well of course I was but along with that arrival meant the change of so many things for our family. I feared my daughter, Tyler, wouldn't understand (which she still doesn't of course, she's only a year and a half) but I feared she'd lash out, react poorly, resent us in her own little way. I was sad that our days of just her and I would come to an end (I teared up at every little hug and every late night that we'd bring her in to our bed when she was teething, I cried). The problem with that way of thinking is it's untrue! We will always have 'our days' (it's important to continue on with dates and activities to make them feel special!)and she will always need and love us! I realized the gift of another child, giving a sibling to your precious babe is insurmountable and the joy in your family will only double-along with the chaos and the amount of time it takes to actually leave the house ;)
Leading up to this 'due date' I decided I wanted to document this belly as much as possible --just in case it's our last (which I still cannot comprehend; did I mention I adore being pregnant, prefer it actually?!) We scheduled our maternity session with our love, Andi Grant, who as most of you know by now, has documented pretty much all of our significant life events from engagements to births! I've had this goal of finally getting pictures at Belle Isle, my favorite part of Richmond. We all piled in our car despite the gloomy day, hit a ridiculous amount of traffic only to arrive and learn that of all days--that day their was a huuuuge celebration, thousands of people, no parking and detours everywhere. Light was fading super fast so we made the decision to drive elsewhere and snag a random spot for pictures in the last 20 minutes of daylight. I could say that's just our luck but you know what--I was with people I loved that took time out of their day to do something that would make me happy AND I loved the pictures that resulted even if it wasn't as originally planned.
(special thanks to Andi Grant for these pictures+memories!) Also thanks to my husband for tolerating me and traveling just for pictures and to my best friend Jenny, not pictured, for coming just for fun and wrangling our crazy toddler--aaaand NO THANKS to Tyler who was a pistol and pisssssed after the car ride and traffic and wouldn't cooperate for any family pictures haha--soundsss about right :) but she sure is cute ;)
Whelp--time for C-section day!! I made it! I'm not sure if it was better or worse walking in to the hospital with a planned birth. It definitely left more time for nervousness and fear. I think when it happens unexpectedly the adrenaline and excitement takes over leaving less room for nerves. So, needless to say I was a HOTmess the night before. My family and friends came over, prepared dinner for us, helped with Tyler and were ready to be up and at em' at 4:30 AM, hospital arrival at 5:30! NO sleep was had, nervous poops were in full force (haha sorry, TMI but oh so true). I was terrified of something going wrong. Given our past, I already fear the worst, it's a curse. Granted, C-sections are done so routinely but somehow I always hear of things going wrong and of course those are the things that are ringing in my ears and haunting my thoughts. I even remember telling Brian if anything goes wrong with me don't let anything happen to our baby--talk about sick and twisted, my poor husband.
We checked in and actually paid our bill before going back--the weirdest thing! I was relieved by the chatter and laughter, sweet nurses and friends/family making light of the situation before I was taken back. I will gain a beautiful baby out of this-repeat, repeat, remember, breathe. They take you back alone for the spinal. There you are in a freezing, bare room, alone, yet surrounded by 5 or 6 doctors/assistants, ASS out and vulnerable as can be. When I'm in pain and fear my body involuntarily shakes, bad. So here I am, tears streaming, trying not to shake as the anesthesiologist tells me 'you need to get it together, you have to remain still' haaa, I'm the worlds worst patient! Poor 'Dave' who was supposed to keep me still and brace me in front wound up being bear-hugged and getting mascara imprints all over his scrubs from my face/tears buried in his chest. He talked to me, he was so kind to me and I'm so very thankful for him. Finally I was all set up and ready and my husband, the father to our children came in and looked at me in awe and a sense of calming came over me (or maybe it was the morphine kicking in ;) ) regardless, in minutes we were going to meet our son and we were in awe.
He was perfect in every way. I heard his cries and saw his chubby cheeks for a matter of seconds and he was then whisked away and so was Brian. It's a feeling I can't describe. Beauty and amazement, so surreal and bittersweet at the same time. You bring this child in to the world and immediately they're taken away-- that's what I miss the most about a vaginal delivery, that moment of strength and beauty as you give that final push, your perfect baby being placed on your chest. (I feel it's one of life's little miracles that I was able to experience that with our Angel Aubri. Despite the complications that were caused by it, in turn requiring me to have future c-sections--it was meant to be)Instead, there you lay--on the table alone being stitched up, tugged and pulled and dream of what your baby will be like, is everything going ok? What does everyone think of him? Did my surgery go ok? How much pain will I be in? When will I see him? It's a whirlwind, life altering experience.
In recovery Brian was finally able to visit. I'll never forget his smile as he came in to the room. He began showing me pictures of our son, just beaming. He had a head full of hair, BROWN hair! I immediately said, 'wait, that's not our baby!?' We have bald babies! Yet there he was, healthy and thriving, our sweet boy, our whole world.
Thanks again to Andi for capturing the birth of ALL of our children--talk about special. Brian snapped a few as well after she left :)
Finally moved to our room and able to see and hold my son for the first time.
We get to go home!
Now, we're home. Life is forever changed, for the better. I'd be lying if I said things have been easy. Times have been trying, exhausting both mentally and physically but wonderful at the same time. I'm forever thankful for Brian, I for a fact, would not make it in this life without him. I certainly wouldn't have survived this first month without him. I've learned with a toddler and a new baby and a c-section, everything has to be done in shifts and stages. Basically Brian had to take over things completely with Tyler as I was unable to lift her at all. Sadly I could barely even have her near in the beginning because my entire stomach was so sore and she's so rough and tumble (and excited!) she'd beat me up without even realizing. I took on Nash duty as he was permanently attached to my boob anyway--Brian was just swimming in diaper duty for both babes and constant toddler entertainment; he's my hero!
I watched something happen in that month though. Brian and Tyler have always had an amazing relationship of course-- but this time for just the two of them has been a beautiful thing to witness. Before, he would come home from work to take over the usual bath duties and typically dealt with a sometimes whiny child exhausted from the days activities. Now, he got to experience everything, all the smiles, laughter and crazy antics. I think they fell in love with each other all over again. The clincher was in the middle of the night, she awoke due to teething and he brought her in to our bed--instead of clinging to me like she always did (Before, he could never soothe her in the night, she wanted her mommy and I secretly/selfishly loved that) but not this time. She wrapped her little arms around his neck and there I laid with Nash, overwhelmed with happiness and sadness all at the same time--did I mention I was a trainwreck of emotions these days?! ;)
Most importantly and last but not least! Tyler ADORES her baby brother, yay! She's not jealous like we feared. She beams when she sees him--all day long we hear, hi baby, my baby, hey baby, I love you! She 'helps' with diaper changes and brings his paci and blanket, gives him kisses and hugs and says 'don't cry!' Though things are difficult now, though it's impossible to get out the door on time, though nights are sleepless and days are filled with diapers--words cannot express how full my heart is. Our life is a mess but it's a happy one. This month has flown by but I truly appreciate the time we've been blessed with and cannot wait to continue to grow as a mother and experience this new life together as a family of four. Thank you thank you from the bottom of my heart for the continued support, sweet words and blessings to our family--we love you all and would be lost without you! SORRY for the long winded nonsense and if you made it this far, thanks for reading my ramblings! Family Christmas post to come soon ;)