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Saturday, March 23, 2013

What They Really Think About Their New Brother

Victoria enjoys sitting under the kitchen table as I pump to watch the milk fall into the bottles.  She informs me of which side is filling faster, the size of the drops of milk and how fast they are falling.  She informed me, "Your body is really recognizing pumping now!  I love to watch milk fall from your nibbles!"  Yes, that is what she calls them, nibbles.

"Mom, did you know God was going to send us the cutest baby in the world?" - Victoria completely serious.

"Please don't make me go to bed, I just want to be with Brecken!  I love him so much!" - Christian

"Is today a family day?  I just want to hold him all day long." - Christian

They argue about who gets to hold him first and who held him longer.  They love taking turns feeding him a morning bottle that I pumped in the night just for that purpose.  They love to rush to wash their hands when they walk in the door so they can start touching his cheeks and head.  They love to entertain him by dancing, making faces or reading him a story.  They even found a box of letter and word cards and they take turns teaching him letters.

They are proud to show him off to anyone who would let them.

This little boy is so blessed to have a Big Big Sister and Big Brother!

Physical Therapy

I went to physical therapy yesterday.  I was a bit skeptical this lady could really help me, but I am/was desperate so I went.  She had me sit in the most comfortable over stuffed leather recliner as she asked me a bunch of questions.  She had to bend, walk, etc. and taught me an exercise with a ball between my knees and a couple strategies for transitions from sitting or laying to the standing position (which is where the real pain is).

But then, she pulled out a two inch thick belt.  She put it low on my waist and tightened it up while I was standing.  Instantly, the pain subsided.  I started laughing like a crazy person I was so relieved.  "Can I take this home today?!"  I blurted.  I did get to walk out of there with it on, limping less and walking faster.  The only problem is when I take it off the pain is back.  Possibly worse, or maybe it's such a relief to not have the pain for a while that it just seems worse.  I go back again in three weeks.  Hopefully stronger than I am now so I can do more exercises that will help this pelvis fuse back properly.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Looking Forward

Brecken was born five days ago.  Even though I didn't have a single stitch I've been really really sore.  Getting in and out of the car is really difficult, lifting my knees to walk up the stairs is difficult, rolling off the bed or couch is very painful and getting up after sitting hurts badly.  Yesterday I finally called the doctor and made myself an appointment for today.  I'm certain I could have used more rest after he was born but it still shouldn't hurt this bad.  I went in this morning and as I started to explain why I was only in the hospital for only eight hours I started to cry telling his birth story.  The midwife handed me a couple Kleenexes and I continued.  She gave me a physical and concluded I have a traumatic separated pelvis. The bones in the pelvis should be able to rub back and forth during delivery and then fuse back together after.  Instead, mine is actually separated and causing the pain when I move my legs certain ways.  It will fuse back together as the hormones leave my body but if it fuses wrong then there's nothing we can do to fix it.  Physical therapy is important and urgent.  They are able to get me in tomorrow at noon to begin.  I said that time wouldn't work because I have an appointment to get Brecken's infant pictures taken.  I didn't tell them the reason, but it's been something I've been looking forward to all week.  The midwife responds, "I don't know what you could have that's more important than taking care of yourself."  Well, ok then, noon it is.  The last thing we need is more appointments and it makes me sad that it's another thing to worry about, but hopefully we'll get it dealt with and get the pain under control.

While I was at the appointment I cried several times talking about his birth and the time spent in the NICU.  While I was in the NICU with him I kept thinking how we were lucky it wasn't something more serious we were there for.  I walked by room after room with babies in it and the other babies seemed sicker than ours.  I thanked God each night were blessed for me to be able to take off five months of work.  We're lucky to have insurance to get him the best possible care available.  When we came home I was thankful he only spent three days there.  I know so many people are there for weeks, if not months.

I've never given myself permission to be sad about what happened.  I was sad for everything Brecken was going through and scared to death it was going to get worse any minute but I tried to keep my thoughts as positive as possible.  But deep down I am sad.  It didn't go in any way the way I expected.  Far from it.  

The midwife I was speaking with told me her son's birth story was similar and even though he was now a healthy 36 year old man it still makes her sad.  She listened to me with tears in her eyes and told me I need to take time to grieve what I lost.  I would never have thought of it like that, but it's exactly what I need to do.

Nobody can understand what it's like, giving birth and having your baby suddenly whisked away by strangers, unless you've lived through it.  The feeling of helplessness.  The feeling of loss.  The feeling of anger and resentment.  The feeling of guilt.  The feeling of defeat.

Your body and mind goes on auto pilot as you breath so heavily as you struggle to get dressed you may just pass out.  But it doesn't matter.  You need to get to your baby no matter what.

I've cried a lot today.  I don't necessarily feel better, yet, but I do feel like it's ok to cry whenever I need to.  We've been through a hell of a lot this week and it's been pure adrenaline mode through just about all of it.

I'm looking forward to the weekend when we have time as a family to be normal.  I'm looking forward to (hopefully) feeling better and being able to drive.  I'm looking forward to taking Victoria on the shopping spree I promised her so she can buy all the things we've been eyeing waiting to find out if Baby was a boy or a girl.  I'm looking forward to letting Christian hold his little brother for as long as he wishes, instead of always saying, "It's time for school - or bed - or dinner."  I'm looking forward to being ok with cutting the hospital tags off my wrist.  I'm looking forward to having time to rest.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

St. Patrick's Day

Turns out St. Patrick's Day is one of my favorite holidays!  Who knew!?  I gave birth to our amazingly adorable son Brecken Steven at 3:01am on March 17th.  He was a whopping eight pounds nine ounces and was very difficult to get out the birth canal.  More details on that later.  It's been a non-stop adventure since the minute I was in labor.  We're finally home as a family of five.  We're resting.  We're finding our groove.  So many things are like de ja vu and so many things are different.  The same: nursing, Brecken looks identical to Christian at that age, the newborn smell, the messy house.  Different: many many more doctor appointments, a free pump and figuring out now I can use the computer when I pump rather than just read, talk on the phone or make lists.  Who knows what I'll type  about in the middle of the night, hopefully I'll wait to publish til the morning.  

I am loving being a mom of three perfectly perfect children!