Thursday, June 25, 2015

Our New Normal

One year ago this evening, we were resting at home and I was recovering from our egg retrieval surgery.  It was a long, exhausting day filled with so much excitement and anxiety.  I spent part of this evening re-reading my first post where we begged for prayer warriors to keep us in their prayers as we set out on this new adventure. I never could have imagined the support we would receive, the people we would reach and the reality we would come to know.  Personally, the blog was therapy without the awkward pauses and uncomfortable conversation with a complete stranger with tiny glasses, encrypting your words and silently not judging you…Mostly, it was an outlet for me to vent.  

Things have really come full circle in a year.  I dreamed, for so long, of the day we would become parents and 1 year ago today our hope had never been so alive.

A year later and I am writing this update as I watch our handsome boy sleeping beside us.  With a full belly and an evening full of snuggles and covered in kisses, he is finally here.  And, I couldn’t be more thankful…or exhausted (in the best possible way of course).

Happy Egg-iversary
Since I’ve taken a hiatus from blogging to soak up every millisecond with my son, I thought I’d catch you up starting with the obligatory “birth story”.  As most already know, our son came a little early (and on his own time).

Meet Nash Everett.  Born February 28th at 11:45PM.  6 lbs 10 oz, 19” of perfection.

Really, I want to provide proof that miracles DO happen and they happen to average, ordinary people – like us.  At 11 weeks in our pregnancy, after struggling for a couple years to conceive, we were given a 1% chance that our baby would be born “normal”.  Don’t get me started on what that even means – that’s for another night and a bottle of wine. Our odds got better as we went through the various testing but we were never out of the weeds and towards the end were just waiting for his arrival to see what, if anything, would be wrong.

We were scheduled for a C-section on March 4th, a Wednesday.  The Saturday before we were scheduled to meet our baby, Chris and I made dinner reservations to celebrate our final days as just us. We were headed to our favorite Italian joint, 518 West, armed with our lists of boy and girl names.  We checked in at the hostess stand and were surprised when the manager gave us a giftcard to cover our meal.  Our "last supper" had been picked up by Chris' parents.  We were thrilled.  And, then I peed myself.

Or so I thought. I looked at Chris and said that I thought the baby had jumped on my bladder and I needed to go to the bathroom. I did my business and when I stood up from the public bathroom squat it kept coming.  It was then that I happily realized I still had control of my bladder while simultaneously panicking because I had control of my bladder.  There is liquid gushing - but I am not peeing - oh my god, water breaking.  I went back out to tell Chris, who was still waiting on our table.  He freaked.  And, I mean he literally panicked.  And, then my water kept breaking.  While I was standing there.  It was gushing.  Just like in the movies – even though everyone told me it doesn’t happen like it does in the movies. I remained surprisingly calm throughout everything.  I told Chris to get the car and went back to the bathroom to try to clean up.  I actually ended up talking with one of my best friends who I had texted and we decided that it was indeed my water breaking.  The conversation was actually a lot more colorful than that and I can only imagine what the women coming in and out were thinking. 

In the meantime, Chris was having problems getting our car from valet because the guy hadn’t had a chance to bring our keys back to the stand. So no one could locate our car keys. Chris was mid-panick telling everyone in the restaurant that we were having a baby.  When I finally came out of the restroom it was like they rolled out a red carpet for me to the door.  I barely noticed everyone staring and the few “congratulations” and “good lucks” as we left.

We headed home to collect our things, kiss the pups and make our way to the hospital.  Because we were scheduled for a C, neither of us had actually packed a bag yet so the chaotic scene that ensued in our bedroom was pretty comical.  We got to the hospital and checked into our room about 9PM.  Labor was definitely progressing and I was one of the lucky ones experiencing the gut-wrenching, bring-you-to-your-knees, back labor.  

Our last picture before Nash arrived
They still had to do blood work before they could start anesthesia.  Not to mention, Dr. V wasn’t on call and I was freaking out about that.   Dr. V was the first doc that tried to knock us up and stuck with us through everything so he was the only one I felt comfortable with cutting into me.  Luckily, the midwife was finally able to get a hold of him and he showed up, unannounced and surprised us to the point of tears!  That man is a god-send.  He showed up.  He actually showed up.  On his night off. He asked me why I was crying and all I could say is “You came.  You actually came”.  His response – “Of course I’m here.  I wouldn’t have missed it”.

Dr. V with Nash
Chris came back to the OR once they administered the anesthesia.  And, a few minutes later the OR erupted in cheers and laughs and with tears in his eyes, Chris told me we had a son.  That moment, hearing the love of my life, telling me we had a little boy, solidified every reason I did not find out the sex during the pregnancy.  It was the single best surprise in my life (aside from our proposal). Our little guy was born into a party in that OR and I’ve never felt such an overwhelming, intense amount of love for my sweet boy and loving hubby.    

We had so many visitors in those first few days and it's a bit of a blur.  Lots of nursing, lots of snuggles, lots of kisses, lots of "how do we do this" and "what do we do now". And, then they sent us home on Wednesday, March 4th – the day we were supposed to meet our baby.

I am proud to say we have survived the first 16 weeks of parenthood.  Our kid has mastered the art of the blow-out and many a onesie has fallen victim – I’ve even fallen victim.  There is some switch inside you that flips when you have a kid where bodily fluids no longer gross you out. Despite the poop and the barf, our Nash is probably the coolest kid I’ve ever met.  

He is seriously the sweetest baby.  And, he LOVES to cuddle – we call it “snuzzle time” in our house.  Some of my favorite moments of maternity leave were curling back up with him hunkered down on my chest after he ate “breast-feast” (as Chris calls it) to take a snuzzle-nap.  

There is also something so amazing about a good neck hug.  When he wraps those chubbly little hands around my neck and buries his face into my collarbone – I melt.  I stop what I’m doing and just take it all in because I know these moments are fleeting. 

Those middle of the night feedings became pretty special too.  Just me and him, the hum of the humidifier and the stillness of the night. I talked with him, prayed with him, stared at his little face, held his tiny hands and cried just thinking about how lucky and blessed we are.  I miss these moments already - we lucked out with a kid that started sleeping through the night around 8 weeks!

I know you must be wondering what ever happened with the hygroma.  And, the answer is nothing.  We have a little miracle babe that beat those odds and is by all means pretty perfect, despite some reflux.  Our pediatrician will continue to monitor his development closely, but all signs are pointing to perfect.

It is so surreal that just one year ago we were dreaming of today.  Disney wasn’t lying – dreams really do come true.  Miracles really do happen.  Our sweet monster was worth every tear, every heart ache and every angst-ridden moment over the last few years.  I wake up every day excited to see his gummy grin and feel those little arms grasp my neck. And, this feeling, this love is what life is all about.  

His face every day I pick him up from "School"
Happiest boy there ever was
First Father's Day

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