Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Welcome, Alexander!

Alexander Cole was born on December 26, 2007.

He was due on December 20th. After a week of waiting and waiting and waiting, we were scheduled for an induction. While I dreaded being induced, I also couldn't wait to have Alex in my arms! (It was also nice to finally escape everyone's "You're still pregnant?" and "When are you going to have that baby?" comments. Let me remind myself to NEVER say that to an expecting mother!)

We arrived at the hospital at 6 AM for a scheduled induction. Mommy had started having irregular contractions during the night, but didn't see the point of going in until the scheduled time. At about 7 AM, pitocin was started. My daytime nurse, Debbie, was terrific. We loved her! She was friendly, and she made everything so much easier, talking us through everything. I wanted to see how long I could go without pain meds, and I think I was between 5 and 6 cm when I asked for Stadol. Ahhhh, what a more writhing in pain! When that wore off, they wouldn't give me any more Stadol. I never did ask why. I was so exhausted by that point that I decided an epidural was the only way I could get through it...I knew I could handle the pain; I just couldn't handle the exhaustion and the pain. I was between 7 and 8 cm, I think, when I got the epidural. Alex was born at 6:47 pm after about an hour of pushing. Daddy cried. Mommy just laid there exhausted, waiting to hold her baby boy. In our videos, you can see that I'm panting as I held Alex for the first time. I was very happy, but surprisingly, I didn't shed a single tear. I was just absolutely grateful for my healthy little boy!

Everyone says you can't prepare for motherhood, and I've learned they're right. You can read books, you can know a lot about babies, you can have every baby item in the world...but you can't be prepared for how you'll feel as you're exhausted, recovering from a pretty painful event, and then face complete sleep deprivation with a newborn who needs your help around the clock.
I wouldn't trade a minute of it, but it's definitely a lesson in responsibility!

I couldn't wait to get out of the hospital. We checked out of the hospital about 26 hours after Alex's birth. I knew it would be just as difficult at home, but I wanted my own bed, my husband nearby around the clock, and to be away from the sterile hospital environment. When we arrived at the hospital, I told Keith there was NO WAY that I'd go upstairs in a wheelchair. I had 2 good feet, and I planned to use them. That was no problem on arrival, but they insist you leave in a wheelchair. I sure found out why! There was NO WAY I could have walked out on my own! Wow, what seemed like a short walk on the way in seemed like a long wheelchair ride on the way out.

The first night home was quite the experience! Alexander wanted to nurse All Night Long. All night long. Not just here and there...the whole night. Wow. The lactation consultant had warned me this was a possibility. I think all three of us managed about 2 hours of sleep somewhere near morning. Welcome to parenthood! :)

The first few days at home are a blur of exhaustion, visitors, and Alex's first pediatrician visit. Next time around, I think we'll limit the visiting times to an hour here, an hour there...I couldn't relax with a houseful of family! I wanted to be part of the visiting when I really should have been sleeping!

Keith was able to be home for the first week or so with Alex. He returned to work on January 2nd. Around the time he returned to work, my mom came to stay for a few days. We're so grateful! She may feel like she didn't do much, but having her here just made me feel so much more comfortable. I really appreciate her early morning snuggles with Alex, when she allowed me a few extra hours of rest. I'm glad she got to experience those early days with Alex!

This blog is intended to be a journal of Alex's life. When Keith & I were going through marriage counseling with Dave, he told us how he & Karen have kept a written journal of their marriage/family from Day One. Their kids just love to look back through the journals and read the story of their family. I'd love for Alex & any future children to be able to do the same thing. So, while you may enjoy reading this & seeing Alex grow, this is also our own personal family journal. Knowing that you're reading it is just a way to hold myself accountable to keep it updated regularly. Thanks for caring & for being a part of our lives!

Keith & Dawn