Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Life with Q

✪ Were we surprised it was a girl? Minimally. Everyone that I worked with thought it was a girl, Jon thought it was a girl, my sister and some friends wanted it to be a girl, so I think I became convinced that it was going to be a girl. I think we would have been shocked if it was a boy.

✪ How, oh how, did we come up with her name? I heard someone say the name to their daughter in the lobby at my Resort several months ago. It immediately caught my attention and I ran back to my desk and wrote it down (yes, I have had an ongoing baby names list for more then a year). There is a small town about an hour and a half north of us named Quincy, so it's actually quite possible that the guest in my lobby was telling her daughter that's where they were going. I took the name back to Jon and he liked it. "Like" is about as close as we ever got to agreeing on names, male or female. He didn't like a single other girl name that I selected, and he never proposed a single one himself so Quincy it was. Other girl names on my radar were Finley, Campbell, Regan, Lakely and Emerson. Jon nearly gagged at the sound of all of those.

✪ If it was a boy, he would have been named Everett Hayes.

✪ Quincy was born with long feet and long skinny legs and hands. Odd, right? Her feet are much bigger then Nolan's were at birth and her legs and especially calves are long and lanky, making me wonder if she'll be towering over her brother in a few years. On her first check up, I asked her doctor if babies are at all like dogs in that big paws indicate a big dog. No response.

✪ Her hair is straighter and lighter then Nolan's was at birth. Thank goodness. Keeping my fingers crossed, for her sake, that it stays straight. 

✪ Nolan loves her. He's still adjusting a bit, but he has embraced her as his sister. You can often spot him trying to hug and cuddle her. He's usually quite gentle, but he has mentioned "picking her up" a few times, so I'm keeping my eye out for that. He is quite the helper- grabbing my water, burp clothes, and blankets whenever I am in need of one.

✪  Jon is loving having a baby girl, whether he admits it or not.

                                                     Jon and Quincy, our first night in the hospital.
✪  Nolan was watching me the day that I changed her diaper and her belly button plug fell off. I then proceeded to tell him about how we get our belly buttons, etc. etc. He now asks to hear the story about belly buttons several times a day.

✪ Chalk it up to second child syndrome, but poor Quincy didn't have an adorable nursery to come home to. Nope. She's got a crib in our bedroom, her things stored in Nolan's bedroom, and now her most essential belongings are in our guest room for ease of access. Hopefully we will be out of this rental sooner then later, and we can create her own little retreat for her.

✪ She's sleeping through the night. Kidding. But it's what we were expecting and we're managing it.

✪ Our laundry has tripled since Quincy arrived. It's amazing that someone weighing 9 lbs and measuring in at 21 inches can create so much dirty laundry. Now I understand why families invest in super sized washer and driers.

✪ We have taken very few pictures of Quincy. I know, it's terrible. Chalk it up to exhaustion, but getting out my camera while juggling life with two, has just not been on the radar. I'm lucky if I brush my teeth any given day. I know, I know, they grow and change so quickly. If I had the energy it would probably keep me up at night that we've taken so few. Just. So. Tired. Not to mention, how in the world do you hold a baby, manage a toddler, plus the diaper bag and other gear, and take photos. Not sure if its actually physically possible.
Here are a few shots that I did grab when Quincy was one week old:

Next up, House Hunting- Tahoe Edition.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Quincy's Birth Story, Part V

To read about Quincy's birth from the beginning, you can find it here. 

Quincy and I, just after she arrived. 

        Moments after Quincy came into the world, Jon picked Nolan up and brought him to my bedside. It was only then that Nolan became upset. Frightened, teary and confused, he didn't like seeing me in that state. We quickly assured him and his fears subsided in only a few seconds. It seemed like he was maturing just when we needed him to.  He proved that night that he was made to be a big brother. I was aware through it all that Nolan was in the corner of the room, only steps away. It wasn't until Jon filled me in later to the fact that when I was pushing, he looked over to see that Nolan was staring at me. Taking it all in. Yep, he had a front row seat to his sister's birth. I'm hoping that he isn't permanently scared, because who could blame him.
Nolan immediately insisted on getting into bed with us. 
He climbed right up, and there he sat, very content.

       My parents arrived just fifteen minutes after I delivered, just a tad late to rescue Nolan from the delivery drama. We gave them the news that they had another granddaughter to add to their brood of eight. 

       Immediately after her birth, the nurses kept referring to "her". It was so odd to hear. In our house I've always been so outnumbered. I'm used to hearing "him", "he" and "his," but "her" was new to me. She was born with straight hair (thank the Lord), that was a dark blond, in comparison to Nolan's brown wavy hair at birth. She had Jon's long skinny legs, and long skinny fingers and feet. We're wondering if she'll be towering over her brother in a few years.

More about life at home with Quincy up next!

Monday, February 11, 2013

The Graduate

       The day that we had been waiting for for over a year happened on Thursday. Jon graduated from his paramedic program!  He started paramedic school January 21, 2012 and after six months in the classroom, followed by three months doing clinical shifts at various hospitals, and then three months working an internship on an ambulance, he was officially done. I think all of the spouses and families in the room shared a communal sigh of relief, because it all made for an exhausting year for everyone. 
Jon was really lucky in that he loved all of the guys in his course. 
Unfortunately the guys did not give him the memo about wearing a suit.
Jon had to give a little speech (valedictorian, what what) at the ceremony.
I was uber fortunate that Quincy slept most of the night, 
and that Nolan behaved as well as any two year old could be expected. 
Thank the Lord I packed him lots of snacks.
We almost forgot to snap a family photo, but grabbed one quickly before we left.
This is our first family shot outside of the hospital.
We are so happy to have this program behind us now.
We missed out on a lot of fun in 2012 because of Jon's rigorous schedule, 
so we have a lot to make up for in 2013.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Quincy's Birth Story, Part IV

       After lab work, my IV drip, a quick conversation with my doctor, and many more rounds of very painful contractions, the anesthesiologist was on his way up to my room. Meanwhile the nurse proceeded with more admittance questions. She asked if we had a birth plan. I let her know that my birth plan was to arrive at the hospital sans two year old, receive a euphoric epidural, take a three hour nap and then to deliver a healthy baby pain free. I was still planning on the latter. When Dr. Fischer arrived I heard faint singing from above and I let out a sigh of relief. Kinda sorta.  I quickly considered naming our baby Fischer if he was a boy. I let him know that I would sit any way he needed me to, when he needed me to, he just needed to say the word. It was about 3:00 am now and they figured I was already at about 8 centimeters. They offered me the opportunity to forgo the epidural one last time if I wanted to. I had already progressed so far. Done so much of the work. And I actually considered it for a moment. But it was a fleeting moment. I had no pain medications in me at the time, and I did not know if I could manage the pain through two more centimeters without some relief.
       Dr. Fischer opened his tool box of needles (that's how it appeared to me) and began preparing. Ten minutes later and I was receiving my epidural. My beautiful epidural. "Maybe we should name our baby Epi if it's a girl?" Another contraction came and went. Oh the pain. And a few minutes later, another one. Oh the pain. Wait? It should have kicked in by now.  My left abdomen and side were numb and blissful, while my right side had another story to tell. I waited for another wave to test the epidural. Pain, still lots of pain. At the recommendation of my nurse I laid on my right side, willing for the drug to seep over and spread the wealth of medication. But share it did not. The pain got WORSE on my right side. Was that even possible? An acute sharp burning began in my pelvis, and get never stopped. Not when a contraction ended, not when I moved and adjusted. It just burned, and pained, and wouldn't go away. This is when things got Ca-ra-zy.
       Dr. Fischer began speaking at me. But beyond his words, I realized something. The epidural DID NOT WORK. I think there was a book written somewhere about what it drives women to when epidurals don't work. Never mind. But there should be. Dr. Fischer (who would no longer, in any way, be passing his name down to my would be son) and my nurse began explaining, that due to the baby's head position the pelvic pain was now unavoidable. We attempted an additional dose of drugs, but that did nothing. The pain was so intense, I realized THIS is what they talk about when they talk labor. I am one of those screaming women in a delivery room somewhere.
       Everything moved so quickly from then onwards. The pain was so severe, they asked me if I'd like to push and deliver the baby. I asked if I had a choice in the matter. Pushing seemed like the only reasonable option for managing the situation, so push we did. I had to be reminded of how exactly to breath and push.  Trays were rolled in, the doctor appeared, they broke my water, and immediately I realized that pushing this baby out was the only way to feel relief from my pelvic pressure. I willed the baby to appear with each push. I remember thinking "I want this baby out!" Seven minutes later, at 4:07 am a baby was placed on my chest. A baby girl. We named her Quincy May.
Our First Family Photo

One last installment of her birth story will be up soon!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Quincy's Birthstory, Part III

       By 11:00 pm we had phoned my parents to give them a warning, phoned the hospital to let them know that we may be on our way in in a while, and began waiting for the contractions to regulate. Jon drifted off to sleep beside me. I contracted, and the boys slept. By this time I had a strong hunch that this was no false labor and I was buying as much time at home in our comfortable beds as I could. I figured that Nolan fared better with more sleep in him them not. Finally the contractions were consistently in the range of 3-5 minutes apart and lasting about 45 seconds each, for over forty five minutes. By the hospitals' standards, it was probably safe for me to come in. By my standards, the pain was now getting to be quite "uncomfortable" we'll say, and I was starting to fear how I would manage the thirty minute drive to the hospital. With Nolan in the car. With his eyes on me.
       With my first labor, the doctors had strongly encouraged me not to come in until a certain point. I think they've seen their fare share of anxious mothers-to-be arrive too early on in their labor. After five hours of laboring at home with Nolan, when I arrived I was between 2-3 centimeters dilated. Luckily, they admitted me. This time, I did not want to tote Nolan to the hospital in the middle of the night, only to not be admitted. However, this time my doctor had told me not to wait too long. Second labors progress quicker, and I was not planning on missing my window to receive the epidural. No sirree. The epidural is a gift from the heavens if you ask me. 
       So I figured it was time to pull the trigger. I was probably dilated to a few centimeters, the pain was intense, and I was ready for that sweet epidural followed by a restful nap. It was now a little after 
1:00 am and drizzling outside. I roused Jonny, who kicked into gear. He loaded our last things and Nolan into the car, and I got settled in the front seat. Away we went. As my first contraction began, Nolan had his eyes on me from the back seat. As a mama's boy, he is not a fan of seeing me in pain. I avoided his stare and talked to him between contractions. We let him know that it was time for the "doctor to take the baby out," just as we had been talking about with him for months. He quietly sucked his thumb, and took in the view from the back seat. 
       We pulled up to the hospital entrance where I was loaded into a wheelchair. Rolling, rolling, rolling, I headed up to labor and delivery while Jon parked the car and gathered our things.  Our wonderful nurse was waiting for our arrival, and had me set up and ready in my bed within a few quick moments. It was almost exactly 2:00 am. Thankfully, the contractions had subsided a bit so I had a bit of a breather as I was made comfortable in our room. The nurse let me know that contractions often get "doctor shy" when you arrive, but that they would be back. I made clear, after already making clear when we phoned in, that I would be wanting the epidural and needing the anesthesiologist. There is often only one anesthesiologist on at our hospital, and if they are with another patient, in a surgery, etc. then you are out of luck. Seriously. As the nurse went through her checklist of questions, "Allergies? Taking any medications? Date of Birth?" Jon and Nolan popped into the room. 
       Nolan. Maybe I should touch on him for a moment. Have I ever in my wildest dreams planned on bringing my 2 1/2 year old to labor and delivery with me? Nope. Was Jon confident that he could come with us and it would be fine? Yep. Did I think that my parents would arrive before we went to the hospital? Yep. Did we want to wake our friends in the middle of the night, and hand them off a two year old? Nope. Our hospital is small and approachable, and the labor and delivery department has only a few rooms. Jon had convinced me enough that it would be "just fine," so I went with it. To be honest, I was just so thankful Jon was at home with us and not working overnight. 
       It was time for the moment of truth. The nurse was going to check me to see where I was at in my labor. Jon was out of the room with Nolan when the nurse gave me the news. 7 centimeters. "What!" Jon shot back into the room. "7 Centimeters? What are you talking about? Can I still have the epidural?" We could not believe that I had already progressed that far. On top of that, the baby's head was very low. Like way low. Like don't sneeze.
       "Yes, yes, you should still be able to have the epidural. But first we need the lab here to do blood work. And you need to have a full IV bag. And then he will be able to come up." Add all of this hospital speak up and you're looking at about an hours time frame. At this point, the contractions were back like clockwork and they were back with a vengeance. An hour more of this pain was not going to be easy to manage. Nolan was now nestled in the corner of the room in a bassinet (which was actually for the new baby, and we had thrown into the car at the last minute in case we needed a makeshift place for Nolan to rest), behind a chair out of eye shot of me. He rocked himself in the bassinet, with his feet pressed up against the wall, thumb in mouth, not saying a peep.