Thursday, August 14, 2014

Nick's Birth Story

After hearing from so many people that this baby was sure to come early, I was surprised to find myself once again at my due date! August 5 came and went, with no signs that Nicholas was ready to make his big arrival.

On August 4...I look more than ready!

And so the pregnancy rolled past 40 weeks.  Up until that point, I had been out with Alex every day.  We would go to the park, go to the library, have a play date with friends.  That morning I just didn't feel like I had the energy to chase him anywhere!  So we went to Home Goods for some new pillows for all the guests we would be having soon, just to get out of the house.

Sometime that afternoon, I think during Alex's afternoon nap, I began to wonder if maybe the Braxton Hicks contractions I had been feeling that day were the real thing.  They were feeling pretty regular, and they didn't subside when I sat down.  Still, I didn't want to get overly excited.  I had a doctor's appointment at 4:00 that afternoon.  Surely my doctor would be able to tell me if they were in fact true contractions!

Chris came home as I was finishing laundry and I headed to the doctor's office.  My non-stress test looked great, but when I asked about what I was feeling my doctor was hesitant.  "Are they painful, or just uncomfortable?" she asked.  When I told her they were just uncomfortable, she told me they were likely just more Braxton Hicks.  Still, she announced that I was 3 1/2, almost 4 centimeters dilated, and that I would probably have this baby before they induced me in a week.  That was good news!

I came home and began timing what I was feeling.  They quickly moved from 10 minutes apart, to 8 minutes apart while we were having dinner.  (I had a big dinner, which also confused me- the books said I shouldn't be hungry if I was really in labor!)  I let my friend Kate know that we just might be bringing Alex by that night, and I left a message for my doula.  We put Alex to bed and I read him one of his favorites, Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site, all the while having contractions as we rocked in his room.

Realizing that the contractions were getting stronger, and closer together, I began to pack up a few more things for the hospital.  Chris was on his laptop trying to arrange for him to be out of the office the next day, and then I called my doctor.  I really, really didn't want to go to the hospital too soon, or go in for false labor!  But when I told Dr. Miller what I was feeling, she said I should probably come in right away.

We drove Alex over to our friends Kate and Brian.  Of course, there would be nighttime road work when I was in labor.  It felt like we sat on 302 forever before the police let traffic pass in our direction!  We got to their house and Alex was wide awake.  It was so hard to say goodbye, knowing that the next time I'd see him we would be a family of four, but Alex did great.  Kate later texted that he cried for maybe 30 seconds and then settled in to watch cartoons with her.  I may been strong when I told Alex goodbye, but I completely lost it when we got back to the car.  :(  Luckily the tears had stopped by the time we arrived at Danbury Hospital.

The maternity floor was really, really quiet when we arrived and we were immediately taken into the triage room.  Our labor and delivery nurse for the night would be Laura, and she was fabulous.  We really couldn't have asked for a kinder nurse.  Dr. Miller and one of the hospital's residents (who also happened to be Dr. Miller) soon came to check me...7 centimeters!  Wahoo!  They weren't going to send me home, and this wasn't false labor.  We were thrilled!  It was about 10:00 pm at this point.  Dr. Miller said if she broke my water, we might be having this baby before midnight!  But since I was doing so well (and I think because there was maybe only one other laboring mother that night) she would let me just ride it out.

We were taken to delivery room #5, which was the exact same room we welcomed Alex in.  That made us feel comfortable right away.  Chris and I walked and talked for the next several hours, as the contractions got even stronger and closer together.  Midnight came and went, and we were getting more and more excited to welcome our August 7th baby.

At 3:00 a.m. I was at 9 centimeters and Nicholas was very low.  Dr. Miller said if she broke my water, we would definitely be meeting our baby very soon!  So she did, and at 3:15 I started pushing.  Oh, the pushing.  Once again I was wishing for an epidural in that moment!  :)  But Dr. Miller was convinced that if I pushed hard through the pain it wouldn't take me long.  And she was right!  After 18 minutes of pushing, we got to meet our beautiful baby boy:

Nicholas Jay Gibson was born at 3:33 a.m. on August 7.  He weighed 8 pounds, 10 ounces and was 20 1/2 inches long.  He had a headful of hair (more than Alex!) and beautiful curls before they washed his hair and combed it out.  He also had tons of dark fuzzy hair on his upper arms, legs, and especially his back...he looked like an adorable little old man!

He is beautiful, and perfect, and we already love him to pieces.  Alex has been slowly acknowledging him more and more.  He loves to give him kisses and, on more than one occasion, has tried to pick him up.  Luckily we are good at intercepting him!

My heart could not be more full than it has been the past week.  These boys, Chris, Alex, and now Nick, are more than I could have ever asked for.  I am one incredibly lucky mama!

First photo as a family of FOUR!

Going home at last.

Hairy little squeaker!

My beautiful boy

Bonding with Daddy

Big brother taking it all in.

He loves him already!  :)

Monday, August 4, 2014

21 Months

Tomorrow Alex will be 21 months old!  That's one-and-three-quarters, which is awfully close to 2.  How can that be?!

He continues to make us smile and laugh every day.  He is a bit of a ham, and loves to look away and then look back at us when he knows he is doing something humorous.  He loves to sign "more" if we are doing something that makes him laugh, but is sure to also sign when he's "finished" once he's had enough tickling, haha!

He still loves to read, all the time, and his current favorites are: The Little Blue Truck and Little Blue Truck Leads the Way (still), Oh No!, The Runaway Bunny, and Snow Friends.  He is also a big fan of his pop-up picture books.

Alex continues to be AAD: All About Daddy.  He wants to wear Daddy's shoes, and Daddy's clothes. We were at the park and Chris was leaning up against a tree.  Alex looked over at him, and then took a few steps backwards so that he, too, could be leaning up against the tree.  :)  Alex loves to watch Chris work outside, whether it be mowing, power washing the house, or setting the weeds on fire (don't ask).  He loves to go down into the basement and garage with Chris, and particularly loves to steer the Porsche.  (While in park, of course.)

Alex signs "please" when he is eating (which is truly adorable, and is guaranteed to get him a second scrambled egg) but has also been doing a ton of talking.  We don't understand most of what he says, but he is definitely talking up a storm!  Lately he has been telling everyone "hi", still loves to say "bye bye", and has also been saying things like "row" (as in "row, row, row your boat"), "water", and "hot".  He's getting there!

He is a MONKEY.  He climbs all over the playground, can climb onto all the beds in the house, and even onto the wooden stool in the kitchen.  Not sure how this will work when I try to take him to the park once Baby Brother arrives!  :)  Which, by the way, does not look like it will be happening anytime soon.  Oh well!

He just HAD to put on Dad's shirt

...and then he just HAD to get it off!

Having a snack at Silverman's Farm

Checking out the goats!  They were super friendly.

The deer weren't quite as friendly.  :/

Feeding a sheep, very sweet.

Helping Daddy wash Mom's car!

At the beach with his buddy Eliza!

"I'm pretty sure I've seen mom do this..."

At Jones Family Farm with Grandpa and Nana!

"You mean I'm supposed to eat this?"

Cutest blueberry picker ever.

"Is it lunchtime yet?"

Over 8 pounds of blueberries!  Nana did well!

"This is GREAT!  Why didn't we start HERE?!"

Making chocolate zucchini cake with Nana.

The official taste tester, yum.

Teaching "baby brother" how to use tools.  :)

Working hard on his art project.