Monday, September 30, 2013

Meet Mitch.

I don't care what number pregnancy it is for you, until that child arrives, the speculations, worries, questions, visions, never cease.  In fact, I wonder if it worsens with each one.  For some reason, I felt anxious throughout this entire fourth pregnancy. Though symptomatically, it was identical to the previous three, there was something very different about 4.O.  We found out his sex ahead of time, in big part, because of this inexplicable anxiety.  I had expressed major concerns about the delivery early on, to my OB.  The projected large size of my offspring made me nervous, I kept telling her that my old, tired uterus wouldn't be able to handle it, and that the baby's head would never come down.  Three, flawless, healthy, relatively smooth, prior deliveries made me even more nervous!  You'd think this would offer reassurance, but I was certain that something had to give, something had to be different.  All along, what I didn't know, is that 'something' was Mitch.  He is different.

Luckily, all of these worries, the anxiety, were for nothing.  From the moment my water broke to the delivery, everything went great.  I would like to note that once most of the fluid had finally flushed out, my belly was half the size!  Even the nurse noticed a significant change.  It's no wonder I would contract with every movement.  The baby wasn't so much gigantic, just his living conditions.  The labor was a bit slow, lasting 8 hours, and the baby's head was in fact, not coming down as I had predicted.  Until it did.  Then, one contraction and he was free!

With all of my births, I remember seeing the baby for the first time.  I can remember all my initial thoughts.  With Mitch, I saw his quivering lip, and thought, Curtis!  I saw his little nose and thought, Brock!  I saw his cheeks and thought, George! Then I held him, cleaned him up, inspected, kissed, and hugged my new baby, and realized, he was none of them.  He was just Mitch.  I saw my husband next to me with tears of joy.  I sensed a room full of happy, relaxed nurses, doctors, and techs.  I knew that we had done it again.  We had created another healthy, happy, beautiful, perfect little baby boy.  For the remainder of the hospital stay, and even today, I continue to smile to myself.  I reflect regularly, and think, "I have never been happier."  Never.  I couldn't put into words why I felt this way, I thought maybe some of it was relief that all had gone so beautifully.  Or perhaps, because Mitch turned out to be so incredibly cute, and dark haired, and familiar to me.  But then, Matt sat across from me the morning after Mitch was born.  I look over, and he is holding the baby, kissing his forehead.  And Matt says to me, "This is the happiest I have ever been."  To which, I reply, "Real nice, what about your other 3 son's?" Matt doesn't even hesitate in his response, "They are part of  why.  I now have 4 perfect, healthy sons.  I have never been happier."  It's amazing how frequently my husband of little words can exactly capture a moment in one phrase.  Or one photograph.
Because of the late delivery, the big brothers did not get to meet Mitch until the following morning. This is one of my favorite parts of becoming a new mom.  These little boys reactions are always so adorable, somewhat predictable and fun.  Brock, being the veteran, came in smiling, took one look at the baby, perhaps said "Hi", then moved on to exploring the many, many buttons which fill the hospital room.  Happy boy Curtis, was all smiles.  He loved that baby from the moment he saw him.  He worked on saying his name.  George.  Haha.  Little George was absolutely bewildered.  He kept looking at me, very disturbed by my hospital bed and gown.  He did not know what to even think of the baby.  You could see the wheels spinning, but he could not quite put it all together.  This was somewhat upsetting to him.  I had to get up and change into normal clothes before he would have anything to do with me.  He has kissed and helped with the baby a lot since then.  He loves giving Mitch hats and pacifiers.
One last thing, I will always remember about his birth, is that this is the first time I birthed a child that I did not immediately think, "O'Laughlin!"  He has a full head of dark hair. Eyebrows! Fuzzy little arms and legs and ears.  I think he might look the most different from his brothers.  Perhaps even a bit like me?  Or, as some people have put it, "my breed".  Maybe he will enjoy the Summer and heat like me!  I did say that I was breeding an Olympian while I was pregnant with him, and judging by his HUGE hands, long arms, ability to hold up his head from birth, and activity in utero, I don't think I'm totally wrong.  Fingers crossed he not only got my dashing good looks (boy version) but my athleticism.
Mitch loves to cuddle.  Nurses like a champ.  Sleeps soundly and for long stretches. Has only just begun to open his eyes for brief periods.  Apparently, he thinks if he is awake, then he should be eating!  He was not quite back to birth weight at one week, but over halfway there.  He does enjoy a pacifier.  He can tune out nearly any noise.  He's not so sure about the swing, but we'll get there.  I cannot decide if he likes to be swaddled. His finger nails are really long, but oddly attached the the skin below. His skin is the softest I've ever felt.  His eyebrows give him quite the expressions. He has Matt's chin.  He smiles in his sleep.  He is perfect.
Everyone else seems to think he is perfect, as well. It makes me over-joyed to see how much everyone accepts and loves Mitch.  Not just his brothers, but all of my and Matt's family.  All of our friends.  I've said it before, and I will always say it, but bringing a child into such a supportive community makes this experience all the more overwhelmingly amazing.  And wonderful.  And relaxing.  And joyous.  I get to spend a couple days int he hospital, admiring my miracle. Absorbing the baby smells. Noises. Feel.  Serenity. All while knowing my other children are happy as clams.  Hanging with their aunts, uncles, and grandparents.

SEPTEMBER 26TH, 2013 at 9:46pm
9lbs 8ozs and 21.5in 

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

All the things...

There are a lot of things I want to say, like as a Facebook status, but don't, because I know everyone is tired of pregnancy and children posts...but it's my life. I am consumed by it.

Currently, 4.O never let's me forget his presence. Every time I stand from a sitting position, I questionably have to pee. Every time I stand from a lying position, I contract, and questionably have to pee. I am waddling, because it feels like my pubic bone is splitting in half. Walking has never been so difficult.  The contractions, the pain, the pressure, my back could go out any moment, my legs go numb, any number of things are preventing me from taking my little boys for nice evening stroll.  I get home, and sit down.  I force Matt to do EVERYTHING.  I am somewhat certain that I am currently disabled.

If I eat too much, or too late, or something a bit spicy, I sit up in the recliner to sleep.  Even that doesn't 100% guarantee that I won't wake up at 1am with acid reflux making me vomit.

On top of this, I am working full days.  I am masking my complete and utter misery, to appear put together, for my patients, peers and colleagues.  Why do I do this?  Because no one likes to be around a "Debbie Downer". My misery is not their misery.  I never did acquire the skill to mope. The only ones who seem to understand how I truly feel, who don't buy into my fake, friendly facade, are my immediate family members.  Guess when you live with someone for a long time, you can tell when they aren't them self anymore.

After my fourth round of nine months of pregnancy, I am not completely sure who my true "self" is anymore.  But I do know that I normally have A LOT more energy.  I like to be active, walk a lot, go to parks, take my kids places, keep my house picked up, drink coffee and eat spicy food, carry my own laundry baskets, cook dinner every so often, sleep on my back, join in my children's' games and rough housing, and more that I just can't get my brain to eek out.

At 37 weeks and 4 days, the little guy weighed in at 9lbs 9ozs on ultrasound.  So, it's really no joke that I walk around with a term size baby for at least a month longer than most people.  It's hard on a body.  Just hard.  And each pregnancy gets a weensy bit harder here at the end.  Thank goodness it is just that...the end.  What's one more week or so?  Though everyday seems to crawl by, 4.O will be here before we know it!  We should probably lock down a name or two.  Tomorrow, I might stop by Target to buy some Dreft so I can wash the newborn clothes.  I still don't know where I am going to store these clothes, but that's just details.  He really only needs blankets and diapers for the first month or so, right?

All along, I have been hoping for this baby to be 10 days September 23rd it is.  What's another 4 days?

I can do this.