Friday, Aug 21
8:00: Check in at the hospital, a little later actually. Since it's my third, I wasn't so stressed that we were a few minutes late. It was a little different doing things in a new hospital, but through registration and surgery prep, the next hour passed quickly. Then, I swear I stared at the clock from about 9:30-10:00 just waiting for the surgery to start. It's hard to be excited for a major surgery, but knowing what is waiting for me on the other side of the knife and needles kept me from being too anxious about the whole thing. Brian did his best to help comfort me in a situation where there is not much for him to do. He did a great job supporting both me and the baby through our first hours.
10:30: After enduring a few dreaded minutes of placing the spinal and the nausea that always accompanies it for me, I finally get Brian in the room and we get started. We passed the time by trying to narrow down our couple of choices of boy names, and at one point I finally throw out that I'll agree to Thomas Samuel. Brian thinks I was under too much anesthesia at this point, because I had hesitated on the name Thomas for so long (just because there are so many "Thomas's" in our life already) but was finally agreeing to it. We did not make a final decision yet, and a few minutes later our doctor announces, "It's a boy," and I have to admit I was a little teary at hearing his first cries, but not surprised as I fully expected another son. I got a quick glimpse of him, but then spent the next 19 minutes waiting on them to bring him closer to my side. Brian went back while they scored his Apgar and did all the new baby work and I waited anxiously to hear if everything checked out on him. Despite being a few gestational days younger than his brothers, his weight was the exact median of their two weights at 8 lbs 12 oz and he was a good 21 inches tall (which did not surprise me at all, after how much pain my ribs had been in).
10:58 First Photo with Mama
11:45 Mama can finally hold baby after surgery is over! (66 minutes old)
12:30 With his proud daddy (2 hours old)
2:30: By this point, I was finally wheeled to our room and Brian arrived back with baby. We called back my mother and boys almost as soon as possible, and introduced the boys to their brother. I will always treasure how sweetly the reacted to him, and how excited they were to see me as well. Theodore was sad about me having to have a c-section due to his initial birth experience, and Elijah didn't understand why we couldn't all go home immediately (and wondered what every button in the entire room did). Theodore suggested a few more silly names, and Elijah incorrectly identified baby's umbilical cord as the feature making him a boy, both providing some laughs for us to remember.
Meeting his big brothers (4.5 hours old)
After this, we spent the next 48 hours in the hospital kissing and snuggling and photographing our tiny one. The baby slept most of the time, and required some work to get to wake up enough to try eating.
Meeting cousin Maci...
and Grandma and Natalie.
And even though this was our third time around, we managed to record some "firsts" like his first sneezes and hiccoughs (both occurring at about 8:30 that night). The nurses took great care of me, and had me out of bed before midnight on baby's birthday. Registration kept attempting to fill out paperwork with us, and we had to keep explaining that we still weren't set on a name.
Saturday, Aug 22
After a pretty good night mostly rooming in (other than when the benadryl I took for the itchy reaction to the medicines set in and I had the nurse take the baby for a bit) morning came along, and we began celebrating Brian's 33rd birthday with his 3rd son. I got up and around, moving as much as possible, and was very surprised with how good I felt. The baby did not feel as good considering he had to get his circumcision (and introduction to binky) that morning. Later, when the boys arrived, we checked with them as to whether it would be okay to call the baby Thomas, and they both agreed to liking the name, so Thomas Samuel was officially named. The boys, grandma, Aunt Megan, cousins Natalie and Maci, and I all got a piece of daddy's cake (I was off liquids by this point) and the boys opened their big brother gifts "from" the baby. The kids then spent some time watching Word World while grandma and Aunt Megan got some snuggles in with the baby.
First morning, 23 hours old.
26 hours old.
First family photo of 5, 29 hours old
Sunday, Aug. 23
After a pretty good night, where I had to force the baby to wake up and eat, I woke up with a hymn in my head. I just couldn't get the tune out of my mind, and it started a day of thankfulness for me. Since we'd had another pretty good night with the baby, the nurses and doctors started rounds and talked about being dismissed all ready. I assumed we'd stay another day since we were a c-section, but we had just about everything checked off the dismissal check-list and were all doing so well. Thomas was down about 9 oz, but his bili-rubin levels weren't too high and he had filled plenty of wet and dirty diapers by this point that they weren't worried about him, and I was doing surprisingly good as well, so we started prepping to leave. I really had to push Brian to start packing and getting ready, as I think he really wanted to spend more time in the hospital bubble before facing the work of going home to the boys. I had a chance to grab a shower finally, and it was amazing to feel all the refreshing hot water on my traumatized body. Nothing feels better than a hot shower after a c-section. Around lunch time our pastor came by and visited, and prayed a very touching blessing over our newest son and family. The whole day was just filled with a special spirit. Our favorite nurse got us through the dismissal process, and we headed home.
Not a fan of the car seat, in his going home outfit, 53 hours old
Probably my most stressful/anxious moments were in the car on the way home, as I suddenly felt very vulnerable to be out of the hospital, and terrified of all the crazy weekend drivers. We arrived safely though, and had fun introducing Thomas to his dog Cori and welcoming him home with a lot of fanfare. Elijah even read Thomas his first story. (Elijah did struggle quite a bit with us being gone at the hospital, so he was most excited to have us all home together. As was I.)
Monday, Aug. 24
Much of this day was spent by me getting the house in order, taking a few minutes nap, and trying not to over-due it. I found the stairs surprisingly easy, and was able to take another shower (two days in a row!) and organize some of our new things. I found the rest of the boy clothes I hadn't unpacked, and spent some time finding all my favorite newborn boy outfits. Thomas slept, and slept, but did spend a bit of time awake, playing "peek-a-boo" with Theo, watching his brothers and cousins playing in the splash pool in the backyard, and even trying to lift up his little head while in the bassinet. About 85 hours after my c-section, I suspected my milk was starting to come in, and I was surprised I had managed to keep Thomas pretty satisfied until then.
79 hours oldTuesday, Aug 25
As we approached the 100 hour mark, I wrote this from my recliner in the silence of the night at 4am. I woke Thomas for his feeding, and couldn't seem to get back to sleep, though he did easily. I still seem to have all this adrenaline and energy going, but I know I am going to crash soon. Having three boys under six is going to take a lot of care to balance, and I'm already trying to figure out how to give each one their own special time with me. Luckily, they like being together and don't mind sharing it a bit. We'll take Thomas to his first pediatrician appointment later this afternoon right at 100 hours of age, and hopefully continue to be blessed with his good health and signs of a great little boy in the making.
98 hours old