Monday, January 28, 2013

Hospital Time.

I LOVE the after-baby hospital stay.  It is absolutley, 100%, without a doubt one of my most favorite times and most treasured memories. 

Sure, there's a little pain and discomfort and perhaps the sleeping arrangements aren't necessarily five-star worthy, but I treasure the visits from friends and family, the laughs and the love constantly present in the room, the joy and amazement in the older kids' eyes, the one-on-one time with a sweet new baby that is so difficult to come by once "real life" kicks in, and the precious, precious, uninterrupted time with my favorite man on the planet (although I'm sure he doesn't quite see it that way!) me, it's perfect.

Not to mention the fact that someone brings you meals and takes out your trash and brings you fresh towels and stockpiles the mesh panties for you and all that other wonderful stuff...for me, it's simply a nice break from reality.  And while I love my reality, I also love those four days and three nights of mini-seclusion, doing nothing but celebrating the life of a brand new baby.

Of course, if you know me, you know I take full advantage of the situation:  we stay as long as we possibly can, I live in my hospital gown (yes, I shower and put one of those bad boys right back on!), we take strolls along the mother/baby unit frequently and talk with all the nurses as if we all lived in one big neighborhood, and I drink as much ice water as I possibly can, simply because I love the water/ice machine located in the "nourishments" room.  And this time, we did it right and went out in style by managing to score the super awesome two-room suite.  Talk about high rollers!

Of course, our stay was made easy due to the fact that Thatcher (or Thatch-Thatch, Biggie Smalls, or Chunka Monka), so far, is a relatively easy baby.  He's big, he latches well and nurses like a champ, and he's been a great sleeper...he's been eating every 2.5-3 hours since the day he was born.  In fact, Ben and I were able to get so much more rest than we anticipated by taking advantage of the nursery service every single night of our stay.  I can't say enough about how fantastic the nursing staff was!!

Ben's favorite nurse, of course, was the one who complimented him on his glasses...she came in late one night, while we were sleeping, to check my vital signs and leaned over and whispered, "I love your husband's glasses.  They're so trendy!"  I responded with, "Are you serious?!?!?!"  Of course, Ben somehow managed to hear the entire conversation in between his snores. :)  And I got a big laugh the next morning when our new nurse complimented me on my nice glasses sitting on the tray beside my bed...

I think of all the things I'll look back on and miss about having a newborn, the hospital stay is going to top my list.  Always.  I know I'm probably romanticizing it just a bit, but not much.  I'll always have such sweet, sweet memories...and I wouldn't have it any other way!

First Impressions.


Sunday, January 27, 2013

Meet Thatcher.

I hated this pregnancy.  No question about it:  I was uncomfortable, absolutely exhausted, and in a foul mood quite frequently.

But I LOVED this birth.  Absolutely loved everything about it.  I'm not sure if my experience was due to fantastic nurses and doctors, this being my fourth c-section, or simply the fact that I went into the hospital knowing that this was it:  my last time giving birth.  I think it's safe to say a combination of factors was involved.

Ben and I checked into the hospital at 8:00 am, leaving our house shortly after Granti arrived.  The surgery was scheduled for 9:30, and we spent the the extra time changing clothes (gown for me, scrubs for him), laughing lots, watching tv, talking with our nurse, loading up on lots IV fluids (for me) and gearing up for what was to come:  FOUR kids!!!!!

I headed into the OR a little before 9:30.  I got my epidural and they prepped my body for surgery before bringing Ben in.  I don't remember much (the whole experience is always so surreal), but I do recall being able to see a reflection of my body in one of the lights above me before they hung the cloth.  I didn't get to see any real action, but it was such a strange experience!

Ben came in, camera ready, and things got rolling.  Benjamin Thatcher Haynes was born at 9:49 am and weighed in at 9 lbs even!  He was 20.5 inches long.

While I knew to expect lots of pressure throughout the procedure, I actually ended up feeling quite a bit of pain once they got that little boy out of my body.  I'm not sure what caused it (the only thing different this time around was that I got my tubes "tied"), but the sensations I felt around my bladder and bootie hole were so much more than pressure!  I let my awesome team know I was in pain and they fixed it quite quickly, but it was not fun.  Thankfully, I had Thatcher's sweet cries to distract me. :)

They got everything sewn up (again, very strange to feel people tugging your skin back together) and we headed into the recovery room with our new bundle of joy. 

I was able to nurse immediately, and Thatch latched on like a champ.  Once everything died down, I realized how completely exhausted I was!  Ben called Granti and the kids to let them to know to head up to the hospital.  Harris' first question, once Ben told him that we were with the baby, was:  "Is he still bloody?!?!?!"  Harris then called back twice to verify Thatcher's hair color (dark brown).

The main thing we learned about Thatcher while in the recovery room was that the boy is a finger sucker.  He had no trouble at all getting his fingers into his mouth (his hands are HUGE!) and soothed himself by sucking constantly.

After the baby nursed, Ben and Thatcher headed up to Mother/Baby so Thatch could get cleaned up and have his blood sugar tested because he was so big (it was completely fine!).  I ate a few ice chips and PASSED OUT.  It literally became impossible for me to keep my eyes open, so I slept for about thirty minutes before moving up myself.

While I was sleeping and getting situated in my suite (yes, we splurged on the big room and it was worth every penny!), Thatcher was getting bathed and dressed.


The big kids missed the bath (thanks to traffic caused by an MLK day parade) but arrived in time to check him out through the nursery window.

It took me quite a few minutes to get adjusted.  My blood pressure was extremely low, I was still absolutely beat, and my nausea got the best of me (thankfully my stomach was empty!).  I've never experienced those side effects before, which was quite strange, but after about an hour I started to feel like myself again.

It's a good thing I was able to get feeling better quickly, because what fun it was to introduce Thatch to our family...

Stay tuned for pics of everyone's first impressions!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Haynes, Party of Five...

...for the last time.

Bless their hearts; my kids can't help it:  they're creatures of habit.

Both Babe and Harry chose to celebrate Thatcher's birth with dinner at The Kani House, exactly like we did the night before Emmy was born.

We had a great time.

The kids LOVED it...the fire, the volcano, and the food.  The biggies even ate everything with chopsticks!  We couldn't have asked for a better evening. :)

Harris was a little concerned, however, that because we aren't having any more babies, we'll never get to eat there again.  I'm pretty sure we'll work something out someday!!

We came home from dinner, cut Harris' hair, got ready for bed, and snuggled, read, and did a few Mad Libs (the kids' new favorite!) before tucking everybody in bed and packing up some stuff for tomorrow.

Ben and I are now catching up on a little "Bachelor" before calling it a night.

Can't wait 'til tomorrow!!!