Keeping up with blogging is a joke at this point. I rarely have personal time to urinate. But anyways.
The last month of pregnancy was LONG. And definitely my worst yet. I was tired but had no time to rest. I was crabby and short tempered and yet noone could possibly leave me alone. I was dismayed about the many feet of snow that fell and continued to fall – trapping us in the house, worrying me that my Mom wouldn’t make it to my house to watch the boys if I went into labor, and making it nearly impossible for a pregnant woman to park her van or even maneuver without constant fear of falling belly first. My blood pressure was too high again which meant I was supposed to take it easy (HA!) and that my temper was on the verge. But the worse thing was the contractions. I had them all the time. I can’t even count how many times I timed the damn things – getting closer and closer and closer until they’d suddenly fade away. And the craziest thing is that I’d never had contractions prior to labor before. With Noah and Ray I didn’t get any real contractions until my water broke. By 36 weeks I was SO DAMN READY for the baby to be born. Since Noah was born at 38 weeks and Ray at 37 weeks – I was sure the baby was due any second. Especially with all the contractions. But with all the false starts I started thinking the baby might need to fall out before I was sure it was finally time to go to the hospital.
And then there was the circus. My boys love the circus. Hell, let’s be honest – I love the circus. I know there are ethical concers about the animals but I love the big top anyway – the daring feats, the pageantry, the sounds. So much over the top childish fun. So whenever the circus comes to town we buy tickets for opening night because you can get any seat in the house at the cheapest price. When I heard the circus was coming to town at the end of February I agonized over it. My due date was March 9th but since the other boys came early the circus was smack dab in my birthing window. I decided I best not buy the tickets. Lo and behold Santa (Mark) decided to buy the tickets for opening night anyway – February 24. So the entire last month of pregnancy I kept hoping that the baby either come well before the circus so I could still attend or after – so we could take the baby too. It was literally stressing me out. The circus for Gods sake.
Very early on the morning of Tuesday, February 23 I woke up to a hugely painful contraction. But nothing after. This after another night of counting contractions all night. I was getting really, really pissed. That morning the contractions started up again. I had a OB appt and decided that hopefully she’d get down to the bottom of it. Ray had an art class that morning. I contracted through the whole damn class and had I not had the OB appt I would have gone to the hospital then. So I get to my appt and tell the receptionists that I have been having contractions 6 minutes apart all morning. And they were like “OH!” and acted as if this might get me speedy service. Not so. AN HOUR LATER – I finally see my OB. She tells me that it isn’t GO time until they are 4 minutes apart for several hours. Remember –this timing thing is news to me as my prior births both started with water breaks and I was told to come to the hospital STAT. She literally chuckles at me and says she knows I’m having a hard time of it and that next week they will induce me if I prefer. And I’m like “NEXT WEEK?” while I stab her in the throat. Mind you I am only 38 weeks pregnant.
Within an hour of leaving her office they are 4 minutes apart. And stay that way for a few hours. I call Mark and my Mom and say I think this may be it but who am I to say at this point. Mom makes plans to come straight from work. After she gets here I decide there is no way I am going to the hospital before watching LOST. So we leave home after 10 and go to the hospital. And ya know what – it’s true. The baby is coming. Finally.
And this is where it all gets very boring. I don’t have much to report about the actual birth of Lee Arthur Eggerts. It was fairly easy peasy. I took the pitocin and the epidural when offered because I’d learned my lessons the first and second time. I warned the nurse that a full bladder had prevented me from fully dilating the first two times and that I’d like her to please keep on top of that. The first time she drained my bladder there was no change and she probably thought me daft. But then she was about to change shift at 7 am and I asked that she please do it before she left – and whaddya know! – she emptied my bladder and hot damn if the baby wasn’t about to fall out. Then there was a flurry of activity to get the doctor – she came in, suited up, I pushed twice, for about a minute and a half and there he was. Our little Lee. Wednesday, February 24 at 7:33 am at 8 lbs 3 oz and 20.75 inches. And I was instantly in love.
I heart babies. My babies. I'm addicted to them. And given unlimited funds and possibly a bit more youth I’d have many more. And all that yummy baby goodness does wonders to wash away the horrid horribleness of that last month of pregnancy. The month of pregnancy that had me going “Thank God this is the last time.” And then Lee is born, I hold him in my arms and instantly think “I need to do this again.”
The most noteworthy thing about the hospital experience was that Noah and Ray were not allowed into the hospital. As a holdover from the swine flu hysteria children under the age of 16 were not allowed to visit. So on the day they came to the hospital my Mom held little Lee while I went downstairs to visit with the boys. And then my Mom, her husband Larry, and my Dad took the boys out to eat while my father-in-law and his wife visited. I fell asleep before they left. My Dad came back to see me and Lee in the evening while Mark and my Mom took the boys to the circus – YES! Lee was born on the day of the circus! Tricky thing. And after Dad left I didn’t see anyone but Lee for a day and a half. We had another snow storm so noone came to visit me in the hospital. And the nurses knew this was my third and he was nursing like a champ so they barely checked on me. I got a little lonely but I had a great chance to bond with Lee. I just stared at him and slept, stared at him and slept.
The next day Mark left Noah and Ray to play at a neighbors while he came to pick me and Lee up. We got home and got settled and then Mark went to retrieve the boys and give them their first introduction to there brother. There was lots of cooing and sweetness. But even more than that the boys were so happy to have me home, but not as happy as I was to see them. I am so rarely away from the kids that it seems insanity when I am.
So life as a family of five is chaos. Lovely, fantastic chaos. And adding Lee to our family hasn’t been that much of a change at all. He sleeps pretty well at night so I never felt overly sleep deprived and now we just tote him along with all our comings and goings. When I need time to concentrate on Lee the boys keep each other busy, often with quarreling and mutual aggravation, but busy none the less. Of course I don’t have free time EVER, but other than that three is doable for me. So much so that my assertion that Lee was totally going to be my last is wavering, as you can tell. Sadly I don’t think Mark feels the same. Who knows – once Lee starts moving around it may be I won’t feel the same.
And the boys have adjusted really well. Ray went through some extra clinginess which resulted in his occasionally ending up in our bed but he’s mostly come out of that. And Noah is fantastic with Lee. He downright adores him. I definitely wasn’t expecting that considering he often still seems on the fence about Ray.
After the birth of Lee there was MASTITIS. It surprised the hell out of me when my nipples were chewed to bloody pulps, I got a horrible infection and had a fever for days that went as high as 104. Lee and I languished in bed for days recuperating while Mark had to tend to the big boys. And ME – I’m a nursing champ. How could it happen? I called a friend of a friend who was a La Leche Leader and she reminded me that you can’t nurse a newborn like a 2 year old. They need positioning and firm hold – you can’t just throw them on the boppy pillow, attach them to the breast and go about using both hands for other things. And then I called a Lactation Consultant for a home visit (my first time ever) and she was so incredibly helpful. She helped me start from scratch trying to retrain Lee who was a particularly chompy beast. Also I found out flow was an issue. I was damn near drowning the kid in milk and he was chugging ferociously to keep up. But the good news is that even though my breasts were ripe to feed vampires with the amount of bleeding I was doing and I hurt so much that I cried while nursing – I was still feeding Lee well. The LC marveled at how much weight he’d been gaining. SO nursing is hard. Few people will really tell you that because they don’t want to discourage people from doing it because it is also so fantastic for so many reasons. But it can be hard. There can be a lot of super suckiness in the beginning, even when you are a veteran. I could talk for days about nursing but noone wants to read that, or probably what I already wrote.
And Lee! Well he’s already over 4 months old and I’m just getting around to writing all this down and designing his birth announcement. He appears to have Noah’s features and Ray’s coloring. His birth weight was between that of slender Noah and chubby Ray but he is the longest one yet. He’s flipping over, trying to crawl and gurgling a blue streak. And he’s so smiley and charming when he’s not sleep deprived. Poor guy is often prevented from having proper naps because of our schedules. But he is a fool for attention – as all three of them are. No mellow babies here.
There is SO much more to stay. And all of this needs editing and fleshing out but if I don’t throw this on blogger now I’ll never post it.