Oh boy - where to even begin with this amazing last 6 days.........I cannot begin to describe the love that both Paul and I feel for our little boy, our family and our friends. Truly, you think you know what love is but this is just a different level, in such a good way. Paul and I keep saying how we never thought we'd be "those parents" who talk about their kids ALL the time but we can't help it - its overwhelming and we are just so stinking proud of this little boy, we want to share it with everyone. I dare say I love Paul even more than I did before......and I never thought that would be possible. Constantly amazed at how much love the human heart is capable of holding and feeling. Thank you to everyone who has helped us, visited, sent notes, food, phone calls and love our way - we are so very lucky.
Now for the story :)
- February 11th, 7:30am.........we go in for the induction. They used a gel to get things going for me and boyyy did they ever! If there is one thing I've learned these last 5 days, it is FLEXIBILITY and PATIENCE. My plan going in to this delivery was to do it as naturally as possible. We had massage tools, I brought my bathing suit and planned on laboring in the tub, Paul spent hours making a soothing mix on the Ipod for me etc etc etc.......the doctor came in at 8am to induce me, by 8:30am I was having strong contractions 2 minutes apart, Paul was holding the trash can for me to throw up in and I was on the toilet - all at the same time. It was then that I told my mom and Paul I was going to need drugs and please don't judge me. I held out for a strrrooong 30 minutes though with the whole "natural" idea :) So plan #1 - out the window. I got the epidural around noon where I was 4cm dilated and by 1:30 I was 9cm and completely effaced. Thank HEAVENS I did not have to feel those contractions, I might not have made it......not long after I was 10cm and having the extreme urge to push - you moms out there know what I'm talking about. Not comfortable, we'll say that. I pushed a couple times and Declan wasn't happy so we had to relax (ummm not easy) for awhile for his heartbeat to pick back up. Once he was stable again, I pushed for a solid 33 minutes and he was out. And he was perfect :)
Needless to say, nothing went as I thought it might that day, but in the end we have our sweet beautiful son and there could be nothing better. I must say a huge public thank you to my dream of a husband and angel of a mother. They never ONCE left my side. From 8am on, one or both was rubbing my back, whispering in my ear encouraging words, massaging my legs, holding the trash can for me..............you know - the goods :) I would never have made it thru without them, never, and I feel like the luckiest girl to have had the love of my life and the woman who gave me life in the room while we expanded our family. There is little cooler than that. Thank you Paul and mom, I love you guys more than I will ever be able to say.
On to plan #2 - breastfeeding. Declan is like his mommy: a ferocious eater, wants food immediately and has no patience when it isn't here. This whole time, the one thing I've wanted to make sure I do is breastfeed our boy, no matter how hard it might be....and its been difficult. My milk took a long time to come in so we met with the lactation specialist finally after a number of failed attempts by the nurses to get him to calm down and stop being a crazy man when he was trying to feed. She gave us a wonderful tool to help him breastfeed but even then, one time it would work, the next 3 it wouldn't.........that said, we've had to supplement with formula which has made me even more stressed because I don't want him getting used to that. Whatever we have to do though to get him fed, we will do and he is getting better every day. Again, flexibility Alli, flexibility :) The biggest lessons I've learned these last few days are to allow yourself a little leniancy, every plan is made to be broken, every child is different, every mom is different, and books sometimes are verrrrry far off. "It is what it is" as Paul would say - we're rolling with it :)
All of this said, Declan is a dream. I have to wake him up to feed, he cries MAYBE for a minute or two before soothing himself, he sleeps like champ and smiles when we say his name. He's healthy, very very content and the apple of his daddy's eye. My dad, before leaving yesterday, said he was "pretty close to perfect" and I couldn't agree more. Here are some of our favorite pictures from the past few days........he changes every day and is looking more and more handsome every single minute.
WE LOVE YOU DECLAN BRADY.
DB and Daddy:
DB and mommy:
DB with GiGi:
DB and Pop-Pop:
DB and Uncle Boo Boo :)
And finally our beautiful baby...........