Saturday, December 21, 2013

Second Photoshoot

I made the mistake of trying to get Deacon to do a photo shoot on my schedule instead of his.  I knew I needed to get some naked pictures  before his umbilical cord fell off.  He pretty much cried through this whole thing and was not happy with me.  I haven't tried a shoot since...

We worked hard trying to get a good shot in the basket.  It just wasn't meant to be!  He screamed every time I put him in.

This is his REALLY sad face when I was finally done trying to get him to be happy and get some pictures.  He was so pouty.  Too funny!

Days at Home

After Deacon's first doctor appointment, it was time for daddy to head back to school.  I hesitantly dropped Brock off on our way home, and headed back to our apartment with two boys.... all by myself.  I'm not going to lie.  I was pretty terrified.  I had stopped to get Tim some lunch and Deacon of course needed fed as well.  I needed to go to the bathroom (which was still not a quick thing at this point because of my recovery and complications), so it was really hectic when we walked in the door.  I'm not gonna lie, I was a little freaked out.  But after about 20 minutes, everyone was happy, fed, and ready to relax.  Deacon fell asleep while Tim watched TV and played on the iPad.  I started to get some household chores done.  I did the dishes and got laundry started and came into the family room to find this - both boys asleep.  And they stayed that way for over two hours.  I texted Morgan a picture and told her I didn't know why she thought two kids was so hard :)  I'm so grateful for my good boys! 

These two crack me up.  They both bite their nails, and Tim has a bit of a tongue issue.  I thought this was too funny of a picture!

Something about this picture reminds me a lot of my dad.  Grandpa Tim definitely has a lot of influence on these little boys, and I see it in small things day to day.

First Photoshoot


I had all sorts of visions and pins of newborn pictures I wanted to take.  It's almost four weeks later and none of them got done.... but I am in love with the ones we have.  It's nice having my own schedule for pictures because little Deacon was sleeping so soundly, so I knew it was a great time to take pictures.  I'm so grateful Tim decided he wanted to photo bomb this session.  I had him lay down next to Deacon just to get one picture of the two of them, and I'm pretty sure I'm going to make this into a canvas and hang it in my house forever.  I LOVE this picture of my boys!  Tim's big eyes and his cute little hand on Deacon, I just can't get enough.

Sneeze face!

First Bath at Home

Deacon did get his first bath at the hospital, but I didn't take any pictures or video.  It was around midnight and my mom and I walked to the nursery with him and his nurse to get his full immersion bath.  It was pretty neat.  They nurse wrapped him in a nursery blanket and put him completely into a tub of warm water.  He really liked that one!  I wish  I would have taken video, but I forgot my camera and didn't want to walk the whole way back to my room to get it (maybe 50 yards).  I was hurting pretty bad that first night!  I took some goat's milk lavender soap I bought at a health store to the hospital for his first bath.  The nurse kept commenting on how good he smelled after using it!  I just love knowing that I'm putting such a light and whole product on him.  No Johnson and Johnson's for my babies!
We gave him his first sponge bath at home.  He wasn't too big of a fan of being cold, so I hurried as fast as I could.  I made the mistake of using Tim's towel he doesn't use for Deacon.  After that day, it's the only towel he wanted to use.  Apparently he didn't want to share!

Tim and Deacon at roughly the same age.  Look a like much, boys?!

Bringing Home Baby - Our First Days at Home

After getting home from our "wonderful" hospital stay, our new  normal began.  Brock has Fridays off of school, so we were able to be home with all four of us for a few days.  Deacon mostly just slept, and I tried to get some recovery rest in.  Brock really focused on Tim and tried to make this time a fun transition for him.  Deacon "brought" him a LeapPad when he was born, and the boys also "gave each other" the star blankets I had made for both of them.  Tim was really excited about the blankets when I made them, but now that he has it, he could care less.  So Deacon really has two now.
Brock did fun things with Tim while I stayed home with Deacon.  They went to see Disney's "Frozen" at our awesome movie theater with leather recliners.  Unfortunately, those recliners are very comfortable and apparently both Brock and Tim slept through most of the movie.  We're planning on seeing it again sometime soon.  They also took a lot of trips to the store where Tim was lucky enough to score a toy each time.  Brock was feeling guilty over this new change in Tim's life.... Ok, we actually spoil him a lot and he usually gets a toy every time we go to the store.  It's definitely gotta stop! 
Cuddling with daddy
 Every time I got the camera out to take pictures of Deacon, Tim would say something like "Take my picture, mamma!"  Most of the time he would look away from me, but I caught a cheese face this time!

Sleeping with what's supposed to be Timmy's new blanket
 Tim has REALLY been into Legos lately.  This was actually one of the coolest structures he's built to date.  I love that he's such a mellow kid that just plays and plays on his own.  He took a lot of time on this one!  If he's still building something or working on a project and we tell him how cool it is, he always gets upset and says "Not yet, mamma!"  He's trying to tell us not to look or comment on his "work" yet because it's not finished.  So funny!

Look what I built, mamma! Take a picture!
 There was some great natural light in our room one day, so I set Deacon in it to take his nap.  Although his bilirubin levels were fine, he definitely had some yellowish eyes going on so I knew he needed the sunlight.  It was perfect for pictures, too :)

Chillin on Tim's blanket

This was so tender.  I looked over at Tim, who usually is pretty indifferent to the fact that Deacon is even around, and he was talking so sweetly to "Baby Deacon."  I definitely love these moments because they are few and far  between around here!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Deacon Corbett Christensen ~ A Birth Story

Oh, my little Deacon.  How your birth was so different then I thought and anticipated it would be for 9 months.  When I found out I was due on November 29th, I immediately started planning in my head that little Deacon would join us sometime in earlier November since his older brother was three weeks early for no reason.  I would jokingly tell people when they asked when I was due that I thought he would be early, but I followed that with "But I'm probably setting myself up for a REALLY long November."  That definitely turned out to be true. The beginning of November came, and so did the middle.  I was having lots of Braxton hick contractions, but nothing that made me think I was going to go in to labor.  It started looking more and more like little Deacon was wanting to stay as long as possible, and all my plans faded of being home for a bit before driving across the country to Utah.  As I went to each of my weekly doctor appointments towards the end, I talked with my doctor about being induced so I could schedule a flight for my mom to be here.  He was awesome and suggested we induce on Tuesday, November 26th so I could deliver before Thanksgiving and Brock would be off school.  (Seriously, what doctor is the one who thinks about dad being off school for the break.... mine did!)  Well, the end of November came and we set up the induction for November 26th.  I bought my mom's ticket so she could come and take pictures and videos for us in the delivery room, and I looked very little into induction.  I still couldn't believe that Tim was three weeks early and I was having to be induced with Deacon!  I was so excited to be D.O.N.E. with pregnancy.  I often tell people that I never got to the "uncomfortable end stages" of pregnancy with Tim.  I DEFINITELY hit those this time around - at about 8 months.  I was so TIRED of insomnia, restless legs, and the CONSTANT need to pee.  Like, crying if there wasn't a bathroom around, having to go every five seconds need.  It was horrible. NOT typical pregnant lady problems.... it was so much worse.  So the morning of November 26th came, and I was so happy for multiple reasons!

We got to the hospital around 7:10.  I joked that we were late to have a baby - who is late to have a baby?!  We were.  Anyway, I was so excited and not really nervous except for the fact that I would soon be getting an IV.  We got settled into the room and the monitors were all hooked up.  The Braxton hicks I had been having for weeks actually turned out to be real contractions, and they actually seemed to pick up a little once I laid down.  I was having contractions on my own about every 10 minutes, but definitely not active labor contractions.  I think I was about 3cm and 60% effaced when we got there.  It took a while to get everything going, but by around 8 the nurse did my IV.  I was terrified of getting the IV because I've only ever had IVs with a numbing needle first (thank you to both Logan hospitals for offering those.  FYI - Omaha hospitals do not).  The nurse was really sweet and said she would use the smaller needle first.  She got it on the first try and it seriously wasn't any worse than having blood drawn.  I was glad that was over and the easy part was ahead!

After getting the IV, I got started on my antibiotics for Strep B and IV fluids.  Around 9:30, the fun started.  When I had Tim, I went from being stuck at 5 cm to being 10+ cm in less than an hour when they gave me pitocin.  I was pretty sure I would react well to it being induced, and I definitely did.  The nurse started the pitocin without telling me, and I immediately started feeling stronger contractions.  Within about 5 minutes I asked for fentanyl.  Brock and I were just calmly talking, and I had to start concentrating on breathing through each contraction.  Within about 10 to 15 minutes of the pitocin being started, I was in all out "movie labor."  I literally was bawling through each contraction, hyperventilating, and begging for Brock to get my mom there.  I love Brock, but I just needed my mom. What made this the worst was that I was told I couldn't have any more fentanyl for about 40 minutes and I couldn't get the epidural until I had enough IV fluids (which was about 40 minutes away, too).  Had I been mentally prepared for this amount of pain, I think I could have dealt with it a lot better.  But I NEVER felt anything even close to that bad with Tim's labor, so I was not anticipating such a great amount.  Luckily the kind nurse quit turning the pitocin up after a while, but she never turned it down.  I seriously never want to feel contractions like that again, and if I can choose, I will never be induced again if that's what I have to go through.  It truly was miserable.

About the same time as my mom got there (thank you to Sister Anderson for picking her up and bringing her!), I was just about done FINALLY getting my epidural.  For whatever reason, I'm not nearly as afraid of the epidural needle as I am of the IV one.  Once again, disappointment set in when my expectations were not met.  With my epidural with Tim, my legs were numb before I even laid down.  The relief was immediate and long lasting.  That's what I was expecting again, but nope.  This hospital SLOWLY administered the drug  so it takes about 30 minutes to reach the full effect.  So the immediate relief I thought I was about to get was not to be.  No to mention my epidural didn't work nearly as well as I would have liked and I had what is called a "window" where I still felt everything in one spot.  It felt like I was getting kidney punched every contraction, and the nurses seemed to think that laying in different positions would make it go away.  Although it helped a little, I still never had complete relief through the whole process.  I also had low blood pressure through most my labor.  It made me feel nauseated.  So when I wasn't in pain, I usually felt like throwing up.  Luckily I never did!

By about 11, things calmed down a little and the waiting game began.  I knew since my contractions were so painful before I got some relief that it was going to go fast.  My contractions were very much off the charts.  By 2:30, I was 10 cm.  I told my nurse I didn't mind letting my body work a little more and wait for the baby to drop down a little more.  Well, that ended up being a mistake.  Around 5:00, the doctor (whose office is part of the hospital) finally decided to make an appearance to deliver the baby.  Two and half hours of sitting at a 10 - not really what I was talking about!  Not to mention the awesome natural light that was perfect for pictures was gone by the time he showed up.  The photographer in me was mad!  I loved my doctor, but I'm still very unsure why it took so long for him to get there.

All of the excitement started once the doctor got there, and I knew it wouldn't be long until I finally met my boy.  It only took about four or five minutes of pushing and Deacon was here!  He was pretty blue and had his cord wrapped around his neck, but the doctor didn't seem worried so neither was I.  He immediately put him on my belly and the nurses began cleaning him off.  The feelings of love immediately set in as I heard my sweet boy cry, watched my loving husband looking at his new son with tears of love and joy in his eyes, and held my new baby close to me.  The joyful emotions I have felt when meeting both of my beautiful boys are unmatched by any feeling I've had or will have my entire life.

The doctor asked Brock if he wanted to cut the cord.  Brock isn't in to that, and neither am I so I said no when he asked me next, too.  He handed the scissors to my mom and said "Here you go, Grandma!"  It was really cute, and Dr. Besse eventually ended up giving the scissors to my mom as a "souvenir."  Such a cute doctor.  After having a pretty long time holding Deacon close to me, the nurse took him to be weighed, measured, and cleaned up.  Everything looked great.  He weighed 8 pounds (7 pounds, 15.5 ounces to be exact, but they rounded up), and was 20.5 inches.  Much bigger than my 6 pound 5 ounce, 19 inch Timmy!  He still looked so tiny to me though!

Brock then got his turn to hold him while they stamped his feet.  It's so tender to watch a dad immediately fall in love with his boy.  That's one of my favorite memories from both of my boys' births.  After dad had a turn, I held him again and fed him for the first time.  Since we (meaning I) choose not to do the eye drops, it was so amazing to look into Deacon's little eyes.  He had the most CLEAR blue eyes I've ever seen on a baby.  I wish I would have gotten a picture of them then since the newborn haze set in after not too long.  I definitely think he's our blue eyed boy.  He also had medium colored hair, although there seemed to be a slight tint of red.  He was perfect, and I fell in love.

My mom left to get Tim, so we had a little bit of time with just the three of us in the recovery room.  I enjoyed just holding him.  When Tim walked in, it hit me like a ton of bricks that his little life was just turned upside down.  My first mamma guilt set in as I watched him cautiously looking at his new baby brother, but my joy in knowing that Deacon is supposed to be a part of our family helped outweigh that guilt.  Tim was so sweet with him, and asked Deacon if he wanted to play his "nicki game" (kinnect game) with him.  So cute.  After he took a look at Deacon, he came over to me.  I told him that Mamma had "popped" (a term we used a lot during my pregnancy).  Tim kept pointing to my belly even though we were telling him that baby Deacon was out.  He walked over and started trying to lift up my hospital gown.  He wanted to see my belly.  I showed him, and it was so cute.  He looked so confused.  The funny part about that is my mom and I had talked just a day or two before about my distinct memory when Brenton was born of going to the hospital and lifting my mom's gown up.  When I looked at her belly, I asked her "where is the hole?"  I seriously remember not understanding why there wasn't a hole in my belly where the baby came out.  I wonder if Tim was thinking the same thing since he is the same age as I was when Brenton was born.  I'm glad we got the whole thing on video!

I watched as Tim sat at the end of my hospital bed and held and kissed his baby brother for the first time.  The tears came and I knew that our family was forever changed, but changed in the best way possible.

After all the emotions set in, the not so fun part of recovery started.  It took me FOREVER to be able to even lift my legs after delivery.  I think it was about three hours.  I could definitely feel that I had to pee, so finally I was able to get up with help.  I was so nervous because I've always had a "paralyzed bladder" after any anesthetic, so I knew that would probably be the same this time.  I even told my doctor about it, but he wasn't proactive at all about what to do about it after delivery.  I got to the bathroom and once again, couldn't go.  It's such an uncomfortable feeling needing to, but not being able to!  The nurse said she would just cath me and we would try again in a bit.  After Tim's delivery, it wasn't too bad.  I only had to be cathed once, so I was expecting the same thing.  Not to be.

All the stress of my recovery really got to me in the hospital.  I wanted to be holding Deacon and cuddling with him and feeding him.  Instead I was in the bathroom trying to make my body work. It was not the hospital experience I envisioned - like the one I had with Tim where I just held him and loved him the whole time.  It seriously affected my bonding with Deacon initially.  I couldn't help but think a lot while I was there that I never want to have another baby because of how uncomfortable the whole situation was.  I was worried that maybe this was permanent, or that my body just can't handle pregnancy.  I was so discouraged by it because I know that Deacon is not our last child.

We did enjoy some fun time at the hospital with our little family.  My mom stayed until the next afternoon, and it was great to have her there so she could cuddle Deacon for me while I had my "bathroom breaks."  Tim and Brock came and visited lots and we enjoyed our time together.  I enjoyed my time alone with Deacon too.  I especially loved holding him and cuddling him at night and feeling his little spirit taking in this new earth life experience.

I woke up on Thanksgiving Day and finally felt well enough to get up and get some pictures of Deacon in the hospital.  All of the cute pictures I had pinned in the last 9 months didn't really matter anymore.  I didn't get any of them.  I just wanted pictures of my baby as he was - not posed.  Just him.  I love these ones!  And it felt great to finally get up and move around and feel a little more normal.  Recovery definitely took a while!

After my good morning, later that day we found ourselves intensely arguing with the nurse about NOT going home with a catheter in.  The on-call doctor (since mine was at home enjoying Thanksgiving) said I couldn't go home without one unless I could show that I could completely empty my bladder.  Add in recovery from delivering a baby to having to literally push to pee, it was NOT fun.  I finally was able to go well enough to get sent home without one, but  I was all sorts of worried about why my body wasn't working right.  Not to mention VERY emotional and upset with the way my nurse handled the situation.  From being told that she didn't know how to teach me how to use a temporary catheter (which was what I really wanted over a permanent one, and the doctor initially gave me that option), to her taking over 45 minutes to come and check my bladder level after going to the bathroom, she was seriously not competent in dealing with a patient having my complication.  I loved all my other nurses, but of course had the angry nurse when I needed a good one the most!  She was so rude during the discharge.  I couldn't wait to get out of there and get home!

Once we finally got everything ready and go to the car, we got BOTH our kids in their seats and headed home.  Deacon HATED it, and cried for about the first 8 minutes of our drive.  So funny how different the second child is - I never would have let Tim cry that long when we took him home!  Luckily Deacon fell asleep after a bit and we enjoyed the rest of our drive with our two kids in the back seat.

Walking into our apartment on Thanksgiving Day, knowing that we didn't have a dinner waiting and that we were bringing home our new baby to a home we will be moving from in a few short months, I couldn't have been more thankful for the blessing of this new son in my life.  We prayed and hoped for him for over three years, and now he was home.

Deacon, I love you.  You have forever changed my life.  And although your birth may not have been the perfect experience I envisioned, you, my son, are more perfect than I could have ever hoped.  I love you!

Deacon's Birth Story from Dani on Vimeo.