Thursday, December 27, 2007

Cooper's First Christmas

Wow, Christmas this year was a complete whirlwind. All year long I kept talking about how fun it was going to be to be on maternity leave during the holiday's, well if it wasn't for the fact I started before I had Cooper, nothing would have gotten done. I'm not complaining though, it was almost a little less hectic not having to shop in all the madness.

Christmas started this year for us on Sunday the 23rd. We went to church in the morning, took Cooper to the nursery (which by the way he has done great so far), and then had Christmas at my mom's house. It was the first time in a few years that everyone could make it at the same time. It was a little crazy. When you have an 8, 7, and 4 year old opening gifts, things get a little loud. The best part of the day was when my best friend from high school Melissa stopped by with her little girl Molly who is about 7 months old. Melissa lives in Missouri so it was the first time I've gotten to see her since her baby shower early this year and the first time I've seen Molly in person. She is such a doll.

Steve had to work until 4:00 on Christmas Eve, so when he got home it was a rush to make it to church for candlelight service at 5:00. There were no nursery workers so we kept Cooper with us and he did a great job, and he was even awake for most of the service. After church it was off to Steve's brother's house for Christmas with Steve's aunt and cousins. We always eat dinner, followed by the reading of the Christmas story by Steve's cousin that lives in Texas. Then it was off to opening gifts. Cooper got some clothes and books and the best gift was from Steve's cousin Tina, she made us a scrapbook/photo album of some pictures that were taken at the hospital and from the first two weeks. It is adorable, I just don't have the creativity to do something like that.

Each year Steve and his cousin Ricky have a tradition that they either wrap or make finding each other gifts as hard as possible. There have been scavenger hunts, popping balloons to find clues, or my personal favorite- a huge jar full of M & M's with certain ones having a different letter other than M that spelled out a clue (I likes this one b/c we got to keep all the M & M's). Anyway, it was a little toned down this year, partly due to Cooper and wanting to get him home and in his bed by a certain time and b/c Steve had to work on Christmas day. It was still fun and I'm sure as Cooper gets a little older we can resume the fun and torture.

Steve had to work on Christmas morning. We usually get up early and exchange gifts between the two of us, so we had to put that off until later. Luckily he got off around 11:00 that morning. We first went to his parents for lunch and gifts. I'm not for sure it was because Cooper had gifts too, but it seemed like we opened gifts forever this year. Steve's parents are so practical, they got Cooper some baby wipes, some changing pads, and gifts cards to Target and Wal-Mart. I'm not complaining at all, it saves us a lot of money!

Once we got home, Steve & I finally got to exchange gifts between ourselves. It was a little toned down from what we normally do, but I did get the Peyton Manning jersey I have been wanting for the past few years.
Well it's off to watch some football, the Bears are on right now and this is what happens when we leave Daddy in charge.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Wow, another week has passed, one that I really did not think I would make through. Steve had to work this weekend, making that 7 days straight and it was just me and Cooper. To make things a little more complicated, he had a stuffy nose all week and had trouble sleeping. He seems to be doing better, but we also kept him in his car seat last night with his head propped up, so that seemed to help. I told him this morning that tonight it Daddy Duty, mommy needs some sleep! I did get out yesterday for a few hours. My in-laws have been pretty much begging me to let them come over and watch him for a few hours. So I went out with my mom, did a little shopping and went out to eat. I felt bad for leaving him, but it was the second time in three weeks I had left the house and didn't involve a hospital or a doctor's office. It felt good. It was my practice run for in two weeks Steve and I are going to an IU basketball game.

I'm trying to think if anything else has happened that doesn't deal with Cooper, but I can't think of anything. I do miss my friends! Our friends Matt & Melanie had their annual Christmas party on Friday night, we have been the past two years, and we had to skip out this year. I am usually in bed around 9:30, depending on Cooper's last feeding, and I just didn't have the energy this year. I hope everyone had a good time, it usually is. Melanie is a great host.
We also haven't done anything with Eric & Tracey in over a month, which is crazy. We used to go out to dinner at least once a week. I'm giving myself another week and then I'm going to get back into the swing of things. I'm sure all new moms are the same way, you cherish your down time now and when baby is sleeping, you want to be sleeping.
Well I'm off to see what I can get done around here before my little turkey wakes up.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Cooper's Birth Story

My due date with Cooper was November 11, 2007. As with most first pregnancies that due date came and went with no baby. I knew that the most my doctor would let me go over was one week so on the 12th I decided I would go ahead and start my maternity leave. I was able to spend a few days relaxing, shopping, and even working out. On Friday the 16th I went in for my final doctor's appointment and just as the past four check ups had went I wasn't showing any progress. Dr. Riely scheduled me to be induced on Monday morning at 5:00 am. She had warned me that it could be a long day or two and encouraged me to get some rest that weekend and enjoy a good meal on Sunday. I love to sleep, naps are the best, however when I am nervous or anxious I can't sit still. This includes the ability to take naps so instead I kept myself busy that weekend. Friday night, Steve and I did some last minute shopping to prepare for Cooper. On Saturday we finished some Christmas shopping and watched IU beat Purdue to qualify for their first bowl game in many years. I did feel bad for Steve, this was the first year he split his season ticket his dad and he couldn't remember the last time he watched IU beat Purdue live. This year he had to enjoy from our couch. Sunday, my mom and I did some Christmas shopping and I came home to wrap it all and put it under the tree, which has been up since early November. Steve & I did go out and have a large dinner, Asian Buffet. So greasy and fattening but so good! Of course the nervousness set in that evening and I could not sleep a wink. I also had a sinus infection so that made it even worse. I ended up laying on the couch watching reruns of Saved by the Bell and Fresh Prince of Bel Air. Finally, around 3:30 am I got up, took a shower, double checked my bags, ate some mini choc chip muffins (a pregnancy craving) and headed out the door.

Since it was only 4:45 am when we checked in we first had to register in the ER. I think we were both delirious cause Steve made a comment about my shoestrings being too long and we were both laughing to hard we were crying. I'm sure people thought we were nuts. To this day I still have no memory of the actual walk/elevator ride to the 4th floor. Once we got settled in they hooked me up to the monitors and realized I was contracting, they were just small and painless. Cooper's heart rate was also higher than they would have liked to see so instead of starting pitocin then they got me started on fluids only and luckily within the hour his heart rate leveled out and I was ready to start the medicine. For the first couple of hours we were both able to get some rest, the fluids were helping with the sinus infection and I could breathe again. My mom and the doctor both showed up around 8:30 and I was finally showing progress. I was 2 centimeters so Dr Riely went ahead and broke my water to speed things up. Speed things up it did! I can't say the contractions were unbearable, just close together. There was hardly any down time so around 11:30 I called for the epidural. I am the weenie who took it at 3 centimeters. There was never a question that I would get one, it was plan all along. However, once it became real I became nervous. The nurse who helped was AWESOME! She was so comforting and relaxing, I couldn't have asked for anyone better. The epidural did cause my blood pressure to drop some so she gave me something to help with that. It was such an odd feeling being so relaxed yet my heart was racing at the same time. The next few hours a bit of a blur. I was so relaxed that I slept on and off. Cooper's heart rate was climbing on and off again, my contractions were measuring too strong, they turned down the pitocin so I stopped dilating and to top it off I had a fever of 101. It was probably around 3:30 or so when Dr Riely came in to tell me that if things hadn't changed in an hour she would recommend a c-section. An hour came and went and no change so I started the prep for surgery.

Since it wasn't a true emergency they took their time and we waited until my doctor got off from work, luckily her office is across the street and connected by the pedway. The worst part of whole process was the shot of liquid they made me drink so I wouldn't get sick on the operating table. Also as luck would have it we realized our batteries to our camera were dead so we had to send someone off to find us new batteries. Luckily they did make it in time. The scariest part came when I was wheeled back and Steve couldn't come with me at first. He was still getting "scrubbed in" and she was pretty much making the incision before he arrived. To quote Steve, "I walked in the room, you looked like you were strapped to a cross and some nervous guy was standing behind you messing with your IV's." I felt some tugging but no pain and at 6:41 pm we had a beautiful 7lb 8oz baby boy. I must have made some comfortable living arrangements for the poor guy because he was not pleased to be out. We couldn't even hear the nurse tell us all his measurements over his screaming. They brought him over to my head for a few seconds then they whisked him off to the nursery. Looking back I don't have any regrets, we did things the way had to for the health of Cooper, but it is sad knowing I missed those first few minutes of holding him. Steve was able to go back to the nursery with him and the nurse to get some pictures so at least he had daddy near by. It took about another half hour to finish with me and I was taken to recovery. My mom was waiting on me and the first thing she said was "Oh my gosh Jami, he has your toe." After I made a few phone calls to update some people they brought me my baby. I was able to nurse for a while and the oddest thing happened. The epidural was wearing off and my legs were shaking uncontrollably, once they handed him to me it all stopped. He was a comfort to me as much as I was to him. After he ate they took him back for all the newborn tests and I was able to settle in to my room.

The next morning, 12 hours after surgery I was able to get up and walk around. I can't say I was in terrible pain, mainly just sore and was able to manage with Motrin most of the hospital stay. I would be lying if said I wasn't freaked out. I was very nervous to come home. Would I do a good job, be a good mother, how am I going to do this once Steve goes back to work? We were released on Thanksgiving Day and my mom kept us well fed by bringing us lunch and dinner. The first night home (well the first week) was pretty rough. Steve was wonderful! He stayed up with me that whole first night, he may have gotten more sleep than I did. I got a prescription for pain medicine that I quit taking after that night because it made me too sleepy. I didn't need anything to help me sleep, I was exhausted enough. I think the first week of a newborn is a true test of marriage. I think it was our second night we were drinking Big Red and eating chocolate chips at 7 in the morning. As hard as it was I would do it again just to cherish those moments over again. It's amazing how much love you have for your children, what is even more amazing is that God loves us more than that. I always thought I would want a girl but God knew what he was doing when he gave me Cooper and made him my first born.

I hope you enjoyed my look back in time. I enjoyed writing it.

Preparing for surgery. First picture.
Hungry little man.

Proud new Papa.
First Thanksgiving at 5 days old.