Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Introducing Aiden Thomas

After nine VERY long months of waiting, Aiden Thomas Pfanschmidt Meyaard is finally here!

 As you can see, he's taking this whole "being alive" thing very seriously.

Vital stats: He was born at 6:35 pm on Monday, June 18.  He weighed in at 9 pounds 1 ounce and measured 22 1/4 inches long.  He is considered "LGA" (large for gestational age) and was "off the charts" (which means above the 90th percentile) in weight, length, and head size.  He has blue eyes and tons of dark brown hair.  His eyebrows and eyelashes are blond though, so we think his hair will lighten up (as it did with his sisters and brother).  If you notice a distinct similarity between this and previous baby pictures posted on this blog, you are not alone... He looks just like his sisters and brother did as babies; clearly this is our product!

Background story: We were scheduled for a 7:00 induction, and I had pretty much been counting down the hours.  But at 5:00 in the morning, our phone rang; it was the hospital calling to tell us that they were too crowded, and my induction would have to be pushed back.  As  you might imagine, this put me in a VERY bad mood.  We'd had Mel, a friend from camp, spend the night to look after our kids in the morning, but she left for camp and our daily sitter, Miss Rosy, arrived to start the day while we continued to wait.

Shortly after 9:00, the hospital called again and said that they could get us in.  This was followed by a flurry of last minute packing and preparing and saying goodbye to the kids, and we finally got out the door around 9:45.  We then sat stopped in construction on a country road for at least 10 minutes on the way to the hospital, followed by a further delay involving a "code red" (usually meaning a fire, in this case just meaning that the stairwells were clogged with dust from renovation and had set off an alarm) that prevented us from using the hospital elevators.  But around 11:00, we finally got settled into a labor room, filled out paperwork, at got hooked up to an IV for hydration.

Then we had to wait for my doctor to be available to come over and check me.  Of course, she'd been available at 7:00, but now, five hours later, she was with other patients.  So we waited.  At 12:30, she came in and checked me.  I was 4 centimeters dilated, and she thought that we might be able to "get things going naturally."  So she broke my water and instructed me to "walk for a half an hour."  That sequence of events left me sobbing; it was easily the worst part of the whole hospital experience.  The doctor "couldn't get into a good position" to break my water, so between that and my raging varicose veins, it was very painful.  On top of that, thanks to the bedrest, it has been about two months since I've walked a collective half an hour in a day, much less all at once... so I only made it through about 10 minutes of that.  Thankfully, the nurse understood all of this (unlike my flighty doctor), so she got be tucked back into bed in short order.

When I did not "get things going on my own" (which I could easily have told you wasn't going to happen, but the doctor wanted to try), the doctor finally put in the order for some Pitocin.  The nurse hooked me up to that at 1:30.  So finally, a mere 6 1/2 hours after my induction had been scheduled to start, we were on our way.

They upped the level of my Pitocin every 20 minutes, and my contractions were moving along nicely.  I was pretty much ready for the epidural the minute that I checked into the hospital (if for nothing else than to take away the pain from my veins!), but my doctor wouldn't let me have it until my contractions were "regular".... meaning every 2 minutes, lasting for about 1 minute each time, hard and painful.  That happened around 5:00.  With only having about 60 seconds in between each contraction, I was worried that we were going to miss our window (like I had with Liam), but the anesthesiolgist managed to get it in there.  There was definite crying on my part (HATE needles), but it started working its magic pretty much as soon as we got it in, and I stopped feeling contractions before he had even packed up and left the room.

Ben went down to the cafeteria to get some dinner and I attempted (unsuccessfully) to take a nap.  He came back up around 6:00, followed less than 5 minutes later by my doctor and the nurses.  The shift was about to change, so they wanted to check me one more time before new nurses came on duty.  At that point, I couldn't feel my legs at all, and there was no pain or pressure whatsoever, so I was convinced that nothing has happening.  But, to my great shock, the doctor reported that I was at 10 centimeters and it was time to push.

My room filled quickly with people--my doctor, a med student who was observing, and both nurses from both shifts.  I was totally stunned and could barely grasp what was going on--I was still fully convinced that it was nowhere near time.  I felt no pain, no pressure, no urge to push.  But they got me all proped up and told me to push, so I did, all the while protesting that it wasn't time.... and the doctor reported that our baby had a full head of hair.  Another push, and Ben could see it too.  Another push, and the baby was out.... and I seriously hadn't felt a thing.  I told Ben that I thought I was having an out-of-body experience.  I had just had a NINE POUND baby and hadn't felt it AT ALL.

I was pretty dazed in that first half hour following the birth, hardly able to believe what had just happened.  I delivered the placenta and the doctor stitched up my laceration, and I felt absolutely nothing with either experience.  The nurses weighed, measured, and cleaned baby Aiden and passed him over to me.  He was absolutely perfect, and I was totally in love.

The wonders of the epidural lasted while I got moved to the recovery room and our other kids arrived to meet Baby Brother.  They each got to hold him.  Bryn and Shay were beyond excited, exclaiming over how cute he is and how much they love him, but Liam was largely mystified (and at one point called him "Baby Molly," which is the little girl I babysit).

Bryn holds Aiden for the first time.

It was almost 10:00 by the time we got our older kids on the road home and I settled in for what I figured would be an uphill battle to nurse him.  Two of my previous three kids never did get the hang of nursing (but injured me plenty in their attemps), and the third took many weeks and much help from a lactation consultant to get the hang of it.  So you can imagine my shock when little Aiden latched on right away, ate heartily on both sides, and then fell sweetly asleep.

Ben and I went to sleep too.  At that point, I was still feeling the aftereffects of the epidural and felt pretty good.  When I woke up at 1:00 though, well..... I felt like I had had a nine pound baby and had vaginal varicose veins.  Owie.  Enter nursing staff with pain meds.  There wasn't much sleep that night (though there was much checking of vital signs), but my pain level was doing somewhat better by morning, when my dad and stepmom brought the kids back to visit.

Every time she holds him or gets near him, Shay wants to cuddle Aiden. 

Here, both girls are playing "This Little Piggy" with Baby Aiden.

Since then, my hospital stay has been pretty quiet.  Some of our dear friends from Indy got a little crazy last night and made the drive up to visit us (even bearing Dunkin Donuts as a gift--yum!), and Ben went home for a few hours yesterday to play with the older kids.  One of our friends from camp spent the night with our kiddos last night so Ben was able to stay at the hospital, and we've had our wonderful sitter Miss Rosy with them since my parents left about 1:00 yesterday. 

Aiden continues to do great, sleeping well and eating well, and now we're just waiting for the nurses to finish up his 48-hour checks before we head home from the hospital and officially start our lives as a family of six.  Stay tuned for the adventures yet to come!

1 comment:

Cathy Willman said...

I'm so happy for you, so over the moon happy that the physical pain is over, that you're feeling better, and you get to go home to your family of 6, Happy Ever After.