Monthly Archives: November 2011

She’s Absolutely Perfect!

As seen this week on TheNextFamily.com (11/16/2011):

The first few hours after Harrison was born went by in a blur.  She arrived at 10 PM, on the hour, and by 11 PM  we were back in our room and introducing her to friends and family who had arrived and been in the waiting room.  I was running on adrenaline, to and fro between the room and the waiting room.  We had quite a crowd, but by midnight we were finally starting to say our good-nights and hoping for some rest.  Erikka was resting after her surgery, and they were pumping her full of medications to bring her blood pressures back down to normal while I got to spend a lot of time with our new bundle of beautiful joy.  I was having to give her formula in a bottle because Erikka obviously didn’t have any milk yet, and the baby was pretty sleepy after being born to even attempt to latch on and nurse.  I remember finally lying down to sleep at about 6 AM, in complete and total exhaustion and bliss; we all slept about two hours before we were awakened by nurses coming in to check both Erikka and the baby.

A couple of days later, as we’re hanging out in our hospital room – a regular room, no longer one of the giant labor & delivery rooms where we had spent the first twenty-four hours – I was sitting on the couch, hanging out with Harrison.  She had eaten, I had changed her and swaddled her, and she was lying on a pillow near the window, wide-eyed and looking around (even though I know she couldn’t see very far still).  I sat there, as I had been doing most of the time since her birth, staring at her in amazement, with so many thoughts crossing my mind.  At that moment, days after entering the world, she was completely perfect.  Think about it.

Right now, Harrison has no idea of what hate is.  She has been surrounded by nothing but love, admiration, and lots of kisses on her tiny little face (and feet, too).  She doesn’t have any comprehension of what it is like to be angry, well, unless she is wet, dirty, or hungry.  But it isn’t real, genuine anger.  She trusts every single one of us who she was entrusted to, and is secure with her very limited knowledge that we will indeed take care of her.  She has never been hurt, or had her heart broken or her feelings trampled on.  She doesn’t know sadness, nor does she have any inkling of what it is like to feel guilt or disappointment.  Right now, she is absolutely perfect.

How can we protect that?  How can we keep her there, in that perfectness bubble where she lives right now?  I look at this tiny, beautiful baby girl and know that I can’t do it.  One day she will be sad – and it will break my heart.  One day she will get mad, at one of US, and I will have to talk her down from the rafters.  One day, some little snot-nosed girl on the playground will say something snarky and hurt her feelings, and she will come home crying – and I won’t be able to do a thing about it.  We’re not allowed to go scream at other people’s kids when they hurt our own.

I look at her and all I want is to protect her, from all of these things.  I pray that the trust that she instinctively has for us right now is a trust that she always has in us.  While I may not be able to keep bad, sad, or uncomfortable things from happening in her life, I can make sure that I shield her from it as much as humanly possible.  I was worried, briefly, that I wouldn’t fall in love with her as madly as I had the two babies who had come from me, but it couldn’t be farther from the truth.  I feed her, I hold her, I change her, I drive her around in the middle of the night if I need to, I bathe her, and I love her so completely.  No one would ever be able to say that this child is not mine – and if they do and it hurts her feelings, then they’d better look out!

For a Moment, Time Stood Still

As seen this week on TheNextFamily.com (11/8/2011):

So the last time I wrote it was Monday, October 24th, and time had stood still while we waited for four or five days thus far.  Needless to say, I wrote it and put it out there, and sure as hell, things started moving and shaking within hours of my authoring that blog.

As you may remember, Erikka had gotten thrown in the hospital on complete bedrest because of high blood pressure, so that’s where we sat.  Monday.  Game 5 of the World Series.  We had finished dinner already and Noah was with a friend for the evening – I just had had a feeling that I needed to stay with her that evening, at least until the end of the game.  Erikka had been feeling particularly lousy that day, with blood pressure readings bouncing around, and another day of a lingering headache.  Every time she reported the headaches, she got a barrage of questions:  Are you seeing spots?  Any visual disturbances?  Seeing double?  To these she always answered “no”.  Well, Monday night during the game, she tells me that she is seeing little white spots, so I, consequently, pass this nugget of information on to the nurse.  That seemed to have triggered something, because her response was, “Hmmm.  I’m going to have to page your doctor and let her know about this.”  Um, okay.  We go back to watching the game, and about ten minutes later the phone rings in the hospital room (which had only happened one other time).  I answer it and was greeted by our OB/GYN who said, “Is this Tanya?  This is Dr. P…we’re going to have a baby tonight!”  I paused and said, “Um, excuse me?”  She continued, “Well, there are too many factors that have been going on for too long, and now she is seeing spots so we’re just going to do this tonight.  I’m heading up there now, so we will see you shortly!”  I answered, “Um, okay!  Bye!”  I then looked at Erikka, who had a very puzzled look on her face, and told her what the doctor said – and then I proceeded to go into crazy, panicked “dad” mode!  I gave her a phone and said to call her parents, and I went out into the waiting room to call those on the list to be there, not even realizing that it was already almost nine o’clock at night!

Pretty soon we were whisked down the hall and taken to a labor and delivery room, where they started working to get her ready for her c-section.  I had changed into the pink scrubs that I had bought for the birth, and then they gave me booties and a jumpsuit to put on top of them.  We were still watching the Texas Rangers game while we got ready to go into the O.R., and the score was tied as we prepped for it.  I had on my lucky red hat that I wore for every game, and I got permission from the doctor to wear it in the O.R.!  Soon we were on our way, across the hall, where I was positioned on a stool next to Erikka’s head, camera in hand and cell phone in pocket.  This was about to happen.  I was about to meet my daughter for the first time.  I was freaking out a bit, and the adrenaline rush was making me re-think the wisdom in having had McDonald’s for dinner.  So I sat, took some deep breaths, kissed my wife, and told her she was doing great.

Soon our doctor and one of her partners walked through the operating room doors and proceeded on their way.  I stood up once, early on, to look over the curtain and see what was going on – not a good idea at the moment I chose.  I sat back down, and didn’t look again until they told me that it was time and they were pulling her out.  When I stood back up, camera on and ready, I held my breath as they delivered my baby girl’s head first, and then slowly the rest of her body, while she looked pissed off for the intrusion into her bubbled world.

For a moment, time stood still.  I heard the comments of how big she was, and they held her up for me to see and photograph.  I didn’t know if I should smile, cry, laugh, or all of it.  She was here, and she was okay.  She was only 37 weeks along, but she was perfect.  The time was ten o’clock, on the hour; an hour earlier I was watching baseball, and now I had a brand new baby girl.  It’s amazing how quickly your life can change.  While I had given birth to two babies, one naturally and one via c-section, I was now in an entirely different position and getting to experience it from a whole other perspective.  I watched her come into the world, and I held the hand of my wife while the anesthesiologist took my camera and took our first photos as a family together.  The baby weighed in at eight pounds, six ounces, and measured 20.5 inches long.  She has big chubby cheeks, just like we saw in the sonograms – it was amazing!

While they finished up with Erikka, stitching her up and such, they took the baby and me back across the hall to our original labor & delivery room.  I held her in my arms, and we had about ten minutes just to ourselves, she and I.  We walked around the room together, while I just stared at her, completely and totally in love with her already.  I stopped at the television, and realized that the baseball game was still on, just as we had left it when we went into the operating room.  I paused to look just in time to see the last ball played, and the Rangers win game five over the St. Louis Cardinals, and cheered quietly, telling the baby that she brought our guys good luck that night!  Soon they brought Erikka in, and she was awake and alert, doing fabulously and ready to meet and hold our beautiful baby girl.

We named her Harrison, after her grandpa.  Harrison Sinclair Jayne-Anne.  And she’s perfect.

When Man Plans, God Laughs

As seen previously on TheNextFamily.com (around 10/24/2011):

We’re getting closer – even closer than we had originally planned.  As you may remember, our sweet baby girl is scheduled to arrive on 11/1/11 via a planned C-section.  Well, we now know that this isn’t going to happen. But that’s about all we DO know at this point.  I’ve always heard people say that “when man plans, God laughs”, and am finding that it seems to be true.  My mother-in-law said that life is what happens when we’re busy making plans; that is NO LIE.

Last Wednesday we went for our weekly appointment at the doctor’s office, hoping for an uneventful visit and possibly a short afternoon trip to the state fair before it closed (to get some of the weird, fried fair food).  Yeah, THAT didn’t happen.  We went in, had our sonogram, did the vitals, and got put into a room to watch their short C-section DVD.  Soon, the nurse came in and informed us that Erikka’s blood pressure was a little too high for another week, so the doctor wanted us to go over to the hospital and be monitored for a few hours.  Well great.  Alrighty then.  So much for our fun little afternoon trip to the fair.  We left the doctor’s office, with instructions from our awesome OB/GYN that Erikka’s working days are over for a little while because she was now to be on bedrest.  She had already planned to stop working at the end of the week, so it came only two days earlier.  We went over to the hospital and spent a few hours being monitored before they sent us home, with strict orders of bedrest from here on out.

Thursday seemed pretty low-key at our house.  Noah was off at school, Erikka worked from her laptop in the recliner all day, only getting up for bathroom breaks.  My future daughter-in-law (a whole OTHER story) came over and spent the afternoon helping me clean our messy house, while I finished putting things away in the nursery.  I was working with the knowledge from the doctor that we were unlikely to make our delivery date of 11/1/11, so I needed to get everything in order at the house so that we’re ready when our little darling DOES arrive.  At about six o’clock that evening, I’m preparing dinner for all of us when I asked Erikka how her blood pressures had been throughout the day.  She hesitantly gives me the last reading – which was high.  So I then make her tell me what they have been all day. All high.  REALLY high.  I write them all down and decide that it’s time to call the doctor’s answering service.  She wanted me to wait until the next morning, when we had to go to their office anyway, but I was concerned and decided it would be best to call right then.  I had pre-eclampsia when I was pregnant with Noah, and my blood pressure readings were like hers have been running; so I had a feeling that she was heading down the same path.  I’m glad I called – the doctor had me take her to the hospital right then, at 8 o’clock last Thursday night.

And there is where we still sit today…Monday.

Over the weekend the doctor came by each day, saying that she is rescheduling the C-section for this Saturday, 10/29.  Does she think that we will really make it to THAT date?  No, she does not.  So now, after all of our planning and knowing exactly how everything was going to go, we are here, in limbo at the hospital.  Blood pressures are somewhat controlled, and contractions come and go.  We haven’t got a clue when this will happen – but we’re here and we’re ready…and we at least know it will be SOON!