Friday, October 13, 2006

Six Months

My dear little Miles,

Today you reach a milestone -- you are six months old! Wow, that is almost too much for me to take in. A lot of things happened in the first few months of your life...I wasn't really able to do very much with you, because I was sick and trying very hard to get well so that I could do the full-time mommy thing.

You have changed so much since you were born. Let's just talk about your size, for starters. Even though you were born six weeks early at a little over five pounds, you have definitely made up for it. Yesterday you weighed 18 pounds, kiddo! My arms are getting stronger and stronger every day just carrying you from here to there.

Sitting and crawling still evade you, but I'm sure you'll master them soon enough. You get a little frustrated because there are so many things you want to do now and can't. Hmm...that sounds a bit familiar...

It's fun listening to the new 'words' coming from your mouth. Sometimes you are singing, I think, and your daddy and I wonder if you will soon be joining us in singing 'You Are My Sunshine' or 'Winnie the Pooh'. You also have moments of being just Mellow Miles, in which you like to sit and look around, quietly taking in all the happenings.

You are really starting to look more and more like your daddy all the time. I see it in your smile and so many of your expressions. It endears me to you and to him more and more every day.

Reaching for things that are in front of you has been a new thing for a while now. And as soon as you have taken hold of that rattle, or teether, or stuffed animal in front of you, where does it go? That's right -- straight in your mouth. Maybe this is why you are doing so well and enjoying so much the introduction of solids into your life. Peaches, applesauce, peas, pears and sweet potatoes have all made their way onto your sensitive palate, and you seem to be okay with them so far.

I'm so glad you're here, my sweet Miles. I may get a bit irritated and short-tempered when you are whining or screeching (a very new discovery for you), but it never means that I have stopped loving you. Quite the contrary. I find you fascinating, adorable, intelligent, amazing...and just plain cute.



Thursday, October 12, 2006

Thirty-one is not the loneliest number

I celebrated, with much joy in my heart, my thirty-first birthday today. There are so many reasons to be joyous and thankful on this day, the main one being that I am here. I am alive! So many things could have gone wrong all those months ago when my appendix ruptured, but praise God they did not, and I am here to give him glory and honor and thanks.

One quick, funny story for you...Casey took me out to Applebee's (my fave) to celebrate both of our birthdays. Oh, the food and dessert were yummy! Then, as promised, we ordered a pay-per-view movie (Poseidon) and settled down to watch after Mister Miles was put to bed. At one point in the movie, they are walking across some thin railing thing, and I asked, "What are they walking on?" In true Casey-Tracey fashion, we answered at the exact same time:

"Sunshine?" I finished with a grin.

"Broken glass!" said Casey triumphantly.

If you've never heard of either song...well, I just can't help you. We had a good chuckle, and of course Casey thought he had 'won'. But I think we know who the real winner was.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

And I love him more every day

My adorable husband is 29 today. I've already wished him a happy birthday, but I wanted to share that here as well, and tell the world what an amazing man I think he is!


your trace

Thursday, October 05, 2006

April And Everything After: Chapter Three

WARNING: This blog post may contain some yucky stuff (although it really depends on your definition of 'yucky') readers beware.

Thursday, April 13, 2006
12:46 a.m.

"What?" asked Casey, who had just been awakened, but was now very aware of his surroundings.

"I think my water broke!" I repeated, but the words just could not be right. Maybe this was something else. I hoped it was something else. I was still six weeks away from my due date!

The nurse came in soon after we'd hit the call button, and I told her what I thought had happened. She thought it sounded right, but she still left to get a litmus paper to check the fluids. Upon returning, she told us that if the paper turned blue, it meant that my water had broke.

"Yup, those are amniotic fluids!" she said brightly. "You're going to have your baby today!" My mind struggled to wrap itself around her happy words, but I was so just dumbstruck that all I could do was smile back at her. In these stressful situations you must look for the blessings. My thought was, At least I'll be rid of all the pain I've been having for the past few weeks!

I should mention something I previously left out. That is, for reasons the doctors could not explain to me, I had for the past several days been swelling up. Really it was only my lower body that was retaining water, so that made me look a bit out of proportion. In just one week, I had gained approximately 25 pounds of water weight. I am so not kidding.

Since labor can take its time in starting, even after your water breaks, the nurse left us and we miraculously were able to go back to sleep. Praise God that we had some sleep that night...

6:00 a.m.

Some of the day is a bit fuzzy upon my looking back, but I do remember that my contractions began at six in the morning. I was moved to the Labor and Delivery ward, where the contractions continued on and on...and on. There was no hesitation in accepting the stadol when it was offered, but I felt that it wore off much too quickly. Either that or the contractions were just too strong.

Around noon, my new obstetrician was called in to make a decision. Although I had been contracting for six hours, I was not dilated one bit. There were other reasons -- ones I won't mention here, sorry -- that I was just sure would make giving birth impossible. The doctor agreed, and his decision was that I would have a cesarean section that evening at six p.m. I wanted to know why I had to wait six more hours, and apparently that was the soonest he could fit me in. All I could think was, six...more...hours...of contractions?!

6:00 p.m.

By this time I was in so much pain, and I was not in the best mood. That poor nurse, I don't remember her name, but every time I had a contraction she seemed to be talking or making noise and I gave the back of her head such dirty looks. I do have manners, after all.

It was finally time to go to the operating room. Casey would have to wait outside until after I'd been given the epidural. There were so many people in that white, bright, sterile room that I became even more nervous. I thought, Do they really need so many people in here? Will the baby be okay? But the pain brought me back to reality, and I had to be helped to sit forward by three people because I could not do it by myself.

Yes, an epidural needle hurts quite a bit, and you are instructed to keep very still while it is being inserted. But I was giving thanks to God when I felt first my right leg, then my left going completely numb, along with my contracting uterus. I was helped to lie down slowly, my arms were stretched out, and I was given an oxygen mask. I had seen A Baby Story on television, but it was still so strange when that blue sheet was placed up by my face, blessedly blocking my view of the operation.

Casey was brought in, and I was glad I could recognize my husband by his eyes, because that was all I could see of him. He was head-to-toe in blue scrubs, mask and hat included. He looked quite dashing. Casey sat down on a stool next to me and we held hands, mostly talking with our eyes.

Can you believe this is happening?
said my eyes.

I know, this is crazy...
his replied.

Lots of tugging. Lots of pulling. It was such a strange sensation, something I'll never forget, and yet can't quite fully describe to someone who hasn't experienced it. I kept my gaze focused on Casey, because in looking at him all my fears subsided.

6:31 p.m.

In a final big pull, I knew he was out.

"Welcome to the world, little fellow!" I heard the doctor say, but I was only waiting for one thing. My heart and time seemed to stop, until just a few moments later when I heard a squeal and a loud cry. Tears washed over my cheeks, and Casey and I smiled at one another in disbelief. He was here...Miles Kendrick was actually out here in the world! The nurses worked quickly with him, then brought him over to us so we could see our boy. His eyes were wide open, and he stared at us as we stared back at him. And that was our moment. I wouldn't see my baby again for another twenty-four hours.

Meanwhile, the doctors weren't sewing me back up. They were discussing. Casey and I listened, and heard things like, "film covering everything," "foul odor," and other worrisome words...two of the scariest were, "full hysterectomy." The doctors were dealing with something they couldn't explain, and they didn't know what to do.

The obstetrician looked over the sheet at me and said, "We might have to perform a full hysterectomy." I looked him in the eye and said, "Please don't do that!" while in my mind I thought, I'm only thirty years old, I want to have more children! Then I turned to Casey and said, "Case, go and tell Eric to start praying NOW." Casey left for the waiting room, where his parents and our elder and his wife waited to hear news. My parents were on their way, making a twelve-hour drive. They were called as well, and began praying while on the road.

My doctors were still discussing what should be done. Things looked "very messy" inside, but they didn't want to continue without asking one or two other doctors' opinions. I was thankful for their humility, for their showing that they did not know everything. After speaking with one doctor in person and one on the phone, the decision was made to sew me back up. No hysterectomy would be performed. Our prayers answered, both Casey and I silently rejoiced.

I was taken to recovery, and spent a bit of time alone while Casey went to find some food and to share the good news with family and friends. I was later taken back to my room, and was able to visit for a short time with Casey's and my parents, who had arrived safely. All four grandparents were proud as could be, and mostly just glad that the Miles and I were fine.

When Casey and I were alone at last that evening, we talked for a while. It had certainly been the longest day of our lives, filled with every single emotion possible. But as I closed my eyes that night, I was filled with so much peace it felt as if it was seeping from my skin. I smiled because I was in pain no more. I smiled because I was thankful. I smiled because I was a mommy.
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