Well, you must be looking at the date of this entry and be realizing that today you are 16 days old. You may be wondering what the heck took us so long to update the blog with your arrival - one minute we are desperate to meet you and the next we are not bothering to write with the story of your glorious, albeit delayed, arrival. Well my dearest, sweetest son all I can say is that the past two weeks have been filled with the highest of highs and unfortunately the lowest of lows. But I will begin the week that you arrived .... for the record you may want to go to the restroom and grab a drink and snack before settling in to read as this will be a very loooong entry!
As per our last entries, the week that you arrived brought with it not one, not two but THREE bouts of false labour. This entailed your mum experiencing contractions for 5-6 hours only to have them come to a grinding halt. On Monday the 17th, Tuesday the 18th and Wednesday the 19th I sat, watch in hand, timing the squeezing pains that my body was experiencing. The Tuesday and Wednesday episodes were overnight so I was awake all night, getting more excited as the wee hours passed, planning on how I would wake your dad with the fantastic news that we had to hit the road and head to the hospital. These days, however, would not turn out to be your birthday as the contractions came to a grinding halt and the only thing that was born was a huge headache and an even more emotional and tired pregnant woman. On Thursday (the 20th) I started contracting at 8pm during Big Brother (a very cheezy reality show that is your dad and I's guilty pleasure). I was considerably jaded at this point and assumed that once again it would be false labour. I was set to go into the hospital on Friday the 21st regardless to have something called a Foley Catheter inserted in order to get my body ready for birth at which time I would go home and return on Saturday for a full induction. I was not looking forward to this procedure as I had scared myself by reading too much online, but I digress ... Come 6 am on Friday the 21st the contractions were getting stronger and coming closer and I was confident that it was the real deal so I gently awoke your father to give him the news that you were on your way. Your dad was also jaded having watched me progress through false labour and therefore did not experience the same sense of urgency that I did, proceeding instead to eventually get out of bed, go to Tim Hortons for coffee, eat an agonizingly slow breakfast, take a super long shower and eventually emerge a few hours later still in no rush to head to the hospital. I watched this (doubled over a kitchen stool) through contractions. Eventually I went and sat in my Jeep with it running, until your dad came to look for me and realized that he had better get in the drivers seat lest he not see another birthday himself. Still your dad did not realize the severity of the situation and proceeded to drive through an ATM and stop for gum (GUM of all things!!) before eventually moseying towards the hospital. I sat in the passenger seat, clutching at the roof bar with one hand and body pillow with the other, daydreaming about an epidural. We arrived close to 11 am and quickly went to the OB/GYN triage where I was in a gown and getting looked at within 2 minutes. This brought some fantastic news - I was indeed in labour and was 3cm dilated and 100% effaced! (Look those terms up when you are married and ready to have a child of your own). The nurse snapped off her rubber glove while declaring 'she's a keeper!!' I immediately got emotional, knowing that Friday August the 21st would be your birthday and we would not be leaving the hospital without you. Your dad, finally realizing the same, turned white and fluctuated between excited chattering and panicking. We were walked down to our room and introduced to our nurse, a cute little redhead named Jackie and the doctor was called in for the epidural.
I will try to make this portion relatively short (this is next to impossible I know). Your dad proceeded to call everyone he knew to let them know that I was in labour and your Uncle Marc and Aunt Kelly started their journey from London for your arrival. Fearing that everyone would be sitting in the waiting room for 10 hours I tried to dissuade your dad from using his cell phone any longer but he was too proud and too excited to listen. As you will read, this was for the best as your arrival was quicker than I had anticipated. The epidural was administered, my water was broken by another doctor and the contractions started to come on top of one another. A half hour later as I tried to breath my way through the searing pain, the nurse deduced that the epidural did not work. Another half hour passed and your poor dad, relegated to the role of breathing coach, sat helpless as I screamed through the pain and yelled at him for 'not breathing right' - you may ask how this is possible and truthfully 16 days removed from the situation I do not know, but at the time I was in too much pain to make any sense. All I knew was that he was not doing what I wanted him to do (although he was following the instructions I laid out for him). The nurse could not get the doctor back to administer another epidural and tried to give more freezing (to no avail), and some laughing gas to take the edge off. Two hours after the first epidural I received another, this time it worked. The change was immediate and dramatic. One minute I was an out of control, wild-eyed screaming banshee and the next I lay comfortably completely at peace with myself and the universe - I believe I called the epidural 'magical fairy juice' - your dad kept looking at the monitor and would exclaim 'you are having a huge contraction right now!' and I would lay back and smile like I had just been sainted. I planned on taking a nap before the big show (pushing!) so I cozied up in the blankets and closed my eyes. I was also the only woman labouring at that time and therefore I had everyone on the floor at my beck and call (as it should be ... :).
Well munchkin, no sooner had I hunkered down for a short summer's sleep than there were two doctors and nurses in the room looking at the monitor. Your dad and I began to panic although I knew that we were in the best place possible and getting amazing care. As it turns out, you were not handling the contractions well and your little heart rate kept plummeting when one occurred. Given that they were occuring at regular intervals, this was a cause for concern. The nurses had me lie on one side, then the other and then eventually on all fours laying on a bean bag (this is when your Pa came in ... talk about awkward!) but nothing would calm your little heart rate down. At 3:30, Nurse Jackie came in and told me that there was a good chance that the doctor would recommend a c-section as you may not tolerate another 5 hours of labour, at 4pm the doctor came in to make that same and final recommendation. I, of course, agreed as all I wanted was for you to come out healthy. At 4:30ish the preparation ensued for the operation including a spinal tap for me (I didn't really trust that this second epidural was going to last until the finish line ...) and a gown and hat for your dad. At 5:34pm you, my dearest sweetest 7lb 15 oz little boy, were brought into this world (though you weren't happy about it as the pictures can attest!) and you were (are) absolutely perfect. Your dad and I cried with joy.
The next few hours were a flurry of activity, you had a waiting room full of people desperate to meet you and I lay in recovery for an hour while your dad, beaming with pride, introduced you. Your Granny made a very special and long trip down to meet you and I cried when I saw her. Not having my own mum, it meant so much that she was there to see you on the night you were born. Eventually you and I got wheeled out and settled into our room. The next three days were a blur as your dad and I learned how to take care of you and I recuperated from the surgery. Your dad was so wonderful and he was the first to change your diapers and hold you when you fussed. I was never more in love with him. The nurses all loved you and would sometimes steal you for awhile to walk around with, you actually saw the movie 'The Hangover' with them (your dad and I still haven't seen it!). You also had a TON of visitors! Aunts, uncles, family friends and of course your Pa and Grandpa Thorup and Grandma Marg. What a lucky little baby. Your uncle Marc and Aunt Kelly made sure our house was clean for your arrival and your Uncle Marc even stayed for close to a week and cooked yummy food for us to have on hand.
I didn't really make that last part short, did I?!?
Well munchkin, here is where we come to the 'highest of highs and lowest of lows' part ... on Monday August the 24th your dad and I proudly brought you home and started our little life together. That same day, however, your Papa Art lost his courageous battle with cancer and passed away peacefully. It is the circle of life and it is incredibly difficult. We celebrated his life and mourned his passing on the following Saturday - (you were an angel during the service) and your dad and Uncle Marc did us proud with wonderful tributes to this amazing man. I think about him everyday and I know that he and your Gram are in heaven (no doubt drinking wine!) taking care of you.
Since then, your dad and I have been trying to figure this parenting thing out. What do your distinctive cries mean? Are you hungry/wet/bored/hot/cold ?!? You are absolutely gorgeous and we spend hours just staring at you sleep ... this sounds creepier than it is ... you love to eat and have three chins and big chunky thighs to show for it. We love you desperately and each day brings more joy than the last (even when you have your meltdowns that turn your face bright red and cause us to close the windows lest the neighbours think that your screaming is an indication of us torturing you). We are trying to be the best parents possible for you ... you'll have to let us know how we did.
Well munchkin, I have to get going as it is my turn to take over your care so your dad can eat. I will update your progress soon.
We are so lucky to have you in our lives. Stay strong little man.