Monday, August 29, 2016

Welcome to the world, Kolbe Christopher!

God's grace knows no bounds.  I have 4 kids napping right now.  Four!  
And I have a very good newborn who gives me hours of rest at a time so that I actually wake up feeling not like a zombie so far (except the first night-I hate overnights at hospitals). 

So, Kolbe's birth story. 

If you have not already, it's important to read the PRE-birth story here first.  It will make the entire experience a better story overall.  

So there I am freaking out because we don't really have a babysitter in place, and even if we did, how terrible is it to call someone up and ask them to watch your SICK kids?? And right then I get what I know is a REAL contraction.  8:04am.  And so it begins.  Jesus, I trust in You.

5 minutes later another one.  Chris was about to head out the door for work since I was only achy before and we were both definitely hoping it was NOT go time.  But after the first two, I looked at him and said, "I think you better stay home."

Luckily Megan texted back that she could come over after dropping her kids off at 8:30.  4 minutes later another strong contraction.  3 minutes. Another contraction.  2 minutes.  Contraction again. 3 minutes.... Jesus, I trust in You.

Which brings us to 8:21 and I'm trying to get ahold of my doctor because there is NO WAY   I am going to the further hospital.  I call and get no answer.

4 minutes. Contraction.  Chris is trying to help pack the rest of my hospital bag for me.  I'm trying to get the kids (Kayla and Ava who weren't throwing up) to finish breakfast and get some clothes on.

4 minutes. Another one.  8:36 am. I try to call the doctor again.  Still not getting an answer.  Not at his office (which should have opened several minutes ago), not on his cell.  I call the back-up cell.  His wife answers and says she'll try to get in touch.

It's been 4 minutes.  Another contraction.  At this point, I just stopped writing them down.  They are coming anywhere from 2-5 minutes apart and are strong.  I know Megan will be here anytime now.  The doctor calls back and I just tell him we are going to the close hospital and can he make that work.  He says ok (somewhat reluctantly it seems to me, but who says no to a crazy lady in labor?).

Megan arrives around 8:50 (I think) and between contractions, we explain more of the situation.  I had texted her about the kids throwing up at some point between some of the earlier contractions.  When she arrived she asked if we'd be ok with her wonderful friend (whom we have never met) coming over and taking over shortly.  Sounds a little scary in some ways, right?  Some person we've never met watching our kids?  But I'm in labor and I trust Megan completely, so I'm like "Sure. Great.  Sounds good.  Just give her our cell numbers in case she needs anything.  And thank you so much!" Because seriously Megan deserves ALL the thanks and gratitude in the world.  I was panicking that the kids would be watching their first birth until she said she could get there.

So we leave (Sophie was still in bed) and head to the close (and originally planned) hospital.  It's about 10 minutes away.  We arrive there at 9:15am.  Contractions still coming every 5 minutes (or less).  We walk in and I comment to Chris that I look like a moron because I'm waddling and breathing through contractions as they come, but we make it to labor and delivery unit.  We get signed in, and I try to apologize for not pre-registering.

And they bring us to a triage room to see where I'm at.  A nurse (her name was Wanda) comes in and sees that I'm not going insane and I'm breathing through contractions and she briefly listens to my comment about how I have fast labors and that I've only been in labor about an hour, but they've been coming 5 minutes apart or less for that hour.  She gives me my highly attractive hospital gown and asks if I can try to give a urine sample.  Then she leaves again, and in my head I have already given up on getting my epidural.   They just don't seem to be taking me all that seriously about fast labors and are moving rather slowly.  Jesus, I trust in You.

Wanda finally came back in and asked if I'm an epidural sort of person.  I said, "Yes, if I can actually get one.  I usually don't make it because I go from 5 to 10 pretty quickly."  So she starts my IV and takes my blood simultaneously and flawlessly (with Sophie some intern couldn't get it correctly and apparently was squirting blood all over trying to get my IV in).  And then she checks me.  6 cm.  9:47am.  At this point, I'm still wishing for the epidural, but I'm at 6cm, so I know the chances are pretty low for me.  I came in at 5cm with Sophie (different hospital) and asked for one and it all progressed too quickly.  The one thing I had going for me was that I was Group Strep B negative this time so I didn't need to get the antibiotics.   Jesus, I trust in You.

We find out that Wanda is actually the charge nurse.  And it's apparently really busy (hence why no one seemed to really be giving us the time of day at first and hence why we have Wanda at all--all hands on deck!!).  Wanda jokes that it's really all in our heads and  (finger quotes) I'm only at about 1 1/2 cm, so I'll be able to get that epidural no problem.  We laugh and I keep a tiny bit of hope.  She runs out again and Chris holds my hand as I lay on my side and breathe through more contractions and wait to see what will happen.  Jesus, I trust in You.

At some point fairly soon, they move me to an actual labor and delivery room in a wheelchair.  Wanda says no walking.  That makes baby come faster and we're doing all we can to get that epidural.  I smile.  Even if it's just for the pushing phase, she would be my best friend if we can make that epidural happen. I meet my labor nurse, Lonnie, who I love right away.

They get the anesthesiologist (Marc) in there fairly quickly (as soon as they get me about a bag and a half of fluid from the IV) and he asks if we can try to administer it through the contractions so we can have the best chance possible of it taking effect before I deliver.  I say yes, let's try whatever.  I get into position for that and hug Chris and concentrate on breathing through the contractions and staying calm and still so Marc can do his thing.  10:30: epidural administered.  They have purposely not checked me since the first check because they know we don't have much time (and if they accidently break my water we'd be through) and if they check we lose time and I think there is a "cut-off".  So we avoid that by not checking at all.  The epidural takes about 15 minutes to fully kick in.  I'm still breathing through contractions that have been coming for awhile really strong and really LONG.  There's still probably 3-4 minutes between each, but each contraction is loooooong.  All I can do and have been able to do throughout the whole day so far is repeat "Jesus, I trust in You" over and over and over again, sometimes quietly out loud, sometimes just in my head.  But at the moment I'm also just in a half state of euphoria that I actually got the epidural and it's looking like I'll get a little relief at the very end and I won't have to push without drugs.  The pushing is what I hate the most.  I would get an epidural just for the pushing stage, seriously.  And most of my deliveries have only been a few pushes.  I seriously hate the pushing so much.  So there is my blatant honestly.  Obviously I can do and have done it, but I hate it.  Jesus, I trust in You.

Doctor A. arrives at 10:50 am and checks me at 10:55 am.  I'm at 9cm.  The head seems to be blocking things from having progressed a little faster.  He asks if I want my water broken and just get to the delivering.  I say sure.  But baby's head is blocking the water bag, so he can only get it to slow leak out.  No problem.  My epidural has fully kicked in by now and I am in heaven.  I can breathe and talk and laugh and just BE for a bit.  Dr. A. slowly and methodically works on paperwork and we chat with Lonnie, who I already mentioned, I just love.

And then it's 11:34 and I'm feeling like I've been "ready" to push for perhaps a bit, but no rush since the Dr. was doing paperwork and didn't seem to be in a rush.  Lonnie comes and checks and suggests some practice pushes since I mentioned that I can never remember the proper breathing and pushing sequence.  So we do some practice pushes and she says I'm doing great (my legs weren't up or anything, we were just mostly practicing the breathing and mild pushing).  Baby moved down a little so I was in proper form.

And eventually about 11:45, the Dr. had all his paperwork done and his tools and workspace sufficiently prepared and we began the actual pushing.  I pushed once.  They Lonnie asked if I want to look down and meet someone, and I'm thinking, "What are you talking about?"  So I say, am I supposed to push again?"  And she says sure, I took a tiny breath and the lamest push and they are holding a baby up and I see....little boy parts??!!  11:46 AM. He pretty much flew out in that first push apparently and the lame push did nothing.  I was in complete shock that it was over already and that we had a son.  My reaction was probably pretty lame because I really didn't have one.  I was so surprised that I was already done pushing and I couldn't quite comprehend having a newborn boy.  All I could do was smile and try to soothe his cries which were loud and proud.

The proud dad holding his firstborn son.  Chris is the first boy in his family and they have a family tradition that the firstborn son takes his father's first name as his middle name.  So Christopher is Christopher Richard because his dad's name is Richard.  So our son takes his dad's first name as his middle name and we finally get to use our boy name that we have discussed and loved for nearly 9 years (since we were engaged): Kolbe Christopher.  

Kolbe for St. Maximilian Kolbe, an amazing Saint who gave his life in another man's place in Auschwitz during WWII and Christopher to keep the family tradition alive and well.  

And here's Dr. A. with our little man

Isn't he just the sweetest little cherub?


Born on: August 26, 2016 (2 weeks early)
Time: 11:46 am
Total labor time: 3 3/4 hours
Weight: 7 lbs. 11 oz (our smallest baby so far)
Length: 19 1/2 inches

The day began in a frazzled, crazed, nightmarish mess, but ended in complete bliss. 
 God was so so good to us.  

And just because, I will mention that the babysitter that my friend Megan procured was an ANGEL.  We found out later that Sophie woke up and pulled off her diaper and poop was everywhere and the babysitter cleaned it up, bathed Sophie, washed all the sheets plus the ones that I'd left rinsed off (from the vomit) in the sink.  And the girls apparently don't know where I keep sandwich bread, so dear Megan stopped by with a bagful of groceries later in the day so her friend could give our kids lunch.  She brought sandwich bread (and included gluten free for me so it would be there when we got home) plus some Good Belly drink and soups to help the sick kids (and the healthy ones stay healthy).  
Not to mention she brought us dinner on Saturday night, about an hour and a half after we arrived home from the hospital.  And today, Megan texted to ask if I needed anything from the store.  I did.  This morning, I suddenly realized that almost every hand soap dispenser in the house was just about empty.  So she brought us soap refills as well as Lysol that I had laughingly mentioned needing because of the sickness of Friday morning.  She is THE best kind of friend in the world.  Thoughtful and kind. Thanks for everything, Megan (and your angel friend too)!!

Sunday, August 28, 2016

My Sunday Best + The Pre-Birth Story

Good morning!  I know half the world might think I was crazy going to Mass with the fam today, but God gifted me with a wonderful delivery and recovery thus far, and there wasn't any reason for me not to head to Mass and thank Him for his many blessings.  

My Sunday Best: 

I've worn it before (it's technically maternity and beyond), but this dress from Pink Blush Maternity was the PERFECT choice for our first week at Mass post baby's arrival.  It is soft and comfy and it was SO easy to nurse in. Nothing fancy or exciting other than the dress and my sweet baby accessory.

  And since there is a lot that happened leading up to labor, I will begin with a sort of Part 1 of the Birth Story, more appropriately titled

The Pre-Birth Story

Background info: You may remember that I was worried that my doctor asked us to switch to a hospital that is about 15 minutes further from us because his backup doctor at the closer hospital was no longer available.  I was trying to let my anxiety go and just accept this turn of events, but when Chris and I visited the further hospital last Monday, we both left more worried than before.  Besides being further away, the parking/entrance situation was also harder to navigate which would add even more time.  I started to panic inside.  If we got there and I was close, Chris would have to drop me off at the front of the ER and then go park and I just couldn't get it out of my head that it might end in my WORST case scenario of all: Chris not being there when I delivered.  Needless to say, it was a week of going back and forth.  We tried to talk ourselves into the further hospital and give it to God, but we still had no peace.  So we discussed asking my doctor under which scenarios he could still deliver at the original, closer hospital.  I had an appointment Friday August 26 at 4pm (my 38 week appointment) where I planned to ask many questions and pour out my many concerns....

I had previously tried to pre-register for the closer hospital and it hadn't worked online, and then we put registering anywhere on hold because (see above paragraph), so I'm still not pre-registered anywhere (but no worries, I'm not even quite 38 weeks)...

On Wednesday, after dropping the twins off to take the nearby bus to the airport (bye guys, and thanks for visiting!), I finally had the thought that I should begin a hospital bag.  I threw a couple clothing items in...

On Thursday (Aug 25), I finally grabbed our bag of newborn/0-3 months clothes and washed all the gender neutral stuff plus a couple of our girl outfits (we don't have any boy outfits obviously) and threw a couple of those in the hospital bag....

Friday (Aug 26) early in the morning around 4 am (so like really the middle of the night for all intents and purposes), Sophie threw up.  I knew she'd be clingy and it's really hard for me to change crib sheets when my belly is so preggo, so I woke Chris up to help me with that part.  I changed Sophie from her night shirt and pants and put a new nightshirt on.  Chris changed the sheets, and we put a tired Sophie back down.  I rinsed the sheets out and left them in the bathroom sink...

I had a hard time falling back asleep, so I turned on the Rosary on YouTube.  I said my Rosary, still hadn't drifted off, and it was about 5:30am and I suddenly just started feeling achy.  I started feeling achy just before I went into labor with Sophie, so I got a tiny bit worried.  But I was only 38 weeks, so I brushed it off and tried to sleep.  I drifted off....

Elise woke up around 7 and wanted to eat breakfast.  I got up, still a little achy, and headed downstairs to get her food.  Shortly after I had a really light contraction.  Mostly my back just felt achy, but it sorta seemed like it moved around the front.  I brushed it off and went back to lay down for a bit while Elise was eating and Chris was getting ready for work (he had a work project due at the end of the day)...

Around 7:30am, Ava got up and wanted a bowl of cereal too.  I got that for her and had another of those "not-really-contractions".  Then as I was suddenly having thoughts about "What IF I WAS about to go into labor?" I remember that we really have NO babysitting coverage for this particular time of day (school drop off time).  Everyone on our list of babysitters who doesn't have kids to drop off at school was unavailable on a Friday.  In fact, the person that was our most sure bet of being around pretty much all the time (our next door neighbor) was supposed to be out of town until August 28.  But that hadn't previously worried me because that was nearly two weeks before our due date....

Then I heard Elise throwing up, and I had another of those strange achy back- almost like a contraction things....

And that's when I decided JUST in case all the aches development into something, I should probably try to contact SOMEBODY and see when people are done dropping their kids off at school.  I texted my friend, Megan, who I met online through Blessed Is She awhile back and who has been so amazing since we moved to Colorado just 4 months (ish) ago.  My text was basically something to the effect of "I'm feeling achy.  Nothing is really happening, but what time are you done dropping kids off at school just in case?"....

A side note, Megan is very careful about germs.  When she's sick she stays away.  And she stays away from people who are sick.  So you can guess how I was feeling even texting her in the first place, but I was in that pre-panic stage, where I felt like all hell was about to break loose, and I HAD NO PLAN!  

All my plans and everything that I HAD figured out were worthless on the Friday of August 26, TWO WEEKS before my due date at school drop-off time in the morning.  What were the chances? 

To be continued....

In case, you want to brush up on how the other kids' births went down, they are filed here.

And now, it's up, so you can check Kolbe's birth story out here.

Meanwhile, link-up with your Sunday best over at Rosie's blog A Blog for my Mom

Saturday, August 27, 2016

7 QT-not-quite-Friday: Bro visit and baby

I uploaded pictures here Thursday evening with the intent to post a 7 Quicktakes Friday post yesterday,  but yesterday didn't go as I planned.

So that can be the quick #1...

1. Surprise! 

 Our first little BOY, Kolbe Christopher Bissonnette, was born Friday August 26 and was two weeks early.  Wow!  I did not see that coming.  But no complaints here.  

2. S'mores with the Uncles

IIt's pretty self explanatory.  We roasted mallows when Chris's brothers were visiting.  

3. Date nights

Chris and I went out on a couple dates while his brothers were in town.  Nicholas watched the girls so Chris and I could grab a quick bite of yummy Greek cuisine before picking up his twin brothers at the airport one night.  And after Nick departed, Ethan and Evan watched the girls another night so that Chris and I could have a full evening all to ourselves.  We went to a local brewery/restaurant for dinner (SO yummy!) and then walked around a little quirky and fun downtown and found an ice creamery.  And then we went and checked out the hospital that my OB said we'd need to go to instead.  We weren't thrilled.  It's further and the entrance/parking situation is more difficult to navigate.  But our date was wonderful!  Thanks, Nick, Ethan, and Evan!

It was a neat atmosphere.  You could play bocce ball and cornhole out back or just chill and enjoy lovely views

4. Denver Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception

We took the twins (Nicholas had to get back home to work) to the Denver Cathedral one morning.  


It was gorgeous. 

5. Washington Park

And we went to a park afterwards with a large playground, some nice walking trails, and geese everywhere!  

6. Ice Cream!

And then we stopped at an ice cream place for a treat!  I scream, you scream, we all scream for delicious ice cream. 

And last of all...

7. We arrived home...

From the hospital.  Kolbe and I are both doing great and happy to be home where we can make ourselves comfy and cozy.  

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Hiking near Morrison

A couple days ago, we hiked with Chris' twin brothers up near Morrison.  We've done portions of this particular trail, but we did a different loop this time and jumped onto a different trail for part of the nearly 5 mile trek.  

silly faces (the twins claim they didn't hear me say it, but my crew heard it loud and clear)

(photos by Chris)

One lovely section of the trail went straight up which was just lovely, but at the top there were some lovely, lovely mountain views.

(photos by Chris)
(photo by Chris)

(photos by Chris)

(photo by Chris)

(photo by Chris)

This picture was taken just after Ava had a temper tantrum/I am TOO tired moment on the trail.  She whined for a bit, then cried, then cried harder until I finally had to just move to the side of the trail and hug her for a couple minutes.  Once she got her hugs and then decided she also had to pee (and we found a place to do that) we didn't hear another whine out of her for the rest of the hike.  Awesome little hiker (all of them are, but she is only 3 (nearly 4) and she regularly hikes 4-5 miles.  

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Plymouth Mountain Bro Hike

A few of Chris' brothers have been in town visiting. 
A bunch of goobers, all of them

 Last week, Chris took a day off and they were able to head up to Plymouth Mountain and take a 7-7.5 mile trek up a small mountain together and have some brother time.  I don't know much except that they went and that Chris took some pictures, which are below.  It appears that they had a fun time and afterwards they checked out a local brewery (the ones who couldn't have beer had to enjoy hydrating themselves by other non-alcoholic means).  

Group selfie at the top with Chris and three of his younger brothers.   Awwww