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December 16, 2006

What a whirlwind... Part 1

You're in your room right now, sleeping. Mom is on the bed next to you. You two are the most beautiful things I've ever seen. Tonight if your first night at home from the hospital, and our first night with you alone.

"Let me e'splane... No, there is too much. Let me sum up." -Inigo Montoya

I've always wanted kids, for as long as I can remember. For me, however, being a Dad requires having a wife to be a Mom. I looked around a lot before I settled on my final choice. Your Mom and I started dating on October 29, 1997. We got married on the same day in 2000. We decided to let our lives settle in for a few years before we started trying to have children. I'll spare you the details, as I'm sure your mother's 'blog has them all, but suffice to say, we tried for two years to get pregnant before we succeeded with you in April, 2006.

April is right about when we had given up and decided we were going to "stop trying to." Of course, we didn't "start trying not to" so we finally got pregnant. "The Act" happened on one of two occasions durring the few days that Owen, Paul and Andy were gone in the middle of Sapphire Moon Eclipsed. (Ask me for more details; hopefully, I've still got the DVD laying around. Further more, hopefully we can still play DVDs by the time you read this. :)

I know, I know, I know. You don't want to think about that part. I'll move on. :-)

At 6am(ish) on Saturday morning, May 6th, 2006, I was sleeping in the back of my truck with Kira at the Wildflower Triathalon, about to wake up to start the day. My phone rang. Your Mom was on the other end crying. I asked what was wrong, and immediately upon doing so, it dawned on me what was going on. The only words she could get out of her mouth were: "You're going to be a Daddy." I was floating on a cloud for the rest of the weekend, I could hardly contain myself. I had to, however. We agreed to not tell anyone about the pregnancy until the end of the first trimester to make sure it stuck.

The rest of the pregnancy isn't anything to write home about: Due date: Jan 10, 2006, Mom's belly grew, we got a bunch of stuff at showers and as hand-me-downs from friends and family, ultrasound told us we were having a baby girl, we took classes: birthing classes (aka Lamase(sp?)), infant and toddler CPR classes, breastfeeding classes, yadda yadda yadda: all in all, a pretty typical pregnancy...

...until the weekend of December 9th, 2006. For some reason that neither she nor I can figure out, Mom decided to take her blood pressure. It was high. Not obscenely high, but high. It was a BP cuff we'd never used before, so we assumed it just didn't work right. Next day, she took it again. It was a bit higher. Took it again, higher still. I decided to take my BP: totally normal. Monday morning, Mom took her BP again, and it was still rising, getting into the dangerous ranges. Mom decided to stop messing around and call her Midwifes office to schedule an appointment. This was Monday, December 11th at about 10:30am.

10:30am is the middle of her work day. She was logged in, working, IMing, emailing, etc. The doctor's office had a spot open at 11am, so she just dropped everything and went. They took her BP again (higher still: 170/120), and she had protien in her urine. Ask Dr. Google about preeclampsia for details on what this all means. Short version: Mom was getting very sick, very quickly, and was sent directly to the hospital for some blood tests. At this point, she called me and picked me up from my office on her way to the hospital (why I allowed her to drive at this point, I still don't know.)

I'll summarize some at this point. Mom had severe preeclampsia. If she didn't give birth in one way or another very quickly, both you and her could have died.

We caught it pretty early. Saturday or Sunday would have been better, but Monday was still do-able. I thank whatever powers that be that Mom felt the random urge to check her blood pressure on Saturday morning. If she hadn't, things could have gotten _MUCH_ worse. I don't want to think about what might have happened.

Monday was so "still do-able" that the Doc wanted to try inducing labor for a vaginal birth instead of going directly to a C-Section, which could have had you out in a matter of a couple hours, but would have Mom recovering for weeks longer than after a natural vaginal birth. Again, more summarizing, but after 24 hours of ripening and induction, your vital signs were not looking good, so at about 10am(-ish; this whole time is a blur in my memory) they pulled the plug and scheduled a C-Section for later that day.

At this point, I collapsed. I was on the brink for most of the previous 24 hours, since I got the call from Mom telling me that we were headed to the hospital. But, being told that our _ENTIRE_ birthplan was being thrown out the window, no chance of having the nice, natural, vaginal birth that nature had intended, where we could put baby directly to breast and let Momma and Baby bond for a few hours when it was most important and most effective, being told all this pushed me over the edge. I walked into the hallway to call Kathy Tuck, our Doula who was going to help coach Momma through a natural labor and vaginal birth, and promptly turned into a blubbering ball of goo. Kathy was asking whether I still wanted her to be there, and I couldn't get the words out: "Yes, please." She heard me shuddering, figured out what was happening, dropped everything and was by my side within about 17 seconds flat. (Ok, I'm exagerating here. It was closer to about 23 seconds.) Just knowing that Kathy was there to support me and Momma, to tell me that, yes, this really is necessary, was exactly what I needed. If you ever wonder why we still send holiday cards to this random chick, that's why.


At 12:04pm, on December 12th, 2006, Doctor Kromhaut pulled you from your Momma's belly by C-Section. 4lb 8oz, 17.25 inches. A wrinkly, purple, beautiful cross between a little old lady and Yoda.

I was with your Mom in the OR, holding her hand, giving her a play-by-play since she couldn't see anything, telling her how much I love her and that everything was going to be ok, etc.etc. She was so doped up on Magnesium Sulfate (a muscle relaxant to prevent seizures, which is what preeclampsia can lead to) that she doesn't remember much of these few days, so I'm glad I was there to remind her after the fact.

...It's late. I've got less than an hour before I have to get up for your next feeding. I'll continue this story tomorrow.

I love you, Zoe. :)

December 21, 2006

What a whirlwind... Part 2

...and the whirlwind hasn't stopped yet, although it shows signs of slowing down...

It's about noon:30 when I start this second post. Mom just finished pumping your next meal, and you're still asleep in your room after having your previous meal at about 10am. I've got about 30 minutes before I need to wake you up and feed you again.

Where did I leave off? Oh yeah, the shreaking eels...

When the doc pulled you from Mom's belly, we got to see you for about 30 seconds before they whisked you away to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) where you stayed, under observation, for about 24 hours until the Magnesium Sulfide they were giving Mom to prevent seisures left your system enough for your digestive tract to start working enough to feed you orally. They were also watching your body temprature, since you were so small with so little body fat to help you regulate your own temprature.

But, after 24 hours, they deemed you Good To Go and trundled you on down the hall from the NICU to the room Mom was staying in. This was Wednesday afternoon. We got to spend the next 30(ish) hours with you in our room. While we had you, I was doing the feedings (since Mom was still recovering from the MagSulfide and major surgury), and I noticed your lips would turn darker colors while you were feeding. The nurse brought in an O2 Saturation monitor and hooked it up for your next feeding, then proceeded to yank the bottle from your mouth when your O2 saturation level dropped below 80 (normaly is 95-100; you floated right around 99 and 100 while not feeding.) Back to the NICU you went (this was Thursday afternoon) for another few days, until we all were discharged together on Saturday morning. While in the NICU this time, you were primarily just under observations. You never had another O2 saturation problem. Our theory is that you were just trying to figure out the coordination of: Suck, swallow, breath. Suck, swallow, breath. Suck, swallow, breath. You were >< this close, and it just took you one or two more tries.

...time to go to lunch to show you off to Mei. Next stop: Home.

December 25, 2006

Thank you for being cranky... first.

If you weren't being cranky tonight, I wouldn't have been doing everything I know how to calm you. If I weren't doing everything I know how to calm you, I wouldn't have changed your diaper yet (before your next feeding). If I hadn't changed your diaper, I wouldn't have noticed that the dirty diaper bag was missing. If I hadn't noticed that the dirty diaper bag was missing while I had an incredibly dirty diaper in my hands, I wouldn't have gone to the garage to dispose of said incredibly dirty diaper. If I hadn't gone to the garage tonight, I wouldn't have heard a *squish* sound upon stepping onto the carpet in front of the hot water heater.

Yes, that's right. It's Christmas eve, shortly before midnight (well, it's 1:30am as I'm writing this, but it was a bit before midnight when it happened), and we've got a busted water heater. Luckily for us, Grandpa is still here and helped figure out where the problem was and how to stabalize the situation so it doesn't get any worse until we can get a new one. Have I mentioned it's Christmas?

So, now all I have to do is figure out how to make you go to sleep. You've been very cranky all night. You're acting like you're still hungry, but we've already given you what amounts to an extra feeding. You were very figgity while swaddled up tightly. I thought maybe you wanted to stretch out a bit, so I unwrapped the swaddle and just bundled you up in the blankets. That seemed to work reasonably well--

*time passes*

Alright. That was at about 1:30am, and you started screaming bloody murder because I wasn't walking around with you, and you didn't stop until about 5:30am. Your mother, bless her heart, took over after 5:30 and let me sleep... ...until 8:30. And, of course, you slept that whole time. /me rolls his eyes...

Anyway. The imporant part of this post is: Even through all that, even though I'm now partially deaf in my left ear, even though I'm running on 3 hours of sleep and a stiff cup of tea, all you have to do is smile (ok, I admit, it's probably a gas face), or look into my eyes, or doze off to sleep just a bit, and it's all ok again. The sleepless hours of walking around shushing you and singing to you go away and it all becomes worth it again. It's amazing how biology works like that. I love you, babygirl. :)

Zoe's Lullaby:
Go to sleep baby Zoe girl.
Go to sleep.

Go to sleep little baby girl.
Go to sleep.

It's 4:30am, you're still awake
I don't know how much more of this I can take

Go to sleep baby Zoe girl.
Go to sleep.

Quoth Mom

"Cutie with the pants full of poopy."

Yeah, that's pretty much you.

December 29, 2006

what is the sound of one hand typing?

i haven't been real good about updating this blog... i'll get better...

you'll note the poor grammer; i'm writing one handed right now on account of you're in the other. :) you'll forgive the occassional missed capitol letter or puncuation.

holy cow, you're getting HUGE! you're already 5lb 8oz, as of three days ago! i'm guessing you're up to 5.10 by now. you're plowing throough 2oz, 60ml, of breast milk at each feeding, and look like you could keep going if we let you. sometimes, if i think the hunger is keeping you awake at night, i do let you.

your lullaby works pretty well on you, even though i can't sing very well. at this stage, i don't think you much care. :) i'll sometimes come up with new verses, depending on whats happening at the time, but nothing has been compelling enough to write down (read:remember.)

you've been very busy lately. today is the first day you haven't gone out somewhere in quite awile. you've already made it to 3 f. mclintocks' (ag, slo and shell beach), mo's in pismo, mei's, jaffa cafe, and my office to show off. we're going to take you to mom's office and probably dr samply's office (our chiropractor with whom we're pretty close) next week. you're really gettin' around.

while you're out like that, you sleep most of the time, which makes going out easy, but makes the nights hard because you're not tired. we could have taken you to the store today, but i decided not to in hopes of getting a good night sleep tonight. we'll see how that goes.

today, while napping on the couch with you, i thought about the tattoo i want to get. i've known i want the design from our wedding rings as a band on my left arm for a long time now, ever since a bone spur in my ring finger made it very uncomfortable for me to wear my actual ring. but, i had the thought of working the letter Z into the design some how. i'm not sure if i'm going to be able to work it into the existing design very well, so i'm going to try making a new design with a Z in it and have a second band added. that way, if we do get another child, i can add a third band with their initial in it (probably an A for an adopted boy who we'd name Alex.) the more i think about this idea, the more i like it. :)

anyway. it's getting late. g'night, baby girl. i love you.

Baby Girl, verse 1:
conceived under a sapphire moon
born early, but none too soon

still trying to finish that verse.

About December 2006

This page contains all entries posted to Letters to Zoe in December 2006. They are listed from oldest to newest.

January 2007 is the next archive.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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