Sunday, April 27, 2008

Happy Birthday, Mr. Three!

3 years ago today I was on my way to a routine Dr.'s appointment. It was a Wednesday and the previous weekend had been a little hairy.... Friday morning I went to the hospital after having contractions right on top of each other all night long. I wouldn't let Mark go with me because I insisted that I would be coming back home WITHOUT a baby so there would really be no point to him coming along. I got there and they hooked me up to some machines to monitor the contractions. I remember the nurse coming in at one point to look at the paper spitting out of the machine and having a conversation with her that went something like this:

me: they seem to be a lot more mild now, I knew as soon as I came in things would stop.

Nurse: Well, it's always good to come in if your contractions are between 5-10 minutes apart and are at least a minute long and it looks like you are still contracting at least every 3-5 minutes.

me: Oh...but they're not even CLOSE to a minute long, right?...

Nurse: actually, your last one was 90 seconds.

me: oh. er. so what do we do now?

Nurse: Well, I'm just going to go and call Dr. Nichols and see if he wants you to deliver your baby or try to stop the labor.

me: WHAT?!!! I'm 5 weeks early, isn't that TOO early, isn't it automatic that you would at least TRY to stop my labor?

Nurse: Well, sometimes it's better at this stage to let nature take it's course, but I won't know anything until I see what he wants us to do.

me: Urgh. Okay, but if you think it would help could you please tell him that I really really CAN'T have this baby today!

Nurse: I will let him know.

I really said that, and I really meant it. I was absolutely NOT ready or prepared for this baby to come. We had no car seat for one thing. I'm not quite sure why, as we did have two other children and obviously had a car seat for them, but I think it may have gotten misplaced in our move. Also, it was coming up on Sam's birthday in less than a week and I had not bought a THING for him or made any other birthday-ish preperations. And, let's not forget the fact that my due date was OVER a month away!!! The thought that I could actually be having this baby right away absolutely overwhelmed me. Lucky for me, my wonderful doctor. sided with me and had the nurses give me a shot to try to stop the labor, and it WORKED! Happy HAPPY DAY! They sent me home with strict instructions to go straight home and take it easy. Yeah, right. I rushed home, picked up Sam from the neighbors house and took off to find a car seat, get a hospital bag ready, pick up some birthday presents and help Sam pick out a cake. Then had a yucky weekend of more contractions and a general feeling of total discomfort.

Okay, back to my routine Dr. Appointment on Wednesday - as I said before, it had been a rough week. I was ready to go in and have my doctor announce that all was well and to keep on keeping on. Not so. For starters I had lost weight, which apparently isn't a good thing when you're in your last stage of pregnancy. Then, when he measured me around the belly I was exactly the same as what I had measured two weeks before. I guess this isn't good. He sent me down for an ultrasound, just to make sure the baby was growing okay. It was really great to see him moving and sloshing around on the ultrasound and I was convinced everything was fine. I went back up to the office where Dr. Nichols looked at the baby's measurements and became more concerned. He said his head was measuring at 39 weeks and his little belly was only measuring at 33. This was FAR too big a difference for my doctor to handle and he said he thought I should come in the next day to deliver the baby. His main concern was that my placenta had given up and the baby wasn't getting the proper nutrients to sustain him and what he WAS getting was going to his brain so the rest of his little body was compensating. He said he was a little worried that this could have caused some damage to his brain. His other option was that I may have contracted some sort of virus along the way that didn't affect me but went straight to the baby and this could have caused some potential damage to his brain. "OR, we might deliver him and everything will be just fine, but no matter what I think he's better off out than in at this point", he said. This translated to me like this:

Option 1: Brain Damage
Option 2: Brain Damage
Option 3: Just fine

Those weren't good odds and I was TOTALLY freaked out. The doctor again said that he felt it would be best to deliver the baby the next day. I explained to him that tomorrow was my other child's birthday and is there ANY way we could do it before or after tomorrow. He immediately consented to deliver him that evening. I called Mark in tears and he tried to console me by saying "well, I have a big head...did you tell the doctor that?" I told him I did, but that it didn't matter. He said he'd leave right away. I met him at home to grab the hospital bag and head back. Mark had arranged for a friend of ours to meet us at the house to assist in a priesthood blessing after which I felt MUCH better, but still so, so scared. We called Lisa and asked if the boys could stay there until the next day when we could figure something out (thank you Lisa!) and off we went. My amazing doctor stayed there all day/evening for us and did such a wonderful job. We ended up delivering our little Gabriel via c-section at 10:01 pm and he was 5 pounds 12 oz and 18 1/2 inches long. He was absolutely perfect and so so beautiful. I remember Mark going back and forth between me and the baby and saying to me over and over "he has SO much hair, you should see his hair, he just has SOOOO much hair". He had a little trouble breathing and had to be in the level 2 nursery for a few days. I didn't even get to hold him until about 2pm the next day and they wouldn't let him come into our room until he was eating on his own and breathing without any help from the oxygen. We finally got him in our room 2 days later where we had a big (as big as it could be in a hospital room) birthday bash for little Sam and enjoyed our brand-new baby. As it turns out...he really did just have a big head like his daddy, and boy is it BIG. It's actually the same size if not a teensy bit bigger at three years old than Joshua's and Joshua is 9.

We just LOVE this kid. I can't believe it's been 3 years already. He has been such a joy to raise. I remember when he was about a month old telling Mark almost every day how "good" he had been that day, and then we finally realized that he was just a GOOD good baby. He really was angelic. He hardly ever cried, always smiled and was SO SO smart. He found ways to communicate with us SO early. I remember taking him to the Dr. when he was 10 months old and sitting in the waiting room playing with him and he kept saying "Doctor" over and over. It was surprisingly clear and I was convinced I had a genius on my hands. :) He became two almost overnight and brought all the fun "terrible two" stuff with it, but has always been just so cute and funny and wonderful. We are so lucky to have him in our family. Yesterday when I was frosting the cake for Sam's birthday party he kept saying "wow! Zyou (yes, that z is there on purpose. All his Y's have a z sound in front of them for some reason, he says the y sound...just not until after the z sound)Anyway, he kept saying "zyou do-een a DOOD job MOM!! (you're doing a good job, mom) and then last night as he was getting ready for bed he said "mom, zyou did such a dood job on Sammy's cake today". What a sweetheart. He really owns my heart, he says nearly every day "zyou my best friend mom!" I am so so lucky. And I really can't believe he's 3! We LOVE you Mr. Three!!

And sorry once again, for the novel. I thought I should document the experience since other than in Gabriel's journal, I don't think it's written down. Stay tuned tomorrow for "the story of Sam". :)


SM said...

I didn't realize he had the same b-day as Jessica (Coleman)! How funny!!


Tiburon said...

Happy Birthday Gabriel!!!! Hope he has a super fantastic day :)

Cindy said...

I cannot believe his is 3 today. Wow, time flies. Happy birthday Gabe!

Danielle said...

I loved reading his birth story! Happy Day! And my goodness, did he have a lot of hair - it's beautiful!

Lisa said...

Happy Birthday Gabe! Holy cow, you can NOT be three! I think I've seen you ......ooooh, like six times in three years. Pathetic, absolutely PATHETIC! However, it does seem like EONS ago when your mom called me in tears asking if Josh and Sam could hang out with us. Of course they could! We even had pictures taken while your mom was in the OR! You sure have one fantastic Mommy who never ceases to amaze me with all she does and her positive attitude. She's like the energizer bunny....she just keeps going and going.......

Shar said...

Happy birthday to my baby! I did call last night, hope you got my message:) You'll always be my baby! I love you!

DIANE said...

Mark does not have a big head. He is so humble AND totally proportioned. Adorable pictures and loved reading the story. How did you neices learn to write? You are all amazing.

SM said...

Doh! Glad you sent me an email!! I would have missed this! He is sooo cute and I loved reading about his debut! I can't wait to meet them!!!!!!!

AD said...

How fun that we had a baby on the same day, even if it was seven years apart! Your kids could not be ANY cuter. Seriously.
And you look way to good in the hospital shot for me to believe you had just had a baby...

Shill and Company said...

I am so glad that everything worked out so well. That sounds like you guys had quite the experience! Gabriel is so dang cute, and I love his name. He had a good birth weight for being so early. What an adorable little guy!