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Matt and I were together for 10 wonderful years - met in 1998, married in 2002, until his untimely death on November 15, 2008. We have two beautiful, healthy children - Jacob (born 5/04) and Sydney (born 5/07)... the most precious gifts he could have ever given me.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Sydney's birth.

This post comes pretty late considering Sydney's birthday was May 23, but in typical style, the second child gets the shaft (not nearly as many pictures of her as Jacob, either - poor thing). It's just a good thing I only gave birth twice...

My pregnancy with Sydney was not as happy-go-lucky as Jacob's... Chasing a toddler, still working full time, and two miscarriages later, it was a different experience. I was so paranoid that I was going to miscarry, and just plain exhausted. But still completely thrilled that I was pregnant and thankful for each day that I stayed pregnant!

I tried to keep the pregnancy under wraps until I was at least 12 weeks along just in case something happened, but by 8 weeks, I couldn't even pull off the rubber band trick anymore with my pants, so I was wearing maternity clothes before I even told the people I worked with. I overheard a lot of whispered rumors suspecting I was pregnant, so I decided to just spill the beans.

I had pretty wicked morning sickness the whole first trimester; in fact, one day, Matt had to carry me out of work and drive me home because I was too sick to even hold myself up. I lived on ramen noodle soup the whole first trimester (couldn't eat any meat at ALL) and still managed to gain 50 pounds by the end of the pregnancy!

Instead of having a heaping bowl of chocolate ice cream every night like I did with Jacob, I craved (along with anything else edible) strawberry/banana milk shakes, which I had every night. They were sooo good. By the time Sydney was born, I had totally burned out our blender.

As my belly grew rapidly, my curiosity was killing me! Boy or girl? Boy or girl?! I really wanted to find out, but we didn't with Jacob, and it was a lot of fun to be surprised. I asked Matt if he would mind if I found out, and just not tell him. His reply: "There's no way you can find out and keep that to yourself. You'll either be buying pink or blue..." He was right. Although at the ultrasound when we could have found out, I initially told the tech that we didn't want to know. Then when it was done, I asked if she knew, and she said no. Good thing since I was gonna try to get it out of her. UGH. The suspense!! I just assumed that the baby was a boy since Matt's family seems to only produce males (except for the one lone niece - Heather), and that even though my symptoms this time around were totally different than before, that doesn't necessarily mean anything. Matt thought girl pretty early on, though. He actually said in the very beginning of the pregnancy, "I hope you know someone who can hand down some girl clothes."

A month before she was due, I had some very strong, yet irregular contractions on a daily basis. I thought for sure she would be born a month early like Jacob, but every time I thought "this is it!" it wasn't. In fact, every time I ate a meal, the contractions got worse. Working at a school where I could gorge myself with second helpings at the dining hall, it got even worse, and it worried the coworkers I ate lunch with. Every once in a while I'd get quiet (unusual for me at the lunch table), and my coworker Bonnie would notice I was in pain. I really tried to cover it, but sometimes they were so hard that I could barely talk through them.

The bloody noses were even worse than the ones I had during Jacob's pregnancy, and I ended up in the ER again, but this time had to have it packed with something that looked like a tampon shoved up to my sinuses with the string taped to my cheek. So attractive. Again, I had to reassure the ER people that Matt didn't beat me up. It had to stay packed for a week, and it was only a week after I had it taken out that Sydney was born.

I was getting into the truck to go to my 39 week appointment and I actually felt a little gush of fluid. The doc tested with a PH strip, but came out negative, but scheduled me for an ultrasound the next day to measure the fluid around the baby, and to also measure the baby since I was HUGE. Like, my belly was a separate entity from my body. If the fluid was low and/or the baby was measuring really large, he was going to suggest induction. Up to this point, I had been measuring two weeks ahead, and that's another reason he wanted to make sure there's enough fluid since I now "only" measured one week ahead.

Sydney measured 9 lbs, 10 oz in the ultrasound! Her head was so far down that they couldn't really get an accurate measurement of it, but everything was measuring pretty big. They had me go in at 6 that night to start the induction. I was 2cm dilated and 80% effaced (same as two weeks before that). They warned me that the hospital was short staffed, so even though we got there at 6pm, it might not be until 11pm that I get started... I was on a pitocin drip all night, and the contractions were pretty hard and much closer, so they gave me some nubain so I could sleep a little, thank goodness. When the doc finally got there around 6am, they increased the dose and the contractions got harder and stronger. When I couldn't take the pain anymore, I got the epidural. Back labor sucks! I pushed for about 1 1/2 hours and they let me rest for about 1/2 hour. During that time, they lowered the epi, and I could actually feel her descending more on her own. Then I resumed pushing, and 1/2 hour more and out she came at 12:14 pm! 8 lbs, 9 oz, 22 inches long - big girl! My nose did start to bleed a little in that last part of pushing and I nearly panicked, but it stopped pretty quick.

I was totally shocked when they told me she was a girl! It took us a while to name her, too... After what we went through naming Jacob, I had us both write lists of our favorite boy and girl names earlier on in the pregnancy, and the only girl name that matched on our lists was Sydney. Right after she was born, Matt sprung the name "Logan" on me. While I thought it was a neat name for a girl, I insisted that Sydney would be her name. Matt was really disappointed, but I figured after what I had gone through to have her, he'd get over it! When Jacob met his baby sister for the first time, he cried, but then was hugging and kissing her by the time he left the hospital. It helped that she had given him a toy train engine as a gift for being her big brother!

Nursing went WAY easier with Sydney, and I was so thankful for such a great nursing experience for 13 months.  Between not being preterm, being a strong, stocky baby and having the experience of a first baby under my belt, her infancy was pretty easy compared to Jacob's.

Three weeks after Sydney was born, I started hemorrhaging. I hemorrhaged after Jacob was born, but I was in the hospital already and it got under control on its own. I also hemorrhaged after both miscarriages, but this was by far the worst episode. I had to be brought to the ER by ambulance. My uterus wasn't contracting the way it should (even though I was breastfeeding) and that's what caused the hemorrhaging. I think that's what really clinched it for me that this would be our last baby! Fortunately, Matt and I were on the same page with that.

She is such a gift, and brought out an even more tender side of Matt than what I had already witnessed. I wish she could have her own memories of him. She seemed to go from a baby to a preschooler in a blink. The dynamics between her and her big brother is one of the coolest things I've ever seen. She loves playing with her dolls and dressing in pretty things, but loves digging in the dirt and finding bugs and worms just as much. My kinda girl! She's incredibly bright, funny, moody, and loving. So much personality rolled up into a beautiful little bundle!

Thank you so much, My Love, for giving me our two beautiful children!


Carrie Lynn Fazzolari said...

Sydney is SO going to appreciate that you wrote this down for her. It is a gift.

I can't help thinking that Matt must have REALLY loved you, given the fact that you had a tampon stuck up your nose for over a week! The image was hysterical.

I also couldn't help thinking about the dining hall...

Anyway, like me, you had your boy and your girl - and like me, Matt knew ahead of time, even without the ultrasound.

You are blessed and I am glad you shared this story...

Andrea Renee said...

He really must have loved me - I didn't even post half of the gory details... And honestly, I was way more afraid of them taking that thing out of my nose than I was labor. Seriously.
Jeff was kind enough to comply with my demands of chocolate pudding for dessert, too!