Saturday, July 31, 2010

The Hospital

So you want to know more about this guy?! Hee hee. Isn't he cute? Well, I'm FINALLY writing about our hospital experience. It's taken me so long because a) Blogger was being difficult about uploading pictures, b)I'm finding that everything takes five times longer in Mommy time, but mostly c) I don't quite know how to put it into words.

Because I'm still at a loss for words about how to describe the most intense, surreal, amazing, and wonderful four days of my life, I'm going to let the pictures do most of the talking. But first, a timeline of how the actual birth went down.

Tuesday, July 20

8:10 am: Call from counselor. Lexie (Isaac's birth mom) is in labor! They are going to break her water! Get to the hospital NOW!
8:12 am: Walk around house in a daze, talking to myself. "Okay. Okay. Don't forget the camera. Okay. Okay. Snacks. Okay."
9:30 am: Got to hospital. Visited with Lexie and her parents in the delivery room. Turns out they aren't going to break her water until the doctor's lunch break from his clinic work... 12:00.
12:45 pm: Still waiting for doctor... getting a bit impatient!
1:00 pm: Doctor breaks her water.
1:00-5:00 pm: We are waiting in the waiting room now with Lexie's dad and grandparents. Lexie is in the delivery room with her mom; dilating, contracting, and waiting to be told to push. Lexie calls us in to visit every now and then.
6:30 pm: Doctor decides to get the show on the road by administering pitocin.
6:45 pm: Lexie starts contracting but is not dilated enough. Baby's heart rate begins to concern doctors.
7:00 pm: Decision to do emergency c-section
7:40 pm: Operating team has gathered, finally ready to do c-section
8:26 pm: Isaac Alexander is born after what the surgeon called "the most difficult c-section I've ever done." (Long story short: Lexie's epidural was no longer working. They didn't know this until they sliced into her skin. Baby's heart rate plummeted so they continued with the surgery anyway. When they cut the uterus open, baby's face showed and was being squeezed by a continual contraction of the uterus muscles. They couldn't get him out. After much pulling, squeezing, and yanking, they got him out and cut the cord that was wrapped twice around his neck. They immediately gave Lexie medicine through a mask to knock her out.)
9:10 pm: We got to visit our baby in the neo-natal intensive care unit. Fell head over heels in love.
10:00 pm: FINALLY got to hold our son for the first time after they spent 45 minutes (!!) trying to find a vein through which to administer extra fluids.
10:00-12:30 am: Snuggled and cuddled Isaac until we had to tear ourselves away to go home and sleep for a few hours.
6:00 am: Back to see our baby

*Isaac's vitals were strong right away and stayed that way through the night. He was kicked out of the NICU in the morning and joined us for the rest of his blessedly uneventful hospital stay*

Now- the fun part!

My little purple baby =) This was taken in the NICU before they poked him for 45 minutes, trying to find a vein.

Morning cuddles. It was SO hard to leave the hospital that first night, but we knew Isaac was in good hands. We figured we'd better get a few hours of sleep since we are in it for the long haul!

Isaac seeing his birth mom for the first time. Because it was such a chaotic delivery and they needed to heavily sedate Lexie as soon as he was out of her, she didn't get to see him until the next morning,

Baby and his two mommies. Lexie gave him the birth name of Jacob Michael. She wanted him to have further proof that she loves and cares about him- she put the time and energy into choosing the perfect name for him.

Love him.

Four generation picture! Isaac with his birth mom, grandma, and great-grandma.

Lexie and her parents

Isaac meets his Grandma Patty for the first time. I'm not sure that I've ever seen a smile quite that big before... =)

Our little guy

The night before discharge, the hospital gave us a room to spend the night with Isaac. So we could practice full-time parenting with several wonderful nurses available at the touch of a button! Isn't that fantastic? The hospital offered this to us... I never would have thought to ask.
This picture was taken after our first night as a family =)

Cuddling with his birth mama during our last day at the hospital.

What is going on?!

Okay, I'll sleep some more.

Since this post is already verging on epic-length proportions, I won't go into Isaac's amazing birth mother, her family, or anything else that made those days at the hospital so wonderful. Another time. =)

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Introducing Isaac Alexander

Our son (!!!! I still love to say that) was born on Tuesday, July 20th at 8:25 pm. Isaac weighed 7 lb 3 oz and was 20" long. His entry into this world was very dramatic (that's a story for another time) but he is incredibly happy and healthy and hasn't been set down for one moment since he came out of his birth mom's tummy!

Jonathan and I have spent every waking minute at the hospital with him and many members of his birth family. It has been an experience so amazing that I can't even describe it. Plus I don't have time because I need to get back to my baby =)

We get to bring the little guy home on Friday! Here are just a FEW pics. We have many, many more of course!

Becky feeding Isaac his first bottle

My baby boy

Cuddling with Daddy.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Jonathan's First Daddy Job

Putting together a piece of furniture with a ridiculous amount of parts.

Keep up the good work, Daddy!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

How It Happened, Part 2

Okay, where were we? Ah yes, camping.

I'm pretty sure we had a fantastic time with our friends that weekend. I think we played cards, sat around the bonfire, made yummy food. Fun kinds of things. Here is proof:

But as you can imagine, my mind was a million miles away!

Sunday morning, we packed up and headed home. We promptly dropped all the camping gear in the basement (where it remained untouched and smelling of bonfire for the next six days) and threw together some pictures to bring with us to our meeting. After a quick trip to Target (thank goodness for one-hour photo developing) we had a little 36 page version of our life.

We met the birth mom (I'm going to call her L) and her parents at an Applebees. I was very nervous. My heart was beating fast and I kept wiping my hands on my skirt because they were really sweaty! Jonathan and I got to the restaurant before L and her family, so we waited in the entrance. Waited for people that we had never seen before. That was weird. Then a very cute pregnant girl walked in and we figured she was the one. =)

The next two hours were a strange mix of small talk, intense emotions, awkwardness, laughter, tears, caution, and hope. My oriental chicken wrap tasted like sawdust and I don't think I even touched my lemonade. We talked about everything from childhood camping trips to the fact that she wants us at the hospital when the baby is born (!!!).

We got in the car after the meeting and it felt surreal. Jonathan and I looked at each other with wide eyes. He started the car right away and I said "Don't you think we should just sit here for a minute...?" Jonathan said no, he needed to drive. As we drove, he mutilated a toothpick and I tapped my foot more vigorously than I've ever tapped before!

"So... is she choosing us, then??" We went over the conversation again and again, eventually coming to the conclusion that... yes? She probably was choosing us? She had never explicitly stated that, though...

Even though everything was still up in the air at that point, we left feeling great about the meeting, L, and her family. (I'll tell you more about her later, because she's wonderful.) And so began the next kind of waiting. Are we the ones?! Does she want us to rock her little boy to sleep and take him to t-ball games and teach him to drive? Is she choosing us?!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

How It Happened, Part 1

As you know from my last delirious post, we are going to be parents any day now! Here's how it happened:

Saturday morning, Jonathan, Cody, and I headed north for a one-night camping trip with friends. An hour-and-a-half into the drive, my phone rang. When I answered the phone, I heard our adoption counselor say those magical words "I have a situation to discuss with you..." I took her advice and pulled over at the next exit. From then on it's kind of a blur...!

Our counselor explained that there is a birth mom interested in us. And she's due Thursday. Thursday as in five-days-from-that-very-moment Thursday. Our counselor gave us some information about the birth mom's situation. I took very detailed notes... on a Chipotle napkin! The birth mom wanted to meet us as soon as possible, considering she could go into labor at any moment!

I hung up and talked a mile a minute, trying to fill Jonathan in on everything I had been told. The plan was for our counselor to pass our contact info along to the birth mom so she could call us directly and set up a meeting. Meanwhile, we are two hours away from home with a car bursting at the seams with camping gear! We decided to wait to set up our tent until we heard from the birth mom. If she wanted to meet that day, you better believe we'd turn right around and head back to the Cities!

We shared the news with our friends and anxiously awaited the call. Jonathan and I decided to take Cody for a swim at the lake while we waited for the phone to ring. While Cody swam and Jonathan threw the ball again and again, I spoke with the woman who is making our dream come true! She sounded incredibly sweet and excited to meet with us. (SHE'S excited to meet US?! If only she knew that we would move heaven and earth to be wherever she needed us to be!) We set a time and place to meet for dinner the next day. After I hung up the phone, Jonathan and I just stared at each other. Could this really be it?! We walked along that lake in a daze. An excited daze, but definitely a daze!

Something tells me that Moose Lake Campground is going to hold a very special place in our hearts!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Six Words I've Been Dying to Say...

I've been trying to think of a cute or clever way to say this, but I've given up. So here it is:

I'm going to be a Mommy!

Yes it's true! And Jonathan's going to be a Daddy! And Cody's going to have to share his space with a fur-less loud little wrinkly thing.

I have to get back to work, so I'll give more details later, but I can tell you that our baby boy is due tomorrow. Tomorrow?! What?! Yep. Tomorrow. So, like I said, I have to get back to work! We have a nursery to whip together, tiny baby clothes to wash, and some panic attacks to have.

Will write more later!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Ask and You Shall Receive!

Here you go, Ali!

(You will notice that the cake is simple to make and there isn't one healthy thing about it. In other words, the best kind of dessert!)

Butterfinger Cake
1 Devil's food cake mix
5 Butterfinger bars (Freeze for easier smashing)
~10 oz caramel ice cream topping
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 large tub Cool Whip (or use 2 small tubs)
Chocolate syrup (for decoration)

1. Make and bake cake mix as directed.
2. Smash Butterfinger bars into pieces (I smashed the frozen bars inside their packaging with a mallet. Well actually the handle of our pizza cutter, but it works the same way=)
3. Right when the cake comes out of the oven, poke holes all over with a fork. Pour the sweetened condensed milk over the top and then spread the caramel topping over the hot cake.
4. Sprinkle 3 candy bar packets over the top. Cool completely.
5. Frost with Cool Whip and sprinkle contents of last 2 Butterfinger packets on top of frosting. Drizzle with chocolate syrup.
Store in fridge

Mmmm. Now I want to go make (and eat) one right now...

Sunday, July 4, 2010

From the Mouths of Babes

For the third summer in a row, I am nannying for two girls that I love very much. The oldest will be eleven in August. It's hard to believe I first knew her as a chubby three year old in my preschool class! The youngest just turned six and I've known her since she came home from the hospital.

The girls know that Jonathan and I are hoping to adopt a baby. I've often wondered what exactly that means to them. What do they think adoption is? Well, I recently had the opportunity to find out! Here's a snippet of our Thursday morning breakfast conversation:

**The topic of adoption came up when the six year old asked about our adoption cards. I ended my explanation with something about how a pregnant mom picks a family for her baby.**

6 year old: "The mom? So you're not the baby's mommy?"
Me: "Well, the baby will have two kinds of mommies. I'll be the mommy that feeds the baby, puts clothes on the baby, and helps the baby fall asleep. I'll do all the things that your mom does with you. The other mommy is the one whose tummy the baby grew in. She loves the baby too."
6 year old: "What makes the baby's mom pick you?"
Me: "You never know. It could be something funny, like she thinks Cody is cute. Or maybe she has an uncle named Jonathan and that makes her like us."
6 year old: "Or maybe she picks people who want the baby the most? You know, like they really need it?"
(... as she looks up at me with her big, earnest 6 year old eyes...)

6 year old: "What if the mom already has a kid and then she has another baby and can't take care of it?"
Me: "Sometimes that happens. A mom might realize that she doesn't have enough money to keep two kids healthy."
6 year old: "That makes me feel creepy. I don't want to talk about it anymore."
(I realized a few moments later that SHE is a second child! I think she was worried that her parents are going to find another family for HER! Don't worry, I talked with her about that later.)

6 year old: (She went immediately from her "I don't want to talk about it anymore" declaration to this) "So you won't know if it's a boy or girl? How will you have the right stuff? When the baby comes home, what happens then?"
Me: "A lot of things can work for both boys and girls. Things like bottles, diapers..."
6 year-old: "DIAPERS! I have old diapers! What kind do you want? You can have mine! Well anyway. I hope it's not a boy. Cody's a boy. Jonathan's a boy. If the baby's a boy you'll be way outnumbered! Okay. I'm done with breakfast. Can I leave now?"

I just wanted to scoop her up and give her a big squeeze. Those questions! So insightful, direct, and innocent all at the same time.