Thursday, September 22, 2011

I'm Not Going Anywhere

Today is Hayden's original due date. It's crazy to think that he should have been born today yet he's already 3 weeks old. Time has just flown by!

A friend of mine asked me a few weeks ago what I was going to do with this blog. I wasn't sure exactly what she meant by that, but I'm assuming that she meant that since I now had my miracle baby that things were better and I was "healed". The truth is, that Hayden makes my heart sing and makes my life better and happier but he can never replace Sam and Jack. I will always miss them and no amount of time can or will ever change that. It's simple, they're not coming back as much as I'd like them to.

When we were in the hospital just a couple days after giving birth, Mr. H and I took a walk around the maternity floor per doctors orders. We walked past the nursery and the nurse's station that peered down the hall. I saw the room at the end of the hall by the exit sign in which Sam and Jack were born. It's been 4 1/2 years since I've been in that room but I was ready to go back there. I was in a different place and I could handle it, or so I thought.

We asked the nurse if anyone was in that room and she said that a couple had just left that room but it wasn't clean. If we wanted to go in there we could. We walked down the hall, slowly, hand in hand. About 15 feet in front of delivery room #6 and I was stopped in my tracks. I saw the card on the door. The card in which a leaf cradled a tear drop. The card that meant a baby had died. My heart sank knowing that those parents had to walk out the back exit just so they didn't have to walk past the nursery full of babies. I cried for them knowing they were leaving the hospital without their much loved and wanted son or daughter. I wanted to rush out to the parking lot and hug them and tell them that I understood what they were going through. I wanted them to feel less alone but I couldn't.

In that moment, when my world was shining bright and was whole again, I was reminded just how fragile life is. I know how blessed I am to have this sweet soul in our lives and it doesn't matter that at 4 am, he's wide awake and won't go back to sleep because he's gassy. It doesn't matter that I've cried a few times over my lack of milk production because I thought I was failing him as a mother and he was going to starve. What matters is that he's here and we are doing our best.

I will have struggles as a new mother and I will have down days when I miss Sam and Jack so much that I can't function. I didn't go into room #6 on that day- I had to turn back around. And as long as I have moments like that when grief comes out of nowhere slaps me in the face, I will still be here and so will this blog.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Hayden's First Few Days

Here I am just 2 days before giving birth to Hayden. I already miss being pregnant. I know that may sound crazy, but I do. This pregnancy was taxing, but I wouldn't have traded the experience for anything. Well, obviously, I traded the pregnancy in for the baby, but you know what I mean. I just miss the bond we shared together- his movements, his kicks, the waddling, the cravings :-). I'd much rather have him here than to be pregnant, but I miss that and it was over so quickly. I was just telling my doctor I needed a transition period between being pregnant and bringing him home. It's so different, even though I'm caring for the same child.

Arriving at the hospital at 7am. My doctors office is right across the street behind that sign. It was a privilege parking there.

The c-section went very quickly. We arrived at 7 and got prepped. We were to head back to the OR at 9am, but we were ahead of the schedule by about 30 minutes, so I went back early. I wish I could have slowed everything down, as it just went by so fast. Thinking back now, I wish I could have rubbed my belly one last time too.

My friend Lori was allowed in the OR to photograph his birth. I'm so glad my doctor allowed that because I know I'll treasure those photos forever. So much was going on and it happened so fast I don't remember all of it. I fully expected the procedure to take longer than it did. It seems like I was in there on the table getting prepped then 5 minutes later he was being pulled out of me. I wasn't sure how I'd react, but once I heard his cry it became so real. It's almost like I was still expecting things to go wrong. He was alive and crying and it just seemed so surreal. At this point, I felt like I was dreaming.

At birth, Hayden weighed 6 pounds 11 ounces, but when we left the hospital he was about 6 pounds, 3 ounces. He's been eating well, though breast feeding has been a challenge. Once I started pumping, I started producing more but he refuses my breast. I think it's because eating from the bottle comes much easier and he doesn't have to work for it. He's a lazy (but eager) eater! I'd love to breast feed, but at this point I'm just glad that I'm able to feed him breast milk rather than formula. There's nothing wrong with formula feeding, but they gave him some at the hospital because he was "jittery" and it didn't settle well with his stomach- he spit it up about 4 different times.

Going home- This is when it started to feel real! Watching Mr. H put him into the car seat and load him into our vehicle brought tears to my eyes. Though it's something I always hoped for, I never thought it would happen. It wasn't until the night before that we actually put the carseat into our car. To do it any sooner was almost like a jinx.

But we made it home. Once we got through the doors, I lost it. Our baby was finally home where he belonged. Heck, I'm crying now! It seems like I am crying everyday now. Sometimes for no reason at all, and others because I'm just so grateful and amazed by him. Seriously, I just can't believe where we are today. I thank God everyday for him. He really is a miracle baby. And I have to remind myself of that when I'm completely exhausted at 3 am and have to get up to change his diaper and he poops on me. Totally worth it.

Here is when he met Autumn for the first time. So far she has been wonderful. She is just curious and wants to sniff him. She doesn't appear to be jealous of him- it's almost like she knows how special he is to us and is just as accepting. She even gets up with me at night for feeding and changings. Then we all go back to bed. She's a good hairy big sister.

Just look at that sweet nose and those lips...I am completely and entirely in love. Yes, it's hard and it's an adjustment, but it's all we've ever wanted. I don't know why Sam and Jack were not given the same chance at life, but I know deep in my heart that he was sent to us from them. He's the best of both Mr. H and I and even more perfect than I could have ever imagined.

High blood pressure, protein in my urine, 4 nights stay in the hospital, bloating, discomfort, mood swings, 4-hour glucose tests, Trisomy scares- looking at that face makes all those troubles melt away and nothing else matters.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Worth The Wait

Introducing my new son:

Hayden Bonnell

September 1, 2011

8:58 am

6 pound 11 ounces

19 inches