Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Nathaniel Is Two Months Old Today!

(posted a day late due to.... well, life)

My baby is two months old!

Such a sweet, calm baby he is too.  I love him so much.

We've had a rough month around here (going back to work, Jeremiah being extremely sick), and I'm so thankful for his calm, low-maintenance approach to being a baby.  He so rarely cries that I barely know what his cry sounds like.

If he's crying, generally speaking, it's due to hunger. But he usually goes 3 hours between feedings, and at night will often go 4-5..... which means he wakes up fewer times per night than Jeremiah, the 20 month old. :)  I don't compare them really, but I do have to say it's nice to have a baby that sleeps more.

When he takes a bottle, he generally takes about 2-2.5 ounces.  He does really well with taking a bottle while I'm at work and nursing when I'm home.  Either way, he gets 100% breastmilk.

Nathaniel is 10.1 ounces, which is about the 7th percentile! My little peanut!  He is 21 inches long, which is below the 5th percentile.  His head is 15 inches, which is between the 5th and 10th percentile. He's a peanut!

He likes being in his bouncer, the Rock N Play, the swing, but he also sleeps well in the co-sleeper by our bed.  He also sleeps in my arms sometimes when I fall asleep feeding him. Oops! We weren't going to co-sleep with this one!

One exciting outing lately was to the hospital. But not for anything bad. We took thank you gifts to his nurses who worked so hard to keep us healthy at the hospital!  They loved seeing him. And really? How could they not with this sweet face?

Jeremiah and Nathaniel get along great.  Jeremiah will replace his pacifier if he notices Nathaniel spit it out (sometimes. Othertimes he runs away with it...).  If you ask him to say "Nathaniel," he says "brother" every time.

Nathaniel, you make our days full and our hearts even fuller.  Mommy loves you so much!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

So..... Here It Is

Anyone who's known me for a long time knows there is a certain sport that I used to be pretty much obsessed with.  I would watch it and record it and watch it again and again.  That sport is figure skating.  I remember a routine that Scott Hamilton skated to a song called "Everything Old is New Again." Lately, this song has popped into my head at random times.

You see, for me, something old has become very new again.

This last Monday, I went back to work.  However, I did not go back to work at the job I've been at for the last 5 years.  I instead returned to the job I worked before that! Same position and everything.

Things have been less than great at work.... well, all year.  I even interviewed for several other positions this year (stopped interviewing once I became really pregnant).  Pretty much, no matter what happened at work, I was blamed for it.  I give someone paperwork and tell them to process it (their main job responsibility) and they forget and put it in a drawer at their desk? My fault.  I take TEN MINUTES off of work to go to the doctor? Practically a crime.  I call in one day with double pneumonia?  Oh my goodness.... what a wimp! Why didn't I just work?

Two weeks before I had Nathaniel, there was an incident on a Friday.  It was bad.  I left my desk and went to the bathroom because I was crying. After 10 minutes, I composed myself enough to go back to my desk.  Except, I hadn't.  I left again and sat in a stairwell sobbing for another 15 minutes.  What did I do wrong this time?  I hadn't put a note in the computer. Oh wait, no. It would be an intern who didn't do that.  An intern who didn't report to me.  An intern who didn't report to me who was assigned a task that wasn't even in an area I was supposed to still help with.  So pretty much something that I wasn't supposed to be involved with at all wasn't done perfectly by two people who aren't me. Yes, clearly that is all my fault. By all means, please berate me.

There were so many other incidents. This is just one of about 25 I could list. My reaction was probably the most emotional, but by that point, I'd had enough.  I was pregnant, had pre-eclampsia, and was being treated like garbage after almost 5 years on the job.  The disrespect I was enduring, the lies I was being told, I trained who had almost no experience or licenses being paid as much or more than me, etc.  At one point, dealing with my boss was making me so nervous that if I got to work early and saw he was there, I would sit in my car until 2-3 minutes before I HAD to be in so I wouldn't have to deal with him any more than absolutely necessary.  Looking back, it was like an abusive relationship. Big blow-ups followed by extra kindness followed by being put down and berated for the smallest thing.  Cycle, rinse, repeat.

That weekend, we made a decision. We talked about it with my parents and came to a decision. I was quitting Monday.  I would offer to give two weeks with the understanding that I would be off as needed for doctor appointments, but hope he didn't take the two weeks notice. And I was done missing doctor appointments that I needed because of work (at one point I went 7 weeks between pre-natal appointments because he got so upset when I went. Even though I used my lunch break and just missed an additional 10-15 minutes unpaid).  I felt about our decision, though it was of course scary to be quitting a job without something else lined up.  But God spoke the song "Oceans" by Hillsong United to me.  I prayed for peace.

Monday came.  I didn't do it.  I had my reasons - if I could stick it out for that week, the next week my boss would be out of town.  Then I could conceivably say I was out for maternity leave (as that would be August 1st and I was already having problems). Then if I found a new job before I needed to return to work, great.  If I didn't? I'd go back until I could.  John was a little disappointed that I'd decided not to quit, but he understood at the same time.

That weekend though, I started looking for jobs again.  I figured I was close enough to baby time (though I had no idea I was as close as I ended up being!) that I could potentially start the interview process, be up front about things, and by the time hiring decisions were made, I would be ready or almost ready to return to work.  I mean, I only took 3 weeks off after Jeremiah was born.  So clearly, I could do this.

While I was searching, one job on popped up in particular.... but the listing was kind of old. I think it was 25 days old at that point?  It was for the job I left on September 11, 2009.  Same company. Same position.  And this is a company with 7 people total, so it's not like working at General Motors where the same position at the same company could be something totally different.  I left on good terms. I always liked my boss. So I thought "Eh?  Maybe?"  In the 5 years I had been gone, they had contacted me twice to see if I was interested in returning. So it's not like I thought my former boss hated me. So with a few clicks, my resume' was submitted.

I still have a friend who works there. I was going to e-mail her and be like "So, put in a good word for me?"  Before I had a chance that next week, she messaged me wanting the scoop. So I gave it to her.

Long story short, eventually I talked to my former boss and the person who was helping with the hiring for that position (I say long story short because there were many missed attempts due to unexpected hospitalizations, etc.).  Not only was I offered the job with a salary match to my current job, but they gave me two weeks maternity leave  BEFORE I EVEN STARTED.  So my start date there was September 1st but I didn't have to be in the office until September 15th! And the hours are better.

Leaving my old job was nerve wracking. As bad as some things were, there was a lot of good as well.  I have friends I cherish there. I had clients I absolutely love that I will miss working with.  But today when I was stuck in traffic and running 3 minutes late and I started panicking only to remember "There is no need to panic.  You're not going to get screamed at. You're no longer dealing with _____________" I knew that I had made the right decision.

Moral of the story - leave jobs on good terms. ;)

Friday, September 12, 2014

Nathaniel's Story - Part III

Where we left off...

So Thursday morning came and so did Jeremiah!  I had missed him.  We took pictures because I had the feeling I was having a baby that day.

At some point, the doctor came in.  Turns out the oncall doctor from my practice was the same one who delivered Jeremiah!  I was glad to see that as I liked him better than some of the doctors, and clearly he knew how to do a C-section properly. :)  He had my most recent lab results. They had gotten slightly worse from the day before.  He was pretty sure I was going to have the baby after seeing the perinatologist, so he went ahead and restricted my food. Thanks, doc. ;) When my husband left, I gave him instructions to bring snacks back so I could have them after surgery since the food services would probably be closed if we did deliver that day.  My mom told me to stop being so pessimistic, and I was like "Really? The one making the call is the one who wanted to deliver last Thursday. Since then, every number has gotten worse. I doubt he's changed his mind!" 

We also had another biophysical profile done.  The perinatologist would want the most recent scans of the baby before making his decision.

Sure enough, after about 5 minutes with the perinatologist, he recommended delivery (again). The doctor came in and we discussed that I wasn't a candidate for a VBAC (I already knew this) and some questions. He said that he would estimate Nathaniel only had about a 10% chance of needing to be separated from me for special care (HA!).  I was relieved since I had missed those early moments with Jeremiah.  Surgery was scheduled for 7:00.  I said to my nurse "That's when shifts change, right?  So will we really do it then?" She laughed and said "You're right. It will be 7:30 at least." The anesthesiologist ended up with a conflict which led to it then being moved til 8.  

John and I decided it was time to settle on a name for our son.  We decided on Nathaniel Charles.  Other contenders still in the running were Charles Nathaniel, Nathaniel Brian, and Charles Brian.

Time passed slowly despite all the prep.  Finally it was time. Into the surgery room we went.  One thing I remember is seeing the words "Wrong Patient Surgery" on one of the nurse's badges. So, being me, of course I had to ask about it.  I said "So, wrong patient surgery? Is that some kind of award you received?"  She had no idea what I was talking about.  So I showed her on her badge. Apparently, the hospital has some kind of program to ensure they don't do surgery on the wrong patient. So we had a little laugh once she showed me the full badge and not just the line I saw.

Surgery went as planned.  I hated every minute of it. The tugging, pulling, the sounds, the smells of the operating room - all of it.  And then it happened - my baby was born! He was immediately taken to be checked out by the neonatologist.  I knew after a few minutes that things were not as good as we had hoped. Instead of John bringing him over the way he did with Jeremiah, the neonatologist did - while the nurse held oxygen to his face the whole time.  Once they rushed him away, we took a minute to pray for him while surgery continued. This time, I was awake for the whole thing. Blah.  I remember chatting with the doctor some; we discussed the name and why we chose it, etc.

Here is my sweet boy, born July 24, 2014 at 8:28 p.m.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Nathaniel's Newborn Pictures - II

As mentioned in Part 1, we did Nathaniel's newborn pictures at our home when he was 13 days old.  I think they turned out adorable!  

I have designed birth announcements using his newborn pictures, but sending them out is a lot of work. Maybe next week?

Monday, September 8, 2014

Nathaniel's Story - Part II

Where we left off, I was sprung from the hospital on a Saturday morning - two days after my MFM wanted to deliver the baby that day!

Saturday was a low-key day once I got home. I went out to lunch with Jeremiah, my parents, and my cousins who I was seeing one last time before they went back to Africa. I also went to church that evening while Jeremiah stayed at my house with my mom.  Sunday, I stayed home all day.  Monday, I went to work and did everything I needed to do (or so I thought) and talked to my boss because I was officially off work til after the baby arrived.  After that, I had to go back to the hospital (pre-scheduled) for monitoring.  Of course, they decided to keep my longer than for the usual NST. They wanted to do lab work to see how things were going.  The labs were worse than the Saturday labs which had been slightly worse than the Friday labs which had been slightly worse than the Thursday labs which had been slightly worse than the Monday labs.... etc.  But they weren't bad enough to be considered a crisis.  So home I went.

Tuesday, I had a doctor appointment.  That morning, I started having the visual disturbances that are a warning sign of pre-eclampsia progressing. So, of course, that earned me another hospital trip straight from the doctor. I was there for another 5 hours.  Once again, the labs were worse, but not bad enough to do immediate delivery. I was given the option - did I want to deliver that day? I wanted to keep trying to keep the baby in as long as possible for his sake.  That night though, I did finish packing my hospital bag!

Wednesday, John and I had plans to go to lunch, grocery shopping, and a movie while Jeremiah was at  daycare.  One last hurrah, so to speak. Grocery shopping to stock up on everything we would need for the first month or so.  I was pretty sure that I would be having a baby pretty soon!

One thing I've learned with my boys is the quickest way to have a baby is to make plans you're looking forward to. For Jeremiah, it was his baby shower. For Nathaniel, it was apparently this date day.  Because I woke up around 2 a.m. Wednesday just feeling awful.  It's hard to explain - my blood pressure was awful, I was really dizzy, and I had a headache. But mostly, I just felt awful.  So at around 8:00, I called L&D and asked them what I should do.  Surprise (except not a surprise)! They thought I should come in for...... more monitoring!  (Keep in mind, this means out of 9 days, I was in the hospital for monitoring or tests 7 days. This was supposed to be my one day of the week without a doctor appointment or hospital visit!)  I took Jeremiah to daycare and went to the hospital.  I told John I didn't know if our date day would happen.

They admitted me at the hospital and got me settled in a room.  It was pretty clear by how they were acting that they were pretty sure that I was there until I had a baby.  The doctor came in to talk to me after running another set of labs (pretty sure my veins were as sick of the hospital as I was by this point).  He wanted to wait to do another consult with the MFM the next day and then go from there.  But with monitoring in case anything got worse.

So that was the plan.  I was there at for at least the next 30 hours.  My parents visited, John visited of course and brought flowers, and my friend Dy visited.  I watched boring tv. I attempted to read. I even did some work by logging in to our VPN.  And I prayed. Prayed that my sweet boy would be born healthy at the perfect time for him.

Part 3 to come soon.....

Friday, September 5, 2014

Nathaniel's Newborn Pictures I

When Nathaniel was almost 3 weeks old, we did his newborn pictures.  Instead of doing the hospital ones this time around, we hired a Facebook friend who is a photographer to come to our house and do the pictures. In addition to the newborn pictures, she also took a couple family pictures.  

I love them!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

To The One....

To the one I gave my heart to

To the one whose name I took

To the one who has held me as I cried

To the one who has been at my side while I had our boys

To the one who has seen me at my highs and my lows

To the one I chose

To the one who chose me

Happy anniversary. I love you.