Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Home Again For The First Time

We were booted from the hospital today around 9:30 a.m. Our insurance company didn't want to pay for ONE more Tylenol. We were actually pretty ready to leave. It's nice to have all the doctors and nurses there to help, but it gets to be a lot. We're just going to have to figure it out here at home.

Carolina has been a peach all day; sleep, change, eat, burp, repeat. She did get me with the obligatory you-just-changed-my-poopy-diaper-so-now-I'm-going-to-blow-this-one-out poop.

Luke the dog has been really great with his new baby sister. He has been calm and gentle, he licks and sniffs her and even seems to be getting even more protective of his property. If you sneezed in our front yard he'd be on you. We're curious to see if he starts sleeping in her room instead of ours.

A lot has changed in four days. It is feeling like fall in St. Louis, today is quite beautiful. The news is pretty gloomy, it seems the economic sky is falling. Baseball season is over (for the Cardinals, anyway). We have a kid. That little detail seems to make all the others pretty insignificant right now.
Even with all of the advise we've been given (solicited and not), there are a few things we didn't consider. (1) We're going to use FAR more laundry detergent. In three hours I'd worn three shirts, used two burp cloths, soiled one big blanket and I should change my shorts, but what's wrong with a little milk vomit? It's a good thing Kim and Carolina are pretty much going naked these days...I don't think I could keep up with the laundry. (2) They say a baby eats every two hours, so it seems like you should be able to sleep for ALMOST two hours in between, right? Bull. It seems like they eat every 18 minutes. You have to start the time when they START eating, so if they eat for thirty-forty minutes, get burped and changed and settled back to sleep, you have very little time before they start all over. Just enough time for US to eat or go to the bathroom, forget cleaning or laundry. (How do single moms do it?) (3) I will now be able to tell new dads by the way they drive. As we're heading home and I'm driving with an infant in a car seat for the first time, I suddenly became an 84 year-old driver. I was hacked off at all the drivers "flying" by (going 65), I used my blinker seven miles before each turn and I was perfectly content to go 54 in the far right lane. I hope this road paranoia subsides or we are going to be REALLY late getting places.
I cannot believe this will go on forever, literally. Barring freakish twists of fate, I will feel like this about another girl besides Kim for the rest of my life. There are few things in life that are this good that you know you get to keep.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

This is nothing

When you have every manner of medical professional checking in on you every seven minutes, newborns are easy. I suppose that first day home can be a bit daunting. We are relishing in a lot of the small things. My new favorite thing in life is to see her yawn. I want to cry like a little girl every time. She just burped like a trucker and we thought it was the greatest thing. We're proud of her for pooping. When she wails, there is nothing annoying about it. I know it's all a great honeymoon period, and we don't want to miss it at all. I think the fact that we waited and prayed for her for so long makes us a little less annoyed at her. Again, we're just two days in but I completely dread going to work next week because I don't want to miss anything.
The hospital experience has been great, our greatest admiration for the folks at St. John's Mercy. Great people from day one. The only tough thing about all of the medical opinions is all of the medical opinions. Every nurse, doctor, resident, personal care assistant, housekeeper and room service attendant has a different opinion about breastfeeding, sending your baby to the nursery for the night, pacifiers, bottles, sleeping arrangements and choice of college. We're pretty laid back I guess, but Kim wants to nurse and there are a LOT of opinions about that. It can be a tad smothering. I guess you figure out what is best for your baby and do it. I know some folks feel differently, but the scheduled C-section is the way to do it. I was whipped after a twenty minute procedure, I can't imagine doing the 20 hour labor thing, let alone what it does to a woman. Women are the tough ones for sure.
Finding out we were pregnant and having a girl were amazing moments. Doing this whole pregancy thing with my good friend Brandon has been the icing on the cake. God makes amazing things really amazing sometimes so we remember that He likes to see us smile. This is him with my daughter.
This is my daughter with Brandon's daughter Kaelyn. They are less than 8 weeks apart.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Kim Jr.

I am pretty overcome by the events of the day. All in all, everything was as easy as it gets. Dr. Herrmann, our hero and Doctor of the year, was a bit late in arriving because he had to deliver another baby at St. Luke's. Our 12:00 C-section started to roll about 1:15, Kim was in the OR at 1:35 and I was holding Carolina at 1:55 p.m. CST. That was a long-a## twenty minutes. I cried a bit (or a lot depending on your definition) and pretty much saturated the surgical mask which makes for some pretty humid breathing ( I see what Rach means about burping in your mask). She weighed 7lbs 4oz and has GREAT lungs...opera singer lungs. I'm a Dad, I really love this little girl and I love Kim more, too. It really is instantaneous the unconditional love part, I don't know quite how it happens. Kim is feeding her and both are figuring each other out, I think they're ahead of the curve for eight hours old. Here are some highlights from our greatest day yet.

Kim had just gotten to the hospital. A month ago, Carolina was head down and ready to roll. Last week she had flipped to breach which isn't too common, hence the scheduled C-section. Today, right before the procedure, they did an ultra-sound and she was flipped again head down. We did the procedure anyway, no way we were going home empty-handed at this point. This little girl is trouble.

Kim is now under the influence. Can you tell in the squinty eyes and the crooked smile? If you've ever seen her with a bottle of wine...

Apparently Carolina is not all that happy about the frigid air and the poking and prodding. She looked pretty rough at this point, but I was smitten.

Our first family photo. I'm overhwhelmed with joy and pride, Kim is high. She looks just like her mom.

I have always had this dream of seeing Kim and her momma with our baby. This was one of the most memorable moments of my life.

This is my new favorite picture in existence.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

...and counting!

Waiting is brutal. I know billions of people in the history of the world have experienced this, but it is exciting and overwhelming and nauseating and beautiful nonetheless. I thank you for praying for us and for Carolina and the chance we get at parenthood. This miracle is not ours alone, God intends them for everyone.

She is all we have waited for.

Monday, September 22, 2008

This just in..........

Carolina Kimberly will be making her debut on Friday afternoon at 12 p.m. or so. I have a planned c-section and will be in St. John's Mercy. We will be there over the weekend so if you want, please come and celebrate her advent into our world!
Love you all!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

One Frozen Dream

I know that every new life is a miracle, and our constant references to miracles is in no way meant to diminish or cheapen the actual meaning of miracles. Our understanding of the idea has changed in the past six years as we embarked on the long, arduous and eventually fruitful journey of pregnancy. After several failed fertility procedures, including two In Vitro cycles, we were moving towards adoption. We had two embryos that were cryogenically frozen from the second IVF and we had decided to do a "natural" Frozen Embryo Transfer. Natural just means Kim wasn't all hopped up on hormones and steroids and other questionable narcotics. The embryos were thawed and one of them was good, one was great. Both were implanted in January. The success rate isn't very high for FET's, so we were sort of trying to close a chapter and move on. However, seven days after the procedure we were told that Kim was pregnant. Here we are in September, mere days from her due date. I was reminded of this miracle the other night when Carolina had the hiccups. I had felt her move before and seen Kim's belly contort and bubble, but seeing her and feeling her with the hiccups made me realize that she was real, a real live person, more than anything else. We are so thankful to have had the experience of pregnancy, we still pray for all of those who are waiting for their miracle, and we wonder if adoption is still in the plans for us. For now we just want to meet our little popsicle.