Monday, April 30, 2007

Saturday-Cooper is 2 days old Hovander Park

After holing up with baby Thomas for what seemed liked months, we've decided this time around to get out as quickly as possible and return to life as normally as we can with a newborn. Thomas wanted to head out to Hovander Park to play on the tractors and climb up the observation tower, so we took off to enjoy the sun and take advantage of the great weather. Having just come home yesterday, I was more than content to hang out with a sleeping Cooper and let them wander off, but it was nice to be brave and get out and about.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Friday, April 27, 2007

Baby Cooper!

Cooper Gordon Whipple joined the family April 26th @ 5:30pm. Baby and Mom are doing great, and Thomas is handling it fairly well. Cooper is 7 lbs. 5 oz. and 19.5" tall. More pics to come later.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

The Baby Story-Day 1

This morning I was all set to get my epidural, having been told during the night that I'd reached the magic number 3 and could get it before starting the pitocin. Dr. Cook was even in the hospital, having been called in for an emergency c-section. Unfortunately, my best case was not to be, as "they" decided that I should probably get to a 3+ or 4 before getting it. Come on?!! What is a plus? So, we geared up to try to get the show on the road and get to that magic number......4!

My Goals for this Birth

I went into this with only a couple expectations or goals. My nurse told me that some women come in with 5 page birth plans all drawn up, so I didn't feel too bad about my goals.

1. No crying. I was determined that because I was going to get my epidural in time, that this time I would not cry, I would tough it out and not cry at all. Another problem I had with Thomas was that during my hard labor and wait for the epidural doc to show up, I ruined my contacts and had to use my glasses. I hate my glasses and don't see as well with them. This time around I took a spare pair of contacts just in case, but again, my goal was to keep from crying and messing with my contacts.

2. Get my epidural in time to avoid crying. Again, this involves my contacts as well as the thought that I'd already experienced the unbelievable and unimaginable pain of hard labor, so there was no need to go through this again. Been there, done that.

By the time my nurse upped my pitocin to level 3, I was in "the zone". My nurse tried to keep me occupied with chatter, distraction and options of walking around my room or rocking in the chair, but I found myself thinking of Julia in her delivery of Sam. She was totally focused. No sound, no lights, nothing but intense concentration. Noise bothered me. The lights bothered me. The way the tv was positioned bothered me. John walking across the room almost sent me over the edge. Luckily, he quickly sat down next to me, assumed the position and didn't move again. I may just have opened my mouth at that moment, and I don't know if the words out of my mouth would have been kind or even rational. Unlike the labor of Thomas, I found myself holding it together with a huge amount of help by John, who calmly recognized my need for his support and held my hand as we watched the minute hand through each contraction. All I could do was stare at the clock and watch the hand as it made its way around towards relief from the pain. John says it was an hour. I say it was two. By the end, I did not meet Goal Number 1. I was in tears and could not imagine going through it for any additional length of time. Thankfully, by that time, I'd reached the magic number 4 and we waited for the epidural doc to make his appearance. Dr. Newell is the son of Dr. Newell who worked with Bruce in the early days here in Bellingham. All I know is that he was an angel and should make quadruple whatever they're paying him these days.
Things went very quickly once I had the pain meds. Unfortunately, and I didn't tell them "this" part, the stomach flu that Thomas and John both endured during the week began to make its appearance with me as well. All morning my nausea had been increasing, but shortly before beginning to push, as Cooper was ready to go, my stomach decided it had first priority and John went running for the bucket. The nurses rushed in, only to again find me in tears, crying, "How am I supposed to push when I'm throwing up?" all blubbery and distraught. I'm sure it was quite the sight, and I am thankful that John and I have been together this long or he'd probably run for the hills. It's one thing to watch your wife give birth OR throw up. It's quite another to watch your wife vomiting AND birthing at the same time! They gave me a quick break and then hurried things up to get pushing. Two pushes into it and I had to stop-to throw up! Ahhhhhh! It was awful! Just awful. They shut things down again and went out for a quick conference with Dr. Cook. In the brief lull in throwing up, Dr. Cook quickly breaks things down and says to me, "Let's get into launch position." I believe he even said at one point something about throwing up might speed the baby down and out! Okay, no time for jokes here, folks! Cooper was out with a few pushes, thankfully (he was just "hangin out" while I puked my guts out), and that was that for the drama! Dr. Cook told me that I was probably sick from a big drop in my blood pressure and stuff like that, but I don't know. John was sick on Sunday, Thomas was sick on Tuesday. I figure it only made sense that Thursday would be my day, and oh how I prayed that Cooper would somehow be spared.
Cooper came out so beautiful! With Thomas they took him away and cleaned him up before letting me at him, but this time they pulled Cooper out and pushed him directly into my arms. I think I was still a bit shocky at this point, and I remember feeling that I didn't know what to do with him. He was so tiny, so wet, so perfect and beautiful, but I wanted them to remind me what to do with him. By the time the parents came in, I think I had it together enough. Thomas came in with Bruce, but he wasn't too thrilled with all the activity, the machines, the strangeness of it all, and all too soon he needed to leave. I felt bad that they had to go so soon, when I know they probably wanted to stay and hang out a bit. I can't tell them all enough how grateful I am that I didn't have to worry one bit about Thomas while we were busy at the hospital. I knew he was happy and content with them. Physically I came through it pretty well, although I had the shakes so bad for a long time that I thought I'd shake right off the bed. Mountains of blankets did the trick eventually, and I felt more like myself. Again, it may have been an issue with the blood pressure, as I heard the nurses remark off to the side that they had to watch "it", whatever it was. They never addressed it directly to me, so "it" must have resolved itself with time. Unfortunately, due to over crowding, I had to leave the big birthing suite for a room upstairs a few short hours after giving birth. I still couldn't move my lower body, though, and while John was away tucking Thomas into bed for the night, I had to try to urinate for the nurses, pack up my bags and shower all with no feeling in my lower body. It was a nightmare process I hope to never repeat. You aren't left with any dignity after a hospital stay like this. John came back just as it was time to move, and we trekked upstairs to "the closet" or a tiny room that looked like a room from a bad horror movie with a mental hospital featured. I looked around and told John that we would not be staying more than the one night, even if it went against doctor's recommendations.
Cooper had a great night despite several times when he vomited. It broke my heart to see it, but the nurses assured me it was common for newborns to urp up all the fluids, etc. I just prayed the flu didn't hit him too hard, and by morning it had passed. I think we slept a bit here and there, but during the dark of night I prayed for strength for the coming day, knowing that all too soon I would go home with not only Thomas to take care of, but this precious baby boy that we'd fallen in love with months earlier. You think you love...until you see them face to face. And then it's like there was never a time when you didn't love them. God truly gives you that extra storage of love that you don't think you're capable of.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

The Baby Story-Day 0

Last night I slept from 3:30 until the phone rang at 6:44, shocking me awake and out of an unsettled sleep. I hadn't really expected to get the hospital call this morning, although I still was showering and getting ready at 2:30 am, figuring if I couldn't sleep I might as well get myself ready to go just in case. The hospital did have room to get my induction going, so I left John and Thomas home to sleep and headed off. I was even early enough to watch the hospital helicopter come in for a landing and off load a patient, one of our favorite events on our twice weekly trips to the birth center for non-stress tests. Dr. Cook had warned me that today would be pretty non productive, and John could take his time coming in, but I secretly hoped that somehow my body would be ready, surprise us all and get going with having this baby. All morning long, Kristen, one of my many great nurses, assured me that although I was doing all I could, nothing much was happening, so I should just keep pacing the room and watching the clock. Because I was hooked up to monitors, I couldn't sneak down to the lounge to get a snack, I had to drink a lot but had to call the nurse to unhook my wires to use the bathroom, couldn't walk the halls with the other laboring moms, and couldn't eat anything but liquids from the hospital. I did manage to sneak two half sandwiches (my intake for the entire day) from the snack lounge with the approving smile of my nurse, who was taking pity on me, and I watched three hours of the Food Network Channel, but time was moving slowly with moderate pain from the meds and nothing to amuse me but the steady heartbeat of Baby Whipple and the slow increase of contraction lines on my monitor. By late afternoon Mom and Dad rolled into town to take over with Thomas and John joined in on the fun. I was thankful for his company and steady presence, pleased to be able to laugh and tease as the hours rolled on. Late that night, despite making steady and increasingly painful progress towards the magic number 3, we all decided I was too tired to continue into the night, and they knocked me out with a morphine shot-or so they intended. Of course, it only knocked me out until a little after midnight, which amounted to about an hour of sleep. John came back to the hospital after midnight and by two my two night nurses had assured me that by morning I'd be able to get my epidural. I was able to sleep sporadically throughout the remaining few hours, thanks to the morphine fog I drifted in and out of. By 6 am, we were all waiting to get the pitocin drip started.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Learning to Ride his Bike-3 years old

Thanks to Scott Culberson, John took a chance with this type of bike, hoping to help Thomas learn to balance and figure out how to ride. Although Thomas didn't initially think much of it, because it tipped over on him, John took him out to Zuanich Park to ride around on the paths, and again today we took him to Bloedel Donovan Park and he picked it up pretty quickly. He started out wobbly, as you can see on the video, but seemed to figure it out with a few crashes here and there. The challenge will be to keep him safe without hovering, as he's quite the daredevil. I could see today that we can't get away without a helmet anymore.

Daddy's Daredevil.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

10 Days and Counting!

I am finally down to days, thanks to Dr. Cook's plan for a April 25th induction. More than likely we will start slowly (come on now!) and make the big push on the 26th, but there is always hope that I will either start early on my own or it will progress quickly on that first day. What a journey this has been, and so many different emotions involved throughout. I can honestly say this has been the hardest and most trying time in my life, and has brought out so many different thoughts, feelings, and experiences that we have all gone through together. I have been at most sickest, my most desperate, my happiest (with Thomas and all his joy and love) and hopefully, looking back, my strongest (in order to get through it with my sanity). My blood pressure is rising, which is why I'm having to do twice weekly non stress tests at the hospital and why we're probably going to induce in the 38th week. Cook doubled my blood pressure med, which has helped to this point, and the pressure hose that Kim recommended have helped with the leg and feet swelling. I now rotate between three shirts and three pairs of pants, and I'm refusing to buy anyting else unless it's an extremely cute summer outfit once I drop these pounds off and I don't have a human being stretching and pushing his way around my internal organs. It's amazing that we're this close, and scary too, as we still don't honestly have a named picked out for him. We're pushing it, that's for sure!

Friday, April 13, 2007

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Done with Work-Sorta....

Today I tried to finish up at work, with Dr.Cook telling me last Friday that I was done. There was no way that was to happen, as I left my job thinking I would be back again at least this week and hadn't wrapped anything up officially, or unofficially for that matter. It was quite chaotic trying to get everything organized, and I'm trying not to worry about leaving things undone. I find that I am quite a control freak about certain things, and with work it is especially so. I don't like the thought of leaving my stuff or missing anything important, or just not being there. At the same time, what in the world am I saying? Not want to leave? Did someone spike my morning coffee?!!! I hope that sometime this week, after finishing up at work, I am able to just leave it all behind and focus on the other stuff, which is what Cook wants. He wants me home as much as possible, on the couch and bed as much as possible, at the same time acknowledging that having a toddler at home is not a lot of rest. Just this afternoon, in order to try keep Thomas awake, we went out for a treat, hiked through the "jungles" of Fairhaven Park, checked out the fish at Whatcom Falls Park and ate donuts and gumballs at Lafeens. Of course, no trip through the neighborhood is complete without a stop at the school to swing. Now if that ain't work I don't know what is! My hope is that we'll just set a date and complete this amazing adventure sooner than later. This week I have two non stress tests at the hospital and a doctor's appointment. Next week will be the same, plus two days of preschool. We'll see how it all plays out, considering I'm as big as a barn and feeling the affects of a big weight gain. Baby Whip is doing fine, so that is great. He's just making a lot of noise!

Monday, April 09, 2007

Mommy/Daddy to Mama/Dad now Mom and Dad

I was just remarking to John several days ago how I had noticed that in the last few days he'd taken to calling me "mama" in a soft, sweet little voice. It was very endearing, and melted my heart. At the same time, he had taken to calling John "dad" in conversation, both very emphatically when he wanted attention and very softly when he needed some lovin'. Now, today, I've heard it shortened even further to just "mom", although this morning when he was cuddling it was still "mama" and when he was crying for something it was still "mama". Tonight, from his room, I could hear, "Dad, come and play garbage trucks with me!" and "Dad, I want you!" And then, "Mom, I need you help me!" when he wanted me to clean up his mess instead of picking it up on his own. I can't believe the time has come when I'm no longer "Mommy" to him. It has not been that long that he's been talking, and now that endearment is almost gone. I know that I could not hold onto that forever, nor would I want to, but I guess I wasn't prepared for it to change so quickly, almost over night.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Saying for April 2007

"I want tree from Nada" (translation- I want treat from the pinata)

"Tommy, you're being so patient," while out shopping for the baby. "No, mommy, I losing my patience." Said as he's sitting squirming in his stroller at our last store of the afternoon. I had to ask him twice what he said, I was so shocked at what he said. I could only laugh and head out of the store for treats, as yes, he had been patient with me, and yes, it was time to be done.

"Be patient, Mom. Be patient." This coming after I'd called him several times to get his poopy diaper changed. Pretty brash words for someone who just poo-ed his pants! Of course the rational part of me needed to correct him and let him know he can't talk to me like that. The biggest part of me was fighting to keep from laughing out loud at him.

After wishing Dick happy birthday on the telephone.

"Uncle Dick live in Texas?"
"Yes, he lives in Texas."
"Oh. That where tornados are." (He has a book on tornados that mention Texas and a type of tornado.) "Will the scientist warn him when tornados come?" (One sections points out that scientists study tornadoes and the different ways they warn the people about big storms and tornados.)

Monday, April 02, 2007

Conversations with Tommy

"Daddy, what that boy doing?" as a young boy raced around the school and climbed the rock wall.
"That boy is doing laps and climbing up the rock wall."

"That boy want to slide with me?"
"No, he's busy climbing up the rock wall."

"That boy mean?"
"No, he's just focused on running and climbing the wall."

"That boy grumpy?"
"No, he just wants to run and climb around on that wall."

"That boy not want anything to do with me?"
Laughter from John. "No, he's just focused on what he's doing."

"Daddy, that boy grumpy?...."""""

"Mommy, where is the planet?"
"Up in the sky."
"No, Mommy, where is it?"
"Up in space?"
"No, up in outer space, Mommy!"

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Tube Time With Cousins

This morning it was raining again and pretty chilly, so we knew we had to get the kids out of the house and into something active. I decided to show John the joy of Tube Time and we headed off, picking up the Hutchisons at Lafeens. The kids had a lot of fun and John, Brad, Billy and Erica got into the action as well, following the kids into the Purple Tube to test out the scary factor. Mom and Dad stayed back at the house with Grace, who didn't get to enjoy this particular activity.

Later on in the day, after Thomas and I had a long nap, we headed down to the waterfront to have Boss Tweads with Mom and Dad. Andrea stayed back with the kids, who after a long day of play and no naps, were ready to head to bed. It was a fun way to enjoy yet another rainy day. I just have to be thankful that we had yesterday's great weather with perfect timing.