Gavin Scott Altman

Wow. What an amazing last 8 days. Yesterday marked Gavin's 1 week birthday. He's such a peanut. I cannot imagine life without him. We've had our struggles and learning curves, but nothing compares to when he smiles or when he sleeps so soundly on my chest.

Born September 14th, 2010 @1:35 pm 6 lbs 4.8 oz 20 inches long

Monday Sept 13th (my due date) Brandon and I did chores around the house. we bathed the dog, cleaned out the garage, organized the office closet, burned all our brush, etc. Around 3 in the afternoon we decided to go to Ridgedale mall to get his watch fixed. We got to the mall, parked, and as soon as I stepped out of the car i felt a gush of hot fluid - like I was peeing my pants. Brandon came around the car and asked if I was okay. I said I think my water broke or I'm peeing. We grabbed some old clothes from the trunk to put beneath me and we got back in and headed back west - straight to Buffalo hospital. along the way my contractions began. I was surprisingly calm. Brandon was a bit frustrated because unfortunately it was now approx 4:30 and rush hour. to top that off, we got stuck behind a tractor on the back roads. but we made it safely and in plenty of time. I'll never forget the feeling of being wheeled into the ER lobby with my pants soaked down to my ankles and people looking at me and smiling, with looks of "oohaaah" on their faces. And I was mortified to have wet drawers.

We got up to our labor room and they got me situated. The checking of the cervix is something that was excrutiatingly painful and I wish to forget. And I was lucky enough to get mine checked multiple times and by multiple nurses with boney fingers and knuckles because apparently I was not dilated at all when we arrived. In fact, I wasn't dilating much at all during my labor.

The details of the labor are fuzzy. Brandon was an excellent partner. He was there thru the whole deal, holding my hand, reminding me to breathe, standing with me and rocking me back and forth. It was my intent to not take any pain meds. However, sometime during the morning of the 14th my blood pressure was too high and I was told I needed to take something. They gave me the option of a pain killer that I could only have once every 4 hours and they couldn't garrauntee me it'd last for all of that - plus, the baby would get some of it. or the epidural. I decided to take the epidural. the process of getting the shot wasn't great but not feeling pain anymore was great. And I think it gave Brandon quite a bit of relief as well.

Also, at some point, they gave me a gel that was supposed to ripen the cervix. at which point I was told I couldn't move for an hour and Brandon took the opportunity to go to our recovery room for a short nap.

When he came back to find that the situation had barely changed, I think he was at his wits end. He'd done really well keeping our family posted as well.

At 10 am on the dot, it was time to push. I remember telling Brandon at 10 to 10 that if there's anything he needed to do, now was the time because at 10 it's time to go. I'm not sure what he did, but he left and came back at 10 along with nurses. Because my legs were numb, nurses and Brandon had to hold my legs while I pushed. Luckily, my doctor was on duty and she was able to deliver our baby. for whatever reason when it came time to push, my contractions slowed down. I was in the most compromising position ever, with my legs in the air and a baby stuck in the canal and the contractions slowed. they had given me some potoson to increase the contractions. The baby's head was right there, but just wouldn't come out so they used a suction device. they tried two different types and lost suction 4 times. it did help some, but didn't get him out. the next option, before a c section was the forecepts - or as we like to refer to them as the gigantic salad tongs. After taking a look at them and the doctor saying I'd probably tear with them, I said we'll keep pushing. I beleive it was 3 or 4 more pushes and we succeded.

after three and a half hours of pushing, our little Gavin was born. a total of 22 hours in labor. wow.

everything was going really well. the baby was healthy, my diabeties was gone, I was healthy, Gavin didn't have any side effects from the diabeties, etc. So we thought we'd be able to be discharged the following night, Wednesday. at about 6 Wednesday evening Gavins biliruben results came back and they were too high. they said we could still be discharged and they were going to give us this light bed to take home and treat him there. It gave Brandon and I both anxiety and we decided to stay another night. That night Gavin spent the night in the nursery under lights to break down the biliruben. In the middle of the night I couldn't sleep and went down to the nursery to see our baby. The emotions hit me then and I started to cry. on my way back to the room, the crying turned into sobbing. I woke Brandon up and told him I needed him. He held me while I cried my eyes out. Poor guy, when I woke him up he thought something was wrong with Gavin. I felt much better after my cry.

Thursday we got to go home.


9 mos. reflection

So I'm horrible at keeping up with writing. I feel I should put down some reflections of the last 9 mos before the Wee-One gets here... Tomorrow is my due date. That's me, Last Minute Lou! :) Here are thoughts and memories, at random.

Right now, I'm feeling not only nostalgia, but also anxiety, fear, lack of control, sadness, happiness, contentment, love, relaxation, etc. I think the list goes on, but I am at loss of words for the rest of it.

This past Friday was my last day of work for the next 3 mos. I don't know yet if it's truly set in. Kinda still feels like I just left early Friday for a long weekend. I can't remember ever taking more than a week off of work since I was old enough to work. In fact, up until the last five years I'd always had more than one job - as many as 3 - at a time. This break gives me a mix of "aaaah" and a bit of guilt for feeling it. Like I'm a slacker and quiter. I know I'm about to start another new, big, all-encompassing job, but that hasn't really set in yet either. I've been at my employment for the last 8 years and in my current position for the last 6 or so, and building my position and role within the company. Up until lately, I was the only one that knew my job. I've lost the sense of security that came with that. I really hope they miss me!

My boss is taking over my main responsibility of selling and managing our sales reps. He's truly been a huge support and a rock in my world, not only thru this pregnancy but always. I know he is doing everything he can to make this transition easy for me and he's really taking on a lot to make this work. I'm so appreciative! With Brandon being self employed now, my job is ever so more critical to our family. I also know my boss is a bit nervous that I may not want to return - He's said it multiple times. There's a huge amount of trust in the balance here - me with him wanting me back and he with me wanting to come back. It's crazy. This will be the longest stretch of time that he and I don't talk or sit and visit. We generally b.s. most every day if not every few days. I'll miss that.

I feel like I've been doing a lot of pissing and moaning lately and doing a lot less blessing counting. The thing of it is, I've become very uncomfortable, anxious and scared while everyone around me is purely excited and happy. "oh, you still haven't had him" is making me insane. I also can't call anyone without "are you on the way to the hospital". seriously. Beleive me, I want him here as much if not more than the next guy. Also, no one wants to talk to me about anything but the baby anymore. I realize that this is a major part of me now and that once the baby is here, no one is going to want to see me or Brandon, we're just the people that bring the baby. I just want some sense of normalcy. I guess I gave the normalcy I knew up 9 mos. ago. This baby is truly a blessing and I love him so much already. When I imagine holding him, all of the above paragraph fades. But let's get on with it already! LOL

So like I said, Monday (tomorrow) is my due date. I really, truly, to my core thought that he would be here before my due date. I don't know why, but I did. Aside from the gestational diabetes, I've had a very smooth pregnancy (knock on wood). No morning sickness, just a few episodes of uncontrollable sobbing. Everyone tells me that I've handled it really well, better than many. My boss said he was most impressed with my demeaner at work and especially considering I don't have a low-pressure, no-brainer job. it makes me feel good to hear, but like most people, I just remember breaking down in the conference room during an internal meeting and my other boss thinking something had happened to Brandon because I was sobbing so hard. but I guess that was just 20 min of 9 mos.

Tuesday is our next doctor's appointment. Last week the doc said that if he's not here by now, they'll be inducing me next week. And if I'm not dilated, that it's a longer process and I have increased chance of ending in C-section. I read that in the US 50% of births are now by C-section. I suppose that provides some condolence, but not enough. I know several people that have had them and they all say it's no big deal. I really, really didn't want it. I didn't even want an epidural. I just wanted to give birth and have all that came with it naturally. I'm insane, I know. I'm working on coming to terms with the fact that I may end up with a C-section. I think now it's the inducing that scares me more. The fact that they make you give it the ol' college try before they'll do the C-section seems incredibly cruel. Especially if I'm not dilated and they know my chances of C-section are really good. I can handle natural pain, it's forced, unnecessary pain that makes me panic. I guess the up side to it all is inducing appeals to my planning nature and also allows those around us to make plans accordingly. So that's happy.

With my increased irritability, discomfort and self thrown pitty party, my husband has been a trooper! Brandon's been so supportive and so thoughtful. Last week he brought me home a gorgeous boquet of flowers. Very bright, full, and good smelling. It was perfect timing and so very needed. I had actually considered buying myself flowers when I was at the store, only to get home and find he'd gotten them. is that cool, or what?! With my back hurting now, he's been giving me lots of back rubs and allowing me to lean on him. We have had a couple date nights - this weekend we went to our favorite little spot in Hanover and during the wait he let me lean against him. Last weekend we went to Redstone and then a movie. Redstone is a special place as we only go there but once a year. It was such a nice evening. just the two of us. He's been so good during this 9 mos, I just really hope that I've been not too big of a damper or pain in the ass. When I asked him what he wanted to do this weekend, his reply without hesitation was "have a baby". :) I think he's ready too!

It's funny how our roles have changed during the 9 mos. Earlier on, Brandon was a nervous mess and I was calm and collected. Now, in the final stretch of it, I'm coming unraveled and Brandon is cool as a cucumber. Last week he was really busy with appraisals and he wasn't able to make it to the doc appt. It's a good thing that he had work - we need him to take the work when it comes since it's feast or famine. But going to that appointment by myself, holy crap. I was a mess. We had some questions we wanted to ask the doctor, but I froze. She had questions for me, but I sat there with my mouth agape and staring at her. Thankfully, she said we could have another week to either have the baby or at least improve on the dilating. With the diabetes she doesn't usually let you go past the due date. I was in no position to make any decisions on my own. I know Brandon felt really bad about not making it, but what can you do?! we also need him to work. But Tuesday, he'll be there and so we'll get all our questions asked. It's crazy - if he's there, I'm not in the least bit nervous. I know that whatever happens, we can handle it together. But on my own, I'm completely incapable of even speaking.

I've truly enjoyed my pregnancy. Like I said, it's been fairly smooth. I have always had cronic back pain from scoliosis and aherniated disc, but up until lately, my back has not hurt at all during the pregnancy, not even my normal pain. I had even helped lay a paver patio in our back yard and felt fine. I almost thought that maybe the displaced weight straightened things out and gave momma a new back. Baby's getting a new car! oh, but no... now we're in pain and lots of it. Ever since he dropped, about 4 weeks ago, my back pain has been increasingly intolerable. it's the burning, throbbing hurt of my disc. The doc said that they could be practice labor pains, although it doesn't really come and go. it just hurts. I think it's the increasing weight being carried down low and causing pressure right in my problem spot. Thank God that this has only been lately. I think I would have been a huge not-nice-person had this been the case for much more of the pregnancy.

The diabetes hasn't been so bad. I've been able to manage it with diet and the diet isn't terrible either. It's not a low fat or low carb diet - in fact they want me to have calories and carbs, just an exact amount of the carbs. It's been all about choices. If I want milk, then I have less or no potatoes. If I'm really hungry, I skip the milk and load up on bread or potatoes. It's a lot easier to manage with a meat and potatoe diet. It's the pastas and mixed foods that makes it difficult to count how many carbs. And it's a real bummer to get a measuring cup out to dish up rice. and at restraunts, if I don't know what's in it, I just don't get it. So, there are certainly foods that I miss. Like Spaghetti O's. And the kicker of it all is, with the pregnancy I've finally found a sweet tooth. I've always been a salt eater over a sugar eater. never cared for pastries or cakes. but the baby sure likes them! I love a good glazed donut or cake now - and since the diagnosing of diabeties, I haven't had a donut. My sister made a killer sugar free cake for my baby shower. So I got my cake fix. I've also found comfort in sugar free jello and whipped cream! :) The hardest part of it all is that when I'm stressed or if I don't get enough sleep, then the diet doesn't work as well. My sugar levels are high and there's nothing I can do.

Speaking of diets, Brandon has lost a bunch of weight thru the pregnancy. He'd read in his daddy book that men tend to gain weight with the wives. He said screw that and he's been eating healthy and going to the gym several times a week. He and I are nearly meeting in the middle for weight! damnation! He does look good tho! and I am oh so jealous. My weight isn't actually that bad either. I'm within the allotted weight gain that my doctor gave me initially, which is fairly impressive considering diabeties causes excess weight gain for momma and baby. I can't wait to start slimming back down and feeling sexy again. Rana said she cleaned out her closet and that means Amy gets a new wardrobe! love that girl!

Meg threw me my friend baby shower and did a marvelous job. She's so detail oriented and crafty. She'd made a diaper cake, filled a rubber ducky bath with random baby stuff for people to do a memory guessing game, decorated baseball sugar cookies, had people decorate onesies, had people write bits of advice to the baby and take their picture with a baseball cap, did a nursery rhyme game, gifts for guests that won, and had a spread of diabetic friendly foods. After the party, Meg, Joe, Brandon and I sat around and played games. It was a good day! Jul. 10

Kristen threw me my family shower and also did a fantastic job! Especially considering it was a mixed crowd. I was comfortable and I thought everyone else seemed to be as well. Kristen had tables and chairs set up, a table full of baby stuff for price is right, gifts for guests that won, a badge for me that said it's a boy, she took tons of pictures of everyone, and had a spread of diabetic friendly food. I really had a great day and felt very honored. Rana came to our house afterward and we watched a movie and then I crashed. Aug. 14

My mom stopped by this morning and dropped off more baby stuff. Just about every Sunday she's bringing over baby stuff. I think it was the week before last that I got overwhelmed because I hadn't yet washed or put away the previous weeks load. I'm very grateful for all she's done and purchased for us. Much of it is items that we truly need and would have never thought of. And the maternity clothes was a gigantic help! My mom has gotten me the great majority of my maternity clothes. bags upon bags of clothes of all sizes. Such a huge help when you wake up in the morning and something you wore last week no longer fits. you just move onto some of the other stuff that looked too big. there were many mornings that I wanted to cry because getting dressed was so difficult. I'm really down to just a few things that fit me now.

let's talk shoes. I'd like to wear some. it's been months since I've worn anything but sandals. I was at the store this week and there are super cute shoes out that I would love, love, love to wear. I think it was the 4th of July weekend and we were upnorth at gramma and grampa's and Brandon noticed how swollen my feet were. I honestly hadn't noticed it until he pointed it out. They started out not being too bad and they'd go down at night. Then they stopped going down and they just stayed huge. Brandon said I was all leg with little sausages. no ankles. They're a bit painful too. I can't wait to wear heals! Again, it goes back to feeling sexy. My husband may be in for a treat with all this pent up, um... agression. LOL

We went to 3 baby classes together. The birth class, all about baby class and the breast feeding class. I can't remember a lot of the details of any of them so I'm not sure if they were worth the money or not. I think they gave us more peace of mind that there wasn't a lot of earth shattering revelations which meant that we weren't as big of morons as we were thinking. The birth class was the most beneficial, I think. Brandon said it was mortifying. but it was really good information and watching the videos really put a lot of stuff into perspective for us. It was there that we decided that we don't want guests at the hospital until after the birth. We'd like to have time with our new baby, just the three of us before anyone else gets there. We're not talking days, just maybe hours.

Can't wait for our Wee-One to get here! This time next week, we'll be snuggling. :)