Thursday, September 30, 2010

Piece of Cake

I don't think Z quite understood what was about to happen, although he did stop crying when the whole room started singing Happy Birthday!
Here is his Jungle Theme cake---we ordered it from LaSalle, the same bakery that did our wedding cake, it was yummy!

 Of course, he had to squish the frosting around some before he would start eating it. Have to make sure Momma isn't trying to sneak in vegetables!
 Here I think Z's finally getting the idea. OH MY GOSH, WHAT IS THIS DELICIOUSNESS?

 It should say HAPPY, in front of BIRTHDAY BOY on his bib!

My sweet baby Z is already one year old! I so can't believe it. We had so much fun celebrating his birthday. Thanks to Grandma Ann and Linwood for hosting. They sure know how to throw a party!! Z was in a great mood the whole party, he was an absolute hit, charming everyone. At the end of the party, I had to take him back to his room to lay him down to sleep, and everyone gave him one last cheer, and he rewarded them by clapping.

Momma Looks Back.

Zachary, your arrival into the world was a celebrated occasion, and one year later, it's fun to think back to what was unfolding right now. I'm sure you'll be hearing this story over and over as the years go by, but as my memories of the events get fuzzier, I'll be happy I have it all written down! 

August 20th 2009, just a few days after dropping Catherine off with my parents, I went in for a normal checkup. It was a Thursday, and the middle of production at my job. My doctor took one look at my blood pressure, and told me that I was going on bed-rest effective immediately. I wasn't even able to go back to work on Friday and pack up my things! Z, you will probably never appreciate the efforts that went into keeping you safe and snug for another 6 weeks. 

I can't deny enjoying the first few days of laying about doing nothing. But the novelty wore off pretty fast. You were a squirmy little dude, and trying to find a comfortable position was a challenge. I was only allowed one trip up and down the stairs each day, and my once-a-day shower was a happy opportunity to stand up for a few minutes. I was going down to Baltimore twice a week for fetal monitoring sessions, and I was so happy to be out of the house, I didn't even care that it as just a trip to the hospital. I felt bad letting your Daddy make me all my meals, and fluff my pillows, but he took very good care of us those weeks! He did have some help though, Your Grandma Ann came down for two weekends, and your Nonna and Poppa came out for a week. They had to scurry around, shopping, and finish putting together your nursery--we weren't even close to ready for your arrival! 

Your due date was October 22nd, but you had different plans. Grandma Ann was out visiting us the weekend of Daddy's birthday. Sunday night, we had an absolutely delicious birthday dinner for your Daddy. We had steak, sweet potatoes and asparagus, and while I lounged on the couch, Daddy took Grandma Ann to the airport to catch her flight home. Daddy and I tried to no avail to convince her to skip her flight. The doctor had told us the week before that my blood pressure was creeping up, and we we're pretty sure we'd be meeting you soon. 

The day after Daddy turned 27, we went in for my doctor's appointment, and sure enough we were sent off to the hospital to start the induction process!! It was a bit of a mad dash, throwing stuff we wanted at the hospital into bags, and stopping by Daddy's office so that he could send out an email to his boss. We called our family, and your Poppa was already out the door and driving east, while both of your grandmas were busy booking flights, and trying to get out in time for your arrival! We paused in the parking lot at the hospital, and took one last belly picture (your momma was huge thanks to you!)

The next few days (yes, I said DAYS) are not nearly as clear to me, as I wish they were. I was in labor for 42 hours, and on more medication than I ever want to experience again. My memories of those 42 hours are warm and fuzzy, and not necessarily in the pleasant way. I was on magnesium sulfate for the pre-eclampsia, and it made me so hot! We had the air conditioning on as cold as it would get. I now know that I nearly froze our family out of the room, they described it as "meat locker cold."  The first night was pretty uneventful, I think I actually even slept for a few hours. Your Nonna came in that evening, and later that night (or possibly early Tuesday morning) Poppa arrived. I was contracting constantly, and they had to back off some of my medication, but we weren't making much progress. Tuesday morning we started the Pitocin to induce contractions, and Grandma Ann arrived. You didn't make it easy on your Momma little dude. The Pitocin wasn't really doing it's job. 

Over the course of the day, they had ramped up the the dosage to the highest one nurse had ever seen, and we were still not progressing. The doctor decided that we would be better off backing off of the Pitocin for a short while, and giving my body a chance to reset. That's about when Mommy got her epidural. It was a good thing they decided I could have the epidural then, because I was ready to tear out the catheter that I had to have because the magnesium sulfate made me unable to get out of bed this whole time. We did have one fun moment while they were administering the epidural, when I felt an electric shock and nearly jumped off the bed. 

Luckily the epidural and the Pitocin reset did their jobs, and we starting seeing a little more progression, but my water still hadn't broken, and the doctor was beginning to worry about my kidney function. Throughout the night Poppa faithfully force fed me ice chips ad monitored my kidney output and contractions, and Daddy tried to catch some moments of sleep in preparation for what we thought would be a C-section in just a few hours. At some point in the early hours of Wednesday morning, you kicked hard and I felt a pop, followed by a gush, and knew that my water had just broken. It was hysterical seeing your grandmother's reaction to hearing that the water broke. Nonna was frantically pushing the nurse's button, while Grandma Ann was out in the hall flagging down anyone in a nurse's uniform. Daddy sat up, congratulated me, and then went back to sleep...we knew it was still going to be a long haul. 
Early Wednesday morning, things were looking up, my kidney function was better, and I was dilating nicely. With hours still ahead of us, we thought this would be a good time for everyone to go to breakfast. I hadn't eaten since breakfast on Monday! The only thing I'd had was a cherry Italian ice, and some chicken broth, that tasted like one bouillon cube had been dissolved in a 5 gallon drum of water. Nonna and I held down the fort, and soon after everyone left, the doctor came in and checked my progress. I was fully dilated, but was not feeling the urge to push. I was told that I would soon feel different, but in the meantime I should just keep working through the contractions. I had no idea what they had been talking about, or how in the world I was going to recognize that things felt different. It was only a few moments later that everything changed, and I felt like I needed to PUSH. It was like you were right there just waiting to get out into the world. 

Nonna called Poppa's cellphone, and said, "You need to get back here now." They packed up their half eaten breakfasts, and made a run for it. And it's a good thing they ran. The nurse got the room all set up for the delivery, which included turning up the thermometer, so that you were not greeted by an icebox. She decided to let me do some practice pushes, while we were waiting for the doctor to come. We knew that we could have hours of pushing ahead of us, especially since you were my first. Midway through my first practice push, the nurse told me to STOP, and said we need to get the doctor in here now. Those moments between the practice push and the doctor's arrival, were some of the most intense moments of the entire experience for me. I was clutching the side of the bed, and trying to deny my natural urge to get you out of me! 

The doctor came into the room at 7:30, and suited up, and with your Daddy by my side, I started pushing. The moment I remember most during the actual pushing was when the doctor told me that I could reach down and feel your head coming out. I remembering thinking that your head was very soft, and that it felt like you had a lot of hair! It was about 5 contractions, and maybe 15 minutes of pushing, and at 7:42 AM you made your way into the world! Your umbilical cord wasn't very long, so I wasn't able to get you up into my arms, but I commented that you looked just like your Daddy with your dark hair. The doctor corrected my observation, and said, "Actually he's got your hair."

Daddy and I had talked earlier, and decided that if I felt up for it, I would be the one to cut the cord. It was something that felt very symbolic to me, cutting the cord myself. I was happy to support you while you needed me for all those months, but now you could survive on your own. 

You were a beautiful baby, even after everything you'd been through. And I couldn't have been happier, even after everything I went through. 

Love you Zachary!!


Wednesday, September 29, 2010



I think Z is picking up on what he's supposed to do in front of the camera. He walked right over, and totally hammed it up for these pictures. I just love his cheesy grin!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


The moment Z sees a stack of two or more blocks..he's off like a shot to DESTROY the tower. And then giggle maniacally...

Monday, September 27, 2010

Happy Birthday Dada!

Oh how little Z was!

 Love to see my two boys, as they both grow up.
Happy Birthday Dada/Paulie! Thank you for taking such great care of us!

Friday, September 24, 2010

what's growing on?

Nonna and Poppa discovered this adventure last year, and were kind enough to let Z and I in on the secret this year. The Ladew Topiary Gardens were absolutely gorgeous! For the first time in months, Zachary did not dominate my camera...I took hundreds of pictures of butterflies, and flowers. When Z wasn't sleeping, he seemed to be really taking in the flowers, and all the green everywhere. I know we will be checking back there throughout the seasons to see what's growing on!