Thursday, August 23, 2012

Jacob's Story

Taken at 8 Months

April 30, 2012. I had put on my most comfortable and favorite maternity dress, a pair of comy flats, and went off to work like any other day. But it wasn't any other day. I was 12 days from my due date and quite an uncomfortable shape.
But I was in a good mood. It was hot outside, and the 2 block walk from my car to the building was getting harder each day to do but I'm stubborn. No baby belly was going to stop me from being a productive and independent person.I was already sacrificing my beloved caffeine, what more could anyone expect of me?
Luckily that day I was only working a half day. The countdown to THE day was on. So I worked my usual work, and was teased by my boss and countless co-workers about my size and whether or not I would be in the day. I laughed them off of course as I completed my work day and went off to my weekly doctor appointments.
Now, let me take a moment to say that my wonderful doctor, Dr. Veronique Tache, is not only a doctor. She is kind, brilliant, patient, helpful...and quite beautiful. If she wasn't so endearing, it'd be intimidating, not that it matters at all in this story but I wanted to point that out as I absolutely loved my experience with her as a person and not just a supplier of services. Everyone should be so lucky to have someone like her involved in special times like this.

But I digress. my check-up with the doctor went well overall, but she did point out that my blood pressure was hihgh and hadn't fallen at all since arriving. Knowing that I had a "stress test" appointment following she indicated that if my blood pressure didn't go down then I would be sent to Labor and Delivery. But if I was not sent to the main hospital then I had fought the good (read: stubborn) fight and would have to take it easier, bed rest - Dum Dum Dum! - for the remainder of the pregnancy. Although not long was left in my pregnancy timeline, that sounded horrible. Bed rest? Me?!? Yeah right. That just did not sound okay for me. What would I do? How would I not go crazy? Ugh. Even thinking about it now makes me squirm.
That fear however, was all in vain. I was sent to Labor and Delivery. I remember calling my DH to tell him I was going but that it could be a false alarm (it had happened before) and not to rush or worry. I really had hoped to not ruin what was planned to be an epic day for him as it was his last scheduled day to host an Open Mic at a local cafe, something that he loved to do but was giving up for parenthood. A whole evening of bands and entertainment had been planned around him, and I wanted him to have that last night. Only, something felt different. Somehow, I knew that this would be it. I remember the well of emotions, hormone induced and otherwise, as I told him this. Confusion, fear, excitement - completely overwhelming mixed emotions. I think my hands even shook a little as I continued to try and play it calm and cool.  I felt ready...but not. So I distracted myself. I goofed off with nurses and once my DH arrived it was comedy hour. We continued to deal with nerves the only way we know how - sarcasm and jokes. I'm sure the hospital staff thought we were weirdos. But I fugure that if we made even one of them laugh, whatever the reason, I'm glad.
We were ultimately admitted at 3pm and sent to a room. And thus began the wait. I know that everyone's experience is fairly unique, but I can assure you that I expected none of my experience to be as it was.

A portion of our nearest and dearest in the waiting room:
 Neil, Dad, Julie, Frank, Denise (Mom-in-law) & Tamarah
 When I was admitted I was quickly shown to a room and DH ran home to get "the bag", food, etc. since we had time. So I sat alone in this huge corner room. Seriously. It was like a hotel room it was so spacious (maybe not as comfortable though). I felt so tiny in this huge room and no one around. With nothing to do, I turned to Facebook. I was still in good spirits and wasn't feeling any pain. It was quite surreal. I could not even begin to imagine that within 24 hours I would be a mom. MIND. BLOWING.
Rather than thinking about it I just posted my musings online. And then, they started coming. People, not contractions.
Here is another area where we were particularly blessed. Our friends and family. ALL of our local family was there and so, SO many friends. We were touched that so many, even those we would never have expected, came to be with us. That is something I will never forget, and hopefully a testament to the quality of people I will always have in my life and will teach my boy to know and appreciate as well. It felt that people kept arriving. The nursing staff even kept commenting on the fact that we had a party of people in the waiting room.
This is where everything blurs a little and seemed to go by so fast.

Right before pushing for an hour...
looks worse than it was.

By 5am I had been drugged sufficiently (I won't recap the detail on this, because it was the most terrifying portion of this whole ordeal for me and makes me nauseous) and my water broken (2nd grossest sound of the whole ordeal). My husband, mother, and lifelong friend (TAM!) were by my side the entire night and early morning. Besides the time I slept I hadbeen posting on Facebook the entire time. I had to pass the time somehow! Amazingly contractions didn't seem to face me yet. I was beginning to think that all of that Hollywood and even birthing classes had been deceiving me.

Around 5pm on May 1st, 2012 I was told that we were going to start the final stretch and start pushing. My awesome Dr. Tache was not on call that night and I was greeted eventually by Dr. Gelate, who was quite an impressive stand-in...once he got there. My pushes were strong, as were the contractions (OH that's what they talk about in the class!) and the doctor and residents barely made it into the room before thh final push.
Jacob James was born at 5:55pm on that day. He was 7lbs, 15oz, 19in long, and had a head full of dark hair, blue eyes and olive skin.

He was beautiful.

Jacob James Woodcheke
Now, I'm not going to lie. No, my labor wasn't too long, and no the contractions weren't all I feared they would be. But, oh, they were causing pain and that babe of mine entering the world so quickly did hurt and did his damage. But then there's That. Moment.  That moment when they place him on your chest. And he's crying but it's okay, because you're crying, and your husband is crying, and your mother is crying, and your doctor is smiling. Ahhhhh.  That I cannot define as anything but beautiful/amazing/crazy! I mean, I'm a mom! ha. Next thing you know there will be kids in the neighborhood calling me "Mrs. Woodcheke"!  No, in all seriousness, it was the best birthing experience, minus a few stitches, that I could have ever dreamed of. And the kid ain't that bad either.
And here's where I put out to the internet void and overall universe, my thanks.

To Helena, the NP who admitted me and checked in on my numerous times, thank you for your kind encouragement, concern and genuine care.You made our experience comfortable and warm.

Thank you to Dr. Gelate, not only for being incredibly easy on the eyes, kind, and adept at your job, but also for your patience and sturdiness when I kicked you a few times on accident ....and ruined your shoes (ewww). Thank you for bringing my son safely into this world for all of us to enjoy.

Facebookers - thanks for putting up with my mllions of posts of boredom!

Thank you to all of our friends and family for being there, whether for 5 minutes or 5 hours. All of you. There were seriously too many to thank all individually, but know that you mean the world to me and my little family.

Thank you to my little brother Victor and his lovely Brandi and darling Lilli. Not only were you there when you had more important things to do, but you three went above and beyond what I could have ever asked for...running interference, going on food and entertainment runs. You are truly amazing. Thank you for preserving my sanity.

Thank you Dad for always being the overly sentimental goop that you have made me into as well. Thank you for photographing the event to an appropriate extent and for helping to welcome into the world your first grandson.  There are a million things I could write here, and none would be sufficient. But thank you.

Mom. You did this too. I have new appreciation for you, although I don't know how it is possible I could appreciate you more than I already do. THank you for being right hand woman to my right hand man. I think Matt was all the better in there because of you. You are the ever calming piece to our puzzle. Thanks.

DH and New Daddy, Matt

And Matt. My loving husband. My wonderful man and partner in crime for the past 10, almost 11, years.
Never in my life have I ever experienced someone so supportive and motivating and endearingly sweet as the man who held my hand whispering how proud he was of me, that I was "owning" this labor, and most importantly that he loved me. I could NEVER have done this all with as much grace without him. He is my world, and Jacob the sun we revolve around; our friends the stars that light the way. 

And now I leave you with a few other photos of my little prince from birth to recent.

The New Woodcheke Family
Heading home and showing love for Daddy
My first Mother's Day and the kid can't keep a straight face!

At one month
Taken just yesterday at 3 1/2 months

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