Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Looking at the brighter side of things...

Currently, we are on day #2 of the 'it takes an hour or two to put the baby down at 3am' phase. I remember this phase all too clearly with Cavin. I'd feed him and then spend an hour trying to get him back to sleep. Then Mike would wake up and spend an hour trying as well...while I felt guilty b/c he had to go to work the next day. Mike is always more successful than me during these times b/c he has worlds more patience than I ever will. So two nights ago when Mr. Super Awesome sleeper (otherwise known as Ellis) pulled the same stunt I got really nervous. You see? I am not a patient person in general. And this thing lasted weeks with Cavin...maybe even months...I just don't remember. The rocking, the shushing, the bouncing...kinda drives me nuts at 3am. I'm just being honest. Have I mentioned how much I value my sleep? So last night before I went to bed, I prayed for the good Lord to send me whatever patience he had b/c I was woried I might need every ounce of it.

Sure enough, 2:30am rolled around (all too quickly I might add). I fed Ellis and he was very happy that his big wide blue eyes just scanned the room looking for activity. It is very cute...just not at that hour. I thought to myself 'here we go'. I swaddled him and began the rub and pat the back routine. He started fussing, then spit up all over me. The fussing stopped - great! Bounce, bounce, bounce - rub the back - bounce. Then came the hiccups - oh the dreaded hiccups. 3:31am then 3:32am lit up the room as my frustration mounted. I thought about waking Mike but really wanted him to get his sleep - he really goes above and beyond for these two boys and his job and he needs his rest.

So I hugged Ellis close to my chest as I bounced and tried to focus on what a friend recently told me 'he won't need you forever...and he needs you right now' - there are no truer words. I continued to rub his back and bounce as my arms and back began to ache. I allowed my mind to drift to some of the lighter moments that have happened in Ellis' two short weeks of life. Somewhere around 3:45am I found myself chuckling as I thought of:
  • Mike's re-enactment of me slightly 'losing it' during my delivery of Ellis. You could say I screamed "ring of fire!!" one too many times.
  • The image of the stuffed froggie, followed by Cavin, followed by my dad sliding down the slide in our neighborhood playground as I wondered who really was enjoying that slide the most. It certainly wasn't froggie.
  • My mom, in a sleepless haze, cleaning our tomato sauce stained microwave with spray-n-wash. To this day, my microwave smells like my laundry room.
  • Mike whistling through the house "this 'ole man, he plays one...he plays knick knack on my thumb", then both of us realizing simultaneously how our lives have changed over the last two years.
  • Cavin asking to hold the baby (picture him sitting down with his arms reached out to grab Ellis) only to yell out "Nooooo!" as soon as Ellis is in his arms. Minutes later - repeat this same scenario.
  • Asking my pediatrician if it was 'normal' that my almost 2 year old is incapable of sitting still...then being relieved when she told me that she'd be worried if he WAS able to sit still.
  • The toddler in the grocery store who pointed to my post-pardum belly and announced that "there's a baby in her belly!" to his mom.
  • Cavin suckering the 3 grandparents into opening and shutting the garage door for him no less than 50 times a day (my toddler is a bit obsessed with "THE DOOR!").
  • Dr. Lam suggesting we name our baby "Nick" since we all made it to the hospital just "in the nick of time".
  • The silence over the phone when I told my husband, who spent a day trying to fix our garbage disposal, that I had just fixed it by hitting the reset button this morning. Those couple seconds (before Mike realized it was the home warranty representative who told me what to do) was priceless!
  • The 5 minute conversation I had with two girlfriends yesterday where we all tried to figure out how old we were. Even knowing we were born in 1977, we could not figure out if we were 33, 34, or about to turn 35. I should probably mention that two of us have newborns and the other one is our brains aren't fully functioning. But really, how could I not know off the top of my head how old I am?

4:03am showed on the clock as I woke up from my day dream and peeled Ellis from my chest to lay his limp body horizontally in front of me. Mouth wide open, eyes closed, deep breathing - success! I slowly placed him in his bassinet as I said another little prayer thanking the Lord for letting me borrow Mike's patience early that morning.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

He's even cuter when he cries!

My good friend Janessa showed up at my door yesterday with her camera to shoot some pictures of baby Ellis in his newborn glory...and all that comes with that. Well, Ellis had other plans in mind....between cluster feeding and general grumpiness (and Toby peeing on the carpet in between) it is amazing that Janessa got the pictures she did to be honest - a definite testament to her talent!

Not only that but she made Ellis the adorable orange knit cap that he is sporting. Did I mention Janessa has a newborn as well (translation: not a lot of free time on her hands)? Yep, she's a rockstar!

Now let me show off baby Ellis some more!

Thanks again to Janessa for coming over, dressing Ellis in super cute head gear, dealing with newborn meltdowns (although pretty sure she's used to that) and cat urine, and taking adorable pictures of Ellis!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Introducing our new nanny!

I think he's doing a fine job...don't you?

They are either blind or think I'm crazy

Ellis and I have ventured out on the town a couple times since his birth when I've had someone congratulate me and acknowledge that I have "another one on the way". Uhm, really? You see a 7 day old baby and think I'm pregnant again? Either they are blind and don't see that I'm with a newborn baby or they think I've lost my mind and have become pregnant again. That would be called an immaculate conception and my name is not Mary. Either way, I find the comment pretty humorous.

When I informed one man at the local coffee shop that I was no longer pregnant because I had delivered "this baby 5 days ago" (as I pointed to the one in the stroller next to me) he asked me "Oh my! Well, WHAT are you doing out??!" My response: "GETTING SOME MUCH NEEDED COFFEE!"

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Another on-time arrival: Ellis James Spruiell is here!

Mike and I feel so blessed to be able to announce the birth of our second son, Ellis James Spruiell. Ellis was born on Friday, February 4th at 9:36pm, resulting in another "perfect" 40 week pregnancy as, like his brother Cavin, Ellis was born on his due date. At 9 pounds, 5 ounces and 22.5 inches in length he was clearly fully "cooked" and ready to meet us. In complete contrast to my 25 hour labor and deliver of Cavin, Ellis took maaaybe 6 hours to get here. And boy oh boy did he enter this world in dramatic fashion.

After my OB told me I had made no progress (dilation wise) on the morning of February 4th, I began consistent contractions around 1:30pm that quickly increased in frequency and strength until I called Mike at 4:30pm to tell him he might want to come home from work early. At around 6pm, the contractions were quite strong to where I couldn't talk or really do anything during one; however, they were still about 6-7 minutes apart...not close enough to head to the hospital. Around 7:30pm, I just got this feeling (call it nerves, anxiety, plain scared!) that we wouldn't make it to the hour drive into the city. The very next contraction was stronger and longer than anyone prior to that. I barked at Mike to "come get me"! As he stood next to me wondering what that really meant since I also barked at him when he touched me...and then again when he didn't. We both knew it was time to go. Every contraction after that was within 3 minutes of one another. We were out of the house within 6 minutes (or two contractions). Little did I realize that is when I was probably entering the 'transition' part of my labor - 7 to 8 cm dilation. Before we had backed out of the garage I had snapped at my mom and Mike to "shut up!" (they were laughing at Cavin saying "bye bye" and wanting to close the garage door) was then that I realized I needed to calm down if I was going to make it an hour in the cramped car all the way to the city.

I had read somewhere along the way that making low (almost moaning like) sounds actually helped deal with the pain so that is what I did. Every time a contraction hit I moaned "Peeaace" (like the hippie I am not) and "Reeelaaaxxx" and "We are fine..." - basically anything that told myself to calm down. The stronger the contraction got the louder my voice became. My water broke in the car when we were on Van Ness Ave. in the city. After that happened the contractions got a lot stronger and I found myself shaking my head hard from side to side very quickly to cope with the pain.

When we (finally) got the hospital, I was quickly checked and informed that I was 10cm dilated and the "baby was coming". Once I told them I was a 2nd time mom, the nurse yelled something about it being my 2nd baby and what felt like 10 nurses showed up out of nowhere, threw me on a gurney and wheeled me up half naked through the hospital lobby up to the L&D floor as I was yelling for them to "call Dr. Lam!" I felt like I was starring in my very own episode of Grey's Anatomy, minus Addison Montgomery. I was quickly introduced to the on-call doctor and told to start pushing. Ellis' heart rate dropped dangerously low and there was talk of using a vacuum to get him out...that's when I got very serious about pushing. Two pushes later, the little (or shall I say "big) man was out and everyone learned that he had (count 'em) two knots in his cord and his head was pushing against his cord, all explaining the drop in heart rate. Half of Ellis' head was delivered by the on-call doctor and the rest of him was delivered by Dr. Lam (who barely made it!)...the same doctor who delivered Cavin.

We were discharged from the hospital on Superbowl Sunday...just in time to catch the 2nd half of the game. Since then, we've been blessed with having grandparents in town to help, lots of newborn snuggles, and witnessing many kisses that Cavin likes to give his little brother. We are trying to cherish this time as we now know just how quickly this time passes. Ellis is such a sweet baby who has lots of very serious looks to him. He seems to be right at ease with his brother's loud noises too...I guess he has had 9 months to get used to it though.

Now for some pictures!

Just after delivery...

The look on Cavin's face when Ellis first entered the room...

Grandma and Nana sharing some snuggle time

First big bro kiss

Heading home!

Ellis shows off his new quilt that Grandma Spruiell made for him...

And life goes back to 'normal'....

Friday, February 4, 2011

We REALLY know how to spend a Friday night.... early labor - or at least I think. I will keep y'all posted!

Happy due date to Numero Dos and I! (I went ahead and took this picture while I could still "deal" with the contractions. Here we are at 40 weeks!)