Finally, he has arrived!! As I write this, I have the cutest 8 day old laying by my side. Dallas Patrick Tolsma, our All American Boy.
The night was Nov 23rd, more like early morning on Nov 24th. After the fact, Brian did a quick back story about the events of the evening. Instead of repeating the story, here it is through Brian's eyes:
Back story: I had a late hockey game Sunday night. I did my normal routine of telling Baby T to "stay put until I got back" and that he did, but not much longer. I put my head down on the pillow at 1:30 am Sunday night. Melissa had a couple trips to the restroom. On the third within 15 minutes, we got a little surprise... it was not urine, but her water had broken.
A quick call to the doctor and we were off. A fun and frantic ride all in one. I may have run a few red lights in the middle of the night, but we made it safe by 2:00am
We spent a few hours in triage to confirm all was ready to go and off to delivery we went. She went from 0 to about 8 cm dilated in about 10 hours. She was a trooper trying to do it without an epidural, but after 4 hours of regular contractions, she went with the epidural to reduce pain. This was a good thing. It was hard to watch.
Melissa had spiked a small fever so they started her on some antibiotics. They told us Baby T was gonna need to go to the NICU for some evaluations right away.
Jake was eager to help. He did great.
She was slow growing for the final two centimeters and at about 9:00 pm it was time to start pushing. She was sooo strong. She needed a break and anesthesia needed to do some adjustments to the meds. By 10:15 she was back pushing. By 11:15 pm, little progress had been made despite some serious pushing from a strong woman. We had a discussion with the doctor about the babies position and Melissa's anatomy. Doctor wanted to give her a chance to push Baby T out, but at 11:30, she strongly encouraged she go in and get him. We were escorted off to the OR for a c-section.
I was at her head and watching the doctor and resident struggle to get him out was one of the scariest events in my life. The resident had sweat coming from her forehead. The doctor kept grunting and saying "he just isn't coming out". Finally, they shouted "DELIVERY" and we heard a big cry. At that moment, we both lost it. Nothing can describe what I felt in that moment. They whisked him away to the NICU team in the next room. More waiting, I sat there holding Melissa's hand waiting for more news on Baby T while they closed Melissa up.
Finally a NICU doctor came in, very calmly said that baby was doing good. He "had a little trouble breathing on his own, we are stimulating him to take better breaths. We are gonna take him upstairs for the night, but you can come see him". I met my son for the first time. Again, no words. They wheeled him into the OR and brought him down to Melissa's head, I saw my son get a kiss from his mama. Again, no words.
Away he went, but Dallas Patrick Tolsma is here and he is ours.
And there it is. Moral of the story is things never go as planned. I went in thinking I would have the baby naturally. I was tough, I wouldn't need an epidural...until I felt those contractions. Boy do they hurt... I also went in begging not to have a c-section. It is a longer recovery and as you all know from previous posts, I am
anxious to get back into everything and patience is not my strongest virtue. But after almost 24 hours of being in labor, pushing and having no progress, I didn't have much of a choice. So a c-section it was and 7lb 10oz Dallas was born. An interesting fact is that my pelvis is to narrow to deliver a baby the so called 'normal' way. I could have pushed and pushed and he wouldn't have come out. This is why Dallas ended up stuck in my pelvis, causing the commotion to get him out. If I were to have another child, I would have no choice but to do it via c-section. The things you learn..
The days that followed his birth seem like they
were months ago now. He ended up in the NICU for 2.5 days. First from the antibiotics he needed from my fever during labor, then a concern of low blood sugar, and then high bilirubin. We would visit him in the NICU every 2-3 hours to see how he was doing and to feed him. Due to some excessive swelling from all the fluids I got, I was unable to wear my prosthetic leg and my right leg was huge. So huge I could barely move my foot from all the swelling. Not a pretty sight. And not an optimal situation in the days after a c-section, using a wheelchair and eventually my crutches to get back and forth to the NICU every few hours. But we managed and finally on Thursday night he was discharged from the NICU and got to spend his first night in my hospital room. A small panic attack of, whoa, this little guy is ours. And wondering if I'll be able to keep him alive through the night. But the hours pass and even though he slept in the bed with me much of the first night, he was alive, and that's all I cared about.
A quick thank you to all the nurses from the NICU (especially you Aime!) as they worked long hours to get our little one healthy
and back to us.
We had a steady stream of visitors starting with Brian's mom, then Brian's dad and then my parents who drove up from SC and some friends along the way. An unfortunate event with Brian's dad on Wed night is that he had a mini stroke behind his left eye and lost vision in that eye. He was rushed to the ER by Brian and admitted for a few days to run tests and see about getting his vision back. So Brian, went back and forth from me, the NICU, to his dad across the street. I'm always amazed at Brian's composure during a stressful time and I was so impressed by his ability to
handle it all. Not to mention that Jake ate a box of chocolates and he had to be dealt with also. Who knew that feeding a dog hydrogen peroxide can get them to throw up? Brian's brother drove down to help and my parents were here the next day but it was an eventful night. Keep Brians dad in your thoughts as his vision has yet to fully come back, we are hoping it improves over time.
Finally, mid morning on Fri Nov 28, we got to head home. An exciting car ride with a newborn in the car for the first time. We walked in with the car seat, Jake in tow, and the realization slowly set in that this was our new life, we were a family. And we were home.
That night we laid in bed with Jake at our feet, holding Dallas, and Brian and I looked at each other
as waves of happiness passed between us. I never knew there could be so much love for a little man. We were a family, we had a healthy little boy and my heart felt like it might explode.
Since then, our time at home has been a learning experience. From how much we need to feed him, how often, realizing that a baby can poop 3,412 times a day, sleeping patterns, never ending laundry, etc. My parents have been here all week and have been so helpful. From meals, to laundry, to wedding planning, it will be telling to see how I do with all this once I am on my own. Brian's mom will be back for a few days next week and then the true test will begin.
Jake has been tolerating Dallas. I can't say he's in love with him yet, and any pictures you see are staged. But he's licked his head a few times, he ignores the crying and has his moments wanting a
little more attention than usual. I have hopes that Jake will come around, and he will love Dallas as he loves us. I have yet to see any new gray hairs so I'll take that as a positive sign.
And lastly, a little Presidential bragging..
Last week Brian heard that former President
Bush was going to be in town for a book signing. We are friends with his aide and contacted him asking if we could get tickets and bring Dallas to meet the president. We were thrilled when we got VIP tickets for Dallas, Brian, myself and my parents. So this past Monday, on a cold 30 degree day, we all made a trip out to Naperville to see the President. A bundled up Dallas made his way through the line with us. As we entered the room, we got a big smile from the President and I got a quick hug and kiss from across the table. We told him that here was the youngest member to ever ride his mountain bike trails. He asked his name and as Brian said Dallas, his smile widened and he reached over the table to hold him. A kiss by the President at 6 days old... Dallas has already started his
life out with some excitement and a pretty great picture for show and tell someday. We had some quick conversation and the President asked if I planned on getting back in shape. I had to chuckle and responded with, I sure hope so! I've said before and I'll say it again. Regardless of your political preference, President Bush is a great man and it is always such a pleasure to see him.
So, there you go. We have a baby. And he is all ours. Everything from his long arms and legs, his perfectly round head full of hair, his beautiful face full of expressions and wonderment as he sees his
surroundings, his cute whimpers when he's a little
upset, his loud cries when his diaper is changed, his perfect face with what we think are dimples. He is absolutely perfect.
And Brian. Oh how I love him. A hands on dad that has so much love for his family. I truly hit the jackpot having him by my side.
As the days go on, I know things will get easier as we settle into lives as parents. My scar will continue to heal, I'll learn that while a post baby body might never be the same, I can still work to get it back in shape, and I will eventually get back to the active lifestyle I've been missing. This time, with a little more motivation for fast runs and bikes and wanting to get home to my loving
I have the perfect family and a wonderful life. Welcome to the world Dallas!