Connor's Counter


Monday, August 31, 2009

productivity -- finally!

After getting motivated by Mamie, I am finally kicking it into gear. Last week I sent out the cute announcements that Mamie made, and I got all of my thankyou cards written and in the mail, and I got caught up on the bills...

Here's what we've done today:
Mom -- doing her laundry, and working frantically on getting the consignment stuff together, labeled and tagged for the sale. (Go mom!)
Bethaney -- Has been mudding and painting the far wall downstairs -- the last holdout to finish the remodeling downstairs. :)
Britney -- cleaning the fridge, doing the dishes, doing laundry, cleaning and organizing and putting away stuff off the coffee tables, doing meal and activity planning for all the family coming into town this weekend for the baby blessing.
Ron -- babysitting Connor & doing random handyman things around the house in between feedings (like fixing toilet seats and fixing light sockets and stuff).

But what I want to know is how Mamie is able to fold the laundry so nice and neatly? My folding never looks quite as good (especially for the underwear!!!--how do you do it?).

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

My Sister Mamie

Having a baby is never what anyone expects. I was expecting a fussy baby that was hard to console and lots of late nights. What I got was a nearly perfect baby who only cries when he needs something and is a little gassy, but otherwise very content. I was expecting to have all kinds of energy and just love being a mom, especially from my pregnancy daydreams... they were great! What I got was a severe panick/anxiety attack on my 5th day and insomnia at night which rendered me useless! Ron was a champ! He was getting up with Connor all night long every night and they were attached at the hip. But I still needed help, and Ron was already super busy with Connor, so I called my sister Mamie. Her girls are a little older, so I thought it might be easier for her to come down and help me. And she did! She was SOOOOO helpul, I can't even begin to describe how I couldn't have done it without her and Ron together. While Ron was busy with Connor ever 2-3 hours, she helped me organize the baby's room (which still wasn't ready because of my bedrest prior to delivery), she helped me with the announcements, with dishes, laundry, and pretty much anything else she could find. I didn't even know what help I needed, but she did, and she did it. Eventually, Ron let her start taking shifts with Connor as well. And as soon as I was up to it, I did, too! What a blessing to have a sister that is so in-tune with the spirit and could help me through such a trying time. I'm sure she is happy to be back with her husband and children now after being gone from home all summer travelling, but she made a huge difference for me in the week+ she was here. Thankyou Mamie!! I love you tons!

My mom and Bethaney are here now. They are being super helpful, too. It's so nice to have such a supportive family.

A Lucy Sighting

Way back when, we tried to rescue a cat that we named Lucy. We even had her micro-chipped. Well, she ran away in Brinnon when we were visiting, and we thought we saw the last of her. BUT, Ron actually saw her this past Tuesday when he was up there. She looked happy and healthy, so we'll stop worrying about her. (I guess there's alot of rodents up there for her to hunt). Maybe we can get an actual picture of her...

Thursday, August 20, 2009

New Pictures of Connor

Pictures taken August 20, 3pm in Connor's 11th day of life. We love him!


Monday, August 10, 2009

Connor Owen Edwards

The vital stats:

Connor Owen Edwards was born August 09, 2009 at 10:18 am at the Legacy Good Samaritan Hospital in Portland, OR. He arrived two weeks ahead of schedule on his own volition, weighed 8 lbs, 5 oz, and measured 21.5 inches. His apgar's were 9 & 9, and he hardly cried at all when he came out. Since I was being stitched back up (See birth story way far below), Ron was able to hold and comfort him for the first hour of his life. He loves his daddy! (and vice-versa)

The fun facts:

Ron and I went to the hospital Sunday morning (August 9) because my water broke in bed at 4am. We arrived about an hour later (5am) because I had to take a shower before we left. (Hey! You try being on bedrest for a week and a half and see how you feel...). The picture below is our last picture of when it was "just us two".

Once we got to the hospital, things went pretty fast, and we had some complications to the point where I needed to have a C-section delivery. (For full details, see the "birth story" below). Luckily, Ron was able to come into the operating room with me and we were both present for the big event.
Below: I'm prepped and ready for delivery. They put big plastic screens up so I couldn't see anything. Not that I was the least bit coherent, since they gave me WAY too many meds....

If I were coherent, I wouldn't have let Ron take these pictures (and so many more that I won't post here). But, as it ended up, I'm actually glad he did. It's a great documentation of our long-awaited arrival. :)

Below: Connor's first minute in the world. He's all white because of the Vernex (He was two weeks early, after all). I'll let you figure out why he's all red.

The doctors and nurses let Ron be as involved with the procedures as he wanted to be (well, to an extent). Ron took tons of pictures, still managed to comfort me, and also cut the cord!

This is our first family picture as "The Three of Us". Don't worry, we'll get some ones you can hang on a wall.... :)

Ron's first moments with Connor. You can see Ron's smile through his mask!

My first moments with Connor. I couldn't really move, except for my lips....

We had some quality Kangaroo Care time together before I went into post-op. He latched on pretty quickly and ate for a good 45 minutes the first time. He's a good little eater!

This is Connor's first bath, given by our Nurse, Roxanne. :) So CUTE!

Father and son. (Can you see that they have the EXACT same expression?)

Mother and baby. He is so precious!

We have the best baby ever!! (No bias there...)
The Birth Story
(To be added at a future date, since I need to get some sleep and most people just wanted photos anyway!).

Added 09/15/09:
At my 36 week checkup, my OB told me I was pre-eclamptic. I was swelling profusely, I had protein in my urine, my kidney function was starting to break down and my blood pressure was elevating. So, she put me on bed rest. I thought she meant that if it didn't get better I would have to go on bedrest, so technically I wasn't in bed until my 37th week. My OB had me come in to be monitored every 2-3 days, which included one Sunday in the hospital getting monitored for an hour. We packed a bag, just in case I got worse. As long as I stayed in bed, the numbers got better and they didn't have to worry about inducing.

Connor, however, had different ideas. He decided that 38 weeks in the womb was long enough. At 4am Sunday Morning (Aug 9), my water broke. Since I had been in bed all week, I needed a shower before going to the hospital. So, I took a shower and Ron called the hospital, and called my doctor. Dr Sang was on vacation, so Dr. Ogryzlo was covering. About 20 minutes after my water broke, I started having contractions. Not too bad. I heard that the first delivery usually takes longer, in general, so I thought I had plenty of time. The contractions were pretty weak, lasting only about 30 seconds, but they were coming every 2 minutes apart, like clockwork. Luckily, my bag was still packed from the previous week getting monitored. We grabbed it and we were on our way.

As we drove to the hospital, the contractions were still 2 minutes apart, but they were getting stronger and longer as we went. We got to the hospital and checked in by 5 am. Then we started filling out the paperwork -- oh man was there alot of paperwork. And I had already pre-registered! Then the nurses came in to give me an I.V. For some reason there was a rush on babies that morning. They already had 3 babies delivered and it was only 4 am. Which meant that they were short-staffed and the nurse trying to put my I.V. in was admittedly "rusty". It didn't help that my veins would spasm every time they got the catheter in. (I guess that's a side effect of pre-eclampsia?). One hour and literally 10 pokes and huge bruises later I had an I.V. in my elbow -- the last place they wanted to try, but the first place I had suggested.

Dr. Ogryzlo arrived shortly after the I.V. had been placed and check me -- I was already dialated to a 4. They asked me if I wanted an epidural and I said "not yet". The contractions got very painful a little while later, so I asked for an epidural. But the epidural team was doing a long line or something, so they wouldn't be available for another hour, and the anesthesiologist was just coming on. So, they gave me a narcotic to help with the pain in the meantime. It made me very loopy! When Dr. Smith (the anesthesiologist) came in, it took him half an hour to get the epidural in -- he tried three different times. He had me sit on the side of the bed with my elbows on my knees -- no small feat with a huge belly in front of me. Then he asked me to push back on my spine. Well, when I did this, it opened everything up just right to let more amniotic fluid rush out. I told the nurses it was gushing, and it kept coming! They said it was OK and I should concentrate on pushing on my spine. "OK" I said, "But it's still coming". and coming, and coming. It started to flood off the side of the bed, so the nurses grabbed all of the towels from the bathroom. It kept coming and started to flood over the towels and across the floor. When the anesthesiologist indicated it was reaching over to his side, and I said, "it's still coming!" the nurse (who had been doing this for 30 years) said "I have never in my life seen so much fluid!" I didn't want to say "I told you so", but... I did tell them so! Meanwhile the contractions were still every 2 minutes apart and getting stronger. Finally the epidural was in and I got really light-headed. Ron said I got a look of desperation on my face and I didn't respond to their questions. I heard their questions and wanted to respond, but couldn't form the words... Finally I came back and started responding.

Dr Ogryzlo checked me again, and I was already at a six, but she didn't like what the baby's heartbeat was doing. The readings indicated it was slowing from ~120 bpm to ~40-80 bpm. And, it was taking him over a minute to recover. With contractions every two minutes apart, that was putting alot of stress on the baby. They put an internal monitoring device on the baby's head to verify. Sure enough, it was the same thing. I was still groggy from the narcotic, and now the epidural was making it so I couldn't move -- couldn't even wiggle my toes! I was told later that the anesthesiologist had made it too strong or something.... In any case, Dr. Ogryzlo explained to me that the baby was in too much stress, and she strongly recommended a C-section. I asked what the options were and what would happen without it. She said we could keep trying for a vaginal birth, but it would most likely end up in an emergency C-section where Ron couldn't be there and I would be put totally under. We opted for the C-section at that point because I wanted Ron to be there, and I wasn't able to move anyway, so how could I even push when it came time? They gave me some drugs to stop the contractions while they prepped me for the O.R. Ron went to put scrubs on. By that time, the epidural had reached my arms and hands and I could barely move. The staff brought in the paper work for the C-section for me to sign. They literally had to hold the clipboard in front of my face and shove the pen in my hand. I scribbled across the page for my signature, since I couldn't really form letters. As they wheeled me out of the room, they asked me to keep my legs in the bed, and I said "I can't -- I have no control of my limbs!!" They asked me to keep my hands in the bed and I said "I can't!" They really had the epidural too strong! The O.R. is really a blur -- Ron found it fascinating, though. He took pictures of my guts and of Connor being born. I heard the cry -- though it didn't last very long, and the nurse said, "Oh, he's very consolable. What a good baby!" Ron cut the umbilical cord and was able to hold Connor while the doctors sewed me back up. (There was a second doctor who was assisting Dr. Ogryzlo. I don't remember his name, but he is the one in the picture).

I remember thinking that they were taking a long time sewing me back up. I asked them if they were done sewing my uterus and they said, "Oh, yeah, that's all done. We're placing the bladder now. You'll feel some tugging here in a moment." and I did. and I said "Why are you tugging?". I hadn't researched much on C-sections because I was determined not to have one.... :P. They responded that they had to pull the muscles back into place and then they could sew the outer layer of skin. Really? I had no idea... I asked Ron if he looked like a Connor, and Ron said, "Yes, he's a Connor." So that was his name. By that time they had reduced the level of the epidural and I started to feel my hands again and I could wiggle my toes. Once I was all sewn back together, they put Connor on my chest. As they reached to remove one of the electrodes under Connor's chin, he lifted his head up for a good 5 seconds. "Wow!" said the nurse. "You have a strong baby!" He truly is the best baby ever! I could move my arms enough to put my hand on his back. and Ron was there taking pictures and telling me how great I did. It was such a beautiful moment that I will cherish forever.