Thursday, September 29, 2011

two weeks

The Gun Show is officially 2 weeks old today.  Hooray for keeping him alive this long!  This week we have ventured into the nursery to get him used to spending time in there.  
He loves his big rocking chair...
 He especially likes looking at the print
 He isn't too sure about the play mat... his favorite parts are the singing giraffe and the mirror
Also this week we discovered that...
 he only likes to sleep on my chest
he now only likes to be swaddled on the bottom half 
(so he can flail his crazy long arms) 
he can escape from his pajamas
he loves watching the fish tank
and is apparently a Michael Jackson dancing prodigy... 
Thriller anyone? 
Maybe a little Crouching Tiger?  Martial arts expert perhaps?

ps:  He loves his American flag blanket made by Aunt Karrie & Uncle Rob (seriously, so cute)!  He just doesn't like for me to put him down and not lay next to him

 That's now two weeks down for little Guns, and just shy of 12 weeks down on deployment!  That's a whole trimester in pregnancy!  I will say this 12 weeks went faster than those did... thank goodness!  Miss you every day, Dad!

birth story. part 2.

Okay, where was I?  Oh yeah... the waiting.  Well while we were waiting I had come prepared with all the ways I could possibly get in touch with Patrick.  I used Facebook, I called his FRO, and I tried the Red Cross but they would only deliver a message after the birth.  I was working on other means of communication when he called!  He had gotten the message!  Lucky for us he was actually traveling and was on a base with a lot better communications set up.  He got word during a brief and afterwards, I am told, he walked out and was greeted by the USO who escorted him to a 'private room' in a tent with a computer and web cam and told him to take all the time he needed.  How great is that?!  Anyways, we got the video chat up and running and then we waited some more...
Surprisingly, the time was flying by.  I thought it would crawl, but the hours went pretty fast.  All of a sudden it was after 8:00 am and I was finally starting to feel a little uncomfortable.  My sister was great the whole day (I mean she's only done this seven times) and she told the nurse I was feeling some pain and it might be time to get the anesthesiologist.  He arrived as the contractions to really register on my pain scale, to the point where I wasn't able to talk through them.  How convenient, just in time to stick a needle into my spine...

He had me sit indian style on the bed and lean forward as far as I could.  Um are you kidding me?  It took a little while and I was 'in position'.  He did his thing all the while I was trying not to shake during contractions.  You know so I wouldn't end up paralyzed or something.  When he was all finished he told me it would take 15-20 minutes to kick in and he would wait and see how it took.  Well immediately the pain was exponentially worse.  We are talking screaming (Kelly said it was more like moaning but I felt like I was screaming) and I was crying a lot and shaking uncontrollably.  Pat said it was torture to listen to.  The 15-20 minutes passed and it was only getting worse.  Way worse.  Mr. Anesthesiologist then decided it needed more time to take and said he would come back and check on me later.  Well 'later' apparently meant an hour and a half, because that's when he came back.  He adjusted the epidural and put stronger drugs in it and I slowly (very slowly) began to feel the slightest bit of relief.  Excuse me, couldn't we have done that in the first place?

Well that whole episode took place between 9 and 11 in the morning.  Pat and I got to have a nice chat after it was taken care of and I could breathe again.  And the internet didn't even cut out once! He kept asking how things were progressing, but no one had been by to check, so I had nothing to tell him.  Around 3:30 pm (just 12 short hours of being at the hospital) I started to feel a little queasy, and my sister told me to page the nurse anyway, and we could at least get her in the room and maybe talk her into seeing how far along we were.  Well she got there just in time to hand me a bucket and up came the entire contents of my stomach.  Aside from that, our plan worked and she checked me and said that it was time to push!  My emotions were first shock, then disbelief and denial.  I was totally not ready for that declaration and thought I would have more time to prepare.  Kelly went quickly to the waiting room to tell our family and then it was just her, me and the nurse for the next 45 or 50 minutes.  Just pushing...

And holy cow.  They don't call it labor for nothing.  It is seriously SO hard!  It was so exhausting that I could have taken naps in between pushes.  Well the Dr came in, said I was doing a great job, and got his shoe covers on (to which Kelly said was a good sign).  I can't be sure, but as soon as the Dr was in position I think it took about 2 pushes for the head to be out.  We took a quick break because the cord was around little man's neck.  I didn't really have time to panic because they fixed it so fast.  And my sister was so good at keeping me calm.  Then I think one or two more pushes and he was out!  Patrick got to see him first (the Dr held him up to the web cam) then they put him on my chest for a second...
Then they took him to get him cleaned up, sucked some fluid out of him, heated him up and gave him a little oxygen.  Then he came back to me, and Patrick and I were left with the task of naming him.  We had a list of names ready to go, and we actually had the same name at the top of our list for weeks, even the same one earlier that day.  It wasn't Gunnar.  But when we first saw him we both thought "that's Gunnar".  Pretty weird how it worked out that way... I didn't think it would, that I would see him and think one name more than the other.   I guess it was just meant to be.

And that is really all there is to that.  We are now left with the task of raising the cutest little boy ever.  So far so good... He is just too precious for words, and I don't really see that changing anytime soon.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

birth story. part 1.

I promise this birth story won't be in depth with gorey details.  For those of you that were hoping for that, I'm sorry.  But for those of you who will continue reading only after that disclaimer, you're welcome.

I know I'm a little late in posting this, the event was almost 2 weeks ago.  The memory is still very clear in my mind.  The good and the bad.  I am only finding the time now since I am back on bed rest to finish healing (minor setback in that process...) and because Guns is resting comfortably on my chest and I cannot bear the thought of moving him to his pack 'n play right next to me.  I just love cuddle time with my little man.  We have a momma's boy in the making here folks.

But I digress...

As you all know, I was due on the 13th.  That day came and went.  We even had family and friends stop by that night who admitted later (certainly not to my face then) that I was no where near close to labor.  They said amongst themselves "Oh that baby hasn't dropped yet" and "her ankles are no where near swollen enough".  They thought I was a ways away.  I did however notice they may or may not have been thinking that when I expressed to them I had no nesting instincts whatsoever.  Well I proved them wrong!

Just two and a half hours after that day was over I awoke to my water breaking.  I wasn't sure though because it wasn't like how it is in the movies (it never is, is it?) so I waited it out a while.  After a little while I was fairly certain what I was experiencing at least warranted a call to my Dr.  The on-call nurse called back very quickly, and after I explained what was going on, he said that he would call the hospital and tell them I was on my way.  Um, hello reality check!  I promptly looked at my dogs and started sobbing, knowing that the lives they knew would soon be over.  They would no longer be our only babies.  But they are taking it quite well I think...
So after I semi-gathered myself together, I made a quick call to my older sister, Kelly, and then I went upstairs to tell my mom we needed to go.  Oddly enough she was up and on her way to check on me.  It took me a few minutes to make sure I had everything I needed and we were off.  Oh yeah, and after several hundred puppy kisses...

We weren't exactly sure where we were going, so we 'accidently' ran a red light getting into the hospital.  But it was like three in the morning so I don't think anyone cared.  We found the entrance to the women's center and I walked in and the guy at the front desk just kind of stared at me, he looked like he was on hold on the phone.  Luckily there was a sign that told me labor and delivery was on the 4th floor and so I said to no one in particular "I think I'll just take the elevator".

When I got up there, things moved along pretty quickly.  Due to my 'condition' I bypassed triage and went straight to my LDR room (for those of you not in on the baby lingo, LDR means labor delivery recovery).  I got all strapped in and hooked up, pretty much hurry up and wait.  Good thing the Marine Corps trained me well for that!  At that point it was about 3:30 am.  Absolutely nothing happened for a very long time... Kelly arrived around 6:30, just in time for more waiting.

It is pretty crazy that I had spent weeks dilating and my water broke hours before and I still hadn't felt a single contraction.  I guess I was pretty lucky in that aspect, but I made up for it don't worry...

I'm going to stop there so as to not bore you, and so that this isn't the longest post in the world.  And because little Guns is waking up and will undoubtedly be hungry.  Check back later for more!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

happy week

I don't mean to sound cliche, but it is hard to believe our little man is a week old today!  What a whirlwind week it has been.  I wouldn't trade it for the world.  I am so in love, I don't know what I'm going to do when Patrick gets home and I have to share...

Things Gunnar likes to do this week are:

eat his hands (preferably a thumb knuckle)
kick his legs
be swaddled
make funny faces (usually involves a wrinkled forehead)
cuddle time with mom
show off his wrinkley knees (ok this is more for me)
sleep all day
enjoy his paci

I can't wait to see how you grow and change, little Guns.  But don't do it too fast, ok?  I like this tiny sized you.  XOXO

finally finished

Now that little man is here, and has a name, the gallery wall is complete!  The final addition is this beauty I ordered from this Etsy shop.

I like how the meaning of the name is on there.  And how appropriate considering where Dad is right now...

We miss you every single day, Dad!  We love skype time, and it is amazing to watch Gunnar listen to Patrick.  He is so alert and stares right back at him.  He must recognize his voice from story time every night.  Can't wait to have him home with us...

super star

Gunnar received a package from his Aunt Kelly, Uncle Kevin and his 7 cousins.  Let me tell you, it was the most beautifully wrapped package to ever enter the postal system.  I would post all the pictures if they didn't display our home address...

Getting back to the gift, it was the most gorgeous stained glass star.  How cool is that?  And in red, white and blue!  In the very middle is engraved "Gunnar 9-14-11".  It is just so perfect I love it.  Thanks guys!

The little card taped to the outside
He's not crying he is expressing his excitement
"I love my new star!"

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

i might be biased...

But I'm fairly certain that Patrick and I make beautiful babies...

Monday, September 19, 2011

bundle of joy

If you were wondering where I've been since my last post, let me fill you in.  I have been really, really busy staring at this face every hour of every day...

That would be my handsome little man.  Gunnar Douglas made his arrival on Wednesday, September 14.  He is officially the cutest thing I have ever seen.  It was love at first sight, and from this moment: 
He completely stole my heart.

I know I should be sleeping, but instead we are cuddling.  I don't have it in me to put him in the crib not even a foot from my face.  I want to hold him all the time and I simply cannot tear my eyes away from his adorable little everything.

More on him to come.  Lots more.  I promise.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

hello due date

The day has finally come.  And I knew I should have gone with my instincts and kept telling myself the due date of the 17th (like I had been told after the first ultrasound).  But those darn doctors and check ups got my hopes up and I caved.  I decided to listen to them, and I mentally changed the date to the one they were telling me.  Today.  Now here I am, just waiting, waiting, waiting... For any sign that labor is near.  And let me tell you:  it does not look good for me.

I was actually hopeful that things would get moving last night, with the full moon and all.  So I did all of my last minute errands just in case.  And hey, did you know that having a baby is like having the plague?  Every place I went, someone asked when I was due, and when I responded with "tomorrow" they were incredibly quick to get me moving along and out of where they might be responsible for a laboring woman.  The guy at CVS even said "you need to get out of here" and turned me in the direction of the door!  Pretty funny...

As for today, I started off the day with a brisk mile walk with each of the dogs.  That's two miles, count 'em.  I am so paying for it now in the form of lower back pain.  But still no contractions!  Lucky me, right?  Wrong!   For the rest of the day I will be drinking pineapple juice and red raspberry tea.  No spicy food for me though, OW!  I get heartburn just thinking about it (seriously, I just did).

But, I have decided that even if little man decides not to come today, I will survive.  Simply because of the fact that I have the greatest husband in the world.  Please just take a look at what arrived for me today:
No, not the dog, or the books.  The beautiful flowers in the adorable basket!  Complete with a wonderful card that made me sob.  So, you see why if nothing happens on the baby front today, my day is complete because of this oh so very kind gesture.  I love you husband!

We'll see what the rest of the day holds...!

Monday, September 12, 2011

where were you when...

Even though ten years have passed, like most of the United States, I will never forget where I was when I heard about the attacks on 9/11/01.  For me, I even remember what I was wearing.

I was a sophomore in high school, and it was a game day, so I was in my field hockey uniform.  I was with four of my fellow classmates in the auditorium, preparing for a class assembly.  The five of us were the class officers; I was the vice president.  We were sitting around on the stage going over what each would be discussing the next period when our entire class would fill the seats in front of us.  That was when a student from the band class down the hall came in and told us "the World Trade Centers had been bombed".  They had been listening to the radio.

For me, my first thought was to a class trip I took 2 years prior, to those very buildings.  I even have a picture that I took of Manhattan from the roof of the north tower.  As information began to come in, we discovered that it was planes, not bombs, and that the Pentagon had also been hit.  Information came to us via the school administrators, who also instructed us not to say anything during the assembly, and to carry on as normal.

I don't remember much of the assembly.  I don't even remember if I was able to speak.  I just remember being in a total daze.  I couldn't stop thinking about a conversation I had with my Dad that morning; he had a crew working at the Pentagon that day.  He sold security systems, and one client was the Pentagon.  I knew he frequently traveled to visit his clients, and oversaw the work his crews did, but I had no idea if he was there or not when the planes hit.  And of course, it was the one day I left my cell phone at home.

Even though the administration tried to keep it quiet until we knew more, news spread quickly throughout the day.  I only remember two other parts of that day in school.  One - lunch time when I had to stand in line at the pay phones and try to scrounge up change to get in touch with my parents.  I was able to talk to my Dad, who's crew, by the grace of God, was stuck in traffic and had not made it to the Pentagon when the plane had hit.  He also told me that my Mom was okay too, but because she worked at a hospital that was a back up to the DC area, and they were all instructed to stay (as she was on her way out the door).  And even my Grandmother, who was in DC for a luncheon, and was evacuated, was okay too.  The second part of the day that I remember was when the principal finally made the announcement during fifth period (I was in geometry) and told the school what happened, and that we would be dismissed early that day.

After that, the bell rang and the halls were total chaos.  And then we all heard the intercom system turn on and over the entire school's PA system I was called to the front office.  I froze.  I couldn't breathe.  All I could think was that my Dad went back to the Pentagon and something else had happened.  A friend had to hold my arm and walk me towards the office.  I will never forget the relief I felt when I saw my Dad standing there.  He didn't know we would be dismissed early, but he had come to pick me up from school and take me home.  I think my first words were something along the lines of "don't ever do that to me again".

From there we went to pick up my little sister from her elementary school, and then it was home to wait and see when my Mom would be able to leave work (I can't be sure but I think it was later that night).    And we all watched the news in disbelief with the rest of the country.

Here we are, ten years later, still fighting that fight.  I pray for the victims and their families of those we lost that day, and every day since.  I pray for the heroes that have traveled overseas and kept us safe at home every day since.  Words can't express my gratitude for people like my husband who, with complete disregard to their own safety, go forward for this cause.  May we all remember what they are fighting for, and never forget.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

a post without dogs?

Just wanted to share two things... one:  despite my lack of blogging, I still have not had this baby.  And two:  this picture of Patrick and some of his guys after he was promoted!

I am a very proud wife :)

And today is officially 9 weeks into this deployment (and 4 days from Jr's due date).  The first would go by a lot faster if the second would hurry up and get here!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

oh september

Well I can finally say I am due this month!  Hooray!  Another finally is that Patrick has officially been promoted to Captain!  It has only been a year and a half of waiting after he was selected.  And I did have to miss it again (the last time he was promoted was back in 2009 - his year in Iraq) but he promised that there are pictures.  And today marks 10 days before I can officially be mad at this kid for not being here yet.  This week also capped a full 8 weeks of kicking this deployment's butt.

I apologize for the lack of energy put into this post, but it seriously took all I had to even form sentences for you to read.  I just don't feel like trying to be cute, or witty, or anything other then blunt.  Basically just trying to get the latest news out there, keep you updated.  And, so you don't think my absence is because of something fantastic like being in the hospital or anything.  Oh no, that would be just TOO lucky.  If you're curious about how things are going... I won't go into details but let's just say that most women are already in the hospital and getting epidurals when they are at the point where I am now (if not earlier).  

In the meantime, look at how cute my dogs are:

They just love laying in the nursery.  I know they can't possibly know what's coming to fill this room, and I hope they aren't too devastated by having to share my attention.  I just love them so much!  While I am excited and ready to meet this little one, I am kind of sad that our little world is coming to an end.  The world where it was just Patrick, me and the pups.  A lot of the time it was just me and the boys.  There was Patrick's first deployment (10 months) and every day he was hard at work on base and I had no one but the boys to talk to.  They have been with me through a lot.  They really are my first babies, and we will continue to share moments in the years to come.

Hopefully they will learn to love little man as much as they love us, and vice versa.  I do know one thing... they certainly won't be losing their spots next to me in bed!  They are the best snugglers, and right now they are calling my name to do just that.

Again, my apologies again for the boring blah post.  I don't even know if any of it makes sense.  I feel like I've got a stream of consciousness type of thing going on here...