Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Baby #2

Last week was a real whirlwind. My wife had contractions on and off throughout the weekend, and we had gone in Saturday when they were five minutes apart and regular only to be sent home. We were both very concerned, and also annoyed because each of these times required us to call in favors from folks in our support net, and you can't take favors back and it's hard to apologize for inconveniencing people.

After Saturday, Daughter #1's god parents came down to stay with us for awhile in case anything happened. Sure enough the next morning I awoke at 3:51 to hear my wife on the phone with the OB. She was explaining that she was in a large amount of pain, but concerned they would send her home again. We headed into the hospital, and after about an hour on the monitor and another hour waiting we were escorted up to the labor and delivery room.

The LDR is a really interesting place. Completely devoid of windows, with lighting that can range from incredibly bright for whatever procedures are going on to very dim so you can sleep, I've really never experienced sensory deprivation quite like it. There is a constant buzz of white noise and an array of different beeps from the machines.

My wife got her pain meds pretty early into our time in the LDR (within a half hour, I'd say) and then we were off to play the waiting game as we waited for the contractions to get ready for showtime. We amused ourselves by reading the original German to Schiller's Ode to Joy, listening to a variety of music, and watching Sorkin's the West Wing. I won't say the time went quickly, as in the moment it really seemed to drag like the night before a big snow storm, waiting anxiously for a snow day.

Several hours later, about 2:41 daughter #2 was brought into the world. She's beautiful, and so strong already. A couple of hours after her birth we were escorted up to the recovery room, and I was amazed to see the sunlight. Our first daughter was born in the winter, but being that we are still in Spring the sunset is much later, and we got some sunlight. After we got settled in I headed home to pick up Daughter #1 and the god parents (along with dinner) so we could head to the hospital. We didn't want to bring many people to the hospital this time, as the rooms are quite small and there are frequently people in and out to do different things.

A quick note here, too, about how amazing all of the staff at that hospital are. The labor/delivery nurses, the nurses in the rooms. Just outstandingly compassionate and professional people. Our doctors and pediatricians are very good, too, of course, but we chose them (or at least their practices) so we knew what to expect. The hospital staff was just incredible.

Watching my two girls meet was really something. D1 was in total awe of getting to hold the baby (with some assistance, of course) and the look on her face is pure joy. She's very gentle, and even though some things about our new reality are frustrating to her, she really does love the baby. She has opinions for her, in fact (something my wife predicted.)

So far things seem to be a bit easier. I imagine a part of that is having some experience in this area already, and also the fact that kids are certainly different. We've had many wake ups through the course of a night, of course, but D2 is easy to soothe and will go back to sleep after a fresh diaper, etc. Overall I think my wife and I are better rested than we were at this point last time around, but we've had people here willing to help, and not who needed to be entertained.

One of D1's god parents stayed to help us out too, with the transition home but also my transition back to work. It has been really nice to have the support, so I haven't worried (as much) about the house, cleaning, laundry, and cooking. I'm still doing some cooking and cleaning, of course, but it is really nice to have the extra hands. It's nice, too, to have someone around to talk to while the other is taking a sleep shift. I'm ever grateful for the support network I've got, and I am looking forward to repaying the favor to all of them as they grow their families.

I've not been running for about two weeks. I basically took last week off from work and training so that we could have a smooth transition home, although I'm going to try to build up some work this week because this is officially when my training for my July 10 miler starts. For now, back to work for me. It will be a pretty long day, too, as I've got some late meetings. Here's to hoping things continue to be smooth....

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