Friday, April 29, 2011

Carson's Birth Story--18 Months Later

18 Months ago today, I become a Mother.  Carl became a Father.  And our lives changed forever, and it has been amazing.

I can remember the day that we welcomed our first born into this world like it was yesterday.  Like he is only a week old, and the memories are so fresh in my mind.  But, it has been 18 months.  A year and a half later, and the thoughts are still rolling through my head.  From the morning we left bright and early to head to the hospital, to the moment we walked through the door of our home, and showed Carson where he would be living.

The week of my due date was a tough one.  I was so anxious to meet this little boy of ours, that the excitement was really getting to me.  My due date was October 26th.  I had an appointment that day, and they did an ultrasound.  They guesstimated him to be about 9 pounds, and I was very uncomfortable.  My feet and legs were so swollen, that it was hard to even walk at times.  After the ultrasound, my doctor came in, and gave me great news.  She said due to my swelling, and the size of our baby, she was going to schedule for me to be induced.  As much as I wanted Carson to come on his own, and everything to happen naturally, there was no way I was going to turn this offer down!

The doctor checked with the hospital's schedule, and gave us an appointment date and time.  Thursday, October 29th, 7:00AM.  We were instructed to be at the hospital 1/2 hour early to get checked in.

The rest of that week was my time alone.  The last few days Carl and I had together as just us, husband and wife, before we were a family of 3.  The last time that we would have to walk past an empty nursery.  And, that was such a great feeling.  A feeling of complete joy.  I spent time resting, prepping, cleaning, and packing.  I wanted every last detail to be just so, before Carson would come home.  I was arranging for Tucker to be taken care of, fluffing pillows, and making sure I had 14 outfits for everyone, for our expected 3 day stay in the hospital.  I over pack.  It's who I husband will be the first to tell you this.

I don't think I slept a wink of sleep the night before our scheduled induction date.  My alarm went off at 4:30, and it didn't startle me a bit.  I was already awake.  Wide awake.  I got up, got ready, and we started packing up the car.  Carson's car seat was already in the car.  It had been there for the last 2 weeks......just in case.  I made sure that every pillow on the couch was perfect, the blankets were folded, our bed was made, and the house was neat and tidy for when we would be arriving back to our safe haven.

We left the house about 5:30 that morning.  We made a quick stop for breakfast, and made our way to Waterloo.  Covenant Medical Hospital was our destination that morning.  We prayed all the way there.  Prayed for a safe delivery, a safe and healthy baby, and prayed for Carl and the support he was going to be giving.  My Mom (Frannie) was going to be meeting us there, as she was going to be going through this wonderful experience with us.  We arrived at the hospital shortly before 6:30.  And, that is when it all began.  I was so nervous.  I had never been in the hospital before, so all of my nerves and emotions were going a bit crazy by that point.  We checked in, got to our assigned room, and we were making ourselves at home.  After all, this was going to be our home for the next 5 days.  I got changed into my gown, and met our wonderful nurse for the day, that was hoping she would be the one to meet our little bundle of joy.  I was dilated to 3, as I had been for the last 2 1/2 weeks.  So, I was thinking that this was going to be a quick(er) process.  I was wrong. 

We started the "waiting" game, as things went very slow.  I got my IV put in early that morning, and they started me on petosin.  My body, of course, reacted to that.  So, they had to be very careful as to how much they could give me.  They broke my water, and gave me my epidural in the morning hours as well.  Noon hit, 2:00 hit, 4:00 hit, and not much was going on.  I was dilated to 5-6, and things just weren't going as fast as I had imagined.  5:00 hit, and my doctor came in to talk with me.  She said that things weren't progressing like she had imagined, and that is when she recommended I have a C-Section.  I was not prepared for my emotional self.  I burst into tears, and could hardly talk.  Apparently that was a really touchy subject, that I didn't even know about.  Like I said, I have never been in the hospital before, so the thought of someone cutting me open was out of the picture.  I told her I would like to continue on with the process, and try and have him naturally.  She said, "great" we will continue to try and progress things along.

During all this time, the nurse had informed Carl and my Mom to not let my legs fall off the bed, because I have no control of them, and it could possibly injure a hip.  Well, we all had a good laugh when my leg fell off the bed, and my Mom looked at me and said "Ang, your leg fell off the bed, pick it up!"  Umm, "Mom, I have no control, sorry!  Please help me"  So, Carl had to use all of his strength to get that poor leg back up on the bed where it belonged!  I just have to add this tid-bit in here.  Because, it may have been one of the only good laughs we had for the day.  

I had this thought in my head...this dream of what my first child birth would be like.  The normal, movie scene deliveries, which aren't realistic.  My water was going to break, we were going to head to the hospital, it was going to be an easy delivery, Carl was going to cut the umbilical cord, and I was going to hold my son for the first time.  Obviously that isn't the way God had it planned out for us.

We kept trucking along in the process, and about 7:00, we got wonderful news.  I was completely dilated to 10, and we were going to start pushing.  A wave of complete joy filled over me.  This was it.....I was finally going to be meeting our son. 

I started pushing, and I tried my best.  I gave it my all.  We played tug-a-war, Carl and my Mom's hands were turning purple, and the nurse was telling me when I was having contractions, as to when to push.  I had no feeling, as my pain killers were too strong for me.  Without looking at the monitor, I had no idea when I was having a contraction.  During the pushing, I got sick.  Got such a bad headache, that I got dizzy.  They gave me a few tylenol, that didn't last 5 minutes in my system.  I took them down, started pushing again, and then started vomiting.  By this point, I just wanted to cry.  I kept asking Carl how I was doing, and he kept saying "you are doing great!"  I believed him at first.  But, after pushing for about 2 hours, I was losing hope.  I was questioning his "you are doing great!" and started doubting myself.

I pushed until about 9:45.  3 hours of pushing, and absolutely nothing to show for her.  I was getting a little down hearted on myself.  My doctor finally came in, and said that we are going to have to do a C-section.  She said, and I quote, "there is something wrong if you are dilated to 10 for 3 hours, and the baby hasn't fallen out on the table!"  Ok then, that was that.

I got wheeled into the surgery room to get prepped, and the nurses brought scrubs for Carl and my Mom to wear, in order for them to be allowed in the room with me.  Carl's scrubs were too small, and he had quite the trouble finding bigger ones.  Ok, that may have been another good laugh for the day. 

I was in a lot of pain during the C-section process.  All I remember is moaning and groaning because of all the pain.  That was the only thing I felt I could do.  The only sound that would come out at that point.  They started the process about 10:00.  During the process, my Nurse was straddling me on the table, trying her best to pull Carson out of me.  At one point, the words "Oh Shit" came out of her mouth, because she was having a very hard time.  That freaked Carl out.  His comment to my Mom..."Those aren't very encouraging words while my Wife is the one on the table!"  

October 29th, 11:45PM, Carson David Brouwer entered this world.  He was 8.3 pounds, and was 20 inches long.  Our gift from above had arrived.  He was absolutely perfect in every way.   

We were now a family of 3.  The thought of that was almost too much to even process.  We were beyond excited.

We found out that Carson was stuck, literally, in my birth canal, and that is why things were not progressing as usual.  When he came out,  his face was a little bruised from that.  But, the bruising didn't last long.  My doctor also came to us later, and we were told that she experienced a first during the birth of Carson.  She said that she had never had such a hard time cutting the umbilical cord before, because of how short it was.  Well, she experienced that with Carson.  His umbilical cord was only about 2 inches long, and she could hardly get the scissors between him and I to even cut it!  

Almost 2 hours worth of surgery to get our little bundle of joy out of me.  But, I can say this now, it was all worth it.  Every last second.  He was happy and healthy.  And, that's all that mattered.  My doctor said that she hasn't ever experienced such a hard time with getting a baby out of someone.  Carson was a lot of "firsts" for her.  

I had no idea what was going on.  I was completely out of it.  I do remember Carl coming over to me and saying "Ang, he is absolutely perfect. Carson is beautiful" and then he started to cry.  And, I did too. 

I got wheeled back to our room, and was welcomed in to the site of Carl feeding Carson in the rocker.  He looked like a complete natural.  Like, this was his 5th child, and it was just clock work for him.  That moment made my heart melt.  That is when I knew that everything was great.  I had just gone through a rough delivery, but life is still grand!

I wasn't able to hold Carson for a while, as I was very sore.  I wasn't prepared for how sore, and non mobile I was going to be.  And, that was really hard for me.  All I wanted to do is hold him, and love him up.  That time would come, and I would soak him up extra hard.  And, I did just that.

We let all of our close family members know in the wee hours of the night about our precious gift had arrived.  Everyone was so excited.  Aunt DiDi made a trip to the hospital at about 2:00AM to see her nephew.  And, everyone else trickled in during the next few days.

Room 372 was our home until Monday morning.  It was a long 5 days, but we made it through, and we were so excited to be heading home.  Carson's "going home" outfit was waiting to be displayed on his cute little bod, and boy did he display it well.  We were anxious to show him where his room was, and where he will be calling home.  

We were welcomed home by a big banner on the garage door, and some other decor around the house.  We all breathed a huge sigh of relief when we walked through that door.  We were all over joyed.

Reality set in after we got home, and I think we all adjusted very well.  Carl went back to work later that week, and my Mom was there to the rescue.  She helped me out a lot, as I was slow moving, and unable to do stairs, or drive.  We got settled into a wonderful routine, and did very well.

I will never forget the birth of our first born.  The whole story.  From beginning to end, every little detail is carved into my mind.  I don't want to forget anything about that day.  Our pride and joy is Carson.  We are 100% in charge of molding this little boy's life.  And, we are doing our best.  We are giving him our all, because that is what he needs from us.  We are Dad and Mom to this little soul, and those names are very meaningful, and powerful.  WE were the chosen parents for this little boy.  That is simply amazing.  

Carson is now 18 months old.  We couldn't be more proud of this little boy who is entering into toddler world.  I miss him more everyday I am not with him, and my love for him is unconditional.  Our love for him is unconditional.

Carson David Brouwer, you mean the world to us.  We cherish each and every day we have with you.  You are one loved little boy! 

Happy 18 Month Birthday, Wee Lad.  We love you so much! 

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Squirt Gun

Carson loves to play with squirt guns.  I think I have mentioned before that Carson enjoys squirting himself in the face, because he can only work the trigger with his thumb.  It really is very entertaining.  Well, Carson is very entertaining......whatever it is that he does. 

Check out this video of Carson squirting himself in the face.  It is kind of hard to see the water....but you can see it if you look closely.  Oh yeah, and obviously the floor gets really wet from all the water that he squirts, so I caught him fall at the end.  He didn't really know whether to laugh, or cry after it happened.  He wasn't worries :) 

We saw the sun shining a bit today!  Oh how thankful we are for that.  I really hope it is around to stay real soon, so we can enjoy the great outdoors.  I think we could all use a huge dose of sunshine. 

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Chuck E Cheese

During our long weekend, we decided to take Carson to Chuck E Cheese.  He had never been there before, and we wanted to do something special with him.  Just the 3 of us. 

It was a really gloomy weekend, so we needed to choose an indoor play area.  And so we headed to the famous pizza joint, that seems to be every child's favorite.

And, I am pretty sure that every. single. child. was in that building on Friday night.  I also think it was 100 degrees, with a million little sweaty kids running around, counting tokens, and collecting as many tickets as they could get.  I heard kids screaming and laughing, the ticket machine munching away, and buzzers going off indicating the kiddos were winning tickets.  Tickets to collect, to trade in for some bouncy ball, or silly puddy, or slimy stuff that will probably either break before they get home, or never be looked at again after that evening.  But, I am sure they made a million memories with friends, which is the neat part of the whole experience. 

I think Carson had fun.  He enjoyed going from one ride to the next.  We didn't stay long, as it was really busy, and hot, but we enjoyed ourselves.  I feel like Chuck E Cheese is geared a bit more towards the "older" kids, so maybe we will go back in a few years.  Maybe when Carson is old enough to beg us for just one more token, so he can get that prized possession. 

A fun evening out and about with the family is so much fun.  I am sure we will all cherish these kind of memories forever. 

Monday, April 25, 2011

Easter Rounds 2 & 3, and a few in between

We had a busy weekend.  All three of us had a three day weekend.  And for that, we are thankful!  It was amazing to spend some quality time with our family!  We could tell that Carson was loving having us both around, and we were just soakin' each other up. 

We started out our Friday with an Easter Egg hunt at the Stuco Center here in town.  Carson did really well at the hunt, and even knew a few kids there.  It was fun to see him interact with the different kids.

Saturday was the town Easter Egg hunt at the City Park.  Carson didn't seem to pick up near as many eggs, but I think he enjoyed being outside, and having us there with him.  He did enjoy carrying his bucket around, and dumping the eggs out of it, of course.  And, a piece of chocolate, that was clearly too big for his little mouth.  He ended up spitting it out, and giving it to me.  Thank you, honey :)

Then came Easter Sunday.  It was a busy day, but oh so fun.  The Easter bunny must have known that Carson has been such a good boy, because he came, and delivered a basket.  It was specially packaged for our little cutie. 

After that, we were off to church.  We got a good dose of Orchard Hill.  It was a packed house, which is always a joy to see.  Carson did pretty well during the service.  After that, we headed to the Bridges to have lunch with G&G Larson.  It is always a delicious buffet spread.

How cute is this?  Hand up on the face, looking all adorable.  And, he is all ours.  Amazing.

Carl and I got a quick pic in, but Carson wasn't really cooperating at this moment.  He was tired.  Very tired. 

After lunch, we were off to Frannie and Grandpa Gary's house for dessert, Easter baskets, and yet another hunt.  Frannie and Carson had fun hunting the eggs that the Easter bunny, AKA Grandpa, hid outside.  And, I am sure this is no surprise to anyone....we ALL got spoiled rotten with our Easter baskets. 

Carson found a few Easter eggs right inside the door.  He was greeted by Mr. and Mrs. Easter bunny.  In the eggs he found Smarties.  His favorite! 

 Let the egg finding begin!  Carson got a whole bucket full of good stuff.


After he found out there were hidden treasures inside the egg, the rest was history.  Let the sugar high begin.

I am in love with his cute little smirk.  And, his hands behind his back.  These pictures are a great description of the true Carson.  He is such a goof ball. 

And this stunning looking couple would be Frannie and Grandpa Gary.  They are simply amazing.  Enough said.

Check it out.  Carson's Easter baskets.  He is spoiled, and loved very much.  He got a basket from Aunt DiDi and Uncle Nathan, Frannie and Grandpa Gary, and Uncle Chris and Aunt Kasey!  Phew.  That's a lot of good stuff.   

These are a few pictures of our lover.  And, Carson loved having his Daddy around.  I think I came in 2nd this weekend.  But, that is ok.  Because, to see my two boys bond with each other is truly amazing, and such a joy to watch.  They have so much fun together, and it is so apparent. 

Carson does this quite often these days.  He will grab your face, and make you look him in the eye.  It is so adorable.  And, if you are lucky, it is followed with a kiss.  Which, is to die for, and can make your day in a heartbeat. 

And, it is capped off with a hug.  He is such a sweetheart through and through. 

Carson got a much needed nap at Frannie and Grandpa Gary's house Sunday afternoon, but that was cut short, as we headed out to G&G Brouwers' house for some more good food, Easter baskets, another hunt, and play time with cousins. 

These would be my attempts at a good "Cousins" picture.  I failed, as you can tell.  It is very difficult to get 6 small kiddos to all look and smile at the same time!  Not to mention, Carson was not a happy you can tell. 

You can't really tell by these pictures, but Walter, G&G's cat, is in Carson's Easter basket.  Carson noticed the cat, and tried to sit on him.  He then pulled his tail and laughed.  Walter ran.  I would have too!  He is such a stinker sometimes. 

And this.  This would be a picture I snapped of my handsome hubby :)  I. am. Blessed.

It was a fun day, filled with great company.  And, remembering just how blessed we are this Easter day.  We have so much to be thankful for. 

Carl, Carson and I enjoyed a lovely extended weekend.  We had so much fun just being with each other, no matter what was on the agenda.  It's weekends like this that are so memorable.  Not necessarily for the events that took place, but for every last bit of family time we got squeezed into the wonderful weekend. 

This is to a grand weekend, and remembering the real and true reason of why we celebrate this Easter season.

We are all a bit tired from the busy weekend.  And, oh how I love to snuggle with my baby.  Good Night.