Yes, I had a baby! Back on January 15th our son Nolan came into the world at 6 lbs, 15 oz and 20 inches long. He was tall and long; crying and pink. It felt just as amazing as I expected when they put him on my chest and his beautiful newborn cry filled the room.
It was equally amazing when big brother Griffin came to see us the next day, and I got to hold both of my boys. It felt vaguely like I’d been away from Griffin on another planet, and I missed him intensely. I worried about what he would think of this wrinkly little baby, but he was sweet and curious and energetic. Everything I needed him to be. He was nearly his normal self.
In the midst of a hospital room, a new baby, and several overnights away from mom and dad he was handling the situation with more grace than I knew a 2-year-old could. I was so proud, and I felt grateful relief.
I also felt weak and exhausted. I was stuck full of IVs, barely standing on my own two feet, and wondering why I had the same crazy high blood pressure and pre-eclampsia as last time. My pregnancy had again been smooth, but something about being in labor sends my body into chaos. JR claims in a matter-of-fact way that I’m allergic to it.
I was pumped full of magnesium again, but this time my body quit absorbing it and I went “toxic.” Nolan was born at 10:06 in the morning, and by the afternoon I lamented to my doctor that my limbs were throbbing more painfully all the time and my arms were so heavy I could barely hold on to my baby. She did blood work and immediately put me on a calcium IV to correct the problem. Then I was back on a lower dose of magnesium with frequent blood draws to monitor. Being woken up every two hours that night with a needle was not pleasant. I will always remember the care and compassion of the woman who patiently searched for my vein and stuck it on the first try each time during that long night.
Over these past 6 weeks I kept expecting to find a magical block of time to write about Nolan’s birth and share a detailed story. I have crafted several paragraphs in my mind only to fall asleep or get distracted before I typed any words.
Early this morning I started fresh and decided I could manage to write and publish something even if it isn’t exactly the well-crafted story I envisioned.
The past six weeks have been filled with record-breaking cold (33 below zero with 60 below windchill will do that), lots of snow, and a challenging balance of farm work, year-end office work, and baby care. I am blessed that Nolan is a sweet, patient, and snuggly baby. I wish I could spend all my time just being with him and put aside the other things for awhile. Unfortunately the farm never stops, and now we’re short several employees as we deal with this especially brutal winter.
So we carry on. I spend as much free time as possible enjoying little Nolan, and I’m grateful to both sets of grandparents and our siblings and friends who help with baby care when I’ve got to work outside.
I took this last picture today as I prepared both kids for daycare. BOTH! I’m not ready to send Nolan, but I’m beyond thankful for our loving daycare provider. She is only a few miles away, and I know the boys are in a great environment.
And the realities of work loom large. The farm, office, and cow work I’ve been only half doing really need me to start playing catch up. We are still a little short-staffed in the barn as it is, and the endless February snow moving hasn’t helped anything.
Think of me today, and send a little love to all the mamas you know when they send their new baby to daycare and return to work. In my case I’ve never really left work, but it’s still the same feelings. You can tell I’m behind on my to-do’s when I’m writing about my baby’s birth and in the same breath sharing his first day of daycare. I’m glad I took most of the extra time I could find lately to hold him instead of tap on a keyboard though!
I hope winter is kinder to all of us as we approach March. Thanks for sharing in my joy as I share my two greatest joys with you.