Thursday, March 5, 2009

Hello World!

Hi everyone! Thank you so much for all of your congratulatory remarks. Your support has meant so much to us over the past nine months. I can't believe the pregnancy is finally over, and that in the end, we were blessed so immensely with such a beautiful baby. I look at him and want to cry sometimes because he's so perfect and so sweet. I want to keep him young forever. Travis is excited for him to start opening his eyes more, and for his personality to begin developing, but I dig my heels in the sand for anything to change. I'm so weird. I couldn't wait to get the pregnancy over, and he's only been here for three days but I'm already praying that he doesn't grow up too fast. I just know little boys don't stay little for very long. But, with that knowledge, I cherish every tiny moment I share with him in these early stages.

We ended up needing to stay an extra day in the hospital because his bilirubin was high and he's quite jaundice. He's on the bili-light, which gives him the UV rays he needs to process the bilirubin. It was a little frustrating earlier because it makes him so tired to be on that light (and the jaundice alone makes him tired and cranky), so our feedings got off pretty bad. I was also really sick on Wednesday with a HORRIBLE headache, and I was really falling behind on feeding him. I felt like such a terrible mother. I kept crying because I knew I wasn't feeding him like I should have been, but I was so sick myself I could hardly think straight. Yesterday was much much better. I explained my concerns to our lactation consultant, (who is absolutely amazing) and she got us right back on track. I took a Phenagren shot to help me sleep, and Travis was able to feed him while I rested. When I finally woke up later, I felt like a new person, and I was more than able to fall back into my mommy role.

Anyway, all that said, here are pictures of the world (or our small corner of it) meeting our sweet Josiah:
Josiah meets Grandma Sharon (Kat's mom)
Josiah and Grandma Cindy (Travis's mom)
Josiah and Grandpa Prentiss (Kat's dad)
Josiah and Grandpa Glen finally meet (I think Glen was afraid to hold him because he's so very tiny.) Travis's dad

Josiah meets two of our close friends, Randy and Kris Ann Blodgett

Nanny and Josiah (Kat's grandmother)

Aunt Annie hurt herself a few weeks before Josiah's birthday, and was stuck at home in a wheelchair, but she and Fred came up to the hospital to meet her great-great nephew anyway. (Kat's great aunt)

Uncle Thomas meets his namesake. I'm not sure he's ever held a newborn, and I know he's never held such a tiny one before, so he was a little uncomfortable with our super small bundle in his arms. (Kat's brother)

Josiah meets his VERY excited cousin Brittany, who was up at the hospital at 7 in the morning to be there when he arrived. (Kat's cousin)

Josiah and Twyla meet for the first time, and then he meets Meredith, who has been anxiously awaiting getting to hold him for months and months. (Kat's stepmother and stepsister)

Dr. Devine meets the little trouble maker who caused her to sweat so much in the operating room Monday morning.

Josiah and his pediatrician, Dr. Stripling, who was also his mama's pediatrician for 20 years.

Sorry if that was long (or boring)! I'll continue posting pictures, because we can't seem to stop taking them. We're finally going home today (thankfully). Josiah is going to have to have a home health care worker come home with us to set up the bili-light at our apartment. Yuck. I really don't think he minds it too much though, because it keeps him warm and cozy. I'll post some pictures later of him on his bili-light. He's such a sweet baby, I feel terrible when he cries just for cuddles and we can't give it to him because he needs to be on the light longer. I keep stretching out our feeding sessions longer and longer because I think mom misses the cuddling probably even more than the baby does. We're all so ready to go home and get out of here!!

Thank you for keeping up with us! I promise to continue updating with lots and lots of adorable baby pictures. Have a wonderful weekend.

God bless,
Kathleen, Travis, and Josiah

Monday, March 2, 2009

March 2, 2009: Josiah Day

WE HAD A BABY THIS MORNING! Josiah Thomas Glen was born at Covenant Lakeside hospital at 7:57 AM, 4 lbs. 13 oz., 19 inches long and absolutely perfect. The following pictures document our entire day.

Our morning began a little later than planned, after only 3 1/2 hours of sleep at 4:40 AM. Travis was up before me...

I had to grab one last "baby bump" picture at home. This would be the largest Kat ever...

We arrived at the hospital at precisely 5:30 AM. Things began to move quickly from that point on. They immediately had me hooked up to an IV and did a quick dopler to find Josiahs heart beat...

The nurse came in to inform me they were moving ahead of schedule. Instead of heading down at 7:30, they would be calling me at 7. I wanted to see my mom before I went in to surgery and became afraid that she was not going to make it to the hospital in time. To ease my anxiety, we took the very last baby bump pictures there will ever be...

They had a special set of scrubs for Travis to wear into the operating room. Doesn't he look dapper?

After we were both suited up, there was nothing left to do but wait to be called down, visit with family and pray. Glen, Cindy, Les, Valinda, Brittany, Mom, and Thomas were there before we headed to the OR. Uncle Les lead us all in a special prayer.

Right before entering the OR. This is our last family photo with the "unseen" Josiah. I was terrified. The nurses made me take off my wedding rings, and I tried to bargain with them to keep them on. Right before going in, we met with Dr. Roberts, the anesthesiologist, who was very understanding of my hyperemesis and drug sensitivities. We decided to risk the meds that make 20% of women very sick. Travis had to wait in the hallway about 15 minutes while they got my epidural set. I sobbed and shook all over and I don't think I would have made it through without one very sweet nurse who encouraged me to squeeze her hand and cry on her through the procedure.

I scared myself so badly, my blood pressure shot up to 154/94, and my heartrate was shot up to an unhealthy 150 bpm. When the epidural set in, it immediately brought down my blood pressure and heart rate so fast I required oxygen. Finally, Travis came in and he took my hand and comforted me.

Getting Josiah out was...interesting. Never one to miss an opportunity to do things differently, our once "head down" son decided to flip into a horizontal transverse position, showing his back and bottom to Dr. Devine and Dr. Burley. This unexpected gymnastic feat caught the doctors off guard, and made the C-section last a little longer. My sweet son hid from the doctors requiring five, 5, people (doctors and nurses) to scramble to try and flip him and squeeze him out of my rib cage. All I remember is Doctor Devine grunting and yelling "Come on, baby!" She's a very tall woman and was hunched over me in a very aggressive position to extract our little gymnist. At one point, Dr. Roberts, who stayed by my head the whole time, reached for my rib cage and gave an aggressive push on Josiah to assist Dr. Devine's efforts. I wasn't so much scared as I was bemused. When he was finally out, he was a little tired and a little blue, so it took the nurses a minute or two to get that first cry. When they did, he was a blonde headed banshee. The entire time they were trying to rouse him, Dr. Devine and Dr. Burley were making threatening comments about how he deserved to be in "Timeout" for giving them such a hard time.

I watched on as the nurses revived him, comforted by the tiny whimper sounds that quickly grew into angry screams. Our limp and pale little boy quickly became a red faced screaming monkey. Upon seeing his blonde hair, eyelashes, and eyebrows I immediately became concerned that I had given birth to an angry albino child. In a weak voice, I said to Travis through approaching tears "is he he albino?" He chuckled and reassured me that he was perfect...and not albino.

Our angry baby, who managed to elude doctors through his delivery (not to mention the entire pregnancy) came out tiny, but in perfect health. We were thrilled to see that he would require no time in NICU and had a very powerful set of lungs on him.

Surprisingly, he was born even smaller than predicted. As you recall, at his last BPP, he was measured at an approximate 5 lbs 1 oz. However, our beautiful boy made his grand debut into the world at a tiny, but mighty, 4 lbs 12.4 oz. The nurses graciously rounded up. Personally, I think his personality alone can account for the allotted .6 oz.

I was thrilled that Travis was the first person to hold him. I'm glad he got that very special opportunity. I was even more thrilled that Josiah was born in perfect health, allowing me to hold him and bond with him in the OR as well.

Introducing...The McCullloughs!!! Our first family photos.

While I was in recovery, Travis had the privilege of introducing Josiah to his "Paparazzi," as his giant welcome wagon became labeled by our nurses.

Two generations of two very handsome McCullough men. This is my family!!

Studly Josiah with his bright eyes open. "They found me. I don't know how, but they found me. They think they can contain me."

Travis in the newborn nursery with Josiah. After a nurse took the first picture, she informed him that he was indeed allowed to touch his child, so she took a second picture. lol

Getting to know each other in the Post-Partem

I'm so blessed that he does not have to spend any time in NICU. I was only in recovery for 45 minutes, and as soon as I was out, I was able to start nursing and get some of that precious bonding time that some women miss out on after c-sections. It didn't take us long to catch up on those missed hours...

Tired and sore mom...

Look at that nearly-white head of hair! I was telling Travis just a week ago, "I hope he has blonde hair!"

"Thank you, Lord for getting me here safely. And thank you for not letting my mommy die. Amen."

So that was our Josiah day. He's perfect and precious. We'll have many more pictures to post. I'm so exhausted, but he's wonderful and so worth it. I'm gonna go take a nap before he needs to be fed again.

We want to thank everyone for their prayers and words of encouragement that brought our sweet baby here in perfect health. We could not ask for more. Thank you all so so much.

God bless,
Kathleen, Travis, and Josiah