A baby, our baby. I was ready to be a mom a LONG time ago. Thank God didn’t listen to me when I thought I was ready, because He knew better! When Eric and I first decided that it was time to have kids, it was just so easy. If we decide that it’s time then it’s time, my family is a family of fertile flowers honey…so don’t say it if you’re not really ready. That wasn’t quite the case with us…well life was busy with my ever changing careers and with it changing insurance. It would have been just my luck to get pregnant when we didn’t have insurance that covered pregnancy and childbirth. So when all our ducks were in a row and we were ready, God knew it too.
On April 4th, 2010 I took a pregnancy test. The line was so faint I wasn’t quite ready to jump for joy and begin celebrating quite yet. So I made Eric come in and tell me what he saw. He said he saw a line and a light other line. I immediately called a friend of mine who I remembered had a super faint line with her second and got blood work and was pregnant. In her words, “A line’s a line’s a line – you’re pregnant! Finally!” Even with her reassurance I was not okay with running out to tell the world. So I waited a few days and I took another test.
This time it looked like this before I was finished peeing. Now I got EXCITED! Eric and I couldn’t hold it in, we needed to tell our family! We were ecstatic! Then we realized the reality of our due date…Mid December…my sister was getting married on December 4th. Planning couldn’t have been worse. So we need to tell LeAnne and Matt first, let this be special to them, that they are first and that we didn’t plan on taking anything from their special day. They were so excited for us and so incredibly gracious about it, that I was moved to tears that night. One of the thousands of reasons why LeAnne is my very best girlfriend in the world! After lunch with LeAnne and Matt , we went to Wal-Mart and bought iron on paper and a little t-shirt to make an announcement to Jon & Kristin. Before Eric and I got married I bought 2 frames that said “the best dads grow up to be the best grandpas” and same with grandmas…I knew then that is how I wanted to tell my parents and in laws that they were going to be grandparents. I went back to the store a few months later to get another set and they were gone so I got one that said “grandhugs, grandkisses, grandchild” and put all the frames in a good spot. Well when we were finally pregnant I couldn’t find the frames!! I finally found them and put in the frames “We’re so excited about our new addition” it had a picture of a stick pregnant girl, a stick golfer, and a stick little dog and under that said “Baby Gitter can’t wait to meet you in December”
That afternoon Eric and I cornered my mom and dad in dad’s office and gave them the present and it took them a second to get it and then my dad said that it’s like Lent for 9 months for me…hahaha. J Next we went into DJ’s office to tell him that he was going to be an uncle. Then we went home and heated up the iron and put E’s shirt together saying “This little monkey is going to be a big cousin” and got E away for a minute during dinner put her in it and gave Eric the picture frames for his parents. It took Jon a second to get E’s shirt but then they got it and were so excited! Jim & Bunny were so excited to grandparents again. When we were just past 9 weeks we decided to tell the extended family and our co workers, after we heard the heartbeat for the first time. It was the most amazing sound ever….lub-dub lub-dub going 171 bpm! Then I announced it on FB when we hit the 10 week mark, “10 little fingers, 10 little toes, all wrapped up in Christmas bows” everyone was so excited for us!
My pregnancy was pretty much seamless. I never got morning sickness, I got the blah feeling sometimes but never threw up or felt nauseous. I was just exhausted all the time in my first trimester, I would fall asleep on the couch well before 8 PM and had no energy to much of anything. I couldn’t stand chicken, my favorite meat and all I really wanted was Culver’s butter burgers.
The second trimester was great, I got energy back and my baby bump began to show. I was wearing maternity pants from probably 18 weeks, they were just so much more comfortable. My blood pressure was low and only one time showed any protein in my urine, but that was my fault I didn’t drink enough water. On July 22nd, 2010 we got our ultrasound done and found out that our baby was a boy. The look on Eric’s face was priceless, he was so excited for his boy. It was a surreal feeling seeing the baby moving around like crazy but not being able to feel anything yet. The ultrasound tech, Anne, kept trying to see the gender parts but the baby didn’t want to cooperate, she finally shook my belly and he let his hands go…apparently he was thinking that his wiener was a handle. The next 8 weeks began the weight…I piled on 16 lbs. I will take my licks for this, I stopped really watching what I was eating and gave into the I’m only pregnant for the first time once and I can eat whatever I want mentality. WRONG-O. I think this may have played a role in my kankles – they’ve been around since about 18 or so weeks.
I sailed through the second trimester taking full advantage of my energy and actually enjoying being pregnant. Eric and I both enjoyed feeling him move around in my belly, it’s a feeling that you could never find the words to convey how it actually feels to have a human being move in your belly. I went to lunch with friends and they asked me what it felt like and I told them you have to experience it yourself to truly understand how weird it really is.
At 28 weeks we began seeing Liz every 2 weeks. I have to say she was one of my FAVORITE things in my pregnancy. I can’t tell you how much I ADORE my midwife and her nurse Erika. They are angels! During my last trimester the only symptoms that really showed themselves was my swollen ankles, carpal tunnel (it’s also so weird when you can’t feel your finger tips for months on end)and a few aches and pains. I had a few braxon hicks contractions but nothing severe. About 34 or 35 weeks my belly began to itch uncontrollably! I was itching my belly raw. I began growing at a fairly fast rate (34 weeks belly measured 35 cm, 36 weeks belly measured 38 cm, 37 weeks measured 40 cm) so Liz ordered another ultrasound to check on my amniotic fluid levels and the size of the baby. We went in on Wednesday, November 24th, 2010 and he was measuring at 8lbs. 8oz. head at week 37.5 (where I was in my pregnancy) and belly, arms, and legs, at 40.5. My mom joked that he would have my dad’s belly and my father in law’s height. At our 38 week appointment Liz said that she wasn’t ready to induce me yet, which is good because LeAnne & Matt’s wedding was the next weekend. I prayed everyday that this baby will stay put for the wedding. The Tuesday before the wedding I noticed that I began to lose my mucus plug. This terrified me, and I decided to really take it easy before the wedding. Thursday my dress was finished, it was beautiful – as beautiful as a dress for a beached whale could be (:
LeAnne and Matt’s wedding was a beautiful day with a dusting of a few inches of snow. I had no contractions or loss of any more of my mucus plug until Sunday morning. I was so sick of people asking how I was doing or telling me that I should sit down, or saying what are you gonna do if your water breaks today. IT’S NOT GOING TO HAPPEN…AND IF IT DOES THEN WE’LL DEAL. It just got old so fast.
Eric and I went to the doctor on Monday, December 6 and it was the most awful appointment for me. I somehow gained 6 lbs in one week. I have no idea how in the world that could have happened, I cannot physically eat full meals, I danced for hours at the wedding, and it just made no sense. I felt just humiliated when Liz came in and asked me about it. On average I gained 1.21 lbs per week up to the 6 lb gain. I was a hormonal wreck and cried about it all night, Eric tried his best to console me and poor guy just wasn’t helping at all. He’s just the best husband, he tries so hard. I did show progress though at this appointment. I was 1 cm. dilated and 70% effaced and Liz could feel his head. We scheduled an induction for Monday, December 13th at 6:30 AM if he doesn’t come on his own before then.
And he did not come. Eric and I left the house at 6 am on December 13th as Patty and Eric. We got settled in and I was hooked up to an IV to be given antibiotics because I tested positive for Strep B. My midwife came in just after 7 AM to begin the induction using a cervical ripener called Cytotec , it was inserted at 7:15 AM. I still wasn’t feeling any contractions although they were less than 7 minutes apart. I was 1 cm dilated and 70% effaced. The morning was pretty low key and it wasn’t long before I realized that there is no modesty when you are delivering a child. My second dose of Cytotec was inserted at 10:15 and I was beginning to feel my contractions but nothing was really bothering me at all. Just after noon I sat up in my bed and was talking to BIL and SIL and my water broke and gushed like a river over the side of the bed for minutes. I pressed the call button and my nurses came in and said it was like a movie the way my water broke and continued to gush and gush. I decided I wanted to wash myself off in the bathroom and when I was done and drying off I began to gush again, this happened 5 times before it finally stopped.
They concluded that there was meconium in my water and our baby would have to be suctioned and cleaned right away to avoid him swallowing or inhaling any baby poo. I definitely began to feel my contractions after my water broke and by 1 pm I was 3 cm dilated and fully effaced. I begged for an epidural and my midwife wanted me to wait til I was closer to 4 cm. I was close enough by 2 pm to get the first of the two stage epidural. It was like heaven and I could walk around and do squats and bounce on the birthing ball to help progress my labor. At 3:30 I was beginning to feel my contractions again and was given the second part of my epidural which put me on bed rest for the remainder of my labor and delivery. At 4:00 I was checked again and I was at 8 cm, and at 5 PM I was 10 cm and ready to push.
I pushed for just under 2 hours and I could feel a slight burning and my Midwife said that I was not tearing naturally and my muscles were really strong, to which I replied – “so you’re damned if you do the kegals and you’re damned if you don’t” she told me that she could perform an episiotomy…she never even finished the word before I said yes. The next contraction out flew our baby boy – he was 9 lbs 4 oz and 22 ½” long. He was the most beautiful baby, he cried right away and was given a 9 APGAR score.
We had three names going into the delivery room and knew none fit him, we went back to the drawing board and after hours of thinking about it, we decided on Tucker James. Around 11 PM the nurses came in to give him his first bath and noticed that he was having difficulty breathing and his air passages were swelling due to aggressive suctioning. They called the pediatrician on call and she admitted him to the special care nursery (their version of the NICU). He was put on oxygen and an IV. He spend 2 days in there and then one night with him in our room with nurses around in-case we needed anything. The next morning (Eric’s birthday) we got Tucker circumcised. Our pediatrician had to use a 1.45 cap (she never had to use one that big on a newborn before) that made my Eric’s day! It wasn’t long before they noticed that his bleeding was not letting up, in fact it was getting heavier. He spend just about the entire day with a bleeding penis, he got gel foam put on the shaft of the penis and silver nitrate on the tip to help clot the bleeding. Needless to say, it finally stopped and our 11 AM discharge time was now 5 PM. We went home to celebrate Eric’s birthday with family and our new little bundle of joy. Tucker is the most amazing baby…I love to just watch him, it’s so soothing and I am still in awe that his actually here and he’s all ours (:
These are my and Tucker’s pregnancy, hospital, and there after angels…they are all so wonderful!
my nurse Kathy was amazing!!!!!!!! She helped me more than she'll ever know...knowing she was helping me and Tucker kept me sane in all our chaos!
Tucker and his Doctor...I LOVE her too! Knowing Tucker was in such great hands helped keep me calm.
I LOVE my Liz!!! I can't wait to have another baby so I can see her more regularly again (:
The story of you is my favorite story to tell. I am so grateful that God gave me this story to live. You are the most amazing baby ever (well I’m a bit bias) I am so thankful for all the amazing people who were brought into my life because of you. They continue to enrich my life tenfold. The story of you will never get old, I can still remember everything about the day you were born and the way you smelled, and how when things weren’t okay you were so tough, giving me strength to know if you can handle it, so can I. If God brought us to it, He’d bring us through it. Now parenting is so second nature to me, and I knew the second I saw you that my bucket was overflowing with new and wonderful things. My life is amazing, you are the greatest gift I was ever given. I love you Tucker Tot.