Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Pics of Gage

Maternity Pics (courtesy of my sister)

These were taken two weeks before Gage was born

The Days and Weeks After

To say that Dustin and I had a horrible stay at the hospital following Gage’s birth is an understatement. All the magic and euphoria was almost immediately ripped away by careless nurses and poor treatment. I will spare any further details on that..but it was not one of my favorite moments. The day we were to come home from the hospital Gage came down with a pretty significant case of jaundice. Although this is common in babies the first few days and weeks of life, it through this mom for a loop to see her baby hooked up to a special glowing bed with tubes coming out every which direction. The doctor’s and nurses informed us we would have to have a “bili bed” in order to take Gage home. A home healthcare company got up set up and we were on our way to life at home with a new baby. I was exhausted by the time we pulled into our neighborhood. I had a total of 5 hours sleep in 3 days, and a constant parade of nurses and staff at the hospital made it impossible to get any rest there. Our home looked a lot like heaven as we pulled in the driveway! Maybe that was because two little angels had been working away while we were gone. As we pulled down the street I saw a cloud of blue balloons, a huge “It’s a Boy” sign in the yard and a wreath on the door. My heart was once again overjoyed and I was so touched. My mom and Dustin’s mom had really out-done themselves making our homecoming special. I was so touched. As we walked in the door the sweet aroma of a home cooked meal touched my nose and I took a deep breath. I felt the weight of the world lifted off my shoulders. I was home, with my little angel. I could shower, brush my teeth, and SLEEP in my very own bed. And I did just that. Not only that, but I got to put on my very own comfy pair of pajamas that had not fit in months. It fit again and I was thrilled! I will even admit I poured myself a glass of wine that first night..and it too was GLORIOUS!

The next day we were to meet with the pediatrician to have Gage’s bilirubin levels checked. This would be my first time out of the house with my brand new baby and it was a wee bit harder than I expected. I diligently packed all of his essentials in my new diaper bag. Diapers, check. Bottles, check. Burp rags, wipes, boogie pickers, binky, check check check! I was ready! Off we went. My mother in law was driving and commented that my brand new car was not driving right? Hmm I thought. We pulled off the freeway, into not the best area of town…of course! And my car DIES! Here we are, in the ghetto, in a broken down vehicle, and running late to a doctor’s appointment. I was already worried about driving with Gage in the car..and now this. Ugh! Daddy to the rescue again. Dustin came and traded vehicles with us so we could go on to the doctor and he stayed there until the nearest Lexus dealership would come to tow my car. We get to the doctor almost an hour late and I am a bit frazzled. Gage has of course pee’d in his diaper which has somehow soaked all of his clothes as well. And there it was..the one thing I forgot in his diaper bag…a change of clothes. I put myself up for mommy of the year right then as I drug my 3 day old baby into the doctor’s office to have his heel pricked with a needle, wearing no clothes, smelling like pee, and wearing a dirty diaper. Yup, I win! I was then scolded for not having socks on the baby…and I literally wanted to smack the nurse and tell her look lady I am lucky his head and my head are still attached at this point. And by the way..I just had my first baby 3 days ago…could I get just a little slack? Sigh, those first few days and weeks were trying. Gage was a perfect prince. He went with the flow and he DID cut mommy some slack. He didn’t mind that he didn’t have socks on, that his diaper wasn’t changed immediately, or that he had to sit in the ghetto and wait for Daddy to come rescue us. When they say that babies are resilient, they were right again. My little man was a trooper.

We continued to have Gage’s bilirubin levels checked daily for the next 10 days. This sounds like a relatively easy process..go to the doctor and then you’re done..right? Nope..going to the doctor as a new mom with a new baby is ten times harder than you would ever think. The task that used to take you 1 hour, will now take 3 hours to complete. It was draining , but most of all I hated hearing Gage cry every time they pricked his little foot with a needle. All of this, and not to mention..I just had a baby! Momma was pretty tired and still trying to recooperate myself. To wrap things up and spare too many had some complications during week 2 that also required us to go see the doctor. When I said Gage I spent the first 2 weeks of his life going to a doctor’s office daily, I wasn’t kidding. We thought we had that obstacle tackled and then week 3 ½ ended with mommy having surgery. NOW we are back on track and have enjoyed our very first week home together with ZERO doctor’s appointments.
Now I am truly getting to enjoy my time home with Gage and focus on just loving on him and holding him. And working on his birth announcement etc etc. I have so enjoyed being a mommy. Never in my wildest dreams did I think it would be this fulfilling. I love taking care of him. And I don’t even mind the lack of sleep or getting up in the middle of the night. I actually enjoy it. That one on one time spent with him is priceless. I love watching him quietly suck on his bottle while the rest of the house sleeps peacefully. These are the moments I will hold on to forever and ever. I should also mention that aside from a fantastic baby, I have one fantastic daddy as well. Dustin is the perfect doting father. He is great with Gage and I really don’t know how I would do this without him.

So..there it is..the skinny on what has been going on in our lives the last month. And I do promise to update this blog more often. I know, I know..I always say that : ) Thank you to all our family, friends, and loved ones who made this journey with us. The outpouring of love and support, home cooked dinners, help, and visits have been more than we could have ever asked for. Thank you all from the bottom of our hearts.

Gage's Birth Story

Finally…a free moment to update the blog. I have written this blog in my head about half a dozen times during late night feedings and diaper changes. But as a new mom, finding the time to actually sit down and put it all on paper has been a bigger challenge than I thought : ) Let me preface this by warning you this will by far be my longest blog ever. So….consider yourself warned.

Here we go…Gage’s Birth Story:
As most of you know the third trimester for me was spent wrapping up the last minute details and preparing for Gage’s arrival. Come the beginning of Feb and 3 weeks before my due date I was READY..And very large and very uncomfortable. The days leading up to Gage’s debut were some of the happiest days of my life. C all it instinct or intuition but Dustin and I had a feeling Gage would be here within days. So, we decided to take full advantage of the time we had just the two of us, it would be the last time in our lives : ) Thursday we went out to dinner just the two of us to a little Italian restaurant we like very much. It was a fantastic dinner, great food, great service, and great company! The following evening we relaxed at home after what we hoped was our final doctor’s appointment. It was also my last day at work until after the baby came. I was a bit melancholy about that, but happy to have the time off all in the same. I was pretty tired those last few weeks. At our 38 week appointment my doctor told me she would perform a procedure that would help push things along and commented that this procedure caused most women to go into labor within 24-72 hours. She mentioned however that first time moms were the exception. We went ahead and moved forward and hoped our little Gage would be the norm and not the exception. That night D and I relaxed on the couch with carry out and a movie. It was bliss. The following morning Dustin left for the day to head up to the deer lease with a buddy. It was one of those gorgeous Texas days outside. The sun was shining, not a cloud in the sky, and just the slightest breeze to keep you cool. Day-Z and I spent the entire day in the backyard and just napped, read a book, and contemplated how much life would change in a matter of weeks (little did we know it would actually be days) That Saturday was Sept 12th and my mom had planned a party at her house that evening for some of her closest friends. No sooner did we show up, and I started having “contractions” Not bad contractions, most people would not have even known I was having them. I ignored them at first and told myself this was yet again some false labor. We left the party early because we were just ready to go home and be together and I was just uncomfortable. Had I mentioned that already? ; ) So we get home, head to bed, and the contractions persist through the night. I stay up all night just timing them to see how close they would get. Through the wee morning hours of Sunday morning, and on into Sunday afternoon I kept contracting. They were now strong enough to not ignore, or sleep through, but still only every 15 minutes and not intensifying or coming any quicker. Dustin and I decided to take the day making last minute preparations. However, we did find time for a picnic lunch in the park and even a stop at the frozen yogurt place with the neighbors. Those couple days before Gage came really were magical. There was just this unsaid closeness and love between Dustin and I that I can’t explain. I really enjoyed that time spent with him. The contractions continued throughout the day and that night we went to eat dinner at my Dad’s house. He had gone all out and prepared his coronary cavarones (which is a separate story in itself) and really out-did himself for dinner that night. I ate 3 whole bites. I was not hungry at all…except, I wanted toast. THIS was the first time that whole two days I had convinced myself, this was really it. I remembered my mom telling me she wanted Luby’s before she had me. Instead, she had Mexican and it didn’t go over well. I now wanted toast instead of spicy lemon garlic butter sautéed shrimp? Yup I was in labor : ) That night at 1:30am the contractions finally starting intensifying and immediately jumped from 15 minutes to 8 minutes. I woke Dustin up and told him, it was time : ) We took our time getting ready to go to the hospital, well, I did anyways. Dustin was a tiny bit of a nervous wreck. He was anxious and scurrying to load the car. He got it all loaded, I was calm and steady : ) in fact, I was eating that toast finally ..knowing it would be my last meal for a while. Right before we headed out the door we stopped and spent about 10 minutes talking to Day-Z (my first baby) It was like she just knew her world was about to change and we wanted to just assure her it was OK. Call me crazy, I know..but hey..this dog has been with me for 9 years now and has seem me through some of the most influential years of my life. The least I could do was stop and give her a hug before replacing her with my new “baby” On the way to the hospital the contractions jumped again from 8 minutes to every 5 minutes and I told Dustin maybe we should drive just a little bit faster : ) We arrived at the hospital around 5am and I was sure I was leaking water. We got checked in and settled and the nurse came in to check. That’s when my world stopped….and so did the contractions!! For 2 solid days I had nonstop contractions. Now we get to the hospital, call the moms and says its finally time, and now contractions are stopping? We sat there for 2 hours waiting to see if anything would progress. I broke down. I was already tired at this point and now the nurses were talking about sending me home until I progressed further. I was humiliated and felt more foolish than ever. I really just sat there and started sulking..and more contraction. The sweet nurse took pity on me and suggested we wait just 30 more minutes to see if I progressed. And what do you know? The contractions started back up and things started progressing. We were back on track!! I got changed, got the epidural, and strapped in for what I was sure was going to be a long process. It was now about 9am by the time we got settled in. The nurse estimated that this would take about 6 more hours based on where I was currently at. An hour later she came back to check me again and I was READY! My mom warned me that I would probably go quickly if I was anything like her. Evidently, momma really does know best. It was at this time that what was taking place really hit me and I started crying AGAIN. I spent some time with our family who had now arrived at the hospital and then right before it was time for the room to clear out I sat quietly with my mom, Dustin, and Jolene. Jolene said a beautiful prayer and then everyone left. It was just Dustin and I...and the thought still makes my eyes water. It really was the last time it would be Kelch family, party of 2. We did it! All the dreams and hopes, conversations, what ifs, wondering, and preparing for the last 38 weeks were here. It all came down to this moment. Labor was easy, blame it on these hips of mine. I heard Gage cry and my heart literally filled with love. Dustin looked at me and tears were streaming down his face. He was BEAMING with pride and complete bewilderment. We both were! Did this really just happen? All those months I had foolishly worried about whether or not I would bond with Gage, would he like me, would I like him, were immediately dismissed. The second I laid eyes on him and heard him cry I loved him more than anyone in the world. When people discuss marriage and spouses and they say “when you know, you know” they were right. When I started dating Dustin I just knew. When I would call my mom and ask her ”mom” questions or listen to other parents talk about their love for their children they would just say…its indescribable. Never has a word been more accurate and more inadequate all at the same time. When I try to describe how much I adore this little person the Lord has blessed us with, there are no words. He is simply indescribable.

Gage Matthew Kelch made his way into the world at 1:19pm on February 14, 2011 weighing 7 pounds, 11 ounces and 19 ¾ “ long. Welcome to the world my little Cupid; you have completely stolen your parent’s hearts!