Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Welcome, Baby Col!

Col is one week and one day old, and as of Monday, he had already regained his birth weight! We came home last Friday, and I'm just now posting this because that's how things are going with two kids. (You thought the blog was ill maintained before? I've got bad news.)

Once we learned it was our only good option, we embraced the convenience of the planned c-section. Oma came to stay with us last Saturday, and we headed to the hospital on Tuesday for the surgery and a few nights of recovery while she took care of the big brother-to-be.

"Catch you on the flip side, little buddy"

In high contrast to our previous experience, everyone seemed very relaxed as they prepared me for surgery and Lars to be my wing man.
Suited up for Caesarean action-slash-baby photography

 I went into the operating room solo first, and Lars waited while I got a numbing shot and then spinal anesthesia. Neither hurt terribly, and I started to get numb in the legs immediately. I also started feeling very woozy and nauseous, and I heard some kerfuffle about my blood pressure dropping and both mine and Col's heartbeats slowing down--my OB definitely said, "Let's hurry up and get the baby out." (My blood pressure was 60/30 and my heartbeat was 40, we learned later , for you friends in the medical fields.) At that point I asked whether Lars could come in now, and someone went to fetch him while they gave me epinephrine to normalize all the readings.

After that the process was just about the same as Tor's delivery: Lars held my hand and helped me take consistent, deep breaths; I felt some hard pushes; and then we heard crying! Col went over to the warmer to get checked out, and then they wrapped him up and held him next to me. I was overjoyed but also super tired, and then nervous when the nurses said they needed to take Col to the special care nursery because his color wasn't good.

Col's first photo: already labeled

Looking like a disgruntled goblin from Harry Potter

Getting by with a little help from the heating lamp

Lars trouped back and forth between the nursery and my recovery room, delivering Col updates and phone pictures. I got moved back to our hospital room after about two hours, and then we kept waiting for Col to be ready to move into our room too. I still hadn't gotten to hold him or try to nurse him by 9 p.m., and finally Lars convinced our nurse to take me to the nursery in a wheelchair so we could watch his first bath and hopefully nurse.
Way less angry about the bath than his brother was

First time I got to hold him--eight hours post-delivery

The nursing was a success--huzzah!--and Col was able to get rolled into our room soon after Lars and I had returned from the nursery. From then on, he left only once, for his circumcision.

DaDa on the job
Enjoying snuggles with Oma...
...and Tante Christina
Col did NOT want to sleep in the bassinet, so the pediatrician advised us to stick him in my bed. This was a dangerous precedent to set, since now I know how much easier it is to just roll over and nurse him when he cries than to get him up from his crib, nurse him, and then resettle him. He hasn't taken a shine to the bassinet at home yet, but we're going to try making it a little cushier and see if that changes things.
"Take a shower, Mom"
Tor was smitten with his baby brother right off the bat. Unfortunately, he also had a bit of a cough and a very leaky nose, so Lars and Oma washed Tor's hands scrupulously before we permitted him to lay a finger on Col.
The distance introduction
"Can I pet him, Dad?" 
First photo as a foursome
No rest for the breadwinner

All gussied up to hop in the car

That's right, I'm still in maternity wear

Homeward bound

Col is waaaay less exciting than Tor was, according to Dendro

Reading us a book about friends

More excited about the Monsters, Inc. attire than
the admittedly low-key baby inside it

 On our first full day home from the hospital, Lars took Tor on a guys' outing while Oma spelled me with Col. "Dad and his big boy" went hiking at nearby Coyote Hills Regional Park and enjoyed a picnic lunch together.

Road warriors
You try explaining to a two-year-old that he
can't pick the state flower

A sumptuous spread

Is there much better than being a baby?

That evening, we packed both boys into our fancy new double stroller (thanks, Ah-Bee, Pakka, Oma, Opa, and Aunt Sue!!) and tried to envision rolling it down the Lilliputian aisles of English markets as we took a very slow walk down the street and back.

Tor now has his people say "Cheese" for him

Playdoh: Still a favorite pastime

Tor requested a pillow so he could nurse Baby Tiger

I'll leave you with a Tor moment: Uncle Steve came to visit yesterday and brought a present for Col. We had some mini muffins and tea while we let Tor open the gift. As he was eating his second muffin, he paused, looked around, and proclaimed, "Oh, I know! It's a PARTY!" Every day is a party with a newborn, son.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Hurtling Toward the Son

I suggested there'd be at least one more post before this baby comes, and it looks like it will be exactly one. To sustain you all until after the eagle has landed, the TorTales Pre-Op Special includes baby shower photos and the latest doings of the soon-to-be Big Brother. (I'm still hunting for just the right Orwellian t-shirt for him.)

Mom and Christina did so much for the shower, from creating the beautiful ocean-themed decor to planning party activities to watching Tor while I wrote thank-you notes. I am so grateful to have them both around for the first week of Baby Brother's life, and Christina after that. Just imagine if we were having this baby in England! 
The diaper cake is now on display at home,
waiting to be called into action and tempting Tor daily

"Throw me a line before this ice melts!"

I gathered these were exactly as hard to make as they appeared to be--but totally worth it, right, guys? Guys?

Christina, Mormor, and the bump of the hour

Plus Mom and Aunt Heather, who generously hosted

Tea cakes and sweet treats

Perhaps the most adorable food item ever

We are fam-i-ly!

Dos abuelas

Aunt Peggy was uncannily close to exact in the guess-the-belly-circumference game
Thought he was a little young to drop the stinkeye in family portraits

Enjoying some hand-me-down books courtesy of Christina and Caleb

Ready with the spoon

Helping Oma with her birthday candles

Smurf antics

Headed to work, where I try to avoid giving them the side view 

Using up some old acrylic paint I found

Pollock style


Flying some puzzle pieces around

"...and that's why it's dark where we are now."

Lambapalooza 2013
I hardly know what to expect from Tor with the tremendous life change we're about to lay on him, but at least he's becoming ever more able to articulate how he feels. I mentioned to Lars today that I'm much more excited to be having a baby now than I would have been when Tor had just turned two. But talk to me in a week and see where I'm at with that sentiment. We'll try to post a photo from the hospital here ASAP!