Familial Adjusting

December.14.2007

Closing in on one week with Micah in our lives sure went fast. He has actually been a really great kid and Leah, likewise, has adjusted considerably. There are still times that I can tell Leah wants nothing more than to be the undivided center of attention, but there are just as many times where she looks are her brother and simply becomes giddy with joy.

For me, I forgot how much I enjoyed just holding a little baby. Most days when Leah and Jamie are taking a nap, I have had Micah on my chest while I either watch some TV or play a videogame. It is probably the most relaxing feeling in the world.

At the same time, it isn’t all rainbows and unicorns. There are stressful moments when Leah is acting up or Micah decides to start squealing like pig that can quickly wear anyone’s patience. It’s these moments that I need to learn to stay calm during and remember that I need to be the voice of reason when the kids go off the deep end. I have seen many parents lose their cool when the kids act up and it just perpetuates or even increases the problem. I can’t let that happen.

Another unique change is how Leah has suddenly started to cling to me even harder than normal. She has always been very close with me but with the additional attention Jamie needs to pay to Micah for feeding, Leah is trying to comfort herself to the fact that even though Micah is here, mom and dad still love her.

It will be an interesting ride to parent two kids. I can’t believe how much the dynamic changes…

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And Then There Were Four…

December.10.2007

It’s hard to believe it happened already, but here’s our new son Micah Joseph Coenen. It was pretty crazy how it happened. Let me explain.

On Friday, Jamie and I brought Leah to the doctor for Leah’s bout with eczema. After the appointment, we were on our way back home from the hospital (a 40 minute drive) and Jamie said she wasn’t feeling good. We figured it was just an upset stomach as Jamie is prone to car sickness.

When we got home, Jamie went and laid down and I fed Leah dinner and gave her a bath. Soon, Jamie was getting sick and complain of stomach cramps. We called a friend of ours who was going to act as a midwife for Jamie and she said we should probably go back to the hospital and bring along everything we need in case we need to deliver on the road. (Yeah, that part freaked me out a little.)

At the hospital, the checked Jamie and found her to be 4 cm and full effaced. For Tim and others who do not speak pregnant-ese, that means the baby is getting ready to be delivered. At this point Jamie is having contractions regularly and is getting sick quite a bit. She is pale and dehydrated.

I called a friend to come and take Leah to spare her the ugly side of childbirth. She brought Leah home and my mom eventually took over for her. It was comforting to know Leah was squared away during this process.

After two full saline bags via IV, Jamie was moving along. The doctor broke her water and suddenly the contractions doubled in intensity and duration. It was pretty rough. Jamie told me at one point this was our last kid and that if we had another, I would be delivering it. Like I said, it was pretty intense.

We opted for Jamie to get an epidural at this point because the pain was really intense and due to the dehydration, Jamie just didn’t have the energy to cope with the contractions. As the doctor administered the medication, Jamie was sitting up in bed and continued to labor.

Shortly after she laid back down, the doctor came in confused why Jamie was still in so much pain. He checked Jamie and found she was fully dilated and at a +2 (out of 5). In other words, it was time to push. 3 contractions later, Micah was out and in great shape. The total process took 4 hours compared to the 8 with Leah’s birth. Pretty amazing.

Now we are learning how to integrate this new member of the family into everything. So far Leah has been very good about loving her brother despite the attention his getting. I am eager for them both to grow up together and learn to be a family with us.

Here are some photos from the big day. It still feels like such a blur. Heck, this whole year feels like a blur, and these last few days are just a smudge in it.