Saturday, January 19, 2008

Welcome, Colden Tonessen!

So here he is... My "little" man! Colden Tonessen was born at 8:27 a.m. at Champlain Valley Physician's Hospital in Plattsburgh, N.Y. He weighed in at 11 pounds 2 ounces and was 22 7/8 inches long. He was the hit of the nursery - all the nurses who came into our room said to me, "Are you the one who had the eleven pound baby?" My doctor said that I win the award for Biggest Baby of 2008, even though it was only halfway through January!!!

He really is such a wonderful little bundle... He is so good at night, he nurses well, and he is just so much fun to hold and to see. He smiles at you, he makes faces, and when he's awake, he's usually so quiet and alert, he just looks around with those big blue eyes of his.

It was a crazy weekend leading up to his birth. I went into labor on Saturday morning. All weekend, the contractions were getting stronger, but not necessarily closer together. They were erratic at times, going away for hours at a time, and then coming once every five or seven minutes. Finally, on Monday morning, nearing exhaustion and panic, I called my doctor's office and they said to come right in. So Tom and I drove up and they hooked me up to the monitors and the nurse said, "Yep, you're in labor, alright." The doctor checked me out and found that I was only 2cm dilated, and that Colden hadn't dropped down into my pelvis far enough - she could still wobble his head back and forth. When they checked an ultrasound for size, they estimated that this little guy was weighing in at 11 lb 8 oz. At that point, with all the other indicators, the doctor said that we needed to do a c-section, and scheduled me for the following morning at 7:30 a.m.

All night Monday night I had contractions. And all night, I just used my Hypnobirthing techniques and breathing to get through each one. When Tom was awake, he massaged my hand on the pressure points that the doula had showed him. When he woke up at 4:00 a.m. to start getting ready, he found that Route 86 was snow covered. He got ready and got me out of bed and into the car. The whole way up to the hospital, I just tried to relax and breathe and relax and breathe. When we got to the hospital, Tom brought a wheelchair out for me. As I got into it, I thought, oh nuts, I peed myself again. They wheeled me up to L&D and got me into bed, where I peed myself again. And then again. And when the nurse came to put in my urinary catheter and check my cervix, she found that my water had broken and I was 4 cm dilated! So my body was doing all the right things and trying to get Colden out, but he was just not cooperating. I was actually in active labor.

Nancy, my doula, arrived around 6:15 and she and Tom helped me breathe and relax through each contraction. It was so calming to have her and Tom just holding my hands and ankles through each contraction as I waited to be taken to the OR. In the OR, as they got me sitting up and on the edge of the table, the nausea just overwhelmed me and I started to dry heave. I panicked because I knew they wanted to get going with this surgery, and I wanted to get started, but I didn't think I could do it. My doctor said to go get Nancy, and she came into the OR all suited up and had me lean forward onto her. She held on to me and I held on to her as the anesthesiologist gave me the spinal injections, and literally fifteen seconds later, I was prepped and ready to go. I was so relieved to have her in the OR with me. It was the best comfort in the world to have her so close to me when I was so scared and nervous.

During the surgery, I laid there and continued to practice my breathing and relaxation. The nurses and the anesthesiologist were amazed - my blood pressure never spiked and my heart rate never spiked, because I was just so relaxed. Tom came in and sat with me behind the drape, and a few minutes later, someone told me to open my eyes and there was the doctor holding Colden above the drape for me to see!!!!

A few seconds later, Tom was holding our new son in his arms, and the anesthesiologist helped me turn my head and move my hand around the i.v. pole so that I could stroke his cheek. Tom and I just looked at each other and cried. And cried. And looked at our son. And cried. It was amazing.

So we're home now, and things are moving slowly. I am still healing and am in an incredible amount of pain, despite the narcotics and ibuprofen I take every four hours or so. But I am forcing myself to walk and move and do things, and I know it'll only get better over the next few weeks. Until then, Tom and I are busy taking care of Colden and each other.

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