Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Life continues

So, I wasted tonight's quiet evening (aka my opportunity to journal and blog) by watching HGTV, but hey! I'm going to be exhausted tomorrow regardless, so why not blog anyway? I have an awful lot to say about the last two weeks, most of which will not make it onto the blog (especially after I grossed out a friend using the word 'placenta' the other day... I told him if he wanted to be grossed out with birthing tales I could do much better than discuss my placenta).

I do want to write about my beautiful experience giving birth. I'll also write about my horrifying experience after the birth. Then I'll write about how grateful I am to be alive, how sweet and perfect my baby boy is, how nice it is to have that pregnancy over, and if anyone's wondering how the transition is going, you'll have to ask me again after Kyle starts working and Ma goes home. With them around, I seriously do less work than I ever did with two kids.

Then again, I suppose I deserve a little break. So much so that today we all celebrated the fact that I didn't die in childbirth with an afternoon at the local Chinese buffet. I was a little disappointed that Bobber the Clown only entertains there on Mondays, but no worries. We'll be back...

Charlie's first (family-administered) bath, just in case he was missing the warm, wet claustrophia of the womb... And after a year in China of bathing Erik and Ellie together in a tub not much bigger than this, I don't even feel bad.

Our first family picture (Charlie's forehead made it in--that counts!) at the O-ker Mt. temple open house

Cute, cute homemade blanky and etc. from Marilyn. I feel somewhat guilty receiving gifts on my third child, perhaps because I was raised on hand-me-down-down-downs, but I think/hope that deep down inside I realize it's okay even for my child to wear something that no human being has ever worn before.

Love the mini-limbs

We're enjoying Ma's homecooked Japanese goodness more than our expressions indicate

In other news, today Charlie and I had 2-week check-ups. I already knew Charlie is perfect (although I didn't expect him to be so fat already--even the nurse was shocked, though pleasantly so) so didn't really need the pediatrician appt. Still, I've been dying (but not literally!) to see my midwife to ask her what really happened to me after Charlie's birth.

For some reason, I was scheduled to see the midwife who wasn't there at my birth. She seemed pretty informed as to what had transpired, and very confident in her diagnoses. I soaked it all in, replacing my faulty memories with her explanation of events. Apparently I did not have any retained placenta, but rather just a placenta that resembled ground beef and a lazy uterus. Not sure if that made me feel better or not. And also I wasn't so woozy because of the blood clotting drugs, but because I was falling in and out of consciousness. And at the rate I ended up losing blood, if the midwife hadn't administered the pitocin when she did, I would've bled to death in five minutes. Flat. This was all news to me.

I mentioned it to the midwife who delivered me on my way out and she remembered it more the way I did, and also said that the hospital still hadn't sent her a report so she doesn't even know exactly what caused the hemorrhage. Hmmmmm. The version I heard today is more mysterious and dramatic, but I'm not quite sure where she came up with all those details.

Soooo, the three of you who are anxiously awaiting the rest of the story will have to continue waiting. I will wait with you. Don't know why, but I'm kinda curious about all this. Wondering how I managed two out-of-the-text-book perfect deliveries and then on the third one, something went terribly awry. Wondering what it means for future deliveries. Whatever happened, I know I am simply grateful to still have my uterus. Never made prayers of gratitude for it before June 3rd, but it's at the top of the list now.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Here's Charlie!

Here's the scoop:

Charlie Kaiyuan Larsen was born at 4:01 am on Wednesday June 3rd. As many of you know, Tiff was super excited for the birth; this time she decided to do a waterbirth (gave birth in a tub, but not just any tub, but a comfortable jetted bath tub!).

Before showing any pictures, I just want Tiff to know how proud I am of her- during the birth she was amazing in every way; her attitude and maturity impressed the midwife and nurse throughout the whole experience. She has a true mother's love and I feel blessed to see her in action every day. I love you!

Ok- enough with the gushy stuff and on to the pictures already:
Here's Tiff in the birthing tub--as happy as can be (in between contractions...)Here he is, a little bruised (he decided to wedge his fist in front of his face on the way out- ouch!)Though the Charlie's birth was perfect, there were some severe complications relating to birthing the placenta, which required Tiff to be transferred to the University of Utah hospital where she received a life-saving blood transfusion (I found out later). I drove Charlie to the hospital in our car in somewhat of a daze, not knowing what just happened to Tiffany, besides the fact that she had lost an unnatural amount of blood.

As I sat with my newborn son in the hospital nursery unaware of what pain my wife was going through, I have to admit this was the scariest moment I can remember in my life. I remember wondering if Charlie would ever get to meet his beautiful mother, or wondering how I would explain to Ellie and Erik that mommy wasn't coming home, or most of all, how I could possibly raise my family without her. In these lonely moments of despair, I felt divine power gently comforting me to the point that I knew she was going to be okay, though it was sometimes still difficult to push these thoughts away.
It took 3 1/2 hours in the nursery before anyone let me know that Tiff was in fact out of surgery and was on the path to recovery. I can't express how happy I was to see her, even though she was desperately crying and in a tremendous amount of pain from the OR; I was just happy she was alive.
Because she was transferred to the ER in a rush, there was no time to be admitted with the correct personal info. At least that's how they explained why she was known as "Labor Risk" Quebec in the computers (which was at least later changed to "Labor Risk" Larsen on the board below). I was told they just make this stuff up (ummm...if I was given that job, I could come up with names much more creative than Quebec...). Also, she was supposedly born Jan 1, 1970. We giggled as workers--not in the know--called her "Quebec" when they came in the room. One doctor poked her head in briefly: "I have to ask... are you really 39????"
Tiffany's mom is in town to help make the transition from 2 kids to 3. How are we blessed with such great help? She is a miracle worker.
I have to say, Ellie is a little obsessed with Charlie. "Oh Charlie's so cute! He's so sweet and tiny! "Daddy, He's so... snuggly!"
Here's Charlie at home in his bili-bed- it uses phototherapy to help treat jaundice. He should be off it in a day.
Another person I want everyone to know about is our good friend Kjerstin who has sacrificed more than any one person should to help us out this week. I wish we could pay you more than just respect and some quality baby-holding time, but you don't accept our insurance provider; we could not have done it without you.Thank you for your prayers and support the past few days... We've felt your love!