Dear Harrison -
Your great-aunt Marcy gave me this journal. I thought now was as good a time as any to get started telling you all about your baby days.
I don't have much to compare to, but you are such a good baby. You don't fuss much, you sleep good, you eat like a little piggie! As I write this, you have been sleeping for almost 3 hours. Your peaceful face is so full of innocence. I can't wait to teach you everything. That will be a challenge that I have. You will have to learn some things on your own and I will have to let go just a little in order for you to do so. It is hard not just to squeeze you all day long. I love you so much.
You are starting to wake up. You must be hungry. It has been 4 hours since you ate last.
January 8, 2005
Dear Harrison -
I don't know if i can tell you everything that I want you to know. You are always doing the cutest things. I just want to videotape you all of the time.
Right now, I think that you are really developing a feel for things you like to do. For instance, you really like to use your legs. If I lay you on your tummy and let you press on my hands with your feet, you will move. You make the best sounds when you are doing this. You grunt like you are trying so hard. And you are! You also like to 'stand.' YOur face gets all excited and you grunt some more. I want dad to get some video of you doing this. Today I started jumping you in the air while you are standing. You bend your knees and everything. It is so cute. You are such a big boy!
I want you to know the story of your delivery. I will try to be as accurate as possible.
First of all, you were late! You were due on Friday, November 26th. On that day, your dad and I went to Ames to go to an ISU men's basketball game with your Uncle Nathan, Grandpa Wilcke and great-uncle Andy (Aunt Karen and Uncle Andy were here from New Jersey for Thanksgiving). I just knew that you weren't coming yet. I had originally wanted you to be early. I did not want a Thanksgiving baby. But anyway... We went to the basketball game on your due date. If you thought being 30 - 40 minutes away from the hospital was a little foolish and risky, you will think what I did the next day was just stupid. Your cousin Andy was getting married in Rock Island, IL on Saturday, November 27th. And we went. Your dad and I left that morning and went to your Grandpa and Grandma's house in Davenport. We then went to the wedding and the reception. Grandma had known we were coming, but hadn't told anyone just in case we didn't make it. The whole evening was a lot of fun. The ride to and from was a little painful! Current sidenote: Looking at the picture of the seven cousins and their girls is painful now!!! I was as big as a house!
Well, the next few days were pretty routine. I went to work, dad went to work. Life went on and you didn't come. I was still fairly comfortable when awake, but when I tried to sleep, that was something else. I went to my doctor's appointment on Wednesday, December 1st. Dr. Yeager checked me. I was dilated to one. Not very far. They hooked me up to the fetal monitor and you were fine. We decided to induce on Monday, December 6th. She did make me get an ultrasound on Thursday to check the amnionic fluid around you. That checked out just fine.
All of the real excitement started Thursday after the ultrasound. I wasn't feeling exactly right so I decided to go home from work. Dad was at work from 10 - 7. I decided to take a nap. I had talked to dad and Grandma Wilcke. They told me just to take it easy. After I took my nap, I took Maddie for a walk. During the walk I started having real contraction. I took it all in stride and realized that this could be false labor, but in the back of my mind, I knew that it wasn't. Dad wasn't going to come home from work until he had to so I called Grandma. Tap was in Ames for work and he was able to come down with her. They kept me company while my contractions got quicker and harder. I finally called Dad and told him he had to come home. We were going to the hospital. Dad called Grandpa and Grandma Neipert on his way home and they and Uncle Ryan decided to come from Davenport.
We got to the hospital and they hooked me up to a fetal monitor in triage. Dr. Yeager happened to be on call so she was there and checked me. I was still only dilated to one. But they could track the contractions. I was there from 8 - 10 and they sent me home. I was so disappointed and somewhat embarrassed. I wanted you to be here so much. And I wasn't the only one. Grandpa and Grandma Wilcke were at the hospital. Uncle Nathan and Aunt Meredith were there. Grandpa and Grandma Neipert. Uncle Ryan. Tap. So many waiting for your arrival. And home we went.
Grandpa and Grandma Neipert and Uncle Ryan spent the night at our house. And what a night it was. The hospital had given me a sleeping pill. It didn't work so well. I woke up every 5 minutes have a painful contraction. At one point, I made your dad draw a me a bath (he let me fall asleep in it!!!). I made it through the night though. I ended up keeping your Uncle Ryan up a bit with me. But not your dad. He can sleep through anything!
At 7:00 am I called the hospital again and back we went. They put me in triage and checked me again. I was dilated to 3 this time and they decided to admit me. Your dad and I were so excited. You were on your way!
Methodist Medical center was very busy. You were eventually #22 of 24 babies born on that day. Because they were do busy, a lot of the rooms were full. We were admitted into a room on the c-section side of the delivery unit. The rooms are a bit smaller, but still very nice.
Anyway, we were moved from triage to our room. Grandpa and Grandma Neipert and Uncle Ryan were there right away. Uncle Nathan and Grandma Wilcke came around 9:30 am. Grandpa Wilcke and Aunt Meredith were there by 11:00 am. What a crowd!
Around 11:00 am I asked for an epidural. Contractions are painful! After the epidural, the contractions slowed down a bit. I had to have some pitocin to speed them up again. Well, the pitocin sped them up and made them much stronger. I eventually had another epidural. The first one wasn't strong enough for me!
Everybody visited me throughout the day. It was nice having everyone there. They were very supportive and very excited. 6:00 pm rolled around and I was dilated to 10! Everyone left the room except for your dad, the nurse and Dr. Hoegh. It was time to push!
I pushed so hard and for so long. I was so tired. Finally, around 8:00 pm I just couldn't do it anymore. We decided to go with a forceps delivery where they use instruments around your head to help pull you out. For this procedure, we had to go to a different room. It seemed like it took forever. I was not a very good patient. And everyone, now including Kaylee, Fuzzy, and Jean, were outside my room. I wanted all of them to leave. I didn't want anyone to see me or give me encouragement.
When we got to the other room, it only took one contraction and you were here! And you were a boy! I totally thought you were a girl. But instead I got wonderful, beautiful you.
Who knew I could love you so much? I got to hold you right away. You were beautiful. And perfect. And you smelled like freshly baked chocolate chip cookies. You were so alert from the start. Dad even cried.
I got to hold you when they wheeled us out of that room and back to ours. We came through the doors and Dad said "It's a boy!" He was so happy. And proud. The rest of the night is a blur. But, besides all of your adoring family, what I remember most is how you took it all in. You started learning so quickly. Your eyes were so calm and so wide. What an experience you had just been through! You didn't end up sleeping until 1:00 am. Thank heavens, because I needed a little sleep!
Shortly after you were born they tested your blood sugar and it was low. You were given a special formula to help raise that up. It worked! The only down side was that i think it made you a little full. It was a little hard to get you to nurse.
Your birth is the most special day I have ever had. I am sure that you will provide me with many more special days. I just know that my life changed forever on December 3, 2004.Aunt Meredith took most of the photos. This is your alien baby pose. Your eyes had that gooey stuff they put in them to protect them from infection.
Horrible picture, but the only one we have of the 3 of us. The nurse took some with our camera, but at the time that was a 35 mm camera. Oh the horror!!!
I can't believe that I wrote all of that down! And the things I forgot (I cried at the part about Chris crying!) and the things that I still remember like it was just yesterday (waking up every 5 minutes to have a contraction!). Not 4 years ago!!! And Bennett - you won't get a story as long as this because you were much more agreeable during the whole labor and delivery portions. But we will visit that come April...
Happy Birthday, Harrison! I love you!