Tuesday, September 24, 2013

I'm finally holding what I've been hoping for...

Well it's been 6 weeks!

Six-incredibly short-I don't know where the time has gone-please time slow down-weeks.
My sweet boy is growing and changing every day which is kind of bittersweet!

We have learned and grown so much these past few weeks as a family of 3. Just this past week I realized that Tyson's a little more resilient that I have given him credit for. I was so anxious about his feedings, and when he needed to eat, and who could feed him, and how he should be fed, and how much he could eat. Now I realize that this is not the end of the world. He will eat when he's hungry, and he will tell me when that is. Currently he's working on his second bottle in as many hours, but baby boy was hungry. This mama is dieting, so I understand his cries of hunger..I won't deny him! Other times he goes longer than I think he should, but he's a big boy...he's not starving! I don't sit over people and watch them like a hawk while they are feeding him anymore...well I try really hard to make a conscious effort not to.  It's a bottle, he knows how to take it. I have kind of started to chill out...kind of!
And while we are talking about feeding...breast feeding. We tried; I failed...no judgement please. It was a super hard decision to stop, but it was the best decision for Tyson's health and (because of the fact that if I continued we would have had to exclusively pump) it was by far the best decision for my sanity. Being formula fed won't stop him from being whatever he wants to be in life, and I know he won't suffer any life-long repercussions because of this. It has been a guilt-ridden decision fueled by the fact that strangers at Subway and WalMart feel compelled to ask if he's breast or formula fed. I feel as if I owe them an explanation as to why we use formula, but I know I don't. I guess a tiny part of me feels the need to qualify it with an explanation. I don't mind telling anyone I know why it didn't work for us, but the stranger in front of me at the post office really doesn't need to know any more besides he's fed...well and often. I mean look at this belly, there's no doubt the boy eats...

For the past six week I have been living my life in 3 hour increments. I never knew how fast a day could fly by or how tough it may be just to run to the grocery store! Tyson is not bad at all to take to the grocery store or anywhere for that matter. The problem is timing it. Going run grocery shopping cannot be a spur of the moment decision like it used to be...it has to be a well planned out excursion at this point. Tyson will eat, I'll change his diaper, load him in the car, and head to the grocery store. At this point the clock is down to about two hours. In and out the car and the buggy with the infant carrier, get all our groceries (which always takes longer because we have to stop in the baby section just incase Tyson has to have that cute set of PJs he doesn't really need but they say 'My First Halloween' and I just can't pass them up), check out, get home, unload baby and groceries, and it's time to feed him again. It can be exhausting, but I love having him with us at every minute. This is what I have been waiting on..just the every day life moments where nothing special happens but we are living life as a family of three, going to the grocery store, going to grab a bite to eat; this is our new life that I have been anxiously waiting on.

My maternity leave is flying by!! I am having the hardest time coming to terms with having to go back to work soon, but at the same time I strangely look forward to it. It is the weirdest thing.
I LOVE my time at home with my little man. We have the best little routine down that includes quiet mornings over coffee (and a bottle for him) and study time throughout the day as he naps. I feel relaxed about school because I have plenty of time to complete all my assignments and do all my work. The hardest part about getting it all done is having to put this sweet baby down to type papers (I have mastered one handed typing, it just takes far longer). My house is always relatively clean, and I have plenty of time to cook supper and clean the kitchen every night without the stress of needing to rush to do everything so I can get some precious sleep. I could rock this stay at home mom job and love every single minute of it.
That's just not our reality though. Josh is in school full time, and I couldn't be more proud of him for making this incredibly scary step for the betterment of himself and our family. It is hard enough to survive on one income, but having at least one income is an absolute necessity so I do have to return to work. Most days just thinking about it fills me with this deep sense of dread.
It's not the fact of actually returning to work that's killing me though. For the most part I enjoy what I do. I am passionate about nursing and about my patients, and I enjoy the company of my coworkers. But man I love my baby. Even though we have a great sitter that we were lucky to find, I still hate the thought of leaving him all day especially the days that I don't know for sure exactly what time I'll be getting off work. Add on top of that, my leisurely study schedule and night time routine will fly out the window once I go back to work.
The part that does fuel me to go back to work is knowing that it means our baby is growing and reaching milestones. Soon he will be big enough to reach for me and laugh when I do something silly. Soon it will be Thanksgiving and Christmas, and our little family of three will be able to plan our holiday trips to Mississippi, put up a tree, fix a big meal, and just enjoy each other and our family. There are lots of great times to come, and in order for them to get here, time does have to go on and I do have to go back to work.

These past six weeks have been the best weeks of my life. I can't even imagine how much better and how much fuller my heart will get watching this precious boy grow. He wears me out and gives me the strength I need to get up and push through at the same time. I never knew how little sleep I could survive on, or how enraptured I could be by a 10.8lb baby boy, or how I wouldn't trade one middle of the night feeding for anything in the world. He is mine and his daddy's whole world, and we feel so lucky and grateful that God chose us to be Tyson's parents.

As the country song goes, "I'm finally holding what I've been hoping for"....

Saturday, September 7, 2013


Well it finally happened! At 7:16 on Tuesday morning of August 13th, we welcomed our beautiful 8lb 10oz baby boy into the world. Joshua Tyson Dugas, Jr...Tyson...he came into this world absolutely perfect!! We never would have guessed what we were in for when we started this whole process almost 4 weeks ago!

I'm sure everybody remembers the first failed induction on August 5th. Leaving the hospital that day with no baby and having to send all our family home was so super hard! That whole week was tough for me as I stayed home and struggled with whether or not we made the right decision by leaving the hospital that day. I knew we did though. It was too soon for a c-section, and I didn't want to do that unless we absolutely had to. So we waited. We went to the dr, and we all decided to try the induction again the following Monday, the 12th. By then Tyson would be past due. If the induction failed again Monday, we would stay the night and try again Tuesday. If it failed AGAIN then we would talk section.

So...we tried again. Monday came and went with no real progress in labor. A little more dilation, so much that we almost got excited, but it wasn't enough to have my water broken. Not everybody came back for this induction, and not everybody knew about it. Some family did come though, and it was nice having them here with us. Monday turned into a second failed induction, so we knew that Tuesday would be our day no matter what! Tuesday morning brought a lot of unanticipated excitement. At about 6:15 I woke Josh up, "Josh, Josh, I think my water just broke". He almost broke his neck jumping off the couch and running to get a nurse. We were excited to see progress and so was our nurse...until she came to check the "water breaking situation". Apparently my water didn't break, but there was lots of blood. Everything started moving fast. The nurses start talking emergency c-section and getting the dr in. I can see Josh slowly losing it next to me. He calls my family that is in town and gets them all on their way. My OB comes in and confirms that the baby is ok, but we need to get moving and get a section going now. 

Wow! So far with this whole laboring process nothing has gone according to my plan! My family ran in just as I was rolling out to go to the section room. I knew the baby was ok, so my only concern was making sure that Josh was ok because he can't really handle these situations. He ended up being ok (thanks mainly to Mrs. Monica for physically suiting him up and then our fabulous CRNA) and sat only semi-nervously by my head through the section. Having what's basically major abdominal surgery that you are wide awake during is the strangest feeling ever. I felt like it took forever...I know it didn't...but laying there just waiting to hear my baby cry and know that he was ok felt like an eternity. FINALLY, I heard him, and it like the world was finally right.  Seeing him for the first time was an indescribable experience. 

Rolling out of the section room, I was surprised to see all my family and close family friends in the hallway. They played the baby song, and we all cried. They brought the baby to me almost right away so that I could nurse and we could all bond. Throughout the day we had so many sweet visitors. People surprised us with their visits which we loved and were so sad when they had to go! Tons of people were in and out loving on our sweet baby boy.

Finally around 8pm things started settling down for us. Josh, Dad, and Sherry all headed out to get supper. Kay Kay and I were in the room spending quiet time with the baby. Then the pediatrician called. You know it's never good when you get a personal phone call at 8 at night. She started talking to me about bilirubin levels, ABO incompatibilities, bili lights, IV fluids...all things that even as a nurse I couldn't comprehend at the moment. As soon as I hung up the phone I burst into tears. I knew what she was telling me wasn't the end of the world. He was jaundice caused by a blood type incompatibility. His body was fighting off my red blood cells. He needed to be under the bili lights to help his body overcome the jaundice, and he needed IV fluids to help flush his system of the bilirubin. She said, "once we kick this he will be fine". But I was still freaked out. 

So they whisked my sweet baby off to the nursery only 12 hours after I had him. All I can say is thank goodness I was nursing. Every three hours the nursery would call, and Josh and I would head in to feed him. That was the only time we got to hold  him and be with him. Without that I would have really been dying. It was so hard for my family being in town and not being able to hold him or spend any real time with him. I never would have thought that Tyson would end up having to stay under the bili lights for five whole days. I never would have thought that I would be discharged before he was and that we would have to move into the family sleep room. I never would have known how grateful I would be for a family sleep room when the last thing in the world I could have dreamed of was having to leave my baby boy. 

I was a MESS those five days. The pediatrician probably thinks I am a total nut case because she just happened to walk in to our room one night when I was having a break down...a serious, ugly cry, break down. Looking back, I know now that I was such a wreck mainly because of crazy baby hormones. I knew that Tyson was perfectly fine and that we were truly lucky that his only issue was jaundice. I was just so incredibly upset that my sweet baby was away from me. I never changed his diaper, I wasn't with him when he cried, it was honestly killing me. Poor Josh is all I can say. He wanted me to be happy. Of course he wanted the baby with us too, but he knew he couldn't be and he knew he was getting better under the lights. I would lie in the hospital bed at night after everybody was gone and Josh was sleeping and look at all of Tyson's pictures on my phone and just cry. I lived by the clock and our 3 hour feeding schedule. I would just wait and long for the nursery to call me.

We had two saving graces that week. The first one was the fabulous nursery nurses. Tyson really had some great nurses taking care of him, they loved him, kept us informed, and really made sure we were all as happy and comfortable as possible with the whole situation. As hard as it was not having our baby with us, we knew he was in the most capable hands. Our other saving grace...Dad, Sherry, and Kay Kay. Thankfully, they were all able to spend a few days with us while we waited for the baby to come and then as we waited on him to get out of the nursery. I felt so bad that they were here and couldn't spend any time with Tyson, but it was so nice to have them with us during a tough time. They kept our minds occupied, kept us entertained, and visited with us in an uncomfortable hospital room all day every day. It meant so much to us. Eventually, Dad and Sherry did have to go back to work, but luckily we still had Kay Kay. We probably would not have survived without her! After Dad and Sherry left, Kay Kay was stuck at our house by herself. She kept it clean, made countless WalMart runs for us, came entertain us at the hospital everyday, brought us food, and cooked supper when we got to the point that we couldn't stomach one more fast food meal. Dad and Sherry tried hard to wait the baby out so they could get us settled in at home before they had to leave, but our sweet baby boy just wasn't ready yet! Thankfully we still had Kay Kay. She stayed with us the first few days he was home, she helped us settle into a routine, taught us how to give a sponge bath, cooked for us, made sure I rested enough, and she even got up in the night to help me with feedings. We were so sad to see her go!

So obviously, eventually Tyson did get to come home. The Sunday after he was born, he was finally discharged. We were so happy to have him home and so nervous at the same time. It's been three weeks now, and we are amazed every day at how much more we love him. He is truly the best baby ever (and we pray that this doesn't ever change). Right now he's eating every 3-4 hours and sometimes will even go 6 hour stretches at night. He sleeps most of the day and night which gives me time to study and do school work most days with no problem. Our biggest problem is that I want to hold him and snuggle all day long. He is happy as a little lark chilling and napping in his Rock-N-Play, but man I just want to get him out and love him all day!

I remember being so afraid in the weeks before he came. I was worried what would happen to me and Josh once we added a baby to the mix. I didn't know if we would be able to handle it. Now, a little over 3 weeks later, we can't even remember what our old life was like. We can't remember life without Tyson here.
We're still learning over here of course. Tyson's peed on more surfaces of this house than I can count (my shirt and his own mouth included). He's a big grunter and will grunt while he's lightly sleeping most days. Some nights, especially after a day that had lots of visitors, he will have a little bit of a hard time going to sleep. His favorite song to sing while we rock is Johnny's Daddy Was Taking Him Fishing (not sure if that's the actual title). He would probably like Hush Little Baby, but I never can seem to remember the very last lyric and I have to google it mid-song every time! He's the first person who's ever worked himself up to the point of hysterics because he wanted me to sing to him so bad...smart baby knows mommy can sing no matter what anyone else thinks!

Sooo...let me start now with my take backs...one at a time is all the confessions I can handle for today, so here's the first one...
#1- I always said that never would I have a kid that slept in the bed with us. 
Wellllll...of course he's too little to be in our bed right now (and I as I type this he might or might not be laying on my chest in the bed, but I'm not sleeping so it doesn't quite count...right?), but once he's old enough and if he wants to sleep with us because he's scare or just misses us, I'm not sure I'll be able to tell him no. I mean I don't know if you have seen him or not, but he's just too cute and sweet to say no to!! ;)

Now back to loving on my sweet baby. We are so happy he's here!!