Monday, April 9, 2012

Nine years ago, our family expanded to four

Nine years ago today, our big, strapping 7-pound-13-ounces baby Kieran joined our family. The date of his birth, while long anticipated and prayed for, was not all pleasant. After Chris' extremely difficult early birth and 117-day-long NICU stay, followed by four miscarriages as we tried to have a second child, I was placing a lot of high expectations on his delivery and birth. I had to have another c-section, so it wasn't to be the ideal labor and delivery, but at least I wanted it to be a thousand times better than the first experience!

Although I had a scheduled c-section, when we arrived at the hospital, the nurses informed me that they were too full and I would have to give birth in a surgery room rather than a birthing room. What that meant, bottom line, was that after Kieran was born, he would be whipped away with Mike, and I'd be taken to a large surgery recovery room to recover with all the other general surgery recovering patients. No nursing immediately after birth (which was extremely important to me), no family at my side...exactly the opposite of what I had been waiting for the previous six years. I burst into tears and asked Mike to go advocate on my behalf. I felt that if any new mom deserved to be handled with care, it was me!

By the time the anesthesiologist took me in for the spinal, I was hysterically sobbing...even though they had resolved the issue (tears help!) and had told me that they had miraculously freed up a room. It was not a relaxing beginning to my "ideal childbirth" experience!! I still feel angry about the poor way this was handled.

Meeting precious Kieran for the first time

New family
The hospital continued its ineptness when my milk did not come in soon enough for the nurses' liking. They threatened to force me to give him formula, and the only way I could stave them off was to call our pediatrician (I failed in this fight with Nicholas). They also did not like the fact I had him in bed with me and would not allow him to go into the nursery. But again--after what we went through with Chris (not being able to hold him until he was 6 weeks old)--I was not about to let go of my baby!
We held him constantly!
Six-year-old Chris and baby brother

Such a happy baby!

Farmers market, fall 2003

Christmas 2003 (he loved those boots,
which played "These Boots Are Made for Walking"!)

Family photo, fall 2003
December 2003 (8 months)
Kieran has added so much to our lives. He's the most independent of our three children...for example, the third graders recently had to build a model of a Portland bridge. Kieran chose the St. John's bridge and built his model completely by himself, without any help from us (which, judging from the professional appearance of the other bridges, was rare). He has a tough exterior at times and is anxious to grow up, but he's a very sensitive soul. Yesterday as I was getting ready for church, he was the one in the family to tell me that I looked nice. I cherish his constant "I love you, Mom"s and huge hugs, and I hope they never stop.

Love that kid!!
I truly look forward to watching and waiting to see what life brings to Kieran. I have a feeling he is going to do great things.

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