April 1, 2016

Theo's Arrival!

In July 2015, Mom and Dad decided it was time to start thinking about adding to our family. If Mom got pregnant in the next few months, you and Lily would be close to two years apart in age. Mom was very surprised to have a positive pregnancy test only three weeks later. Mom told Dad when he got home from work. He couldn't believe how quickly you came, but was very excited. You would be here a few months before Lily's birthday - sometime around April 2, 2016.

Over the next few weeks Mom and Dad started to tell people about you. Mom made Lily a onesie that said "I'm a Big Sister" and took pictures to send to Aunt Melissa in Washington D.C. and Aunt Jennifer and Uncle Todd in Nashville. On Mom's birthday Nana, Papa, and Aunt Amanda met us at Grammy and Grampy's house on their way to the airport. While we were there we put Lily in the onesie. Grammy and Grampy didn't notice for almost half an hour, but when Grampy finally read it they were so excited for another grandbaby! Nana noticed right away when she got Lily up from her nap - Mom could hear her squeals from downstairs.

In September, Mom had her first appointment with Dr. Downard. He said that everything looked great and Mom recorded a video of your heartbeat to show Dad, since he was at home while Lily napped. It was so wonderful to hear your healthy heart! It made you seem much more "real" since Mom wasn't sick at all. After hearing the good news, Mom posted on Facebook to tell the world that you were coming soon!

Time flew by in the second trimester. It was interesting to notice the differences between pregnancy with you and with Lily. Mom could feel you move much sooner (about 15 weeks), had a noticeable bump sooner (about 17 weeks) and Dad could feel you kick from outside much sooner (about 19 weeks). 

One of the most exciting parts of both pregnancies was the 20 week ultrasound. Finally, Mom and Dad got to see you and find out if everything was developing correctly. On November 12, Nana came over to watch Lily so that Dad and Mom could both go to the ultrasound. The tech had to fight to get a view of your spine because you were so curled up, but she said everything looked good and that you were a boy! Mom and Dad were shocked - we had guessed you would be another girl because of Mom's family history of girls.

After finding out you were a boy, Mom and Dad started to think about a name for you, making lists of about 20-30 favorite names each. There were 5 overlaps - Charles, Gabriel, James, Nathaniel and Theodore; and Dad also loved the name Calvin. Dad had already picked Robert as your middle name because of how common it is in his family. You had a couple nicknames while you were growing. Our friends Nic and Kassia called you Spurgeon after the famous theologian and Mom's family called you Axel Maxwell Traxel until you were born and they learned your real name.

Starting at Christmas-time, you were so active with your kicking that you woke Mom up multiple times a night. She wasn't very happy about it, but feeling you move was a great reminder that you were getting bigger and stronger every day. It also helped Mom remember that you were in there since we didn't have any baby showers or a lot of preparations to do. She didn't even have many cravings - just soft pretzels. 

One big thing that Mom did while she was pregnant with you was to be a research participant in a study through ISU on maternal healthy lifestyles and pregnancy. Mom tracked her diet, weight gain, and exercise through the second and third trimesters. In early January, they did a glucose tolerance test (instead of at the doctor's office). The first time the drink made Mom sick - the only time she threw up while she was pregnant with you! - but the second time she was able to keep it down to find out if she had gestational diabetes or not. She passed with flying colors. Once you were born you would get some testing too - checking your height, weight and body composition in the Pea Pod.

You kept growing right on track through January and February. Mom painted a mural on the wall to update the nursery and washed all the hand me down and gifted clothes we had received for you. Lily was just old enough to understand that there was a baby growing in Mom's tummy. One day while she was sick, she sat and rubbed Mom's tummy and repeated "bruh-ver" over and over. We prayed a lot that you two would be close friends and that Lily would not be too jealous of sharing her Mom and Dad time with you.

Starting in March, Mom started seeing Dr. Downard every week. Everything stayed very normal. Mom was starting to get pretty uncomfortable at this point because she was having irregular contractions pretty often, but wasn't actually in labor. At the 37 week appointment, Dr. Downard checked and Mom was already at 50% and 2 cm. It took almost 8 hours of labor with Lily to get to that point, so Mom was pretty excited to have a little "head start" whenever you decided to come. Your Aunt Melissa was in town for spring break during week 37, so she was really hoping you would come early so she could meet you right away. Our bags were packed and we had everything ready to go at home, so Mom wouldn't have said no either! You were too comfortable for that though, so we just kept waiting.

Most of week 38 and into week 39, Mom had bouts of false labor every night. Some nights it was every 15 minutes for 4 hours and some nights it was every 6 minutes for 2 hours, but it always fizzled out. By her appointment at 39w3, she was exhausted physically from the contractions keeping her awake and emotionally from the roller coaster of excitement and disappointment. Dad went with her to the doctor that week and Dr. Downard said she had progressed to 3cm and was favorable to induction if we wanted. Since the doctor was going to be out of town the next week, we decided that yes, we did want to induce and were scheduled to go in Thursday March 31st at 7 am.

Of course, as they say, if you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans. The next morning, Dad's alarm went off at 6 am and it woke me up. I thought that my water might have broken with contractions starting quickly after. We snoozed in bed for about an hour before deciding that this time was probably the real deal. As Dad said, Mom is so Type A that there has to be something on the schedule to be able to relax enough to go into labor. We called Grammy Bev to come stay with Lily and we headed to the hospital at about 8:15. Turns out my water hadn't actually broken, but it definitely was real labor because I was up to 4 cm dilated already and the contractions with intensifying way faster than with your sister.

At 10:30, Mom was ready to start the process for an epidural. The anesthesiologist came about 11:30 and had the epidural placed by noon. As he was walking out the door, Dr Downard came in. He broke my water to keep everything going strong and I was at 5 cm and 90% effaced. After the epidural kicked in, Mom took a nap. My nurse, Jenny, came in at 1:30 to check on us because your heart rate was dropping with each contraction. Apparently that's a sign that babies are almost ready to go, but you weren't quite there - 8 cm. Mom went back to sleep while Dad had some lunch and when Jenny came back at 2 you were ready to go! They called Dr Downard from the clinic across the street and got the room ready. Five minutes later, Dr. Downard was there and after pushing for 5 contractions, you were born at 2:30 pm!

After some skin to skin time, you nursed for about half an hour. Mom was so excited that you were such a good eater! After that, you got weighed and measured and then Daddy finally got some snuggle time before your visitors started rolling in. That night you met Lily, Grammy Bev, Auntie Amanda and Auntie Jenny. On Thursday, Lily, Grammy, Grampy, Nana and Papa, Amanda, Vicky and Sara, Jenny, Tyler, Ben and Madeline. In between all the visitors, you passed all your tests and got your pictures taken. Friday morning, we had one final check with the nurses and then were headed home.


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