Tracens Birth Story.

Now you must remember that it's been some time since I gave birth to Tracen, so if I forget a thing or two, please forgive me.  Here it is though, all written down, in a little corner of the web that I will be able to remember forever. I'm sure I will need to remind myself to check back and read this every so often because the past few weeks, hes been a real shithead, I mean like I'm not going to listen to anything you say, do the opposite and spit on you while doing so.SO! Lets begin!

With a due date of Jan 19th 2011 and already 50 lbs sitting on my 5'2" frame I was beginning to think that we might just not make it to my due date, or even to 2011 without having a baby first. My hip dysplasia set in at the Thanksgiving dinner at my aunts. I couldn't sit, couldn't stand, couldn't really walk, I was miserable. I just wanted to go home and lay in bed, but not really because even that seemed to hurt.  From Thanksgiving to Dec 21st I was in constant pain and having to take two different pain pills (prescribed by my doctor.)  There were a few nights I forgot to take one before bed and I would wake up in AGONIZING pain and swore I would never forget again!

I went in on my 36 week check up and found out I was 5cm dilated, yea, F-I-V-E!!! So for the past two weeks since my last appointment I was in labor and had no idea, no wonder I was in so much pain. I was told that we were having a baby today! Now many people would have been surprised but I really wasn't because I had read my horoscope over on astrology zone and KNEW I was having my baby on the 21st.  I even told my boss the day before that I wouldn't be in after my appointment on Monday because I was going to have a baby then. He laughed. I didn't. My horoscope read "life changing things will happen on the 21st, things that you can not plan for." If that wasn't a sign I'm not sure what was...I did say I was already 5cm dilated right? Right.

So we did what every normal couple going to have a baby 4 weeks early with no hospital bag packed did, we walked waddled up to labor and delivery floor, checked in and called everyone and their mothers and were smiling head to toe unaware of what was to follow. In my mind I was "going to do this the natural way" (who was I kidding!) By 2pm I was at a 7 and I just couldn't do it any longer and asked for the good stuff. The anesthesiologist came up and took care of me. I was much more relaxed and even started to watch a movie. By 550pm I was checked and told I was at a 10 and ready to push. I was nervous, I didn't know how to push, I didn't know how to get this baby out of me, I didn't know what to expect and I didn't know how my life would change. But I was ready, ready to go balls to the wall and do this damn thing! 45 minutes of pushing Tracen was born at 6:35pm on December 21, 2010, the first day of winter, the cusp of the astrology calendar. He was 7lbs and 21" long. He was beautiful.

The next 10 days were a blur and not the oh 'I'm a new mother I don't know what I'm doing blur.' Since Tracen was a month early there are complications that come with this. He was rushed to the NICU because he was having some breathing issues. I was exhausted from labor and ligitamitlly thought my hips were about to fall off. I assumed he was being taken to the nursery to get a bath and would be brought back to me that I didn't even think to ask when he was coming back. We were taken to my post birthing room and I think I ate a cracker or two and passed out. I woke up to a hospital grade pump and was told to start pumping, so I did. Jer would take whatever I could pump down to the NICU. He fed him and spent time with him for the first 3 feedings as I was in and out of sleep. I don't think I totally understood that he was in the NICU until about 12 hours later when I realized he still wasn't in our room with us.

When we finally saw him I started crying. He wasn't small by any means, in fact his nick name was "the big one" because for a baby in the NICU, 7lbs was huge for those kiddos in there.  I cried because I was scared, and in SO much pain to be honest. I didn't know what to do, who to ask, did I even have to ask to hold my own baby? Why were there wires everywhere, what was he hooked up to, why wasn't he breathing good, the questions were really endless. I got some answers; he had jaundice, and fluid in his lungs so they needed to monitor him. I was told he should be released soon. Soon turned into 24 hours, 24 hours turned into 48 hours, 48 hours turned into ten.long.days.

I think they felt bad for us because I was refusing not wanting to leave the hospital without my son. We ended up sleeping in the room IN the NICU for two days after we were released. Those two days were hell. All we heard was monitors going off, crying and doctor talk. It was pure hell. It was Christmas eve and we were waiting for the doctors to come around for their rounds. We were told if all checks out well we could take him home.  When the doctors came around and told me that he had 'd-stat' the night before I was so confused. What did that mean, we were taking him home tonight right? W.R.O.N.G. 'D-stating' is when the baby forgets to breathe. A lot of time it happens when they are drinking from a bottle or have a pacifier but it was happening when he was just sleeping. It's a very scary thought but at that moment, for those 30 seconds when they said he wasn't going home on Christmas, I thought they didn't understand, it was Christmas, I just wanted my baby home with his family.  When a baby d-stats they have to go 48 hours without doing it again. Tracen would get to the 40 hours mark and d-stat, then 43 hours mark and d-stat again, it was extremely frustrating. I was up at the hospital all the time, giving them breast milk, snuggling him, waiting for doctors to do their rounds and getting disappointed every day he couldn't go home with us.

Finally, on New Years Eve, he was cleared. We were going to spend the last night of 2010 together, as a family. It was THE happiest day of my life.  Looking back, I feel so silly being so dramatic about 10 whole days when 90% of the other babies in the NICU were in there much longer, battling much larger struggles, but for me and Jer, those were our struggles.

Tracen has grown into a beautiful little boy and in exactly 1 month from today he will be three. THREE, I can't even think about that. He is in the 95 percentile in height and 50 percentile in weight. His vocabulary is right on track and comprehends everything we say, although his listening skills, or lack there of, are that of a 3 year old's. Thankfully there were never any side effects from coming early. I am forever grateful for the doctors and nurses that put up with me during those days because I don't know if I could do it! He will forever be the first person to call me mumma, the first baby that stole my heart and the first little boy I called my son.   

10 Years.

10 years ago I was just hoping we would go to Prom together.
9 years ago I was hoping we would make it through our first year apart at college.
8 years ago I was hoping we could work things out.
7 years ago I was hoping we could survive our 21st birthdays.
6 years ago I was hoping we could live closer.
5 years ago I was hoping we could finally graduate college.
4 years ago I was hoping I knew what I wanted.
3 years ago I was hoping for a healthy baby boy.
2 years ago I was hoping to find a house.
1 year ago I was hoping we would have another baby.

I was 12 years old when I met Jerek in Middle School...and I've had a crush on him ever since! Many ask up how we met, what's our 'love story' and our story is just that, a story. One that has ups and downs, good times and bad times. A story of heart aches and tears, but a story of triumphs and success. More importantly it's a story of two people that like to wear sweats and drink beer together, who support each other in every decision that they make and who love each other whole heartedly.  Two people that can finish each others sentences, that know EXACTLY what the other persons Taco Bell order will be and will not judge if they sing Dora songs while getting ready in the morning.

 I find myself so blessed that I get to wake up day after day next to you, the person that brought 2 kids into this world with me. The person that drives me crazy because he doesn't separate his shirts when he takes them off.  The person that makes the most amazing meals out of random shit found in our fridge and the person who gives himself selflessly to his family because he loves us more than himself.  I can only hope that these next 10 years are just as challenging, as exciting and as rewarding as these past 10 have been. Without you I'd be nothing, but with you I am everything.

Now that I'm done crying I will tell you what we did, or what we didn't do. We did NOT go to work, that's for sure! We DID take the day off work and it just so happen that it was a Monday and the boys went to daycare, major score!

So we dropped the boys off and ran to our Starbucks and grabbed coffee. And get this, we went INSIDE and SAT down and drank our coffee and chatted! That's funny right! Most likely unless you have children you will not appreciate how much we enjoyed those wonderful 30 minutes. We then scooted home and got ready to go to brunch.  We headed to TOAST in Birmingham (we both agreed we like this one better than the Ferndale one, not really sure why!) Jer got 'the cure' which he aways gets (the man knows what he wants.) I on the other hand always get something different and this time I got the turkey brie and the butternut squash soup. I was nervous thinking I wasn't going to be able to finish it all. Welp, I was wrong. I basically licked my plate clean.
We then headed to the mall and did a little shopping as we have a wedding to go to this weekend in Grand Rapids and well, it's our first night away from the boys since Skylor was born and we need to look fancy, right?

Last but not least, we went and got tattoos. Because that's what you do on your day off and you are celebrating 120 months/10 years of togetherness! This was actually the only thing we had really planned out for the day. We had been wanting to get tattoos together for a while now and the day seemed fitting.

I decided to go big and get two, or three, depending how you look at it! Jer and I got matching ones. Now some people might freak out and be like you know what happens when you get ink for your boyfriend/husband/partner.  Rest assured, I would never get his initials, or name tattooed anywhere on my body. What we got was "I'm yours forever" in Arabic. We choose Arabic based on we loved the font/look of the scripture. Neither of us speak or can read Arabic so I relied on a girlfriend at work and she asked a friend of hers that speaks it. It's loosely translated and if you Google it, it comes up as 'you forever.' The whole purpose was we wanted something to get together, FOR each other. One day we will get married but being together for 10 years is a huge milestone. Although we have not been together for a consecutive 10 years it does not matter to us. (Please forgive the wonderful iPhone quality.)

The next tattoo(s) I got were arrows and these are for the boys. I had held off getting something for Tracen because I knew I wanted more kids and wanted to get a tattoo for each one. I got arrows for the boys because I love the bible verse Palms 127:3-4.

Children are a heritage from the Lord,
offspring a reward from him.
Like arrows in the hands of a warrior
are children born in ones youth.

I got ones similar in look, but different as these boys are clearly just that. Plus there is room to add more if we get a little crazy and God wants to allow us to raise some more little hellions!

We then picked up those little guys from daycare and made some pasta and snuggled on the couch as a family of four, with so much love in our hearts for each other.