Thursday, November 29, 2012

Graham's First Days

As previously announced, our little man is finally here!

It all started last Saturday morning when I stood up out of bed and felt a small, but distinct gush of fluid. Since my water broke with both of my previous pregnancies, I knew what it felt like. I waited around for hours but never felt anything else. The next morning the same thing happened again, and then again but in small amounts. We called the L&D floor and they advised us to come in.

Once we got there, they checked me and determined that my water probably had a "slow leak" but I wasn't dilated past 2cm. Based on my "unfavorable cervix", I was only given the option of a c-section. {the VBAC I had so badly wanted was out.} Since I already had one scheduled for less than 24 hours later and I was already at the hospital, we decided to go ahead with it on Sunday morning.

Phone calls were made to notify family and I was prepped and ready around 11:15 AM.

At 11:37 AM on November 25th, Graham Ellis Solko entered the world weighing in at 10 pounds 3/4 ounces. We knew he was big based on every single person in the room commenting on what a "big boy" he was.
[And it hurts me to admit that my doctor was indeed right.]

My mom, Beaner and Justy were outside the OR waiting to hear the news.
{Fe was at our house with Bailey and Avery.} 
Jared - in typical fashion - sent them a head-shot picture with Graham's stats but no name - further torturing them by not telling them whether Baby was a boy or girl.
Everyone was very excited to learn that Baby Solko was indeed a BOY.
And while it wasn't a surprise for us, I am glad we let it be a fun surprise for everyone else.
And while my body was still tremoring from the hormones and meds, I got the chance to hold Graham for the first time.
Delivering by c-section is such a weird thing.
One minute you're pregnant and the next you're not, and you really have very little to do with the process.
With my VBAC, it was emotional. You are working so hard to push that little body into the world and your feelings are all over the map.
With a c-section, it's like, "Oh, you're here..."
It's just so surreal to finally hold that baby in your arms - the one that was just punching you in the stomach not 30 minutes before. So while I didn't break down in to tears, I just remember feeling so very, very grateful to have him here with us.
The aunts wasted no time in arguing over who got to hold Graham next. 

Justy admits to having cried like ten times.
I am glad she got to be present for the birth - even if it was standing outside an OR. She was away at college for both of the girls' births and was excited to be here to welcome Graham into the world. And since she now lives the closest, she was able to be the aunt who visited daily this time around.
My sisters and my mom were all amazing this past week. They watched the girls at our house while Jared stayed with me in the hospital. I never had to worry about how the girls were doing because I know they LOVE their aunties. And Grandma too.
I think my dad was probably the most surprised and happy about Graham's birth, especially about his middle name. Since Papa Jeff didn't get any boys of his own, a grandson is a little extra special. Just hearing that my dad cried after learning he had a grandson, made me cry. (Make that number 11 for Justy.)

Bailey and Avery came up to meet their new brother on Sunday night. 

At first Bailey was a bit confused with all the "look at your new brother" talk. She walked over to the baby, looked at him, and then looked at my stomach, then looked back at him... It slowly started to register.
"Mama's baby?" she asked as she pointed to new brother Graham.

But within a few minutes she was planting kisses on her new brother and checking out the mass of dark hair on his little head.
Avery loves to give kisses to every baby she ever sees and her little brother was no exception. 
Since visiting in the hospital, both girls have been sick with runny noses and a cough that would put pack-a-day smokers to shame, so they had to wait to see baby brother at home.
But Baby Graham was definitely on their minds.
The first thing Bailey told Justy upon waking up the next day was:
"Justy! Justy! I have a baby brother! She's so cute!"
Our hospital stay was almost uneventful.
Recovery from a c-section just sucks. But this one went much better than I had hoped. I was able to feel and move my legs within a couple hours, which compared to around 12 hours last time - definite improvement. My pain didn't require a PCA and I got around pretty easily. Even better, my doctor didn't pretend to have any clue about how to get my blood sugars back under control after delivery, so he let me do my own thing. With some assistance from my educator, I am getting back to my normal pre-pregnancy needs pretty quickly.
Graham, being the son of a diabetic mom, had to have an IV put in to give him sugar water to maintain his blood sugars. This was new for us since neither of the girls had this done in Omaha. Because of the IV, his blood sugar was checked every 4 hours around the clock. His sugars never once dropped and we were able to get rid of the IV by Monday night - a big positive since we were told he might need it till Wednesday.
The pediatrician heard a slight murmur - also common in newborns, especially those of diabetic moms - so an echocardiogram was performed. Nothing out of the usual was noticed - just some small things that resolve themselves in a couple weeks. {But just the fact that we had to do one makes a hormonal mom extra nervous.}
And because of Avery's history of severe hyperbilirubinemia that came out of nowhere, we requested they check his bili level often. Over a period of a couple days it kept increasing, but never enough to reach a level that required more intervention than a naked nap in the direct sunlight. We had a follow-up trip to the lab today and his level was still stable. We go to the pediatrician tomorrow to recheck it again and hopefully - with all the hard work he has been doing in the baby poop department - we will find it is on the way down. Thankfully he seems to enjoy his time in the sun.
Overall, things have turned out well. Throughout my pregnancy I found myself missing The Med Center in Omaha many many times, but in the end I still have a healthy baby boy.
And I must admit that the staff at the hospital were extremely helpful. I felt very encouraged to breastfeed, which isn't always the case with all OB nurses. My delivering nurse was insistent that I do so as soon as I could following my c-section. Little things like that can make a big difference, especially if you are feeling not so great right after having major surgery. Encouragement can go a long way.
The best part of not delivering in Omaha was that more of my family was close and able to come visit. After all, that is why we moved back. It makes me smile to see the proud looks on my parents' and grandparents' faces when they looked down on Graham.
We were surrounded by people who love us and were truly excited to share in our joy. We had people gladly volunteering to stay and care for Bailey and Avery at a moment's notice. I could hear the exclamations of excitement when Jared called his family to give them the news. We are lucky to have such great family and friends.
We were both discharged yesterday (Wednesday) afternoon. It felt so good to be home.
A family of five.
(And of course Bailey has to do her best to ruin a possibly cute picture...)
So now to just enjoy the upcoming hours, days, months of new baby-ness.
I am always amazed at how much I absolutely love the smell of a new baby.
Even the diapers seem less disgusting than I remembered.
I love the snuggles.
The breastfeeding has come back easily thanks to my big boy's appetite.
Baby clothes seem so small, even on our 10-pounder.
Now I am off to give snuggles to all three of my babies.


  1. so beautiful...made another one cry!

    beyond happy for you guys...just can't even put words to it!!!

  2. I'm so happy for your beautiful family, wish I could be there! Also, funny how you blame Baily for ruining that pic when the other two are crying... ;) All five of you look perfect to me!

    1. Whoops, missed an e there and it won't let me fix it...sry!

    2. Well, Bailey is easy to blame. ;) Jk And actually that is Avery's smile. She is just a HUGE cheeser. And Graham was probably farting. Or pooping. He is good at those things.


I love comments. Seriously, LOVE them.
So go ahead and let me know what you think.