Henry...One of a Kind

Today is that crazy Henry's 12th birthday.  No more little kids in this house, and I have to say, it's kinda nice.  Everyone has been able to wipe their own fanny, tie their own shoes, make beds, fold clothes and do chores for a few years now.  It's nice to have at least a little help from the people who make the mess.  Each baby is a miracle & I think it's important for each child to know stories about their pregnancy and birth, so I'm documenting Henry's here. But before I go any further...Happy Birthday Hen!  We love you bunches & bunches!  You are #4 & you have completed our fam.

Henry is our little surprise baby.  We had three children & were clicking along.  E was 1 1/2 and I could see a light at the end of the diaper tunnel.  Then one day I woke up, and just like with every other pregnancy, started throwing up...everything.  I was sick all the time.  (and those of you who think I needed to eat saltines & drink water when I first woke up clearly haven't violently thrown up saltine crackers.  Yuck, it tastes like salt water coming up.  It makes me want to gag today just thinking about it.)

Since I realized at that I was more than likely pregnant, I went to get a test to confirm it.  Double lines to you.   It turned positive very quickly.  The only thing I could think about was how I was going to tell Hopson.  So I didn't, for a month.  One day we were talking about people who had a ton of kids & then I blurted out:  "well, how do you feel about four children, because I'm pregnant."  :)  He looked at me & said he needed a beer.  At that point, I could have used one too.  All of our high school friends laughed & made fun of us.  Needless to say, we have had the last laugh because several of them now have four children.  :)  He who laughs last,  laughs loudest!

Since Henry's pregnancy was going to be my last, (yes, I do know how this happens & I also know how to fix it) I was hoping for smooth sailing.  No such luck.  I think I have a pretty impressive list of horrible things.  Here's the list, in case you're curious:  morning, afternoon & night sickness everyday for all nine months (since it happened with all four pregnancies, that is equal to 3 straight years of throwing up), gestational diabetes, high blood pressure (I had this with Hop too), and I tested positive for Strep B. When they called to tell me the about the strep, I cried & asked them if I had anything else that could possibly happen with this pregnancy.  It was horrible.  I had all this & was chasing 3 others, but it's life so you rock on.

I would love to tell you that Hen's birth story is better, but it is worse.  This was the swan song, I was hoping I would catch a little slack.  Henry was induced, no biggie, all my boys were.  I was a champ at inductions.  Harry's birth lasted four hours start to finish, it was incredible.  Henry's was B. A. D. 

Here it is in a nutshell:
  • Checked in & lovely gown...Check
  • Hooked up to all the monitors...Check
  • Pit drip...Check
and here's where it starts going south
  • Epidural...Check, but it only was working on one side of my body.  So imagine someone is trying to squeeze the life out of one side of your body, and that doesn't even touch how bad it really was.  OMG I thought I was dying.
  • Call for anesthesiologist to come fix it & then give me a boost.  20 minutes before he was born it started working. 
Keep in mind this is baby number 4 & he should have just fallen out of my body.
  • It took him forever to get into position for me to push.  Then I pushed & pushed & pushed, and then pushed some more.  The nurse was wondering what in the world was going on.
  • I was told to push one more time really hard.  I was then told to STOP!  He was coming too fast, the doctor wasn't even in the room & the nurse wasn't really gowned up.
  • Everybody shows up, and I give one more push.
Stop the action for just a sec.  Remember that I had given birth 3 times to pink crying babies.  What arrived was not a pink crying baby but a blue silent one with his umbilical cord wrapped twice around his neck.  Can I say scared s#*^less here?  I know that's not very nice, but I was.  I can think of one other time I have been that afraid. 

I looked at the nurse & said there was something wrong with my baby.  She immediately agreed & took him from me.  The doctor is trying to poo poo my worry & the questions I was asking.  (which by the way, you don't do.  I wasn't hysterical, but I needed information since I couldn't see anything from my vantage point.)  The next thing I hear is a wailing sound coming from my room & about 10 people are SPRINTING into the room and rushing around Henry's bed.  They coded him.  They coded MY baby.  Later they told me he decided he didn't really want to breath on his own. That was not a great way to start this fam of 6 thing.  

The whole not breathing episode bought him a few hours in the NICU.  Hopson went to see him since they wouldn't let me go.  (They wanted me to walk & I couldn't because of the epidural.)  So I was forced to stayed behind & I cried.  Hopson said he felt guilty when he came back.  We had a healthy 7 pound baby & there were babies in there that weighed 1 & 2 pounds.  They made Hen look like Gulliver next to the Lilliputians.  

We did get to go home 3 days later.  A new family of 6.  I remember going out in public those first few years with all four in tow.  People would stop to ask if they were all my children.  Yes, they are all mine.  I' may be crazy, but I'm not that crazy.  I had Hen in the carrier, I would have E by my other hand, and Hop & Harry would each have a hand in my back pockets.  We were a sight. I'm proud to say I have survived...and so have the children.  And the baby is 12.  These years have flown.  And as I look back on them, I can smile & say that so far it's been a wild and crazy ride, but I wouldn't trade it for the world!

Love you Henry!!!  Happy birthday my sweet!

Celebrating Life & the baby's birthday,
~ashley   
 

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