My People

My People
My matched set of grandchildren - Oliver and Cosette

Monday, July 27, 2015

Introducing Oliver Joel!

Oliver Joel Espericueta Sauls

He's here! My much anticipated Little Peanut arrived on his due date, Thursday, July 23rd. He weighed 6 lbs, 12 oz and was 19 1/2 inches long. For the sake of comparison (which, I'm sorry, it's impossible not to!) Cosette was 6 lbs, 9 oz and was 20 1/4 inches long and was born 6 days before her due date. So she was thinner and longer. Cody and Austin were both 6 lbs, 13 oz and were (I'll have to check the baby book to confirm) 19 1/2 inches long. They were both born about ten days before their due date.
So basically, Oliver was the same size, give or take an ounce, than his dad.

Oliver's birth story begins on Friday, July 17th. Marquee had been having consistent contractions for about four hours when they called and said, "hey... just so you know... don't rush down here or anything..." and so we waited. And waited. And waited. And the contractions stopped. Then Saturday came and contractions started again and I got the phone call again and then waited... and waited... and packed my overnight bag... and rallied the troops... and brought Tasha and Cosette over as a distraction... and Austin got off work early... and we waited... and the contractions stopped. So the overnight bag stayed packed and when I needed something out of it I would use it and then put it right back in the bag. I was ready. So ready.

Just for proper perspective, Cody and Marquee live almost exactly 100 miles South of us. It's not a bad drive... but the shortest route takes us through Atlanta traffic so the possibility of getting stuck in traffic plays into every possible pending birth commute. The hospital is another... maybe 20 miles or so?... from them. That was always a consideration in planning our "New Baby Vacay".

On Wednesday I got another, "hey... just so you know... don't rush down here...." phone call. Marquee had a massive, unrelenting, extremely painful contraction and had gone to the doctor to check out the old dilation situation. The doctor determined her to be in early labor and predicted she would go into labor in the next 4 to 18 hours. I think she was dilated to 2-3 at this point, if I remember correctly.

More perspective: it's boring and redundant to talk about but I do have this chronic pain issue and I have bad days and worse days and hardly ever have good days. Being in pain, for me at least, includes such fun side effects as dizziness, nausea, disorientation, anxiety and so forth. I feel ok about driving around here sometimes, most of the time, probably, and I'm pretty sure I could rally in an emergency. I WANT to believe that I could easily make the trip down South on a less bad day if I'm well rested and medicated enough to be able to drive but not so medicated as to be a risk to myself and other drivers. That was also always in the back of my mind while waiting for THE CALL. Would I, should I, could I make the drive down?

So Thursday morning, July 23rd right around 6am, I got another, "hey... just so you know... don't rush down here...." phone call from Cody. Marquee had been having contractions since 2am and her water had broken, at least part way. They were on their way to the hospital and wanted us to wait until she had been checked at the hospital before we came down. How many of you out there are thinking exactly what I of hands... ??? So you understand why I said to myself, "if her water is broken there's gonna be a baby one way or another in the next 24 hours" and made sure my bag was packed, rallied the troops, arranged for my sister-in-law to bring Tasha and Cosette over to pet sit for us, talked Pop out of playing golf and into driving us down there (because... I just couldn't.) and after dropping Austin off at work headed on our merry way. Pop, Mawmaw, Oscar and me off for an adventure in birthing babies!

I sent a text to Purple Michael letting him know it was baby day. His birthday is the 24th, the next day, so he said Marquee needed to hold off for the next sixteen hours so the baby could be born on his birthday. Pop said, "tell him she'll hold off on the baby for sixteen hours if Michael will hang on to a kidney stone for sixteen hours". Michael wrote back, "PUUUUUSSSSHHHH Marquee, PUSH!!!!".

We made excellent time down to Riverdale with hardly any traffic. We stopped at the Chic-fil-a Dwarf House to get Pop some lunch, Mawmaw a shake and me a chicken wrap (which I knew would be good for lunch). We dropped Pop off at Cody and Marquee's house so he could dog sit for Oscar and Sammy and me and mom headed down to Fayetteville to the hospital. We got a few miles down the road and realized we had Pop's cell phone in the car still so I turned around, Dukes of Hazzard style and headed back to the house to drop off the phone. They don't have a home phone (who does these days?) and we didn't want Pop to be stranded without a vehicle or a phone. And then quickly, quickly back on our way to the hospital.

Oliver was to be delivered at Piedmont Fayette Hospital (Medical Center, whatever) which was a much, much larger hospital than the one were Cosette was delivered. There were no handicapped places left open and practically no parking places at all. Fortunately they have volunteers who drive around in golf carts to ferry people to the hospital. This was much appreciated as there was so much walking inside the hospital that I wanted to save every step I could. We found our way to the waiting room, Cody came out and got us and took us back to see Marquee who was very calm courtesy of her brand new epidural. I want to say that at this point it was 11-ish but I'm not really sure.

After awhile we went back out to the waiting room to sit with Marquee's grandparents and aunt and with Cody's dad and stepmom. And there we waited for what seemed like an eternity but in the scheme of things, was really not that long. I played a gazillion games of sudoku on my phone, posted on Facebook, texted back and forth with people I was keeping in the loop (Austin, Tasha, my sister-in-law Angie, Purple Michael) conversed with folks in the waiting room and... waited. We were updated fairly often either by text or by Cody coming out or by Marquee's mom Donna coming out. Marquee got stuck at about 7 cm so they gave her a little pitocin. Then she was almost completely dilated but his chin was in a bad position so they were trying to move him into a better position.

The funniest moment of the day was when somebody came out and said that they were almost ready but had to get the baby in a better position and Marquee's grandfather came out of a semi-nap state and said, "they're waiting for the baby to get his shoes on???"

Once I knew they were pushing I was crazy anxious. You might remember that when Cosette was born, whenever Tasha was ready to push her mom, dad and myself camped out right outside the door so we could hear what was going on. Marquee insisted that we would NOT be sitting outside the door while she was pushing. They even pointed me out to the nurses on duty and gave them instructions not to let me hang out in the hallway. Eh, whatever. Nana's gotta do what Nana's gotta do, know what I mean?

I got up to go to the bathroom although I was certain that Cody was going to come out with an update while I was gone. I took my time in the bathroom washing and rewashing my hands and staring at myself in the mirror because... bored. When I walked back toward the waiting room I could see Cody there and sped my limp/walk to a limp/gallop. Oliver had been born shortly before 6pm.

Marquee's Grandpa&Grandma, Mawmaw, Aunt DeeDee, Marquee's mom
My pain at this point was crazy high but I had to see that baby on his first day of life. He and Marquee were both running a fever so they took him to NICU for some tests. I wanted to stay to see him but if they were keeping him overnight in the NICU and we weren't going to be able to see him anyways, I wasn't going to put my body through any more abuse. Cody's dad and stepmom left, they had dogs at home that had to be let out of their crates. I debated. Pop was ready to be relieved of his pet sitting duty. We were tired and hungry (that chicken wrap was awesome but it had long since worn off). We got word that we would be able to see the baby in an hour or so and I hit the vending machines for a coke and sun chips for dinner for me and Mawmaw. I never drink coke and rarely have caffeine but desperate times call for desperate measures and they don't sell wine in the vending machines.

Sammy meets Ollie
After a lot longer than we expected, we got word that they were moving Marquee and Oliver to their room. When I announced that they were on the way to the room me and Mawmaw got up to begin the loooooong walk to the room and... everyone else in the family got up and walked with us. As it turned out they weren't in the room yet so we squatted there until they wheeled them in and then... got kicked out of the room so they could get her situated and try to breastfeed. At this point it was about 8:15 pm.... past my bedtime.

So it's me, Mawmaw, Marquee's mom and dad and Aunt DeeDee and Grandma and Grandpa and Cody and Marquee's friends David and Craig all out in the hallway outside the door and I'm practically delirious from exhaustion and pain. It was almost an out of body experience, overwhelming all of my senses and then... I heard Oliver cry. I might not have heard his first cry but I definitely got to hear him cry on his first day of life and it was the sweetest sound!

Sometime around 8:30 we were finally able to get in to see Marquee and Oliver (and Cody, but we had seen him off and on all day). I called dibs so I got to hold him first. I said to him exactly what I said to Cosette the first time I held her, "I'm your Nana... " So... pictures...

He was super easy to calm. If he started to cry all I had to do was touch his cheek or cuddle him and he would immediately chill out. So much like Cody who was/is the calmest of my sons.

And then Cody walked me and mom down to the exit and since the golf cart volunteers were long since gone, we made the long walk back to the car. By this point my feet were numb and all my joints were swollen and hot and ... my mom doesn't drive after dark... so I just had to gut it out and make it back to Cody's house. I ate a donut and a bagel that I scrounged up in their kitchen and settled into their recliner in the office to go to sleep. (I always sleep in a recliner, by the way, it's my most comfy position).

The next morning we got up and drove back down to the hospital so Pop could meet Ollie. Pop told him he owed him a golf game - once he was walking. I got some quality cuddle time and took lots of pictures. Then we drove back to Cody's house, picked up Oscar and made the drive back home.

I remember being surprised after Cody was born that although it was great to have two kids at two different ages to enjoy, that they were going to both need me at the same time! I felt woefully unequipped then and I feel similarly unequipped now. There are five people in this world who wouldn't be here if I hadn't been here first. They live in South Carolina, Riverdale Georgia and Cleveland Georgia. That's a long way for my heart to stretch! Having two grandkids three months apart is something I never could have imagined for my life. It's sweet and precious and rich and amazing and I feel so incredibly blessed and so incredibly unworthy. I will spend the rest of my life marveling at this amazing gift and I will spend the rest of my life doing my best to make Cosette and Oliver know how precious they are to me.

More pics... love and hugs, y'all!


monique said...

I wondered where you had been and now I see. He is precious.
Congratulations to you and everyone in his life.
Now I have to go back and read this post. I saw the headline and his pic and came
directly to the comment section.
So exciting for you. Take it easy.

Heather said...

Thanks! I wanted to wait to find out with his mama how much I could share online because she's not a fan of social media. She gave me the green light so I went with it. It was the biggest news so every time I started to write a blog post I couldn't tell about my life right then without telling about Oliver!

monique said...

I completely understand Oliver's mom not being a fan of social media, especially
when it pertains to the little ones.
He looks like a little dumpling in his baseball outfit. Too cute.
I hope you are getting some rest after all that excitement.
Your sons did good!