Wow! Here we are, already one year later, and we are celebrating Nico's 1st birthday today! Since I posted Isaac's birth story at his first birthday, this is sort of becoming a tradition. I want to have this written down for my children to be able to read one day and for me to always remember in greater detail. So here goes. Nico's pregnancy started off a little more difficult than with Isaac. From the beginning, everything seemed to be more intense from the morning sickness, to the heartburn, to yet again, the high blood pressure. Every time my blood pressure was checked at my appointments, the doctor continued to assure me that there was no concern and that it was very unlikely for me to experience the same problems I had when Isaac was born. I didn't feel Nicolas move quite as much as I had Isaac before he was born. Again, I finally decided to head into the hospital to get checked for movement with a non-stress test. Because I was planning to deliver at LDS Hospital in downtown Salt Lake City, I drove up Thursday night (March 29th) to get checked out. They hooked me up and assured me that movement was okay, but told me they were concerned with my blood pressure. They proceeded to monitor me for about an hour before instructing me to do a 24-hour urine sample. This was all too familiar as this was how things had started with Isaac. However, they also ordered me to stay on bed rest until further notice. So Friday came (March 30th) and bed rest proved to be extremely difficult with a demanding toddler. I remember just putting some shows and movies on for Isaac to keep him entertained while I lay on the couch. At some time during the day, Isaac had a messy diaper that ended up getting all over the carpet in his bedroom. Between cleaning that up and having to get up to make him lunch and prepare drinks & snacks, bed rest wasn't exactly working out. Manuel got home from school/work that night and I had to take the urine sample back into the hospital around 10 p.m. I drove up to the hospital with my packed hospital bag in the backseat of the car, just in case. I got to the floor to deliver the sample and explained to one of the nurses about my visit the previous night and the issue with my blood pressure. She decided it would be best to check my levels again before I left the hospital that night. So, she took me into one of the rooms and checked my blood pressure which was registering at 175/108—much higher than it even got with Isaac. The nurse was pretty concerned and decided to recheck my blood pressure again while lying down rather than sitting to see if that would affect anything. This time it registered a bit lower but still caused rise for concern. So they were going to call my doctor. Well, coincidentally, my doctor was out of town that weekend, just as it had happened with Isaac. The doctor on call for my doctor, Dr. Steele, was Dr. Stephen Lash, who came in to check on me shortly after. When he met me in the room, he said "You're too skinny to have problems with high blood pressure!" which I took as a compliment, especially after all the weight I had gained up until that point, and was feeling like a whale as I approached the very end. The nurses had told me before he got there that he would most likely want to induce, especially if bed rest was going to prove to be difficult for me to follow. The doctor reiterated his concern and suggested that inducing me would be the best thing for me and baby. I gave Manuel a call at home and explained to him what was going on. They were going to keep me there and I was going to be going home with a baby! I was concerned about the high blood pressure, but was also relieved that we were going to deliver and felt that it was probably the best decision to be induced then. I had put Isaac to bed before heading up to the hospital, and Manuel called his parents to come stay with him while Manuel came to the hospital. While they were on their way, Isaac had woken up and had come out of his room, went into our bedroom looking for me and saying ‘Mama?’ I think somewhere in that little mind of his, he knew something was up and understood on some level that something was different. I also knew that Isaac would probably have a difficult time being away from me for a couple of days. I remember lying in the hospital bed waiting for them to get me a room to be induced, thinking about Isaac and saying a prayer in my mind that he would feel comforted in some way without having me and Manuel there at home with him. I tried to help him slowly understand the changes that would be happening with a new baby coming into our home but I don’t think he fully understood that concept. Plus, what can I say; he’s a Mama’s boy. He was so used to it being just me and him all the time. That was one thing I found a little bittersweet about a new baby. I knew that once Nico arrived, it would never be just me and Isaac anymore. I was going to miss that. So by the time Manuel’s parents had arrived, Manuel’s dad brought him to the hospital since I had taken the car. Manuel got to the hospital around 3:00 a.m. The delivery area was so full that night; I had been waiting that long just for them to get me my own delivery room. Manuel got to the hospital just after I was taken to my own room and they got me hooked up to start the Pitocin. I knew that I would want an epidural again since I had such a great experience with it with Isaac, but I still wanted to let the contractions come for a while before the put it in. I decided it was time to get it around 4:30 a.m. but they told me that the anesthesiologist was in with a C-section and had to remain there for the procedure. As soon as he was able to come out, he would come to my room. At about 5:00 a.m., the anesthesiologist came in with the epidural and I remember when he put it in, he said I might feel a little pinch. With Isaac, I was in the middle of a contraction when they placed the epidural and it was painful, but I had no unusual reaction. This time, I felt a really strong pinch and it stung. I remember my left leg jolted a bit, it was a pretty strange feeling! It worried me a little, but the anesthesiologist told me that can happen, so I wasn’t too concerned after that. I got numb pretty fast in my legs especially that left side where I felt the jolt. I was so tired by this point that I decided to let myself fall asleep for a bit. Manuel was taking a little snooze in the chair next to my bed and at about 6:00 I woke up and told him he should go get the camera and the hospital bag out of the car, just to have them ready. I thought it would still be at least a few more hours until delivery time. After he left to go to the car, I started to feel this strange sensation like I needed to push, which is kind of interesting I would feel that urge at all when my body was so numb from the epidural. I had been lying down on my left side and was trying to reach for the remote on my bed to call the nurse in, but I couldn’t find it, and I was too numb to turn myself over. Come to find out, the remote had fallen in the little space between me and the railing on the bedside. So, I decided the only way I could get the nurse to come in was if I moved the monitors off my belly, knowing that would signal a response since the nurses wouldn’t be able to follow the baby’s heartbeat. Sure enough, the nurse came in to check on things and I told her about the sensation to push. She was surprised, so she checked me and sure enough the head was right there and ready. She had to call the doctor to rush in and start the process of pushing. I remember thinking, ‘Oh no, Manuel isn’t even here yet. I hope he gets back from the car before the baby arrives!’ Just then, Manuel got there and shortly after, the doctor. They got me in position and after literally three pushes, Nicolas arrived at 6:23 a.m. that Saturday morning, March 31st, 2012. I was shocked that the labor and delivery process went so smoothly and so quickly. I didn’t have a particularly long labor with Isaac either, but I thought maybe with Nicolas being born a couple weeks early, labor would last a bit longer, especially having been induced. They say that getting induced generally makes labor last longer, but that hasn’t been the case either time for me. I guess I’m one of the lucky ones. Nicolas’ labor and delivery went quite smoothly and I feel like I was really able to enjoy the process in the same way I did Isaac’s. I recovered really quickly too, and was up on my feet just a couple hours after delivery. Nico was perfectly healthy too. He nursed right away and slept well. My blood pressure had to be under control before I was able to go home and fortunately it had improved quickly. So we left Sunday (1 day later) around 2:00 p.m. Once we got home, Isaac was very sweet with Nico but was having issues with me which made me really sad. Especially with my hormones being all over the place, it was really hard to be happy about the new baby at home when I was feeling so rejected and resented by Isaac. Luckily that only lasted the first week, and he seemed to adjust pretty quickly. He always wanted to help me with Nico at first, and I think was also confused and bummed that Nico was too little to really do much. It seemed like all he did for the first month was eat and sleep. Now that Nicolas is one year old, Isaac loves having him around to play with. Nico will follow Isaac everywhere as if he’s his little shadow and Isaac loves making Nico laugh. When they’re both giggling at the same time, it is music to my ears. Nico has been such a wonderful addition to our family and we are so lucky to have him. He is sweet, kind, affectionate, fun, and we look forward to seeing him grow and develop. Happy 1st Birthday to our sweet little Nico!