Landon Went To The Park!

I took Landon to the park on Friday, March 21 with my sister, Stephanie. He had a blast!! It was nice to take a little trip and not be confined to the house, plus.. with our upcoming beach trip in April.. I wanted to see his reaction to water. Boy, the water at the park SURE did bring life outside of his little body. He had the biggest smile on his face and my oh my, he loved it! I was pretty exhausted, even though we were there for 30 mins max.. but it was so worth it!! And honestly, other than trips to the store or going to church, this was his first actual outing. I’m so glad I took the time to take him there.. Here’s a few pictures:

 

IMG_0717 IMG_0719 IMG_0720 IMG_0721 IMG_0725 IMG_0733 IMG_0736 IMG_0741 IMG_0742 IMG_0746 IMG_0747 IMG_0750 IMG_0751 IMG_0756 IMG_0758 IMG_0760 IMG_0772 IMG_0774

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Having Landon Changed Me.

The past 10 months have not been easy – as you can tell from my previous post. It’s been a struggle – but it’s been something that has changed me forever. I lost my mom in 2012 – and that was one of the hardest things to go through.. a piece of my world was ripped away from me so suddenly and unexpected – the pain was hard to bare. I did what I had to do though – I made a promise to my mom after I turned 18 years old (well, I made the same promise over and over again, since she’d come to me at least once a month asking me to promise the same thing over and over) that I would take care of my youngest sister & my father if anything ever happened to her… and I have done everything in my power to keep that promise.

Losing your mother at 20 almost 21 years old is a hard thing to do – especially if you’re expected to get married that same year, and she hasn’t even had the chance to become a grandmother. Seeing Landon hooked up to IV pumps, heart monitors, oxygen tubes… that was a different kind of “hard”. Two years of infertility.. and fertility treatments.. and the painful aches and anger from seeing mother’s who didn’t deserve to even be a mother… I finally conceived Landon. He is my world – and literally, he is my heart walking outside of my own body. Seeing MY little boy go through what he did… it pushed me beyond what I even thought I was capable of doing. I found strength, perseverance, and determination I never even thought existed within me. Why? Because – he is literally my heart.. I’m not going to let anything happen to him without a fight… It nearly killed me going through what I did as a “new” mother at first, but it was worse just WATCHING him go through what he went through. I never left his side – unless it was due to a medical issue with me or the doctors requested I get some “rest” because they were worried about my sleep habits (which, quite frankly, sucked at the hospital. I am a heavy sleeper – especially when I’m sleep deprived, so I would stay up all night long to make sure that I was up and awake when his doctors would make their rounds in the morning time at 7:00am).

 

Ten months into this journey – and I am so proud of my son. He has passed every major milestone (other than teeth!) early – and he has amazed the doctors by his progress. After he had that brain surgery at three weeks old, just weighing a little over seven pounds, they were sure he would have set backs and “mental retardation”. I’ll never forget the anger I felt the day I first heard that being applied to MY son… and before I go on, let me say this now.. I look back on that day.. and I know how that doctor is. He really is a great doctor, and I’m honestly thankful for everything he has done for Landon.. I know he could have chosen a better way to say what he did – but he doesn’t sugar coat things with me.. and even though at the time it made me angry – I am thankful he is one of the few doctors who understand I like knowing worse case scenario’s.. just so I can prepare MYSELF. There’s three pediatrician’s in our doctor’s office… One (our doctor) understands me wanting the truth and worse case scenarios, Two is very gentle with what he says – he’ll tell you the truth but he’ll put it in a way that is pretty much sugar coating it, and three.. well… let’s not go to three.. Point is, I get what I want with our doctor – I just wish he had chosen better words THAT day. I remember walking out of his office, so angry I was literally crying.. and I looked down at Landon. He smiled back at me and I said “We’re going to show him he’s wrong, aren’t we?” And well, Landon smiled some more and laughed. Now.. he has shown them.

 

He crawled early. He said his first word relatively early. He started walking early. I am so proud of his accomplishments, and I am so thankful that GOD did not take him away from me. I knew when I took that pregnancy test September 2012 that my life would change forever – but it wasn’t until Landon was here that I realized just HOW much. Landon has made me a stronger person, and one thing for sure is.. when it comes to him or his sister (who is soon to arrive!) I will ALWAYS be one to stand up to the plate first for either of them.. I am a firm believer in the fact that WE (the parents) are our children’s only advocate.. it’s OUR jobs to make sure they’re taken care of correctly & given the most efficient treatment.. and it’s OUR JOB to understand everything about their treatment & plan of care.

 

Landon & Mommy at 10 months!

Landon & Mommy at 10 months!

Landon’s First Month

Landon is almost 10 months old – he will be that old in 12 days. To be honest, it isn’t very easy for me to look back on his first few weeks of life – I talk about my emotions with certain family members (the hubby is an obvious one), but I try my best to keep it to myself – why? Because I guess I don’t want people thinking I’m living in the past – I’m not. Those first few weeks – seeing *MY* precious miracle baby go through so much… even if they did happen 10 months ago, they’re STILL my present, the days are burned into the back of my brain. I can pull out one of Landon’s onesies that no longer fit him and I can name a day he wore it while inside the hospital. However, due to the fact that everything he went to WAS Galactosemic Related and there are a LOT of Galactosemic families who have gone through the similar experiences – I feel like I must share it. So, I will tell everything in THIS post, to keep me from having to go into details later on.

 

We brought Landon home, and everything went smoothly – surprisingly. I was breastfeeding and supplementing with formula (as my milk supply had not fully come in at this point). The day after we came home, Landon had his first doctor’s appointment. That was when we learned our baby had jaundice – I remember looking at our pediatrician as if he was crazy – he said Landon’s skin had an orange tint to it, and at the time.. I could not see it. Looking back at the pictures taken during that time period, I can see the orange “glow”. We went to the pediatrician’s office every day that first week – finally a bilibed was prescribed for Landon to be in.. our entire family nicknamed it as his “Tanning Bed”

 

Landon in his Bili Bed

Landon in his Bili Bed

On May 24, after we left the pediatrician’s office, we received a call from a nurse in the practice. She said that Landon’s first newborn screening test had come back, for us not to worry until the second test was done but that Landon had tested positive for galactosemia. She informed me to continue with our routine and that the positives they received were due to human error. We went again on the 25th and repeated the bilirubin levels and the newborn screening. Two days passed, and May 27th came.. He was exactly a week old. We went to the pediatrician [yet again] for another bilirubin check, and it had increased dramatically since the last visit. Not to mention, Landon had gone from 6lbs 14 ounces to 5 lbs 12 ounces. He was hospitalized for “failure to thrive” as well has high jaundice levels. Our pediatrician stopped me from breast feeding and put Landon on soy formula stating it was a precaution for the Galactosemia – this was one of the hardest things to watch at the time. Landon was not keeping any of the soy formula down – he couldn’t tolerate it. The next day, after the night nurses confirmed that Landon was not keeping any of the soy down, the doctor put him on Nutramigen – thankfully, time it was given to him… Landon started eating for the first time in that 24 hour period. Two days later – Landon’s bilirubin levels had come down and his weight had increased.. the Pediatrician, however, kept him in the hospital for another 24 hours just as a precautionary because Landon had ran a slight fever that morning. I was beyond frustrated – I was a new mom who was away from her husband due to being stuck in the hospital. In my mind, it wasn’t fair to Landon because HE deserved to be home with BOTH of his parents. I felt like Jerry was missing out on a critical stage of our child’s life. However, I could not argue with him. I was exhausted – since the day we had been admitted I got little to no sleep because I was VERY worried about Landon. I watched his every breath, every move, and I watched him every second. That same afternoon, it was confirmed that Landon did indeed have Galactosemia – and my heart fell when I heard those words. In my mind, I had been slowly poisoning my son with my breast milk.. I felt angry – and instantly began reaching out to the Galactosemic community. That night passed by quickly, and by 2pm on May 31.. Landon and I were happily leaving the hospital and going home with Jerry.

The IV in Landon's arm

The Day Before we went home - Estatic over the news of us being able to finally leave!

Landon in the Bili Bed at the Hospital
Landon in the Bili Bed at the Hospital

Jerry knew what my sleep habits had been like while at the hospital (due to 3,4,5,6,and 7am text messages) so the instant we came home, he told me to go get some rest and he’d take care of Landon. I, feeling at ease for the first time since that Monday, willingly agreed. I kissed him and Landon both and went to sleep. I slept until around 7pm that night.. and I remember waking up because I had the feeling as if something was not right. I checked on Landon – he was fussy. I called Landon’s God Father and asked if he could possibly pick up Gas Relief medicine (thinking that was the issue). Landon seemed to quite down afterwards. I felt him, and he felt a little warm to me. It was hot – as it was Summer time in South Carolina, so I suspected it to be from the heat. Never the less, I called the pediatrician on call – he instructed me to take of Landon’s onesie and give him a bath and if the fever persisted, for me to call back. After I removed his onesie and gave him a bath, he was fine. Jerry could tell I was still exhausted and told me to go back to sleep – he promised me he would check Landon’s temperature at every feeding and told me not to worry. I remember waking up at 10am that morning, frantically searching for Landon – he was not in his bassinet. I walked out to the living room and found him in the arms of my Grandmother. Panic gone, instantly. I asked her if she minded watching Landon for a little bit so I would be able to clean the house up some, and she agreed. Taking Landon to her house (which was not that far from ours) I started to clean. Less than an hour later…my cell phone rang and my Grandmother asked me a question that started the whole hospital struggle – “Can you bring his thermometer up here, he feels warm.”

 

I panicked, and ran to her house immediately with the thermometer. I checked his temperature – it was 101.2 Very high. I removed his onesie, as I had been instructed to do the night before and immediately got on the phone with the answering service for the pediatricians. While waiting for the pediatrician on call to call me back (which was ours, this time) I re-checked his temp – it had gone back down to 98. I remember thinking “This is not right.. something is wrong…” I just didn’t know HOW wrong it was. I took Landon back to our house, and waited a little longer. When the pediatrician called, I explained to him “I’m not sure if the thermometer is broken or not, but his fever was 101.2 and then it was 98 something a few minutes later..” He asked how I had taken it and I explained, rectally, and he told me to give it 20 minutes and to check it again and call him back with the reading. 15 minutes passed – just as I was about to re-check the fever… he called. He said he had talked to the doctor who had been on call the night before and since Landon had ran a slight fever then, it would be best for me to bring him back to the children’s hospital to be checked out.

That was one of the longest drives. Upon arriving, they weighed Landon, I signed paperwork, they took blood and then they did a spinal tap. My grandmother was with me in the hospital room waiting for Landon and the pediatrician to return. Upon arriving after the spinal tap, the doctor said “Landon has meningitis – and I have to send the cultures of the spinal fluid and blood to the lab to be checked..” My heart fell. He then told me I needed to get the father up here because we would not know if Landon was going to live or die – we wouldn’t know anything for 48 hours. My heart sunk even more, if that was even possible. I remember my grandmother crying, instantly.. and me trying my best to keep it together…. I walked my grandmother out to the parking lot (my father drove us) and I was carrying Landon’s carseat since he would not need it in the hospital… I got half way into the parking lot before I started breaking down. I had to explain to my father just WHY I was crying and WHY I was carrying Landon’s car seat.. and instantly got on the phone with Jerry. Jerry drives a wrecker for a living – and that particular weekend, he was on call.. I was very worried that if I told him everything over the phone he would drive like a maniac to get to the hospital.. or worse, he would wreck on the way.

Instantly, phone calls from relatives began coming. One of my cousins called me and told me “Shelby, everyone is on their way to you. The whole family is coming – and I know this is hard to hear, but Shelby you need to get one of the chaplains in that room and pray over Landon..” That was one of the kickers.. The thought – the IDEA of possibly losing MY son.. the one I had prayed so hard over before, during and after pregnancy.. who was not even two weeks old yet… it killed me. Next thing I knew, the hospital room was filled with my family.. and the chaplain..

48 hours passed, Landon was still alive. It was decided that he would have a broviach placed in his chest due to the amount of medicine he would receive and the length of time he would receive it. After antibiotics were started, his fever didn’t go away so the pediatrician ordered two ultrasounds of his brain – neither one of them showed anything. Since he was scared we were missing something, he ordered a MRI – which showed there was fluid on his brain. That day, we met with the Neurosurgeon and Infectious Disease Specialist. The ID doctor recommended stronger antibiotics, and the Neurosurgeon informed us another MRI would be repeated a week later and what would happen if the fluid was worse. Surgery. The next day, Landon had his first surgery – the placement of the broviach port inside his chest.

Landon at 2 weeks Old

Landon at 2 weeks Old

Landon before the Broviach Surgery

Landon before the Broviach Surgery

 

That weekend went by great – for the most part. It was mine & Jerry’s first wedding Anniversary [June 9] and it was spent inside the hospital – other than me having to leave the hospital Sunday night to come home due to a medical issue of mine. Thankfully, my sweet and VERY Helpful Grandmother stayed with Landon that night – she has been SUCH a big help since his birth.. I can’t put it into words. The next day, I returned. Landon had not ran a fever in 24 hours.. The next night, which was Tuesday night, the doctor was VERY happy with the no fever – and decided to do the second MRI two days early. We were very hopeful that the MRI would not show anything on his brain.. and at 7am on Wednesday June 12, I took Landon down to radiology. The tech’s informed me that Landon would be in there for an hour, and so I went to the cafeteria (after making sure they had my cell number) to get something to eat. I returned at about the time they told me he should be coming out of the MRI… and yet no one had heard anything yet. Next thing I knew, 9:45 came.. Landon had been gone for almost 3 hours.. I was on the edge. I was in the hospital room and our pediatrician called the room number. His exact words were “I didn’t want you to be a sitting duck – but I’m letting you know now the MRI did NOT go as expected – Landon HAS to have brain surgery TODAY. I’ve already contacted the neurosurgeon and they should begin around 11.”

Landon was three weeks old. THREE WEEKS OLD. And he was having brain surgery. I was beside myself – crying, thinking the worst, snapping at everyone I spoke with on the phone, and asking GOD “Why?!” Landon’s father rushed to the hospital immediately, followed by my Aunt. Jerry and I took Landon down to radiology – yet again – for another extensive MRI so the neurosurgeon knew exactly where to go in at. We met with the Neurosurgeon who explained things to us – said that Landon would come out of surgery on a ventilator and he would most likely be in the ICU ward for a week or more, and that it depended on him. We waited.. Surgery began.. they called with updates at first, and then it stopped. Landon lost a lot of blood during the surgery, so they had to give him a transfusion. Next thing I knew, it was around 5:45.. I finally got the call that they were out. I walked into the room in recovery – and I freaked out. There was no ventilator – and instead of me being happy.. I thought he was dead. The nurse had to explain to me three times that Landon was breathing on his own and did not need it. After I calmed down, we took him to ICU.  We heard from the Neurosurgeon and Pediatrician – and the pediatrician told me I needed to go home that night and get some rest since Landon would be well watched in the ICU. After my husband stepped in and told me the same thing, I left. I called the ICU nurse 13 times that night before I finally went to sleep. The next day, Landon was taken out of ICU and put back into his regular room on the infant & toddler floor. He had done so well. He was in ICU for a maximum of 18 hours.

 

Jerry with Landon before Brain Surgery

Jerry with Landon before Brain Surgery

Jerry with Landon before Brain Surgery

Jerry with Landon before Brain Surgery

Me with Landon before Brain Surgery

Me with Landon before Brain Surgery

Landon before Brain Surgery

Landon before Brain Surgery

Landon in ICU right after the surgery

Landon in ICU right after the surgery

Landon in ICU right after the surgery

Landon in ICU right after the surgery

Landon the day after the surgery

Landon the day after the surgery

Landon the day after the surgery

Landon the day after the surgery

Two days after surgery - the incisions on the back of his head

Two days after surgery – the incisions on the back of his head

The rest of June was downhill from there – our precious miracle had pulled through the surgery with flying colors. He began to improve immensely. I watched as he transformed to a VERY weak baby into a very STRONG and STUBBORN and VERY healthy baby. Soon, we were able to go home. He was hospitalized two more times after we left the hospital – each for a GI issue, only for two-three days max. I’m so thankful there have not been any more hospitalizations since. He truly is our miracle baby – and GOD has definitely watched out for him.

 

Landon inside the hospital, June 29

Landon inside the hospital, June 29

Landon & his Dad the night before we came home

Landon & his Dad the night before we came home

Landon in his going home outfit - again

Landon in his going home outfit – again

"YAY I'm going home!"

“YAY I’m going home!”

 

 

 

And Then There Were Three…

Anxious isn’t even the word. I had been experiencing on and off contractions half of the week, and then the other half of the week, they stayed. We went to the maternal assessment center at least three times that week – and each time I waddled into the assessment center I was so sure that it was time. We went through two years of fertility issues. Two years. Four very painful miscarriages. Two D&C’s, and two rounds of clomid before we conceived our miracle baby. At 38 ½ weeks, I was more than ready to meet him. The pregnancy hadn’t been that easy of a pregnancy – I was put on bedrest at 18 weeks for premature contractions. At 20 weeks, my cervix had started shortening, and at 22 weeks I was diagnosed with low amniotic fluid. All of the doctors in my group were completely surprised that I’d carried for as long as I had – as they all thought that I would go into labor at 27 weeks or sooner – but thankfully… Landon proved them wrong.

On May 18, I sent my little sister off to her junior prom. I had prayed over and over again that even though I wanted to meet the son that GOD had given my husband & I, I didn’t want to go into labor that day or even that night. I was miserable – with the South Carolina heat and humidity… I was miserable. I felt like a walking oversized pumpkin, even if I hadn’t even put on that much weight. No, I honestly didn’t.. I lost about 30 pounds and gained 10 pounds back in my last trimester. That night, as my sister was off at prom, I started feeling strange. After loosing my mucus plug days before, I was on complete standby & alert – and so was everyone around me (not that I gave them much choice to be anything but..)

My sister (Stephanie) and our dad right before Prom

My sister (Stephanie) and our dad right before Prom

We’d had a family gathering at my cousin Donnie’s house – nothing special.. Just family. I left his house about 11 that night… only to walk into the house and get this sudden urge to clean from top to bottom. My husband kept trying to tell me to hold off until tomorrow because he didn’t want me to over do myself… and I looked him dead in the eyes and said I wouldn’t be able to go to sleep unless this house was cleaned. I remember my husband looking at me as if I had lost all of my marbles – which, probably by that point I had lost some.. If not all. My best friend Ashley laughed and probably held the same opinion he did. After pulling out what cleaning products I had underneath the kitchen sink, and finding that I didn’t have what I needed… I waddled back up to my cousin’s house and got some of their’s. I cleaned like I had never cleaned before. Now, let me first tell you.. I am seriously OCD. I have very bad cleaning OCD.. If it isn’t cleaned a certain way.. Then it isn’t cleaned at all and I’m not happy and it WILL be cleaned again until I feel satisfied. That’s how it was that night. I cleaned like a maniac for about three hours. The contractions were there, but for some reason, they didn’t slow me down. And after I felt as if my house was cleaned.. I was finally able to rest. So, after the house was cleaned to my high standards – I crawled into bed beside my [already] sleeping husband and fell asleep beside him.

Then.. I woke up.
At 8 a.m.
Due to contractions.
Can we say pain?

I mean, it wasn’t like any of the horror stories people had been telling me about for 9 months – no, they were like very strong menstrual cramps.
But they were strong enough to wake me up. I wanted to go into labor and delivery that morning – but I decided to hold off. After going there three times already in that one week alone, I was sick of going and being turned away. I timed them, and they stayed persistent, never going away. Ashley and I went to Target to get some things for her daughter, Mackenzie, who was also staying with us… anticipating the arrival of my son. We were gone for about two hours.. And in those two hours, I felt the contractions getting stronger and closer..

We came home.. And they were even stronger… and I was to the point to where I really wanted to go into the hospital.. But I held off a little longer. I figured that maybe I had pushed myself too hard the night before with the cleaning – so I went to mine and Jerry’s bedroom and sprawled all over the bed (and this was a treat, considering he was at work. Normally if he’s home… I can’t take up the whole bed… but hey.. Me? Take up the whole bed? Nahhh…..) I laid down. I changed position after position. I had all 15 pillows (yes, pregnancy made me have to have FIFTEEN pillows for me to even sleep right.. But.. This is my husband’s fault for not buying me that oversized body pillow that I had requested eight months prior..) either under my tummy, head or feet, between my legs, or squeezed with my arms. I did this for an hour and forty-five minutes. And then…
I couldn’t take it. I remember thinking… “What if I am in labor? What if THIS is truly it?”

And so.. I called my doctor, who was VERY prompt on calling me back. He called, I explained everything to him and told him I was entirely too frustrated and that was why I hadn’t gone to the hospital yet – and he told me to come in so he could take a look. The drive took FOREVER. The check-in took FOREVER. The normal maternal assessment procedures took FOREVER. I wanted to yell at the nurse because she wasn’t moving fast enough. And then.. When I least expected it, the doctor came in. He hadn’t been there the previous three times I’d come into the maternal assessment center, so he had reviewed everything from that week.

My son was fine – perfect heartbeat.. My contractions were good and strong, and about five to six minute apart. He checked my cervix – and I was only dilated to 3 ½ centimeters. I remember saying “ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!” I had only changed half a centimeter since that Thursday’s visit. HALF a centimeter. I was beyond frustrated. The doctor said he was a little concerned because, after reviewing everything, I had been showing signs of labor (as far as contractions go) for the past few days and he was starting to worry about how much my body could take. He wanted to keep me a little longer and told me I might want to start thinking about inducement options. We had discussed induction at previous office visits – and he knew more than anyone in my family (besides my husband) how against induction I was – but I was truly at the edge. I was sick of being pregnant.. And I was sick of not knowing my son..

They moved me into a labor and delivery room, where I was told I could shower if I chose to because I’d be there for a while. Shortly after my shower, the contractions started picking up – and right when my doctor got down there to do another cervical exam an hour later (which we HAD discussed breaking the waters if there was still no progress) my water broke. And oh my, that is the weirdest feeling in the world. It honestly felt like I was peeing… warm fluid seeping out every time I moved? Yeah.. I didn’t like that at all.

Our labor & delivery room.

Our labor & delivery room.

Contractions..

Contractions..

And so, this was it. I was truly in labor and within twenty four hours, I would be holding my son in my arms because due to risks of infection… they won’t let you go past twenty four hours without delivering after your water breaks.

So.. I labored.
And I labored.
And I labored.

Jerry (husband) my father, my baby sister, Ashley, and her one year old daughter (Mackenzie) stayed with me at the hospital. My father had parked the truck in the parking garage and so, that was where he, my sister and Mackenzie slept that night. Jerry and Ashley on the other hand never left my side. Well, they never left the room for more than 10 minutes. Jerry was in a chair that was right beside me and Ashley was over on the sofa – all three of us stayed awake except for a five minute power nap here and there, anxiously waiting.
The contractions kept coming, and my husband held my hand through each one of them. At a little after midnight on May 20th, he looked at me after I had just finished a contraction and practically begged me to get the epidural, morphine, or something. He didn’t like seeing me in pain.. And here, I will be completely honest with all of you. I did not cry, yell, call him names, tell him I hated him, or even threaten divorce. I handled the contractions well.. And we’d all thought I wouldn’t. I remember distinctively everyone saying that I’d break Jerry’s hand or I’d yell at him and tell him I hated him. Nope. I never, not once, did I do that.

I told Jerry that when I started feeling like I needed the epidural, I would ask for it.. And if I wanted the morphine, I would ask for it.. But until then, I was going to hold off. I had been having contractions for sixteen hours straight by that point. I was at 4 ½ centimeters.. And just ready to meet my son. A few hours later though, I gave in.. and requested some pain relief. Yes, I gave in.. but, after having contractions for almost 19 hours straight.. You can’t blame me. I was getting worn out. They asked if I wanted an epidural, I turned it down.. So.. They gave me a shot of morphine. Ahhh.. Relief..

I had been worried throughout the pregnancy about pain medications. I was worried about not being in touch with my emotions when Landon arrived and just.. Not being able to feel anything. Let me just say, I felt it. Despite the contractions being edged off a little bit, I felt all of the emotions. Let’s fast forward, shall we?

A little after 1pm on May 20th.. I started dilating an unbelievable amount in such a short time. I went from being 5cm to 10 cm.. and I felt every single thing. I’d been told over and over again that once I got past 5cm that the contractions would be unbearable – that was a lie (or at least to me & my body it was!). They were bearable.. But entirely uncomfortable. I had been telling the nurse for what seemed like hours that I needed to push – and of course, she didn’t believe me.

Excuse me, if anyone is in touch with their body.. It would be me. I know MY body, hence the fact that it’s MINE. I needed to push – no doubt about it. Finally, after I’d snapped at her, she got down there to check……

And what do you know?
I was ten centimeters and fully ready.

I don’t know how it works at other hospitals, but at ours, you have to get the baby to crown before the doctor comes in. So.. We started. I pushed.. And I pushed repeatedly for about ten minutes.. I was worn out.. I had been at the hospital for a little over 24 hours… I was completely exhausted.. I couldn’t focus, it was like I was in a fog (and mind you, not a medicated fog either.. This was natural…)

I guess my husband had been paying attention.. Because he was on my left side holding my left leg.. And Ashley was on the right side holding the right leg… All of a sudden.. He started motivating me like he’d never motivated me before. All it took was for me to hear him say “Shelby, you can do this! You’ve got this baby, you’ve got this.. You CAN do this!” to get me into focus. And next thing I knew, I was focusing on the clock behind the nurse’s head and I pushed like my body had never pushed before. And within five minutes of me focusing, Landon had crowned. The nurse frantically dialed for the doctor who came into the room within 40 seconds of getting off the phone with the nurse.  My grandmother and aunt were sent out of the room to join the rest of the family in the waiting room (yes, they had been in the room for the crowning…but they could not stay in for the delivery..). As soon as they left the room, the doctor got down there to do an episiotomy. It was so funny, because as soon as I saw him getting prepared for it.. Well.. It went like this…

Me: “Is that really necessary?” *deep breath* “Because I need to push..“ *deep breath* “Can I please push?”
Doctor:  *looks up* “No, we don’t have to do it.. And you can push, but I need you to be sure about this.. If you’re sure, then I have no issue going along and letting you push, but you have to be sure..”
Me: “I’m sure, can I please push?”
Doctor: “Let’s do this! On the count of one, two, three – big push!”

It took five pushes.
Five pushes.

I remember after the last push, something weird happened. It was like I was in a fog and I couldn’t hear ANYTHING. Not the doctor, not Ashley, not even Jerry. Then.. All of a sudden, I came to. Jerry was saying “ BABY LOOK DOWN!” And my first thought? “Oh my god, what’s wrong?!”

But – as scared as I was – I looked down. And just what did I see?

My son. My beautiful, 6lb 14 oz, 19 inches long son.

Landon Christopher.

I started crying. Immediately. My emotions overwhelmed me. They placed him on my chest, and I just.. I started crying. He was beautiful – absolutely perfect in each and every way. And, as you can tell from the pictures below… all of those times I kept telling my husband Landon would come out with a head full of dark brown hair due to the heartburn radiating my eyeballs…. Well.. I was apparently correct…

BEHIND THE NAME:
A lot of people ask me why we named our son Landon Christopher. Well.. Obviously, neither name is family related.. However, that’s not the reason. At 16 weeks when I took a trip to the emergency room we were told that the baby would be a girl… and much to our surprise, at our 18 week appointment we were informed that our “girl” was actually a BOY!
Funny thing – and I’m being 100% honest about this – RIGHT before the ultrasound tech revealed that we were having a boy.. I heard my mother (who passed away March 2012) whisper “Landon”… and not even a minute after hearing that, the Ultrasound tech said “IT’S A BOY!” How cool/freaky is that? So.. After hearing that, I couldn’t decide on another boy name – so, Landon it was. We picked Christopher because we liked the way it went with Landon & Long (our last name)

Jerry, at about 2 or 3 am

Jerry, at about 2 or 3 am

Ashley! Just relaxing..

Ashley! Just relaxing..

Me! Trying to focus on something OTHER than contractions..

Me! Trying to focus on something OTHER than contractions..

Jerry holding my hand through a contraction

Jerry holding my hand through a contraction

Landon Christopher Long <3

Landon Christopher Long ❤

First time holding Landon <3

Very Proud Parents

Very Proud Parents

I never knew love until I knew him.

I never knew love until I knew him.

And then there were three..

And then there were three..

VERY proud daddy!

VERY proud daddy!

Sleepy baby!

Sleepy baby!

First Onesie

First Onesie

On the way home! Going Home ❤