Monday, May 24, 2010

Where Do I Begin?

Where Do I Begin?

Wednesday, May 19th was one of the best, most amazing, most shocking days of my life. At 9:24am my son was born by c-section. In the days leading up to the 19th I was filled with nerves, the worst nerves I had experienced throughout my entire pregnancy. I wasn’t so nervous about the c-section, I was more nervous about what came after the operation. I was nervous that I was going to be responsible for another human life. A life that I knew I would love more than my own. That’s more reasonability than I’ve ever had obviously, and while I was experiencing those nerves, quite frankly, I was doubting I even wanted it.

Then by some miracle as John and I were driving to the hospital at 5:30am I was completely calm. Serenity took over me and as hokey as it sounds I truly believe my guardian angels were with me. I felt that good… only a higher power of some kind could have made me so serene the morning of the birth of my first born.

Once we got to the hospital there was poking and prodding. I got my IV in, blood work was done, and the nursing team as well as the two doctors who were going to cut me open and the anesthesiologist all came in to introduce themselves to John and me. They were all so lovely, I felt like I was in good hands.

At about ten to nine it was time to head to the operating room. John was given scrubs and was asked to wait until I was frozen and ready to go. I walked into the operating room with the nurse and I’ve got to tell you, it was just like in the movies. All very sterile and white, with those horrendous, unflattering lights! Still, I felt totally calm. They put the needle in my back and within moments I couldn’t feel the lower half of my body, from about mid-chest down. It was such a bizarre sensation. Once I was prepped and ready to go they brought John in. He sat by my head and stroked my face and looked into my eyes and told me he loved me.

Minutes later John peered over the curtain that was separating my head from the action going on below and said he could see the baby. I squeezed his hand. It didn’t seem real. Then next thing you know the doctor was handing our baby off to the nurse who took him across the room. There was silence for a moment, but no one seemed to be worried so I stayed calm. Then came the cry. Then came my cry. John got up and went over to him. They cleaned him up, wrapped him and put him in John’s arms. He brought him over to me and I stared in awe.

Now I have to mention that throughout the short surgery I was truly put at ease by the doctor’s banter. It was just like Grey’s Anatomy. They were talking about restaurants they had been to, and about different doctors they had worked with. I kept half listening for them to drop a swear word or something as a sign that something, anything was wrong, but they never did. In fact it was quite the opposite. Before the surgery the anesthesiologist was complementing me on my bony spine saying it was perfect to put a needle into and at the end of my surgery Dr. Vincent told me I have “juicy ovaries”. Yep, that is the exact quote from the good doctor. Apparently from beginning to end it was a text book c-section.

Once I was stapled they wheeled me into recovery and that’s when I got to hold my son for the first time. It was strange and wonderful. It still didn’t feel real, but it felt right. I was in recovery for a couple of hours as the numbing wore off. At one point I felt very nauseous, but it passed. Then they put the baby in my arms and took me down the long hospital hallway to my room. It was honestly such a long hallway, and we were being wheeled by all sorts of people. I felt like I was in some kind of parade, problem was, for once in my life I didn’t feel like being the center of anyone’s attention. It was such a vulnerable and special time, it felt weird to see so many strangers in that moment. I was relieved when we got to our room, just the three of us.

The next few days in the hospital were tough. In the first couple of days I said to myself, ‘nobody told me it would be so hard’. Actually I was trying to fool even myself and use words like “challenging”, but truth be told it was hard. Breastfeeding is hard. It’s frustrating, and stressful, and worrisome. Dealing with the pain of a c-section is also very hard and frustrating and tiring. And then there are the hormones which made me cry for all sorts of reasons. Thankfully the incredible nursing staff got us through those first days. They helped me to get our little guy to latch. They shared tricks of the breastfeeding trade. They showed us how to bathe him. They talked to me about everything I was going to feel before I felt it, they kept me hydrated, and they answered all the questions we posed to them. I can’t imagine a better care team. We are so fortunate in this country to have access to that.

On Friday the source of my worry and tears was the name. We still hadn’t named our little guy and we were being discharged the next day. Now legally you have up to 30 days to name your child, but obviously John and I didn’t want to wait that long. John giggled at me when I said to him through tears, “he deserves a name”, admitingly a funny thing to say, but I was very serious at the time. Here was my roadblock; the name we both agreed upon is also the name of my cousin and I wanted to talk to him first and get his blessing before I really felt comfortable with it. I got a hold of him Saturday morning and of course he was incredibly sweet and flattered and gave us his blessing. That’s when our “little guy” became Evan Fenech.

It’s Monday now and we’ve been home since Saturday. Since getting home all has seemed right in the world. Evan is eating well, pooping really well and peeing well. He comes alive at night and sleeps through the day, but John and I are still managing to get our sleep when we can.

I am really in love with him, something which did take a couple of days. It’s hard to explain, but some of you might relate. I loved him before he even came into this world of course, but I didn’t really connect with him during the first couple of days in the hospital. I think I was too shell shocked. It was difficult seeing John fall so hard and so fast. I was perhaps even dealing selfishly with the realization that I had just become second fiddle to Evan in my partner’s eyes. I feel much better now. There is more love in this family than I could ever ask for; plenty to go around!

Before I take off I figure I should probably share my first funny poo story with you. It happened yesterday. I was nursing Evan in my bra and underwear in bed. John came up to check on us and was there to witness Evan’s explosive fart which happened to be linked to explosive poop… out the side of his diaper. Problem was he was feeding as he was pooping and I’ll be damned if I was going to unlatch him. When he was done with the right breast I could tell he still wanted more. I transferred him to the left breast and that’s when he dropped the second bomb. This time it went all over the pillow, the blanket I had wrapped his diaper with to protect me from the first explosion and all over my underwear. I was determined not to let the mess interfere with his feeding so I kept at it. When he was done I very carefully removed myself from the bed and changed him. Like every good mother I took care of myself last. I didn’t realize that would entail walking around with poop on me, but now I know.

Dancing with the IV...

John, ready to rock!

Our first family photo...

Me and my baby...

Evan and his very proud, very handsome father...

The cuteness that is Evan Fenech...

First car ride!

Home sweet home!

Guess who took this shot?

Resting peacefully...


  1. Wow, congratulations Josie! He;s a little darling! Best wishes for you and your family!

  2. Congratulations!

    The name suits him. Good luck! <3

  3. Congratulations josie! Evan is gorgeous! And the breast feeding does get easier, I was crying one minute that I didn't want to breast feed anymore and then the next I couldn't imagine not doing it lol. The weepiness does go away too, and he'll get his days and nights worked out. My bf and i would take shifts, one would sleep in bed while the other slept on the couch with Ollie on our chest (the only way he would sleep during the night for the first 2 weeks until he worked his clock out). I think OB nurses really deserve a medal, ours at the CSSS Gatineau were amazing as well, they showed us everything and gave us little tricks as well.

    BTW, I love the name Evan! Great choice!

  4. beautiful baby...were due in august and can't wait to meet our little one...wish you guys all the best with your Evan.
    Melanie and John

  5. How beautiful! Congrats to your happy healthy family. You are a brave woman! Thanks as always for your candid and honest portrayal! Looking forward to more wonderful stories and news...

    Take care xoxo

  6. Well, I tried, but I couldn't do it. Thought I could read your blog and look at the pictures without the waterworks, but no such luck! As I write I can barely make out the text as my eyes are filled with tears of joy for you, John and your beautiful new son, Evan (LOVE the name!). Thank you for sharing your personal feelings with us and for allowing us to ride beside you on this journey. Love you much, xoxoxox

  7. Congrats Josie,

    It is a different stage in life for sure. And you are so right about the breastfeeding I can't tell you how many times I almost gave up. I managed it though.. Congrats and enjoy your son.

  8. Your story brought tears to my eyes. Being a mother of 4.. ( C sections for all ) my youngest is 20 now I could certainly relate. Everything will fall into place.

    I look forward to more.. thanks for taking time to share your experience with us.

  9. Congrats! Evan is absolutely beautiful! You must feel so fortunate and blessed.. Am due in a month and can't wait to meet my little man! Miss you on the morning show but you have a much more important job now :) Be well, and keep the posts and pics coming!

  10. Congratulations Josie. I've been following your blog silently on and off since the beginning and am so please everything went well.

    Good luck with everything. Your family is absolutely beautiful :)

  11. Congrats john and Josie! I have been following your blog since I heard about it on the radio. The birth story is great And you made a great choice for the name. Better than "mauler rush". Try and get some sleep and take it easy! I breastfed my son for two years. Nursing a 6 month old Is different than a newborn. Much easier and more natural.... it gets easier! Just stick it out :-) take care. Xoxo

  12. Congrats to the both of you !! Evan is abosolutely BEAUTIFUL! :)
    Cherish this time as it does go by so fast and before you know it Mr Evan will be heading off to college :)
    Perhaps scrapbooking will be in your near future !

  13. Congratulations! He is beautiful and you have a beautiful family. Evan is a perfect name. Congratulations again. :o)

  14. Congratulations Josie and John, Evan is adorable! Thanks so much for sharing your stories :)

  15. Enjoy every second Josie! So glad that you, John and baby Evan are doing well. Our children are such a joy in our lives and no one can explain that until they see the miracle of their own. So happy for you!!!! Ann

  16. Congrats Josie!!

  17. I have been waiting very patiently for the newest update- and it was well worth the wait! Evan is PERFECT!!!!
    I do not have kids of my own nor am I prego but I do want to have kids one day. I really enjoyed reading your blog throughout your pregnancy and can't wait to hear more stories.
    Best of luck to the 3 of you!

  18. Josie! Congratulations. Evan is gorgeous - he looks like you!!

    I'm so proud of you and impressed by your courage. I can't wait for a lunch date with both of you!

  19. Congrats!!!!!
    Even is BEAUTIFUL!!

    we are missing you in the morning during the morning hot tub, but we can wait, cherish every moment with him

  20. Congratulations to you and John! Evan looks absolutely perfect. :) He's so bright eyed and look at that head of hair! WOW! Make sure to take lots of photos while he's this little because apprently they grow up... Enjoy being parents and I hope you keep up your blog. PS. I really like the football pic; gives a true indication of how tiny newborns really are!

  21. Great Story Josee! and I know how you feel as I ended up having our baby boy a month early on May 16 via C-section after 12 hours of labour. The pain is getting better daily and seeing my little guy makes me so happy. Congrats on Evan!! He is adorable and its crazy how much hair he has. Glad everything went well. Good Luck to you and your new family...

  22. Great job Josie.... being a mom is the best thing in the world. Evan is a very lucky boy! He is gorgeous.

  23. Congratulations! He is adorable. I think he looks like mommy in some of those pics.

    I love the name. I read your comment about not connecting with him right away and I felt the same way. My little man was colicky and the breast feeding was not working so it felt like it took a bit to connect with him but when I did, wow, you just become so overwhelmingly in love with them. I used to stare at him for hours....when he was not screaming. :) Thank goodness colic goes away.

    Congrats again to you both!

  24. I've been waiting patiently for a new post, but figured you'd be far too busy to post so soon...KUDOS! He's so so adorable. What a perfect little boy! Congratulations! I've really enjoyed all the stories so far...I'm due in august for my second (but it seems more like a first since my oldest is almost 9 and i didnt know i was pregnant with him) I love telling my husband about "Josie and the baby". I wish you all the best! Congrats again!

  25. Congrats Josie!

  26. Congrats and all the best to you and your family! Evan looks a lot like you =)

  27. congratulations!
    cutie pie OMG!

  28. Congrats on behalf of all of the Belly Laughers!

  29. Congrats Josie!! He is absolutely adorable!
    And WOW, is he ever a perfect 50/50 of you and John - at least that's what I see from these pictures anyway.
    Enjoy every second with your new son and as others have said thank you so very much for sharing your story from beginning to end with the world....I'm just that much less scared and that much more educated for when the day comes for my fiance and I to take on this journey :)
    All the best!

  30. What an amazing birth story! Congrats to you and your whole family!! Thank you for keeping us all in the loop and sharing your beautiful pictures.

    On another note, your little man shares a birthday my new little nephews!! My sister in law went into preterm labour (6 weeks early), had an emergency c-section and then surprise twin boys at 9:42 pm & 9:43 pm. It's been a pretty exciting week!

    Glad you are home and falling in love :)

    PS: I love the name Evan!

  31. Congrats Josie! I've been listening to you for years and am so happy to read your story.

    Cheers! He's a beautiful little boy.

  32. Having experienced the miracle of kids ourselves over 20 years ago, I see very familiar emotions in your comments, and am excited for the future of you and your new family. It's a wonderful journey and truly is the answer to the age old question of why we are all here.

    As a now 49 year old guy, with two grown wonderful children, I would like to impart some advice to you that and I wish I learned when my kids were little. Embrace every moment with joy and appreciation for what is. Live in the "now" with Evan. I remember always wishing for the next stage to come, weather it be talking, walking, sleeping through the night, school etc. I wasted energy wishing and anxious for the next stage to come, to the point where I think I lost focus in the moment and missed out. In hindsight, I would not hav done this, instead opting to love and relish in every moment spent at these incredible stages of development, because before too long (and trust me it goes by so quickly), they're grown up. Those quiet moments in the middle of the night, alone with your new child, feeding and bonding, are beyond miraculous and truly special. Enjoy. And again, congratulations. Thanks for sharing your journey.

  33. Congratulations...he is absolutely beautiful. Enjoy because they grow up sooo fast!


  34. Congrats Josie he's very cute

  35. Congras Josie .... your little boy is beautiful What a head of hair,. My daughter born last month also has a lot of hair! I can definately relate to the poop.... happened to me yesterday in the car travelling home from northern ontario.... but I wasn't lucky like you to be able to change at home... I was in the car! I had a change of clothes for her, but not for me!

    As for the c-section. I had one of those too. By two weeks you will up asnd running pretty good. Let everyone else do the housework for a little longer if you can. You don't want to pull anything. In fact I just pulled a major muscle the otherday and it really put me out... so don't over do it no matter how good you feel. Ease into it.

    The toughest part for me other than the recovery was the breastfeeding. I cried, she cried, I hurt SO much I thought I would give up. I saw nurses, specialists! Friends were telling me to keep trying... and I did and it is finally paying off. It is almost 5 weeks now and it finally doesn't hurt. The nurses in the hospital told me she was latched on right, but she wasn't... the two of us eventually figured it out and I'm finally on the mend. I sincerely hope that you have no trouble with it. We wish you all the best, Evan is BEAUTIFUL! Congrats.

  36. CONGRATULATIONS! Evan is beautiful, and the name is perfect.
    I totally understand abotu the connection between you and your baby. I felt the same when my daughter was born. You love them more than anything, but it is just different that what you imagined.
    And the nursing gets easier and more enjoyable everytime to do it. I went to see a "lactation consultant" to help with positions and latching (more for my comfort) and it was amazing. It was so wonderful to share those moments of breastfeeding with my child. I highly reccommend it!
    I have throughly enjoyed reading your blog and appreciate your honesty throughout your journey. Thank you for sharing your private and intimate moments with the city.
    Enjoy your new family :)
    **Poop story very funny!**

  37. Sigh - the tears started after reading the first sentence! Welcome aboard the mommy wagon; I hope you have a wonderful can get really bumpy, but it's journey you'll never forget. I have a 3 year old and a 5 month old and would never go back. From my experience, the first 2 weeks are the hardest, then after 6 weeks it get a little better, and then after the 3 month mark the routine settles in and it gets absolutely amazing. In the moment it can be really hard, but it will pass and tomorrow will come. But, as someone else mentioned, enjoy every single breath and every moment because it goes by quickly. Take the time to watch him sleep and breath, feel his warmth and let him gaze into your eyes - the most precious moments. If only all of this could be bottled up. Take care and keep well.

  38. Congratulations Josie! Your baby is ADORABLE! I had tears in my eyes reading your experience at the hospital... my daughter just turned 1 last week and this reminded me of a year ago when i was the one at the hospital stressing over finding a name for my baby (which i didnt know was going to be a girl at the time)!

  39. Beautiful, so glad it all went well!
    Cant wait to see you all soon!!

  40. Welcome Evan,
    You are a miracle of life that has brought a new sense of tenderness and love to your new family.
    Congratulations Mommy Josie and Daddy John,
    the road ahead will be filled with so many surprises, treasure them all.
    Enjoy the good days and be patient with the bad days and believe me, there will be days that are not so pleasant. Please remember, family and friends are always there to help, so don't be shy to ask for it when in need, that's what they are there for.

    Once again, congratulations to you both and you have a beautiful son [looks like mom] with a head of hair that makes most men and women envious.

    God Bless
    Maria xoxo

  41. Well....that brought tears to my eyes, how amazing. You two sure did make a beautiful baby boy, what a perfect name...Evan!! Congrats and all the best.
    PS. Josie, you look fantatsic!!! :-)

  42. congrats to both of you! He is gorgeous! you sound very proud and in heaven right now. enjoy every moment as they will past very quickly! trust me baby boys are 7 & 2. seems like yesterday!

    Be advised that the emotions will be all over the place for a few weeks and all will settle down soon. Evan will start his own routine around 4 to 5 weeks and it will get easier but stinkier. lol
    Good luck & congrats to both of you and keep us posted.
    & her boys

  43. Congrats sweetie, I cried too. Evan is beautiful and I love all the pics you posted.
    I wish you and John all the best. Thanks for sharing this part of your life with us.

  44. Hi Josie, thank you for sharing your journey with us. I am expecting in August and loved reading your blog, I can see myself having the same feelings and worries as you. Knowing you got through it gives me all the more motivation!!!! Congrats!

  45. He is very very very very cute. You are blessed to have a beautiful son, Evan
    Lots of love. God bless through your journey to come!

  46. Congratulations Josie :)