Connor’s 5-month birthday and his birth story

I can’t believe how quickly our little guy is growing up! We have seen so many changes over the past month…

-Connor has great control of his hands now. He can touch anything he wants, can usually grab things if he wants to, and can get his fingers in his mouth when he wants to (which is all the time)! It cracks us up when he sucks on his fingers or thumb – he can’t get the other fingers out of the way, so they end up splayed across his face.

-He found his feet! He loves to show off his flexibility by grabbing onto his toes, and especially loves to try pulling off his socks.

-Holding his head up high during tummy time is no big deal anymore, and he can just hang out like that for a while! He often rolls from tummy to back. He has sort of rolled onto his tummy once or twice. He actually seemed to be trying, which was new, but he was already on his side, so gravity just seemed to take over.

-Connor sits in his high chair while we eat dinner and he plays with toys on his tray. He is getting better and better at lasting through an entire meal while playing in his chair!

-I think he’s almost ready to sit up, but he just isn’t quite interested in trying. When I hold onto his hands to help him roll up from laying down to sitting, he loves to push all the way to standing! Forget this sitting thing!

-Connor smiles, giggles, and laughs all the time šŸ™‚

-I love to see how he improves at using toys! We borrowed a jumperoo from a friend, and Connor didn’t quite know what to do for a few days. He only lasted a few minutes at a time. Now he has lots of fun playing in it! He also likes to hang out for a while in his swing. He had a few toys in Colorado that he didn’t know how to enjoy yet, and when we unpacked them here, he was excited to play with them!

-Connor still loves to nurse for quite a while as he falls asleep at night or for naps, but he is getting really quick and efficient with his meals during the day. He’s also getting much more easily distracted – heaven forbid Charlie walks into the room and starts talking while Connor is eating!

-Connor drooooools a lot

-He is definitely showing interest and curiosity when we eat or drink. I am in NO hurry for him to grow up, but, I’m excited to make food for him soon!

Connor Joseph Brokovich ~ April 16, 2012
I wrote this shortly after Connor was born, and decided to share it here to celebrate his first five months of life.

Your birth story

I loved every moment of being pregnant with you. Aside from about 2 weeks of back pain, I felt great the entire time you were growing inside. I was thankful that you let me continue with teaching, normal activities, and exercise. Around 36 weeks, people started saying things like, “You must be ready to get that baby out!” Truthfully, I was just fine with you waiting until your due date as long as I kept feeling the way I was feeling! Your due date was May 8, but you clearly had your own plan. I am so grateful that your plan ended with a happy and healthy baby and mama!

On Saturday, April 14 I had a baby shower hosted by Jennifer Quinlan, Vicki Jackson, and Melissa Staudacher. You received lots of wonderful gifts, but I had no idea how soon I would use them! The next day, I went to the commissary to grocery shop like I always do on Sundays. By the time I got home, I wasn’t feeling that great. My left side (more towards my back – not directly on my side) was very uncomfortable. It was a constant dull ache, I was feeling slightly nauseous, and I was definitely not up for eating. The pain continued all day and I ate only a few crackers and a few bites of applesauce. Somehow I managed to finish the laundry (with help from daddy), work on my birth plan, make sure my hospital bag was ready, and create some emergency substitute plans just in case I wasn’t feeling well enough to go to work the next day. That night I slept horribly. I could not get comfortable in any position because of the pain, and meanwhile I was having frequent Braxton Hicks contractions. Well, I thought they were Braxton Hicks! At that point, I honestly didn’t think my discomfort had anything to do with you.

The next morning (Monday, April 16), I woke up around 6:00 when your daddy was getting ready for PT. I was feeling just as awful as the day before, so I went ahead and requested a substitute and emailed my sub plans to my principal. I still didn’t think that the pain had anything at all to do with you. The pain was so isolated in my kidney area that your daddy and I thought it might be a kidney infection or something like that. I wasn’t even considering the idea that I could be in labor! I called the OB clinic, but they didn’t have any openings that day. The nurse on the triage line said to just go to the ER if the pain got any worse. For a few minutes, I was actually feeling better. I took a shower and managed to eat half a banana. Before long I was in a lot of pain again, so I sent your dad a text message saying I think I should go to the hospital. He came right home to get me, and he had the good sense to grab my hospital bag. We went to the ER, but because I was so far along in my pregnancy (36 weeks and 6 days), they just sent us up to Labor and Delivery. I was quickly shown to a triage room where they hooked up an external fetal monitor to make sure you were doing just fine. Your heart rate was good, and although I was having regular contractions, they were not painful and did not indicate that I was in labor. Meanwhile, the nurse said that I had a urinary tract infection, so I was prescribed antibiotics and we were going to go home soon. The nurse noticed that your heart rate was dropping slightly each time I had a contraction – not a huge drop, but enough that he wanted to keep an eye on us a little longer. The midwife came in and did a quick exam to see if I was dilated. I was 2 cm, 90% effaced, and -2 station. I’ll be happy to explain all of that to you if you are curious, but the point is that no one thought I was in labor, or that I would necessarily go into labor anytime soon. Meanwhile, my contractions were definitely feeling more intense than they had before, but I thought that was somehow related to the pain of the UTI. We waited a little longer to get the official “ok” to go home.

Around 12:15pm I suddenly felt a very strange sensation, then I felt a gush of fluid. I said to your dad, “I think my water just broke!” He went into the hall and said to the first nurse he saw, “I think my wife’s water just broke!” The nurse came into the room and said “Are you sure?” One peek under the sheet and she knew it was true. Then she said, “Well I guess you’re staying with us today!” At that moment, your dad and I knew that you were on your way. We couldn’t believe that we would be holding you in our arms later that day. You weren’t due for another 3 weeks! My first fear was that I would not have the energy to go through a natural childbirth like I had planned because I felt so weak – I had only eaten a few crackers and a few bites of banana and applesauce since Sunday morning because of the pain and discomfort of the UTI (or what I THOUGHT was a UTI). The nurse helped me get cleaned up and into a gown, which took several minutes because as soon as my water broke, the contractions were suddenly very intense. I think I even said while we were still in the triage room, “I feel so much pressure!” I thought I felt you coming quickly, but I certainly wasn’t sure since I had never gone through this before. Once I was finally into a gown, your dad and the nurse helped me walk down the hall to a delivery room. It was a short walk, but a difficult one because of the contractions. Once we got into the room I had trouble getting into the bed because I had to keep stopping for the contractions. At one point I just had to hang on to your dad. I finally made it into the bed, and meanwhile I know I kept saying with each contraction, “I feel so much pressure!” and I knew I meant it now. I was no childbirth expert, but I would have bet money that your head was getting ready to come out. One nurse was busy putting in an IV, and another was trying to pick up your heart rate on the external fetal monitor. She was having trouble and kept moving the monitor around – which was belted to my belly – and the discomfort of that was driving me crazy. Your dad was doing a great job helping me try to relax through the contractions, although that was difficult because of their intensity. It felt like my body was starting to take over with each contraction. Each contraction started with a tightness in the top of my belly, but then it moved downwards and it felt like my muscles were working on pushing you out without any conscious effort from me. After saying “I feel so much pressure!” several more times, someone finally paid attention to me, took a look, and there was your head!! Suddenly everyone was moving very quickly and calling for a doctor. I think one nurse was even trying to hold your head in until the doctor came! With one contraction I felt your head come all the way out. With the next, my body pushed the rest of your body right out! At 12:45pm – about 25 minutes after my water broke – there you were! I held you right away, but then your dad stayed with you on the other side of the room while they measured you, gave you a bath, and did the standard tests. You weighed 5 lb 12 oz, and you were 20 in long. Your dad and I were so thrilled to meet you and have you in our arms, but we were still in shock that you were here! When we woke up that morning, we never would have guessed that our day would turn out like that. You were so perfect (and you still are!) and we immediately felt so blessed to have you in our lives. All the doctors and nurses were surprised at how quickly you came. I guess you had made up your mind that it was time, and no one could stop you!

(About 7 weeks later, when I went to my check-up, the midwife looked up my bloodwork and noticed that I never actually had a urinary tract infection after all! The initial test showed bacteria, which is why the nurse told me I had a UTI and prescribed antibiotics, but after a few days nothing had “grown” in the culture, so it turns out there was no UTI. The pain I had been having all day before you were born must have been early labor! I’m just so glad we were at the hospital when my water broke, otherwise you might have been born in the car! Or in the middle of first grade music class!)

Since you didn’t give me a long labor, I was able to recover pretty quickly. We had to spend a little extra time in the hospital, though, for your blood test. I was supposed to receive antibiotics through an IV at least 4 hours before your birth, but everything happened so quickly that there definitely wasn’t time for that! So just to be safe, they had to run some extra bloodwork on you. Everything came back just fine! We stayed at the hospital Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday nights, then came home at lunchtime on Thursday, April 19.

You were quite the popular little man! We had lots of visitors after you were born. Right after we got home from the hospital, my college friends Tammy, Elizabeth, and Colleen came to visit for a few days. They had planned the trip as one last girls weekend before I gave birth and before we moved to Germany, but you had a better idea, and they were so excited to have the chance to meet you and hold you! We took you to Garden of the Gods while they were here. Next, your Aunt Michelle came to visit. She held you and cuddled with you as much as your dad and I would let her! I got to catch up on some sleep while she was busy holding you. Grandma Penny was our next visitor, and she got to be your first “babysitter.” Daddy and I had to drop off passport applications (getting ready for our move to Germany) and you were already fast asleep in Grandma’s arms, so we made a quick decision to leave you with her since we wouldn’t be gone long. I cried a lot in the car, but when we got home, you were still asleep! After Grandma Penny left, Gram and Grandpa Mraz came to visit! Next came Grandma and Granddad Brokovich and Uncle Jeff. A few weeks later, Uncle Jeff came back with your cousins Katie and Kari.

After all of our visitors were gone, it was time to get ready for your first big adventure: moving to Germany!





1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Dad and Marilyn
    Sep 16, 2012 @ 16:17:41

    How beautiful that you have recounted it all….one day Connor will love this story.


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