Our little family continues to grow!

Number Eight has finally arrived!!! Woohoo! Two weeks ago Friday, Aiden Joseph made his way into the world in a way that only he could have pulled off. After all of the problems and complications that I had encountered during my pregnancy, (for example nonstress tests from week 27 on, daily injections that turned into 6x’s a day injections by the end of my pregnancy, etc) I was sure that the labor and delivery would go smoothly….yeah, not so much.
The week that I was to be induced I was running around like a crazy person trying to get everything taken care of before I went in to the hospital. I had to pack not only my bag for the hospital, but also clothes for all four of the little kids as well as all of the little things, like Lamby and Bear-Bear, Isaac’s antibiotics, blah, blah, blah. you get the point! I was also trying to get the house prepared for my absence to make things as easy on Brian and the kids as possible. Two wonderfully beautiful and generous women from our church brought us not one or two meals but 9 meals!!! Can you even imagine! My freezer was totally stocked! We still have food from them. I haven’t had to cook a meal yet! It was also wonderful to not have to worry about the whereabouts of the four little kids. My fabulous in-laws, Marge and Bill offered to take them for as long as we needed them to be watched. That took a huge weight off of my shoulders. The final thing going on that week was Hannah’s Kindergarten screening for next year. I took her into the school and by the time we got home, Marge was there to get the little kids. After they left Brian came home and we had a quick dinner and then we were off the the hospital!!! I was admitted at 8:00 and then they started me on the cervidil. I was overjoyed to find out that I would be in one of the “big rooms.” At our hospital there are 6 labor and delivery rooms, but because of some weird random fire codes you can only stay in 2 of them after you actually deliver. Woohoo again! I was so happy because the other rooms are just too small to fit my whole family. When Brian brings the kids to see me and meet the new baby, it can get a little bit crowded! Brian left to go home at around 10:00, with the understanding that he would be back bright and early before any of the major stuff started to go down. He was true to his word and once the 3 big kids were off to school he came back to the hospital. I was very glad to see him. I’m not real big on being in the hospital by myself. I’m a big baby, I know it!
Thursday morning brought more blood work, more medication and more things to worry about. My doctor came in to see me and had a very bad look on her face. After being with this woman through all 5 of my pregnancies, I could tell that something was wrong. I was right. Apparently my platelet count was dropping and it was too low for the one anesthesiologist to give me and epidural. She had called in another one and God bless him he agreed to put the catheter for the epidural in right then. The medicine could be added when needed, but the tricky and risky part would still be able to be done safely in case my counts would drop again. I dodged a major bullet there! No way was I having this kid without an epidural.

Even though Aiden was my fifth pregnancy and I have obviously been through this before, there were so many things that were unique to just this pregnancy and labor. First of all the stupid shots were new. I started on 1 shot of Lovenox a day and eventually ended up on 6 shots of heparin a day injected into a very stretched out huge stomach. Not fun. Another thing that was unique to this labor was the addition of the puffer slipper things that I had to wear. Since I couldn’t take my blood thinners while I was in labor, I had to wear these slipper things that kept puffing up with air to keep my circulation going to prevent blood clots. It was a very odd feeling but it kept things interesting. It also added one more thing that the nurses needed to unhook every time that I had to go to the bathroom. And since I was being pumped with fluids constantly, that was very often!. Since I had been in for so many Nonstress test, I had come to know the nurses pretty well. They would often tease me about how bad my baby was, because he never cooperated with them…not ever. But they were all so nice and it made the whole thing much easier to handle.

The contractions were coming frequently and getting harder, but nothing was happening. As usual, Aiden was not cooperating! He was coming down at an angle and not putting pressure on my cervix so I wasn’t dilating. That was basically how things went for the whole day on Thursday. I dilated a whole 1/2 a centimeter all day! Things were not looking good. Dr Russell came back in early that evening and said that they were “closing me down” for the day. They took me off of the pitocin and unhooked me for a little while and I got to eat some dinner. Then they put in the cervidil and we settled in for the night…again.
Friday, also known as Day Two, brought with it all of the trials and worries from day one and a few new ones. My Pappy was brought in to the Emergency room in the morning and ended up passing away from a heart attack on Friday morning. Being in labor and losing my grandpa at the same time was extremely difficult. I kept going back and forth between being excited to meet Aiden and sadness over losing my Pappy. The other additional worry was the fact that I was basically given a deadline and if I didn’t progress quickly it was very likely that I was looking at a c-section. I can’t have a c-section aside from the blood thinners that make surgery tricky for me, the recovery time for a c-section is not something that I have given our busy home life. Friday basically went like this: bad contractions, Dr Narcisse broke my water, bad contractions, crying about my Pappy, really bad contractions, still no progress, epidural medication, smiles and contented sighs from the warm fuzzy feeling from the epidural, progress to 4 centimeters, contractions, but not so bad because I can’t feel them, pressure, dilated to 5 centimeters, a lot of pressure, flip from one side to try and turn the baby, flip to the other side, more pressure, Dr Narcisse checked me again and miraculously I was 10 centimeters!! Dr Narcisse still looked really doubtful that I was going to be able push him out on my own. She had the operating room on standby. None of the nurses thought that I would be able to do it either, but they convinced her to let me try to push him out on my own. I pushed for what felt like an eternity, which was actually about 45 minutes. They had me flip to my one side to try to push and finally he decided to cooperate! I could see my mom’s face and she was looking a little bit worried. I was starting to doubt that I could do it either. After sweating and crying and pushing, Aiden Joseph finally managed to work his way out into the world. The cord was around his neck and Dr Narcisse had to cut it right away. He was a little bit floppy and his arms and legs were really white. I was worried, but they kept rubbing him and gave him some oxygen. He started to perk up and he got nice and pink. Once he started to cry I felt much better. I knew that he was going to be fine. He was in the very capable hands of my nurses and the pediatrician. Once the room was back in order and the baby and I were all cleaned up, Brian and I finally were able to take a really good look at our new little guy. He was beautiful and perfect and precious. All of the frustration and worry, the doubts and fears were all put to rest as we snuggled our sweet little boy. He was 8 pounds and 7 ounces and 23 inches of little baby boy. He was healthy and adorable.

Brand Spankin’ New

The red marks on his forehead and cheek are from where his little face was pushing on my tailbone! Yikes!

Nice to meet you Daddy!
Finally we meet face to face! Neither one of us are looking too hot here!

Mama was very relieved to finally see Aiden.

Meeting Aiden was the bright spot in Pap-pap’s sad day.

Aunt Jess and Aiden

Nanny and Poppa Hough meet their newest grandson

Aunt June, Babee and Grandma Hughan came to meet little Aiden

All cleaned up and looking a lot like Gianna

Ten little fingers….

…and ten little toes.

Mom and whole gang

The girls and their new baby brother

DJ and Aiden

Jake and Aiden

Bubba and Aiden

Aiden was ready to go home from the hospital.

Although he was very healthy, Aiden was pretty jaundiced and had to have a billiblanket for about a week. We called him our little glow-worm. The Girls kept asking for me to “unplug” him so that they could hold him!

Well, that is the end of this rather long blog update, but only the beginning of a new chapter in the Hough’s Book of Life. I am sure that there will be tons more stories about our newest addition! I can’t wait to see what happens next!

The Circle of Life

Two weeks ago, on May 1st 2009, my family went through a whirlwind of emotions. We celebrated the birth of our sweet little Aiden Joseph on the same day that we grieved the loss of my dear grandfather, Pappy.

Pappy, my cousin Shannon and I at our First Communion

Baby Aiden Joseph

My mom had called to say that she was on her way to the hospital, so Brian headed to the cafeteria for some breakfast. I was laying there thinking about what the day would hold when I heard a Code Blue in the Emergency room called over the PA system. Not really thinking about it, I said a quick prayer for the poor patient whose heart had stopped. A few minutes later my mom came into the room. She explained that she was a little bit late because she had stopped in the ER on her way up. My Pappy had been brought in by ambulance and she had stopped in to see how he was. As soon as I heard that, I knew that he had been the person who I had just prayed for. I asked her if they had called a code blue on him and she nodded her head. She went on to tell me that my dad had followed the ambulance to the hospital and was downstairs with my Pappy. By this time Brian had come back into the room so I filled him in. All of a sudden my mom jumped up and said that she was going to run downstairs to check in with my dad and see how Pappy was doing. Brian and I settled in for another long day. My sweet nurse, Kelly came in and started the pitocin again for day two of intense labor. This time we all had our fingers crossed that I would finally start to progress and avoid a c-section. My mom slipped back into the room. I immediately asked her how my Pappy was and she had a funny look on her face. She tried to smile and she said, “Well, it’s pretty bad. He’s not doing very well. ” Something that you need to know about my mom is that she is a wonderful person, but a terrible liar. I knew immediately that my Pappy was gone. ” He’s gone isn’t he? Did he die?” I asked her starting to cry. I knew that she was trying to keep me from getting upset. She kept telling me to calm down, but I needed to cry. It was more than I could deal with at the moment. I just needed some time to be sad. After I had calmed down, I asked her what had happened. Thankfully she had gone down to the ER when she did. She was there just in time to be there with my dad and his brothers and sisters and my Grandma to say goodbye. My Pappy passed away Friday morning surrounded by his children and his wife of 63 years.

Pappy and I at my wedding

My dad came up to my room to check in on me. Brian went to my dad and hugged him telling him how sorry he was. That was about more than I could handle. My poor dad was going from the low of losing his dad to the high of becoming a grandpa again. It was a very emotional day for all of us, but especially him. He hugged me and told me that he had told my Pappy not to worry because we had his replacement upstairs waiting to join the family.
The rest of the day was very difficult. I kept going back and forth between excitedly awaiting the arrival of our little one to being overwhelmed by sadness at the loss of my Pappy. It was further complicated by the fact that I was not progressing the way that I needed to and a c-section was starting to look pretty likely. Finally at about 5:00 that evening, the doctor came in to check me. I had a feeling when she walked in that it was now or never. If I wasn’t ready to start pushing I was headed to the OR. That thought scared me. I had seven other kids at home. I don’t have time to recover from surgery. Not to mention the fact that I have a clotting disorder and am on blood thinners which makes surgery even more tricky. I said a quick prayer that I would some how be fully dilated. Miraculously I was! Doctor Narcisse looked as shocked as I felt. She said, “Ok, let’s try to push and see what you can do. ” She still had the OR on standby and didn’t think that I was going to be able to deliver him vaginally. Quite frankly I was starting to doubt myself too. After pushing for about 45 minutes, she had me flip onto my side to try to push. I was praying harder and harder as it looked more and more likely that I was going to end up in the OR. The problem was that Aiden was coming down at an angle and was also “sunny side up” instead of face down like he should have been. Basically as I was pushing, he needed to “spin” around into the right position. I was becoming exhausted. I was praying to every saint that I could think of and started to pray to my Pappy. I figured that he was alot closer to Jesus where he was than I was and maybe he could help me out a little bit. Well, it worked. All of a sudden, I heard the doctor and the midwife start cheering, “He’s spinning! Look at that baby spin!” Ok, I have to be honest. That freaked me out. I couldn’t see what they were talking about and quite frankly I didn’t really want to. What in the heck was “spinning!?” I just knew that I wanted it all to be over and all of a sudden it was. My little trouble maker had finally arrived. He had the cord pretty tightly wrapped around his neck and was a little bit floppy at first, but he perked up with a little bit of oxygen. His color pinked up and he started to cry.

Aiden Joseph

And at that moment the circle of life had been completed. As one angel slipped away from us, another came to be with us. I am sure that although Aiden will never have the privilege of knowing Pappy, he will always have a special bond with him. I know that Pappy will continue to look out him as he will for all of us.

This is from Thanksgiving 2008. My Gram and Pappy are in the middle. They are surrounded by their kids and grandchildren and great-grandchildren.