Monday, May 19, 2008

Superman down

My dear husband recently broke.

This is very uncommon for the man I have come to suspect as Clark Kent-like, living the facade of human limitation, while in reality possessing a full spectrum of superpowers. Turns out that after the manner of a certain Greek hero, my husband's Kryptonite is that tedious little Achilles tendon...which snapped, tore, ruptured, or otherwise _______(insert favorite disconnecting verb here) while playing softball.

It could have been his second home run of the game had the tendon sniper not gunned him down between first and second base. To the untrained ball watching eye (mine) it looked like he had just slipped in the dirt. So it took a minute to register why he didn't bounce right back up and instead just laid there, barely moving, as fellow teammates (and a worried wife) hurried to investigate.

The events that followed went something like this: Pain. Shock. ER. Cast. Crutches. Pain. Medication. Surgery. New cast. Pain. More medication. Down for the count. Foot elevated. Restless. Frustrated. Two weeks out of work. Stir crazy. Hopping. Hobbling. Driving left footed. Slowly working back into life, but still on crutches for three more weeks, and after that a walking cast for I don't know how long. Physical therapy starts at 3 months, and total recovery time can be anywhere from 9 to 12 months. Ouch.

Today was his first day back at work and he would have even made it the whole day had the brakes not gone out in my car, causing him to have to leave work early to rescue me. So even in his compromised state he is still my Superhero--and now I will treat you to some rarely seen footage of Superman down.

This injury is actually from the home run he made before the REAL injury. It is more of a glory wound from a glory slide into home. But it didn't help to have this injury on his only "good" leg.

Here he is after successful reconnection of the tendon. Yes, folks, the leg bone IS connected to the foot bone. But Brian was still a bit out of it at this stage. He came out of the general anesthesia thinking and speaking in French, which is odd for someone who doesn't KNOW French.

This couch is pretty much where Brian has lived, breathed, ate and slept during the down time. He feels pretty useless in his condition, but we have LOVED having him home around the clock, and we will all miss him as he resumes "normal" life.

Welcome to our Infirmary. While Brian was in recuperation here, Windsyr burned her finger on the stove and joined in the fun of ice packs and pain. Cairo is not injured, but is a sort of hospital squatter, enjoying the Epsom salt foot bath that Brian had used to bring down the swelling.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Talking to Birds

Good morning. 11:46 a.m. may not exactly qualify as morning, but on my new nocturnal schedule, it feels like it. Early this morning (9-ish), I woke from a deep sleep to a knock at the door. "Come in," I called, trying to sound awake. The knocking got louder and quicker, so again I called "come in", only this time with more lung behind it. Not even a pause in the knocking which was now so loud and rhythmic I was wide awake, wondering why the person on the other side of the door wasn't responding. One more try from me: "COME IN," I nearly shouted, thinking if the person didn't hear that, at least my neighbors did. And that's when it finally occurred to me that the knocking wasn't coming from the door at all, but from the area near the window....where a woodpecker was relentlessly pecking at the side of the house. Talking to woodpeckers. Ahhh, the sleep deprived state of a new mom.

So if my blogging seems to be lacking, I thank you for understanding. In fact, I have been working on this post for several days now, but as it only happens in bits and pieces, the new baby could be potty trained before I finish. Let me rewind a little and tell things in order.

Here I am ready to pop already, still with several weeks to go. Cairo got accustomed to his belly "seat" and I carried him around on it like it was his throne. Seems with a fourth pregnancy, the sky is the limit with belly expansion.

This is a surprised face at my surprise baby shower. I wish I had the footage from when I first walked in the door as I'm sure my mouth was opened even wider. I resisted having a shower for this baby, due to the fact that my friends have already done way beyond their share in helping this baby get here. The last thing I thought they should do after all the meals and childcare, etc. was shower me with gifts. But I am surrounded by friends who don't take no for an answer. So they went ahead and planned a shower, and threw it anyway. With the help of my husband and mother-in-law as accomplices, they lured me out of my house and into a celebration that confirmed once again the amazing nature of my friends.

Here we are on the way to the hospital. I went into labor at 4 am on April 23rd--three days before my scheduled c-section. The same thing had happened with Cairo, so it wasn't terribly surprising. It was tricky timing, though, since Brian was dressed and headed out the door at 5am that morning on his way out of town for job related meetings. He had simply come upstairs to say goodbye and was very surprised to find me awake and out of bed, sitting uncomfortably in a chair. I hesitated even telling him about the labor pains because I had experienced an entire night of false labor only a few days prior which amounted to nothing. I didn't want him to miss his meetings if this wasn't going to be the real thing. We spent an hour trying to decide if it was legit, but the deal was sealed with my water breaking at 6am. Yes, the baby would be coming that day, and Brian's trip had been intercepted in a big way. Within hours we were at the hospital, prepped and ready for surgery.

And since the best laid plans tend to fail, the doctor we had so carefully chosen to perform this fourth C-section was not available for our delivery . So the on call doctor, who we had never even met, delivered our baby. It was kind of cool that she was a woman, as was my anesthesiologist. I liked being surrounded by a team of women, with only one male assisting in the operating room. Oh yes, and my handsome Elvis. (See below.)

Elvis is in the building.

First look at the little man. Of course he didn't have a name at this point...but four days later he was Cayman Nilsson Maughan. He was born at 11:50 am, weighing in at 8lbs, 11oz (not as big as we expected, but pretty sizeable considering he was born nine days before his due date.) He was 20 inches and came out with the hiccups.

Staten with his new brother.

Windsyr with her new baby...I mean brother. She might as well be the mommy for how much she loves to hold and care for him.

Cairo--no longer the baby of the family. We thought he would be traumatized and feel dethroned, but really he is quite enjoying big brother status.

Cayman coming home from the hospital--first picture as a family of SIX.

The famous Natalie and Nori sign.

The kids worked hard to make sure Cayman was welcomed home in style.

Proud grandparents!

And here is a picture of Cayman with Jake. Jake who was Alice until Windsyr decided we should raise boys together. A simple outfit change and wah-lah. Jake. Anyway, we took this picture so that months from now (even just weeks) we can look back and remember that yes, our baby really did start out small. It won't last long, but those first precious weeks are so tiny, new and miraculous that I always want to remember them.

Cayman is now almost three weeks old. And because it has taken me a whole week to finish this post, I'm happy to report he is awake a lot more during the day now, and not nearly so nocturnal as when I started the post. Ironically, the woodpecker came pecking again this morning, but I am proud to report I never once said: "Come in," which I take as a good sign of progress.