Saturday, January 4, 2014

Insomnia Ramblings

So, I woke up at 4 AM to the sound a my baby needing his pacifier (yes I'm that parent) I helped him find it and he was right back to sleep (still sleeping soundly I might add) but my brain wheels started turning and I have not been able to go back to sleep. I lay there and I try to get comfortable, but my brain works faster and faster and I feel bad shifting and waking up the hubby, so I came down to do some internet surfing. I caught up on friend/family blog reading, checked out some of my favorite craft/food sites, downloaded a couple recipes, sifted though some pinterest pins, read a few articles about parenthood, marriage, depression, organization and the like.

As the time is ticking by and I realize that my children will be waking in a short time and yet again I will need to tackle the day with only a couple hours sleep, I realize that more often than not this is my normal. I am surviving. It isn't easy, most times it is down right difficult, but I survive.

I feel isolated and alone nearly always which to many may seem strange seeing as I have three energetic CONSTANT companions that keep me constantly on the move, but have you ever had to live with zero adult interaction outside of your spouse for days on end? I know that many of you have so you can relate, but for me this is hard.

We have just moved to a new state. I can honestly say that in the years we lived in Utah I was not a terribly social person. I struggle making friends, more specifically lasting, nitty-gritty, spill your life, cry on a shoulder friends. These friends of mine I made in childhood or there about, and most of them are still in Arizona. In the months before we moved I was able to start getting together with two of these friends who were then also living in Utah, and it was the highlight of my life every couple weeks. I miss my friends. I miss my family.

This is not to say that in 3 and a half years I did not build relationships. I'm not a total hermit. I built a great relationship with our neighbor. I could say she was probably my best Utah friend even though she was nearer my mother's age than my own. She was also Alena's preschool teacher which meant I was guaranteed three visits with her a week. I made great friends with the women I worked with in my church calling in Young Womens. Oh how I miss my young women!! I was able to meet with those wonderful examples of strength twice a week and I was also left feeling fuller and stronger after being with them. I also built friendships with some of Mike's friends from the past. Great friends that I am glad I have been able to learn from and enjoy their company.

That being said, I am now again put in the situation of having to start fresh. In many ways this is wonderful and exciting and I would not want anyone to think that I am not very happy with the fact that we have made the move to Boise. (Holy smokes, I would NEVER have thought that I would live in Boise). I can not deny that this was the right move for our family; it is great for Mike and his career; I am sure it will be wonderful for my children; I know that it will give Mike and I the ability to grow and strengthen our marriage and our family. All of this being said, I'm alone. I was excited 3 days ago when the doorbell rang and I was able to spend 3 minutes taking with the Jehovah's Witness couple that was our searching for Spanish speaking individuals to join their congregation. We shared a bible verse and they were on their way, but I got to speak to someone, and I was happy about it. What is wrong with me?

As I have hit the post crazy crash these last couple weeks (and when I say crazy I mean CRAZY!), I am searching for things to help me better myself and move forward and build new relationships. I want to gain new life-long friends like those I miss so much. Now that we are farther from Mesa I know that my chances to see them will be even fewer and I NEED that interaction. When I knew we would be moving I began praying that we would be in an area where I (and we, being Mike and I) could make some good friends. I want to be social, I want to have fun, I want to chat and laugh and eat. I know it can happen, but I'm scared that it won't. There are times when I feel I will be forever lonely, and that is just my hardship to bear, but I sure hope that is not the case.

Now I know that this post seems very down, and I know that that is part of my problem. I have come to notice that I am yet again battling depression. I have dealt with it periodically through my life, but I think this is one of the more difficult times. I recognize, I cope. I know I can pull through on the other side, but to have moved and not have a friend, a family member, a neighbor, or a doctor to talk to sure makes this that much harder. I have the Lord, and he will help me through. I have Mike and he gives me strength. I have the love of my sweet children who I feel I am not nearly mother enough to but they love me anyway. I know I am blessed, I know I am loved, I know things will improve.

I know this is more for me than for anyone else out there in the great cyber universe, but there are things that consume when they are in your mind rather than written down. I did not want to write, so I decided to type. As I go through this most recent struggle I plan to write more frequently. It helps me organize my thinking and understand more of what is going on in my head. Some things will be posted and others not, but this will be the content of my posts in the near, possibly distant future.

If you read this, thank you for attempting to process my ramblings, if you didn't you aren't reading this now so I have nothing to say to you.

Love you, love myself.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Birth Story

Seeing as it has been 6 weeks since our little bug arrived I figured I should get the birth story documented, so here is the story of our newest additions arrival to the world!

From my last post, I told that we had found out at my 37 week appointment that I was 4cm dilated and 70% effaced. My doctor was starting to be concerned by the amount of progress I was making not actually being in labor. She said that if I made it to my next appointment and had progressed further that she wanted to send me in to be induced. The prospect of an induction was unsettling for me because of the risks it adds with me trying for a VBAC delivery. I hoped and prayed all that week that our little Gavin would decide he was ready and come on his own but that just wasn't his plan. I continued to have contractions regularly but nothing that was consistent enough to be "labor".

I ended up making it to my 38 week appointment the next week, so on Tuesday, June 4th Mike and I headed to the doctors office at 9AM. As we were driving to the appointment I was full of all sorts of uncertainty and anxiety. I knew as I was headed in that I was going to be told one of two things and I couldn't decide what it was that I wanted to hear. I had spent weeks not sleeping well and having contractions and I really didn't know if I could be told that I had to keep doing that, but at the same time I was scared that I would have progressed further and would have to be induced. I was going through an inner battle that was making me stress more and more. I finally just said a prayer that whatever would be the best and safest for me and Gavin would be what I was told.

We got  to my appointment and my doctor came in to talk with us really quickly. She asked me how I was feeling and if I had still been having contractions through the last week. I told her I was and she had me lay down to be checked. Her face let me know right away that I was still progressing. I was now 5 and a half cm and 80% effaced. As soon as she told me where I was I knew what she was going to say next and I had immediate peace even before she said it. I would be being induced and that was going to be okay and everything was going to work out. My doctors next words were "I'm not comfortable with you walking around wide open, so we need to schedule you for an induction." I said we were comfortable with whatever she felt was best for me and baby and she went out to get on the phone with the hospital and see when I could come in. Once she was gone I looked at Mike and both of us were just excited knowing that our little guy was going to be here very soon. After a few minutes Dr came back to let us know that they were scheduled up for the day but I was on the schedule for the following morning. She gave me strict instructions to take it easy for the day, stay at home, and if I needed to leave to be sure that I was never more than 10 minutes from the hospital. We headed home and Mike went to work to prep for being gone the next couple days.

That day ended up feeling like one of the longest days of my pregnancy. It is a very strange feeling knowing your baby is going to come the next day and you just have to sit and wait. I had spent the last few weeks waiting, but this was a different kind of waiting. Waiting with an actual end in sight and not just a "some time soon" makes the waiting much harder. We finally made it to bed time and I put the kids down. I then took a shower and got ready for bed. I was supposed to call the hospital at 6AM the following morning to see if they were able to have me come in. Mike and I tried to sleep, but between frequent bathroom trips, being completely uncomfortable, and just pure anticipation, I was only able to sleep for about 30 minutes at a time all night long.

I ended up getting out of bed at 5:30 so I could get ready and pull some of the last minutes stuff together for my hospital bag. I called at 6:00 and they told me that they were currently full and I needed to call back at 9:00 to see if they had room for me at that point. I was kinda annoyed that I had keep waiting, but I just took it easy through the morning. Alena woke up earlier than normal and when I asked her why she was up she said because she was ready to go see Baby Gavin. She was just so excited and I had to tell her that she still needed to wait because I still needed to go and get Gavin out of my tummy. I spent the rest of the morning snuggling with my 2 oldest kiddos and I spent some time on the phone with my mom. When I called back at 9:00 they said I could come on in. We got the last of our things in the bag, put it in the car, gave some last snuggles to the kids and we were on our way to the hospital.

38 weeks pregnant
Last shot as a family of 4
It was really weird to be headed to the hospital knowing I was going in to have my baby but I wasn't in labor. I didn't have the adrenaline surging through me to keep me from being totally nervous. Nothing was distracting me, and I was going nuts. It was a very strange feeling and I almost couldn't wrap my head around what was really happening. I was anxious and excited and kinda scared all at the same time. I'm sure I was feeling all these things when I was headed to have my other kids, but I wasn't focused on that, I was focused on breathing and counting and everything else you think about when you are in labor. Just very different from past experiences.

We got to the hospital at about 9:30 and they took me into a Labor and Delivery Room. Had me change into a gown and hooked me up to monitors to see if I was having contractions while they filled out the history and took care of all my admit paperwork. Just after they turned the monitors on I started having a contraction. The nurse that was helping me says, "Um, you are having a contraction, have you been having them for long?" I just laughed and told her that yes, I've been having them every 10 minutes or so for the last 2 weeks. That's why I was there because they weren't getting closer together but they were making me progress. She finished all the paperwork and questions at about 10:45 and then went to page my Dr so she could come and break my water. The contractions continued just like they had been and the nurse was impressed that I was handling them as well as I was since they were very strong contractions. We just waited for the Dr to come so that things could get moving along.

My Dr was there just after 11:00 (nice that her office is right by the hospital) and she went over what her plan was for me. She was going to break my water and she said that she hoped that was all I needed to have the contractions pick up. If things weren't progressing after a couple hours she would start a slow pitocin drip to help me along. She said she hoped we wouldn't have to use pitocin as did I, but things need to progress at a certain rate so it didn't get dangerous for the baby. She waited for me to finish having a contraction and then broke my water at 11:10. She said things should pick up in the next couple hours and went back to the office. Five minutes later I had another contraction that I really felt since my water was broken now. The next one came 4 minutes after that, and then just 3 minutes after than and that is where they stayed. Three minutes apart and lasting 45-60 seconds each. I just needed my water broken to kick start my body I guess.

Waiting for the doctor
Well, I wanted to walk around to encourage progression and help myself cope with the contractions so the nurse came and disconnected the monitors and Mike and I headed out to walk the halls at 11:30. The contractions were very consistent and the the nurse could tell they were getting more intense each time I passed the nurses desk. After I had been walking for an hour the nurse came over and said that they needed to monitor me again for a few minutes just to be sure Gavin was still doing ok and they wanted to check to see if I had made any progress. I said ok and also told her that I was feeling pressure like I wanted to push as well and we headed back to the room.

We got back to the room and the nurse told me to lay back on the bed. Now this is the one part of my "labor journey" that I wish I had handled differently. The moment I sat down I started having a contraction and the position I was in was not conducive to pain management. The pushing pressure was so much worse, I couldn't breathe deeply enough, and I immediately tensed up which made it even worse. Also, the nurse kept talking to me and trying to tell me what to do and that added to my frustration. I know she is trained to help women in labor, but I just kept thinking she doesn't know my body and she doesn't know what I need. Knowing that they were going to want me to lay in bed with the monitors for a while and not being able to use my previous coping mechanisms had me getting more and more tense so I caved and asked for the epidural which I had hoped I would be able to go without. With Bryson's delivery I also had an epidural because I was an emotional wreck but for other reasons, but the epidural was so strong that I could honestly not feel anything during the labor and especially the delivery. I didn't want that this time because I wanted to be able to take cues from my body and progress through the labor as smoothly as possible. Well, I asked for it any way but luckily my anesthesiologist was AMAZING and I told him I wanted it dosed very low and that was exactly what he did. I was still able to move my legs around and adjust myself as needed and I was still feeling the majority of my contractions, it was just enough to take the edge off the pain and remove the strong pressure sensation with each contraction. I think had I not had to lay down I could have continued through and done the delivery epidural free, but c'est la vie.

Feeling good and settling in to wait
So moving forward, my epidural was placed at 12:50 and I was feeling good by about 1:10. Mike's sister Haley got to the hospital just after the epidural was in place and we settled in to wait for the next little while. About this time I started getting the shakes really bad and for about 15 minutes I couldn't breathe well during contractions because I was shaking so bad. Imagine a dog with its head out the window and that is what I felt like when I was trying to breathe. Not pretty! Luckily the epidural helped that calm down as well. They checked my progress once I wasn't feeling as much and I was almost a 7 and 90% effaced. Things were going well and we were looking forward to our little guy's arrival. We visited and laughed and kept Mike distracted with computer games and talking. Mike is the epitome of a nervous daddy when I'm in labor. It is very sweet but somewhat distracting so Haley and I did our best to keep his mind busy.

About an hour later (2:15PM), I told Mike and Haley that I was starting to feel the urge to push and more of the pain was coming back as the epidural was wearing off. I really didn't want to push for another dose of the medication because as I said before I wanted to feel as much as possible during my delivery. We paged for the nurse to come in and she came at about 2:20 and said that I was complete except for a little lip that still needed to thin up top. I wish she had just gone a head and paged the doctor then, but she wouldn't since I wasn't COMPLETELY complete. She said she would come back in a little bit but we ended up having to page her again 30 minutes later because I was really REALLY ready to have that baby! She came in and sure enough now I was REALLY complete and she went to page the doctor. My epidural was really gone now and I was having to really focus to get through each contraction.

Sweet supportive Mike watching the monitor through my contraction
He helped me keep focused on my breathing. If you can see the blue line on the monitor that is my contractions. You can see they are very consistent.

While we waited for the doctor to arrive I asked Mike to turn on some music because it helps to relax me. We had a "Baby Mix" that I put together for Bryson's labor that I had him turn on and it was really nice to listen to it. There is one song that I listened to just before the doctor came that I particularly love. I had Mike skip forward to it and really turn it loud just to get me prepped for delivery. The song is called "Love Changes Everything". It is by Andrew Lloyd Webber from a musical called "Aspects of Love". Music is something very dear to me and it calms, excites, and moves me in a way that nothing else can. Well the song was all but blasting in my hospital room, and I was singing to it through my contractions. Haley started videoing me without me knowing but I am really glad she did now. I haven't been able to get my video from my camera in the right format to post the actual video, but here is a music video of the song. My favorite part starts about 2 minutes and 20 seconds in until the end. You don't have to watch the video but listen to the song because it is fabulous!

The last lines of the song are so powerful and they touched me at this point in time in a way that they never had before. The song ends, "Yes, Love, Love changes Everyone. Live or Perish in its flame. Love will never, never let you be the same. Love will never, never let you be the same." As I knew I was just a short time from seeing my new little baby, I sang these lines during a contraction and it moved me to tears. Loving each of my babies has changed me and I will never be the person I was before they entered my life. I am so blessed to have them. Anyway, this was a very tender part of the day for me that is humorous in some ways, but very special none the less.

So, the doctor was paged just after 2:45 but we still had to wait for her to get to the hospital. The nurse started prepping the room and the doctor got there at about 3:10. In this picture you can see that she is still getting gloved up and if you notice the clock it says it is 3:15.

3:15, gowning up
Well, she got gowned, sat down and got Mike and Haley situated to help hold my knees while I delivered. She said, "On your next contraction go ahead and give a push and we'll see where you are." Little did she know I was SO SO ready to deliver little Gavin. My contraction started, I took a breath and pushed and there was his head faster than you would believe. It caught her off guard and she had to tell me to stop pushing so she could get the cord off of his neck. She clamped, snipped, and told me one more quick push for his shoulders and he was out. That is right folks, ONE CONTRACTION and he was here! Born 3 minutes after the picture above was taken at 3:18PM on Wednesday, June 5, 2013.
I was so happy to hold him, and I was so glad they gave him right to me instead of taking him to the little warmer to do his APGAR ratings and everything. Seconds after being born he was one my chest.
I was so happy to see him and so glad everything went so smoothly
A very proud and happy daddy
So, there it is, Gavin Matthew was here! I held him for 5 minutes and then they took him to weigh him and measure him. 6 pounds 14 ounces and 20 inches long. A perfect, perfect baby boy! I got on the phone with my mom while they were doing all of this and then baby was right back in my arms.

Still on the phone with my mom, and taking in my sweet little boy!
Sweet baby face
Daddy gets to hold the little guy
Just taking him in
So glad to be together!
They moved me to my recovery room a bit later and we had the kids come down to the hospital to meet their brother.
Alena was so excited to hold him
She is such a wonderful big sister
Bryson was not as interested in Gavin as he was in just exploring the hospital room
I'm just so glad this little angel made it safely and he is so perfect!

So there are the main happenings of the day. Gavin is doing great as are the rest of us and I will try to post some about the life since he has been here, but I wanted to get this down before it got too much later. Sorry it is such a long post, but I hope you enjoy!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Our Growing Family

Well, here we are :-)  Here is a family picture that was taken at my brothers wedding about 3 weeks ago. I'm looking huge 34 weeks prego, but we were so glad that we were able to go down to Mesa to be there for the wedding and to see family before our next little one arrives. It is looking like little Gavin will be here before we know it. I had my 37 week appointment this morning and we discovered a number of things.  One of the most important things is that I have made it to 37 weeks which means this little guy is a "full term" baby. I am so glad to be past this cut off as it could cause issues for pregnancies in the future to have 2 pre-term deliveries in my history. Any way, it was a big deal as there were a few weeks there that we really weren't sure if I would make it. 
Well, we made it and things are looking great with this little guy. We have hit a bit of a snag though. As of this morning I am dilated just passed 4 cm and I am 70% effaced. The fact that I am progressing on my own is great, but we were never really concerned about that. One thing that is scary is that I am this far progressed with out actually being "in labor". While I am having contractions and at times they get coming rather consistently, I am not having consistent LABOR contractions. I can tell the ones that are productive and the ones that are just annoying, but I need to have all of them being productive before I go in to have this baby. 
So, since I am already passed 4cm as soon as labor begins I will be in "active labor" and with a 3rd baby this stage can go rather quickly. My doctor is hoping that I will go into labor on my own this week because she doesn't want me progressing further and being closer to delivery when labor starts. We could run into several potential risks if that were to happen the most serious of which would be us not making it to the hospital in time. As scary as delivering out of the hospital would be, the fact that I am a VBAC delivery, meaning I have had a C-Section in the past, presents even more risks to the situation. Long story short, I want to be at the hospital when every thing goes down ;-)  If I don't go into labor on my own this week but I progress to a 5 by my appointment next week my doctor wants to induce labor. While I like the idea of being done in a week, I don't like the prospect of being induced. This is also because of my VBAC status. 
The most favorable conditions for a successful VBAC include spontaneous start of labor, meaning my body is ready on its own and is not being forced into it. The methods which would be used to induce would be breaking my water and putting me on pitocin, both of which I am not a supporter of. While I understand their uses and importance when warranted, I would rather my water break on its own (as it has with my last 2 babies) and I ask that I not be given pitocin during labor as I don't really need it to help me progress. The use of pitocin ups the chances of a repeat C-Section significantly. While I know the most important thing is getting Gavin here safely, my hope is that that is through a VBAC delivery. 
So in a nut shell, I really really hope that true labor starts in the next couple days completely on its own. While I understand that no pregnancy is without risk, and I understand the risks that all my options present, my most ideal set up would be me having this baby on his time and my body's time and not on a forced time table to avoid other complications and risks. So, prayers for a safe delivery would be appreciated and hopefully I can update about Gavin's arrival very soon!!

Thursday, September 6, 2012


So I can't believe it has already happened, but I now have a preschooler on my hands!
 Alena was beyond excited to being going to school today. She would not let us call it preschool, she was determined that we call it school, just like for a big kid. Truth is, she is becoming a big kid now, and I don't know if I am ready for it. I do have to say though, as hard as it is to send my little girl away during the day, it will be nice to have a couple hours a week where I can get stuff done a little easier, whether that something is house work, my school work, grocery shopping or anything else. Heck, just a shower uninterrupted will be nice.

Just so that I have good record of today here are a few more of the pictures that we took before sending her off (next door to Miss Wendy's).
Can you tell how excited she is?!
She was so happy that Mike was able to come home from work to take her to her first day.
 She sure loves her daddy so much!
Oh my heck, I love this little girl!  She makes me nuts sometimes, but I don't know what I would do without her.  I'm so lucky she made me a mommy 4 years ago.

And speaking of Alena turning 4, her birthday was about 2 weeks ago and we had a great time playing at Boondocks doing Goofy Golfing (or Goo Goo Goffing as she says it), riding the bumper boats and race cars and also playing a bunch of the arcades. We had a great time and Alena loved it.

We had her 4 year check up and her stats were as follows:
Height - 3 ft 4.5 in = 69th Percentile
Weight - 34 pounds = 46th Percentile
BMI for age = 29th Percentile

She is right on for where she should be developmentally and we are so happy for that.

We love our little girl and are so grateful she is part of our lives. She is a wonderful big sister and has such a loving spirit. She can be a ball of fire, but given the alternative I'd take the spunk any day!


Friday, October 21, 2011


So anyone who has had a baby knows how common jaundice is. Alena had just a tiny touch of jaundice while she was in the NICU, but it was never anything that we got concerned about. She never even had to go under the bilirubin lights. Well, when they were discharging Bryson from the hospital the doctors said he was starting to look like he had a little touch of jaundice and we should call to follow up with our pediatrician once we were home. We went home on a Sunday, called the doctor Monday and they had us come in on Tuesday, August 9th. By this point our little guy was looking really yellow which you can see in these pictures.

These totally don't even do it justice, he was yellow from head to toe.  Even the whites of his eyes were yellow.  Dr Carter wanted us to go and have his bilirubin levels tested to see what his level was to decide if we needed to do anything for it.

For those of you that don't know, bilirubin is the waste of broken down red blood cells.  It is normally processed by the liver and then passes into the intestines and is passed in poop.  Babies can have an excess of bilirubin in their systems for 3 reasons, one because their blood circulates more quickly because they are smaller so the red blood cell waste builds up more quickly, two because their livers are not developed to the point of being able to handle the amount of bilirubin produced, and three because the bilirubin is reabsorbed from the intestines before the baby passes it.  If there is a build up of bilirubin in the system it causes jaundice which is a yellowing of the skin and eyes.  If the build up level gets too high it can actually cause deafness, cerebral palsy and other brain damage.  You can see why it is important to treat jaundice as quickly as possible and why the Dr wanted to be sure we checked Bryson's levels.

We took Bryson straight to the lab, they poked his heal, got the blood they needed and told us we would hear from the doctor soon.  About an hour after we got home the doctor called.  The first thing he said was, "Guys these numbers aren't good.  We sound the panic alarms if the level is 20 or higher and little Bryson is at 19.7."  I asked him what we needed to do.  Knowing he came back that high really had me worried.  I asked the doctor what we needed to do, fully expecting him to tell us to head back to the hospital so he could be treated with the bilirubin lights.  When babies are jaundiced they can lay on a little bed of lights that is essentially a form of a tanning bed.  The special lights break down the bilirubin in the system even farther so that it can be released from the body in both urine and poop.  This helps it exit the body quicker and bring down the bilirubin level.  Rather than tell us to go to the hospital though he said that a set of lights was on its way to our house.  I was so relieved, I didn't want to have to go back to the hospital.  He told us to have Bryson on the lights whenever he wasn't eating.  The more light exposure he gets the faster the bilirubin is broken down and the sooner he could be off the lights all together.  He told us to take Bryson to the lab again the following day so that we could see where his level was after some time on the lights.

Well at about 10:30 pm on the 9th the lights showed up.  They taught us how to use them (pretty easy) and then I feed him and laid him on the lights.
Doesn't he look so cute.  There was a flat bed with lights all underneath him and then a paddle that laid over the top of him while he laid inside the little suit that fastened to the bed.  I think the next 3 days were the hardest for me since Bryson was born.  All I wanted to do was snuggle my new little one but all I could do was feed him and put him back on his lights.  I would just sit by him, hold his little hand and cry.  That's what hormones will do to you my friends.
 We called it his little blue space suit.  I think it is cute, but I still hated having to have him on them all the time.

His level on the 10th was down to 18.5, so he stayed on the lights.  Level on the 11th was 15.8, stay on the lights.  When we took him in on the 12th his level came back at 13.  At that point Dr Carter said he didn't have to be on the lights all the time but I still had him sleep on them that night.  We tested him again on the 13th and it came back at 14.5.  The doctor said that so long as we felt he was eating and pooping consistently that we didn't need to have him tested anymore and we could keep him off the lights, but if we felt like he was starting to look more yellow to call and he would put in the order for more labs.  Well, we didn't feel like we were seeing any change but when we took him in for his 2 week appointment on the 18th he said he thought he still looked yellow, so he sent us back to the lab.  Other than the jaundice Bryson looked great.  He weighed in at 7 lbs 5 oz (passed up his birth weight) which was the 16th percentile and he was still 21 inches long, the 67th percentile.  He is a long and lean little boy, just like his daddy.

Well we went to the lab and his level came back at 16.  Dr Carter said if we tested him again the following day and it was higher then he would have to go back on the lights.  We took him in again on the 19th and it came back at 15.  Since it didn't go up they decided we could be all done with the lights.  His little body was managing it as well as it could so we just waited for him to get passed it completely on his own.  Luckily within the next few weeks he wasn't looking yellow at all.  We finally had a healthy pink baby instead of a yellow one.  Quite the ordeal, but we are so glad that that was all we had to deal with.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Here Comes Baby: The Birth Story

As I said in the previous post, I went to bed Thursday night at about 11:30 pm wondering how many more times I would go to bed still pregnant.  Little did I know that would be my last time.  I was surprised at how quickly I fell asleep that night, I was clearly exhausted and I fell quickly into a deep sleep.  Just after 2:00 am I woke up needing to go to the bathroom (very normal) so in I went.  While in the bathroom I noticed some very strong pain in my back (also very normal for me at this point) so I decided I would soak in a nice warm tub for a while before getting back in bed.  I filled the tub and noticed the pain getting strong again.  I waited through it and when I felt it again a few minutes later I thought to myself "I think I might be in labor".  The next pain came and I realized I had to really breathe to get through.  I realized I didn't have a clock in the bathroom or anyway to really know how far apart my pains were or how long they were lasting.  I thought, "If I have another one soon I'll go get the timer."  Minutes later another pain started, I closed my eyes and began to breathe.  While breathing I felt a warm gush between my legs (remember, I'm in the tub) and I thought "Did I just pee again?"  Sorry if that was TMI, but once the contraction was over I opened my eyes and realized I hadn't peed, my water had broke.  All I could do was smile and think "MY BABY IS COMING!!!"

I tried calling to Mike to get him to wake up and help me out of the tub, but he didn't hear me.  Another pain came very quickly and I realized that it was even stronger than the one before.  I knew things were happening fast.  I climbed out of the tub, wrapped myself in a towel and went out of the bathroom.  I looked at the clock and it said 2:28.  That meant I had had 6 contractions in less that a half hour.  I woke up Mike and told him my water had broken and I was contracting really close.  As I was telling him on came another one.  He ran to get the timer out of the kitchen and I began getting dressed and pulling the last of my stuff together while trying to make phone calls to my mom and my sister Heidi.  I was noticing that the contractions were getting more and more painful and they were coming every 3 minutes and lasting 45-60 seconds.  I just kept thinking this is really fast, this is really fast.  It was hard to get everything pulled together and get Alena up and in the car with me only having about 2 minutes at a time that I could try to accomplish anything.  Finally at 3:30 am we had everything together and we were in the car on the way to the hospital.

The drive to the hospital felt longer than I expected it too.  I was feeling so much pressure and feeling like I needed to push.  That made me start worrying because I really didn't want to have my baby in our car (Eewww).  We were going to drop Alena off at Mike's mom's house but I asked him to call her and ask if she could meet us at the hospital.  I really felt like we needed to get to the hospital fast.  Another thing that was really worrying me was how localized the pain was to my c-section scar.  I was really worried that something was going to go wrong.  The amount of pain I was feeling in my scar caught me off guard.  I hadn't planned for the worry that would cause me and it made it nearly impossible for me to relax.  The thought that kept coming to mind was, "I need my mom, I need my mom".  I hadn't realized until that moment how much I was grieving the delivery I had hoped to have with my first baby.

When we lived so close to all of my family in Arizona, I was fortunate enough to have been present for many of the births of my nieces and nephews.  Natural childbirth is a difficult thing and it was always a great support to have all the sisters close by to offer encouragement and be there for that special time as a new little spirit entered the world.  The plan for Alena's delivery was that I would have my mom, my 4 older sisters, and my younger sister Heidi there with me for the delivery.  I had planned to do it without an epidural and that strong support system was going to be very necessary.  Little did we know that she would come 6 weeks early and they would have to rush me in for an emergency c-section before anyone was able to get there to be with me other than Mike.  Don't get me wrong, I could never have gotten through any of it without Mike, but the support of a woman, especially a sister that has experienced the same thing, is invaluable.  I realized at that point as we were driving to the hospital that I was embarking on unknown territory and I didn't have that strong support that I had always envisioned because all but one of them were in a different state.  I was lucky enough that my sister Heidi was living up here in Utah in Provo and was able to come up to be with me during my labor and delivery.

With every contraction I was getting more and more tense and more and more emotionally worked up.  Every time I just thought, "How can I do this without my mom? I'm not strong enough to do this without all my sisters."  We got to the hospital and got up to the triage.  They checked me and found that I was at 4 cm, nearly 90% effaced and that my water had indeed broken.  It was time to settle in and have this baby.  Mike and I were both very excited can you tell?


They checked me in and got me moved to a labor/delivery room.  Heidi got to the hospital just as they were moving me, and I was so relieved to see her.  Through all this time my contractions came consistently every 3 minutes and they were each lasting about a minute.  They got me to my room at about 4:45 am and asked me if I would like an epidural.  My plan had been to do the delivery without one but I already wasn't coping well and Mike could tell.  I caved and asked for one.  I had too much pent up stress to have been able to handle it on my own.  We had to wait while 2 other ladies got their epidurals before me, but at 6:00 am the anesthesiologist came in and inserted the epidural.  The nurse checked me when they put it in and I was at 6 cm and almost fully effaced.  The epidural didn't work on my left side at first so they had to give me an extra dose of medication and after about an hour I was fully numb.  I could still move my legs around a little and feel a little of the tightening of the contractions, but I wasn't hurting anymore.  Now it was just time to sit back and let the contractions do their thing while I tried to get a little rest.

We watched a movie and visited and listened to the "labor music" I had brought with me.  It was nice to feel so relaxed and comfortable at the hospital.  The nurses and doctors I had were all wonderful and we were so happy Bryson was on his way.  At 9:00 am they started me on a level 1 pitocin drip to up my contraction strength just a little bit.  At 10:00 am they upped the drip to a level 3.  The contractions didn't get any closer together but they got stronger and I was able to feel them just a little more, but they weren't uncomfortable.  After they upped me to a level 3 (which is still very very low, they usually up you till you are at 20) Bryson's heart rate started dropping with each of my contractions.  They tried having me lay in different positions and they had me go on oxygen to see if it would help his rate stay stable.  Don't I look attractive  :-)

They put me on internal monitors for his heart rate and my contractions.  They wanted the readings to be as accurate as possible, but they still saw too much fluctuation.  They stopped the pitocin at 11:00 am and I was at almost 9 cm and fully effaced.  I knew that meant that I probably could have started pushing with in the hour, but they wanted to make sure that Bryson's heart rate stayed stable before we started trying to deliver him.  We popped in another movie and watched the monitors and anticipated his entry into the world.  At 1:00 pm the doctor came back in and said that they felt his heart rate was looking really good and they wanted to see where I was at.  She checked and I was a full 10 cm and 100% effaced.  She asked me if I was feeling like I needed to push yet.  I said I wasn't really feeling anything and she said if it was ok with me we would wait about another hour and let the contractions bring Bryson a little further down the birth canal.  I said that was fine.  The less work I had to do the better right.  Mike started getting really antsy and I finally had to tell him that he had to sit down and relax because he was making me nervous.

The team came back in at 1:45 pm and prepped everything.  My nurse started telling me that with a first time vaginal delivery it was normal for it to take 90 minutes to 2 hours of pushing.  I was confident I could do it faster than that.  I was having this baby now and nothing was going to get in my way  :-)  I started pushing at 1:55 pm and our sweet little boy was born at 2:25 pm.  30 Minutes, Boo-ya! 

Our little Bryson Michael weighed in at 7 lbs 1 oz and was 21 inches long.  He was the most beautiful little boy it was wonderful! 

Proud daddy with our little guy.

I was so happy to have my baby in my arms. Disregard how haggard I look, I just went through 12 hours of labor  :-)

We were both just so happy to have him with us.

I love his puffy face in this one.  He was just starting to open his eyes for me.  He has the greatest blue eyes you ever saw.

I felt so blessed to have such an amazing team of doctors and nurses there for me.  They were all so sweet and supportive.  This is Dr. Clark, she was the attending physician from our practice.  She came in to supervise the delivery.

Then this is the group that was with me through the majority of the labor and all the delivery.  On  the left is Dr Hilary Conway.  She is the resident that actually delivered Bryson. Next to Mike on the other side is Christine one of my WONDERFUL nurses and then Anne the intern that assisted Dr Conway through the delivery. 

 Then my fabulous sister Heidi who I could not have done it without!  She was a trooper and stayed with me through the whole Labor and Delivery even though she was nearly 37 weeks pregnant herself.

I love that you can just see how much Mike adores his little boy.  He is such a good daddy, I'm so blessed to have him.

I love this picture because the puffiness is starting to go down and you can just see how sweet his little face is.

One of the best parts of the day was when Alena got to come to the hospital to meet her new baby brother.  She was so excited to hold the baby.

 Bryson started to fuss a little bit and you can see that she was concerned by that.

 But once he calmed down you can see that she adores him just as much as mommy and daddy do.

Bryson had a bath and Alena still just couldn't get enough of him.

 She is such a wonderful, helpful big sister.

We attempted a family picture, but it didn't work out too well.  As you can see, I look possessed, Alena was being a stinker, and Bryson was all fussy.  Life with little kids I guess.

Before we knew it we were all bundled up and headed home.  Now real life begins!!  I LOVE IT!