Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Introducing Ms.Charlotte Reese

I have begun (began?) writing this more than once, and the truth is it was incredibly hard to write. In the days surrounding Charlotte’s birth, we were of course excited. And I was eager to sit and write about this exciting roller coaster we had finally exited. But as I sat next to her isolette in the NICU, I couldn’t not hold her (thus I couldn’t be on the computer, writing her birth story). I couldn’t be okay with being away from Liam, and choosing not to suck in every moment I had with her.  Then, reality set in. I realized she wouldn’t be coming home in 10 days as Liam had, and I didn’t want to think about it. I pushed the memories of her birth out of my mind. It was incredibly painful to rehash it all. So I didn’t, for a long time. I just focused on getting her home & now that she is here I can finally sit and write. Probably a version that is quite distorted from it's reality, the version that my brain has allowed me to remember…..

How is it that someone accidentally has an early baby at home? I promise I’m not an idiot…. Let me explain….

Telling Shane:

It was about summer time when Shane and I decided we felt it was right to start trying for another baby. It took us longer than expected to get pregnant with Liam, so we figured we had a couple months of trying a head of us. I was shocked to find I was pregnant so quickly, but very excited to share the news with Shane. It was about fathers day, so I tried to hold off until the day but couldn't. I ran out and bought Liam a "Big Brother" t-shirt and then I snuck off and took a picture of him in his shirt. I played it off as an "early Father's day present"  and made a photo book with Liam and himself from birth up until now. On the 2nd to last page I wrote, "You're such a great Daddy I think it's only fair...". and on the last I put a single photo. The picture of Liam in his t-shirt with the writing "that in 9 short months I get to share"  with a "sticker" that said "due Feb 2015".  I told Shane that I wasn't pregnant, to throw him off so he had no idea and was pretty shocked. Best part is that I caught it all on video, so we will have it forever. 

The pregnancy:

This pregnancy had a lot of challenges. Not the typical pregnancy woes but different medical issues. About 17 weeks pregnant I started to get Braxton hicks. I would have upwards of 15 an hr. This was odd for me since I never got one Braxton hick contraction with Liam. About a week before, I started taking progesterone shots to help avoid having another early baby. Saturday night was a weekly ritual of me waiting until 10 at night or, as late as I could put the shot off, and then prepping everything as I told Shane I was ready. I’d say “okay” and breath out, and he knew to quickly give me my shot. Over time the shots became much easier to recieve and I became more okay with them, though I was definitely looking forward to reaching 36 weeks and receiving my last shot.  All was stable until about 24 weeks. I dealt with the Braxton hicks until they became pretty painful. I would get, this indescribable pain in my lower right back along with the tightening in my belly. This never lasted over an hour, thus I never went into L&D for it but I couldn’t walk or talk through them. On one occasion, I was helping my Shane run a staff meeting at work and this pain started. It was so painful I couldn’t even stand on my own to excuse myself from the meeting. I didn't want to cause a scene so all I could do was sit through the pain and try to appear normal. I discussed it with my Doctor and she upped a medication that I was on to control the “contractions”. At 28 weeks pregnant I had some bloody show and went into L&D to have it checked out. I ended up staying in the hospital for a few days at this point. It was always so frustrating going to L&D. There was always a different resident, who I would have to explain my whole slew of symptoms too. They rarely knew what uterine didelphys was, yet alone how to treat it. Literally, a nurse wrote it down once, and asked me how to spell it...and then i'm pretty sure she proceeded to google it when she left. Luckily, the resident who was about to send me home, spoke to the on call doctor who insisted I stay, and I was admitted. I received medication for the baby’s lungs as well as some other medication to help my uterus to relax. These steroid shots, honestly probably save Charlotte’s life. I can’t recall how dilated/effaced I was when I left the hospital. I started weekly appointments with my doctor and was put on bed rest. Throughout this time I continued to dilate and efface and weekly my medication was increased. I didn’t really have Braxton hicks, unless I was up too much, in which case I knew I needed to go sit down and relax. I did my best to keep up with it all, taking care of Liam, myself, the house work and work. I would allow myself 5 minutes at a time to stand and do the dishes, and then sit/lay again. Needless to say, it took awhile but I got pretty quick at doing the dishes ;).  At my last checkup I was 80% effaced and nearly 3 cm dilated at 32 weeks. I started to notice that I was having Braxton hicks again, and had been for about 3 days. This concerned me so I went into L&D for the 3rd time. I was there for about 3 hrs. I continued to contract the whole time. They felt like light menstrual cramps, which is how they usually felt. After the doctors watched me for an hr or two and decided that my cervix wasn’t changing and sent me home. I asked “So, I just have Braxton hicks?” and they said yes. I wasn’t given any medication to relax my uterus and was told as I was discharged “come back in, for pretty much any of the symptoms you came in for today.” …… really? You mean the ones that I am STILL having. It was super frustrating but at that point I was being told by the doctors that I was fine. So, I cautiously believed them. During all of this it was hard to get the doctors to take me seriously. I most often saw a resident and because of my uterine didelphys I am not a “typical case”. Often they would look at my cervix and say I was closed, even though I knew I wasn’t. Until finally they would check me and realize that I indeed was not closed, and everything was not fine. 

The delivery: 
(Just fair warning, this might be full of TMI….so if you aren’t comfortable hearing about things that happen leading up to or in labor…stop reading here)

Fast forward 3 days… I continued to have Braxton hicks. It was New Year’s Eve and my brother invited us up to Layton to spend the night with him and his in-laws. We accepted the invite and spent the night eating and playing games. That night on the way back to my brother’s house (we were staying the night so we didn’t have to drive an hour back to our house so late at night) Shane and I discussed how different 2015 would be and how weird it was that we would be having a baby this year. We didn’t realize how soon into 2015 that would be. That night we stayed up until nearly 3am chatting and joking with Ryan and Julie (my brother & sister in law). The next morning I woke up at about 7:30 am. I laid there a minute and realized that I was having some “Braxton hicks”. This was not untypical. I woke up almost nightly with “contractions” just like this, especially before I was put on the Procardia. I got up to use the bathroom, since I knew having a full bladder usually made them worse. When I used the bathroom I noticed the TINIEST amount of bloody show. I mean LITERALLY … a dot. The only reason I noticed this was because I seriously looked every time I used the restroom because I was completely paranoid about having this baby early. It was such a small amount I thought maybe my cervix had just been irritated some how, and that all was fine. I let Shane know, and he told me to get some rest. It was about this time that I decided I should try to time my Braxton hicks and see if they were close at all and if they tapered off after an hr. I hated timing Braxton hicks. I became crazy over analyze woman and it drove me nuts. Is that one, no? did it stop yet? Wait I think I feel one.... Again, I was in and out of sleep. I figured it was the best way to not over analyze the situation.  When ever I would wake up from one, I would start the timer, then fall back to sleep when it ended.  My very first thought when I woke up this time was “get up and go to the hospital now, this is real” I thought nahhhhh. I had thoughts like this often and was constantly in a state of paranoia of what was real and what was just “normal” for my situation. Eventually, I realized it had been an hour and my belly was still getting pretty tight and I was uncomfortable.  It felt like menstrual cramps but again I often had Braxton hicks that felt this way. I was again in and out of the bathroom checking to make sure I wasn’t bleeding more… I wasn’t. There was nothing. At this point I was constantly needing to relieve my bowels. I knew this was a sign of early labor. I came out and sat on the bed where Shane was sleeping. I let him know how I was feeling, and asked what we should do. After some chatting I let him know that I was mildly uncomfortable and that I REALLY felt we should go in. Ryan and Julie were still asleep and he didn’t know what to do with Liam, who was currently sleep next to us. I said “wake them up!”. Neither of us really knew what to think since these “symptoms” happened to me pretty often. We didn't want to cause a big situation over nothing. About this time Liam woke up. I sat and cuddled him for a bit. That's how okay I felt.... good enough to just sit and hang out with my 2 year old.  Shane SLOWLY started to pack up our bag that we had brought since it was sprawled out on the floor along with the toys from the kids from the night before. I was getting annoyed a bit because I didn’t know why he was cleaning, when I told him I needed to leave.  I was again in about out of the bathroom.  I went back and sat on the bed, and realized how much pressure I had with each contraction. Shane was up stairs, I think getting Liam some breakfast. I went to the stairs, I could see him in the kitchen from the basement. “Shane, we really need to go” I said this calmly but with a seriousness to my voice, trying to convey the seriousness to him. I went in the bathroom again to check on things. Still no more blood. At this point, I recall looking myself in the mirror and becoming really scared for a moment. I thought I was in early labor, and I didn’t know if I could do this without an epidural.  If this is what early labor felt like, what did late labor feel like? (I believe this was most likely transition). Ironically, I had this EXACT thought with Liam after my water broke. I thought I was in early labor, and then came to realize I was ready to push. It should have dawned on me…but it didn’t. I took a deep breath & came out of the bathroom. I was rocking through a contraction as I held my belly. Shane walked down the stairs to wrap up our belongings. I told him that we needed to leave and that we could not go to our hospital in Murray. It was about an hour away and I wanted the hospital to be able to stop what was going on. I didn’t think in an hour that would be an option, I still believed I was in EARLY labor and things could hopefully be stopped. It was at this point, when I told Shane we would need to go to the nearby hospital, rather than our hospital that he realized this was different than the times before. Ryan saw me and asked if I wanted a blessing before I went in. I did, but I wanted to leave more. Instead I said “it’d be nice”. He disappeared upstairs to look for some oil. I was thinking to myself that I didn’t know if I had enough time for a blessing. It is probably a good thing that he offered, and that I agreed. I’m almost certain we would have been in the car when I had her if I hadn’t. I couldn’t wait for Ryan to come back.  I went back to the bathroom AGAIN, where I had another contraction. At this point I believe they were about two minutes apart, I had a ton of pressure would think hypnobirthing scripts to myself just long enough to get through them. I felt a “pop” and my water burst with my next contraction.  I put my head in my hands and sat there for a few moments taking in the reality…or what I thought was reality. I was incredibly upset because I "knew" that this meant another Liam scenario. I’d be bunked up in the hospital for two weeks and then induced, not able to see Liam because of current hospital regulations.  I thought I was JUST starting labor, not that I was ending it. I called Shane. Nothing, no answer. I felt alone. Water flooded my eyes. I was so scared for this baby, and upset with myself. I screamed as loud as I could muster through my tears  “SHANNEEE!” He came running.... he said he knew, even though he barely heard me…He opened the door and through my sobs I let him know my water broke. He told me it was okay and that everything would be alright. That we would head to the hospital. Later he told me he felt so bad for me, that when he saw my face, I looked as if I felt like I had done something wrong.  I don’t remember when I realized or what happened but I said to Shane “She’s coming out” and then immediately yelled “CALL 911!!” He poked his head out of the bathroom and yelled to call 911 again. Shane told me later how quick my demeanor changed in the moment. From incredibly sad to "mommy mode". I knew I had to suck it up and do what I needed to do for this baby. I was no longer sad, just worried and knew I had to get her out. My most distinct memory of the entire birth is this memory right here.  I remember seeing the top of her head, and that’s when I yelled to call 911, then I placed my hand on her head and protected it as it came out with the next contraction. I vividly remember how her tiny wrinkled head felt in my hand. It's odd the things your brain chooses to recall. Shane saw her head and ripped my pants off to help make room for her to come out.  I even believe he might have said, “well these are coming off, or get these out of the way”… or maybe he just told me he thought that after I honestly can’t remember. Julie came into the bathroom. I remember she apologized for coming in the bathroom (we had many previous talks about delivering babies and she knew I never wanted other people in the “delivery room”) I remember thinking it was so funny that she thought I would care in that situation. I told her “it's fine” but I’m not sure if she heard me or not, but it was incredibly kind of her to think of my wishes in that moment. This next part is all kind of a blur and I’m sure there a billion tiny details that I am leaving out. Julie told the dispatcher “the head is out, the head is out” Next thing I knew she was out. Shane and I were both holding her. The cord was wrapped two times around her neck. It was so tight, she was limp and purple. I wasn’t scared in this moment, I just knew we had to help her. From my angle I couldn’t tell which way to move the cord in order to get it off and I felt like my hands were in the way so I handed her to Shane. Shane unwrapped the cord and she immediately took a big cry and then she fell silent. He handed her back to me because Julie let us know the dispatcher said to leave the baby with the mom. Shane and I both started to rub her chest in order to get her to cry more. Julie told we needed a towel & yelled up to Ryan to get one. It seemed like it was taking forever to get a towel. Shane impatiently started to grab one out of the hamper that was a foot away from us. “Don’t use that! It’s dirty” Julie told us. Finally we got a towel and I wrapped her in it. Julie told us the operator wanted us to tie off the cord. During all of this my “birth wishes” were coming into my mind, but I wasn’t in a place to disregard medical advice and was just following everything they told us in order to keep her alive and safe & I was more than fine with that. Julie was looking for a shoe lace in the bathroom drawer. Open, close,  Open Close. I distinctly remember her yelling “ I need a Shoe lace”. I can still hear her yelling those words in my head. Shane took off his shoe and took the shoe lace out. “here, I got one” He asked how tight and how high to tie the string. Throughout all of this I continued to just watch her and rub her. She looked gray. I remember saying, “They need to get here”.  The entire 911 call was 5 minutes. It started seconds after yelling to call 911. It took about 2 to 3 minutes from my water breaking, to me holding her in my arms. And only 1.5 minutes into the call. At some point after she was born Liam poked his little body into the bathroom. “Baby!” he said and pointed , and was soon pulled away by my brother who was watching him for us. I was so glad he at least got to see her. When the paramedics arrived the house was immediately filled with people and about 10 men came into the bathroom. A Paramedic knelt next to me and started asking a zillion questions. He handed me an oxygen mask and told me to hold it up to her face.  While I did this he grabbed two clamps and put them on the cord. He stared to cut it with a disposable scalpel. I remember thinking “wait, can’t Shane cut the cord?!” I felt so bad because he didn’t get to cut Liam’s cord and now he wasn’t getting to cut hers either. It didn’t dawn on me that, he just delivered his child and that was way more than cutting a cord. There was one woman paramedic who had her head poked in the bathroom, but I don’t remember what she was saying.  The paramedics had a large paper-cloth like envelope that they put Charlotte in , and then re-wrapped the towel around her. They then took her. At some point, I guess when they took her, Shane left the bathroom. I remember him poking his head back in telling me he was going to go with her. “I’m going to go with her, okay?...” He was talking to me like a child. Trying to make sure I was okay with it. I said okay but again I don’t think he heard me.  In my head I was saying “DUH, GO”.  The paramedics struggled with all of this next part. I had torn. I was in more pain at this point than I had been during the entire birth, and they were all men…and probably didn’t deal with early home deliveries all too often. They finally got everything situated and me into a chair to carry me out to the ambulance. The end of the cord hung from the chair, and dripped watered-down blood on the white carpet as they walked me out. “uhh, you’re dripping blood” I was so concerned about their carpet haha. I was incredibly frustrated because I was in pain, they were taking FOREVER, no one would take the placenta and half-filled sac of water out from between my legs and the paramedic kept trying to crack jokes. Why yes, I would love to shoot the breeze and laugh with you while I wonder if my premature baby is still alive. I honestly think he was trying to get me to talk more, because I’m sure it appeared that I was in shock. I very well might have been, though in my head I was totally coherent, I was just keeping my mouth shut so we could speed this process along. I even recall thinking to myself “ I should probably talk more because they all must think I’m in shock”…. But I didn’t It was too much work and I was in pain.  During the ambulance ride, I called Shane to check on the baby. (I guess everyone thought that was funny that I would do that?) He said she was doing just fine and breathing on her own. They were almost to the hospital. The paramedic offered me medication, which I refused. Then he proceeded try to put it in my IV. I again told him I didn’t want it, and he agreed. Julie was nice enough to come with me in the ambulance so that I wasn’t alone. It was nice to have a familiar face while I waited for Shane.  The doctor came in and FINALLY removed the placenta. AH! It was seriously like a miracle haha. All I wanted the whole time was for someone to take it out. Thank heavens.  Shane came in and brought me a video of Charlotte.. It was great to see her cry.  I think it was at this time that I finally found out, that was was born at 10:28 am, 16.5 inches long and 3lbs 14 oz. Later we found out that she was actually 3lbs 15 oz, after (for some reason) they re weighed her. The doctor came in and checked me out. Offered to stitch me up… I said no. I think she charged me 600 bucks to pull the placenta out. Shane and I knew we had to tell our families. We knew they would never believe us…. It was seriously like a movie…this doesn’t happen in real life.   I had to wait about an hour before they let me see Charlotte. And I only got to visit for about 15 minutes. I can’t recall why, I think because they needed to check me out again… But I was able to go back down later.

Refection/Looking back:

Later Shane and I of course discussed the events of the day and replayed it again and again in our conversations. Analyzing every sign and everything that was said.  I felt incredibly guilty. I previously had the thought, that if I were to go to Ryan’s house on NYE, that the baby would be born and stuck in MCkay dee.. I didn’t feel like I shouldn’t go… I just thought it as a fact. I wish I would have listened. I wish I would have listened when I had the thought to the hospital that morning…but I didn’t. But things happen for a reason. Shane even thinks, maybe being born saved her life. I’m not sure how it all works exactly, but the cord was wrapped so tightly around her neck, that if that is how it was in the womb she would not have made it.  This is comforting to think… maybe it did happen for a reason, rather than to just think my body failed her..

This has been such an interesting experience. I felt so incredibly blessed and looked after, yet so bitter at the same time. It’s an interesting combination to feel, but Shane says he felt that way too.  There were very very hard days. Some days I would just repeat to myself over and over “ I am blessed, I am blessed, I am blessed” I knew I was blessed. My baby girl was alive… what more could I ask for. I was so terrified of God thinking I was ungrateful. I pleaded that he would know the true feelings of my heart, and have patience and understanding with me as I was still upset and bitter.  I still suffer with a TON of guilt. Because of the way my body is made, because maybe I didn’t eat good enough with my gestational diabetes, because maybe I did too much on bed rest, because I sometimes forgot to take my medication on time….It's hard to not feel responsible. But, I just try my best to soak in every moment I have with this precious tiny baby, and to be grateful that at least I have two babies….when some can’t. At this point, Shane and I don’t know if we will have more children. Which is incredibly hard to swallow. But in moments when I feel slighted or alone, I just again think “ I am blessed, I am blessed, I am blessed”. …Because I am. 

Shane and I actually both really enjoyed the experience of having him deliver her. I feel that regarding the circumstances, we were both pretty dang calm and handled that situation with ease. If we were ever to have future children I would love to some how repeat this, in a PLANNED manner...though i'm not sure that will happen. The reason we WERE fearful in this instance, was because of her 32+5 week gestation. ( I actually thought I was 33 weeks the day I delivered her, but I guess my calculations were off) On the 29th of January, at about 9 pm....After 4 weeks of two hours of daily commuting, and endless hours sitting in the NICU we got to bring Ms.Charlotte home. Liam is a fantastic older brother and loves her so much. She was on oxygen for a few more weeks, but today we got to send the oxygen tanks away. It was a good day :) So many miracles have touched our lives over the past few weeks. I am so indebted to the Lord and grateful that everything has worked out as it has.

Here is Charlotte just a few minutes after the paramedics arrived and before she left the house.  You can see see the pale yellow "envelope" they put her in, and the blue towel we wrapped her in (which we saved) I'm so glad someone thought to take a picture. She was 3lbs.15oz here.

This is Charlotte just a few days after we brought her home from the Nicu at 1 month, heading to her first doctors appointment.  She weighed 5 lbs 10 oz here.
And here is Charlotte on her due date, a week and a half ago when she weighed 6.11.  4 days ago she was 6 lbs 15 oz... so I'm sure she is about 7.1 or 7.2 by now! Crazy how she has grown!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

9 months big!

Wow, I can't believe how time flies. Liam is 9 1/2 months old. I don't know what happened to my little boy - I feel like my baby is gone and has been replaced with a little man. He is SUCH a busy boy , just like his daddy! He has changed so much in the just the past few weeks. For about a month he has been army crawling. He started scooting around maybe two weeks before that but it took him a little while to get going a little faster. Now he crawls on his knees. He would always push up and rock on his knees but lay back down to get around, until one day about a week ago he just decided to use his knees! Ever since then he has been pulling up on anything he can get his hands on. most of the time he will just get to his knees but likes to get up on his feet and he tries to cruise along whatever he is standing on...which can be scary because he is still pretty wobbly. He isn't scared of a dang thing and will just reach and go for anything. Keeps me SO busy just making sure he isn't busting his head open! He loves anything that mommy and daddy use and as long as it isn't a toy or made for babies he WANTS IT!

Liam LOVES his daddy.  Right now Shane has a pretty crazy school schedule. Wednesdays are the tougher days. Shane leaves for school around 9 and doesn't get back until 9 pm then he has to work the night shift at our job from 9:30 til 7:30 am... and then he sleeps for most of the day - So I don't typically see him for 36 hours straight. It's so interesting to see how Liam realizes when Shane isn't around. When Shane walks in the door after a being gone for so long Liam just grins from ear to ear and gets so excited. He flaps his arms and squeals in excitement. If he is down playing he will bolt off as fast as his little arms can move in Shane's direction! It is so fun to see how much he loves his daddy!

He loves to clap and if he wants to give you a special treat will give you a high five or wave but he most often claps especially when he is getting food! (we are confused if this is sometimes him signing "more" or just being excited to eat...)

We have taught Liam sign language for a while now, and other than what we think is  "more" he isn't signing back to us yet but it is so awesome to see that he understands what we are saying to him. When ever it is time for him to eat, we will do the sign and he will grunt and smack his lips and get excited or upset until we give him food.  Or, if I am going to feed him I will sign to him "milk" and he will do the same thing and get so excited! Anytime we do signs having to do with food, or he sees any kind of food, he will spit his paci right out getting ready. It is the cutest thing and so funny to watch. Sometimes when I'm about to feed him I will put his pacifier in just so I can see him spit it out... haha. Really though, it's that cute!

Speaking of food, still no teeth for little man. Which is such a bummer since he loves it so much and it really limits what he can eat...

He also loves bath time and slaps and slashes the water. If we are giving him a shower he will put his head completely in the stream. He hasn't been to keen on swimming. We have gone a few times now and he will do it but just doesn't seem to enjoy it as much as bath time.... We hope he will start to enjoy it more as he gets older!

I can't believe in less than 3 months it will have been a year since little man joined our family! Time just goes so quickly. Every stage is SO much fun and we love watching him change and grow...even though he keeps us...SO BUSY!

Even though he is so curious and loves to crawl around and play, he still loves to cuddle and be held which I LOVE!! He never goes too long without wanting some mamma time!

On Friday, Liam had his very first day at theme park. We went to Lagoon and had a family day. He watched his dad ride all the rollercoasters and waited with mom. But he did ride the carrousel and thought that was pretty exciting!

Last month we took our first trip to Yellowstone! Shane and I had never been before. It we was a quick two day trip but it was so fun! Liam was a great little traveler and slept almost the whole way to Jackson hole. We spent the night there in a hotel and ventured around the main street square! Such a cute little town. We really enjoyed all the shops and had a yummy dinner and a cute little restaurant called the.....something? I can't remember. haha. The next day we went through the grand Tetons  and up to Yellowstone. We soon realized that Liam couldn't care less about any of it haha but he was still a trooper for all of the hustling and bustling. Shane and I were so excited to see Ole faithful! we timed our lunch just right so we could make it over, and we waited in anticipation for this "big explosion". Lucky us, we chose the exact seat where all the steam drift.. completely covering or view of the geyser. We had a good laugh about it at least. Liam really loved Shane carrying him around in a baby back pack that our co-worker let us barrow. He thought we was pretty cool sitting up there so high with his daddy! That night we decided to test our survival skills and camp out in Yellowstone park. We had fun making popcorn and baked potatoes and spam sandwiches on the fire. We were pretty proud of our selves . There were bear warning signs EVERYWHERE and we were so scared we would do something wrong and get eaten in our sleep... fortunately that didn't happen because unfortunately it was a little early for camping up here and was freakin' freezing...soooo we ended up sleeping in the car with our nice heated seats most of the night. haha. Some campers we are.  On the way home we stopped at bear world.....kind of a waste of time. But Liam enjoyed driving in the front seat through the park.

Other than Liam, we are pretty lame haha! Shane stays busy with school and is loving going to the U. We hopefully only have one more year until graduation and then we can start looking for dental schools. We get so excited when we think of our future and how short a years time is...we realize that as we look back on this past one. We know it will just fly by! And I am just a mommy and stay busy taking care of my boys and working full time!

Hopefully... my next post wont be a year out haha!


Scoping out the ladies at a friends wedding

Growing some hair!
cousin Ryder and Liam and cousin Addysons baseball game!

I will add a few more pictures a little later todayd

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Liam Cayde

Oh my goodness...The past three and a half weeks have been some of the craziest and hardest days of my life. Little Liam got a little overzealous and tried to come visit us 7 weeks early. We have been so blessed and so lucky that he was able to stay in utero for as long as he did, and come to us so healthy. I've wanted to write down this story for quite some time, but I barely had a moment to breathe amongst all this - let alone write a blog post. But now that he is home and I can finally sit down I actually have a minute to write down my thoughts and Liam's little tale.. Its excessively long...it does span out over a whole week after all.

August 29th is pretty much one of the only time marks I can remember from all this. It was a typical Wednesday, nothing too special except for the fact that I had my 33 week doctors appointment for Liam. This time we were going to do a sonogram to make sure that little boy was head down and that we weren't needing to schedule a c-section. I was a little nervous because of this... I did NOT want a c-section. I was pretty sure his little bottom was what was sticking me in the ribs all the time, and that he was head down because I always felt his hiccups,the ones that he got daily, low in my pelvis...But you can never be too sure. It would be just my luck for him to have been head up. Long story short she did the sono and his head was nice and low in my pelvis... I was so relieved. Shane's mother, Denise, was in town and heading out that day - she was so happy she got to be here for the appointment. After, we had lunch and then I took her to the airport to head back to Texas. Then I headed home and started on a few little projects until Shane got home. It was 4pm and we were both pretty exhausted from the previous week and Shane just starting school, so we took a nap until it was time for work. 5pm rolls around- Shane headed up to get the girls, And I told him I would be up in a second.. Moments after he left I was a little shocked when I thought I peed my pants...Oh the woes of pregnancy.. But I KNEW I didn't pee..what the heck was this. I thought maybe it was just some crazy pregnancy thing that I would of course be googling later. But I was in a hurry, so ignored it for the moment, quickly changed and headed up to get the girls...

One of the girls asked to use the restroom, so I took her... while I was waiting by the door I realized I was getting soaked...At that moment I knew exactly what was going on, but still slightly in denial I ran into one of the stalls just to double check that I wasn't somehow spontaneous peeing my self with no control. Once I had somewhat taken in what was going on I went and poked my head through the door where Shane and all the girls were... "Shane!" I called his name..I was trying to stay calm and not alert all the girls. Of course he didn't hear me so I had to yell louder. Finally he looked over after some of the girls told him I was calling him from the door... I motioned him over. Apparently when he saw this, having no idea of anything that had transpired  and completely joking, he said "it's go time!" ...well It really was go time.

 I pulled him into one of the stalls and said "LOOK...This is not PEE!" Seriously this whole time I thought I was a little bit crazy. We came back to the house and Shane immediately jumped on google (haha...oh google) to see what Amniotic fluid was like and instructed me to walk around and see if it kept leaking.. (of course it was going to, but in moments like this you sometimes have false hope) So as I'm walking around with fluid dripping down my legs Shane is reading to me "it is clear and  odorless ".. umm.. check and check. Of course I didn't have the doctor's number on hand, so I told him to call Kelly. Kelly is my cousin who lives near by and who referred me to the OBGYN I was using. So he calls Kelly as he tells me to lay down to keep the fluid from leaking out... (our logic in the moment was just ...a little lost.) Kelly answers, "hey" I can hear her on the other end... " Hey kelly..."  Shane responds.. "uh oh, Whats wrong" She knew the second she heard Shane's voice and not mine that something wasn't right. He explained to her that we needed the doctors number and didn't answer her question "Shane, Whats wrong" Then he told her I was leaking fluid. "Go to the hospital, Her water broke... Don't call..just go"

We hung up and I just lost it. It finally hit me that My water did indeed break, and I was terrified for our son. Shane knelt down beside me and told me he was going to give me a blessing. I couldn't tell you one word that It said but afterwards I felt much more at peace and was finally able to think straight.

Or maybe It went blessing and then calling kelly? because I remember after the blessing knowing that going to the hospital was the right decision and that I wasn't just crazy..this was actually my water.

So, Of course my hospital bag was only halfway packed... I didn't think I needed It for AT LEAST
4 more weeks, and I had taken September 5th and 6th off of work to finalize all the things we needed to get done before the baby came.
Shane was running around trying to finish packing, when I told him it didn't matter and that we needed to leave. I grabbed a towel for the ride, and we headed out the door. We called our parents on the way to the hospital to let them know...just incase we had a baby that night. Shane's mom was in Colorado, waiting for her next flight - She didn't believe Shane. She thought it was a joke. Finally she realized we were serious and started on booking a return flight to Utah.

So, of course the parking lot is packed - Shane dropped me off at the front door. Well labor and delivery is behind a locked door and you need the receptionist to open it for you...of course ...the one and single time I needed to speak to the receptionist there was a line, and she was on the phone.

Shane came in before it was my turn to talk to her, and we both just had to laugh. I was
standing in a line, waiting to tell the receptionist my water broke. the irony.

She let us in, where I went to the next reception area..."my water broke".

Totally taking their sweet time got the paperwork...we filled it out, no one was in hurry at all.
They admitted me to triage and instructed me to put on a gown..then we waited... haha. the nurse came in and asked me a million unrelated questions for about 30 minutes. Finally the resident came in to check me... I was only 1 cm and not effaced at all. they had to run a test and make sure it was really amniotic fluid...reallyyyyy? They told me If the test came back positive that we would not be leaving the hospital and I would be admitted.

well. Minutes later, there I was in labor and delivery hooked up to belly monitors, being poked and prodded like crazy, I was given a catheter for a urine sample, an IV, and a shot for steroids for his lungs and a pill to stop uterine contractions all in about 10 minutes time  all while being over loaded with information from a few different doctors... of course I wasn't listening...How could I?

I just needed a SECOND! we both did, it was very overwhelming.
They told me that if he came they wouldn't do anything more to stop him, but if he didn't I would be there until at least 34 weeks - which luckily for me was only another week. I stayed in labor and delivery all night as they watched my "contractions" They didn't like the "irritability" that my uterus was showing on the monitor

I kept having mini contractions all night but nothing painful - I don't remember what time of day it was but the next day, Thursday, sometime they took me up to...oh I don't know what its called, where you go usually after you have your baby. I got a room... and to make a very long story short, there I sat..all week haha.

Being in the hospital for a week was probably one of the most frustrating things, simply because every time I talked to someone they told me something completely different. "We will take you on Sunday", "we will take you monday",  "you can walk around", "no you cant walk around"..everything was jumbled. Well, It  was labor day weekend and m doctor was of course on vacation. She told me we would shoot for Wednesday (when she got back - convenient)

I was permitted one wheelchair ride a day -the highlight of my day. So, Shane and I would drag them out as long as possible and venture off to parts of the hospital that for sure felt like we weren't supposed to be in. Most of the time when he could be there, he would just cuddle up in my hospital bed with me and we would just relax and talk or watch a little TV. We went through a lot that week, but I think our relationship about double in strength

Well, Tuesday night finally rolls around - The nurses informed me that between 8-10 pm they would take me down to labor and delivery and start cervadel to start opening my cervix.... 10 pm came and went, about 11 pm my new nurse came in and told me around midnight they would take me down - that labor and delivery was SWAMPED. Midnight came and went....nothing. 1, 2, 3...finally at exactly 3:50 am nurses came to my room and said "labor and delivery is ready for you"...oh cool thanks.

I was wheeled down and given a room, (labor and delivery was as quite and stagnant looking as could be though..but remember they were "swamped") they checked me - I was 4 cm dilated and 100% effaced and he was at negative 1 station. Because I was already dilating  that meant I didn't need cervadil and that I was getting exactly what I didn't want- hooked up to pitocin right away .  They started me off with pitocin at a level 4...nothing. about every 30 minutes the nurse came back in and upped the machine up another 4. 2 hours later my pitocin was up to 16 and I still wasn't contracting. About 6 am (or so... my times are all screwed up) the nurse brought the resident in to check me. She told me that there was possibly part of the bag in front of my baby's head. The resident checked me again and agreed with the nurse that there was water in front of his head and she wanted to break it. Literally, a minute later I was contracting. The contractions were soon only minutes apart and I was having to work through them - Thinking this was only the beginning of what labor felt like and knowing my doctor wanted me to get an epidural anyways I asked the nurse to send the anesthesiologist in.. thinking it would take him a while to arrive. Minutes later he was in the room - and it was a good thing too because my contractions were booming.  I was really having to breath through it.

I told them I reallllllly need to use the bathroom before he gave me the epidural. They told me no, if i did that I would end up having a baby on the toilet...I told them. "you JUST checked me. I'm a 4, I really need to use the bathroom." They insisted that I couldn't use the restroom. So...the anesthesiologist instructed me to lay down on my side and curl up in a ball... through my contractions...haha. Shane came to my side and held my hand, and I just remember breathing through the pain and squeezing his hands with my eyes closed tight. After the doctor left the nurse check me again.. I was a 9 and ready to push any minute...okay so they were right, I didn't need to use the bathroom. I waited there about 20 minutes for the epidural to take effect- and then we just hung out for a bit because my doctor wasn't in yet..

Because Liam was coming so early they wanted him to go straight to NICU - This meant I would deliver in the Operating Room because it had a pass through window to the NICU. This way he would be assessed immediately. Finally they wheeled me down the hall and into this cluttered stark white room.. Then I waited some more because my doctor still was not in yet. About 20 minutes later my doctor walks in. She had tons of tools ready because of my uterine didelphys - she actually had to do a lot of snipping and sewing before I even began to push. Finally she looked at me and they instructed me on what to do, they told Shane every time I had a contraction to hold my leg for me. Well, 3 pushes later at 8:21 am out came a tiny gorgeous baby boy. - which now that I think about it I didn't even double check that he was a boy. The image is frozen in my mind- his arms flailing in the air, pink as could be and crying at the top of this lungs. I reached out and touched his little head with the tip of my fingers before they whisked him away through the window  - he was gone and the room was quite again. It was the best and worst moment of my life all at the same time.

My doctor finished stitching me up and they wheeled me back into the labor and delivery room. "Do you need anything?" they asked me... "just to see my baby" I told them.

Nurses came in and out and it was in the few minutes we were alone that Shane and I decided his name would be Liam Cayde Countryman

Shane went to see Liam, and brought me back pictures to see.
I'm not sure what time it was but they finally told me I could go see him- They wheeled me down and from across the room I could see this tiny little baby, under heat lamps and hooked up to monitors and wires. I couldn't get closer than probably a foot or two because of the bed I was in. I just touched his little toes and took pictures. They only let me stay about 10 minutes until I was taken back to my original room up stairs. I had to wait for my legs to come back before they would let me down to see him again.  - which took forever.

The next day they finally let me hold him. He felt so little- but he was perfect. We were so blessed because he was breathing on his own.

People have told me over and over again how lucky I am and was to have such a short labor, that I had it "easy".. I sat in the hospital for a week, felt labor up to a 9, and had my baby whisked away from me before I even met him. I missed out on so much time with him in his first 10 days, and no one can tell you what it feels like to leave the hospital without your child. Yes, we were so very blessed that I was able to keep him in for the extra week that I did, That I was able to take in two doses of the steroid for his lungs, and that he was as healthy as he was..And I was blessed to have quick labor and to be able to deliver vaginally... I've counted my blessing and still continue to count them daily and I know that they are plentiful. But let me tell you and I think all of the moms out there understand when I say that I would have gone through a 12 hr.. 24, 48 hour labor if needed in turn for him not being taken away and poked and prodded with needles and IVs just moments after birth, and to have been able to hold my baby and have that moment of your child being handed to you for the first time as hes crying for the first time... literally I do would anything.

My labor definitely wasn't what I had planned at all. I wanted to walk, and use the tub and a birthing balls. But I still had a really great experience in the end. I wouldn't change it because it got me a healthy little boy.

Liam was in the NICU for 10 days, He came home weighing 4 pounds 13 oz...and now weighs an incredible 6 pounds. He is growing like a weed right before our eyes and becomes chunkier and chunkier every single day...He is such a good boy and already has so many quirks about him. he is 4 weeks today...and will be a month in just two days...where has the time gone?

What I did to keep my self occupied- Ate, and painted my nails

one of our walks

Waiting for the doctors to come get me

Heart rate

Just told her I was ready to push
Ready to go...

 Liam Cayde - About an hr or so after birth
4 lbs 10 oz, 18 inches
born at 8:21 am
will post more photos later...

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Doctor News!

May has been such an exciting month! We have learned so much about myself and our baby!

This last month has been filled with doctors appointments. May 2nd was the first of them. Just a week before that I had gone and had my MRI done -I was at my OBGYNS office to find out the results and just for a normal monthly appointment. We were so excited because I was 16 weeks, and though this was still early, we were hoping our doctor would want to take a look at my crazy wacked out body so that we would "just so happen" to find out the babies gender. Well, we left disappointed. My doctor did nothing but read me my MRI results and give me a good feelskie.  - super

But we were able to find out good news. They were able to get a good look at my uterus during the MRI and determined that I have uterus didelphys. Just a bunch of mumbo jumbo to most of you I'm sure. So, pretty much this means that when I was growing as a fetus my uterus did not fuse completely together (it starts as two separate sides) and because of that my uterus is completely separted by a septum which gives me "two" uteri.  It's like two half uteri pretty much side by side. This septum that divides my uterus also divides my cervix - giving me two of those as well. Crazy sounding I know.  What this means is pretty much the same as if I had a bicornuate uterus. Women who have either typically have fertility problems, and are higher risk for miscarrages in the second trimester, Preterm labor, uterian rupture, and have more pain associated with pregnancy and delivery due to more stretching during growth and dilation... sounds fun doesn't it? But we have been so blessed and just plain lucky - other than getting pains quite often I have been relatively symptom free and the baby is growing healthy and strong.  On another high note, the MRI revealed that I have two healthy working kidneys that are totally normal and in the correct location - so definitely another blessing!

Well, like I said we left that doctors appointment bummed out but I knew that next week I had an ultrasound scheduled with the specialists. So I figured I could be patient and wait a few more days! May 7th finally rolled around and Shane and I were just so ecstatic. We arrived for our appointment anxious. I was scheduled for my fetal well-being appointment at 17 weeks - as requested by my obgyn. So were waiting, and waiting... I'm sure it was only 10 minutes but I was being super impatient. I wasn't even sure if they would tell us ( I know some doctors are stingy about not telling before 18-20 weeks) So finally "Whitney!" They called my name and our ultasound tech showed us our room. Our energy was running so high with excitement in the hopes that they would be willing and able to tell us the gender.
"So, what is your appointment for today"
"fetal well being"
"nu uh, NOPE, I'm not doing that.. NOT at 17 weeks"
"....." - I'm sure my mouth hit the floor. I couldn't believe the audacity of this woman.  " Well, that's what my doctor had me schedule this appointment for- They wanted to get get me in because of my uterus"
"Nope, 17 weeks is just too early. That's ridiculous, I'll do some but not all"
Our excitement plumetted and hit the floor.... Honestly, who says that? Aren't you a tech... I didn't order this just because I felt like it, a doctor did.
Anyways, to say the least the whole first half of the appointment I was pretty bitter and couldn't even enjoy seeing our baby up on the screen.
 She rushed around taking measurements, barely mentioning or taking time to tell us what we were looking at.
But then she said "so, do you know the sex?"
"Would you like to find out"

Our excitement was back! Shane came over to my side as she rolled the probe around on my belly. I swear I had already seen a little boy part when she showed us the leg, but I didn't dare say that to this tech.... waiting.. waiting.. waiting, She jostled around a lot and finally steadied our view. On the screen she typed out... leg, leg, bottom.... labeling all the body parts.. .and then came I'M A BOY!!

Even with her hostility and the bitterness at the beginning of the appointment, It was still such a fun moment to share with Shane. We finally could stop calling this baby "it" ( I felt so guilty calling him "it") and say HE! We were so excited! Just after, she stepped out and we got to share a few happy moments together talking about our SON!

We were soo excited to tell our families, but we wanted to tell them all together and in a special way. If we lived closer I would have done a fun party or something, but with the distance this is obviously impossible... soooo we came up with a little video. We sent cards out inviting them to join us online at a specific time and date. Then we posted this...

I'm sure no one thought it was half as funny as Shane and I did. But we had so much fun making it - so that's all that matters.

We have done so much in the past two weeks since we found out we were having a little boy! We almost have his nursery complete. Minus a crib and rocker.. Pictures just need to be hung and a little organization. I even have fabric on its way to make his bedding! YAY!

I had been searching for a while and came across this cute website. I started searching for fabric knowing that the bedding was just too expensive for us to buy and found the exact fabric of the bedding I was trying to replicate. I am stoked! By making it I will save us about $200. Score!!

This is what my end product will HOPEFULLY look simular to!

Shane and I finally planted our little garden yesterday! We had been growing sprouts indoors for the past 4 or 5 weeks. We have peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes, squash, green beans, watermelons, cantelope, strawberries.. and a few more that I can't remember off the top of my head. We spents hours yesterday sifting the soil, adding fertilizer and planting... it took a long time but it was a lot of fun. Planting with the hubby... we are so lame! - IF and when these babies start to grow...I will have to post a picture. Cross your fingers the bugs and field mice don't eat them all up.

Speaking of which... oh...my...goodness. Today was the SECOND time a little field mouse has run STRAIGHT into the home (while we were working). We like to leave the door open with the beautiful weather and last week a little mouse ran right in through the front door. Man, the girls went crazy. Shane was a champ though. He faced his phobia and caught the dang thing... (he even admitted it was a little cute)but goodness... we thought SURELY...there is NO WAY that a mouse would run in again. Low and behold, this Sunday as we were enjoying the day with the girls...in runs a tiny little field mouse. Seriously, our luck. Never in Texas would this happen... TWICE

Our boy is definitely a product of his father and moving constantly. Shane has even been able to feel a few good kicks in the last few weeks! Every time he feels him  he gasps "oh my gosh, I felt him!" It is so cute and just so awesome to feel him moving around in there!