Monday, November 24, 2014

Preston's Birth Story: Part 2

Part two...otherwise known as picture overload...

About 15 minutes after Preston was born, I was holding him and he started breathing funny.  The nurse tested his glucose level, found out it was super low, and immediately had to take him to the NICU.  Ironically the same thing happened with Madeline, although it tends to be a bigger baby issue.  I also don't meet any of the typical criteria for having a baby with low glucose, but the NICU doctor said it was just "one of those things."  Having been through it with Madeline, I knew it wasn't a huge deal, but it's still NO fun to have a baby and immediately get them taken away.

Around noon I was taken to my postpartum room, but was not allowed to go to the NICU until the epidural wore off and I could walk on my own.  I was able to pump so Jon could give Preston his first "bottle" (out of a syringe).  With low glucose babies they have to eat every three hours in addition to having their heel pricked before each feeding.

Later that afternoon we got word that he would have to stay in the NICU an additional 24 hours.   Luckily he had a super sweet NICU nurse who said the kids could come in and see him, so Jon's parents were able to bring Madeline and Andrew up to the hospital that evening to visit Preston.

Madeline was immediately smitten.  

While she was holding him I said, "You've been waiting a long time for this, haven't you?"  She looked at me and smiled.

This one said, "Not baby Preston, baby Andrew."  He just wanted to sit in my lap.

 First pic as a family of five!

The only good part about Preston not being with us is that we were able to get a decent amount of sleep.  The next day was pretty boring.  When you're in a hospital with a new baby and that baby isn't with you, there's not much to do.  I opted for hanging in the NICU and taking pictures of what the night nurse called our "fluffy baby."  Seriously...fluffy.  I loved it.  

First diaper change

So much hair!

Wrinkly baby feet

Saying his prayers...

My parents came up to the hospital with Jon's mom and the kids.  The kids were not allowed to visit the NICU so the grandparents took turns visiting Preston.

Madeline and Andrew hung out in the hospital room with Jon and opened their presents from Preston.

Wednesday evening Preston was discharged from the NICU, so we were able to have some visitors in the hospital room.

Uncle Marky stopped by...

Aunt Weasel was so happy to get some kisses in.

Peter and Niki came after work and brought Preston his very own big bear. 

That night he stayed with us in the room and which means we got much less sleep than the night before!  On Thursday we waited around to be discharged, and Preston decided to throw in one last bit of drama.  He was laying in the crib/cart (seriously, what do you call those things?) while I was sitting next to him.  He was making funny noises, and I looked over and his lips were purple.  I picked him up and started patting him on the back.  When he couldn't catch his breath I made use of the emergency nurse button in the room.  Good news is those things work.  I had two nurses suctioning out his mouth/throat in less than a minute.  Apparently he was choking on some amniotic fluid which remained from his quick delivery.  

To pass the time we took more photos...

And it was finally time to go home!!

SO...We get home and walk in the front door.  Both kids looked at me like I was crazy, which I was not expecting.  Madeline points to my stomach and says, "Um, I thought you had the baby.  He's right there."  Andrew says, "Mommy has another baby brother in her tummy?"  Thanks kids.  

Aimee had just arrived from Baton Rouge.

Andrew held Preston for the first time...

...then went upstairs to get his big bear.  He told Preston that they were trading since Preston's bear was bigger.

We had a few more snuggles...

...and then it was bedtime!  

Friday, November 21, 2014

Preston's Birth Story: Part 1

Warning: Extra long post.  After Andrew's textbook easy birth, I assumed I was in for more of the same.  Instead I got a big lesson in patience!  For my own memory I'm documenting all the details. But first...the last known picture of me pregnant.  Just keeping it classy.

Up until the Monday before Preston was born, I had shown zero signs of a baby coming, and I was starting to get nervous.  Madeline was 8 days early and weighed 6 lbs 6 oz.  Andrew was 17 days early and weighed the same...6 lbs 6 oz.   This baby was measuring 4 lbs at 30 weeks, so we had scheduled an induction for November 6th, when I was going to be 39 weeks.

At 3 am Monday morning I woke up having mild contractions.  They were 10-15 minutes apart through the morning, so I was hopeful that Monday would be the big day.  Jon took the kids to school, and the contractions started spacing out to every 30 minutes.  They hurt enough to stay at home all day, so I spent most of Monday moping around, eating pineapple and walking around the house hoping to get more contractions to kick in.  By Monday night around 8 pm they were back to 10-15 minutes apart, and stayed that way until midnight.  Needless to say, I was worn out.  I tried to sleep, and contractions continued to be 15-45 minutes apart throughout Monday night/Tuesday morning.

Around 4 am Tuesday morning, it finally hit me.  The REAL contractions.  Not the kind where you think, "Oh, that hurts."  The kind where you think, "Wow, this hurts.  A lot.  Can't talk. Can't move." Every pregnant person who has contractions finds a way to cope with them.  For my first two kids it was by squeezing a stress ball.  This one?  Sniffing out of a bottle of Lavender essential oil.  I was desperate.  By 5:30 they were every 5-6 minutes, so I called the doctor and we packed the car.  By 6 am we headed to the hospital.  I'll now move to timeline format.  Just because.

6 am:  Leave for the hospital.  We don't pull up the traffic map, assuming 288 at 6 am would still be moving.  Wrong.  Traffic is at a stand-still.
Lesson #1:  Do NOT leave for the hospital in a three hour window surrounding rush hour traffic.  Contractions while sitting still on the interstate sucks, and might cause your husband to later tell you that he's never heard you say that many four letter words.
6:30 am:  We arrived at the hospital.  We get off the elevator near Labor and Delivery.  I start to have contractions on top of each other and I have to be put in a wheelchair.  We get back to L&D, where we're told to wait in the c-section waiting room.  I can't get out of the wheelchair because of contractions and I feel like the baby might be born in the hallway.  After twenty minutes of waiting and me crying in the hallway sitting in the wheelchair (and continuously sniffing lavender oil like an addict), Jon talks to the nurses and realizes they got my paperwork mixed up with the inductions.  My L&D runs into the hallway and says, "We've be waiting on you!" ugh.
Lesson #2: Women's shift change is at 6:30.  Don't show up to the hospital at that moment.
Lesson #3: 6:30 is also the time when lots of women show up for scheduled c-sections/inductions.  They will be wearing make-up, have their hair done and be wearing cute maxi dresses.  Use your irritation as a distraction from contractions. :)
7 am: We FINALLY get to a L&D room, and find out that our L&D nurse will also be training a nurse during her first week on the job.  All paperwork will have to be reviewed twice and procedures will be done by the nurse in training.  Training nurse says I'm dilated 3 cm.  Real nurse checks and says I'm 5-6 cm.  Lesson #4: Don't be afraid to kick out a nurse in training.  I should have! 
8:30 am:  I finally get the epidural and am capable of having a normal, pleasant conversation.  Those contractions sucked.  Bigtime.  Jon is VERY happy that I was no longer acting a fool or in pain.  As soon as I get comfortable my water breaks.  I let my mom and sister come back to the room.  A very necessary make-up application process followed.  Maria lined up some essential oils "just in case."  Love my family...they always have priorities in line. :)

8:45 am:  Find out I'm 9-10 cm.  Dr. Ball tells me I'll be ready in an hour.
9:45 am:  Dr. Ball comes back, and I tell her the epidural is too strong and I don't feel like I could push at all.  They turn down the epidural.  Lesson #5:  When you've only had an epidural for an hour and it hasn't yet been increased, turning down the epidural means turning it OFF.  Mmm hmm.  Epic fail.
10:15 am: Dr. Ball comes back and I start pushing.  It still doesn't feel right but I know there's only one way this kid was coming out.  I quickly realize this was NOT like the other two kids.  Everyone kept saying, "One more push!" and by the 7th time of hearing that, I was convinced that they were lying to me.  I'll spare the details, but let's just say the experience without an active epidural was not pleasant.
10:38 am: Our big boy was finally born!  After finding out he was 8 lbs 13 oz, it made sense why this pregnancy and delivery felt like so much work...he was 2.5 lbs bigger than the others!  I immediately fell in love with our squishy baby.

(Hard to tell, but it says 8 lbs 13 oz)

According to my sister, the first thing I said was, "Thank you, Jesus!"  The second thing: "That's a BIG baby!"  Even my doctor was surprised by how big he was.  Dr. Ball also said I was her only patient with 3+ kids where she has delivered all of them (out of thousands of babies!).  I felt very fortunate to have my doctor there for all of my kids' births.

Stay tuned for part 2!