Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The One With Sam's Birth Story: Part Two

So. We're at the Monday before Thanksgiving. Just found out I won't be having a c-section at 32 weeks. We went to sleep for the night, and the next morning found out my blood pressure was still too high to go home. This continued through Wednesday evening, when they decided that not much was being done to help me at the hospital, and I still wasn't sick enough to cause them to take the baby out, so I might as well do bedrest at home. The way it was described to me by a doctor was "Well, we're kind of playing a game of chicken. You're sick, and the baby isn't old enough to come out. We'll keep playing with the balance." Pretty much we were just waiting for me to get sick enough to need the baby to come out.

I'd love to tell you I spent the time hoping Sam would stay put and handled it all really well, but I didn't. This whole time was extremely frustrating for me. I was off work, wasting my maternity leave, not having a baby, spending loads on hospital bills, etc. I was so ready to be done with all the back and forth. Plus, I wasn't feeling well. I went home the night before Thanksgiving, and ended up back in the hospital again on Friday night for the same issues. Went home that weekend, and this all continued for the next two weeks. I got sent to the hospital after every appointment because my blood pressure would skyrocket. At 35 weeks, I got sent to a Fetal Medicine center to get a high level ultrasound and talk to a high risk doctor. While we were there (this was a Monday afternoon) my blood pressure spiked again, and the doctor took one look at me, and got me an immediate room at the hospital and sent me there with these words "You are NOT leaving the hospital until you are holding a baby."

By this time, I was SO ready. But also so tired of the back and forth. I'd been told SO many times that my baby was going to be out "soon" only to be sent back home that I stopped believing everyone. And sure enough, a few hours after being admitted, a different doctor decided I could go back home. I started to meltdown a little, then another nurse came in and said, "Hold on. You're not going anywhere. We've got to get this baby out." Then...she walked out. Um, hello? What? Please. Explain. Something. ANYTHING. Finally I saw the familar face of one of my favorite midwives walk in. I looked up at him pitifully and said, "David? Can you please get this baby out of me?" To my surprise, he said, "Yup! We're going to." He explained that the platelets had dropped again, which combined with my blood pressures, convinced them that it wasn't safe for me to remain pregnant. The plan was to induce me and hopefully let me deliver the baby without needed a c-section. The only problem is, at 35 weeks, my body wasn't quite ready for everything that was about to happen. Luckily, there was already some effacement and Sam had dropped, but my cervix wasn't ready at all. They decided to take things as slow as they felt comfortable with so that I had the best shot of delivering him naturally. That night I got some ripening gel and they started a VERY slow pitocin drip. I was supposed to get another batch of gel before bedtime, but luckily my contractions had already become so regular I didn't need it! They upped my pitocin and gave me some medicine to help me sleep for the big day ahead. I had contractions through the night but slept through them (sort of!) and woke early the next morning. It was really weird to have been through so much back and forth and know that this was FINALLY it. (My midwife laughed at me bc I asked after the gel if they could "take back the induction." I just still wasn't convinced they were going to let me have this baby!!)

I spent that night being really nervous about the next day. I'd had so many plans and goals for my birth experience, and so far nothing was going like I'd planned. I was nervous about labor and delivery, nervous about Sam's health with being early, nervous about the induction failing and needing a c-section, nervous about EVERYTHING. But when I got up the next morning, I was just ready to get things started.

Also, this story is taking way longer than I thought!! Haha, he hasn't even been born yet and I feel like this story has gone on forever. But, oh well. I bet one day he will love reading about the story of his coming into the world! Stay tuned for part three :)

Monday, March 29, 2010

The One With Sam's Birth Story: Part One

So, I'd these grand plans of writing Sam's birth story right after he was born. It was going to be a lovely story of my journey through natural childbirth, with pictures of the drug-free birthing center. You'd have been awed at my pain-management skills and congratulated me on getting through labor with no assistance. I would then tell you all about how great breastfeeding was and how it's always the best thing for the baby. It was going to be an award winning piece of work. The only problem is, if I still told you that story, it would be an award winning work of fiction. So instead, though it's 4 months late, here's Sammy's real entrance into the world story! Or at least part one :)

I guess the story officially started at 32 weeks. It was a crazy insane week of work for me--the holiday launch, which is always one of the busiest and most challenging weeks of the year. We transform the store into winter wonderland, and this all happens overnight. I had planned on my assistant running the setup and work the overnight shift, but then he got moved to another store and there was no one else to do it. So I ended up doing it myself, plus working some crazy shifts other days that week. My 32 week appointment was on Wednesday night that week, and I'd been feeling a little funny but just blamed it on being tired from not sleeping and working so much. When I get to my appointments, I always weighed myself and then tested my urine for protein and glucose (both indicators of pregnancy complications.) Right away I noticed there was protein, but waited to see what the midwife would have to say. We sat and chatted for a few minutes and then she took my blood pressure. I could tell right away something was wrong, and she was pretty concerned. She wanted me to do some further testing and come back on Friday morning for a follow-up appointment. I wasn't allowed to work for the remainder of the week and was on strict bedrest until the follow up. I was immediately really scared of getting put on bedrest for the remainder of the pregnancy--if I had begun my leave at 32 weeks, I would have had to come back when the baby was only 6 weeks old, and I was planning on having a full 12 at home with him.

So, home we went. I tried to relax and take it easy, but Friday didn't go well. I was put on bedrest indefinitely, was told I was not allowed to work anymore, and had to go for more labs and testing. Most everything seemed to be holding ok, so they weren't super scared and sent me home for the weekend and told me to come back Monday (which was also the week of Thanksgiving.) I had some meltdowns over being put on bedrest, but also started to get nervous that the baby would need to come sooner than he was ready. I spent the weekend resting as much as possible and Geoff was wonderful at taking care of me! Our families and friends pitched in, too. On Monday, we got to my appointment, and my midwife took my blood pressure first thing. He immediately sent us to the hospital. They were suspecting preeclampsia and knew that it could all go downhill quickly. So, I got to the hospital and my blood pressure went back down and it seemed like we were going to get to go home shortly after. But then, my midwife came back in and said, "Well, we might be meeting a baby tonight." I was really scared because I knew at 32 weeks, my baby was NOT ready to come out! But the midwife explained that my platelet count had taken a pretty significant drop and if it continued to drop, I'd be having an emergency c-section that night. So, we got admitted and waited until midnight for another test that would determine if Sam was born that night or not. It was the longest few hours ever!! But around 1:30a, the doctor came in and said that we weren't having him that night!!

Well. That's part one. More will have to come later. :)

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The One With the Letter

So, working full time and being a mom and having a new house is making blogging harder than I expected. I'm tryin, but it's just not happening. In any case, just thought I'd share this with you all. We had Sam's dedication at church a few Sundays ago, and we wrote him this letter. We will give it to him whenever he becomes a Christian, and it's a few of our prayers for him. Enjoy :)

Dear Sam,

Today you came to know the Lord as your personal savior. We are so proud of you and so excited for you as you embark on this journey to know God more personally. You are such a blessing to us and we could not be more proud of what a great young man you have become.

On December 9th you changed our lives forever. During the time we waited to meet you, we imagined the person you would be. When the time finally came, you made a dramatic entrance, and our lives would never be the same. You came into this world just a tiny bundle of joy, and while you’ve experienced few milestones as we sit to write this letter, we are already thrilled with each thing you learn. Right now, we track your growth by ounces and inches—but we hope that you always know our deepest hopes for you are about the growth of your heart.

We pray that you will be a man of compassion—that you will look for those in need and reach out to help them. We pray you will have integrity—that in a world where the right thing is often the hard thing, you will have courage to make good choices, even when no one is looking. We pray for a heart of peace—that you will not be overwhelmed by challenges you face, but rest in the One who is holding you. We pray that you will be a good steward, and wisely use the gifts and talents that God has blessed you with. We pray for wisdom—that you will earnestly seek the will of God in your life and make your decisions thoughtfully.

Sometimes it is sad to think that you will have to grow up in a broken world. We know that in your life, you will face sadness, loss, grief, and pain. We cannot, as hard as we may try, protect you from these things. But we hope that you wake up every morning knowing that you are deeply loved—loved by your family, and loved by God. Our love isn’t perfect, and we know that we will fail you. But our greatest prayer is that we are constantly pointing you to the One who will never fail you, and the One who knew you before we even got to meet you. We are so thankful that you have chosen to make Him a part of your life and give your heart to Him. We love you more than we will ever be able to tell you, and we are so proud to call you our son.

Love, Dad and Mom