Friday, November 22, 2013

Michael's Birth Story - Daddy's version

It's so hard to believe our little baby boy is a year and a week old. What a year! He has truly changed our lives. I learn something new every day and have never felt more proud or blessed in my life. I still look back on Michael's birth with a lot of "what if's" but I've learned for the next time. When I have rough days or when I'm beating myself up I take a break and read my husbands version of his birth. I'm SO glad he took the time to write this for me. Such a good man <3

 The Story of MJ
By Daddy
To say I had always wanted to be a father was an understatement. As the time came I can honestly say I wasn’t nervous about parenthood, or finances, or adjusting to a new life.  But I was a basket case worrying over Mommy and Baby.

Christina and I were over the moon with anticipation for Michael James Easterling. Ultrasounds were a tease, and hearing his heartbeat always made me feel better – no matter what the situation.  Nina and I had planned since the beginning to have a natural birth.  We had a wonderful birthing center chosen, took multiple classes, took natural herbs and prepared for a nice water birth.  As labor rolled on past the 40th week, and out until the 42nd week, we saw our plans fade away.  We tried everything to naturally induce labor we could find – primrose oil, walking, bouncing on a yoga ball, pineapple, you name it.  MJ just wouldn’t drop.  Nina even tried castor oil! Yeah, Michael? Don’t ever say your mother doesn’t love you! 

Eventually we had no choice but to go with a hospital.  Nina was far more crushed than I was.  I suppose my priority was their safety, and once the How and Where we wanted slipped away I let it go.  Still, I would have preferred a natural birth.

Our first foray into the hospital assembly-line experience came with meeting our OB/GYN “Dr. B.”  We had several visits to his office, which was on a run-down block in what amounts to the inner city of Gainesville.  Nearly every time we had to wait in excess of two hours to see anyone, and the place wasn’t exactly 5-star.  Still, it had to be done.  We had several ultrasounds and check-ups and then once we passed 41 weeks we were sent to the clinic for a non-stress test.  But first our kitten Yin had to be rushed to the vet for a serious illness, after which we raced to the hospital. We passed the stress test, which meant we got one more day to come home and try things there. Michael was perfectly healthy, he just wasn’t moving!

We headed back to Shand’s for the second part of the exam.   We had a lot of worries and concerns with being at a hospital for birth, but fortunately we had an excellent triage nurse.  A midwife herself, she talked over induction methods and which drugs NOT to take, and overall helped put us at ease.  We decided avoid Cytotec at all costs – considering it says not to use it while pregnant – and instead start with a cervical softener and eventually Pitocin. Just as we were getting settled and comfortable, Dr. B’s assistant came in.  She treated us rather callously and rushed, and gave Nina an “exam” – which was extremely violating and uncomfortable.  I was too shocked to say anything at the time. 

So there we were with one final day to get everything ready.  We went home and packed for an unknown number of days in the hospital.  We got a call from B’s assistant, where she again tried to push a number of drugs on Christina.  She then gave a convincing ultimatum that it’s drugs or nothing.  Nina was heartbroken, and I tried to console her as best as I could. But the fact was that no hospital can force treatment or drugs on anyone.  When we refused to accept her drugs or hospital-mandated procedures, she passed us off to other personnel instead. Got to love some medical professionals.
To mark our last evening home, I made dinner – rosemary-breaded chicken with vegetables, and a S’mores cup for desert.  I completely destroyed the kitchen, but I cleaned it up.  It was worth it to see Nina smile.

Tuesday began with a gulp and a sigh.  This was not going to be easy.  Nina was extremely hesitant about a hospital birth, and I can’t say I blamed her.  This wasn’t what we wanted.  Still, I considered the fact that Michael was pushing 10 lbs already and packing on a pound a week.  Nina wanted to wait, but doing so would have led to a 11+ pound watermelon that wouldn’t have been any easier to birth – in fact quite the contrary.  I knew our natural birth dream was gone, but Michael had to come out.

We got to the hospital and checked in.  It was a rather small room, but it worked.  Nina’s mom and I helped gather the essentials from my car – pillows, water, clothes, food, Nina’s purse, etc. Dona had fun pointing out how nervous I looked and the fact that I was practically power-walking, but it was true.  It was a combination of excitement and concern – I knew Nina wasn’t happy, and I just wanted to make sure she was taken care of and treated with respect.  I didn’t want her to have any regrets – that was my priority.

After finishing with another patient, Dr. B finally arrived.  He suggested Cytotec, which Nina bravely refused several times, and eventually they agreed to start her on Pitocin in the hopes that it would soften her cervix.

We started the Pitocin at 4 PMand the contractions started about an hour later.  Nina, Dona and I kept up the energy in the room by joking and moving around.  Nina bounced on her yoga ball, and we all listened to the ungodly moaning of a woman having a natural birth next door. Fun times.  Nurses came in and checked on us periodically throughout the evening, each time turning up the Pitocin levels. Eventually they maxed out the dosage, and the contractions did indeed get stronger and more frequent – they just weren’t productive.  When Dr. B came in and realized the contractions were back-to-back, he lowered the dose.  Such heavy contractions were more harmful than good.

When the contractions showed signs of distress on Michael, the staff put Nina on oxygen.  She took it well enough, but we both felt defeated.  I was helpless to do anything but hold her hand, which we were both grateful I could do.  But looking down at this tangled web of oxygen tubes, wires and IV’s I couldn’t help but feel so completely distanced from our dreams of a natural birth. This was about as far from it as you got.  Still, I remained positive and stayed by Nina’s side.  I knew no matter how bad I felt, she was going through far more mentally and physically.  She was so brave, and I had never been more proud of anyone.
As the night hours became the morning, Nina and I had a serious discussion about having a C-section for the first time.  It was something we were both adamantly opposed to, but considering the lack of progress and the strain the drugs were putting on them both I  proposed we may want to reconsider.  The other problem was that no one had properly measured Michael’s skull size recently – so we didn’t even know if he COULD fit through naturally.  We knew he was heavy, but his head was the deciding factor.  Eventually we decided to wait it out and make another bid for a natural birth.  We did, however, consent to an epidural.  The pain was getting unbearable for Nina – understandably – and beyond that she was completely exhausted and couldn’t sleep with the pain of contractions.

We called our birth photographer, Wrenda, in the early morning hours and she kindly arrived soon after.  It was nice having another kindred spirit in the room to comfort and distract us.

Dr. B returned to check on Nina about 7 AM.  Nina had dilated and effaced slightly, but Michael was still very high.  His head hasn’t passed though the hips at all.  Worried about the condition of the fluid, Dr. B suddenly positioned Nina to where he could break her water. Unfortunately she had no idea he was doing this, or she probably would have objected.  He commented that the fluid looked perfectly healthy, but now that the water was broken we had a very serious timer now. 

Several more hours went by, and now with reduced fluid the contractions grew stronger and more powerful.  Nina finally asked for an epidural.  Drawing close to 24 hours without sleep and ever-escalating contractions, it seemed the best thing to do.  The anesthesiologist came in after a few hours and administered the epidural.  Unfortunately he had to make several attempts at finding the right spot, which was pretty painful for Nina.  Eventually he got it, and Nina laid down to rest. It didn’t take long to kick in, and Nina fell asleep several times.  I tried to stay awake when she was, and sleep when she did, so I set up a blanket and pillow on the floor beside her bed.  It was actually kind of funny, because while “under the influence” Nina didn’t notice me standing there sometimes – or imagined whole conversations with people who weren’t there. Good stuff.

Nina slept the majority of what remained of that day.  She woke on occasion, asking for ice cubes or popsicles to eat.  At one point we noticed that Michael not only dropped, he LIFTED.  He had somehow pulled higher up into her rib-cage like drawing a shade.  Don’t know how that happened.  Finally near midnight Dr. B returned.  With now negative progress, Nina and I finally relented to the C-section. It was time to end this.  We had tried everything we could possibly do to have a natural birth at every turn, but it just wasn’t in the cards for us.

Things picked up rather quickly. Nurses flooded in and out of the room.  Dona and I made sure we got everything from the car we would need.  Nina asked if I was ok.  I said “I’m fine, baby. I’m only thinking of you.  You’ll be fine.” Of course, I was also trying to convince and comfort myself.  I can’t tell you how many nightmares I’ve had where Nina goes into that surgery room and doesn’t come out.  Still, I kept my chin up as they came to wheel her away.  “I’ll be right there,” I said – to which she answered “you better.”

As Nina went off, Wrenda helped me put on my scrubs, mask and surgical hat.  Dona and I made sure the room was cleaned out, and she moved everything to the recovery room.  I stood in the hallway, waiting what seemed and eternity for permission to enter the surgery room.  I took several deep breaths and closed my eyes, filling myself only with positive energy and hope. Everything was going to be ok.

Finally I want in.  There was Nina, on her back, strapped to a table with a swarm of people around her.  I sat by her head, and honestly it was easily the most troubling moment of my life. There was the woman I loved more than the world, twitching and shaking, pulled and rocked like she was being tortured in a medieval dungeon.  I had to compose myself before I could even speak.  “It’s ok. I’m here” I said - once again for my own sake as much as hers.  I kissed her and looked deep in her eyes. I was so proud of her.  With everything going on, the way things turned out, she still had a smile.  I’ve never loved anything so much.

I heard Dr. B say “Born at 1:15AM” and looked over to see a nurse carrying a squishy little baby onto a heating table.  “There he is!” I said. Nina was silent. “Let Mommy hear you,” she said. After a little suction and massage, we finally heard the most beautiful squeal on Earth.  My heart skipped & Nina cried.  We did it!
I held Nina’s hand and we realized Michael wasn’t calming.  The nurse tried, but he just cried. Nina told me to go to him, and so I did.  I stood and looked at him for the first time.  Honestly, my first thought was “Man, he is WHITE.” But after that I remember thinking of how scared and confused he looked.  So I did the same thing I do with Nina in those situations.  I grabbed his hands and whispered “It’s ok. I’m here.” Instantly, Michael stopped crying.  He just looked up at me and blinked.  He was so beautiful.

He did have a rather large bruise on the top of his head, almost shaped like a cone.  However, since his skull was still completely rounded that told me his skull never even made it past the hips. It was 15” around, for crying out loud! His right eye was also slightly puffy, but I figured it was temporary.

After putting on several hats – since the nice newborn one we made wouldn’t fit – I took the swaddled Michael over to Nina. She looked over and said “there you are!”  We all smiled – even Michael, I think.  After years of trying, we were finally a family. And for the first time in weeks, Nina looked truly happy.

As Nina recovered from surgery, I accompanied Michael to the nursery.  The nurses took his vitals and measurements, but in keeping with Nina’s wishes I turned down his bath.  They said he had a slight heart murmur, which while probably nothing, called for more observation.  He sat under a heat lamp for a time, content to just look at the ceiling. Soon, though, he got a little fussy.  “You can hold him if you want,” one of the nurses said. She didn’t have to tell me twice.  I carefully gathered him up and sat in a rocking chair.  I couldn’t believe it.  I was a Daddy.  I was looking down at myself, and he looked back at my with Nina’s eyes.  It was so surreal I was suddenly terrified that I’d wake up soon.  But it was real.

Soon Dona and Grandpa Jim came in.  They got to see their grandson up close for the first time.  “He’s a honky!” was Dona’s classy observation.  Both had bigger smiles than I had seen in a long time.  I swear Jim’s eyes twinkled.  It was really nice seeing them so happy and proud.  There have been times when I didn’t exactly feel accepted or integrated into their family, but Michael seemed to bridge that gap.

Word came that Mommy was ready to see Michael.  I pushed him in his bassinet and, on seeing Mommy sitting up in bed and waiting, announced “Here he is.” Mommy did her typical show of excitement – a high-pitched “Yay!” accompanied by quick clapping.  It was cute.  I handed him off and Mommy attempted to nurse.  Despite any concerns about breastfeeding, he latched immediately and went to work.  I had never been as happy as seeing Mother and Child looking to one another, holding each other.  I remember thinking, despite all the drugs and procedures, we could still do something natural. 

Shortly thereafter we moved to yet another room – this one a rather cozy private room near the NICU.  Finally able to relax, Mommy and I began the arduous task of texting, calling or Facebook-posting everyone we knew about Michael’s birth.  For the first time we were left alone, just our little family. It felt great. Nurses did come in on occasion, checking on Michael and Mommy, bringing food and asking if we needed anything.  It was funny to learn that we had “The 10-Pound Baby,” and apparently he was a local celebrity already. Still, the best part was our first night in that room.  Just us three, sleeping for the first time.  We both took turns sleeping with him, skin-to-skin as often as possible, for the next few days.  Michael rarely cried – only when people messed with him.  Leave him alone and he’s fine. Must be a Scorpio thing.

It was nearly a week from entering to leaving the hospital, but we emerged with the most perfect and beautiful baby in creation.  Our crazy journey began with “I do” and concluded with “Welcome Home.”


               

Friday, October 11, 2013

Updated schedule

For some reason I have not been able to update our schedule on the side >> so I will continue to update it here in post form.

Thank you for all the fabulous Halloween orders!!




Orders from Sept. 14th - Sept. 26th will be shipped between Oct5 - 9th

Orders from Oct. 5th - Oct. 9th will be shipped between Oct. 12th -16th

Orders from Oct. 9th - 12th will be shipped between Oct. 19th -23rd





Friday, July 5, 2013

Our journey into parenthood and running a business


Hello there! It's been a while since my last post and I know our fan page has been getting pretty quite! Facebooks new changes sure don't help. Anyhow, how are you!? 

Michael will be turning eight months old in a very short period of time. Can you believe it? I certainly can't! Parenthood has been all I dreamed of and more. I tried to go into it without expectations. I didn't want to be let down or disappointed if things were way different. Should have gone into "labor" that way.

Michael has been great! He doesn't sleep through the night and went through a phase where he acted like an addicted "moo juice" baby in the middle of the night if he wasn't latched on to me. Funny in hindsight. I had no intentions of co sleeping with him. It always terrified me and my parents didn't do it with me. It just works for us! We tried a period of getting him to sleep and putting him in his own bed but I spent most of the night rocking him to sleep. No bueno. I became a grouch in no time. We're back to co sleeping and I feel much better!

Another thing I turned my nose up at (if nothing else I'm learning to rethink my own opinion!) was cloth diapering. Who would have time for that on top of everything else? Plus, gross! Well, after shelling out too much on diapers in the first two months of his life I realized cloth was where its at. Much cheaper, no long life spent in some landfill, better for little ones skin, and oh so much cuter! Plus I could sew them myself. That I didn't have time for! I've made him 8 total, 5 that are useable, and purchased the others from a wonderful woman on Craigslist. We are very happy to be saving that money! I've even ventured into cloth wipes. The trash bag for disposable wipes got on my last nerve. Now everything goes in the diaper pail and gets washed. I'm a happy momma!

Unfortunately business has been slow and for that I apologize. I have cut my work time back to when Michael sleeps which doesn't leave me much time most days. We are still on top of orders but that also means orders have cut way back. Hubby has come to the rescue and picked up a part time job which is helping to supplement. Some day soon I hope to get cracking on my wish list and run a weekly ready to ship sale. It's a nice dream. Any requests!?

I'm going to be starting some new adventures in making our own cleaning supplies, shampoos, lotions, etc. so keep an eye out for those! I've also been doing some freezer crockpot meals so I'd also like to do a post on that as well.


Much love, hope you all are well!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

The birth of Michael James


I will say that michaels birth story started long before he was actually born. Dale and I both knew that when we hit 42 weeks on Sunday the 11th our chance of delivering at the birthing center was over. So, we tried every natural induction method possible. We walked for a couple of miles each day, started using evening primrose oil, red raspberry leaf tea, and bouncing on the yoga ball most of the day. These were the simplest methods we tried. Though we weren't making any changes in progress. He was not dropping! I just felt a lot of pelvic pressure that seemed to get slightly worse over time but none of the typical "lightning" symptoms. We had a hunch he might just be big or have his dads shoulders. We should have listened.

Our 41 week appointment came up with very little change to my cervix. A homeopathic herb and pumping routine was recommended so we picked up the herbs at a whole foods store and I got started the next day around my chiropractor appointment. I had some mild contractions in the evening but they disappeared around 10:00 like they normally did. I did however pump half an ounce of colostrum. Yay, my boobs were working! Wednesday we had a biophysical ultrasound and a non stress test run. We attempted to get a size measurement from the tech but she wasn't able to do so. Another sign. Otherwise he passed all of his tests with flying colors! Next was a trip to the birthing center to be checked again. We were "very soft, 1cm, and about 50% effaced." Plus she could feel his head which was a change from Monday. She was also able to strip my membranes. We were feeling positive!

Thursday I started another round of the herbs and pumping but still wasn't having any contractions. Our midwife, Abi, recommended seeing an acupuncturist who could squeeze us in that afternoon. Of course, we went. I was an emotional wreck that week so it was at least nice to have to lay still for an hour.

The next day, still nothing. It was Friday. I knew if nothing happened I'd have to take a castor oil shake in the morning. Not excited but the last thing on our natural induction list. I woke up at five and did it. Not fun! The nausea was the worst part and kept me feeling like a zombie most of the day. I did however start to get some contractions that afternoon after deciding a nap in the grass would do me some good. That sounds crazy but being so close to nature felt rejuvenating. The contractions of course stopped around the same time they usually did.



It was suggested that I do the castor oil again on Sunday but I knew if I did I could spend my last day before labor feeling miserable. I decided against it and spent the day relaxing. Monday we had to head to the hospital for another non stress test to find out of we were checking in our if we got another day.

Now is where it gets fun. After an emergency early morning trip to the vet for one of our kitties we had to rush to the hospital. Crazy! Our Triage nurse was wonderful! She is actually an out of hospital midwife so she understood our wants and concerns. We were hooked up for an hour or two while we waited for the midwife of our doctor to come and inspect us. We discussed induction methods and how we'd want to go about it. It was mentioned that we could start with a cervical softener and then pitocin but I was highly against the drug they wanted to give me. She didn't like that I was informed and was standing up for my body and my decision. I then received a very uncomfortable and violating exam. Our midwives had never been this rough!



We headed home with another day to get things started but with the dread that this midwife would be on call when I had to come in the next day. I was very emotional and discouraged. Shortly after getting home I got a phone call from said midwife trying to talk me back into the drug I refused and informing me that Dr. B would also try and talk me into it. She also informed me that she would no longer be overseeing my induction in the morning. Good news but also bad. What a great midwife to drop a client because they disagree! I broke down after that phone call. Why not just give in and take the drug!? No!

Thankfully daddy made us a wonderful dinner including desert! This doesn't happen often so it was wonderful paired with contractions every six minutes. We were equally as excited about dinner and the contractions :-)

Tuesday morning was rough. Every fiber of my being did not want to go through with this. I knew we would likely start off with pitocin which would probably not be successful since my cervix wasn't ready. I still hadn't felt Michael drop at all. Still only pressure on my pubic bone. He just wasn't ready! I just wanted more time but I also knew everything we'd hoped for was about to go out the window.

We headed to the hospital with my mom and got checked into our labor and delivery room. It was a decent room but could of had a bit more seating. Yes, these things bother me. We waited a couple of hours for Dr.B to show up for another delivery and to see us. He did try to talk me into Cytotec explaining that everything had risks. I stood my ground and we decided to start with the pitocin since he felt my cervix wouldn't show any issues with progressing.



We started the pitocin at four pm and the contractions began at 5. They weren't too bad but hearing that they wanted me at five every ten minutes was a bit ridiculous! We were still having fun, bouncing on the yoga ball and breathing through them. They were manageable so I knew we didn't need to worry about calling our birth photographer or doula just yet. They are busy preggo's too so I knew they needed rest!

My first ever IV



They continued to turn up the pitocin over the next few hours until I was maxed out. Yikes! The contractions were more often, some even two to three minutes apart but were still manageable. Dr.B checked us again somewhere around midnight and we had made no progress. He wasn't surprised as he didn't expect any until 24 hours on pit. He however wasn't happy with the back to back of the contractions. They still didn't turn it down and kept me going.

Grandma was resting in the recliner and daddy was relaxing in bed so mommy sat in the rocker and breathed through things. They were more intense and just kept coming, not natural in any way. Thankfully if I laid down they slowed or I at least couldn't feel them nearly as much so when I needed a break I got into bed. Then when i was rested enough I got back in the chair and let them come. I wasn't watching the monitor much  because I didn't need to be told when they were coming. This also meant I wasn't paying attention to Michael's heartbeat which wasn't showing any significant changes with the contractions. Even with the five I'd just had back to back. 

I was feeling pretty defeated as I knew we weren't making any progress. I knew he hadn't gotten any lower. Dale and I had a deep conversation about a c-section. No one had ever done a real growth scan to see how big he was so we really had no idea. We just knew something wasn't right. I was mentally just getting through the constant contractions but once they slowed I got some confidence back. I wanted to keep going. I knew I had to try. We decided we'd wait it out but Dale warmed to the idea of the epidural. I may need it later anyway and I was beyond exhausted. - we decided now was the time to ask our birth photographer to come which was around 4:30 - Wrenda Slaymaker Photography

They still didn't turn it down after seeing the contractions but they did call in the head nurse. Put me on my side and put oxygen on me. This seemed to help the little boy.




It was around 7am when Dr.B came to check me again. I stretched to two centimeters and was effacing but Michael was still very high. They were worried that his lack of response was due to meconium in the fluid so they broke my water and turned off the pit. "That doesn't look like the water of a 42 week old." Clear and perfect. - I had no idea what was going on and that they were breaking my water. The look on my husbands face as he watched me in such discomfort was heart breaking. He was working so hard to be so strong for all of us. Such a great daddy already. -But now we were on the clock for real. And what a very weird sensation! He had them turn the pit back on but were strictly told not to hyper stimulate me again. I knew it was about to get rough.





About an hour or two later when lying down no longer got me through the contractions I knew I should just ask for the epidural. We weren't progressing so I knew this would be a while and I needed rest.

It took him a couple of hours but finally the anesthesiologist came to see me. Just in time! I was now groaning through the contractions.  I sounded like a quiet version of the woman giving birth naturally next door. A part of me wonders if I could have kept going if it hadn't have been for the pitocin. I give her gold stars! I wanted the drugs and had to force myself through being hunched over and multiple attempts to get it. Totally worth it!




Now it gets crazy where I start dreaming things that didn't happen and black out things that did. Like my nurse changing my bedding for the second time while I'm still laying on it. Or dreaming my husband left the room for a long time when really he was watching me sleep. I slept through most of the labor at this point. I remember waking up sweaty and very warm. I had to take breaks from the oxygen mask. And my nurses were great at bringing me Popsicles any time I asked.




I would interact with Dale, my mom, or Wrenda for a bit and then fall back asleep. This happened off and on until the end. There was one point where Michael decided to climb up into my ribs. Literally, it was not a contraction. He was moving upwards. After thinking about it I believe I know now why, my poor son. He stayed high up in my ribs on the left hand side for the rest of the evening. 





This was our triage nurse from Monday who came to find us. Her shift was over just before he was born, unfortunately.


I was checked again somewhere close to midnight. The details have become hazy after a few days in the hospital. I hadn't dilated from our last exam but I was almost fully effaced. Michaels head was now higher up. We knew it wasn't happening so he suggested the c-section. I knew by this point we couldn't fight it anymore. Michael was not coming out and the pitocin had to stop.




Once we made the decision a huge swarm of people came into the room. They gave me more of the epidural to help speed things along. I asked the nurses and anesthesiologist some questions and also made sure they had the hat I made for Michael to wear. I remember my husband and mother discussing what needed to go out to the car and what needed to stay for recovery. They would run that out while I was getting prepped. I made sure Dale could go with Michael to the nursery after he was born and that he would be able to be put on my skin after birth. Pending any complications they would as soon as he was cleaned up. Dr. b and our photographer were in the background discussing cameras and photography. Comforting actually.

I vaguely remember looking at Dale and asking him if he would be ok. I believe he whispered words of comfort and told me how proud he was. He said "I'll be right there" my response being, "You better". I was so drugged! I think we had finally come to peace with this. We kissed and they wheeled me off leaving him to run out to the car and then get into his scrub outfit - he brought his mask home with him- I remember my mom asking me how I was doing. "terrified. But of surgery or becoming a parent?" was my answer.






They sure like to keep OR's cold. The room was freezing! Though I'm sure most of the shivering was a side effect. It still sucks! They got me all prepped for surgery. I wasn't scared. I was ready to be done. He needed to be out. They got my pain blocker to the right spot and then we had to wait for Dr.B which is very difficult when you are dealing with not feeling like you're breathing. It almost sent me into an anxiety attack but thankfully the anesthesiologist was fantastic! She keeps me grounded and encouraged me. She also gave me a small run down of what was going on which helped.

Dr.B was finally scrubbing in so they let Dale come in. He came by my side and I asked him to hold my constantly shaky, and slightly numb hand. I apologized that I may not be able to say much to him. It was taking all of my willpower to focus on my breathing. "it's ok, I'm here" (added later while telling me he was trying to be as comforting as possible without freaking out.) 



Finally, the show got started. I don't remember it taking long before I heard the suction. I knew then that at least part of him was out. Then I felt the assistant shoving Michael down out of my ribs. We saw him carried over to the newborn table but he hadn't cried yet. I only saw a bundled bit of baby. I couldn't see him but I wasn't scared. I just kept saying "come on baby" "let mommy hear you" "come on baby boy". I kept praying and knew I'd hear it. I did. My son cried! He made noise! Then he REALLY made noise! I broke down as I'm sure every mother does. I remember looking at the ceiling above me, the only time I believe, and just let the tears fall. I was so relieved.



This lump was solid bruise. His skull had never shifted so this was all tissue.


He cried!!

Daddy still got to "cut the cord"



I told Dale to go to him after the nurse couldn't calm him. I look over to see my amazing husband bend down to whisper something to our son. Our handsome, screaming son, who stops crying. He stopped screaming. He had daddy! I broke down again. I don't think I've ever felt such love and confirmation in my life. 




They brought Michael over to Dale and I. Unfortunately the hat I'd made him was too small for his noggin so they put it on top of his hospital hat. They unstrapped my hand so I could touch him. It was difficult with all the shaking but I was able to stroke his head a bit. He was bright eyed, puffy, and very white. He was perfect. I'm sure I spoke to him but I just remember being so glad he was peaceful and content in my husbands arms. Thank you Dale for helping me remember my first words to him! "There you are."




After years we were finally a family. I was content. They needed to take Michael to the nursery so I made sure Dale went with him. I unfortunately didn't get my skin to skin with him due to his delay in response and low test scores.I'm glad he didn't see this next part. Putting me back together was the worst part! The pressure and tugging was insane. Surely I was stretched out enough that they didn't have to pull so much! I just remember wishing that they would hurry up and be done. I almost asked for some anti anxiety meds but when told they would likely make me loopy I turned them down. After what seemed like hours they were, thank you!


Yay! Grandma got to hold her first grand baby






I was wheeled to recovery where they checked me over and cleaned me up. I had already gotten feeling back in my feet and could lift my legs. They were impressed and I was thankful. They called for my family to come back but they couldn't be found. I didn't even process that they would be at the nursery. Finally my parents came back. My dad looked to flustered and anxious though cute enough for a funny story! Apparently even though seeing Dale and the photographer around this adorable baby he said "this kid is cute but where is our baby." Gotta love it! Grandma showed me some pictures that I will have to ask for again. I was forewarned that he was hungry and trying to suck on everything.

Thankfully soon came daddy pushing the bassinet with our son in it. He said "Here he is," and I just said "yay!" - with hand clapping that I do when I'm excited.  They handed him to me and I immediately without even thinking about it, removed the gown from my right breast and offered him the nipple. It only took him a tiny bit before he latched on. It didn't hurt me at all. We had done it. Despite the fears of bonding or not being able to breastfeeding we were doing it. I was providing for my son. Finally, we were doing something we were supposed to.


With some help from daddy we did it!



I was told he had a slight heart murmur that they weren't sure if they should be concerned with and that there were also some very minor things they were keeping and eye on and had to take him to the NICU to check. I was also told that they had a hard time getting him to take his first breath and that he needed "two puffs of oxygen." Which after reading his newborn release form I realize means he needed to be resuscitated. I knew he needed to go have his tests done because I wanted to be with himI told dale he could go ahead but to keep my update through texts. Yes, I was on my phone in recovery instead of recovering. Though I did almost fall asleep.

We ended up with a private room next to the NICU just in case his murmur was more than they thought. I felt comfortable knowing we would be right there. I updated Facebook and tried to relax while waiting to hear from Dale. Thankfully I was told I would finally be able to have juice and crackers. Not being able to eat was a killer! Dale and I texted back and forth about updates. Michael was still having tests done and I had minimal bleeding so would be cleared soon. I mentioned skin to skin which I believe they were able to do. These drugs are a memory killer!

I was wheeled to our new room and dale followed with Michael soon after. I was so amazed that he didn't cry! And that everyone was already talking about him. "Oh, you had the ten pound baby!" I honestly never thought he was that big. And granted larger babies have been delivered vaginally. Our issue was his 15" head and that it was trying to come out at the wrong angle. My poor boy had a very large bruise/knot on the top of his head. He literally was not going to fit no matter how hard we tried.

I never did call in our Doula. We were informed and aware enough that we never felt pressured or guilted into anything. Thankfully she was still able to come get our placenta for encapsulation. I was very thankful to have had that done. I knew if I needed the surgery depression may be a concern, which it was. But not for long which I attribute to the capsules.

Thinking back I wish we had decided on the c-section when Dale and I had our heart to heart. Maybe I wouldn't have put MJ through the distress. Maybe he wouldn't have needed to be resuscitated. Maybe his birth would have been less traumatic. I try not to beat myself up because we now have an incredibly healthy and beautiful baby boy. We have had no major issues breastfeeding, he has now passed all of his tests and the murmur they were worried about is gone.

He rarely crys. Unless you piss him off, then he let's you know. Must be the Scorpio in him. My true moment of bliss was our first night together, he was sleeping peacefully then woke up from what seemed like a very traumatic nightmare. I held him close, shushed him, and told him mommy was there. He immediately went back to his peaceful sleep. I had all my mommy fears and anxieties washed away. This boy was perfect.

Michael was the talk of Labor and Delivery while we were there. They just couldn't get enough of him. And even though the constant interruptions through the days and nights were ubnoxious it was the best days of my life. It was the three of us in our little room growing as a family. The first night was rough. I was too afraid to fall asleep with him in my arms so Dale and I took turns. The second night that fear was gone. He slept safely and peacefully on my chest as he did many times over the next few days.



Dale was and continues to be so fantastic. Even when waking him up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom or ask him to take MJ for a little bit he never once complained. I couldn't have asked for a better father or husband for our family. He really took everything so fantastically and only showed his fears and anxieties briefly.



We have now been home for some time and have celebrated our first Thanksgiving together as a family. Michael is adjusting to everything fantastically and continues to be a breastfeeding pro! I am still healing physically though my incision looks great. Mental and emotional healing will take some time, however. I will have to accept that I was not able to go into labor on my own or deliver our first child. I have had some odd complications that we can't pin point to the surgery but only assume it is from that or the hospital stay.

I was always the woman who believed there was a natural solution for everything. We are living proof that you can plan the most natural labor and delivery and it can be completely out of your hands, It unfortunately does happen. All we can do is educate ourselves and take it one step at a time. Im still looking forward to having more children eventually and hope that i still get my chance to deliver.



XOXO,

Monday, November 5, 2012

Baby Michael Update

Well, our little boy is turning out to have his mothers "you cant push me into doing anything I don't want to do" attitude. 

We are now past due based on his last ultrasound. Though we know due dates are really just guesses we are running out of time. He has made some progress towards dropping, dilating, and effacing, but not enough to show that he will be arriving soon.

Needless to say it has been an emotional week for me. We had high hopes of delivering at The Birth & Wellness Center of Gainesville with the fantastic midwives we have seen throughout our entire pregnancy. We feel incredibly comfortable there and since I have never needed to go to the hospital for anything - stitches and broken bones included - the thought of a hospital birth and a possible C Section has been intense.

Nothing has terrified me more than the thought of a C Section. I do understand that in some cases it really is the safest way for both mom and baby but the thought of not seeing our first child for the first hour+ of his life sent me into an emotional melt down. Thankfully, the hospital we will be directed to now has a policy to place baby on moms chest first thing. PHEW!

I've been of the mind this entire time that I wanted to avoid a hospital at all costs. Based on our previous experience, thought not terribly negative, the hospital just wasn't for us! We are looking forward to the first hour of bonding and breastfeeding, delaying his cord cutting so he gets all the nutrients he needs, being able to labor in multiple positions as well as the tub, and being able to go home within hours if everyone looks good. It is an odd transition for me but I am to the point that I just want him here. 

I just want to hold my son and know that this truly is happening.

After 5 years of waiting, hoping, trying, and praying that we conceive to know that I haven't just been dreaming. 

Physically I feel great! I could be pregnant forever! Seeing a Chiropractor for my hips has been exceptional! I highly recommend seeing one throughout pregnancy! My mom was saying today that I don't have the "waddle" and I actually move around fairly well, even for my size. (We wont talk about my weight gain!!)

So, it looks like either way our son will be here in the next week or so. What does that mean for the shop? Well, we will be closed for a couple of weeks to spend that precious time with him. I hope to open back up for Black Friday with a sale for everyone. We should have a 1-2 week turn around at that time so we will be able to accept Christmas orders. We just ask that you PLEASE do not wait until the last second to order! We run into a lot of canceled orders this time of year due to people not checking our turn around or ordering in advance. 

We appreciate you all more than you realize and really can't thank you enough for allowing my husband and I to work together and be home with our son.

I'll leave you with a parting maternity photo shoot image. Hopefully my next blog post is Michaels birth story!!

Thank you to the fabulous Mckeeby Photography!! Please be sure to find her on facebook and show her some love!




Xoxo,