November 21, 2012

Brindle's Birth Day

It's taken me a while to sit down and write about this day. Brindle is now 17 days old and I can't believe how fast the days have flown by already! The day of her birth was an extremely emotional day for me and Kanyon - very high and very low. Probably even more for Kanyon since he was more aware of everything.

I'll start with the day before because it explains a little about the situation. I'm going to get pretty detailed about this story, probably more for myself than anyone because I don't want to forget all the details.

I wrote my family friend (she's more like a sister) Alison an e-mail explaining all of what led up to my doctor scheduling me to check into the hospital on the night of November 3rd. So in the interest of simplicity, I am going to just copy and paste that e-mail:

(Warning: I say the word "vaginal" in this e-mail ;)

"Throughout my pregnancy, my doctor has been preparing me that my pelvis is very narrow so there is a possibility of a C-section if Brindle ended up being average to large size. Thankfully, she is small! He is estimating her being 6 and a half to low 7 lbs.

So as of Thursday at my doctor's appointment, my cervix was still very hard and not dilated. He's been having a very hard time even getting to my cervix to check for dilation. Its very painful for me. I'd been having contractions 7 minutes apart the 48 hours before but nothing very intense. She is also facing my front instead of my back. My theory is that because she is facing the wrong way, she has not dropped adequately enough to be pushing on my cervix to soften it and allow me to progress further. But I just know my body has been trying to go into labor. Also, at my appointment, my blood pressure was a little bit high again (but nothing major), my placenta had started calcifying (getting old), and my amniotic fluid had reduced. Because of these factors and my recent history of high blood pressure, my doctor wants me to have delivered her no later than Sunday night.

I think if I left the decision completely up to him, he would have scheduled me for a C-section that afternoon. But he knows my desire to at least try for a vaginal delivery, if anything just for the experience. When it comes down to it, I want whatever is safest for her and I. I'll have no qualms about having a C-section, I just want to give myself a chance to experience labor and delivery.

So this is my doctor and I's plan ---

He said he would give me a couple more days to go into labor on my own. Since my appointment, I've been doing some exercises that I've been told can help turn the baby. Not sure if they worked, but thought I might as well. Since he checked me for dilation on Thursday, I've had some stronger contractions but now they're not as regular.

We check in tonight at 6:00 pm and they will give me Cervadil to try and soften my cervix overnight. Tomorrow morning, my doctor will come and check to see if it worked. If it did, he will break my water and start a pitocin drip. If she is still facing the wrong way, the softening of my cervix will also allow him to hopefully reach in there and try and turn her with his hand. He will allow me to labor for ten hours at the most before he does a C-section. If it didn't work, he will suggest a C-section then. It will be my decision if I want to go ahead with it or I want to go ahead and try the induction even though he doesn't think it will work and will just create a harder recovery if I labor for hours and then do a C-section.

So there are lots of possibilities. We will see! I am just excited and ready to get the ball rolling."
On Saturday night, we loaded up the car and headed to Lubbock for a quick date before the big day and then to the hospital.

I look at that picture now and think about how much different my life would be in just 24 hours!

During dinner, I started having more intense contractions so we decided to head to the hospital a little early. We were the only patients in Labor and Delivery that night. After taking about an hour and a half to get me all checked in and IV'd and everything, they stuck the Cervadil in. That was very painful!

That night might have been the longest of my life. Later, when I was in full labor before getting the epidural, I remember thinking that the night before had felt like one long contraction and I preferred labor because at least I got breaks between the contractions! I cramped from my knees to my abdomen around to my lower back the whole night. That night was the night to "fall back" for Daylight Savings and I remember having a crushing realization that I had forgotten that the clock was an hour early and I still had another hour before they came to take the Cervadil out! 

Finally, the time came for them to come take it out. It was way more painful than them putting it in because I was so tender from the night of cramping. It was definitely not one of my best moments. I'm pretty sure I squeezed Kanyon's hand harder than I ever thought I could.

I don't write about all the pain because I want to get sympathy, by the way, I just want to remember every bit of this day.

After they took it out, I had some relief and they let me take a shower. Kanyon helped me get in there and just stand there for a long time before I had to get back on the monitors. I remember just crying in the shower. I wasn't crying because I felt sorry for myself or didn't want to be going through this, though. I think I just needed to get some emotion out! I was still really glad to be there and still excited for the next step!

By the time I got hooked back up to the monitors, my contractions were coming every 3 to 4 minutes and were much stronger than I had experienced up to that point. But like I said, they were not as bad as the night before because I got breaks between them! The nurse told me that the Cervadil had not softened my cervix as much as she'd like and asked me if I'd like to get my epidural yet since my doctor had recommended one to help relax my body and possibly help progress my labor. I discussed it with Kanyon and decided to wait a little longer. I really had the desire to experience labor as much as I could before numbing myself. But soon after deciding that, the nurse let me know that the anesthesiologist on call would be leaving soon and there wouldn't be another one coming in for a couple hours after he left - right when my doctor came to check me for dilation. I couldn't bear the thought of being checked again without the epidural (it would feel just like when they came to take out the Cervadil) so I went ahead and asked for it.

The anesthesiologist was so nice. Actually, my experience with all of the staff at Covenant was great. I was really surprised to find that I didn't mind receiving the epidural at all. The IV the night before was worse! Or maybe I was just a tougher person after the night before. (That's what I'd like to think ;)

By the time my epidural was in, my contractions were 1 to 2 minutes apart and I was starting to be thankful I had decided to go ahead and order it. As the numbness spread to my legs, though, I remember really not liking the sensation. By the time it had spread to my abdomen, I started to really not like how it felt and began to be sick. I threw up a couple times in the next hour.

The third time I felt more nausea coming on, I also starting to feel alarmed. My body started trying to pass out and I called Kanyon. I told him something wasn't right and to do something. He didn't know what to do, obviously. At that moment, 3 or 4 nurses ran into my room and flipped me on my side. I don't recall the monitors going off, but apparently they did at their station. They were talking to each other in alarmed voices and not making much sense to me and flipped me again. I asked them what was wrong and they said the baby must have not liked the position I was in and her heart rate was dropping. They jammed an oxygen mask on me and I looked for Kanyon, who was standing in the corner and just mouthing "it's okay" to me over and over. They flipped me a couple more times, argued over whether or not to give me some shot and at that moment, my doctor walked in. He looked at the monitor and said relatively calmly "What are y'all doing? Let's get her out!"

They threw a pair of scrubs to Kanyon and started racing me down the hall to the operating room, told me I would be falling asleep (although I'm sure my body would have gladly done it without anesthesia if I had let it) and I woke up an hour and a half later in recovery.

My doctor believes that Brindle's placenta had started to detach at the moment my body was telling me something was wrong. The best part of this story? My doctor and the anesthesiologist were not scheduled to come in for another hour. Dr. Killeen had not been able to sleep and just decided to come an hour early to work and the anesthesiologist had forgotten to change his clock for Daylight Savings so he "accidentally" showed up an hour early. They both walked in at the exact moment that Brindle went into distress. I don't really allow myself to think about what would have happened if they hadn't been there for another 15 or 20 minutes because they were still at home.

All I know is that God clearly orchestrated that turn of events to work exactly as He wanted it. I will always be thanking Him for that for the rest of my life.

Kanyon didn't even get to see my emergency C-section because they didn't have time to come get him from the hallway. They came and got him a few minutes after they wheeled me in and told him "there's your wife and there's your baby!" I was still open on the table and Brindle was completely blue from the distress she had been in. My heart hurts when I think about what Kanyon went through in the hallway and standing there looking between the two of us, not knowing who to go to first. He still didn't know what had been wrong and whether or not it was me or Brindle or both of us that was in distress. He says he will always be grateful to my doctor because he looked at Kanyon at the moment and said "Your wife is fine, go to your baby."

He said within seconds, Brindle's color became normal and she was crying like she should be, hallelujah! He said the nurses all took turns giving her a little spank for scaring them like that.

As he left the operating room and started walking Brindle down to the nursery with the nurse, our moms both were running down the hall trying to find us. Kanyon had told them all he knew and obviously they were freaked out. I'm told Kanyon started crying as soon as he saw them and told them we were both okay.

An hour and a half later, as I woke up in recovery, I asked Kanyon first thing if she was okay. And he said she was! I was still so out of it. But then it was my turn to meet my daughter!

I remember crying from relief that everything was okay. After that, I don't really remember much. I breastfed her for the first time (thankfully I have pictures!) and apparently my dad helped me brush my hair and put on some makeup!

We're so thankful for Dr. Killeen and his quick reaction. 

The next couple days were so tiring but so wonderful as we got to know Brindle. We immediately decided she was super gorgeous :) She breastfed great from the very get-go, which was a huge blessing. We also learned that she is very laid-back. She didn't cry much in the hospital and continued to be that way after we got home.

Kanyon and I are loving being her parents. We are so fascinated by her. I have been so happy to learn that being a mom is a lot more natural instincts than I thought. And its easy when you can't get enough of that little baby!

November 12, 2012

Maternity Pictures

Its been a while since I've posted, I know, but I have a great reason that I'm sure all who read my blog already know about :) Brindle is one week old as of yesterday and doing great! I will be posting about her birth next.

I'm finally getting around to posting some pictures from our maternity session! We hired a great photographer named Ashley Kerby who did these and will be doing Brindle's newborn pictures this week.

We met her out at Cagle's Steaks where they have plenty of scenery and props for great pictures.

We really love how they turned out! If you need a photographer, I highly recommend Ashley. She also did my friend Kaitlin's wedding and those turned out beautiful. 

Next, I will be posting pictures of Brindle! Just gotta pare down the hundreds of pictures I have!