Saturday, April 25, 2015

Isaac's Birth Story

It's been one week since Isaac came into the world and in some ways I am still wrapping my head around how everything went. All pregnancies and births are different, and I don't think you can ever be fully prepared for how things will turn out. This experience was no exception.


We went to the hospital at midnight before our due date for a scheduled induction. Our baby was measuring big with a big head and we didn't want to take a chance of me having to deliver a really big head again (with Jack, it required a vacuum). Also there were the risk factors associated with having polyhdramnios – namely placental abruption and cord prolapse. Both of these risks are associated with your water breaking. With so much extra amniotic fluid in the uterus, there is an increased risk of the cord falling out before the baby is born (cord prolapse) or the placenta tearing away from the uterus (placental abruption). Both of which can be bad news for the baby and mother.


We arrived at the hospital shortly after midnight – we stopped on the way for some snacks. I ate a Twix bar as we drove up the hospital. We signed in at the front desk and waited for them to call us upstairs. Around 12:30am we were told that we could to go up.


Our nurse greeted us at the doors to Labor and Delivery. We noticed that the satellite hospital we were delivering at now had a NICU and we inquired about it. The lack of a NICU had been one of our initial concerns about delivering at Women's East instead of downtown. For a variety of reasons we stuck with East (Jack was also delivered at this hospital), so it was a relief to learn they officially had a NICU (just in case things didn't go as planned).


After signing more papers and discussing the induction process, my nurse gave me a gown and I hopped into bed to get things started. Around 1am, she finally started to slowly turn on the pitocin drip. Initially things were going fine. I had come in with contractions (that weren't painful) but was still only 2cm. We hoped my body would kick in on its own and the pitocin would be a minor part of this delivery.


After 10 minutes the nurse came back in to turn my pitocin up to a 6 (I think we started at 4, though I'm not entirely sure what those numbers mean). Almost immediately I started to get unbearable contractions. The kind where you feel like you are going to die. My nurse told me she would be back shortly and almost as soon as she walked out of the room my water broke.


I thought of the risks associated with your water breaking and immediately told Daniel to call the nurse. The water was gushing and the contractions were coming in waves without a break (very similar to my contractions with Jack after my water broke).


My nurse checked me and said I was already dilated to 5cm and I said I wanted an epidural as soon as possible. The contractions kept coming and the water kept coming. Another nurse came back in the room and they mentioned that there was meconium in the water. 


Pretty soon the anesthesiologist was in the room. I made the mental note that he was the same person that had done my epidural with Jack. Between contractions he inserted the catheter and Daniel held my shoulders still while I tried not to move or cry. As soon as my legs were numb, the nurse mentioned that she was having a difficult time finding a heart beat for the baby.


Sometime during this process, my doctor had been called and the NICU had been called because of the meconium. My legs were numb but I continued to feel the contractions. My doctor checked me between waves of pain and I was already dilated to 8cm and things had only been happening for about 2 hours. The pitocin had been stopped since my body was doing the work on its own.


After getting checked my doctor mentioned that there was blood in the water that was gushing out and she was concerned about a placental abruption. During this time the nurses were turning me from side to side trying to find the baby's heart beat. As the minutes ticked by, my doctor made the decision that for the safety of the baby and me we needed to go to the OR. During this period my anesthesiologist never had time to leave my room.


They immediately began prepping me for surgery and quickly explained to us what to expect. I asked if Daniel could come give me a kiss before we went to the OR. Then I started praying that things would go smoothly. Before I knew it, I was being whisked down the hallway to the OR.


The room was so bright with white walls and huge white lights. Somewhere in the background music was playing. The OR filled up quickly and it felt like only a few minutes before the cloths were draped and Daniel was sitting beside me again.


My drugs were pretty strong. My arms were numb and I could barely hold my eyes open so I lay there and just drifted. I was afraid to fall asleep. Daniel held my hand and I opened my eyes to see that he had stood up to watch the surgery proceed over the top of the blanket. He watched the entire process.


Within a few minutes our baby was out and Daniel said, "It's a boy." Shortly after, our boy started crying. He cried quite a bit and then they gave him to Daniel. He was born at 4:16am, weighed 6pounds 12 oz (like his big brother), was 20.25inches long and had dark blue eyes. His apgar scores were 6 and 8.


At this point I was shaking uncontrollably from the drugs. My arms where out to my sides and they began to ache at the shoulders. Every once in awhile I felt like I couldn't catch my breath and the anesthesiologist would tell me I was fine and that my oxygen levels were still at 100%.


I looked at our son, but was still having trouble focusing so Daniel continued to hold him. I started pitocin around 1am and our boy was born at 4:16am. It was all such an unexpected whirlwhind. It took another 20+ minutes to stitch me up and then we were off to recovery.


I continued to shake and I have never felt so thirsty in my life. Before we left the OR the anesthesiologist took pity on me and had squeezed water from a wash cloth into my parched mouth. I am so grateful that he did that for me. It was another hour before I was allowed ice chips. While we waited in recovery, they covered me with warm blankets to help with the shaking and put compression boots on my legs to prevent blood clots (I am at a higher risk for due to a blood clot 7 years ago).


The boots were very confusing at first because I didn't know they were on my legs. As feeling returned to me body, my legs would alternately start tingling. The nurses eventually noticed my confusion and let me know that the boots were making my legs tingle.


While in recovery I finally felt like I could use my arms enough to hold our baby. He immediately started nursing with very little help from me. We actually stayed in recovery for over an hour while he nursed heartily.


I think it was around 6am when they wheeled us back to my room. The delivery table was in the hallway outside my door. Whether vaginally or a c-section I was definitely having a baby before morning. Daniel later told me that the plan was to let me push if I was fully dilated when we reached the OR, but in the end my doctor decided that the c-section was the safest delivery for me and our baby.


I am thankful for my doctor's quick thinking and that the surgery went so well. Back in my room they told me that I should get up and walk as soon as I could. I was able to sit in a chair later that afternoon.


I only stayed in the hospital about 2.5 days. We are home and recovering now. I can't drive for 2 weeks and am focusing on healing. It is hard to not over do it. For recovery you are supposed to get up and walk, while also resting as much as possible. Overall I feel pretty decent for having major surgery a week ago. I am confident that working out throughout my pregnancy has made recovery easier. 

Read Jack's Birth Story here.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Introducing...


As a part of getting to go home from the hospital we had to decide on a name for our newest little guy. And while we like "Frog Man" (due to how our little guy splays out his legs), we finally agreed on a more realistic name (Jack's vote for "Pizza Moore" did not make the cut). Without further ado, we would like to introduce you to Isaac Alexander Moore.


Interestingly neither Isaac nor Alexander were on our original list. 


The reason for Isaac is a bit of an emotional one for me. Being pregnant after my miscarriage brought on a lot of anxiety in my life. The entire pregnancy involved a conscious effort to let go of those fears daily. In addition to this fear came increased anxiety from the stress of having complications and risks due to polyhydramnios. The past 9 months have been one long lesson in giving over all of these fears to God, culminating in an emergency c-section where all I could do was pray that both the baby and I would come out ok and then trust God to take care of both of us. 


In keeping with the middle name for Jack, we wanted Baby#2 to have a name that would hold sentimental value in relation to a place that was special to us. 

{via}

For baby Isaac, we settled on the middle name Alexander after Alexander Cave located outside of Mountain View, Arkansas.
 
{via}

Daniel and I first met on a caving trip and took subsequent trips to Alexander. Alexander is a difficult cave with really amazing formations and rooms.

{via}

It is a truly awe-inspiring place and we hope to one day be able to take our boys to this wild cave.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Baby Update: 40 Weeks, Induction on Horizon

Reading back over the account of my last days being pregnant with Jack is eerily familiar. This week I have fielded a lot of questions about my due date, followed by looks of surprise when I say Saturday. Not only is it my due date, but this baby is definitely coming then since we are choosing to induce due to head size. I still haven't quite wrapped my mind around the fact that we will be a family of four by the end of this weekend.


It really hit home when my sister texted me saying she had sent me a package for my "kids." Up until that text I hadn't really thought much about kids in the plural.


On Wednesday I got a pedicure in hopes of jump starting labor. Or maybe I was just desperate since I can no longer reach my toenails. The guy working on my feet was nervous that my due date is so soon.


Then last night I had an irrational moment of worry that I would actually go into labor and miss Jack's first preschool music program. Thankfully baby stayed put – though I would be fine going into labor any time now.


I made it to the Y three days this week in the hopes that I might go into labor on my own before my induction. Today was the first day I had to walk out of a class to take a breather because of a painful stitch in my side – I think I freaked some people out. Thankfully I was able to finish the class but the OB appointment I went to afterward showed no change from last week – I'm still 2cm dilated and 80% effaced. 
 
At the OB appointment we also learned that our baby is still growing and is currently measuring 8lbs give or take half a pound. My amniotic fluid is also back up in the high-risk category at 26cm. This explains the increase in my Braxton Hicks the last couple of days. Before we left my OB appointment, they put me on a fetal heartrate monitor. Of course I had only 2 tiny contractions while I laid there. As soon as we left, my Braxton Hicks went into overdrive. Have I mentioned that I'm ready to be done?


It is surreal to be finalizing plans for the weekend – who will watch Jack, what our game plan is if I go into labor in the middle of the night, that type of thing. I'm so glad we squeezed in our canoe trip on Sunday, I really needed those last moments with my family of three. We are in countdown mode now, in just over 24 hours we check into the hospital to start the process of meeting our new little one (unless I go into labor sooner).

Baby #2, almost 40 Weeks
 

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Paddling North Chick


This is the last week before Baby#2 arrives and I have really been desiring to spend some final time as a family of three. 
 

On Easter Sunday I actually brought up the idea of a quick paddle at North Chickamauga Creek, but Daniel nixed the idea and told me I needed to rest since I was battling a painful sinus headache. I begrudgingly heeded his advice and took a nap.


This Sunday I felt great and was not to be deterred. Forget that our taxes are due and I know Daniel needs some down time from his long work hours, I really wanted to do one family activity with just the three of us.


Jack must know that things are about to change because he has been incredibly sweet to me (more than usual). He pats my belly and asks if he can climb on me if he is gentle. He also has been giving me lots of sweet kisses on the cheek and loves to tell me that the reason he and Daniel bought me flowers for Easter is because they love me. 


Sophie must also know something is up because she has been shadowing me non stop. When your dog is underfoot it is very difficult to get any house work done.


As for our paddling trip, I decided we should go to North Chick with a put in at Greenway Farms behind the dog park. The water is flat and extremely peaceful. 


We only saw a few people fishing and it was incredibly quite for being in town. The water was pretty chilly (it is April afterall) so I am thankful we didn't fall in.


We still need to get Jack his own paddle. He whined for a while that he needed a grown up paddle. We got him a stick to "paddle" with, but while he liked dragging it through the water, it was not the same as having his own paddle. 


With a newborn entering our lives in less than a week, I don't know when we will be able to get back on the water. I'm pretty sure Jack and Daniel will have an opportunity before I will.


We are even considering the possibility of kayaks to make paddling with littles a bit more manageable. I'm just thankful that we were able to take Jack out today. 


Sadly for me, loading a heavy canoe, launching said canoe and paddling did not jump start my labor.

Wednesday, April 08, 2015

Baby Update: 39 Weeks (10 Days To Go)

Daniel stayed home from work today so that he could go to the OB with me. We are in the final stages after all. Jack is soaking up the extra time with his daddy – as I write this, they are outside changing a battery in a car with plans to wash all of the cars next.


I am still wrapping my head around the fact that we only have 10 days (at the most) before Baby#2 joins us. This past weekend Daniel and I finally committed to working on our list of names. We have narrowed it to 28 girl names and 22 boy names. We obviously need help... I think we are hoping we will just "know" when we see our sweet baby for the first time.


I am currently 2cm dilated and 80% effaced and the baby has dropped. I was fairly certain it must have dropped this past week because I can breathe and eat again and don't feel quite so miserable. My amniotic fluid is staying at a reasonable 22.5cm – so lower risks! I did lose 4 pounds this week. I am assuming that is water loss since I am barely swollen this week.

Over the weekend I experienced a horrific sinus headache that lasted 3 days. I thought my cheeks were going to explode. I am glad that has passed, but with allergy season upon, I may need to invest in a neti pot.


I have been more apprehensive lately as the time draws closer for this baby to come. With Jack, my water broke and I immediately knew that I was in labor. With my miscarriage, it was a similar experience, there was a moment when it was abundantly clear that things were going to start happening. With this labor, I have had a lot more uncertainty. I still get regular Braxton Hicks contractions – my stomach gets incredibly hard and uncomfortable and then 30 seconds later it stops. This has gone on for so long, I feel like I won't know when the time is real. 

I haven't done this list for this pregnancy, but here are a few of my numbers this time around:
368 prenatal vitamins swallowed.
91 baby names reduced to 50 (we only need 2).
22 OB visits checked off.  
14 ultrasounds.
10 Braxton Hicks contractions experienced on average every day.
10 days until our due date/induction. 
8 gender-neutral outfits purchased.
7.5+ pounds is approximately what Baby#2 weighs right now. 
5 pillows needed for sleeping.
2 nights in the hospital for pre-term labor.
1 crib, 1 rock 'n play and 1 carseat dug out of the basement and assembled.
1 final OB appointment and ultrasound scheduled for next week.
0 books read or classes attended pertaining to birth or parenting.

Baby #2, almost 39 Weeks

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