Sunday, October 30, 2016

birth stories: robert.


for our sweet baby #4, we decided not to find out the gender. we planned on this one being the last one so we thought we'd keep it a surprise.
so, when my due date came and passed, we were all a little grumpy.
i do not do pregnancy well and with every passing one, it gets worse. so to say that we were "a little grumpy" might be an understatement.
but i'd been having contractions all week so we were hopeful! every night, they would start around midnight and be steady (albeit long) all night and then slow and stop every morning. my midwife assured me that this was normal and my body was just getting ready. but it was very tiring! i was up most of the night and then had three little boys to attend to all day. exhausting!
on sunday after my due date, my parents gave us their symphony tickets and offered to watch the boys and we headed out for a date.
literally, as soon as the music started, i started having contractions again! they were steady and about 7-15 minutes apart. they lasted all evening so i was hopeful and tried to get some sleep before they really amped up! i slept until midnight and then was up with strong, very steady contractions for the rest of the night. i already had a midwife appointment to do all the post-due stuff, like kick counts and a sonogram, but by the time i was ready to leave, i told mike that he'd better take me because it was hospital-time either way!
he convinced me to go ahead and go to the midwife anyway, just to make sure, and after the kick count and contractions test, and she checked me at 6cm and 80% effaced, there wasn't time or a need for the sonogram! straight to the hospital!
we stopped on the way for a salad and grilled chicken (mcdonalds...shhhh) to give me some energy but got to the hospital and checked in around 10am.
the nurses took their time, fitting me with a saline block and getting us the bracelets and etc so by the time by midwife arrived, i told mike that i knew i was in transition. sure enough, she checked me at 9cm and almost time to push! she broke my water to make things run a bit smoother and at 12:12pm, we met our new son, robert ely!
he was bigger than anyone thought, weighing in at 9 pounds and 2 ounces and a little under 20 inches long. mike got to deliver him too! our midwife called him down after about 10 minutes of pushing and he got to maneuver the head and shoulders out and everything! he was thrilled!
our perfect little blessing checked out perfectly and we've been smitten ever since!
he completes our family and we couldn't be happier.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

birth stories: gabriel.

onto the third!!

our gabe baby made his entrance into the world a day earlier, just like his brother jack.
we weren't doing anything especially exciting or strenuous so he just wanted to come on his own day.
i started having regular contractions at 11pm but they were very far apart, 10 minutes or so. i let mike sleep all night and i spent the night in the hot shower, on my yoga ball. they were continuously getting closer and closer so by around 5am, they were about 4-5 minutes apart and we decided to go ahead and head to the hospital. on the way, i said to mike, please don't freak out but i already have that urge to push. luckily, we made it to labor and delivery and checked in with my midwife team. i remember telling my nurse that if i was only 4 cm, i'd cry.
i was 8.
she said i would definitely have this baby within her shift that ended in 1 1/2 hours.
of course not.
but i did have him within 3 hours of being admitted!
and with only 10 total hours of labor, i was encouraged and excited!
i couldn't believe how much more alert and strong i was this time around.
i guess if you aren't laboring for literal days on end, your body can be more energized!
i could actually speak between contraction pushes and even though he got stuck coming out (the midwife was overseeing a resident who actually had to ask for forceps before my midwife rolled her eyes and moved her out of the way), his birth was much easier.
mike has wanted to deliver the past three babies but since jack was born on the floor and gabe's head got stuck, he had to try one last time for #4. but that story is for next week :)
gabe was born at 9:34am and weighed 9 1/2 pounds. he checked out perfectly and we were just finishing up some paperwork when the pediatrician said that he didn't like gabriel's breathing and we were being transferred to the nicu for further tests.
we were kind of in shock for the next few hours. his o-sat levels were low, i think the lowest he got was around 89%. so they x-rayed for pneumonia but could never confirm it. just to be sure, we stayed in the nicu for a couple days on antibiotics and breathing treatments. then we were transferred to pediatrics for a couple more days and by the time he was 8 days old, we were going home.
it was incredibly stressful and i feel for the mamas and babies who stay in the nicu for months. we were there for six days.
it was pretty terrible too. to see our newborn hooked up to breathing tubes and feeding tubes and an iv port was terrible. to not be able to nurse him was terrible.
but the nurses were amazing and the Lord was watching over us.
i pumped milk like crazy so that everything that went through that little tube was all mama. he only had to be on it for a day or two before they let me nurse him again properly but it was still nerve-wracking.
again, we were only there for six days and he was never actually diagnosed with anything so i cannot even imagine what the mothers and babies go through when its something life-threatening and dangerous.
the Lord pulled gabe (and us!) through and continues to do so through every cough and cold that makes me nervous and we are continually blessed by His love and faithfulness to our little family.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

birth stories: jack.

continuing our birth stories here...
and while i'm cuddling #4...
here's jack's story.

with jack, i was determined to do this all naturally and without induction.
he was due two days after michael's 2nd birthday, so we thought it'd be a great idea to take mv to the national zoo in dc on his birthday.
have you ever been to the national zoo?
it's like 4 miles, straight uphill.
so, i was feeling fine (i walked 3-4 miles a day during pregnancy) but apparently the "straight uphill" part kicked labor into gear.
i woke up at 3am, with very regular, 5-7 minute contractions.
i let mike sleep and pulled out my bible for a bit of concentrated reading before we left for the hospital. we hadn't taken any classes that time but you always hear that the 2nd one comes soooo much faster. around 6am, i took a long shower and then around 7am, we left for the hospital and called my midwife.
(i had such love for the midwife that helped deliver mv that i was a believer and have used a midwife ever since!)
we got to the hospital and my contractions were very strong (almost off the tech's chart) and about 4-5 minutes apart. i was 5-6 cm dilated so we thought it'd be so much faster! i was thrilled.
no such luck.
18 hours later, i was still very steadily laboring and my midwife just said some women have very steady, and very slow, labors. i guess i was one of them.
at that 18 hour mark, i asked the nurse to check me but she kinda brushed me off and said, sweetie you were only at 8cm an hour ago, it's just normal pressure. hey! let's go to the bathroom and see if you can pee!
um, okay?
so, i hoist myself off my yoga ball and stumble to the bathroom on mike's arm, pausing twice for strong contractions. i try to sit and nope! baby's coming! the nurse checks and pulls the emergency strap on the wall. a lady doctor (that i still don't know the name of!) and about 5 nurses/techs/residents come running in to help. i remember them all being so smiley and excited. maybe the first time they saw a bathroom floor birth?? my midwife is nowhere to be found but it's too late for that anyway. the sweet lady doc asks what position i'd like to be in for pushing, do you want to try on the potty?
what about with your leg on my knee, standing?
okay, what about the floor because he's coming now.
down on the floor of yes, a bathroom, with mike squatting behind me and two pushes later, jack was born.
8 1/2 pounds, after 18 hours of labor, he was born.
on. the. floor.
they all laughed and said that i'd laugh about this too one day but i haven't reached that stage yet.
i walked myself back to the bed and got stitched up (every time with the stitching!) and got about an hour of amazing skin to skin time with my jacky-doo before they weighed and measured him.
all's well that ends well i guess.
still not laughing though.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

michael's 6th and jack's 4th!

the boys turned six and four this past week!
since i was so pregnant, we stuck with our "no big party" rule for this year and just had a low-key but fun few days!
their birthdays fell on a thursday and friday so we had to work around our cc class and the weekend for a surprise camping trip.
we woke them up early and served our traditional m&m pancakes with candles and then headed off to cc. their friends sang to them, gave them gifts, and their presentations were on their birthdays so they got to give out cupcakes! we even had a pizza party in cc for the end of the six weeks, which happened to fall on mv's birthday!
that afternoon, after the nap, they loaded up the car for their super special surprise...camping and canoeing trip with daddy and paw paw! they had a blast!
they came home friday afternoon to a cool camping cake and a dinner that they picked out themselves...shrimp, broccoli and sweet potatoes!
it was a great couple of days and i think we all had a blast!

our traditional m&m pancakes for birthday breakfast!

cupcakes for our cc class!

opening sweet cards from their friends

cc pizza party!

camping at caddo lake!

peach cobbler!

beautiful mist over caddo


just give the 2 year old a box...

can't have a birthday without a few tears...

i think they had a good couple of days :)

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