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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Olivia's birth story

She's here! She blasted into this world completely different than ANYONE anticipated, but she is safe and loved. And let me tell you the story!

As I've said before, we were scheduled for induction on Wednesday night, starting at 7PM. All our bags were packed, Liberty was dropped off at Aunt Connie's, and we headed to the hospital. We checked in, met our sweet nurse April, and readied for the night of fun to begin. They put Olivia's heart rate and contractions on the fetal monitor, placed the induction medicine, signed a whole bunch of forms, and starting the sit in.

I started having mild contractions with some discomfort, but not too bad. Jason and I watched TV, ate dinner, and just hung out. Around midnight, they checked me and found that my cervix had thinned out a bit, but still was dilated to a 1-2. They put in more medicine, and we waited. About 2:30, the nurse came in to adjust the monitor (Olivia's a fan of sneaking off the monitors) and during this fun, Miss Olivia decided to drop her heart rate from its normal 130-140 to 80's. Not fun. I was immediately put on oxygen, given fluid boluses, and flipped from side to side until her heart rate normalized. It only took a few minutes and the nurse went to go call the doctor and let him know of the feistiness of our daughter, which I'm certain he already knew! I WAS thankful that I had just asked for some pain medicine which would have had to be given IV. The IV was already in when they needed to do fluid boluses. Our doctor decided at that point we should start the pitocin a few hours earlier than planned, at 5AM.

At 5, the pitocin was started and we continued to try and rest. Around 5:30, it was turned up a notch and this is where it really started to be fun. Olivia told us she did NOT appreciate this medication and her heart rate dropped again. I was again flipped from side to side and given oxygen and fluid boluses. They also turned the pitocin off. Olivia's heart rate returned to normal and the quiet and peaceful resting continued. At 7:30, my doctor came in to break my water. This is where it became un fun and horrid. My contractions went from 4 minutes apart and mild to every 45 seconds and exceptionally intense. They were to the point where I had tears running down my cheeks and told the nurse to get the anesthesiologist in there ASAP because I wasn't able to handle it after about 5 minutes.

It took about 20 minutes to summon the anesthesiologist. I got my epidural and let me tell you what a relief that was. I was suddenly able to go through a contraction without crying! They were still about 45 seconds apart, but at that point, I could handle just about anything! Unfortunately, Olivia could not. Her heart rate dipped again and the nurses decided to put a heart monitor on her scalp. It showed a heart rate back down to the 80's. My doctor was called and told to get back to the hospital. I got bags and bags of fluid and there were suddenly 4 nurses in the room, each focusing on a different part of me. My doctor walked in the room and said "C-section NOW".

Within about 5 minutes, Jason was handed scrubs and I was being wheeled off to the operating room. I was prepped lightening fast, especially since they checked her heart rate again in the OR and found it to be still in the 80's. My doctor started cutting me open and Jason was let into the room to sit by my head. After less than 5 minutes, our daughter was plucked from my womb, carried by my head, and given to the NICU nurses who had been called down to check her out. After 25 very VERY long seconds, we heard the most beautiful sound. Two small coughs and the LOUDEST screeching wail I have ever heard! The tears of fear that had been rolling down my face turned to tears of joy. Jason took lots of pictures of our beautiful girl and then had a grand time watching the doctor sew me back up! I'd told him that they take the uterus out of the body, place it on the abdomen, and sew it up. Now he got to see it!

After she was cleaned up a bit, the nurses brought Olivia over to me and let me kiss her and then she and Jason went to the nursery to be checked out. I was sewn up and taken to the recovery room. They brought her in to eat and the sweet girl knew just what to do. God made babies so smart! After about an hour, I was wheeled to my post partum room while Jason helped bathe Olivia in the nursery. Jason's dad, step mom, and two sweet boys met me in the room while we all waited for them to bring in Olivia. She was then held by her two brothers, which had been Jason and I's plan all along. I was so thankful that an emergency c-section had not ruined that part of our plan! They were completely enamored. I don't think Andrew wanted to give her up!

The rest of the hospital stay was uneventful. Olivia got to meet SO many family members. Jacob and Andrew ended coming back over on Saturday because they wanted to spend more time with their sister. So precious. We ended up going home on Sunday, even though our sweet girl had a touch of jaundice. Since then, we've had appointments every day this week, mostly to check up on her. We had to get more blood drawn today because her levels had gone up again. She doesn't show any signs of being sick. She eats well, potties on cue, and is an absolute joy to have in our house. Jason has been the most amazing dad. He's such a pro at the baby love, diapering, and general caring for the whims of a post partum mommy. My mom has been here the last four days helping get caught up on the shopping, laundry, cooking, and just general loving on the baby. I feel better every day and am loving all the time with our special little girl.

So much happened so fast on the day of her birth, but I thought I'd list a few things that we are so thankful for.
1. A very pro-active labor and delivery nurse who was vigilant in checking on our sweet girl.
2. The foresight of our L&D nurse to start my IV when she did so I could get fluid when Olivia's heart rate dropped.
3. The fact that I had my epidural when I went to the OR. If I had not had it, I would have had to be put completely under anesthesia.
4. The lactation consultants at Harris HEB who were so supportive and helpful.
5. All the family and friends who have either stopped by, called, or texted their support and willingness to help us anyway they can.

Olivia has changed our family already. Andrew called the other day and asked if she missed him. I love that. I've gone from just me to a family of 5 in less than three years. How blessed am I? I love my life!

Thanks to everyone who supports our family. It means more to us than you know.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

I don't know where she gets it....

Oh Olivia. You are a sneaky and feisty girl. Your daddy and I love you so much already. I am so glad you have a spunky side. I know you will need this to keep up with your hilarious and ever active brothers. You are being born into a family that has both sides filled with craziness and spirit. I know, you just gotta keep up.

But, sweet girl, you've decided that you will come into this world in your own time and in your own way. We will let you. Why? Because we know that God has you in His perfect plan and it will happen exactly as He wants it to. Whether you wait to come when the doctor gives me medicine or you sneak out before that time, you are your own girl with a heavenly Father who loves you and knows the plans He already has for you.

So until that time, your daddy and I will continue to pray for your safe delivery. Your brothers will anxiously wait to hold you and love you.

You are so loved, wanted, and prayed for. You are a miracle that we are being blessed with. We can't wait.

So until that time when we meet you, either of your own accord or after we check into the hospital Wednesday night, please know that so many people are already loving you.


Your mommy

PS: Please try not to hurt mommy TOO much. :)

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Same story, Second Verse

Another week has flown by! Another doctor's appointment down, another Olivia report ready to go!

I obviously haven't given birth yet! She is happily sitting in the right position and getting lower every week. So low in fact, that my OB did not want to induce this week because he believes she may have it in her to come on her own. She weighed in at 6lb, 4oz with a beautifully strong heartbeat of 144. She is poised and ready to go. I am contracting like crazy and remain completely addicted to crunchy cubed ice (the Sonic ice!) and goldfish. The current plan is to go back to the doctor on Tuesday, assess the dilation level, and that will determine what time we are induced on Wednesday. If I'm not dilated at all, we'll check in Wednesday night. If I am, we'll be in around noon. I can tell from the way my OB is talking that he really wants her to come naturally and that he thinks she still may.

Big prayer request follows: I am on daily blood thinner shots for my blood clotting disorders. The catch 22 is that most anesthesiologists won't do an epidural on someone who has had a shot within 18-24 hours. So, the best case scenerio would be for me to go into labor in the evening so we don't do my shot that night. This way, I'll have had the proper amount of time between shots. As it stands now, my last shot will be Monday night in preparation for the Wednesday induction. If it is any sooner than the recommended 18 hours, the anesthesiologist is going to put up a fuss which scares me. I know God has Olivia in His ultimate plan and her birth story has already been written. It will happen the way He has designed and I just need to continue having faith that she is in His protection. If I can't have an epidural because it won't be safe, then I'll make it.

Jacob and Andrew are coming over this weekend, right before school starts for them on Tuesday. I'm so excited to see them! I'm hoping that I don't look like too much of a wimp with all the contraction fun. I hope they don't get too bored since I am not moving around town too much! I don't think they will...they just love being over here, even when we do nothing! I finished their vacation memory books last week and am so looking forward to seeing their faces when they start looking through them. What great memories! I still can't believe I did all that walking at 30 weeks and continue to be blessed at the grace that was shown to me by having nearly no discomfort during the trip!

So up until the time when we are joined by a beautiful baby girl, Jason and I will be spending lots of time together with the boys as a family and being thankful for a healthy pregnancy. We'll hole up together, watch movies, eat goodies, and wait for the next step in our lives as a family. How exciting!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Olivia 1, Mommy 0

Let me just start by saying I am NOT a complainer. I pretty much go through life taking situations as they come and learning to handle them with God's help and the love and support of my friends and family. That being said, I am trying my very hardest to maintain this attitude during the last few days/weeks of my pregnancy. It is NOT easy. Compounded by the fact that the weather has been absolutely wretched, I don't feel fabulous. I am tired, sore, and generally miserable. When in nursing school and studying the effects of pregnancy on the female body, you read about how much stress and strain this growing life places on the mom. Elevated blood flow, exhaustion, inability to go more than 30 minutes without the bathroom, insomnia, etc. While I am doing my best to stay vertical and not in bed all day, Miss Olivia is growing beautifully and right on schedule. What a miracle that is! My husband told me this morning that I am a beautiful pregnant woman. This makes it all worthwhile.

At our appointment this week, she weighed a dainty 5lb, 14oz. We're thinking she'll be just under 6.5lbs at birth. I think she's going to be a long one since her daddy is tall, but we'll see. It feels like she's curled up pretty long inside me. Jason is guessing 18 inches. She's in the absolute perfect position to be born, her head facing down and right up against the exit door! So, the only thing we have to do at this time is wait. Since she had made some progress as to her positioning from last week, the doctor was hesitant to make any definite plans yet. I go in for another appointment on Tuesday and we'll make more decisions at that time, based both on what she's doing and what my body is doing in preparation for her arrival. Most likely, we'll schedule her to be induced either starting late Wednesday afternoon or early Thursday morning. My doctor would prefer to have her move things on her own, but there's just no telling what this little spitfire will decide.

Jason and I have been overwhelmingly blessed this past week by two baby showers thrown in Miss Olivia's honor. Saturday, Connie and Becca threw us the first. It was such a wonderful gathering of friends and family! I was thankful that Jason had brought the big SUV to cart all our stuff home in! It just barely fits in our little home. This little girl was blessed with so many amazing things...toys, clothes, necessities...you name it. It's very humbling. Just when I thought I had everything arranged and put away, I was thrown a surprise work shower on Monday! Wow! I left that shower almost in tears because of the kindness of others. I haven't completely figured out where all that stuff is going yet, but hopefully we'll still have room in the apt for Olivia! :)

I know as she gets older, she'll be told so many stories about the months of preparation and waiting for her arrival. No doubt one of the first will be the insane weather conditions we are having! We're on our 41st day of temperatures over 100. We will break the all-time record on Saturday which was set way back in 1980. What a summer to be in one's 3rd trimester...UGH!

Thank you for the continued support and love you show my family. Going from a single girl three years ago to a family of five in a matter of days has been a whirlwhind, but I wouldn't trade it for anything. I am so blessed.

Thursday, August 04, 2011

And the days tick right on by...

Was I not just doing a post that started out with "I can't believe it's July?" For crying out loud, where did that month go? How have I finally reached the month where I'm going to give birth? Can my freak out officially begin now?

Wow. August. This is nuts. I am still in shock that the time has gone by so quickly, but it's nearly time. Our house tells me that she's almost here. Walking into the living room runs you into the swing, the bouncy seat, stroller, and car seat. Turning the corner into the bedroom sees her bed, piles upon piles of clothes, and other collections of baby gear. Even our closet is starting to overflow with the baby kingdom.

My body is absolutely telling me that she's almost here. I now waddle profusely, but I'm not really certain if it's just my hips loosening for labor or the fact that it feels better to do that so she stays off my sciatic nerve! I'm having daily contractions, some absolutely worse than others. I've had 2 nights when I though maybe it was the beginning of the end, but not quite yet. On her weekly sonogram yesterday, little bit weighed 5lb, 8 oz and all looked beautiful. I'm still not dilated or showing any signs that her arrival is imminent, but as all mommies know, this can change on a dime. The current plan is to let her come on her own, with a tentative induction date scheduled for the 17th or 18th. I would much rather not have this second option occur.

However and whenever Miss O decides to make her appearance, I think we're ready for her. My precious family and friends are having a shower for us on Saturday, so that will be tons of fun! Jacob and Andrew are excited as well. The plan is for them to be the first two (besides J and I obviously) to meet Olivia after she decides to appear. It's so important to cement our family as a group and I know this will be such a special time.

Please keep us in your prayers. I'm a pain-a-phobe and am not looking forward to that part of labor, although I know in the end, it will all be worth it. My sweet husband has been so wonderful already, and I know that he will be a great support and source of strength during that day. Pray for my doctor, the nurses, and everyone who will be in contact with our daughter both before and after she arrives.

Thank you for your continued prayers. They are so appreciated and welcomed. See you in a week!