Monday, July 31, 2017

Flash's Birth Story

I understand a lot of my readers are from the adoption community and a birth story may not be high on your list of things you'd like to read, but I don't like the idea of separating our family story into two worlds, adoption and biological. So, although Little Dude's full birth story is on my pregnancy blog, I decided to write Flash's here. My children are all mine, no need to step lightly.

Flash was born on his due date which I think is pretty cool since it's not statistically common. I woke up that morning not expecting anything as I had only been having mild and sporadic contractions for maybe a week. I had declined my doctor's offers to check if/how much I was dilated. I remembered it being painful, and since my doctor wasn't concerned about anything, she was fine with me saying no. I had been having NSTs (non-stress tests) done twice a week as a precaution. I was scheduled for an NST that morning but since it was my due date I had to go to L&D to have it done instead of maternal-fetal medicine where NSTs are normally done. Around 10:30am the nurse hooked me up to a monitor and there I sat listening to Flash's heartbeat and movement for about half an hour. When the nurse came back she was accompanied by a doctor. A fairly pushy doctor. She did everything she could to talk me into being induced. She said "There is no medical reason for you to stay pregnant". Me- "But is there a medical reason for me to be induced?" Her- "No..." After a few more minutes back and forth I finally agreed to let her check me and do a membrane sweep. I had read that unless your body is already set to go into labor a membrane sweep is ineffective. I had one done when I was pregnant with Little Dude and nothing happened. She checked me and I was five centimeters dilated and she did the sweep. It was about noon now so Josh stopped by (he works for the hospital) and sat with me for awhile but since I wasn't in active labor (and frankly still not expecting to be) he went back to the office. They had me stay on the NST monitor for awhile longer to see if I made any progress. My contractions definitely got stronger and a little more regular but after another hour I was still at five but almost six centimeters. The doctor tried again to talk me in to induction but I was determined to experience going into labor naturally. After the doctor left the room, a very sweet nurse commended me on sticking to my guns but informed me that since this would be my third time giving birth it could go a lot quicker than I was expecting. She encouraged me to stay to be monitored at the very least. I finally agreed to take a long walk and come back to be checked again. By this time it was mid afternoon and I hadn't eaten anything so I went down to the cafeteria. Throughout this whole process I was calling Josh, my mom, my mother-in-law (who was babysitting Squeaks and Little Dude), and my friend Kristi (who is a labor and delivery nurse) to update them and get their opinions. They all encouraged me to stick to my guns and do what I was comfortable with. After walking for another hour I realized my contractions were getting much more regular. The nurse hooked me back up to the monitor and sure thing, I was in labor. I called Josh and told him to go home and get our bag because we were having a baby today! He got to the hospital about 5:00pm and my mom got there about an hour later. I managed my contractions easily for quite awhile and the three of us sat and talked happily. I felt like it was still going to be a long wait till real active labor. This couldn't possibly be as painful as it was gonna get. Around 7pm the nurse came in and had me turn onto my left side to get a better read of Flash's heart rate. My contractions got progressively more intense and Josh rubbing my back started to not help as much. At about 7:45pm I told Josh to call the nurse and tell her I want an epidural. I have felt a lot of pain in my life and consider myself to have a very high pain tolerance but this was insane and I wasn't going to torture myself if I didn't have to. Two contractions later I was screaming my head off. Suddenly I felt a pop and my water broke. I screamed louder. About five minutes later the room was full of people. I was still screaming. The nurse and Josh talked me down and suddenly I had no choice but to push. My body took over and five minutes after that, at 8:25pm, Flash was born. It turned out that his cord was super short and it actually ripped because he came out so fast, but the doctor clamped it quick and he was fine. Josh got to trim it later. Flash weighed 7lbs. 12oz and was 20" long with a perfectly round head (again because he came out so fast) and sweet baby fuzz hair. It all happened so fast! I will be eternally grateful to the nurse who convinced me to stay and be monitored. I was totally prepared to go home and wait it out. I would have had him in the car on the way to the hospital!

Flash was calm from minute one. He laid peacefully on my chest and has been an easy going quiet little guy so far. He nurses like a champ! Our hospital stay was quick and easy. We went home the next evening. I seriously could not have asked for a better delivery. God gave me everything I wanted to experience. No medication, a fast healthy delivery, and a healthy baby boy. Recovery has been a million times easier without all the meds that come with induction. I feel great! Tired but oh so happy.

This first picture was taken while the room was filled with a massive amount of noise from my other two children. And yet, there he is, sleeping peacefully. I can't believe it! And the second picture, while not my most flattering, is still one of my favorites. Holding both my boys. I have TWO boys! Blows my mind.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

My Cord Of Three Strands

 Oh how I wish I hadn't fallen so far behind on posting! I miss this so much. I logged on and realized I haven't written since our pregnancy announcement LAST November! I can give all the usual excuses, most of which involve being pregnant and running after two toddlers, but I think I'll skip that and share the fun stuff first.

We had a super easy pregnancy. Aside from the fact that my hormones made me a little short tempered here and there (sorry Josh), everything was very smooth. I'd very much like to write a full post about our newest arrivals birthday. It was a very blessed day and I don't want to forget a detail. For now I'll introduce our second son (on the blog I'll call him Flash. I'll explain why in a moment) born healthy and happy one month ago! He weighed in at a strong 7lbs 12oz, 20 inches, and as sweet as can be. 

The last eight months have been packed full of family fun, challenges, and growth. Squeaks turned three!!! She has thoroughly embraced her big sister role. I truly believe she was meant to be a big sister to two boys. I was admittedly a bit sad that she wasn't getting a sister but it was short lived when I considered her personality. She was cut out for brothers. She's so independent, so smart, so clever. A sister just wouldn't fit. As usual Gods plan is perfect. I'm not the type to go into too much detail about this sort of thing, but I am VERY happy to say Squeaks is now potty trained. That was a huge goal for me. The idea of three kids in diapers, yuck.

Add in Christmas, Easter, Mothers Day, Fathers Day, my birthday (which included a ride in a helicopter!), my little brother getting married (I'm old!), and 4th of July and these past eight months have been non-stop. The number of blog posts waiting to migrate from brain to screen is nearly endless. I'm going to make a serious effort to catch up/keep up with posting because I just really miss this creative outlet.

As far as our newest and biggest family change, Flash fits right in. I'm calling him Flash after a character from one of the kids favorite movies right now, Zootopia. A super cute, very slow, sloth. I think it fits our very relaxed new little man perfectly. He is the total opposite of our energetic, never-stops-moving, mini daredevil Little Dude. Our little Flash is super content, cries only when completely necessary, and even then it's the sweetest tiniest little cry you've ever heard. He's an amazing sleeper and can sleep through a ton of noise (yay!). He is a wonderful addition to our family.

Raising three kids under four years old is challenging to say the least. Josh and I are very tired. Past tired. A little delirious at times. But we're super excited to watch them grow together and develop a strong bond. We're excited to see what God has in store, and should it cross your mind, pray we stay awake to see it.

"Though one may be overpowered,
    two can defend themselves.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken." Ecclesiastes 4:12
Our first picture as a family of five! I do believe this may be the only picture I have of Little Dude sleeping. He hadn't slept well the night before and decided this was the perfect time and place to catch up on his rest. Squeaks was ecstatic to meet her new brother and, once he woke up, Little Dude was very excited to give his brother kisses.

Friday, November 25, 2016

"Look what I can do!" -God

God has the best sense of humor! Here I am. The woman who thought she'd never be able to experience pregnancy, who forced herself (and her poor husband) through years of fertility treatments to no avail...pregnant....AGAIN! This is a huge surprise. Although I guess it shouldn't be. We thought Evelyn and Little Dude were one time miracles. Little Dude for sure. This is now my third pregnancy. Apparently the fertility doctors were really wrong.

I noticed a few symptoms over a couple days but I was so sure it was something else. A cold...something. Then on October 13th (exactly one month after LD's first birthday) I couldn't get it out of my head that I should take a pregnancy test. After I put the kids down for their afternoon naps, I dug through the very back of the bathroom cabinets and finally found the other test from the box I bought last go-round. I double checked the expiration date and a few minutes later there were those two pink lines. Pretty sure I sat there, in my bathroom, in total shock for at least fifteen minutes just staring at the test. 

After the kids woke up I didn't have much time to dwell on the fact that I am pregnant. A fact I suspect will be a theme until I actually go into labor.. I did have enough time though to decide I wanted Squeaks to "tell" Josh. She's only two (three in January!!) so she doesn't really understand, but I thought it would be sweet, and maybe lighten the blow a bit for Josh. Ha!

Once Josh was home I waited for him to go to our bedroom and I pulled Squeaks aside. I handed her the positive pregnancy test, taped closed in case she decided to have a "hey-what's-this!?" moment, and told her to take it to daddy and yell "surprise!". She loves surprises so her face lit up and she immediately ran toward the bedroom. I had to run to keep up with her so I could see his face. I kind of wish I had filmed it. Priceless. He couldn't stop saying "you're joking, right?!" I had to tell him at least three times it was real. 

The shock dissipated ever so slightly and we both reassured the other that we were excited and happy, then immediately started discussing things like where he or she will sleep since we're out of bedrooms. We're probably going to have to get a new car. A third car seat just won't fit in our current car (that we bought when we were expecting LD. Ugh!). Then we both realized we will get to tell our families at Thanksgiving! On Evelyn's birthday!! I. Can. NOT. Wait!!! (Wrote this awhile ago. We told family yesterday! It was awesome. Post coming soon.)

While this is unexpected to say the least, it was by no means a mistake. Unplanned, for sure, but 100% meant to be. Every child is a gift from God! It totally blows me away that He is giving me another turn. Another blessing. Another life. I am so blessed!!

Over the next nine months, I would appreciate your prayers. Evelyn left uncertainty and fear burned into me, along with gratitude and love of course, but fear is winning right now. I don't want fear to win. I started my pregnancy with Little Dude determined to celebrate and enjoy every moment and this time will be no different. Pray for strength, wisdom, and peace. Let's do this!
Can't wait to meet our little tiebreaker!
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