Tuesday, October 28, 2014

.:Newborn Photos:.

Jabren had a photo shoot with Nikki (Your Vantage Photography) when he was less than a week old. He is not your typical sleepy newborn, but she somehow still got a bunch of amazing shots! And he is the king of sleepy/gassy smiles. Cutest thing ever!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

.:Hospital Photo Shoot:.

We are lucky to have Sam and Nikki close by, as they have their own photography business that we get to benefit from! (Your Vantage Photography)

When they came to visit us in the hospital, they took some pictures of Jabren. I love how they turned out!

.:Hospital Happiness:.

I got to spend a couple of blissful days in the hospital, just snuggling sweet little Jabren and not having another care in the world. We ate, we slept, we snuggled, we had visitors, and it was just wonderful to have that time with him before we went home to real life. Here are a few pictures from our hospital stay. 

Seriously, is there anything better than holding a sleeping baby on your chest. I think not.

Some of my awesome friends - Jill, Sarah, and Mandie - who came to visit!

22 inches of delicious baby.

That mouth! Don't you just want to kiss it?

Another awesome friend, Britney; we spent a lovely morning chatting and talking all things baby.

Uncle Sam got a smile out of Jabren!

With Aunt Nikki.

We had other family members stop in to see us as well, and it was just a lovely couple of days in my little newborn baby bubble.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

.:Jabren's Birth Story:.

Last Tuesday, October 7th, was a busy day. I had had the nite of false labor a couple of nites earlier, and finally gotten a good nite's sleep the nite before. I joked to my friend that it would be a good day to go into labor because I finally was rested for it. I didn't really expect that to happen, and figured that my busy day would just be another busy day. I was having random contractions all throughout the day, but nothing noteworthy. I volunteered in Reece's classroom in the morning, then took she and Harper to well child visits at the pediatrician, dropped kids off at my friend's house, went to my doctor appointment, back home to teach three piano lessons, and then activity days. Whew! It makes me tired just reading all of that. 

At my doctor's appointment, my doctor said I was dilated to a solid four. She stripped my membranes, which felt just lovely. My blood pressure was high, but not high enough to do anything about apparently. We ended our appointment expecting to see each other the following Monday for my induction. 

Stripping my membranes started contractions more strongly almost immediately. They weren't super strong, but definitely more uncomfortable than they had been. I made it through teaching my three lessons, and as I was getting my kids' dinner ready around 5:30, they started getting regular; about every 3 to 3.5 minutes apart. I got on my contraction timer app and started keeping track. I texted my activity days partner and told her that I would be coming to the activity, but I wasn't sure how long I would be able to stay. I dragged my kids over to the church, and spent the activity mostly sitting on a chair, timing my contractions. I was pretty much able to talk through them and keep the activity going, but they were for sure getting even more strong. The consistency was about 3 minutes apart still. Not a lot of variation from that.

Once I got home from activity days, I figured that I should just rest on the couch to see if the contractions continued. Usually being more active can make them stronger and more frequent, so I wasn't sure if it was the real deal still at this point. This is around 7:00 p.m. As I sit on the couch, the contractions continue to get stronger, and they are coming every 2.5 to 3 minutes. I start thinking that this might actually be it, and text Nikki around 7:20 to warn her that we might need her to come over for the nite.

Around 8:15 p.m. I call the hospital and on call doctor, who happened to be my doctor. She said it sounded like I probably needed to come in and see what was going on. I start finishing up packing my bag and tell Josh he needs to get his bag packed as well. Nikki comes over to stay with the girls for however long we end up needing her. By now, my contractions are very strong; I can't talk through them, can't walk through them; they HURT. My doctor had also said that I might have some cramping and spotting from stripping my membranes, but right about now, I have a huge gush of blood. Not spotting. Kind of made me nervous, but glad that we were heading in anyway.

We leave for the hospital around 9:00, and I wanted to cry every time Josh hit a bump in the road. The contractions are very strong at this point, and basically right on top of each other - about every 2 minutes from start to start. We get to the hospital around 9:25, and Josh drops me off by the door so that I can head up and start getting checked in. I have two strong contractions that make me have to stop on my way up, and have another couple as I'm standing there checking in. I finally get into a room, into a gown, and hooked up to the monitors. Contractions coming strong and hard, the labor is a lot in my back and I'm thinking that I won't be able to last much longer.

At 10:30 the nurse checks me, and says I haven't really progressed as far as dilating, and says I'm in borderline labor. Excuse me???? This is real lady, I was not feeling happy feeling towards her at this point. She wants to wait another hour and see what happens before I get any sort of pain relief. I'm baffled by this because I'm obviously in labor with the frequency of the contractions, how strong they are, and how long they have been going on. I've never had to wait for pain medication at this point before, and have actually never made it this far without pain medication either.

Around 11:00, I finally convince her that I have to have something. Maybe it was my moaning and groaning during the contractions that clued her in! It was serious pain, just getting worse and worse. I'm near tears, and the contractions are so close together. She says that she will go get an iv bag and some fentanol to start with (which I wasn't happy about because I know it's not going to work, it never has on me before, and I think I'm too far gone with the pain to get ahead of it now with this particular drug).

After about 20 minutes I send Josh out to see what is taking so long. She is on the phone! I truly felt like she was stalling, and trying to make me wait longer to get medicine. I don't know why she felt the need to control that, but I was so frustrated and upset with her by this point. She finally comes into the room, and then can't get the iv in. After two failed - and painful - attempts, she calls in another nurse to try. This nurse misses the first time, but gets in in pretty quickly after that. Then the other nurse of course doesn't even have the bag of medicine! So she goes to get it, and somehow messes something up with the drawer to make the count be off and has to call the second nurse down to witness her get the drugs out. She finally gets the medicine back to the room and hooked up. As I predicted, it does nothing for my pain. All it does is make me feel super loopy in between contractions - I couldn't focus my eyes. I was already having the shakes because of the pain, and my fingers were numb and tingly from gripping Josh's hand and the sides of my bed so hard.

Around midnite, I am dilated to a 7. She finally deems it okay for me to get an epidural and calls in the anesthesiologist. Blessed pain relief, that was the worst pain I've ever felt and I don't know how people deliver babies naturally. Not for me!

At 1:00 a.m. I am fully dilated, but my water has still not broken.

I have to call in the anesthesiologist to re-dose my epidural around 1:30 a.m. It is wearing off, and I've already pushed the button the max number of times. This always happens to me.

My doctor comes in at 2:00 a.m. and breaks my water. We do a little bit of practice pushing to move baby down a little bit.

At 2:30 a.m. I have to get yet another re-dose of my epidural before we start doing the real pushing. He gives me more this time. Josh and I spend an hour laughing at silly baby names out of our baby name book.

At 3:45 a.m. I start pushing with just Josh and the nurse. The nurse starts to suspect that the baby is not facing the right way since he is not descending very easily. Makes sense why my labor was in my back and seemed so much more painful.

My doctor comes at 4:30 a.m. to help get this baby out. I am so exhausted from an hour of hard pushing, and was starting to think that I might end up having a c-section. Luckily this is not the case! I push for about 15 more minutes, and we see that baby is facing sideways which explains a lot! He is born at 4:48 a.m.!

Poor baby's head was a little mis-shapen from his rough entry into the world. And we are all shocked at how big he is! The nurses start taking guesses on what his weight is going to come in at. I about passed out when they said 9 lbs 2 oz. and 22 in long. I felt a lot more justified in all of the complaining I had done leading up to delivering him. No wonder my hips and pelvis hurt so bad! He was having some troubles breathing, so they kept an eye on him while my doctor finished taking care of me. I was dying to get him in my arms. 

They finally got him all cleaned up, and I got to hold our precious little bundle. He is just the perfect armful, and I am so in love with him. 

They have me wait to nurse him until they can check his oxygen levels again and make sure he is breathing okay on his own. We take the opportunity for some pictures!

Jabren takes to nursing like a champ, and we spend the next couple of days at the hospital in a lovely bubble of newborn happiness. Aside from the nurse who helped deliver Jabren, we have amazing nurses and are so well taken care of. The nurses all love Jabren, and since he is nameless for most of our hospital time, they take to calling him baby boyfriend. I feel teary a lot while at the hospital thinking how this is our last baby. I know we are done, and feel good about that, but it is sad to know we are closing the chapter on this phase of life. Bittersweet! 

Jabren is a cozy little bundle of newborn love. He has a fussy temperment so far, so we will see if that changes or lasts for awhile. He likes to eat every 1.5-2 hours, day and nite. Our pediatrician says that is common with bigger babies because it is hard for my supply to keep up with what he needs, his little metabolism is working hard! My milk seems to be well established now, so I'm hoping we can slow down a little - at least at nite - with the nursing. I am really tired, and only getting about 3-4 hours of broken sleep every nite. Not only does he like to eat frequently, he also will basically only sleep while being held or cuddled up next to me. This is how Harper was at first, too. I kind of like it, but also worry about having to break the habit down the road. But for now, he is brand new and he gets his way. He is a little bit tongue tied. I think he is eating fine, but I am always really sore at first so I don't know if that's just from starting nursing, or if his latch is playing into it, too. We are just keeping an eye on it for now. 

The girls all love him, too. I was a little worried that all of his crying might be hard for them, but they have accepted it easily. My only fear is that they will end up feeling neglected because he is more needy. I'm trying hard to make sure that doesn't happen! 

We love this sweet little baby that has completed our family!

More hospital pictures to come!