Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Labor of Love

Big boy...small cone :0)
Luvin on my lil man and his sweetness in my awesome hospital gown
First family photo...don't mind the amazing swolleness
Getting ready to go home...cute flowers from Great Grandma
Leaving the hospital with Dad...Mom was very slow behind them
I am getting so big I can help hold my binkie in! Usually I pull it out and scream though :0)
Getting the circ is hard work! Soooo tired!
Mommas lil baby boppy burrito...I luv to sit up and see the world!

Danen has now passed the 8lb mark and is 20.75inches long. He did awesome with his circumcision, and is back to being our happy guy. He has already been on 2 trips: He and I got to go back to Pocatello 2 weekends ago while Eric was at a basketball camp, and last weekend we went to Star Valley for a surprise camping trip for Eric's 30th (more on that later).  He has been doing great with breastfeeding and is growing like a weed - starting to sport a pretty good double chin :0). He is almost out of newborn clothes-they are all too short in the arms and legs, but fit his little belly pretty good. He is still too small for most of his 0-3 months clothes though, kinda a shocker for me, as most of the Murphy babies are bigguns! We have done a couple of photo shoots and I am hoping we got a few good shots-he did not love it, but luckily I am only going to try for 1 more until he is a bit bigger. I wanted to do more pix and do them earlier, but the unexpected problems of labor made that a difficult option*** [you can check out the birthing story below if you would like, I recorded it so I can remember so feel free to skip it :0)]. I am staying home with him right now, but am planning on going back to work a couple days a week if we can work it out. Eric has been incredibly helpful, but will be full-on in his guide season soon-so lil' Danen and I are trying to figure out some sort of a routine.

***As for his labor story: my water started leaking on Tuesday, but I wasn't ready to admit it and call the doctors until after my pedicure on Thursday :0). They asked that I come in right away to test the fluids. I called Eric (who has to try and find a sub), finished up some things at work, and dropped off  a cd of a photo shoot I had done. Eric and I met up shortly after (he had to come find me when I was dropping off pix... I had walked to the location from work and forgot my phone-he had called 16 times and was a little freaked out when I didn't answer he came to track me down). We loaded up the car and headed to Jackson. When we got to the clinic my midwife did 3 tests to check the fluids. The data was inconclusive until she looked at it under a microscope....sure enough my water was leaking and we would be staying in Jackson until lil' D made his appearance. I hadn't eaten in quite awhile so we decided to go to Pinky G's to grab a quick slice of pizza (bad idea in the aftermath, but tasted so good @ that time) before going to the hospital. We went to the labor ward and I was given Cytotec @ 4:45. Eric left to get dinner around 5:30, and while he was gone I had quite the adventure! Danen's heart rate dropped suddenly to lower than half his usual 140's. The nurse rushed in, as did my midwife to see what was going on. Quickly they had me move to my side and then to my hands and knees-while rushing to put me on oxygen. Jen (my midwife) checked me and ended up breaking my water-very pleasant gush :/. Eric came in around that time and was trying to figure out what was going on-he thought I was giving birth-haha, I wish! Once we got the heart rate stable I moved back to my side and switched from side to side for the rest of my labor. I was also kept on oxygen for the rest of it as well. When we first went in to the clinic and were told about the Cytotec they said I might have to have up to 3 doses for it to work-so not the case. With just one my body went into overdrive quickly. In the span of 5 hours I went from an almost 1 to a 7 and from 20% effaced to 90%. My contractions were coming 1-2 minutes apart for most of that. There really was no stage 1 labor for me as far as contraction spacing goes. It was fast and furious. I wanted to have a natural birth, and had plans on how to deal with the labor. As usual though, things went to their own accord. The ball, walking, and the tub were all tried with poor results. I tried the tub when I was around a 6 or 7, that went awful! I was in there about 3 minutes and it was not helping at all! I decided to get out and go back to laboring on the bed. This was the turning point for me mentally and physically. My contractions were about every minute and I was going so fast from hot (in a contraction) to cold (while out- due to the tub) that I could not calm myself down. I felt like I was going into shock. So around 10:45 I broke down and told Eric I had reached my breaking point and I asked for an epidural. The Nurse Anesthetists came in and started the procedure (taking forever might I add while I was holding so very still)...somewhere in that span we heard an "Oh Crap!"-yes, my worst fear with epidurals had come true (ever proving Murphy's law is a curse that never leaves you)-he had missed my epidural. He had to re-stick me and instantly I had a headache from the missed one. Up to this point I had already been stuck a ton, but little did I know that the missed epidural was just the beginning of the icing on the cake! It took the nurses 5 times to get my IV line in (I am a super hard stick) and then I got 2 Epidural sticks. At the point of leaving the hospital I had ended up with 5 IV sticks, 2 Epidural sticks, 2 blood draw sticks (to get blood to fix the Epidural), 1 Blood Patch stick (to fix said Epidural), 4 shots - 2 in each arm: 2  to slow down contractions, Rogham, and an immunization. Whew...I felt a little like a pin cushion and had some pretty good bruising. I am sure I looked like an addict :0). After we finally got the Epidural worked out I was able to relax and get a little sleep-as was Eric. The only big bummer was that all my machines kept randomly going off about every 1/2 hour. I was also given the 2 shots to slow down labor because my contractions were coming so close together they were worried about the baby going into distress. At around 3 am I was feeling tons of pressure and really wanted to push-however upon being checked I just wasn't ready yet. My midwife came back to the hospital around 5:30am so we could try to start pushing. Unfortunately the nurse hadn't seen that I still had about 3cm of cervix covering the back of Danen's head-making delivery difficult. Sometime around here I was starting to have tons of groin pain. They tried to give me a bump with the Epidural but it really wasn't working. We soon found out that the clamp system had broken and I had been without the Epidural for quite a long time. The Nurse Anesthetist ended up Jimmy rigging it enough to give me a little bit of relief until the Anesthesiologist could come in and fix it. Finally he did come and he tried to figure out how much medicine I had been given and what was still sitting in the IV line. With all of this Epidural drama the good thing was that I never had enough to do more than take the edge off-I could always feel my toes and move my legs (which was the other fear of getting an Epidural-being stuck in a bed unable to move)! When it was all figured out I pushed for about 1 1/2 hours to get the cervix removed. After that happened I pushed for another 1 1/2 hours with very little progress. At that time the midwife was concerned that something wasn't right due to my lack of progress. She had even given me pit to try to help my uterus contract harder for more progress-(Pit was something I really had not wanted to get). Unfortunately pretty much all of my birth plan had been altered at this point, but in the end it was all a blessing in disguise. After 3 hours total of pushing my midwife called in the OB to do an assessment. Shannon checked me (holy moly did that hurt!) and found that Danen's head was turned sideways and was stuck. We were given 2 options-forceps or C-section. I only had 1 thing left on my birth plan that I really wanted to avoid: C-Section!! I really just wanted to be done and be relieved of all the pressure so Eric and I opted to try forceps since I had already labored for so long....I did not want to be sore both ways! It was hard because I was so tired and bummed that it had all gone differently than I expected, and Eric was teared up because he knew how hard it was on me. They were all great with it though, our OB even noticed Eric's concern and asked if he was okay. They got it all set up and Shannon had me hold the next few contractions to save energy (so hard to do that!), when she was all set with the forceps (which Eric said looked like huge salad servers) I pushed and she turned his head and pulled him out! I couldn't believe he was out and in only one push! He had a bit of a cone head-not sure if it was from being stuck or forceps or both-but he was here and so cute! I was pretty out of it from all that went on with the extra fluid (4 bags-felt like I couldn't move right after those and I looked huge-not like all those post birth pix you always see!) and the pain, but I was able to hold him right away and check out his chubby cheeks! The best part for Eric was when our OB pulled him out she put him up to her chest and said "I just have to love on him" before she gave them to me. Afterwards the nurses were all talking about his ultra chubby cheeks and we were all recalling the whole situation when Shannon thanked us for trusting her to do a forceps delivery and then she said, "I didn't notice his chubby cheeks because I all I remember seeing was his big pink balls"...haha, we all had a laugh about that one! After about 1/2 hour they took him to do his stats-he passed with flying colors and they assured me he had all his parts-I was so out of it I didn't check his toes and fingers! They said once he was out I would feel so much better-but I really didn't until I had delivered the placenta. The stitching took awhile (3rd degree tear...almost 4 thank goodness it wasn't!), but luckily I had gotten the Epidural so that we could do the forceps option. The OB we use won't even attempt a forceps delivery unless you have had one because it tears you so badly. Overall I had such amazing care and I know that my nurses, midwife, and OB did the best care they could so that Danen and I could both be healthy! So although I went in really not wanting an Epidural, I am glad I got one because it was a huge blessing in disguise that helped me avoid the one situation I really didn't want-
Learning lesson: We can make a plan, but God always knows best. (My birth plan was to go naturally: not to receive meds to start me i, try various laboring methods, use a midwife, not be on constant monitoring, not to be on oxygen, no Epidural, no Pit, no C-section...ect. as long as the baby and I were healthy and doing okay...I guess my body had other plans)
The other part of our plan that was changed for the better was having my Mom with us the day we came home. We originally wanted to have a few days to ourselves when we came home, but the missed Epidural really threw a kink in those plans. They had us stay an extra night in the hospital after I received the Blood Patch to fix the leaking hole, my parents came to see little Danen-my Dad then went home and my Mom stayed in a hotel for a night until we were released. The leaking of spinal fluid caused some seriously uncomfortable side-effects: migraine type headaches, swelling and pressure in my head and neck, difficulty moving said head and neck, difficulty opening my eyes, dizziness, and weakness. When they did the patch I was unaware that you can do too much or move wrong and cause it to come out...so I was quite bummed when the horrible symptoms returned. I received the patch on Saturday afternoon after consulting with the doctor, Anesthesiologist, and my Uncle (head of IF's Anesthesiology unit). By Monday my symptoms were back, and Eric had returned to work. Thankfully my Mom was there to help me. Tuesday we were supposed to go to Jackson for lil' man's check up, however, I could not sit up without throwing up. I felt horrible having my Mom clean up after me! After all @ 27 years of age your Mom should no longer be cleaning up your puke, doing your laundry, making your meals, and taking care of your child! I am so so so grateful that she was able to come and to be there early helping me so that Eric could finish up the last week of finals and grading. I loved her company and she was a great sport about it all-especially since all I could do was pretty much lay around and watch movies. She was such a huge help and I lost it when she was gone I and I knew I would have to do it all by myself! I mean-she would take the baby at any time day or night...and I took her up on several nights! She helped when he pooped and peed all over my and my bed. She cleaned up the house and helped Eric make meals (not that he isn't great at doing it on his own!). She caught me up on my laundry, and if I had felt better she would have helped me tackle the list of things I wanted to do before Danen arrived. There is no doubt in my mind that I have the most amazing Mom, and we would not have been able to do it as successfully without her here!
Learning lesson: Allowing others to serve us is not a sign of weakness, but an opportunity for growth and strengthening. My relationship with my Mom will never be as it was before-I always knew she was amazing but I have a new found awe for her and her abilities. 
The last part of this huge process and story was the amazing recovery story. I had been off and on the phone in tears on Tuesday with both my Uncle and the Anesthesiologist about doing a 2nd blood patch. We decided that I would do it on Wednesday and would just keep on the water and caffeine until then and rest. I called Eric at the suggestion of my Mom/Dad and asked him to come with one of our friends on their lunch break to give me a blessing. I was nervous that the 2nd blood patch might not work and we would go through all of that again for nothing, or that they could do it and mess it up again. They gave me a great blessing that said I would be healed according to my faith. That night I was feeling discouraged and then those words from the lesson came to me. I prayed and told God that I knew he could take away my pain and heal me, and then I asked that he would. The next day I woke up and felt so much better. We decided that I would not repeat the procedure but let my body heal itself-which it did. I am still in the midst of the healing process more than 3 weeks later...but I am trying to be patient and tell myself that they said my tears could take up to 6 weeks because of the severity. It is difficult not to be hard on myself and to not do too much. However, I have all summer and lots of amazing help. Lil' man is here and amazing-and I am recovering. I thank God and so many others who have made this transition smoother-especially with all our complications.
Learning lesson: Doctors cannot fix everything, but God can if it be his will. (I thank the other Doctor in my life-my Dad for repeatedly reminding me that I could receive a blessing for help-Dad's always know best!)

                                      Funny side note: When they got me up to use the bathroom for the first time {Eric was crashed out...no help :0) } I went in and went...but when they were standing me up to leave I passed out (due to the Epidural night mare). I woke up to a voice saying "Breathe through your nose, Liz" over and over. I remember thinking why would I want to do that it burns like crazy! They had smelling salts for me...lovely :0). The best part is that there was a new CNA (1st day) and I opened my eyes to see her wide eyed, mouth open in shock-haha. Good stuff. They also tried to move us rooms right after that and Eric was so out on the fold out bed (that he had to dump Cherios off of to sleep on-lol) that even after I said his name 3 times a nurse still had to go over and pull on his leg to wake him up to leave. Poor guy was out cold after our exciting night and morning.


Aaron and Kira Adams said...

what a great post! Sorry things didnt go your way but you sure ended up with a beautiful baby boy. Hope recovery countiues to go well.

The Lennons said...

Wow! You are one tough mama! I admire you so much to hang on through all you went through! I hope you are doing well and recovering well. Remember, if you don't take care of yourself, you can't take care of that adorable little man! (I know, easier said than done!)