Monthly Archives: March 2014

First Two Weeks

We took Joshua to his new pediatrician yesterday for his two week check up and received the news: Joshua was up 12 oz from his birth weight! As a first time mommy who’s sort of unsure of her milk supply, this felt like a huge accomplishment. Sure, he felt a little chunkier and he was having tons of wet diapers, but it was nice to know for sure that all was going well in the feeding department.

This picture's kind of blurry and Joshua looks dramatic, but this was the only one we got of him on the scale.

Joshua being dramatic while being weighed. 😉

So here’s a recap of the last two weeks, starting with some of the drama that took place while still in our postpartum room at the hospital.

–Right after Joshua was born, his newborn nurse noticed right away that he was mildly tongue tied. We were very surprised to learn that because it’s hereditary and neither of us know anyone in our family that had it. I wasn’t sure how he would latch because of it and decided to keep an eye on it. From there on out, every time I fed him I called a lactation consultant or my nurse to come in and make sure that he looked like he was latching well. I did NOT want to go home uncertain of whether my baby could suck properly or not. Everyone seemed to think he was latching “ok” — but I had my doubts. Especially when he started crying non-stop and crying with nursing. I know colostrum only goes so far, but he seemed to be starving. By the second night I requested that the nurse bring me some formula so that I could see if he was able to suck the formula out of the bottle. And so began a major fight– it turns out that we were staying at a “breast feeding friendly” hospital and that formula is a big no-no. In fact, it’s viewed to be so incredibly evil that if you want to give your baby formula while at the hospital, you have to listen to your nurse educate you on the long list of evils about formula, you have to sign some sort of “waiver” AND the nurse has to call the pediatrician to get an order for the formula. The first nurse reassured me that my baby was doing fine and that we didn’t need formula, and that it was awful stuff, etc. So I listened to her and decided to wait it out. But then Joshua just got more and more unhappy, despite me try to feed him every two hours. I asked the next nurse on for formula and around the formula merry-go-round we went. Again I listened to the evils of formula and was just extremely annoyed and concerned for my baby. I told her I could have my husband run out and bring me some formula and there actually would be little that she could do about it! Then I requested that she check a blood sugar on my baby, because he had been jittery for quite a while. She obliged and his blood sugar was 49. I wasn’t impressed, and told her to do what she needed to do, but I wanted the formula. She left and miraculously, she had called her manager while she was out and got the whole formula protocol waived, meaning that I didn’t have to sign anything and didn’t need a silly order. She brought the formula in and I quickly discovered that no, my baby could not get the formula through the nipple without some significant cheek support. I didn’t want to jeopardize breast feeding too much, so I gave him a little formula– just enough to keep him happy.

–The next morning, the pediatrician came on and was discussing discharging Joshua that day. I had already received the “all clear” from my OB to go home as well. I passed along my concerns regarding his tongue tie and mentioned that he needed a lot of cheek support to get formula through the nipple of a bottle. She asked me how I knew about “cheek support” and I just said “Well, I’m a NICU nurse.” She immediately shot back “Well, he’s NOT a NICU baby.” I was pretty emotional at this point and was fighting back tears but I just felt defeated by the staff there. All I wanted was to prevent Joshua from having to be readmitted due to something like dehydration or jaundice. I sat down and felt like giving up but told her that I thought he should have his tongue clipped before being discharged. She went about her assessment and to my surprise, at the end she said, “Yes, I think he should have his tongue clipped. It’s a really fast and pretty painless procedure–should take 5-10 minutes. I have a few discharges to do but can be back here in an hour to do it.” I was so relieved to hear this, and frankly pretty amazed considering she had seemed so against anything I had said when she first walked in the door.

–An hour later, Joshua got wheeled away in his bassinet for his procedure. And yes, this new mommy totally cried a little! Joshua was back in our room no more than 6 minutes later, and was happy as a clam. I noticed that he could now stretch his tongue out much closer to his bottom lip, and felt much more hopeful that things would go well at home.

–We came home on a Wednesday afternoon, and my milk had still not come in. By Thursday I was pretty stressed about it, and pretty much an emotional wreck thanks to postpartum hormones dropping. I was crying over nothing, and it was SO annoying! But then Joshua’s wet diapers dropped off, and when he did have a tiny wet diaper, his urine was orange. I knew this meant he was dehydrated, so I would give him little bits of formula here and there to help him get through. At the same time I was having trouble getting him to latch properly and was just overall freaked out that I was sabotaging my milk ever coming in by giving him formula (yes, I was a total stress-case). By Thursday night he had a tiny bit of orange urine in his diaper and his eyes looked extremely jaundiced. I went into the bathroom and just started crying, because he was scheduled to see the pediatrician the next day and I was afraid he would tell me that Joshua needed formula or that his bilirubin level was high. I cried out to God and asked that my milk come in. Yes, I actually prayed that! And immediately after that– God answered my prayer and my milk came in!!! During that night I nursed Joshua all I could handle and he started to have yellow stool and more urine in his diaper. At the pediatrician’s the next day, he had dropped 5% of his weight, which they were happy with (I was elated!) and told me that he looked great! I rejoiced at the news and breathed a huge sigh of relief.

–Since then, both hubby and I have been trying to figure out how to get some sleep at night. I have to admit that I dread the night coming, especially if I haven’t slept much the night before (which is pretty much always the case). We have Joshua on a schedule, which he does great with during the day. At night time though, he’s not so interested in sleeping. I try to keep him up some during the daytime (in an attempt to get his days and nights switched) but his eyes are seriously so droopy and he nods off in nothing flat! Last night he was just really fussy in general and would only sleep for about 30 minutes before waking up crying. By 5 am I had gotten one broken up hour of sleep and I was one out of sorts mama… hoping and praying that tonight goes a little better.

–Sleep or no sleep, I am absolutely loving these days. Taking care of a newborn is a lot of work, but it’s so fun to get to know him and watch him grow. And watching my hubby with him is a real treat, as tonight he read Joshua a story (Joshua looked around the room and noticed everything except the book, I think!) and he tells him these long winded stories that Joshua will probably love in about three years. It makes me chuckle. I love it too when Joshua gets this pouty bottom lip that quivers when he’s starting to get upset… okay I know we shouldn’t laugh but it totally cracks us up!

Lastly, here are some newborn pictures my talented friend took of Joshua:








Filed under Baby

Joshua’s Birth Story

Hello there! It’s taken two days with five to thirty minute writing intervals at a time, but here is Joshua’s birth story!

{But first I would like to begin by stating three things}

First, this post is not for everyone. Birth, as common (yet miraculous) as it is, happens to be filled with things like cervical changes, blood and perineal tears. Topics like these are pretty much unavoidable when discussing birth in detail. If this isn’t your cup of tea, please feel free to skip this in its entirety!

Second, my story is about an induction at 39 weeks. I read many induction birth stories before giving birth and read bad and good ones alike. This one will seem bad, trust me. If you are preparing to give birth via induction, please do not despair at reading my story. Every woman, baby and delivery is different. There are so many variables that all make a difference, so please keep that in mind when reading my story. Also, despite the horror I went through, as I look over at my sleeping newborn son I realize that not only did the Lord carry me through the experience, but that I would do it all over again to be able to have him here. I guess that’s how the earth stays populated!

Third, this will probably be the longest post you will ever read on my blog. You might want to grab a cup of coffee before reading. I congratulate you if you make it to the end!


Joshua’s Birth Story

~March 9th, 2014~

0630: After 2.5 hours of sleep (chalk it up to nerves/pregnancy insomnia) and after hubby getting 5 hours of sleep, we arrived at Labor & Delivery as scheduled. We made our co-pay for the hospital stay and were taken back to our labor room. The nurse was nice enough, and instructed me to wipe down my abdomen with a chlorohexidine antiseptic wipe before changing into a hospital gown, which I guess is hospital policy. I changed after rubbing the wipe on my belly and immediately felt intense burning and itching on my skin where the wipe had gone. I got into the bed and soon realized that my belly felt like it was on fire! The nurse hooked me up to the tocometer and then left to go gather supplies for an IV. While she was gone I wasted no time in breaking rules (it’s the nurse in me) by asking hubby to please wet some paper towels with water so that I could wipe off the silly chlorohexidine residue left on my abdomen. I tried that but my abdominal skin was still screaming and I was ready to break the skin from the intense itchiness. When the nurse came back in the room I told her I was having a skin reaction to the chlorohexidine and requested benadryl. She was helpful and actually came back fifteen minutes later with some IV benadryl, which she gave after placing my IV (which she got on the first stick, I might add). I felt immediate relief upon receiving the Benadyl.

0730: The OB on call came in and introduced himself. I vaguely remembered him, because he used to work at the hospital I currently work for. He mentioned that he had even trained my OB when she was a resident, and spoke highly of her. He then did an exam and determined that I was 1 cm dilated and a little effaced (I can’t remember how much, all I remember was that it wasn’t much, so maybe 25%). We talked about the next steps for the induction and decided to start with Cytotec.

0830: My mom arrived to join the fun. I really had no idea how the induction would go and told family members to sort of “play it by ear” since inductions can take a really long time. So I was a little surprised to see my mom walk in the door so soon in the game but was glad to have her there. She sat down on the sofa and started knitting a sweater for my nephew who lives overseas. My nurse came in a gave me the Cytotec, which is actually a drug approved by the FDA to prevent stomach ulcers by releasing prostaglandins, but also works to dilate the cervix. I swallowed the tiny pill and felt amazed that something so small was supposed to make me have contractions. I did feel a little nervous about swallowing something to jump start contractions, because what if it made the baby distressed? I couldn’t turn it off like I could a pitocin drip. I asked the nurse about that and she mentioned that there was an antidote to the cytotec, which is turbutaline (a medicine used to stop contractions during premature labor). So that was reassuring to know.

After the cytotec, contractions started up about fifteen minutes later. I’d been having pretty regular contractions (anywhere from every 5 minutes to maybe 4 and hour) for weeks now. The contractions weren’t bad. I could talk through them. The nurse came in again and started me on Clindamycin (an antibiotic) for my GBS+ status since I’m allergic to penicillin (which is the standard treatment for GBS).

1300: The contractions at this point were mild and maybe every 4-5 minutes. I asked the nurse what I could do to “speed things up.” She suggested going for a walk. My mom had left at this point to switch with my dad so that someone would be there to watch my disabled sister. Hubby and I went for a walk. The contractions did get a bit stronger while walking, and I found myself hunching over a little with each one. We passed some nurse in the hallway twice who kept offering unsolicited advice like “You just need to relax or you’ll wear yourself out!” (Sometimes I wonder if people who say things like that have ever given birth?) Back in our labor room, the contractions picked up some more and my nurse came in the room. She noticed that I (apparently) was furrowing my brow with each contraction and said she didn’t like that and said that I needed to think about ocean waves rolling in and out with each contraction. (Again, I wondered if she too had ever gone through this?)

1400: A new OB came in and checked me. I was still 1 cm, but this time she told me that I was 75% effaced. She offered to put in a foley bulb catheter (which is basically a tube that’s inserted through your cervix and then filled with water to make a balloon– it sits at the top of the cervix and acts almost like the baby’s head would if the baby were engaged– the pressure from the bulb on the cervix releases prostoglandins and helps to dilate it). I said “yes please” as I was anxious to keep things going. The cytotec was wearing off anyhow. This procedure ended up being extremely painful because after two drawn out attempts to insert the bulb, the OB couldn’t get the catheter through my cervix. It seriously felt like if she pushed any harder, she would hit my spine. She struggled with it for what felt like an eternity. I then suggested that she try to insert it when the head of the bed was raised more (they had lowered it to be completely flat) because she had seen improved effacement of my cervix when I had been in that position before. She agreed to try that– the nurse raised the head of my bed and the OB was then able to get it in!

1600: At this point I’m at a loss as to why I was so excited to get the foley bulb put in. That sucker hurt! Every 30 minutes or so the nurse would come in, tug on it a bit, and re-tape it to my thigh. Not pleasant in the least. The contractions were pretty steady at this point and somewhat painful. More family members came in to visit– my dad stayed a while, and my hubby’s parents and sister came.

1700: By this time I was really over the foley bulb. I was told that it would “fall out” when my cervix was dilated to 3-4 cm. It was really uncomfortable and I was just wanting it out and so I ended up giving it a tug myself and pulled it out! (I know, another example of where I am a bad patient). I felt immediate relief upon pulling it out, and was happy that it meant I’d made a little progress at least. I called the nurse to let her know.

1800: The nurse came in again and started Pitocin at 2. We’d already done cytotec and the foley bulb–the next step was the real beast: Pitocin. Some women go into natural labor with just cytotec, and some with just a foley bulb. I guess I wasn’t either of those people. Pitocin would make sure I had strong, regular contractions. I was game for it because I wanted this baby out! Pitocin it was.

1830: The pitocin got started and my hubby and my mom and I went on a walk around the labor unit. Once you’re on Pitocin you have to be monitored continuously so the nurse hooked me up to a portable monitor. I didn’t mind this as I knew that pitocin could stress the baby. We walked and with each contraction I had to slow down and grip hubby’s arm. The nurse told me they would be increasing the Pitocin every hour (or maybe 30 minutes?) or so.

2100: By now the pitocin was turned up to 8. The contractions were getting pretty intense. The nurse offered me some Fentanyl and I reluctantly accepted, because I wanted to hold out on getting an epidural for as long as I could stand it. After the Fentanyl I could still feel the contractions coming every 3 minutes or so, but they weren’t as painful. The pain relief lasted for about an hour or so, and also made me very sleepy.

2130: A new OB on call came in and checked me. I was super disappointed to find out that not only was I still only dilated to 4 cm, I was now only 25% effaced, when I had been told I was 75% effaced before. Great. I knew this was due to having two different OB’s check me and their varying opinions. Still, it was not encouraging news. Again I got up and went walking, this time with a small entourage of people including my husband, mom, and my husband’s parents. I was having to stop and breathe deeply with each contraction at this point, and after a while I had walked all I could manage.

2300: A new nurse came on shift. She was very brisk when she came in and asked me if I wanted an epidural and exactly when I would be wanting it, because she needed to plan her night accordingly. I told her I was trying to go as long as possible without an epidural, especially since I wasn’t progressing very quickly and didn’t want to sabotage that any further. She curtly replied that by the time I couldn’t stand the pain anymore, I wouldn’t be able to sit still for an epidural. She then callously said “And frankly, this is what you’d expect when you try to force babies out via induction before they’re ready.” “Oh please,” I wanted to respond; “I’m 39 weeks for crying out loud!” But instead I kept my mouth shut and started to cry as soon as she left the room. She had me feel like the worst mother in the world. My abilities to graciously withstand people like her were dwindling– the contractions were getting really strong and I had gone a long time with little sleep or food (breakfast had been my last meal, although I did sneak a cookie during the day that my mom had brought in for my husband). I began to pray as I had no idea how I could get through 8 hours with a nurse who didn’t really seem like she was there to “help” me.

2305: Five minutes later, the (less than kind) nurse came in with another nurse and announced that she would be giving report to the new nurse as she had to take another assignment. I was overjoyed! Thank you Lord! My new nurse was incredibly kind and caring. My mom, husband and I just marveled at the Lord’s immediate answer to our prayers.

~March 10th, 2014~

0100: At this point, the contractions were getting to be unbearable. They were every 1.5 minutes and double peaking, meaning that they were lasting over a minute. This gave me less than thirty seconds to recover from each contraction. I was pretty besides myself with pain, and crying with each contraction. My mom was there rubbing my back and my husband was letting me grip his hand (believe it or not I still have a deep bruise in one of my hands from gripping his hand so often and so tightly during this process). Knowing that I was only at 4 cm dilated, I decided that enough was enough and called the nurse to ask for an epidural.

0130: The nurse anesthetist came in got me prepared to have the epidural. They had my mom leave the room, so she waited outside in the hallway. I was a mess at this point. In fact, I was in so much pain that they ended up turning down the pitocin. I was crying non-stop. I sat on the edge of the bed and leaned forward as much as I could with hubby helping to hold me from the front. The contractions kept coming anyhow. The nurse anesthetist told me “you’re going to feel a slight poke” and OH BOY was it more than a “poke!” It felt like he had just shoved a fire poker into my spine! I literally screamed, which is highly unusual for a gal like me that likes to watch having my IV’s put in and lab work drawn. My husband got light headed at this point upon hearing me react like this. I was seriously confused– what was the guy doing? I had been expecting the typical “lidocaine just under the epidermis” type of injection, NOT a huge needle being jabbed into my spine! Then, he told me I needed to keep still and the same thing happened– yet AGAIN!!! And again I had not been expecting it, because I had thought that my back would already be a little numb. So, yes. I literally screamed a second time. I thought he was finished at this point but alas he informed me that he still needed to insert the epidural. Are you kidding me? That wasn’t it? (As you can see, we had major communication issues, partially I think because he spoke so softly and partially because he had a really thick accent). He inserted the epidural itself which was uncomfortable but didn’t make me want to keel over like the lidocaine injections. He then bolused my epidural with pain meds. I started to feel my legs and torso feel warm and then tingly–what a strange sensation! But I could feel the horrible contractions less and less and that was what I had hoped for. My mom came back in the room (after waiting in the hallway) very concerned after hearing me scream twice. It was definitely strange because going into the procedure I actually had zero fears about having an epidural placed, but that experience was something I will never forget. (From what I’ve heard, my experience was not common, so please don’t freak out if you’re planning on getting an epidural for the first time.)

0400: After a few hours of feeling better, hubby got some sleep on the couch and my mom tried to sneak a nap in the chair. I tried to sleep but found it pretty difficult. The OB on call for the night came in and checked me. I had been feeling hopeful, but my cervix was still stuck at 4 1/2 cm.  She said I was 90% effaced, and said she wanted to break my waters. I opted to go for it, even though I knew it would mean that I would need to have our baby in the next 24 hours or risk a c-section (due to increased risk of infection). I was feeling pretty worn out by now, and frankly I was thinking that if I hadn’t had the baby in 24 more hours I would probably want a c-section anyhow! The OB broke my water and very little fluid came out. She said this was good, because it meant that baby’s head was lower and acting as a cork on my cervix. I however interpreted it to be bad though, because I felt that it meant it would do nothing to help speed up things, seeing as there was probably an entire hind bag of waters still intact.

0600: I started to become very aware of painful contractions. I rotated from side to side, thinking that maybe my epidural was not distributing correctly. It didn’t help, and before I knew it the pain was completely out of control. It was the worst pain I had felt in my entire life, except for maybe the time I had an ovarian cyst burst (which was two hours of intense pain). Again the contractions were right on top of each other, and lasting over a minute. My husband and mom were at my side, trying to help. I was sobbing. My mom was crying just watching me. At this point it was 0645 and I knew it was shift change and that the nurses were giving report, but my mom said “Who cares if they’re busy?” and ran out to tell my nurse that my epidural had stopped working. Both the night shift and oncoming day shift nurse came immediately into the room and called the nurse anesthetist. I don’t really remember much else about this time– except that it was awful and I was just trying to survive on the pitocin drip.

0700: A new nurse anesthetist came in and gave me a bolus through my epidural. I don’t know what medicine she gave me– it did work to numb the pain a little– but it left me feeling incredibly anxious and awful. I felt a sudden sense of doom, like I was never going to be able to have the baby, that the whole thing was pointless. I was ready to rip out my IV and epidural and walk out the door, that’s how bad this medicine made me feel. At the same time my oncoming nurse tried to put an oxygen mask on me (I guess I wasn’t breathing deeply enough) and I told her that I absolutely couldn’t handle anything like that on my face when I was feeling so anxious. (I’m not typically an anxious person, and this experience gave me much compassion for those who struggle with this sort of thing on a regular basis.) I requested that my husband just remind me periodically to take a deep breath and she agreed to that.

0745: The pain med bolus in my epidural wore off. It lasted a whole 45 minutes. Once again I was besides myself with pain, and crying. I just didn’t know what to do. I felt completely stuck. My new nurse (who was wonderful, by the way) suggested that I had some sort of “bad” epidural and that I should consider getting a new one. But I was completely afraid of two more extremely painful needle pokes in my spine! Besides, I thought that maybe I was just one of those people who epidurals didn’t work well for. I knew that at least was a possibility, and it was confusing that it would work only part of the time. My nurse again called anesthesia (this time it was a new person as the last person was on their way home). The new nurse anesthetist on came in a gave me another pain med bolus in my epidural, this time it was something different than what I was given before. I felt my legs and torso get warm and tingly again, meaning that the epidural seemed to be working again. The anxious feeling I had slowly waned, thankfully.

0800: My nurse decided she wanted to check me because the pain I had been having seemed to resemble transition labor pains in her opinion. But alas, I was still stuck at 4.5 cm, even though my pitocin drip was up to 10. I felt majorly discouraged and wondered if I was ever going to see my baby!

0930: The OB on call for the day shift came in and introduced herself with her entourage of a both a medical student and resident at her side. We discussed my case. My pitocin was up to 12 at this point. She then checked me and told me (YET AGAIN) that I was only at 4.5cm! I burst into tears. I was really uncomfortable, exhausted, and hungry. Oh yes– and I was throwing up too, probably from the pain meds. I heard myself ask… or rather beg, for a c-section. This shows how desperate I was, because all along I had been praying to avoid another surgery and more scar tissue forming. I didn’t even care about scar tissue at that point. My only concern was that I didn’t want a c-section with the epidural I had, because I didn’t trust it to keep working during the surgery. Either way, it was all for nothing because the OB kindly but firmly denied my request. Rather, she decided that an internal monitor needed to be placed to make sure that the contractions were actually strong enough to dilate my cervix, and she recommended going up-up-up on the pitocin. This was not the news I had been hoping for. I was besides myself with despair. Here I was, barely making it with an epidural that worked on and off, and already on a high level of pitocin, and she wanted to INCREASE it even more?! I couldn’t even look her in the eye or respond to her suggestion, I was such a mess. I couldn’t believe how hopeless I felt then. Again I kept praying and texted some close friends that I desperately needed their prayers because the induction was not going well. The OB left the room to gather supplies for the internal monitor and through tears I began to think that maybe getting induced was one of the worst decisions of my life. Sounds pretty dramatic now, and it gives some insight as to how much of a mess I was at that point!

0945: Internal monitor placed and pitocin turned up to 14.

1100: I started to spike a fever, but nothing too serious, 100.6. The OB started me on an additional antibiotic as she was afraid that the clindamicin wasn’t cutting it for the positive GBS status. They were worried that I was developing chorioamnionitis (an infection of the amniotic fluid). I was then told by the OB that my baby would have to receive at least 48 hours of antibiotics in the nursery once he was born. Additionally, baby’s heart rate became elevated (due to my fever) and was in the 180’s. I hated knowing that my baby was now stressed, and the urge to get him out was even stronger. Nothing was going like I thought it would. Thankfully I had the support of my husband, my mom, and also my mother in law, which was a blessing.

12:15: Pitocin at 16. Once again the epidural wore off and the contractions were every 1.5 minutes. I literally wanted to scream with each contraction but held back. Instead I cried. My mom cried too and my husband looked completely distressed. I got checked again and was STILL 4.5 cm. It was just unbelievable. We talked about replacing my epidural again and I agreed to it. If I couldn’t have a c-section, then there was no way I would survive on this amount of pitocin with a bad epidural.

1330: The nurse anesthetist came in I prepared for the worst. Hubby was out getting lunch (my epidural had been working when he left) so my mom stayed to help me brace for the epidural placement. The nurse anesthetist put in the epidural and I was overjoyed because I barely felt it! Additionally, it was a good epidural and worked right away! Also, he let me know that the old epidural wasn’t even intact– it was in a little bit but not very much. I let out a HUGE sigh of relief knowing that I didn’t have to deal with the bad line anymore. Thank you Lord for some pain relief!

1335: This is a side note, but during my hospital stay I was on my 8th nurse. Yes, you read that right: Eight nurses! Some would have me as their patient for 3 hours, some for ten minutes, some for five hours, etc. I had no idea what was up with their assignments that they would be moving around from patient to patient so much. It was extremely annoying. Anyhow, my excellent nurse that day had been with me since 0700 and she was the best one yet. But I knew she would be going home when her shift ended at 3 pm. I (somewhat jokingly, somewhat seriously) asked her if she could work overtime and stay with me. (Yes, I actually asked her that.) I couldn’t believe it when she replied, “Well, they’re short today so I might just do that!”  She later came in and told me that she was indeed staying until 7 pm and all of us in my labor room cheered!

1420: I was checked again by my OB. I was prepared to hear “4.5 cm” again. Instead she completely blew my socks off when she said “You’re complete! The baby’s head is RIGHT THERE!” I couldn’t even believe it. I was utterly dumbfounded. How on earth was this possible? We all cheered at that point and I thanked the Lord for delivering me from being stuck the rest of my life at 4.5 cm. The OB said we should wait an hour or so and let the additional pain med bolus the nurse anesthetist gave me wear off a little so that I wouldn’t be completely numb when it came time to push. I was really glad about this because I was pretty worried about trying to push out a baby when I couldn’t really move my legs much and had never done it before. My nurse told me try to get some sleep before pushing. I remember thinking “Yeahhhh right!” I was way too nervous and excited. That’s like going to Disneyland for the first time as a little kid and having your mom tell you to take a nap when you first arrive. It’s not going to happen!

1520: My nurse came in a decided it was time to try some trial pushes. Hubby and I kicked everyone out to the waiting room. She got my got my legs up into the stirrups (oh, joy) and told me exactly what I needed to do. She instructed me to push with my next contraction and I did. She immediately said “STOP!” and excitedly told me “His head is right there! You are going to have this baby in no time!” It was like music to my ears– after being so worn out from such a long labor I now had the hope that I wouldn’t have to be pushing for a really long time! My nurse then frantically called the OB and told her to please come ASAP and ran around getting everything set up to catch the baby.

1530: The OB came in I also allowed the medical student to watch as well (they probably could have asked me anything and I would have said yes). I began to push with each contraction and before I knew it our son’s head was out!

1543: Then my OB told me to give a tiny push and so I thought I gave what was a tiny push, but apparently the rest of the baby slid right out and my OB said “Stop! Stop pushing!” Oops. Me pushing too much meant a second degree tear. But our baby was out, and I couldn’t believe how fast it all happened! When my OB said that the umbilical cord was wrapped around his neck THREE times I was astounded, because he hasn’t showed many signs of distress as he descended down the birth canal. I did, however, notice that his umbilical cord was really thin and long– although I was initially bummed about it being thin (because I always associate thin cords with poor nutrition) I then realized that I should thank the Lord that it was thin, because it was so incredibly long and allowed Joshua to be delivered without too much distress.

Joshua was then placed on my chest and I just stared at him in amazement, with tears running down my face. My husband also looked completely awestruck. He was so cute! I just kept looking at him thinking, “So this is who was inside me all these many months!” It was the strangest and most amazing feeling in the entire world. He cried a bit and I kept drying him off and replacing wet blankets with warm ones. In the meantime I was being sewed up (totally thankful at this point for the epidural!) but I was able to nurse him a little during that. After snuggling with him for about 45 minutes the nurse took him over to the warmer and got measurements, gave the vitamin K injection and put the erythromycin in his eyes. He weighed 6 pounds, 13 ounces and was 19 1/4 inches long!

After I was decent again, we brought in the grandparents from the waiting room and finally got to announce our baby’s name! It was so nice to finally be able to tell people after keeping it a secret all these months. I hate keeping secrets, but I’m proud to say that I never spilled the beans once! My mother in law exclaimed “I LOVE the name Joshua!” and that made me smile. Hubby was enjoying his time with Joshua, and then more friends and family came in and everyone took turns holding Joshua. My nurse brought me in a tray of food and I devoured it while watching everyone hold him. I was starving! But it was such a sweet time to see everyone meet him for the first time. We were all so excited that Joshua was finally here and I was especially thankful to the Lord for giving me grace in only having to push for 15 minutes after such a long labor ordeal.

An hour or two after that our awesome nurse transferred us to our postpartum room and gave report to the new nurse just in time before having to head home at 7 pm. I gave her a huge hug and told her how much I appreciated her sticking it our with us until the very end.


We stayed in the hospital for two days and Joshua did not end up having to receive antibiotics after all. They did draw blood cultures though and wanted to give them 48 hours to grow before sending him home. My fever diminished immediately after giving birth, and Joshua never had a fever. So I seriously wonder if my mild fever was more due to having an epidural for an extended period of time and not due to bacteria. I guess we’ll never know!

Now that thirteen days have passed, I have to admit that I still felt a little traumatized while recalling the details of Joshua’s birth story. It was so incredibly hard. And yet… God was in the midst of it all, answering prayers, working miracles,  and blessing our socks off with one incredibly good little baby. When I snuggle with our little son, sometimes tears of gratitude will fall as I thank the Lord for what a precious child He gave us. So yes, it was a hard pregnancy. It was a horrible labor. But it was absolutely 100% worth it.


Filed under Birth, Pain, Pregnancy

Our Son Has Arrived!

He’s here!! Joshua Michael was born ten days ago weighing in at 6 pounds 13 ounces, and measuring 19 1/4 inches long.

Here’s a photo of him shortly after he was born:


We are totally in love with this little guy. So far he’s really mellow and easy going (we’ll see how long that lasts!). He eats well and sleeps well. He never screams. He loves to look around and watch what’s going on nearby. We are the typical first time “nervous” parents but this has been such a special, wonderful time with our new son. I am so thankful to God for placing him in our care.

Here’s some more pictures…

Getting measurements taken. Notice the gigantic size 1 diaper on him?

Getting measurements taken. Notice the gigantic size 1 diaper on him?

Still at the hospital here-- in the postpartum room. Lying on mommy's chest. :)

Still at the hospital here– in the postpartum room. Lying on mommy’s chest. 🙂

Finally home from the hospital here.

Finally home from the hospital here.

He's such a good sleeper. We are so grateful for that!

He’s such a good sleeper. We are so grateful for that!

Even though he is a good sleeper, I’ve found that writing is a lot harder for me when I’m only getting sleep in 1-3 hour chunks at night time. All this is to say is that I DO want to write about my birth story (which was no picnic– 32 hours of hard labor including everything from allergic reactions, to epidurals coming out, to me spiking fevers). But so much happened during that time and I think I’m going to need some time to get organized, coherent thoughts written out. It took my mom and husband all sitting down to put our heads together to accurately remember everything that happened. So many people were praying for me and even though it was the hardest things I’ve ever done, I saw the Lord working miracles left and right! So, I really want to make sure it all gets included, even if it’s all kind of a blur to me now.

In the meantime we’re enjoying every moment with our new baby!


Filed under Disabilities, Pregnancy

A Few Maternity Pictures…

So: Yes. Our son has arrived! We are enjoying every minute with him. I will go into all the details of his birth and the last 6 days of his life in a jiffy. But I hate to work backwards, so for now I will post some maternity pictures my awesome friend Katherine took of us at a park. These were taken at 39 weeks, just one day before I entered the hospital to be induced and two days before I delivered!

Looking back and seeing my pregnant belly it all seems so surreal…

IMG_1506 IMG_1508_2 IMG_1516 IMG_1523 IMG_1528 IMG_1545 IMG_1553 IMG_1563 IMG_1592 IMG_1602_2 IMG_1612 IMG_1619 IMG_1624


Filed under Uncategorized

Almost 38 Weeks

I am exhausted. After days and days (weeks, really) of contractions keeping me up during the night, sleep has become a rare occurrence for me around here. Enter also severe heartburn the past few days and a general loss of appetite… as well as general malaise, and you have one tired (and admittedly: somewhat miserable) pregnant lady.

But I know the days are numbered until we get to meet our little boy. And does it ever help! 🙂 I’m still praying he’ll come on his own a little before his induction date. I admit I’m a little nervous about pitocin.

Tomorrow, if it’s not raining, my friend is going to take some maternity pictures. I’ll be one day away from 38 weeks (think– HUGE) so I guess it’s a little late in the game, but better late than never. Another friend told me that most people get their maternity pics done between 32-36 weeks. What I really want are newborn pictures so I guess getting maternity pics never entered my mind until my friend mentioned that she really wanted to take some for me (she’s a good friend). If it’s not raining and we get the pics taken, I’ll post some on here later on.

Not much else is new, other than that my older sister who lives in an extremely remote location overseas is currently at a more populated location for a few weeks. We are able to talk often through Google Voice for CHEAP! We’ll get to video skype with her too when the baby comes (which isn’t something they can do normally). So, even though she can’t be here for our son’s birth, I’m thankful that at least she’ll get to see him live.

Well, the contractions keep coming but I’m going to try to get some sleep. I really shouldn’t try to blog when I’m feeling this groggy!

Good night!





Filed under Uncategorized