Wednesday, August 20, 2014

The Fourth of July 2014

For Independence Day this year, we kept with the tradition of doing the same things we've done in the past few years, except this time we had the addition of our almost 1-month-old! :)

I dressed my kids (I still can't believe I have two!) up in red-white-and-blue and attempted to get a picture. Newborns aren't the biggest fan of being set down, especially in an uncomfortable "seated" position on the sofa. Charlie wasn't much help, either, as he had no interest in holding her or being by her. At least he patiently held still long enough for me to snap a couple of photos. He was definitely thinking "Hey, Mom, can you move this wiggly crying thing away from me so I can continue watching TV in peace?"
That afternoon we met up with Trevor's family in Heber City and had some delicious food and good conversation. It was nice to get out of the house and do something adventurous. It was definitely interesting feeding little Delilah while sitting outside in the shade next to the wall of the pavilion (I didn't want to freak out any uncles, grandpas, or brothers-in-law just in case I didn't stay fully covered the whole time haha). I hadn't quite gotten the hang of feeding her covered yet, and I only had blankets for coverage. And, let's be honest, no one wants to eat under a stuffy blanket while it's already hot outside! :)
Later that evening, we travelled down to Jolley's Grove up Springville Canyon and ate some pizza and let the kids play at the park. Charlie had a lot of fun getting his energy out. This year, instead of doing fireworks at Meg's house (we didn't purchase any to shoot off this time), we just went home to get the kids in bed and I watched a pretty cool fireworks show off our back deck. A lot of our neighbors really got into doing fireworks and there were some big ones. It was a surround-sound-and-sight experience. I may never buy fireworks again if I can just enjoy a show like that from my deck! :) Too bad it's impossible to capture how cool it is using a camera (especially a phone camera!).
Happy Fourth! :)

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Delilah's Birth Story

Fair warning... this post is a novel. This blog serves as my personal journal, and I want to remember every little detail of her birth. Good for you if you make it through the whole thing. :)

Life has totally just taken off since Delilah was born. Being a Mom of two kids is definitely busy, and I just haven't found a lot of time to sit down and write down the story of Delilah's birth. She turns two months old today, and therefore it really is time to post about her birth day! :)
The story starts a few days before she arrived. I had heard from my doctors that second babies on average come earlier than the first babies... on average about a week earlier. I tried not to get my hopes up, but by the end of my pregnancy I was VERY ready to have my baby! So, when the 39 week mark came and went, I started feeling a little impatient. My Mom arrived in town on June 6th, two days before her due date. She was scheduled to be there helping for about 11 days... and so I started to feel a little pressure and panic about her arrival. I knew I didn't want to be induced unless I medically had to, or when the doctors made me (i.e. 41 weeks). However, if I waited until 41 weeks, my Mom would have been scheduled to leave only a couple days later! So, I started to consider an earlier induction date based around Trevor's work schedule and my Mom's timeline. I called and scheduled an induction date for Monday, June 9th (a day after my due date), hoping that I wouldn't make it to that day.

Days passed, and my due date grew nearer and nearer, much to my dismay. The Friday before my due date, I had one of my doctors strip my membranes, but it didn't seem to help. Then my due date (Sunday June 8th) came... and went. I was now standing face to face with my induction date... and I was definitely re-thinking the decision. They were supposed to call me on Sunday night to give me a time for induction the next day, but when the hospital called me, they said they had quite a few scheduled C-Sections in the morning, and they couldn't assign times until those were over, because no one knows how long those things will take. I was also 5th on the induction list. They told me they'd call me the next day.

First thing I did on Monday morning was call my doctor's office to try and get an appointment. I wanted to talk things over with my doctor and have them check me for any progress. I had been dilated to 2cm and 70% effaced for about 2-3 weeks, but hadn't progressed much recently (so disheartening when you're pregnant!). They said they were pretty booked and I had to make an appointment for later in the day, but I told them I was worried the hospital would call with an induction time before I could get advice from my doctor. Miraculously, a nurse called me back a few minutes later and asked if I could come in right away because they could squeeze me in. I was SO happy! I hopped in my car (sans-Charlie, thanks Mom!) and got there as fast as I could.

Dr. Bean was the one who I saw that morning. He checked me and said I was a 2+ and 80% effaced. It didn't sound like much progress, but he said I was ready anytime. I was an emotional mess... trying to stay true to myself (not getting induced), but also trying to make it convenient for my husband and fit with my mom's flight schedule (getting induced). Lots of my friends thought I was crazy for not wanting to be induced, but I really enjoyed going into labor on my own with Charlie, and I wanted to have that experience again with my second child. And I wanted to see if I could progress farther and labor longer without an epidural... just to see how well I could manage the contractions. I guess I just like to push myself when it comes to the birth experience. Maybe I am crazy! Anyway, I also didn't like the idea of being pumped full of fake oxytocin hormones. I'd much rather trust my body, and wait until it's ready and creating the so-called "love" hormones itself.

My doctor was so understanding and even told me that I should pray about it! Only in Utah... ;) But it was excellent advice. The last thing he did was strip my membranes again. And this time... HOLY COW... did he ever strip my membranes. It was pretty darn painful (unlike the first time) and I even recall saying "Whoa... that's definitely not what the other doctor did on Friday!". He told me that he stripped all the remaining membranes, and that it would definitely kick-start my labor if my body was on the cusp of going into labor anyway.

After the appointment I went home and decided to make the best of the rest of my day (instead of waiting around sulking). So, my mom, Charlie, and I went to the pool. I saw quite a few of my neighborhood friends there who all asked me when I was due ("Oh, yesterday") and, again, thought I was crazy for not wanting to be induced. Haha. Swimming in the pool was awesome, especially because my belly felt so light! I was also feeling just a little crampy after having my membranes stripped, so it was nice for relieving those cramps too.

We got home from the pool a little after 2pm. Still no call from the hospital. So, the next thing I did was to take a shower to get refreshed after swimming. Somewhere between showering and drying my hair, I started realizing that I was having a few semi-painful, crampy contractions. I was pretty sure they weren't the usual Braxton Hicks contractions that I had been having for weeks, but I wasn't convinced that it was not false labor. Just to be safe, though, I told Trevor about the contractions and said that I better get working on some work he needed me to do, just in case.

So, from about 3:30-5ish, I went downstairs and did some design work on the computer. The contractions continued, but didn't disrupt my work too much. Just before 5pm, the hospital finally called with an induction time, and I told them I had changed my mind on getting induced anyway. Yay for staying true to myself! Plus, in my mind, I was hoping that I might actually be in labor anyway!

After my work was finished, I suggested that we all go out and get some dinner. I put on my makeup and we drove to Rumbi Grill in Lehi/American Fork just before 7pm. By then, the contractions were continuing and getting more intense, where I'd have to breathe through them a bit, but I still wasn't wholly convinced it was for real. However, by the time I finished my delicious dinner around 8pm, I was having to close my eyes and breathe, they were getting closer together, and I was allowing myself to believe I was in labor. I called the on-call nurse at my doctor to tell her how I was feeling. She suggested waiting a little longer to go to the hospital, especially because I could still kind-of talk through my contractions. (I definitely didn't want to be turned away!)

Contractions intensified on the ride home. We were all getting pretty excited, and I think Trevor was feeling like it was about to be a long night. Haha :) We got home a little before 9pm and got Charlie into bed for the night. I was excited to settle in at home and labor on the sofa while watching TV. And then things changed... quickly. The contractions started coming very hard (I had to get on all fours and breathe when they came), and I realized they were coming so close together I was hardly getting a break! That's when I started feeling a bit more panicky. It's harder to deal with the pain when you don't have much of a recovery time in between. Trevor had started packing a few things to take to the hospital, but I told him he better speed up the process because I was ready to go as soon as possible (it was 20+ minutes away!!). We took a minute and Trevor gave me a blessing of peace, strength, and health during the birthing process. I am truly grateful for my husband and that he is worthy to hold the Priesthood and give me such wonderful blessings.

We got in the car at about 10pm, headed for American Fork Hospital. Trevor got on the phone with his Mom to let her know that things were happening, but while he was talking to her I think he forgot that we were in a hurry because he wasn't speeding at all and he stopped at lights when we probably could have sped through and made it. I was DYING in the passenger seat, holding onto the handle on the ceiling for dear life and breathing hard every time a contraction hit. I was thrilled when we finally found a place to park at the hospital.

We walked up to the third floor and we were put in a room at about 10:30pm. From the way I was reacting to my contractions and how close together they were, the nurses were pretty sure I'd be staying. When they finally checked me, I was dilated to (only!!) about 4.5cm. With all that pain, I had expected more. But, I definitely was progressing fast and hard. By this time, I was getting tired and having a harder time breathing through my contractions without tensing up and moaning a bit. I requested my epidural right away and they ordered it for me. They also showed Trevor how he could push up my bent legs towards my belly to help me take some pressure off while I was feeling contractions. It was really helpful! Thank goodness for such a good teammate!

The anesthesiologist arrived within about 30-45 minutes (can't quite remember) of us getting to the hospital. I'm not a big fan of giant things poking into my spinal column, so I made sure to keep super still while he put the epidural in. Within the next half hour, just before midnight, I was feeling pretty happy! The pain was gone, but somehow I still had a bit of feeling and control left in my legs! Looking back, I'd say that it was the perfect epidural. He must have hit the "sweet spot" because it was the best of both worlds. All epidurals should be that way!
Now that I was feeling relaxed and pain-free, Trevor and I decided it was time to try to get some rest before the show. He slept on-and-off on the sofa nearby while I attempted to close my eyes and get some sleep, but I was just too darn excited. And, let's be honest, with all the interruptions from the nurses coming in to check and poke and prod and ask questions, it's nearly impossible.

Since Dr. Bean was the doctor on call until 6am, he told the nurses that if I chose to get an epidural and it slowed me down, then he would insist that I get a dose of pitocin to speed things along. I agreed, knowing I probably wouldn't need it. Around 1am or so, a nurse came into the room with a bag of pitocin and every intention of using it on me. A little shocked, I reminded her to please check me first, just to see how far I'd progressed. I was at 7cm and fully effaced! She was a little surprised, as I'd only been at a 5 just a little while earlier. Based on my speedy labor, she didn't need to use the pitocin (Thank goodness! Again, let my body do it, please and thank you). She also decided to call Dr. Bean and let him know that I was getting close. He was at another hospital about 15 minutes down the road.

By 3am, I was checked and was fully dilated! I was excited and ready to go, but the doctor still wasn't at the hospital yet. I remember feeling frustrated, thinking "Whoa now, what if I didn't have an epidural? Would you make me wait? How is this fair to my body, to make me wait for the doctor, when I'm ready to go... even if I'm not feeling pain?" I remember asking the nurse quite often if Dr. Bean had finally gotten there yet. And since I was starting to feel a bit of pain and didn't know when I'd be able to push, I had to give myself another little dose of the epidural.

At exactly 4am, Dr. Bean came into my room, suited up and ready to help deliver my baby! I was ready to get the show on the road! Trevor had been sleeping and groggily woke up to come over and help hold a leg. After a few pushes, I heard a nurse ask my husband if he was okay. I looked up at him and he was looking a little pale. He said he was feeling lightheaded and everyone started almost-yelling at him to "please sit down!!" before he passed out. He went to sit on the sofa and I told him it was okay, I could hold up my legs by myself because I could feel them enough to do it on my own. He said later that he felt that way because he was tired and groggy, because it was difficult to watch me working so hard, and from the sights and smells of birth. I don't blame him. I was totally fine... in the zone... but it's got to be a totally different experience to watch someone go through it.

I pushed with Dr. Bean (after he broke my water) for about 15 minutes. I knew I was making some progress, but he told me that we'd have to stop for a bit because he had another delivery down the hall that he needed to be at immediately. I was a little shocked that he was just going to leave me in the middle of pushing. I was extra shocked that they told me not to push for a little while. Say WHAT? I don't think so. I told the nurse I wanted to keep pushing, so she said "okay, we can do some more practice pushes". Practice pushes? No way, Jose... this is for real. So, with the nurse by my side, I pushed with all my might. And then the coolest thing happened... I could feel my baby crowning! I knew I was close, especially when my nurse started saying "Ok, ok, small pushes, take it slow so you don't tear...". Again, I loved my epidural because I could feel everything happening, but it took away enough of the pain that I was able to do it without totally freaking out. So, I feel like I've experienced what is called "the ring of fire" to a small extent, and that makes me happy.

So, I'm sitting there crowning and trying not to push and telling whoever would listen that they BETTER get SOMEONE in the room asap because this baby is coming out. I didn't even care who... just someone needed to be down there to catch my baby! Within a minute or two, a certified nurse midwife with the last name Seamons, I believe, came in from the hallway to help me deliver my sweet girl. Just a push or two later, at 4:37am, she was born! I did it! All on my own (with a little pain relief)! It was such an awesome moment and Trevor was standing (now strongly) by my side. She was here, after about 13 hours of labor and a half hour of pushing!

I had requested that they put her directly on my chest after being born, but since there was meconium in her fluid, they needed to take her away and make sure she didn't get any in her lungs and wipe her off a bit. They ended up keeping her for longer than I'd hoped, doing the APGAR tests and cleaning her up.

Meanwhile, my nurse midwife helped me birth my placenta (and showed it to me... so cool!) and then stitched me up. I kept asking Trevor what she looked like... if she looked like Charlie or not. All he could really say was "uhhh... no... she looks different". I couldn't wait to hold her.

And finally, after what seemed like a long time, they put her in my arms and she laid there with me chest-to-chest for probably an hour. It's the most magical thing in the world. And I decided that she definitely had her Daddy's eyes, very different from Charlie who has my eyes. I also remember thinking that her lips were huge, but later I just realized that was from swelling. :)
While she was lying there and we had a quiet moment just the three of us, we picked a name for her from my list. And we knew she was our Delilah Jane. I also let her try to breastfeed for the first time. She latched right on and it's been great ever since, which is wonderful because I didn't get that experience with my sweet Charlie.

Later that day, Charlie and Kimma arrived at the hospital to meet Delilah for the first time. I'm pretty sure I was on cloud nine during that moment when siblings first met. There's nothing quite like that to make your heart sing. And even though Charlie was only interested for maybe a minute or two, he was still sweet and gentle with her. He also brought her a gift: a plush little doll. And she gave him a gift, too: an awesome play doctor's kit!

The next 36 hours after birth were spent in the hospital with me getting to know and feeding my new baby Delilah, and doing a bit of recovering. I could walk and pee very soon after birth, again a function of an excellent epidural! The meals at the hospital were delicious, one of my favorite parts! Only Delilah and I spent the night at the hospital that night. I sent her to the nursery until she was hungry and they brought her to me. But she never got really upset about eating, which I was glad about. They would just bring her to me when she woke up and started rooting and trying to eat her hand.

We had a few of our closest friends and family come visit us in the hospital, including Trevor's parents and brother Troy, my best friend Chris and her husband Darren, and (not pictured) Jenny Buck and her two sweet kids.

We decided to go home the next day, because home is so much more comfortable (and less expensive!) than the hospital. We were discharged on Wednesday late afternoon and had a pleasant ride home. Delilah seemed to love her car seat and riding in the car!
Delilah is the sweetest little spirit. She does have an intense side to her little personality (if she gets too hungry she will let you know!), but she is such a laid-back and happy baby. I'd say she's even easier than Charlie was, which is saying something because he was a good baby! We are totally in love...

Here's a few more pictures for you to enjoy :)

Uncle Mike came to visit that weekend:
We are truly blessed.