Thursday, March 27, 2014

A few more of the babe

Last Saturday my old neighbors came for a couple of hours and took some pictures of Vivian at 1 week old. He's an amateur photographer and had purchased some new things when they had their baby 3 months ago and was willing to share his time and talent with us. It was fun to try and figure out how to make the shots work. He got some fun and good pictures out of it.

This week has been good. Full of ups and downs for sure. While my parents left, I haven't really been back into the full swing of things yet. My visiting teachers and home teacher and compassionate service leader brought us dinners Monday through today which was very helpful. I have been surprised at how tired I've been.  Driving into Walter's preschool really does me in. I've always been a bit narcoleptic in the car and being newborn sleep deprived makes me so much sleepier. By the time I go in and come back, I am ready for a nap! Vivian was not very fond of the stop and go traffic we encountered one day, and as she was crying, Walter plugged his ears and said, "It was a lot more peacefuller before we had that baby!" haha.

Edward is absolutely in love with "the baby" as he calls her. He wants to hold her, wants to read to her, wants to show her things. He really just wants to include her in everything. It is so cute. He melts my heart. The other boys love her too and are very gentle with her, but there is just something so earnest about the way that Edward includes her.

I'm trying to let go of the idea that things need to get done and just allow myself to be with my kids while I can. She requires a lot of my attention and I want to give as much love and attention to the other kids as I can so they know I still love them too. I'm glad I have a full month off of lessons still. Not quite sure how that's going to all go down when it's time to start back up, but I know the Lord will help strengthen me and things will work out in the end.

Friday, March 21, 2014

39 weeks 2 days: Announcing Vivian Tess

She's a little swollen from delivery and hadn't been washed off yet.
Well, I never thought it would happen, but I had my baby early!

The quick stats:
Vivian Tess
Born Saturday, March 15, 2014, 4:16am
7 lbs 1 oz
20 1/2 in.

This, my friends, is the long version with lots of details you probably hadn't cared to hear, but I'm going to tell anyway because this is my blog.

It was spring break all last week for my boys. The weather warmed up and we were able to play outside a lot. It was a really good week. Matt had extra time left over from his business trip, so he planned to take Friday off so we could have a family fun day before the break was over. Friday rolled around and the boys had been begging to go bowling, so off we went.  I didn't actually bowl, but I helped Walter and Edward with the ramp.  We let them bowl 2 games and then we went to Taco Bell for lunch. That was our wild spring break fling. =)

I hadn't done a whole lot of cooking or grocery shopping over break, because let's face it, grocery shopping with 3 rambunctious boys ages 6, 4, and 2 is about as fun as poking yourself in the eye with a needle. So, dinner ended up being left over taco bell and peanut butter sandwiches and isagenix shakes with spinach to help round it out.  I promised myself I'd go shopping on Saturday.

Friday happened to be pi(e) day (3.14). Now, I've never actually made pie for pi day, but after I put the boys to bed, I set out to make a blueberry pie since that was the only kind of pie I had all the ingredients for. It was topped with custard and a strudel crumble. It came out of the oven around 10 and I stayed up till 10:30 to let it cool enough to eat some. Yum. It was really good. I got to bed around 11.

40 weeks at home
Matt stayed up gaming, and as he came into bed around 1 am, I was getting out of bed with contractions.  I figured it was a false alarm, unsure if it was really contractions. They were different than what I had had with Edward. With him the doctor stripped my membranes and I had two days of contractions that weren't productive or painful since he was sitting posterior.  Anyway, back to Vivian's birth. Matt plugged the cameras in to charge before he went to bed since they were both dead, just in case. He told me to go back to bed thinking we had 2 days more to go. So I laid there until about 1:40.  At that point I couldn't sleep so I got up and turned on my computer to time my contractions. When I started timing they were about 4 min. apart. Within 1 hour they were hard enough that I was kneeling on the side of a chair through the contractions and they were less than 3 min. apart.

At that point (2:40ish) I started getting dressed to go to the hospital and tried to pack up the last of my bag in between contractions. I woke Matt up and told him we needed to go to the hospital. I tried calling our neighbors who had offered to help, but got no answer (of course, since it was nearly 3am). So Matt went over and knocked on their front (bedroom) window like he instructed.  Brother Clarke came out and gave Matt a double high five and said he'd be right over. He got dressed and came over as chipper as could be. We left our house at 3:15.

Because I had 2 previous c-sections (read Dean's story here, and Walter's story here), not many doctors would take me on as a vbac candidate. I found an amazing doctor, Dr. Cummings, an hour from me who specializes in such deliveries. I delivered Edward with him (read his story here) and have been seeing him for this pregnancy as well. So, off we went to the hospital an hour away, passing a different hospital on our way.  I listened to my birthing music on the way with headphones cranked up loudly. My contractions were coming every 2-3 minutes. About 15 min. from the hospital I started getting pretty worried. The contractions were coming hard and fast. I pretty much moaned and screamed the last 10 min. of the drive. I knew I was close. While I didn't know it, I was in transition labor. The car was hot. The seat belt was too tight and low. I kept telling Matt to run red lights (he only ran 1 that switched right as we got there). He mostly stayed about 10-15 mi. over the speed limit. He didn't realize how close I really was.

When we got to the hospital, he got out and went in without me (and I was like, "hey, what about me??") to get a wheel chair and let them know I was coming. I got out and walked in and could barely get into the wheel chair because the baby was so low. I was screaming and moaning still, and I think I was embarrassing Matt a little that I was being so loud. They asked how far apart my contractions were and Matt said, "Oh, about a min. Maybe less?"  The lady at the front desk quickly called back to let them know I was on my way, and wheeled me to the L&D while Matt stayed behind to get me checked in. They took me right back to a room where a wonderful nurse April (who also helped deliver Edward) was waiting for me. I furiously stripped off my underclothes and stayed in my skirt and bra. She tried to listen to the baby's heart beat but had a hard time getting anything because she was so low. I was hanging on her, moaning and hugging her. She was awesome.

She had me lay down on the bed to check how dilated I was. I was at an 8 with a floppy lip of the cervix left and my water hadn't broken yet.  When she was done I got up and said I needed to go to the bathroom. She told me I couldn't go sit on the toilet and assured me it was the baby coming down instead. She said to squat on the side of the bed. I did and immediately told her I needed to push! And push I did. She then said my water broke. In less than a minute my wonderful doctor, who happened to be on call, walked in ready to catch the baby. I pushed again. He told me I was really close and needed a good, constant push.  Matt walked in and held my hand from across the bed. I gave him another good push. They said they had her head out but there was a nuchal chord around her face since came so fast, so he got her untangled and told me to give him one more good push. I did and immediately felt a gush, felt her body slip out, and felt such relief.  It was AWESOME!  I heard Matt say, "Well, it really is a girl!"  We got to the hospital at 4:04 and I delivered her at 4:16 am! No tearing, no episiotomy, no c-section, no complications. I was sooooooooo grateful to have my second vaginal delivery after having had 2 c-sections and being told that doctors just won't do vbacs after multiple cesarean sections. I feel so blessed to have found such a wonderful doctor who was willing to let me do what I wanted. He is retiring in June, so I am glad that we feel like we're done at this point. Anyway...

a few hours after delivery after she'd been cleaned up
They had me lay in the bed since I had been standing/squatting by the bed during her delivery.  They laid her on me immediately and it was just amazing. I couldn't believe it.  Not long after they weighed and measured her in the room with me. 7 lbs. 1 oz. and 20 1/2 in. long. My smallest baby yet! =) I delivered the placenta and that was that really. They let her stay with me the whole time and she never left the room. She nursed and latched really well. I didn't get to do that with Dean or Walter being c-sections, and Edward was so sleepy he didn't want to nurse! We stayed in that room with her in a bassinet next to me until after shift change. I didn't have an IV or anything, so they gave me a shot of pitocin in my thigh.

After I delivered Edward last time, I passed out probably 6 times over the next 24 hours. The nurses remembered this and made sure to have ammonia handy and an extra person walking me to and from the bathroom the first few times, just in case. I didn't pass out once! It was great. I felt great.

I had been group b strep positive when they tested me at 36 weeks, so because I didn't have time to get the antibiotics during delivery, they had to keep us for 48 hours (which was really longer since I had to wait for the doctors to be discharged) to observe her.

Matt stayed with me until I changed rooms and then he went home to the boys. It was hard not having a phone or a computer or internet access to update everyone. We called my parents at 5:30 am their time to let them know I'd had the baby. They quickly searched for flights and decided it would be better to just drive. So they spent Saturday getting ready, rented a car, and left on Sunday. They arrived on Monday seriously 2 min. after we got home from the hospital. Perfect timing. Matt brought the boys once on Sunday to see us. Edward kept waving and saying in a high pitched voice, "oooooh. Cute. Hi baby." Dean just wanted to rock her and sing "Rock-a-bye baby", and Walter just wanted to see her from a distance, not wanting to hold or touch her. He warmed up and eventually said she was "so cute and tiny" but still maintained a bit of a distance.

It was hard not having internet access or phone or computer to update everyone. But we made it home on Monday afternoon.  My parents walked in my door seriously 2 minutes after we got home from the hospital. They have been SAINTS! My kids have loved every minute of having them here. They have played hard every day. They've helped clean my house, take care of my kids, they've taken care of me, and it has been wonderful.  It was my mom's birthday today and we had fun celebrating together. I am so blessed to have come from such wonderful parents, blessed to have such wonderful and supportive friends and neighbors and ward, blessed to have such amazing kids. I am blessed to have experienced birth the way I wanted to. Blessed to have a wonderful husband. Blessed to know that it doesn't get much better than this.

Edward is her biggest fan among the brothers
A bit of a sleep smile

Happy 65th birthday to my beautiful mom!