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Thursday, February 16, 2017

The Birth of Our Son - DUNCAN JAMES

Sorry for the big long delay in posting, the last 6 weeks have just flown by.  It's to have so many readers though that care about my story, I got a ton of messages and emails asking how things went so thank you so much for that!

I am happy to report that on December 29, 2016 @ 8:59pm, our son Duncan came into this world.  He weighed 8 pounds 4 ounces and measured 21 inches long.

As was planned with our doctor, due to our high risk status, we decided to induce early, so at 38 weeks and 6 days we checked into the hospital at 7pm.  We fully intended on being administered drugs to begin contractions and dilation, but when we got there and I was hooked up to monitors, they informed me that I was already dilated 2 centimeters and I was having so many contractions that they couldn't time then, it basically read as one continuous contraction on the printout.  They referred to this as an irritable uterus. It didn't really bother me and I wasn't in any kind of pain.  We decided to just let my body carry on and continue what it needed to do naturally.  So we sat back and watched a few different movies on demand on our TV ( great feature Sharp Mary Birch has).

At about 3am, I decided to take my first pain meds.  It was just a small dose in my IV, but it helped take the edge off so I could sleep.  Both Ryan and I closed our eyes and nodded off for a few hours.

Sometime in the morning, after continuing to have contractions and dilate on my own, something dramatically changed.  Literally one second I was talking to my husband and laughing about

something, to the next second being in so much pain I couldn't even talk.  I could barely breath for that matter.  He rang for the nurse to get help.  This was literally the only time during labor that I was scared.  I couldn't even open my eyes, I could barely breath. Then about 2 minutes later my water came gushing out.  So that's what it was, my water broke but because his head was in the way, nothing came out until I moved so we didn't know what it was.  Unfortunately they found meconium in the fluid so the NICU team was called.  That is standard procedure in case the baby aspirated any of it and there are any issues.  So they informed me that extra people will be on hand at the delivery.

The nurse asked if I wanted some more pain meds and I said "we are way beyond that, get me the epidural!".  Now came the tricky part.  The anesthesiologist came and said he was getting called into a c section and that he had to do my epidural quickly or I would have to wait 45 more minutes.  I was still in so much pain that I couldn't talk or move on my own.  Luckily the nurses said they were just going to move for me so I wouldn't have to wait.  They all counted to 3, propped me up and he was able to get it in my back in one shot.  Within a minute or two I was back to normal, no pain, and we continued to watch movies.  Luckily that was all the pain I fell for my labor.

At around 1pm, I was dilated 9 1/2 centimeters and it was looking like we would be getting ready to push soon.  That wasn't the case.  I got stuck at 9 1/2.  After a few hours of staying there, the doctor decided to administer pitocin.  Another few hours went by and still only 9 1/2.  So more pitocin was given.  After 6 hours of that, our doctor said she wouldn't let it go on any longer and we decided to move on to a c section.

The hardest part of a c section is that you are separated from your spouse for what seems like forever but it's probably only about 20 - 30 minutes.  When they finally let Ryan in the operating room, I was so glad to see him, but we were still kind of separated.  My arms were tied down and he was in a chair next to me.  There were so many people in that room and it was pretty loud.  We had the regular staff, an extra nurse for me and and the NICU team for the baby.  During the c section, we quickly realized why I could dilate to 10, hi shead was too big and it would have never fit.  Not only that, he was so wedged in there, even with a c section, they still had to use a vacuum to get him out.  Our doctor was actually laughing because she just couldn't believe how big he was.  He was whisked away by the NICU team and everything checked out, no breathing issues, YAY!
Our first family photo

So a pretty uneventful birth, the recovery, not so much.  When I was in teh operating room, I was shaking uncontrollably and that was due to a reaction to a medication from the anesthesiologist. No one seemed too concerned but it sure scared Ryan.  When I was in recovery, they gave me medication to counter that and it wasn't working so I was still shaking so they wouldn't let me hold the baby.  They had Ryan do the skin to skin.  Then they noticed my oxygen levels dropped and they put me on oxygen.  We were downstairs in recovery for about 3 hours.

Duncan in the NICU
We finally made it to our room sometime around 1am I think. Then the nurses came in and had to do stuff with the baby.  They finally hand him to me and I finally am holding my son for the first time.  I was exhausted and so was the baby and my husband.  We put him down in his bassinet next to me and turned off the lights.  About 10 minutes later the lights came on, the nurse said I had something called chorioamnionitis which they referred to as chorio as if I knew what that meant, and told me they had to take my baby and send him to the NICU and that I needed to go back on oxygen again.  This was a whirlwind of information thrown at us in the middle of the night after 24 ours of labor.  We didn't understand what was going on.

I sent Ryan to the NICU to be with the baby because I wasn't allowed down there while I was on oxygen.  Later it was explained to us that chorioamnionitis is an infection most commonly contracted after a lengthy labor.  So I was treated for this infection by given several high doses of antibiotics through my IV.  The baby was sent to the NICU also for antibiotics and monitoring in case he came down with an infection.  Luckily he never did but he still stayed down there for 3 days while they waited on his cultures to come back to prove that he was ok.   The hardest part was that I couldn't see him the whole first day.  Luckily Ryan could go down there so he was with him a lot.

We were finally released from the hospital on January 2nd to start our life together as a family.

I would like to thank everyone for following our story and for all the support you have shown us.  It has truly meant a lot and we couldn't have made it hear without you all!

Much Love,
Ryan, Heather & Duncan

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Today is the Day - 38 weeks & 6 days

   We finally made it to the end of this pregnancy and the beginning of the birth.  Today is the big day.  It has been a very long week.  Due to the diagnosis of decreased fetal movement, we have been to triage every day for additional testing and some much needed peace of mind.  
   The schedule for today is one last appointment with the doctor for a final check on the baby and to see how I'm progressing so she can decide what medications to give, what dosage and when to induce labor.  Then we check into the hospital at 7pm.  Their estimate is that the baby will be born sometime between the afternoon of the 29th and at the latest the morning of the 30th.  We are still hoping for a vaginal delivery which means it will take longer and move a bit slower.  At this point we don't really care.  Our birth plan is for a healthy baby, whatever else happens, happens.  So in between now and then I am having my last prenatal massage, then having dinner before we check into the hospital.  The rest of the day will be spent trying to remain calm and keeping busy.
   I am filled with all kinds of emotions today.  I am excited to have actually made it this far and the thought of finally holding my baby in my arms is overwhelming.  It has been such a long journey.  It's surreal that this moment has actually come to be.
   I am extremely nervous for the birth, there is just so much that could go wrong and when there is a chance of something going wrong with us, it usually does.  We recently found out that the umbilical cord is wrapped around his neck.  Our doctor told us that it happens to 1 out of 4 babies and usually they can slip it off during labor, yet its just another thing to cause us worry.  We are still dealing with the diagnosis of decreased fetal movement and they show concern over that too.  I am happy that the pregnancy is almost over and these pregnancy worries will go away soon.  I'm looking forward to being able to just look at the baby and see that he is ok instead of having to wait for an appointment and the doctor freaking us out before we know all is ok.  
   And finally sadness, it really hits home today the loss of Baby B.  Every time we went to our appointments this last week it comes up as part of the questions the nurses as me.  

  Looking forward to writing my next post and announcing the birth of our son!

Thanks for Reading,
HEATHER


Thursday, December 22, 2016

38 Weeks w/ 1 Week To Go

It's the final countdown!!!  We are officially a week away.  Our induction is next Wednesday with a birth more than likely on Thursday.  We start every morning now with a trip to triage and today was no exception.  Luckily he was moving a bunch so the test looked great with no issues. Since he was not moving too much on Monday or Tuesday, it's a huge relief when we can get him going and moving.   My fluid levels are good.  Cervix is still closed and no contractions long enough to count, just little ones every 10 - 15 minutes it seems.  So as of right now it looks like he will hold on for the full week, which sounds like it's soon, but this week is going to crawl by.  It's just so difficult to keep fearing the worst.  At least when he is born, I can just look over to see he is breathing instead of having to trek to the hospital every day.  It's never a good thing when they know you by name at the hospital.

I don't have any new pictures for today because he was nestled with his head on my placenta as a pillow so you couldn't see too much that really looked like a face.

Thanks for Reading,
HEATHER


Tuesday, December 20, 2016

37 Weeks

Yesterday we had another scare, everything is OK now, but I am really getting tired of all these bumps in the road.  
Our little guy has had a pretty regular routine for the last several months.  He wakes up between 3am and 4am.  It may sound like it's early and not fun, but I actually love it.  Its like its our special time together. Anyways, this particular morning, he wasn't active at all. I got up and ate something and still nothing. By the time we got to our morning appointment I was in panic mode. Things just got worse when our doctor couldn't wake him up either. He still had a strong heartbeat, he just wouldn't wake up. Anyways after about 10 minutes our doctor did get him up and moving but it was a long 10 minutes. During that 10 minutes he was talking about sending us to the hospital and having our baby that day. In the end, because they were able to get him moving, then sent us for monitoring instead. All the test came back ok and we were sent on our way.
photos from our last scan
Today it wasn't as dramatic,  but we still had a tough time of waking him up.  So I'm on edge and nervous every moment I don't feel him. We are 8 days away from our induction date which is inducing at 39 weeks.  Because of these set backs and for our peace of mind, we are now scheduled to go to triage every morning to be monitored from now until when the baby comes.
Like I told my therapist today, I am so ready for the baby to come and start worrying about parenting issues rather than having all these pregnancy worries, I am just so over all of it. We have definitely had our fair share so enough already!  So fingers and toes are crossed that this little guy stays active or my water breaks and we can welcome him into the world sooner.

Thanks for Reading,
HEATHER

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

36 weeks

36 weeks and exactly 21 more days to go.  The feeling of HOLY CRAP, WE AREN'T READY has definitely set in.  Lots and lots of things to do to get ready, but everyone tells me that you are never really totally ready for what's about to happen.

We are on our new doctor schedule.  We go twice a week for a non-stress test, once a week for an OB check and we will have one more anatomy scan before he makes his grand appearance.   

We have completed the most important classes and have two more to go.  We have the car seats and the cribs set up.  Hospital bag is packed.

I have been experiencing contractions for a few weeks now.  They are very short, the longest one has been 15 seconds.  However, the mucus plug is still intact and my cervix is closed so we aren't quite ready yet.  This guy needs to cook a bit longer.

After this very long journey, I'm just so excited to finally meet this little man.

Thanks for Reading,
HEATHER



Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Week 33

Our week 33 check up came a few days early because of scheduling.  Today was very exciting.  Today we came up with our delivery schedule.  From the beginning we had talked about being induced because our doctor was uncomfortable letting us go full term.  Today we decided on being induced on December 28th which would more than likely mean a delivery on December 29th.  December 29th is exactly 39 weeks.  He said at 39 weeks, the chances of the baby needing the NICU is about 1% and that's probably the lowest it ever gets.

I am very excited that we have a due date finally and we can start planning around that.  I really like that I won't constantly we sitting around worried when my water will break and when will I go into labor?  I have plenty already on my plate to worry about.

We are keeping busy whether we like it or not, with a ton of classes.  So far we have taken How to Avoid Preterm Labor, Cloth Diapering, and Breastfeeding 101.  We are about half way done with our Labor & Delivery Class (my least favorite).  Still to go we have Cord Blood Banking, Newborn 101, Infant CPR, Baby Wearing and Baby Sleep Strategies.  We also have lots and lots of doctors appointments.  We have non-stress tests, anatomy scans and OB checks.  I like all the doctors appointments though.  Everytime we go it just reassures us that everything is ok.

Looking forward to meeting our little guy soon!
Thanks for Reading,
HEATHER

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Week 30

  The most exciting thing about week 30 was going into our regular anatomy scan and about halfway through, she switched it to 3D and we saw our handsome baby boy.  It was amazing to actually see his face. That was definitely a highlight for both of us, especially since it was a surprise.  It's amazing to finally his his little face and start to imagine what he will actually look like.    The rest of the anatomy scan went ok. Baby is now 3 lbs 14 ounces. He is super long now and basically takes up my whole belly.  That day, he was stretched out horizontally across my belly with his legs tucked under my ribs. He isn't too uncomfortable yet, but I've been told that will change. 


  The newest issue that came up is when they measured the amount of amniotic fluid, it's on the higher side. There is nothing to do about that now except notice it and keep an eye on it.  The other issue I am dealing with is I have been experience moments of becoming severely lightheaded and dizzy with a racing heart. When I talked to the doctor about it, she said it's probably just being pregnant, but with our situation , she didn't want to take any chances. She sent me over to Sharp Hospital for an EKG.  The test went fine and there were no issues. She also ordered a blood pressure cuff and wanted me to test every time I'm having an episode.   So far I have tested 4 times. Each times my numbers are about 92 over 52 ish with a pulse of about 110.  Again this is another thing that is borderline too low that we will be monitoring.  The good news is the gestational diabetes is under control and there isn't much going on there, so at least we have that.  We will still monitor and test my blood for the time being and keep an eye on that.

Thanks for reading,
HEATHER