Wednesday, August 3, 2016

The Scary Unknowns of Birth

There were several things I was nervous about going into labor. Luckily I was induced so that took out some of the unknowns.

+My sister was my other support person because Eric doesn't do well in hospital settings. She lives 3 hours away so I wasn't sure how long I could stay home and labor while she traveled over to our side of the state. Luckily I was able to call her and say start driving over, we're having a baby tomorrow!

+C-section or natural? My Dr. said that with induction natural delivery will be our first plan and if we need to go for a c-section we will talk about it at that time. But I was sooo scared to have a c-section. I was afraid of the recovery! Natural recovery was pretty bad too. I was sooo sore and swollen down there for a solid week! After two week's I finally feel normal down there and it's looking formal again! They tell you not to look but um how can you not look?

+Would Eric pass out? This has been a long standing joke with our friends and family that know Eric doesn't do well in medical or hospital type situations. I am happy to say he was conscious the entire time! He did get a bit anxious at times but he would just take a walk and he was fine!

+Would I loose my baby weight or look 6 months pregnant? I think I only looked 3-4 months pregnant the next day. The nurse came in every half hour after I gave birth and would push down on my stomach and I wanted to punch her every time she did it but I think it helped my uterus contract back down. I am no where near back to my pre-baby weight but I'm happier than I thought I would be!

+Who will she look like? Will she have hair? Eric and I were identical babies so it's hard to say who she looks more like. She has a lot of hair, its more blonde in front and darker in the back.

+Will it hurt? Pushing a watermelon out of something the size of an orange sounds painful. I didn't really feel any of it. The epidural numbed me so much that I didn't feel anything but pressure. I could feel when they pulled her out but I didn't feel when I was tearing or when they were stitching me up thank god!

+Will I poop on the table? Nope...or if I did they lied and told me I didn't!

+Would I be able to breastfeed? Would it hurt? Would she latch? Would I have enough milk to feed her? Thankfully she latched and was interesting in eating. I thank god everyday for that! I would never criticize anyone who is giving their child formula because breastfeeding is hard! It's a huge commitment! It hurts in the AM when I need to pump. They are rock hard when I need to pump and they leak!!

+How would life be once we got home? How would Eric and I's relationship be once we were parents? Life at home is wonderful. Eric is amazing with her! He isn't afraid of anything and he jumps in to help me feed her, change her, rock her and just love her! It's seriously the most adorable thing I've ever seen! And seeing the man you love love your daughter is one of the sexiest things ever! I know that sounds weird but it's a big turn on! I understand how people have a hard time waiting the whole 6 weeks! However I don't know how people turn around and do this all over again so soon! Birth control people!

Hope some of these help ease the fears some of you may have as well!

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Emily's Birth Story

Emily Viola Grace was born on July 15, 2016 at 10:12PM. However her story starts 2 days earlier.I had a Dr.'s appointment on Wednesday for my 36 week check up. I was 36 weeks and 5 days and feeling uncomfortable! My doctor has been monitoring my blood pressure because it had been borderline high. I also had traces of protein in my urine in past appointments. During this appointment my blood pressure was higher than normal and the protein was more than a trace. So my Dr. took me out of work for 2 days and had me do a 24 hr. urine test. I had to collect all my urine for 24 hr's which was anything but fun! My Dr. told me that if my levels were high then we would be induced on Friday. I was excited to get a few days off work but knew that the odds were high for us being induced. Thursday after I turned in my sample to the lab Eric and I went out to lunch and I decided to use a gift card Eric got me 10 months ago for my birthday and got a mani pedi at a local spa! I was feeling relaxed and enjoying myself when I got a phone call from my Dr's office. It was my Dr telling me that I was going to have a baby the next day! I was freaking out! 1// I was going to have a baby 3 weeks early! 2// My Dr was off that day so a stranger was going to deliver my baby 3// I'm in the middle of getting my nails done so I can't call or text anyone and freak out! After my semi relaxing mani pedi I called Eric and told him he was going to be a Daddy the next day! We were excited and we were nervous! My sister and her family were supposed to come and visit us that weekend but one of her kids felt sick so they decided not to come. Since Eric doesn't do well in hospitals my sister is my other support person so I called her and said "hey I'm going to need you to jump in the car and drive 3 hours over here because we're having a baby tomorrow!" It couldn't have worked out anymore perfect with her husband planning to be home that weekend so he could watch their kids while she was here with me!!!

Friday July 15, 2016. We woke up at 5am showered, ate breakfast, packed our bags in the car and left for the hospital. 7am we were admitted and by 8am I had my first dose of medicine to induce labor. I was 1-2 centimeters and 50% effaced when we walked in and after 4 hours I had only progressed to 3 centimeters and 75% effaced. I wasn't feeling any contractions or pain with that medicine. At that time they decided to give me petocin. I was terrified becuase I knew petocin was the serious labor drug that got things going. 2 hours after I got the petocin I started to feel contractions. I hadn't had any braxton hicks contractions or anything so I had no idea what I was in for! I started feeling them in my back first. I had back pain throughout my labor and thats what it felt like so I was doing ok at first. Then I started feeling them in my stomach....oh man! A contraction to me felt like the baby was starting to move so at first you think aww the baby is moving... then it turns into this overwhelming tightness throughout my stomach! The contractions were turned on and coming quick! I would have one every 2-3 minutes. Then it quickly turned into every 1 minute. When I say they turned it on, it was like a switch... BOOM YOUR IN LABOR! after 3 hours of contractions I asked for some pain meds. I knew it was time for pain meds because I remember my sister was eating a bag of chips and once I got through one of my contractions I was like "NO EATTNG FROM THE CHIP BAG DURING A CONTRACTION!" hahah she was like ooooook! They offered two options 1// an epidural or 2// a pain med that would wear off in an hour....I looked at the nurse stupid and was like why would I want it to wear off in 1 hour?!?!? So we set up for the epidural around 5pm. I was 3cm when I got the to all those people that make it to like 5, 6, 7cm before getting it, you are ROCKSTARS! Once I got the epidural my parents arrived and Eric's mom, who had been there all day for support for Eric in case he got anxious, were able to come in and see us because I was in a state of heaven! I was able to have conversations, nap and we even got to watch Anjelah Johnson on Netflix which is my favorite!

They did a nurse change around 7pm and the next nurse came in around 8pm to check me and said "OK your at 10cm , lets have a baby" I started to panic a bit! I mean I knew that that's what we were here for but oh man, now it was time to do the hard part...get the baby out! They brought in a ton of machines and a bunch of nurses came in the room to set everything up. Eric got a bit overwhelmed so he went into the waiting room with our parents. I was fine with it because I knew that I needed to focus on pushing her out so I wanted to make sure he was ok and I knew he would be better off in the waiting room with family than in the room stressing about me. Then it just started. They hoisted my knees up and push push push! I pushed for about an hour and a half and it was the hardest hour and a half ever! Since I had the epidural I couldn't feel anything below my belly button. I was trying to push but I couldn't feel anything! They were telling me I was doing great and that her head was crowning but I couldn't feel anything! I was trying so hard but didn't know if I was doing it right. After the first hour I was getting restless and wanted her out! We tried a few different pushing strategies but she was stuck under my pubic bone. After about 20 more minutes of pushing the nurse went and got the Dr. and I knew it was go time. I was getting this little girl out if it was the last thing I did! Seeing the Dr. helped me get in the mindset that it was time for her to come out and meet me! While I was doing the last few pushes I saw a nurse shuffle Eric back into the room with a blanket over his head so he couldn't see anything. He was sitting right next to me when she came out and I was so happy he was there! At 10:12PM Emily Viola Grace decided to make her appearance into the world!

I remember them putting her on my chest and I couldn't believe she was here! I couldn't believe all the unknowns were now known. All of the what if's were put to rest. All of my fears had gone away...she was here! :) I remember feeling a warm trickle of water and saying "she's peeing on me!" which is funny because Eric has a bladder the size of a walnut! So we said she has her Daddy's bladder! I was able to hold her for the first hour with skin to skin while they sewed me up because I tore in two places. After they were done with me Eric did skin to skin with her for a while too. After about an hour we let our family come in to meet her! She was 6lbs 3 oz and 20 inches long.

We had friends and family come visit her over the next few days and we were just in heaven! She latched on right away so we were able to breastfeed which is a blessing. Since she was so tiny they wanted to monitor her temperature and her jaundice level.We left the hospital Sunday afternoon, less than 48 hours after birth, and we were on our own! Everything was going great! We were still getting everything figure out but we were happy to be home. Monday we went to the pediatrician for her few day check up but she had been spitting up some yellow stuff earlier that morning. Being a new mom I didn't know if this was normal but I knew we were going to the Dr. so they would be able to check her out! The pediatrician was extremely concerned about this and her stool color.  I also mentioned she was interested in eating that morning.She had us go down to the ER to have more tests run. They did an ultra sound of her stomach which she hated! They tried to give her an IV in all 4 limbs but were unsuccessful. Then they tried to give her a cathiter to collect her pee but again were unsuccessful. The ER in our town is AWFUL and I should have known better then to go there! I should have gone to ANY other hospital but the pediatrician just told me my 3 day old baby needed to go to the ER so I went to the nearest one possible. NEVER AGAIN WILL I DO THAT! I kept asking if I could feed her with formula and they said they didn't have any. I couldn't breast feed her because she was stressed and so was I so she wouldn't latch. It was the most stressful 7 hour ordeal! Eric went and bought formula so we fed her through a syringe but we didn't want to over feed her and I didn't know how she would react to the formula. After all of her tests came back normal except her jaundice level was super high, they recommended that we go to the children's hospital for an overnight stay. I didn't understand why if everything was normal did we have to go the children's hospital for further observation. When we asked if we had to go there, they said that if we didn't it would be us declining medical advice and that our insurance wouldn't cover any of the tests they just ran. I wanted to punch the nurse in the face when she said that because all the tests she ran were either unsuccessful, or she couldn't run them due to shes an idiot! Thankfully my in-law's were with us this whole time because remember Eric doesn't do well with hospitals, and we were in the ER so lots of things were freaking him out. Thankfully after pleading with the Dr. they let us drive her to the children's hospital on our own instead of having to go by ambulance. Mind you I've been crying this entire time wondering what is going on with my 3 day old child!

When we arrived at the children's hospital we were directly admitted so we didn't have to go through there ER and go through the whole process again! We went straight up to our room where they checked her vitals and asked if I wanted to breastfeed her or give her formula. I told them I had tried to breast feed her 2-3 times in the ER but was unsuccessful so I told them formula would be great. The second they put the bottle to her lips she pepped up! They were super encouraging about breastfeeding and they gave me a breast pump to keep my supply up while we were there. I thought I was still only making colostrum but my milk supply came in that day and I swear I pumped all night! I didn't have time to look at my pump at home yet but the one they let me use in the hospital was AMAZING! I swear I pumped 2oz every half hour which is more than she was needing so we were able to store the rest. I just wanted to pump until I didn't have a drop left because I wanted her to have as much as she needed when she needed it. Eric was like Julie you have to sleep! I hardly slept that night. The children's hospital only did one test on her. They took her blood and ran her jaundice level which was starting to go down because she was starting to eat. They said we needed to flush the jaundice out of her system. She was borderline needing the light but they never felt she needed it. They felt good about how she had been eating and her bowel movements started to become more regulated. They let us go home mid afternoon the next day. The first 72 hours of her life were stressful, hectic, terrifying and over the top. I just wanted to take her home and keep her there. Away from any Dr's and hospitals!

She's doing amazing now! We quickly found another pediatrician that we felt more comfortable with. We did not agree with the local ER and Dr's so we decided to go to another city for her Dr. We have been there twice and I'm happy to say she has been gaining weight, her jaundice has been going away and she is a happy hungry girl! At her two week appointment she was up to 7lb's 1oz! We are still trying to figure a sleep schedule at night but as long as my girl is happy and healthy I'll stay up with her all night!

Her birth story had it's ups and downs but its one I will never forget! Our baby girl is here and we are so happy with the new addition to our family!

Monday, August 1, 2016

Emily Viola Grace has arrived!

I have officially joined the motherhood club! On July 15, 2016 our sweet little Emily Viola Grace was born! Sorry that I have been MIA but it's because I'm still figuring out how all of this works! I can't wait to share her birth story with all of you but for now I have these amazing pictures that tell the story better then I'll ever be able to put it in words!