Monday, July 29, 2013

Madilyn Karlee's Birth

WARNING:  This post is really long.  I took the time while I was alone in the hospital to write out the details of Madilyn's birth like I did for Mila.  So this is the nitty gritty of her delivery.  Feel free to just scroll down to the pictures at the end :)

When they say every labor is different they aren’t kidding.  We were set to induce once again at 39 weeks to ensure I didn’t birth our baby in the car and to ensure that Chase would be present for the delivery since he was tasked to attend a training course for two weeks starting on the 16th of July.  We were instructed to call the hospital at 5AM to see if there was space available.  Wouldn’t you know it, after waking up at 4:15AM to get ready, the hospital was completely full and instructed us to wait for a call when a bed was available.  They wouldn’t end up calling until 10:45AM.  
We arrived just before noon, and I was immediately administered penicillin to treat me for strep B.  The nurse on duty at this time was named Mary—a fun, sociable nurse with a Carolina accent.  We loved her.  She had a rough time placing my IV so I ended up being poked 3 times.  The doctors came to introduce themselves and check me, and after a week of consistent Braxton Hicks I was still only dilated to a 2.  For the next 4 hours we just killed time waiting for the penicillin to work into my system.  Due to the quick delivery of Mila the doctors did not want to risk starting me on pitocin and having me deliver before the penicillin had been in my system for 4 hours.  Little did they know, that wouldn’t be a problem.

At 4:30PM we started pitocin, but had to stop after an hour or so due to the frequency of my contractions.  The staff wanted to be safe and not risk my uterus bursting.  Luckily, my contractions continued on their own without the pitocin.  At 6:45PM the doctors checked me and attempted to break my water, but due to my posterior cervix they couldn’t break the water.  It’s at this time they decided to place a Foley balloon to help mechanically dilate me some more.  Luckily, the nurse, Liz (the night shift nurse whom we also loved) allowed me to be on intermittent monitoring so I could walk around the room and sit on a medicine ball as I worked through each contraction.  I passed the balloon just after 9PM and by this time was dilated to a 4.  The doctors decided to start pitocin again, and so I requested an epidural to help relax me.  The epidural was placed by 10PM.  This is where things got exciting/fast.  The doctors came in at 11:20PM to break my water, which was easy to do now that my cervix had moved a bit.  The doctors believed it would be 2-3 hours before I would be complete.  I was at a 5 when they broke my water and it would take just 45 minutes before I was complete!  Yep, I went from a 5-10 in 45 minutes.  During this time I got the shakes quite a bit and kept communicating to Liz so she would check me.  I really appreciated that Liz was considering how my last delivery went and stayed in the room most of those 45 minutes in order to prep things and check me regularly.  

At 12:15AM the two doctors, Dr Noss and Shaha (a new resident), as well as Liz and two midwives, Kelly and Major Peterson, were in place ready for me to push.  Chase was holding my left leg and Liz was on my right.  I definitely felt the urge to push and the pressure of it all.  I have no idea how so many brave women push without any anesthetic, cause man even with the epidural it hurt!  I also have no idea how I did not feel Mila coming out of me last time.  That was one strong epidural, that’s for sure.  It took just 8 minutes of pushing and Madilyn was placed on my chest.  I then spent the next hour with her on my chest doing skin-to-skin, something I hadn’t been able to do with Mila.  I felt bad though because Chase wasn’t able to hold Madilyn during that time and wouldn’t get a chance to hold her until the next morning since it was so late and we had already decided that Chase should drive home to be there for Mila in the morning.  After the hour of skin-to-skin, Madilyn was cleaned up right there in my room after which she was weighed and measured.  She weighed in at 7 lbs. 9 oz. (an ounce more than Mila) and was 19 ¾ inches (just over an inch shorter than Mila).  She definitely has cheeks like Mila but possibly a rounder face.  Her nose, mouth, and skin complexion also look very similar to Mila, but their eyes definitely set these two sisters apart.  Madilyn has my squinty eyes.  She has a little less hair than Mila did but it’s a similar shade of brown to Mila’s when she was born.  So, possibly we will see it lighten up and have another blonde girl.

So my fears of a baby just falling out of me have been diminished now having gone through Madilyn’s labor.  However, I am fully aware that once my water breaks and my contractions get going I progress quickly.  Plus, I think epidurals really help my progression by relaxing my body a bit.  Although this labor in some ways was really long, I’m grateful that the intense moments went rather quickly.  I’m also grateful for the many prayers and my father’s fast that day because I definitely felt added strength to make it through the delivery.  I’m also glad I had the chance this time to experience working through contractions so that Chase could be a support by lending me comfort, reassurance, and a few massages.  I definitely felt our relationship become closer because of it.  Plus, Chase finally got to experience seeing what really has to take place to bring life into this world.  Madilyn made us work for it, and I’m glad she did.      
My recovery room.  Nice view.  Very spacious.
 One proud sister.  She often times will say, "Look this is my baby sister" to whoever will listen.
Had to get a shot with Daddy before he took off for Charlottesville.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Family Photos

I know I should be posting pictures of our newest edition, Madilyn, and sharing her birth story, but to keep things in order I wanted to post the pictures our friend took for us downtown at the National Cathedral.  Chase doesn't love having his picture taken, but I felt we had lots to document--Mila at 2 years old, my growing belly, and our family before it went from 3 to 4.  So here they are...
 The book that brought about Madilyn's name, the french book series Madeline.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

What we've been up to

So it's been awhile.  One of my big projects that I've been trying to complete before the little one arrives is finishing up our Apple yearbooks.  So time that I would have spent updating this blog was instead used towards completing 7 different Apple books.  Now we just have to bite the bullet and pay for the printing of each of the books.  Yikes!

Anyway, here's a brief recap of May we celebrated Chase's birthday and Mila's 2nd birthday!  She visited a local farm with the neighborhood kiddos and then we had a BBQ that night with a few close friends from church.  
We also enjoyed Memorial Day by venturing downtown and touring one of the three buildings of National Archives and walking around the capital. 
My brother Chip came down from NYC the beginning of June to celebrate my birthday.  We spent the day eating, paddle boating by the Jefferson, visiting the Botanical gardens, and swimming...a perfect day!
We also were visited in June by Chase's sisters, Dayna and Karlee, and our nephews, Gabe and Will.  Despite the "tropical storm" weather, we made it out to see some of the sights.
Trying to get a shot of three kiddos on a metro = difficult.
Just after his sisters left, Chase underwent eye surgery (PRK).  Although a long recovery, Chase is excited to be glasses-free and to finally sport sunglasses.
Then just this past week, my father came into town for the 150th anniversary of the battle of Gettysburg.  We headed up to see the grounds and watch a reenactment of day 2 of the battle.  It was fun to have my dad share his wealth of knowledge with me.  He kept me busy and moving the week he was here, which was nice.  We visited Arlington cemetery (no pictures since it was raining the whole time), the USAF memorial, the National Museum of American History, and the DC temple.
So it's been a summer of visits from family...that and living at the pool.  Mila and I frequent the pool here.  Thank goodness for maternity swimsuits.
I'd post a picture from our maternity/family photo shoot that we did a few weekends ago, but I don't have a CD yet of the pics.  So just imagine a large and in charge belly protruding from me.  I had my last doctor's appointment last Wednesday and the doctor reported that my body is progressing like it did with Mila (dilated to a 2 and almost completely effaced).  So, we are set to induce on Sunday, July 14th, if she doesn't come earlier.  Sunday is my 39 week mark.  We are opting to induce since I'm a bit nervous of a baby coming out of me before making it to the hospital, which is 45 minutes away, after experiencing Mila's grand entrance; since my body responds well to being induced and I can enjoy a nice epidural; and since Chase has to leave for a 2-week training on the 16th.  Yep, poor Chase will witness the birth of his daughter and then have to leave the next day for 2 weeks...but duty calls.  Luckily my mom flies in on Saturday to stay with us while Chase is away.

As for how I'm feeling, I'm feeling Braxton Hicks like crazy and definitely feeling the weight of a low baby in my pelvis, so I'm ready for this chica to arrive, but at least not till after tomorrow.  Tomorrow I have a memorial service to sing at and a dinner to make for a new couple we're having over, so I gots things to do.  Well, stay tuned!