Monday, June 9, 2014

Graham David

Well, it's been a really long time since I wrote on the blog. But I think this is the best place to post Graham's birth story, so here it is!

I had two main concerns with this little guy’s pregnancy. First, I really wanted to have a VBAC (Vaginal Birth After Cesarean). This was a problem because the small hospitals in our area no longer allowed VBACs due to understaffing and insurance problems. I consulted with my doctors extensively on if I would even have a chance of a VBAC. I reviewed the file for Preslee’s c-section to find out the real cause for it.
After reviewing that, one of my doctors gave me a 50/50 percent chance of having a successful VBAC. That was good enough for me to drive 45 minutes away to a hospital and doctors that do allow VBACs for a consult. After we attended that appointment, Dave and I left even more confused and didn’t feel comfortable with continuing treatment with that doctor. So that left us to stay with the doctors we trusted and a hospital close to home, which also meant that I would have a repeat c-section. I really wanted the experience of having a vaginal birth but it just didn’t seem to be in the cards for me. I was disappointed because, with Preslee’s c-section, I had to be alone in the operating room while they stitched me up and alone in the recovery room until my spinal had worn off a little. I missed Preslee’s first bath, and the first couple hours of her life while I was in recovery. I was also scared of recovering from a c-section with a toddler and a newborn at home to take care of.

My other concern with having a planned c-section was that I really wanted to go into labor so I would know that this baby was ready to be born. I was nervous that my due date would be off and we would end up taking out a baby who wasn’t ready to be born and would need NICU treatment. The small hospitals up here do not have NICUs so the baby would have to go to Spokane for treatment if that were to happen. Which would have been so sad to have to be away from home and from Dave and Preslee while healing from a c-section and a struggling newborn. We weren’t planning this pregnancy, so I didn’t know the dates of my last period or anything. We were trusting the early ultrasound dates which could be wrong by a few weeks. I just wanted to make sure this baby was ready to be in the world and I didn’t want to take him out too early.

One thing that did settle my nerves about having a planned c-section was that the hospital was trying to keep baby with mom as long as possible. They allowed the baby to rest on mom’s chest while she was getting stitched up in the operating room and they let mom recover on the OB floor with the baby instead of making her recover in the Recovery room without the baby. They also waited to weigh the baby, give him a bath or any shots until mom was ready. I loved the thought that I would we with my little guy and he didn’t need to be taken away from me at all. Also Dave could stay with me instead of going with the baby. Best idea ever!

We finally settled on a planned c-section on May 8th, five days before my due date. This date also worked best for Dave and his finals, as well as my parents coming up to take care of Preslee while I was in the hospital.
My parents showed up on the night of the 7th and went to dinner with us. We came home, put Preslee to bed, chatted with my parents, and then they went to their hotel to get some sleep. Dave had a last minute final to do before we went to the hospital in the morning (we were supposed to be there at 6:00 am) so he stayed up trying to finish. With a planned c-section, they don’t want you to eat or drink anything after midnight, and I knew I would be very thirsty, so I stayed up waiting for Dave and sipping water until 11:30. Dave finally finished his final at around 1:00 am and he came to bed.
At 2:00, I rolled over in bed. It was especially difficult for me to turn over that time, so I stopped and rested on my back for a few minutes. As I laid there, I felt like I was peeing my pants. So I hopped up and ran (ok, I struggled up and waddled) to the bathroom. As I sat there, the water just kept coming and coming and I knew my water had broke because this was exactly how it felt when my water broke with Preslee. I stood up, just to make sure, and felt another gush as I stepped into the tub. I called for Dave, who had barely had an hour of sleep, and told him my water had broke. He called the hospital to see if we needed to come in or if it would be ok if we tried to get some rest and come in when we were scheduled to come at 6:00. The nurse said that if I could feel the baby moving, I could stay home and try to rest. If I hadn’t felt the baby move in an hour, I needed to come in. So I laid down on a pile of towels to see if I could get him to move. But I couldn’t eat or drink anything to get him going, so after about an hour and a half, I hadn’t felt him so we decided we needed to go to the hospital at least to get monitored.
I called my parents to come stay with Preslee and apologized that they had paid for a hotel that they couldn’t sleep in. Then Dave and I went to the hospital at about 3:30 am.

They got me on the monitors and the baby was doing just fine. I was contracting small, painless contractions every 10 to 15 minutes. I thought that since my water had broke, I could maybe be the first c-section of the day instead of the second, but they told me as long as I wasn’t contracting too bad, I would just wait until my scheduled time at 8:00 am. So Dave and I tried to get some rest in the hospital. 
It took two tries to get my IV in and then they gave me a bunch of antibiotics and fluids. It was a positional IV, so I had to keep my hand twisted kinda funny in order to get the meds into me, so when I finally dosed off and relaxed a little, a nurse would come in and say I had to keep my hand twisted so my IV would go in. It was a pain.

At about 6:30 or 7:00, the doctor came in to check on me and let me know he was ready to go, the anesthesiologist came in and explained the spinal to me and asked if a student could give me the spinal. I was hesitant about that because my body does not cooperate during medical procedures, and I was especially nervous about getting a spinal because my epidural with Preslee was terrible, but I said it was ok as long as the anesthesiologist was right there by him. He assured me that he would be there. He also said that my doctor had requested that I receive a tap block, which is a shot on either side of my incision that will be a pain relief for 18-24 hours after my surgery. He said that they would do this while I was still numb with my spinal and would only take a few minutes after my surgery.

Finally they wheeled me up to the OR. Dave had to wait outside while they did my spinal and I didn’t like that at all. When they were prepping me, my nerves got the better of me and I started crying. There were three nurses around me, one for me to lean on (who called herself “Mama Jo”. “You just lean on Mama Jo.” “Mama Jo won’t let anything happen to you.”) one for me to squeeze her fingers off (Her name was Kayla and she was also my recovery nurse. She was simply amazing) and one to wipe my nose and tears off my face.

Well, the student anesthesiologist missed getting the spinal in the first time. It sent shocks down my right leg and made me jump and squeak. Then the anesthesiologist had to try two more times before, finally, I felt warm tingles in my left foot instead of sharp shocks and zings down my leg and in my back. They laid me back and waited for the medicine to work it’s way up my body. They finally let Dave in and I felt much better having him there with me. It took a long time for them to get my spinal in, so Dave looked relieved when they finally let him in too. The first thing I said to Dave when he came in was “I am not having any more kids. This sucks.”

Because I had scar tissue from my previous c-section, the first part of the surgery took a lot longer than I remember with Preslee’s. I kept asking the student anesthesiologist what was going on. He had resumed care over me after the spinal was done. He was actually super nice and very personable. When I felt nauseous, he fixed it right away and I felt almost instant relief. He finally told me that the baby was almost ready to come out!

At 9:07 am, my baby boy was born! He cried instantly and so did I. The doctor told me that he had actually come out mooning everyone! He was Frank Breech inside of me.  

I started shaking pretty badly while I was holding him and they draped blankets and warm towels on me and the baby.
They took him over to wipe some stuff off of him and do his APGAR scoring. Dave got to cut his cord while he was over there too. They kept him for 7 minutes to do that scoring (he got a 9 and a 10, which is perfect) and then he was placed on my chest for the rest of the surgery. I loved looking at him and he loved being snuggled in close. I could tell that he was a lot bigger than Preslee because the little newborn hat they put on him wouldn’t stay on his big head. His cheeks were so chubby that, while he was laying on me, he couldn’t open his eyes! I was so smitten and loved looking at him and stroking his cheeks while they finished the surgery.

When they were done, the baby had gotten a little cold while being on me and they said they could take him down and weigh him and then I would be done with my tap block and could meet them back down on the OB floor. I told Dave to go with them and then they started my tap block. I thought it would be two quick shots, but they actually had to get an ultrasound machine out and put this mega needle in between the right muscle layers so it took a little longer than I expected. But we finally got out of the OR and went to the OB floor. I was shaking and shivering really badly by then and the anesthesiologist said that almost every mom gets that way after a c-section. His theory was that the spinal made it so the adrenaline of birth couldn’t happen until the spinal started wearing off, so when it did start to wear off, all the adrenaline built up had to expel somehow (I didn’t need it to labor or push out a baby), so we shake and shiver. I was worried that they wouldn’t let me hold the baby, but they said it was fine. I also started itching, especially my face.

When we got back to the OB floor, Dave and the baby were just heading out of the nursery. Dave said proudly that our baby boy was 8 pounds, 7 ounces! Two pounds bigger than little Preslee!
Recovery was a little bit of a blur. I held our baby and nursed. He was a champ at nursing right from the beginning. Kayla, my awesome recovery nurse, gave me meds, got a pump on my IV so I wouldn’t have to hold my hand funny, pushed on my uterus to make me contract (OUCH!). I itched my face, tried to wiggle my toes, and slowly stopped shivering and shaking. We took a few pictures of him and tossed around names for him. Dave didn’t like Enoch for him and said that he liked Graham. I still liked Seth and Breckan for him, but liked Graham too. I told him I was too tired to make any decisions. I asked the nurses if we could wait to bathe him until Preslee could come and help. The nurses were totally fine with waiting. We just got to cuddle and recover for a few hours, which was so awesome.

Preslee came to meet her baby brother at about 11:00. She loved loved loved him right from the beginning. Grandma and Grandpa took very good care of her and spoiled her rotten. My dad thought it was crazy that we didn’t have a name for him yet and kept tossing out possibilities. Preslee got to help them bathe the baby and got her very own big sister backpack. The nurses loved seeing how cute she was with her little brother. When grandma and grandpa and Preslee left to have lunch and take a nap, Dave and I napped too.  The nurses took little baby boy and gave him some newborn shots, got his footprints and measured him (20 inches! Two inches longer than Preslee!) while Dave and I rested.

When we woke up and nursed again, we tossed around names again. We actually kinda settled on Seth and then Dave called him Seth. It felt so wrong to call him that. So we went to Breckan, which didn’t quite feel right either. Dave finally said that he felt his name should be Graham right when he saw him. We both tried the name on him and it felt right. But none of the middle names we had went with Graham. I finally asked Dave if we could use David as a middle name and he said that I could! So Graham David it is! We both love love his name and it fits him so well.

Preslee and Grandma and Grandpa came back after a few hours and we told them that his name was Graham David. I don’t think Grandpa liked the name, but we still love it. ;)

Nursing continued to go well and my recovery was pretty normal. I was able to get out of bed that night and take a shower the next morning. By Saturday the 10th, I was ready to get out of the hospital! The doctor cleared me, but because I was considered an “early check out” I had to go back on Monday to get checked out.
When we left the hospital, Graham was 7 pounds 14 ounces and hated his car seat! He screamed most of the way home and he still doesn’t like it very much at 4 weeks old!

We are so blessed with this baby boy. My whole experience was so great with awesome nurses and wonderful, caring staff. I am so very blessed and so glad that my two main concerns were addressed. I knew the baby was supposed to be born that day because my water broke at home! I knew that he was ready to be born! Also, there was also absolutely no way that I could have had a VBAC because they would have found out that the baby was Frank Breech and I would have had a c-section anyway! I am so thankful for the way things turned out and I know we made the best choices for the baby, our family, and me. I don’t have any guilt over taking the baby too early or any regrets about having another c-section. It all worked out exactly how it’s supposed to and I am so thankful for that!

We love our little family so much and Preslee is a fantastic big sister. We have some jealousy and attention issues with her, but they are getting better.


Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Not so fun summer adventures

This summer has already been full of adventures. We have moved to Missoula MT for Dave's internship and have been staying with my very kind aunt and uncle while we found a place to live. Well, we found a place a bit closer to town and living with a friend of a cousin. He has a big house right on the river and didn't want any rent for the summer, just some chores done to make his house sell-able. So today we were moving into his house which has these stone stairs that are jagged on the edge. These stairs are pretty sketch, they're tiny and Dave has to duck to go down them. I have been worried about Preslee and these stairs, but we have a baby gate to keep her off of them, so I thought it wouldn't be big deal.

So before Dave had to go to work, we moved a few things in. We were getting ready to leave and I grabbed Preslee and headed up the stairs. Well I started to trip and these stairs are so hard that I just wanted to make sure Preslee was OK and out of the way. So as I was falling, I set Preslee down on the second to the top stair and didn't have time to break my own fall at all. I hit my left knee hard on the jagged edge of the stairs. It just felt like I scraped my knee pretty bad like when you fall off a bike on the asphalt, so I hobbled up the rest of the stairs. Dave heard it and came running inside. I handed him Preslee as I looked down at my knee. When I saw my jeans starting to get soaked with blood, I knew it was more than a scrape. I peeled up my jeans and saw a bright red line. I thought "Oh that's not too bad" but Dave had a different reaction. He said "OK! Let's go! Don't look at it!" He ran and got some paper towels for me to press on the scratch and stop the bleeding, ran out to the car and got Preslee in her car seat, ran back and cleaned up the blood soaked floor. I said "oh its not that bad, let's just see if we can find a bandaid." Dave looked at me and said "No, Karlee, you need stitches. We need to get into the car right now and go to the hospital." Then I peeled off the wad of paper towels and looked a little better. After that, I knew my argument was null and void. I needed stitches... bad.

So after driving 30 mins to a quick care, we found out that they didn't take insurance. Drove 10 more mins to another family office, they don't take Idaho insurance, ended up in the ER getting stitches. The doctor started stitching me up and then decided that it was so deep that he needed to consult the orthopedic surgeon to make sure he was doing it right. Then came back, undid the stitch he already did and put a few internal stitches and five external stitches in it. By this time, I was starting to get feeling back and could feel when he poked me with the needle, so he also had to use super glue to stitch me up. He told me I have to see the orthopedic surgeon tomorrow to make sure everything was OK.

Alright so here's the pictures. Warning: they are fairly gruesome. Stop reading now if you're squeemish.

Waiting in the ER
Close up
In the hospital, feeling good... kinda.
More ouchiness....

All stitched up and waiting for the orthopedic surgeon tomorrow. 

I'll keep all of you updated with how it's going. Meanwhile, we'll move all of our stuff into the house with the crappy stairs and just camp out downstairs, going up and down as little as possible. Haha... And try to keep up with a one year old while I'm supposed to be on crutches. Oi.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Preslee is 1!

I'm a big blogging slacker. I thought I would blog a lot more when I had kids, but free time or during naps is precious cleaning, reading, resting time for me. I have posted pictures and updates on facebook and I feel like that's a journal of sorts, but I'm sure I need to blog a little better. Already I'm forgetting milestones that Preslee has reached but I can't remember quite when she reached them. When kid 2 comes along, I'm sure I'll be mad at myself when I can't remember exactly when Preslee reached a certain milestone.

We had Preslee's first birthday last week! It was so fun to plan everything and fun to have a cute party for her! I can't believe my little baby is already a year old! Time is so precious with her.
Here is a picture overload of her birthday:

This is the table with decorations. I made a cute banner that said Happy Birthday that hung over the window but you can't see it very well in the lighting.

 More of the table and decorations
 Preslee's high chair. This banner says Preslee. :)
 The tables so everyone can eat the yummy veggies and fruit pizzas. We also had vanilla punch and carrot cake cupcakes with cream cheese frosting. The food was a big hit!
 Dave and Dad watching basketball and all of Preslee's presents! Thanks everyone!
 This is her smash cake I decorated. We cooked it in a bean can so it would be small enough for her to smash, but bigger than a cup cake. It turned out cute, I thought!
Also, I planted grass seed in little pots about two weeks before her birthday. They turned out really cute and worked well with the spring theme. I loved them!

 Birthday girl!
 Grandma and Preslee

 Mommy and Preslee
 Grandpa and Preslee
 Daddy and Preslee

 Yummy yummy carrots!
 Preslee loved opening presents!

 She kept playing peek-a-boo with this dress. She giggled every time!

Preslee liked her smash cake! It took her a while to get into it, she just liked eating the frosting, but she figured it out and loved playing with it! Here is a little video I edited because she did take a long time to smash into it. I condensed 20 minutes of frosting licking, confused looking Preslee down to three minutes of fun. You're welcome!

 More pictures of smashing the cake.

We had so much fun! Thank you so much to everyone who came and everyone who was there in spirit. I know it's hard because we live far away from family for everyone to come, but we sure love you too!

Here are some pictures I took of Preslee a week before her pictures. She is such a doll. We love our little One Year Old!


 Sniffy face
 We sure love our blue eyed girl!
Preslee is at such a fun age. Grandma and Grandpa gave her a little play puppy that she could push around and it sings and makes fun noises. She absolutely loves it and loves walking around behing it. She's so cute she looks like a little shopper with a shopping cart. She likes to walk when we hold her hand, but doesn't really want to try it by herself. She could stand up by herself if she wanted to, but she's so good at crawling and scooting that she just sits down and isn't really interested in standing by herself yet. She'll get there! I'm not too anxious for her to start walking. She is active enough to keep me very busy already!
She is a ham. She loves watching people and when they make eye contact with her, she grins and giggles at them. If they start making faces or playing peek-a-boo she yells and laughs at them. She loves attention. At the same time, she can amuse herself for a while too. Dave and I were going on a date and our babysitters cancelled because their baby was sick, so Dave and I just took Preslee with us. I gave her a celery stick to chew on and she was happy and content for over 20 minutes! We got to have our alone time! She is so funny. 
Preslee is signing "all done" to me and she tells me to "come here" with her hands. She waves sometimes. We're working on that. She says "Muma Muma." and "Dadada". We are also working on saying "up" and "hi". It's so fun to watch her learn! She has her two bottom teeth and no more in sight. I'm sure they'll come through eventually.
She likes to feed herself and eats pretty close to everything we put in front of her. Some days she doesn't eat a whole lot of anything, some days she eats everything! It's kinda hard to get her into a pattern. She likes baby food still but she is starting to like bread and scrambled eggs and other things that we eat. She is still nursing but we are going to try to transition her over to whole milk pretty soon. The doctor said that would be healthier for her.

Yesterday I took her to the doctor to get her one year old shots. She had been running a fever for a day so I'm glad we got to go in and see the doctor. She did not have a fun time, which was strange, she usually does really well at the doctor's office. I knew that she wasn't feeling very well at all. When our doctor checked on her, he told me that she had an ear infection in both ears. Poor baby! She is on antibiotics for ten days and a follow up visit in three weeks when she'll get her shots. She is already starting to feel a little better, but we're going to keep her home and comfortable for a few days.
Preslee's stats from the doctor:
Height: 28" 25%
Weight: 16.15 pounds (5%)
Head circumference: 17.5 inches (25%)

Dave is doing well in school. He has an architecture project that is giving him some problems now, but I know he'll pull through. We are looking for an internship for the summer. We want to keep our apartment here in Moscow because we'll only be gone for three months. But in order to do that, we can't pay rent anywhere else. So anywhere Dave gets an internship, we have to find family or friends to live with. It's going to be hard, but if he gets an internship, it will take place of one of his studios, so his Senior year will be MUCH more manageable. Also we really really need the money.

I'm doing well. Just taking care of Preslee. I was going to crochet and start a business here at the Moscow farmer's market, but we don't know if we're going to be here, so that has been put on hold. I'm still in the Primary presidency and I enjoy doing that. However, our primary has shrunk to about 3 or 4 kids so it will be kind of interesting. Hopefully some more kids will move in at the end of the summer. We'll see.

Hopefully that caught everyone up. We'll see if I can keep this blogging thing up. :)