Saturday, October 27, 2012

Callie's Arrival!!!

*Before you read this post, I want you to know that I'm writing this to help me remember all the details of my labor and delivery with Callie.  So, if you get weirded out or squeamish when reading things like this, you might stop now!*  :)

I went to bed on Thursday, October 11th, just like any other night, actually NOT feeling any contractions tonight.  I woke up every few hours to go to the bathroom (as usual).  At 2:40am, I woke up, went to the bathroom, and laid back down.  Only a few minutes later, at 2:55am, I was laying in bed still trying to fall asleep...and I suddenly felt something warm running down my rear end.  I thought, "Is that my water breaking?"  I waited a few more seconds and as it continued, I then rolled over, touched Reid, and said "Reid - I think my water just broke!"

I then walked to the bathroom and was positive - my underwear and pants were all wet.  I cleaned up, left a message with the on-call doctor, and laid back down.  When I laid down, I felt a huge gush...My thought?  "Oh my gosh!"  Around 3:05am, the doctor called me back, and said to come on to the hospital.  I called my mom and Reid's mom (who was going to be watching Caeden), so they could both be on their way from Joplin.

I had heard of women taking their time when their water broke.  So I decided to jump in the shower real quick. While in the shower, I noticed I was bleeding, and started contracting right after (3:15am).  Obviously this made me nervous... so I finished quickly, threw on some clothes, and only half-dried my hair.  As Reid and I were gathering our last-minute things, I went to the bathroom and passed a golf-ball sized clot.  This made me very nervous and anxious.  I called my next-door neighbor to come over and lay on the couch until Reid's mom arrived - and we left in a hurry.

We arrived at the hospital at 4:00am, and my contractions were already 5 minutes apart...and painful!  As I sat in the wheelchair, blood was dripping down my leg onto the floor.  You could tell the nurse was a little nervous, but tried to stay calm.  She used her walkie-talkie to call the other nurses and told them to have my room ready.  By 4:15am, I was in my room, hooked up to monitors.  They checked me and I was 4-5 cm.  There were also four nurses in the room tending to me....I think they were concerned with the bleeding.  However, they said that it was probably because my water broke and my cervix changed so quickly within one hour.

For the next 1.5 hours, I was just in a lot of pain and surviving each contraction.  I asked for my epidural as soon as I arrived, but of course they have to have you sign papers, get your IV, take your blood work, and get your blood results BACK before they can get you the epidural.  By 5:15am (an hour after checking in), my mom had arrived, and my contractions were 3 minutes apart.  Honestly, I think I did a really great job during these contractions!  They were so extremely painful - I can't put it into words.  But I breathed through each one (using some groaning and hmmm-ing), but never screamed or said something I regret! :)  Even Reid later agreed that he was impressed with how well I did!

At 5:25am, the nurse gave me Nubane to help take the edge off the pain, and that stuff was great!  Then 20 minutes later, the anesthesiologist was there to give me my epidural - THANK YOU LORD!!  Besides Reid & my mom - he was my best friend that day!  It's amazing!  So, by 6:00am, I was feeling much better!  The doctor arrived to check me and I was at 6cm, 100% effaced, and at a -1 station.   My dad arrived at 6:30am, and at 6:45am, Reid and I decided to take a short nap.

At 8:45am, the doctor was back to check me and I was at 9cm and a 0 station!!  I was so excited that I was progressing so quickly and Callie would be here soon!  He said that once I reached 10cm, he wanted me to sit for about an hour....this would help me push for less time and would decrease my amount of tearing.  (With Caeden I pushed for 1.5 hours and had a 4th degree tear).

Three & a half hours later, at 12:15pm, I was still at 9cm!  What in the world?  How did I progress so quickly and then just stop?!?  At this point, the doctor said my water was just slowly leaking, so he broke the rest of my water, and started me on Pitocin to help me get to 10cm.

Two hours later (2:30pm), the doctor came in and I was 9.5 cm....yay for progress!!  But still not at a 10...  So, they upped the Pitocin a little more.

At 3:00pm (only 30 minutes later), the nurse checked me and I was finally at 10cm, and she said the baby's head was much lower!  Thank you Lord!  **Just a side note - I sat at 9cm for 6 hours!  That's longer than my entire labor was with Caeden!**  Just as the doctor suggested, they had me sit for one hour, to give Callie more time to drop.

The doctor came in at 4:00pm, and Callie's head was already showing.  I started pushing at 4:07pm....and she was born at 4:11pm!!!  Only 4 minutes of pushing!  Praise Jesus!

Then the scare happened...
As Callie came out, and Reid cut the cord, she was not breathing or crying.  The doctor was shaking her, and trying to suction out her nose & mouth.  Every once in awhile she would gasp for air, but couldn't breathe.  He took her to the nurse, and they worked on her for 8 minutes!  Every once in awhile she would gasp, or let out a small cry (more like a squeak), and that was it.  The whole time I'm just watching across the room in shock.  Reid was right next to her, and my mom was pacing the room.  I just prayed and prayed.  I kept thinking, "Please don't tell me I've carried this baby for 9 months and now you're taking her from me..."

Throughout the 8 minutes, they were pumping oxygen into her, put a tube down her throat to suction out blood (it was squirting everywhere), and kept monitoring her heart rate (which they said kept dipping).  At this point, they decided to take her to the NICU - they let me give her a quick kiss and then rushed her off.

I had a partial third degree tear, so while the doctor was stitching me up, Reid & I just kept praying together.  We had no idea what was happening with Callie and there was no way to find out.  At 5:00pm, when the doctor finally finished with me, he went down to the NICU to check on her and came back to report that she was okay!  That was the biggest relief I've ever heard in my life!  It was at this point that we found out she weighed a whopping 8 lbs. 13 oz. and was 20.5 inches long!  HOWEVER, we were also told that may not have been a very accurate weight reading because of all the blood and fluid that was inside of her.

Reid got to go back to the NICU about 5:30pm and
see Callie.  This was the first picture he took.  I was not
yet able to see her since my legs were too 
numb to get out of bed.

At 6:30pm, I got to go with Reid to see her.
This was our first picture with her.

First time to hold Callie...such a sweet moment in my heart!

Big Brother Caeden looking through the NICU window at her.
He couldn't come in because he's too young.  Poor
guy had waited so long to meet her and he had to 
look through a window. :(

Later, after being home, and reading her Discharge Report, we noticed that it said, "Newborn Resuscitation" on the papers - so scary that they actually had to resuscitate her.  She truly is a miracle from God!  I literally thank God every day that she's alive and with us...I do not take it for granted.  She has been such a blessing so far and Caeden has been an AWESOME big brother!  I'll be posting more soon on her first few weeks!

Pregnancy Update: Week 40

So my 40th week....which I would later find out was my last week to be pregnant...

I was very uncomfortable - more like "miserable."  I had lots of backaches, cramping, and painful contractions.  I had several false alarms where I thought I was going into labor....and then the contractions would spread out.  This caused me to feel a little bit disappointed each time it wasn't true labor.

At the beginning of my 40th week (a week before my due date), I lost my mucous plug.  This made me excited and I thought it was going to happen within the next 48 hours....but it didn't. :(

Halfway through the week, I was feel discouraged because I thought maybe I would not be able to go into labor on my own....maybe I WOULD have to be induced.  But I really didn't want to be....I just kept praying that Callie would come in God's timing...and that I would KNOW I was in labor.  *Since I had painful contractions all the time, I was afraid I wouldn't know when it was the real thing.*

On October 9th (3 days before my due date), I went to my weekly doctor's appointment.  I was disappointed to find out that there was no change from the week before (1-2 cm & 60-70% effaced).  Now I was sure I would have her late...I had no change all week.  The doctor told me she wanted to see me Monday (Oct 15th....3 days PAST my due date) and that I could be induced that day if I wanted.  If I chose not to, she would definitely induce me on Oct 20th (8 days past).

I came home, talked to Reid, prayed lots, and we decided that we would be induced on Monday if she hadn't arrived by then.  I really wanted her to be born on her own timing - and continued to pray for that - but I was also afraid to go TOO late.   And after having a bad experience with induction with Caeden - I was really nervous about being induced.

So, the prayers continued...."God, PLEASE allow Callie to be born on her own BEFORE Monday, if it's Your will.  If so, please help me to KNOW I'm in labor and not have to guess.  I do trust your timing though and if you want me to be induced on Monday, I will be.  I trust your timing God.  Just allow her to be healthy & kept safe."

This was a prayer I said several times throughout every day and night that week...

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Callie's Nursery

We have finally (6 days before due date) finished Callie's nursery!  While the pictures do not do it justice, here's a quick look at her room!  Reid did the painting and put up the bead board this summer...he did an awesome job!  He also built the sign above her bed!

Then we've spent the last 6 weeks washing, organizing, and decorating the rest.  It's officially ready for her to come home to!  Okay Callie....Whenever you're ready!!!!

This is the view when you walk in and 
look slightly to your left.

And when you look straight ahead...

This is the view if you're standing by the glider,
looking towards the changing table. 

And here it is if you're standing by the changing table,
looking towards the closet and the bed.

The sign Reid built & painted...
and the Bear Caeden made for Callie!

Callie's bear...
waiting for her to come home!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Pregnancy Update: Ninth Month!! (Part 1)

So, I'm 39 weeks tomorrow!  Since I could potentially go into labor at anytime, I want to go ahead and update on my 9th month of pregnancy so far!  So, this blog post will cover weeks 36-39.  After I have Callie - I'll update on how my last 1-2 weeks went! Just to remind everyone reading this, my due date is next Friday, October 12th!!  Getting so close!

I have had lots of uncomfortable symptoms this month!!  Swelling in hands & feet, carpal tunnel in hands, painful contractions all throughout the day (that feel like menstrual cramps), a low energy, my hips hurt, constant backache, and I just don't sleep well at all!!!  A few days ago, I passed the "uncomfortable" stage and went to the "miserable" stage.  I have had some teary-eyed days where I've cried to my mom and Reid about hurting all the time, never being able to be comfortable, not being able to do "normal" things anymore, and just feeling fat.  I'm definitely tired of being pregnant!!!

I still love feeling Callie move - and that definitely lifts my spirits when I get to feel her knees & feet roll around on my belly.  It's crazy to think I actually have a real, full-term, baby inside of me right now!

I started having Braxton-Hicks contractions at 17 weeks, and have had them daily since.  But this past week, they have been much more painful.  My doctor said they're probably not BH anymore...probably real contractions - just not consistent yet.  When I have one, my back cramps up, my lower abdomen hurts, and it's just darn painful!  But I know they're helping me progress, so it's for a good cause! ;)  I've continued gaining weight this month - which was weird.  With Caeden I basically plateaued this last month - but not with Callie.  I've gained 26.5 pounds so far - which is still less than Caeden....but it was more than I was hoping for!  Maybe it's all my fluid retention - I'm telling you....I'm so stinkin' swollen!!

I also had a cold, which turned into a sinus infection at the beginning of this month.  That lasted a few weeks and wasn't fun.  But it's gone now - thank you Jesus!

Things we did this month to get ready for Callie:
  • Went to my only Razorback football game for the season - had to squeeze it in before she came!  It was an embarrassing loss, but still glad I got to go!
  • Had a baby shower for Callie and got LOTS of wonderful, girly things!!
  • Washed all of Callie's laundry, and put it away
  • Hung her curtains and decorated her walls
  • Organized all the little things that need organizing in her room
  • Installed her monitor
  • Took our Refresher Childbirth course
  • Packed my hospital bag
  • Prepared our birth announcement
  • Finished freezing meals!
    • I started freezing meals when I was 26 weeks.  That way they would not go bad before we could eat them.  I did 2-3 a week - basically just doubling what we were making for dinner and freezing it.  It was so easy since I did it as I went along.  I now have 24 frozen meals in my freezer!!  My plan is to save them for when Ella comes back - because I know I'll really be short on time with 3 kids and will need quick meals!
  • Made logistical plans for when I go into labor (where to take Caeden, etc.)
  • Got to spend some great family time at the Pumpkin Patch
  • Traveled to Tulsa with Reid & Caeden to see Disney on Ice!
  • Took Caeden to make his Build-A-Bear for Callie
  • Got a pedicure (see picture below) - I did pink & green in honor of Callie coming!
  • Am having an In-Home Date Night with Reid tonight!
Here's my cute pedicure I got! :)

As I get closer to childbirth, I definitely have some anxieties: how it will all happen, the pain, just the uncertainty of it all, how I will feel when I have to leave Caeden, how long my labor & delivery will be....

But there's also some exciting things about childbirth: just going through the miraculous birthing process, and getting to hold Callie in my arms!

Just for fun, I made some predictions on what Callie will look like. :)  I'm predicting light brown hair, and blue eyes.  I also predicted that I would go into labor 4 days late - on October 16th.  Reid is predicting 1 day early - on October 11th.  So we'll see who's right.......

With Caeden, I was doing everything imaginable to induce labor and get him out.  Literally - you name it, I did it!  Aaannnnddd....nothing worked....  So, this time, I've done nothing!  I just decided that none of those methods worked last time, so why waste my time?  I'll just let her come when she's ready.  Like I wrote in my last post, I have been taking Evening Primrose Oil just to get my cervix ready and I've been doing various exercises and sitting in certain positions that are supposed to get her into position and ready.....but that's it.  No DIY induction methods this time! :)

So, my doctor appointments have been fine.  Everything has been measuring normal. The doctor first checked me at 36 weeks - and there was no dilation or effacement.  She said Callie was still very high.  At my 37 week appointment, same news - no dilation or effacement.  However, that afternoon, after my appointment is when my painful, crampy contractions started.  I also noticed two days later that Callie looked much lower.  I was feeling more pressure & just kinda different. my 38 week appointment yesterday (9 days before due date), I found out I am dilated to 1cm....almost 2cm!  And I'm 60-70% effaced!  She could also feel her head this time! So, all those contractions and that pressure was for good cause!  The doctor is estimating her to be 7-7.5 we'll see if she's right!?!  My doctor is willing to induce me on my due date (or a few days early) if I'm 2-3cm at my next appointment.  But I don't think I will...  I would really like to wait and go into labor on my own.  However, if I went from NOTHING to 60-70% effaced in one week....I wouldn't be surprised if I have her before my next appointment.  We'll see...Just waiting...

Just for fun, here's my last belly picture!  We took this one when I was 38 weeks.  The picture in the PINK shirt is me when I was in my 9th month with CAEDEN.  The green shirt is CALIE.  I'm a tad bigger with Callie I think, but not much...

Callie Ann....You will be here so so soon!  I just can't wait to see what you look like and cuddle with you!!!  Come soon!!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Right Choices Corn Maze!!

Last year, we took Caeden to Right Choices Corn Maze for the first time, and it was the best pumpkin patch/corn maze we had ever been to!  So, we knew we wanted to take him again this year!  With Callie being due in the next few weeks, we were hoping to get it in BEFORE she was born....just in case it's hard to get out once she's here!  So, we loaded up, and met both sets of grandparents, aunts/uncles, cousins at the Corn Maze!  We had such a great time and I'm so excited we got to fit in this family activity before Callie arrives!

**Let me just pause here, and say that if you want to do something like this during the fall, I would highly recommend Right Choices!!  Go to their website and check it out!  It's great prices, and VERY kid-friendly!  Caeden was the perfect age to enjoy each part!  It's only an hour away from NWA (and from SW Missouri). 

First, we went to pick out pumpkins...
This was the best smile we could get... HA!

 He kept saying, "These pumpkins are just 
my right size!!"

 Then he went to shoot the Corn Cannon with Daddy!!

Next, Caeden, Daddy, Nonnie & Grandpa climbed up to the top of the barn to look out!

Next, was to the farm zoo... This is Caeden talking to the sheep!

We then went to ride the Hill Slide and the Roller Slide!

Then to shoot some hoops!  They have several basketball goals set up on a hill.  So when you throw the ball, it rolls back down to you.  Caeden loved this part - it was hard to pull him away!!!

Onto the "Hay Jump" which is just a big pile of hay to jump in and jump off.  Here's Daddy playing in the hay with Caeden!

Caeden then got to go through his FIRST corn maze!  They have a short one and a long one!  We obviously chose the short one - Caeden did great!  We let him direct the way, and he got us out safe & sound!

He decided to take a shortcut
THROUGH the cornstalks!

Going through the Hay Tunnel....

And riding the Cow Train...

 Racing ducks with mommy...

Riding on the play tractor...

And playing in the Corn Box!!!!

Papa & Daddy covering him up!

Next, we went on a big hayride together! It was so bumpy I thought it was going to send me into kidding!
Caeden & Nana

And the last thing we did....the Corn Jump!

Caeden had an awesome time, and so did we!  Were we exhausted when we got home?  YES!  But I'm so glad we had the chance to go this year!  Again, I'm cherishing every bit of time with Caeden until Callie makes her arrival!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

From Caeden to Callie

We wanted Caeden to have something special that he could give to Callie when he meets her for the first time.  But we wanted to be something special....maybe something he made....that wasn't just bought...  So, several months ago we had the idea of letting him make her a Build-A-Bear!  But we wanted to wait until I was closer to my due date, so he didn't have to wait so long to give it to her.

So, last Friday, two weeks before my due date, we made a trip to Build-A-Bear!  We explained to him what we were going to do.  He told us right away he wanted to make her a PURPLE bear!
**Several months ago, we got one of the heartbeats that you can record on, took it to a doctor's appointment, and recorded Callie's actual heartbeat on it.  We had plans of letting Caeden put this in her bear, so she/we could hear her actual heartbeat!

As soon as we walked in, he spotted a purple bear immediately!  Whew!...Glad they had what he was hoping for!

He helped put the stuffing in her!

Then lovingly added her heartbeat! :)

 Then he was so excited to pick out her clothing!
He went straight to the pink purse and carried it around the whole time!
So, we knew that accessory would have to come home with us!

Picking out her outfit!

Helping us get her dressed! 

And proudly leaving the store with her! 
As soon as we got home, he wanted to put her in Callie's bed!

We're hoping this will be a special gift from him to her....maybe something she'll treasure as she gets older!  I have to admit - her outfit was a little random since he picked it out himself...but that's okay - it's truly from HIM now! 

Monday, October 1, 2012

Showering Callie with Gifts!

A few weeks ago, some of my AMAZING friends threw me a baby shower for Callie!  I was very surprised when they told me they were throwing me a "real" baby shower - but appreciative more than words can express!  I have lots and lots of pictures of all the great friends who came to celebrate Callie, but here are just a few pictures to capture the afternoon!

My incredible hostesses:
Jen Meek, Sarah Miller, Erin Duvall & Jessica Epps

Playing the Celebrity Baby Game!

For the second game, my hostesses bought me
my new diaper bag FILLED with goodies!
The game was to guess what all was in the diaper bag!
Fun game (and gift)!!

Me with my mom & sisters!!

Reid's family who came to celebreate!
Reid's Gram, Reid's mom, Reid's aunt, and GREAT family friend!

My two sisters and I pregnant!!
Ashley: 37 wks
Ariel: 18 wks
Amber: 14 wks

Callie was given way more than I had ever expected and we were super blessed by this shower!  We are slowly getting things washed and put away - so it's all ready for her when she arrives!!!