Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Wednesday Night

It’s been a crazy week over here. Big adulting decisions are possibly in the works, and energy/emotions are high over here. (Can’t say for awhile, but hopefully good news soon.) 

I can’t believe the last time I updated our family blog was January. I keep a pretty good record with Instagram and our Chatbooks, but tonight I wanted to write. 

Evan is 25lbs of raw personality. He’s just the sweetest, funniest kid. I’m really loving our relationship right now. We’re also to the stage where he’s into everything. Crawling, grabbing, pulling himself up on things. It’s really so fun to watch him explore. But at the same time this stage has pulled more heart strings than before. I have been noticing him getting bored or frustrated with me. I come up with lots of games and activities, but I can’t help but feel somethings missing. I know what’s missing. He’s such a social baby. I’ve got good Mom friends and we like to have play dates. But in my Mother’s intuition I know he’s missing his best friend. 

I know that twins would have physically killed me. But putting that aside, it’s really been hurting lately that I couldn’t give that to Evan. Siblings are a ways off too, due to the damage pregnancy did to my body. And I can rationalize all day that this was God’s plan. But on a feelings level I miss our Baby B. We had months before Evan’s arrival to come to terms with our situation, but lately I’ve found myself missing this sweet baby more because now I know what I’m missing. It’s far too grey of a situation to make black and white of it. 

We bought more toys for Evan this week which was really fun, and he loves them. A light up table he can push around. Not what we bought it for, but he loves using it for that. A little Star Wars Tsum Tsum, and some hideous dinosaur that he’s obsessed with. 

We thought of a cute family Halloween costume and I’m looking forward to going to the fabric store and starting to sew for Evan. One of those things that makes you feel like a real mom. I’m so grateful for him, and our relationship. He knows when I need a big hug or a slobbery open mouth kiss. 

Lately he’ll sing back to me when I sing to him. And we sound awful, but I love it so much. 

I don’t think I had any clue how many emotions you can have in a day as a Mom. 

This post seems scattered, mostly because I don’t know how to express my feelings about Baby B. It’s a tender and sacred experience for me and I’m not sure what the right answers are. This blog isn’t supposed to be just about them, but writing has always been therapeutic to me. 

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Baby B, Smiles, and Tender Mercies

Sometimes it just really rips my heart out that I have to wait a little longer to hold you.  It's an interesting place to be feeling such unmeasurable joy getting to be Evan's Momma and to have that missing Baby B feeling sneak in often. 

I really think that the veil is so thin with babies. The other night I was snuggling Evan and I asked him if he loved Baby B and he gave me his very first genuine smile. A smile! I asked him if Baby B was a boy or a girl and his coo sounded just like "girl!" which just cracked me up, because I realize he can't talk and he's only 11 weeks old, but for the next five minutes Scott and I talked to him about Baby B and there was so much joy snuggled between the three(four) of us. Evan is going to make the best big brother, he loves his siblings so much already. I'm so glad he's safely in my arms to tell me all about them.  


(Not an announcement. I imagine it's going to take all of us awhile to recover from the first fight to get our babies here.) 

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Happy New Year! And ramblings on motherhood.

Happy New Year!! 



You're eight weeks old sweetheart! I need to catch up on your monthly updates, but I need to write it out tonight. As the fireworks shoot off outside our window sounding like a stampede because so many people are celebrating, this is our celebration. Me and you. Listening to you breathe deeply on my chest, I can't help but whisper, "we made it, baby." You are a miracle. I can hardly believe this is our life most days. 

When I was four years old I had a "mommy party" for my birthday. I wanted to wash dishes, tend my baby dolls, and paint nails because that's what Mom's do. In high school my nickname was Momma J because I liked to take care of my teammates and bake things. And then came the years of Aunt Jess who got to love on nieces and nephews for the past seven years. (Still do.) but this time you're real, and you're mine. We're not just playing house anymore. I still love washing dishes, painting my nails, baking, but most of all I love tending you. In your short 8 weeks earthside Momma has had to make a lot of tough decisions as to what's best for you. And the 35+2 weeks I managed to stay pregnant. That motherhood stuff starts from the get go. I can't think of anything more humbling. I want what's best for you so badly, sometimes it's hard to figure out what that even is so I can give it to you. I know that I won't always get it right, but I'm so grateful we didn't give up on each other. I know you were probably fighting just as hard to get here as I was trying to get you here. 

Tonight I want to remember:

  • The way you always put your fist up to my face when you're done eating so I can kiss it. 
  • The way your left ear looks a little smashed. It's darling. 
  • All the sweet sounds you make. 
  • When I was talking to you about how badly I miss your twin and when I said Baby B your eyes got super big and wide and you threw your arms open. I know you miss them too. I think babies know more than we do.  
  • How you managed to poop, spit up, and sneeze all within 30 seconds of each other. And being your number one cheerleaders we were so PROUD of your digestive system. We put you right in the tub.
  • How you calm down when you hear my voice. You're very obedient when I talk to you.
  • How reverently you fold your hands/arms when you're relaxed. 

Physically my body was so messed up after delivering and Evan needed NICU level help we both needed a team of people to keep us put together. I am so grateful we had all those amazing people on our team. But the empowered "I am his Mom, and I know what's best for him" feeling did not happen out of the gate. Especially since we both needed to be obedient to our Drs and nurses to get strong. I'm so grateful tonight snuggling you way past your bedtime for the empowering moments these past eight weeks that have helped me reclaim my confidence. Like politely declining advice that I know isn't the best fit for our situation or for you! (Sometimes accepting it too, I don't know everything after all.) And not in a rude way. But I've spent the last year and a half holding my breath being obedient to countless Drs and nurses to get pregnant and to get you here. Which worked beautifully, but dangit it's time for me to be in charge. In charge of myself and in charge of you. What a beautiful realization that is. Especially for a Type A trailblazer like your momma. This is a really big deal for me because a lot of the time this year I'll just agree to avoid confrontation rather than voicing how I truly feel.

Little Boy we are going to have so much fun this year. I can't wait to see what you teach me and what I teach you. I've waited forever for this. 


And I want you to know I will never ever give up that fight of trying to do what's best for you. Because I do know what's best for you. 

I'm your Momma. 

(Reference this post in 16 years when I try too hard and come across overprotective and overbearing. But holidays and birthdays are the exception, because Momma loves a good party, and sporting events, and probably science fair projects too. We'll just have to play it by ear. Love you sweet boy.) 

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Evan's Birth Story Part 2

Part II NICU and Recovery 

Recovery from the preeclampsia and delivery was no joke. After delivering I developed PIH, Pregnancy Induced Hypertension. Awesome. In my mind I thought that if I could just get him here alive and survive myself my body would feel so much better. Which is true, but I didn't know that at a month out I would still be on several medications and trying not to cry when I have to tackle the stairs in my house one more time. 

The first time I held Evan I thought my heart was going to burst. We made it! We survived! I was so anxious to learn everything about what he needed and what I could do. I wanted his nurse to tell me as much as she could. I felt I had already missed so much not being able to be there physically. My first time to see Evan was magical. His next feeding his nurse however kept coming in and out and we couldn't really get good info from her. She told me I should/could try and nurse Evan for 8mins and then we needed to give him formula to stay on the schedule. So we pull the curtains and I try and nurse him. I mean I sat through that three hour breast feeding class, but let's be real my mind was shot and so was my body. And it's not like I've ever done this before.At 5 weeks early and a c-section and the magnesium were some huge things stacked against me. I tried anyway feeling frustrated she just left and didn't stay to help. We weren't very successful. Then we tried to feed him the formula and we couldn't get him to take it. Finally I grabbed another nurse and asked for help. She told us what to do and we were finally successful getting him fed. It took over an hour to feed him  15ml. We had to leave because I needed more pain pills and blood pressure meds. I was determined to be back for the next feeding in what was now 1.5hrs away. She told us we could give him his first bath and try to keep nursing. We really enjoyed giving him his bath but she kept it super short and was in and out again, and this time I tried to ask more questions about feeding him and got a similar response. She was in and out and when she was there she wanted to talk about other babies and how busy she was. NOT okay. It was time for us to go back and rest and regroup. I sobbed all the way back to my room after both visits. This wasn't how it was supposed to go. I just wanted someone to help me. I was trying so hard and absolutely nothing was going right. Going right really isn't the best description, I kept my expectations at as long as we're all alive we'll figure it out, but dang it I needed some help!

 So I said a little prayer and when we got back to our room I gave myself a little pep talk reminding myself I'm his Mom and Mom's fight for their kids. So I called up to the NICU and "explained" to her that I was very upset and I understood she was busy but she was our nurse and if she was too busy to help or explain things to us or take care of my baby I wanted a different nurse. (Really tested those limits of the blood pressure medicine.) That's the nicest way I can explain that phone call ... 

She was nice and apologized and when we went back for the next feeding she stayed with us for 45mins answering questions and helping me nurse Evan. We even made an apt with a specific lactation Consultant to come help me the next day. This was the 2am feeding. Feeling like Evan was going to be taken care of, we decided to sleep (cough my nurses insisted I sleep or they wouldn't let me keep going to the NICU. Cough) 

The next day Scott would push me in a wheelchair from my room through 4 security access points, an Elevator ride, to the other end of the hospital to see Evan. We went to every feeding. Practiced nursing, changed him, fed him a bottle ( All breastmilk after day 1 thank you very much.) snuggled him and then we would go back to our room and eat and nap.  Turns out keeping up that schedule was too much for my body. My Mama heart was in it, but my body still needed a lot of help recovering and apparently recovery requires resting. I couldn't walk or stand more than a few minutes, and I held onto Scott for support when I tried. My blood pressure was out of control and My Dr. decided I could only go to the NICU every other feeding. So instead of a three hour schedule I now had a six hour schedule. Which was a really good call. They got the blood pressure and pain meds in me and I slept for five hours.

We went back up to the NICU for the 8am feeding and had the nurse we had when Evan was brought into the NICU. We loved her. She heard about how upset I was the night before and apologized to me for what happened. She worked hard and really understood the big picture of where everyone was at and where we were coming from. We kept up with feedings and met with lactation that afternoon. Incredibly helpful! I'm so glad that's someone's job. Initially I knew I wanted to try and breastfeed, but if it wasn't working or too hard, or my mental stability was struggling we would do formula. I've been off my ADD Meds for over a year because you can't have them when you're pregnant or breastfeeding. We're still not nursing yet, because it burns too many calories for him. But pumping and bottle feeding him, knowing that he's getting everything he needs from me is so healing after such a miserable delivery. It is so bonding for us and ADD drugs can wait. We've decided that I'll be the primary one to feed him and Scott will too to help with middle of the night feedings, but that's just for me. (So please don't be offended when we say no to help giving him a bottle.) We still practice nursing everyday and one day when we're a little bigger we'll nurse, but this is working great for now. I'm a big believer in fed is best. I love giving Ev my milk for reasons I had no idea mattered before he was born. That's what works for us.

After meeting with lactation Evan got his last dose of glucose and was able to maintain his levels all through the night. They had to leave his IV in just in case they had to use it again and that really killed me. His poor little arm was bruised and the IV port looked huge in his arm. Grateful, but not a fan. 

That night we did the CPR class in the NICU and Evan passed his car seat test! Because he was doing so good about 10pm they brought him down to my room and let him sleep with us.  As long as he's swaddled on A bilirubin blanket. I was so grateful to not have to keep making the NICU trip through the night. Evan did really well with us through the night. The next morning they came to check his bili levels and we were close but not quite ready. The bilirubin test is pretty hard to handle. They warm his heel up with a heating pad before pricking it and squeezing his blood into a vial. Kudos to you medical mamas for being so tough. I sat there and cried feeling helpless. 

Scott would hold his hand during blood pokes.

That morning they decided Evan needed to be on the lights all day again. Our favorite lactation nurse came by again and we had a very successful visit. I was able to latch Evan for the longest time so far. Really built my confidence. 

That night Evan was able to come off the lights and was doing so well it started to sound like we were going to get to go home together. They kept me a little longer than usual because I'm a real overachiever. Scott and Evan watched Star Trek and I had a nap and for a few hours it felt like we weren't in a hospital and just our little family. We ordered our fancy Stork dinner and I had my first Diet Coke in over a year. I'm telling you, miracles happen. We spent that night watching the Election coverage.  

Evan got to stay with us again that night and just have a NICU nurse come check on us. Around 2am we knew he wasn't doing well, and nursing was too stressful for him so we called the NICU nurse for help. She noticed he wasn't keeping his body temp up. This was Wednesday and I was officially discharged. But thankfully Evan's neonatologist and my Dr. are saints and said there's no way I was leaving the hospital without him. So they just moved me from postpartum to a family room. Oh I was so grateful for this. I think it would have broke me to leave the hospital without him. Babies should not be separated from their Mama's. That's the rule. 

After getting me settled Scott ran home for more clothes for us and our house was clean and our fridge was stocked with groceries. I gave our Angel friend Julie my house key back when we were trying to stay pregnant and she had been a busy girl. She and Rick and our whole ward family were some serious tender mercies. People from church heart attacked our door, and people brought dinner to the hospital so Scott didn't have to leave. So many tender mercies. 

 Food from our Church friends
Beautiful flowers from my in-laws

We got Evan warmed up and stable so we were able to start the 12hr temperature test. We had to keep his temperature above 97.5. After every feeding we double swaddled him and I snuggled him for at least an hour. His first four readings were 98.5, 97.7, 98.1, 97.5. 

Once it dipped to 97.5 he had to go back on the warmer. This was hour 10 and that was the feeding we skipped to sleep. Meaning the nurse fed him my milk. I was so mad at myself. I should have been there to get him to the finish line. So we have to give him some time before we can start the temperature test again and it turned out to be a big blessing. We got him warmed up and had a nice slow day. By 3pm we were ready to start the temperature test again. That night they were able to move us to the family NICU room which was steps from the NICU. Which made it even easier on me. I didn't have to use a wheelchair to get to my baby!  This time we weren't taking any chances. We even read him stories for the first time. Brown Bear, Brown Bear.  We were getting to that finish line and we did it! At 2am Evan officially passed his test! Temperature readings: 98.7, 98.7, 98.3, 97.9, 98.1 

Nice and toasty!

By 2:40 they brought him into our room to stay with us. Oh we were so excited. We got him fed and asleep and fell asleep ourselves before there was a knock on our door at 4am. Evan's bilirubin levels were high again and he needed to go under the phototherapy lights again. Back in the NICU and not in our room. This was really hard for me. I couldn't answer calls from my family to FaceTime or even take pictures. I hated that he had to have a mask strapped to his face. And they took our cuddle time after feeding away to get him back under the lights as soon as possible. I understand why it was necessary, but oh it was hard. And they had to check his levels with that stupid heel stick multiple times. Ev's poor feet were purple with bruises. Sad Momma. 

He didn't really mind because he's perfect, but that stupid mask strapped to his face made me so angry. 

By 2pm  we met with doctor She said to do bilirubin test at 9pm and if all went well he could room in that night with us. We would retest the following afternoon and possibly be discharged. SHE SAID THE DISCHARGED WORD!! 

8:40pm - sticked for bilirubin 
10:40pm - nurse walks in with Evan to drop him off to room in; bilirubin down to 11!! 

Headed to the car! 

We were going to make it! We were going to get discharged. That's when things went south for me. Around midnight Saturday morning I got super nauseous and started throwing up. Can. Not. Catch. A. Break. Throwing up violently a week after having a c-section is not recommended. Oh I was so miserable. Evan's nurses would come to check on us through the night and I hid in the bathroom. I didn't want them to know I was a mess again. I knew if I could just get home I would be okay to take care of him. I had a very bad reaction to one of my pain medications. A prescription that was different than what they were giving me inpatient. I prayed a lot that we could figure out what was going on. I called my Dr, but he was out for the weekend and the Dr covering his calls was sending all his patients to instacare or the ER. I refused. Here I am in the hospital 5hrs away from getting to leave with my baby and they want me to go to the ER? Not happening. 

I had to carry this fun little pack with me the first week, it vacuumed my incision. Pretty cool and also obnoxious to have a tube coming out of my belly for a week. Scott took a picture of me trying not to puke on discharge day, but I'm going to have to keep that one in the private collection. Pretty real. 

Well literally a week before I delivered I went to a church crafting day and made a new friend who is actually a pharmacist. She called me the day before I started throwing up because she's the compassionate service leader at church. So now I had her number. I texted her my situation and she asked me if I had another prescription for nausea from earlier in my pregnancy. I remembered that the last time I was in the ER at 30 weeks I got that prescription but never used it. It was sitting on my bathroom counter at home!! By 10:30am Scott had run to the store for crackers and ginger ale but I was dying. I think I prayed the whole time he was gone that I would be able to move to take care of Evan if need be. Bless that sweet baby's heart he slept the whole time and no nurses came by. When Scott got back I immediately threw up again. I asked him for a blessing and I kid you not as soon as we said amen there was a knock on the door. It was my friend Julie. She was worried about me. I hadn't told her where they moved us to in the hospital, but she was worried and found me. I gave her a huge hug and told her what was going on. She left for my house immediately to get the other prescription. While she was getting it, she called a Dr in our ward who happens to be an ER Dr to make sure I didn't need to go in. I'm telling you. We were surrounded by angels. She got back and I took the prescription and immediately started to feel better. 

By 12:30 we met with the Neonatologist and I was able to stand and talk to her the whole time. (HUGE!) she said that she was writing up our DISCHARGE papers and Evan just needed one more bilirubin test. By 1pm they took him for the test and by 2:30 we were all in the car headed home. 

We did it. 

We all got to come home together. 

(Don't worry. I got checked out by my Dr. after we got home to make sure I didn't have an abcess on the inside making me so sick. My Dr. did such a good job on my incision even puking couldn't rip in open. And my Mom came from AZ less than 24hrs after leaving the hospital. We were going to make it.) 

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Evan's Birth Story Part 1.

It's a miracle we're all healthy and alive. 

An intense sentence, but one that couldn't be more true. 

My whole pregnancy I would express concern to the specialist and to my OB that I was scared to get preeclampsia. I had seen both my sisters and sister in law get it and have very scary deliveries and something in my heart just knew that that was how Evan was going to get here. 

About 10 days before Evan was born the specialist found protein in my urine. It wasn't too high yet, so they ordered another test that would take about a week to get results. On Halloween the specialist called to say my levels were high and they wanted to do some more tests and monitoring. That afternoon I went to a previously scheduled OB appointment where my Dr. assured me that I had still had time and because my blood pressure was so good I didn't have any reason to worry about getting preeclampsia. The next morning I went to our MFM specialist. Something in my heart just felt off. Truthfully every time we would go to the specialist I would get anxiety thinking that one of these times they were going to say it's go time and wheel me next door to the hospital and deliver Evan. At the specialist the routine was to do vitals, a urine sample, monitor the baby, and then the ultrasound. I don't remember what my first blood pressure was when we walked in that day, but during the ultrasound a frantic nurse came in and rechecked my blood pressure three times. I knew something was wrong. The specialist being the specialist compared my blood pressure with my blood pressure from the first trimester and I was up about 20points. Little did we know the race against the clock to give Evan as much time as possible while still protecting me had just started. The specialist decided to do a 24hr urine test and sent me over to OB triage in the hospital to get monitored. After about an hour baby looked good and we went home. Wednesday was a scary day. I was sleeping a lot and had a miserable headache. I was feeling nauseous so I went downstairs to make some lunch. I was standing by the sink thankfully when I started throwing up. My vision blurred and I was seeing spots. I called Scott and told him to come home now. We were supposed to drop off the 24hr urine test at 2:00pm at the hospital anyway, so I called my OB and told him all my symptoms and asked if I should get monitored again. Definite yes. I definitely knew I wouldn't be home for awhile because as we're rushing to leave the house I grabbed the stack of thank you cards off the counter and told Scott I needed to mail these on the way to the hospital. He promptly took them out of my hand and said they could wait.

Can't see straight or walk,  but needs to mail out thank you notes. 

At the hospital they got me all hooked up to the monitors while they rushed the 24hr test. Evan was looking great and we really thought that we were going to get sent home on stricter bed rest.  Urine test came back and I got 1800. 300 is the threshold for preeclampsia. We got admitted to antepartum immediately. More bloodwork, and they put a saline lock in my arm as a precaution. We decided to do another 24hr urine test and my Dr. ordered steroid shots. Usually they give the steroid shots every 24hrs, but he ordered them for every 12hrs. The goal was to stay pregnant for at least 48hrs to give the steroids time to work completely. Later I found out that they don't typically give steroids past 35weeks. I was 34 weeks 6 days when I got them. They help the baby's lungs mature faster. Total blessing. 

Thursday was spent mostly watching Friends, relaxing, fighting anxiety, waiting on the results of the next 24hr test, and getting my blood pressure taken every 15mins. The specialist and my OB came to monitor me as well. We decided I was doing okay enough to stay pregnant longer. I got the second round of steroids and slept as much as I could. Our friends Rick and Julie came up to visit us and bring us dinner. It was so calming to visit with them. Before they left Scott and Rick gave me the sweetest blessing. Little did we know how perfect the timing would be. It was calm and peaceful and there was such a sweet spirit in the room. Things would escalate quickly very soon and we had no idea. There would be no time for a blessing after that. I held onto that blessing for so much strength the next few days. That night they put me in compression boots "space boots" that would inflate and deflate every few minutes to prevent blood clots. We finished the next 24hr test at about 9pm so we wouldn't know til Friday morning what our next move was. The nurse came in and said that my Dr. had ordered me an ambien to help me sleep. I turned on my Harry Potter audio book and was able to sleep about four hours. Friday morning came and we got the news that my kidneys were in overdrive spilling protein into my urine. I was now up to 3300. Nearly doubling in 24hrs. And that's when the Specialist and the OB decided it was time to get Evan here. 

My Dr. gave me a 40% chance of delivering naturally with induction. He upped it to 50% after checking and I was 1/2cm dilated. Delivering naturally would be better for me and for Evan in the long run and I knew I had to at least try. This whole pregnancy has been hard, so it only made sense that the delivery was going to be hard too. He told me I could choose the c-section now and he would be okay with it. My goal for delivery was to get Evan here safe and at the time the best decision was to go for it. Plus inducing would give those steroids even more time to work. 

I would be lying if I didn't say it broke my heart to realize that after months of monitoring complications Evan was up against, in the end it was my body's complication that was bringing him home early. 

Once we were admitted to Labor & Delivery it finally clicked that we were actually having a baby. I told the nurse we had been in Camp Denial for three days over in Antepartum. Things moved quickly in Labor & Delivery. We were racing the clock. Immediately I was hooked up to baby monitors, blood pressure cuff set to take my bp every 15mins, pulse ox, and about five different bags of fluid to my IV pole. This was the beginning of the magnesium. They also gave me cervadil to hopefully help my cervix dilate and they put in a catheter. To start the magnesium they give a very concentrated dose for the first 20mins and then you're on a continuous drop after that. The magnesium made my skin burn, my eyes burn, blurred my vision, made moving painful, and I shook uncontrollably often. Which was terrifying knowing I was on this to prevent seizures. We must have asked the nurse and doctors every time they came in if this was normal. The magnesium also slows down labor and can stop it completely. The cervadil also got contractions going and those combined with the magnesium/preeclampsia symptoms I was in a lot of pain. Anxiety was high and I needed Scott to keep a hand on me at all times to stay calm. He also fed me lots and lots of ice chips and only left my side to get a towel wet to put on my face.  After eight hours of this (9pm) they gave me torodol (sp?) for the pain. The shaking subsided and I was able to sleep for about an hour and a half before I felt a huge gush. At first I thought my catheter was broken, but after I woke up Scott and he told me there was a big puddle on the floor we knew my water broke. I was thrilled when the nurse confirmed it. My body was reacting like it was supposed to! I had a chance! At midnight the nurse checked me and I was 3cm dilated and 80% effaced. Because my water broke they had to take out the cervadil. Knowing the Pitocin was coming next I knew I wanted the epidural before the Pitocin got started. At 12:30 the anesthesiologist came to put in the epidural. She tried the first spot, but it was only working on my right side. While she was reassessing what to do she asked her nurse to get the 5in needle just in case the 3.5in needle didn’t work the second time. Scott and I both agreed afterward there should be a code name for 5in needles. Thankfully the second try at the epidural worked and I was actually comfortable enough to sleep from 1am-3am. At 3am they started the Pitocin. The Pitocin is the heavy hitting inducing drug and contractions were very consistent. 

At 7am the nurse came running into my room and strapped an oxygen mask onto me. Every contraction Evan’s heart rate was dropping. Aside from the preeclampsia this is what we were worried about for Evan. His umbilical cord attached at the very edge of the placenta and this is one of the reasons I was being seen by the specialist. They were watching the amniotic fluid levels because that’s what was supporting the cord. Lower fluid levels could cause his cord to “kink” and he wouldn’t get enough oxygen/nutrients. So my water breaking was definitely affecting that. 

I was so overwhelmed with all of the monitors and not being able to move, and being attached to countless things, a mask covering my nose and mouth put me over the edge and I was starting to have a panic attack. The magnesium was making my mouth dry and the oxygen tasted awful. I physically couldn’t handle it being strapped to my face. I was fighting tears knowing that I had to have that oxygen. Evan needed me to have that oxygen. Instead of strapping it to my face Scott watched the  contraction monitor and held the mask over my face for two hours. I was so exhausted I fell asleep. 

At 9am they came to check me again and I was still 3cm dilated. I was devastated. No progress in nearly 12hours, and they had increased the Pitocin twice. They told me my Dr. was going to come and check on me soon, and she said that they could maybe up the Pitocin again and put in internal monitors. I knew it was time to call it. I told Scott I couldn’t do another 12hours and have it end in a c-section. As soon as I said it out loud it felt right. I knew I was making the right choice as his Mother to do everything possible to get him here safe. That was my goal and this was how I was going to be able to accomplish it. Scott agreed completely.  

At 11:45am 23hrs after inducing started my Dr. calls it and we all decide a c-section is safest based on the magnesium battle, not progressing, and Evan’s heart rate continuing to drop with each contraction. 

As much as I thought I was prepared mentally for what happens during a c-section, I had no idea. A c-section is not the “easy way out” and I will throat punch anyone who wants to tell me it is. Things moved insanely fast. I told Scott I needed him to sprint to get dressed and get back to me. The anxiety was crippling, and things were no where near in my control. The c-section was really hard, they say that you shouldn’t be in pain, but you’ll feel tugging. Which is relatively true, but the ‘tugging’ was insanely painful. I was still on the magnesium or at least the affects were still in my system during the surgery. I’m not sure. It smelled terrible, and I really did feel them throwing my body back and forth on the table. I was still shaking uncontrollably from the magnesium and I thought I was going to fall off the table. We both cried and Scott made sure to keep his hands on me so I could calm down a little bit. I love him. Very very much. Dr. V worked very quickly, and our sweetheart Evan Thomas Daly was born at 12:34pm. He came out screaming which was such a relief to his Momma. I had done my job and held on long enough for those lungs to be strong. They whisked him over to the bassinet to get checked out and cleaned up. After checking to make sure I was okay, Scott went over to see our miracle boy. 

His poor little head was terribly bruised. We later found out Evan was trying to come out forehead first. 1/1000 births happen like that. Had we continued to pursue a natural delivery he wouldn't have made it. 
Sweet, sweet miracle boy

Scott brought him over to me so I could see him. We had a few minutes together as a family of three before Evan needed to go to the nursery. Scott went with him, and after they left I cried a lot and prayed someone would knock me out so the pain could stop. When we made the decision to have the c-section I told Scott to text Julie and tell her to come to the hospital. It was such a comfort to not be alone after the c-section while Scott was with Evan. She rubbed my feet and I cried some more. Scott came back to give the report on Evan. Evan’s glucose was low initially so they fed him formula and a supplement before testing again. His glucose still wasn’t high enough so they took him to the NICU. Scott and Julie watched them try five times to place an IV in Evan. Finally they were successful. 

Back in recovery they hung another bag of magnesium. I had to be on it for another 24hrs. The only cure for preeclampsia is to deliver the baby. Which we did successfully, but they wanted to be safe that I wasn’t going to have a seizure or a stroke postpartum and the magnesium as awful as it is protects from that. I was devastated to be told that because I was still a seizure risk I wouldn’t be allowed to go to the NICU to see or hold Evan until the magnesium was done. I was so brokenhearted. I had climbed the mountain. I had got him here safely and now I can’t even hold my baby? I’m the Mom. I don’t want anyone else taking care of him. I’m so grateful for the NICU team for taking care of him, but it was such a traumatic delivery, he needs his Mom! As physically painful as going through all of this was nothing matched how hard it was to not get to hold him. I sat empty in the hospital bed and Scott would go check on Evan every few hours and take pictures and hold him. At one point I felt okay for Scott to FaceTime me in from the NICU, but about thirty seconds in I started sobbing and saying I want a turn, it’s my turn to hold him. Scott immediately ran back down to me and we had a really good cry. It was just too much. 
We held hands a lot. To give you a gage on my swelling, by the time we left the hospital those bands could slip off my wrist. 

At this point my nurses had switched shifts and we got a spitfire of a girl named Tiffany. She was truly amazing. She was exactly what I needed. She read my Momma hormones just right and spent a lot of time telling me how amazing I was and getting me comfortable. I was so worried about my milk coming in because magnesium can slow that production as well and I had been on it for four days. She gave me the confidence to try and pump for Evan. I couldn’t hold him yet, but I could send him food. Feeding people gives me so much joy and I could send something for my baby. It was 1am and she got us set up pumping and I actually produced enough collostrum to fill several syringes. We sucked up every drop and Scott ran it up to the NICU. Scott fed Evan with the syringes at the 4am feeding. It was such a blessing for me to have something to feel like the Mom. Scott went back for the 7am and again at 10:30am where we found out Evan was doing amazing with his glucose levels and they were able to drop the glucose rate down to 2mg/hr. 

Holding my syringes full of food for Evan. So swollen from the preeclampsia.

I had realized it was daylight savings day and I begged my nurses to let me get off the magnesium an hour early. I didn’t want to wait another minute to get to hold Evan. They were on board with my plan and told me they would talk to my Dr. Dr. V came at 11am, and because my blood pressure was so stable he ended the magnesium drip 3hrs early. I could have kissed him. It was like finally coming up for air. They said that over the next few hours they would start to unhook everything and once I could stand up for 45seconds they would move me to postpartum and I would be allowed to go to the NICU. 

By noon they let me have broth and crackers, not exactly the meal I was picturing after two days of ice chips, but throwing up on top of everything else going on with me didn’t sound like fun. I was so determined to be able to stand. By 2pm they started to unhook me from everything which felt amazing. I’m sure I was surrounded by angels when I stood up for the first time in days. I was unsteady, but was able to do it on my first try. My baby needed his Momma! By 3pm they moved me over to postpartum. Very nice nurse Carol gets me settled and a wheelchair. She left to go get my medication and I have to pee. Scott helps me walk to the bathroom,and I have zero problems until I slip, catch myself on the guardrail and manage to break my saline lock/ IV port. So now my wrist is spraying blood all over the bathroom. Carol comes to the rescue and takes it out and gets things cleaned up, cheerfully without making me feel dumb. I just couldn’t catch a break.  But it didn't matter because that wheelchair had my name on it and I was going to hold my baby. 

Finally at 3:45pm, 27 hours after giving birth, I got to hold my baby. 

He knew who I was and calmed down immediately when we got to do skin to skin. 

I would do anything for you sweetheart. I'm so grateful you're ours.