Friday, December 9, 2016

Grayson's Birth Story

After losing a baby when you are finally expecting to meet them, labor and delivery is never the same again.  We still hope for the best and pray, but it is never stress free.  Each day that brings us closer to meeting our little rainbows also brings us even more stress and anxiety over what can happen.  We do our best to relieve that stress with more careful monitoring both at home and at the doctor appointments.  We sit through many NST evaluations listening to baby's heartbeat and praying they stay strong and steady.  We dread the start of spontaneous labor that may cause our baby distress.  For us, going into labor on our own is no longer a happy dream announcing our baby's arrival.  We don't want to wait too long when it may be too late for our baby to take his first breath.  This time, we planned to commence with an induction at 39 weeks since that worked out well with our first rainbow, Mattox.  We went for our 36 week check up, and one of our nurse midwives said our chart stated we should induce at 37 weeks which would have been on Thanksgiving.  As thankful as we were for caring physicians and practitioners who wanted to help us get our baby here safely, we thought 37 weeks was an abundance of caution that may be a little unnecessary as we did want to make sure baby was ready to arrive.  We compromised on one additional week and scheduled induction for 38 weeks.  We were scheduled to go in Wednesday night November 30th to begin cervix ripening and then proceeding with induction on Thursday morning.  We knew induction would likely take a while from our history. Thankfully, Grayson's birth story really did have a perfect ending after so many months of anxiety waiting for his arrival.  Here's the story: 

When we arrived at the hospital on Wednesday night, the nurse midwife planned to try using the bulb cervix dilation device which she thought would work more efficiently than Cervidil.  Unfortunately, my cervix would not cooperate so we had to stick with Cervidil.  I wasn't expecting much dilation by Thursday morning but was hoping for a lot of thinning at least.  I was happily surprised that I was a couple of cm's dilated that morning when checked as we prepared to begin Pitocin.  I had been having mild contractions that were pretty regular on the monitors while I was lying down on my back.  The Pitocin worked to intensify those through the day.   I was dilated to 3 to 4 cm, and they were able to break my water by early afternoon so we were excited and anticipating a December 1st delivery.   Once my water was broken, we watched and felt the contractions get more intense.  I went ahead and got an epidural. I actually have a very high pain tolerance and do not mind painful contractions at all.  I actually get the epidural because I always tear a little during the final pushing and that pain and the after care is a lot more pleasant when you are numb.  I don't have an accurate assessment of the time from here, but I did rest for a little while under the epidural before things really started speeding up.   The baby's heart rate did start to be a little concerning and the external monitors were not able to keep track of him because he was moving so much.  They put the internal one on his head to keep him on the monitors, and he still had marks on his little head for several weeks after.  After lying on my back and sides with not much progress, I sat up in the bed cross legged.  It wasn't too long before I was starting to feel a lot of pressure and need to push.  The nurse midwife came in quickly and checked me to confirm we were finally at 10 cm.  They began making all the preparations.  Although Grayson didn't come quite as quickly as our little Mattox who shot out like a cannon, I didn't have to push too many times.  They did have to turn his shoulders a bit to help get him out, but he arrived, and we immediately heard his little cry and were so thankful.  They laid him on me and let us cuddle for a few minutes before Eddie cut the cord.  I know it is so important to have that special skin to skin contact before the cord is cut.  I am so thankful that I have always had that special time even though they did take my sweet Evan off to the nursery to monitor him for a while because he had a little breathing trouble at first.  He was fine though and never needed oxygen.  Grayson was so sweet and perfect.  All the nurses thought he looked really tiny at first until he stretched out.  He was long and skinny.   

He was born at 10:15 p.m. and the rest is history!  Grayson looked the most like his big brother Brody to me because he had the same darker hair and skin tone with some sweet little red angel kiss marks on his eyelids.  He just didn't have those crazy long eyelashes that Brody had.  He weighed 6 lbs. 12 oz. and was 21 inches long.   He weighed almost the same as big brother Mattox although he was a week earlier, but he was almost as long as big brother Brody.  He also had some of the longest fingers and toes I had ever seen on a newborn.  I don't know where he got those! 

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First picture!  

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First diaper!

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Such a sweet face.  Yes, I also see a lot of Mattox in him. 

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The first Mommy picture.  No, I do not look lovely.  I am not one of those who looks all lovely and perfect after childbirth.  My hair is a mess from lying in bed and makeup is the furtherest thing from my mind.  I read an article recently about things to remember to do when having a baby.  It advised to get this first picture with baby because no matter how you feel you look, it will be a very special memory for baby to have when older.  I mean, baby isn't going to remember this moment and will need to see pictures to know about it.  There is definitely a lot of love in those first pictures. 

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Sweet eyes opening for the first time to take in the world. 

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I think he has mine and Brody's chin and jaw. 

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Meeting Dad.  Dad's get the benefit of looking a lot sharper after delivery.  

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Snuggling on Mommy. 

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Getting the first bath in preparation for his first photo shoot.  He looks surprisingly relaxed getting his hair washed although I remember him screaming quite a bit.  Pictures can be deceiving! 

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