Wednesday, May 7, 2014

A Baby Story

I'm blowing off the dust from my poor neglected blog to share what I have been soaking in and savoring for the last little while. The story of my son's arrival. *disclaimer- it's long.*

My little's name is not very traditional; it's not something you'll find in baby name books and if you do there is no "meaning" behind it. In truth I had a student my first year teaching with that name. He was an awesome kid (and I'm sure still is) and I loved his name. It always stuck with me and was an immediate favorite for a boy name when Josh and I found out we were pregnant.

So, I have decided to assign his name a meaning based on the lesson God chose to teach me through praying and waiting for, carrying, and delivering this bundle of joy. Forevermore the name Daxon to me will mean "patience".

After 2 years of waiting, praying, believing, and working with my doctor, God blessed us with our miracle. Then we waited to find out he was a boy. We waited anxiously to feel and see him move. We waited to find out whether or not I was diabetic. We waited to find out whether or not he was too big. We waited for labor. And most of all- we waited for April; for springtime and the Easter bunny and the greatest gift we have ever been given.

Sweet little profile.
I loved being pregnant. LOVED. IT. I had a very smooth pregnancy that was boring and predictable, for the most part. Second trimester was spent dealing with headaches/migraines and getting a horrible virus that just about ruined Christmas for me. Third trimester started and the headaches disappeared and left a sweet spot for me in pregnancy.  As my belly grew and my baby boy wiggled and we prepared I fell more and more in love with the new chapter in our lives we were about to embark on!

The last time I remember feeling good. About 38 weeks.
Two weeks before my due date my blood pressure began to play games. I was swollen, but what pregnant woman isn't at 38 weeks? I was still working, but each day felt like a marathon. The stress caused my blood pressure to rise at work to uncomfortable levels, but once I got home or to the doctor it came back down. After a week or two of that my doctor recommended I stop work. I was instructed to rest and keep my feet up. And I did. You would think those two weeks would have been a dream- enjoying time to myself and preparing to meet my baby; watching tv and taking naps. It was awful. I was experiencing something called "prodromal labor"- it basically means false labor that has no certain starting or stopping point. I was having consistent, painful contractions on and off; so much so that we did end up at the hospital once but there was no significant progression that would allow active labor to start. For 14 days I fought through night after night of contractions, back pain, and only 2-3 hours of sleep. I couldn't sleep lying down so I was confined to the recliner in the nursery. I became an irritated, swollen, miserable, pregnant mess. I wanted my baby to come on his own, but I also had a hunch that wasn't going to happen unless my water broke. With every contraction I could feel him move down, but as soon as it was over he would move back up. Someone was enjoying his bouncy waterbed.

left- juuuust waiting right- the bump picture that ended up being my last day of work

At my 40 week appointment my doctor told me to hang in there. He felt sure labor was just a couple days away. Until I went to my 41 week appointment. I was still a few days shy of 41 weeks, but my swelling had begun to get worse and was now "pitted" (meaning if you push down on it there would be a dent left behind- it was weird), and my blood pressure was continuing to shoot up and come back down to normal. At that appointment my doctor, Joshua, and I felt although baby was content- my body was done and to keep any serious complications from arising I was sent to the hospital that evening to begin preparing to be induced.

left- our last family photo as two! hello puffy everything. right- on our way to the hospital

We got settled in a high risk room for the night and it took SEVEN different sticks into my arms and hands to get an IV placed. Yuck.

the view was beautiful!
 left- got in a fight with a porcupine. and lost. right- here we go! nervous and excited parents to be.

We tried to get some sleep because we were supposed to be transferred to labor and delivery and pitocin was supposed to be started by 6am. Hence the use of the word "supposed". Turns out the full blood moon was quite effective and every single l&d room was booked. Until 12pm. Once we got moved and settled into the new room they checked me- I was 3cm and 50% effaced so they got the pitocin started but did not break my water. Doctor didn't want to do that yet and I agreed, but silently I knew that my waterbed loving baby wasn't going to get moving while he could still bounce around in there. They cranked the pitocin up and up and up. They chased Daxon around in my belly. In fact they came in and did a brief sonogram to make sure he was still head down since they were having so much trouble keeping track of his heartbeat. They cranked the pitocin more. No progress. Family came and went. I got frustrated and overwhelmed. We had all waited so long and the waiting seemed like it was never going to end! I felt like a pot of water on the stove. Everyone watching and waiting for me to boil. At 7 pm it had been well over 24 hours since I had eaten or drank anything, so they decided to take me off the monitors and pitocin and give me the evening to eat and drink and rest. I was so incredibly grateful for that. I ate everything in sight (because I knew the next day I would be back to ice chips and popsicles) and drank as much water and coke as I could to stave off a caffeine headache (spoiler- didn't work). And we slept.

Early the next morning, it was game on. I was making sure my bladder was nice and empty and my doctor popped in pumped and ready to go and carried on a conversation with me while I finished my business. It was hilariously awkward but it made me laugh and I knew today would be a great day. They hooked me back up. He was still being really stubborn and hard to keep up with, so when my doctor came back to check me, he also broke my water and put an internal monitor on Dax so I could move around without worrying about losing his heartbeat with the belly monitor. That was a great thing because it was just as I suspected- as soon as my water broke labor hit. And it hit hard! I progressed from 2-3 cm to 5cm in about 30 minutes. Without his squishy waterbed baby boy decided to surrender and come on down. I labored without pain medicine for a couple hours. I hated laying down and did best standing and rocking back and forth. I gladly took the epidural around 6 cm. My family began to arrive and were thrilled to see things progressing- the atmosphere was excited and energetic- we knew today would be the day.

The last photo of him in my belly- reppin' my tiger stripes. :)
This man. He was amazing. Such an incredible support and coach. And the Popsicle. Loved the Popsicles.
Labor with an epidural is incredibly easy- not going to lie. It's different for every woman, but for me I was thankful that I could still feel my belly contract. I knew when my contractions were because I wasn't too numb. It helped me still feel connected to my labor. Around 6pm the medicine began to wear off a bit and I requested a re-dose to get me through pushing because I was 8-9cm at that point and knew it would be soon. The lady that re-dosed me gave me waaay to much and to make a long story short- it stalled me at 9.5 cm for almost 2 hours. All I had was a "lip" (sorry if that's tmi) left and it took forever to go away. During this time even with the epidural I was feeling extreme pressure and began wanting to push. I couldn't yet and it got really intense having to work through each contraction moment by moment so that I would not get overwhelmed or afraid. Finally around 8pm the doctor checked me one last time and said it was time to go!!!

My nurse coached me on how to push and told me not to get down if it takes 2-3 hours to push since I'm a first time mom. I don't remember whether or not I told her, but in my head I knew it wasn't going to take that long. I was ready to meet my boy. The nurse counted the first few pushes. Josh, my mom, and mother in law took turns holding my legs, and my youngest sister dropped ice in my mouth when I requested it. I'll never forget us laughing in the midst of it all because she put hand sanitizer on her hands at one point and it made the ice taste awful! I made her wash her hands. I kept my eyes closed and focused solely on my body and the contractions, because at this point I could feel everything going on as my baby... umm... descended. They didn't tell me when to push. I told them, and at some point Josh took over counting down during my pushes and he was amazing! People could hear him up and down the hallway, and we laugh about that now but at the time I needed that. I focused on his voice and the doctor's voice. I yelled at the doctor "I do NOT understand why people do this more than once!!!!" after an intense contraction. Everyone laughed. The doctor belly laughed. "You will see why in just a few minutes," was his reply. I could hear things being set up and more people coming in and getting ready and knew I had to be getting close. Another push... and another... and another... and before I knew it I heard the most beautiful sound ever. I heard my son come into this world screaming. 50 minutes after I began pushing. Just call me Wonder Woman. They plopped him on my belly. Everyone was yelling and crying and talking about how beautiful he was and Josh was proclaiming over and over that Dax had his ears, but I couldn't see him! After what seemed like an eternity Josh cut the cord, they wiped him up, put a hat on him, and the doctor held him up and placed him on my chest. I wish I had something sappy to say about that, but my first reaction to seeing him was to say "THAT came out of me?!?!". He was huge. So much bigger than I expected a newborn baby to be.

After the initial shock I held him close, listened to him cry, and whispered "Happy Birthday" and "I love you" over and over as tears of joy ran down my cheeks. "I've waited so long to meet you!" I told him. I was finally a mama. His mama. Josh changed his first diaper while I continued to be cleaned and stitched. Then we had a blissful hour of time as just the three of us. We soaked it in. We were finally a family.

The nurses were wonderful and worked hard to make my birthing experience a proud one! They were very respectful of my wishes and so supportive. My doctors were phenomenal and my doctor (who got me through half my labor but did not get to deliver him) called us the next day just to say congratulations and check on me. I'm so thankful for that and felt so taken care of during our hospital stay.

Our world has been changed, but in the best way possible. Being parents is not easy, but all it takes is one little look into his sweet face and I would move Heaven and Earth for him. I was very scared of becoming a mom; scared I wouldn't know what to do. Admittedly sometimes I don't know what to do, but I always know what he needs and we are doing the best we can for him as his parents. I cannot wait to share more of these moments. I already feel like he is growing too fast, but I am so excited for each milestone and how the way we have fun as a family will change and evolve. 

Daxon, Welcome to this world. We have waited a long time just for you! You are my light and my song. Your daddy is crazy about you and you look so much like him. I pray we are able to raise you to be half the man he is. We can't wait to share life with you and teach you about Jesus and train you to be a loving, compassionate, respectful man. Thank you for being our miracle and making us parents.                                                                                               All our love, Mama & Daddy