Thursday, January 21, 2016

Our Birth Story

On December 15th 2015, Ryan and I were given the date that I would be induced.  It ultimately changed from the night of December 27th into the morning of the 28th to the night of the 29th to the morning of the 30th because of the number of inductions that were pushed back due to the holiday and weekend.  I was elated that the date was pushed back because it gave me a couple more days to try to go into labor naturally which is what I really wanted with all my heart (now I could care less about that because I am so insanely in love with my beautiful baby boy).

A little background on why induction was required by the doctors.  At my 28 week appointment, I was told I was measuring small and that I had to see a specialist to measure my baby boy and to verify that blood flow was strong through the placenta because measuring small can be indicative of a deficient placenta.  Our first visit with the specialist indicated that he was measuring small and falling on the 5% curve with a small stomach and short femurs.  These three items are indicative of Fetal Growth Restriction (FGR) or Inter Uterine Growth Retardation i.e. the baby is small.  With FGR, induction in the 39th week is recommended across the board.  It also required that I be monitored twice a week via Non Stress Tests, weekly ultrasounds to measure fluid, weekly appointments to measure hormone levels and check me physically, and ultrasounds with the specialist every three weeks to measure size, blood flow through the chord, placenta, and organs of our baby.  Luckily baby boy and I passed every single test without any scares.  A couple doctors freaked me out, but second and third opinions (and a blessing by our parish priest), calmed my nerves.  Throughout this entire process, I wasn’t allowed to work out and I had to eat high levels of protein during the day and before bed so that baby boy would get more protein than he was.  During this entire process, Ryan was amazing and stood strong by my side and was my voice when I just wanted to cry or didn’t know how to handle a situation because let’s be real, doctors can scare that crap out of you when they say things like “stillborn” to you.

At 3:30pm on Tuesday, December 29th and my amazing parents, brother Tom, sister Bonnie, and two family pups, arrived to stay with Jared and Lira while Ryan and I were at the hospital.  Their arrival was a godsend to me because nerves were starting to get the best of me and I needed the distraction!  We went for a nice walk, made and ate chicken burritos, loaded the car, listened to Adele, and just chatted about things.  It was really nice to have them here.

At 6:45pm, I called the hospital to make sure my 7:30pm arrival time was still good and they told me to come on up. At 6:50pm, Ryan gave me a beautiful Pandora bracelet with three charms, lovebirds for us, a camera for me, and a baby boy for Maxwell.  I sobbed and hugged and kissed him.  It was absolutely perfect!  I can’t wait to wear it out and get all dressed up once Max is bigger of course. Right now I am a wee bit attached to the little munchkin and he to me!  Ryan and I actually went out for 45 minutes to grab a beer and desert the other night while my parents were in town.  It was glorious, but I loved coming home!

Around 7pm, Ryan and I said of goodbyes and headed to the hospital.  It was a surreal moment knowing that I was going to have my baby boy the next day.  I was still in a state of shock because this was not how I planned or even envisioned my labor and delivery was going to happen.  Jared seemed a little nervous, so I knew that if I could send Ryan home for the night that I was going to.  We tried to calm him, but he’s a worrier.  Thankfully my parents and siblings were there to distract him.  They walked the neighborhood to look at Christmas lights and then they walked to ice cream! 

We arrived at the hospital, registered, and completed any paperwork that I hadn’t completed ahead of time (because I am a planner), and Ryan joked with the nurses the entire time!  I was quiet and he was being a goof!  Typical us when we are nervous and anxious.  Once I was checked into my room and changed into nothing but my lovely mint green hospital gown, I actually calmed down a bit.  Our nurse was great!  She flat out said she hates people, but loves her patients!  He bluntness totally put me at ease.  I knew she would be a straight shooter, which I needed at that moment.  When asked if we had a copy of our birth plan, we laughed and said NOPE!  Ryan and I both thought the other one was printing it and let’s be real, being induced was NOT part of my birth plan.  We told them the most important thing…DO NOT ASK ME ABOUT AN EPIDURAL.  It was noted in all caps on my board and I am happy to say not a single nurse mentioned the word to me.  I received a pelvic exam to determine how soft my cervix was and if I was dilated at all.  I definitely needed some cervical softening, but I had progressed from my last exam, so that pineapple I was chowing down on must have done some good!  To soften the cervix, a small thumbprint sized object with a string like a tampon was inserted and stayed for 12 hours.  There was a possibility that this alone would initiate labor, but chances were small.  Since my body didn’t seem anywhere near going into labor, the nurse gave me an ambien and I sent Ryan home to have a beer, sleep in a comfortable bed, and hang with Jared.  I’m the unlucky 1% that ambien doesn’t work on.  I was WIDE AWAKE until 4am.  This was not a good sign for the day to come.  I feel asleep once the ambien wore off and woke up around 8am when Ryan came back.  I showered, ate a small meal, drank some water, moved around, and waited for the induction process to start. 

Around 9:30/10am on Wednesday, December 30th, I received my first dose of induction medication and contractions immediately started 2-3 minutes apart with a duration of 90 seconds and 30-60 second peaks.  I was NOT prepared for contractions to be that close together from the beginning, but I dealt and breathed through them.  I had monitors on my belly to measure contractions and the baby’s heart rate, so I wasn’t allowed to move much.  Around 1pm, I asked to walk around or bounce on a pilates ball and the nurse let me, but quickly recanted that idea because the monitors kept loosing the heart rate and my IV malfunctioned.  My left arm and hand was full of fluid and I looked like a sausage with a half softball on my arm.  It was painful.  Three nurses later and I had a new IV in my other arm and was told I had to stay in bed.  That was a huge blow to my ego and birth plan that I didn’t have a copy of, but knew in my head and heart.  After 6 hours of heavy contractions, my water breaking on it’s own (yay!), and only progressing to 2.5c dilated, I started to get tense and not breathe through them.  A few choice words were said, tears were shed, the look on Ryan’s face broke my heart, and after 2 more hours, the word epidural came from my mouth.  Ryan literally ran out of the room to get a nurse.  The anesthesiologist just so happened to be 2 rooms down and was in my room in less than 10 minutes.  Just seeing him relaxed me.  He prepped me and then gave me the meds, laid me down, I puked my brains out (which is apparently normal), and then I was good to go.  Ryan left to get some dinner so he wasn’t eating in front of me and I passed out.  He came back an hour or so later and I woke up and told him I had a lot of pressure in my butt.  The nurse came in, checked me and bam I was 10cm +2!  Holy Cow!!  I sobbed tears of joy!  Ryan and I were convinced that I would be having a 24+ hour labor that might be ending in a C-section since my body wasn’t progressing quickly at all.  I will never forget the relief I felt of hearing those words.  We kissed, hugged, and were hit with “we are having a baby and soon” emotions!!  It was glorious!  Getting the epidural was the best decision I made that day.  It relaxed me and allowed my body to progress and prevented me from tensing and fighting my body from progressing.  I was so determined to have a natural labor, but in the end I listened to my body and am very thankful for that.  Lesson learned: Go with the flow and listen to your body.

I practice pushed a few times so that I knew what to do when the time came and then rolled to my left side and relaxed with a peanut ball between my legs for 45 minutes.  This allowed baby boy to drop more with the goal being that he would drop to -2 on his own and then I could begin pushing.  He dropped on his own which was great news.  I was on oxygen in between contractions because I had labored so intensely for so long, hadn’t eaten since 8am, and was so swollen with fluid, but right above my head was a large light with a reflective cover, so I was actually able to watch my son be born.  It was absolutely amazing and phenomenal motivation while pushing.  12 pushes through 4 contractions and he was in my arms! Doctor literally delivered him and placed him on my chest instantly.  Within 5 seconds of him being born, I was kissing him, crying on him, smelling him, and completely in love with my perfect son!  Hearing him cry and watching him respond to our voices will stay with me forever.  In this moment, I became a mommy! 

Maxwell Joseph Nolan was born at 9:36pm weighing 6lbs 2oz and measuring 20.5 inches in length. He’s my tiny perfect baby boy!

His First Picture with Mommy & Daddy

Maxwell Getting All Checked Out and Passing with Flying Colors!!

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Maxwell Joseph Is One Week Old!

I cannot believe that my baby boy is already a week old.  He has brought so much joy to my life.  The love I feel for him is like no other.  He made me a mommy and I cry the happiest of tears just thinking that.  Ryan and I created a perfect tiny human and I am just in awe.  

Maxwell has had quite the week.  
  • Sleeping on his mama's chest is his favorite place to be.  We spend the early morning hours snuggled in bed like that.  It's pure love. 
  • He had his first doctors appointment and weighed 6 lbs, just 2 oz below his birth weight. Oh and he shrunk a half an inch because his little cone went down!
  • Ryan and I were christened by Max's pee during his bath!  It was bound to happen.
  • He loves to poo while he nurses. 
  • He's eating like a stud and actually letting mommy get some sleep!
  • His first book, Good Night Moon, was read to him by his daddy.  As Ryan finished reading the book, Maxwell ripped a good one!  It was hilarious!
  • His second book, On The Night You Were Born, was read to him by his mommy.  He didn't fart :)
  • He loves lights - Christmas tree, ceiling lights, TV
  • He responds to voices, especially his mama's and papa's.  Ryan's deep voice calms him.  Mommy's voice makes him curious and generally hungry.  
  • Jared and Lira are both smitten with him and he thinks they are pretty cool!  Jared is great with him, sometimes too confident for my nerves, and Lira just likes to lick his hands and face and sniff his tummy and bottom. 
  • He's working on his interlock golf grip (His daddy is proud). 
  • We went on our first outing to Target. Went to the Nex as a family and have experimented with the Moby wrap and the Bob stroller!  All were successful!
  • Most brands of newborn clothes are too big for him, so he pretty much wears the same few outfits over and over again, but he's growing!
One Week Old Photos

The Many Faces of Maxwell:
(His first photoshoot didn't go quite as planned, but that's life with a baby and I still love the pictures.)