19Aug 2014

Meeting Marin

Posted by at in baby, pregnancy

So this story is 15 months late but after writing down my delivery experience with Miller, I wanted to put Marin’s into words, as it is quite different from her brother’s entry into the world. Though it is also dramatic. If you know Marin, that should come as no surprise. 

I woke up on my due date over it. And I mean over it. 40 weeks and I was done. The day before I had an appointment with my OB and she stripped my membranes, in hopes to get things going. I had been sitting at 1 cm dilated and 80% effaced for about three weeks. Side note: that shiz hurt. A lot. I had also been informed at this appointment that she was leaving to go on vacation the next day (my due date). I may or may not (read: definitely did) have cried so hard that the nurse was nervous. Poor Dustin just stood there, holding my very swollen hand while I tried to put my head around the fact that my doctor, that I loved and adored, would probably not be delivering my first child, all the while having some serious cervical pain from the membrane stripping. But what are you going to do?

So, on my due date, I decided we should go shopping. My parents had come to Baton Rouge for “Baby Watch 2013,” so we all piled in the car and took off. I am going to go ahead and say now that I was not a very nice person that day. Like, not even a little bit. Everything was on my nerves. I had a feeling something was going down that day, so I had my mom take some pictures of Dustin, me, and the bump. I looked horrid, swollen, and kind of rude. That sums up my attitude that day. So I’ll just post this…

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We went out for some lunch and then went shopping. As we were in Baby Gap, I looked at my mom and told her I thought that perhaps my water had broken. I was very calm because I wasn’t totally sure and also, I just wanted the ball rolling. Dustin could not get us home fast enough. He was totally panicked and very curious as to why I was not. We got home and he had me texting my OB, asking her if she thought we needed to go in. I took a shower, washed and dried my hair, put on some makeup, and calmly wondered if today was the day.

Contractions started coming, probably around 7 minutes apart. I knew I didn’t need to rush to the hospital for this. Dustin did not care. He would rather sit in the ER until it got real than sit at home and wait. Around 9:00 PM, he threw our packed bags in the car and off we went. We held hands the entire way to the hospital, said a little prayer, and wondered if this would be our last night without a daughter.

Here is where I offer up too much info for some of you. Because it was May, I was super big pregnant, and we were outside, it was not broken water, but just general sweat in that vicinity. Sorry. This IS a birth story, you know. However, to my surprise, I was contracting every 4 minutes or so. An ultrasound was ordered to check up on the baby, since we were there and all. Eventually, the doctor on call let us know, in her words exactly, I had bought myself a ticket to an induction. Marin was not practice breathing, I had one high blood pressure episode at 37 weeks (I basically had a panic attack at my doctor’s appointment because I was like ummm this is all about to get real), and I was contracting. So at 11:00 PM, we settled in to a room up in L&D.

At 11:01 PM, my parents came waltzing through the door. My mom had full makeup on and they were totally grinning. I sent them home with a “what are you doing here, inductions can take forever.” They were just besides themselves excited about the first grand baby coming. But good grief. (love you, mom and dad) What I remember about that very long night was this: Friends played on TV Land all night and I was not upset about it, and Dustin slept on a tiny sofa and every time he woke up, he was after me to get an epidural already. Also, I did not like my night nurse.

After discussions with several people, I decided to get the epidural at around 6:00 AM. The OB would be in to break my water around 8:00 AM and apparently it’s super painful and then contractions would start hurting like a you know what. I figured I would have a baby with a lot of pain or no pain at the end of it so why bother with pain? I wanted to enjoy it, so the epidural came early. And it came heavy. So heavy, I was blocked as though it were a spinal. I was freezing cold, could not move a single toe, and even felt heaviness creeping up my chest. The day passed without any commotion and I slowly dilated to 5 cm…and then I dilated to 10 cm in an hour. It was go time. I pulled my hair into a ponytail and said let’s do this. I was all ready to go and then, because of that heavy epidural, my leg fell out of the stirrup. My nurse and Dustin were horrified but I didn’t even feel it. I sat there, laughing, as Dustin picked up my dead weight leg and placed it back into the stirrup. Then delivery commenced.

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Towards the end of an hour of pushing, the doc came in and announced that Marin was OP, or off position. Often this results in a c-section. I went beast mode and got her out in one final push. It resulted in a third degree tear for mom and seriously wonky head for daughter. So wonky, in fact, Dustin and I burst out laughing when they showed us our screaming bundle of joy. Normal parental reaction? Not sure. But after the laughter, my first thoughts were, “Hey, I know you.”

It took 45 minutes to stitch me up and I loved that time in the room. Our nurse snapped tons of pictures of us, though most came out blurry. Dustin and I were in that new parent bliss mode, marveling that we made a baby and she was here, in our arms, turning us into a little family of three.

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07Aug 2014

Miller: One Month

Posted by at in baby

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No, really, he is one month old today. I know, it’s crazy. This past month has been a whirlwind. The best way I can describe it to you is this: the delivery, his surgery, and our NICU stay feel like a blurry thing of the past. Now, I’m sure the pain pills I absolutely took post c-section helped that fog right along, however, it feels the same way for Dustin.

I wasn’t sure what this one month mark held for us. My first day home from the hospital, I rented a hospital grade pump (Medela symphony) so that I could exclusively pump as effectively as possible while Miller was in the NICU. It is an awesome pump, by the way. Anyhow, when I picked it up, I rented it for one month, not knowing if we would still be in the NICU, if he would decide a bottle was easier because he had that first, or what. I wasn’t sure if I was going to be turning it in or holding onto it for awhile longer. I turned it in this week happily because this little man latched the very first breastfeed and never looked back. I haven’t used the pump once since I brought him home.

While I had read and heard the typical NICU stay post surgery for isolated duodenal atresia was around 2 weeks, I mentally prepared to do closer to a month of NICU time. Some babies have trouble getting their feeds up and it really just all depended on how well he was able to tolerate them. Basically we needed poop and no spit up. Miller said bunk that and just took off. His feeds were increased fairly rapidly because he was a good sized (8 lbs 15 oz at birth) term baby and was doing so well. The fact that he was home in 11 days and this one month milestone was hit at home makes this momma happier than I know how to express into words.

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Yesterday, we met with the surgeon for our first clinic visit. At one month, Miller is now 10 lbs 10.7 oz, having gained about 3 lbs in the 3 weeks since he’s been up to full on demand feeds at home (he lost about 11% of his body weight during those first 11 days). I had to take a picture of Miller with his world class surgeon. Words cannot express how lucky I feel to have had Dr. Olutoye. He is so incredibly kind and humble. He personally checked on Miller every single day, even once he was bumped from Level 4 NICU to Level 2. The nurses said the surgeons almost never do that in Level 2. But he did. He was an absolute Godsend and I am grateful every single day for that man being our surgeon.

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Tears have hit me at very random moments this past month. Well, maybe not so random, as it’s usually when Dustin and I have been cuddled on the couch with Miller, or if I’m snuggling with him after he eats. It’s tears of relief, joy, and love. This month has been somewhat of a blur and the difficulties already feel like a thing of the past. Knowing that I have safely delivered my child, his surgery is over, and he is home is the greatest thing in the world. Being on the other side is the best.

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06Aug 2014

Meeting Miller

Posted by at in baby, pregnancy

The day I had Miller, I was due at maternal fetal medicine for monitoring and evaluation of the little guy due to cord issues. I was 38 weeks, 3 days and he had been experiencing variables in his heart rate off and on the entire pregnancy. I had been getting hooked up to monitors since 36 weeks and had a few biophysical ultrasounds. Due to his breech presentation, I had a c-section scheduled for Friday, 7/11. My monitoring that Monday morning went fine but MFM didn’t see a reason to wait until the magic 39 week date considering all the other moving parts with this delivery. The surgeon was in town, our family was lined up to watch Marin, and above all, we all wanted to avoid a cord accident.

Dustin and I alerted our parents and we headed to Labor & Delivery. Everyone was hurrying to get me ready for a section by noon (it was 11AM) when the resident with my OB discovered that Miller was head down. I had been crying while they were getting everything ready because I was terrified of a section and absolutely did NOT want one; when I heard this news, I was elated. Furthermore, I was contracting every 7 minutes, 3 cm dilated, and about 70% effaced. Dustin and I got excited and wanted to get the Pitocin going and have my OB break my water before he could flip again (the extra fluid from him having duodenal atresia made it easier for him to do so at this stage in the game). The nurses then switched gears and began to prep the room for a vaginal delivery. My spirits were lifting and I was so happy….until my OB came in. She had been consulting with the MFM doc and due to abdominal distention on the little man (from the duodenal atresia), he was at much higher risk for shoulder dystocia. I wasn’t totally familiar with this but all that mattered were the words increased morbidity for mom and baby and I knew I couldn’t proceed. My OB stated she felt like shoulder dystocia is one of the worst case delivery scenarios possible but the choice was left up to Dustin and me, of course. Tears rolled incessantly down my cheeks. Dustin said he couldn’t lose either of us. The thought of making the wrong decision for my child because of a fear I had was tearing me apart. I had to go ahead with the section, no matter how I felt about it.

Having a husband that works in anesthesia meant that one of the best was called over to do my case. He was the nicest, calmest man and explained everything that would happen in the most patient way to a woman who was obviously holding in her hysteria. Within minutes, the OR nurse was wheeling me down the hall to the operating room.

Dustin actually took pictures of me as I waited for my spinal. What is wrong with him? And what is wrong with me posting this? Whatever. #reallife

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The spinal went perfectly and my only task at this point was to keep my breathing under control. It wasn’t long before Dustin, my OB, and everyone else was piling in the room to begin.

At 2:24 PM, our son was delivered safely to us.

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I know I made the right decision for my baby. While he was, in fact, head down, there was so much fluid he was floating a bit and my OB said that would have added in the extra risk of cord prolapse. I would never have forgiven myself if anything had gone wrong, so even though I absolutely hated having a c-section, it doesn’t matter.

Miller was whisked away after he was delivered and had to have his stomach suctioned. Dustin went with him, which meant I was totally alone while being stitched up. After awhile, Dustin was allowed to bring Miller in but it didn’t seem like long enough. He was taken to the NICU and I was taken back to my room without him. Let me tell you, that is a weird, crappy feeling.

With Marin, I was an active participant in her delivery. We snuggled after she was born and breastfed before seeing any family members. This time, I did not have any part of the delivery and my baby was just kind of shown to me before heading off somewhere else. For me, emotionally speaking, the section sucked.

Dustin made sure the NICU staff brought him to my room after their assessment so we could wait on transport to Texas Children’s Hospital together and I could actually spend time with my son and for that, I am grateful.

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So that is pretty much how his birth went. Uncomplicated caesarean delivery with lots of tears and an emotional meltdown preceding it. There’s a lot more to say about everything that followed but since this is just the birth story, we’ll end it here. Stay tuned for the rest of the saga.

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23Jul 2014

Coming Up For Air

Posted by at in baby, family, pregnancy

He’s here! If you follow me on instagram, you know by now that we welcomed our son, Miller, into the world on Monday, July 7. It was an uncomplicated delivery but was not drama free. I will probably get his birth story up here soon (and maybe do Marin’s, oh, just a year late).

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We have been running on adrenaline and it’s catching up with us a bit. We’re finding ourselves tired and under caffeinated but could not be more grateful that Miller’s surgery went flawlessly and his recovery time and NICU stay was ridiculously quick, coming in at 11 days. He pretty much punched duodenal atresia in the face.

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I have so much to say about our experiences these past two weeks: exclusive pumping, our NICU time, having a c-section, and more. As things settle down, I’ll tell ya all about it. Marin definitely would if she could…

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