Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Lynae’s birth story…

2009 10-21 038

Lynae is 6 weeks old today and it’s about time I finished writing this post that I started just a few days after her birth…

On Wednesday morning, September 9th, 2009, we all got up as usual for school. I hadn’t eaten but otherwise it was a ‘regular’ morning. We dropped the kids off to their classrooms, were blessed to hear well wishes and offers of prayer from many of the teachers and faculty, and around 8am headed out from there. We went to the gas station to fill up the big van and mike ran in for a cup of coffee from Duncan Donuts. Then it was over to my parents’ house to trade off vehicles.

After that we drove up to the hospital, arriving right around 9. There wasn’t much to do but put on a gown and have the baby monitored for a bit, so we sat and played cards to pass the time. Monitoring went just fine- one small episode during a contraction of her HR dropping instead of accelerating, but it was fine and I came off the monitors a bit later.

After 11, probably around 11:15 they came in to do the first of the tests . The anesthesiologist came in and explained the procedure to us. I was given a pill and a small ‘drink’ that tasted disgusting. With those being the only things in my stomach I felt nice and nauseated. Especially since my sugar levels were probably off too.

After he left and things started moving forward for the c-section to happen it was like a little rush of ‘this is REAL’ hit me. Not the reality of the baby- I was good there. Not the reality that I was going through surgery, but the reality that this surgery was going to happen with me awake and I was going to have zero control over anything! I’m not even that big of a control freak. But it really just ‘hit’ me.

Everyone had left the room and I sat there in the rocking chair with Mike by my side, his Sunday best (scrub-in clothes) on the bed and having heard they’re just about ready… and the flood of emotions let loose. I just sat and cried. For fear, anxiety, joy, anticipation, everything all together came out in the form of tears and boy did I feel better letting it out! Then I went to the restroom, got my face washed and myself put back together just a bit, and the comedy act that entered the room next had a way of putting a person at ease in a moment.

They walked in like a comedy show, laughing, picking on each other, and teasing, “I got the drape,” “I got the cath,” “I got the patient,” (as she holds my hand to walk to the OR), “She’s got the baby!” and they tromped out of the hallway.

Going into the OR was different than with Brianna. This time it was relaxed, I wasn’t already ‘out of it’ from meds and was able to climb the step onto the table and asked to lay down. The table, I might add, is not very comfortable :) But these ladies talked and kidded all the while getting things ready and checking on me.

The anesthesiologist had come in earlier and listed off his 100 MPH required speech (not kidding, he’d give Dr. Seuss a run for it given the chance!) and he explained what he was going to do. “You’ll feel cold, I’m washing the area down. Now I’m putting a drape on your back. You’ll feel a little prick and then cold. Another prick and you might feel more cold. That’s the numbing agent. Now the area’s numb but you may feel a tiny prick then nothing more.”

“OW! Um, that’s not numb!”

“You mean not numb like you felt another little prick or more?”

“Like I felt you sticking something into my back MUCH more than the little prick that you just did twice before that.”

”Ok, not numb… let’s do this again. A little prick and some cold…”

Yes, that time it worked and he was able to do the spinal without me feeling it all. Not a fun first go-round when he started inserting it before it was numb though!

Then they laid me back, did a catheter and all that fun stuff, prepped with drapes and pinned up the ‘curtain’. They made the first incision (which I’m SO glad that they tell you after they’ve made it because then I could let my guard down that I might feel anything after the scare with the spinal. I certainly did NOT want to feel them making incisions! :)). Mike was brought in at that point.

Now I was strapped down (they loop your hands so you can’t freak out and start grabbing things), cold, nervous, and of course excited as well. Mike came and found my hand and stood by my head. He watched what he could of the surgery and just sat near. As much as I don’t consider myself a wimp, if I have to be awake for a surgery (and yes, I’m GLAD I was awake and got to see my baby immediately, but it is a little freaky KNOWING that they’re doing the surgery and feeling them tugging and pulling…) I’m very glad to have my husband nearby!

Finally they pulled her out and she took NO pause before taking a nice big breath and screaming at them ALL. She wasn’t so happy to be pulled from her secure little womb of warmth! It wasn’t one of my finer moments, I will admit, but my first thought was “Wow, our house is going to be pretty noisy!” LOL. (Now, however, I think she has a very sweet cry and it really isn’t one that plays on your nerves even :) ).

They brought her over and scrubbed her up. I could see out the corner of my eye where they were and what they were doing. I watched as much as I could but at that point also felt like I could finally relax a little. I closed my eyes and just listened to everything then glanced over at them every minute or two until they brought her over. She was just beautiful.

I thought for sure that because Brianna was so tiny for so long that the next baby would look huge no matter what. I was wrong. In front of me was a beautiful, tiny, perfect little baby girl. I kissed her and snuggled against her, they freed one arm so that I could touch her, and then Mike went back to the nursery with them to have her bathed and cleaned up and warmed up a little.

After a time the OR staff brought me out to the recovery area. I spent about 40 minutes there just resting and waiting it out. Eventually they said I could wiggle my toes (I tried to, and I couldn’t feel it… but they said I was!) and they brought me out through the hall to my room, stopping by the nursery to hold Lynae for the first time. And I have to admit, it’s strange that the first time I got to hold her was in the middle of a hallway with strangers walking by… but it doesn’t matter because everything else disappears when you have that baby in your arms for the first time.

Mike’s mom was there too and came over to say ‘hi’. Then we gave the baby back as they brought me to get settled in a room. One that they’d “reserved” for us since they knew we had a lot of kids and they wanted us to have plenty of space. Wasn’t that nice?? :)

Back in the room the events begin to swim a bit as far as what happened when or which day was which! I think that the Morphine drip they had me on probably has something to do with that. I found out I have a decent pain tolerance! LOL The nurse was surprised when she checked on how often the ‘button’ had been pushed. I guess i was supposed to want more drugs :)

That day I was in bed the rest of the day and the next morning I was able to get up and move around, have the catheter out, and get on oral pain meds. It definitely wasn’t pleasant to get up and move about, but knowing it was necessary I did get up and go some.

That second day we also had the kids come up and visit. First Kristopher and Brianna came with my parents and my brother then Emma and Micah came up with Mike’s parents. K and B loved the little gifts they’d gotten (a playmobile fireman set and a groovy girl) and were excited about their new baby sister too. Micah got a music box from "the baby" and was very nonchalant about Lynae but did scream in the elevator all the way to the 3rd floor, and Emma was given a doll that says "mama" and "I love you" (which she still plays with all the time) and she hated the idea of a hospital and freaked out. Honestly should have anticipated that one, but she had done well with recent visits to other people…. but not this time.

Let’s see, she was born on Wednesday, Thursday the kids visited for the first time, Friday we were there as well and my mom brought Micah and Brianna up for a short visit and I was finally getting to feeling a little more alive and more ‘myself.’ On Thursday night Mike stayed with me a second night just to be there and help me get up if I needed to. He’d gone home for a little while to spend some time with the kids and put them into bed. There wasn’t any huge reason for him to be at the hospital but it was nice that he was able to stay help me and my parents were fine staying the night and getting the kids off to school. Well, that night I was VERY glad he stayed!

Around 11pm I started to lay down and had a sharp pain in my chest. I had a ‘cramping’ feeling in my shoulder as well, but I realized I couldn’t breathe. I couldn’t actually draw a full breath at all! Mike had just rolled over on the pull out bed (A nice one, surprisingly!) next to me and although I felt like I’d yelled at him twice, he didn’t flinch. Finally I grabbed my book and literally chucked it over at him. He sat up with a start then realized I was trying to get him and couldn’t breathe well.

He called the nurses and they said I probably had an air bubble up under my ribs from the surgery. Sounds stupid and harmless, but they then said that that alone is often more painful than labor. Oh, and yeah, the not breathing isn’t fun either! The respiratory therapist had brought a ‘breathing thingy’ in to show how much breath you’re taking in (make sure you’re taking deep breaths..) and they asked me to do it… it barely moved. I was in a lot of pain and wasn’t getting a whole lot of air. Thankfully my O2 Sats didn’t drop though!

So, an hour of walking and a dose of Simethicone (mylicon basically) and I was able to at least partially recline and get a little sleep. I had a second “attack” about 20 minutes into it when I tried to lay back down and go back to sleep but then got up and walked and did all I could to try to get the air to dissipate.

Oh, and hospitals seem to be a good place to have moments that aren’t exactly our best… This whole ‘experience’ happened to be a night when my regular nurse was busy with something/someone else a lot of the night hours and so another nurse came in twice. It just happens to be someone I went to high school with that I haven’t seen in 9 years. “Oh, yeah, I remember you, don’t mind me as I have tears running down my face and I’m in PAIN.” Not exactly a fun time for a high school reunion.

Remember that mention earlier about a high pain threshold? Yep, still true. Apparently sometimes people are just beside themselves because of how excruciating the pain of the air under your ribs can be. In fact the next morning my OB came in and said “I hear you experienced your second bought of labor last night.” Without laughing I said “Labor after a c-section is really not funny!” Of course all in good natured banter :)

Friday Mike went home and spent time with the kids and got them off to school then came back up after a bit to help us ‘pack up’ on Saturday. We were surprised when the nurse said that we could either call for a volunteer to come walk us down in a wheelchair or we could just walk down ourselves! So… Mike brought our stuff down to the car, and yes, you guessed it, I picked up the camera, Mike picked up the baby in her carseat, we stopped at the nurse’s station to say good bye and we walked out to the elevators :) Mike did pull the car around for me though!

Today Lynae is 6 weeks old and what a joy and a blessing she is. All of the kids have accepted that she’s here to stay and they all are excited to see her… well, Micah’s finally at last noticing her anyway :) But no one seems to be having adjustment issues anymore and we are so blessed by each and every one of our children.

Lynae’s personality is fairly laid back, but she does LOVE to be held. We’re still working on the nighttime sleeping with her. I know there are systems and books and ways… and for now I’m happy to do it the way we are… and to move together into a different pattern as we can :) I’m not minding the extra time with an alert and awake and sweet little baby late into the night… so long as I get an occasional nap with her some of the days :)

Lynae was 9 lbs 9 oz at 5 weeks old and 22.5 inches long. She’s wearing 0-3 months clothes now and they’re fitting her nicely. She only wore newborn things for a while, the entire first month probably. She even got into several preemie outfits the first week or two. Lynae is in a size 1 diaper and goes through quite a bit of those :) She likes the car for the most part unless she’s hungry but is accepting a pacifier more now too. We tried the MAM like we’d used with Kristopher but the Nuk brand she doesn’t gag on… so we’ll go with that :) Lynae loves the baby k’tan wrap and I ‘wear’ her quite often when all the kids are with us. She snuggles in and sleeps most of the time she’s in it.

She has good head control and strong little arms and legs. She’s not a big fan of tummy time but she hasn’t had a ton of it yet since she’s been held or sleeping most of the time until this past week :) It’s now “safe” to put her on a blanket on the floor as long as someone’s watching (but we don’t have to physically BE on top of her keeping the other kids off now!). She likes music and has started watching the mobile on her crib or swing when they’re on. When it finishes she cries :)

What a wonderful thing it is to be able to raise up the next generation. To be entrusted with God’s children to raise up into fellowship with Him.

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