Monday, October 28, 2013

Hello Handsome!

He's here!  Adam Ryan Brasher made his debut into the world on October 7 and we couldn't be happier to have him here!

Despite starting my pregnancy dead set against having another induction, we ended up deciding to get induced at 39 weeks in hopes of having a smaller baby and no 3rd degree tears (or blood transfusion).  The ultrasounds I was getting at the end of my pregnancy all pointed towards Adam being a big baby and we decided that it was worth going through an induction in order to have an easier recovery.  My midwife even moved my due date up so I could get induced earlier (she moved it to align with the due date indicated by my first ultrasound) since Baylor hospital won't allow for elective inductions before 39 weeks.

Just before we left for the hospital.  Even though it's only been 3 weeks I can't believe I was ever that big!
 So at 4:45 a.m. on October 7 I found myself showering and getting ready before getting to the hospital.  I told Andy on our way into the hospital that I had hardly slept the night before because it was almost like trying to sleep on Christmas Eve.  Even though I knew I was in for a hard day, I was SO excited to get this baby out of my body and into my arms!  The last month of pregnancy is a rough one for me thanks to my massive belly (I mean seriously, I look like I'm hiding a basketball under that shirt!).

We got to the hospital and checked in at 6 and then we played the waiting game for awhile.  When the nurse came to get my IV started she tried to find a vein in my left arm, but couldn't (after wiggling a needle around in there for a minute).  I had to ask her to give me a few minutes before she tried to get one on my hand because I felt like I was going to pass out. It took a good half hour before I could let her (or anyone else) try again.  There were a few minutes when I sat there thinking to myself that I would just have to go home and wait until this baby decided to come on his own because I couldn't handle them putting in the IV.  They finally got the IV in and Pitocin started at 8 a.m.  Then the waiting game really began...

Andy and I spent the morning hanging out and relaxing.  Contractions weren't too bad so other that switching positions every little while there really wasn't too much to think about.  At 2:30 my midwife Allison broke my water and suddenly everything became a bit more real.  I suddenly had to have Andy rub my back through every contraction.  We were excited though because I was a few hours "ahead of schedule"...the schedule being the timetable of when things happened with Isaac.

After a few hours of dealing with these contractions on my own, I decided I had reached the point where I needed an epidural.  I asked for a really light one so I could actually decide for myself when I was ready to push.  At first I just felt like my lower half had fallen asleep (I could still wiggle my toes!), but I was still feeling a bit of pain during contractions, so I  had to ask them to up the dosage a few times.  Ultimately, I ended up with my legs completely numb.  Once I got the epidural all I was out of it.  All the sudden I was so tired and just wanted to sleep for an hour or so.  Unfortunately, there was enough going on that I couldn't sleep, although I did get to close my eyes and rest for a few hours.

Once I had the epidural, my labor started to feel a lot like my labor with Isaac.  I could only lay on my left side and I pretty much stopped progressing (I was stuck at a 7 and about 85% effaced).  After a few checks with Allison, Andy and I started to settle in because we assumed we were going to be there all night before anything happened.

In what turned out to be a piece of good luck, Adam's heartbeat started to decrease with each contraction.  We tried pumping some fluid back in to cushion him from the contractions a bit more and sitting me in different positions, but when none of that helped Allison decided to turn off my Pitocin and call in the OB on call from her practice to decide on the next step (aka, decide whether or not a c-section was in my future).  Luckily for me, despite it being 8 at night, Dr. Plank, the OB, wasn't gung-ho to do a c-section just so she could go home.  Since I was still having contractions despite the Pitocin being turned off she thought I should try pushing to get Adam into a better position so I could finish progressing and push for real.

So Dr. Plank and Allison started to help me push through my contractions.  They had put me on oxygen earlier and at one point during the pushing I asked if I could take it off so I could actually hear what they were saying during my contractions.  I had to wear it in between contractions, but when I was actually pushing I could take it off so I could be more a part of what was going on.

After pushing through 4 or 5 contractions, one of the nurses asked Andy if we could move our stuff off a table and I heard Allison tell the other nurse to call for a nurse from NICU to come down.  As they started laying things on the table and Dr. Plank and Allison got gowns on I suddenly realized that maybe I was about to have a baby.  So I asked them something along the lines of "so am are we pushing for real now?"  When they said yes I was a little shocked.  Andy and I had just been talking half an hour ago about how we were going to be here all night and how this was going to end up just like Isaac's birth.

Despite being in a little bit of shock that I was about to have a baby (although I still thought at this point that I was in for an hour or two of pushing), I kept pushing through my contractions.  It was at this point that I really started to appreciate Dr. Plank.  She called me out on not pushing hard enough and just said straight out that if I wanted to avoid a c-section or forceps delivery I would need to push harder.  I needed that kind of bluntness to get me to do what I needed to do.  As I pushed, Dr. Plank and Allison used forceps to pop Adam's head under my pelvic bone because his head wasn't moving around it on its own.  Soon I started feeling a baby sitting in between my legs and I knew that it wouldn't be long before I held my sweet boy in my arms, so I pushed harder.

At 9:15 p.m. he was out and on my chest!  Unlike when Isaac was born I got to hold Adam for a few minutes before he was carried off to a corner of the room to get checked out.  During those few minutes Adam peed right on Allison in revenge for all she had done to kick him out of the nice warm spa he had been swimming in for the last 9 months.

The nurse weighed him (9 lb. 4 oz.), measured him (21" tall), and declared him perfectly healthy, so Adam was brought back to cuddle with me while I got stitched up.  I ended up with 3rd degree tears in the exact same place as before since they had to use forceps to push him under my pelvic bone.

After everything was all stitched up, they left us alone to recover for awhile and start nursing.  Andy and I finally had a chance to decompress and realize what had just happened.  In just over an hour we had gone from thinking we would be there all night, to worrying about a c-section, to having a baby!  I was grateful for the time to sit and relax and look at this not-so-little baby who had taken my breath away when he arrived.

Allison came in after 15 or 20 minutes to chat and see how I was feeling and tell me how everything had gone.  She told me the one thing I really needed to hear-- that there wasn't anything I could have done differently, except gain less weight, that would have changed how Adam was born.  I had been going to a chiropractor to help open up my pelvic region and I had been induced as early as possible (apparently a history of hemorrhaging isn't enough of a medical reason to induce before 39 weeks) to give me the best chance at avoiding forceps and 3rd degree tears.  So my goal for my next pregnancy is to gain less weight and be more active in hopes of having a smaller baby...we'll see how it goes.

When it's all said and done though, Adam is here and healthy.  My recovery has been 10 times easier than it was with Isaac and I have felt so much better about everything!  I think I may actually be getting more sleep now that Adam's here despite waking up 2-3 times a night for feedings (yay for being able to sleep comfortably).  Isaac has been so sweet and loving to his new little brother that it melts my heart when I see them together.  I love my little family so much and I'm so grateful that I have 2 sweet, healthy, wonderful boys to call my own.

Adam's first bath

Isaac coming to visit us!

I love this picture so much!  Isaac was so sweet with Adam right from the beginning.