Thursday, February 23, 2012

My Birth Story, part 1

Bringing my sweet Nixon into this world was quite a bumpy experience. Originally, I had planned for a home birth just like we had with Paxton. Well, we knew at about 30 weeks that wasnt going to happen...
The day before my 37 week mark (Friday), I "woke" up from a very sleepless night. I was hurting everywhere, dehydrated and severely warn out. I cried a little to Jon as I kissed him goodbye. I called my midwife and scheduled an appointment to see her that morning. I asked my mom to come with me because I knew I would do nothing but cry and I needed her there to help me communicate my thoughts. My midwife sent me straight over to Mercy Gilbert Medical Center. She called ahead and registered me so I didnt even have to go through the triage formalities. I went straight into a room and a nurse came in and got my IV started. One of my midwives, Dianne, came in with one of my doctors and we came to the conclusion that it most definitely was time to have this baby. We formulated a plan to do an external cephalic version, because did I mention my baby was also breech? A version is when the doctor will manually manipulate the baby to flip by applying massive amounts of pressure on the outside of the abdomen. If that was successful (my chances were 50/50), then they would perform an amniocentesis. An amniocentesis is when a doctor inserts a needle (around 6 inches long) into my abdomen, through my uterus and placenta and pulls out amniotic fluid. They test the fluid to see if the baby's lungs are mature enough to function outside the womb. If they were, then we would induce my labor and go forward with the delivery. We all agreed, the doctors left, my mom slipped out to an appointment and I fell into a drug-induced/sheer exhaustion-induced sleep. I woke up later that afternoon to my darling husband walking in. Jon is such a sight for sore eyes :)
The date was 11-11-11 and just so happened to be the busiest day for the OB floor because everyone wanted to have a baby on that day. I really didn't care about that, but it meant that I was low on the priority list and had to wait for a time when a doctor, nurse, midwife and ultrasound tech were all available at the same time. My mom came back some time early evening and the 3 of us (my mom, Jon and I) tried to relax and rest up.
Late that night, somewhere around midnight, things seemed to be slowing down on the delivery floor so the anesthesiologist came in and did my epidural in preparation for my version. Its an extremely painful procedure. Imagine, if you will, two doctors punching you in the stomach over and over again, then double the pain level. An epidural is 100% necessary. I was terrified! Having a needle inserted into my spine was so scary and as much as i tried to fake it, everyone knew because my monitors started beeping all crazy when my heart started racing. Once it was in, I  laid back and felt no pain for the first time in weeks. it was AWESOME! I still had some waiting to do so again, we all tried to get some sleep. My mom pulled up a chair next to me and "ordered" Jon to take the couch and get some sleep since he would need all the energy he could get the next day. He crashed and I fell asleep while my mom watched HGTV. At one point, I woke up to find my sweet, wonderful mom curled up with a blanket ON THE FLOOR! I begged her to switch with Jon but she insisted on letting him sleep. I was so thankful to have my mom there with me. As she laid there on the floor, I realized just how much it meant to me to have her there and how great of a mom she is to me. My kids will be lucky if I turn out to be anywhere near the woman she is.

At about 3am, my nurse came in and told us to get ready because it was version time. The ultrasound tech came in and got set up, followed soon by the doctor (Dr Adams) and midwife (Diane). They had to watch the baby very closely because the version can actually cause the baby to go into stress or even make me go into labor. So they first start by checking the baby via ultrasound. After that, they smeared tons of the same gel all over my stomach. Then Dr Adams, with every ounce of strength in her, pushed down on my abdomen and around the baby. She moved him half way and Diane held the baby in position while she manipulated the lower half. Just when he seemed to be in place, head down, he popped right back up. So, she tried turning the other way. Her entire body was shaking as she pushed down on me. Even with my epidural, it was almost too much to handle. I felt an enormous amount of pain and pressure as she bore down on me, and it was near impossible to breath. Again, just as he was nearing a head-down position, he popped right back up. They monitored the baby and he seemed to be ok so I asked her to try one more time. She pushed and held and pushed and held more, but this baby just did not seem to want to budge. After he flipped back up again, I said I just couldnt
Diane said we had two choices: try and make it through another week or two and hope he flips on his own, or do an amniocentesis to check for mature lungs. If we did the amnio and the baby was ready, we would for sure do a c-section later in the day. Everyone left the room so that Jon and I could have a few minutes alone to decide. So it was there, in a quiet, dimly lit hospital room, at 2am that Jon and I said a prayer. We both felt very strongly that Heavenly Father was telling us to bring this baby into the world. I didnt feel like I was giving up. I felt like I had fought a tough battle and did everything I could to keep my precious little baby growing inside me long enough for him to be ok. I made it weeks longer than any of my doctors thought I would.
We called everyone back in and said "lets do this". I was terrified because a c-section really concerned me. But I had an incredible amount of peace. I knew everything would be just fine and exactly the way it should be.

So the next thing to do was the amniocentesis. The ultrasound tech came back in to assist Dr Adams. She used a needle about 6 inches long, and inserted it into my abdomen. I didnt feel it push through my skin, but BOY did I feel it go through my uterus. I gasped for air as if someone had punched me. It was the most bizarre feeling in the world. Fortunately, the pain wasnt long lasting. The doctor was able to use the ultrasound to find a good pocket of fluid to draw from. The procedure was only a few minutes and we were done. She told me we would have the results in a few hours and then could proceed with the c-section. I was exhausted and ready for sleep. It was around 4am I believe when the room cleared out and the nurse brought in something to help me sleep.
To be continued...

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Our New Baby

Nixon Ansel Hall 
was born Saturday, November 12 at 3:03pm.

He weighed 6lbs 1oz
Baby was born via C-section at 37 weeks.
We are so thankful to have him here, healthy and strong!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Where Ive Been...

So, I got kidney stones, right? Well I was just reading the post I wrote about that ordeal and laughed out loud because I said "the hard part is over for now". HA. HA! I havent blogged in months because the hard part most certainly was NOT over. Ready for more?
So after my second surgery, I had a lot more pain from the stents. A LOT more. I spent the next nearly 10 weeks in and out of the hospital. I got several more stones. I had a few more stays in the hospital to manage pain and heal from infections and dehydration. And for the last few weeks of my pregnancy, I was in the ER every 3 days or so for fluids and pain medicine.
I wasnt able to take care of Paxton on my own. Most days, my mom would pick him up early in the morning and take him to her house. That was the worst. I still have the image in my mind of seeing Pax buckled in the back seat of my mom's blue Tahoe, watching him drive away from my window. I would spend my days in my recliner watching tv or laying in my bed looking on Pinterest (love Pinterest!). I wasnt ever able to eat much and getting fluids down was near impossible which isnt a good thing, considering I was in my third trimester. I literally had to force down everything and set reminders to drink water. Some days I was super nauseous from the pain, most days though I literally had no appetite or instincts to eat.
The stents hurt worse and worse as my growing baby took up more room inside me. I couldnt sleep most nights. I couldn't pick up Pax. I walked around hunched over because everything hurt so bad. I managed the pain, somewhat, with narcotics at safe dosages for pregnancy. I literally had to take Percocet 30 minutes before I could even get out of bed in the morning. To be honest, I was afraid every time I took anything that I was hurting my unborn baby. With Paxton's pregnancy, I took Tylenol one time. This was such a different experience. General anesthesia twice as well as countless IV pain meds and oral pain meds. But I knew my baby was ok. I had felt that very deeply on many occasions.
here are some of the meds I was taking on a regular basis. 

During my 4th hospital stay (34 weeks, I think), I had steroid injections to help mature the baby's lungs. We (me, my family and ALL the millions of physicians working on my case) were sure I would deliver early. The steroids would help the baby be much stronger if he were to come sooner than he should.
Taken from Jon's phone. Im pretty embarrassed of this, but hey, I was drugged, prego and had been in a hospital bed for 3 days so thats my excuse

From the beginning of all this, the collective goal was to get me to 36 weeks. At first, Jon and I were certain that would be a piece of cake. As the time went on, we went from saying "we can make it one more week!" to "can we make it another day?" Prayers were answered though, and I welcomed in my 36th week of pregnancy with a baby shower. I was so thankful to have reached full term. The night of my shower, I actually felt better than I had in weeks. Heavenly Father knew I needed a break to prepare for what was coming next I think.
The day I hit my 37th week mark, I also hit the wall. I knew my body was done. I honestly didnt think I would have any strength left in my muscles or soul to push during labor. I went in to see my midwife, Janice Bovee. Jon was working that morning so my mom took me. On the way, she told me "Lisa, Heavenly Father is telling me and Jon and you, thats its time to let go and allow this baby to come". When I got to the office and sat down with Janice, I could barely speak because all I wanted to do was cry. But I managed to say "Im sorry, but I just dont think I can do it any more". I asked her to admit me to the hospital so I could rehydrate, have pain relief and sleep. She laughed and said "Oh Lisa, I didnt think we would be here. I was sure this baby was coming at week 32. We ALL did!"
From there my mom took me to the hospital. I walked straight up to the OB floor and said "Hi" to the nurses, who I now knew all by name. One of them actually said "are we finally doing this?"
I'll continue in my "birth story" that I'll write in a separate post.
Im so thankful for all the love and support I felt. For the prayers and fasting, for the priesthood blessings, for the countless meals brought over, for all the rides to various places, for the long visits in the hospital and for all the help taking care of Pax. It was hard. Really hard. But with all that, I was able to make it through.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

A classic kind of love

Jon sent me an email from work yesterday with a link to this video. I love that we share a love that reminds me of movies and fairy tales. In high school, I would hear a song like this (you know the kind, insanely romantic that makes you want to be in love). Now, I hear those songs and I think of the man I was so blessed to marry.

I didnt think love like that existed. I heard way too many people say, "real life isnt a fairy tale". Way, way too many people say that. But they were wrong. I lay my head next to Jon every night and wonder if Im living in a dream.

Im on pain killers right now so this may just be a drug-induced rant, but I love my husband and I am so very thankful that we have a love like the one in this song.

To my darling husband: I love you. Thank you for loving me and thank you for teaching me how to love myself. Growing old with you has already been a blast :)

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Paxton's Update

Its been way too long since I posted about my growing baby. He is getting so big and changing every day and constantly making me do a double take at him because I just cant believe he said or did something so big!

This picture represents his goofy personality so well. We were at In-N-Out the other night and he decided he wanted to steal momma's milkshake. He kicked off one of his shoes and chilled out in his highchair while he sipped away. This kid is always taking it easy leaning back or resting a leg up, whether its in his car seat, highchair, shopping cart or in an armchair. Cracks me up!

Paxton is almost 22 months old. He sleeps all through the night (has for a long time now) and he takes 4-hour naps still which is AWESOME because I get quality "ME" time every day. 

He loves, love, LOVES reading books. I could literally get rid of all his toys and he could survive on books and story time alone. He has had so much fun in Grandma and Grandpa's pool this summer. Oh and did I mention he is talking non-stop! He has always been a bit of a blabber-mouth and its so much fun now because he's actually saying things I can understand now. He pretty much never closes his cute little mouth. Driving places is a riot because I have a constant stream of dialogue coming from the back seat. He loves singing songs and has a CD that he loves to sing along to in the car. 

He can say the ABC's pretty much by himself (he needs a prompt every now and then) and he can count to 10. For some reason though, the number 7 comes out sounding like "money". Not really sure why. Now he's working on actually knowing which letters and numbers are which and he's picking it up pretty well. 

His favorite word to use is "again!" and he says it ALL THE TIME. Anytime anyone does anything with him or for him or to him that he likes, he says "again?" with the cutest smile on his face that its impossible to say no (until the 8th time!). He also is asking everyone if they are "ok". If I cough or say ow or anything, he looks at me all worried and says "ok?" and I have to say "yes, Im ok" or he will say it over and over. He also will ask me and Jon if he is ok, even with the slightest bump or cough of his own. Its really kinda sweet.

He's goofy and silly as ever and so, so affectionate. He loves to "scuggle" (snuggle) and give kisses. If you hold still for long enough, he'll come over and lay his head on you and say "awwwww". 

He loves to lay in his crib once he wakes up in the morning or after his nap. I never hear him cry when he wakes, instead I hear him suddenly start talking on the monitor. He'll lay there, sometimes for an hour if I let him, singing songs, playing with his lion and seahorse or reciting the alphabet. Its such a joy to sit and listen to him playing all by himself in his bed.

Pax loves his daddy. When Jon is home from work, he has a constant shadow because Paxton will follow him everywhere. Whatever Dad is doing, Pax wants to do. 

He loves animals, bugs, car rides, going to Home Beepo (Home Depot), playing with Aedan, and so many other things. Paxton is a very happy little boy. He has so much joy in his heart and everything is a big exciting deal to him.  Jon and I are so thankful to have him and to be his parents. Love you Pax!

Friday, September 23, 2011

I forgot to mention

We are having a boy!!!! I found out ages ago, but I have been so absent from this blog that I havent posted it yet. Yes, another precious little boy and we couldnt be more thrilled. Pax and he will be exactly 2 years apart and hopefully best buddies (most of the time). Im 30 weeks today and getting very excited. I cant wait to hold him in my arms and kiss his sweet face. Im hoping he looks just like his daddy. The next 2 months, I know, will fly by!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

My Kidney Stones

Its been a long time since my last post. A LOOOOOONNNNNGGGGGG time. August was kinda just busy and not a whole lot to actually blog about. September, well, this month has been totally different. On Sept 4th, I woke up with a significant pain in the left side of my back. It was pretty bad and had me in bed for about 5 hours until it suddenly just left. I thought I was in the clear until I woke up the next morning (the 5th) with the pain all over again, except this time it was WAY WAY worse. Nothing would help the pain and I was even throwing up from it. (I'm not a puker either. I have thrown up a small handful of times in my life and all were from pain) Jon put me in the car and rushed me to the ER and I was admitted immediately because I was 28 weeks along and clearly in baby-threatening pain. They gave me two doses of morphine (one in an iv, one was a shot in my butt) but that didn't even take the edge of. After a dose of Demerol (another pain killer) I was pretty doped up and finally getting relief from the pain. They took me for a CT scan and found a 7mm kidney stone in my left kidney and a small stone in my right kidney! If you have ever had a kidney stone before, you probably just cringed with sympathy pains. I had no idea kidney stones were so painful. It literally was a million times worse than childbirth, and I gave birth without any pain medication! Anyway, they gave me a room on the OB labor and delivery floor and basically gave me pain meds to hold me over until the morning of the 7th (my birthday) when I had surgery. My urologist placed a stent in my left ureter to help the massive stone pass easier. He wasnt able to actually remove the stone because it was so high up in my kidney. I was super nervous for the surgery because general anesthesia is potentially dangerous for the baby and Ive never been under before so I wasnt sure how I would react to it. Luckily, all went smoothly and I was able to go home later that night, just in time for birthday cake :)
I didnt have much back pain after that. I was put on bed rest for two weeks and given percocet to manage any post-opt pain. Then, on the 18th (just a few days shy of my two weeks being up) I had a very sudden onset of pain in the right side of my back. Just like before, it got way bad, way fast. My parents came and got Pax and Jon got me back in the ER.  Turns out, my insignificant right kidney stone decided to grow and move around. I had another surgery last night (the 20th). The urologist placed another stent in my right ureter but was actually able to remove the stone which had grown to 5mm. This time, however, I woke up with a catheter (NOT fun!) and was in much more pain. They kept me over night for the catheter, pain management and baby observation. This morning I woke up and started having contractions. My OB here told me it was normal and ok and not too worry so now Im in my hospital room waiting for my urologist to make rounds and discharge me.
Having kidney stones has been LOADS OF FUN!!! Just about as fun as losing a leg. Honestly, it was way WAY more painful than childbirth and Ive had a lot of people in the past few weeks tell me the exact same thing. But, the hard part is over for now. The two stents should hold me over until my baby is due (just 10 weeks away). We are crossing our fingers that this baby will stay put for at least 8 more of those weeks and keep cooking.
Ive heard/read all over that I probably havent seen the last of my kidney stones. Apparently once you get one, you most likely will get another, and another, and another. Thankfully, I have an amazing husband who took better care of me than any nurse could (except for the pain meds. LOVE the nurses when they bring in pain meds) and I have a wonderful mom and dad who took care of Paxton and loved him up for us. Thank you to everyone who has been praying for us and helping out so much. Jon and I have felt an enormous amount of love from the people around us and we are so thankful to have that.
this is what a kidney stone looks like. I had a 7mm stone and a 5mm stone

Here is an xray of what a stent looks like. Its a long wire like thing that connects my bladder to my kidney.