Monday, April 25, 2016

Amelia's Birth Story

Oh, pregnancy and labor.  I seem to have easy pregnancies and difficult labors.  Maybe we should have a 3rd to see if I can get it right.  Juuuuuuust kidding.

**A bit of info:  At our 20 week u/s, they discovered I had a marginal placenta previa.  I was put on pelvic rest the rest of my pregancy.  We prayed all the time that my placenta would get to the right spot so I could deliver vaginally and not have a c-section.  I had regular ultrasounds to check its status and by 38 weeks, PRAISE THE LORD,  my placenta had migrated.  YAY!

Since I was past due, the midwives had scheduled an induction for Tuesday, April 12th.  The previous Thursday, I was hooked up to a baby monitor and all looked well.  I was excited to have the weekend and Monday, April 11th to spend time with my boys.  

Saturday, I thought I might be leaking amniotic fluid, but turns out I wasn't.  Then Sunday AM, it seemed that way again.  But, it stopped.   

We played outside that evening and I remember telling Trent that I felt bummed.  That I wanted to go into labor naturally and I didn't want to be induced.  We watched Oliver play and enjoyed the beautiful weather.  Also, my outfit was clearly on point.

We went inside, fed the boy, and I started cleaning the kitchen.  I bent down to scrub a spot on the floor, stood up, and WHOA.  That was definitley my water breaking.  It was about 6:30.  Trent said, "what do we do now?"  I called the midwife and she said come to triage, they'll test the fluid and admit me if I'm in labor and get antibiotics going since I tested positive for Group B Strep.  Contractions hadn't started, so I took a shower, we got last minute stuff together, and waited for our neighbors to get back from church so we could drop off Oliver.  

Contractions started at about 7:00 and I was having one here.  Last pic with just us 3. -- Emotions. 

Last pic with just me and the boy.  -- Emotions.  

We got to triage, they tested me, and off I went to L & D.  I was excited and nervous about going about this naturally.  That had been my goal and prayer the whole pregnancy.  

The contractions got stronger and stronger, as they do, and my nurse and other staff complimented my breathing and walking and composure.  I had some music picked out for labor but when Trent turned it on, it annoyed me.  Ha!  I requested a room with a tub...I didn't use it.  

You guys.  Natural childbirth is not what happened.  It seems I'm a wuss. I progressed very quickly and the pain was something awful.  The nurse said I could get checked to see how far along I was.  She said sometimes that gives moms the last push to get through it.  She also said the baby was coming quickly!  The midwife came in and ended up having to help me through contractions.  I was crying, shaking, and all of the things and then I gave up.  I said, "I want the epidural."  Luckily, my midwife was supportive and didn't try to change my mind.  

The anesthesia team came in to prep me and I remember them being very loud, talking, and it was annoying the crap out of me!  Someone also dropped a metal tray and I about came unglued.  The epidural was placed and once it kicked in, I was so happy.  I didn't even care that I had not met my goal of no meds.  It was sweet relief.  

About 10 minutes later, I told my nurse I felt light-headed and my arms were tingly.  She wasn't concerned but came over to check my blood pressure.  I'm not sure how low it dropped, but it was low enough to bring in other staff and it dropped Amelia's, too.  I was so out of it at the time, I wasn't really paying attention to the poking and prodding.  

I was put on oxygen (just like with Oliver) and they continued to check my blood pressure.  They gave me something in an IV to raise it and it finally "took" and they all seemed satisfied.  So, we made it through that scare...even with the oxygen and blood pressure cuff messing up!!

My midwife came in to check me shortly after and I had progressed to an 8!  I was kind of surprised I made it that far.  Pushing happened shortly after and I pushed for an hour (which is how long I pushed total for Oliver) and nothing was happening.  They tried all different positions and she just wasn't moving.

  They decided to let us rest and to let my body and Amelia do the work for a little while.  Of course, there was no resting and my pain meds were wearing off and I asked for more.  They got me enough to be comfortable but I could still feel pressure.  I pushed for TWO HOURS and she still wasn't moving.  During that time I was also put on pitocin to speed things up.  By this time, it was 7:00 AM and time for everyone's shift change.  I was exhausted, couldn't make sentences sound right, shaking, blah.  I was upset and the pain was starting again.  We had been up for over 24 hours.  Terrible.  

The new midwife came in and explained what was going on.  She told us she had spoken with one of the doctors and it was looking like they needed to use forceps or a vacuum to assist the birth of our sweet girl.  I remember being scared.  Looking at Trent, wondering what in the world that all meant.  She said they were about to have a meeting and then she'd bring in the doc to explain.  

They all came in (I hate when a bunch of people come in - it means serious stuff) and the doctor explained the situation.  He said 98% of babies are born within 4 hours of pushing.  But that if she didn't come by then, we need to use the forceps and then if that doesn't work, a c-section.  They explained the risks of using forceps.   

They checked her position, because they thought she might be in a weird place, and it was the most painful thing ever.  Shortly after, I got a little more pain meds and then they said she was sunny side up and that it's a little more difficult for babies to get out that way.  

I pushed for another hour.  I threw up on myself.  Trent had to focus and look away so he didn't throw up.  Amelia moved a little bit but not enough to forego the impending intervention.  I was sad.  I was worried.  I was beyond exhausted.  We agreed to the forceps, I signed c-section paper work just in case, and we prayed.  A WHOLE BUNCH of people came in to prepare for the procedure.  They said I'd do 90% of the work and the forceps will do 10%.  Okay, whatever, just give me my baby!

They got the forceps in the right position, I waited for a contraction, I pushed for a bit and then they placed that beautiful, crying baby on my chest and all was well.  

Amelia came out ready to nurse and had an amazing latch.  Trent cut the cord, they saved my placenta so my hippie lady could encapsulate it, and a nurse brought me a turkey wrap that was the best thing I had ever eaten. 

Sweet nugget.

Family of 4 pic!

Amelia brought Oliver a big brother gift!  Such a thoughtful little lady ;-)

I stayed at the hospital by myself and Trent kept Oliver at home.  We wanted it to be as normal as possible for him.  It was a special time for Amelia and me and it was for Daddy and Oliver as well.  I'm glad we did it that way.

If I look tired, it's because I am.  Also, I had just finished crying because Trent and Oliver brought me a sweet card and a bag of yummy snacks!

Oliver is so sweet with his new sister!

Going home!

So big.  I can't even.

Amelia Donn Monk
April 11, 2016 at 9:11 AM
9 lbs, 4.5 oz // 21 3/4 in
(born at 41 weeks, 4 days) 

You were worth every bit of 14 hours of labor, sweet girl.  You are a precious gift!

"Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows." James 1:7

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Our Easter Festivities

Growing up, Easter meant a new dress, an egg hunt, church, and lunch with family.  Fond memories, for sure.  There have been years where we've been on the road for the special day, but this year, obviously, (due to me about to pop), we were home.  

Palm Sunday weekend, I found an egg hunt nearby (30 minutes away!) and we decided to go...even though it was a cold day.  There were bounce houses, games, cotton candy, the Easter bunny AND a helicopter dropped the eggs right before the hunt.  Big hit for the kiddos.  


He made the first one and we all went wild =)

Gotta give a styrofoam bunny a hug, right?

Bunny success.  Then, after the picture, he looked at the volunteer with the candy and pointed to his basket.  My word, child.  

It was a super fun morning and we had time to grab a bite before getting home for naps.  His look says it all.  Worn out.  

I was hoping to have a baby by Easter, but that didn't happen.   I made sure Oliver woke up to a little basket of goodies that I'd been collecting for weeks.  There was also a book and those cute stuffed animals from Gigi and PawPaw   He was so excited.   

Our neighbors invited us to a lunch with some others from our church and we were so glad to go.  It was nice to fellowship all day and enjoy another hunt!

And he loved the trampoline.  

Blurry bunny ears...

 Our church meets in the evening and it was a wonderful service.  Easter always gets me super emotional.  That plus waiting patiently for a baby girl plus amazing music...well, I had some moments.  

We had a great day.  He is risen!!!

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

** A Room Fit For A Princess **

Oh what fun it was to put together a room for a little girl.  Sticking to my true self, a lot of this stuff was cheap or free or I already had.  Also, no one can ever accuse me of liking bare walls.  Ha!

The room quickly became a place for special things from the women in my life.  I didn't set out that way, but I love how it turned out...

I knew I wanted mint green and coral because our mint green dresser was being moved upstairs and I didn't want to paint it again.  So, I bought fabric from Walmart for the curtains and dust ruffle and off I went.

I added touches of gold and yellow, too.

The flowers are made out of tissue paper!  So cute and easy and cheap.

(I need to lower that top one.  It's bothering me.)

The glider was $10 on Craigslist and the lady threw in the ottoman.  Score.  I painted, sanded, and recovered the cushions with fabric I found for $1/yard!  (Don't look too closely...they're not perfect.)

For the inquiring minds, this is what it looked like before:

I LOVE the embroidery hoops with fabric.  Most of the fabric is from my Nana and some of the hoops are from her, too.  And now it has even more meaning, as Nana went to be with Jesus early Friday morning.  I'm so glad Amelia has some of Nana's belongings as well as another angel watching over her.

Oliver and I added seashells to the jars because I love them.

The Nancy Drew books were my mom's, the table also from Nana, and the vintage tin is from Honey Lue.

Spray painted branches, a thrifted sign (it says, "Be patient.  God's not finished with me yet."  And Oliver got one, too.), the letter A, and a hymnal wreath I made years ago.  I like how the branches tie into the branches on the shelf!

I have had these shutters for 10 years and they were sitting in my parents' storage until I needed them.  They're perfect for Miss Amelia.  The mirror was silver, but a quick coat of spray paint and voila!
 (Also, a cream latter and white table/chair will be added to this wall when my mom comes!)

Busy?  Yes.  But I like it that way...

A little gallery wall:
Chalkboard, her name, the Merton Prayer from GiGi (read below), a picture of us and her in my belly, my sisters' and my silhouette from when we were little, a print I made (see below), heart in an embroidery hoop of Nana's, thrifted funky shelf with an angel from Grandma (my mom's mom - also in heaven), and an owl Oliver picked out.

"What if I fall?  Oh but my darling...what if you fly?"

The Merton Prayer:
"My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think that I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you. And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire. And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road, though I may know nothing about it. Therefore I will trust you always, though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone."

Sweet little girl won't be in the room at first, but it was A BLAST getting a nursery together.  With Oliver, we only had a little space to set up for him, so I really wanted to enjoy this part of nesting.

Now, we wait.  We're ready as we'll ever be.  I'm paying close attention to my body and all the different feelings in my tummy area.  Wouldn't an Easter baby be sweet?