Thursday, August 11, 2016

Anna’s Birth Story

I just love that each of our children have their own birth stories. We love to tell them the story of their birth, how they were anticipated and prepared for and loved even when they were just a thought. Now, we share with you Anna’s story!

We had a blessedly easy pregnancy with Anna. The last few months were particularly nice and I had even fewer pregnancy discomforts than I did with Lydia. They were treasured months where I certainly enjoyed her movements and, via my belly, the kids had the very physical reminder that she was part of our family.

The doctor I saw throughout this pregnancy checks progression weekly over the last month. I steady moved from 1cm dilated to 3cm and she was very pleased with our progress. The baby remained high.

For a while I felt contractions on Tuesday, June 21, Anna's due date. They were consistently about 30 mins apart and stopped by dinner time.
Our last appointment was Wednesday, June 22, the day after our due date. At this appointment we opted to have the membranes swept. It is a simple procedure that involves separating the bag of waters from the uterus a bit and sometimes can release hormones that begin labor. But not in our case! At this visit we also scheduled an induction for Tuesday, June 28, which was 41 weeks gestation. That is the longest our doctor would let us go over. It was charted at this visit that the baby was head down.

Induction Day:

3:30am Called the hospital and confirmed that they had a bed available.
4:20am Left home.
5:00am Arrived and quickly was checked-in and admitted to a labor and delivery room. We met our nurse, Jessica. I was still at 3cm.
6:00am By this time I was getting fluids and pitocin. Contractions were beginning, but active labor had not started.
7:00am We met Dr. Griffin (the doctor I saw throughout the pregnancy just so happened to be on vacation this week!) and he checked dilation (still 3cm) and broke my water. At this point I had to stay in the bed.
7:00-10:00am Labor progressed and they slowly turned up the piton. I was really feeling the contractions. Since my water was broken she explained they wouldn’t check dilation frequently.
10:00am Jessica checked dilation and I was at 5cm. The baby was descending. She said it appeared I was in active labor and adjusted pitocin accordingly.
11:30ish Jessica checked on us and watched me through a few contractions. She said she felt like she should check me again even though she had explained earlier she wouldn’t be checking very often. She said I was 6cm dilated, then kept checking. We inquired and she said she would get a second opinion, but she thought that now that the baby was much lower she was feeling a bottom rather than a head. Dave and I knew that would mean a C-section and we started praying.

At this point in the morning things began happening in a very orderly, but constant, fashion. Dave described it as a well functioning team with everyone doing their job calmly, confidently, and quickly. Another nurse came in and agreed that she was feeling a bottom. They called the doctor and brought in an ultrasound machine. He came as soon as they were set up and he quickly confirmed first a bottom by my pelvis and then a head by my ribs. I remember him pointing out how round her head was on the ultrasound since it hadn’t been bearing the brunt of the contractions into the pelvis. He said it was time to prep for the C-section.

So many things happened in the next half hour. They were so good to explain things along the way and never give us too much time to think about what was about to happen. I received more fluids, met the anathesiologist, had antibiotics rubbed on my belly and taken orally, Dave put on his scrubs, and they wheeled me down the hall to the OR. I was so glad the nurse described it to me before we went in. She said it would be very bright and there would be lots of activity, but that wasn’t because things were going wrong. Each person just had a very specific job to do.

Dave waited outside while I moved to the operating table and received the spinal block. (For a split second as it was going in a felt a lot of pain in my right leg and lifted my chin. A lot of this hour is blurry in my memory, but I remember every person in the room yelling “head down! hold still! right leg!” all at the same time and the pain immediately went away.) Up to this point I was still feeling hard contractions! Then they brought Dave in, tested the incision spot, and got to work. It didn’t take long and the anestesgiologist behind me and the main nurse talked us through it, saying things like “now it will feel like pulling” and “you’ll feel a deep pressure now, but no pain.” They were right every time. [The doctor spent some time talking to Dave while I was getting the spinal and they discovered that one of the doctors I saw during my pregnancy with Sarah in Louisville was the one who delivered his son. Small world!]

At 12:18pm, Anna was born! Dave tells me that they pulled her legs out first and then her body and head followed. They held the screen down so I could see, but I wasn’t able to and didn't have the where-with-all to explain that I couldn't see. Haha! Dave described her to me. We were amazed that she had hair! Making small talk as the worked they had asked us only a few minutes before how big we thought she might be (we said we hoped in the 9lbs) and if we thought she would have hair (we said no way). As they pulled her out they said “I don’t think she is 9lbs and WOW does she have some hair!” Then they took her over to crib to wipe her off, check her out, and weigh her. I could see all of this happening to my right. During this time they found that she weighted 8lbs 9oz, was 20.5ins long, and had three scratches on her bottom. They guessed that the crochet hock used to break my water was the culprit. Before the surgery began they asked if I would want her on my chest and I said yes, but when the time came I was feeling dizzy and declined.

It took about 15 minutes to seal me back up. During that time I smelled burning and we found out later that they had a little trouble getting the placenta to release and asked the nurses to keep an eye on how much I bleed. Amazingly, I didn’t pick up on any of that while they were working! Dave went back and forth between taking pictures of Anna and holding my hand.

When they finished we were wheeled to a recovery room and stayed there from about 1:00pm to 3:00pm for two hours of monitoring. (I am so glad we took the hospital tour, otherwise I wouldn’t have had any understand of the recovery phase!) I spent most of this time giving Anna a chance to nurse. Dave also spent some time doing skin to skin. She was fussy and most happy being held or giving nursing a try. We gave her a good look and decided for sure on her name, then Dave shared the good news with family. It was a happy time!

At 3pm Dave took Anna on her first drive as he wheeled her to the mother/baby wing of maternity floor. I was rolled into a bed and we were all settled into our home for the next 72 hours, room M11. That evening my parents brought the kids to meet their new sister!

We are so thankful for wise doctors, kind nurses, and a smooth recovery. Anna is a very, very good gift to our family!

Our last pregnancy progresses picture!
Biding our time with selfies.
Anna's here!!!
footprint time

Our first photo as a family of 6!

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Happy 6 years, Sarah!

Here we are, six years in. It is so hard to believe that six years ago we were welcoming Sarah into our home the way we just welcomed Anna. It is almost hard to imagine and is definitely hard to remember. On the morning of her birthday we told her what we were doing six years ago, when we went to the hospital, when she was born. We looked at pictures. And our hearts were full again with thanksgiving for our special Sarah girl.

Weight: 51lbs 6oz (80%)
Height: 46.5in (73%)
Clothes: 6T
Shoe: size 12

Likes: listening to stories, orchestrating play time, bath time, sprinkler time, people, singing, pink, candy, being read to

Dislikes: not having things go her way, not having someone to play with

A day in the life:

7:00am: Sarah and Lydia come out of their room ready to face to the day. Usually Lydia wakes up around 6/6:30 and they have been awake and staying busy until time to come out.

Morning: This year the morning was devoted to school time! This summer she enjoys playing in the driveway and coloring.

Lunch: Sarah's favorite would probably be mac and cheese, but we normally have a peanut butter sandwich with green peppers and some type of fruit. She has started to really enjoy salads too.

1:00pm: She rests on a trundle in the guest room. At 2:00 she can get up and read books, play a game, or play dress up.

Afternoon: Everyone enjoys being back together. While I make dinner they often play in the living room, sometimes play outside, and occasionally I listen to Sarah practice her read aloud books.

Dinner: Dave is usually home and we are thankful to be able to sit down together. Sarah especially loves salad and pasta.

Bedtime: These days Sarah does most of her bedtime routine by herself. She brushes teeth, puts on PJs, and goes potty. Since we read together during the day we often don't read before bed anymore, but I still go in to pray and sing with each of the kids.

Random, but fun:
* Sarah went to a camp at the library earlier in the summer. At first she was really confused (the theme was CSI), but had a great week!
* She is a huge help around the house. Life is crazy, messy, and full, but I don't think I could have imagined how helpful it is to have a big kids in the house. She is good at organizing, helping Lydia with shoes and the potty, and bringing me things.
* Her favorite subject this year was science. Her least favorite was math (specifically subtraction, she says). Her favorite book we read aloud was the Usborne Encyclopedia.

A Chronological Look At the Last Year

free cone from Whole Foods

Sarah took a ballet class last summer.

celebrating the end of her second year of swim lessons

First day of school! We celebrated by going out to breakfast and doing school at the library.

A few times this year I took Sarah out for school when Dave was home on Fridays. Our favorite place to go was Julie's for breakfast!

Anna hair for Halloween

We like living back in the land of Krispy Kreme.

making Christmas candy

a science experiement

She has gotten so confident.
Here she is exchanging her toy for an ice cream cone at Chick Fil A.

Sarah learned to tie her shoe!!!

working on her computer

her baby is in a car seat :)

We made butter after reading Little House in the Big Woods.

simple dental exam

She lost three teeth while 5 years old.

Tilly the tooth fairy took her tooth and left a magic ice cream card.

Easter morning

meeting sweet baby Harper

The big brother/sister class they attended at the hospital left a big impression.
The swag was much enjoyed.

Snuggling her babiest sister.

The love to match!

She used some of her quarters (kept in an Easter  egg) to buy her siblings special candy.
Love her heart!

Sarah drew me a color by number :)

She had a lot of fun feeding her cousin, Ben.

Friends and neighbors are the best!

A birthday pedicure. She loved the sparkles.

Meeting Anna. Such a special moment introducing Sarah to each of her siblings.

A special sisterly love!