Saturday, August 4, 2012

Dylan's Birth Story

Get comfortable.  Here goes...
Nervous and excited to welcome another son into our family!
Our healthy baby boy was born on July 22nd, 2012 at 7:32 pm!  After only 20 minutes of pushing (following 48 hours of labor - however most of this time was spent unsuccessfully trying to stop labor), Dylan made his grand entrance with the sweetest noise a parent has ever heard: CRYING!! And crying, and crying, and crying.  "Clear those lungs, sweet boy!" was all that Ben and I could think about!  With our fears about how Dylan would behave as a 35 weeker, his vigorous crying was simply music to our ears!  He weighed in at 6 lbs 2 oz and was 19 inches long (a far cry from our whopping 9 lb 7 oz boy the first time around - but he is still a decent size for being so early)!

Dr. Edwards, the neonatologist, requested delayed cord clamping, and then Ben got to cut the cord - all while Dylan was laying on ME!  This might seem normal to lots of moms, but when your previous experience was a c-section this was all absolutely amazing to us!

I knew that in order for Dylan to have a fighting chance to avoid a stay in the NICU, he would need to spend as much time skin-to-skin with me as possible, with minimal interruptions and very little stimulation or stress.  So for the first 6 hours of his life he rested easy on my chest (other than short interruptions for medicines and assessments).  He continued to grunt (a sweet sounding noise that is actually a sign of respiratory distress) for the first several hours, but because I had spoken with Dr. Edwards about this ahead of time, he was comfortable allowing Dylan to stay with me skin-to-skin and give him a longer time to transition from birth.  Of course if Dylan had appeared to be in significant distress we would have sent him straight to the NICU, but he never showed more than the intermittent grunting.

Not surprisingly, he had low blood sugars at birth - and this is when I kind of turned into a mother bear...As a brief back story, I have been helping modify our hypoglycemia protocol downtown at University Hospital, so the recommendations for when to check blood sugars and when NICU interventions are required has been fresh on my mind...So back to Dylan - they checked his blood sugar as soon as he was born (not recommended), and it was low (although he showed no symptoms of hypoglycemia).  So I breastfed him and topped him off with 25 mls of a bottle.  Then they checked his blood sugar again immediately after he finished eating (anyone with any medical knowledge knows that this is too soon for the feeding to have made a difference in my newborn baby), and surprise! Still low (36).  I got him to take another full ounce of the bottle and when they checked it a third time (again, immediately after he finished the feeding - all of this was within an hour of birth), it was low but coming up (41 for my nurse friends who care)!  Then they called the neonatologist (Dr. Edwards) so he could come speak to me about admitting Dylan for hypoglycemia treatment. WHAT?! My response: Good.  I want to talk to Dr. Edwards so I can speak with someone who knows how this should have been handled!  When he arrived, he reminded my that hypoglycemia was one reason why we had discussed that Dylan may need to spend some time in the NICU.  I let him know that Dylan had now taken 2 ounces of a bottle plus a breastfeeding, but that he had only finished the feeding 10 minutes before.  Dr. Edwards scratched his head, and very agreeably said we should wait another hour before checking another sugar to give the feedings time to bring up his blood sugar. THANK YOU!  So an hour later his blood sugar was in the clear (61) and we were headed to the postpartum unit.  I probably owe my L & D nurse an apology for being difficult about this, but when you mess with my baby you had better use the medical evidence to back you up!! :) :)

The next few days went by in a flash.  Ben continued to work long hours while I was in the hospital (no rest for the med student who just had a baby)! We had some ups and downs with feedings, and I had an almost breakdown about whether or not he needed a feeding tube.  I was convinced he wasn't eating well enough, and it was my nurses who convinced me that he was doing well - he hadn't lost weight, he was peeing and pooping; what more could I ask for?! Stop being the nurse and be thankful that I have a 35 weeker that is proving everyone wrong about needing to be in the NICU!  I talked with friends and family, I cried my eyes out, and eventually he started feeding a little bit better.

Noah was absolutely fascinated with "BABY!"

First bath! I requested to have his bath delayed until we arrived on the postpartum  unit.  I wanted to be sure that he had plenty of time to transition before a bath could stress him out and send him to the NICU.

So here we are at 3 am having our first bath (8 hours after he was born)!  They do not allow parents in the nursery at IU North, so I watched for a little while from the window.  I didn't know it yet, but my nurse in this picture who gave him the bath, Lise, would end up being my biggest supporter and cheerleader while I stressed over Dylan's feedings.  I will never forget the compassion she showed me or the time she spent with me because she knew I needed someone to remind me to be the mom and not the nurse.

Proud grandparents! Grandbaby #6 on the Schmith side :)

Momma and her boys - pay no mind to my ugly hospital gown :)

Proud Aunt Renee! She was amazing during this unexpected ordeal - she took care of Noah and made sure arrangements were made each day so I never even had to ask, and she cleaned my entire house!  Not just cleaned it - but redecorated Noah's room and finished putting the nursery together for us with the help of my parents!  We are so incredibly grateful for everything she did during this time - it truly means the world to us!

Dylan is Mamaw Great's 8th great-grandbaby!

Slow flow, sidelying! Some things are just engrained in your brain forever :)

The Phares clan!  When we told Kate that Dylan came out of my belly she immediately asked, "Then why are you still fat?"  Haha I love that girl :) And hopefully I won't stay 'fat' for too long! 
Aunt Liz, Bryce and Lydia met Dylan.  He was a glow worm on the bili blanket (for jaundice) that day!

Noah loves to hold his little brother.  And in the hospital he thought it was funny to take Dylan's hat off.

Barb!  Even though she has to fill in for me and manage the unit for the next 12 weeks, she still visited me AND brought me flowers!  I hope she still likes me at the end of my 12 week hiatus from work!

Great Grandma Kirkhoff meeting the little guy

He came home with us on Tuesday night, and we finally had our family under one roof again!
We're busting out of this place!

SO happy to be home!!
Notice the balloons in the background? This is the only evidence they were ever there - we got home around 8:15 on Tuesday night, and someone cut them down before morning! Rude!

Reunited :)  We missed our wild child like crazy while we were in the hospital!
Lots more pictures to come soon!! It's crazy around here but we are loving life! :) :)

Sunday, July 22, 2012

It's a Great Day to Have a Baby!

Dylan Thomas Havens is well on his way to making us a family of four today!  At 35 weeks gestation, we wouldn't have chosen Sunday, July 22nd to meet our little man, but God continues to show us that sometimes we have to let him take the reigns and trust that he will keep our little man safe and healthy!

On Friday evening at about 7:00, I began having contractions about 4 minutes apart, and although they weren't severely painful I definitely recognized that they weren't exactly Braxton-Hicks, either!  At about 9:30 I told my parents to stay on standby in case we needed them to help with Noah.  I decided to go to sleep and see if I could sleep through them, which would indicate to me that it wasn't the real thing.  Has anyone seen that picture on Facebook of a mom holding her baby and says something along the lines of: "I'm sorry honey, but mommy is a nurse and we only see the doctor if you're dying?!"  Well that was/is me!  I woke up from the pain of the contractions throughout the night, and at 4:00 am I got up and cleaned out the car.  Logical, right?  I finally paged the doctor on call Saturday morning at 7:30 when I finally came to grips with the fact that this was really happening at 34+6.  He told me I needed to come in and be monitored, but didn't seem worried and figured he would send me home later that day.

First attempt at stopping labor: Terbutaline.  Big Fail.  I had the jittery side effects, but the medicine had absolutely no effect on my contractions.  I also received a steroid shot at this time in an effort to help develop the little man's lungs.  My contractions continued to come 3-4 minutes apart, but my cervix remained unchanged (not surprisingly - when I was induced with Noah I showed no change until my water broke).  But the intensity of contractions continued to elevate.

Second attempt at stopping labor: Procardia.  Also a big fail.  I was still in triage at this point, but the contractions were getting more intense and Ben and I knew that we were in this for the long haul.  They started an IV at this point and began loading me full of fluids to make sure my contractions were not related to dehydration.  3000 mls of Lactated Ringers later I was contracting as hard as ever.  My nurse was fabulous and moved me to a Labor and Delivery room with a MUCH more comfortable 'postpartum' bed, even though they were still hopeful they would not have to admit me and might be able to stop labor.

Third attempt: A whopping dose of morphine and phenergan.  Big Fail (see a pattern here)?!  They were hoping that my uterus might relax as a side effect of the drugs.  They made me a little sleepy, but didn't touch the contractions or the pain.

By 6:00 or so, the decision was made to officially admit me as an inpatient.  They started me on Magnesium Sulfate, which they referred to as "pulling out the big guns" to try one last attempt at stopping my labor.  They started me on a low dose, but quickly had to increase me as I began to dilate and was contracting about 2 minutes apart.

There are several hours where all I remember is a lot of contractions, a lot of pain, and zero relief.  Having planned for a c-section, I hadn't thought about what it might be like to go through natural labor for almost 30 hours without an epidural or pain meds (other than the one round of morphine, which as I mentioned was pretty much useless).  I received another round of Morphine at 10, and was hoping to sleep, so Ben went home at 10:30 pm, planning to work this morning.  The intention was to really try to hold off delivery until at least Monday so that the steroids would have more time to work on Dylan's lungs.  By midnight to 1:00 am, it was clear to my nurse and I that I was in full-blown, teeth-clenching, "people who do this crap by choice without drugs are crazy" labor. I commend women who do this, but I think after at least 8 hours of severely painful contractions I can cross this off of my bucket list of things I never had a desire to do!

My nurse took pity on me, and requested permission for me to get an epidural.  By 3:30 am I had blissful relief!  I was continuing to dilate, so plans for delivery were discussed and I was taken off of the Mag.  I called the hubby, and he decided that he wanted to be here for the birth of his child, so he probably shouldn't work today!  He planned to come to the hospital by 7 am, but by 4:00 he was walking through my door because he couldn't sleep either :)  We finally slept for about 2 hours - I have a new appreciation for how noisy hospital equipment and doors are!  The doctor came in this morning and found that I have continued to progress, so he decided to break my water.  At this point we will not be augmenting labor with Pitocin unless absolutely necessary.  Did I mention we are trying for a VBAC now?  This baby should be smaller than Noah was at only 35 weeks, and I would really love to be able to hold him and take care of him more easily if possible.  If it doesn't work out and I need to have a c-section, so be it!

Now we just wait!  I am resting comfortably with my epidural in place, and we are hopeful that we will have our healthy, not-so-wimpy white boy this afternoon!  Please say some prayers for a safe delivery and a healthy little boy!!  Thank you for all of the love and support all of our friends and family have given us already - we are so very blessed!

Noah did get to visit me for a little bit.  He watched some Super Why, ate some snacks, and fixated on my "ouchy" (my IV).  Oh and he was thoroughly entertained by the enormous bath tub in the room! :)

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day!

He has this amazing way of reminding me about the important things in life.  I am so lucky to be called his mother!
My Mother's Day gift from my boys.  Way cuter than a boring leather one :)  I have been wanting one of these for work, so I may or may not have sent Ben an email with the link for where to purchase this, but all that matters is that he got it for me, right?!!

This sweet poem was sent to me by my Aunt Mary Ann (Mickey) last year, on my first Mother's day as a mom! I loved it and had to save it, which means that now I get to share it! I bet I won't find a mom who can't relate :) 

Before I was a Mom,
I never tripped over toys
or forgot words to a lullaby.
I didn't worry whether or not
my plants were poisonous.
I never thought about immunizations.

Before I was a Mom,
I had never been puked on.
Pooped on.
Chewed on.
Peed on.
I had complete control of my mind
and my thoughts.
I slept all night.

Before I was a Mom,
I never held down a screaming child
so doctors could do tests.
Or give shots.
I never looked into teary eyes and cried.
I never got gloriously happy over a simple grin.
I never sat up late hours at night
watching a baby sleep.

Before I was a Mom,
I never held a sleeping baby just because
I didn't want to put her down.
I never felt my heart break into a million pieces
when I couldn't stop the hurt.
I never knew that something so small
could affect my life so much.
I never knew that I could love someone so much. I never knew I would love being a Mom.

Before I was a Mom,
I didn't know the feeling of
having my heart outside my body..
I didn't know how special it could feel
to feed a hungry baby.
I didn't know that bond
between a mother and her child.
I didn't know that something so small
could make me feel so important and happy.

Before I was a Mom,
I had never gotten up in the middle of the night
every 10 minutes to make sure all was okay.
I had never known the warmth,
the joy,
the love,
the heartache,
the wonderment
or the satisfaction of being a Mom.
I didn't know I was capable of feeling so much,
before I was a Mom.

Happy Mother's Day to all of the mom's out there, but especially my own!  I owe you so much more than a simple 'thank you' and some new silverware! :) I am truly grateful for all that you have done for me through the years.  Love you, mom!!  And happy birthday, too!!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

A Sigh of Relief!

I am so relieved that I can finally say that we are expecting a healthy baby boy this August!

Backing up a bit, we found out at our routine ultrasound (20+4 weeks) that our sweet boy looked great, except for one thing - they saw that he had choroid plexus cysts in his brain.  These cysts in no way interfere with normal brain development and are found in the part of the brain where cerebrospinal fluid is made - so no big concerns there.  The reason that these cysts can be concerning is because they can be a very weak marker for trisomy 18, which is not compatible with life.  My OB doctor, plus the high risk OBs that I work with downtown all said the same thing, "Don't worry about it - those go away, and they very rarely mean that anything is wrong."  Honestly, even Google was reassuring when I decided to read a little more about this so-called 'meaningless' finding. So we tried not to worry, and for the most part Ben and I both kept a positive attitude that our baby would be just fine, and that the follow up ultrasound was just another excuse to take a sneak peek at his sweet face!  On the inside, I was in constant turmoil.  The thought of losing this baby that we wanted so badly was almost unbearable.  My rational mind knew everything would be just fine, but that didn't stop me from worrying and making completely morbid and nurse-like comments to my family and friends. :)

So here we are, exactly 4 weeks later, and the ultrasound confirmed what my rational mind already knew: the cysts are gone, and my baby boy appears to be perfectly healthy!  And not surprisingly, he is measuring a week ahead already - so I am prepared for the possibility of another big boy!
Meet Dylan Thomas Havens :)  The ultrasound was not supposed to be 4D, but after the 'official' stuff was over with, the technician flipped the screen and I got to see our little man a bit more clearly! I think she felt badly for making me nervous from the results of our last ultrasound!
We officially named our baby boy last night!  We expect to meet Dylan Thomas on August 20th, when we are tentatively scheduled for a repeat c-section.  He may have other plans for us, so we are willing to be flexible with his birthday!

People ask us all the time how Noah feels about being a big brother, and honestly, he couldn't care less!  He loves babies, though, and he has been known to obsess over making a crying baby happy by bringing it toy after toy after toy.  He also loves to hug babies and pat their heads, so hopefully he will feel the same way when he meets his little brother!  He will also lift my shirt and kiss my belly if you ask him where mommy's baby is, but I think that for the most part this whole 'baby brother' thing is way over his head!

 A few more pics from the museum on Monday: Noah climbed in here to drive all by himself!

Driving the airplane while Scott and Cam ride behind him :)

Playing with a stick at Nana and Papaw's

Latest OBSESSION! "hands! hands! hands! please! please!"  He loves doing dishes and washing his hands.  Several times a day he will grab a chair from the kitchen table and drag it to the sink, then climb up and beg to have me turn on the water.  His big cousin, Ty, used to LOVE doing this as well - so we took a page out of Aunt Renee's book and quickly learned that we have to set the timer on the microwave.  When the timer goes off, the water goes bye-bye and we are all done.  The timing process makes for a tantrum-free transition!! :)

Monday, May 7, 2012

Monday CAN be a fun day!

So I've been a good mommy the last couple of days, and I have broken out the REAL camera a few times! WHAT?!?!?? I know it sounds crazy, but it's true!

Today was a fabulous Monday.  I wish that there could be more fabulous Mondays, but usually Monday means a return to the work week and 5 whole days of Noah at the babysitter's and me downtown!  But today was the exception. I worked Sunday evening, and therefore I was able to 'play hooky' and spend the day with my favorite little person! We had a relaxing morning, met Papaw Schmith for breakfast at Paradise, and headed downtown for a play date with the Kenney clan at the Children's Museum!  I'll admit, there was a quick detour to the hospital so that I could tie up a few loose ends from the night before, but it's not so bad when I get to show off my adorable little boy to my work family!
Best buddies! They play so well together :)

Despite the fact that he never cracks a smile, he is obsessed with the water table!

Noah was slightly terrified by the carousel. Katelyn asked to ride again with her daddy - go figure!

After the museum we came home and took a good long nap, then we went to Nana and Papaw's for dinner since Daddy has to work overnight at Methodist tonight!
It stormed, therefore we got SUPER messy!

So excited to be sopping wet - this might have been right before he ran at me attempting to knock me over.  Sweet kid :)

We also had some great family time on Sunday! Noah and I went to Mass in the morning, and then to Mamaw great's for brunch - which we LOVED! Ben had to miss the morning fun to work (have I mentioned how much we love med school???)  After nap time, though, we got to play a little bit and Noah decided to study like his daddy...
Got up here and put on the head phones all by himself!

"I'm kinda busy here. Can I help you people?"

One of his favorite toys...The award for favorite toy is a toss up between the vacuum, broom (which he broke this week), and the lawn mower. 

Barefoot boy loves being outside

He gets excited so easily :)  I LOVE LOVE LOVE this age!

And now that I have finally uploaded my pictures to the computer I have realized that I did, in fact, take a few cute pictures over the last few months as well! Kudos to me :) :)  So here are a couple of "catch up" pics from the last few months.

January 28th, 2012. Not his first official haircut, but his first cut with the clippers! Lots of tears were shed, but no permanent injury resulted from this experience!! :) Noah loves his Aunt Mary (just not when she is coming at him with hair clippers)!!

The sadness wore off quickly on the way home!

Noah loves his big cousin, Lily!

Celebrating Luke's and Conor's birthdays

Easter! And Noah's first Easter egg hunt!

Found some!

Discovering what's inside the eggs - he's not a candy lover (clearly he doesn't get that gene from his mother), so the Easter bunny brought him goldfish and teddy grahams, mostly :)