After spending 2 hours with our little prince, he was whisked off to the NICU for observation. This is a standard procedure for babies who weigh under a certain weight at birth. Parker was under weight by just one mere ounce. Luckily though, Ben was able to stay with Parker while Sam gathered our belongings and helped get me moved into our mother baby room. As soon as we were moved in, it was off to spend time with Parker. Shortly after I arrived the pediatrician came in to examine Parker. She noticed a slight heart murmur, which is not an uncommon thing o gear in newborns. To be on the safe side, she ordered an electrocardiograph that would be sent to Children's Hospital for evaluation. While the pediatrician was there, Ben went to get Grampa and Auntie Sarah followed by Uncle Ian and Aunt Lindsay. Unfortunately shortly after Parker was born, my mom had to leave for work, so my mom and dad would have to wait til later in the day to meet the little guy. Time passed quickly in the NICU especially once the echo started ( it took up the last hour or so of time). After Parker got the green light from the NICU that he was free, we headed off to the mother baby room where we would spend many hours in the near future. We started with a nursing session where a lactation consultant came to help with how to feed Parker, how to pump anyhow to substitute formula. Additionally they assisted with when feeding times should be (every 2-3 hours) and this included asking him to eat if he was sleeping. Ben and I started a routine right away, he would warm the formula while I nursed Parker, once that was done he would take Parker and feed him the formula while I pumped. The idea was to breastfeed first for 15 minutes max, give any pumped breast milk second and lastly add in formula. He was only eating 5-15 ml of formula at time. Due to his small birth weight and what turned out to be a mild case of jaundice, Parker would sleep often and was thought to not have the strength to detect hunger. After doing this routine a few times, visitors started to arrive. The rest of the day really flew by as family trickled in to say hello. Before we knew it, it was 7:30, the room service was closed and we had not eaten dinner. My brother and sister-in-law came by for a visit and brought Ben and I Panera Bread (a personal favorite of mine!!!). Lindsay and Parker actually share a birthday and she was kind enough to spend her birthday evening with our family. The night wrapped up shortly after dinner as Ben and I tried to take everyone’s advice and sleep when baby sleeps.
Wednesday, December 28, 2011
Tuesday, December 20, 2011
It all started on Friday, December 9th at 4:05am when I was awakened to the feeling that I was peeing, but I couldn't stop it. I quickly woke up Ben and realized that thankfully I had not peed the bed in my sleep, but that my water had broken and we would be meeting our son very soon! We were overwhelmed with joy!!! However, knowing that hard work was ahead, Ben and I decided to take a quick nap until the doctor’s office opened or my labor progressed. Despite the contractions that started shortly after my water broke, I was able to get 3 solid hours of sleep (which will come in handy later). When Ben and I woke, we started tracking my contractions for the next hour, which we coming in average every 3.5 minutes, and lasting about one minute. I was able to feel the baby move throughout the contractions so when we called the hospital to let them know that my water had broken they said to come in when we could. Ben got up and made me breakfast while I took a shower and called our doula Sam. After the shower we headed to Overlake Hospital.
On the drive in, my contractions slowed drastically, but because my water had already broken, we had to continue on to the hospital. Once we arrived at the hospital, they took a sample to confirm that my water had broken and started monitoring the contractions. Within 45 minutes it was confirmed that my water had broken and I was admitted. Sam arrived, bearing snacks and other creature comforts, eager for the events ahead. Upon admission, I was told that I was 4 cm dilated and had a ways to go. Because my water had already broken, they encouraged me to get moving by walking around the floor. Unfortunately, this did not work and at 4pm I was given antibiotics and told that if things did not progress, I would have to be given Pitocin. I saw the doctor at 8 pm where she told me things had still not progressed, so we went ahead with the induction medication. Almost immediately, contractions started to pick up some belated steam and increased in strength and frequency. At 11 pm they checked me again and I was only at 4.5 cm, so they again increased to the Pitocin. In the next hour I went from 4.5cm to 8.5cm and 80% effaced. During this long day of labor our families were waiting patiently in the waiting room. Sam was keeping notes on everything that was going on in the room and updating the family regularly. She was great about being sure that I was eating and staying hydrated.
Throughout the labor I had Ben and Sam to help me breathe through my contractions and was staying on top of the discomfort in a calming, restful way. I had been battling a sinus and ear infection in the days prior to my labor and the congestion had spread to my chest which was making breathing increasingly difficult. At about 11:30pm my asthma had gotten the best of me when an asthma attack took my lungs hostage and I was no longer able to breathe through my contractions. This was a huge disappointment to me that resulted in many tears and an internal battle to put aside my pride and do what was best for our baby. I could not possibly bring a healthy baby into this world if I and not able to breathe. I decided, with Ben and Sam’s support, that I needed to get an epidural to keep me breathing strong so the baby had enough oxygen for the journey ahead. By 1:00 am the epidural had started to work and I was able to concentrate on bringing our baby into this world.
At 4:30 am, as the lunar eclipse started, it was time to start pushing. With Sam on one side, the nurse on the other and Ben holding my hand, the pushing began. After half an hour, our nurse had to leave the room for a few moments and Ben took her place holding my right leg. As the moon was slowly swallowed by the Earth’s shadow, our baby made his way further and further down the birth canal. Around 5:10, the nurse called the doc to let her know she better be on her way. This baby was coming! Crowning started at 5:25 and the nurse said to stop pushing since the doctor was still 10 minutes away. But at 5:32am, as the earth's shadow completely covered the moon, without a single additional push, Parker Timothy decided to slide his own way out. Our nurse, much to her surprise, delivered Parker while yelling for assistance. As a flurry of 8 nurses rushed into the room, our nurse had to clamp and cut the umbilical cord that had looped itself three times around his neck (which was a complete shock because his heartbeat was nice and strong throughout the entire labor). He was quickly carried away to ensure he was stable and had clear breathing. When Ben and I heard that first cry, tears instantly filled our eyes. He was absolutely perfect weighing in at 5lbs 4oz and 19 inches long. Parker, to date, has surpassed all his tests and has been surprising doctors left and right. I cannot wait to see what other miracles this little guy has in store for us!!!
Our first glimpse at our little prince!
Tuesday, December 6, 2011
On Friday Ben and I were given another opportunity to see Baby K. I have been consistently measuring about 3 weeks ahead so the doctors wanted to take a look and see how big he really was. Turns out while baby is long, he is still lean and his measurements will not force them to take him early. This comes with mixed emotions as Ben and I were hoping to meet our son sooner rather than later. I guess we will just have to do our part to try to get him here this year. The good news is that our little guy has a strong heartbeat and appears in good health! Two things that we are truly thankful for and do not take for granted!
Technology is a truly amazing gift that Ben and I took full advantage of at our appointment. We took a little small video here of the ultrasound where you can see the 4 chambers of the heart, his head, stomach, lungs and at the end hear/see his heart beat. During the ultrasound we were able to hear his heartbeat from his brain blood flow as well as the cord blood flow. All of this is a very surreal experience and reminds us that we will be meeting our little guy any time in the next few weeks.