Well, as of 9:05am, Keaton is officially one! What a year it has been! “They” say the first year flies by…I didn’t believe it until it actually did. There were long days (and weeks) but the year just flew by. I really fell that it wasn’t that long ago that we brought him home from the hospital, put him in the pack & play and said, “OK, now what?!”
I think the hardest part of the past year was Keaton’s spell with colic. I should have known we were in trouble the 2nd night in the hospital when they brought him back to be after about 90 minutes and said, “We’ve tried everything…” (and he had a paci in his mouth and I was beyond livid. Zach took the paci out and the screaming began – we put it right back in! Luckily Keaton grew to hate it after awhile! I didn’t want that thing hanging around in his mouth!) We came home and he was this sweet, happy baby…for 3 weeks. And then it began. One afternoon he started crying. I’m sure it was one of Zach’s long days at work – I really don’t remember but it was definitely a long day for me. I never took him to the pedi. to have it confirmed as colic, but everyone I talked to said the same thing. (The highlight of it all was in a baby book I had, it had a section on colic and a drawing of this baby making an AWFUL face – I would look at Keaton and see that same expression) We went through about 6 weeks of him sleeping from about 9pm-2am (if we were lucky) and then he would be up screaming the rest of the time. I would get up with him anytime before midnight and Zach would take over after midnight until he had to go to work, bringing him to me when it was time to nurse. I compiled a list of things to try next time if we ever have any other colicky babies (we’re praying against red hair and colic this go ’round!) including “wearing” Benjamin from the start in a wrap or a mei tei (Carrie! We NEED to sew soon!) as Keaton didn’t dig it at 1.5 months. I think had we started it from the beginning it would have been more of a hit – he would tolerate it for about 15-20 mintues. But also to remember running water and vacuums are GREAT at calming babies!
The second hardest thing was Keaton weaning himself from nursing. We were very blessed and, other than weight gain issues, we never had any issues with nursing. He was a champ right from the beginning – I remember the Lactation Consultant coming to see us at the hospital and comment on how awesome he was doing. People couldn’t believe that I nursed on demand until 10 months, but, it worked for us and so we did it – I will do it again with Benjamin and any other children we may have. I hope next time (and future times) I’m able to nurse to atleast a year. I have some plans in mind to achieve that goal (starting with no solids until atleast 6 months – I think that was the biggest mistake we made.)
I was trying to think of the biggest “joy” from the past year and I just can’t narrow it down to one thing. Keaton never ceases to amaze us! Everyday he pulls out a new trick! Today it was stacking all of his books, one on top of another, on top of a plastic bucket. Every couple of books, he’d look at me for approval (that’s my OC child, woohoo!!)
To think that a year ago he couldn’t hold up his own head and now he’s practically running. A year ago he depended on us for every single little thing, now he wants to feed himself, drink by himself, play by himself, walk by himself (he still needs us, of course, but his inherited independence is shining through already!)
For those curious for the “birth story” I will include that below, after some pictures 🙂 That way if you don’t want to read, you do not have to!
Just moments old, 4.8.07
Fun at the park, 4.8.08
Climbing the slide, 4.8.08
Due Date, Wednesday, April 4th, 2007
Good Friday, Friday, April 6th, 2007 – I woke up with contractions but nothing consistent. I went throughout the day having contractions off and on, nothing too serious. I had to run by a friends’ around 3pm. She’s a friend where I go to her house for 5 minutes and leave about 5 hours later. Well, around 4, the contractions were starting to be a little stronger than I had noticed before…and about 10 minutes apart, on the dot. About 6:30, I decided that I should go home and try to relax a little. I came home, took a hot shower and the contractions slowed. (I was having them off and on, but not 10 mins apart anymore!)
Saturday, April 7th, 2007 – At 1am Saturday morning, they were so painful I couldn’t sleep. So I came downstairs and got online, pulled out the pen and paper and started timing them. They were between 8-12 minutes apart, some SUPER strong, others just painful. I went back to bed at 6am, when Zach got up for work and was able to sleep until about 8, when I woke up with another VERY painful contraction. I got up, got a shower and that didn’t stop the contractions. Around lunchtime, the pain was moving to my back and I had a feeling that things were about to get interesting. The only way I could keep my mind “off” the contractions was to watch movies…I watched probably 7 movies that day! Around 10pm, My contractions were still about 8 minutes apart, but they were lasting about 90+ seconds and VERY painful. We called the OB to get them to page the on call dr. The phone rings, Dr. Segal was on call!!! (My fav. dr. at our practice) He said to wait until they were closer together or too painful for me to handle. So, I handled it until about 11:15 and I decided to get another hot shower…I didn’t have a single contraction for 15 minutes. I turned that hot water off and I had one, I looked at the clock and it was 11:30. 11:35 another comes. 11:40, another one. 11:44 I sit on the couch to tell Zach that it’s going to be soon…before I could say anything, 11:45 hits and there was no “wave” sensation to it like we discussed in my class, it was just intense pain! I looked at Zach and yelled, “NOW!!! WE LEAVE NOW!!!” We grabbed a few last minute items, I wrote a note to the neighbors and at 12am, we headed to the hospital. A trip that normally takes about 40-45 minutes took 27.
Sunday, April 8th, 2007 – On the way to Rex, the contractions were about 3-5 minutes apart and getting more intense with each one.We got there, they took us into triage and hooked me up to all the monitors to check my contractions and check Keaton’s heart rate. They have this machine to monitor the contractions. Basically, there is a line “symbolizing” the contractions they go up, up, up, up and then “flatline” if they’re above the 100 line and then come back down… They were going above the line and staying there for atleast 90 seconds! They checked me and I was 4cm and 100% effaced (At my appointment the Wednesday before, I was STILL at 1.5cm and 50%, where I had been for 6 weeks, so I was REALLY glad all those contractions did SOMETHING) The nurse (who was AWESOME!) informed us that we were definitely there for good (which I was glad, no way was I going home feeling like that!) So, I walked to the delivery room at 1:15am and I got in the gown and we started calling family (both of which we had talked to earlier in the day to give them a heads-up on the contractions).
I told the nurse that I did want an epidural, but I didn’t want it quite yet, but go ahead and do the blood work. So they stuck me 9 billion times and got that taken care of. So, we watched Little House On the Prairie and my contractions on the monitor.
At 2, I decided that it was definitely time for the epidural So I went to the bathroom one last time on my own and the anesthesiologist came in and got that going. I had them set it on the lowest setting because I did want to experience as much of it as I could…so I could still feel the peak of the contractions along the top of my tummy.
At 4:15, Zach’s parents got there. Originally I didn’t want anyone in there, but we were bored, so I agreed to let them in for a few minutes. ((sorry you had to hear it this way! haha!))
My mom got there around 4:40ish…and so Zach’s parents left and my mom stayed in the room for about an hour. Dr. Segal came in and checked me and I was 8cm and 100% and my water still hadn’t broken so he went ahead and did that.
So then we waited some more…and then sadly, we had a shift change, but the next nurse was just as awesome! She checked me and I was still at 8, so she “got me” to 9. About that time, I had my epidural turned up “just a hair”. I could still feel the contractions, but, I could tell before they turned it up that they were getting more intense.
At 7:20, Dr. Segal came back in, checked and I was at 10cm and 100%. He got all excited and said, “Time to push!!!” So we ran through how to push and for how long and all that good stuff. So, I did my thing and Dr. Segal was thrilled at how well I could push! And then he said, “OK…I’ll be back in a little bit…” I said, “WAIT! No, where are you going?!” He said, “Tracy (the nurse) will call when you get closer…see you in a bit!”
So, at 7:30, I started pushing for real and about 8 they had me flipping from my left side to my right and back to my left in between contractions because Keaton’s heart rate would drop with about every 3rd contraction.
At 8:10 Dr. Segal came back and saw that Keaton was crowning, he asked Zach if he wanted to see and, to my surprise, Zach said, “YEH!!!” I said, “WHAT?!” And Zach goes ‘down there’ and says, “Wow…that’s amazing!” I kept pushing and pushing and Keaton just wouldn’t budge anymore. So, Dr. Segal said that he was going to use a version of the vacuum, called a kiwi, that it was much smaller and I most likely wouldn’t tear with that, but we needed to do something soon because of Keaton’s heart rate. We all had a scare when the monitor slipped off my tummy and his heart rate couldn’t be heard…I could feel enough around my tummy to quickly say, “The monitor!! Fix it!!!”
At around 8:40, Keaton’s heart rate (it would go back and forth b/w 140 or so down to between 50-70 when I’d push) dropped below 50 and the next thing I know, Dr. Segal is yelling to the nurse to push all these buttons, nurses come running in and he’s throwing scrubs at Zach and putting his gown on…..Let me back up and say that at our 2nd OB appt, when we were supposed to hear Keaton’s heartbeat for the first time & he couldn’t find it, our appt. was with Dr. Segal and he was amazing. He did such a great job of reassuring us while we were waiting for the ultrasound machine. He was just awesome. I’m SO thankful that it was he who was available to deliver Keaton. I have absolute confidence in all the dr’s. at my practice, but, as far as bedside manner and all, he’s amazing.
So, in the midst of this chaos, he takes 20 seconds to come to my head and say, “Baby is fine. I just don’t like his heartrate dropping every few minutes like that. He IS going to be fine. YOU are going to be fine, but we are going to have to do a c-section. I know that is not at all what you want, but he will not budge past your pubic bone and it’s causing too much stress. Zach will be in there with you, but we need to get this baby out now. They’re going to wheel you down and get you ready. Everything is going to be fine.”
So they run me down the hall and get me prepped, the whole time, I’m screaming “WHERE IS MY HUSBAND?!?!” (He wasn’t allowed to come in until they had prepped me.) Finally he was able to come in and the “new” drugs they had to give me were finally kicking in. The new anesthesiologist was awesome as well…told me everything that was going on. There was a nurse by my head who was PHENOMENAL! I wanted to take her home with me. She sat by my head until Zach could come in and she did a great job of keeping me as calm as possible in that situation 🙂
Zach came in, and apparently, had been talking with a nurse in the hall and she had reassured him that every thing was going to be fine, since Keaton’s heart rate would rise back to normal when I wasn’t pushing. Zach came in and relayed this info to me and while we waited for what seemed like FOREVER, he prayed for me and for Keaton. Zach is not a cryer…but he was crying the whole time which was not making things easier on me.
Dr. Segal was awesome, along with that nurse by my head, they both did an amazing job of letting me know what all was going on (Dr. Segal) and what I was going to be feeling (the nurse by my head)…such as this crazy pressure on my chest when they pulled him out! THAT was weird!
I heard Dr. Segal yell, “9:05am!” and then the most amazing sound on the face of the earth when Keaton just started screaming! He had this little lamb sounding cry, a little “baaa” to it. All the nurses were laughing. They brought him by so I could get a quick look before they took him off to clean him up. Zach went with him while they put me back together. That’s when I remembered that I wanted to see my placenta, so Dr. Segal said a nurse would bring it around in just a minute. I got to see it and it was amazing! After about 10 minutes or so, Zach came back in carrying Keaton with the biggest smile on his face and tears just rolling down! They unstrapped my left arm so I could touch him. Keaton was screaming his little head off and as soon as he was close enough, I touched his face and he immediately stopped crying! It was so sweet.
After that, Zach took Keaton back to the L&D room where family was waiting and they would do more poking & prodding to my sweet baby under the warming lights. They got me all back together and Dr. Segal assured me that I could indeed do a VBAC with our next pregnancy, but they would be doing more detailed ultrasounds next time as his cord was VERY short (I never heard the exact length, but that contributed to his not wanting to budge!) And we’d take it from there. But for now, my orders were to go enjoy my little man and he’d (Dr. Segal) be in to see me in a little bit. The nurses got me onto a clean bed and bundled me up b/c I was having major chills from the medications. And then they wheeled me back to the L&D room. Our family was waiting outside looking in as they were checking Keaton over. Once I assured them all that I was OK, they wheeled me in the room and I had them close the curtain and the door so it could just be us (and staff, haha) for a little bit. After about 30 agonizing minutes, I finally got to hold my precious boy. He just lay there looking up at me. AGH, I could live that moment over and over and over!
Sunday, my job was to lie in bed all day. The epidural wore off MUCH quicker than I had expected and I didn’t have a single complication (backache/headache/anything that we talked about in class, other than some chills) with it.
Monday, they took my IV out and had me get up and sit in a chair for awhile and then take a shower, which I did NOT want to do, but I felt so much better afterwards.
Tuesday, they had me “walk the halls” 4 times throughout the day. We did it 5 times for good measure 🙂 and I stayed in a chair most of the day. And as soon as they took the folly catheter out, I changed into normal clothes, I felt like a new woman!
Wednesday was our discharge day. They came and removed my staples, which also, didn’t hurt. I actually had a student do it and she was great! We ended up leaving the hospital around 2:30 that afternoon.
He was born 8lbs. 9oz and 20.5 inches long!
And that was our Easter weekend, 2007 – I couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate!
My mom had to head back that Monday morning because of tax season. Zach’s parents left Tuesday. Jason & Tara came to visit us that Sunday and were the first non-family, non-hospital-staff to see Keaton. Ron & Whitney came Monday afternoon. The Bowers Family and Daniel Creswell came on Tuesday. We were blessed with many weeks of meals from our church family that made my recovery (and those sleepless, colicky weeks) SO much easier to deal with.
An aside, as I’ve had many ask about it before even posting this: a VBAC – Vaginal Birth After Cesarean. “Back in the day” it was assumed that once a c-section, always a c-section (for fear of uterine rupture). After many years of research from people way smarter than I’ll ever dream to be, it’s been concluded that the risk of uterine rupture after 1 c-section is the same as that in a normal delivery, it’s after multiple c-sections (and many scars on the uterus) that it becomes a huge issue. I’m so thankful that my OB/practice is supportive of this and I can still deliver at Rex (where I had an amazing experience).
There are some “conditions” that apply though: I cannot be induced (as induction medications cause greater contractions than normal putting more stress on the uterus, increasing the chances of rupture) I have been told I’m allowed to go to 41 weeks, at 41 weeks and 1 day, I will have a c-section (praying for an early baby!) It’s not been “proven” but statistics show that moms are more likely to have a successful VBAC if pain medication is not administered. Therefore, I will be attempting to go “au natural” this time (we’re looking at a Doula to assist us in this as we cannot afford, nor do we have the time to do Bradley classes (12 weeks of classes for $800+…no can do right now…) I think I could have done it last time (minus the c-section) if I hadn’t been so tired. 40 hours of labor can wear a person out! ((another aside: I do not HAVE to avoid pain medication, it will just improve my chances)) I will also avoid having my water broken for me. We realized after Keaton was born (and the kiwi vac was used) that he was not coming straight down as he was supposed to (the kiwi left a ‘hickey’ on the side of his head that was coming out first!) I feel that my water wasn’t breaking yet because he wasn’t in the best position – causing him to get “stuck.”