Thursday, October 16, 2014

Carter Elizabeth

     Harrison and I are thrilled to announce the birth of our beautiful daughter Carter Elizabeth!  She was born Tuesday, October 7 at 2:25 pm and weighed 7 lbs 7.2 oz (EXACTLY what her growth ultrasound predicted on Monday!) and was 20 inches long.  She is perfect.

     About 12 hours after I posted on the blog last Monday, I went into labor on my own.  After my appointment on Monday, I was having some contractions that were a little stronger than what was typical for me and my low back was hurting.  One of very best friends (whom I shared a due date with!) had her baby girl the previous Thursday so we went over to their house to meet her and have dinner with them Monday night.  We got home Monday night and went to bed.  I woke up around 4 AM to go to the bathroom and couldn't fall back asleep, so I turned on the TV.  Around 5:30 I was getting pretty drowsy so I rolled over in bed and felt a water breaking! It was definitely a strange sensation but not a big gush of water like you see in movies.  I went to the bathroom and verified that it was indeed my water breaking.  I woke up Harrison and called the on call doctor.  She said to head on in to the hospital but that it didn't sound like we needed to be in a huge rush as my contractions were about 10 minutes apart.  I took a quick shower, we finished packing up, said goodbye to the dog and life as just the two of us and headed to the hospital.  By the time we arrived to the hospital about an hour after my water had broken, my contractions were about 4 minutes apart, and man, did they hurt.  Since we got to the hospital right around 6:30, there were 2 other pregnant women checking in for scheduled deliveries. They were nice enough to let me check in first since it was clear that I was in active labor!

     I was triaged and checked and was 4.5 cm dilated.  They got me in a room and I immediately asked for my epidural which I got around 8 AM.  (P.S.  Epidurals are completely amazing and I am convinced are a gift from God! Any woman that can do labor naturally is my hero!)  After my epidural, they checked me and I was 8cm!  By 10 AM I was completely dilated.  It was a crazy day on the Labor and Delivery floor.  There were 2 c-sections my doctor needed to do and  2 other women in labor and delivering when I was! Because of the craziness and since they knew I wanted to limit the amount of pushing, they let me "labor down" for a few hours.  Basically it was letting my body and contractions to push her lower. I had my epidural so I was completely comfortable. Till about 1pm, they let me labor down and we hung out in the room with my family.

    Around 1pm, the doctor was finally available, so they got everything all set up and ready for her big arrival.  (Crazy side note: My in laws were on their way from Nashville so my mom was texting with my mother in law and giving her updates.  My mom mentioned the doctor's name, who was another doctor in the practice on the non high risk side, but not my usual doctor.  It turns out, the doctor that was about to deliver my daughter was the same doctor that delivered my husband 30 years ago!!) I officially started pushing at 1:50pm and at 2:25pm, our sweet daughter was born!  I can't even explain the flood of emotions I had when I saw her come out and heard her cry.  Harrison and I both immediately broke down in sobs. I felt incredible joy, love, and thankfulness but also relief and the overwhelming sense of "finally!"  It was the culmination of emotions of 3 years of infertility and failures and finally overcoming all the hurdles. We waited so long and worked so hard for that moment. It was a moment that is impossible to adequately put into words.

     When my water broke, their was a slight hint of meconium (aka baby's poop) so they immediately took her to the warmer to suction her really well and assess her.  She was crying and doing well but because of the possibility of meconium aspiration, Harrison was only able to hold her for a minute. I was able to give her a few kisses, but then they took her to the nursery to be hooked up to an oxygen monitor for a little while to make sure her breathing and oxygen status were ok.

A couple hours later, we were reunited with our daughter.  Introducing Carter Elizabeth...

Meeting her Great Grandmother and Namesake, Harrison's grandmother Carter

     We were discharged Friday afternoon and began our life as a family of 3! 

Going home with our girl! 
The past week has been wonderful.  We are soaking up every moment with our sweet girl.   Harrison was able to take a full week off work so he went back yesterday for his first full day.  I've had some help during the day from my mom and mother-in-law which we are so thankful and grateful for.  We are tired but are getting some sleep between feedings.  Carter so far is a great baby and I am loving motherhood.  It still feels very surreal that she is here and in my arms, but I am so happy I sometimes just look at her and start crying.

Her newborn photo shoot. 4 days old

8 days old
     I know I say this at the end of pretty much every post but I can't thank each of you enough for all the love, support and prayers over the past 9 months of pregnancy, 3 years of infertility, or 5 years of my health issues.  We wouldn't be where we are without you.  Your prayers were heard and answered in the most amazing, incredible ways.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Bump Update: 38 and 39 Weeks and the Final Countdown!!

Well, I made it! It's October ya'll!  It's baby month! And it looks like I am going to be having this baby sometime this week! I feel like it was just yesterday I was anxiously waiting for the phone to ring to hear the results of our beta test.  When we were told it was positive and I talked to the Nurse Practitioner from our IVF clinic, I remember her specifically saying that our due date was October 9.  It seemed so far away.  Now, 9 months later, its finally October and I am less than a week away from my due date.  It's all completely surreal.  

How far along: I am just a few days away from my due date...39 weeks, 4 days

Trimester: Third

Gender: Can't wait to hold my little girl!

Size of baby:  In fruit and vegetable terms, she is the size of a mini-watermelon.  In actual size, she is probably around 7- 7.5 pounds if her growth has continued on the same growth curve she has been on.  Went for my growth ultrasound this morning and she measured 7 lbs 7 oz (40th percentile) so she is a really good size...not too big but not too little!

Sleep:  Still not great and there is at least one point during the night that I can't fall back asleep for hours after getting up to go to the bathroom.  I start thinking about what it will be like when/if I go into labor on my own and day dreaming about seeing her face for the first time.

Best Moments: My mom's friends threw me a baby shower this past Sunday which was so special.  We are so blessed to have so many people in our life that love us, support us, and love our baby girl already!

Worst Moment: I don't usually do a worst moment but this week I ended up getting pretty sick with a sinus infection and upper respiratory infection.  I started sneezing a lot at my baby shower on Sunday and thought it was just allergies.  By Monday I was really congested.  I woke up Tuesday morning at 3 AM and felt absolutely awful.  I was coughing a lot and had a low grade fever.  When I would  lay down, my chest was tight and painful and it was hard to breathe.  When I called my OB to ask what medications I could take, they really wanted me to be seen by my primary care doctor.  So I went and got checked out and was put on an antibiotic and inhaler.  I feel better but am still coughing and have some congestion.  I am hoping that over the next few days it will start to clear up and I will be completely well by the time I have this baby! It is definitely no fun being sick and super pregnant at the same time!

Miss Anything:  Decent sleep, not having to pee every 30 minutes, and in general just being comfortable.

Symptoms:  Contracting a lot each day.  At my check last week I was 1 cm dilated and 80% effaced so my body is doing something.  After A LOT of thoughtful prayer and consideration, I have decided to try a vaginal delivery.  My doctor and Nurse Practitioner said that doing an induction with me starting out having already made some progress on my own typically makes for a better, smoother induction process.  
As of this morning I am now 3 cm and 90% effaced. Personally I'm not really wanting to go too far past my due date.  We had talked about maybe inducing on Friday if she hadn't made her appearance by then but after my appointment this morning, we've decided to wait it out a little longer.  One of my doctors (the one I saw this morning) had rotator cuff surgery a couple weeks ago so he is still in a big sling contraption and not doing deliveries.  My other doctor will be out of town on Friday so even though I'd have to wait a few more days, I'd rather have one of my doctors there for delivery so I have another appointment next Monday.  If she hasn't come by then, we will induce on Tuesday when I am 40 weeks, 5 days.  My doctor doesn't want me to go past Tuesday or Wednesday since I have gestational diabetes.  He really thinks though with my current status and the progress I am making that I will probably go into labor on my own sometime this week.

My doctor and nurse practitioners have been really great and understanding.  They have promised me that if at any point during labor or delivery, my neck and back are causing me too much pain for me to continue, that they will completely respect my decision and wouldn't deny me the option of a c-section.  Knowing that I'm not locked in and knowing that they understand my fears and concerns made it easier for me to decide to try a vaginal delivery.  I am going in with very little expectations for myself or my body.  I would love it if I can delivery vaginally, but I know that I will be putting my neck and back through a lot of stress and strain that it isn't used to so I really have no idea how much it will be able to tolerate.  With all the damage, hardware, nerve issues, spinal stenosis, bone spurs, muscles spasms, etc., I know that my neck is fragile.  I am just hoping that maybe it can hold up long enough for a successful, and relatively pain free (neck wise) delivery.

Looking forward to: Meeting my daughter, seeing her face, and holding her for the first time!

Please be praying for us in these final days and that whenever and however she decides to make her debut, it will be a safe a relatively smooth process! Thanks for your support!