Connect the Dots Ginger | Becky Allen

Friday, May 30, 2014

Collin's Birth Story: Part 3

Final installment of his birth story. This is Collin's recovery from his difficult transition into the world.

Where did I leave off? Oh, ok. Collin's nurse came over to me to take his standard vitals then said he wasn't breathing as well as they wanted. She worked on him a bit on my chest and then said that he needed to go to the station for extra oxygen. I asked if she could do any of the stuff on me, but she couldn't, she even tried to reach the oxygen mask over. They took Collin from my arms and I told Matt to go and touch him and hold his hand so that Collin knew we were there and loved him.

I kept asking if Collin was ok as I was just sitting there getting stitched up and my tummy pressed on. (Let me tell you, all the stories you hear about how much it hurts when the nurses push on your tummy to check the level of the uterus is no laughing matter. It hurts, and it hurts worse with a second or more pregnancy.)

I couldn't take my eyes off of Collin for very long. They were using the bulb to suction the fluid from his nose and throat. The nurse said that he still had some fluid in his lungs and that he wasn't doing the "scream" that was needed to get the fluid out of his lungs. She asked if she could do the deep suction in his lungs to help get the fluid out. Matt and I said yes, whatever they had to do to help him.

After what felt like an hour which was only about 5 minutes, mind you, the nurse came over and explained what was going on with Collin. He was receiving oxygen but not enough. They prefer their oxygen levels to be at a 92 (don't know if that is percent or what but they just said these numbers to me.) And Collin was between 85-87. She said that he needed to go to the "sick nursery" as they didn't have a NICU in my hospital but a level lower than a NICU. She said that was was going to be under a humidified oxygen hood to help his breathing for the time being. She handed Collin to me to say his goodbyes for a little bit. I told him to get better. We all saw him respond positively to my voice and my touch. He seem more alive and active. On the table he barely moved his arms and legs and when he was in my arms he grabbed at me and kicked more. He was more healthy.

The nurse put my id tag on me and him and then took him away and Matt went with him. The other nurses came over and introduced themselves to me. As I came in so quickly they didn't get a chance to tell me who they were. The doc finished up and explained more fully what happened. Explained that the chord was very tight around his next but he had a long chord and we got him out fast enough that he should be fine. Then it was just me, my postpartum nurse (who was different than my delivery nurse that told me not to give birth in the tub) and my doula.

I had to wait 30 minutes from this point before I could go to the nursery to see Collin. I was told that I could go at anytime. I had to have my vitals checked first then they would let me get all cleaned up. I told them that my uterus was going down fine, cause I could feel it going down. I sent my doula to the sick nursery to check on Collin and Matt and she said that he was doing really well under the hood. She said that the nurses were trying to get him to scream to help clear out his lungs. And he wouldn't scream, except for when they gave him his vitamin K shot. That pissed him off enough to really wail, the kind of wail they wanted him to do. But apparently he only cried for just a short time. (this is a foreshadowing of the kind of cool and calm personality he really is. He doest cry that much.)

I finally pushed the nurses to hurry up and let me go to the nursery and they finally agreed. I got dressed and walked into the nursery at about 7:30. When Matt saw me walking in, he asked what I was doing up and about. I told him I wanted to see my son. I went over and held his hand and talked to him. It was obvious he knew who I was because his oxygen levels they were monitoring spiked up when I was talking to him and holding his hand or touching him. I stayed as long as I could. Our doula said her goodbye for the evening and said that I did an amazing job!

I was getting slightly dizzy with the heat lamp over Collin and the postpartum nurse said they wanted to move us to our postpartum room. So Matt and I said goodbye for just a little while. I walked to the other side of the wing to our new room 3041 from birth room 10.

I told Matt that I wanted to go again but they wanted to do another check on me first. ARGH! I was getting mad at them denying me from seeing him. We went back at 9:00pm to check on him. Matt insisted that I already proved that I was a super woman with going all natural, with the difficult labor, then walking to the nursery an hour and a half after I pushed him out. So I took the wheel chair and loved it! We stayed in the nursery talking to the nurse, asking questions. She said that he was doing so well at this point that she could take him out for kangaroo care as long as we kept oxygen on his face the whole time. I was thrilled. I still wasn't allowed to nurse him, and they said that he wouldn't have wanted to nurse anyways because his priority was to feel comfortable breathing. So she took him out of the hood and put him in my arms for the 3rd time since he was born. I wanted to cry, how happy I was.

Again as I was holding him, singing to him, and talking to him his levels spiked and stayed up really well. She even took the oxygen away for just a little bit and he did really well, but then the monitors started to beep again saying he wasn't getting enough and back on the oxygen he went. She told us that he started at 40% oxygen and their goal was to get it down to 24% oxygen level to be weaned to what he needed to breath. At this point in just the 2 hours from birth he was already weaned down to 32%. She was very happy with his recovery and was just saying that he was having a really hard transition into the world. He was in a bit of shock.

At 10:30, we decided to let him rest, and let me rest a bit more. I was pretty tired and we figured we would be back soon to see him. They wanted to keep him in there at least overnight at this point. Matt and I went back to the room. Prayed that he would be ok and then went to bed.

At midnight, I was awoken by the nurse, asking if I wanted to nurse my baby. I said, YES! I was wheeled to the nursery and then got to nurse my baby. The nurse said that he had been weaned off the hood for 30 minutes and screaming up a storm! He was ready to be fed. He latched on like a pro! The nurse and the nursery nurse said I was a natural at nursing him. I told him it's like riding a bike and so thankful that I could remember what to do. Kid was super hunger and fed for 15 min on each side. When he was done I just held him for another 30 minutes and then let him rest and I went back to bed. They promised they would get me when he was ready again to be fed.

I was woken up at 4am for another feeding. Again he was doing so well, no more hood, just under the heat lamp to keep him warm. He fed again for 30 minutes total and I held him for another 30 minutes before going back to the room to sleep. Matt and I woke up around 7 and we joked about how we were the only parents of a newborn who actually got to get a good nights rest. I had only woken Matt up to help me in the bathroom and such, other than that he was out cold!

We just had to wait for the pediatric doctor to come in and tell us what was going on and such. I was checked again and again through the night and in the morning. Finally the doc came in and she was super happy with his progress and explained that he had what was classified as a "difficult transition" at that is all. He was completely weaned from forced oxygen by midnight and did great throughout the rest of the night. She was excited that I nursed him and was happy to hear how well he did. She said that he is currently being released from the sick nursery and released to us for our care. He didn't have to go back and he was just as good as any other baby!

15 minutes later he was wheeled into our room and he was ours. They wanted to keep a eye on him and keep him for the full 48 hours just to make sure he was ok. Which he was. He nursed like a champ, and slept like a log! Our first full night as a family in the room, he woke up at 11, 2 and 5 for a feeding. I felt so blessed. Oh and he is quiet! He doesn't really cry, at all. He only cries when he is getting his diaper changed or if I take too long to get him on the breast. He loves to be held, and I don't mind that at all, neither does GMA.

He is doing very well. We were even released from the hospital at 42 hours, not 48. He has been such a beautiful little baby boy. He is almost too quiet most of the time which is so different than his older brother who like to cry at anything. Collin sleeps well, and is truly living the life as a baby with eating, sleeping and pooping, with just the occasional cry. We are so thankful for the quick response of my OB/GYN with the chord cutting and getting him out and telling me that I could do it. For the nurses at the hospital for helping him and us. We didn't post that he was born for a day, until he knew he was ok. Only close family members knew what was going on. But things are so well now, and he is truly a little angel sent to earth! We are so happy to welcome Collin to our family!

Click to read Collin's Birth Story Part 1

Click to read Collin's Birth Story Part 2

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Collin: 1 Week Old

Collin is over a week old now. (He turned a week old on Monday) With the holiday on Monday and his circumcision Tuesday I didn't get a chance to write about him and me and how everything is going. I do hope you are enjoying reading his birth story.

Collin 1 week old: 
Loves to sleep, eat and poop. He doesn't cry all that much, seriously, kid does not make a peep. He only cries when we change his diaper, even before the circ. And if I take too long to get him some food, like if I have to go to the bathroom before I feed him since he will be out cold by the time we finish.
~Seriously?!? How cute is he!!!~

He is eating like a champ. Nursing consistently (except for yesterday with the recover from his procedure) for 30-35 minutes total. He is more efficient than Mason was with nursing and can drain me very quickly! I am thankful that nursing has been so easy for us.

At his 1 week 1 day check he was back up to his birth weight of 7 lbs and 1 ounce, up from his 4 day appointment of 6 lbs 12 ounces.
~Daddy and Collin chillin' in the bed~

He is lifting his head so much more now and is less jaundice than he was last Friday at his 4 day old appointment.

He loves to be cuddled. I don't mind that at all and neither does GMA! We just cuddle him all day long. It is not spoiling it is part of the weaning process into the world. And he is just too cute not to cuddle.
~Mason actually wanted to hold Collin for the first time and not be told to~

I am getting 4-5 hour stretches of sleeping at night. I don't wake Matt up at night to help so he is practically sleeping through the night. When he does nurse around 2am he generally only does one side and is back to sleep in 15-20 minutes. It is pretty crazy cause Mason would nurse for 40 min every 2-3 hours. I know that there will be a growth spurt coming up soon and that means more nursing at night and day but that is what happens and I am ok with it.
~Yummmm! Milk coma!~

I have currently lost 22 lbs since I gave birth. I am now under my starting weight for this pregnancy 3 lbs. I did not do this well with Mason. I got stuck at 15lbs only and that was it until I made some drastic changes when he was 10 months old. With this one, the weight is just falling off. I know it will slow down in the next few days and weeks. I am waiting until 6-8 weeks postpartum to exercise and have a more strict diet. Right now it is all about milk supply and making sure we set that up as efficiently as possible.
~Matt and his boys!~
I am doing great. I am not ready for Matt to go back to work. He went back today all day and tomorrow through next week he will be doing half days. I am a little nervous as this morning was a little stressful on me. Thankfully GMA and GPA are still in town to help. And Saturday we will have my in-laws for a week and my sis in law will be here for a few days. Thankful for all the help we are receiving.
~Collin and Me: 1 week postpartum~

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Collin's Birth Story: Part 2

Here comes the fun part of the birth story.

We just got in the car, a stick shift, to make our way to the hospital. About 4:50 or so. I pulled the seat to a flat position and I was laying on my side. Matt held on to my thigh so I wouldn't roll off the seat or anything during my contractions or on turns. Matt was following our doula to the hospital because he was concerned about how to get there. I was telling him where to go though the whole time between contractions still. Ever the side seat driver I am.

I was definitely having regular contractions, which I was still thinking were my "GI cramps," but could possibly be labor. They did slow down just a little bit though in the car and I felt like I could rest more in-between them. I told Matt that I didn't want to have the baby in the car, at all, if it really was labor! (My doc had just told me a couple of stories lately about women not making it to the hospital and having the baby on the side of the road, in rush hour traffic.) As we were driving, after what seemed like a long time, I remember looking out the front window and telling Matt, WE ARE ONLY JUST OUSIDE OF FOREST LAKES?!? (about 2 miles from the house) HURRY!!! I was so upset because it was taking forever to get there and I was not having fun!

The car ride was interesting because Matt decided to keep me entertained. He was cracking jokes making me laugh, or saying things to me which he got smacked for, (talking about my blindingly white legs or bum, as I was wearing my tank dress and showing a lot of leg and it rode up a little bit!) But during contractions Matt got the worst of it. I grabbed his bicep and just squeezed as tight as I could. A few times I accidentally grabbed and pulled his arm pit hair through his shirt. To which he would make funny sounds, that would make me laugh during contractions which only made them feel worse. I often was laughing between contractions though which helped me relax a little more, but I was still concerned about making it to the hospital fast enough. I also texted my friend on the way saying, "YOU PUT ME IN LABOR!" She just responded, "NO WAY! ;)"

Our doula took a back way to the hospital which quickly turned into a one lane road with stop and go traffic. IN A STICK SHIFT. With contractions 3 min apart! It was not the best of car rides I have ever had in my life. The car ride continued like this for the remainder of the time. Me, laughing between contractions, smacking Matt in the arm, having contractions gripping Matt's arm with a vice like grip, which he did get bruises from and me yelling at the on lookers asking if they were enjoying the show. Yep there was one car that was staring at me during a contraction and I yelled back at them. A woman in labor is apparently funny looking.

We arrived at the hospital and our doula told Matt to park far from the door to make me walk and get the baby to engage completely. Matt happen to pick one of the the farthest parking spots from the door and I yelled at him for doing so. As we walked from the parking lot to the front door, I was having regular contractions. I had to stop and squat a little and I kept begging for a toilet. I really had to go, and I was having rectal pressure (which is a sign that baby was coming!) My doula asked me if I wanted to go in the grass, and NO I was not going to do that. I had 4-5 contractions from the car to the front door. When we got in the hospital Matt asked if I wanted a wheelchair. I said no I could walk and didn't want to sit. My doula said I could use the bathroom in the birthing room instead of the bathroom right by the front door just in case. I then suggested that we run to the L&D wing which happens to be at the VERY BACK WING in the hospital. I seriously tried 2 steps in a small run, and had to keel over and stop and squat as I felt the baby drop into my pelvis. I told them, HURRY, we have to hurry!

We hobbled down the long hallway that appeared get longer with every glance and finally made it to the L&D window with the big double doors. They asked my name and then I said, "I NEED A BATHROOM!" The nurses opened the door and it was just a quick walk to my room and I went straight to the bathroom toilet. Just a few minutes later my doc popped his head in and said he wanted to check me. I told him I wanted the tub. He then said he had to check me first then the tub.

He checked me and I was 6 cm. Only a 6 with the crazy contractions I was having. I was a little sad. He broke my water and I had 2 contractions while we waited for the tub to fill up and get the ok from the doc that I could go in. The doc said, "You are just going to be getting wet in the tub and that's it before you have to get out." He felt my cervix open as he broke my water so he knew that it was happening very quickly. Which he predicted that when I went, I would go fast! The nurse in the room looked me straight in the eye and slowly but very seriously told me, "You will not give birth to this baby in the tub. You will get out when you feel pushing. Do you understand me." Yes ma'am! She kind of freaked me out a little bit.

I waited till the second contraction was done and basically leapt out of the bed and ran to the tub. I got in but it wasn't helping as much. I felt sharp, sharp pain at the beginning of each contraction which I would let out a ear shattering scream, then I would be able to focus on my deep breathing. I had about 4 contractions and on the 5th I felt the urge to push. I called out and said, I am pushing! I just pushed. The nurse said, "ok after the next one get out!" I called out for Matt so that the nurse didn't have to help lift me out of the tub. I got out of the tub at 6:00 pm. I had my next contraction, screamed then went to my deep breathing and crying. It ended and I got up as fast as I could and stepped out of the tub and walked as quickly as I could to the bed. The nurse was drying me off with the towel and saying please don't slip. Oh gosh don't slip. I didn't care I was soaking wet I was not going to have another contraction unless I was in the bed.

On the way to the bed I told my doc, "I am not giving birth on my back!" My doc said he didn't care what position I was in just to hurry up. So I went on my knees and gripped the back of the bed in a kneeled squat position. I asked Matt for my hypnobirthing CD to play and he kept trying to put my ear phones in my ear attached to my nano. I yelled at him and told him to get my phone! Poor guy! Being on my knees didn't quite feel right and I asked for the bed to be lowered so I could be on hands and knees. This was my preferred position for this labor and will later find out why. It is a position which is great for opening up the pelvis another 2 cm or so greater than any other position. After 1 contraction on my hands and knees my doc said that I had to turn around to a squatting position! I couldn't comprehend how to turn around and told the doc I didn't know how. He said, "TURN AROUND NOW!" and I turned around. He then proceeded to poke around down there causing a super sharp pain which let out another high pitched scream and made me not want to push but to retreat from him. He said I had to push really, really hard where he was pressing. Between the 2nd and 3rd contraction I saw the Doc and the Nurse whisper something. I started wondering why this labor felt so much more difficult to push him out. It was taking EVERYTHING I had to get him out. After 3 pushes his head was out and the doc said "Don't push! The chord is wrapped around his neck, twice, very tightly." I looked down and could see Collin's head which was blue. The doc cut the chord and said, "we have to get him out NOW!" I gave one final push and out came Collin! He was born at 6:08.

I got to hold Collin and look at his beautiful face for a little bit. I was mesmerized by his blond hair and kept telling Matt he was a blond. The doc said that I had to get 2 little stitches just like last time, a minor 1st degree tear. Then, he explained why. He said that Collin was in a compound position or a nuchal hand. Collin's head was birthed with his hand up by his ear. The sharp pain I was feeling at the beginning of each contraction was basically Collin's hand, arm and elbow making me stretch a bit more than the regular 10 cm. (OUCH!)   Which has made my recovery a little bit more difficult this time around.

Collin's nurse came over and was checking him out and then said he wasn't breathing as well as they wanted. She worked on him a bit on my chest and then said that he needed to go to the station for extra oxygen.

Next, came my worry and panic as I worried over his health. I am going to add a 3rd part, sorry, but this is so long already on his very difficult transition into the world! I didn't even think about getting any pictures of him right after he came out because of the scare we had. Next post will have pictures!

To sum things up:

I started contractions around 2:30pm
Matt came home at 3:30
I got in the tub at my house around 3:45.
Called the doula at 4:15
Called the doc at 4:30
Got in the car around 4:50
Got in the labor and delivery room at 5:30
Water broken at 5:35
Got in the tub around 5:45
Got out of the tub at 6:00
Baby born at 6:08

No epidural, or pain meds for the birth. No time to even think about getting drugs if I had wanted it. But I wanted a natural labor and I got it. A Painful one but I still did it.

Total labor: 3 hours 38 minutes

PART 3: Complications and the scare of my life of Collin's Birth story: CLICK HERE.

Need to read part 1? Click to read Collin's Birth Story: Part 1

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Monday, May 26, 2014

Collin's Birth Story: Part 1

It's Friday morning and I finally get to put these thoughts and words down. I have been thinking about my birthing experience for the past few days, retelling the story to friends and family but actually writing it down is kinda absolute and finalizing that yes, I actually just did that! So here we go, Part 1.

I had been having contractions for a few days but they would pitter off into nothingness. Saturday, 5/17, we walked 5 miles during the day, I had contractions but they died out. Sunday I contracted throughout the day and in the evening I started having more contractions than normal and they weren't going away, and stronger. I started timing them earlier in the day and they were 12 min apart. I was convinced that Sunday was the day. I talked with my doula and she suggested that we get out of the house for awhile and just do something else to get my mind off of laboring. So we went and walked around target for about an hour and a half just getting a few things and looking at other areas and such. It is actually pretty easy to get swallowed up in Target for a long period of time.

We came back to the house, I made a ton of cookies, and my contractions picked up later that evening to about 8 min apart. I didn't want to have hard labor at home and I didn't feel all that comfortable with laboring here at the house, since we live about 35 min from the hospital. Talked to the doula and the doctor and I went in to the hospital that evening to get checked out and see what was going on. I was only 3 cm but I was 90% effaced at that point. Doc sent me home and told me specific instructions on when to come back. Contractions 3 min apart and such. (Before he had said the 5-1-1 rule, contractions 5 min apart, lasting for 1 min, for an hour) We got home around 1:30am.

The next morning after talking with my doula she suggested that I just not think about laboring at all and I made a goal to just ignore anything that felt like a contraction, and just go about my day. My doula also suggested that I take a small amount of castor oil to help unclog the plumbing because I had said I felt very blocked, and I was. So down the hatch the castor oil milkshake went. (doesn't matter how you mix castor oil it is gross!) I went about my day and ignored any contractions. Which I was having, but yeah. I vacuumed the house and did laundry. Cleaned up the rooms and kitchen.

I talked with my friend around 1:30 and we talked about my fears of laboring at home and worked through them. Before we ended the call around 2:30 I felt a stronger contraction that I couldn't actually ignore like the others. I remember I told my friend that I had to get more comfortable and change position. She was like, "okay?" I told her I was still have GI cramps from the darn castor oil that did clean me out, violently, in about 2 hours.  I got off the phone and went into the bathroom and kept having the "GI cramps". Matt came home around 3:30 and I was still in there. He peaked his head in asked what was going on and if I was ok. (He had heard me moan a little as he entered our room.) I told him I was still having GI problems. I left the toilet area and as I walked over to him, like 10 feet I doubled over in pain. He looked at me and said, "GI problems, huh?" I told him I took castor oil and had been dealing with that all day. I doubled over again and said, get the tub read. I will just go in the tub to help me deal with the cramping.

I got in the tub and Matt noticed that I was reacting to my "cramps" closely together. He asked how close they were. I had no idea. I kept calling for him to put pressure on my low back and every time he did I would just purr at how amazing it felt! He did a good job taking care of me!

After a little time I  said, "call the doula." We called her and she asked Matt to time the contractions. She was listening to me over the phone. In between my "cramps" she was asking me questions. I kept telling her that I wasn't in labor and it was GI cramps from the castor oil. She said she was on her way to our house but that we should really think about getting ready to leave for the hospital. I told her I didn't want to get sent home again and that it was from the castor oil. Matt got a few contractions in a row and was able to determine that they were 3 min apart on average. (some were only 2 min apart)

Our doula told us to call the docs office and see if we could come in and get checked out before the end of the day. We called the office at 4:30 and the office just closed. We had to call the answering service and wait for the doc to call us back. He called back and asked Matt the basic questions and could here me over the phone. Between a contraction Matt held the phone up to my ear for me to talk to him. I told the doc that I was having cramps from the castor oil I took. He asked how much and told him 2 oz. He said since I took it so early in the morning that I was actually in labor and it was not castor oil. I was going to have the baby today! I started bawling saying that I didn't want to get sent home again. He said I wasn't going to be sent home, and at that second I started another contraction. He told Matt to get me in to the hospital, NOW!

Matt got me out of the tub and I got dressed. Still having more contractions in which I had to kneel down to deal with. I rushed down the stairs so I didn't fall down in the middle of the contraction and at the base of the stairs kneeled down and had another contraction. Matt seemed to take forever to get the car ready and unlocked for me. Right as I was walking to the car our doula pulled up out front. Matt told her that the Doc said to go NOW! I got in the car and pulled the seat down to be on my side in the car. It was time to go to the hospital with my "cramps" from the castor oil, in rush hour traffic. It was about 4:45 at this point.

2 things happened in the day that I didn't want to do. I labored in my house, which I was very scared about doing, and now I was going to be having hard contractions in my car, which is a stick shift, in rush hour traffic.

CLICK HERE FOR PART 2, the actual fun part of labor and how quickly it went!

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Totally In Love

I am totally in love with my new little cuddle buddy, Collin! I know I haven't written much since he has been born, but I just haven't posted it, yet. I plan on having part 1 to Collin's birth story up tomorrow for you and then part 2 a few days later. We currently have family in town and more to come in another week.

I'm spending my days recovering, nursing and spending time with Mason and lots and lots of cuddle time with baby Collin. I will get back to it soon, I promise. Oh and the 4 miler training program begins soon so I am so excited to write more about that and my experience with it!
~Our 1st family photo!~
 ~Me and my boys!~
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