Friday, April 6, 2018

Karley's Birth Story - Part 2:

I forgot to put this on the last post...Bradley gave me this necklace right after Karley was born.

(That's Karley's birth stone)


That first night was pretty good.
We were all super tired, but slept pretty good.
The day nurse we had was so, so sweet and we just loved her!
I was able to get up and take a shower, which was kinda hard, to be perfectly honest, but felt great at the same time!

My mom came back over and brought us a couple things we needed. 

Bradley's mom and sisters came over. 
Ashlee and Rina got to meet Karley for the first time.

Bradley's Uncle, Aunt, and one of his cousins came to visit for a few minutes.
My Aunt and Cousin and her kids came over to see us.

In the evening, Uncle Shane and Aunt Rina came back over with the kids. I think Ashlee was holding Karley when they got there...I didn't even see Rina or the kids. They knocked on the door, and before I knew it, Shane had dashed in, got the baby and was sitting over on the couch! It was so sweet!

My siblings were having hard time not being there, so we FaceTimed with everyone for a little while. 

It was a very full, but very wonderful day!
Karley didn't do quite as well that night...she decided that being held was way better than laying in the bed by herself.
So she spent most of the night sleeping with Daddy.
He was so sweet and determined to let me rest, so he would just bring her over when she needed to eat, and then he would take her back.


On Wednesday, the doctor came in and said we were good to go, so we basically waited around all morning for discharge papers. Finally after lunch, everything was cleared, and we were able to go! 
Best Dad/Husband award to this guy!
He literally changed every, single diaper while we were in the hospital, and got her dressed to go home.

Finally home and all settled in.
Bradley's sister brought us dinner that evening, and we just enjoyed being home, finally a family of 3!


We couldn't be more thankful, and blessed! 
I don't really know how to put into words the feelings and emotions we had, 
because I don't think there are words to fully describe them!
We are so thankful that we had a safe, healthy delivery. 
We are thrilled to have a happy, healthy baby girl! 
And we are forever grateful for all that our families did to help us all along the way...during the pregnancy, during the delivery, and during recovery.

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Karley's Birth Story - Part 1:

(side note: I have always loved to read birth stories...don't know why, but I just have. 
However, turns out that writing a birth story is waaaaaaaaay harder than reading one! 
So I apologize in advance for however crazy or mixed up this story is! 
Mostly, I am just doing this for me to remember, anyways. But I hope you enjoy it!)

It's still up in the air as to what side of the family it may or may not come from😉, but little miss Karley has had a stubborn streak since before day one.
At my 38 week and 39 week OB appointments, I had still not dilated at all. Which my doctor told me was not a huge deal, because that can change very quickly.  
All along, I didn't have definite plans, like I was absolutely going to do this or that, or not do this or that, as far as the birth plan. 
My preference was always, of course, that I would go into labor naturally and everything would go smoothly! 
At my 39 week appointment, my doctor wanted to go ahead and schedule an induction for between 40 and 41 weeks. She said I could always cancel, if I did go into labor on my own. Because my mom was coming to stay with us for a while, I figured we might as well go ahead and schedule the induction for as soon as possible. Bradley and I both felt good about the decision, so we scheduled to go into the hospital at 8:00 pm on Sunday, November 12th. They were going to start with a tablet that they insert, which is supposed to start softening the cervix (I can't remember what it's called).

Mom flew in Friday evening. I was actually feeling pretty rough that day/evening, so we were all hoping it was the beginning of something! We went grocery shopping Saturday afternoon, hoping that all that walking around would move things along.
But Sunday morning came, and still nothing.

All weekend, I hadn't felt amazing, and thought maybe I was having a few contractions, but nothing crazy, and I wasn't even sure if they were contractions or not. We went to church, had Mexican for lunch, and went home to try to get some rest before that evening. I was so, so tired, but I couldn't sleep at all! I was excited and nervous, and there was just too many things going through my mind! We got all packed up, and ready to go.

We went to church that evening, made a quick stop to grab a few drinks and went straight to the hospital. I downed as much gatorade in a short amount of time as I possibly could, because I figured they wouldn't let me have anything once I got checked in!

8:00 pm: We got all checked in and to our room. 
They weren't very busy, so it was nice and first, lol! 
Got a little busier and louder later on.

8:45 pm: As soon as we were in our room, they checked me, and turns out I was dilated to a 1. I was hooked up to the monitors; Karley's heartbeat was great, and I was having contractions every 1-6 minutes. So, turns out I had actually been having contractions all day, and was beginning to go into labor on my own, after all! Because of that, they couldn't give me the meds they had originally planned. They decided to wait an hour, and if I had progressed further, they wouldn't give me anything, and if I hadn't progressed, they would start pitocin.

They did an ultrasound to make sure the baby was still head down, and thankfully she was.
I got an IV, but was just getting fluids at the beginning.

9:15 pm: They wanted me to just lay there, and wait for an hour to see what happened. 
Now, I should insert here, that the nurses were very, very sweet, the doctor was okay, but throughout the whole process, they really didn't do anything to "help" with labor.
 They just wanted you to lay flat on your back, get all the meds you possibly could, and just wait for the baby to come. That's just really not helpful when you're in labor!

Anyways, I was pretty excited that I had went into labor on my own, and I wanted to do whatever I could to keep it going! They wanted me to take a nap while we waited the hour to see if there was any progress made (does that make any amount of sense whatsoever?!), and I was like "absolutely not." I was beginning to make progress, but the baby was still really high, so Bradley and I walked around the halls for a long time. 
At this point, my contractions where every 2 minutes.

10:30 pm: They checked me again, and I hadn't dilated any more, so they wanted to start a low dose of pitocin. I was kind of sad about this, because once they started the pitocin, I had to be hooked up to the monitors all the time, and I couldn't move around as much. But I could stay right there at the bed, so I asked for a birthing ball to bounce on for a while. They acted like I was loosing my mind! The nurse was like "you're gonna have a hard day tomorrow, just get sleep." And the resident doctor came in, and said "it's gonna be a long, hard day tomorrow, you should just get some rest tonight." 
Which bugged me for 2 reasons: 
#1. I asked for a birthing ball. Bring me a birthing ball. The end. Thank you. 
#2. WHY would you tell someone to just get some sleep on this small piece of board we call a bed, and we'll come wake you up every 30 minutes to ask if you're sleeping. Yeah, that sounds like a waaaay better idea. No thank you, I'll just bounce! 
So I bounced for a while, and stood for a while. Eventually I got really tired, so decided to try to sleep for a bit.

I was still having contractions, but nothing very intense or too uncomfortable. If there hadn't been a bunch of screaming kids running up and down the halls, and in and out of the room next door, and if a nurse hadn't come in every 20-30 minutes, turned on the lights, and asked how I was doing, I probably would have slept pretty good! And if not, then at least the rest of the people in the room could have!

4:00 am: The nurse checked me again, and I was dilated to a 2. But my cervix was still really high. I was starting to feel the contractions more...they weren't terrible, but I was definitely feeling them. Or maybe it was just that I finally knew exactly what that feeling was, and it was consistent!

(This was our first nurse, and she was really sweet. I was bouncing on the birthing ball, and she came in to say they were changing shifts, and she had to leave. She kept saying all night that she hoped everything went really quick, so that she could be there when the baby was born. It didn't work out that way, but she was very sweet.)

6:00 am: By now, I was feeling the contractions a lot more. They still weren't necessarily painful, just uncomfortable. My back hurt really bad, and the bed was sooooooooooooo terrible, so I stood up, and kinda swayed back and forth or bounced on the birthing ball for like an hour and a half.

8:15 am: My contractions were about 1 minute apart now, and they had upped the pitocin several times, over the course of the night.

10:00 am: Probably one of the worst parts up to this point for me, was getting checked. It was horrible, terrible, awful! My cervix was just so high, and Karley was not moving down (no thanks to laying on my back all the time). They wanted to break my water, and check me again. The contractions were getting more intense, and because they wouldn't let me do anything to help move the baby down, this was going to be a loooooong process. And I was already exhausted.
So I decided to go ahead and get an epidural. All along, I really didn't want one. I was more scared of getting an epidural than just giving birth, to be perfectly honest! I have no clue why!
But for whatever reason, in the moment, it just seemed like that's what I should do.
I did have a little consolation, in the fact that I had made it that far, and the nurses had pushed for me to get one all night basically...even though the contractions weren't that painful at all.

At first the epidural was okay. It was no big deal to get it at all. I always heard people say you go completely numb, or can't feel your legs at all, and things like that, after it kicks in. I never lost all feeling, but it did take the edge off of the contractions.

I was really tired, and feeling a little less uncomfortable, so I decided to try to sleep a little. Mom, Bradley and his mom took turns going to get something to eat, and I ended up being able to sleep for like 2 hours.
12:35 pm: The doctor came in and broke my water. I was dilated to a 4, and completely thinned out.

1:30 pm: I was dilated to a 5. After my water broke, the contractions got stronger. Which was good, but supposedly I wasn't supposed to be feeling them! And my back hurt so, so bad. I don't think it was really back labor, it was honestly from that stupid bed, and laying too long, and so flat. I just wanted to lay on my side, but they wouldn't let me. They put a pillow under half of my back, and said that was as far to my side as I could go, which made it feel worse! The epidural was already wearing off at this point, and the contractions were getting stronger. They told me I could push the button for more meds, which I ended up doing twice, but it never did anything. The contractions just got stronger. With not having had anything to eat or drink for over 16+ hours, and with the pain getting worse and worse, I started getting super nauseous.

2:30 pm: I was dilated to an 8. The epidural meds were just continually wearing off. 
They gave me some more, but it just never did anything.

3:30 pm: I was feeling stronger contractions than I had felt all day, and now it was getting harder to breath through them. The nurse came in, and decided to check me, just to see. Turns out I was fully and FINALLY dilated to a 10. I went from a 5 to a 10 relatively fast. And the pain meds were long gone, so that was fun😜.

They wanted me to start "practice" pushing, but Karley still hadn't dropped yet. Still, they wanted me to push. But they wouldn't even let me sit up a little, so I feel like that made the pain even worse. I felt like if I could have stood, that would have been GREAT, but even if they would have let me sit up a little, that would have helped. But no. So flat on my back, I start pushing. I don't know exactly when, but I threw up twice times during all this, which was kind of terrifying to be completely honest, because I was laying so flat! Finally, after that, they let me sit up a tad.
I started pushing at 3:40 pm. In between contractions wasn't too, too bad. I mean, it was bad, but I was actually soooooooo exhausted at this point, that I kept falling asleep between them!

So it was like have a contraction/push for a minute, fall asleep for a minute, repeat. After what seemed like a minute, but also like 3 years, Karley finally dropped down and they could see her head. The doctor said she had a little hair, and we were so excited!

 Finally, all the pain and all the waiting for the last 9 months was totally worth it, and the miracle we had all been waiting for, arrived at 5:20 pm! 
7 pounds, 4 ounces, 20 inches long, and just as cute as could be!

I don't know if it was from the pain, or exhaustion or both or what, but I felt like I was a little loopy right then. There were so many nurses and shadowing nurses, and my doctor, and a resident doctor, and who knows who else in the room. And it just seemed like there was SO much going on, I couldn't keep up. When they held her up, all I could see was that she definitely had a little cone head, and she was really blue. It felt like forever till she barely whimpered. They didn't give her to me. They let Bradley quickly cut the cord and then took her to the other side of the room.

I heard them say the cord was around her neck, so I was so scared something was wrong. But mom and Bradley didn't seemed concerned at all. I asked mom if she was okay and to please stay with her, and she was like "she's fine, they're just cleaning her up."

(Maybe it's just me, but do they look thrilled about their job or what?! Good grief!)

After they were done weighing her and everything, one of the nurses said 
"oh, do you want to hold her?" 
I don't really know how she meant it, but it sounded like she was trying to joke around or something. 
In my state of mind, 
I was NOT in the mood for a joke. 
I was like "YESSS." 
Which came across waaaay more rude than I intended, but all I could think of was what an insanely, STUPID question that was and why on earth would they even ask that?! 
They brought her over to me, and I finally got to hold her, and see what she looked like, and give her a kiss!!! I hadn't thought a lot about what is was going to be like to see her and hold her for the first time, because I couldn't even imagine it! 
It was amazing!

She snuggled right in!

She was so alert and so calm!

After a while, I delivered the placenta, 
and they finished everything up.
The doctor showed Bradley how the placenta was already starting to dry out or "calcify" around the edges, so it was definitely time for Karley to come!

Finally giving daddy a turn!

Cutest little feet and toes!

My world

At some point in time, our moms went out to the waiting room for a little while, 
but then they came back in and got to hold her.

I would just like to insert here, that I am so extremely thrilled and grateful that our moms where there!
At first, I really didn't want anyone else in the room...just me and Bradley. But the more we thought about it and talked about it, Bradley really wanted our moms to be there, and I'm so glad we went with that! I'm thrilled that they wanted to be there, and especially that my mom even flew in to be there, and to stay with us for almost 2 weeks. With everything she has going on at home, that was really a sacrifice for her (and my dad, lol!), but I can't tell you how amazing it was to have her there!

After a while, a baby nurse came in to give Karley a little check-up and make sure everything was fine.
The nurse made a cute bow out of another hat!

We weren't in that room very much longer, before they took us to a regular room. 
Our moms helped us get everything transferred and settled in, and then they left for the night.
Poor things, they didn't get any more sleep than I did, so I'm sure they were so exhausted!

 It had been a long, exciting, tiring 24 hours! By this time Karley had nursed, and was sleeping. We were starving, so Bradley ran down to Chick-fil-A to get us something to eat. Our nurse came in to check on us, and was going to give Karley her first bath. She noticed Bradley wasn't there, and asked if he would be back. I told her he just went to get us some food, and she was like "Oh, I'll wait till he gets back then." Which I thought was really sweet of her.

After everything, it seemed like 3 in the morning! I have no clue what time it was, but at some point, they had given her a bath, we had eaten, and we all fell asleep (honestly, I think this all happened before like 10pm, lol!). 

Karley did pretty good that first night! She put herself on a strict 4 hour feeding schedule, and has stuck to that to this day!


This post turned out waaaaay longer than I thought it would, so I will put the rest of our hospital stay in another post.
Stayed tuned for part 2!