Thursday, May 15, 2014

Killian's Birth Story

Killian Rivers
April 17th, 2014
Due May 14th, 2014, born at 36 weeks 1 day

April 17th started out for us just like any normal day. It was Thursday, we woke up to do the normal routine. I got Gage ready for school, everyone dressed and we were out the door to take him to school. Same routine as every other day. Dropped him off, gave him a hug and kiss and told him I'd be there for pick up, in the usual spot like I am every other school day. Little did I know, I wouldn't be. 

After we dropped him off, Bishop, Dane and I decided to kill some time before dropping them off at my moms house to stay with my step-dad for my appointment, so we went to McDonalds to grab some hash browns and orange juice. It's close to our house but it would take enough time to have us waste the time before I had to drop them off. Ordered our food and headed home. Stopped by our house for a few minutes and then down the street to my parents house. 

Dropped them off, stayed about 10 minutes before leaving to my usual 36 week check up. I had a growth scan before because of the fibroid I've had during the whole pregnancy. Having several other scans and measuring big, they wanted to keep an eye on it, this had become routine. Get to my Dr office, check in and sit down. The US tech was running about 20 minutes behind. 

Finally get called back and she starts the usual measurements. The first words out of her mouth though surprised me "Did you know he's breech?" Huh?! At my last scan he was head down. So what we thought was his butt, turns out it was his head. Finds the fibroid at the top of my uterus and it had shrunk big time. Got to see baby boy, which was my favorite part, of course. The tech then got silent and after a few minutes, she asked me if I had been leaking any fluids. I told her I had been leaking, but just passed it off as the usual pregnancy stuff. I didn't think anything of it till she asked me the consistency of it and then how long. She then went silent again and spent a good 10 more minutes just measuring my amniotic fluids. After that, I noticed she started taking measurements of something else. I didn't know what it was, I didn't even ask. I knew that my OB would go over everything with me in a few minutes because my appointment was next. 

She gave me my pictures of him and I went back out to wait. I texted Jason to let him know what I knew so far. That he was breech and it looks like I had low fluid. Didn't know the full extent of everything yet, just had this feeling something wasn't good. 

Finally was called back to the room for my OB appointment. Did the usual pee, weight and BP. She had me get undressed from below because I was supposed to have my GBS swab that day and they were going to check my cervix. My OB came in and that's when everything fell apart.

She came in and the look on her face, wasn't a good one. She knew my wishes of wanting to have my 3rd VBAC. I fought hard for my first one, my 2nd was easy and even though we were in a hospital setting, she knew my feelings. Little did I know, things weren't going to go the way I had really planned and hoped for. She told me she had bad news. She told me to grab some tissue because she knew I'd be upset. Then she said she knew what I wanted, but that things didn't look good. Him first being breech, but the concerning parts were how very low my amniotic fluids were and that the other thing the tech was measuring, was his cord pressure. It was enhanced. 

I don't know the exact details, I tried to understand it, but I couldn't get it. I had a hard time telling the Dr's later on what my OB told me. She explained that he was breech and if everything else looked okay, we could wait and monitor him. But since my fluids were not good and the cord pressure was enhanced, those factors together weren't good. If we chose to wait and see we could risk losing him. So those two things, plus adding in him being breech, it was not safe to try for another VBAC, it was too risky. I had 2 babies at home, I knew from the get-go in this pregnancy, that something in me said I needed to go to the hospital. Stupid me thought it was that silly fibroid. Little did I know my gut feeling would lead to this. 

However, I'm very glad I listened to it. She told me, that there wasn't any point to see how things were progressing, that I was to leave immediately from her office and to be admitted to the hospital. This was SO much to take in and I felt like, I had NO time to do it. I left the office at 11:45am, I immediately called Jason to tell him he had to leave work I was being admitted to the hospital and we would be having a baby that night. He said okay and he'd meet me there. Thankfully he had just gotten back to the shop from being almost an hour away so he was only 10 minutes from the hospital like I was.

After getting off the phone with him, I called my mom and told her what was going on, since my step-dad had the other boys. I also told her I needed her to go pick up Gage from school and then I left for the hospital. Got there, parked and walked in. Found the front desk and told them my OB sent me over directly from her office and that I was to be admitted for a c-section that day. I was taken back to admitting and about 5 minutes later Jason was there. 

We were taken up to the room and started to get settled in. I was not ready for anyt of this. Neither of us were. We had nothing really ready, we had our stuff, but nothing was washed, we had literally put together the crib 2 days before all this. No clothes were washed, no diapers were prepped, the seat wasn't installed. Nada. I got into the lovely hospital gown, the nurses came in, got all the info they needed and asked me the questions on why I was there, even though the OB office called ahead on me having to come. I told them all that I knew, which I couldn't elaborate to them. 

Then we were left to wait. I had eaten at 9:30 that morning, so I had to wait 8 hours before they'd perform the surgery. I was hooked up to the monitors and given an IV. We were told that everything would happen around 5:30pm, possibly 6. So we had time to wait. My husband was still in his work clothes, my mom got Gage from school and took him to her house. Then came up to see me. Thankfully she did because she was able to go with Jason back home to gather stuff we needed because silly us, didn't have our hospital bag ready! He had to take his work van home and park it there, so she would follow him home, he'd grab our stuff and she'd bring him back. 

While I waited for them to get back, I got on Facebook to kill time. This was seriously the longest wait ever. Between killing time on Facebook and watching pointless tv, I honestly thought the hours would never pass. We met with the anesthesiologists, the doctor from my OB office who'd be performing the surgery. Signed all the paperwork and all of that still didn't pass the time. Having all that time for the nerves and anxiety to build, stunk. It made it so much worse in fear than I would have thought or hoped. Jason was back and both of us just couldn't let it go. He paced and tried to keep busy. 

The surgeon came in and we found out we were going to be waiting even longer. It was a rather busy night that night. Hello even worse anxiety! We found out I'd be going back at 8pm. I had been bumped back once but I was next. They got Jason his OR stuff, got me ready and prepped with what they could in the room, these things for my legs, catheter, all the fun stuff. 

8pm finally came, they took me back first. Got my spinal going and then started their prepping. Finally Jason was able to come in and sit with me. 

At 8:30pm exactly, Killian Rivers was born. He started crying immediately and even pooped and peed as he came out. He was 6lbs 3oz and 18 1/2 inches long. 

They got his measurements and the anesthesiologists nurse took pictures for us. They wrapped him up and handed him over to Jason. I finally got to see him and he was gorgeous. They stayed for about 15 minutes while they worked on closing me up. Nearing the end, Jason took Killian back to our room and spent some time with him one on one. Then they finally took me back to the room so I could get that skin to skin and have mama time with him. 

When we met with all the doctors and nurses earlier, we were warned because of his gestation, he may spend time in the special care nursery. We did skin to skin and tried to nurse, but he kept having this grunt. The nurse was concerned and called the nurse practitioner for the special care nursery down to check on him. His grunting wasn't good, they wanted to see if he'd slow down or stop within 15 minutes so he stayed in the warmer in the room to be monitored. It didn't work, it was labored so they took him to the SCN. 

I've had nothing but late babies, this was a completely different experience for me. I always had my children right there with me, never away from me. Jason that night went to visit him, he was on oxygen flow, had an IV for sugar water fluids because he wasn't having any interest in feeding and was getting antibiotics. They took him at 10:30pm that night, when he was 2 hours old. I felt so confused, upset, sad and just wanted him there with us. He was supposed to be in our room with us, but he wasn't. We were told he would be able to when he came down to just needing the antibiotics, later on, we found out that wasn't going to happen.

He was born Thursday night. He was in the SCN till Sunday. Thankfully he progressed each day. We gave him almost every single feed. I pumped what I could even though it wasn't enough, so he got that plus the preemie formula. They set feeding goals, it started at 15mL, then 20mL, 25mL, 28mL and when we left they wanted him taking 38mL. Jason and I went for almost every feed, we only missed 2 over night ones. He was no longer needing our help to guide him on eating by Saturday night, he was doing it himself with just us starting him out and he was taking up to 40-44mL on his own!

He was taken to the SCN for his breathing issues and that was the first thing he weaned off of! Slowly they weaned him off the sugar water. He was off the air flow early Saturday morning and off the IV drip Saturday night. They took his feeding tube out as well early Saturday. The only thing left was the heplock for his antibiotics which he'd finish late Saturday night. Jason and I kept hoping to leave Sunday with him. I knew I was going to be discharged and we wanted him home with us. His biggest hurdle had been met, the oxygen.

We had issues with one SCN dr. She was very rude in response to our questions so we stopped talking to her all together. We only spoke with the nurses and NP when they were around. 

Jason went to the SCN to give Killian two of his feeds, I stayed back in the room because I was very sore and tired, I wanted to go, but my body knew I needed the rest. So it was daddy baby time. He took pictures and showed me one to see if I could spot the difference. Very early Sunday morning, his hep-lock was out! We were SO excited. We knew he met his challenges. They were pushing to keep him in because of his eating. We stressed to them that we were there for almost very feed (minus those two late ones), we were capable of getting him to eat, keep him eating and getting him to take what they had wanted. Thankfully, the one nurse came to bat for us. I think it would have been a harder fought battle with taking him home on Sunday April 20th, had it not been for her. She was confident we could do what they wanted. So the NP agreed. A few conditions we had to meet though. Which was fine by us.

We agreed to a follow up the next day with his ped. They also wanted to do his car seat test, which he did right after the 2nd to last feed for the day in the hospital. They wanted him to have one more feed after that one (We were giving him one while having the discussion with the NP) she then wanted to check his bili levels. If those didn't raise, he took his feeds just fine and passed his car seat test, we were good to go. He did it all! 

It was a hard four days, being away from our other 3 boys, not having Killian with using our room. The struggles in the beginning and knowing he was a fighter and he fought hard to get off of everything and quickly. We had many discussions on bringing him home if he was off everything and we were very set to do so one way or another. We knew the feeding was bull, we were capable and I'm so thankful we didn't have to go AMA. They listened to us, saw that we were capable of doing what was needed for him. He showed them he was ready as well. 

We left the hospital at 4pm and we have been home since. He got a clean bill of health with his ped, his bili had gone up some but not enough to need another poke. He is on his routine that he followed in the SCN, he is eating like a champ. Between both breast milk and preemie formula. He is taking MORE than what they had hoped and suggested if he wants more, let him have it. He's taking about 50-60mL a feed. He is a sleepy baby, which is to be expected for how early he was. He fits in so well with us. I'm so thankful he is here and is healthy and safe. That is what mattered the most. Him being healthy and he is.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy 5th Birthday, Little Bird!

It's so strange to think that he's 5. How is it already five years later? A blink of the eye, they aren't kidding when they tell you to be careful, it goes by so quickly. It's hard to imagine life without him, but I vividly remember my pregnancy with him. The anticipation, the anxiety, the excitement.

Little Birds birth changed me. With Young Bird, things didn't go how I had planned or wanted. They weren't how they should have been, honestly. When we found out we were expecting again, I tried my hardest to get a midwife with the hospital, however, no backing OB would take a VBAC patient. I did not want a repeat c-section because I knew it wasn't needed.

After much research, I finally had the courage to talk to Jason. I started with us watching The Business of Being Born. He didn't react how I had hoped and honestly, I knew that was quite possible. But, I explained how I felt that we needed to seek out the route of a home birth. I had done research, I had found a midwife who had been practicing for 30 years, highly respected in our city and surrounding areas. I told him, I wanted to meet with her, I explained why. How Gage's birth scared the hell out of me and I was afraid to go back to the hospital and have it happen again. I knew I was still young and that could possibly be played against me once again.

This time, I was going to take my birth into my hands. Have it in my control. He agreed to meet with the midwife, so I set up our appointment. I still agreed to make an appointment with an OB just in case. We had our meeting with the midwife and Jason asked her every question imaginable and then some. She came back with well explained answers, never left us questioning anything. She made us feel so comfortable. As we left, he looked at me and told me to cancel our other appointment, we were going with her.

Kathi was the best midwife and pregnancy caregiver a person could honestly have. I'm very sad that this pregnancy we don't have her. It's partly why we've chosen to not seek out another midwife, but there are other reasons. Anyways, she took very good care of us, made us feel like family, treated us with respect and dignity. Each appointment was an hour long.

I was due on Jason's birthday that year. However, as I did with Gage's birthday, I had a feeling and called that Dane that year would be born on Black Friday. I merely joked about it, figuring what are my chances? Gage's birth was a section, who knew if that's when he would have come, but he probably would have anyways.

November 27th, 2008 we went to my moms for Thanksgiving. I had been feeling a bit off, some contractions but nothing really said this is it. So we went, ate and I sat down in the living room to rest. When we went home Jason and I were talking a bit and discussing what he'd go get when he went out the next morning for Black Friday shopping. I remember it so well, we were sitting on the couches opposite of each other, I had the laptop and was telling him I'd like. I was eating popcorn of all things. Then I noticed, sharp pain. I took note of the time, 11pm. Another came, then another and they started getting more painful. I looked at Jason and told him this was it, I don't think he was going out.

That's when the labor started. The next early afternoon, Dane would be born at home! Helping me heal, helping me grow. His birth brought so much to me and I honestly don't think he'll ever quite understand what he helped me with. He helped me learn that I was capable of giving the birth the way I was supposed to. That my body wasn't a failure. That I can do exactly what I want. The best thing of it all while learning all that? Is I got our Dane Dane. He was the best Black Friday gift we got!

Now he's 5! He is in Kindergarten, learning his ABC's and counting. Writing, doing amazing things. He's a big brother and going to be again. He loves both of his brothers despite their fights. He looks up to Gage and is Bishop's best friend. He loves trains and cars, airplanes, the color orange, snuggling, movies and cartoons. He's very energetic and happy. He is silly and will make you laugh. If you're hurt or sad he'll do whatever he can to make you feel better. His first birthday was a rough one, but he made it through. He's proven over and over again he's a fighter.

Setting up the tub

Daddy holding Dane for the first time

Our midwife with Dane

2 months old

His 1st birthday, he was sick and we weren't sure with what yet. He was later hospitalized.

A proud big brother!

The boys on Halloween, Gage wore that dragon outfit also!

He was a little sneak, still is!

He wanted to be Scooby :)

Happy 5th Birthday, Dane. We love you so very much!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Pregnancy update.

As of today I'm 15 weeks along. It's crazy to be here, it's mostly just flown by and at moments it feels like it's dragging. I'm only 5 weeks away from being 1/2 through the pregnancy. That also means we're 5 weeks from Christmas today. ;)

I had my appointment a few weeks ago, my next isn't until Dec. 4th. Which seems forever away. I'll be 17 weeks and they'll be doing my early glucose test. I'm not thrilled about this, but I guess because I'm fat (my words, not theirs, well.. depends how you read into my OB's wording) I get to do two of these lovely things. Whatever. So I'll be there an hour. I start meeting the other OB's in the office since I won't know who is on call when I go into labor.

At my last appointment I was reading high for my blood pressure. This doesn't thrill me. Mainly because I've never had high blood pressure in my life before. I read relatively low. But I was reading 154/70 the first time and then 140/70 the 2nd time. Since my top number fell right at the cut off, I was made to do a 24 hour urine collection. Now, I've had friends who had to do these before. I've never had to in my previous pregnancies. I felt rather silly, but managed it. I took it in, had my blood drawn but have not heard back on anything. So I'm going with the old saying, no news is good news.

The high BP still concerns me. I'm nervous that I'll still read high at my next appointment. I'm unsure what they'll want to do from there. At that appointment, I will finally get to schedule our anatomy scan. I'm 20 weeks on Christmas so I'm hoping we can have it scheduled for before. It'll have to be after 4 since the husband has no more days left for the year.

We've been discussing names. The girl name is chosen and set in stone. I don't know about a middle name yet, no discussions for that has been made. Boy names now are proving to be very very difficult. We have managed to agree on 3, however none of them right now are sticking out to be a number one choice.

I know once we know what we're having and that baby is healthy (the most important part), the names will be easier to come by. I hope anyway.

The boys are so excited for the baby. Baby bird believes we're having a girl. No matter how you ask him, he says we're having a girl and a sister. Young Bird wants a little sister and Little bird seems to want another brother. I think no matter what, they're all going to be happy when the baby is here.

But that's the update. High BP that could possibly be me (since my OB said at the time of how far along I was, it was rare it would be caused by the pregnancy) and not having any names chosen for a boy. I'm trying to not worry or dwell on the BP issues till I am seen again. I can't really know what is going on right now. I just hope it becomes nothing serious :(

It's the husbands birthday tomorrow, so I need to finish getting ready for that. He's off for the next 4 days, it'll be so nice having him home. He's been working overtime the last few weeks, some extra time will be nice.

So I will leave you with the growth of the baby, or close to it!

Your growing baby now measures about 4 inches long, crown to rump, and weighs in at about 2 1/2 ounces (about the size of an apple). She's busy moving amniotic fluid through her nose and upper respiratory tract, which helps the primitive air sacs in her lungs begin to develop. Her legs are growing longer than her arms now, and she can move all of her joints and limbs. Although her eyelids are still fused shut, she can sense light. If you shine a flashlight at your tummy, for instance, she's likely to move away from the beam. There's not much for your baby to taste at this point, but she is forming taste buds. Finally, if you have an ultrasound this week, you may be able to find out whether your baby's a boy or a girl! (Don't be too disappointed if it remains a mystery, though. Nailing down your baby's sex depends on the clarity of the picture and on your baby's position. He or she may be modestly curled up or turned in such a way as to "hide the goods.")

Saturday, October 19, 2013

A trip to the apple orchard with little bird

It's a bit late, but hey, better late than never. Right? As in my last few posts, a lot has been going on. Now, we'll have a light  post!

Oct 8th we went to the Apple Orchard with little birds kindergarten class. He was SO excited to go and honestly, so was I. The break was much welcomed and getting that one on one time with him? Priceless.

I dropped them off at school, attempted to find a parking spot and headed into the cafeteria to wait for all the kids and their teachers. Found the table that listed the parents for his class, signed in and waited. After they set up the parents who were paired with kids (I was expecting it, but so many parents volunteered to go, only a few parents had to do doubles.) Then we headed off.

Got there, waited for everyone to arrive and that's when Mrs. Spicer came out and started talking to all the kids. Told them how to pick their apples off the trees and had them show her how to do it. It was so cute to see a large group of kindergartners following her instructions very carefully. A lot of the parents joined in as well. After we learned how to get her tractors going by yelling out "1! 2! 3! C'mon, Betsy!" we all loaded up in the 3 wagons and headed out to pick apples and pumpkins.

We went in search of the perfect apple for him and he found it. As we were walking back to the pumpkin patch, he kept showing everyone his very shiny and big apple! He was so proud :) We wandered a ways down in the patch and he was very specific in his pumpkin choice. Then I had him pick out mine for me also, I knew he'd do such a great job and he did! We left with one big apple and two very plump small pumpkins!

After that, we headed back to go play in their large playground. First we ate our lunches and then headed out. Little bird immediately went to the giant sandbox they had and spent most of his time in there. Then we had cider and donuts (I gave him my cider and donut) and from there he then realized there was more to play on, haha! He's begging to go back. I'm hoping we can go this weekend or next.

Since I drove and didn't have any other kids with me in my party, I decided we'll call it a day and we went home. I love hearing him talk about the fun time he had and telling the husband all about it. Even if he focused mainly on the sandbox and playground. But hey, that's a 4 year old for you!

Now, for some pictures :)  (Click if you want to see the bigger version)

All set and ready to start the trip

More beyond this point!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The update to yesterdays post.

Today we drove to Ann Arbor to the University of Michigan to see the pediatrics rheumatologist. I was beyond nervous going in and bid kid, well, you could see how nervous he was in the car. We talked about it, he asked a few questions but over all, he was okay with everything. I kept assuring him that we want the boring news, but, if we didn't get that, we'd do everything in our power to make sure he was okay.

Our appointment went well! He does NOT have any signs of arthritis! Thank goodness! The thought scared me so much, seeing a friend go through it with her daughter, my heart goes out to them. She was very helpful in answering questions when this was all first brought to us. 

The doctor explained that 1 out of 5 kids will test positive for ANA. That I guess it's not really as reliable as they once thought, or at least not in detecting this. She used the example that they once used to think bloodletting was helpful.  That the hands on exam is where the best diagnosis can be made. And thankfully, he does not have any signs of it.

He has what they call Arthralgia because he has the joint pain, but he isn't inflamed. They use it in cases like his. 

Arthralgia (from Greek arthro-, joint + -algos, pain) literally means joint pain;[1][2] it is a symptom of injuryinfectionillnesses (in particular arthritis) or an allergic reaction to medication.[3]
According to MeSH, the term "arthralgia" should only be used when the condition is non-inflammatory, and the term "arthritis" should be used when the condition is inflammatory.[4]

It's hard to see your child in pain and not know the reason. It stinks when the doctor puts a fear into you it could be something serious. But, then again, I'm very glad she did because it could have been much worse. It could have been Juvenile Arthritis. It's not, thankfully.

It's hard to sit back and wonder about the things that could be wrong. We now have stretches for him to do every morning and night and when he has pain, he can take Tylenol or Motrin to help it. As well as taking a hot bath or putting a heated pack on whatever part is bothering him. He's just a very active boy, he runs 6 miles a week at school for the Mileage club. He's just over extending his muscles. He's being a boy.

Thank you all to those who had him in his thoughts and prayers. It means a lot to us. More than you'll ever know.