Monday, June 16, 2014

Hug your babies...

Hearing the gut-wrenching cry of a woman who just found out her baby was no longer alive is something I will never forget.  Tonight made me appreciate the work of our nurses and OBs even more than I already did.

A common misconception is that labor and delivery nurses have the best job because they get to play with babies and be there for the most exciting time in a couple's lives.  There is a dark and sad flip-side to that.  We are also the ones that are there for the absolute saddest moments in some of their lives...losing the baby that they have been waiting their whole lives to meet.  Whether it is a baby that was only 8 weeks, 16 weeks or one that was 39 weeks, it is the loss of that family's hopes and dreams.  This is the most delicate and fragile time in these couple's lives and to be a part of that journey is something that we should be thankful for and use as an opportunity to really make a difference.

This job and becoming a mother myself have taught me compassion and empathy like I have never experienced before.  I can only hope that when it is my turn to care for a family who has experienced a loss, I will embrace it and do my best to help the family create memories of their baby that might help them find peace one day.

My prayer for that sweet family is that they feel God's love all around them in the coming hours, days and weeks and know that they will forever have a precious little guardian angel watching over them.

My prayer for parents (myself included) is that the next time you start to get frustrated that your baby won't sleep through the night or that they woke you up before your alarm, just take a second.  Take a second to be thankful for that precious baby and their sweet cry.  Parenting is HARD, but we all need to just take a step back, enjoy the little things, and be thankful that we get to experience all of these things we usually take for granted.  There are people all over the world that would give anything to be up all night soothing a baby or to be woken up by a cry instead of an alarm clock.

Go hug your babies....tight.    

Saturday, March 15, 2014

2 Months Old

How is my little 8 week old already a big 2 month old??  8 weeks sounds so much younger than 2 months.

I am in complete denial about how fast he is growing up.  He is really starting to look like a little boy instead of a baby!  Growing some of his hair back is the main reason for this sudden transformation.  He had some hair when he was born, lost it all on the top (and looked like an old man), then lost it all except for a strip at the bottom on the back, and now he is starting to grow hair everywhere again.  It started out strawberry-blondeish and now it definitely looks more brown.  His eyes are still really blue but sometimes they look more gray.  When he looks up at lights, which is one of his favorite things to do, they look very blue.

He is really starting to develop a personality.  He is staying awake more during the day and is content for longer periods of time.  He still isn't digging tummy time that much...he'll stay on his belly for a few minutes, then he gets grumpy.  After he eats, he likes to just lay down on a blanket on the floor where he can kick and stretch out.  Once he starts getting a little fussy, I know he's ready for a nap.

This boy loves his daddy.  He may not see him that much during the week since he is only awake for maybe 2 hours after Clay gets home, but boy does he give him some of the biggest smiles.  It's so precious.  I can't wait to watch their relationship grow as Brooks gets a little older.  Clay is beyond ready for him to be able to throw a ball or hold a fishing pole.

Speaking of smiling, he tries so hard to laugh but these adorable little coos come out instead.  His noises and the way he crinkles up one side of his face and closes one eye when he smiles or I am being silly are my favorite things about him.  

Yesterday, in honor of his 2 month birthday, he started sucking on his hands...all day long.  He used to only do it when he was hungry, but now he does it a lot, even after he refuses to drink any more milk.  Maybe he will find his thumb soon...

Next week, Brooks starts going to a church daycare.  I am trying not to think too much about it so that I can really enjoy my time with him.  Luckily, since I am going back to nights, I will be gone while he is asleep.  Clay will drop him off in the morning and I will pick him up after I've gotten a few hours of sleep.  It's going to be really hard not to want to drive straight to the daycare to pick him up on my way home from work!  Luckily he will only go 2-4 mornings a week instead of all day, every day.  Once I start orientation in April, he will have to go more often and stay longer, unless I get an evening shift instead of a day shift.

We are beginning to get into more of a routine each day and I have pretty much learned what all of his cries/whines mean.  He loves his new mobile so that has been a lifesaver!  I'm able to put him in there for a little bit at a time while I wash his bottles or do laundry.

Even though he is growing so quickly, I know there are so many exciting things to look forward to as he gets bigger!  I am just trying to soak up every second with him!    

Here are some of my favorite pictures from the past month...

He loves his new mobile!

Garland girls- the best friends anyone could ever have

4 generations!

Nana and Poppa

Brooks & NaNa

Uncle Kent!

Cousin love- Brooks & Bailey

Thursday, February 13, 2014

1 month old...

My baby is one month old.  How did that happen?!  Time has gone by so too fast.  It's amazing how much he has changed in just a month.  It feels like I was just going to the hospital to have him, but it also feels like I've known him forever.  I guess in a way, I have.  I've been dreaming of him my whole life.  I never could have imagined a love this deep.  Having a baby completely changes everything about you.  Life is no longer about you.  In an instant, it becomes about that precious life that is yours to protect, love, and guide.  I never knew exactly what being "selfless" felt like.  Now I do.  I would do anything for this sweet baby boy.

Here are a few things about his first month...

He gets cuter every day.
He smiles and laughs in his sleep.
He follows our voices.
He throws both arms up when he sneezes.
He sticks his tongue out when he coughs.
He gets the hiccups pretty much every time he eats.
He usually burps the second you sit him up.
He looks like an old man.  He has lost all the hair on the top of his head...but not the sides.
He likes when I dance around to country music with him.
He likes to look at bright lights.
He goes to sleep the second the car (or stroller) starts moving.
He hates when the sun shines on him in his car seat.  He squints his little eyes.
He doesn't like when we stop at red lights.  He starts squirming around.
When we go under a bridge and it gets darker, he opens his eyes up really wide.
He had his first snow day when he was only 15 days old and another one when he was just shy of a month old.
He only goes to sleep when he is being rocked...oops.
He moans and groans when he is full.
His eyes are still blue and his hair is still reddish-blondish-brown.  No clue what color either will end up.
Sometimes he sleeps 4-5 hours at night, but usually 3.
He always squeezes my arm with both his arms when I am holding his paci in his mouth.
He has me wrapped around his little finger.

Here are some of my favorite pictures of him from the past month...

Love you, little man!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Welcome to the World, Baby Boy...Part 2

On Tuesday, the day after Brooks was born, I woke up feeling a little sore.  By noon, after a dose of toradol, I was up walking around and feeling great.  Judging by the amount of swelling in my legs and feet, I might should have taken it easy and stayed in bed.  They were HUGE.  I had no swelling my entire pregnancy so I was very surprised when I looked down and realized my legs looked like sausages and I had cankles.  Gross.  Luckily, the swelling went down by the time I went home on Thursday afternoon.  

On Tuesday, my two nieces were able to come up to the floor and see Brooks through the nursery window.  Unfortunately, they weren't allowed to come to our room to see him.  We weren't supposed to take pictures because of the other babies in the nursery, but since there weren't any babies by the window, we were sneaky and took a few anyway.   

These are some of the pictures I took of him on Tuesday, the morning after he was born. 

On Tuesday and Wednesday, some of my sweet friends from school came to visit Brooks!  Scott, a friend of Clay's from work, and his wife also came to visit.  Katie and Keely came too, but I didn't have their picture on my camera. :)  

We were really hoping to be able to go home on Thursday, but my blood pressure kept getting higher and higher.  In the middle of the night, I had several high readings in a row so the nurse called my midwife and she prescribed a blood pressure medicine.  Luckily, my blood pressure reading was just below what they consider high and we were still able to go home on Thursday.

Wednesday night, I started to get a really bad headache.  I thought it was just my high blood pressure causing it.  I had ringing in my ears and my head felt like there was a ton of pressure.  The next morning, I took a percocet, but didn't have anything on my stomach so I threw up several times, which doesn't feel so great when you've just had a c-section.  Luckily, my nurse gave me zofran before I left so I was able to make it home without getting sick in the car.

 Clay loading up all of our stuff

Me feeling like my head was going to explode

Brooks wasn't a fan of his new going home outfit

Family photo on the way out

First family photo at home

All day Thursday, I laid around with a horrible headache.  Thank goodness my mom and Clay were there to pick up my slack and take care of Brooks.  I literally couldn't get off the couch or sit up without my head feeling like it was going to explode.  I stayed like this for 3 days before I couldn't take it anymore.  I did some research and diagnosed myself with a spinal headache.  Turns out I had spinal fluid leaking from my epidural site which caused the pressure in my head to be thrown off.  Laying flat is the only relief you can get from it.  I had heard from several people that they went back to the hospital and got a blood patch to seal the leak so I called my doctor and he told me to come in.  He wanted to make sure it wasn't high blood pressure causing the headache.  Once I got to the hospital on Sunday afternoon, I got lab work done which came back fine.  I talked to the anesthesiologist and we decided that I did have a spinal headache and that we should do the blood patch.  About 10 minutes later, I had the procedure done, which is basically another epidural, but this time they injected blood into my back.  It was definitely not fun having 2 IVs and 2 epidurals within a week, but it made my headache go away!  I did have a bad backache for about 2 weeks, but it was much better than being stuck on the couch with a headache.  My blood pressure kept creeping up so I ended up staying at the hospital another 4 hours after the blood patch was done.  We finally got home around midnight.  I am so thankful for mom, Coley, and Clay taking such good care of Brooks those few days!!    

Brooks will be 1 month old tomorrow!!  Where has the time gone?!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Welcome to the World, Baby Boy! Part 1...

Well, a lot has changed since the last time I blogged.  On Sunday, January 12, we went to the hospital to be induced because I still had made no progress at my doctors appointment on Friday and I was past 40 weeks.  Since I work in labor and delivery, I knew a little of what to expect so I was more excited than nervous.  The next 24 hours were full of ups and downs, but in the end we were blessed with a beautiful, healthy baby boy.

I thought I'd be able to rest on Sunday night but the medicine they gave me caused me to be up all night with what I thought were just cramps, but now I'm pretty sure they were contractions.  I got a shot of morphine and was finally able to get a little bit of rest.  On Monday morning, they began the pitocin and not long after, I started having very strong, painful contractions every few minutes.  By 11:30 that morning, my water had broken and I was in desperate need for the epidural.  I had no idea that pitocin made your contractions so strong and painful.  I was definitely not prepared for that.  Even after the epidural, I was in really bad pain and I wasn't making a whole lot of progress.  Finally that night, I got more medicine through my epidural and was able to relax a little.  I woke up to several nurses and the midwife in the room telling me that Brooks wasn't tolerating my contractions and that he wasn't in the position he needed to be in to be born safely.  His heart rate was extremely high and then he began having decels (his heart rate kept dropping) every time I would have a contraction.  At first they told me his head was sideways and then I heard that he was face up, so I'm not sure which is correct.  Knowing him now, I'd say he was sideways because he always ends up on his side when he sleeps!  I was barely dilated past 9 cm, but the midwife had me push a few times just to see if I was going to be able to have him naturally...

So at about 8:30, the doctor came in with the midwife and made the decision that we shouldn't wait any longer and that we needed to go to the OR for a c-section.   My worst nightmare was coming true....I was past my due date, had to be induced, labored for almost 24 hours, and then ended up with a c-section any way.  But, I was relieved when they finally made the call.  I knew that it wasn't safe for him to stay in there much longer and that I would get to meet my precious boy in a few short minutes.  So, we prepped for the OR and were on our way within the next 15 minutes.  At 9:14 pm, I heard that sweet sound I had been waiting on for 9 months.  Our baby boy was here and he was PERFECT.

Clay was beside me so he was able to take pictures of him as soon as he was born.  Also, the sweet anesthesiologist took pictures on my cell phone.  I'm so happy they were able to catch this moment!  Hearing Clay's reaction to Brooks being born, before I could see him, was one that I will remember forever.  He was so happy and I could hear the tears of pride in his voice.  I was in love before I even saw him.

Clay was able to go to warmer with the NICU nurses.  He watched them clean him off, warm him up, and take all of his vital signs.  They took him to the recovery room with the nursery nurses where he got his first bath (which Clay filmed!) while I was being stitched up.  Within about 15 minutes, I was in the recovery room with my two boys.  This was such a special time for our little family.  Usually, in a normal labor room, you don't get a whole lot of time to yourselves as a new family because you are so excited to have your family come see the baby.  But, since we had to go to the recovery room first, we were able to spend about 2 hours together, just us, before we went up to our room.

Our first pictures with Brooks

It was fun going up to our room because by that time, all the night nurses that I work with were there so it was almost like a parade going through the halls!  Everyone was stopping us, saying hello, and checking out our newest edition.  The best part was seeing all of our family at the glass waiting for us to come by.  I had been waiting so long to see them and I know they were so excited to get a sneak peak of Brooks.

When we got to our room, our moms were the first visitors.  They were in love at first sight.  Brooks is so lucky to have these two in his life.

Shortly after we got to our room, we introduced Brooks to the rest of the family!  My sisters, Clay's sister, and his dad all came to meet him.  I'm so glad they were all able to be there!

After everyone left, we went to sleep for the first time as a family of 3 :o)

Part 2...coming soon!