Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Introducing: Mckayla Gracie

So, the time has come now that we are all home and settling in to tell Mckayla's birth story.  

Saturday morning (October 20th) I woke up around 5:00 AM to contractions.  I had them off and on all day and we went and walked around the mall to keep them progressing.  We suddenly had the feeling - although not planning on anything happening till a day or two later - that we should call my sister, Julie, and see if she wanted to come stay with us for a few days so she'd be here if and when we needed to head to the hospital. She got to our house some time after 10:00 PM and we chatted while I continued to have contractions.  After midnight we realized that my contractions were only about 3 minutes apart, so based on our 5 minutes apart for 30 minute instructions we headed to the hospital to see where we were at.  We were told I was only at 1 cm dilated and 60% effaced, so we were sent walking around the hospital for a while.  At our next check we were at 2 cm, but no more effaced and based on how slowly we were progressing were sent home as the hospital has a type of time limit on vbacs and how long they can take and we wouldn't get to the finish line in time the way we were going.  So, about 4:30 AM Sunday we arrived home for some sleep.

Sunday I continued to have contractions off and on, but they slowed way down and got way worse.  Unfortunately we needed contractions to be worse and close together to go back to the hospital, so I suffered through hours of terrible contractions while we walked the neighborhood and spend the day at home.  Eventually Steve and I went to Walmart around 9:00 PM to walk because I hurt so bad and needed to be able to walk to try and progress.  After half an hour my contractions were averaging 4 minutes apart so we headed again to the hospital.  When they checked us, they said I was slightly more effaced and maybe a 2.5.  I cried.  A lot.  Because I hurt.  A lot.  We now know that the slow progress and extreme pain were the results of my having "back labor".  A-W-F-U-L.  So, our very pregnant nurse told me that maybe the baby was positioned wrong and sleep would relax me and some positions to stand in leaning forward to try and help her get in the right spot.  When we got home after midnight I felt the baby move suddenly in one position and then took the nurse's advice and took a Unisom to go to sleep and get rest.  

After about an hour of blessed sleep and a break from contractions my very strong contractions kept waking me up despite the sleep aid, but I kept going back to sleep.  Then about 2:35 I was awake and suffering through an especially painful contraction when I felt a pop.  And then ran to the bathroom as my water had broken.  At this point this was a blessed development as we knew we had to stay at the hospital till the baby arrived.  One way or another an end was thankfully in sight.

We arrived back at the hospital and I experienced a LOT of the worst pain I have ever experienced or imagined in my life.  I was having contractions every 2 minutes and they were lasting a minute or more and I was already sore from 2 days of contractions.  And once again, as one of my nurses described to me when she heard I'd had back labor - it's a living hell.  The problem was that I couldn't get pain medications until they called the doctor, and they couldn't call the doctor until they had checked my cervix and taken and ran a test to prove that my water had broken.  They finally confirmed my water had broken (I KNEW THAT!) and that I was at a 3 and 80% effaced.  Then, after all of that they had to get me to a birthing room, and get my IV in so I had enough fluids guaranteed in my system that they could get me my epidural.  This meant that I finally got my epidural around 5:00 in the morning Monday.  Can I just say that epidurals are sent directly from heaven and are the best invention in the history of history - period.  About 5 minutes after getting my epidural - which we learned was from the same anesthesiologist as I had with Ellie - I felt human again, finally knew what my nurse looked like, could interact with Steve, and didn't want to die for the first time in hours and hours.  And, I got to sleep some.  Did you know that it's hard to sleep when your face itches in a strange way and that epidurals can make your face really itchy?  Did you also know that it doesn't matter because epidurals are beautiful?

My doctor came in to take over from our on-call doctor at 8:00 AM and ordered Pitocin to bring my contractions back to a good rhythm and strength as they'd slowed down some.  At 11:00 the nurse came to check on me hoping for good progress as the doctor wasn't expecting a ton of movement.  I was at 10 cm and 100% effaced!  We were going to easily make the timeline to have a vbac and hopefully avoid another c-section!  We waited until I could feel more pressure from the baby getting lower.  I was starting to feel more of my contractions so we got another dose of the epidural but even then could still move my legs and feel the contractions which was good.  So, at just before noon the nurse started me pushing.  She said that we were making great progress, and I guess we did because about 40 minutes later our doctor came in and at 1:02 PM after just an hour of pushing we had our baby girl born.

 I had a couple minor tears and soon found out why as the doctor and nurses spoke about how big our girl was.  They had guessed if she went full term she'd be around 9 to 9.5 lbs.  She was born at exactly 39 weeks gestation and I just laughed when they announced our girl was 21 inches long and 9 lbs 2.8 oz.  Thank goodness she didn't wait another week to come!

 They got our girl cleaned up and then we got to hear every nurse for the next couple of days talk about how beautiful our girl is.

It took about an hour before the doctor was finished up with me, so Steve once again got some quality time with our girl before I got to really hold her.  But here we are finally about an hour after she was born when I could smile again.

It took us a while to even talk about names because I was so exhausted after Saturday, Sunday, and half of Monday with almost no sleep, but eventually we decided our girl is Mckayla Gracie Bennett.  She is so good natured so far and even sleeps for 4 or more hours sometimes!  

We had to have her blood sugar checked a number of times because there's a risk of crashes with big babies after they're born.  Then she wasn't waking up to eat so they weren't going to release us right away.  However, she started eating well and passed all her blood sugar tests so we were finally able to go home LATE Tuesday night as our nurse thankfully rushed to get us checked out right before midnight so the hospital wouldn't charge us for an extra day.  We are home now and enjoying getting settled in with both our girls.

Speaking of which, this is a picture of Ellie with Mckayla on Monday night meeting her for the first time.  Ellie calls her "Kayla" and wants so much to hold her and play with her.  She has learned not to do nose/face rubs or "Ugga Mugga" which she does with us thanks to one of her favorite PBS shows Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood.  She has done really well so far with the adjustment thanks to Aunt Julie and now Grandma being here to pay extra attention to her and is happy to have our whole family home after hardly seeing Mommy and Daddy for a couple of days.  We look forward to seeing our two girls grow as sisters in the coming days and years.  Welcome home Mckayla!

Friday, October 12, 2012

A Beautiful Thing

So, I can't take total credit for this, but when I go down to our storage room now, this is what it looks like.  It may not be pretty, but it's a beautiful thing to me.

Thanks to my sister in-law Kathy and her husband Ryan for organizing their food storage double stacked when we were there last so that we could steal this idea.  I also have to say, part of this beauty is due to my mother in-law Reva's generosity.  All of our beans and applesauce currently are from her as we missed beans this last year and haven't done apples yet.  But, Steve and I canned all but 4-6 of the quarts each of carrots, peaches, and pears in the last couple of months as fruit came in season here.  And, we hope to get some apples to can into applesauce, spiced apples, and some plain apples for the next year.  Although with a baby coming any time now as well as current apple crops having trouble around the nation, we'll see how productive we are on that one.  So, with our other dry food storage (once again thanks to Reva), this is what our food storage looks like currently.

It never ceases to amaze me that as a city girl who had NO interest in canning when we got married, I actually really enjoy canning.  And there's no words to describe how wonderful we feel seeing this shelf full of healthy food reserves to feed our girls in the coming year.  Yet another thing that never would have meant the same thing to me without having kids.  Here's to feeling great about finding at least one way to be self-reliant and have food storage as well as having some wonderful baby food for the coming year.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Downright Neglectful

Soooo....  I guess it's true that things aren't as exciting the second time around.  Although, I like to think that I'm just much busier this time around with a 2 year old.  Because I realized the other day, that my pregnancy photos have gone in the following order...

Right before we found out we were pregnant, but hoped we were around 3.5 weeks pregnant (dressed up for Valentines Day):

The day of our early ultrasound 9 weeks pregnant:

17 weeks pregnant:

36 weeks pregnant:

The end.

Yes, I realize we skipped almost 20 weeks - HALF THE PREGNANCY!  The sad part is, I have no pictures of me pregnant with Ellie after 32 weeks and this time was worried I would go into labor in the next couple weeks and not have anything past 17 weeks, which is the only reason I finally got my stuff together and grabbed some pictures this week.  Yeah, I haven't done real well with the belly pictures this time like I did with Ellie.  Don't get me wrong, we have other pictures between these where I am in them and you can tell I am pregnant, but these are the only pictures I actually sat down and took to document things.  Hopefully we do better with the baby than with the pregnancy or this child is going to have no documentation of it's life and will pretty much hate us...  Well, you know, more than average.