Sunday, October 23, 2016

Gavin's Birth Story

Gavin Hyrum Bennett was born August 29th, 2016.  Here is our story about the events leading up to his birth.

I went in for my 36 week appointment and was having some cramps, so my doctor checked me where I had dilated early with my last pregnancy.  Sure enough, I was just starting to dilate - being at 1 cm and about 50% effaced.  
Me on August 10th at 36 weeks pregnant for Steve and my anniversary date.

The next week I was officially on maternity leave and had hit 37 weeks, so we were ready for a baby any time at that point.  At my next appointment on the 15th I was at 3 cm and 80% effaced, so we had made good progress that week and the doctor said he would see me at my next appointment - if we made it till then.  

August 20th I woke up at 2:15 in the morning to contractions.  By about six or seven that morning I couldn't sleep through them any more, so we called Steve's parents to come in case we needed to go to the hospital where my last labor went fast and we were at a 3 already.  After walking around our block of townhouses for an hour or more, the contractions had completely stopped.  It was so strange to be positive we were having a baby that day - and not.

However, we went to our next appointment on the 22nd sure we would have made good progress, only to be told I was still at 3 cm dilated but was almost completely effaced.  The next week I had hardly any contractions and they were all irregular.  I was getting really impatient.  We had an induction date scheduled for August 29th since late July.  Our deductible reset in September, and Steve's work was changing providers and we weren't sure they would cover the preferred hospital where we live, which also happens to be the only hospital our doctor can deliver at.  Not wanting to pay our large deductible twice in six months, or worry about where we could deliver, we set an induction date for the 29th to give us as much time as possible to go into labor while still allowing us to be checked out of the hospital by the end of August if we made it that far.  We were sure we would never make it that far, and our doctor was too.  The furthest I had ever gotten into a pregnancy was exactly 39 weeks with Mckayla.  

That being said, August 29th found me 39 weeks and 2 days pregnant and found Steve calling the hospital at 5 AM to find out when they wanted us to check in for our induction.  Much to our surprise and delight, they asked us to be there at 6:15 AM, so we collected our things, grabbed fast food breakfast on the way, and drove the 15-20 minutes to the hospital.  Our girls had all gone to have a sleepover with Steve's parents the night before so we could go to the hospital whenever they called us in and Ellie could get to school.

We checked in at the front desk of labor and delivery at just about exactly 6:15 AM.  
By 7:20 they had us checked in, changed, and hooked up to low level pitocin per my request.  My last two VBAC's had both overridden my epidurals while on pitocin and we wanted to use as little as possible this time around.  The nurse was fine with that, and I started the pit and small contractions around 7:20 while at 3.5 cm.  The nurse said that the doctor would probably be in and break my water in about an hour.  At almost exactly 9:00 AM Doctor Fowers came in and checked me.  We were at a 4, so he broke my water and warned me that things would move quickly now and I could have my epidural any time.  I wanted to wait till the contractions got hard to get my epidural.  So I waited.  And at 9:14 I was breathing hard through much stronger contractions and asked them to call for the anesthesiologist knowing it would take some time to get my epidural.  

That epidural was awful.  Our anesthesiologist used older techniques, so the nurse warned me he would want me to lay in bed on my side to get my epidural rather than sitting like my previous two in Kennewick.  One problem, three letters, SPD.  My Symphesis Pubis Dysfunction had returned this pregnancy, and I hadn't been able to lay on my side without severe pain in just seconds since about month four of my pregnancy.  The nurse and Steve had to work together to get me on my side and move me to the edge of the bed.  Even with pillows between my legs for added support I was in terrible pain - on top of contractions - and cried through the whole process.  To top things off, my epidural was not comfortable and fairly painful going in the way the anesthesiologist did it.  However, at around 9:45 I had survived and was trying to get comfortable in bed with my epidural in place, and Steve assumed his waiting for a baby position.
They told me the signs that would mean it was working - lessening pain, heat and tingling in my legs, etc.  That came - on my left side only.  We started re-positioning and the anesthesiologist came back and slightly adjusted the placement of the epidural while I breathed through the contractions which were still easily felt on my right side.  The nurse told me I should not still be in that much pain and kept coming in every 15 minutes to keep hitting my pain medication button for added relief, but it never worked.  My contractions had taken off by that point and at 10:13 I was already at 7 cm.  Then the epidural seemed to fail almost completely as the contractions and pressure moved downward and the baby obviously was coming down.  The nurse checked me where I was so obviously in a lot of pain and having to breathe through very strong contractions with little to no relief.  

At 10:41 she called for Doctor Fowers to come deliver the baby, and we started pushing just a few minutes later.  I pushed three times each on 3 or 4 contractions, which I unfortunately felt the pain of the entire time.  The contractions were relentless and close together, but we got the baby's head out and then the rest of him, and at 10:51 AM, our baby boy came into the world.  (I saw the clock behind the nurse, and he actually came out at 10:50, but she didn't turn around to call out the time right away, and 10:51 is his official recorded time.)  Steve and I were both emotional as we considered all the worry that had accompanied this pregnancy.  
I love this picture of Steve and his son.  I just see the love and pride and joy in it.
Oh yeah, and Gavin was born with the LONGEST fingernails!

 The doctor commented that I must have had a bleed at some point, which I had - and apparently it was rather large and had left bruising type discoloration across much of the placenta.  I couldn't see anything, but Steve said it looked as if my bleed had been much worse than we ever thought, and we were grateful again that everything had healed - and that we hadn't known how bad things really had been in there.  Apparently our baby boy had also done some acrobatics in his second trimester because he had a true knot in his umbilical cord.  Our doctor wasn't concerned about it, and just pointed it out to Steve when Steve cut the cord.  Once again, I never saw it, but heard the discussion.

Steve and I had both felt strongly about a name for a few weeks before, and as soon as we saw our baby boy, we both agreed that he was indeed Gavin Hyrum Bennett.  Gavin was simply a name we had liked and felt good about.  Hyrum is his Great Grandfather's name, and Steve felt strongly about naming him after such a wonderful man.  

Gavin came into the world at 8 lbs. 15 oz and 21 inches long.  His head was 38 cm in circumference. 
He was a decently big baby, second only to Mckayla in our family who beat him on every statistic.

For the first time, I had no stitches or major recovering to do, so I got to hold and nurse Gavin right away.  
He followed all our previous babies by nursing well and then sleeping far too much.  He ignored everything we did to wake him up to eat though, so the nurses had to deal with it even though they wanted him eating more than he was.  Here we stripped him naked and everything, but he still wouldn't wake up to eat.

About 3 hours after Gavin was born they moved us up a floor to the recovery wing of labor and delivery.  
I finally got to eat and was pleasantly surprised by how good the hospital food was.  I mean, cheesecake, baked macaroni and cheese, Caesar salads, and much more - all fairly delicious.

That night Steve brought the girls and his parents to meet their new baby brother.  
 The big girls were so excited to see him, and Kassidy was so excited to see me.  She was running around the room meowing, crowing, and climbing on me repeatedly.  That girl is funny...  Then the girls went back to Grandma and Grandpa's so we could settle in with Gavin.
This picture cracks us up because if you look closely you can see writing on Steve's face from sleeping on a hospital pillow without a pillowcase.

Steve and I slept horribly in the hospital this time around though.  (Us trying to get naps the next day as a result.)

That night Gavin had to get his heel pricked several times for blood sugar tests where he was a big baby, and they were worried he would fail them where he wasn't eating regularly, but he thankfully passed them all.  They finally gave him his bath once he passed all his tests.  That morning he also was circumcised by our pediatrician and by that evening we were thankful that both Gavin and I had been given the all clear to check out and go home.  This was our little guy heading home on the 30th of August.

Before we left we had a photographer take pictures of us and Gavin after loving our photos of Kassidy in the hospital when she was born.  Here are a few of them.
This is one of my favorite pictures of the whole shoot - Steve with his boy.
 Another one of my favorites.

 We also spent our first night at home just the three of us, which was good because is was a ROUGH first night...  And then, we began our new life as a family of six.  It's still unbelievable to me that we have four children, and that we have a son.

Really we are just so grateful that after all the stress, limitations, and fears of the last several months, that Gavin is here with us safe and sound.
 (Sleeping in the bassinet that all the grandchildren have used as newborns.)

Sunday, January 3, 2016


Ok, it is downright ridiculous that this blog is a YEAR BEHIND.  So, even though I won't have/remember a lot of the little details of the last year, I'm relying on Facebook and pictures to get the big events recorded so I can catch up!  With that being said, here were some of the bigger events and fun things that happened in February 2015.  (I know!)

On February 8th Miss Kassidy started moving forward with purpose a little at a time.
She also had a rough couple of days and when I got desperate and threw a binky at her one day, she spontaneously decided to become a binky baby.  She was in love with them from this point on.
Lots of Kassidy developments came that weekend as the 8th also saw us beginning to mix formula and the milk we had left to slowly wean her and get her to take formula in her bottles.  (Seriously miss our fantastic pediatrician who helped us through that transition.)
Here she is taking a bottle while I heat my shoulder because my shoulder kept mysteriously seizing up on me all month.  I never did figure out why, but eventually it worked itself out.

Some of my favorite Kassidy developments (I know, but they change so much at this age!) were that she would clap and say "Hi!" and "Yay!"

A few days later Mckayla hit a big mile stone as she went to the dentist for the first time.  She did so much better than Ellie at her appointment it wasn't even funny!  MG is hilarious though, because whenever she's unsure of a situation she just gets very serious and takes everything in.

That same night we began quite the adventure as a man came and knocked on the door fairly late at night holding a duck and asking if it was mine.  Come again?  Yes, he had found a hurt duck nearby in the road and decided for whatever reason it might be ours or we might know who it belonged to.  Given the fact that some people down the road had roaming chickens I guess it wasn't THAT weird.  But it was.  And the duck got away from him.  Into our window well.  Under a huge pile of leaves.  Yeah....

So, we left the duck there to see if it would get out.  It didn't.  So I called animal control - who told me to call bird and game or whatever it's called - who told me to call state patrol because they often pick up animals after hours - who told me to find a vet to take the bird to.  Did you know that our county had some limited bird flu, so you can't transfer that duck across county lines?  And that most vets won't touch a wind animal even to put it down because you have to have special permission to deal in wild animals?  MANY phone calls, the next morning I found one vet in the county who would take the bird - in Prosser.  So, the next morning, when the bird was still alive, I trapped it in a towel so I wouldn't get bit, put the bird in an empty cage we had, and packed up the girls after Ellie got done with preschool so we could take the bird to the vet in Prosser.
The vet took the bird in (it had a broken wing) to see what they could do, and we left.  I never did hear from them if they had to put the bird down or if it healed, and I honestly kind of prefer it that way.  When the girls asked what happened to the bird I just told them we hoped he had gotten better, and could honestly just leave things at that.  Yes, Steve knows he is married to a bleeding heart...
After the vet, it was lunch time so we stopped at the McDonald's there in Prosser to get the girls food and make the drive worth it for them.  They called it "Old McDonalds" which I like because it means we obviously don't eat there very often...
The big girls loved playing and Kassidy enjoyed taking her first whack at french fries.
In the beginning of the month we seemed to be making progress with MG's potty training again and after Ellie was purposely using her pull-up as a bathroom at night, we decided it was time to change things up.  We eventually learned that an incontinence pad was not the same as a pull-up to her and motivated her to try and not have accidents at night!  On the 20th Ellie was dry the whole night with us taking her potty once or twice in the night, and we continued that pattern while she earned daily small prizes for being dry.  We had a few small accidents, but something obviously clicked where her body was finally ready to go all night without having accidents, and Ellie picked a prize to work towards when she could be dry for a whole week in a row.  Here are pictures where she made a princess shrinky-dink bracelet and a foam sticker picture.
Other fun things from that month: include the weather getting warm enough for Mckayla and I to start venturing out to parks during Ellie's preschool.  She was so adventurous and would amaze me at the ladders and things she would climb at just 2 years old.
This also meant that Kassidy went on a swing for the first time on the 20th.  She loved it, if only because she enjoyed playing with the chain.
The girls also provided us some awesome entertainment with their "dinosaur hunts".  Daddy would hide their toy dinosaurs and they would make tinker toy guns to go hunt them down.  Daddy was proud.   This day Mckayla cracked me up as she dressed up as a princess and then used her princess wand as the barrel of her gun.  She assured me "I only shoot t-rexes, Mommy.  If you see a t-rex, Mommy, you shoot it!"  Ok sweet girl, I will.
While MG's dress up tends to be fairly princess-like, Ellie's can be quite eclectic. 
I also had the pleasure of watching my friend, Holly J's kids one day, so that meant I had 6 kids 4 and under for a few hours.  It was an adventure, but a fun one as all of our kids pair up fairly closely and had buddies to play with.  The biggest issue was Kassidy trying to maul poor Cort constantly...

I also had an experience where I was extremely grateful for my lifeguard training when Kassidy choked on a yogurt drop at stake conference and I gave her back blows till she threw up in my hand and was fine, all with no one the wiser.  Mom level - expert.  HA!

We also celebrated Steve's birthday, which the girls and I get much more excited about than he does.  And then on the 14th we continued one of my favorite family traditions, our Family Valentine's Dinner at home.  As usual, we all got dressed up and Steve and I cooked a fancy meal and the girls were big enough to help choose some of the sides.  They are always running wild, even in dresses, so it can be quite difficult to get decent pictures, but we always document the day, so here was what I got.
Our dinner this year included crescent rolls, steak, crab legs, asparagus, and strawberries.
The best family shot we got for the night.

Yeah, I have to admit, Steve may fear February each year as he thinks he's getting old and decrepit, but this tradition gives us something to look forward to every time Valentine's Day rolls around.

A few last fun things that happened in February...

Kassidy had a well check on the 19th and her stats were 21 lbs 1 oz and 29.25 inches tall.  She officially had the big Bennett head, and was wearing 18 month clothes.  She now had 5 teeth through and was crawling and working on eating table foods.

Ellie told me one day, "Mommy, thank you for giving me DNA to do taco tongue!" (rolling your tongue)  Yeah, she's not your average child.... lol

Speaking of DNA, Steve and I learned through a family finder application through the church we attend, that we are 13th cousins once removed.  Nothing like being able to pull that into conversations and see if people get uneasy or not!

Lastly, poor MG was having some nightmares about bugs and spiders.  Daddy - ever the scientist - had the solution.  He told her about how one of her stuffed animals - a bushbaby - eats insects.  So, bushbaby would come sleep with her and keep any insects or spiders away and eat them.  That bushbaby had renewed importance and increased love, and she still has him sleep on her bed.  So cute, and such a funny, loving Daddy!
Anyway, that should hit most of the major, and fun things we did in February.  Now, I am officially less than a year behind and hope to keep making progress over the coming days and weeks!