Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Savannah's Birth Story

Good gracious... Can someone freeze this moment? 
...What I would give to soak up this moment again and again.
Hunnybuns' due date was set for January 1st. Buuuuut, time was pressed with the return of the school semester and having family in town for only a few short days. With the help of our awesome OB, we scheduled to get induced a few days earlier. 
Tuesday, Dec. 27
6:00pm- Induction day! Freaked out? Not at all. I was ready for our Savannah Jane to be outside of my belly and snuggled into my arms. 
We grabbed some dinner with my entire family at BJ's. I indulged in more slices of the Chicken Alfreado Pizza than I'd like to admit especially considering I had already scarfed the meal I had ordered and moved on to amc's pizza oozing with deliciousness. Case and point. Don't offer to share with me if you're hungry.
9:00pm- When we arrived at the hospital, I was checked at 1cm (3 weeks goin' strong!) and 0% effaced. I changed into my gown and got hooked up to an IV and an absurd amount of monitors. The monitors around my belly showed contractions of moderate strength coming every 5 minutes. I had a feeling that this would be an exciting waiting game. And so, with full bellies and the unknown of how long this labor might take, both amc and I decided get some rest while we still had the chance. 
10:00pm- My nurse, Amber, placed Cervidil onto my cervix to speed along the softening.
12:00am- Amber checked my cervix and didn't feel any progress. Super. Not a problem, we're just two hours in to this shindig. She then started me on an oral pill called Cytotec to induce stronger contractions.
12:30am-Another dose of Cytotec.
2:30am-Goodie! More Cytotec.
4:30am-Amber checked and found no progress. She did mention that my cervix felt very agitated. Ya think? More Cytotec.
6:30am-By this point, my contractions were coupling on top of each other. A special thankyou shout-out to Cytotec. The contractions were manageable. Amber checked me again and couldn't tell if there was any progress. I saw her hands... she had short and stubby fingers. Boo. She had her supervisor come in to re-check me and but I was still 1 cm. My Dr. needed my contractions to spread further apart before we could begin Pitocin. 
9:00am-Amc pulled out the laptop and we started watching a Netflix favorite called Flashpoint while I snacked on some ice chips. By then, I had made 10+ trips to the ladies room where amc would help me waddle over towards. Throughout the entire night, amc woke up with me and stayed by my side to help untangle and unhook me from all of the monitors. He deserves some sort of ''Rockin' Husby'' medal. Maybe he'll be happy with a baby girl? Otherwise, he can bare the next one.
10:00am-My contractions finally began to spread further apart from one another. Now, they were only coming every 2-3 minutes. Still manageable. The nurse started the Pitocin through the IV.
10:30am-Amc's entire family had driven into town the night prior and spent the night at our house. They made a short visit to the hospital to see us before Savannah was born. It was great to see everyone! I ended up laughing my way through a lot of contractions. Sounds nice. Not actually recommended. I must have had a few attention-grabbing contractions by the end of the visit when Keith shuffled the party out. 
11:50am-At this point, my contractions were coming every minute. One minute of an excruciating shrill of pain that wrapped around my stomach to my back. I couldn't think. I couldn't speak. I could only close my eyes and breathe through each awful contraction. After a contraction I would have a minute of recovery. Sigh... It was a blissful minute. I tried standing and would rock my hips back and forth in an effort relieve the pain in my back during the contractions. It was calming. You know... the type of calming that a few bath salts would do to sooth 2 blown off legs. The pain was deep and consuming. Amc sat on the bed with me and somehow he seemed to know when each contraction came. He'd wrap his arms around my back and press hard into the muscles. I don't recall if it relieved any pain... But hindsight, it was a tender time for us while alone in that hospital room together.
Annie took her sweet time while checking my cervix for the umpteenth time but she still couldn't tell if I had progressed. This was a different nurse than the one I mentioned earlier who also had a difficult time with her short, stubby fingers. She felt awful about it. And so, she had another nurse come in to help check me who had hands as long as an angel. I could have kissed her! Until she had me prop my tailbone up onto a flipped-upside-down bed pan. UGH. Ever since I was 8 weeks pregnant, my lower sacrum has consistently had sharp pains. Combine my tender sacrum that is now shooting an unbearable pain met by another contraction that's wrapping around my core all of which while having a hand inserted into my agitated cervix...  

 I cried. 
Sobbed, actually. 
I was so overcome by pain. I had been laboring for over 14 hours and I had reached my breaking moment. Contractions off the charts. And I was only 2 cm.

12:40pm-The anesthesiologist came in and essentially said, "Okay, bend your ginormous belly over while touching your head to your knees all of which while staying still during those 4 awful contractions while I shove a super long needle through your spine." At one point, I remember the lidocaine being injected, blood pressure cuff squeezing the life out of my arm and a contraction coming on while I was essentially hunched over into the fetal position. All I could do was laugh at myself.
   But that was a blessed, blessed epidural. Not too long afterwards I could feel the contractions lessening so that I wasn't consumed with the pain. I knew that sleeeeep was in my future!
1:00pm- Catheter in. Dilated to 3 cm. Annie had me lay on my side with my leg elevated to help with Savannah's dipping heart rate.
3:00pm- Annie came in to flip my body over because she had noticed another dip in Savannah's heart rate. Hallelujah!!! My water had broken! 4 cm.
4:00pm- My mom arrived at the hospital! Yay!
5:45pm- Progressed to a 7-8 cm.
6:35pm- I started to feel a ton of pressure down low. I allowed for about 45 minutes before I mentioned it to the nurse. I didn't want to begin pushing before my body was very ready (Thank you Brittany T!)
7:20pm- No cervix and fully dilated!
Morning sickness--my 9 month sidekick--decided to creep back into the picture as soon as I flipped onto my back to do a couple rounds of pushing. Vomited a few times. It was great.
The NICU nurse came in and had nurse Amber put internal monitors on Savannah's head. Her heart rate was dropping dangerously low and in distress while in between contractions. It was as is if she was holding her breathe after each contraction. My doctor came in and said we needed to speed the delivery along with the help of using the vacuum suction.
Pushing was incredible. I was suddenly outside myself. I wanted so badly to suppress the nausea while I was feeling my baby moving down. I could feel the sweet love for her that I had been developing for 9 months climaxing to unbearable levels. My mom said that her head was crowning! She was so close and I needed to see her. NOW. Only 2 sets of contractions/pushes. Tears swelled up in my eyes. I could feel her slide out of my body.
I was overwhelmed with the love I felt. I cried in pure bliss. All I could think and say was of how beautiful she was. This was the little girl of my dreams. My answered prayer. Any pain I had felt on our journey to receive her was completely forgotten. She was in my arms now. And she is mine forever.
Yours truly, Me

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Showers for our Princess

These were all such special days! My baby showers kind of felt like my bridal shower all over again...only 3.5 yrs later celebrating a whole new chapter of my life! With the help from my fabulous mother-in-law, my dear friends Becky and Emily, hosted a beautiful shower in Vidor, TX.
These girls came up with some cute and clever games. 
Elizabeth nailed my baby bump to the exact centimeter. I have to give her credit for knowing her bellies...she's sported the bump 5 times.
I received a precious tiny pearl bracelet from my cousin Priscilla. I felt a lump form in my throat as my eyes glazed over. This was definitely a "holy crap, I'm going to have a baby" moment.
I love these women so much!
The women in my ward at church planned a beautiful shower! Jill, Vernice, and Stacy were the creators behind the scene. I spend most of my time at church working with the younger girls in Primary which left me surprised with how many women arrived to celebrate with me! 
And those gorgeous wooden blocks adorned with dusty rose pink, cream and a soft grey scrapbook paper and vinyl lettering?!! LOVE. That was all Jill and Stacy! They'll look beautiful on a shelf in Savannah's nursery.
The girls outdid themselves with the foods & desserts, the decoration & detail.
A snapshot of a few of the girls chatting
Going into work each day was great due to these sweet & lovely ladies. On my last day,  they each gave a few gifts for Savannah. I'm so excited to go visit them at work to show Savannah off!
My talented & creative cousin, Marissa, made this beautiful charm bracelet with pink pearls. It's gorgeous! She also sells these on Etsy and you'll find a variety of them for purchase at CocoBaby Jewelry. These would make a great gift! I'm so excited for her to wear it at her baby blessing!
Since my sister-in-law Brittany and I have nearly the same due dates we had a joint Packard cousin shower luncheon at Olive Garden.
Such beautiful girls!
I am in LOVE with this hand-sewn quilt that Dianne Scott made for Savannah! The colors & design. It is simply gorgeous. 
Baby Grant made his arrival only 23 hours after Savannah. 
There was so much love surrounding me and so many people encouraging me in this journey. Moments like these I can't help but feel an overwhelming sense of thankfulness for the women in my life. Savannah is going to be one loved baby girl.
Yours truly, Me