On These Pages Are The Stories Of Our Family We Go Together ! Welcome To The World As Viewed Through Our Eyes
Lynette .......... Caedmon .......... Libby .......... Tom

Saturday, June 28, 2008

We’re Having a Baby (#2)!






Behold, children are a gift of the LORD, The fruit of the womb is a reward... Psalm 127:3 (NASB)


Caedmon came into the world with quite a flair, being fashionably late, requiring induction to begin the process of labor. However, our little girl must have some of her daddy’s rebelliousness in her because she decided to come early on her own. Libby was born at 39 2/7 weeks. I (Lynette) wanted her to have a strong professional name in case she was to enter the professional world as an adult. Libby's name holds the meanings of “God’s promise” and “servant of Jesus”. The story of her delivery follows below.

My original due date was at the end of June. Both OB doctor and we assumed that she would be like her brother and need to be evicted. An induction date for mid-June was chosen after Tom, the consummate planner, pow-wowed with OB doctor. This way we could have childcare set up, Tom’s & OB doctor’s work/call schedule would be worked around it and all could be smooth. OB doctor was also willing to do this because of my prior thyroid issues. A few days before the chosen date, my exam indicated that L-girl had no interest in leaving mommy as we had planned. If we went forward and nothing happened, I would be sent home from the hospital after 24 hours of induction (which gave me flashbacks to Caedmon's induction of being very, very slow and painful!). Instead of taking that chance, the induction was postponed to a week later... and we resumed our planning every detail to make sure that all would be taken care of without a hitch. If all happened according to plan : 1) My next appointment was to be just one day before the actual induction day and we were praying that there would be some progress with my body which would help the induction to go more smoothly (than it did with Caedmon). 2) Tom’s mom was already in town blessing us with her cooking and help with Caedmon. 3) By the induction day, Aunt Heather would be here to help with Caedmon and Tom’s parents would be off to Arizona to celebrate Jonathan and Josiah’s 2nd birthday. 4) The two doctors work/call schedules would be minimally impacted and the delivery would go off as they had planned. However, God had quite a different plan (of course!).

That Sunday, I did not sleep well at all. I was feeling like my body was starting to get ready to deliver and was hopeful that the Tuesday appointment would reveal some progress. Besides being tired and a bit cranky on Monday, all seemed normal. Caedmon and I met up with friends at McDonald’s for one last pre-Libby play date. In the course of our conversation, my other preggo friend Erin and I were questioning A about whether we would recognize true labor if we were blessed to reach that point without induction. A assured us that we would know... Later that night, I got to test out what A said.

Around 12:30 am, I was startled awake from a dream. The dream had something to do with Caedmon and his two friends from the Mickey D's playdate swimming but part of it also had to do with me being in pain. After the second feeling of “dream-pain” came, I realized that maybe the pain in my dream was real and got up to use the bathroom. When I got up another bout of pain struck and I thought maybe something was really happening. Instead of awakening Tom, I decided to walk around the room and see what happened. However, Tom realized that I was up and he awoke too. He asked me what the rule was for determining true labor. I remembered something about 5 minutes apart and 1 minute long, but Tom decided to Google some answers?!? I walked around downstairs while he “googled it”. He determined that we needed to start timing the contractions to see if they were consistently 5 minutes apart, with each contraction lasting 1 minute long, for at least a continuous one hour. In the meantime, we were making sure that we had a hospital bag packed (I had started it several weeks ago but wasn’t really expecting to need it until Wednesday night when we would go to the hospital for the induction). An hour later, we realized that it was probably time to call OB doctor. He too was in agreement and we were to head into the hospital. We knew that sometimes labor was a long process so we spent almost another hour at home showering and sending emails in preparation (Tom’s dad was flying here in the morning and H was arriving the following day - pick ups from the airport had to be arranged). Finally, Tom awakened his mom to let her know what was happening and we hopped in the car for the drive to Methodist Medical Center. It was really uneventful and relaxing (except for the labor pains) compared to what TV and movies make it seem to be. Tom even mentioned that he always wondered what it would be like in real life, and for us, it was much less dramatic than people make it out to be. It was 3 am when we arrived at Methodist, we stopped by Tom’s office to check on his schedule for the next day and even made another stop to drop his work things by the OR. When we finally made it to Labor & Delivery and started to get checked in, the reality sunk in and I felt quite emotional. In triage, we were really pleasantly surprised to find out that I was already dilated to 4-5 cm and 80% effaced by the time we got there. They moved us on to the labor suite and we settled in to prepare for the next phase. By this time it was at least 3:30 am. We were blessed to be placed in the suite that had a beautiful view of the illuminated nighttime skyline. My nurse, Cheryl, got me hooked up on the monitors and we settled in for the long haul. My blood pressure, which tends to be low naturally, was on the really low side (80-90/60’s) and Tom mentioned that it would have to rise a little prior to placing an epidural safely. It stayed low for a while and at one point, he said that perhaps I would not be able to get that epidural. Aaagh! That did not sound like a good option to me, especially as the pain was starting to radiate down my inner thighs. I asked him what he thought about IV drugs and he reminded me that I don’t handle medication well and it would probably make it so that I wouldn’t remember anything about L-girl’s birth. I decided to tough it out and pray that my blood pressure would cooperate. I found it helpful to watch the monitor as I had the contractions. There was something slightly comforting in watching the contraction curve go up and then come back down. God answered my prayers above and beyond my expectations throughout this whole experience. Around 5 am, one of Tom’s partners who was on-call, came to place my epidural. Fortunately, I couldn’t see what he was doing or it may have seemed worse than it was. I think the process took a half hour as I was stuck at least 4 times with the epidural needle! For me, the pain of being stuck wasn’t as bad compared to the sound of the crunch of the ligaments and soft tissues as the needle pierced its way through the layers of my back in between the vertebrae - it was like having dental work when you can hear the drill and other weird sounds but can’t feel the pain. Of course, the occasional contraction also added to the experience. However, the epidural worked and before long, my legs were feeling quite numb and the pain of contractions was greatly diminished. My left side was especially affected and eventually although I could feel my leg, I could not lift it at all! (I recall thinking to myself that this somewhat akin to what my sister, Amy, has to deal with on a daily basis.) My contractions slowed a good bit after the epidural and the nurse commented on how that was not uncommon. We were pleasantly surprised when she checked me at 6:30 and I was 7 cm dilated. I kept wondering if my water would break spontaneously but OB doctor had to break it when he arrived around 8 am. Two hours later, I was fully dilated and effaced and ready to welcome L-girl into the world. My nurse, Eileen, was great! She is a believer and one of the first things she commented on was the Christian music that we had playing in the background. She talked a lot with me about her kids and especially the joys of having a daughter. She was really good at explaining what would happen and how to push while at the same time being comforting. Eileen had me do a few practice pushes in preparation. However, those practice pushes already had L-ibby crowning so things moved into high gear and the room was fully prepared for the final delivery. Once everything was set up, I was gearing up for lots of pushing. Tom had told me to be careful not to push too hard and maybe I could avoid tearing (like I did with Caedmon). I pushed twice and Libby was out and placed on my belly before I had the chance to process what had just occurred! It was like someone had greased her because it took very little effort. In fact, Tom almost missed capturing it on video because she came so fast! She came out so fast (even from the start of the labor at home) that my anticipation did not build in the same way it had for Caedmon.

The whole experience was completely different from my labor and delivery of Caedmon. I do remember OB doctor saying that it is only fitting that L-girl had blonde hair like her mom. I thought it was a joke, but when I saw her I realized that her hair is really very light compared to Caedmon’s. After Tom cut the umbilical cord and I held Libby for what felt to me a really short time, she was whisked off to be weighed, measured and tended to. Meanwhile, as a small tear required stitching up, my cell phone rang and when Tom handed it to me... it was preggo friend Erin, who was shocked to find out that Libby had been born minutes earlier and she was talking to me while my OB was still stitching! It seemed like some time before Libby was finally returned and I got to nurse her. It was then that I suddenly realized that I hadn’t brushed up on any of my previous nursing techniques. Fortunately, it’s kind of like riding a bike and Libby and I quickly figured it out. As I was nursing her, we realized that Libby had a huge poop which covered not only her but also the blanket and my hospital gown. She was quite a mess so it’s a good thing that they would bathe her in the nursery, where she was taken for about 5 hours once we finished nursing. Suddenly my labor suite was empty except for Tom & I. We had to stay there until my epidural wore off and they had a post-partum room ready for me. The epidural took much longer to wear off than we expected. The nurse came back after an hour and we we were all expecting to be able to move to the new room, but when I tried to lift my left leg, I found that it was still a ton of bricks. Eventually, the epidural wore off and we were moved to my next temporary home. We had an uneventful time and I was feeling fantastic for just having given birth. Libby seemed to be doing well, too, so we were fully expecting to go home around noon the next day. Since we delivered at Methodist and our pediatrician doesn’t have privileges there, we had to use a hospital pediatrician while we’re there. When Caedmon was born, we had a run-in with the same pediatrician since we left way earlier than she wanted. It is surprising that for some reason we didn’t think to ask OB doctor to pick someone different. Again, she was not too pleased that we wanted to leave before 48 hours, but she agreed as long as Libby’s bilirubin levels were checked before we left (Caedmon's never was checked when he was born there 2 years earlier!). We continued to prepare to leave and OB doctor discharged me around noon. However, when Libby’s levels finally came back the pediatrician determined that they were too high and she had to remain in the hospital under phototherapy lights until the levels decreased. We were surprised and VERY disappointed.

I was more than ready to return home for a number of reasons. First of all, the hospital was not restful at all, especially with the nurses taking vitals every few hours. Secondly, I hadn’t seen Caedmon since Monday and hadn’t really prepared myself or him for that. Even though everyone said he was doing fine, I felt like it really wasn’t fair to him to make him be without mommy and daddy for so long. We were told that the earliest we’d head home was probably Friday and we could possibly be there through the weekend. Aagh! God was once again teaching us to let go of our plans and trust Him... and once again, He proved to be faithful above and beyond what we could ask or imagine. Tom was able to bring Caedmon, his parents and Heather to the hospital that afternoon to visit. Caedmon really was doing amazingly well. In fact, he seemed to be more comfortable with Nai-Nai and Ye-Ye than he had ever been before. Unfortunately, they weren’t able to interact with Libby because she had to stay under the lights. We still aren’t sure what they made of the whole experience...they must have thought she was an alien under those blue lights or seriously ill or something. Libby handled the situation like a champ. She didn’t seem to mind even though she couldn’t be swaddled. She did seem to treasure the time in my arms while I was nursing her and would snuggle right in. Around 4 am on Thursday, they drew her labs again and when the pediatrician checked her first thing in the morning, we were pleasantly surprised when informed that the bilirubin levels had surprisingly dropped so quickly and that Libby could go home with us that day. What a huge blessing!! Heather already had plans to leave C-boy with preggo friend Erin and daughter to play so she came in to pick us up and by mid-morning, we were saying farewell to the hospital.

Libby is only a few days old, but we are already starting to see her personality shine through. She has been an easy baby but she is very strong and gets quite feisty when she’s hungry or when we change her diaper. In the hospital, during her first 2 days of life, she was a great sleeper...however, now that she’s home, we’re starting to learn her sleep habits. Like most babies, nighttime is the most difficult. She seems to have a wide awake, fussy time from about 10 pm until at least midnight. Of course, after two nights at home, this is probably not a fool proof observation so we’ll see how it goes. When she is awake, she is quite alert and seems to be looking around trying to take in whatever she can.

It’s already apparent that Caedmon loves his baby sister but he’s also trying to figure out how she fits into the family, especially in regards to mommy’s now divided attention. We can’t wait to see how Libby continues to grow and develop. It is amazing to look back over the past 2 years of Caedmon’s life and how he’s changed and also in some ways remained the same. It’s exciting to think of all we have to look forward to as she begins to grow, as we raise our two unique, precious children.

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