Friday, July 21, 2017

Things that are He's Here - Kason's Birth Story

I had my NST and ultrasound (amniotic fluid check) on Thursday June 22, two days after my due date. Baby boy was not in distress and my fluid level was beyond great. My OB said if I hadn't gone into labor on my own by Monday then I would go in and get prostaglandins to help soften my cervix and start the induction Tuesday June 27. I was pretty emotional leaving the appointment. Upset that I may have to get induced when I really didn't want to. I wanted him to come on his own without medical help.

I texted my doula (Emily) and told her what was going on. She called me and gave me her 3 helpful tips to start labor on its own. The first was using the essential oil clary sage, get a massage, and the last would be to use 2 tbsp of castor oil with protein. She dropped off the castor oil and clary sage. I had castor oil egg sandwich for dinner and used clary sage on my belly and tried napping. I couldn't sleep and was a bit restless. The caster oil didn't work and the clary sage (as Chase puts it) smelled like barf in a bottle. The next morning we tried castor oil Kodiak cakes for breakfast. I texted my friend who has been massaging me (who has also had unmedicated births) all through this pregnancy to see if she could massage me in the next 2 days to help labor progress. She had me come Friday afternoon and used all the labor induction pressure points as well as cup my lower back (tailbone) since that was where I was feeling the most cramps (and it turned out that I had bad back labor).
Last picture being pregnant

By Friday night around 11pm we were sure I was in labor. Contractions were close together and I had to focus my attention to breath through them. Emily came over and suggested I labor in the bath to see if they would increase or stall to try and get some rest. Every time I would close my eyes to rest another contraction would happen. So we decided at 8am Saturday to go into the hospital and see where I was at.

I got checked by one of the nurses and was only dilated to 3cm. They wanted to ask my doctor if I should be admitted, and he agreed. By 10am I was in my room that I would labor and deliver our baby boy in. I labored all day with no medication using the hypnobirthing methods (relaxations) I had been practicing. By shift change I hadn't made much progress, and I think I was only to 5cm if that. Emily recommended getting in the tub and labor stalled. In the middle of the night some time I said yes to a narcotic to help get me some rest, but it didn't work. I was drowsy, but I still felt the contractions. There was a few times where I would fall asleep and my contractions would start up again and throw me into a panic. I was so tired that I would immediately fall right back asleep. Emily again suggested I try the peanut ball (exercise ball shaped like a peanut) and as soon as I used it, my water broke. Which was the weirdest sensation ever! Because labor wasn't moving as quickly as they would like (and now on a time crunch with getting baby here before he turned septic) I was put on a low dose of pitocin to help move contractions along. The nurse said she would increase it every half hour - which really freaked me out. She started it with a low dose of 4, and after a while it started putting a lot of stress on the baby and I could only lay in one position. It got to a point where I had to be on oxygen to help with getting enough for the baby and to make sure he wasn't in distress. And of course it was in the worst position possible.

I kept at contractions and Chase and Emily would do counter pressure on my back since I had severe back labor.

The shift changed at 6am (Sunday) and I got a different nurse. This nurse mentioned getting an epidural so I could get some much needed rest. After talking it over with Chase and Emily I consented. I needed my sleep! I was so emotional, cranky and ready for this baby to be here.

Around 8am the anesthesiologist showed up and gave me an epidural. The only thing I felt was the lidocaine before the actual epidural was placed. The anesthesiologist was impressed and a little nervous that I didn't feel anything. I guess he's never met anyone like me before. But after 34 hours of pure back labor on my own I'm sure that's why I didn't feel anything. As soon as they gave me a catheter and put me in a comfortable position I was out!

I got 4-5 hours of sleep. It was so good to feel a bit refreshed before having to push. They checked me again and I was still only dilated to a 9. Finally around 2-2:30 my nurse checked and said I was dilated to a 10. So my OB came in and checked me and I wasn't quite there. Finally around 3pm my OB said I was ready to start pushing. Since I still had some epidural in me I was doing doctor directed pushing. They wanted me to hold my breath and push, but I swear it would've been more natural (and productive for me) for me to breath out and push (which I did do on a few pushes without thinking) with all I've got. Well I still had an anterior lip on my cervix that wouldn't relax and fully open so I felt a lot of pressure with each push as my OB tried to open me more. It got to a point where baby wasn't coming so they had to use a vacuum to get him out. He was also caught on my pubic bone and wasn't going under (plus he has a huge head) so that was to help guide him. My doc said if the vacuum pops off 3 times then they will need to rush me into a c-section. So I was determined to push him out and thankfully it only popped off once.

I pushed for an hour and a half. About halfway through I felt sick like my blood sugar levels were low. I hadn't been able to eat anything since Friday so I was running on empty (though the nurses and Chase and Emily would sneak me some crackers). Up until that point Emily had been helping me push on my right leg (while my nurse was on the left) but she went out and got me apple juice and ice chips and was put on oxygen in between pushes because of how I was feeling. So Chase was helping me push on my leg. A few pushes before he came I started to feel pressure like I was going to tear (the wrong direction), so he gave me a teeny episiotomy to direct it down and I tore on my own the rest of the way. Finally after what seemed like an eternity pushing, they said he was almost there, and Chase confirmed that he could see his head. It gave me hope that I was nearing the finish line because I had been told for days that I was doing great and I was moving along, which I didn't believe. So once Chase confirmed he was almost there, only 2 pushes later and he was out. Chase got to cut the cord and was pretty emotional (I'm one to be delayed on emotions). Baby boy screamed and the nurses took him and laid him in a bed while having a NICU doctor watch him from a camera. He wasn't breathing through his nose and was making grunting noises so they were going to put him on a cpap machine and also take some blood. Before they took him to the nursery I asked them if I could hold him. He did grow inside me for 10 months and I did labor 40 hours to get him here. They have to at least give me that much. They consented and I got to hold our baby.

You can see how tired we are in this photo
Chase left to go be with our son in the nursery and I laid there getting stitched up. Which happened to be more painful than birthing him. Chase came back because they were putting an IV and he couldn't handle seeing our newborn in pain. We also hadn't officially decided on a name. We both really liked the name Kason and Evan from our long list. So we named him Kason Evan Palmer.

Here are his stats:
Weight: 8lbs 6oz
Height: 20.5 inches
Born at 4:39pm on June 25, 2017

That night after Chase went home to shower the nurse came in to check on my incision and bleeding. I told her I didn't feel so good and felt like I was going to pass out. She started pressing on my stomach and I felt a gush of blood, several in fact. She checked my BP and the top number was 76, normally I am 109-120 average. I was scared. They weighed how much blood I had lost and said that it was about 23% of my overall blood volume. If it had gone up to 25% then I would have most likely gotten a blood transfusion. They put me back on pitocin, and gave me rectal suppositories (I can't remember the name) to help stop the bleeding. After calling my OB, he wanted me to get me a shot to also help stop the bleeding. Thankfully with those measures (and the nurses were calm) they were able to get the bleeding to stop and my BP went back up. But for about 15-20 minutes I was scared, because I had never lost that much blood.

After taking my hypnobirthing class and listening to the daily affirmations, one of them continues to be a reminder to me, our birth is the perfect birth for me and my baby. No, birth didn't go exactly how I wanted it to go. I was given pitocin and an epidural, 2 things that I really didn't want. But after talking it over and realizing that I needed rest and I needed to still progress I was okay with my decisions. I'm sure it was a blessing for my doula and Chase to get some much needed rest while I was having an epidural. They also hadn't slept and were working just as hard.

Will I try unmedicated again? You betcha! Cause I know I have it in me and I'm bound and determined to do it again! Do I want to give birth again anytime soon? No, lol. That was SO hard. Much, much harder than any race I've run in the past. I kept thinking after he came that it was more like running an ultra marathon, rather than running just a marathon.

We are so grateful he's here, healthy and safe.

Side note: It was the best decision to hire a doula. That was by far her longest birth she's attended and she helped with decisions and helped calm me down. There were a few occasions through those 40 hours that I got really frustrated with her choice of words of encouragement, but other than that it was such a blessing to have an additional person helping. 

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Things that are Happy 10 Years of Marriage!

10 years is here!? Where did the time fly?

Like I've done in the past here's a recap of what we've done each year for our anniversary!

Our 1st Anniversary we went to Park City, UT.

Our 2nd Anniversary we went to San Francisco, CA.

Our 3rd Anniversary we had a staycation here in good ol' Utah County.

Our 4th Anniversary we had another staycation in Salt Lake County.

Our 5th Anniversary we had a low key night to ourselves, but then went to Vegas with Friends who happen to share the same week as ours for Anniversaries.

Our 6th Anniversary we flew out of the country to London, England.

Our 7th Anniversary we celebrated at home in July by seeing wicked and going to the temple, but then in September celebrated together with a Disneyland trip.

Our 8th Anniversary we kind of forgot about celebrating with a trip or vacation. We ended up just hanging out and enjoying the sun.

Our 9th Anniversary we were undergoing IVF #2 and just kept things low key and around home. Though we did go on a hike since it was one of the last days that I could be active. We were also in the process of becoming debt free so we were trying to keep things cheap.

Our 10th Anniversary we have a new addition to the family so we'll be celebrating together. Or get away for dinner? Not sure, since we've been in survival mode here.
I wanted to tell about our experience about the day of our wedding, because it's always fun to remember every year!

It was a Thursday morning, and I woke up super early to have my friend Katie come over and style my hair before Chase and I were supposed to be at the temple (8:30am), and our sealing/marriage would be performed at 10am with family and friends waiting for us.

After I got all dressed and lookin' pretty (not in my wedding dress - a really pretty purple dress that I still have and wear often) I drove from my mom's house to Chase's parents house. Then Chase and I drove over to the temple together. 

Once we got there, we took care of paperwork with the temple and then waited for what felt like a few hours, to actually be married. During that time I reflected on if this was the right decision (cause this is a BIG deal) and I was SO nervous. I mean this was going to be life changing for both Chase and I, and I wanted to make sure I had made the right decision - I'm not sure why I waited until that moment, and why I didn't reflect on it earlier. But after 10 years of marriage I can officially say that I made the right choice!

The sealer had to marry us 3 times, because he kept screwing up my name. He kept saying Theodore, instead of Theodora. Essentially he was trying to marry Chase to my dad. Can I say awkward?! After going through 3 times of trying to marry us, it was a beautiful ceremony and I always try and remember it so it stays active in my mind.

Afterwards we went outside the temple and met up with those who could not join us for the ceremony. We took a lot of fun pictures, and it was such a beautiful hot sunny day. After we got all our pictures we met up with the same family and friends at Magleby's in Provo for a luncheon.

We ended up having a reception the next night at a friend's backyard, which turned out to be gorgeous. The cake was amazing!! The only really sad thing about the reception was that our photographer didn't show (I guess she had a family emergency come up and couldn't find the house where we were having the reception). Chase ended up getting his camera and having his uncle take pictures for us.

Because his uncle is so tall we both look like midgets.

We did have a lot of fun - and I wish now that I had SHOVED cake into Chase's face instead of kindly letting him eat it. I think he would want to do the same now and shove cake in my face too.

After the reception Chase and I drove to St. George for the night, and then headed to Palm Desert, California to enjoy a nice relaxing honeymoon.
Happy 10 years to the love of my life!

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Things that are Celebrating 9 years of Marriage!

I realized that I never posted about our anniversary last year (2016). It was a bit of a downer since we were undergoing IVF. But we still tried to make the best of it.

Chase and I have ventured to Donut Falls in the winter:

We've never hiked to Donut Falls during the summer and wanted to experience the hike after having been more active. I also try and do different things each year, instead of the same ol' stuff.

So to start off the day we went and got sushi! Even though we both had to work.

Then after work we headed to Big Cottonwood Canyon:

It was nice up the canyon and wasn't too cold

We saw a lot of pot guts who were so fat!

I was thankful I wore my Chacos so my feet could get wet

This is infertility and having to give yourself shots in the mountains

After we hiked back down to our car, we drove up a bit further to Silver Lake which neither one of us had been to before. 

It was beautiful and nice to get out and enjoy nature. Afterwards we went out to The Habit for dinner which was delicious!

And unfortunately a few weeks after we found out our IVF cycle failed.

Wednesday, July 05, 2017

Things that are 40 weeks

How far along: 40 weeks + 5 days (when I would have posted on June 25)

Total weight gain: 30-35ish pounds gained.

How I’ve felt in my workouts: I kept walking every day trying to get baby boy here.

Stretch marks: I've got them on my stomach and found a few on my inner thigh too.

Best moment(s) this week: Obviously, it was birthing Kason. Though, that is a story for a different day.

Miss anything: Nothing this week.

Movement: He was moving like crazy up until birth.

Food cravings: Carbs have been my friend.

Anything make you queasy or sick: Nothing this week.

Have you started to show yet: Yep! From behind you can't tell, but you sure can't miss me!

Happy or moody most of the time: I've been happy for the most part. 

Symptoms: Swollen ankles and calves, which got worse during labor.

Belly button in or out: Not sticking out.

Buys for baby: I think we had everything that we needed. So we haven't bought anything.

Prayer Requests: For that current week, it would've been for me to go into labor on my own. Which I eventually did.

Looking forward to: I was looking forward to birthing Kason, and moving forward with our new edition.