Friday, April 29, 2011

Fuzzy

Fuzzy [fuhz-ee]- indistint, blurred; muddleheaded or incoherent.

Yes folks, I am indeed fuzzy these days. Garrett is four weeks old now and the last 28 days are pretty much a blur. Life is crazy. Life is chaos. I don't know my head from my elbow. Nursing round the clock is running my life. Thank goodness for grandparents. I don't know if I will ever sleep again, but this guy is making it all worth it.



Friday, April 8, 2011

Introducing...

...The fifth and final installment to our family
Garrett Allan Andrew
born April 3, 2011
7 pounds 2 ounces
20 inches long
3:48 a.m.
So very happy to be here.
Stay tuned for the birth story and details!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Garrett's Birth Story

Our sweet baby boy came a few days earlier than planned, arriving in the wee hours of Sunday April 3rd. What a twenty four hour period that was! The c-section had been scheduled for Thursday the 7th for several weeks, and that's what we had been planning on. Planning is a MUST when working around four small children. Everything was set in place, but like all things in life, you never know for sure how things will play out. I had been feeling crampy for days and I'd have a contraction here and there, but nothing regular and nothing that signified labor. I had planned a girls day for Hailey, Lauren, and me for Saturday the 2nd...as one last Mommy and daughter date before another baby joined the family. My goal was to be able to have our fun afternoon, and then I could have the baby any time during the week. If I made it to the 7th, great. 

But at least making it past the 2nd was my biggest concern becase Hailey and Lauren had been looking forward to our spa day. That afternoon we headed to Cafe Rio. Mmmmmmm, my favorite! Being the huge fatty that I was, I kind of gorged. But we still had plenty of leftovers to take home. After lunch we headed to the Garden Day Spa to have pedicures. That was so much fun and the girls got a huge kick out of sitting together in the same chair and sharing the foot bath (I'll post about that later). We came home and I was feeling really bad. Cody had to run a bunch of errands and I spent a lot of that time laying on the couch. Around 4:00 I noticed a lot of cramping in my lower back and I figured I'd over done it during the day. Our neighbors had invited us over for ice cream that evening, but I was feeling so awful and after explaining how I felt, I asked Michelle if I could send the older three kids over there while I stayed home resting. She was more than happy to have them over while Cody was gone and Devin stayed with me. I watched him run around the living room, getting into EVERYTHING while I stayed camped out on the couch. 

At this point I was incredibly hungry again and and I got up to gorge some more on Cafe Rio leftovers. I swear that stuff is better the second time around! Then I laid back down an started cramping quite a bit. Curious as to how much longer he would be gone, I called Cody and he told me he was almost done and would be heading home soon. Devin was on the floor playing with scattered toys. I turned the TV on and the Emma Smith movie was playing on KBYU. For as long as I live, that movie will hold a scared place in my heart because it was while watching it that I felt a sudden gush of water burst out from me. It was unmistakable that it had in fact happened, but I still said to myself "No way". And then I felt another gush and I panicked. My cell phone was still in my hand and I tried to dial Cody's number, but I did it wrong about four times. It felt like a bad dream. Finally I dialed correctly and he answered and all I could say (or scream really) was "My water just broke!!" Cody was strangely calm. I still don't understand why he was so calm because I felt like a nutcase. He assured me that he was less than ten minutes from home and told me to try and relax. Our biggest fear was that I would suddenly start to contract very hard and then my four c-section incisions would rupture. We were running a pretty big risk because this was my fifth baby and so many c-sections. 

I pulled myself together, grabbed Devin's blanket from the other end of the couch, put it between my soaking wet legs, and hoisted myself from the couch. I waddled into the bathroom and sat down on the comode. My pants were dripping wet and the water kept coming and coming out of me. I was having mild contractions, but nothing hard. With my phone still in hand I called Michelle and told her what was going on and she was so sweet and kept me calm and told me to not worry about the kids at all. I will be forever grateful to her for being so great and helping us that night! Cody got home and came into the bathroom (the only time in our lives when I have not cared if he saw me on the toilet). We talked while I continued to "drain". He ran around and gathered kids' pajamas. Then he started throwing stuff in a hospital bag for me. It was on my to-do list to pack my bag that weekend for the big day later in the week, but I guess I should have done it earlier. 

I called my sister Leighann, who had been planning for months on attending the birth. She and Skylar left Provo and headed up our way. The plan was for Skylar to get the kids from Michelle's house and get them situated in bed at home while Leighann came up to the hospital. I tried paging my OB several times, and I called his cell phone at least three times. He never called me back, which is very odd for him. In all the years I've known him, he had NEVER missed a call back. I knew something was up but I tried not to get too upset about it. Instead I called L&D at the hospital and told them I could not get a hold of the doctor and that we were coming anyway. The nurse told me she would try to get a hold of him in the meantime. We got everything in order and raced out the door. 

The weather was terrible! It was freezing cold and raining...typical spring weather in Utah. Certain direct roads were closed and the ride to the hospital seemed to take forever. But we finally made it and I got wheeled up to L&D. I started to get very emotional as Cody pushed me through the hospital. I felt like I had lived in that place for 5 1/2 years since I was pregnant with Hailey. And here, just a short time away, my fifth and final baby would be born. It was almost too much for me to handle and I got teary eyed several times. We got checked into triage and it was erie because I was the only patient in the department. The nurse said L&D was busy, but triage was very slow. I got changed into my gown and tried to get over the embarrassment of so much water coming out of me. The nurses were great though and assured me that they see it every single day. To this day I am baffled that I was storing so much amniotic fluid! They swabbed me "just to be sure" that it was in fact fluid and not urine (totally protocol) and the nurse laughed as she did it because it was so obvious that I had NOT peed in my pants. I was like a faucet that couldn't be turned off! I was quickly hooked up to monitors as they continued to try and contact my OB...still with no success. 

My contractions were coming steadily, but they were not strong. Their biggest concern was the amount of food I had eaten only an our before. You are not supposed to eat within eight hours of surgery, and I had just eaten enough for three grown people! Since my contractions were not very hard, the goal was to get me to make it to the eight hour mark before starting surgery...just to be on the safe side. Oh my gosh, that would put it was 3:00 in the morning! A familiar face came into the room. It was a young female doctor who I recognized from Hailey's birth. Her name was Stephanie Wilder and she had been the resident assisting Dr. Draper during my c-section with Hailey. She was eventually hired as an attending at the hospital. She told me she was the OB on call and that unfortunately Dr. Draper was unavailable that night for the delivery. I tried to keep it together, but I lost it. I laid there and started crying my eyes out. It was the final straw to this eventful and unexpected evening. This was NOT how it was supposed to go down! Mike Draper, my security blanket and good friend, would not be delivering my last baby. It seems silly to be so sad about it, but I was utterly sad. Dr. Wilder was very sweet and she let me cry. 

I finally pulled myself together and reminded myself that it didn't matter who delivered my baby, as long as he got here safe and sound. I was finally wheeled over to the L&D department and put in the room where I would stay for the next several hours. Leighann finally got to the hospital and came into my room just as the nurse was putting down towels all over the floor so I could walk to and from the bathroom without slipping in all the fluid that I continued to leak. I felt as though I was a puppy being potty trained! My labor nurse was also named Michelle, and she was the same nurse I'd had when Devin was born only seventeen months before! I remembered her being great so it helped my feelings to have her again. The hours seemed to draaaaaaaaaag by. Cody and Leighann camped out on the couch in the room and I tried to rest. Contractions were still coming, but I wasn't yet in the danger zone. Midnight. One o'clock. One thirty. Almost there! I was getting more and more nervous as the time came closer, and the anesthesiologist came in and put a tranquilizer in my IV. Oh my, I felt so good after that. 

Finally, it was 3:00 and they decided it was safe to start surgery. I was wheeled into the OR and the real fun began. Even though this was my fifth time, I was still a nervous wreck. My goal was to not throw up during the administration of the spinal, so I concentrated super hard on breathing and relaxing during the ordeal. The anesthesiologist was wonderful and kept me very calm the whole time. It was all over and I did great! I laid down, my body started to go numb, I was shaved and catheterized, the blue drape went up, Cody and Leighann came into the OR, and the cutting began. Even though it was 3:30 by this point, I was surprisingly very calm and coherent. The cocktail in my IV seemed to be the perfect mix of medications. The nurses kept commenting that you'd never know I was having a c-section by how I was able to carry on a conversation and such. Usually patients are "flipping out" or completely "drunk". I have been in both boats before. 

There was a tug here, a pull there, and lots and lots of pressure. Everything was happening so quickly and at 3:48 in the morning on April 3rd, 2011, our fifth baby was delivered from my belly and introduced to the world. He came out SCREAMING much louder than any baby I'd ever heard before! His lungs worked, that's for sure. And just like his brother Devin, he peed a few times before being wrapped up. I had never been showed my baby before they were wrapped up in the blanket with a hat placed on their head. But the nurse quickly brought him behind the draper and showed me a glimpse of him. Covered head to toe in blood and vernix! Not at all like the first glimpse I'd ever had at my babies. Then he was taken away to the other side of the room where he continued to scream and scream. The nurse then wheeled the scale over to my side and weighed him in front of me. Born at thirty eight weeks and two days, our little guy weighed seven pounds and two ounces. Perfect size for a boy at that gestation! He was then measured and he was twenty inches long. Ten fingers, ten toes, and absolutely perfect. 

The last half of surgery was the scary part. We knew that scar tissue was a concern, but they found that my bladder and uterus were sealed together with scar tissue...which was a very bad thing. Luckily they were able to cut it all out and disconnect my organs from each other without doing a hysterectomy (which was discussed with me quite a bit as a possibility in pre-op.) The doctor said quite a few times as she worked and cut that it was a very good thing we were done having kids because my body couldn't do it again. As a result of all the extra cutting and scraping, I am extra sore from this surgery. I can for sure tell a difference in the amount of intervention that was done to save my organs. Even though Draper was not there, all of my wishes were honored to a tee. 

As unexpected as it all was, I could not have asked for a better experience. My arms were free during surgery, Leighann was able to be in the OR and video tape, the baby stayed in the OR with me the whole time, he never ever left my side and went with me into recovery, we did skin-to-skin right away, and our first nursing session in recovery was a huge success. Everything was perfect and I am very grateful to a hospital staff who let me do things how I wanted to do them. It was awesome. On day five we finally gave our baby boy an official name. Garrett Allan Andrew. I still pinch myself when I think that I have done this five times. FIVE TIMES!! And now I am done. What a bittersweet feeling.

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