The birth of Harrison Jay

Saturday, June 10, 2017

From the very beginning, this whole pregnancy with Harrison was something special. It was SUCH a shock and surprise when I found out that I was pregnant, that I knew and felt that Heavenly Father sent us this sweet blessing for a reason especially after how hard of a time I had getting pregnant with Andie. When I finally came to this conclusion and got excited about having another baby so soon, I grew this special connection with him as he grew in my belly that is hard to describe. He is meant to be here with us in our family and boy is that true.

As I went to my Dr appointments during this pregnancy everything was just normal. The only thing extra I had to do was a few extra tests and ultrasounds to check on him because I was on some PPD medication in the very early stages of my pregancy as I didnt know I was even pregnant until I was about 8/9 wks along! Fortunately I was on such a low dose and sort of started to self wean from the medication that it had no affect on him :) Everything else was a regular routine check up. Once I hit 36 weeks I expected to see some sort of dilation or effacement because I had SOMETHING happen by this point with my other two pregnancies and I had been feeling quite a bit of uncomfortable braxton hicks random contractions. I also had been having a lot of cramping/aching in my lower back that I never experienced with my other pregnancies either so I felt like something was happening. But low and behold I go to my 36 wk appointment and everything was fine. No effacement or dilation, just my cervix started to soften. I was kind of bummed. Ok...REALLY bummed because my hips were so uncomfortable I just wanted to be done already, but at the same time I realized it was fine because it was too early for something to be happening right then anyways. It was a Friday that I had this appointment, so we went on with our weekend.

 Monday came a long and I remember not feeling super great and really uncomfortable. I was having lots of back aches and contractions that were not enough to make me stop and bend over in pain, but enough for me to notice and be uncomfortable. I didn't think much of it because they were so off and on and had been happening for the past week I figured it was just my body getting ready to go into labor soon but not yet as I had just been checked a few days ago. I remember that night after we put the kids to bed I had the thought, maybe I should just put my hospital bag together just in case, not even thinking that I could possibly be going into labor. Once I was all packed I took a hot body shower as that was the only thing to help me relax enough to get somewhat of a comfortable sleep.
I wake up around 2:30 am to some painful contractions. I try to dose off and go back to sleep, but they kept coming. I didn't want to wake anyone up yet because It wasn't painful enough that I couldn't handle them, and I wanted to time them to see if this was really it or if it would fade away like they had been doing the past week. About 5 o'clock hits and the contractions were starting to get REAL. I wake up Steven to let him know whats been going on, of course his response...half asleep mind you..."ok so...what? we go to the hospital?" you would think by the third kid he would get it. HA. I told him to start getting his things together, and shower if he wanted to before we left. I go downstairs to tell my mom we needed to go to the hospital since she teaches seminary and my dad leaves early for work, we needed Addie to stay back to be here for the kids when they woke up.
My mom didn't quite believe it was really happening yet. Even my dad mentioned to her after I left their room "do you think shes faking it?" hahah apparently I was too calm when I told them. I go back upstairs to try and wait it out a bit more, but the walking and different positions didn't help ease any pain, it just got worse. We were gonna call Labor and Delivery to let them know we were coming when my mom comes up about 5:30 and says I think you can hold out until I'm done with Seminary and then we can go and Addie will stay with the kids. (mind you seminary starts at 6:10 and I would have to wait till a little after 7) HECK. NO. I asked if she was joking and said there is absolutely no way I could wait THAT long. We compromised at her going to start seminary, and letting them go early, or having another teacher cover  and her coming back with Addie to watch them (which really I knew she was trying to wait it out longer haha) It got so painful during some contractions that there were some tears and swear words coming right along with them. It was time to go. We had already called the L&D by this point and texted my mom that we needed to leave but needed someone home with the kids. She finally gets home after what felt like forever, and we take off to the hospital.
We get to the hospital trying to find the closest parking...only to be told we couldn't park there or we would be towed. Some more words were said as I was going through some big ones and we finally get into the right parking. I get out and waddle quickly to the doors in between some serious contractions. We get situated in my room and I barely get dressed down into the gown and in bed.

 They finally check me and discover I'm at a 4 so they admit me; which I had no question they wouldn't. Its about 7:30 by this time. I had also tested positive for group b strep this pregnancy again so I had to hopefully get 2 bags of antibiotics before I delivered. The contractions just kept coming and coming and I could not wait for that epidural! By the time they had me sign a few things, get my antibiotics started, and finally get the anesthesiologist to come in I was SO ready for it. (I don't know how women go through natural labor, props to you mommas!) After the epidural was in and I was starting to get a little bit more relaxed, they checked me again. This time I was dilated to an 8! Within an hour!

I was so excited things were progressing much faster than they did with Andie's labor. We get my sis-in-law Annelise over to the hospital to take some pictures because we expected him to be there within the next hr or so at the rate I was going. Well my water still hadn't broken and he hadnt dropped yet and since I was so early (being 36 wks 5 days pregnant) and I hadnt had both doses of the antibiotics yet, they didnt want to break my water until I had both doses and let things happen on its own if I progressed more.

 By 10:30 I was checked again and at a 10 and 100% effaced ready to go, they just needed to break my water. But we had to wait until 12:30 to get my second dose of antibiotics. Once the bag was done I was ready to go! They came in and broke my water, had me do a few "practice pushes" to bring baby down a little bit since he was still up there. (side note: this epidural was PERFECT, It numbed me enough to be comfortable but I could still feel the contractions and move my legs. hallelujah)

They had me stop right away after the second push so the doctor could get there. I guess my OB was out of town so I had the Dr on call, which turned out to be great. He was so kind and made this delivery a little extra special. I started pushing once he was all ready. I pushed for about 15 minutes? Right before his head was out, the Dr said "Ok, you're gonna give me a really good push this next contraction and then you're gonna reach down and pull him out." I'm like what?! ok! Next thing I know his head is out and I'm reaching down and pulling Harrison out!

 7lbs 3oz 19 in long born at 1:36 pm. I don't even know how to describe to you how special that felt. So empowering. I put him on my chest on the towel and we clean him off a bit to lay him skin to skin. That's when we noticed it.....the grunting began. We suctioned him, trying to get everything out that he may have inhaled and kept him skin to skin in hopes that he would figure out the breathing thing being close to his momma. I snuggled him and talked to him telling him to relax and that it was ok. I knew the whole time deep down that they were gonna take him away to work on him no matter how bad I didnt want that to happen. I hung on to every minute I could with him praying like no other he would stop grunting. The hospital I was in didn't have a NICU so if he didnt stop soon they would need to transport him over to the closest one. I was in denial. This wasn't happening to me AGAIN?! They took him off my chest and tried to give him oxygen and make sure his lungs were clear; which they were. He had no fluid in his lungs at all and it was just a matter of him figuring out how to breathe on his own.

I feel SO blessed to have had a sweet friend of ours Lisa from our ward be a charge nurse in the maternity department of  my hospital who came to help deliver him. (as she helped deliver Andie also!) She was working on him trying to avoid him from leaving the hospital at all costs. It is the hardest thing sitting there in your bed, feeling helpless that your baby is struggling and you cant do anything. My delivery nurse was SO sweet and kept coming in to check on me but also giving me space during this difficult time. She brought me food, because of course I was starving, but when It got there I couldn't eat. Nurses were coming in and out of the room trying to work on Harrison. It had gotten to the point where they called the NICU team from the hospital to come pick him up as our pediatrician decided that was best for him after she checked him out. One nurse said to me as she was preparing things in and out of the room "you need to eat! I know your emotional and all but you need nutrition to feed him if you want to breastfeed". As she left the room saying this I just lost it and broke down crying. Steven came by my side and hugged me saying Harrison was going to be just fine. I knew he would be fine, I just didn't want him to leave and go through the NICU experience again. Lisa then mentioned she knew another nurse in the hospital who was a priesthood holder if we wanted to give Harrison a blessing. Absolutely! It was short and sweet but the emotions behind Stevens voice left the whole room silent for a few minutes, even Harrison.
By this time I had already gotten up out of bed to use the restroom and we were just waiting on the NICU team to get to the hospital, so I got up to sit in a chair next to his "bed" to hold him until he HAD to go. I held him so close and tight, just staring at him trying to calm him down and help regulate his breathing.

 Then the team walks in and the room started to spin for a minute. Everything started happening so fast and I didnt want to believe it was really happening. I dont think anything can prepare you enough for watching your baby being strapped into an incubator box thing ( I forget what theyre called) and wheeled away on a gurney to an ambulance. I was already teary eyed as I sat on the bed watching them pack him up and signing papers, but once they started walking away I lost it once again.
My Nurse was so kind and tried to see if I could be discharged asap later that night if I felt good enough to go be with my baby, which I did feel fine for the most part. I was all on board, after all who wouldn't want to just be with their baby?..but then when they took him away and they came back and asked me what I wanted to do, I decided to stay the night and leave first thing in the morning after trying to get some rest.

 We were lucky enough to get a room with two beds all to ourselves. Steven passed out next to me, and I was sort of in and out of sleep between pumping and missing my baby/kids. I did get a good solid 4 hours of sleep, you know the kind where you wake up and think "oh man what time is it?!" so good. We finally get discharged the next morning around 10:30/11 and headed straight over to the nicu to see our sweet boy.

Recovery this time has been a breeze. The hardest part about Harrison being in the NICU (besides him just not being home with us) was getting the right time to actually go and visit and be with him. Between pumping, taking care of Andie, getting Calvin ready for school, and recovering myself the hospital was about 20 minutes away with no traffic so it wasn't a quick trip between everyone's schedule in the house. But luckily he was only there for a week, even though it felt like the longest week.
  I was so nervous that postpartum depression was going to hit again and worse, but fortunately I've been feeling great this time. Harrison is such an easy baby. He hardly cries, mainly when hes hungry. Hes the BEST snuggler. Like so good. He is my only baby that doesnt hate tummy time, every time I have put him down on his tummy he ends up falling asleep. His siblings love him to death and cant get enough of him some days. We feel beyond blessed with this sweet sweet spirit that joined our family.

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