Conner’s birth story (part II)

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You can read Part I here.

As I sat down in the wheelchair to be wheeled over to the hospital, all I could do was pray. Pray for our health, our safety and for me, peace and trust. Peace and trust with whatever God had planned for us.

What I hadn’t realized yet was where exactly I was going. Not just Labor & Delivery, but Labor and Delivery triage. On the way over I was given paperwork to start filling out so that I could be admitted. I’m not sure my hands have ever shaken as much as they did while I was trying to fill everything out. I was wheeled up to the triage desk, gave them my paperwork and was wheeled into the triage area. It reminded me of the triage areas you see in Emergency Rooms. That definitely didn’t help ease the fears at all. On the way over, I texted my boss to let her know I wouldn’t be making it back to work and let her know that I would keep her updated on the situation.

Once in triage, they had me pee in a cup again and then change into a lovely green hospital gown and bright yellow non-slip hospital socks. I think I may actually still have those socks. I keep weird things. Once I was in a gown, they had me lay down on the rock-hard bed (really uncomfortable for a preggo lady) and the nurse came in to start her assessment and get me admitted. This took quite a while since I was asked pretty much every question under the sun about my health, Nick’s health, our families health, health before and during pregnancy, my wants and needs for the birth and afterwards, etc. It was intense. When I was done answering questions, I was hooked up to a belly monitor (beyond uncomfortable) and a BP cuff that would go off every 5 minutes while they waited for a room to be ready for me.

Once a room was ready, I was wheeled over. I really had no clue that the room I had just been wheeled into would be the room where we would welcome our son into this world. Once they wheeled me in, a few different people started to come into the room. One nurse came in and hooked me back up to the belly monitor and BP cuff. Another nurse came in to draw blood (to check all of my labs again – main reason I was being admitted) and insert an IV in the event I needed fluids. She drew my blood successfully but when it came to my IV, she had problems. She tried twice and then told me that they have a policy that they bring someone else in after they’ve been unsuccessful two times. So another nurse came in and she tried and failed. I think she was pretty new so she didn’t want to try more than once. The next nurse that came in I am pretty sure was the charge nurse because she came in like she meant business and had two students following her. She decided to try and insert the IV in the same place as the first IV. She basically jammed that thing in my vein. It hurt SO bad but she got it in. And for that I was thankful because I was tired of being stuck (if I thought I was tired of being stuck then after 5 sticks – 4 IV and 1 blood draw – I had another thing coming).

At this point, I was left alone for a little bit. I requested a lunch meal (since it was now around 1:30pm and I hadn’t eaten lunch yet). They brought my food – a turkey sandwich and chips. I don’t normally eat deli meat but I was starving so I ate it. So happy I did because it provided my body with fuel that I would later need. I made a few calls while I waited for Dr. Johnson to come in. I called Nick to let him know everything was fine, not to worry and to stay at work. I could tell he really wanted to be with me, but he was so close to hitting bonus at work (for the first time) and I really wanted that accomplishment for him. I called my mom. I started out the call with “don’t freak out, but they admitted me to the hospital.” At this point, I really was trying to keep things light and not have anyone freak out. I was really hoping everything was fine. I told everyone not to freak out, that the doctor was just covering the bases and that I’d be home that night. I also called my boss and my coworker to let them know the situation. I finished my lunch and watched a little tv. When I was reading blogs that morning I had come across this picture and saved it on my phone. While I was laying in the hospital bed it popped in my head again and I felt compelled to post it to Instagram and Facebook. 

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I posted this right before Dr. Johnson walked into my room. She sat down on the edge of my bed and when she looked at me, I knew it was bad. She told me that the blood work came back and my liver was failing and my platelets had dropped substantially. She said it was time to get Conner out. That hit me so hard. I knew there was a chance that I’d have him early but I never thought it would be 7 weeks early. Was he ready? Was I ready? Would everything be ok? I tried to focus on Dr. Johnson and what she was telling me. She told me it was time to get Nick up here. Immediately. She knew how important having a vaginal delivery was to me so she wanted to give me that option (with induction) but if I didn’t progress in 3 days (or sooner depending on my labs) that I would be having a c-section. I definitely didn’t want that. One of the best things about Dr. Johnson was she didn’t let Nick or I know until after the birth how bad things were. She was protecting us both. Even though we had only known her a week, she already knew how emotional of people we were and kept the severe information from us because we both would’ve panicked and she wanted to keep Conner as safe as possible. She told me that we would begin the induction process that night and that I needed to be put on magnesium (to prevent seizures) and an IV, have a catheter inserted, hourly blood draws, BP checks every 15 minutes and not be allowed to eat or drink. Even though at the time I didn’t realize how severe things were, I knew this was pretty bad.

After Dr. Johnson left, I made the call to Nick. To let him know he needed to find a way to the hospital (at this point we were still carpooling and I had the car that day) because I was being induced. Even after talking to Dr. Johnson I was still trying to be calm. Until I talked to Nick. I broke down in tears when I told him our baby would be coming into this world early, whether he/we were ready or not. He was freaking out but said he’d get to the hospital ASAP. I’d find out later that he almost passed out at work and his boss had to catch him. The next call was to my mom and again all I could do was cry. I told her it could take up to 3 days and she said she would get down to Corpus the next day but to let her know for sure when we thought he was going to be here so she could get here on time. After I talked to my mom, I called my sister and my bestie and I texted a few close friends. I think at this point I had gotten the crying a little bit under control. I needed to be strong for our little man. God was definitely working within me.

A lot of the details from this point on are a little fuzzy due to the drugs they had me on. Part III coming soon (it’s taking a while to write!).

Conner’s birth story (part I)

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Here’s a little bit of the back-story first before I start writing about the actual birth. FYI – this is going to be LONG!

For the majority of my pregnancy, I was under the care of some amazing midwives at the most adorable birth center. I was going to have a totally hippie, beautiful, relaxed and medication / intervention free birth. I had my plan. And I was set on it.

Other than maybe gaining a tad too much weight (which I attributed to dinners of chips and queso and the not-so-infrequent cookies), my pregnancy was pretty great.

Well, I started to have a few warning signs of preeclampsia that my midwife was concerned about (significant amount of weight gained in a short period of time, swelling/pitting, a few visual disturbances (kind of like fireflies) and a few abnormally high (for me) BP readings).

They decided to send me over to a high-risk OB in town to get checked out and rule out preeclampsia or gestational hypertension. I really didn’t want this but wanted to just get it done and over with so they could see I didn’t have preeclampsia then go back to the birth center for the birth I wanted. The one I had planned. I was really hoping that my worst fears were not coming true. But I knew in the back of my head that I had preeclampsia. I just had a feeling. That gut feeling that won’t change. I always want to be prepared for the worst case scenario. Some call that being pessimistic but that’s just who I am. I want to know what might happen if that worst case scenario did unfold. I call it planning ahead for all situations.

So on Monday, November 11th (31 weeks 6 days), Nick and I went in to see the high-risk OB. Neither of us were super concerned at my high BP readings because I suffer from “white-coat anxiety” which causes by BP to elevate in medical settings and when we monitored my BP at home, it was always within normal ranges. Although he wasn’t as paranoid as I was, he knew that a diagnosis of preeclampsia or even the hint of symptoms was serious. 

We were brought back, my BP taken (which was pretty high but not scary high – yet), peed in a cup (how they expect pregnant ladies to pee in a tiny cup and not pee all over their hands mystifies me still to this day), draw blood to check my platelets and liver and then taken to the room to get our sonogram and biophysical profile. Since we were under the care of a midwife, this was the first time we were getting the full scan (which Nick loved by the way).

We met the amazing doctor, Dr. Johnson, who would later become the doctor that saved my life and the life of our amazing son, Conner. Her thoughts: my BP was high but she understood my anxiety could be causing this. I didn’t have any protein in my urine (which I assumed at the time meant I was in the clear). But on the scan, while Conner scored 10 out of 10 on all the tests, they noticed the blood flow in the umbilical cord was a little bit lower than it needed to be and that Conner was a little on the small side. While she didn’t say I had preeclampsia for certain (since I didn’t have protein in my urine), she did want me to rest and come back for a follow-up on Thursday for another sono, pee in a cup and BP check. Right before we left, I asked her if she was taking over our care and she said yes. So no more midwife or birth center. My plan just went straight out the window.

When we left, I was pretty defeated. I had this ideal picture in my head of how I wanted to bring Conner into this world and I was just told that wasn’t going to happen. Not even close. I was now going to give birth in a hospital which I knew would lead to a lot more things happening that I did not want and were not on my plan. Nick kept asking me if I was ok and I told him I was but I was just sad. I don’t think I was allowing myself to really feel the disappointment yet. I was trying my best to trust in God – that He knew the best plan for us. Looking back on it, I had no idea the emotional roller-coaster I was just beginning. Giving birth in a hospital with possible medical intervention ended up being our saving grace.

We went back in on Thursday, November 14th (32 weeks 3 days) for our follow-up appointment armed with normal at-home BP readings. Of course my BP was high again. No surprise there. I peed in a cup and again no protein. We had another sonogram. Since my BP was high and Dr. Johnson wasn’t quite ready for us yet, they put me in a quiet room with a recliner so I could rest and hopefully get my BP back down. That didn’t work. I’m not the type of person you can tell to be calm and relax and it just work. It actually has the opposite effect on me. Thinking about being calm and relaxed stresses me out causing my BP to go up even higher. When the doctor came in, she didn’t have good news. Although my urine was still protein free and my blood work had come back normal, the blood flow in the umbilical cord had worsened and she wasn’t comfortable with how he was doing (despite him still getting a 10 out of 10 on his tests). She said that although she didn’t see a need to induce (yet), she didn’t see us going past 36 weeks and she wanted to give me two steroid shots to make sure that if he came early, his lungs would get a boost and hopefully he wouldn’t have any issues. So I got one steroid shot right then (definitely painful). She also wanted me to go a 24-hour urine catch to check protein levels since this is more accurate than just a one-time pee in a cup.

We took the jug and a lovely little toilet hat to pee in (I really wish I had been offered one of these every time I had to pee in a cup so I wouldn’t have peed on my hand lol). I came back in the next day for the 2nd steroid shot and to turn in the pee jug (one of the most awkward things I have ever done is carry around a jug of my own pee). They took my BP again and of course it was high but since all of my readings at home were normal I was trying to keep up a happy face and not let the possibility of the diagnosis of preeclampsia stress me out too much and cause harm to Conner.

Nick gave me orders to do absolutely nothing but rest that weekend. I slept late and really tried to keep off of my feet for the entire weekend. On Saturday, I got a call from Dr. Johnson. I freaked out a little bit when I saw her name pop up thinking that of course it had to be bad news but she was calling to tell me that the results of my 24-hour urine catch came back and the protein level was within normal limits for pregnancy. I was beyond excited. I really thought we were finally in the clear. No preeclampsia! I thank God that this happened because it allowed me to relax and enjoy the rest of the weekend in good spirits. She still wanted me to come in for another check-up the following Tuesday to check everything again and make sure Conner and I were still doing well.

In the early hours of Monday, November 18th (32 weeks 6 days), I kept waking up with pain in my sides, ribs, hips and back and just couldn’t get comfortable in bed. I was getting pretty big (at this point I had gained 70 pounds according to the scale at Thursday’s appointment) so I figured it had to be the excess weight that was causing the pain. I frequented the bathroom quite a few times in the middle of the night and started to have diarrhea each time. I had read a few weeks prior that one of the signs of early labor was diarrhea. I tried to push that out of my head since I still had 7 weeks to go. It wasn’t time yet. It was eventually time to go into work and throughout the day I kept experiencing pain. Especially in my ribs (front and back). One of the signs of preeclampsia was upper right quadrant pain – right where I was hurting. But I was also hurting in my back on the same side. I diagnosed myself with a rib out of place. I had gotten these quite a few times, especially during pregnancy, since ribs move to accommodate the growing baby and the pain felt similar so I didn’t allow myself to get too too concerned (even though it was in the back of my head that something wasn’t right). Sometime during the day, the doctor’s office manager called me to see if she could change my appointment to another day later in the week since the schedule was double-booked. I told her no. I had already requested off a certain time so I wanted to stick to it. I thank God for making me stubborn.

When Nick picked me up from work, since I wasn’t feeling well, we decided to pick up Chili’s for dinner. Their chips and queso has always been a cure-all meal for me and usually puts me in a pretty good mood. On the way to get the food (our drive home took about 45 minutes) I started to get pretty uncomfortable. The rib pain was starting to get worse and I started to have pretty tight Braxton Hicks contractions. Braxton Hicks contractions are pretty normal once you enter the 3rd trimester so again, trying not to get too paranoid. There were so many small warning signs at this point that it was pretty hard to keep the fears at bay. All I could do was pray every second for God to watch over us and keep us happy, healthy and safe. When we got to Chili’s, I sent Nick in to pick up the food while I paced the parking lot. I bet quite a few people thought I was in labor – gigantic pregnant lady pacing up and down the parking lot, rubbing her belly and looking like she’s about to either throw up or pass out. When he got back with the food, we started to head home. As soon as we started moving, the pain just about knocked me on my ass. I couldn’t hardly breathe because I was in so much pain. I tried to breathe in and out slowly, moving the seat to different angles to try and get comfortable, rub my belly, and grit my teeth through the pain. The rib pain I had been experiencing earlier in the day now felt like someone had broken that rib and was sawing through me with it. Nick looked so scared but I kept telling him I was ok and to keep driving. I almost, for a brief second, told him to turn around and go to the hospital because I thought I was in labor. But I stopped because it would’ve taken us 45 minutes to get back to the hospital Dr. Johnson would’ve wanted me at and I just wanted to be home.

The pain started to lessen by the time we pulled into the driveway. When we got in the house with the food, I had Nick adjust me. Turns out, I did have rib out of place in the back and the front. He adjusted the back but couldn’t adjust the front because of Conner. I promised him I would come into the clinic the next day so he could adjust me with a special tool instead of manual pressure. I spent about 30 minutes with my knees on a pillow on the floor with my body draped over an ottoman. It felt so good. I was able to eat my dinner without too much pain. We headed to bed and I had another painful and sleepless night. Since we had received good news from the doctor over the weekend and weren’t super concerned about my Tuesday appointment, I told Nick I could handle this one by myself and would call him if needed.

On Tuesday, November 19th (33 weeks), I left my office and headed to my appointment. When they brought me back, of course my BP was high again (much higher this time and getting close to scary high) and my urine started to show protein. We did another sonogram and they put me back in that fun relaxation room to see if they could bring my BP down. I wasn’t in there long when Dr. Johnson came in and said based on what she saw on the sonogram, Conner was in trouble due to my BP. The umbilical blood flow kept getting worse and worse at each appointment. She wanted to send me over to the main hospital to get monitored for 12-24 hours and have my blood drawn again and labs re-tested. She called in a nurse who brought over a wheel chair and that’s when I knew it was serious.  They wouldn’t let me walk over to the hospital (which is not that far) so I knew they were really concerned. I called Nick to let him know but I tried my best to ease his fears and promise him they were just being cautious, wanted to rule out everything and make sure Conner and I were safe. I told him to stay at work since he had quite the large patient load that afternoon. I promised him I would call him as soon as I had news from the doctor but I should be home that night.

Little did I know, I wasn’t going home that night.

To be continued……

To continue or not to continue

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While I was taking a shower last night, which is sad to say, quite the rarity these days, I thought about this blog.

I thought about whether I wanted it to continue, which would require a whole lot of writing to update on the past 3 months, or to just let it go and start fresh.

Some of the updates that would be needed written are hard to even start thinking about let alone write about.

Life is beyond good now and we are so blessed for that but these past 3 months haven’t been the easiest and I am still struggling a little bit with my emotions and feelings about certain things that happened.

But in the past, writing was cathartic for me and really helped me get through some pretty tumultuous times in my life.

There are some things I just need to work through and I think writing my thoughts and feelings down will help.

So, I decided I’ll keep this little blog around and update it.

From the last post, which was a huge surprise to us all, announcing the birth of our baby boy Conner.

To now, us having a happy healthy 14 week old baby who makes our heart swell bigger and bigger every day.

And everything that happened in between.

Let the therapy begin……………

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Sorry for the absence but…..

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This little man decided to come early.

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Conner Dean Baucum was born on 11/20/13 at 10:08am weighing 3 pounds 14 ounces and 16.5 inches long.

When I went to the doctor last Tuesday for my weekly checkup, I had no clue I would be induced that night. I developed pretty severe complications and in order to save both of our lives, he needed to come early. Thankfully he’s doing amazing and thriving in the NICU. We can’t wait to bring him home!

I’ll write more soon – lots of explanations to come!

Fall Favorite Things Blogger Swap

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Eek – totally late on this one but in my defense, I’ve been sick for the past 4 days and unfortunately I can’t take anything so I am just riding it out. :(

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I was fortunate enough to get paired with Brittany from First Comes Love! I’ve really enjoyed reading her blog and getting to know her better.

Is it totally creepy that I am slightly obsessed with her hair?

I was so excited when her package came in the mail.

If anyone knows me, they’d know I love getting things in the mail, especially presents!

Typical Leo.

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I loved reading the reasons why she sent the items she did. Fotor1111110314

1. This color is killer – I’ve been wanting a fun Fall color for my next pedicure but I haven’t been able to find one that pulled me in yet. This one is just perfect!

2. Her favorites came in this super cute bag (that I will definitely be re-using!!)

3. An absolutely gorgeous arrow bracelet – I’ve seen a lot of these lately but hadn’t made a purchase yet so I was so excited to see this! I have definitely been wearing it almost every day!

4. Shells – maybe it’s the pregnancy hormones but I definitely teared up a little that she sent me sea shells from her own wedding. I can’t wait to find a perfect place for these.

5. This candle…… smells SO good! Just like a campfire. We’ll definitely be burning this in our “faux” fireplace.

 

I really loved getting paired up with Brittany for this swap and I feel lucky to be part of such a great community of women! This was so much fun!

 

Technology is SO cool!

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Yesterday we got to experience one of the coolest things ever!

We got to do a 4D sonogram and see what Mr. Conner looks like.

And maybe it’s because I’m his mom, but our little man is pretty dang handsome!!!!

img0046We had such a blast getting to see / watch him for about 30 minutes.

We brought Nick’s parents and FaceTimed my mom so all the grandparents were there!

The tech told me to eat a snack about 30 minutes before the appointment to ensure the baby is awake and active.

So I ate a single serving of natural peanut butter and about 1/2 a lemon flavored Luna bar.

Let’s just say we’re certain he’s pretty fond of peanut butter and lemon.

He didn’t stop moving the entire time and really put on a show.

And he was smiling the entire time too!!!

I hope he continues being such a happy baby once he’s born.

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He had the hiccups and was drinking during the sonogram.

We had plenty of time to look him over and make sure he was healthy, growing well and on the right track.

He’s measuring right on target and a little less than 3 pounds (2 pounds 13 ounces) and his heart rate was 145.

He’s head down and in the perfect position for labor / birth.

Definitely crossing our fingers he stays this way!

Which hopefully he should because it’s the same position he’s been in since our last sonogram at 18 weeks.

When we were doing his measurements, we saw this:

img0089Giant feet!!!

He definitely has his dad’s feet (Nick wears a size 16!).

We think he has my nose, Nick’s mouth, Nick’s forehead and we can’t tell about the chin but I think it’s Nick’s chin (mine is a little pointy).

So I am going to get my mini Nick!!!!

 

I can’t stop looking at these pictures.

We got a CD with about 170 pictures and a DVD of the entire 20-30 minute sonogram.

It’s so neat that we will have these photos and video to share with him when he gets older.

Technology really is so cool!

 

I may upload the video later.

I need to watch it again to see what was said in the background.

The entire room is mic-ed so everything that was said by us, his parents and the tech was recorded.

Including the tech commenting on the size of his scrotum.

Yep, that happened.

I think that may be the most inappropriate thing that was said but not sure!

 

30 weeks….. what?!?!?

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How far along? 30 weeks
Total weight gain? No update since last post – next midwife appointment is next week
Maternity Clothes? I am 100% in maternity pants full-time when I am out in public. At home, I live in a pair of Nick’s UT pajama pants or maternity leggings. As for shirts, most are maternity but I have still been able to fit into most of my pre-pregnancy sweaters (the one I am wearing in the pic above is non-maternity).
Stretch Marks? Before I got pregnant, I had lost about 70lbs so I have stretch marks already on my stomach from that. I don’t care too much if I get more. Despite gaining as much weight as I have, I haven’t spotted any new stretch marks.
Sleep: Last Friday night, I slept terribly and was so exhausted and a little cranky for most of Saturday – that sure was fun for Nick! But thankfully I got some really good rest on Saturday night. The past few nights have been ok but not great. Still waking up to pee at least twice a night.
Best moment this week: Feeling this little man moving all.the.time. and possibly (hopefully!!!!) finding a house that will work for us! Cross your fingers!
Miss Anything? Feeling rested, sleeping on my back / stomach, our bed (I am dreaming of when we can finally move into a rental house and get our bed back – I have dreams of our tempurpedic mattress), everything in Dallas (family, friends, and convenience of everything!). Also missing – the gigantic bathtub we had in Dallas. I used to LOVE showering every night and being able to turn the water really really hot, sit down in the tub, shave my legs (pretty comical to have to do now standing up – let’s just say my legs aren’t always super smooth lol), and relax. A big bathtub is mandatory in any future homes. I am really missing having a DVR. We have missed so many of our Fall tv shows already. I am missing not having gigantic boobs and being able to fit into anything in my closet.
Movement:  Um…. this guy is a crazy mover. All day. Every day. He doesn’t seem to have any specific asleep times that I’ve been able to pin point. He just likes to move. On my What To Expect When You’re Expecting app it said that the baby should start to have more noticeable awake and asleep periods now. Um….. I don’t think Conner has gotten the memo! I am feeling movement in the morning, mid-day, afternoon, evening, night and middle of the night. This scares me a little bit – hopefully he isn’t this crazy active and lets this momma sleep every now and then after he’s born.
Food cravings: I am craving love dip from Central Market – thankfully we are heading to San Antonio / ATX area for our anniversary and there’s Central Market’s there.
Anything making you queasy or sick: Thankfully nothing!!!
Gender: All boy!!!!! There is no doubt about it. Also, I think we are going to have to start on the whole “do not grab yourself in public” thing with Conner ASAP. That boy couldn’t keep his hands above waist during the sonogram. Time to research how to handle that without making him think it’s bad. It’s not bad, just don’t do it in public lol.
Baby Name? Conner Dean Baucum
Labor Signs: I’ve had a few more Braxton Hicks contractions but only a few. They weren’t painful but just a little uncomfortable.
Symptoms: Exhaustion, the inability to catch my breath some days (Nick said it sounded like I was outside the other day because I was breathing so hard on the phone lol), ankle swelling (not too terrible as long as I keep the feet moving and elevated at night), having a hard time finding a comfortable position to sit in at night (since I sit all day, Conner isn’t too happy when I get home only to sit some more), bleeding like a stuck pig (I knicked my cuticle yesterday and soon after my entire hand was covered in blood – this happened a couple times throughout the day before it finally stopped) and a lopsided belly (Conner’s booty and legs are jammed up in my rib cage making my belly pretty lopsided).
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Belly Button in or out? Still an innie but it’s getting really shallow. I don’t know why I have such a big fear of an outie but I do! At this point, I think it’s going to end up popping out, but probably not for a few more weeks at least.
Wedding rings on or off? My ring (engagement and wedding are soldered together) is officially off. It was getting a little snug on my finger. The diamond is a family heirloom and the ring is one of a kind so I couldn’t risk having to possibly get the ring cut off if it got too tight. I’d be heart broken. So the ring is now being kept safely in the safe and I am sporting a big ol’ rock courtesy of Macy’s. I’ve gotten a few compliments on it so I guess it doesn’t look fake.
Happy or Moody most of the time: If I am well-rested, I am pretty happy. If I didn’t sleep well the night before, beware!!!
Looking forward to: We are having our 4D sonogram tomorrow afternoon!!!!!!!!!!!!! I can’t wait to see what the little man looks like. I am secretly praying for a mini Nick.
Recent purchases: We haven’t made any purchases in the past week but the next big purchase will be his car seat. I’ve found a really awesome deal on a car seat that matches and fits our stroller perfectly (and it’s 50% off!!!!!)
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Thoughts:
  • We will be in the single digit weeks starting next Tuesday (well, if little man is on time and not stubborn like his momma) – that’s a little scary!!!!!!
  • I had a dream the other night that Nick and I made it to the birth center before anyone else had arrived and ended up having the baby with no assistance. And I didn’t feel any pain in my dream! Ha, I know that’ll never happen.