Wednesday, April 1, 2009

A St. Patrick's Surprise (journal entry of Brayden's birth)

Little did I know as I was eating my "fish and chips" for a St. Patrick's dinner that in 5 hours I would go in labor.

On March 17, after we put the boys to bed, Sean and I watched an old classic movie, "North by Northwest." It ended around 11:00 and I went to bed, aching as usual, Sean stayed out on the couch for a while and said he'd be in shortly. At one in the morning I was woken up by stomach cramping and needing to pee (I figured the dinner wasn't settling right) and noticed that Sean had fallen asleep on the couch. I woke him up and told him to come to bed. Once we both got settled back into bed, I just couldn't get comfortable and the stomach pains were getting worse. It wasn't too long during that hour that I realized the pains were like every couple minutes apart, although they were only 10-20 seconds long. I started to get suspicious though. After another hour of the contracting pain which were getting more intense, I called the on call doctor. He recommended that if the contractions don't go away in the next hour, to go to the hospital to get checked to see if I was really in labor. So, as I waited that hour, I took a shower, got a bag ready, and casually informed Sean that I might be in labor and need to go to the hospital to know for sure. Because of the uncertainty, we didn't want to wake the boys or have someone come over while Sean and I went to the hospital, so I decided to drive myself there and let keep him updated. Luckily, we live only eight minutes away from the hospital--I had one contraction before I got in the car, one on the way, and one as soon as I got there, but I made it!

By this time it was 4 a.m. Once in the labor & delivery room, the nurse checked me and I was dilated to a 3.5 and my cervix was completely thinned. Now I knew I was in labor, and the nurse figured as much also, but to be official she had to wait one hour to see if I progress before she could declare labor and admit me. So, for that hour I breathed through the contractions, which were getting very painful, longer, and about 3 minutes apart. Fortunately it was a quick hour, I had dilated to a 4.5 and she officially declared me in labor--which was wonderful because that meant EPIDURAL TIME...hallelujah!! Unfortunately, time crawled at this point. They first had to put my IV in (which the nurse doing that totally struggled with) and then they had to draw blood for lab work (which the nurse also struggled at and had to call in another nurse to help). Plus, because it was 5 a.m. in the morning all the morning labs were being processed so I had to wait on that. And, on top of that, the anesthesiologist was in on a c-section. Good news was Sean had arrived by now and he was my comfort and support, even if all he could do was just sit there and watch me suffer, which I know worries him and stresses him. But it was such a relief to be able to look over at him and have his company through it all.

After TWO hours of waiting for the epidural and suffering through extremely painful back AND stomach contractions which were making me nauseous, the anesthesiologist arrived. I was in tears from the agony, yet the relief that was soon to come. Shortly after the epidural my body reacted negatively and my blood pressure dropped dangerously low like to a 60 over 90 or something, I was losing consciousness so I didn't quite know what was going on. Then my nausea reached it's peak and I vomited all over the bedside--so humiliating. Sean was so sweet to be right at my side to hold the bowl and then clean me up. The doctor gave me some special medicine to help my blood pressure which calmed and relaxed my body, plus I had full numbing waist down, so I was VERY GLAD by that time, which was around 7:30 a.m. For the next hour or so I just faded in and out of an almost-sleep and let the baby do his job of working his way down. When the doctor came in to break my water I was dilated to a nine. Within a half hour I was at a 9.5 and they started setting up for the delivery--this was about 9 a.m.

Once the tools came out, the overhead light lowered and the stir-ups set up, Sean started to get his nervous, anxious face and came to stand by my side, but up towards my head. I told them Sean didn't like to see the "going ons" down below, nor do I really, although I can't see much from my position, so they draped covers. When it came down to it, I only had to push three times, and with the help of a episiotomy (which I am suffering as I type this) he was out. The doctor plopped him right onto my stomach-all purple and slimy white--as I got to greet him into the world. Sean leaned in to get first looks and a big Daddy smile too. Sean also was able to cut the umbilical cord, which was so cool to see--it is so thick!

He had the cutest cry as he adjusted to his first moments out of the womb. He didn't like laying there as they weighed him and measured him, but as soon as he came into my arms he was at peace. One of the first things I noticed was that he had lots of blond in his hair! Sean took him for a while and held him as any proud daddy would. He was able to stay with us for two hours so I could nurse him for the first time and enjoy the wonder of him before they moved me into the recovery room and took the baby for more after birth stuff.

Lots of family was out of town, not expecting the baby to come this week, so Sean and I were able to enjoy some one on one quiet time with him. Our first visitor was my mom, who came after work. My dad had taken care of the older boys all day, playing in the dirt and painting things, so they stayed with Grandpa Blair. My mom of course cried with joy when she saw the little one. Shortly after, our second visitor was Aunt Jo, who also came after work. Later on that evening, Sean's parents were back in town and they came by to see their newest grandson. They next day, Sean brought Colton and Rylan to meet their baby brother. I was so curious to see how they would respond to him. And they were just precious and so good.

Rylan had a look of wonder and excitement as he came into the room with his hands folded. Colton was grinning his biggest grin. They were so happy to see us. The first thing Rylan said was, "What doing Mommy?" I explained the baby had come out of mommy's tummy. He said, "baby tummy?" I asked if they wanted to sit on the bed with us. At first they were hesitant, but I assured them it was okay. After a few minutes Colton hopped down to hang out with Daddy on the room's couch, but Rylan came up and snuggled right next to me as he sucked his thumb and we watched cartoons together. True to his nature, Colton wanted to know where the food was and to look out the window to see how high up we were. A nurse brought the boys some jello and they were satisfied. Before they left, Colton asked if he could give the baby a hug, which he did ever so gently, and then gave him a whisper of a kiss on his head.

Before we left the hospital, we decided to name the baby Brayden Maverick Connelly. The middle name was Colton's vote and Sean liked it too (I have a heavy vote on the first name, but Sean was full vote on the middle). Already Brayden showed the world how he is a maverick by surprising us all and coming two weeks early. We are just so happy and blessed to have him healthy and in our family now.
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"Women of God can never be like women of the world. The world has enough women who are tough; we need women who are tender. There are enough women who are coarse; we need women who are kind. There are enough women who are rude; we need women who are refined. We have enough women of fame and fortune; we need more women of faith. We have enough greed; we need more goodness. We have enough vanity; we need more virtue. We have enough popularity; we need more purity. "

-Margaret D. Nadauld