Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Benedict James. Month 1.

Benedict James. Month 1.
Its only been one month and yet it is already hard to imagine life without you, sweet boy. You've changed our family for the better in such a short time. I can't wait to see how you continue to change the world. 

Here are some highlights of your first month:

-You shocked us from day one by being so chill compared to Cana as a newborn. 
-You love looking around and taking in the world with your big blues.
-You allow us to put you down when you're sleeping and for that we thank you abundantly!
-You love to nurse and nurse and nurse and nurse. 
-Your rock n play is your favorite place to sleep.
-Cana loves to give you kisses and you tolerate them so well.
-You've blessed us with a few nights of really good sleep. 7 and a half hours is your record currently!
-Your baptism was so amazing! One of the most proud days of my life. 
-Cana really enjoys helping out with you. She's always willing to get you a diaper as long as she gets to see your poopy one first. haha
-You got your first ever passport! We can't wait to take you and Cana to Europe next month! 
-You have yet to have a bath, aside from a small sponge bath at the hospital.
-You love to suck on your hands and fingers.
-You use a paci sometimes, but usually spit it out once you're asleep. You much prefer to suck on fingers (yours or daddy's). 
-There are three things you hear over and over again each day from Cana: "Hi!" "Did you take a good nap?" and "I want to give him a fooch!" 
-Your smiles are the cutest I ever did see!
-Daddy really loves that you allow him to care for you just as much as mommy. He's really boned well with you!
-You met a lot of important people this month! Family and friends were so generous in bringing us meals and gifts for you! I think they just wanted an excuse to hold you though. haha
-You love to stare out windows and contemplate baby life. 
-You don't poop very often, which causes you to feel gassy and uncomfortable a lot, but I enjoy not changing diapers in the middle of the night!
-You have a touch of silent reflux.

Doctor Stats:
-Weight: 9lbs 13oz (49th%)
-Height: 23in (97th%)
-Dr. Anselmi says you're healthy and growing so well! You have awesome head control and your little heart and lungs sound clear and perfect. 

Favorite Photos from the Month:

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Birth of Benedict James

Benedict James Xavier
April 14th, 2018 | 3:52pm
8lbs. 10oz. | 20 3/4 in.
Aurora, CO

My first ever, non-induced contractions started Thursday evening April 5th after a day at the zoo with friends. It was the day before my due date and I was thrilled to be laboring on my own after needing an induction with Cana at 42 weeks. However, around 1am, all of my contractions an back labor abruptly stopped. The same thing happened on and off for the next few days. Prodromal Labor. Every pregnant woman's nightmare. Because of my on and off contractions, I made an appointment Monday morning (April 9th). Amy, the midwife, checked me and I was barely 1cm dilated; however, she said she would be shocked if I made it to the end of the week without having my baby. We decided to schedule an induction for that Friday, April 13th, starting with a foley balloon placement (a balloon placed in the cervix to help dilate it). Friday morning came and no baby. I woke up and joked to Frankie, "You still think I have time to start labor on my own? What if my water breaks?" Wishful thinking. I fully knew I was being induced at that point and I had made my peace. 

I arrived at my appointment, Amy checked my cervix and I was dilated 1.5cm on the outer edge and 3cm on the inner edge of my cervix. Perfect for a balloon placement. We prepped the materials, discussed the procedure, and we were ready to go. Just as Amy went to begin at 9am, she saw my water break. It wasn't a gush and I didn't notice at all, but I was overjoyed that in LITERALLY the last second before I was going to be induced, my body did what it needed to do! 

They did a non-stress test on the baby and he just barely failed, so they were going to send me to the hospital for more monitoring. However, at the last minute, they decided to let me go home and labor on my own for 12hrs. 

I went to Frankie's moms house where Cana was and hung out hoping contractions would pick up on their own. I had on and off contractions until 6:30pm when my midwife called and asked us to come in early to make sure we got a room for the night because they were filling up. We settled in and went for a walk hoping contractions would speed up. Around 11pm we decided to start the lowest dose of pitocin to move things along. And they did! 

Contractions that I couldn't sleep through started regularly at 2am, 1-3 minutes apart. By 6am I needed to work through each contraction with Frankie, on the ball, sitting, or standing, couldn't talk or walk through them but managed each one with low breaths and moans. I felt really strong and excited to be laboring! 

Around 10am I wanted to get in the shower and it felt good to walk around the room between contractions. These suddenly felt different, very low pain in my pubic bone, like baby was going to fall out with every contraction. I hadn't felt this way with Cana so I asked to be checked by the midwife. My irrational fear was that I'd deliver him all alone in the shower! Haha

At 11am I was checked and at 3cm, 80% effaced, station -1. I was kind of disappointed to only be 3cm after it had been over 24hrs into my water breaking and 9hrs into 1-3 minute apart contractions. But I was doing ok and decided a hot shower would help.
I got in the shower and the hot water helped contractions so much! They seemed to space out a tiny bit and I could really relax between them finally. We were laughing and talking as I stood in the hot water. I could almost forget I was in labor, I felt so great! 

I decided to get out around 11:30, still feeling fine. However, once out and back on the monitors, contractions got really intense and close together and I suddenly felt drained of all my energy. For the next hour I cried constantly and told Frankie I needed to be done. This was a DRASTIC change. I went from 0-60 it seemed in minutes. I moaned "no no no" through each contraction and felt filled with fear of the next one. My nurse suggested trying nitrous oxide gas to help me cope and so she sent for that.

At this point things were so intense I don't remember anything but constant pain and the gas didn't even touch it. After about five minutes of using the gas, I caved and begged for an epidural, thinking if this is what 3cm feels like, there's no way I could continue for another 8-12hrs to get to 10cm! I cried and apologized to Frankie so much. I felt like a failure for "giving up." But I was constantly supported by my midwife, nurse and Frankie in telling me just how awesome I had done and was doing. I was not a failure and I was not giving up!

Around 12:30 the anesthesiologist who had just brought in the gas, was immediately called back in to place my epidural. The room filled with people and it seemed to take forever.
Getting the epidural placed was awful because I couldn't move or cope through contractions how I wanted to. They were still getting closer and ten times more intense. 

During placement, the anesthesiologist asked how far dilated I was and the midwife said "3cm as of  an hour ago, so let's stick with that." So he gave me the "3cm dilated" dose. Finally the epidural was placed and I was told I could lay on my side. At this point my water fully started leaking (it hadn't leaked since it originally broke the morning before) and it was stained with meconium.

I still felt everything, but was told within 3 contractions I'd feel better. The third one came and I felt relief in my lower back and abdomen, but all of a sudden I felt EXCRUCIATING pain down low. I started screaming and told my nurse I felt burning and pressure so bad that I thought the baby was coming right then. I had never felt the "ring of fire" before but this seemed like it would fit the name! 

The nurse tried to calm me down and said it was probably just pressure from me needing to pee but it felt weird due to the epidural. She said she would place a catheter soon. But I couldn't stop screaming from the pressure and pain and I knew something was going on. Noticing my pain, she quickly called the midwife. Ann came in and also tried to brush it off a bit, thinking there's no way it could be baby coming; but to double check and to calm my nerves, she decided to do another cervical check. Within a second of inserting her fingers I heard "she's complete. Baby is coming." It was 2pm at this point. I had gone from 3cm to 10cm in 2.5 hours. Apparently I was in transition during the epidural placement and didn't even know it... and because they had given me a lower dose of medication in my epidural, I was feeling all of the pain, except in my abdomen. 

The midwife asked me to push to see what baby would do, and when I did he was still slightly high so we decided to wait until he descended a little more. After about an hour, everyone came back in and we decided to do a practice push to see what would happen. I gave one little push from my side with one leg lifted and we saw his head right there! We were all a little surprised! Everyone quickly got gowned and gloved, they called in the pediatric team in case the baby swallowed meconium fluid, and they placed a mirror so I could see myself push.

I gave one big push and delivered his head. The midwife unwrapped the cord from around his head TWICE, and noticed he came out face down, head tilted to the right. I was worried about the cord but they assured me it wasn't worrisome. She then asked me to give a couple small pushes. I did one, two and then she asked for a final big push, and out came Benedict James, less than ten minutes from my first push. April 14th, 2018. 3:52pm. 

I helped pull my sweet boy to my chest and immediately my heart sank... He was limp, bright blue, not breathing. They cut his cord long so the blood could continue to drain into him a bit, and rushed him to the pediatric team, who thankfully was waiting in the room. Frankie followed to be with him. He immediately started to gurgle as they suctioned him out due to aspirating meconium fluid. Frankie heard the pediatrician say his heart rate was alarming, but next thing you know, they asked Frankie to cut his cord shorter as they prepared him to come back to me. I was seconds away from yelling "Frankie, baptize him!" when I heard my midwife say he was on his way back to me. Within five minutes of his birth, Benedict was brought back to me for skin to skin time. He began nursing immediately and didn't stop for over an hour. Healthy as can be! Those five minutes were heart wrenching and awful, but praise God, our strong boy recovered quickly! 

So despite being overdue by a week, labor taking forever to start after my water broke, and things moving slowly in the beginning, this boy decided to come fast a furious in the end! I didn't quite understand how crazy everything was until my midwife recapped it all with me afterwards and explained how utterly shocked she was by the entire process herself! 

We are so madly in love with our little man and wouldn't dream of changing a single thing about how he entered this world. I am so blessed to have such a supportive husband, who labored with me so well, snuck me food, and reassured me constantly when I was struggling. God is so good!