Tuesday, December 17, 2013

First Family Vay-Cay

Back when we were relishing in the newborn glory phase (aka sleep deprivation had not yet set in), John and I decided we should plan our first family vacation for a WHOLE WEEK. Don't get me wrong, it was a blast, but we pretty much decided we won't be taking any whole week family vacations with little ones for a whilllle.

Rose did awesome on her first 2 flights to get us into Pittsburgh, she fussed slightly on the way down due to ear pressure but I nursed/pacifiered her and she settled down. We were feeling like very accomplished parents. We drove into Steubenville, OH where we stayed for a few days to visit my sister Helen. She is playing basketball up at Franciscan (following her older, awesome sister coughcoughMEcough) and is graduating in May so I wanted to see her play. Plus John had never been to good ol' Steubs before so obviously that had to happen.

And of course, gi-gan-tor winter storm made a nice visit during our stay, so Rose got to be in her first snow storm! We also took a day trip into Pittsburgh which was a lot of fun. Here are a few family highlights:

Franny Bookstore dress up!

Roughly 20-some odd-degrees. Franciscan is so beautiful in the snow!

The ONLY thing that is cute about being in cold weather with a baby: Bundled up babies!

Kelly Hermann my old bball couch @ Steubs.

25, Hellllleeennnn Raaaaiiinnnesssss

We were pretty proud of our creative signs! 

Can't handle the cuteness.

In Pittsburgh eating some Primanti Bros!

I look at this picture just about every day on my phone. To die.

Rose's first time meeting Santa! He was the sweetest Santa I've ever met! He adored Rose, I had to finally take her away because the line was starting to give us bad looks! 

She just stared and smiled at him the whole time he was talking to her. 


Then we made our way up through Ohio on my 29th birthday (YIKES) and had a pit-stop lunch to see the Smith family! They got to meet Rose, gave us some adorable outfits for her and yummy buckeyes (John wasn't too happy) to me for my birthday!

I luh da Smifs.

We also stopped in Ann Arbor, MI to see John's Aunt, Uncle, and Cousin's (The Voss Family) but sadly I didn't take any pictures :(

We spent the rest of our week in Marine City, MI visiting John's family: Grandma and Grandpa McCarthy, Uncle Joey, Great Aunt Marilynn, Great Aunt Gwen, and Great Uncle John. Pretty much the highlight of my week was getting to see Rose in her much anticipated Turkey Hat and making her dance to "Wobble" by V.I.C. a la her "Gobble til you Wobble" outfit. Hahah. BEST MOM AWARD RIGHT HERE.

video

We also celebrated Joey's 32nd bday and had a blast relaxing with family. Here are some other great pics:

She was excited about it as much as her Mama! 

Daddy and his Turkey!

Aunt Htown. Her favorite.

Celebrating Uncle Joey's b-day!

Worst part about the trip: Rose was teething! At 4 months. Mama no likey teething! But now she does have some pretty cute pearly whites on the bottom. This may be the cutest picture I have of her to date:
Hard to tell but you can see those little white chompers if you look close! 

You don't have to tell me, I KNOW I have the cutest girl God ever made. Have a great week!

Friday, December 6, 2013

The Rowdy Birth Story You've Been Waiting For...

I thought I would go ahead and start this post off with a picture reminder of "Big Bertha" (my preggo alter-ego's name). Yes, I've posted it before, but it never ceases to amaze me how large I was. Granted I DID allow myself to gain twice as much as you are supposed to, which I am regretting erry day since Rose's birthday. 17 more lbs to go to get to pre-pregnancy weight. Hey, at 4 1/2 months I am feeling pretty good about that! Next pregnancy will hopefully be a whole lot healthier, but hey, I enjoyed all those late night ice cream runs so I'm not going to dwell on it! What's past is past, know what I sayin'?

Anyway, back to the birth story.

I feel like I should give you a little background of my last trimester so you get a feel for the "downward spiral" as I call it that led up to my c-section.

7 months preggo: We decided that we were going to move from Austin, TX to The Woodlands, TX to be closer to my family. It was something we always wanted to do, but the honeymoon baby really accelerated the process. Luckily for me, I work from home so my job was secured no matter where we decided to live. John on the other hand is a high school teacher, so we began the mad-hunt to find him a new job in the Houston area.

We decided that we would buy our first home since we knew we would be there long term and we could get a 3% interest rate secured before they started going up again. (Thanks to the generosity of our awesome parents for help with the down payment!) Well, for those familiar with the Woodlands area, Exxon is building it's corporate headquarters there and needless to say, the available houses on the market are slim to none. You have to JUMP on a house the DAY it goes on the market and bid AT LEAST list price to even have a chance. (Investors are offering more than list price to flip homes) We knew about our home 1 month before it was even on the market, our realtor was able to work out a deal with the home owners to let us get a sneak peak due to "our situation" not living there and being super pregnant. She also allowed us to put in our offer the day before they were going to put it on the market. Well, we offered list price with a long letter of how we wanted to raise our daughter there, etc. and THEY ACCEPTED! Whew.

8 months preggo: Packing. Enough said. Luckily we saved up enough money to hire movers! Because John was still teaching I "over-saw" the move. Which was me sitting on a couch directing the boxes. LOL That part was awesome, see pic below.

9 months preggo: Crazynestingimusthaveeverythingunpacked,setup,andorganizedbeforethisbabycomes. Also started a brand new position within my company (stress). But the nursery sure did look cute! 

At my 38 week appt (I had been 1 cm dilated and 50% effaced since 36 weeks) my BP jumped to 140/76. Which honestly I KNEW deep down was because of stress/anxiety of baby coming. But of course erryone freaks out if your BP jumps in pregnancy due to pre-eclampsia, which I get, but I had no protein in my urine. Anyway, Rose had been measuring @ 80% (a little on the larger side) my whole pregnancy. I honestly wasn't worried about pushing out a big baby as my family has a history of larger children and so did John's side and almost all were delivered vaginally. The OB suggested that we induce due to high BP and a big baby. OK, looking back I am mad at myself for just trusting that the OB was making the best decision for me. I am not saying I shouldn't have done anything, but there ARE ways to help keep BP down if no other signs of pre-e and I really wish I would have tried that first. But honestly, I was stressed, I wanted to meet my baby, and maternity leave was sounding pretty darn good. So I agreed. I was excited and scared and looking back wish I would have trusted my gut more. 

Sunday, July 14th 8pm. I checked into the hospital to start the whole induction process, which included 2 pills of Cytotec inserted behind my cervix to help "ripen her up" a little more. Again, looking back, I wouldn't have allowed this drug after reading about it. It helped to cause INSANE contractions later on. My cervix was already soft. Here is a pic of me super excited to meet my little girl! (ignore floppy-boobs. they wouldn't allow me to wear a bra which I thought was really weird.)

I got close to zero sleep that night because who can sleep knowing you ARE meeting your babe the next day. Around 3am I started having mild contractions, felt like period cramps, about 6-10 minutes apart. I was ready to DO THIS! 

Then July 15th, 7am rolled around. Pitocin, a drug straight from hell, was started. Contractions went straight to serious breathing to get through them. They were 1-2 minutes apart.

7:30-8am my OB showed up wanting to break my water. Again, ANOTHER thing I wish I would have listened to my instincts on. I didn't want it broken, but my RN was complaining it was hard to keep track of baby girl's heart rate (I hate those stupid band things) and was really pushing to get an internal monitor. OB was also saying this should be done and this will really speed up labor. (I was at 2 1/2 cm and 60% effaced at this point) I consented. 

8:30am They had raised my pitocin, and my contractions started "doubling up" where I would have 2 in a row, no break between, then 1 minute break then 2 in a row. They were so intense I could barely breathe through them. I wasn't trying to go all natural, but I knew I wanted to wait until 5-6 cm before getting an epi to help move labor along. 

9am My contractions started a pattern of 5 IN A ROW lasting about 1 minute each, no break between, after the 5th would subside, I got a 1 minute break to start it all over again. I can't even explain how I felt. It just was awful not to get a break to recover from the craziness. And they kept raising my pitocin! I wanted to sucker punch the nurse, but apprently "The only way to get the contractions to become normal instead of multiple in a row is to increase pitocin" Bullshit. I still think that was a load of crock. 

9:30am I couldn't take it anymore. I got the epidural. Which I will not lie to you, was amazing. It completely numbed me from chest down, but I could still move my legs. They warned me of my BP dropping with the epi. 

At about 10:30am-ish am the RN brought me a push mirror to do my makeup in...hahaha, yes I wanted to look good giving birth, and not 5 minutes later I felt like passing out. My BP had dropped pretty low so they had to give me something to bring it back up. 

Less than a minute later, about 5 RNs came running into my room starting to flip me from side to side, then had me flip over onto all 4s. I honestly had NO IDEA what was going on. I thought it had to do with my low BP since we had just treated it. While on all 4s my OB came into the room, then I knew something was going on with the baby. She checked me, I was a 4, no prolapsed cord buy they said baby's HR was dropping into the 60s and not recovering. I am really not sure of the time that went by during this time, but I was remarkably calm. I tend to not freak out during crisis, but go into "get er dun" mode which is why I think I didn't freak. 

One funny side note, my Mom was in the room with me during this whole time and had sent John and my Dad to the gift shop while I got my epidural. They came back and walked into the room right when I was on all 4s, arce in the air, OB's hand up my whoo-ha. Yup, that was cool Haha, I saw my Dad quickly walk out (we haven't spoken of it to this day) and John came around to the front of the bed. One of the RNs told him to hold the oxygen mask on me, and bless his heart he was so nervous he basically flattened the mask to my face. I just about gave him a right hook, yelling that he was suffocating me and he felt so bad. I guess it was a lot to walk into :)

The OB said that she couldn't get Rose's heart rate to come up and stabilize and I needed a csection now. (Which at that point I did, but as you can tell from reading this, I could have made a lot better decisions to my care that may or may not have prevented a csection) I was wheeled into the OR and I'll always remember that they had Jack Johnson's "Banana Pancakes" playing. I was like wait, what's going on. haha I started to sing along out of awkward fear! Then I saw this random 20-something dude just sitting in a chair chillin' and he announces to the OB I'm so excited, I've never seen a C-Section  before! I just about yelled at him to get his dumb ass out of this mother effin OR, but I kept my mouth shut and gave him the look of death. I think he got the hint. (I still have no idea who he was)

The freakiest part of the whole thing was the anesthesiologist determining if I was "numb enough". She wiped a alcohol pad on my chest and asked if I could feel it. I said yes. Then she asked if it was cold, I said yes. Then she wiped the alcohol pad on my stomach and asked if I could feel it. I raised my voice a little, YES! Then she asked if it was cold, I said no. Wait, maybe? I don't know! Then they pulled up the curtain and asked if I could feel anything. Obviously, they were poking me with something sharp so I was like No, I don't think so but I'm not sure! She was smiling and was like you are good. If you feel anything, just let us know. My biggest fear was that I would feel them slicing me open! I didn't but I'll never forget that part. 

John enters the OR and sits right by my face. I tried to start making awkward conversation but he had straight fear written all over his face. It was so weird to just be laying there waiting for your  baby to be born. I was excited to see/meet her though! Then they yelled out here she is! And I could hear her cry, it was the sweetest sound I had ever heard. They pulled the curtain down and I got about a 10 second view of my little chunky-monkey. I told John to go be with her and he said "Are you sure, are you OK?" Which was the sweetest thing he could have said to me at that moment then he went to be with Rose. 

About 5 minutes after she was born the OB leaned over to talk to me and tell me that she was born with a cleft lip, but it was very minor and didn't appear to affect her gumline, nose, or palete. At that point I didn't even care! I just wanted to hold me sweet baby girl, the hardest part was hearing her and John and the RNs talk about her and I was just laying behind a curtain. Finally, John came walking over with our sweet girl and us 3 got to snuggle while they finished sewing me up. It was my favorite moment, ever. As soon as they rolled me back onto my wheel-o-bed, they asked if I wanted to hold her on the way back to the room. I yelled YES! I've heard of so many csections were they take the baby out of the room or don't let the Mom's hold them for a while so I was so happy that I got to do that. 

Immediately when we got back to the room I did skin to skin and started to breastfeed. The only thing I was nervous about when they told me she had a cleft was that she may not be able to latch on to breastfeed and I was so looking forward to that experience. Girlfriend latched on like a champ. 

Recovering from the Csection was awful. I hated it. I suffered some post partum depression. I was mad. I was sad. I still mourn not being able to experience birth the way it was meant to be done, but I am very blessed to have such a sweet little babe. I am slowly getting over the negative feelings and am already looking foward to my next pregnancy and hopefully a wonderful VBAC experience. In the meantime, I get to soak up all of the beautifulness of the precious gift of Rose Catherine McCarthy. Born 7/15/13 8 lbs 11oz, 21.5 in long. 

Enjoy the birthday pics!