Monday, February 9, 2015

Parent Initiation

We had what I like to call "parent initiation" the other day...aka our first real health scare with Macklin.
He got circumcised at his doctor's office last Wednesday-they didn't do it at the hospital because he had some swelling "down there" and they didn't think they could effectively circumcise him. Initially they were going to make us see a urologist at the children's hospital, but thankfully our pediatrician said he would do it.
[Mack is going to love that I'm blogging about this...]
Anywho-he got his wee wee chopped and that was that.
Until about 12 hours later, when I went to go change his diaper, I noticed that the whole front of his diaper was bright red, BEFORE I had even taken it off. I yelled "RYAN GET IN HERE NOW" and opened up the diaper to find this:
It was pretty horrifying. He had massive blood clots coming off of his penis as well. Of course it was 10:30 at night, everything was closed except for the ER....we were panicked! It would not stop bleeding. I called work because there's always a pediatrician there, and they told me to put pressure and wrap some gauze. So Ryan frantically went out to the store and bought 4 boxes of gauze (ha, perhaps a bit overboard for one tiny wiener, but we were freaked).
I still wasn't sure what to do--if we should take him in or what. We decided to just watch it. He was acting like it was no big deal, so at least he was calm. Of course he's a baby so what does he know: 
We got ready for bed & I prayed that if I needed to take him in to be seen that I wouldn't be able to sleep. But I was able to sleep until his next feeding at 3am. Unfortunately his diaper at 3am looked exactly like the one at 10:30pm--blood soaked and filled with clots. Crap. What now? He's tiny and can't afford to lose anymore blood. So, I said another prayer and felt impressed to call my doctor's office at 4 in the morning. Crazy thought but I went with it. Come to find out there's an on call line and our pediatrician was the doctor on call that night. I texted him the picture of all the blood and he was pretty freaked out too-he almost made us go to the ER, but he knows I'm a nurse and trusted my judgment. I told him I would keep an eye on it, and that the bleeding looked like it was slowing. He agreed to meet us early before office hours to take care of whatever bleeding was left. Wouldn't you know it, by the time we took him in, the bleeding had stopped. Thankfully I had picture evidence so he didn't think I was some paranoid, over reacting first time mom (which I am, but that's another story..)
The reason I'm blogging about this is just because I felt so guided and so calm (after the initial shock wore off of course). I was reading an article later that stated something to the fact that "God loves your children more than you do, so ask Him for help." It totally felt that way. I felt like He was right there talking me through what to do & how to react. It was a pretty cool experience, despite the scare, and it gives me a lot of confidence that when other sticky situations come my way, as a mother, I will be guided because this is more than a major is a divine role, with divine aid.
Pretty cool stuff.

Monday, February 2, 2015


It has been a while, blog world, since you and I have met.
I guess I don't really know why.
I use this blog as a place for me to process emotions. For example, when Ryan left on his mission, my blog became a shrink of sorts. It was seriously helpful for me to process emotions and deal with all that was going on around me and within me.
Well I'm finding myself at another transition/big change/life moment--becoming a mother.
While some of these feelings may be too deep and personal for the interwebs, I know I'll regret it if I don't capture them when I am in the thick of them. And really, who has the energy for pen and paper after taking care of a newborn???
Alas, back to the blog I find myself.

So where to begin? This year has been an awesome year. We got pregnant, had a beautiful, healthy, and strong pregnancy, bought a house! enjoyed good health (I think that means you're getting old when you talk about good health as a highlight) visited NYC (Ryan's first time), said goodbye to my sweet grandma, welcomed a new sister in law and baby Cici into the family, and a lot of other happy moments in between. Buying a house sucked more than most things I've ever experienced in life, but it's been well worth it and we love where we live in my hometown close to family & familiar things. Luna has a fenced in backyard too! She barks at all the neighbor dogs and gets to poop wherever she wants! Ryan is still in school full time, he is on track to graduate in December of this year (cue the parade and happy tears). He's also working part time at a bank...he's so busy. I miss him. I'm still in the NICU & I love it. I'll be going back full time in April and while I am so nervous to become a working mom, I have an amazing support system and a great job so I have it pretty good.

Well that's a pretty fair summary I'd say.

Now let's talk about our little man.

Macklin Cache Lawter was born on Saturday 1/24 at 12:32am.
I was induced on Friday the 23rd at 40.6 weeks, and trust me, I tried everything besides reaching up there and yanking him out myself to get him to come earlier. I must have a comfy uterus. Which is a good thing in the long run I suppose. My pregnancy rocked though so physically I felt totally fine up to that point. It was just the mental game that was hard. The hardest thing in pregnancy for me was probably insomnia from like 30-37 weeks.
Anyways, back to labor. I had the girls at work strip my membranes a couple times (shh, my dr would not have approved), I tried pumping, (s-e-x), walking, lunges, pineapple..all the tricks. I had a couple nights of contractions but nothing consistent. Lame. We set the induction date for the 23rd so I pretty much settled that an induction would be my fate.
I delivered at the hospital where I work, and it was awesome. I got treated like a pretty princess and had the best care by my friends. Thank you ALL! Also, our food at Truman is seriously good. Like I'm craving it now. Weird.
I was a 2 when I went in to be induced, and he had been super low since like 36 weeks on...which made my dr believe that I wouldn't have to push long (LIES! I'll get to that later) So she started my induction with straight up Pitocin around 9:30am. By about 10 I could start feeling little contractions here and there but probably by about noon, BAM...they started to come fast and furious. I would change everytime they checked me, but it took me all day to get to a 4. I tried to hold off as long as I could to get an epidural, not because I think I'm brave, but because it felt so good to get up and walk around, sit on the birthing ball, go to the bathroom, etc. I finally gave in about 5:30 and got my *first* epidural. No big deal right? Instant relief...except I noticed that my right foot was a lot warmer than my left...suddenly I could feel little twinges of pain on my left side, then after about an hour I could feel everything again. Ugh. Anesthesia came back and said the best option would be to try the epidural again. Double ugh. Not that getting it was so bad, but it wasn't that awesome either...needless to say I wasn't hot on the idea of feeling everything on one side so epidural take 2 it was. My water broke when I sat up the second time and he had pooped in the womb during labor aka his fluid was meconium stained. Most of the time this is ok, but it can cause some serious respiratory issues for some babies so I was a little nervous, but tried to put it in the back of my mind. He was tolerating labor well so far so that was encouraging. The NICU nurse in me had to have quiet in the room the whole time I was in labor so I could listen and evaluate his heart rate strip for myself. Ridiculous, but that's the curse of the NICU nurse.
 Unfortunetly, the same thing happened with epidural numero dos.  I got relief for maybe 45 minutes, but the pain crept back and suddenly everything started to get awful. My contractions on the monitor were off the charts, my heart rate was higher than his, I was sweating and running and a fever (not because I was chorio-an infection that can happen in labor, but because I was in so much freaking pain and the room was literally 100 degrees). I told myself I wouldn't be one of those "screamers" in labor but I was in so much pain I didn't care anymore. I labored pretty much the whole time on my side, and with every contraction I would beat the crap out of the bed railing and scream/moan/cry. This went on from about 6-9pm...everytime I'd scream out so loud that they could hear me at the nurses station, my nurse would come check me...I was progressing a lot quicker once I got to a 4. 5, 6, 8cm....anesthesia tried to come up two different times to redose my epidural, which would help for maybe 20 minutes, but at about 9:30pm, I could feel pain on both sides. I begged my nurse to check me, and hallelujah I was a 9. I burst into tears along with my mom...It was almost over!
Side note: I had the most amazing team helping me. Ryan acted as my epidural and was pressing all of his body weight into rubbing my back during each contraction. He did this for probably 3 hours straight without complaining. It was so amazing. My mother and mother in law were also in the room fanning me, giving me ice chips, and I'm sure silently praying that it would end soon. They were the BEST!

I didn't start pushing until about 11pm, there were 5 other moms in labor/pushing while all this was going on. Which was ok, I had a little bit of cervix left & just knowing the end was in sight helped me mentally get through the pain. Kind of. Macklin's head was lower than my cervix, so my doctor told me AND I QUOTE "The average first time mom has to push for 2 hours. I think we can get this baby out in 30 minutes."
Needless to say I pushed for 1 1/2 hours, because Mack's head was ginormous thankyouverymuch. Pushing was a nightmare. I was just trying to regain some strength after screaming in pain for 4 hours, now they wanted me to PUSH????? WITH ALL MY MIGHT? How? HOW? I was so exhausted. But I had my awesome team behind me (Ryan, my mom and mother in law--I said earlier that I only wanted Ryan in the room but I physically could not have done it without all 3 of them). They had a great system going on. Ryan would hold back one of my legs, my mom would lift my head up, my mother in law would fan me with two fans, and then between pushes as I collapsed onto the bed, Ryan would drop ice chips into my mouth. It was so hard--mentally and physically. You know there's no escaping this pain until you get that baby out but you literally have nothing left to give.
The nurses tried a technique called towel pushing with me where they put a knot on each end of a bed sheet and basically did tug o war with me as I pushed--they would pull against me and I would pull back. It worked wonders and really strengthened the umph in each push. Thankfully despite all of this he was tolerating labor just fine. Huge blessing.
Finally, FINALLY his huge noggin came out and everything else slid right out after that. He was born at 12:32am, and came out purple and not crying so they rushed him to the radiant warmer. Luckily my favorite nurse practioner and NICU friend Amanda were at my delivery waiting for him as a courtesy to they got him breathing and pinked up really quickly. It was amazing how quickly the pain left once he was out. I was laughing and joking almost immediately after. Crazy!
Ryan was the first to hold him and Macklin just stared at him. Ryan sat in a chair and tears just ran down his face. He was speechless, he had no words. Pretty sweet.
After I got sewed up (thank you episiotomy...I was actually begging them to do it...and to use the vacuum on him haha! They only did the episiotomy though, which I was grateful for.
My doctor estimated that he would be 7-7 1/2 pounds. Surprise! He was 8 lbs 2 ounces, and 20 1/2 inches long. I had a great doctor but she jinxed me every time she opened her mouth.
This picture cracks me up. From his peely, overcooked skin, to his big ol eyes, to his swollen nose and satisfied look on his face (he had just been fed). I love it.
He has been a rockstar nurser since birth which is another huge blessing. So far he seems to be a pretty chill kid--the only time he really wails is when he's cold aka bath time. Hates it. Other than that he just kind of grunts and roots around to let me know he's hungry.
My postpartum emotions have been all over the place as I try to mentally wrap my head around it all. I've had a few moments of missing the simplicity of my "former" life and trying to come to terms with the fact that my life is no longer about me anymore..for the rest of my existence...but that's ok. At least it's getting more and more ok with me the more I get to know our sweet little son. I'm starting week 2 with him now and already feeling better than week 1. But my mind is plagued with mom worries "Am I making enough milk?" "Am I holding him too much?" "Will he ever sleep in a crib?" "Will he ever get on a schedule?" "Will he ever sleep through the night?" I'm trying not to over think it. One day at a moment at a feeding at a time...
 I can't wait to see who he becomes, and I hope I'm up to the challenge of helping him become the man Heavenly Father needs him to be. Kind of daunting, isn't it?