Welcome to the World Baby Pax!
“And the God of all grace who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm, and steadfast.” – 1 peter 5:10
I had reached the end of myself both physically and emotionally. It was Saturday and we had been at the hospital since Tuesday, we hadn’t slept, we hadn’t eaten, we had a baby and the struggles never slowed down. It was at this point, when I didn’t know how we could keep going, that my cousin sent me this verse. It was day 5 in the hospital and leaving just seemed to never be in sight. Once I read this verse, the Lord spoke to me and I knew we were close and about to break through from this suffering and be restored. It was almost exactly 24 hours later on January 4th that we were walking out of that hospital. It was a long journey to get to that point and it all started a few days before Christmas…
Most people don’t know this but we were originally planning to do a home birth with a backup doctor in case a situation arose where we needed to be at a hospital. A few weeks before Christmas my blood pressure was starting to creep higher at each appointment and came to a turning point two days before Christmas (3 days past my due date). Because my BP wasn’t going back down, I had blood work done to check my liver levels to see if this higher BP was preeclampsia. I got the results back on Christmas eve and my liver levels were elevated and my blood pressure was still high – determining that this is preeclampsia and we needed to shift our focus to a hospital birth.
This should have been no problem – we prepared for this and would deliver with our backup doctor at the hospital. However, we find out on Christmas Eve that our backup doctor had been essentially kicked out of the hospital a few days prior and was no longer in practice. Talk about stressful, its 4 days past my due date and we have no practice or hospital to deliver with. Christmas Eve night I didn’t sleep much and had a ton of mild contractions all night, thinking for sure I would be in labor on Christmas.
I am so glad I didn’t go into labor before this time but also was overwhelmed with feeling like I would never have this kid as each day passed and my due date was a thing of the past.
Christmas Eve Eve – Coffee on the Marietta Square
On the Saturday and Monday after Christmas when the hospitals and doctors offices were open, Mitchell called around to different hospitals to see which ones allowed spouses and doulas/were open to natural child birth. We wanted a hospital that was more friendly with what the parents wanted out of their birth experience. This was clearly important to us as we were originally trying to have a home birth to achieve all these things. That narrowed it down to a few hospitals and Mitchell was able to get recommendations of some practices that may take us in as a new patient this close to delivery. The only practice that would welcome us right away was NW Women’s Care in Marietta and they deliver at Kennestone. We are so thankful that they agreed to take us as a new patient AND had an appointment available the next morning. The appointment also happened to be with the specific midwife that Mitchell was recommended to within this practice. What a blessing! Not only do they agree to accept me as a patient but they work with women to try to help them have the birthing experience they want.
They got me in the following morning (Tuesday, Dec 29) and my blood pressure was in the extreme high range when I went in and she confirms Preeclampsia. Since I am 9 days past my due date and 3cm dilated she sent us to get our bags and head to the hospital to have this baby. I am so ready to have this baby at this point and get excited thinking I am close to having him! Well… not exactly.
When we check in at the hospital I still have similar blood pressure readings and they suggest that I go on Magnesium Sulfate to shut down my body so that I don’t get seizures from the high blood pressure. I was very against this as I wanted to be free during labor and not strapped to a bed and hooked up to a ton of IVs. We agree that if I can keep my blood pressure down to a reasonable level then they would try to induce and keep an eye on my levels. 24 hours later after the first method of induction and having mild/medium contractions I still have not dilated any more than 3 cm.
I am seriously never having this baby!
When it was time for the doctor/midwife shift change, the new midwife, Leslie, gave me a sweet pep-talk about how I needed to mentally prepare to have this baby and that I was going to have him before her shift ended. She suggested a different method of induction around 5pm that would cause my body to make its own contractions and kick start active labor, rather than trying to create the contractions themselves. By 8pm I am in full on active labor and after non-stop intense contractions I was only 4 cm dilated! What?! I was in transition at 4cm and thought for sure if I was feeling this pressure and these painful contractions already that I had to be 10cm dilated.
After those first 2 hours of intense labor and having only dialed one more centimeter, I didn’t think I could do this all the way until 10 cm. Not happening.
My contractions continue at 3 and 4 minutes long with 2 and 3 peaks, they are so intense and all in my back, never felt pain like that before and they say you forget the pain. I can still remember, hah! I would get about a 3 second break here and there between contractions, if I was lucky. I just couldn’t believe how they never let up. The only position that I could stand was leaning over the bed and having pressure put on my back. SO thankful for our doula and Mitchell who were able to help reduce the pain a little with the pressure and I know I was wearing them out in having them do that.
I was allowed to labor in the tub for about 30 minutes with hot water on my back which helped some. Meanwhile, I had to get my blood pressure checked every 30 minutes to make sure it hadn’t gotten too high. I had been able to keep it normal ranges each time. and how I was able to do this is still a mystery to all of us! The midwife stayed with me the whole time helping me through each contraction as I decided to do a natural labor with no medication. At several points I was thinking that there was no way I could keep going and by 1:30 am on 12/31 my water broke – I was 10cm dilated and fully effaced. The moment before my water broke no one was around and I yelled that I hoped someone was behind me to catch this baby because I thought this was it. I had totally forgotten that my water hadn’t even broke yet, hah! After one hour of pushing, our baby was here and on my chest! During pushing, they had me push in sets of 3. After each set I would ask “So, he’s here?” or “Where is he?!” and they kept telling me not yet! I was so confused because they would keep saying, “okay one more push” and I really thought it WAS the last push. I must have asked where the baby was about 7 times! Anyways, a total of 6.5 hours after my body started its own contractions, we had him.
He was FINALLY here! That baby that seemed like he was never coming out was here, but this isn’t where the story ends.
These might be the only hospital photos we have!
For the next hour and a half the doctors were stitching me up from my tears making it hard to concentrate on my precious little baby ,especially as I overheard the concern of the amount of blood loss I was having. They finally finish up and we are off to what I think will be a short recovery period before heading home.
By 6am we were in the Mother/Baby ward of the hospital for recovery. In my mind we should be here one night and head home. We try to sleep, enjoy our baby, and learn how to take care of him. I continue to get my BP checked and have blood work done. Around 6pm a flood of nurses come in and tell me that my Liver levels are getting worse and my BP has spiked again and basically my only choice at that point was to go on 24 hours of Magnesium sulfate. The magnesium is like liquid fire going through your veins and anything that touches your body feels like intense heat. They strap me up to multiple IVs, a catheter, and these leg compressors that keep the blood flowing to avoid clotting. The purpose of the magnesium is that it shuts down your neurological system to prevent a seizure from the high blood pressure and help reduce these liver enzyme levels. This 24 hours was pure misery, I couldn’t sleep because of the intense heat I was feeling and was restricted to the bed. I was also up every hour to try to nurse a baby. At this point I hadn’t slept since the weekend and hadn’t eaten a meal since before we went to the hospital. Mitchell hadn’t slept either and was responsible for taking care of the baby (except the few minutes the baby needed to eat when the nurses tried to help me nurse him). Thankfully the 2 nurses we had over this 24 hour time frame were AMAZING and took the baby with them to watch him so that Mitchell could finally get some sleep.
24 terrible hours later I was getting unhooked from the magnesium and starting recovery over with a dose of BP medicine to keep my BP levels stable. My body had lost so much fluid on the magnesium that the first time I stood up after taking the medicine I experienced orthostatic hypotension (This causes your blood pressure to drop when you stand and results in fainting) and so I fainted. As a result of fainting, they decided to keep me another night for monitoring. Am I ever leaving this hospital?
Our little love Bug
As I now recover from fainting, the new midwife and doctor on call come in and inform me that based on my last blood test results my blood count was still dropping and they needed to check me for internal bleeding and do more blood work. They check me and there is nothing they can tell physically that seems like internal bleeding, so we wait for the blood work to be done to confirm if my blood levels are still dropping.
This is where we get to my breaking point. I just want to get out of this place and start recovery, not having to wait and see what more bad news they can throw my way. We just pray for healing and have many friends and family praying for our recovery. Right around this point my cousin sends me that verse for encouragement and I knew we were going to make it through soon enough.
Sweet Babe <3
My blood work came back and my levels had increased which means I was starting to restore my blood levels and didn’t have bleeding. I just needed to get my Blood pressure under control to get out of here. It continues to be monitored throughout the night and into the next day, Sunday. I almost faint again on Sunday when I stood up but thankfully was able to feel it starting to happen and sat back down right away. Eventually, we came to an agreement with the doctors about how I would take the BP medicine at home since I had such a strong reaction to it and if I was able to walk around the room by myself for a minute or two then they would discharge us.
Welcome home Paxy!
I had been able to walk around a little bit earlier in the day and knew I could do this and was so hopeful we could leave. We hadn’t officially decided on the name yet but it was between Paxton and another name. When I finally checked my phone it was flooded with texts from family and friends saying that they had been praying God’s peace over us during our time of delivery and recovery. Since the name Pax means “P, we thought it was a fitting name for our sweet boy and we just love it. It was a really pretty easy pregnancy for me up until the very end and then a rough journey those last five days. It was one of the hardest times we have been through and while people experience much worse, the one constant thing was the Lord’s grace and provision through each trial and His hand in providing a great midwife to deliver with and a hospital of staff to take good care of us. I am thankful to be on the other side and we love our little blessing.
These two got some special bonding time!
A couple of photos over the last 4 Months!
1 Month Old!
2 Months Old!
3 Months Old!
4 Months Old!