Posts tagged birth
Birth Story || Grey Matthew
BIrth Story || Grey Matthew || Second baby

Since Turner's birth was a little traumatic for all involved, we decided around week 36 of my pregnancy to schedule an induction for Grey's birth. My doctor would be out of town the weekend before my due date, so it was scheduled for Monday, April 11th at 9 am. 

That morning we received a call from the hospital that they would be pushing my induction back to 10:30. I was bummed at first, but it was nice to take it slow that morning getting ready, drop Turner of at Grammy's house, and pick up some breakfast before the main event.

We checked in at 10:30 and they escorted us to our delivery room, which happened to be the exact same room we delivered Turner in. I got into the hospital gown and they started to prep my IV for the penicillin. Two different nurses poked me a total of 5 times on my left arm resulting in stinging pain until finally they tried my right arm with no problems. By the time they started the antibiotics (for the Group B Strep), it was 11:30 am. That meant the earliest they would want me to have the baby was after it had been in for four hours, around 3:30 pm. 

Shortly after they started my IV fluids, they added the Pitocin (Oxytocin) to induce my labor and start giving me contractions. The nurse told me to let her know when I was ready for the epidural, but she also told me that at 1 they had a scheduled C-section and I would have to wait until after it was finished if I didn't have the chance to get it before. Around 12:15 I asked when it would be possible to get the epidural, knowing I might want it in between then and when they would be done with the c-section. Unfortunately, they had been called to an emergency c-section so the anesthesiologist wouldn't be available until 1:30-2:00. 

The pain was pretty manageable so I wasn't too concerned, but still a little nervous. My doctor came in several times throughout the day, which I wasn't expecting and absolutely loved. He came in around 1:30 to break my water and asked if I was ready for it. With fear in my voice I said, "But...I haven't had my epidural yet?!" He said it'd still be a while before he could make it in, but the sooner we got things moving, the sooner my baby would be here. That was all he needed to say to have me convinced.

After he broke my water I was glad I hadn't had the epidural yet, because I could feel the sensation that so many woman talk about. I never felt my waters break with Turner and so it was amazing to get to experience it this time around. With every contraction I could feel the warm water that had been surrounding and protecting my chid slowly gushing out of me. Many times I had to remind myself that it was my waters and not urine leaking out of me. Although when the anesthesiologist finally arrived to give me my epidural and I was bending over my belly, putting pressure on my bladder, I'm pretty sure it was a mixture of the two. 

They told me to push the button for another dose every 10 minutes, and so I did. What I didn't hear them say was to stop after I stopped feeling pain. I don't know why I kept pushing it, but I kept pushing that button every 10 minutes for 2 whole hours. Just eating my lemonade flavored pebble ice and pushing that button like an addict. I was SO NUMB. Don't get me wrong, I wanted to be numb, but I couldn't even wiggle my toes!

Around 4 when the nurse came to check how I was progressing, I asked her how often I should be pushing that button. And she said, "Oh, you should only be pushing it if you are feeling pain." I was thinking, good to know, good...to...know. Coolcoolcool. HAHA! I felt like such a dork. So for the next two hours I didn't push the button again.

During that time I had progressed from being dilated to a 6 when he broke my water, to a 10 around 5 pm. That was when the nurse coached me through a few practice pushes. She helped me more in 2 minutes than the whole fleet of nurses and doctor did during my four hours of pushing with Turner. 

When she saw my pushing was helping the baby progress further down into the birth canal, she called the doctor and they prepped me to have my baby boy! They removed my catheter, adjusted my bed, and got everything ready for my doctor. 

At 5:30 my doctor walked in the door and said, "Are we ready to get this party started?" and we both shouted, "YES!" After the doctor had suited up, they set up the mirror for me to see Grey's decent. I looked around and it was just 5 people. My husband, my doctor, the nurse, the pediatric nurse, and myself. The room was quiet and calm. My husband was by my side and we were both at peace. At peace and yet so excited to finally meet our second little boy! It was the opposite of the mass chaos the ensued as Turner entered the world, and I was so grateful. 

My doctor watched the monitor and waited for the signal of my next big contraction. They told me to take a big breath, hold, push, and repeat that three times through my contraction. After the first contraction and only three pushes, I could see Grey's head crowning in the mirror! I was in shock! The doctor told me to do that same thing one more time and my baby would be here! We waiting a minute or two for the next contraction and then I took a big breath, held, pushed, and repeated three more times.

At 6:09 pm, suddenly one by one his head, shoulders, torso, bum, and legs exited my body. They laid him on my belly and I cried tears of pure joy. He was perfect, an angel, everything I had dreamed he would be and more. He let out a few short cries as the suctioned his nose and mouth. They wrapped him in a towel and Matthew cut his cord. They laid him on my chest and I was in heaven. I live for that moment. Holding him so close to my heart and kissing his head after carrying him for so long. They let me keep him there until I was ready to know his specs. It didn't take long for us to be curious enough to have him put on the scale.

7 pounds 12 ounces, 20.5 inches of perfection. No dimple in his chin like his older brother and what seems to be mama's nose. They swaddled him up and put on a little hat before handing him to Matthew. He is the most tender father to our boys. Watching him hold them for the first time is high on my list of favorite moments of all time. I don't know what I'd do without him as their example. He is the most thoughtful, caring, and hardworking man I know. 

Since the delivery seemed like a cake walk and I only received a first degree tear, I thought my baby was going to be in my room with me this time. I thought we were going to have a quick, normal, routine hospital stay. But we still got hit with a curveball.

That night my parents came to see him as well as my sister and brother in law. He sounded a little snorty, but perfectly healthy. He had latched on to breastfeed for 15 minutes on each side like a total champ. We passed him around and talked about his perfect little features. I ordered dinner just before room service closed. I couldn't believe how different my delivery was.

Around 10:30 we were ready to go to bed and Grey was asleep in the bassinet next to my bed. We were exhausted, and yet I couldn't seem to fall asleep. I just kept staring at Grey. Almost as if to read my mind, my husband says, "Maybe we should have them take Grey to the nursery tonight? To keep and eye on him while we get some rest." I wanted him by my side, but I felt that would be best for all of us.

I'm so glad he was prompted to suggest that, because who knows what would have happened if he had stayed in our room that night. Early the next morning they came in to have me feed him and told me he was having a little trouble breathing so they were going to move him to the TLC. 

My heart sank. Not again, I thought. My heart couldn't take it. I held onto the hope that it wouldn't be as bad as what Turner went through

However, the rest of the morning we asked question after question about how Grey was doing and they didn't give us any answers. We knew he was alive, but we didn't know to what extent his breathing was improving or if it had worsened. Finally around 10:30, the TLC nurse called us in to meet with her. She let us know he was struggling to breathe and keep his temperature up, so they would be moving him to the NICU. 

Before I could do anything else, I was sobbing. I never saw Turner as fragile as Grey looked in that moment. His chest was convulsing as he struggled to capture his breath and with every wheeze my heart was breaking. I couldn't do this again. I wasn't strong enough to go through this again. For 20 minutes I sobbed as the nurse tried to comfort me, my husband put his arm around me, and I couldn't stop the tears from streaming or my chin from quivering.

That sweet nurse had no idea the emotions I was feeling in that moment. This reoccurring nightmare coming back from the past to taunt me. When I gained my composure I was able to explain to her how this was our second time watching our child struggle for breath, the most basic necessity of life. She felt so much sympathy for me. I could see it in her eyes. Yet there was nothing she could say to comfort me in that moment. 

A few minutes later the NICU charge nurse arrived. We described to her in detail the nature of his situation, and what we learned from Turner's almost identical experience. She agreed that the bulb syringes had caused swelling and vowed to prevent further use of them. Then she assured us that she would start the same nasal steroid drops that had helped reduce Turner's nasal swelling. Her listening ear and trust in my words gave me my first wave of comfort. As she rolled him away in that incubator, I knew he was going to be in the best hands. 

One of the hardest things about having a baby in the NICU is the nurse in charge of your child's care changes every 12 hours. And at every shift change you pray that the new nurse knows every detail of their situation. Bless the angel nurses who worked with my son. All of them were doing their very best to get my son back on track. They listened to our concerns, and patiently answered all of our questions. 

Within 48 hours he was doing significantly better, and the morning after we were discharged they called us to say we could take him home! I know it was through the faith and prayers of us, family, and friends that he was able to recover as quickly as he did. Going to pick him up from the hospital to bring him home was one of the happiest moments of my life. I was so excited to have him home. All together. As a family. Like it was always meant to be.

Grey has been happy and healthy ever since. He is a complete angel. Breastfeeds like a champ, sleeps 3-4 hour stretches at night, and hardly ever cries. We love him. And we can't imagine our lives without him in it. 

xo, 
Cheree

Birth Story || Turner Glen
Birth Story | Turner Glen | A Dash of Salter

I've been wanting to post the birth story on my blog for some time now. It was such an amazing, traumatizing, and crazy experience. I didn't really understand how truly crazy it was until I heard my husband talk about his experience. I'm going to do my best to share a mixture of my side and my husband's side with you, and for future reminiscing when I think about having another one. 

Two years ago today, on April 29th, I was anxiously waiting in the living room thinking about the result I might see on a pregnancy test on our bathroom counter. We had been trying to get pregnant since the beginning of the month, and had already been disappointed with several negative pregnancy test results. We were pretty impatient, but I hadn't started my monthly menstruation, and it was supposed to start the previous day.  

I'll never forget the moment when Matthew and I opened our eyes to see that double line. We were going to be parents! WE WERE HAVING A BABY! I was instantly in tears. 

My pregnancy was a little rough at first, but I couldn't complain. I was growing a tiny human inside of me. I was so awestruck and perfectly content. I also craved lots of meat and potatoes. Tater tots, DAILY. No joke. I only threw up a total of 6 times and they were all during my transition between the first and second trimester.

I wanted our first to be a boy, but would've loved a girl to dress up and cover in frills. At our 20 week ultrasound, we found out it was a BOY. Right in that moment we knew his name would be Turner. Turner Glen Salter. I couldn't wait to snuggle that little one and his perfect little features.

As Turner's due date, January 8th, grew closer and closer I became desperate to do whatever it took to hold him for the first time and see his sweet face. Several days before my due date, my mom and sister convinced me to take castor oil to try to induce labor. I thought it was really going to work! I went to the hospital and was told I was dilated at a 1 and they would only admit me if I was at 3 cm. So for an hour I walked around the hospital, in pain, praying that this would work. Well, it didn't induce labor, just lots of painfully coupled contractions and diarrhea. (TMI, sorry) After that experience I was not trying any other voodoo to get Turner to come. He would come when he was ready.

At 11 pm on January 8th (punctual little guy) I woke up to a very strong contraction. I went back to sleep, and an hour later I woke up to another strong contraction. I decided to get up and walk. I must have circle the kitchen 100 times. I bounced on my exercise ball, but the contractions didn't seem to be getting stronger or faster, so I went back to bed. At 3 am my contractions were even stronger and getting closer together.

The pain was enough that I convinced Matthew to take me to the hospital. Unfortunately, it was the same drill. I was still only 1 cm and they would only admit me if I was at 3 cm. I was miserable. I couldn't lay down, sit down, or walk comfortably. I have a very low pain tolerance, and I was thinking lots of negative thoughts about my ability to give birth. An hour later they sent us home and I cried the whole way. 

Once we were home I took some tylenol and sat down on the couch to try and get some more rest. I was walking up every 30 minutes to even stronger contractions lasting for 30 seconds. I was literally screaming into my pillow. By 9:30 am my contractions were probably closer to 8 minutes apart and lasting from 30 seconds to a minute. Matthew decided it was time to take me back to the hospital.

As soon as we got there the nurse checked me and said I was at 3 cm. My first words were, "You mean, I can stay?" The nurse laughed and said we were staying. I then proceeded to say, "How soon can I get the epidural?" The nurse reassured me that I could get medication as soon as we were in the delivery room. As soon as I was settled in the anesthesiologist came in to give me my epidural. He was a miracle worker. I hardly felt a thing. As long as I kept pushing that button I was a happy camper. Until I forgot to push it of course. I was in so much pain for those few minutes they called back in the anesthesiologist to give me another dose. That guy was incredible. No wonder he gets paid the BIG BUCKS. 

Now, I was Group B Strep positive. For those of you who don't know, it basically means I carry a bacteria that is harmful to babies if they are born vaginally. Luckily they have figured out that having penicillin in your system for 4 hours before birth protects the child for getting sick. That meant I had to wait 4 hours to give birth to my son. At 2 p.m. they started a second dose of penicillin and broke my water.  For a couple hours we patiently waited for Turner to descend and for the doctor's okay to start pushing.

At 4 p.m. my doctor told me to start pushing. She was convinced that it would only take 30-45 minutes, and my son would be born before her on call shift ended at 5. Well, her shift came and  went (she had been working for 36 hours) and so another doctor came in to finish the job. She would stretch me as I pushed and I would see progress in the mirror, and then she would leave for 30-45 minutes. I was doing my best with the nurse in between visits by the doctor, but I wasn't seeing any progress when the doctor wasn't stretching me.  

After 3 or 4 cycles of that process, nurses started to put ice on my neck and give me additional antibiotics. Supposedly they told me I had a fever, but I don't remember hearing it. I was also given an episiotomy. The doctor told me that Turner had an abrasion on his head because of all the pushing and that it would only get worse if they used the vacuum. So my options were to push my very hardest and get him out now, or we were going to run and do a c-section. I had been pushing for 4 hours, and I did NOT want all of my work to be for not. I turned into the Hulk and I scream and pushed as hard as I could.

That's when I finally felt each part of Turner's body descending out of mine. It was a series of strange and satisfying pops. One for his head, another for his shoulders, then his bum and his legs. I was bleeding, A LOT. Matthew was sure that the baby and I weren't going to make it. His mom was in the room, noticing his distress she comforted him and told him this was normal.

They showed me Turner's little face and I instantly broke down into incoherent sobs. "He's so beautiful!", I said through my tears. Matthew cut the cord, which he considered a very unpleasant experience and probably won't do it again. They set him on the scale and took his measurements. 8 lbs. 1 oz. and 20 inches! Born on January 9th at 8:32 p.m. They let me hold him briefly before taking him for his first bath. I was in love. The nurses and my husband rushed Turner off to clean him up while I was being stitched up due to that fact I had ripped on one side. It seemed to take ages and I was anxiously waiting to hold my son again.

When they brought him back in he was in a diaper, a tiny little hat, and swaddled in a blanket. They unwrapped him and put him on my chest. He almost instantly fell asleep, I could hear a slight snort as he slept. He had Matthew's chin. A little baby dimple chin. I was feeling pure bliss and joy. He was finally here, in my arms, and I knew he was mine. A precious spirit sent from heaven above. He latched on to eat for about 15 minutes on each side, and then they took him to the TLC Nursery to keep an eye on him while they got me settled into my postpartum room.

A couple hours later they brought him to my room for me to feed him. He nursed for a while and told me he would need to be fed again in four hours, then they wheeled him back to the nursery. A couple hours passed and a nurse came in our room. I was confused because it wasn't time for a feeding yet, but the nurse began to tell us that Turner had turned blue in the nursery. Not once, but twice! They immediately took him to the NICU and put him on oxygen. He was doing well, but I couldn't see him for two more hours. They insisted I go back to sleep and they would call me before his next feeding. 

I sobbed. My poor baby. Would he have stopped breathing if he had been here with me? I was so exhausted, physically, mentally, emotionally. I said a prayer that he would be alright, and then I fell back asleep. At 4 a.m. the nurse came in to take me to the NICU. I let Matthew sleep because I knew he was exhausted. The wheelchair ride across the hospital was extremely uncomfortable, but I wanted to be with Turner so badly I didn't care. 

I signed in at the front desk and they took me to my son. My heart sank as I saw him laying there with oxygen tubes in his nose and monitors coming from his chest and feet. There were cords everywhere and it made it almost impossible to hold him. They suggested I try to nurse him, but he was having such a hard time breathing he couldn't latch on properly. I held him there and I sobbed. I felt completely helpless and alone. I called for the nurse and she warmed him a bottle of formula. I fed him until he fell asleep, and then I asked them to call a nurse who could take me back to my room. 

In 24 hours he was off of oxygen and saline, he was nursing and eating better, and the tests had yet to come back with any signs of infection. Unfortunately, the culture they did wouldn't show signs of infection until the day after we we're supposed to leave the hospital. We were going to have to pay to stay another night, or go home without him. My swelling had decreased dramatically and I was ready to sleep in a REAL bed. How could I leave my son here, though? Why couldn't he come home with me? I knew he was in good hands and that he would be taken care of at the NICU in the hospital. They promised to call if anything were to happen. We saw him as we checked out of our room and promised to come see him in the morning.

That night we slept like LOGS. It was much needed, but as soon as I woke up I wanted to get ready to go see Turner. We got dressed, ate breakfast, and drove to the hospital. We went to the NICU and the doctor was waiting for us at Turner's usual spot. He had some good news for us! Turner was doing great, he was gaining weight, he was breathing fine, and the culture had come back NEGATIVE! And then he said, "You can take him home, right now!" It was sweet music to my ears. I couldn't contain my happiness! I cried and hugged my husband. Our son was coming home with us. Our healthy baby boy was coming home! We changed him into his "going home" outfit, buckled him in his carseat and we went home together. Our little family together forever from that day forward. The happiest day of my life.

(DISCLAIMER: The photos in this post were taken by my sister, Malinda Designs Photography, during labor and delivery. They are not to be viewed by the faint of heart.)