Sunday, July 31, 2011

She's Worth It

And this is why it took me so long to share Hollyn's birth story...

The recovery process after a grade 3 episiotomy and the use of forceps was not easy. I thought I had overcome the worst of the obstacles, however, Monday night I had discovered that part of my episiotomy  had torn open. I assure you this did not feel good, but more so than that, it scared the hell out of me! The on call doctor told me to just show up at my doctor's office first thing in the morning. So we did. The news was good. My doctor said only the superficial stitching had torn and that the internal stitching was still intact. He gave me antibiotics to be safe and apparently the wound would heal itself with no need for additional stitches.

Hollyn's one week visit to her doctor was the same day at 2:00 and there wasn't really time to go home and then turn around and drive back out to Houston again so we just stayed in the area and had lunch. I was feeling pretty good most of the morning but the pain really started to kick in just before her appointment. Her visit took FOR-EV-ER because there was a lot to do plus I had to nurse at one point. By the time we got home my ankles had swelled back up and I was exhausted! It wasn't much after we got home that I had a similar pain of when my stitching tore followed with a ton of blood.

I called the on call doctor who said to use ice for an hour and if it didn't slow down I would need to call him back and more than likely go to the emergency room. I had never been to an emergency room for myself before and the idea was terrifying. I actually gave it longer than an hour but the ice did not work. When I called the doctor back he told me what I had feared... I needed to go to the emergency room. The worst part was that I had to leave my baby girl at home.

When we got to the hospital, they had a treatment room ready for me. The emergency room doctor came to check me out and... well... to leave out the gory details, started pulling out stitches and and clots... with NO pain meds. I honestly felt like I was being tortured.

Eventually the doctor stopped and they gave me an IV with morphine. (A little backwards if you ask me). Unfortunately, the morphine made me feel a little loopy but didn't really help with the pain. So I laid there in pain with my hubby and my cousin waiting to find out if I was going to be admitted.

When the doctor came back she said I had a bad infection and that I was bleeding from the uterus and would need to stay at least 24 hours. At this point I was exhausted, starving, and emotionally drained.

After a long night, my doctor finally came to see me. He was very confused as to what the ER doctor had done and when Jeff explained it to him, his exact words were "She better not have." (That always make you feel real good.) He needed to see what was going on so back to the dreaded treatment room we went. I asked if what he was going to do was going to hurt and he said no... he lied. Now, I had a Demerol pump this time, however, it only dulls pain. Surprisingly, my doctor, who usually has ice in his veins, seemed somewhat compassionate towards me. I asked how often things like this happen and he said he hasn't had anything like this happen to any of his patients in over 20 years. (lucky me) Turns out I did not have an infection and my bleeding had slowed but he needed me to stay the night to be monitored. I had expected this and was prepared... Jeff had to go back to work the next day so my mom would stay with me and he would go home with my cousin and my sister to take care of Hollyn. (I am so blessed to have such amazing family.)

I was finally released to go home Thursday (7/28/11) around lunch time and I can't even begin to describe how anxious I was to get home to my baby girl. I am feeling a lot better but it's kind of like starting my recovery process all over again. Please pray for a speed recovery and NO more road bumps along the way!

Hollyn's Birth

Unfortunately I have had some serious complications that have prevented me from being able to share Hollyn's birth story sooner but I'm doing much better and want to document the day our lives changed forever when our little miracle arrived.

Monday, July 18 was my MIL's birthday. Jeff and I had run up to Hobby Lobby to get a few things and then to his parent's house to celebrate his mom's birthday. It was at Hobby Lobby (around 5:00pm) that I started having what I was beginning to think were "real" contractions. They were around 15 mins apart but weren't real painful and weren't real long. After being at Jeff's parents for a while, we started trying to time the contractions... still weren't very painful and still short, plus they weren't that consistent (ranged between 10-15 mins).

By the time Jeff and I were home and going to bed, some of the contractions were as close as 5 mins apart! Exciting, but they weren't consistent and totally bearable (I figured I needed to be in a lot of pain in order to go to the hospital). Of course I could not sleep so I decided to watch TV on the couch. I was periodically timing my contractions. Finally sometime after 4:00 a.m. I fell asleep only to be woken up at 5:21 by a serious contraction.

This was it! I woke Jeff up and got in the shower... I insisted on being cleaned up before going to the hospital even if Jeff thought I was crazy. I was getting ready and noticed my contractions were getting closer. By the time we got in the car, they were 3 mins apart. At this point I was in a lot of pain. The 25 min car ride was rough. My contractions were 2 mins apart when we reached the hospital.

Once we were in the L & D room I was shocked to find out my contractions were a minute and a half apart and 70 seconds long! (So I was literally only have 20 seconds of rest in between contractions!) I had been holding it together pretty well but I just couldn't take it anymore. There was just no relief. The epidural couldn't come soon enough! I started to break down but luckily Texas Women's is quick to get the epidural started. As scared as I was to have a giant needed inserted into my back, it was totally worth it. Surely I was far along in labor considering the closeness of the contractions! Wrong. 3 centimeters! I figured that meant I had a long day ahead of me... and I was right.

The next 12 hours of labor went pretty well. It was really just a waiting game at that point. My husband, my mom, and my cousin, Meg, were the three people who would be in the room for the delivery, however, they could rotate out with others during the laboring process. (My parents, my sis, Jeff's parents, my Uncle Andy and Aunt Alison, Rick and Kelsey, my Aunt Janet and Uncle Jeff, and Meg's daughter Sadie helped pass the time by taking a turn to visit me.)

Finally, after 13 hours of laboring, it was time to start pushing. There's a little panic that rushes through you... can I really do this???

I pushed for 2 hours with some progress being made. At this point the doctor examined me and said the good news was that the largest part of her head was through the smallest part of my pelvis and she was facing the right direction (nose down) so she was definitely coming vaginally. The bad news though, if she didn't come soon, he would have to use forceps. I was relieved to know I would not be having a c-section, but I really didn't want the forceps.

I had pushed for 30 more mins when the doctor came back in and said he needed to get her out so he would have to use the forceps. The pushing hadn't bothered me at all. My epidural had started to wear off a few times on my left side but I was able to push the button to receive more meds as needed. I had remained totally calm... until this point... I completely lost it! I went into hysterical mode. I was terrified of the grade of episiotomy I would need for the forceps as well as the damage the forceps could do to my baby.

I had been pushing for 2 and a half hours and I really thought the use of forceps meant no more work on my part... wrong. I had to continue to push for 30 more mins while the doctor used the forceps. I was so terrified that I hid my face in Jeff's chest the entire time. I was having a lot of pain on my left side (stomach and back) and I just wanted it to be over. Jeff said at one point the doctor had his feet pushed up against the table using his legs to get more force to pull her out. I will never forget the feeling of her coming out. It's like this bizarre suction feeling.

As soon as they pulled her out I had instant nausea and it took all I had to hold it together. Since this was more of an urgent situation, the doctor cut the umbilical cord and the baby was taken straight to be checked and cleaned while I delivered the placenta and was "repaired." Unfortunately, I did not get to experience that instant joy when your baby is born. I couldn't even really see her and the doctor commented that it would take as long to sew me up as it would for a c-section... and it did. I did not get to hold my precious baby girl until an hour after she was born.

After a long day of waiting and chaos, we finally had our baby girl all to ourselves and Jeff and I spent some alone time with her.

Hollyn Faith Norman
Born on 7/19/11 at 10:07pm
8 lbs 6 oz (75th percentile)
20.75 in long (95th percentile)
(25th percentile for head circumference)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

She's Here!!!

Praise God!!! Hollyn Faith Norman was born July 19, 2011 at 10:07pm. Weighs 8lbs 6oz (still can't believe that!) and is 20.75 in long. It was rough getting her here but so worth it! She's beautiful (can I say that without sounding Braggy???) and she's doing wonderfully!

I will be sure to share the whole birth story soon. Please pray for my recovery as it will be a tough one.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

39 Weeks

Today marks 39 weeks... And we r headed to the hospital! Contractions r less than 4ins apart! Pray for us!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

38 Week+ Update

Tuesday (7/12/11) was officially 38 weeks. We had our weekly doctor's visit, and after the last weeks visit of no progression, we were pleasantly surprised to learn that I had dilated to 1cm, baby was at a -1 station, and my cervix was soft. (Nice to know the pain was for something!)

38 weeks

Well, over the last few days I had noticed Hollyn hasn't been as active. And her movements just weren't as strong. Also, (totally TMI but...) I'm pretty sure my bladder has sprung a leak but wanted to know how I would know the difference between that and my water leaking. So, I called the doctor's office expecting to get to ask the nurse my questions. Instead, the receptionist informed me that the nurse was busy so she wanted to know what the questions were in regards to. All I said was that I wanted to ask about the baby's movement (I did NOT say she wasn't moving) and explained my bladder situation. She put me on hold and came back to tell me the doctor wanted me to come in right away.

Kinda freaked me out.

So Jeff left work early and we drove to Houston. I explained to the nurse what had happened and she said they never mind checking just to be safe. But when the doctor came in, he did say he had misunderstood and thought that I wasn't feeling the baby move at all. He ended up checking to make sure my water wasn't leaking (which it wasn't) and performing the oh so wonderful pelvic exam (ouch!!!). The good part to all of this is that we learned I've made more progress since Tuesday... I went from 0 to 70% effaced, baby is now at 0 station (engaged in the pelvis), and I've dilated a tiny bit more (from a 1 to a 1+). As much as the pelvic exam sucks, it was nice to find out my body is doing its job.

The doctor has mentioned inducing at around 39 weeks. At Tuesday's appointment he made it sound as if he would induce the following Tuesday if I had shown progress. So Jeff was wishfully hoping today was the day and that he would go ahead and induce while we were there. For a moment, the doctor did almost seem tempted. He kind of looked at the chart and then checked something on his phone (which we were guessing was his calendar) and asked when we were coming back. When we told him Tuesday, he eventually said "ok, I'll see you Tuesday... if I don't hear from you sooner."

Jeff was totally bummed but I felt a little relieved. I really believe that if she can come naturally, that is what's best (as much as I'd like to meet my baby ASAP!)

So for now I'm praying that I know when it's time to go to the hospital, for a safe vaginal delivery, and of course for a healthy baby and momma.


Monday, July 11, 2011

Maternity Pics by Meg Hamlett Photography

I'm pretty sure I've mentioned before what an amazing photographer my cousin is, but just to reemphasize, she totally rocks!!! (Her link is on the right side of this page :) She recently took my maternity pictures so I thought I would share... enjoy! :)

Me and my boys in our "playroom." Notice how clean and pretty??? Glad I have documentation b/c I'm pretty sure it won't look like this in about a year! Ha!

A train actually came by during the shoot... added a little excitement ;)

Friday, July 1, 2011

Holly Bug

Many people who have known Jeff (my hubby) for a while know that he is a really talented athlete. But what a lot of people don't know is that he has a gift for music too. When we first started dating he played the guitar a lot and actually wrote me a song <3 Well, life got busy and he really hasn't played it much in years... until now. He's recently had an increased desire to pick it up again and while playing around, he wrote a song for our daughter, Hollyn, or Holly Bug, as he likes to call her.

We wanted to have it recorded for our baby girl so she would have it for the rest of her life. It just so happens that we are so blessed to have a close friend, Luis, who is a professional... ummm... music recorder??? Not really sure what you call it, but he's amazingly talented and has a whole studio in his house.

So Jeff recorded the song with the help of our friend Luis and put it on a website where you can buy it and save it to your iTunes. Here are the "album notes" (which totally made me cry) and the link where you can preview/buy the song. (Thank you, honey, for doing this for our daughter! I love you!)

"I am a sinner who has been captivated by the grace of the cross of Jesus Christ. God has turned my filthy rags into His righteousness; not because I deserve it but because He loves me. This is the background of this song: My wife and I had struggled for a year to get pregnant and we would pray to God every night for Him to graciously bless us with a child. He has answered and we are supposed to become parents this July (2011). This song is for our daughter on the way, Hollyn Faith, who has been given the nickname "Holly Bug" by her Daddy. It is a simple song but in actuality, love is a simple thing. God, through pure grace, has given us the most precious gift in the world and we want her to know that the three most influential people in her life love her: her mommy, her daddy & her Jesus. I hope you enjoy this song for our Holly Bug."