Sunday, November 29, 2015

Kash Gregory Sloat

 I am going to just start from the beginning of my day Wednesday and go from there! I am thrilled to be finally putting my thoughts down on his birth.

My dad arrived late Tuesday night. Tess was SO excited to have him here in the morning, she became his little shadow. We usually go to a story time on Wednesdays at Town Square. Since Tess was really sick on Tuesday and part of Monday, I didn't have time to get done all that I wanted to before my dad came. Specifically, I needed to go grocery shopping. I ran to the grocery store and when I got back we loaded up the car to make it to story time. I have a lot of false labor, I had the same thing with Tess. Perhaps with Kash, it was even worse and started earlier even. I had been having some really consistent and strong contractions through my trip to the store and at story time. So,  even though I wasn't in pain, I thought maybe I would go into active labor soon. Or, at least I hoped! We enjoyed the story time so much! My dad took Tess on the train ride around the square and Greg met up with us for lunch at Panda Express. Tess LOVED the train ride, it even left her speechless and no desire to get up and go. She just starred and was totally smitten by her ride on the "choo, choo!" Also, one of her favorite things is the photo booth, although I have no idea why. We have never taken any pictures in one. Of course Grandpa changed that! They took pictures together and it's a cute little strip of her and Grandpa together.

I had an appointment at 2:00 with my doctor. I was really curious to now if I had dilated further or what was going on. Especially since I had felt an especially large amount of contractions. I was a little hyped up for the appointment but not bad. I went to my appointment while my dad and Tess went to go find a few fun things to do together in the area. The nurse took my blood pressure a few times and I couldn't tell if she was just new, or if it was abnormal. So, I asked. She said it was high. I wasn't totally surprised. I was sort of anxious for the appointment and I have had high blood pressure at several different doctor appointments that made them raise their eyebrow. Of course, I wasn't at my 40 week appointment at any of those so my reassurance that I was just anxious always satisfied the doctor. I really wasn't worried about it, I felt the same explanation would be met with the same understanding.

I waited for the doctor in the room and was just enjoying a little quiet time and playing some solitaire. She walked in, was friendly as usual, and said..."how do you feel about having a baby today?" And she was serious. I tried to explain that I was just anxious but she felt it was a little too high for that explanation and also didn't feel it was worth the risk. She recommended that we wait no longer then a day to induce. I was shocked and so disappointed. I really, really wanted to go into labor naturally. I truly thought that going into labor would be easier on my body and my mind...

I asked to call my husband to decide and she left the room while I called. I started to cry of course, I couldn't talk. Poor Greg, I am sure he thought it was something serious. I got my composure and I told him what was going on. He suggested instead of heading right over to the hospital, to enjoy a night of fun and relaxation together and then schedule the induction for first thing in the morning. I agreed and let the staff and doctor know. It was scheduled for 8:30 the next morning. I was warming up to the idea but I was way, way nervous. I still felt it was proabably just the situation of all that was happening that day which led to the high blood pressure but, I agreed that taking a chance wasn't necessary. I was 40 weeks, there was no benefit to keeping me pregnant any longer. Me going into labor on my own was only a personal preference at this point.

So, to celebrate and enjoy one another we went out to eat at BJs and had a really good time together. We cleaned, packed, and let family members know what was going on. The next morning, I was beside myself nervous. Greg gave me a blessing and it was beautiful. He blessed me that I would be strengthned by the Atonement, that it'd be a memorable day with me that I would look back on as a huge blessing, and said my sacrifice was important. Those are the main things I remember. It gave me a lot of comfort and right after my dad dropped us off at the hospital!

Right as I got there, I met my nurse, and quickly felt some comfort. She was a very compassionate, yet confident nurse. I think she could see how nervous I was and she spent some time chatting with me while she was waiting for my records from the doctors office and the orders. I asked her several questions and told her what was making me so nervous. She gave me lots of reassurance and we made a plan for my day. I felt better already. My biggest concern was that when I had Tess, once I started feeling painful contractions, it was about 10-15 minutes before I was in a lot of pain and was in active labor. Going from no labor and in 10-15 minutes to active labor...was a huge shock to me. That is probably an understatement. I really wanted to let my body ease into it and give me a better chance to cope. I also wanted to get an epidural this time around and wanted to miss the pain of the transition part of labor. So, our plan was to start the pitocin and take it really slow. She kept to her word and didn't push me, even though it probably could have gone a whole lot quicker! I was almost to a 5 before we even started my IV drip. So, a good chance at things going well with a good start! It didn't take long before my contractions were 2 minutes apart. I felt them but they were not painful at all. She let me sit there at 2 minutes hoping they would get stronger and more painful before we called the anesthesiologist for pain relief. So, after I had been having contractions 2 minutes apart for about 3-4 hours, she upped my pitocin. I was still comfortable but the contractions were definitely stronger and I was getting nervous that the old I'd be blind sided again. So, after a while I requested to have my epidural since I knew it may take a while. He came about an hour and 15 minutes later and I was fine, but they were defintely stronger. I was relieved because I knew my water could break and if it hadn't broken soon the doctor was coming to break it. I absolutely wanted it by then, the labor typically gets much more intense and goes much faster once that occurs. It took just a few minutes to get my epidural and the doctor was great! His name was Michael Adams and we had a mutual friend, he was telling us about his engagement and plans to marry in the Virgin Islands.

It takes a while for it to take full affect, but I was much more relaxed knowing I had it and hadn't had much pain thus far. Right after the anesthesiolgist left, my nurse checked to see where I was at. I was at a 6! So, had dilated another cm without, like I've said, much pain! Yeah! So far so good. Well,  while she was checking me my water broke. The doctor was expected anytime in the next little while to break it so it worked out perfect. It gushed out too! My nurse, Diane, who had been doing nursing in L&D for 28 years said it was a ton of water! She did say she had seen more but kept saying how much it was. It had run down her arms and was all over the bed. It didn't take long that I could tell there was a MAJOR change in my contractions. I was in more pain then I had been the entire day! I was a little worried, I waited a while and then let my nurse know that I was in quit a bit of pain despite my epidural. She gave me a "bolus" of pain meds and turned off my pitocin. She said the contractions were really strong and right on top of each other. She wanted to give Kash a break and let the epidural settle in more. I still had contractions but it helped to know that the pitocin wasn't on. Once the epidural settled in, I was very happy and felt for the first time the whole day that I could truly relax and even close my eyes. I think up until now, I kept expecting to get hit by the pain train! I knew I was covered now,  so, I relaxed! My water broke at about 5:00 pm, of course at a 6, and my nurse told me to let her know if I felt like I needed to have a big bowel movement.

So, I need to interject here. Just a few things about my day that I think would be funny to know. So, Greg and I were just relaxing the whole day. I had a million cords with the monitoring, IV, and blood pressure cuff on my arm. So, we turned on the TV. I felt in a way that it kind of down played the occasion to just turn on the TV but it was really nice to relax...and what else would we do. I brought a book from Deseret Book but it was too heavy to focus on. So, TV it was! We kept thinking we would find something, but honestly, for us Netflix junkies, cable was sort of boring. Although, it was fun to see some funny's been a long time since I've seen a bunch of commercials. All the news channels were talking about a plane sliding of the runway in New York. So, even though we weren't eating anything (Greg didn't want to leave the room and he had already binged on his banana chips that he loves-I am so glad he didn't want to leave, I really liked having him there!) we watched the food channel basically the whole time. We chatted a lot with my nurse. She was such a neat lady, loves to cook and showed us lots of her food...including a beautiful red velvet cheesecake! She was such a nice and genuine person. I loved her.

What Tess and my Dad were up to!

Okay, back to the bowel movement issue. I asked her to come in about 6:45 pm thinking that I had been feeling that pressure she told me about. I had felt it for about 10 minutes, but I wasn't confident. With Tess, because I didn't have an epidural, it was unmistakeable. But, with an epidural it was harder to tell. She came in and was way excited! Her shift ended at 7:00 pm and she was feeling bummed that she would miss my little guy being born. So, she checked me, I was at a ten-4 cm in less then two hours-yeah for epidurals! And she said he was right there! She wanted to start the pushing and see where we were at. We were going to start with 3 sets of 10! I was hyped up, after 5 hours (with a few breaks) of pushing with Tess...I was prepared for the long haul and was going to give it all I had. So, she coached me on how to get in position, how to breathe, and then waited for a contraction. Once we had one coming, I followed her instructions on how to push. Right as I went for it and was in the middle of my first push, she said...."Whoa, whoa, whoa!" That's good, he's right there and he is coming! She went to grab the doctor and let the tech set up. Dr. Reynolds had already been told about where I was at and that I was about to start pushing. She was there, and came in the room minutes later. So, at this point it is probably close to 7:00 pm. Once they were all set up, the nurse was really excited and so were Greg and I. I started to get a little teary eyed, I was nervous, but really was ready to meet this little guy! It was a very surreal and heavenly time, something that will only happen a few times in my lifetime.

We started pushing with everybody in their place and everything set up, I pushed once, the head was out....they lost his heart beat, and to be safe, instead of waiting for the next contraction...she wanted me to push again. So, I started pushing again and he was out! Literally a few sets of pushes and he was out! Holy moly! I was NOT expecting that. It may sound silly but I was literally unable to push Tess out, I really had my doubts about perhaps the way my anatomy was or other things.  I was prepared to run into the same problem and have to face either a c-section or another device assisted delivery. What a miracle! I not only delivered a baby that was 1.5 pounds bigger, but I did it in a few pushes. It was a major boost to my ego to say the least. ;) I CAN do it! They were so complimentary about my pushing abilities too...another boost to my fears and worries about having a problem with this part of his birth.

He was put right on my chest and I didn't look away like I did with Tess. I was braver and watched all I could see from my perspective. As the doctor was delivering him, she said he had a big head and was a big baby. So were the nurses and techs! When they put him on my chest, he looked like a tiny little thing to me! But to everybody else he was huge! I guess it was obvious that I am not around newborns often. The doctor wanted to know where I hid an almost ten pound baby, I think she was surprised but then recalled that on our 33 week ultrasound he was measuring big. That wasn't the only time he measured big, his original due date from my LMP was March 13th. He was over a week ahead at such an early stage of pregnancy that they moved it up to March 5th. Then measured big again, so it will be interesting to see how he grows from here on out. I wonder if he will continue to be big.

He was SO SO perfect to me, his cry, his face, and his little hands and feet. How do you adequately describe and portray such a moment? There is nothing I love more then to have the immediate skin to skin, seeing them for the first time is like nothing else I have experienced in life. Sure, you prepare 9 months to have them come home with you but it's a lot more then that. Bringing a child home changes not only the dynamics of a home but the dynamics of a family for eternity. I have always looked forward to being a mother and meeting each one of our kids is one of the most important moments of my life.

I feel so lucky that both of our kids are healthy and got here without any scary complications. After comparing how much better I handled the birth plan with Kash, I will always aim to have a similar experience. So many things about Tess's birth were a blur because of the circumstances, I was so exhausted! With Kash, I was able to treasure and enjoy all the moments I hadn't meant to miss with Tess. I watched Greg cut the cord and hold him for the first time, I saw him get weighed and measured, and nursing for the first time was a breeze. I wasn't so exhausted that I couldn't cherish these moments and others like them. I was rested and relaxed, so the first night wasn't so overwhelming. I remember with Tess, I didn't have the energy to get up let along change her diaper. I didn't change it once in the hospital, Greg did it. I was able to take care of Kash. I was smitten by both of them and didn't want to put either down or have either of them taken away for any amount of time. I just really feel I like the way I was able to enjoy things more with pain relief. Such a terrific and memorable experience.

After a little while, Greg and I were getting hungry and my Dad and Tess were waiting in the lobby. We asked if he would grab us some food and Greg brought Tess to the room. There was still a lot going on but the nurses were really accommodating and thoughtful about letting us have Tess in the room for us. I had pictured this moment and I was so excited to have Tess meet him for the first time. It was a little late, close to 9:00 or later. So, she was really tired and I think it was a little scary for her to see me with the IV and in a room she didn't understand with all kinds of people and machines. So she was really clingy and seemed a little concerned or upset by the setting. We didn't keep her there long, we had my dad come up and he got to hold Kash for the first time. They left soon after with plans to come back the next day after Tess had some sleep and we could get settled in the mother/baby unit.

We got to our room at about 10:30 pm and then the sleepless night at the hospital began. Kash's blood sugars were low, 38, even though I had already nursed him. They wanted me to try again as soon as possible and get them checked again. I did and it was still low at 40, so they had to give him some formula to bring it up. We continued to do that during our stay in the hospital to keep it up. If he tested low again they admit to the NICU for monitoring. So, I let him nurse, nurse, and nurse! He was hungry. Of course, my milk hadn't come in so he was always hungry even though we had spent lots of time nursing. So, we would give him 15-30 mLs of formula. He would chug it! It was obvious he was a very hungry little man. I felt horrible about this, maybe he would have been big regardless of what I ate and how much weight I gained but, I think I had a lot to do with it. I gained too much weight and I ate way too much sugar! I am sure this affected him. Lets just say I learned my lesson, seeing my diet choices during pregnancy affect him was not fun. Fortunately, we only had to supplement with formula for about 48 hours or less. My milk came in pretty quickly!

Tess came again the next day and was still so darn cute in her "big sister" shirt. She was being a total show off and loved being in the hospital room. She was hamming it up with the nurses and anybody else that walked in, and there was an endless amount of people walking in for this and that. The hospital is not a place for rest! I was really looking forward to getting home.

Tess gave him kisses and liked playing on my bed but for the most part she was running around the room checking things out. They left about 7:30 to put Tess to bed and Greg came back to get Kash and I. His blood glucose and bilirubin checked out great at the 24 hour mark and we were officially able to go home! We got home around 10:30 pm and it was fun to settle in and sleep in our home.

Kash is a terrific little baby, so laid back and easy going. I absolutely cannot get enough of him. My heart grew a million times with both of these kids. And, it's not like my love just grew and I love another angel like my first, Tess, but my ability to love and care for these kids grew. Overall, I just feel more love period...for Tess, for Kash, and for our family. Especially Greg. I am so thrilled about grateful we have been blessed with two beautiful children who we adore. It has been a very spiritual experience welcoming him into our family.

Waiting for the doctor! 

They kept saying "he's huge." To me he looked as tiny and perfect and I could ever have imagined! Then, when we went to the pediatrician for a check up there were other newborns there. I finally realized what they meant, he is a big baby!

Greg cutting the cord. 

The skin to skin part is my favorite, but the way this hospital did it was so awkward. I know what I like, so on the next one I will just make it happen instead of following their lead. 

This moment only comes a few times in a lifetime. 

He is so broad chested and then he has this cute little chicken legs.

First diaper!

He was so bruised right away. Makes me feel so bad, I think with the epidural I definitely couldn't feel and I pushed as hard as I could. I think I'll keep this in mind for the next. Not sure where we will be at with pain relief but I won't be pushing as hard. 

I just think his cry is so precious. 

So swollen too. 

My nurse! The best L&D nurse there is! 

My happy place. This is the best feeling in the world, holding my new baby. 

He was hungry and kept putting his hand in his mouth! 

His first bath. 

Meeting Grandpa Bluemel. 

Some quick tests after birth. I think this was the hearing test. 

Sending pictures and updates. 

He would gag and cough so hard. Poor little guy. 

Tess checking out his nose sucker! 

Tess spent a lot of time rummaging around the room. She was pretty patient and good for such a young girl. Only 19 months old!

Kissing her new brother. 

Trying out my fancy bed!

Supplementing to keep those blood sugars up! 

A great helper. 

First family of four picture!

My gut was always hanging out! 

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