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Friday, May 23, 2014

Miles Grayson’s birth story

Miles Grayson Pool
May 19,2014 at 4:12pm
9lbs 11oz
20 in
IMG_2072 *All TMI warnings apply.  This is a birth story.  Duh. 

**Throughout this story, the beautiful pictures were taken by Holly Birch Photography.  The regular pictures were probably taken by William.

To use a quote from my dad, the theme of Miles’ birth has been: letting go of expectations and trusting God.  But let’s back up just a minute, shall we?  It’s hard to believe that I am getting the privilege of writing my third birth story.  I love birth.  I love birth stories.  And I’m pretty crazy about the babies that come with them. :) 

As the end of my pregnancy with Miles drew to the end, I would drive by Carle and get all giddy thinking of how few weeks it would be until we were there learning what his story would be.  Owen and Ellison's births were probably the most powerful days of my life and I’ll forever be marked by their entrances into to world.  So I was excited about what was in store for #3.  But to be honest, I thought it would go like Ellie’s.  Show up, get in the tub, give birth, go home.  Little did I know that my little man wanted his very own story, one that was unlike his siblings in any way.

On Monday morning around 4:30am I woke up and had to the use the bathroom.  No surprise there, right?  But I laid back down and felt like I had to go again immediately.  Then I realized I was having pain that was a little different than normal.  By about 5:15 I was getting a little excited that it might be the day.  It was starting exactly as Ellie’s had started!  I got up and showered and got ready enjoying the quiet and getting a little excited as the contractions came about every 7-8 minutes, mild but consistent.

I woke up William around 6:30 and told him he was likely not going to work.  We went about our morning with kiddos but started making all the phone calls to my Aunt Toni who was watching kids, my parents, and Holly my photographer.  After talking with the midwives, we decided to come in and be monitored/checked and meet with Ray.  Toni came about 8:30 loaded with fun things for the kids to play with.  Contractions were easy to deal with but consistent.  I thought about staying home for awhile more, but with being GBS positive, I knew I’d need antibiotics and honestly thought that with #3, you just never know how fast it could go (hahaha).  So we packed up, said goodbye, cried just a bit, and took our last picture as a family of 4.IMG_2010Things felt like they slowed down a bit when we arrived around 9am, but after getting hooked up to the monitors, they were still showing as coming every 7 minutes or so.  We walked around for a little bit while we waited for Ray to come over.  At 10:10, he arrived and checked me.  I was “stretchy” 3-4cm and he joked he could probably make me anything I wanted to be.  He told us to go walk for an hour while he called in staff for the 4th floor.Picture 1877It was a bit chilly to walk around the park, so we just checked out the new cardiology wing, walked a few floors, and stopped to get Starbucks.  A girl in labor’s gotta keep her energy up right?  We ran into my parents who must have booked it from Peoria.  We walked around some more with them and then decided to head on up to the 4th floor.Picture 1879We met our nice nurses (Emily and Sheila) and got hooked back up to more machines.  We answered the million admission questions and I got my first round of GBS antibiotics and just chatted with my mom and dad and tried to pinpoint when Holly should come in for pictures as things were going a bit slower than I had anticipated.HBP_7100 IMG_2013I put my mom to work on decorating Miles’ bed (spoiler: he never used this).HBP_7068HBP_7093 And my dad followed tradition and got the board all ready.HBP_7065Holly came up to the room around lunchtime and I got busy walking.  And walking.  And squatting.  And walking some more.  Some laps with William.  Some with my mom.HBP_7075HBP_7072Ray came down for about a minute and asked why I wasn’t in the shower and I told him I was trying to walk this baby out.   Things were finally starting to feel a little more real. HBP_7081 HBP_7080I finally conceded and got in the shower. (not a Holly pic)  IMG_2015I alternated doing nipple stimulation and squats trying to get things to pick up.  William kept asking how I was doing and I just said “I’m bored!  Let’s get things going!”  After about an hour in the shower, my contractions were finally starting to hurt pretty bad.  I decided to change into my swimsuit top and fill up the tub.  William got me a few tub pillows and I had a couple good contractions in the water.  Ahh, loved being in the water.

Ray finally made it back to our room about 3:30.  He asked if I wanted to be checked and maybe we could break my water and get this party started.  HBP_7111HBP_7113Can you tell I was excited?HBP_7104So at about 3:42, Ray checked me and broke my water.  And thus began the beginning my “letting go of my expectations.”HBP_7127 He looked at me and said, well I have good news and bad news.  I looked at his face and said “there’s meconium, isn’t there?”  He said there was, and lots of it.  “But the good news is that you’re 8 to 9cm.”  While I was thankful to hear that I was nearing the end, my heart was breaking inside.  I knew I wasn’t getting back in the water.  And Ray confirmed that.  I would have to have consistent monitoring because of the meconium and the NICU team was on the way to be there for after Miles arrived.HBP_7131Looking back, the best way I can describe the next few minutes is like a little God bubble.  Time seemed to stand still for just a bit.  I told everyone I just needed a minute.  I cried.  I told Holly she could keep taking pictures.  .  . it was all a part of his story.HBP_7136HBP_7143 I had one or so contractions and I knew I needed to regroup.  He was coming out and I knew laying on the bed was not going to work.HBP_7141 HBP_7146 So I got out of bed and changed out of my swimsuit top.  Looking back, it was a little symbolic of changing gears and wrapping my mind around birthing in a different way.  The next few contractions were seriously intense and William helped by putting a ton of pressure on my lower back.  Ray had to go back upstairs to another gal who was pushing.  I kind of knew he wouldn’t make it back in time.HBP_7154HBP_7163HBP_7174Within another contraction or so, I was starting to feel the need to push through the end of the contraction and I knew the end was coming.  When I told Emily (my nurse) she said she’d have to call someone else because Ray wouldn’t be able to make it down in time (shocker).HBP_7186 The next contraction, my body was pushing by itself.HBP_7196And then in walked Dr. Dillard.  I could tell how great this was going to go down when the first words out of her mouth were “I’m not delivering a baby over that hard floor.”  She repeated this several times while telling me I had to get up on the bed.  I’d like to see you get up on the bed lady.  Grab a pillow and throw it down.  Or have William catch him for pete’s sake.  I’m just glad I couldn’t look at her face.

Sheila my nurse was great.  She was right in front of me and was whispering things like “you can do exactly what you’re doing, just on the bed,” trying to be super encouraging.  I finally conceded and they helped me up on the bed.  But I heard that her eyes got huge when I did not lay down on my back, but stayed on all fours with my head against the back of the bed. 

*these next few pictures I will spare you.  So sorry you had to see all that Holly.*

I stayed that way and with the next contraction or two, his head was out.  But then his shoulders would not come.  A few good pushes and they weren’t budging.  I wasn’t too worried yet but a frantic Dr. Dillard yelled that I needed to flip.  Umm, is that even possible with a baby’s head out.  But then they all flipped me and pulled my legs back.  I get furious thinking how Dr. Dillard didn’t give me one good shot at pushing in this different position.  Oh no, she pulled.  And he came out (bringing a nice 2nd degree tear with him).  There was a TON of meconium that also came with him.

She let William very quickly cut his cord.  And the NICU team went to work.  I could tell from my bed that he was having a really labored time with breathing.HBP_7243 HBP_7224 I delivered the placenta pretty quickly and Dr. Dillard got to work on my stitches.  Another huge strike against this lady, she would not tell me what kind of tear I had.  Just said things like “just a few stitches and you’ll be fine.”  I am thankful that I am a “seasoned” momma and was able to resist sitting up and punching this lady in the face.  I made a mental note to be more thankful for the care I’ve received with the midwives.  And mentally started writing my letter to Carle. :)HBP_7239HBP_7255HBP_7265 HBP_7268 William didn’t leave the little man’s side.HBP_7270 HBP_7277HBP_7278From my bed, I heard lots of things being thrown around and then heard cleft palate.  My mommy brain immediately pictured a cleft lip or a huge cleft palate that would make eating impossible.  This kind nurse (don’t know her name) came over to explain a little more to me:HBP_7288She explained that it was a very small one in the back of his mouth.  Like this:1322_imageThey got him stable enough to transport him upstairs and I finally got to hold my sweet babe for the first time.HBP_7295 HBP_7297HBP_7302 HBP_7316 HBP_7319 And about 2 minutes later, he took his ride up to the NICU, leaving me in tears trying to process everything that had just happened.HBP_7328 Thankfully, I had my mom and dad there who prayed with me and were in general amazing!  They had planned on heading home but rearranged things and were able to spend the night with Owen and Ellie.  I knew I was going to need some help from William navigating the NICU and also not being able to move around quite as quickly as I did with Ellie.

They stuck around while William kept us posted from the NICU.  He texted that Miles weighed 9lbs 11oz and I about fell out of my bed.  I did that?!  And the nurse joked that Miles probably would’ve weighed more had he not pooped it all out before his exit.  I ate a quick dinner, (as all I had to eat that day were some Cheerios and coffee) pumped, and got cleared to go up and see my baby.
HBP_7334HBP_7335Ray eventually made it back to our room. I said "nice of you to show up." :)  He apologized.  He said that while he was more invested in my birth, the gal upstairs needed him more emotionally.  I thanked him for that vote of confidence.  He also joked that they were thanking me for giving Dr. Dillard PTSD.  Seriously, has that woman only delivered babies with women on their backs with their feet up in stirrups?!

After Ray left, I finally got wheeled up to the 9th floor.  There is nothing that quite prepared my heart to see my sweet Miles like this for the first time instead of snuggling him on my chest getting ready to nurse.IMG_2034From the get-go, the NICU nurses were amazing and kind and knowledgeable.  We learned he was a “respiratory” case because of the meconium and his trouble breathing.  (This list of problems would soon be added to when I arrived back the next morning.)IMG_2018IMG_2032The NICU "closes" to all visitors from 7-7:45 am and pm when the nurses change shifts.  So William ran home to help get the kids settled in and grab some overnight stuff (as he hadn’t planned on staying).  When he got back, we made our way up right back up.  I finally got to hold my baby at 8:50pm, nearly 5 hours after he was born.   He got lots of kisses and tears dropped on him.Picture 1885Picture 1889The nurse said he was doing really well and would likely even be moved to room air before her shift was over at 7 the next morning.  He was getting “food” through his IV so I wouldn’t be nurse him until the next day.  IMG_2026I finally was able to break myself away from him as I knew I wanted to get pumping again.  We settled in for the night and I tried to wrap my mind around everything that had happened. 

I was in a place I didn’t expect.  In a place I didn’t choose.  Instead of being supported my a midwife, I had a doctor who didn’t listen or even treat me as if it was my birth.  Instead of having pictures of another great water birth, I was going to be recovering from a tear I wasn’t expecting to have.  Instead of a baby on my chest, I got to see my little guy in a plastic box.  Instead of getting ready to go home the next day, I was preparing to figure out how to live in the NICU with two other kiddos at home.  While I felt extremely sad that it was a far cry from the birth I had imagined, God immediately brought to mind Psalm 118:24 - This is the day the Lord has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it. 

Miles was here.  And we wouldn’t be like some of the families upstairs that are dealing with NICU for months.  I wasn’t pregnant anymore!  I could sleep on my back that night.  William’s boss had given him the whole week off so childcare wouldn’t pose a huge issue when I wanted to be in the NICU.  I naturally birthed a 9lb11oz baby!  It was still my sweet baby’s birthday and I tried to rejoice.

The beginning of Miles' story is one of learning to let go of what I thought was going to happen and to trust God.  It's one of choosing to say that God is still good, all the time.  And trusting that while I was surprised by all these events, God was not.  And as you'll read in future posts. . .it's a theme that is going to be a recurring one already in his short life.

Welcome to our family sweet Miles Grayson.  We love you more than I could ever write into words.  We anticipate that God has big things in store for you.  And I look forward to the things that God is going to teach me about himself by giving me the opportunity to be your momma.

And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.  
Romans 8:28

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