Brayden’s Birth Story // 2.1.15

“You can make many plans, but the Lord’s purpose will prevail.” Proverbs19:21 NLT

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This scripture hasn’t left my mind in weeks. In fact, I think it’s been permanently impressed upon my heart as it is so, so true. February 13th, 2015 was Brayden’s due date, so naturally of course, that was the day that was highly anticipated since the very morning I found out I was pregnant. Time flew by, and despite chasing around a two year old for the duration of pregnancy (although that was fun!), everything really couldn’t have gone more smoothly and I felt as good as I possibly could throughout the entire pregnancy. For the most part, everything was going according to my plan! Roughly half way through, my blood pressure started to become slightly elevated. Fortunately it wasn’t anything that I had to be put on medication for, but I did have to monitor it closely which required me going to my OB every two weeks instead of every four. For safety’s sake, my doctor thought it would be best to schedule an induction for February 9th, as the risks of going past 39 weeks with elevated blood pressure far outweigh the benefits of keeping him in for that last week. We felt great about our plan, and hey, we were able to meet our baby that much sooner! I was able to finish out pregnancy strong, and continued to feel great and was so grateful as Brayden was consistently in good health. 38 weeks came and went beautifully and our little family was getting increasingly excited to become a family of four! My mom had booked her flight to be here a few days before my scheduled induction date so that she could watch Connor while we were in the hospital and then stay to help out for three weeks after Brayden was born. It was all going to work out just perfectly!

The days leading up to my 38 week appointment definitely had me feeling anxious. My doctor and I had talked about natural ways to jumpstart labor so that I wouldn’t have to actually be “induced”, and she was going to begin this “process” at my 38 week appointment. I’ll spare you the details, but let’s just say I really wasn’t looking forward to this “process” because it was very likely that it was going to be extremely painful, and when I was doing some research on what was going to take place, many people had said that they went into labor within hours after having this…procedure…done. I was growing increasingly fearful, because my mom wasn’t supposed to arrive until that next Thursday night and it was only Friday!  That means that there was almost a week until my mom got here, and I was CONVINCING myself that I was INDEFINITELY going to go into labor, and she wouldn’t be here in time to watch Connor so that Stephen and I could rush off to the hospital.  My precious plan was starting to slip through my fingertips, and I was not happy about it. Oh, and this “procedure” was going to hurt. Super bad.

I had a really hard time sleeping on that Thursday night before my 38 week appointment, but I prayed *a lot*, talked to my mom and a couple close friends to attempt to shake some of my nerves, and walked in to that doctor’s office feeling as confident as I could (which honestly, I could barely call it confidence). The nurse and I made small talk as she placed the blood pressure cuff around my arm and began to take my blood pressure.  Once she released the cuff, she was quiet for a second, and then said, “hmm, you’re pressure is pretty high today… I’ll have the doc come in and then take it again before you leave to see if it goes down at all.” That was definitely NOT what I wanted to hear, considering my blood pressure had been so good for so long!! How could they be so high TODAY? **Insert a few minutes of taking some deep breaths and convincing myself that surely her cuff was off my blood pressure wasn’t actually that high.** After all, I still had 6 days until my plan would start to take place… My doctor came in, checked my cervix and determined that I was almost 3cm dilated and 50% effaced and then promptly sent me off to the hospital so I could be monitored for a few hours to see if it would go down, but told me that if it didn’t that I would need to be induced that day. After getting in the car and shedding a few tears, I called Stephen and gave him a heads up as to what was going on, and he thankfully was able to come home from work right away to help.  I finished packing my hospital bag just in case, and was on my way.

When I first got there, my blood pressure had decreased by quite a bit which was a great sign, and had me feeling super hopeful.  I had to be monitored for three hours before any decisions were made, and each hour that they came to check my pressure, it had started increasing by a little bit every time. No good. The nurse called my doctor and gave her the report, and then the doc called me and after saying “hello” immediately said, “well, today’s the day to have your baby!”. Wow. Yikes. I was going to have the baby today! After calling Stephen and filling him in, I quickly called my mom and she (thank goodness!!!) was able to reschedule her flight and leave that night and would arrive in Boston at 6am the next morning. Hallelujah!! After rearranging childcare for Connor, two of our great friends came to our rescue (Thank you Jen & Shauna!!!) and were able to stay with him overnight until my mom flew in the next morning. Stephen joined me at the hospital and we were sent off to Labor and Delivery.

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Being that I was already 3cm dilated and 50% effaced, they were able to start the pitocin right away and didn’t need to give me anything to soften my cervix, which put me a few steps ahead of the game. They hooked up my IV and things started progressing initially at a good rate. My contractions were evenly spaced, and gradually getting ever-so-slightly stronger, which is what the nurses were looking for. As the hours passed, I was continuing to have contractions although they eventually stopped getting stronger and my level of pain maxed out at about a 4 out of 10. I was only slightly uncomfortable when I should have been in large amounts of pain by then. The doc came in and checked my cervix again to see if anything had changed since that morning, and unfortunately, it had not. Because the amount of pitocin they could give me was maxed out, they decided to stop the pitocin, let me rest, and try again in the morning.

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The night came and went, and we were ready to rock the next day. Today would be the day!! In the morning, I took a pill to soften my cervix in hopes that when they started me on the pitocin again, labor would kick in and progress as usual. That’s how it should have happened at least, although day 2 ended up just exactly how day 1 did. Hours of bearable contractions, but no progression as far as dilation or effacement was concerned. At the end of day 2, the doctor came in and said that we would need to do the same thing that we had done the night before. Stop the pitocin since it had been maxed out, let me rest, and try AGAIN in the morning. **Sigh** I felt so discouraged. I questioned whether or not this was even a good idea to be induced if my body wasn’t ready, and was so tempted to doubt the doctor’s decision. After all, I was supposed to be holding my baby right now, not back completely at square one! Stephen was such a good sport through all of it. He prayed with me, kept me company, made me laugh, we played games on the computer and watched movies together. I’m so grateful for him! He helped point me back to God, and really trust in HIS plan and not my own. Thank goodness for incredible husbands. I requested that the nurse give me a hefty sleeping pill so time would fly and when I woke up I would be ready to do this. Again.

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Day 3: TODAY IS THE DAYYYYY!!!! I woke up feeling SO refreshed. It was the first (almost) full nights sleep that I had gotten in days, and I woke up feeling super hopeful. AND it was Super Bowl Sunday! Our baby was bound to be awesome if he was born on Super Bowl Sunday, right?!?! The nurse and I were talking and she said in a very hopeful voice “you know, if it doesn’t work this time, then maybe the doctor will send you home and you can just rest and wait there!!” That was definitely NOT what I wanted to hear. I pretty much BEGGED her to not send me home, and then asked her a few more times after that “they wouldn’t actually send me home now, after being here for three days, would they?!?!” I had been staring at our empty carseat for days, and was not leaving the hospital until there was a baby in it. I wasn’t going home. No, no, NO! The doctor eventually came in and reassured me that I wouldn’t be sent home, and told me that if things still didn’t progress, that she would break my water and MAKE them progress. Right answer, doc. They say “the third time’s the charm” and I suppose in this case it was true. They gave me another pill to soften my cervix and started me up again on the Pitocin. Contractions were definitely getting more painful than they had any other day, but I still wasn’t at a “I want to jump off something really, really high” pain level yet, which obviously was the goal. Never have I prayed for pain so much in my life. All I wanted to feel was PAIN!! Was that too much to ask?!?! After a few hours, the doc checked my cervix again, and I had dilated, but only to about a 5. That was progress, but not nearly as much as we needed. She said it would be a good time to break my water, and that surely things would progress then! Sounds good to me. The nurse’s final words to me were “ok, just remember that it takes about a half hour for the anesthesiologist to get up here to put in your epidural, so don’t wait until you’re in an extreme amount of pain to tell me you want one”. Okay, sounds good. I assumed I had a little time after my water broke for contractions to get uber painful. WRONG. I. thought. I. Was. Going. To. DIE. I went from being uncomfortable before my water broke to feeling like my body was being completely torn in two with a blow torch in the middle with the very next contraction I had after my water broke. Like, there was no gradual transition at all. All I remember is yelling for help and telling the nurse that she had to get the anesthesiologist in my room NOW. I think God personally dropped the man into my room, because the guy was there within minutes. Thank. You. Lord. He got me hooked up and my legs almost immediately went numb and I felt relief super quickly. I (and probably everyone around me) couldn’t have been more grateful. After about a half hour of the epidural being in and feeling a million times better, I started being able to feel slight pain in my stomach whenever I would have a contraction. The pain was definitely bearable, although I was completely terrified that it was going to come on suddenly with a vengeance again. I started feeling odd too. Honestly, I don’t really know how else to describe it other than odd. Sort of nauseous and dizzy, but just all around weird. When the doctor came in to check on me, we talked about how I was feeling and she said “well, let me just check you and see if possibly you’re ready to push!” WHAT! It had only been 30 minutes! Sure enough, the very next words out of her mouth were “yep, you’re ready! His head is right here!” AHH!! The room filled with nurses and everyone quickly got me prepped and ready for this little guy to be born. After about 10 minutes and four pushes, at 3:40pm we heard the sound we had been waiting all this time to hear, Brayden’s big, perfect cry as he entered the world! I know everyone says that you forget all of the pain and discomfort as soon as your baby is in your arms, but it’s so, SO true. Suddenly the three days of crazy, failed labor really doesn’t matter anymore and you’re SO grateful for the incredible, perfect, blessing in your arms.

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If you look closely, you can see Brayden entered the world with a little surprise for the doctor… he peed on her!  Oh boy…

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After an amazing, yet tiring day, we got moved up to the maternity recovery floor just in time to watch the Super Bowl : )  My mom and Connor came to the hospital to visit and meet the baby, and it was priceless getting to see Connor meet his baby brother for the very first time.  He had a little bit of a hard time adjusting and was definitely emotional, but he warmed up to him very quickly and all of his uncertainties turned into kisses, smothers, and lots and lots of cuddles.

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Tuesday morning rolled around, which was the day that we were going to be leaving the hospital.  Different nurses came in to check on us, have us sign papers, and say goodbye.  We were quite literally minutes away from leaving, our hospital bands were cut, and we were dressed and ready to go when I started to feel kind of chilled.  I tried to convince myself that I was just really cold and having a really hard time warming up, but I knew in the back of my mind that that wasn’t the truth and I needed to say something.  I told the nurse, she took my temp and sure enough I had a fever.  Argghhh.  She put a call in to my doctor, and the doctor’s orders were that I stay in the hospital until I was fever-free for 24 hours.  Again, definitely not what  wanted to hear.  We all wanted to get home SO bad.  My poor hubby had been cooped up in the hospital for 5 days already and we were so close to leaving that we could almost taste it!  Needless to say, we unpacked our bags, got re-banded and crawled right back into bed.  It’s such a good thing that we ended up staying, because that night my fever got pretty high and I had violent chills and extreme body aches, to the point that I was pretty freaked out, and know one could really figure out what was wrong.  The doctors had me do a chest X-ray, blood & urine tests, and get tested to see if I had the flu, and all came back clear.  They put me on an antibiotic right away just to cure any infection incase I had one, and that seemed to help a ton because by Thursday I was fever-free and ready to go home, for good!!  I’m so grateful for all of the wonderful doctors and nurses who took such great care of our family.  This whole experience definitely made me especially grateful for good health, and how quickly that can change.  Despite how much I had my own agenda of when Brayden would be born and exactly how it would go, God’s plan does indeed prevail, and I’m so glad that HE’S in control and not me.  I have no doubt that his plan is perfect.  <3

Here are some other pictures that we took during our stay in the hospital : ) Enjoy!!

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