Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Naming a Blessing

Naming a child is a very important job. This could possibly impact their life in so many ways. It is something they will carry with them always. As a child I remember naming my baby dolls lots of different names - usually of things I liked at the time. I don't want to do that as an adult, I want it to be a good name that I won't be "over" later. Also, I am not a fan of nicknames, going by middle names, or names that sound like baby names - they will grow up and still have to go by that. I know people with these kinds of names and that is fine - but it is not for me.

I didn't have a blog when we named Noah so I want to go over his name story first. About 12 years ago there was this little 2 year old boy who would come into the office with his dad. He just attached himself to me as soon as he would get there and sit on my lap and play games with me until he left. I remember his reply plain as day the first time I asked him what his name was - "I Noah". It was the cutest thing ever! I just loved that little boy! I told Nathan then, if we have a son someday I really want to name him Noah. Once there was no reason for Noah's dad to come to the office anymore, I didn't see Noah anymore. I have no idea what he is doing or if he even lives around here. But, he was the sweetest little thing and definitely made an impact on me! A few years later, a movie came out and I would swear it was about Nathan and I! There were so many parts similar to things that happened to us in our lives. It was called "The Notebook" - you may have heard of it :) Well, the main character in that movie is named Noah - so that sealed the deal - our first boy will be named Noah! Noah's middle name was not such an easy pick. We went through hundreds of names and Nathan hated them all. I really wanted to use my mom's maiden name as his middle name, which is Wyles. Nathan hated it! He said it just didn't go. Nathan would make awesome suggestions like "choo-choo train" or "apple tree" - he thinks he is so funny. So, literally a week before I went into labor I told him to read the baby name book and tell me some options of what he liked. He narrowed the ones he liked to Atley and Abbott and told me to just pick from those. I told him I liked Atley better, but I wanted to spell it Atlee due to my long time love for Jerry Lee Lewis. He said that was fine by him. So, it was set - if it was a boy it would be Noah Atlee. I loved it, but when I was telling other people it sounded so strange. I think it was just so new. So, for a few weeks after Noah was born it was weird to say his whole name. I love it though - it is very strong and different.

This time around our girl name was easy to decide on since we had it picked out from Noah's pregnancy. I love boy names for girls! I watched the first season of American Idol and there was a girl on there named Ryan Starr - I loved that name! I told Nathan then that if we had a girl I wanted to name her Ryan since that is his middle name. He actually quickly agreed with that. So, the first girl name had been set for a long time. I wanted a more girly middle name since the first name is a more traditional boy name. Our women family names were not good fits for our last name or they were too old fashioned. Then I saw something with Nathan's grandma Dotty's name on it - Dorothy M. So, I asked his mom what the M stood for and she told me Mae. I loved it! (Plus, Dotty was always very nice to me and my mom before she passed away - I loved her). We were not loving Ryan Mae - we wanted to add something to the Mae. So, I liked Maely and Maelynn and Nathan said he was fine with either. I told him I really wanted to to Maelynn because Lynn is my best friend Cassie's middle name and I would love to name it after her too. So, that one was set! Our girl is Ryan Maelynn. We have gotten some strange looks and responses to her name - but we love it!

We have not fully decided if we are done having kids yet or not. I was dead set on having three - but when you hear a doctor tell you that it is a miracle your child was not stillborn or brain damaged it changes you. I am not sure I am emotionally able to risk that again - even though there is no evidence that there would be any problems the next time around. There is also the cost aspect. Due to infertility issues we are denied any maternity coverage - making for a costly delivery - especially a c-section, which I will most likely have to have the next time. Also, this was hard on me emotionally with Noah. I cannot pick him up for 6 weeks! He is too young to understand why and it breaks my heart! That has by far been the hardest part of the recovery. I may change my mind, but I wanted to wait until Ryan is 3 before deciding for sure. We do already have Baby Stillwell #3's name picked out though :)

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Ryan's Delivery

I was nearing my due date and I didn’t want to be induced so my doctor stripped my membrane to help possibly jumpstart my labor. That night the baby woke me up moving around very erratically – it scared me. It seemed as if it was in distress, all parts of my stomach were poking out and in and rolling and vibrating and then it stopped. The baby then moved very slowly the next day, but it was moving enough that my doctor wasn’t worried. Over the next two days I had some cramping and lost my mucous plug, but not many consistent contractions. My contractions started picking up Thursday evening. I had a feeling it was coming soon. I took Noah for a walk and went on a jeep ride with Nathan and Noah so those may have helped move things along. At 5:00 Friday morning I woke up to my water breaking. We hurried up and took Noah to his sitters and headed towards the hospital. We didn’t want to waste any time since Noah came so quickly!

I called ahead to the hospital and told them we were coming because last time we had to wait awhile. She printed my papers and called Dr. Escue. We still had to wait about 10 minutes in the waiting room and then these ladies came running out with their gloves on! They said they heard I deliver quickly so they wanted to be ready! Glad I have established a reputation! It really felt weird being there and not being in a rush like last time. I got in bed and got checked and all hooked up and I was a 3 cms and Dr. Escue said to let me get an epidural if I wanted one since I went so fast last time. So, I got my epidural and 5 minutes later Dr. Escue came by to check me. This is where it got crazy! Dr. Escue said I was dilated to 4 cms, then he made a funny look and said to call Dr. Gately (the anesthesiologist) back because we had to do a c-section! Me and the nurse both said “do you feel a foot?” at the same time. He said no – “prolapsed cord” and the nurse took off running! You could hear people yelling and running through the halls – he said “do you hear that – they heard prolapsed cord and knew what to do”. I asked Dr. Escue if this was dangerous to the baby and he said yes, the babys cord is hanging below the baby and the baby does not need to touch the cord. Dr. Escue said he could feel the heartbeat in the cord but he couldn’t take his hand out because he was keeping the babys head off the cord because any good pressure would be bad. A nurse named Abby came in and asked if she could help. Dr. Escue told her to take over holding the cord for him so he could get ready for surgery. So, they quickly switched out. Abby had to climb on top of the bed and hold the cord to make sure she could feel the babies pulse. We turned up the heart monitor so we could hear the babys heartbeat because Abbys hand was going numb from holding the cord. The next few minutes there were people doing all kinds of things to me – I had to get a catheter while someone was holding the babys cord (that was interesting), drink things to keep me from throwing up, get my epidural turned into a spinal, consent to surgery (Nathan got to sign those because we are married), and answer a bunch of questions. We wheeled off to the operating room with a nurse on her knees on the bed keeping my baby from crushing it’s blood and oxygen flow. They were so quick to get everything going. I informed them I could feel them touching me and my doctor said he already started so if I couldn’t feel that then we were good! It was crazy! Nathan came in and wasn’t there but a few minutes and they said “Ok Dad, stand up and tell us what we have”. He said that he stood up and all they had out was the babys head! Then he said they pulled the baby out by the neck and showed him – he looked at me and said “It’s a girl!” and they showed me the baby over the curtain. They then cleaned the baby up real quickly and her and Nathan left for the nursery. The pediatrician, Dr. Nelson told me she looked exceptionally well, especially for a prolapsed cord delivery. I then heard Dr. Escue saying something about my placenta (which I later learned was Velamentous Insertion) and how it is amazing this baby is healthy. I do not remember much after that – I was coming and going. I remember the anesthesiologist telling me he was going to patch my back because he was afraid I was going to have a spinal headache due to a wet tap when he put my epidural in. I then remember I was in the recovery room with Nathan and Ryan answering questions about family history, etc. They then took the baby to warm and assess it and Nathan and I went to our room. They got me all set up in my bed and all our visitors came in.

We had lots of visitors over the next few hours. Everyone got to love on Ryan. I wasn’t allowed to walk until the next day, which was annoying but necessary. I remember nurse Abby coming in and asking if I wanted pain medicine. I told her that was fine and then I remember not being able to keep my eyes open and I heard Abby say “let the medicine do it’s work and just let them visit”. I remember hearing familiar voices of visitors while I napped for a few hours. I had to look at my camera to see who I missed.

I was so excited to be able to get up on Saturday and take a shower, especially since I hadn’t had one since Thursday morning! Getting up and walking hurt a lot more than I was expecting since the incision wasn’t hurting while I was lying down. I ended up almost passing out and losing my hearing from the four steps to the bathroom, so back to bed it was! I was so disappointed. I remember sitting there thinking I will never be able to walk and not be in pain again – yes, it hurt that bad! Four hours later we tried again – it was so much better! That was the best 5 minute shower of my life! I felt like a whole new person!

Sunday morning Dr. Escue came by and released me. I told him my head had started hurting some the day before, but not too bad. But, I noticed that when I laid down it felt so much better. He said it sounded like the beginnings of a spinal headache and to get up a lot today and move around and if it got worse to let them know. As soon as he left, Nathan went and took a load of stuff to the car. Then, Dr. Nelson, the pediatrician, came in and was talking to me. She said she needed to talk to me about the baby. This is not what you want to hear when you have a spinal headache, trust me. So, she goes on to say that when she got there this morning the nurses said they needed to talk to her about the Stillwell baby. She said at 2:00 a.m. the nurses were talking and the one facing the baby noticed she had turned blue and was shaking. They ran over and unwrapped her and her arms and legs were kicking around and she stopped breathing. They said she quickly stopped and was breathing normally again. She said one nurse described it as a seizure while another as choking. She said Ryan was at risk for some health problems since she was a high risk delivery so she would like to play it safe and run some tests on her. She said there was no way to know for sure if it was a seizure, but if it was she should have other symptoms in the next few hours. She said she was going to order an ultrasound on her brain and possibly a spinal tap. She was going to call Arkansas Children’s Hospital and see what their opinion was once she did some testing. Then Nathan came in and she had to re-tell him the whole story – you don’t want to hear this all twice, trust me. The nursery came in and said she was hungry and asked me to come there and feed her. So, spinal headache and all, I went in and nursed and held her for two hours.

Then, my nurse told me the anesthesiologist was ready to repatch my epidural so I needed to go to my room. So, they had me eat and go to the bathroom real quick since I would need to lay down an hour afterwards. The spinal patch consists of another epidural that they take my blood out of my arm and put it in my spine. They put a lot in there to help my headache, and it helped instantly. The anesthesiologist then said I needed to lay flat the rest of the day as much as possible and couldn’t go to the nursery to feed Ryan! So, then they said they would have to wheel me on a gurney to her when she needs fed. Then the pediatrician said they would put a breathing monitor on Ryan and bring her to us. So, I had to nurse her while laying flat – doable but not ideal. Ryan set off her monitor a couple of times – all false alarms thank God! They readmitted me due to having to lay flat and nurse Ryan so we were able to stay close.

Ryans name on the 2012 birth canvas

The next morning Ryan’s regular pediatrician, Dr. Harrison, came and evaluated her and said she seemed to be in excellent health and if she were going to have another seizure, she should have shown some epileptic signs by now. He said once the ultrasound was completed and reviewed we could leave. They came and got Ryan and brought her back 5 minutes later. The nurse said the technician that did the ultrasound said she did not see anything but she would have to send it to the radiologist to be read and then he would contact Dr. Harrison, but that we were being released. So, it was a “no news is good news” situation – I despise those. I finally broke down and called the doctor today and they said her ultrasound was for sure normal! Thank God!

So, my argument that girls are not more dramatic than boys is not going good right now! I hope she is done with all the drama, at least until she is a teenager J We are so blessed and happy to have such an amazing gift from God.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

38 Weeks ~ About time to head out! :)

37 weeks is considered full-term, so I am officially over full-term! YAY! It is all getting very real, very fast now! This is possibly my last highlight blog - I had Noah just before 39 weeks! Highlights:

*  I have gained around 29 pounds. I think I am going to gain total less weight than I did with Noah this time, which is strange because I have been eating whatever and my belly looks the same size or bigger than it did with Noah.

* Finding a shirt each day is becoming very challenging! I pull them down to cover belly, and up to cover cleavage! I didn't buy any maternity shirts so I an just trying to make due until the baby is here. Maternity clothes are very expensive and the shirts usually fit weird and make me look way bigger than I am.

* Current cravings are cheerios (still), peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, granola bars, milk, honey roasted peanuts, and root beer. Another weird things about my diet is I do not want a meal ever, I just want to graze on small snacks all day. I just don't seem to have the appetite to sit and eat meals right now - maybe I am just out of stomach space!

* The baby is still head down, heartbeat of 137 beats per minute. I was checked for the first time last week and I was almost 2 cms but still high and thick. So, I am trying to sit upright and walk alot to help with the thinning out. My doctor said he wanted to discuss stripping my membrane and induction this Friday, so I needed to decide what I wanted to do. I am not much on induction before the due date unless it is medically necessary. I think the baby will come when it is ready and I am tough enough to wait until then. I had my membrane stripped with Noah because I was very thinned out and dilated to 3 cms. If I am progressed like that this week I would not be against him stripping my membrane, but I don't want him to do it too early and me have a long labor (Noah's labor was only 3 hours - I am shooting for that or shorter!). I do not want to induce until the day after my due date unless the doctor sees medical reason - one he has mentioned is the baby getting too big since I had a 3rd degree episiotomy last time - ouch!

* No swelling as of now and I have been doing alot of running around - so I may just make it through this time with no major swelling!

* I have had some pretty good contractions this week, but nothing too regular. It did bring back labor memories from Noah - I am not looking forward to this pain, at all! I am hoping it goes by quick! Just in case it doesn't, I read my epidural release paperwork today!

This week was the last belly picture I took with Noah, besides the one when I went into labor!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

No Labor Labor Day Weekend!

I had a 4 day weekend and loved every minute of it! Friday I went to my weekly doctors appointment and got checked for the first time - dilated to almost 2 centimeters! YAY! He did say I was still pretty thick and high though - which I find impossible for this baby to be considered high, it feels so low! I feel it moving around way under my waistline. So, I have been sitting upright and walking to help with pressure and thinning out. I am hoping for more progress! He said this Friday we will discuss stripping my membrane and inducing. He said by the 12th he would like to have an induction plan, especially since Noah was large and I had a 3rd degree episiotomy with him - they don't want this baby to get too big. Once my appointment was over I headed to get my haircut and a pedicure. My brother and his wife got me a pedicure back in June for my birthday but I wanted to save it until closer to my due date to use it. It was awesome! I haven't had one since my wedding 6 years ago!

Saturday Noah and I spent the day together. It was opening day for Razorback football and Nathan went to the game so Noah and I wore our razorback shirts and were there in spirit. I could have went to the game, but the thought of walking to the stadium and to the seats and sitting for hours was too much. Plus I didn't want to be 2 hours away from my doctor. Nathan told me to call him if I went into labor and they would rush back - but both his and his friends phone died, so thank God I didn't go into labor - he would have missed it for sure! I wanted to take Noah to the local community center to run around and so I could walk some in the air conditioning. Well, a family had the entire building rented out for a birthday party so we had to settle for a sweaty park trip! I am really trying to pack in as much one on one time with Noah as I can. I also took Noah back to the razorback rocks in town to take his picture just like I did on opening day of football last year. He wasn't exactly wanting to pose with the razorback rock, but he loved the ones that said GO - he insisted they said Noah on them :) I didn't have help corraling him and the sun was behind my head so he is squinting or his eyes were closed - but we did the best we could.

Sunday, after church, we met my dad and brother and his family out at the lake for a cookout and to let the kids play in the water. Noah loved it! He had so much fun playing with Aunt Kesha and his dad while I took pictures and tried to not get too hot. Monday we stayed at home playing and cleaning house except for a quick trip to Nathan's parents house for some homemade ice cream.

I managed to not go into labor this weekend but I make no promises for next! :)

My little Razorback fan at the park :)

Momma and Noah at the park - as you can see I am glistening and he found a treasure on the slide :/

Woo Pig Sooie!

"Noah Momma"! HA!

This was as good as it got with the Razorback rock - I will take it though!

Swinging with Dada

My adorable nephew Greyson :)

This boy is stick obsessed!

My boys playing in the sand :)

My beautiful niece Eliza Nell

Making sand castles

Cooling off with his stick, of course

Making a sand castle with Aunt Kesha

Trying to make his stick part of his castle :)

"DAAAA" (Noah's version of Ta-Da!)