Wednesday, June 9, 2010

laura's version

Laura wrote up her account of Brooklyn's birthday, and gave me permission to share it with everyone, so here it is. Her times are different from mine in places, but I have a feeling hers are more accurate since I pieced together the timeline from texts on Sean's phone. (hey, I was in labor, I didn't pay attention to the clock after about 3pm, lol!)

I thought you might want to hear a fly on the wall’s perspective of the birth of Brooklyn! I know you already wrote her birth story – but I obviously had a different point of view since I wasn’t the one going through any of the pain!

Months ago Cheryl had asked me if I wanted to be in the delivery room when their baby was born – there was no way I was going to miss that opportunity! I had been keeping up with Cheryl’s progress, and had been trying to stay really on top of things at work so that if she went into labor it wouldn’t be a big deal for me to miss a day of work. Friday afternoon Cheryl had given me an update of her doctor’s appointment, and had said that there wasn’t much change from the week before. With Cheryl’s history of having to be induced, I figured there would be no action this weekend. Boy, was I wrong!

I had big plans over the Memorial Day weekend to paint my bedroom and hallway since my DH was working every day. Friday night I went to Lowe’s and bought all my paint supplies, then ran a few other errands and went home to start painting. At about midnight I finished painting both the ceilings. By that time my DH was home from work, and we stayed up until about 2am watching TV, and went to bed.

A little after 8:00 Saturday morning, our house phone rang. Since my MIL has a habit of calling our house early on the weekends, I didn’t get up to answer it because I figured it was her. Then my cell phone rang (which was by my bed), and it was Cheryl. I didn’t even say hello – I just picked up the phone and said, “Are you in labor?!” I was so excited! Cheryl told me that her water had broken and they were getting ready to leave for the hospital. She told me to take my time getting ready, and to eat breakfast because it was going to be a long day. I packed up a few things I might want during the day, got ready, and left - I was trying to take my time, but I couldn’t help thinking what if it goes faster than she planned and I miss it?! I got to the hospital at about 9:45, and went up to labor and delivery. Cheryl was still in a triage room getting all checked in – her mom arrived a little after me, and we all helped her get settled into her room once they moved her. I stayed with Cheryl while her mom and Sean went to get the rest of their things out of the car. After that, we all just sat in the room for a while. Cheryl was feeling pretty good at this point, and the contractions weren’t too strong. They had given her a little pitocin to get things moving a little more consistently, but she really wasn’t in too much pain…yet.

We all decided to leave for a bit while the nurse came in and checked Cheryl’s progress, and she was going to get an epidural before the pain got too bad to sit through it. We just sat in the waiting room and made some phone calls – this is also the point at which I discovered the blue kool-aid slushies that they had on the floor (I might need to get a machine for my house). I drank one while we waited. After a little while I went back in Cheryl’s room – the anesthesiologist was finishing up with the epidural – after she left, I sat with Cheryl while her mom and Sean ran to grab something to eat, and I decided to get another slushie. At about 3:00 the nurse checked her again and she was between 4-5 cm. She had felt a little window of pain on her lower left side that the epidural hadn’t reached, so she had been trying to lay on her left side to run the medicine down that way. That had worked until she switched to the right side, the pain on her left came back. Even though she again switched to her left side, the pain never subsided for her again.

Around 3:30 I was on a sugar high from all the slushies, and decided I probably needed some food. I ran to get something to eat with Cheryl’s mom – I think her mom was having a hard time being in the room, so she was trying to keep herself occupied! We got back up to the room at about 4:00, and Cheryl had started to experience a lot of pain. That little window of pain from before was growing, and Cheryl had started lightly moaning through most of the contractions. The nurse checked her again at about 4:30 and said that she was between 5 and 6 cm. The nurse called Cheryl’s on call doctor (since her normal OB was out of town), and also called the anesthesiologist back to see if she could do anything else for the pain. She gave Cheryl what she said was the dose the she would give for a C-Section, and said to give it about five minutes to work. Unfortunately, it didn’t seem to help at all, and Cheryl was obviously in a lot of pain, moaning through all the contractions. We all just sat in the room with the lights dim, and Sean was holding Cheryl’s hand trying to help her through the contractions. I didn’t want to be in the way, so I really just sat there at this point watching her try to manage the pain. The anesthesiologist came back and tried to move the epidural up thinking that might help – the only other option was to get a new epidural put in, and Cheryl wasn’t really in a state of mind to think about that. Unfortunately, moving the epidural didn’t work, either. The nurse thought that since she had been experiencing so much pain, and since Cheryl had warned her that once she gets to 6cm that she generally goes pretty fast, that she may have made more progress and checked her again. This was a little before 5:00 and she was at 8 cm.

At this point, I took it upon myself to get in touch with the photographer to make sure that she would be there on time. Cheryl had wanted to have this birth photographed, and since I couldn’t take any of the pain away, I really wanted to make sure that the photographer was there. Sean was so focused on Cheryl, that he couldn’t really think about this part of it either, so I grabbed Sean’s phone and went out to the hall to call Kristen and tell her that Cheryl was at 8cm and progressing fast and that she may want to come up as soon as possible.

I went back into the room, and the doctor had arrived, took one look at Cheryl and went to change his clothes. By the time the doctor came back in, Cheryl only had a lip of cervix left. Things started to move quickly to get things in order – they were dropping the bottom part of the bed down, and pulling up the stirrups. I grabbed Sean’s phone again and texted Kristen to tell her that Cheryl was about to start pushing – this was at about 5:15. I was on Cheryl’s right side, holding her hand, and one of her legs to help her push. Sean was trying to encourage Cheryl at one point, but she was in so much pain that she just yelled at him to SHUT-UP! I was really glad I wasn’t the one that was talking! The nurse grabbed one of Cheryl’s legs and put it in the stirrup and she yelled to not move her because it hurt! The nurse told her, “I know it hurts, but I have to do this so you can get this baby out and feel better.” Cheryl’s legs were both in the stirrups and she had another contraction. Cheryl yelled that she was pushing because she couldn’t help it. The doctor said that’s ok, go ahead a push. A little bit of the head came out on that push. At this point Kristen came running into the room with her camera snapping away! I was so glad that she was there and that Cheryl would get the pictures that she wanted! The next contraction Cheryl pushed again and got the whole head out. One more push and the entire body came out. The doctor flipped the baby over, and Sean announced that it was a girl. I had to hold back tears – it was such an amazing moment. They announced the name Brooklyn, and put her on Cheryl’s chest.

A few minutes later they took Brooklyn over to the warmer and were cleaning her off, and getting Cheryl situated. She had no tearing on the outside, and none that they could see on the inside, but she wouldn’t stop bleeding. It was a little scary, since Cheryl’s blood pressure dropped pretty low, and her pulse was really high. They gave her a shot of something in the leg, and kept massaging her stomach to get her uterus to contract and try to stop the bleeding. Cheryl kept asking what her stats were, and then would ask about the baby since she wasn’t crying much. Brooklyn was perfect, and happy, but I’m sure Cheryl was just worried about her since she needed to be focused on herself. Eventually the blood stopped, and they got Cheryl all situated, but she was feeling sick and dizzy, and didn’t feel like she could hold Brooklyn enough to nurse her. The nurse brought her some crackers, and I took the opportunity to hold Brooklyn while Cheryl ate. Eventually Cheryl felt good enough to nurse at around 6:30 – and Brooklyn latched on like a champ! I stayed at the hospital for a little while longer, but decided to leave so Sean and Cheryl could get some rest. I was exhausted from all the excitement of the day, so I can’t imagine how exhausted Cheryl was!

I am so thankful that Sean and Cheryl allowed me to experience the birth of Brooklyn with them! It was seriously one of the most amazing experiences of my life, and taught me so much.

Monday, June 7, 2010


Yes, we're all still alive. It's been a long 9 days since Brooklyn was born, but I know things could be a lot worse, so I'm trying not to complain. Brooklyn is a really good baby, and she actually sleeps at night. She still wakes every 3 hours, on average, to eat, but at least she's not spending all her awake time when I need to be sleeping like most babies do. I think she is in the midst of her first growth spurt because yesterday she wanted to nurse hourly all afternoon and evening, but I'm glad that did not continue overnight since I was very tired after several very busy days and all the nursing she did.
Sadly, Sean's mom had to leave last Tuesday, but we are so glad she was able to be here when Brooklyn was born both to enjoy her new grand-daughter and to help us out with the other kids. Then Sean went back to work Wednesday afternoon, so all the kids and I are still trying to settle into a routine that allows me to rest, but not leave them bored to death or driving me nuts. Friday I felt really great when I got up, which means of course I way overdid it, and am still paying for it.
Friday night my mom kept the four oldest kids and Sean and I went car shopping. We'd been car shopping for a while, but just couldn't commit to anything yet. Once Brooklyn arrived and we installed all the car seats in the car, it really lit a fire under us to find something bigger soon instead of just waiting for whatever we were waiting for. So we were out very late Friday night looking, and then got up early Saturday morning to go finish the deal. We are now the proud owners of a Yukon XL, which is basically a suburban. I'm excited about all the extra space we have, but incredibly nervous about driving it. I seriously don't think I'll be able to park in a spot at Target at this point, which means Sean is going to have to take me to an empty lot and teach me how so I don't look like a complete moron when I do decide to venture out with all the kids.
Saturday we celebrated Nathan's 6th birthday at my mom's. Yes, I realized I totally spaced on making a post about his birthday this year. Things have just been so crazy. But anyway, we had a small family get together Saturday evening at my mom's house with pizza and cake. Since the kids had stayed the night Friday night, they spent most of the day Saturday in the pool and by the time we got home Saturday night, they were all so exhausted, and so was I.
Sunday the photographer came to the house and took Brooklyn's newborn pictures as well as some of the whole family. I can't wait to see them. I really loved our photographer, and if we were having anymore kids I would definitely be hiring her again to be part of it all. She's fabulous, and takes great pictures! But since we are DONE making babies, I'll just have to settle for hiring her for family pictures as needed.
So there's a quick recap of Brooklyn's first 9 days of life. As always things are hectic in our family, but what else would you expect from a family of 7? Now I just need to figure out how to get the older kids to sleep in because they are still on school time, even though they get to stay up later now.

Oh, and until we get Brooklyn's newborn pics to share, here are the hospital pics to hold you over. Click here