Sunday, October 12, 2014

Mr. Landon Chase--A Birth Story

We have another baby; a sweet little man.  He made us fight to get him here, and we were left waiting much longer than we had wanted, but I am so glad he is here.  My little miracle man, Landon Chase Spence, was born at 37.5 weeks on September 30, 2014, at 6:57 p.m.  He weighed 7 lbs 9 oz, and was 19” long, and we love every single bit of him.

In October of 2012 we decided to start trying again for baby #2.  A few days later we actually were quite surprised when we found out we were actually already pregnant!  We were so excited and couldn’t believe everything was falling into place so easily.  We decided to wait until Thanksgiving to announce to our families.  We bought Sadie a shirt that said “Big Sister” on it to wear to Thanksgiving Dinner.  That day we stopped by Logan’s parents’ house and took Sadie’s jacket off to reveal her shirt, and after we repeated the same thing at my parents’ house.   We were so excited to share our news, and everyone was so excited for us as well.  Two days later, though, everything came crashing down.  At around 4:00 in the morning I woke up soaking wet, I thought “Oh my goodness, how embarrassing!  I just wet the bed!” So I went into the bathroom, but when I flipped on the light I was covered in blood.  I was in complete shock and just started saying “Oh, my gosh” over and over again.  Logan heard me and came into the bathroom, and when he saw all the blood he just started crying.  Then it hit me, I had lost my baby.  We just held each other and cried.  Even though we hadn’t been pregnant for very long, we were both attached, and we wanted that baby more than anything. 

For the next year and a half we were on a roller coaster trying to get pregnant again.  We kept trying for a while, and after several months of no success, we went to a fertility specialist.  I have a biseptate uterus that we had discovered during my c section with Sadie (everything looks normal from the outside, but is heart shaped on the inside, so I have an extra wall in the middle that makes two different chambers in there).  We were told if an embryo ever implanted on the extra wall, I would miscarry because the wall wouldn’t be able to handle the weight of the baby, which was scary to think about.  We pursued having a surgical procedure to have the wall removed, but kept running into problems with my insurance and could never get coverage.   Twice we scheduled the surgery, and right before would have to cancel because of my insurance. 

We moved to a new ward in American Fork, and the bishop of the ward is a family practitioner.  We had talked with him about what was going on and he recommended an OB, Dr. Haskett, who could help us with our insurance so we could get our surgery.  I was very down and sick of being on the roller coaster ride of trying to get our next baby here, and I was looking forward to trying to find the next step in the road to go down to make some real progress.  I had an appointment scheduled for mid-February for a consultation.  February 1 I was due to start my period again.  I decided on a whim I would take my last pregnancy test I had in the medicine cabinet.  I wanted to take it so I could see the negative and get over not being pregnant once again that month.   Much to my surprise, the test came back positive.  I could not believe it!  I got Sadie ready in a hurry and went over to visit Logan at work.  I took him into an office area away from everyone and asked Sadie to show Daddy her “new toy”—I had given her the positive test.  She handed it to him and as soon as he saw it he started to cry.  He gave me a priesthood blessing that day and told me no matter what happened during the pregnancy, I would be able to learn to rely on family for support…which made me worry that I would once again lose this baby and have to rely on family to pull me through once again.

When I hit 6 weeks, I woke up feeling very crampy on my right side.  I tried to push the worry aside, but after a few hours I decided to call in to the OB to ask about it.  They thought it sounded like it could be an ectopic pregnancy, and told me to go into radiology so I could be checked out.  After a few ultrasounds, I got some pretty good news…baby was great, I even saw the heartbeat, and was implanted in a really good spot, far away from the extra wall.  We were slightly worried because the baby was in the right chamber (Sadie grew in the left), and we were concerned maybe my body wouldn’t be able to stretch out enough on that side to hold a full term baby.  We also found a clot that had formed under the placenta, and we also discovered my progesterone levels were low, both of which could cause miscarriage.  My doctor was so incredible helping us get through the scary first trimester.  I was put on pelvic rest, progesterone supplements, and he had me come in almost every week to check the progress of the clot and to see the baby on an ultrasound to see how everything was developing.  Over time, everything looked great, and the clot resolved itself. 

The rest of the pregnancy went uneventful, more or less.  We found out we were having a boy at the end of May, which was a shock.  Sadie kept telling us we were having a girl, complete with many details about this little girl.  It took me a while to wrap my head around having a boy, and I even wondered if I would be able to love a little boy as much as I loved my little girl (news flash:  I was so wrong, I am completely obsessed with my little boy).  Baby Landon was in a breech position and we had scheduled a c section for him for October 13.

On Saturday, September 20, at 36 weeks, I started having a lot of pain and contraction-like cramps.  I started timing them and as they got closer I had Logan take me to the hospital to get checked.  Much to our surprise, Landon had flipped head down (which is why I was hurting so badly), and the stress of him flipping had gotten my body stressed enough to start contractions.  Because he was head down, we decided to try for a VBAC (vaginal birth after ceserean).  I was still early and not progressing very fast, so they gave me some Percocet to help with pain and slow down the contractions to give Landon some more time to grow.  Sunday night, contractions started up again and we headed in to get checked again.  Same story, little progress, so more Percocet to slow things down again.  The next Friday night things started up again really hard, we headed back to the hospital sure that this would be the real deal.  Nope!  Again, little progress, but I was in a lot more pain.  They gave me a morphine shot and sent me home to rest.  My goodness, that completely knocked me out and I slept until about 3:00 in the afternoon the next day.

Logan and I were both frustrated and tired of the contractions and the false alarms.  Monday, things picked back up, but Logan refused to go in unless something major happened, so we waited it out.  Tuesday I had an OB appointment, and I was still contracting (and exhausted because I hadn’t been sleeping well due to said contractions).  As we were going through the appointment he asked how Landon had been moving around…and it hit me…I hadn’t felt him move all morning.  He checked for his heartbeat, which was still strong, but sent me to the hospital for a non-stress test, where they monitor how the baby is handling everything in there. 

I was having very consistent contractions, and finally started to show more progress.  My OB came to check me during his lunch break, and stripped my membranes to see if he could get me to progress a little faster so they could admit me.  He went to go do a c section on another girl and checked me again, I had finally progressed to 5 cm, so they decided to admit me and break my water.  As I got into my bed in labor and delivery, my water actually broke on its own, and everything got super painful.  My contractions got very intense and I was not handling super well.  The lovely epidural guy got there quickly and started on my epidural.  As soon as everything kicked in and I was feeling really good, Logan finally arrived!  He was at school this whole time and I didn't want him missing much school if I was about to have a baby, but my goodness, he missed out on seeing all the really painful stuff.  An hour after my epidural went in, they checked me again and I was to 8 cm.  30 minutes after that I was at a 10 and ready to push!!  There was a little bit of meconium in the water when it broke, meaning Landon had been a little distressed through all of this and pooped in there, which can be problematic, so they had some extra people there to help him out in case he had trouble starting to breathe. 

I pushed for about 30 minutes, and Landon started showing distress.  With every contraction his heart rate kept dropping, so they put me on oxygen to help him out a little bit.  Ten minutes later the on call doctor came in (my OB couldn’t stay because he had to go help coach his son’s flag football team), right as he walked in I started gushing a lot of blood.  He suspected my placenta was starting to tear on the inside and he was concerned with everything else going on.  He gave me a small episiotomy and put in some forceps to help pull Landon out a little faster.  Another huge gush of blood, more meconium, and Landon’s heart rate and oxygen levels just tanked.  The doctor looked at me and said “Camille, you have to push with all you have, you need to get your baby out now, because he isn’t handling this well.”  I pushed with all I had in me, and the doctor used the forceps, and we got Landon out on that push.  He was so blue and limp.  They put him on the little warmer table and put a tube into his lungs to suction him out really well.  He wasn’t crying at all.  I remember watching them pick up his arms and they just fell right back down.  He had all these tubes in him and he looked so pale and all of these medical people were just working so fast on him.  I couldn’t stop crying, I was so worried about him.  After a few minutes that felt like an eternity, he began to pink up, and he did a little squeak of a cry as they gave him the vitamin k shot.  I was so relieved!  They wrapped him up and put him on my chest and I got to hold him for a little while before they took him down to the nursery for his tests.

Landon was doing so well, I on the other hand, was not.  Because he had to come out so fast, I had torn a LOT.  I had a 4th degree tear, which means essentially I tore all the way through to my bum hole (sorry, that’s the least graphic explanation I can come up with).  It took a really long time to get me stitched up.  I asked the nurse what the highest degree of tearing there was (I though t it was five, so maybe I wouldn’t be TOO bad), but I was put out when she told me “Honey, the highest amount of tearing is basically what you have right now.  You basically had a c section through your bum.  Don’t worry, we’ll do all we can to help you stay as comfortable as possible.”  So yay, I knew I was going to have another long, painful recovery ahead of me.  After they were done monitoring me after delivery, my nurse helped me out of bed to go to the bathroom.  While I was in the bathroom I passed out, and after I came to I threw up.  So I needed to be monitored a little longer again.  Finally I was able to go downstairs to be with my family.  I was surprised to find my family, and a lot of Logan’s family was already there with Logan and Landon.  I was really sad I had missed watching Sadie meet her little brother for the first time, but Logan told me all about it and he had taken a lot of pictures for me (but I hope that doesn't happen again with the next baby). 

The rest of my stay in the hospital was painful, but I felt like I was handling it pretty well.  I could get out of bed easier than after my c section, but it was still very painful to get around, and I could not get comfortable sitting because….my bum had been exploded and then reassembled.  We came home Thursday, one day sooner than I had been in the hospital with Sadie.  I was excited to be home with my family, and I was sick of the uncomfortable bed and chairs in the hospital. 

After we got home I had so much help from my family, and it was so wonderful having so much support.  My recovery after the first few days became much more painful and difficult to manage than my c section was.  I was really discouraged and frustrated with myself, I wanted to VBAC so I could have an easier recovery than after Sadie, but that was very much not the case.  Seriously though, my mom and mother in law were complete angels and such a huge help for my little family and I am so grateful for all they helped me do.  I’m almost two weeks postpartum, and while I’m still hurting, I am off narcotics, and I can mostly get around okay.  I just have to take things a lot slower than I am used to, but I am happy I am recovering.

At a postpartum check-up one week later I was getting my stitches re checked (I popped a few over the weekend, yeah; it was as painful and horrible as it sounds).  My doctor said that with the next baby, while it is my choice, he strongly discouraged me doing a vaginal delivery ever again, because my chance of blowing out the same area was very high (yikes, no, thank you).  Sooooo….we will be doing c sections from now on.  I’m kind of glad I had the opportunity to at least try a vaginal birth, but overall, wow, it has been much more difficult to recover from than the c section.  I am kind of relieved to just know what is in my future.  It’s no question…I will just have c sections, and I can prepare myself better for them.

Landon has been a dream baby.  He hardly ever cries, and he loves to snuggle.  Sadie is pretty hands on and isn’t as gentle as I’d like her to be all the time, but he doesn’t seem to mind too much.  Sadie loves to be a big sister helper with her brother, and she is so sweet and loving towards him.  She loves to talk to him, hold him, hug him, and kiss him.  She loves to get things for him, throw away his diapers, and help pick out his clothes.  So with that, I am so happy.  She has started to ignore pretty much anything else we say to her though, which is driving me crazy.  We have really tried to help give her a lot of attention away from baby, and we both try to really make a huge effort to tell her we love her and think she’s so special, on her own and as a big sister.  But, she still is being stubborn about certain things and just flat out ignores us a lot of the time.  She is also very emotional about things she wasn’t before.  Again, just trying to be extra patient with her, I know her entire world has basically been flipped on its head and we’re all just trying to adjust.  I’m hoping this is all just normal and we’ll figure it out eventually.  However, not once has she ever said anything negative towards her brother or asked to give him back (at least, not yet), and she seems to really like having him around. 

 Adjusting to two kids has been an adventure, but I am so happy they are here.  I feel like they are both my miracle babies who fought to get here, and I am so grateful to have been blessed to be their mommy.  I love them so much my heart could just burst.  Even through all the heart ache and pain, emotional and physical, one thing is for certain:  our Mr. Landon Chase was well worth the wait.

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