Friday, August 29, 2014

Crew's Birth Story:

In honor of today, August 29, 2014, being my original due date,
I would like to share Crew's birth story.
It's pretty long, but it lists every thing we never want to forget!


The Day Before: It was August 12, 2014 and Steven and I headed into our Doctor's appointment. We had a full growth ultrasound scheduled since Crew had been measuring so big and with my Crohn's Disease they have to be very careful with the size of the baby. We saw our sweet boy on the big monitor and sat there as they measured him and checked him out. He looked completely healthy but his head was measuring off the charts huge and it turned into a pretty big concern with my OB. Once the ultrasound was complete we headed in to speak with my Doctor. 

I am not one to have a birth plan... I did not have one with Charli and I did not have one this go around. My "birth plan" was always whatever is best for me and Crew. 

I was not ready for what I was about to hear... My OB discussed with us the size of Crew, all of the trauma I endured when I gave birth to Charli, and the complications my disease will bring into the delivery. The next words out of his mouth were C-Section. I never knew it would hit me like a ton of bricks, but it did. I felt a horrible panic and didn't know what to do or say. My Doctor listed out all of the pros and cons for our delivery options. Basically it came down to delivering by C-Section was the safest option for both myself and Crew.

I assumed since I had already delivered Charli that I would deliver Crew the same way.
But it was not in God's plan, so I was at peace with it. So after many tears were shed and every option discussed we scheduled our C-Section on the next morning  for the birth of our Son.

The Day of:  My mom arrived the night before to help take care of Charli and we were up and off to MUSC (Medical University of South Carolina) to arrive by 8am. 

We got checked in and placed in the pre-op room and I was hooked up to all of my medicine by 9am and we were scheduled for a 10:30am c-section.
6 hours later I was finally being wheeled into the OR room 
(we were bumped due to 3 emergency c-sections). 

I can't tell you how nervous, scared, anxious, yet excited I was as I sat in the OR getting prepped to meet our son, surrounded by 15 Nurses and Doctors. I was given a spinal (which they say usually hurts the most for some women, but I didn't even budge when they gave it to me) and was laid down waiting for them to bring Steven to me!

I was so calm as I laid there with Steven by my side anticipating seeing our son for the first time. 
And at 3:05PM on August 13, 2014 at 37 weeks 5 days, our son was born! 

At that very moment, as tears fell from my cheek... My heart was completely full! 

It was a very different experience having a C-Section. I asked to have immediate skin on skin time which they allowed but you can't breastfeed until you are in recovery which felt like forever. After  our skin on skin time, they took Crew to check him out with Daddy (I sent Steven to stay with him) while they continued to work on me and close me back up.

The procedure went fairly smoothly but unfortunately took a lot longer than expected and lost about 50% more blood than they expected but thankfully it wasn't enough blood loss to require a transfusion. Due to the blood loss I was falling in and out of a daze, I was turning white, my heart rate was elevating, and I started to feel almost everything as they sewed me back up. 

We spent an hour in recovery before being taken into our room where Charli and my mom would be meeting us. 

I don't remember much from their visit as I was completely out of it and still being pumped with pain meds. Steven said Charli was absolutely in love with her baby brother and didn't want to leave him when they had to say goodbye for the night! 

The Next Few Days: We spent a total of 5 days in the hospital. Thursday was an OK day. I was in a TON of pain and couldn't get out of bed. I was very weak and nauseous. Crew seemed to be doing very well. He finally latched on for his first feeding at 8:15PM the night before and was eating like a champ! Steven gave him his first bath...

And he was all clean for big sister and Nana's second visit! 

 The rest of Thursday afternoon to early evening my mom stayed with me as Steven took Charli home for lunch and nap and so he could also get a shower. 
I continued to rest and my mom got a lot of one on one time and baby snuggles with Crew.
It was a very quiet afternoon. 

Thursday evening Steven and Charli returned for a few kisses before my mom headed back to the house with Charli. I can't tell you how excited she was every time she got to see "her baby" and then how sad she was when she had to leave! I am so thankful that she had my mom though during our time in the hospital, it made it a lot easier on me knowing she was well taken care of. 

Crew was born very healthy with no signs of anything wrong. He seemed to have a lot of mucus that he was coughing up, which they told us was completely normal for a C-Section baby. We also had noticed he was grunting and making a lot of noises at night while he slept but the Pediatricians had already checked him out and said everything looked perfect and we should be able to go home on Friday if the OB's felt I was good enough to go home....

Early Friday Morning at 0300, a nurse came in to check my vitals and take a set of vitals on Crew. The nurse said that for his 36 hour check she had to take him to the nursery to check his O2 levels and draw some blood. Thankfully, Steven being the overprotective parent that he is, woke up and said that he wanted to go with his son and be there with him. While they where taking his O2 levels the Nurse said she saw his levels reach 97/98% to which Steven promptly replied that he had been watching the levels and they never got over 94%. So then the Nurse had to report the levels and they had to get an X-ray for Crew. So after being gone for about 2 hours in the middle of the night my boys returned with a diagnoses that Crew had a little TTN (Transient Tachypnea of the Newborn) and that they would just watch him a little closer and we should still be clear to go home Friday afternoon.

When our nurse came in to check Crew's vitals late Friday morning, she noticed his O2 levels had dropped even more. She said it wasn't anything horrible but she wanted to get another opinion. At that point Steven walked across the hall as they wheeled Crew into the Nursery to hook him up and check his O2 levels for an hour just to monitor and see what was going on as I stayed in bed and got a little rest. The hour was not up and one of the nurses came in to get me and said I should come to the nursery. 

I didn't know what was going on and as soon as I walked in I saw the look on Steven's face and knew something was wrong. As we stood there surrounded by nurses and Pediatricians who were holding oxygen to our sweet little guy I couldn't help but cry. What was going on? What was wrong with our healthy little boy? The hardest part about it was that they couldn't even give us an exact answer because they too were not 100% as to what was wrong. As his O2 levels continued to drop it was in their best interest to send him a couple of floors up to the Newborn Intensive Care Unit. 
How could one healthy little boy become so sick so quickly and it was all out of our hands and control...

The absolute worst part about it was having a NICU Pediatrician look us in the eyes and tell us if we had gone home that evening like we had planned, that our sweet little guy would have ended up suffocating and dying in a couple of days and would have just been another SIDS case.

Absolutely nothing could have ever prepared Steven and I to hear those words. 
The amount of uncontrollable tears and heartache we both shed and had was indescribable.
When I tell you that at that moment in my life I would have done anything to save our son, I whole heartily mean it. I can without a doubt say that on that day, August 14, 2014 was the worst afternoon of my life.

Steven called our Nanny to come watch Charli so my mom could come take care of me and to see Crew. Having swollen red eyes, our son not in his crib next to my bed, and tears still running down our face. I just wanted to see Charli so I FaceTimed her but all Charli asked for was too see "her baby" and that broke my heart even more.
I physically could not move, I was in even more pain than the day before, and my nurses needed to focus on my health as my Crohn's started to flare and my body was having adverse reactions to the medicine I was on due to my weak immune system. As I tried to heal and get better so I could see my little boy at some point that day, Steven was at least able to spend almost all day and night with Crew up in the NICU. As hard as it was for Steven to leave my side as I was very sick, we both agreed he needed to be with Crew. 

There were not many improvements for Crew that day but he was on the oxygen he needed to be as well as antibiotics to fight what they thought was a case of Pneumonia. 
A whole day passed and we were still not together...
We continued to pray for our little boy, for answers, and for the Nurses and Doctors to protect him. 
Crew was put on multiple prayer lists and we had all of our family and friends praying for him.

Saturday morning we woke up to news we never thought we would hear so soon...
Crew was starting to improve! 
Steven sat in on "Rounds" up in the NICU that day. Rounds is when all the NICU Pediatricians sit and talk about each individual case of each child being taken care of. Steven said it was crazy hearing them talk about our son and all of the worst possible things that could happen to him, but the fact that they were calling Crew an absolute miracle case and they have never seen such a sick little boy start to do so well so quickly. All we can say is that the power of prayer is truly amazing and we want to thank each and every one of you who said a little prayer for our little guy! 
By this time they had a diagnosis of TTN (Transient Tachypnea of the Newborn) and a mild case of Pneumonia and that they caught it and treated it at just the right time! 

They told Steven that he would continue to be monitored in the NICU, but if he continued to improve as quickly as he had been then we could possibly have him back down to the normal nursery right across from our room that evening! 
Tears of pure joy ran down our cheeks as we received that news! 

From that very moment, things started to slowly look up for us! Crew continued to improve on Saturday and was slowly taken off all oxygen and was breathing perfect! He still had antibiotics to take, but by Late Saturday evening he was wheeled into our room!!!

I won't ever be able to describe how incredibly happy I was in that very moment as I was able to hold our little boy again!

The nurses continued to monitor Crew very closely all Saturday night and Sunday morning.

  Sunday came, and as we were surrounded by my GI Team, Crew's Pediatric Team, and the Women's Health OB's, they told us they didn't see any issues of us going home that evening as long as one of Crew's tests came back negative!

My mom and Charli came back for one last visit Sunday morning and Charli even got to listen to her sweet brother with the Pediatrician!

After my mom and Charli left, we waited for 3:30PM to roll around so we could hear the news of Crew's test. I showered, got dressed, and enjoyed every minute of having my sweet baby back in my arms!
Crew's test came back negative and he was cleared for discharge late Sunday afternoon which meant it was time to break out of the hospital and get home to our baby girl and start this new journey as a family of 4!

Thank you again for the prayers and support during such a scary time for our family.
I am so happy to report that our little guy was discharged at 6lbs 9.5oz and at 2 weeks old now weighs in at 7lbs 8oz!
He is doing amazing and we couldn't be happier!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Just the 4 of us:

For a few days at least...
We will be welcoming more visitors this weekend!

But in the meantime, let me share a few snapshots of what was going on while my mom, dad, and brother were in town...

We can't forget about Big Sister...
Cuddling and loving on baby brother...

And being cuddled and loved on by her Uncle...

It was sad to see my family leave but we are so thankful they were all able to make the trip up to meet Crew and spend some time with us while I recovered and healed.
The extra help and hands were much appreciated!

Although I am still healing and recovering, I am feeling better with each new day!

Thank you again mom for being here to clean, cook, and take care of all of us!
We are praying you return to us next weekend! ;)

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Charli in Charleston: My first day of Preschool:

From Charli's Chair:

Today was the day
I started preschool
My mommy and daddy said it would be pretty cool
They said, I'll learn and I'll play
And make lots of friends
That I'll sing and I'll dance
And eat a snack towards the end

Mommy was sad as I kissed her goodbye
She said I was growing up
In a blink of an eye 
She said have fun and have a great day
As daddy and I climbed in the car
And we drove away

Daddy dropped me off
At the front of the school
Where I walked with my teachers
To my classroom 

At the end of the day
My daddy was there
And I had so many stories I wanted to share

My first day of school
Was an absolute blast
And I told mommy and daddy I can't wait to go back!


Until my next adventure...

Thanks for stopping by!

xoxo charli