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What a crazy week this has been – but I won’t be complaining at all!!

On Tuesday morning, I was having a tiny bit of spotting but no cramping or anything to concern me otherwise. I went back and forth about calling my doctor while looking at Google to tell me if I really should or just wait it out. A few hours passed before I decided to call my doctor just to see if maybe she wanted to check on things or not. They asked if I was in labor. I said, “NO WAY, I don’t feel like that at all.” They did send me to L&D to get checked and monitor the baby and see what was going on. I gathered up Lucas and my mom to help with him and headed up there about 12:30. James was out of town and not due back until 3:30 or so. I totally went in there with accepting some minor cervical change and having to wait out the next 3-4 weeks. Believe me when I was totally dumfounded when they said I was 3cm!! Well, no wonder there was some bleeding. They did an ultrasound to make sure there wasn’t bleeding from anywhere else and to check on the baby to make sure he was still looking good. He was! They sent me home with the usual instructions and to wait it out.

I got home at 3:30, just as James (who was nervous because he hates NOT being there at times like that) was coming up the driveway too. We sat and chatted some and I had a few contractions but nothing major or consistent. Until about 5pm while I was fixing dinner. I was noticing them enough to break out the contraction counter app on my phone. I was shocked to see them actually coming about 4-7 but mostly about 5 minutes apart when I actually paid attention. I felt fine otherwise. We ate dinner, I laid down, I was sure things would just stop once I did that. At 8pm I called L&D to tell them I was in earlier in the day but contractions were regular at 4-7 minutes for the last 3 hours and I was only 36 weeks. They told me to wait for intensity and or closer together. James and I talked some more – we were TOTALLY unprepared (even moreso in hindsight) to have the baby that night so we needed to plan right then or to hope things stop and risk having to fly out of the house last minute in the middle of the night. We opted for now. I got my mom over and the kids prepared. I still hadn’t given my mom the rundown on things since we were sure we had more time, so I was doing that while packing bags and bouncing on the ball because intensity surely was building.

By 9pm, James was done getting the car seat installed and Lucas’ moved to my mom’s car and was doing a few other things and getting ready to shower. It was then that I felt I needed to rush him and we better go NOW. We were both getting to the panic point I think but trying not to freak out, except internally. We were backing out of the driveway at 9:30pm. It was a terrifying ride across town to the hospital. I have never felt such crazy pain, so fast and sudden. I’m sure people in other cars were freaking out at me freaking out! James was so worried about me but trying to drive fast without speeding and avoiding bumps and things. I know he was frantic, he’s just that way – but he was awesome at holding it all together. I even contemplated going to the ER since we could drive right in instead of parking ramp then walking to L&D but I felt dumb about the ER and leaving James to park and whatnot. So he dropped me at the entryway – of course all comedy would have it that he couldn’t get the wheelchair to open. He finally did, and then he parked, he ran back in with just the camera as I instructed, and we started to go. Me howling away, people looking at me like I’m crazy, me hoping my water doesn’t burst all over everything while I was certain I was transitioning because my body was seriously shaking. I was trying to be calm, James was wheeling as fast as he could, only to get stopped up by stupid elevators that don’t run properly! We finally made it up to L&D and they got me in a triage room right away. It was 9:50pm (thought felt hours later) and I was at 4cm and 100% effaced.

I was previously not planning on an epidural, they freak me out, but when I asked I said YES!! The pain was so crazy. I delivered 3 babies with no epidural and made it just fine. This was so different. They called my doc, got me to a room and an influx of 4+ nurses were in my room – filling out paperwork, getting vitals, starting an IV, calling for the epi, etc. James was so wide eyed and I was contracting so much. They checked me again at 10:20pm and I was 6cm! They did an intrathecal epidural – further into the space, faster acting but shorter duration. It worked SO FAST and I seriously felt NOTHING after that. My legs were so numb and heavy and I was definitely in nervous lala land. My doc arrived, just as shocked and surprised as I was, and was getting everything set for delivery. Serioulsy, it was only 10:50pm when she checked me again and I was at 8cm! My water still hadn’t broke. She waited a few more minutes to get things set up and ready and then broke my water. A few more minutes went by and she checked me again and I was 10cm and ready to push! What? Ready to push? I feel nothing, how can I push? How did all of this happen so fast? The first contraction, 2 ineffective pushes, I couldn’t feel anything. The next contraction – head out. What?! Head out?!! No crowning burn?! heck yeah that was awesome but how could I not feel the crowning?!! Next push, baby born – 11:11pm! No joke!! Another baby with a very short cord, they couldn’t even get him to my belly.

So at 36 weeks and 2 days, Levi James was born weighing in at 6 pounds 1 ounce and 18 inches long. He was checked for respiratory issues and was just fine, he was back in with me in no time.

We are uncertain why he came so early, all of my other babies were term. There were no signs of anything to pinpoint other than we think he was just wanting to get out of there! Ha! My doctor says that being the 5th baby, my body just knew what to do, even if it wasn’t the best timing. We’re just so thankful that he’s healthy and that we didn’t need a NICU stay. He’s so super small to me but so adorable!

Now, a week later, we have found out that he was Coombs+ so his billirubin spiked and we were back in the hospital overnight after being discharged 2 days after his birth. He got a day and a half of photo therapy which went so well, not all the heel poking and incompetent people, but the lights brought  his numbers down. yesterday he finished his at home therapy and we go for hopefully our final redraw this morning. He’s doing great! There were some nursing and latch issues but I suspect now that with the jaundice and his small size and early arrival, the colostrum was just too hard for him to suck. Now that he’s better and my milk is in, it’s all just fine!

This is probably the vaguest birth story ever, though I’m not sure I could detail it any more since everything happened so fast and it was so intense. I felt so lovely dovey and wonderfully blissful and happy – but even those immediate mommy feelings were shoved aside a little by the total shock and amazement that he was born a month early, and in such a crazy way. Leave it to our last baby to make such a stellar arrival.

More on the jaundice to come in another post.

Of course, there are pictures, courtesy of James!

Fresh!

Mama’s first look

oh tiny, tiny foot!

Two tiny, tiny feet!

Welcome to the world, son. While we weren’t quite ready to meet you yet, we are so glad you are here! We love you!

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The bump is growing! Pretty soon it will be an all out belly! Time just isn’t going fast enough though – I’m already so anxious to meet this little person and add to our family!

There it is, there is definitely a baby growing in there! It has taken a really long time compared to Lucas’ pregnancy to finally feel this little peanut wiggling around with some consistency. With Lucas, I knew so early and he never quite wiggling since, and even not now at 11 months – he’s ALWAYS on the go!  But this wee one has either been more relaxed or isn’t as strong, or everything is just different. But that’s ok. Thankfully, I have the experience to know not to worry, things happen in their own time, but there were those days where I just wondered if I really was pregnant or if I was just over indulging in the Oreos and milk. [no, a stack of 6-8 cookies at a time isn’t too many, right?]  I’m so excited to find out if this baby is a little girl or another boy. Nearly a month is such a long time to wait!

I get so excited for all my checkups. I know some people don’t really enjoy the monthly weight, urine, blood pressure, measure belly checks, but I do. I love seeing the progress and knowing that I’m getting just that much closer. According to my doctor’s scale, I’ve only gained 1 pound so far. Perfect in my book – I know the big pounds are right around the corner. She said my belly was measuring right about 15 weeks but could be 17 weeks. I’ll take the 15, the 17 makes me a little nervous! I would like a nice, small baby this time. The baby’s heart rate was still a beautiful 160bpm – I just love that sound. It’s so reassuring and calming. I have thought about getting a doppler so I could hear it more often and so the kids could have more listens too – they don’t usually get to go to appointments with me. But I think I would become obsessive about it. I will just anxiously await each appointment to hear more! So everything was great, growing right on schedule and I’m feeling good and having no issues. I see her again in a month but just before I see her, we get our ultrasound!! Not only will we get a little peek at how this baby is growing and how adorable and healthy it is, we get to find out the gender! As long as baby cooperates though. I’ve not had one yet that hasn’t, so we’re hoping for the best! My doctor also reassured us that they are finding a lot of  marks for Echogenic Focus in the heart, like Lucas had. They think it’s because the technology is so much better and that they really are more common than thought before. At least if we find that again this time, we won’t initially freak out. It was really stressful last time.


It’s been three weeks and my belly is starting to round out just  a little bit. I still don’t feel very pregnant, maybe more like I had way too much for dinner. And I probably am doing that too! It’s really nice to have an appetite again. We’ve finally told the kids and our families and shared our news on Facebook. It’s so exciting to see everyone’s comments and reactions – some totally excited, some really shocked, some thinking we’re crazy! Sometimes, I feel a bit crazy too! But I love my growing family and our crazy life and being a mom to them all. I wouldn’t change a thing!

Here is the first of a new round of belly pictures! So far, nothing going on, just residual rounding from Lucas. I expect the belly to “pop” pretty soon though – it’s about that time. I’m feel pretty good! I had rounds of nausea and plenty of days of total exhaustion – some of which weren’t helped by a 3 week long sinus crud cold. My appetite diminished but is returning. I had lost 6 pounds in the first month of being pregnant which isn’t so great, but knowing me, I’ll gain just the right amount back in no time. It’s going to be a lot of fun eating enough to feed the 3 of us! {Me, the innie baby, and Lucas} Bring on the ice cream sandwiches!

The long awaited day finally came!  I get so anxious because even though there is nausea and exhaustion and weird pregnancy symptoms at times, without seeing or hearing what’s on the inside – it’s all just a little unnerving until we know FOR SURE there is someone growing in there. And yes, there is! A wonderful, perfect, tear jerking, emotion evoking, loving, little flittering heart beat at 170bpm! It was music to my ears. My weight is good, growth is good, and we did the standard pee in a cup and take 5 tubes of blood for standard tests deal too. It was a good appointment and I look forward to all the rest that are to come. I just wish James would have been able to be there!

The other downside was that my doctor was quite adamant that I needed to have Lucas stop nursing, cold turkey, because it takes too many calories away from me and the innie baby. I’ve done my homework, I know that many people nurse while pregnant, some even beyond pregnancy and nurse 2 babies, and some even have twins or triplets and nurse all those babies! I just don’t agree with her and it set a little bit of a disappointing tone [for the first time ever] for the appointment. She didn’t hear me, she was just certain I needed to stop. I’ll be speaking with the lactation consultant and I plan to see the dietician soon to make sure that I am doing all that I can to have all 3 of us thrive!

It’s real, we’re having a baby!!

 

And here comes baby #5!

What a wild and crazy and exciting and fun ride we’re on! Big families have that much more love and fun to go around and I love my big family more than anything!

In order to save time, this is copied from our Facebook update. This is the brief story, there are more details which may be shared in time but maybe the general masses don’t want or need to know all the details. Maybe we’ll just keep that to ourselves for now.

Lucas David was born 12-10-10 at 7:26pm weighing 8 pounds 7 ounces and 21.5 inches long.

Thank you all for your support and concern and my apologies for purposefully not updating until we had the time to share what I need to share.

First of all, yes, we are all just fine and doing great! There have been a few speed bumps but we know that mostly everyone just wants to be assured that we are ok – and we are! We cannot reply to all the messages at this time but hope this helps and will eventually get around to catching up. We’re glad that everyone is thinking of us and so excited to share in our joy – it really means a lot.

I was admitted at 7pm Thursday night to start induction with cervical gel which was just supposed to get things ready for the big induction Friday morning. We planned for a mostly laid back evening. Withing 10 minutes of getting the gel I started contracting and within 30 minutes they were full strength and 2 minutes apart – the entire night. By morning we had hoped that all of these contractions were doing a good job and that things were moving a long quickly. But they weren’t We knew the baby was high and there was a lot of work for the body to do. I was wrong in thinking that. Even by noon when my doctor came to break my water and really get things going, it was difficult for several reason. Fortunately, 2 hours earlier, after being exhausted from being awake since 3:30am the day before and nonstop contractions, I decided to get an epidural, and those that know me well know this was a very big and hard decision because of my own fears. At the same time, Pitocin was started which made contractions stronger and longer. By mid-afternoon I had made minimal progress and was feeling already defeated, frustrated and beyond exhausted while trying to still be excited for our baby boy to be born. This was the point where I had stopped Facebooking and I’m sorry that I left everyone hanging. In hindsight I wish I would have updated one more time. I finally started progressing but that turned into a very difficult [for me] delivery. My other babies were all born quickly with IV pain meds only and no complications. There was a lot of insufficient pushing due to the epidural but things finally found their place and Lucas was born after a lot of pushing and a very stuck head.

All would be amazing if I could stop there and share my story but that’s not the case. He came out very limp and purple, cord around his neck and apgars of 5, 7, and 8. His breathing was labored and he required CPAP for a short time. James went with him to the NICU and was there for over an hour before I was able to come to him as well. He responded to his treatments and having IVs set and medications administered. He’s having a blood culture to check for possible infection to rule out why he was having a difficult time breathing outside of the bit of fluid in his lungs and meconium at birth – not before. This requires him to have a mandatory 48 hour NICU stay with IV antibiotics until results are found. Fortunately, he’s doing well in every other way right now, we’re just waiting on those results which are due tomorrow night and hoping there are no back slides. Today, he had feeding tube [to check his esophagus as a possible reason for my increased amniotic fluid – and was left in in case it was needed later for feeding] and nasal cannula were removed. We’re very happy that since 6am he’s been breathing well on room air all on his own! Today I was able to start nursing him and he took right to it and ate for a good 40 minutes! I’m heading back soon to do some more. He’s doing great. It’s very hard to be in the NICU and see so many very tiny and very sick babies. We feel very thankful that Lucas will have a short stay and get to go home with us soon.

As of right now, the hope is to have him come home on Monday as long as all of his bloodwork comes back a-ok. We are supposed to be discharged tomorrow but hope to get a rooming in overnight with him so we all can come home Monday together. Will know more on that tomorrow.

We’re all doing ok – it’s been emotional and frustrating and obviously not how we expected things to go but the big picture is most important and that’s what we’re looking at.

We will get back to everyone eventually and am sure you understand that we’re putting our focus on family right now. We can’t wait to share more, there will be plenty of pictures to come, before long you’ll be tired of the constant updates. 🙂

P.S. We can’t take cell phones into the NICU so replies do take quite awhile – sorry.

We welcomed Lucas into the world at 7:26pm weighing 8 pounds and 7 ounces and 21 inches long. He’s just perfect!!