Monday, December 28, 2015

Birth Story

Benson's Birth Story

This little guy’s birth was definitely a good reminder that no matter what happened with previous pregnancies and deliveries, each one is so different and will happen when they want and are good and ready!!!

I had a doctor’s appointment on Monday Dec. 14th where I was still dilated to a 3 and 80% effaced and 38 weeks. The Dr. stripped my membranes, pretty confident it would work and that hopefully he’ll see me tonight. It was a horrible snow storm that day, very windy and cold with bad roads. Dr. Melendez remembered my birth with Shad and told me not to wait, especially with this weather. He was very doubtful I’d make it to my induction that next Monday Dec. 21st when I’d be 39 weeks. So I went about my normal day, hoping so bad something would happen but somehow not expecting anything so I wouldn’t get my hopes up. I went to bed that night with zero contractions and no changes. The next day passed and Wednesday and Thursday…. still nothing!! Not even one teeny, tiny contraction. Ginger was induced that day, Thursday Dec. 17th and had little Cade around 2:30 pm. We went and saw them at the hospital which was so fun and hard to not be insanely jealous J. I was huge and pretty miserable with bad back pain and just ready to be done. With Shad and Levi I went into labor around 38 weeks, 4 days and so I was very hopeful this little baby would come on the 17th or 18th. The night of the 17th I felt that maybe my water was slowly leaking but I really wasn’t sure. I went to bed with nothing going on. The next morning, I felt some wetness again and just was unsure about things. For some reason I just felt a little unsettled.  So after dropping the boys off at school for their Christmas Pajama parties, Shaddie and I headed over to my doctor’s office just to be checked. They had told me the last few weeks, I could stop by any time to be checked without an appointment. It turned out that my water was not leaking but I was having high blood pressure. They sent me over to Labor and Delivery at the hospital to be monitored for an hour. Once I got there my BP was all over the place- it would be very high and then start to trend down and back and forth. Finally after about 3 hours I got the word that they would be sending me home since it was trending down and no other signs/symptoms of preeclampsia. However, Dr. Bean wanted to draw some labs just to make sure. After another 2 hours it turned out that my platelets were low and I needed to come back the next day to make sure they weren’t trending down. The only problem with that was that if they were too low- below 95- I couldn’t get an epidural. And that freaked me out.
The next morning, Saturday Dec. 19th, I went back, had my labs redrawn and BP monitored. After about 2 hours, the BP was fine and my platelets remained the same at 117. Once again, the walk of shame out the door and home. I wasn’t really expecting to be admitted and induced that day since it would just be too good to be true. I wanted it so bad but just resolved to be induced Monday. That night TJ and I went out on a date to Cheesecake Factory and the next day was Christmas Sunday. I got all my little projects done that I wanted to do before baby came and was completely ready for Christmas. So even though it was hard waiting until Monday, it went quickly and was quite productive. I always enjoy the Christmas Sunday as well and it was fun with the Bishopric doing the Nativity for sharing time. What surprised me as well was that the Charge Nurse called Sunday morning to give me my 6:30 am time to come in for induction! I was very happy to be the first on the list and not have to wait around. That made it tons easier- just to know.
Of course, we had a bad night that Sunday night/Monday morning. All of us had a bad head cold and Shaddie had a hard time sleeping. I was up from 3 am on and never was able to get good sleep. Great preparation for baby. J Monday morning I was so ready! It was hard to eat breakfast but I knew I needed to. Ruth was late coming so I just drove myself in Derek’s forerunner and TJ met me there a while later. It was a nice quiet, dark drive and seemed so weird I was driving to go have a baby with zero contractions. It felt so peaceful driving down State Street in American Fork with all the Christmas lights and decorations and no one on the road. It had snowed all night and was chilly but clear.
When I got there I went straight to a room and wasn’t long before I had an IV going, fluids running and all set to go with the Pitocin started. Dr. Melendez was on call that day and he popped in and was about to break my water but then recommended I get my epidural first since I have a history of fast labors. He said if I didn’t then it might not ever catch up with the pain since him and the nurses were pretty confident I’d have a baby by noon- ha! My nurse, Becky, was awesome and she had a orienting nurse with her who was okay J
So we got the epidural in which went well and worked great overall. It was always more on the right side so my right leg was dead weight and my left still worked really well the entire time. So weird. It was also so weird to be getting the epidural with zero pain and no contractions. I had the epidural in by 8 am and Dr. Melendez came by to break my water. However, my cervix was too posterior and needed to come down more. So we waited for it to come down and let the Pitocin keep titrating up. Finally, around 10 am I was ready to have my water broken. Everyone was so confident that once the water broke it was going to go fast. However, it turned out that Dr. Melendez got stuck at Mountain Point hospital doing a C section and didn’t make it back over to me to break my water until 12:30 pm!!! It took forever and seemed like wasting time since absolutely nothing happened during that entire 2+ hours. I was just sitting there at a 4, watching TV, doing nothing. After that, I quickly went from a 5 to a 6 and then after that, it seemed like I got stuck there. My nurse had me turn completely on my side and use the ‘peanut ball’ – a giant exercise like ball shaped like a peanut to put between my legs to open up my pelvis to make the baby descend. That was around 3 pm. I was starting to get a little discouraged about how long it was taking since there was all this hype about how fast it would be. Plus Ginger went in around 7:30 am and had a 2:30 pm baby! It was just long laying there and starving so it was easy to think too much. I ate like 5 or 6 popsicles since that was the only thing that sounded okay and was so hungry. Close to 4 pm I got nauseated and threw up which was encouraging since my nurse said that’s the body getting the baby further down the birth canal. I also started feeling pressure and the timing of each contraction, with them coming closer together. By 4:45 pm we were set up to have a baby since I was definitely feeling the pressure that comes with the head being right there and being complete and ready to push. It wasn’t painful exactly, like the epidural was working, but it still did not feel good and just overwhelming pressure. With Shad and Levi I literally pushed 2 or 3 times total and the baby was out so I was expecting the same. However, it was a lot more pushing and hard. After about a dozen pushes his head was out but his shoulders were stuck. I remember being amazed that I was actually yelling out loud and crying and on the verge of screaming, which had never happened before. The thing that saved me was my nurse, Becky. She was around my mom’s age and was so motherly and kind. But during this moment she put her head directly above mine and yelled at me to push and exactly when and how. This brought me back a little to reality and made me gather all the strength I had and refocus my efforts.  I also remember Dr. Melendez actually standing up to get leverage and shifting and moving his whole body. As soon as those shoulders came out, the relief that washed over my entire body and his little body slid out was indescribable. I was still crying but more with joy that he was out, I was done, and that I did it. Everyone was silent and looked at TJ as he turned to me and said, “It’s a boy!” but I was so relieved and emotional I didn’t care at all! I was just so happy he was out!!! TJ cut the cord and later said initially, he was a tiny bit disappointed but it all diminished immediately as he saw his little face. They laid him on top of me and I think I said something to the effect that I was so happy he was out and just loved him for coming out- I think I was a little traumatized. J I didn’t tear at all so the doctor was quickly done and before I knew it, I was cleaned up and sitting up in bed. Amy, Dallin, Clay, Jessie and Sterling were on their way down from Logan to AZ for Christmas and had been waiting in the waiting room for about 10 minutes- it was pretty good timing. They literally came in to see us all when Benson was about 15 minutes old. It was fun to see them but I was still shaking from the epidural and crying from everything that had just happened. J I hope I didn’t change Jessie and Sterling’s mind about ever having kids. J
Soon after they left, I got transferred to Mom/Baby unit and I still couldn’t lift my right leg at all, let alone stand on it so I wasn’t able to get up to the bathroom and the nurse had to clean me up in bed- blah! Then she had to help transfer me to the wheelchair and new bed- I felt like an old lady!
 Ruth immediately came over with the other boys. They were so curious and seemed to not care that it was another boy even though all they talked about was having a sister the entire pregnancy. Ty and Levi were so sweet with him and kept kissing him. Shaddie didn’t want anything to do with him and was leery of me in the hospital bed. They didn’t stay too long since it was past bedtime and soon after Lexi stopped by. By the time I got to actually look at my sweet Benson it was late and I was exhausted but so happy with my little man. I called my mom to talk to her and just bask it all in. It was a whirlwind of visitors immediately after delivery so I enjoyed the quiet time so much.
The next two days were like a vacation, lounging in the hospital bed, holding my baby, watching Forensic Files and Dateline murder mysteries. The only thing I had to worry about was what to order from the room service meals. Since it was the 22nd and 23rd of Dec. there weren’t any visitors because everyone was busy with Christmas coming. TJ came one night and we had dinner together. It was great. The nurses there were the best I’d ever had- so attentive and kind and willing to help with anything and everything. They took him during the night and gave him formula for his 2 am feeding so I was able to sleep from 11 pm- 5 am each night- it was heavenly and so needed. The worst part was this head cold that I had!! It left me with headaches and fever/chills- it was awful and so dumb to have it during the few days of recovering from having a baby!
The boys were so excited to come pick us up and from right then and there, real life began!! Four kids is a bit overwhelming for sure and I’m not sure how I’m going to do it once TJ goes back to school/work. I haven’t felt like this since Levi was born and two was overwhelming!! Three was a dream and seemed easy for various reasons. But regardless, I know little Benson is supposed to be here and fits perfectly into our little family of boys. I’m so grateful and blessed for his perfect little body and that I survived another pregnancy and delivery. It was definitely a rough one and each time gets harder and harder!! I seriously have no idea how my mom did this NINE times.
I’m also grateful to have a little Christmas baby. The entire time I just kept thinking about what a lame birthday he’d have but really, I actually really enjoyed having him over the holiday. He was a literal reminder of what the Christmas season is all about- a tiny baby boy. It also was a constant reminder of Mary went through and how she must’ve felt at times. The song “Mary Did You Know?” made me bawl each time I heard it. I felt like our family focused on Christ much more this season and drew us closer together. My little Benson is my reminder of what I should focus on everyday and who I want to become.
So overall, I still can’t believe he came when he did and that I made it to my induction. I seriously felt like I was way overdue and that it took so long, even though I was only 39 weeks.  I’m still a little wary of ever being induced again. Don’t get me wrong, I’m just SO glad he is here and whatever it took to get him out was just fine by me. But it seemed to take so long and wasted an entire day when before I could show up half way there and have quick, easier labors. If it wasn’t the week of Christmas, I might’ve cancelled the induction and waited to go on my own. I felt like he wasn’t ready to come and that I was forcing him out!
 He’s my biggest baby by almost a pound and him and Shad are exactly 23 months apart- almost to the hour. Benson was born at 4:57 pm and Shaddie was born at 8:04 pm. J
We were still unsure about names when Benson was born and once we knew it was a boy, it made it easier. We had talked about Benson Holland- both after great men who we honor and revere. TJ had taught elder’s quorum all year long from the Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: Ezra Taft Benson and has really grown to love him. I’ve always loved Elder Holland and he’s my favorite apostle every General Conference. This past conference he gave an amazing talk all about motherhood and it just resonated with me so strongly. For a while, I wanted to name him Ezra but over time, wasn’t sure if I liked it enough. That night after he was born TJ texted me and asked if we were set on Benson. I was still unsure but when he texted back and said he loved the name, I knew it was right. This entire pregnancy TJ hasn’t had any opinion at all on names. He’s been so busy surviving work and grad school that he rarely tried to think of names that he liked and didn’t like any of the ones I suggested. So the fact that he said he loved the name, sealed the deal for me. I really wanted him to love the name we chose instead of me convincing him of what I liked. When we announced on social media what his name was there were so many comments- more than average I felt like- of how much people loved his name and what a strong name it was. Even my mission president commented on what a powerful name for such a little guy it was- it made me feel good knowing that people could totally see what two great men he was named after. Each of our kids is named after a specific person that we can teach them about and I wanted Benson to have the same thing- someone to emulate his life after and remember who he is and can become.

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