Wednesday, June 4, 2014

So overdue!

An update from the Settle family is long overdue! I will start with Wyatt's birth story but have many more posts in the works to bring everyone up to speed....Just a warning, this is detailed & long.  But I don't ever want to forget any of the details. After all, the birth of my children are two of the most special and awe-inspiring times of my life.

Backing up quite a bit, I delivered Kinsley Anne at 35 weeks 1 day. I was SO relieved and excited when that day came & passed with Wyatt's pregnancy uneventfully.  However, 2 days later, I found myself wondering why my stomach was so tight. The more I paid attention, I realized that I was having regular contractions. This was 35 weeks 3 days.  I called my doctor who advised me to come into her office. I got hooked up to the monitor & was contracting every 4-6 minutes.  The doctor checked me & I was 3cm.  This is the first time I had been checked since 28 weeks (due to contractions when I got put on modified bedrest. At that time I was not dilated). Off to triage (upstairs, same building) I went to be monitored for a few hours.  I continued to contract there every 4-6 minutes & despite not having any cervical change over the course of 2 hours, my doctor didn't want me to go home until she was sure this was not going anywhere. So, I stayed the night with contractions as close together as 2 minutes, but then they sort of died off around midnight.  I got rest, lots of fluids, and some pain medicine.  From then on, I had lots of contractions most days, but nothing big enough to know "this is it."  Every time I saw my doctor she said, we can't induce you until 39 weeks, but I really don't think you'll need induction....  At 36 weeks, we had an ultrasound to estimate Wyatt's size & he was 7#1oz.  This made me feel really good about his ability to be a fighter if he delivered soon.  Well, 38 weeks arrived & I was still pregnant (which is a good thing, I realize, but I was now 3 weeks more pregnant than I'd ever been, contracting daily, and just plain tired, grumpy, and uncomfortable).  She went ahead and planned my induction date for the following Thursday at our request. Baby boy had a birth day...June 1, with induction starting at 8am.  If he didn't come on his own before then, she added.  I was excited about the upcoming week.  We were closing on our old home Monday morning, closing on our new home Monday afternoon, moving Tuesday, and meeting our newest member of the family on Thursday. What were we thinking?! a lot of people asked, but Kyle and I do crazy just as well as anyone else.

35 wks heading out to have my contractions checked

36 weeks

37 weeks

38 weeks

Monday and Tuesday went very smoothly. I did a lot of pointing & directing to both Kyle and the movers, feeling fairly useless, to be honest.  Tuesday night, we were all SO relieved to be in our new home without Wyatt.  We were so ready to meet him, but my biggest fear was that I'd go into labor while the movers were doing their thing and thankfully that didn't happen.

Wednesday morning, I woke up normally & started unpacking the kitchen.  I got the first & maybe second vase out of the box when my stomach became very tight, making it hard to bend over to put the vases in the cabinet.  I continued to unpack that box but made it no further because of the contractions that just kept coming.  I knew that my Aunt Carol was coming over at 1030am to help us unpack & wrangle Kinsley Anne, so I just tried to relax with my feet up & my back on a heating pad.  Aunt Carol arrived & brought me hot chocolate.  I knew that something was up when I didn't want any of it after the first sip.  I had been timing the contractions, which were 6 minutes apart but they were much more uncomfortable than any of the other contractions I had had thus far.  I told Kyle that I was going to get a shower to see if that helped any.  I was really thankful for the seat in the shower because I just sat there with my head down letting the hot water go down my back, but that wasn't helping. Instead, I was beginning to moan & cringe every time a contraction came.  Kinsley Anne came into the bathroom at one point & I nicely said "please go get your daddy. I need him now." He came in & I told him that I was getting out of the shower and that he needed to get ready.  {the cable guy was at our house by this time, setting up internet...awesome timing}  I started to straighten my hair & Kyle kept having to redirect Kinsley elsewhere, because she wanted to "pet my warm princess hair."  She was mesmerized by my straightener for some reason, but I was certainly in no mood to be touched.  I finally got myself dressed & my bags were already in the car from the last 4 weeks of not knowing when they would be needed.  Kyle explained to the cable guy what was going on & got him to speed along so that we could get out of the house.  I remember Kinsley wanting to come to the doctor with us & she kept saying, "but I'll sit real quiet."  Aunt Carol chimed in with "what about going to lunch at Cici's Pizza?"  She was all into that, so her attention was diverted from us leaving.  After Kyle finished getting ready, which took what felt like 2 hours, but was probably 10 minutes, we kissed Kinsley Anne goodbye, told her that Aunt Carol would bring her to the hospital to see Baby Wyatt, and we were on our way.

Luckily for me, it was about 12 noon, so there was very little traffic. I don't even want to think about what that drive would have been like in rush hour.  Kyle said, "you won't believe this, but we need gas."  I remember saying, "don't we have enough? we can get more later." after the gas had pumped a little bit.  I was holding off tears & honestly had no idea how far apart my contractions were but I knew they were getting closer together and hurting much worse.  At one point, I remember saying to Kyle, as we were getting on the tollway, "why do you have your turn signal on?" He said "I don't."  That's when I realized that my sweet husband had his flashers on & dared anyone to get in his way.  We passed a cop & just kept going.  We got to the hospital at about 1pm & I was in tears by that point. It's hard to stay calm in a moving car where you can't get comfortable & you have to wear a seat belt across your contracting stomach.  I had already called my doctor's office to tell her that I was heading to triage & she said she would meet me there.

I got to triage & they quickly took me back & hooked me up.  I honestly don't remember how far apart my contractions were, maybe every 4 minutes or so.  A nurse started putting in all my information to the computer, another nurse checked me... 5cm & 80% effaced.  I remember the nurse yelling to another nurse to call L&D and tell them I was in active labor and to come get me.  The nurses asked if I wanted an epidural & I said YES! I am not a natural labor kind of girl!!!! They all laughed, drew my labs, and before I knew it, the L&D nurse was at my door ready to take me downstairs to my room.  In the elevator, there my sweet doctor stood.  She said "I heard you were coming, I'm running to get lunch so that I can eat before your sweet boy decides to come out!" She said she'd come see me as soon as they got me settled.  I don't even think I responded because I was too busy holding back tears.  My amazing nurse moved so quickly to get everything in order so that I could get my epidural. The rules: my labs had to be back & OK'ed by anesthesiology and I had to get a full bag of fluids before I could get my epidural.  She then proceeded to hang my bag of fluids with the IV pole as high to the sky as she could, just free dripping in, not through a pump.  I tuned into my music & tried to tell myself that I'd be comfortable before I knew it.  The nurse anesthetist came in & started getting my health history & the anesthesiologist wasn't far behind. He was an amazingly calm & kind doctor, who gave me 3 shots of Lidocaine & told me that I was a "jumpy" girl. I guess I moved too much, haha.  I got my epidural placed and I remember feeling the next 3-5 contractions full force before they really started easing up. My doctor came to check me.  I was 6cm & she broke my water. She said she'd be back in a few hours...this was about 300pm.

Kyle's parents arrived (they had been planning to fly in anyway because of the induction on Thursday, but they just so happened to make it in time!).  My poor mommy was stuck in Philadelphia with torrential downpours and couldn't get onto any earlier filghts (she was already booked on an evening flight). We chatted and before long, I remember my contractions picking up just a little bit where I could feel them more, but then my epidural bolus (this was an hourly patient driven bolus) took them away again.  My doctor stopped in @ ~430pm and said "I know I'm here earlier than I said I would be, but I was on the floor and figured I'd check you again while I was here."  It took about 0.6 seconds for her to say "oh, he's right there. I can only get a fingertip in." Everyone laughed because I think my eyes almost popped out of my head.  She asked how pushing went with Kinsley and after telling her that I only pushed for 2 contractions, she told the nurse to not let me push until she came back with her scrubs on. She came right back with her scrubs on, lights came out of the ceiling, my bed was transformed, and the pushing began.

I specifically recall the doctor saying "ok Jen, he's going to be bigger than sister."  However, with 3 contractions, my sweet James "Wyatt" Settle was born at 4:50pm.  I was wide eyed, rested, & got to enjoy every sweet moment of my son's birth & all of the skin to skin cuddling immediately after he was born. He was so calm. Kyle and I were amazed that he wasn't crying.  He was a little purplish, so the nurse made him mad (all while he was laying on me) and once he cried for a few seconds he pinked right up.  He stopped crying as soon as she left him alone.  My favorite thing was how he held so tightly onto my fingers while he laid on my chest.  My sweet boy was here.

After about 30 minutes, the nurses took him over to the warmer & checked him out thoroughly.  They tried to weigh him & the scale on the warmer wasn't working.  My OB guessed "8s," I guessed 8.5lbs.  They got another scale & he weighed in at a whopping 9#7oz.  What was even more shocking was that he was 22 inches long.  I had one big, handsome baby boy!!  We spent the rest of the afternoon soaking up every cuddle and kiss that we could.

Aunt Carol & Kinsley Anne (who napped in the car) picked my mom up at the airport that night & at about 11pm, my mommy, big sister Kinsley Anne, and Aunt Carol were able to meet sweet baby Wyatt.  Kinsley Anne was SO sweet to him. She immediately began referring to him as "my baby."  She fussed at everyone to be quiet whenever chatter began "because Baby Wyatt is sleeping!"  She held him & frequently said "he wants big Sissy."  After an hour or two, everyone retreated home & Kyle and I got our first night of "newborn sleep."

a video of Kinsley Anne meeting baby brother.

I can't thank my family enough for all of their love & support.  They came to visit with us, yes. But, they also unpacked & made Kinsley feel like they were at our house for her, too, which was very important to us!
Nonie holding her first grandson.

 Poppy holding his grandson while daddy looks on... 3 generations of James

Mema holding her grandson for the first time after a very long day of travel to see him!

Gpop holding baby Wyatt!

Until Next Time...
Love, Jen

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