Thursday, August 11, 2011

So Proud!!!

As I woke up this morning I noticed the sun was starting to come up…when I leaned over to check my phone I noticed it was 6:58 am. Berkley had slept through the night (STTN)!!! I couldn’t believe it! B had STTN before, a lot actually. But I have been doing some “retraining” because she was sick for a week plus she had a little mini growth spurt after that. So when B would wake up in the middle of the night, I would just feed her instead of letting her cry it out (CIO).

I had only been working on the retraining for three nights and ta da; she did it! She STTN! The night before last, I was sick and Geoffrey was planning to get up with B in case she couldn’t go back to sleep after CIO for 15 minutes. He said she woke up around 4 (which is usually when she wakes up) cried for 15 minutes and then just stopped. She stayed awake looking around for about 20 minutes before she went back to sleep on her own. Which we were happy with that too! But then, the very next night, she sleeps through the night seamlessly! I never heard her on the monitor!

Now I have been told progress is a spiral. And B is textbook when it comes to this. She is able to grasp something new when I least expect it. Then she will revert back to old habits…take two steps forward, one step back. But I am so proud of her. She has come a long way. Plus she has bounced back well despite a few set backs that really were out of her control (and mine).

I then looked at our video monitor this morning (if you don’t have one, get one! They are amazing and take a lot of the guess work out of knowing when to go in to comfort your baby because you can see your little one) and noticed she was still asleep! She actually stayed asleep for about 15 more minutes; which was shocking. I figured she would be getting up around 7 starving!  The last time she had eaten was at 11 pm. Once she did wake up (about 7:15) she just laid there in bed looking around; didn’t make a peep. AMAZING! She woke up happy! So I let her lay there for about 5 minutes before nursing her.

To say I am proud of Berkley for learning how to sleep through the night is an understatement. It doesn’t matter how small or grand the accomplishments are, I am ALWAYS so proud of her! I delight in seeing B learn, make connections and begin to understand the world around her! It’s incredible! And as a parent, the patience is just built right in. She is going to learn at HER own pace. (Good reminder for me: don’t compare her to other babies and expect her to do exactly what they did). I’m just there to coach her along, encourage her, love her and teach her. Plus, I am her parent; therefore no one else knows what is best for her than me (and Geoffrey).

I think it’s safe to say I am beginning to catch a glimpse of Father God’s love for His children. We are His pride and joy! He delights in us, even when we fail. He is patient, slow to anger and abounding in love! Father God is such a good daddy! And when He’s teaching us or stretching us, it can be painful. A lot like when I let B CIO. No, I DO NOT like hearing her cry and I know she doesn’t like crying. But I see the value in teaching her to self-sooth, plus I know what is best for her. (I’ll post more on sleep training in a future post). Father God knows what is best for us. He sees the end result; the bigger picture. So we have to keep that in mind when God allows things that might be painful or difficult. I mean He wants us to grow. And growing isn't always easy. Sometimes it's a growth spurt and it happens all of a sudden. And sometimes markable growth seems to take F.O.R.E.V.E.R.!!!! But the goal isn't to stay a baby our whole life! And Lord have mercy as much as I love my baby B, I don't want her to stay a baby her whole life either. There are so many good things I want her to enjoy and experience that she can't handle as a baby. So, as her parent, I am feeding her (real food and brain food) because she has got to grow! Therefore Father God's goal is to grow us into strong, mature believers because there are many good things He has for us; we just might not be quite ready for them yet! 

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Labor and Delivery: Part Two

Ok, so as promised, here is part two of my labor and delivery experience…and I know, its WAY OVERDUE:

After I was told I was in labor (YAY)…I asked for pain meds - STAT! So they loaded me up with Demerol and Phenergan. Almost instantly, my head crashed towards the hospital grade pillow.  But that pillow wouldn’t do…my sweet husband offered to get my pillow out of our car so I could rest more comfortably.

Despite my drowsiness, I some how managed to keep up a conversation with the nursing staff and Geoffrey. So as Geoff was telling me he was leaving the room to grab my pillow, I apparently made a funny comment. According to Geoffrey, I turned to the nurse and said, “Yes, he’s leaving to get our pillows, because we are pillow people.” End scene for Sarah. I became completely incoherent. My brain was working, but whatever ended up tumbling out of my mouth didn’t really make a whole lot of sense. In fact, before the lights went completely out, I remember being frustrated that I couldn’t talk anymore.  

Before too long, I fell asleep and only ‘half-way’ woke up when contractions were off the chart.

Meanwhile we waited for my body to dilate to a 4 or a 5 so that I could be given an epidural.

2:00 am – Finally, the anesthesiologist could come in to give me an epidural. Might I add, they are not as scary as they seem. I was so ready for the epidural I didn’t care how long of a needle the doc was going to shove up my spine. 

From what I remember, the nurses came in to explain to me how the procedure would be done and before too long the guy with the goods came in to numb me from my waist down to my toes. 

Basically what happens is you are instructed to sit at the edge of the bed and lean over your knees to expose your spine (this is the best position for the doctor to insert the needle below one of your vertebrae). What I didn’t know is that a small tube or catheter is threaded through the needle into the epidural space. The needle is carefully removed leaving the catheter in place so medication can be given through periodic injections or by continuous infusion.  The catheter is then taped to your back to prevent it from slipping out.

So, after a local anesthetic was given to numb a small part of my back, I was told, “Don’t move!” Which is harder than you think considering I was still having really strong contractions every 2-3 minutes. So I grabbed Geoffrey’s hand and waited until the anesthesiologist was done. The whole thing lasted only a few minutes.  Not bad at all. I highly recommend it!

2:30 am – I was laying back down, loosing all feeling in my legs.  Quickly thereafter, I was asleep.

Between 2:30 and 5:00 am not much happened. The nurses came in about every hour to see how I was progressing. Apparently I had a catheter – didn’t know that. Once I found out I had one I was actually kind of embarrassed. My curious mind went straight to “Well how does a catheter work? Would it have hurt if I hadn’t had the pain meds? Where is the bag of urine? I hope it’s hidden…” Haha. Thinking back on it now, it makes sense that you need a catheter because you’re pretty much contained to your bed after an epidural. Plus you are strapped to monitors and IV’s.

There wasn’t too much excitement the whole night. Just a lot of waiting on my body to dilate to a 9 so I could push. Needless to say, I actually rested quite well. Geoffrey on the other hand was wide-awake; bored, stressed…he watched movies and paced. He said he would look over at the monitors to see how strong my contractions were, and was shocked I never woke up.

-Note from Geoffrey- I actually spent almost the entire time that Sarah was unconscious listening to the song by Bethel church called “God, I Look to You.” I was fairly stressed out and nervous about everything. So I downloaded the song, and then just worshipped and prayed over Sarah and Berkley. I probably listened to that song 50+ times that night. It brought me such peace, and I really believe the Lord’s presence was resting in that hospital room throughout the rest of the labor/delivery.

5:00 am – The OB on call came in to break my water. I hardly remember it at all. Side note: Geoffrey said he was actually surprised at the whole thing because he was expecting a lot of water, only to find out there was just a little.

5:10 am – I was back asleep. I think Geoffrey was able to catch a few winks. He needed to rest some before the BIG DAY!

Meanwhile our whole family awaited the arrival of our Sweet B in the waiting room. They slept, they talked, and then some of them slept some more while the others were just too anxious.

6:30 am – We were told my OB would be in to make her morning rounds in between 7 and 8. She would then check me to see if it was time to push.  It was time to get excited!

However, things don’t always work out the way you hope. As it turned out, my OB had an emergency c-section and she couldn’t get away.

So the nurses asked how I was doing…did I feel the urge to push or did I think I could wait for my OB so she could deliver B…I didn’t feel the urge to push or anything, I was comfortable. So I told them I would wait.

We waited…and waited…and waited…

I couldn’t help but wonder how I would know when it was time to push. I mean, I had carried B SOOO low and each time they examined me they were having to reach around her head to see how dilated I was. I mean this girl was LOW! And I couldn’t really feel any pain; I just felt pressure. But they assured me I wouldn’t just have this baby and them not know it…she wouldn’t slip out. Haha, One of my favorite nurses told me ‘you’ll know!’  And as it turned out, she was right.

Not surprisingly, I was able to catch a little more sleep.

10:15 am – Some of my family came in to see me. My sisters were the last to leave my room; which was around 10:30…my OB was almost there and it was TIME TO PUSH!!!

10:40 am – I started pushing. Which is a very odd feeling. I couldn’t get over my legs…they were SO NUMB! But the pushing was pretty easy.

10:55 am – Berkley Grace Turner arrived. Not bad at all…I pushed for 15 minutes. First thought I had “Why is my baby girl purple?” Second thought “Oh my gosh, she’s here…she’s mine…she’s beautiful!” The whole thing was so surreal.

After Berkley was cleaned, measured and weighed I got to hold her for the first time. It was incredible! Then Geoffrey got to go with her to the nursery so her pediatrician could make sure everything was ok. She also got her first bath…and daddy got to watch.

I had a fever and so did B…so we actually had to stay in the hospital for three days while I was on antibiotics! In those three days we had SOOOO many visitors who came to meet our sweet B! We felt so loved and supported. Geoffrey and I were overwhelmed with thanksgiving for those in our lives who care so much for our little family of three.  

By the third day, I was really ready to go home. We checked out at about 1:00 pm. Strapping B in her car seat and driving with her was really weird!  I suddenly found myself freaking out as cars passed us on the highway. I mean, we were carrying precious cargo!

Once we got home, it was a NEW reality. To sum it all up, we were overwhelmed. Not scared or nervous, just overwhelmed with gratitude. God had given us such a precious little gift; she was ours. God trusted Geoffrey and I as her parents for such a time as this.