Friday, July 13, 2018

evangeline's birth story

A little back story--
At almost 32 weeks pregnant my doctor put me on bedrest. I was having regular contractions and because Harper was born at 37 weeks, she did not feel it was safe for me to continue working. At that point we were terrified that the baby would be born premature. We started preparing ourselves for a NICU stay and possible complications. We were also given steroid shots to mature the baby's lungs incase of an early arrival to give the baby the best chance to thrive. We spent the next 6 weeks doing very little to try to prevent our sweet baby from being born. The day we made it to 37 weeks was such a celebration! We were so excited to keep that sweet baby cooking for long enough to be able to be considered full term!

On the morning of May 26th, I woke up ready to have a baby! LOL! I had a feeling that things would be happening that day! I started scrubbing bathrooms, mopping floors, and walking laps around the house. We had a family dance party in the living room and I bounced on the yoga ball to try to get things going. After that we spent the rest of the day together enjoying our family of four, knowing that soon enough we would add another member. That afternoon my in-laws called and asked if we were up for a visit and going to dinner (fun fact- the day before Harper was born we had lunch with them and I was in labor by that night). We visited for a while and then headed to Texas Roadhouse for dinner. Around 5pm the contractions started to get regular. At that point they were about every 5 minutes apart. We kept track of them at dinner, but I refused to leave. I was determined to have a yummy dinner! After dinner we headed home to keep timing them and see if they stayed consistent enough to be real labor.
last bump pic before heading to the hospital

At 8pm we put the big kids to bed and they were less than 2 minutes apart. I knew it was time and called the on call doctor to see what she thought. She told me to head to the hospital and she would meet me there. My mom came to watch the kids until our friends could get to the house.
When we got to the hospital I was brought to triage to monitor my contractions. At 9pm after getting settled into triage the nurse told me I was only 3 centimeters. I was pretty shocked after such strong contractions, I really thought I was further along than that. She said they would monitor me for an hour and then recheck to make sure I was progressing before admitting me.

After an hour she came back and told me that from what they could see from monitoring my contractions, they thought the baby was sunny-side up(head facing up instead of towards my butt) and to expect a long labor! She rechecked and confirmed her thinking because I hadn't progressed AT ALL.  They decided to have me get on all 4's to hopefully flip the baby into the right position. I stayed in that lovely position for an hour and then went walk around the halls for 20-30 minutes. She came back and rechecked and I still hadn't progressed. As we were talking about what to do next and how I had to progress to be admitted, my water broke!!! And let me tell you it was like they opened the Hoover Dam! Apparently I had an excessive amount of water! It was going everywhere in this tiny little curtained off triage room. The poor nurse was shocked and trying to contain it, but it wouldn't stop! As soon as my water broke the baby's heart rate dropped. They immediately put oxygen on me and flipped me on my side to try to bring it back up. After what felt like eternity it finally came back up and settled down. So at that point there was no going back and we were brought into labor and delivery.

After getting settled into our room(around 12 am on May 27th), the on call doc came in and checked and I was at 5 centimeters. So in less that 20 minutes I had progressed 2 more centimeters. They assumed that meant the baby had flipped and started running around very quickly to prepare everything, they figured we were going to have a baby very soon.
I was hoping to have an unmedicated birth again and at that point the contractions started getting stronger. I focused on my breathing. At about 1 am the nurse came in to check me again. I hadn't progressed at all and my contraction pattern was the same (meaning baby hadn't flipped). We were so discouraged, but I was still determined to deliver naturally. These contractions were so intense though. Not only did they feel like the normal labor contractions, I was in an immense amount of back pain. At 3 am the nurse came to check me and I was 6 cm. She decided to have me flip to my side and put one leg in a stirrup. She said that a lot of times that position will help the baby to flip. She said she would have me stay in that position for an hour and then recheck. That hour was the hardest hour of my life. It was the absolute worst pain I had ever been in (keep in mind- I had a completely unmedicated birth for Harper) and I questioned everything! I was praying in between every contractions for God to hurry my labor up and for the strength to keep going. The worst part was that because of the position my legs were in, I didn't get relief between contractions because I was in so much pain from the way I was laying. At what seemed like the perfect time, James put on praise and worship music and it immediately changed the mood in the room. I felt an overwhelming peace at that moment.

At 4am the nurse came in and checked me. I was still 6 centimeters and in so much pain. I didn't know if I could continue. James looked at me and said "this is your chance if you want the epidural we need to do it now." I told the nurse to give me a few minutes and I would decide. Well in those few minutes I immediately felt the urge to push. I knew it was time. I started screaming and honestly kind of freaking out! It went from 6 centimeters to trying not to push in such a short amount of time. James took off to get the nurse (poor thing had just sat down for her "lunch" break) and my mom was by my side. She was trying to stay cool and keep me breathing. The nurse came in and confirmed that I was 9 centimeters and they called the doctor. At that point the room surrounded with so many people and things were crazy. (fun fact #2- I was the only person laboring in labor and delivery that night. Since we didn't know the gender, all of the nurses were so excited they all came in to watch the birth and find out what sweet baby gautreaux was with us.) Everyone was telling me not to push and my body was naturally just pushing the baby out. Luckily the doctor ran in and told me to push when I needed. I think I might have pushed through 2 contractions and then she said to take a deep breath and with 2 more pushes our sweet baby was out. Also so grateful for James who remembered at the last moment to tell my grandma to snap a few iPhone pictures, poor 3rd child almost didn't have a single picture.

She handed the baby to James and after triple checking he announced our sweet baby was a GIRL and laid her on me!!! We were shocked! I kind of had a feeling it was a girl from the beginning, but didn't totally trust my instincts. James on the other hand was determined this baby was a boy! Evangeline Rose Gautreaux was born at 4:28am on May 27th, 2018.
From the second she was born, Evie was a calm baby. She didn't cry and just laid on me for a long time looking around. When she did start crying it sounded like a little puppy whimpering. She was so sweet and relaxed. We immediately did skin to skin. After skin to skin for a while, they took our sweet girl and weighed her and got all of her stats. She weighed 7lbs. 12oz. and was 19 1/2 in. long. After they weighed her they put her back on me and she immediately latched. Everyone was shocked that she had a perfect latch first try and she nursed for over 30 minutes!
Evie's birth was so hard, but just like the other two kids, it was so perfect in its own way.

 Random things I don't want to forget:
-Evie was born at 38 weeks exactly
-Dr. Stute's delivered her
-My mom and grandma were in the room with us when she was born
-When the big kids came to meet her Harper's response was "I told you it was a girl" and poor Cooper cried because he wanted a brother
-We only stayed in the hospital one night, but had to be re-admitted 3 days later for 2 more nights because of her jaundice levels

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Friday, November 21, 2014

harper elizabeth -- a birth story

You always hear that every birth story is different but I never truly understood that until having Harper. I kind of expected everything to be very similar to Cooper's birth. I thought I would never go into labor and have to be induced. I thought that her heart beat would drop just like his. I thought I would be forced to get an epidural and it might end in a c-section. I thought I would have a big ole baby (Cooper was 8 pounds 11 ounces). Why did I think any of this? I have no clue!! 

So Sunday October 19th I woke up with contractions about 7 minutes apart. They weren't very intense but pretty regular so we decided to go about our regular Sunday routine and see what happened. We went to church and lunch with my in-laws and then headed home for little man's nap. The whole day the contractions stayed about 7-10 minutes apart. At our 35 week appointment my doctor did an ultrasound to make sure Harper had flipped and was head down. She was able to tell that Harper was already breathing on her own and doing great. At our 36 week appointment I was 2 cm 60% effaced and our doctor told us she didn't think I would make it to my due date. So when I woke up Sunday at 37 weeks with contractions we decided to take a walk around our neighborhood and see what would happen. With Cooper we walked every single day for a month and never went into labor so we didn't really think it would work but we thought what the heck!! 
After a 15 minute walk around our neighborhood the contractions stopped for about an hour so I thought it was just braxton hicks all day and started getting dinner ready. Then the contractions returned and this time they were 3 minutes apart! At this point I kind of started to freak out. Was this it? What do I do? OMG I'm not ready!! Thank goodness I packed the bags yesterday! 
We continued to time them for the next hour and they were at every 2 minutes lasting for a minute so we called the doctor to see what was next. My doctor wasn't on call but the on-call doctor told me to head to the hospital to be monitored. At this point, we still thought it wasn't real labor and we figured they would send me home. So we dropped Cooper off at our sitter and around 7 pm we arrived at the hospital. We decided to call our close family to let them know we were headed to the hospital. We told them not to worry about coming until we knew more but with my mom, grandma, and cousin Hannah (Harper's godmother) that didn't work. They waited about an hour and then they came meet us!!
After being checked in they brought me to a room to be monitored for an hour then a decision would be made. They thought I might be dehydrated so they weren't really taking me seriously and thought they would stop once I got some fluids in me. Well as I suspected, they were wrong! When I got to the hospital I was 3 cm, 60% effaced and an hour later we were 4 cm but still 60% effaced. The nurses decided to admit me and get the all rolling. They were still a little hesitant because I was only 37 weeks and legally they couldn't do anything if labor stalled. So the decision was made to just watch me all night and see what happened. James, Hannah and I tried to keep the contractions steady and walked the halls for a while. It didn't seem to help much besides giving me a distraction from the pain.  labored all night long without making much progress but man oh man were the contractions intense. I was determined to have an epidural-free labor this time and knew from Cooper's birth that breathing was everything. All night long the nurses were worried that if I didn't progress my doctor would send me home the next morning when she got there. All I could think was "How the heck can I go home in this much pain???" Luckily she got there around 9 am and when she checked me I was 5 cm 90% effaced. She gave me the choice of breaking my water, starting pitocin or waiting to see what happened. We decided that breaking my water would probably progress labor quicker and give me more of a chance to have a natural delivery. 
At about 9:15 she broke my water and the contractions picked up very quickly. They became super intense and I almost lost it. At about 10:15 I asked to be checked again because they were so strong and in my mind I needed to know if I was getting closer. I had decided if she told me I was only at 6cm I was getting the epidural. They were so strong and so intense I just couldn't imagine much more. The nurse came in and said "OH wow you are a good 8cm". At that point I knew I could do it. One of my friends told me 8-10 cm was the hardest part so I knew if these were the strongest contractions I could do it (not that I even had the option of an epidural anymore)! Within 10 minutes I started feeling the need to push. I started screaming, needing to push and honestly freaking out. I had no idea what was going on and I was terrified! The nurses came running in and checked me and confirmed that in less than ten minutes I had progressed to a full 10 cm and it was time to get the baby out. Little did I know the baby was right there. It was the strangest feeling in the world when my body was naturally pushing the baby out and there was nothing I could do to stop it. I could hear my nurse telling the other one to call my doctor and get her here asap. Then a man I had never seen before came in because they didn't think my doctor would make it in time and Harper was coming no matter if we were ready or not. This was the only time I felt I lost my cool. I started screaming and freaking out. At one point this nurse was trying to situate my legs in the stir-ups and I snapped at her and was really ugly, which I felt totally guilty about! I also threw out a few f-bombs that I am not the proudest of. Then at the perfect moment my doctor came running in. It felt like a movie! She came in, counted her tools, looked at me and said "Okay, stop screaming, take a deep breath and push." After that I pushed twice and there was her head! The funniest part was hearing the doctor say"Oh here is her head, let's suction.. oh nope, let's just have this baby!" And just like that Harper was here! I was in complete shock and couldn't believe my little girl was here. The doctor asked me if I wanted to do skin to skin and I obviously said YES as I was flinging the hospital gown off of my body! Now that I think about it I probably looked like a complete idiot stripping my clothes off like it was nothing but I didn't get the immediate skin to skin with Cooper and it meant the world to me to have that with her. It was so special. It felt like time stopped and it was just James, Harper and I. We got to just love on her and soak in the moment. 

After that they took her to weigh her and clean her a bit and then gave her to Daddy. Seeing my husband hold our second child I instantly loved him more than ever before. The love he has for his little girl is undeniable and truly breathtaking. After Daddy got some baby snuggles in we decided to try to breastfeed. With Cooper he didn't latch at all until later that evening so I didn't expect much but of course little miss piggy latched immediately and nursed for 30 minutes!! We finally decided to just stop her so she could go to the nursery and get checked out!

Once Harper was in the nursery we found out she had low blood sugar and was breathing a little heavy. They decided to give her an IV with glucose and gave her some more colostrum to see if it would help her blood sugar. They kept her for almost 3 hours (What seemed like the longest 3 hours of my life). I was terrified that something was the matter and was freaking out on the inside. Luckily we had family there to distract me and assure me that everything would be fine! At around 2:00 they brought our sweet girl back and told us everything was fine! I was finally able to breath a little and enjoy our little girl! 

Cooper was able to come the next day to meet his sister. As expected, he wasn't a big fan of her. He was excited to see mama and love on me but once he realized she was with me he tried to push her away!! He didn't want to share! HA! As daddy likes to say "He loves her, just doesn't like her right now!"

Harper Elizabeth Gautreaux
10:48 am
5 pounds 15 ounces
18 3/4 inches long
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Monday, June 9, 2014

Sunday Funday [6/7/14]

Now that it is summertime and I will have so much more free time on my hands I have vowed to document our lives more. I want Coop to be able to look back on his childhood and have lots and lots of pictures and memories. Sunday we decided to pull out his pool again and let him swim and BBQ hamburgers for us and his Mimzy and Pop. Cooper is already such a water baby and loves playing in his pool. He loves splashing in the water. Hopefully he will like the beach just as much next month!


He is seriously so dang cheesy!! I just can't get enough of his smiles!

And we can't leave little sissy out of the pictures! [18 weeks]

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cooper (9 months)

As of 5/27/14

Weight: 21.3 lbs

Sleeping: He has a 7pm bedtime that we try to keep up with because too much later and he is a fussy boy! He wakes up around 6 am every morning. We have gotten into a pretty good routine of napping somewhere around 8-9am for a little over an hour. Then an afternoon nap at around 1 for about 1.5-2 hours. 

Eating: He is completing on table food now and he is loving it! He has tried all kinds of things and loves them all. I think it is safe to say mac and cheese is his favorite though! He would eat it every day if I let him! He takes a 6 am bottle, has breakfast around 7:30, lunch around 11:45-12, a bottle around 3:30, dinner around 5:30, bottle at 6:45, and LOTS of snack in between. He loves puffs and could literally eat an entire container each day! He also loves to have yogurt as a snack.

Firsts: He stood by himself for the first time this month. He doesn't do it often or for very long right now but it seems like walking might be in our near future. He has tried lots and lots of different foods. Pancakes, mac and cheese, chicken nuggets, ravioli, and others. He got his third tooth! This one is on the top and the other top tooth is not far behind. This month Cooper got his first stomach bug. It was so not fun but he took it like a trooper. He was throwing up and still smiling. He ended up giving his "bug" to daddy, mimzy, & pop. Luckily mama didn't get it! 

Liking: mama and daddy, walker, "cage", eating, bath time, playing outside, his pool, smiling at everyone that will look his way, sharing food with mama, puffs

Disliking: when mom has to get boogies out of his nose, being alone, sleeping on his back, grass, changing table

taking selfless for Daddy and little sissy even made this pic

our first try at 9 month pictures

Don't tell my Daddy but sometimes we wear bows just to keep my hair out of my eyes!!
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