Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Bryce's Birth Story

         Whew, it's been quite a week. Our little sweetheart is one week old today. Our life is pretty nuts right now. We are, unfortunately, experienced in the Level II nursery...Bryce is camped out in the same spot that Connor was 2 1/2 years ago. My life is broken down into 3 hour segments.....feed Bryce, pump, wash the pump, deliver the milk, pass time for an hour, repeat. In the middle of all that, I am also trying to be a wife and a mother to Connor as well. It is not easy. I'm exhausted. I want Bryce out of here so we can be a family. I don't want to choose between my boys any more...but I have a feeling we'll be doing it for a while longer.

          As many of you readers know, we received a shock when, about 30 minutes after delivery, we received the news that our baby most likely had Down Syndrome. We had no clue. I will save this part of the story for another post. That post is going to take some time, thought, and tears. I think I can share his birth story, though.

        On Monday, July 30th, I had a doctor's appointment. I was about two and a half centimeters dilated, and was feeling a little nauseous. Even though I wasn't having many contractions that morning, I kinda had a feeling it was coming soon. My goal had always been to make it at least until August 1st, when I'd be 34 weeks. That evening, my contractions started getting more frequent and painful. I'd been to the hospital quite a few times with false alarms, so I didn't go in that night. My contractions were strong, but still not regular (they didn't get regular with Connor until late in the labor process either). I took one of the pills I was on for contractions and went to bed. I actually slept about 4 hours, but then I woke up at 3:30 in a lot of pain. Finally at 5:00 am, I decided to go in. I still wasn't convinced it was real (for some reason), so Mike did not go with me. We didn't want to wake/do anything with Connor until we knew if it was real. By the time I got checked in at the hospital, I was in excruciating pain. If this wasn't real labor, there was something majorly wrong with me :)

        They finally checked my cervix at about 5:45 and the nurse went to get a second opinion. She probably couldn't believe I was already dilated 5 cm....but I was. I called Mike to arrange something for Connor, and they moved me to a delivery room. Time is a little fuzzy, but as I waited for Mike to get there, I labored hard. There is a wonderful nurse named Amy (who had been one of the people with me during one of my false alarms) who just came in to sit with me, since I was an orphan mom with no husband there :) My mom also arrived to be with me. By probably 7:30 I was up to 9 cm and really feeling like I had to push. They gave me a dose of medicine to slow my labor until Mike and the anesthesiologist could get there. They also gave me a dose of narcotics that took the edge off. I was literally holding the baby in at that point. The anesthesiologist gave me an intrathecal (a shot that goes into the spinal fluid that somewhat numbs/eases the pain for about 2 hours), and then we had to wait for my doctor to get out of a c-section. Mike had also arrived by this point. It was seriously crazy...I could have delivered probably 45-60 minutes before I did. They just made me comfortable and then I had to wait. Finally, about 8:20 or so I was feeling the need to push again. My doctor finally arrived, broke my water, and 3 contractions later, Bryce James was born at 8:40 am. I wanted him out so badly, I pushed like a mad woman :) It was such a whirlwind. 4 hours earlier I didn't even know if I should go to the hospital!

         When you  have a preemie, you don't know if you'll be able to hold them right away or not. With Connor, the doctor literally cut the cord and instantly handed him off to the NNP (neonatal nurse practitioner). My doctor delivered Bryce and told me she would put him on my tummy right away like everyone else gets to do. Mike was even able to cut the cord (which I didn't discover until later). The NNP checked him out and then let us hold him for probably 5-10 minutes, which was really nice. They then took him to the nursery, and Mike was able to follow him down there. It was shortly after this that we saw some things that made us think of Downs, and the NNP came in to tell us she was suspicious as well--again, there will be a blog about this sometime soon.

         We were so happy to have our boy here, and I was happy to not be pregnant anymore! He is so chubby for a preemie--6 lb. 3oz. and has a head full of dark hair. Our first child was 4 lbs, long and skinny with fair hair, so he just looked so different! It would take me a day or two to even recognize Bryce as my child, but now I even see some resemblances between him and Connor. I am LOVING him to pieces, and really want him out of the hospital. His only goal is having the stamina to eat on his own. He does know HOW to nurse, but drifts off to sleep after about 5 minutes. I have been hesitant to try a bottle because I am afraid I'll give up on nursing just to get him out of here, but I will probably try soon. At the rate we're going, we'll be here awhile if I only nurse. It is just too hard splitting my time and "choosing" between my boys. I also just feel weird at home because our family is not complete without Bryce there. A nurse pretty much confirmed he'd get out of here sooner if he takes a bottle, so we'll see. I will still pump and give him breast milk as long as I can, but this will be difficult with Connor at home. It is a painful and time consuming feat. As long as I stay determined to keep trying to get him to nurse, we may be able to get out of here on a bottle and he can nurse more when he gets stronger. We'll see!

         So, there is the story of how our little man came into the world. It was hard to imagine loving another one as much as Connor, but he of course has completely stolen our hearts.

          Take care!  Julie



  1. Love it Julie! Cannot wait to meet him!

  2. Beautiful story. Love and prayers. Terry

  3. i day at a time and one breathe at a time...you will prevail through this stronger that you thought you could!!!

  4. Thank you for sharing. I look forward to hearing more.

  5. God has filled life with such mysteries. I hope you feel surrounded by family, friends and love. Soak it up, lean on us to help.You are in my prayers. Ann

  6. Your in my prayers. God never gives us anything we can't Handle. Lots of love