Anyone who has gone through the birthing process (for the first time) knows that there is nothing anyone can do to prepare you for what is about to take place, and I mean nothing! No two pregnancies, deliveries or babies are the same. The picture people paint in your mind of what that day will look like is definitely not what it will look like. So just throw all of your pre-conceived ideas and PLANS out of the window and let me take you on our journey. (Don’t worry I left out the gory details) 😉
Thursday, March 2nd was my 38 week appointment, that is if I’m going off of what my doctor in Indiana told me. When I switched doctors to California they told me my due date was 5 days later. I had a feeling they were wrong and that I was going to go even earlier than my original due date, so I never told anyone except Grant lol. I still called it my 38 week appointment even though they were calling it my 37 week one. At this appointment I was 80% effaced and not dilated at all. The doctor said I was still on track for their later due date of March 20th. I thought, not a chance I’m holding out that long. My gut feeling was telling me I was going to have this baby yet that up-coming weekend, but of course would never tell the doctor that! “We will just show him,” I thought. 😂
The week leading up to this appointment was pretty miserable. I was having bad back pains and major pressure as his head was riding extremely low! #basicallywaddling I was definitely in the early stages of labor but even the doctors didn’t acknowledge it as that because my symptoms weren’t your “normal” labor signs and I wasn’t dilated. So I left the 38 week appointment and went on with my day continuing to track random contractions, but unsure if they were contractions. So I will call them pains…
A couple of days later…Saturday, March 4th. I woke up that morning pretty sure I was going to be going into the hospital that day/night to have the babe! I had more consistent pains (or what I thought to be contractions) for a couple of hours in the morning, ranging from 10-30 minutes apart. I got tired of tracking them and decided to go on with my day and see what happened. Grant and I went on a date that evening (of course in the back of our minds thinking it might be our last before we were parents). We did some shopping and had a really nice dinner at the Redwood Cafe. It was a relaxing time and kept my mind off of things. On our way home from dinner I realized I had been having frequent “pains” throughout dinner and they were still happening. So I began to track them around 8pm. Looking at my log I now see how crazy it was!! They were ranging from 6-12 minutes apart. I knew the doctor said not to come into the hospital until they were 5 minutes apart, lasting 1 minute each, for an hour. #longwaytogo #511rule
Grant and I went to bed at 1 am and I couldn’t sleep so I got up and worked in the nursery, posted our maternity photos on my blog, and just pushed through some pretty decent pain. It was 4 am and I had to stop working about every 6-10 minutes when the pain would increase. I thought things were getting worse, so woke Grant up, but was still confused as to whether or not they were contractions. Grant called and talked to a labor and delivery nurse at the hospital. She said, “Oh it sounds like the baby is moving and she is dehydrated.” 😫 Seriously?? Baby moving?? We waited another couple of hours and I said, “If this isn’t labor/contractions, then I am going to die when the real thing does come!!” It was 6:45 am and I was hunched over on the sofa just finishing up having another “pain”… I looked at the contraction tracker and saw that it was 4 minutes from the last one and it was killing me! Grant and I looked at each other and said who cares if it was a false alarm we are going in because this is unreal!!! 😉 Before we left, Grant decided to give me a push present. I guess this gives you a glimpse of how chill it was as we were going into the hospital. #notmadaboutanotherstackable
So off to the hospital we went! The main entrance of the hospital was closed at 7 am on a Sunday so we went through the ER. Getting there they asked what I was there for and I said I was 38 weeks pregnant and pretty sure I was having contractions that = labor! The lady looked at me as if I was telling her a joke and then asked if I was ready to push. I had no idea what she meant by that and I said I don’t know I am just having contractions. (I still didn’t know if they were contractions, but I had to give the receptionist some confidence for why I was there since she wasn’t believing me) So down to the labor and delivery area they wheeled me. The two nurses I came in contact with right away gave me the same look that the receptionist did, “Honey, it’s your first, pretty sure it is a false alarm!” 🙄 So the delivery nurse finally checked to see if I was dilated and sure enough I was 4.5-5 cm. She was very surprised and even said, “I thought you might be 1 cm at the most.” So that was that, they admitted me and the trek began!!
Many people have strict birth plans when they go into delivery, I wasn’t one of them. I really had no idea what to expect with this whole process so was open to natural or an epidural (a little scared of the needle for the epidural, but definitely not opposed). I just wanted to see how things went! One thing Grant and I learned in our birthing class that we said we didn’t want was the IV medication– Stadol.
So after finding out how far along I was I asked the nurse how much more intense the pain would be and she said not much since I was already about 5 cm. I was pleasantly and naively surprised!! 😂 So I opted to wait to see if I would be needing the epidural since I had managed the pain this far. Haha the joke was on me!! The nurse came in at 7 cm and saw that I was struggling and offered up some IV medication as an option to take the edge off the contractions (all back contractions might I add). I didn’t catch the name of the medication and really had no idea what was going on at that point. I just wanted Grant to decide for me. The nurse said it would make me feel like I had a little too much to drink and just help the pain for about 2 hours. Grant saw me struggling and thought it sounded like a good idea to help take the edge off. So that’s what we did! #worsedecisionever Long story short, I literally felt like I had lost my mind! My head was spinning and I was saying things that were perhaps a bit funny! 😂 #mytotsarehot (Grant won’t let me live that one down) I don’t even know what that means. I could no longer focus on getting through the contractions. Later we realized I had taken Stadol, the medication we said we didn’t want. Well too late! Things began to heighten and we were past the point of an epidural, so let the fun begin! I finally made it to 9 cm. The last 1 cm was rough and they ended up having me just “push” through it to get things moving.
A couple of things you should know…
1. With my back labor I never wanted to be laying on my back because the pain intensified tremendously! The nurses said I didn’t have an option but to deliver laying on my back. #wherewasthatepiduralrightaboutnow😫
2. In all of those pre-conceived ideas people give you, somehow I never heard that when it came time to push things became 100% more painful! I thought it was all like the contractions.
3. I apparently didn’t know that when the baby came out he came with fluid. (This was one of the stupid things I was asking when the meds were making me crazy) #prettysureididknowthat
4. I didn’t know how to hold my breath or push! When it came time to push the nurses were getting frustrated because they would tell me to hold my breath and then push. Haha all I would say was, “I don’t know how!” Things were going nowhere!!
So after a while of “not knowing how to push” the nurse decided to scare me into figuring it out. She acted as if a C-section would need to occur if I didn’t start pushing. Well you know what I did, I started pushing!! #cannotdescribethepain Never again is what I told Grant when it was all over! He laughed and said ok, and I knew he thought I was joking. I said, ” No you don’t understand, we are NEVER doing this again!”
So on Sunday, March 5, 2017 our little Grayson Quinn was born at 4:03 pm PST. He was 6 lbs 13 oz and 19 inches long. This was 10 days before his actual due date, but still considered full-term! #weshowedthem😉 Ok, so he technically was born at 4:03pm but didn’t become “Grayson Quinn” until we named him an hour later. We wanted to wait until we saw him to choose from one of our name options.
And that’s where our parenthood journey began! I was exhausted and really couldn’t grasp the fact that this baby laying on me was mine! Some people have an instant connection during the skin-to-skin time with their newborn but that wasn’t me. It took me a good hour to really get back to reality and realize what was going on. We were then transferred to the Mother and Baby area where we could settle in as a little family of 3… until all of the nurses started making their rounds. 😊 They were extremely helpful and we are very grateful for the care they took of Grayson.
The next morning, Monday, March 6th, is when things took a turn that neither Grant or I could have ever expected. The nurse came into change Grayson’s diaper and while doing so noticed his feet and hands were extra purple! This raised some red flags with the nurse and she said she was going to call the NICU nurses and see what was going on. The next thing we knew he was being wheeled away for tests. They told us it would be a couple of hours so just relax. To be honest, I did relax as I didn’t think anything would come out of it. I thought it would be bad circulation, something I have as well. They brought him back to us and said they were waiting for results and we would know later that day.
At about 4 pm we got the call that he would need to be taken back to the NICU for more testing. They said he would be leaving at 7 pm. During this couple of hours we tried to FaceTime as much family as possible so they could at least take a peek at our new bundle before he left again! So it was now 7 pm and the nurse came in, my heart sank and I had no idea what was going on as they wheeled my little mister away for the second time. This time I knew he would be staying in the NICU for a while–overnight! I can’t describe the feelings that I was having as they took him away. Grant went with them as they got Grayson settled in and came back with a little more info. He said that Grayson had abnormally fast breathing—tachypnea and potentially some fluid on the lungs. They wanted to take more tests and monitor him, so they did! Grant and I spent the evening together updating family and really just in a whirlwind trying to get some rest. Having only two hours of sleep within 72 hours takes a toll on you! #adrenaline
Grant had been back and forth between our room and the NICU several times to check on Grayson but I had not gone with him. For awhile, I preferred to not look at Grayson so I didn’t have to see him on the IV and all of the cords they were using to monitor him. Once I finally gained enough courage to visit him by peeking in the NICU window, I again cannot describe the tug that I felt on my heart. The tears begin to flow as I began to feel an overwhelming love for him that I hadn’t felt before. Within the next 48 hours we were presented with an array of potential issues (some were reality others just a thought that they checked and found to be ok). These ranged from an infection he could have gained at birth, fluid on the lungs, pneumonia, jaundice-high bilirubin levels, a heart murmur-holes in his heart, and an enlarged heart. The diagnosis of these came and went all at different times, so you can imagine the constant waiting game we were playing. #anemotionalrollercoaster
Through it all we found that he had the tachypnea like they said early on, jaundice, and two holes in his heart which were causing the murmur. They said the breathing was him trying to catch up with what is “normal” at birth. The jaundice, well a lot of babies have, and was monitored because of the high bilirubin levels. The holes were the most unexpected– one was from birth when normally should have closed when the cord was cut switching the blood flow from me to him but hadn’t closed up and the other was a minor hole in the muscle causing a little blood to flow into the wrong ventricle. After having the cardiologist look at the echo of Grayson’s heart he said that the one hole would normally close within a year and the one in the muscle might close but might remain open for life. The cardiologist said he personally had the same hole in the muscle of his heart and has never been bothered by it, even running marathons. This gave us reassurance as we were hopeful to take Grayson home that day, Wednesday.
Just when we thought we could see the light at the end of the tunnel, #gettinggraysonreleased I started noticing some calf pain that wasn’t easing up and chest pain along with it. For those who don’t know, those are several of the symptoms they tell women who just delivered to watch for because of the high risk of blood clotting. I noticed the pain Tuesday night but figured it was nothing. The next morning it hadn’t let up so I called my doctor and they recommended me go to the ER to get it checked out. I went down to the ER and they took a myriad of tests– blood draw, EKG, CT Scan, and Ultra-Sound. #younameittheydidit This was another whirlwind!! Might I add, that Grant was quite an amazing husband through this…wheeling the breast pump from one end of the hospital to the ER so that his wife lying in one hospital bed could get his son in the NICU food. Now we look at it and it’s quite hilarious!! After a good five hours in the ER my tests came back as no blood clot! 😅 That added an extra evening to our stay in the hospital but we were thankful for the good news.
So Thursday, March 9th at 10:00 am PST Bucher party-of-3 was released from the hospital! This was the first time I had made it outside since being admitted. #claustrophobic It was also such a joyful celebration, being able to take our baby home! I can’t say I was leaving the hospital with the exact news that I wanted to have leaving there… Grayson 100% healed and ready to go, but what I did know was that God had that little boy in His hands and he was using his ❤️ to grow Grant and me.
You see, it was during our stay within those hospital walls that God really chiseled away at my heart. Between sleepless days/nights, daunting walks every 2 hours to and from the NICU to check and feed Grayson, friends and family a million miles away, hormones trying to balance out from being pregnant and Grant & I in an intense waiting game to see what the doctors would say next; God was speaking to us each step of the way causing us to fully rely on Him!! After seeing Grayson being taken away to the NICU, we were encouraged by these words…
Not only that but He was blossoming a LOVE in me that I never knew was possible. I mentioned before, that I didn’t feel the connection that most moms feel when you first are handed your newborn baby—skin-to-skin time! It took me the four days of being in the hospital, seeing my baby under the cords and incubator to really know what it means to love like they say “a mother loves her child.” For Mother’s Day our pastor touched on 1 Thessalonians 5:9 — Now concerning brotherly love you have no need for anyone to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love one another. He brought up a great point, that love is embedded within us, not taught. It’s something that the more we follow Jesus the wider our love for others will grow. He compared a mother’s love to the love Jesus showed us. It brought me back to the hospital, seeing that as God was teaching us to follow Him he subsequently was growing my ability to love Grayson.
I am reminded each day that Grayson is a beautiful gift from God. I continue to see God work through Grayson to grow me. I am praying fervently for that mister’s little heart as we had a two-week check up on March 23rd and the holes weren’t getting any bigger. #thankful The doctor said the murmur seemed very faint so the holes could potentially be closing up but we don’t know that for sure. They will know more when they do the next echo at his 3 month cardiologist appointment, which is June 27th. If you are reading this and would like to pray alongside of us that Grayson’s heart be mended, we would greatly appreciate it! We know God has a perfect plan. It is with a gentle heart, no pun intended, that I write this–not to gain pity for Grayson or ourselves but to share how God has been working in our lives since March 5th.
Once again thanks for reading, we are grateful for you and the support you have shown over the past 3 months. #nearorfar
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