Saturday, April 24, 2010

Hospital Pics and Visitors

We had such a great hospital stay! Reese and I both had wonderful nurses! I even got to have Amanda and Dana! Everyone took great care of us. Food was good and they even made sure Andrew got a tray when I did! We had so many visitors who brought us beautiful flowers, gifts, and food. I wish I had gotten everyone's picture who came by!

Relaxing on mommy...

Josh, Jenny, Kaitlin, and Avery (Jenny is one of my former patients now good friend!)...
Hearing test...

Nancy and Tami. Tami went into labor like 3 days later and had Alyssa!

On Easter morning they wheeled her in wearing bunny ears! It was so cute! All the babies were lined up in the nursery with their bunny ears on!

Aunt Amberly...

Aunt Amberly, Josh, Jonathan, and Emily...


Unkie WiiWii...

Nanny and Grampa...

Aunt Babs...

Simon and Michele our neighbors...

Dege and Megan...


Other visitors that came by that I did not get a pic of were Tom and Kathy Stites, Uncle Aaron, Aunt Worth Anne, and cousin Mack, Kelly Brown, and Margie Lemmon!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Reese's Birth Story!!!

I can't believe I had a baby!!!! And she's already 2 weeks old! I feel like my life literally changed that day. It will go down in the record books as the absolute best day of my life. I am in love all over again with a tiny little being that has suddenly taken over mine and her daddy's heart! Before too much time passes I want to write down all my memories of her birthday!

So on Thursday April 1, 2010, Andrew and I rushed around all day running last minute errands. We purchased a flip cam, went to the galleria to buy nursing tanks at Gap maternity, had lunch at corner bakery at the galleria, and got Andrew a haircut. We got home early evening and took showers and packed up the last of our stuff. We said goodbye to the kitties and headed to Dallas! We stopped at Jason's Deli for one last dinner! On the way I seriously thought I was going to be sick I was so nervous! I couldn't believe the day was finally here!!! You wait so long for it and when it's here you just can't believe it!

We checked in at 2100 and got sent up to my floor for induction! I picked Dana to be my nurse and she was awesome!!! All the girls came in that night to say hi and chat with us while we were getting started! Dana started my IV and put me on the monitor.

Last belly picture in room 468 at 39 weeks and 6 days!

On the monitor and ready to go! Dana checked me and I was 2.5/50/-2. I was already contracting every 8 minutes when she put me on the monitor. We decided to watch a movie (Andrew picked Mall Cop) and then I would take some ambien and try to get some sleep.

Literally within 30 minutes I started feeling those contractions. The same contractions that I had been feeling for the past 8 weeks were suddenly hurting! I was a little surprised at how fast I started to feel them! I remember looking at the strip and counting that they were getting so much closer together- like every 3-4 minutes or so.

The girls came in and took a picture with me. They told me later they could tell I was starting to hurt by the look on my face.

In my mind I kept telling myself..."I just need to get to the hour mark and then I can get up and pee and I'll feel so much better". So 2300 rolls around and I get up to pee. Yea that did not help at all! I tried to get comfy in bed and turn the lights down. I have no recollection of the movie we "watched" either. By 2330 I was shaking, crying, and gripping the side rail of the bed. I couldn't believe how much pain I was in so quick!!! I remember thinking to myself, "I'm going to be THAT PATIENT that calls out for pain meds 1 1/2 hours after getting her cervidil!" I was in so much pain though I literally could not function enough to call for Dana. All I could do was shake and breathe, shake and breathe. It seemed like there was no break in between the contractions at this point. Dana did come in when she saw how frequent I was contracting and hung some fluids to try to space them out. She asked if I was ok and I remember saying "Yea I'm ok for now!" I lied! I was not ok! I was trying to figure out what to do in my head. I didn't want to get IV pain meds if I could go straight to my epidural. But I still couldn't believe I was thinking epidural thoughts so soon!

Probably around 2340 Andrew was like "Do you need to call someone?" I think I was beginning to scare him! It was that remark from him that made me realize that this was not working for me! I needed some relief! If the contractions were this bad now, they weren't going to get any better! So I called Dana crying and she came in and checked me and lo and behold I was 3-4/75. She also removed the cervidil at this time. Dr Nokleberg was on that night so she called her and got me an order for my epidural!!! Hallelujah! So Dana and Chantal came in to help me onto the stretcher. I was in so much pain by this point that I hardly remember the ride down to L&D. I was shaking so hard and squeezing my eyes really tight. I remember thinking at one point "I think I'm going to die! I'm going to die in front of my friends I'm in so much pain!" Luckily you cannot die from labor pain...I somehow survived!

So we get to L&D room 14 and there is lots of rushing around. I find myself on a labor bed. Angie comes in a gives me a big hug. And then...EMILY SHOWS UP!!!! Since like the day I found out I was pregnant I have wanted Emily to be my L&D nurse. We were both sad when we found out that she was working Thursday and Saturday night, but not Friday night. Since I was being induced Thursday night up on 4 north I wouldn't be in L&D until Friday morning so her only chance of having me would be Friday night. This was when I thought I would be a typical induction and labor all Thursday night into Friday and deliver at some point Friday afternoon and evening. I remember Emily jokingly said "Well maybe you'll labor Thursday night and then I can take you!!!" Well that is exactly what happened! In my 3 years of induction experience I have never had to remove cervidil and transfer a patient to L&D that fast! My prayers were answered and I got to have Emily!!!

Andrew got kicked out of the room and Dr Hurst came in for my epidural. So the time is now 2359. I sat up on the side of the bed and announced "I'm feeling a little gushy. Like something is coming out." We laughed about this later, but Emily said "It's probably just the gel." I agreed and we proceeded with the epidural which was like the easiest thing ever!!! I was a little scared about it ahead of time, but at that point I was in so much pain I was like JUST DO IT!!! It was over in no more than 10 minutes. The hardest part was the uncontrollable shaking I was doing b/c of the pain. Andrew had said earlier "I think she's cold!" Everyone laughed and said "Honey she's got the labor shakes!"

So Emily helped me lay back down and this time I DEFINITLY felt ALOT of fluid come out of me! I was right! I had ruptured right as I was getting my epidural! Emily was going to let my epidural take effect before she checked me. Every contraction seemed shorter and less intense until I felt nothing! It was BLISS! So Andrew is back in the room by then and Emily checked me. She called me 3-4/80/-2 and positively ruptured! The fluid was just pouring out! It sounded like someone standing on a ladder and dumping a pitcher of water on the floor. Andrew was like "what is that noise!!!" And we were like "It's all the fluid coming out!" Emily said it was ALOT of fluid and perhaps I had too much which would explain why I contracted so much the last 2 months of my pregnancy. None of the sono's ever caught it though. I guess I'll never know but at least there is a possible explanation as to why all the contractions but labor never started!

So we settle in to get some rest. Andrew had a little cot to sleep on next to me. We decide to call my mom who was just dying to be up there anyways. We told everyone to stay home until the morning so they could get some rest in case I was in labor all day and into the next night. Well change of plans! My mom and dad had just picked up Abby and Will from the airport around 2230. I said "MOM!!! I'm 3-4, my water broke, AND I have my epidural!" That's all I needed to say b/c the 4 of them jumped into the car and headed to Presby. They seriously got there in like 30 minutes (normally about an hour drive!) They all took turns coming to see us. Then I sent them upstairs to go sleep in 468- the room we were induced in. We decided to hold off on calling Andrew's parents for now. We turned the lights off and tried to doze. I never really slept though. I kept having all these weird and crazy dreams that kept me from really falling asleep. About an hour after the epidural was placed I started to get a hotspot on my right hip. I could not get comfortable and I could feel each contraction in that spot worse and worse. I finally called Emily. She gave me a bolus and tried to help me find a comfortable position. It kept getting worse so she called Jack the CRNA to come dose me up. Once the medicine took effect I was back to not feeling any pain. We tried to rest some more.

At some point around 0300 Emily came back in. I had kicked off all my covers b/c I was HOT. I was also starting to feel pain on my left side this time on the front of my lower abdomen. Reese was having earlies with each contraction so Emily put some oxygen on me. She checked me around 0318 and immediately started laughing. I was like "what?" She said "Guess what you are?" I literally had no idea. She said "You have an anterior lip!" (That means 9.5 cm dilated!!!) She later told me I was actually completely dilated at that point, but she was trying to buy me some time so I wouldn't have to start pushing right away, which I really appreciate. I really wanted to labor down in hopes of decreasing the pushing time! So she called Dr Nokleberg to update her. She was actually on her way in to do a c-section for some twins who were ruptured. I remember thinking, we planned this so Dr Bertrand could deliver me (he came on at 0700) and he's not going to make it in time! I love Dr Noklberg though and was glad it was her that was on that night. So we call my mom to update them. We also called Andrew's parents (who live over an hour away) and Aaron and told them the news!!! They raced to get there in time!

So I'm really starting to hurt again in that new hotspot on my L side. Turns out it's because there's a massive baby head right there!!!! And her face was facing to the left instead of down or up. So Jack comes back in to dose me up. Ahhh relief! I got scared everytime I started hurting again. I did not want to do this naturally! So Nokleberg comes in to check on me before her c-section. This was probably around 4ish? She stayed and chatted for a bit before her patient was ready for delivery. She was fine with me laboring down while she did her section. She wanted to make sure I was comfortable. So sweet! At this point my mom and sister were in the room. I didn't know if I would want them there for delivery so I wanted until I was in the moment before I made the decision. I couldn't imagine them not being in there! I said "Get down here I'm completely dilated!" So for the next hour and a half or so we just kinda hung out and waited. Emily said to call if I started feeling pressure. I remember being concerned that I was complete. I said "Is her head just going to come shooting out?" I was reassured that it would not.

He held my hand the whole time!

Contracting on my own every 2 minutes without pitocin or cervidil! I was so proud!

Obviously not in any pain here!

It was fate that she got to be my nurse!

So then we get the call around 0530 that Dr Nokleberg is out of the c-section and we can begin pushing! Oh my gosh! I couldn't believe we were already at that point! The rest of the family had arrived by then and were all in the waiting room so excited!

Emily had Andrew on one side and her on the other. They were my dream team! She instructed Andrew on how to hold my leg and help me push. He was awesome! I couldn't have done it without either one of them. I had to take a deep breathe at the beginning of each contraction and then push 3 times for 10 seconds each. Pushing was very weird at first. It took me a few contractions to get used to it. Emily told me each time I made some progress pushing her down. That really helped motivate me! In between each contraction I would lay very still and rest.

We probably pushed for 45 minutes or so and I started to feel that hot spot on my left side again. I started getting really nauseated at the end of the 3 pushes with each contraction. Emily gave me some zofran to help with that. The pain was so much more intense than before. I was really having to breathe hard during the contractions to get through the pain. Emily called for my epidural to be dosed again. It was so bad I couldn't push for about 30 minutes until my epidural was back up and working.

Emily was able to turn Reese's head so that it was facing down. Only a few contractions after that and she was crowning!!!! The room was just buzzing with excitement at that point! I was told not to push! Now I was feeling that intense pressure you are supposed to feel when you are crowning!!! I started getting very emotional at this time. I couldn't believe we were so close to meeting our baby!

Emily and I had a moment right before her birth!

Apparently Dr Bertrand had called around 0630 to check on his inductions. I think he thought I would still be upstairs! They told him that I'd been complete for awhile and was ready to deliver! He got there at 0710ish I think. We were all so happy to see him walk in!!!! He was so excited that he made it! He gowned up and got in position and then it was go time! I had to give little pushes and then her head was out! I remember Dr B saying "And now we have a nose, and now we have a chin!" I started crying at this point! I was told not to push next which was hard...

She pretty much came on out after that without any help from me! At 0717 am my life forever changed for the better when Reese Elizabeth Herrell made her grand debut screaming!!! I remember the first little cry I heard from her! It was all it took and I was uncontrollably sobbing! I have never in my life cried like that! We were all crying!

The next few pictures don't even need any explanation. You can just feel the emotion in them! My sister did an amazing job capturing everything! Emily put her on my chest and I just wrapped my arms around her and cried my heart out! I couldn't believe she was mine! And she was SOOOOOO CUTE!!!!! It was such a surreal moment for me! I kept looking at Andrew and he had a look on his face that I had never seen before! We were both so full of emotion and didn't care how silly we sounded crying so hard! We both agree that it was the best moment of our lives.

Seeing his baby girl for the first time...

My 8 pound 8 ouncer! I have it on video that I guessed 8 lb 8 oz and I was right!!!!

Holding his precious baby for the first time! I remember looking over at them and I have never before felt so much love in my heart as I did at that moment!

The man of the hour! Dr B with Reese!

Getting to know my little bundle of joy. She gives my life new meaning! I knew having a baby would be an amazing moment, but I really had NO IDEA how much my life and heart would change for the better!
Of course I would have a change of shift delivery (not fun for the nurse). Emily stayed for my delivery which I appreciated more than she will probably ever know!!! I am so thankful for all the people that helped me that night! It was painful at times, but the best experience I have EVER had! I'm telling you, going fast is the way to go. I was so concerned about not getting to eat all day Friday b/c I just knew I'd be laboring all day! Well I was wrong! We were up on postpartum eating breakfast by 0900! Shelene took me up to postpartum and Amanda took over from there! I couldn't have picked my nurses any better! Praise God for a healthy delivery and wonderful people taking care of us!