Dec 28, 2012

Hudson's Birth Story

This will be a long post, so grab your favorite cozy blanket and a cold coke and get comfortable on the couch :)

As most of you know, I dread labor and delivery. I love being pregnant and have pretty good pregnancies but my labors are typically long and pushing is always a nightmare for me. I always get an epidural (heavenly!) but that never helps with the pain of pushing. I pushed for 3 hours with Ethan, 10 minutes with Gracelyn (awesome but still horrific pain) and 2 hours with Lincoln.

With that little intro being said, I have one word to describe Hudson's birth story. Amazing!! Ok, and all God! Let me take you back to Thursday the 13th.

I went in to see Jeanne (the most amazing midwife around) that morning for my check up. I was 3 days past due. All was well with baby. She asked how I felt about being induced and I said, "Let's do it!" Seeing as she is a midwife, being induced looks a lot different than it would with a doctor. A doctor immediately induces with pitocin for the most part and a high dose of it at that, my midwife induces with a more natural gel. I had the gel with Lincoln and it took 6 hours to put me into active labor. It went really smooth for being an induction.

So, we decided I would go into the hospital that night to be induced. She had another patient due the same day as me that was also going in at 10pm that night to be induced. I really wanted to get the "big room" for once (a full size bed to recover in....SO much better than the hospital beds!) so I said to her, "Ok so if I get to the hospital at let's say 8pm, then I'll get the big room?" She smiled and said, "Yup,".

There you have it folks....I did something selfish and decided I would get there before her other patient so I could get the big room. Honestly, I felt no guilt. After this being my 3rd delivery with Jeanne, I felt the big room was mine for once ;)

We went home, I cleaned up the house, made sure I had everything, said goodbye to the kids and off we went to have a baby! I was excited and nervous all at the same time. Excited to meet our little boy or girl, nervous to go through labor and delivery once again. We got settled into our room around 9pm, I got my IV and my first round of the gel at 11pm. My first nurse (who shall remain nameless) I thought was ok...but everything she did went wrong. She went back and forth for the longest time on where to put the IV, asking ME what I thought. Umm, what? I have no clue, I'm not a nurse :) She put it in the more "risky" spot....and within 45 minutes it was hurting me so much I had to ask her to re-do it and move it to the other spot. Oh well. She then struggled inserting the gel as well. A few other things happened also but whatever, I don't want to focus on that!

Nothing much was going on, I was not in labor when 5am rolled around, they decided to do a 2nd dose of the gel. I slept all of an hour that night so I was pretty tired already at this point and I wasn't even in labor yet! Sigh. I got the gel at 5am, was checked at 6:30am and I was barely a 2. (The story of my life I tell ya!) I was feeling anxious at times with all the waiting around...trying to keep my mind off the end (pushing) but it wasn't easy. I went all day and was checked again at 4pm. So, 9.5 hours later. I was now an "easy 2". Sigh. So, at this point I had been at the hospital close to 24 hours, 2 IV pokes, 2 rounds of gel and no sleep. At that time, my midwife said to me, "Ok, we have two options. One, we can get pitocin going or two, you can go home and come back on Monday and try again." I sighed. She looked at me and said, "You're not getting discouraged are you?" I said, "Well, it's just hard for me with all the waiting around because I just feel anxious."

Plus, a little while before this, I turned on the TV to find out what happened at Sandy Hook Elementary and I was a mess. I was crying, I wanted to go home and see my babies and I just could not get that horrific situation out of my head. 20 precious little ones, murdered. I knew I had to shut the TV off and get my mind clear and in a better place and focus on the baby. So, I did just that. I shut it off, put on some worship music and just prayed.

So, after talking with my hubby and then Jeanne for awhile, we decided we would go ahead with the pitocin. At 6:30 pm, a low dose of the pitocin started in my IV, and Jeanne thought with this being my 4th baby, it would really get things going. I was checked again at 9:30pm and was a 3, so I was ready for my epidural...which I had at 10pm. I laugh when I think about the anesthesiologist. She comes in, gets everything ready and says, "Oh shoot, I left my glasses downstairs." Umm, that isn't really what you want to hear when someone is about to poke you with a gigantic needle in your spine! My husband very seriously said, "Well, we will can go get them." HA! She was like, "Oh no, I don't need them, I'm fine." Great - how comforting :)

Jeremy left the room (as he always does when I get my epi) and she began. This would be my 4th epidural and they've never really been painful for me. Well, when she gave me the first numbing shot, I had horrible horrible stinging throughout my back. Apparently this is normal but I have never had that in the past and I thought something was seriously wrong. It hurt so bad I couldn't help but be vocal about it to her and the nurse. It happened a few times but then it stopped and I was ok. She then did the big needle which really is no big deal once you are numb...and within not long I wasn't feeling contractions and all was good!

My midwife said she would be in shortly to break my water - that should definitely get things moving. She broke my water at 11:45pm and then we decided we would try and sleep some before everything really got going. I slept maybe an hour...but, it's almost impossible to sleep when a nurse is coming in every hour to check up on you, do your vitals, etc. Jeremy however was able to get some rest in the nice big bed ;)

I was checked again at 2:30am and was an 8! Woot woot! Backing up a bit, I had a new nurse that morning at 7am....who turned out to be my favorite nurse the whole time I was there. She worked the 7am to 7pm shift. I was hoping I would deliver with her - but this baby had other plans ;) She left that night at 7pm and said she would be back in the morning at 7am and hopefully baby would be here by then! I asked her to get me a good nurse for the next shift and she did! I loved her also and she worked 7pm to 7am so she was with me when I delivered.

So, at this point (2:30am) I was finally feeling at peace again, had the Sandy Hook thing off my mind and was feeling good mentally. Around 3am I was dilated to 8.5. Just a short time after being checked that time, we hear a girl outside our room screaming and moaning in labor. I mean, just awful. It immediately brought anxiousness in me, as I knew I was about to go through that exact pain any minute!! We tried drowning her out with the TV, putting worship music on and Jeremy even ran the shower - but nothing helped. We heard her cries and it was awful. I was sitting there praying for her and for God to help her - but feeling really really really really anxious.

This is when the beautiful part of the story happens :)

So, it was 3:15am and I texted my mom, my sister, two of my best friends and another friend, Rachel. Rachel had told me the night before she would leave her phone on that night and if for any reason I needed to text her, ask for prayer or just whatever that she would be available.

I texted them all the same text that basically said to please pray for me because I was almost a 9....another girl was screaming in pain outside my door (who I thought was my midwife's other patient and thought she wouldn't make it back in time for my delivery) and I just was feeling extremely anxious. My sister and mom texted back encouraging words and prayers and that was comforting. Rachel texted back, and didn't stop texting for a good hour. The texts just poured in - she kept texting scriptures and just prayers that were so what I needed to hear. She prayed for a supernatural delivery for me - for no pain. She prayed for one baby to wait for the other so Jeanne could be there for both deliveries. She just poured life into me and our baby for a good hour. All at 3am!! Rach, I know I've already told you, but, you just don't realize how much of a blessing you were to me during that time!! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

By the way, the poor girl who was screaming in labor pains delivered not too long after hearing her cries...and I learned that was not Jeanne's patient after all but that her other patient and I were neck in neck as far as delivering our babies. Turns out that girl who was screaming walked into the hospital and delivered her baby 18 minutes later!! So, she was in the worst of the pain when she walked in. Poor thing!

So, back to nurse knew how painful pushing was for me (I warned her) and she had asked me if she needed to turn down my epidural so I could feel when it was time to push. I laughed and said, oh no, the epidural does nothing for me with pushing, I always know when it's time because I have horrific pain. At the same time, I wasn't wanting to speak that as Rachel and I were both praying and believing for a different experience!

Around 4:45am, my nurse said I was a 10 and if I wanted I could start trying to push and we would see how I did and if it was bringing the baby down at all. She didn't call Jeanne in at this point as she was sleeping in the hospital and she didn't want to get her until it was time for baby to come. So, for about 20 minutes I pushed with just my nurse. In my mind I didn't think it was doing anything because it wasn't painful. I figured the pain would start at anytime. Jeremy wasn't even paying much attention because again I had no pain and we just didn't think it was really time. So I did that for about 20 minutes and my nurse said I was doing great and moving baby down. I thought to myself, "Hmm, that's great...but there's just no way it's really time. Ha!" She then said she thought it was time to call Jeanne and have a baby.

Jeanne came in around 5am and she said, "Ok Keri, try and get a few good pushes in with each contraction and we'll have ourselves a baby in no time." The first contraction came along and I gave 3-4 good pushes. She was encouraging me along the way, saying I was doing great. The second contraction came along - same thing. The third contraction came along...I gave 2 pushes and I hear, "The head is out." Umm, WHAT?!?!?! Did I just hear her correctly?! The head is out? I had NO PAIN!!!!" It was at that moment I knew I would have no pain pushing the baby out....and that God truly answered our prayers in such an amazing way! I pushed once more and out slid baby Harrison!

Jeremy looked and quickly said, "It's a BOY!" Ahhh!!!! Another boy! I knew it! I then looked at Jeremy and I think we were both puzzled and shocked it was over and I had no pain! I couldn't stop smiling and I could not wait to text Rachel!! But wait, it gets better!

Hudson was born and Jeanne then says, "You have no tears!" First time in 4 deliveries I did not have stitches whatsoever were needed!" Another amazing miracle! And to top off the story, 5 minutes after delivering Hudson a nurse ran into our room to say that the other girl was about to deliver her baby and they needed Jeanne! I mean, WOW God, you are so cool!!

Jeanne's other patient had a baby girl, and since I had both a girl and boy outfit with me at the hospital I decided to walk down to her room and give her my adorable girl Gymboree outfit :) It was Christmasy and all :) Her little girl was just 6 lbs and had loads of hair so it was funny seeing her next to my chubby bald headed baby boy :) We talked for a few and she told me how she kept telling her baby to hold out until mine arrived! Ha, too cute :)

So, no pain in tearing...and the timing literally worked out perfectly for both of us to deliver and still have Jeanne with us. It was all such an amazing testimony of God's love for me, it truly was. I still cannot get over how everything went - it was just amazing! I was even able to get up and shower within an hour of delivery - I felt that good!!

To top off my birth story, my friend Rachel lost her very best friend, Jessie, years ago in a tragic car accident. After I texted Rachel once Hudson was born (12/15/12 at 5:15am) telling her of what God had done, she rejoiced with me and went on to tell me something that gave me the chills. Jessie's birthday was the same as Hudson's. Wow. It gave me the chills. I told her it was such a supernatural divine appt. and that was just confirmation. I thought how beautiful....that through the loss of her dear friend, on her birthday, God used her in such a big way on my little guy's arrival into this world. I pray that brings some sort of healing to you Rach because I thought it was pretty amazing.

So there you have it! Hudson's birth story. Absolutely amazing and totally God in every way. Jeanne knew how much I dreaded pushing and she told me afterwards how she prayed pushing would be better for me this time. How cool is that! The two nurses I loved both worked all weekend so I had them both 3 times while I was at the hospital - they were fantastic! I've already bought them both a thank you card and gift card to Target to mail out soon!

Also, I have to say, not knowing the gender (even though I thought I knew it was a boy!) was the best surprise ever! I absolutely loved it and would do it again if we had another. Yes yes you read that right, I said "another". Hudson is most likely our last, but, I'm not gonna say he is 100%. I said that after Lincoln was born and all my friends gave me the "I told you so!" once we announced our pregnancy with Hudson.

Our sweet Hudson will be 2 weeks old tomorrow and is doing wonderful. He is a pretty easy baby so far, sleeps, eats and pees and poops and doesn't really fuss in between. I thought he looked a lot like his big brother Lincoln when he was just brand new - but Jeremy and I both feel he looks different than our other kids. It will be interesting to see who he looks like as he grows older. Regardless, his looks are quite charming like the other Harrison babies!!

Here's my very favorite photo from his newborn session. I mean seriously when I saw this my jaw dropped!!! Can a child be more gorgeous than this?! I really do not think so!! So thankful to God for 4 healthy and beautiful children. I'm one blessed momma!

Momma Keri

Dec 22, 2012

One week!

Our sweet Hudson Wallis is already one week old!! What?! I just delivered this little guy what seems like yesterday :) I am soaking up every minute with him, holding him and snuggling him lots, knowing this is most likely our last babe. Tear. Of course I thought Lincoln was our last, and then my hubby surprised me with wanting a 4th....but, he's probably our last so I'm cherishing every moment.

I still haven't had a chance to write out my birth story but I promise to do it soon as it's truly an amazing story. Every time I think about it I just smile and thank God for making it a completely different experience than all my other labor & deliveries....and for answering so many prayers in the last hours before he was born.

I went and got newborn photos done of Hudson on Thursday. I really wanted to get them done by this photographer/friend I met over the summer. I love her work, and I don't have a studio and lighting equipment, etc. so I thought it would be really fun to have them done.

A photographer in the area contacted me this past summer...liking my work and wanting to know if I was interested in doing a "trade". I would take her family photos and she would do mine. I was all for it!! I decided I wanted family photos done this spring though of the 6 of us, and didn't want to use our trade on the newborn session. I can't wait for our shoot this spring :)

Anyhow, I have only seen one sneak peek of my boy so far from the session but I'm totally in love!! He did SO well for the shoot - I just know I'm going to love all the photos! Here's the sneak peek she sent me yesterday :) I know I know, we sure make some adorable children!

Hudson is doing wonderful. He didn't sleep the greatest the first night home but has had better nights since. He usually starts out in our room and then once he wakes up I take him into his room and we sleep in there for the night - so daddy can sleep. He has done well with nursing and then going back to sleep pretty quickly so that's good. Jeremy asks me every morning how the night much sleep I got...but it's all a blur...I don't really keep track, I just nurse, burp him, change his diaper, swaddle and doze off for a bit...then repeat 2-3 times :)

The kids have adjusted well to their new baby brother. Ethan will come up and talk to him at times and rub his head. Gracelyn loves to hold him and always asks where the "new baby" is if she doesn't see him. Lincoln just looks at him and smiles, and isn't really sure what to think. Ha!

I had his first check up with the doctor and all is well. As I thought, the hospital was way off on his length. They told me 19 inches but he measured 21 3/4 at the doctors so almost 3 inches longer...which we know he didn't grow in 4 days! Ha! The hospital doesn't really take the time to measure them though where at the doctor's they do. So anyhow, I'm going with 21 1/2 inches. He wasn't back to birth weight just yet but they don't expect it until his 2 week appt which I know he will be by then...he nurses like a champ!

Well, I'm gonna finish watching a movie with my hubbs, but I'll leave you with a photo I took of him a few hours ago. 7 days old. He is so gorgeous, I just can't stop staring at him, and thanking God for my 4 healthy children. I'm so blessed!

Much love,
Momma Keri

Dec 18, 2012

It's a BOY!!!!

That's right, it's a boy! I KNEW I saw a little boy part at my 20 week ultrasound! In fact, I thought I saw it twice. Thanks a lot ultrasound tech for ruining the surprise for me ;)

I plan to post my birth story as soon as I can (because it's amazing and was so God for so many reasons!) but I wanted to hop on and post real quick that our sweet baby boy arrived on Saturday, December 15th at 5:15am. He weighed 8lbs, 8oz and was 19 inches long. Our shortest baby so far - and I question how accurate it is :) Tomorrow he has his first visit to the pediatrician's office so I know they will measure him again and we'll see if it's still the same.

His name is Hudson Wallis. Wallis is my Grandpa's last name (so also my mother's maiden name). He is someone very dear to me, has been like a father figure in my life, saved my life when I was 3 and just a special man. I prayed I would marry a man a lot like my Grandpa and I did. So, I really wanted to honor him in this way so it was exciting to find out boy and get to use this name.

Hudson is nursing like a champ! He latched on within seconds of me first nursing in the hospital. My milk came in before day 2 and so he is doing great and eating lots :)

Gracelyn is doing just fine with her new little brother. Although we know she wanted a girl baby all along, I knew she would adjust just fine and love a baby period. I don't think she really even understood the concept of what a sister was anyhow - it was just something she said because she knew Lincoln was a boy so having a girl would only make sense :)

Here's a few photos of our precious miracle. Stay tuned for the birth story!

A blessed momma of four

Dec 13, 2012

Baby Update...300th post! :)

Well, today will be the last post before baby Harrison arrives :)

I saw my midwife this morning and we've decided I will head into the hospital tonight around 8pm to be induced. She will induce with a natural gel and not pitocin, which is wonderful. I did this same thing with Lincoln and it only took one dose to get labor going. It took about 6 hours to start my labor once I got it last time. It could be shorter or longer this time, it all just depends on baby. I will probably get the gel around 10pm and then will try and sleep until labor starts.

So, we should be meeting our little one tomorrow sometime. I'm excited and nervous all at the same time. Excited to finally meet this little one soon and find out if we have another son or daughter but nervous for delivery! I'm praying the pushing is quick for me like it was with Gracelyn, and not hours of painful pushing like I had with the boys.

I'm so excited we decided to hold off and wait this time and not find out the gender. I love surprises and can't think of a better one! That moment of hearing, "It's a..." will be worth it all!

I'll post baby's gender, name, stats and a photo on the blog once I am settled and have time to do so.

Believing for a healthy baby and momma and a smooth labor and delivery!

Here's a little collage of our 3 littles when they were all brand new. I can't wait to see who this little one looks like! Maybe we'll finally get a little redhead? I doubt it :) You can click on the image below to enlarge it and see each baby's stats.

A momma of three....soon to be four :)

Dec 12, 2012

Better late than never :)

Well, I thought my next post would be an announcement that baby Harrison was here, but, I'm sorry, he/she is still baking :)

I finished editing a wedding I did this summer and so I actually have had a little time to sit down and edit some pics I took of my own little ones from the summertime. I did a really quick 1 year session of Lincoln this past September. He was so on the move that it was hard to get a lot of photos - but, I captured a few cute ones and thought I would share them :)

Capturing his first steps :)
A little cutie playing by the swing set
Simply stunning!
A couple I snapped of him in his cute onesie on the deck :)

And a gorgeous black and white one of my boy!

On a baby note, nothing much is going on. I decided against drinking the "potion" as I'm pretty sure it would have just made me gag and as much as I wanted the baby to be born today, I'm fine with him/her coming when it's time.

I'm really glad I decided against drinking it last night because Lincoln had a rough night teething and we were up with him several times and Jeremy has also not been feeling so good and is home from work today. So, it really would not have been a good night for labor to start. Ethan has been complaining of a tummy ache off and on all day as well. Thankfully neither of them seem to have the bad stomach flu that is going around right now - but both are still not feeling great. I've been praying for weeks for no sickness in our home as I'm getting so close to delivering and the Holiday's. We've even stayed home from church the past few weeks for that reason. I would so appreciate your prayers and that Jeremy is feeling much better by time we have to head to the hospital and also that Ethan feels better and everyone else stays healthy. I want things to go as smoothly as possible when I'm in the hospital...for my mom and my own piece of mind. It's always hard being away from the other kids when I go in to deliver and it would only make it that much harder for me if they weren't feeling well. So thanks for your prayers!

I see my midwife tomorrow and we will talk about a game plan on where we go from here. I will also be having a non stress test done tomorrow on baby - it's the standard procedure now that my due date has come and gone. I am feeling like we will probably end up inducing unless something happens here soon and I feel at peace with that if that should be the case. My midwife induces with a natural gel so it's very different then being induced with pitocin (yuk!). I was induced with Lincoln and things went smoothly.

I'll be sure and post again tomorrow after my appt with an update.

Much Love,
Momma Keri

Dec 7, 2012

It's been another month....really?

Geez, I thought I hadn't waited AS long this time to blog but it's already been a month. Well, you should all be getting used to it by now at least :)

I am 3 days away from my due date! It really has flown by and it still doesn't feel real to me we are about to have baby #4. I am so so excited to meet this little one but nervous for labor and delivery. I dream about being one of those women who say pushing is a breeze and painless. WHAT?! I still can't get over that one - seeing as it's by far the worst part of it for me and usually about the time my husband feels faintish :) I've been trying to not let it consume my thoughts and cause any fear...and just pray instead and know God will help me get through it as He has the last 3 times....and then I'll be holding and snuggling our brand new miracle. I cannot wait!

I am feeling good and have been nesting like a crazy woman. My laundry is completely caught up (which never happens, my laundry room is typically piled high with dirty laundry!), the kitchen floor is mopped, the fridge is cleaned out, my Christmas shopping is 95% done and gifts are wrapped, I'm completely caught up on all my photo editing except for one wedding, I just matched over 150 pairs of socks (yes, you read that right), I scrubbed my silverware holder (a true sign of nesting), I stuffed, sealed and mailed out 117 Christmas cards and the list goes on and on! I think I only have one or two things left on my list that I wanted to get done before baby. I feel good!

My due date is the 10th (Monday) but I've been hoping baby would come on Wednesday because his/her birthday would be 12/12/12 - cool birthday I know :) Plus, it's the last same digit day in our lifetime. Just a super cool birthday. I saw my midwife yesterday and she gave me a recipe that I am allowed to take anytime after the 10th if I choose that would most likely put me in labor. It's a combination of 4 nasty ingredients and it has put all of her patients in labor within 6 hours. Crazy I know! So, if I'm still prego on the 11th - I could pretty much guarantee my 12/12/12 babe - but, I don't think I'll do it. It sounds so gross and I'm good with baby coming whenever he/she wants to.

I have had some intense contractions for several hours a few times in the past week - but they have always calmed down and then I'll have days with nothing. My body just getting ready for this little one to come. It's exciting.

I had an ultrasound done last week and baby was measuring about 7lbs 4 oz. My midwife does not think this baby will be as big as Lincoln (9lbs) but, he/she could be of course. I mean, if I'm still pregnant a week from now I'm expecting another big babe! Not too excited about that - except for how stinkin' cute and chubby Lincoln was when he was born, I did love that.

Jeremy has felt girl all along and calls baby by our girl name. I keep leaning towards boy because of that darn u/s I had where I thought I saw something - even though the tech assured me 3 times it was just cord. Hmm, it messed with my head! Gracelyn is set on having a baby sister (because we already have a boy Lincoln she says) and I would love to give her a sister! It would make me so happy. But, I am super excited about another little boy also - and adore the name we have picked out for him so I'm really good either way. We hope Gracelyn comes to terms with being the only princess in the family if that should be the case :)

Here's a photo of my 39 week belly bump :)

I will be sure and post on the blog as soon as I can once baby arrives. I made two cute little name banners for each name that I plan to use when showing off our new baby boy or girl to the world. So, be on the lookout for that photo on the blog in the near future :)

Our other 3 littles are doing good, healthy and loads of fun. I love being their mom and thank God everyday for the opportunity. They are all so special in their own ways and I just feel so blessed I get to be their momma. It's such a gift!

My next blog post should be announcing baby Harrison #4 is here! Eeek! Exciting.

Our last photo as a family of five...

Much Love,
Momma Keri