All The Kids

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Sunday, February 08, 2015

Benjamin Knox

I guess I haven't been so good at keeping up with blogging! Only a year and a half since my last post...I guess that's what happens with the arrival of more children. So from one birth story to the next we go! Here is how it went down with Benjamin Knox's arrival (warning, it may be too graphic for some!):

I had probably been asleep for about an hour when Maisy wandered into our bed in the early hours of February 6 (normal for her, but not normal for me to wake up when this happens) and of course, of all the nights, I couldn't fall back asleep. So I went into the big event on little sleep. Around 2:30, I had a couple of fairly decent contractions, which made me wonder if this was it. I sat up, and felt/almost heard a sort of "thunk" in my pelvis and a few seconds later confirmed that my water had broken. I'm pretty sure the big thunk was Benji crashing into my pelvis, as evidenced by the speed of my labour and the big bruise on his forehead that he was born with. I turned and woke Ryan up, then got up to go to the bathroom and wow - gush of water like crazy. I've had my water break before, but not like this. This was the type in the movies, where my pj pants were completely soaked and I made a trail to the bathroom. It was crazy. And I immediately began having hard contractions, a minute or so apart. Ryan called my brother and sister-in-law, so that one of them could come over and stay with the kids. The moment she showed up, we left. It didn't take very long for the contractions to be pretty much on top of each other, and we were just past Osler when I told Ryan we should probably call 911 and have an ambulance meet us. (For those that don't know, Osler is about 7 minutes from our house and about 10 minutes from the city. Less when you are driving as fast as we were!) I was pretty sure I wasn't going to make it to the hospital. Dispatch wanted us to pull over and wait for the ambulance, and she would get first responders from Warman (the last little city before Saskatoon and the place we were just past at that point) to help us until then. But there was no way I was stopping and waiting. I told her no thanks, we were going to keep going until we met that ambulance. She said that was our choice and to put our four-way flashers on so the ambulance would know which vehicle was ours. We were just on the outskirts of the city, when I thought, this is it, I have to push. So I voiced that, and the dispatch told us to pull over and started giving us directions. The first thing she told me to do was see if I could feel the baby's head. Yep, I most definitely could, right there, about to emerge. She told us to get blankets (um, we are in a truck - not a lot of those around) to wrap the baby in and fold down the seat for me to lay back on. Ryan whipped around to my side of the truck and took off his jacket and two shirts in lieu of blankets (keep in mind it was about -20 degrees outside) and I prepared to use my pants for the same purpose. I started pushing, with dispatch in the background, sort of coaching me. (But I'd done this before, so she was sort of just background noise.) I had pushed maybe two times when the paramedics arrived. They waited until that contraction was over and then covered me in blankets, loaded me onto the stretcher and got me into the ambulance - that was a relief! To be out of the truck, with the door wide open, snow whipping all around us! There was a little chair at my head that Ryan sat on and then the one paramedic helped coach me through the delivery. I was in the ambulance for maybe five minutes (I'm thinking it was probably more like two or three, but I wasn't really focused on time at that point!) when Benjamin was born. The guy was so awesome. He knew when to tell me to slow down my pushing and when to wait a second, etc. Benji came out quite blue and not very responsive, probably due to the speed of everything. So they worked on him right there, rubbing him and giving him oxygen. They didn't cut the cord right away, which I was so thankful for. Not sure if it was because they were just concerned about him and didn't think of it or if they purposefully left it alone, but I'm sure it was a good thing. During this time, Ryan whispered in my ear "It's a boy!" It was so nice that he was able to see that and tell me. After what seemed like an eternity, but was probably only a minute or two, they got Benji crying and his heart rate, etc up. Then they clamped the cord and Ryan was able to cut it. They moved him to the little bench beside me and continued to rub him, etc. When they were satisfied, I was able to have him. They did some paper work and we were just about to go to the hospital (Ryan was already heading towards the truck) when I heard the three paramedics talking amongst themselves that there was a car pulling up behind the truck and who was that, etc. Turns out that my Dad and step-Mom were on there way to our house so that my sister-in-law could go back home, and they saw the ambulance and recognized Ryan's truck! So in my Dad's typical style, they pulled over and got to come into the ambulance to see Benji right there! That was wonderful and yet so surreal! They stayed for a couple of minutes and then left for our house and we headed to the hospital. I was wheeled on the stretcher through the ER up to labor and delivery, where everyone had heard about me! I was put into a L & D room. Ryan got a picture of the paramedics holding Benji, which I was so glad he thought to do! Then they left and Benji and I were monitored the same way we would have been had I delivered in hospital. After about an hour, I was moved up to post partum, where again, everyone had heard about me!
So from the two contractions before my water breaking at about 2:30am until Benjamin was born at labor was less than an hour. It's still so crazy and surreal to think about it. Benji's place of birth is the just off of Wanuskewin Road on 71st Street. I mean, really?! I'm THAT woman who not only didn't make it to the hospital, but almost delivered in her vehicle. In a freaking mini snow-storm. I'm just so thankful it was so windy, so that the snow just blew across the highway, making it dry and safe to drive fast on! And even though he was in a bit rough shape right after delivery, it didn't take long for him to perk up and he's happy and healthy. And 7 pounds, 14 ounces. Which isn't the teeniest baby ever (and not my smallest - Ayda  and Eva were both smaller), but he certainly is small and was nice to deliver.
So that's it. And literally, that's it. That's my last birth story. And it's a good one! Super fun to tell, now that everything turned out. And I always knew I married an awesome man, but this is just another instance where that was reinforced. Ryan was prepared to deliver our baby and just went with it, calmly and ready. Although I'm sure he was even more relieved than I was when the paramedics showed up!
I'm pretty sure the telling is a little "rough", as I've been interrupted a few times as I write this, so forgive that. We are still in the hospital, as Benji has a lovely case of jaundice. His big bruise probably contributed to that. Praying an extra night here, under the billi lights will cure that and we can go home tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

The Birth of Eva Claire

I probably should go to bed, but since I'll be summoned for a nursing session fairly soon, I thought I could use this time to write out Eva's birth story. Fair warning: it's gonna be what happened with no sugar coating! :)

It all started when my Dr and I discussed the possibility of induction, due to my increasing kidney stone attacks. I started actively pursuing natural induction methods, in hopes of avoiding a medical induction, but knowing I would take one if offered to me. And these things don't work for me - I tried "inducing" labour with all my kids to no avail. I truly believe that if my body wasn't ready to deliver, nothing apart from medical induction was going to work.

On Thursday, August 1, my Dr and I agreed that she would have me induced the following Wednesday (August 7) if Baby hadn't arrived by then. She was going away for the long weekend, leaving at noon on Friday and wouldn't be back until late Tuesday. I also wanted her to be there if possible, so I didn't push for induction sooner. (On a side note, once I delivered Maisy, my kidney issues resolved themselves and I didn't have another attack for about a year, so I was hoping for the same result this time.) After the appointment, during which she stripped my membranes, I pulled out all the punches. I took some blue and black cohosh, had an aggressive acupuncture appointment, etc. AND...had a castor oil concoction. I had done this two days earlier with nothing but a good system clean-out resulting, so I really had little hope of it doing anything different. Now I don't know if any, all or a combination of my efforts resulted in our little girl arriving, but I woke up on August 2 at 2:30 in the morning, having to go to the bathroom. I also had my first contraction as I crawled back into bed. I had a few more, but they weren't consistent. However, over the next half an hour, they did get very close together very quickly. And then I noticed I was bleeding. I had fully planned on waiting at least an hour, if not more, before evaluating whether I should go to the hospital. The last thing I wanted to do was to go (especially in the middle of the night) only to be sent home. But the bleeding scared me. I had bled a bit during my labor with Maisy and it turned out to be a placental abruption which led to her aspirating blood and having to be intubated and landed her in the NICU. Didn't want to risk my baby's life. So I woke Ryan and we agreed I should call my dr's office and talk to the dr on call. But the answering service said there was no one listed as on call and I should call the hospital (really weird...) and I was like, forget it, we are going in. So we woke the kids up and loaded them into the van, after calling my Dad and Terry. This was about 3:30. Once we started down the highway, my contractions changed from what I have been used to in my other labors to something I have never experienced before and they just got worse. It was a LONG trip to the city - when in reality, it's not really a long trip, especially when you're going 140-150 km/hr. Ryan definitely sensed a change in my behavior, breathing and sounds I was making! We pulled into Dad and Terry's driveway at about 4:10, dropped off the kids with hugs and kisses (well, I think I actually just gasped a good-bye) and headed to the hospital. We pulled into the old entrance because it is super close to labor and delivery, only to find the doors locked (WHAT?!) so I crawled back into the van - kneeling backwards on the seat because I just couldn't fathom sitting down. I told Ryan to just park in the ER spots - I didn't care if we got a million tickets! I think we arrived at about 4:25.
I had a brief period of less painful contractions as we walked through the ER, but as we headed down the hallway towards the elevators, I had to stop and just get down on my hands and knees. A dr passing by asked what was wrong and Ryan told him I was in labor. He got me a wheelchair, but honestly, I didn't want a wheelchair! Yet, I couldn't really walk. There was no break at all.
On another side note, Ryan said he should design a little cart that a laboring woman can be on her hands and knees on and her husband can push to where she needs to go. Like a trolly at Costco, but cushioned. I said that was an excellent idea. No joke. I would have been up for one of those!
Anyway, Ryan rushed me to the elevator where again, I had to get down on all fours for the trip up. I literally crawled into assessment. They very quickly got me into a room, where I was pretty frantic. This was all happening so fast. I told the nurse about the bleeding but she didn't seem concerned, which calmed my slightly. She managed to check my dilation and told me I was ready to deliver, which didn't surprise me. I had that thought a few times on the way in. She told me later that when I came in on my hands and knees she was pretty sure I was ready. So she whisked me off to a proper delivery room, telling Ryan as we passed him (he was taking care of paper work) the room we were going to. At that point, he felt the need to move the van to the proper parking lot. So he ran down, moved it, and ran back. Good thing he ran. Because in the meantime...
I got to my room, dropped my pants, climbed onto the bed and started pushing. The room had filled with about half a dozen people, I wasn't admitted - no one even knew my name. Someone told me to wait just a second and I told the room that I couldn't wait. This kid was coming. For some strange reason there was talk of using a vaccum. Not sure why - she came fast! I pushed a few times and felt a hand on my forehead. I assumed it was a nurse because I hadn't seen Ryan come in, but it was him. I think I maybe pushed three more times and then our little girl was placed on my chest. Her coming out was the best feeling EVER. Someone asked Ryan what we had, so he was able to check and announce she was a girl. She had let out a cry when she was born, but was then silent, so they did take her to the warming table quickly, where she started bellowing. Because she came so fast, she didn't get a good squeeze and so was quite mucous-y. She was face up and I am sure if she had been in the proper face down position...well, let's just say I may not have even made it onto the bed for the delivery. She was born at 4:41 a.m. Afterwards, the room sort of cleared out and got quiet and I went into a bit of shock - what the heck had just happened?! Two hours ago I just got up to use the bathroom! But little Eva Claire, weighing 7 lbs 3 oz and 19.5 inches long, scored a 9 on her APGAR both times and was just fine. I had some good shakes afterwards, but felt good. It was so different from my other three deliveries. But it was good. I was so happy to have her (and to have those awful contractions stop!!)
Oh - I hear her starting to stir for me. I may add to this later. I will certainly add pictures when I have the time!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Poll Time!

I put a little poll up - it's on the side bar. Sorry if it's a little hard to read. I've put previous stats up - maybe some want to know the details below in order to form an educated guess. :)

Jared - 5 days late, 9 pounds 5 ounces, average heart rate in utero was 135-140 BPM
Ayda - 4 weeks early, 7 pounds, average heart rate in utero was 145 BPM
Maisy - 1 day early (induced), 8 pounds 13 ounces, average heart rate in utero was 150-155 BPM

This baby is due on August 9 and the average heart rate thus far is 150 BPM.

I've been feeling good, when my kidney stones aren't acting up. I've also been teaching pretty much full-time since the end of January. I am very much looking forward to the end of June, and even more so to the next couple of weeks when I anticipate I will reach the number of hours I need to get a maternity leave! Yeah!!!

So that's pretty much what I've been doing - not much time or energy left to do much more! The kids are doing good - Jared is excited for the summer holidays although he does have fun at school. Ayda is her normal self - and looking forward to grade one in the fall!!! She was at my brother and sister-in-law's the other day, playing with her cousin, and Kared looked out the window to see her with her shirt off (the kids were playing at the water table) so she went out and asked why she had her shirt off. To which Ayda replied, "My Mom said I'm not allowed to get my shirt wet!" Nice try, Ayda. I'd prefer you to keep your shirt on!And Miss Maisy is her regular happy self. She is just such a cheerful and social little girl. I love it.

That last paragraph sounds like a blurb from a Christmas letter. Sorry - I guess that's what happens when the blog gets neglected....

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Working on getting a baby poll up and running....

Tuesday, March 19, 2013


19 weeks and 5 days