Friday, September 6, 2013

Paisley's Birth Story

It has been 3 1/2 months since that wonderful, life-changing day. Paisley is our precious angel and my best buddy. I love her with all my heart! I figured it was about time that I documented her Birth Day before I forget any more of the details!

Tuesday May 14, 2013
This morning I had my last appointment with my OB. I was 4 cm dilated and 80% effaced! Because Kent was leaving for his mission the next day, I was really still hanging on to the hope that Paisley would be born early enough for him to get to meet her. The night before, a friend of mine suggested that I get my membranes stripped, as she had done with her kids. Essentially, as the OB is checking your cervix, he quickly swipes his finger around the opening to detach the amniotic sac from the uterine wall. IF your body is already progressing (as mine was, since I had gone from 1 cm and 30% to 4 cm and 80% in one week), then stripping the membranes can help kick you into labor. So, my OB happily did this for me when I asked, but said that it probably wouldn't get things going until tomorrow at the earliest. Because it is not a 100% sure way to put you into labor, I went ahead and asked him if I could schedule my induction date for 1 week postpartum in case I still hadn't delivered. He looked at me like I was crazy and said, "You don't need to do that! I would be surprised if you even made it to the weekend!" I was so excited after he said that! The rest of the day, I was bleeding a little bit and my stomach felt weird, kinda sore/achy like it does when I am on my period. These were side effects that he said were typical after getting your membranes stripped. I rested a bit that afternoon and then took a walk around the track in our neighborhood with Kent to help me progress and also to spend some final quality time with him before he headed off for 2 years. That night we all dressed up and went to the church for the Stake President to set him apart as a missionary. That was a tearful and spiritual experience for us as a family! We celebrated afterwards with some frozen yogurt at Zen Berry. Bryant and I made a quick run to the Target next door, and as we were walking around (more like waddling for me!) I could seriously feel my hips widening and Paisley dropping down further! I was sure I would be having the baby soon!

My last picture with my baby brother for the next two years! Love and miss him...

Wednesday May 15, 2013
We woke up at 4:45 am to spend our last bit of time with Kent as he finished packing and got ready to head to the airport. We knelt for our last family prayer and then said a tearful goodbye. I gave Kent a big hug and he said "Sorry I couldn't meet Paisley. Tell her hi for me and that I love her" and I thanked him for the quality time we were able to spend together and told him I loved him and was proud of him. We were both in tears, so he turned away and got in the car with my parents. I was very sad and missing him, so I never did fall back asleep after that. I laid in bed for an hour before going to get some breakfast at 6:30 am. Later, Bryant went to the Blake's house to do some yard work. He called and invited me to walk over and talk to them, since I was into walking a lot to get baby to come! It is kind of a long walk, but I took it slow and it took me about an hour to get there. I talked to Bryant and our friend Jake as well as with Kristy. She asked how I was feeling and I told her my stomach was a little crampy and I felt out of sorts. She happily exclaimed that she just knew I was gonna go into labor that day! My dad called and asked if Bryant and I would drive down to Birmingham and pick my cousin up from college that afternoon. I told him I might go into labor, but that we would go haha besides, the average first labor is 18 hours and Birmingham is only 2 hours away :)

Bryant and I drove down and stopped first at some outlet malls. While shopping, I started to feel something weird happening with my stomach. I finally realized that it was coming in waves, very faintly, so I told Bryant that I must be having contractions! This was exciting because I had never had any Braxton Hicks, so I didn't really know what to expect. I knew that if I was feeling contractions, that that must be that I was starting labor! I downloaded a contraction timer on my phone and clocked them at roughly 10 minutes apart. We continued to shop and then went  to help my cousin move out of her dorm. On the way home the got more prominent to where I could really feel them start and end, but they still were about 10 minutes apart and weren't hurting. We got home, ate dinner, and watched American Idol as I continued to time them. Around 9 pm, Bryant thought I had gone upstairs to get ready for bed. But that would be silly because I knew I was going to the hospital, and I wanted to look pretty in my pictures! Haha so I was actually upstairs reapplying my makeup and finishing packing my hospital bag :) Everyone headed to bed around 10 pm and my parents told me to wake them up when I was ready to head to the hospital. 

Pic with my mom before going to bed that night

One of my last belly pics before delivery!

Bryant fell asleep, but I literally just laid in bed for 2 hours writhing in pain! My contractions had become VERY strong and painful, and it was hard to breath through them. I was still timing them, but they were all over the place! I was told to go to the hospital once they were 5 minutes apart consistently for an hour. Mine would be 6 minutes, 5 minutes, 3 minutes, 5 minutes, then back up to 8 minutes.... so I would start over counting again, and again, and again. At 11:30 I woke Bryant up to walk around with me and get some cereal, because I was starving. We ate 2 bowls each of nasty Honey Comb cereal, which I had never eaten before but for some reason it was all we had at the house. Then we went back to bed and he talked to me and held my hand through the continuing contractions. At 12:30 ish, I finally decided that despite my contractions being irregular, it was time to go to the hospital. I was in so much pain at this point! But I prayed that Heavenly Father would help me to know somehow that I was making the right choice to leave. As we were getting ready to go, my mom came upstairs. She said she just had the feeling to wake up and check on us! We told her it was time to get ready to go! Then my dad came up and said he had a dream that it was time for us to leave now. It was super neat how I got an immediate answer to my prayer and knew I had made the right decision!

Breathing through contractions at 12:30 am as we finished our last minute packing

Headed to the hospital!
My mom left with us for the hospital and my dad told my mom to call him when it was time for him to come up. As we were on our way to Huntsville Hospital, my contractions were all 2-3 minutes apart! My mom was freaking out and telling Bryant to drive faster! She dropped us off at the entrance and Bryant got me a wheelchair. At the admittance desk, the receptionist kept asking frustrating and dumb questions, as I clenched in pain! "What are you here for?" Um... really?? Is it not obvious? "Are you supposed to be here?" Not unless you would rather me deliver in an alley way... I was not in a good mood and she was being rude! Anyways, she finally got a nurse who wheeled me back to the delivery room, skipping Triage cause she could tell I was far along! Since it was the middle of the night and not many people were there, we got the largest corner room. It was nice! My mom called my dad to come quick, and he brought Katie with him. 

In my wheelchair at the hospital entrance
Front desk check in...

They measured my cervix, and I was already at a 9! They were impressed that I labored that far on my own at home! They all started rushing around me to get everything done, because they figured I would have the baby within the hour. 4 nurses were giving us all different paperwork to fill out and asking questions. They tried to put in the IV, but totally screwed it up (It hurt SO bad, worse than the contractions, and it left a HUGE bruise for the next 2 weeks.) So they redid it in a different spot. The nurse told me at first that it was too late for an epidural, and I took a deep breath and prepared for a natural delivery. I had planned to keep an open mind and aim for a natural delivery, but get the epidural if I decided to when the time came. She came back a few minutes later and told me that there was an anesthesiologist available if I wanted to go ahead and try the epidural and see if it would take in time, and I said yes! Anything at that point to take the pain away, as the contractions were now coming every 2 minutes almost. It was very hard and painful to sit up for the epidural, but Bryant helped me, held my hands, and kissed my forehead. The effects of the epidural were immediate! I finally got relief from the pain and was able to relax.

In a lot of pain from the contractions

Bryant helping me just by being there for me :)
Sitting up for the epidural

Kisses make epidurals better :)
Feeling SO much better immediately after getting the epidural!

The epidural slowed my progress, so it took me another hour before I reached 10 cm.  I could only have 3 visitors in the room at a time, so they each rotated in and out to visit with me. 

Once I reached a 10, the nurse emptied my bladder with a catheter and started to help me push. I had both of my parents and Bryant in the delivery room with me. My mom encouraged me and took pictures, Bryant held my hand and kept me calm and gave me the strength to keep pushing, and my dad supported my head and neck, kept my hair out of my face, and soothed me as much as he could. Best decision we made was to have both of them there! I had the mirror propped up at the end of the bed so that I could watch my delivery. I was so numb from the epidural that it was very hard for me to know how to push! I was trying my very hardest, but I couldn't feel any sort of directional pressure. We could see Paisley's head crowning for an hour, but it never moved any farther. After pushing with all my energy for an hour and a half (which remember I had been awake since 4:45 am the morning before, so roughly 24 hours by now...) and throwing up all of that nasty cereal, I literally collapsed in exhaustion. I had 0 strength left to push. Paisley was in the right position, but her head was turned to the side which had her kind of stuck. I didn't know what they were gonna do because I could not push anymore. The nurse left to get the doctor to come in and take a look. I figured I had two options: 1) Vacuum extraction, which I was not a fan of at all or 2) C section, which seemed like a silly idea since she was clearly in the birth canal and crowning! While she was gone, my dad and husband gave me a blessing, which was much needed. The doctor came in and simply said "You look exhausted. Would a nap be helpful?" Um, YEAH! That's all I needed was to rest and gather some more strength. I had no idea that taking a nap would be a beautiful 3rd option!! Such a blessing!! They wedged me on my side (which the doc chastised the nurse for not having done earlier, because that is a good way to get the baby to turn!) and they turned out the lights. My parents left and let Bryant and I sleep. I fell asleep immediately! And slept solidly for an hour before my mom came and woke me up. I felt SO much better! A new nurse came in and told me that we had to wait for the new doctor to arrive, since it was now 7am and everyone was changing shifts. So, I took the opportunity to again reapply my makeup, since I looked like a not-so-hot mess at this point! 

Waiting for the new doctor to arrive
Feeling much better after resting
Reapplying my makeup for "pushing round 2"!

The doctor came in and helped me as I pushed for another 45 minutes. It was still hard, but my nap gave me the little bit of strength I needed and got Paisley to turn. The doctor helped explain to me how to push properly, and I finally got to pushing in the right way! She was progressing steadily, and seeing that in the mirror was great motivation to continue. He cut a small incision to help give her more room, and then I gave my last final big pushes and she slid right out! In addition to the episiotomy, I tore more, resulting in 3rd degree tearing... I cried happy tears as Bryant cut the cord and took her over to get weighed/measured/cleaned up. The doc stitched me up and showed me my placenta (which I had asked to see cause I thought it was cool... haha) They then placed a beautiful bundle of joy in my arms and I was overwhelmed with joy and love greater than anything I ever experienced or thought possible. She was mine. My daughter. I was a mom... I couldn't even comprehend it all! I felt so close to Heaven at that moment with this pure new spirit child of my Father in my arms. I felt the weight of my responsibility towards her and welcomed it with love and gratitude. 

Paisley Katherine Giles was born at 8:29 am on Thursday May 16, 2013 at Huntsville Hospital. She weighed 7 lbs 14 oz and was 19.5 in long (although we think they measured wrong because at her appointment a week later, she was 22 inches long).

First time meeting my baby girl... she was VERY swollen from 4+ hours in the birth canal!

She had a very cone-shaped head from being in the birth canal for so long
Her poor squished face from her head being turned the wrong way!

Paisley was a great first time breastfeeder, and has continued to be good! After holding her and feeding her, everyone got a chance to meet their new family member. I then held her as they wheeled us to the mother/baby room.

 Bryant then took her to the nursery to give her her first bath while I rested. I was so weak and hungry, but still extremely nauseous. Because I am a bit anemic, I felt very low on iron after not eating for so long and exerting so much energy, as well as losing blood. I ordered a hamburger but had to slowly drink water and eat saltine crackers before I was able to stomach it. Paisley came back in with Bryant and we all rested. 

That night for dinner we had our Celebration Dinner! They brought us each a meal and dessert with a bottle of Sparkling Cider :)

I knew I should sleep that night, but I just couldn't with my baby girl there. So I stayed up holding and feeding her most of the night, so in love with her. We had a great hospital stay and had some wonderful friends and family visit! We were discharged Saturday afternoon and were happy to be home :)

Headed home from the hospital!
We later found out that a friend of mine from BYU saw my mom post that I was in labor Wednesday night. She worked at the Provo MTC and saw my brother on Thursday morning! She recognized him from pictures on my facebook and knew that he had just arrived. She was able to tell him that I was in labor and at the hospital! He was so excited! She didn't know yet whether I had delivered, so he said he was thinking about me/worrying all day and saying lots of prayers for me and Paisley! He went back to see her later that day and she was able to show him a facebook picture of us with Paisley and told him I had delivered her that morning and all was well. What a blessing! Even though he wasn't able to be there, I am grateful he was able to share in the excitement with us!

Saturday May 25, 2013
9 days later, we went on our first real outing. Bryant, my dad, and my father-in-law were an hour away at Camp Hulaco while my mom, mother-in-law, and sister went out. We stopped at Bennett's Nursery first and leisurely strolled around the plants.
First time using my Moby Wrap!
Then we went to Bridgestreet to shop. After 10 minutes in Old Navy with my stomach feeling really weird, I figured I was just still hungry since we hadn't eaten very much. So my mom sent Katie and me over to Cantina Laredo to get us a seat. As we walked over, I had the distinct impression to say a little prayer for Paisley. I simply prayed that she would continue to be good, easy, and healthy and that she would know that I loved her. We walked in and asked the hostess if there were any available seats on the patio. Right as she turned to go outside, I felt something very warm rush into my pants. My mind started to get foggy and panicked, as I figured I had either peed myself or I was bleeding. I quickly took Paisley out of the Moby Wrap and asked my sister to hold her, mumbling something about needing to go to the bathroom. I rushed back, passed a waiter who told me where the restroom was, and dashed into the bathroom stall. In that one minute, blood soaked through one of those think mega-pads the hospital gives you and through my pants and down my legs. Blood continued to spill onto the floor and fill the toilet (so sorry for the TMI, but it really was very dramatic and scary). I started to get dizzy and panic some more as I realized that I was bleeding profusely and had no way to contact anyone for help. I had left my phone with my mom in my diaper bag. I tried to think of what to do, and finally I pulled up my blood-soaked jeans and waddled out of the stall. A woman was washing her hands, and I asked her if I could borrow her phone, but she had left it at her table. So I walked out of the bathroom to find my mom, and thankfully they were just being seated at a booth close-by! I called out "MOM!" in a panicked voice, and she came running as I headed back to the stall. My sister, a nurse who did her internship in Labor and Delivery, rushed in behind her and told me to lay down and lift up my feet to stop the blood. She massaged my stomach to get my uterus to contract and stop bleeding. My mother in law was outside the bathroom holding Paisley and telling people not to go in (although apparently, a lady pushed her aside and came in anyways, stepped over my half-naked and bleeding body on the floor, used the restroom, and then walked out... I didn't know this until my mom told me after the fact! LOL rude!). My mom called my OB's office and I tried to answer the nurse's questions, but I was so confused as to why she wasn't taking this seriously! She was chastising me for going out and "over exerting" myself so soon after delivery. She told me to just go home and put my feet up and rest and see if it happened again. WHAT?! There was blood everywhere in a matter of seconds, and she didn't think it was an emergency??? I started crying so my sister took the phone and talked to her for me. The nurse told her that if it would make me feel better, we could go check into the hospital, so that's what we decided to do.

At this point, I was no longer actively bleeding so we decided to drive ourselves instead of calling an ambulance. My mom drove us to Madison Hospital. Bryant called and talked to me and said they were driving as fast as they could to get home (dad says he was driving 90 mph). They were all very worried and praying for me. After checking in and answering questions, we had to wait for my bladder to fill so that they could do an ultrasound. It took forever! Paisley was so good and slept the whole time unless it was time for me to feed her. The staff at Madison Hospital was amazing! Especially my nurse, Laura Beth (who later helped Katie when she was delivering her baby the next week!) Laura Beth suggested that I pump some breast milk in case I had to go into surgery, because one of the medicines would make it so that I couldn't breastfeed for 24 hours. Finally around... 8 pm? they took me in for an ultrasound. I was so hungry and had food waiting for me, but hadn't been able to eat since they weren't yet sure if I would be sent to the OR. The ultrasound tech was looking for pieces of placenta left behind, which causes hemorrhaging and other problems and would mean surgery. She said that while she wasn't really allowed to say anything one way or the other until the doctor looked at the images, she did tell me that I had an unusually thick uterine lining for someone 9 days postpartum. I really hadn't been bleeding much since leaving the hospital the week before. The doctor took a look and said that yes, there was placenta left. Apparently I had a large blood clot blocking my cervix, but inside I was bleeding a lot. This explained why I had been feeling so tired, sad, and anemic the past week! What happened at Cantina Loredo was that the clot passed though, and so it was like a dam breaking and letting the huge gush of blood through that had been gathering inside.

Mom and Stacy (my mother-in-law) gave P her first real bath in the hospital sink, because her cord had fallen off the night before!)

I cried a little bit at the thought of leaving my poor 9 day old baby behind. I kissed and hugged her and told her I loved her. I'm so grateful for the prayer I was prompted to say earlier! I knew she would be taken care of. So they took me down to the OR to get a D&C (Dilation and Curettage) where they clean out the uterus. This was my first time in surgery and going under anesthesia. My dad and husband gave me a blessing, and I stayed very calm. I remember a particularly wonderful staff member names Jamario. He smiled and talked to me as they wheeled me in. It was so cold! He put like 8 heated blankets on me. After I laid on the table, he held my hand as they administered the anesthesia. It was such a small, kind gesture that made the world of difference for me. I just stared at the overhead light until I blanked.

Gotta love my mom's finger... haha
I then remember waking up in the post-op area and being very tired, hungry, and COLD! I was taken back to my room where I finally got to eat. I had to "pump & dump" my breast milk for 24 hours, so Bryant got to feed his baby girl a bottle. It was a special, bonding experience for them, but it was sad/hard for me to not be able to have that time with her. It was such a blessing that Laura Beth had me pump an extra bottle earlier that day, because I ended up having JUST ENOUGH breast milk stored in the freezer to get through that 24 hour period. It was a long night, but we were discharged the next afternoon. I was told to take it easy at home, so we made a big pallet on the game room floor and watched movies and slept all day. 

I recovered well and felt much better than I had before! I am so grateful we chose to go to the hospital and for the wonderful, kind, caring staff. 

Paisley continues to be healthy and happy! She is the light of my life, and I can't imagine being without her. Through it all I kept thinking that I would totally do it again! I can't wait to have more precious children and for Paisley to have sweet brothers and sisters. She is almost 4 months old and growing so fast! I love you, Sweet P :)

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