Monday, March 21, 2011

Meeting the Sibs

Nathan was born at a pretty convenient time to meet his siblings right away. The boys get home from school around 4, then bedtimes start around 8. Nathan made his grand appearance at 5:33, so his brothers and sister were able to meet him about an hour and a half later!
Look how happy they were!

Getting their first look at the new one! And no, I was not aware that my entire back was hanging out. Perhaps we should photoshop the hospital gown to be a bit more covering... Hey, just be glad I'm sitting down!

Nothing like a newborn to make the other kids look huge in comparison! When did my little Katy get so grown up?!?

Snuggles from the eldest.

Then Ryan's turn to love on the babe.

We have now experienced a 20 month age gap, a 34.5 month age gap, and a 45 month age gap between a new baby and their next older sibling. And thus far (knock on wood!) we haven't really had a problem with any of them. The 20 month was hard because the big brother still needed so much physical attention (diaper changes, food prepared for a toddler, etc.). Other than that, we've been really blessed to not have jealousy issues or anything (again, knock on wood!). David, Ryan, and Katy have all been really excited for their new brother, and at 1 week post birth they're still very happy to have him around! I've been worried that they will be bothered by all the time I spend on him, but apparently they're pretty used to me sitting/laying around due to nausea/exhaustion/bedrest/back pain/more exhaustion/etc., so it isn't that much different to them than the past 9 months. I forsee lots of jealousy when Nathan starts playing with Katy's toys, but that's still many months away. For now, the sibling adjustment has been smooth and happy!

Sunday, March 20, 2011


It's the moment you've all been waiting for - the story of our latest addition!

After being on bedrest for 25 days, my body refused to go into labor. Not only that, my water wouldn't break (which it has all 3 other times), and an induction attempt failed! I kept thinking it was close/starting, but 20 days after bedrest ended I was still pregnant. We scheduled an elective induction for 39 weeks (the earliest doctors will do an elective induction), and crossed our fingers that this induction would work!

We got to the hospital a little after 8:00 pm the night before 39 weeks so we could start the "miso" (Misoprostol, a cervical ripening pill). They had to monitor me for a while to make sure I met the criteria for miso - basically, not very dilated and not having very many contractions. Both applied to me, and around 10:00 (things sure take a while in hospitals...) we got that started. The order was to repeat miso doses every 3 hours until I no longer qualified, then switch to pitocin. I'd had a dose of miso at my failed induction, and it definitely worked to give me contractions, so I was hopeful it would work again!

Well, I took a nap, read some, watched tv contractions. Finally around 1:00, right before my 2nd dose of miso, I had a contraction! Yay! Then a few minutes later I had another! The nurse said "Let's hurry and give you your next dose before you don't qualify anymore!" She did, and the contractions kept going.

We watched The Blind Side (the hospital had some cool movie channels), then went to sleep. I had very regular, very wimpy contractions for the rest of the night. So at 4:00 am, I definitely didn't qualify for another dose of miso. I did not qualify for pitocin either, though. I was having too many contractions. They just weren't doing anything - I was still around a 1 and pretty thick. We were starting to think we'd be sent home again with the baby still cozy in my belly.

Well, at some point later in the morning I was able to start pitocin. We continued to watch tv and doze off and on. The contractions started to get a little worse, and when they checked me around 11:00 am I was finally dilated to a 3! Yay! We started to think we might finally have this baby!

Around 1:00 pm (12 hours since my first contraction), Dr. David stopped by. He gave me the go ahead to get an epidural. I was a little nervous that it would stop my labor (which seemed so fragile to me after trying so hard to get it started), but he said we'd just turn up the pitocin as needed. In the time between ordering the epidural and getting the epidural, the contractions started to get a lot more painful, so I was very glad it was already coming!

I just have to say here that I love epidurals. There are plenty of things in life that I can at least kind of see why people make different choices than I do. This is NOT one of them! To go from in a lot of pain to really comfortable is just wonderful. It makes the rest of labor so much more pleasant. I don't see anything about doing it natural that makes it worth it. It just seems stupid.

At 3:00 pm I was checked again, and I'd made it to a 4. Interestingly, my water still hadn't broken (again, every single other labor has started with my water breaking), so Dr. David came back and broke it for me. I've always been pretty fast from 4 to 10, so we knew the end was in sight!

Dan and I both dozed off for a little while then (thank you, epidural!). Shortly after 5:00 pm I woke up feeling nauseous and a little weird down there, so I had the nurse check me. I was a 7. Within about 10 minutes or so I was feeling some definite pressure with contractions, so I asked to be checked again, and I was complete! I texted my mom that it was "go time!" at 5:21 according to my phone.

Dr. David & the nurse busied themselves getting ready, while I threw up a couple times, as is my history. Then it was pushing time! I pushed through about 4 or 5 contractions, and the baby was born at 5:33 pm! Somehow my epidural didn't totally numb me for that, and it was really, really painful! Dr. David kept saying things to the effect of "Wow, this baby is NOT helping you at all!" His little head came out cute and round...a little coning would have been appreciated!

Baby's first picture, fresh from my tummy. :-)

He grabbed my finger right away

SO HAPPY to be done being pregnant! Oh yeah, and happy to have a sweet baby boy (name undetermined at that point) to snuggle.

When Baby came out, everyone's first response was to the effect of "He's huge!" I'd been saying that he was going to be my biggest baby, for multiple reasons: bedrest increases baby size, I was farther along than I'd been with everyone but David, and I'd gained 44 lbs this time around (35 with David and high 20s with Ryan & Katy), surely it wasn't all my fault! I was guessing he'd be a low nine pounder. Wrong! This BIG little baby was 10 lb 4 oz! Holy cow! No wonder I'd been so uncomfortable!

When Dan & I were first expecting our first baby, my 2 favorite names were Nathan and Kathryn. Dan vetoed Nathan at that point, and Kathryn didn't get used thanks to that baby being a boy. When we were expecting baby #2, those were still my favorite names, and Dan went along with Nathan until near the end when we changed to Ryan. When we were expecting baby #3 the names were John (the first half of that pregnancy was the football season John Beck did amazing things, so we really liked that name) and Kathryn, and we finally got to use Kathryn. Well, this time we started out with the names being William (probably calling him Liam) or Ellie (possibly short for something). As soon as we found out it was a boy, I changed my mind and read through lots and lots of baby names. I went back to Nathan as my first choice. We asked the kids their opinions, and they all wanted Nathan (I want to say that Ryan came up with it on his own, but I must have mentioned it at some point, maybe even just that it was almost his name). Dan didn't love it, but was okay with it. A few nights before this baby was born, I started questioning if I wanted to use Nathan after all. I considered going with William (still Dan's first choice), and also kind of considered using James (yes, after Jimmer Fredette, who Dan has a huge man crush on). Then the baby was born, and I still hadn't decided that I loved anything else. So since I've loved the name Nathan for a long time (at least 9 years, since that's when we were first pregnant with David), we decided to go with that.

Nathan Daniel Morrill
Born March 14th, 2011 at 5:33 pm
10 lb 4 oz, 21 1/2 inches long

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

the pendulum has swung...

Well, after being on bedrest for almost a month, it seems the baby has taken the hint to stay put. I've been back on my feet for 2 weeks now, and he seems very content to stay where he is!

We had a false alarm at 36 weeks 5 days (Saturday 2/26), with contractions getting stronger & closer together...which went away at the hospital when they had me drink lots of water. On bedrest I'd been drinking lots of water because it was there and I was just sitting/lying there. So once I was up, not only was I not drinking as much water because I was busy with other things, I was needing more water thanks to finally being able to vacuum and other physically demanding activities. Oops.

The next Tuesday morning (3/1) at my appointment I told my doctor that I thought I might be leaking amniotic fluid. Since I HAVE had a slow leak with 2 of the other 3 (with Katy being a BIG leak instead), I've been overly worried about that. He checked, got the alkaline pH test (which means yes!), but no ferning pattern (which means no, and is more accurate than the pH test). So that meant most likely I hadn't, but he wanted me back in on Friday to check again.

Meanwhile I was having lots of contractions every evening. Then Thursday I had contractions all day long. I noticed them start at story time at 9:35ish, and they continued at roughly 5 min intervals until I went to bed at midnight. I took a nap, I drank lots of water, I went for a walk...nothing made them get any better or worse. Ugh.

So then I went in on Friday (3/4), and when we checked for amniotic fluid it was the same results - alkaline pH, but he didn't see any ferning. At this point, though, taking all things into account, he decided there was a good chance that my water HAD broken, and I had possibly been walking around with ruptured membranes for a couple days. The thing is, there's risk either way - if it hadn't broken, it's too early to induce without medical reason and the baby could be not ready, but if it had, there's a big risk of infection. So he decided to go ahead and say "Yes, her water has broken, we need to do an induction."

I was so excited! Katy & I went home and met Dan there, I got last minute things packed (like my glasses, that I obviously can't just leave in the bag), I ate a little lunch since I wouldn't be eating for many hours, arranged for the kids to be taken care of (assuming at that point that Dan would be able to pick them up around bedtime, or at least only a couple hours later), and headed in to have this baby!

We got to the hospital around 1:00...and got to wait a while before anything started. Then finally they got an IV in and did a round of penicillin (thanks to the possibility that I'd broken my water days earlier), but still no pitocin. We finally got started on pitocin around 3:00, but were still feeling hopeful that the baby would be born that day.

Then...nothing. And more nothing. They kept turning up the pitocin, and eventually I started having some pretty painful contractions. But I didn't dilate at all. I was still at a 1. Boo. So at midnight (after NINE hours on pitocin) they turned it off to give my uterus a break, and planned on resuming in the morning.

Around 4:30 am my nurse came in and inserted a pill to help make my cervix more favorable. That's supposed to be done 3 hours before pitocin, so at that point the plan was the turn the pitocin back on around 7:30.

So at 7:30ish my new nurse came in, woke me up, and told me she was going to do an amnisure test, which is a 99% accurate in telling if your water has broken. According to her, even the ferning test is only 60% (which I find hard to believe it's THAT low). We knew there was a possibility that my water hadn't really broken, but had been acting certain to avoid the drama of "she probably has, but maybe not, but at this point we think it's better to induce than wait around for an infection to kick in, especially since she's almost 38 weeks, the fetal age is probably about 5 days ahead of that even, and she's measuring large." In hindsight, I wonder if I could've avoided having that test done, but I was too groggy and startled to argue. So she did the test, and it was negative. My water hadn't broken after all.

Now, I wonder if this would have been handled differently in Utah. I'd been in the hospital for 19 hours, been on pitocin for 9 of those, and was really anxious to get this baby out. Add in the complications of childcare (all 3 of my little ones had been at my visiting teacher's house for 16 hours rather than the expected 7 or 8), the cost of being admitted to the hospital a separate time...I wonder if a more family centered and less hippy liberal society would've just let me continue with the plan to start pitocin again. Maybe not, but in my annoyance with the whole situation I think it's possible.

So they decided to not resume pitocin. At that point I was having regular, painful contractions as a result of the pill (I have GOT to find out the name for it, I keep hearing it and forgetting immediately!), so they had us stay until those started spacing out and being less painful. We were finally discharged shortly after noon, just shy of 24 hours after being admitted.

Now THAT was disappointing/discouraging/frustrating! I had no idea that pitocin could fail to work, and even if I had, I sure wouldn't have thought it would happen to me! The end of pregnancy always seems to take forever, and knowing that pitocin couldn't even get me to have this baby is certainly not helping! It's hard to have the motivation to go for a walk or something when pitocin didn't do the trick.

So now I'm huge, hormonal, and cranky. My super strong pregnancy fingernails all broke off. And today at my check up I found out that the baby was back up high (apparently he'd dropped at the hospital), and I un-dilated back to a 1.5 (I'd been up to a 2.5 before we left). Once again, if we hadn't already been planning on being done after this one, we certainly are now! But hey, my other pregnancies have all been way easier, but produced fairly high maintenance babies. So maybe this baby will be super easy to make up for all the trouble he's caused prenatally! Please? It's only fair!