Saturday, December 18, 2010

John Michael- A Birth Story

If you've known me for any length of time, you'll know that there is always a story.  So, why would John Michael's arrival be any different?  I held onto the hopes that the labor and delivery would be smooth- but I think that in the back of my mind, I knew that wouldn't be the case.  And so it begins...

Wednesday, December 8th, was my due date.  I had been to the doctor on Tuesday, only to find out that there was no progression, and that I would have to wait another week.  But on Wednesday, I thought things were taking a different turn.  I woke up with contractions that were 3-5 minutes apart.  I called Michael and told him that he needed to come home, and that I was going to call the doctor's office.  They wanted me to come into the office first so that they could check me- so I did.  And guess what?  No dilation.  The doctor told me I was in pre-labor and sent me back home.  He said that we could walk around the mall and try to "walk him out."  My parents were already on the way to Birmingham, so I just told them to meet us at Brookwood mall.  We had lunch and proceeded to walk around the mall- all the while I'm having contractions and stopping every so often to deal with the pain.  After about an hour of walking, nothing had changed, so I decided to give up and go home.

Once we got back home, the contractions were getting stronger and more unbearable, so we called the doctor back.  He told us to meet him at labor and delivery, so off we went.  I was admitted, even though there was still no dilation.  They said they would give me something for pain so that I could sleep peacefully through the night and be "fresh and ready" for labor the following day.  So, I got a shot of morphine around 7pm, and tried to settle in for the night.  The nurse told my parents to go on home, as she was sure that labor wouldn't really begin until the following morning... "after dawn" she said.  So, they went home.  Around 11pm, the contractions were getting pretty bad so I asked Michael to go find the nurse.  My original nurse had gone down the hall to help deliver another baby, so I had another nurse come in.  She asked if I wanted a pill, and I told her that I would take whatever she would give me.  Well, it was an ambien.  At the time, I really didn't think about it- I mean, ambien is supposed to help you sleep, so maybe I could then sleep through the pain.  Not so.

Around midnight, I was making so much noise in our room that I told Michael the people next to us were going to think I was having a natural delivery.  My original nurse finally came in and asked if anyone had checked me since her last check on me at 6pm.  I told her no, she checked me, and informed me that I was 5cm dilated.  As she rushed out to get the materials for an epidural, my water broke.  When the anesthesiologist showed up, I finally got my epidural.  That was the least amount of pain the whole night.  At this point in the evening, Michael had now called my parents (who had just gotten into bed) to tell them that I was 5cm, water broken, getting an epidural.  They got dressed and got back in the car for yet another drive.

It seemed like the next thing I knew, my nurse was saying something about me passing 9cm- and that it was time to push.  I have no idea how long that lasted, but I do remember getting an oxygen mask at some point because they were concerned about John Michael's heart rate.  In between pushing, they told me to breathe deeply in the oxygen mask and rest.  Problem was... I kept falling asleep because of the ambien.  Michael kept waking me up, but I couldn't stop.  The morphine and ambien were just too much for me.

Finally, I realized that John Michael was not moving past a certain point, because everyone seemed concerned.  My doctor told me that we had a couple of options... he could use the forceps and if John Michael didn't come with the next push, that we were going to have to get a c-section.  I told him to do whatever he needed to do, so out came the forceps.  Luckily, the next push did the trick, but as John Michael made his debut, the doctor realized that he was wrapped three times in the umbilical cord.  Once around the neck, once around the waist, and once around the leg.  However, because of the Lord's amazing grace, he was fine.  He was born on Thursday, December 9th at 4:20am- and he was 7lbs, 6oz, and 22 inches long.

So here we are a little over a week later, and we have a beautiful baby boy who is an absolute joy!  Michael and I are beyond blessed, and can't believe that the Lord would bless us with such an amazing gift.  So, without further ado, I would like to introduce you to John Michael Sanford.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

One day short of a due date

It's Tuesday morning, and I'm on my favorite perch these days... the couch.  I started having contractions last Thursday morning, and have been working from home since Friday.  My sweet mom came up on Saturday to bring some food for the freezer (gotta love stocked meals).  I was feeling good for once and really wanted to get out of the house to do anything at all, so we went up to the outlet mall down the street and did a little Christmas shopping.  I kept hoping that a little walking might urge John Michael to get a move on- but I think it just lulled him back to sleep.  Sunday was quite a bit more painful- not sure if it had anything to do with the walking or not, but the contractions went away... then they came back... then they went away... and so on.
I woke up at 3:30 this morning to some painful contractions, and decided to start timing them.  They were coming anywhere between 4 and 7 minutes... until 4:45 when I went to go wake Michael up.  Then as you can guess, they stopped again.  They're pretty sporadic now- and I have a doctor's appointment today anyway, so I figure I'll just wait until then.
IF I'm dilated at all today, we'll hopefully be scheduled this week- but if not, they'll wait and schedule something next week.  John Michael has definitely made it to his due date (tomorrow).  I wasn't sure if he'd be a late comer or an early arrival... the jury is still out until later today on whether or not he'll be a late comer.  His daddy likes to take his time too, so with any luck, he'll be laid back like Michael.
So... there may or may not be any new blog posts for a little while.  But, you can be sure that there will be TONS of pictures if I have anything to do with it!  Thanks for all your prayers and encouragement!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Time for a Finished Nursery!

It really is about time I finished it.  After all, today marks 39 weeks.  And, we'll find out if I have progressed at all in this afternoon's appointment.  Up until this point, I have tried to keep my hopes down, because when I hear that there is absolutely no progression at all, I get really disappointed.  But, that's not the point for today's blog post!  Onward to the nursery!!!
Let's start off with a huge shout out to Alison Peak for the fantastic job she did on doing John Michael's name for me.  I had seen some really cute stuff she did for Evelyn, and just had to have her do something for John Michael too.  I love how it turned out... not too baby looking.  I don't know why I'm so dead set on his nursery not looking too babyish, but anyway.  Here's the finished product as it sits over the crib.
Directly across from the crib is the changing table with my three paintings I did.  You can see close ups of them in this post.  This is the changing table that my mom, cousin and I found on our scavenger hunt to find a changing table that wasn't really a changing table.  I love how it turned out.  And, we have storage below for diapers and such, as well as a wipe warmer (which conveniently also serves as a nightlight).
And yes, the diaper genie was one of those things that I heard mixed reviews about.  However, the more Michael and I thought about it, the more we realized that we needed something super secure to keep our curious schnauzer out of the dirty diaper hunt.  We're saving ourselves a lot of heartache, I'm sure.  Over by the crib, Michael put up a shelf, which holds some sentimental items, and currently John Michael's going home outfit.  This shelf is awesome because our video monitor sits up there as well, and points directly down into the crib.  Michael and I have already had some fun playing with that monitor.  We just can't get over how it has night vision.  Yeah, it's the little things. :)
On the other side of the crib sits our fun find from IKEA.  We love this chair and matching ottoman.  The blanket over the back is a sweet gift from Haley Justice Gardiner (which just so happened to match the room perfectly- and I'm pretty sure she didn't know that).  
And speaking of IKEA, here's the rug I found there that I'm in love with.  The only thing that bothers me about it is that I can't get it to stop sliding around and puckering up.  We've tried the rug tape, which failed miserably... anyone have any other ideas?
Michael's dresser that he grew up using sits in the other corner of the room.  It has TONS of space in the drawers, and it doesn't hurt that it's also a sentimental piece for John Michael to now get to use it.  
And, we're ready to start reading to him... as Michael and I both LOVE to read.  We can't wait to pass that trait along.  (Notice the IKEA lamp I snagged- that was another item that I really struggled with was finding a lamp that was more modern and less baby).  And I love the cute hamper too.
And now to show a little bit of my embarrassing OCD nature.  But mainly to brag on my sister-in-laws Rebecca and Meg, who are absolutely the most INCREDIBLE sister-in-laws on the planet!  Yes, it's a closet.  And yes, alot of the hanging clothes are clothes that we got at showers (although the majority of his clothes are in the dresser drawers).  
But, if you look above the hanging clothes, you'll notice the bins labeled with different sizes.  Yep, that would be the hand-me-downs from Rebecca and Meg.  I cannot tell you what a blessing it is to have these two women in our lives.  We don't have a shortage of boys in our family, but I have just been beyond amazed at the generosity.  And, not only that, but Stephen and Rebecca have just poured out the generosity with things like a swing, vibrating seat, and anything else that they thought we could use- they have sent our way.  So, here's my little teary-eyed thanks to family for being so incredible!!!
And, since Santa himself is coming soon, John Michael is definitely ready to show his Christmas spirit just weeks after his own arrival... (thanks to Rebecca Tidwell and Cindy Hopkins)
I realize that this has been a long post, but it's been awhile in the making.  So, I'll leave you with one wide shot of the nursery view from the door.  Thanks to everyone who has helped us, been generous to us, prayed for us, put things together with and for us (shout out to Paw Paw), prepared food for us (shout out to our moms)... we can't for you all to meet John Michael in person!  WE can't wait to meet John Michael in person!  Have a great week- maybe the next post will be his introduction.  Pray, people, pray!