Friday, January 10, 2014

Rilynn's Birth Story

I can't believe it has already been 1 month since our baby girl arrived. Time is going by way too fast...again! I felt like this was a good time to share some of the details about that day.

(Right after delivery)

Rilynn Nicole Crawford arrived on December 10th, 2013...right on her due date! Since then I've had several people ask me about the type of birth I had...

(My big girl at 8 pounds 12 ounces & 21 inches long)

When we found out I was pregnant, I immediately knew I wanted to talk to my Dr. about the possibility of having a VBAC. Which is essentially a vaginal birth after cesarean. The hospital that I had Greyson at supported this method after 1 c-section but not 2. Since this would only be my 2nd baby I knew this could be an option for me.

(Proud daddy)

Everything about this pregnancy was different than my first. From the morning sickness, to the weight loss/gain, & the way I looked while I carried her. I was swollen all over with Greyson & didn't have the slightest swelling during my pregnancy with Rilynn until 2 weeks before she was born...even then it went away a few days later. There are just multiple things I have compared to my first pregnancy & delivery that just goes to show you each one is different in their own way.

(Greyson was only 7.9 but I had lots of water weight, with Rilynn I was ALL belly & she was over a pound bigger)

My labor with Greyson was tolerable. My pain level with him was not very intense, except for a bout with kidney stones that put me into preterm labor at 31 weeks. That to this day is probably the worst pain I have ever had & it never got that bad during my labor with him. I didn't even get an epidural until 7cm...not to say it was totally pain free...but I didn't feel like the contractions & labor was all that bad leading up to it. I went into both of my labors knowing I would probably get pain meds anyway & that if something happened that I had to have a c-section then I was ok with that even though that is not what I really wanted. I had my water broken by the Dr. & even after making it to 10cm (in just 4 hrs after arriving to the hospital) I pushed for another 2 hrs & because of his head being in the wrong position I ended up with a c-section. It was actually a wonderful delivery experience overall. I was calm & a peace came over me even through my disappointment. Greyson was born on December 9th, 2011 at 11:20pm.

(So glad she's here!)

My recovery however, was horrible...the medicine they gave me didn't work & by the time they found one that did I was in severe pain. It took me a long time to get over that once we came home & I was still swollen all the way through Christmas. I gained 27 lbs that pregnancy & losing it was the last thing on my mind. Most of it came off within the first few weeks, but it was a year before I decided to get back into shape. 

(Sucking her thumb only hrs old)

January of 2013 I started eating organic, clean food & watching my calories. I lost a little over 15 lbs & by March I was wearing clothes I hadn't worn in years. That's the same month I found out we were going to have another baby! This time around I was very sick...never nauseous (which was how I felt with Greyson) but I just got sick random times of the day & I ended up losing another 15 lbs just from that! I was sick for 12 weeks off & on & I didn't start really showing in my pregnancy until well after 20 weeks--Usually with your 2nd that's more noticeable early on--

(Greyson & Nana seeing Rilynn for the first time)

Near the end of my 3rd trimester, I was dilated 3cm at 35 weeks & the Dr.'s were sure I would go early! At 3cm I was also a perfect candidate for a VBAC delivery. The Dr.s I saw were always very positive in talking about it & were excited for me to try. 

(Daddy showing Rilynn to Greyson)

December 2nd rolled around & I started having regular contractions. They got closer together all day & felt just like my labor with Greyson. By 11:30pm I called the Dr. to see if I should come in...all the signs pointed to labor & they suggested I head to the hospital. Greyson spent the night with a good friend (Matt's family was all out of town at the time) & we got to the hospital at 2am. I was monitored for 3 hrs & the contractions got down to 1 minute apart...but I wasn't dilating & they only keep you at 4cm. Finally after awhile the contractions started to get father apart & eventually stopped on their own. I went home & waited an entire WEEK to the day before I had contractions like that again.

(Our little family of 4)

THIS time however...I wanted to MAKE sure it was the real thing! It just so happened that my parents drove in that Monday afternoon & I had been having contractions all day. It was Greyson's actual birthday, so he got to open some gifts & it was nice spending time with Nana & Papa.

(opening presents with Nana on his real birthday)

10:30pm rolled around & we all decided to go to bed. I was able to sleep until about 1:30am but woke up with much more painful contractions than I had been having. I started timing them & they were about 5 minutes apart. I waited that allotted hour to see if they were sticking around before I got up. Once I got up they started coming even faster & harder. I woke Matt up at 2:40am & told him we HAD to go & that I may have waited too long! That made him move pretty fast!! Thankfully my parents were there so we didn't have to wake Greyson & we headed to the hospital. We arrived a little after 4am & I was put in a monitoring check & I was on my way to a regular room at 5cm. This time around 5cm felt WAY more painful than 5cm had with Greyson! I was already wanting an epidural but the contractions were far enough apart that I was able to tolerate them.

(So happy Nana got to be there)

Within an hour I was already in full blown labor & it was NOT comfortable... Of course the Dr. & the anesthesiologist weren't there yet & I had to keep waiting. My wonderful nurse, Janice, kept running out of the room to check on their status...I spent most of that time with my eyes closed enduring the process. It just kept getting worse & body just started pushing on its own. I couldn't control it or stop it! I've heard once you get to that point in labor your body just automatically takes over, but I didn't know I was there already! No one had checked me to see how dilated I was & I had no epidural! My water broke (during a very hard push) just as the anesthesiologist came in & she must have wondered if it was too late because my nurse spoke right up & said I still had time to get the epidural. Thank goodness she did, because I don't think I could have made it! My contractions were back to back & the most painful I had ever had, but during that epidural I only had 1 contraction & my body stopped pushing on its own. God HAD to have made that happen because there is no way I could have been still that long.

(Proud Papa)

Once the anesthesiologist was out of the room, my nurse checked me & said...well you're ready to push. Apparently I was at 10 cm & had been since before my water broke...had she checked me before the epidural, they wouldn't have given it to me (whew!)  It immediately started working & I could feel my body relaxing. MEANWHILE another girl had come into the hospital & was also dilated to 10 cm. My Dr. was with her!!! So that's why I hadn't even seen him yet! Janice started having me push & mentioned how close the baby's head was to crowning. It donned on me then that I could have a vbac...but I asked just to make sure.  

(Beautiful bright eyes)

Everything was right on track. I pushed about 8 times over the course of 20 minutes because the monitor quit working & they couldn't tell when my contractions were coming! Finally my nurse went running next door yelling to my Dr. that the baby was crowning. He came rushing in with minutes to spare. A few pushes later & Rilynn was here!! The poor girl next door ended up without a Dr....I had beat her to it & her nurse ended up delivering her baby...oops.

(All dressed up)

Immediately after she was born, they placed Rilynn on my chest...she was crying & Matt was trying to take pictures =) Within a minute she was nursing!! & everything was going perfectly! I was pain free...happy & ecstatic that I didn't have to wait over an hr before holding my baby. God answered my prayers...

(Lovin' on my "baby")

Matt was awesome. He hadn't seen me in that kind of pain before but kept pretty cool. He thought the Dr. was awesome & was my biggest support during the epidural. I feel like the epidural may have slowed things down way too much with Greyson & he never got below my pelvic bone. With Rilynn, I didn't really have an epidural during the labor process so I was able to move her down into the birth canal on my own. Painful yes and truthfully I only had the epidural long enough to push the baby out...I could still move my feet! But even though I almost had an all natural labor, I didn't... & I'm glad. Some have asked me if I should have just "gone for it" since I was already that close...well I'm sure I would have if the anesthesiologist would have declined the medicine, but she really didn't know how dilated I was & I don't care to find out how it "could have been". My nurse said they usually don't give epidurals at 10 cm but in some cases it still works & she knew I was in need of something so she purposefully didn't check me before hand.  My pain level with Greyson & my pain level with Rilynn were so different.  I progressed so fast with Rilynn & went from 5cm-10cm in about 2 hours or so. I feel like that is why it was much more intense & I basically had her just under 3 hrs of arriving at the hospital. She was born at 6:49am!

(Checking out his little sister)

Several people keep asking me what I prefer...the c-section or a vbac. Well because they are so different I really couldn't say which was better! My labor was definitely better even with a c-secion but my recovery was awful. My labor with a vbac was good but very painful & had I gone in earlier probably would have been a much better experience all around...but my recovery was wonderful! I was up moving around & in the shower within a couple hrs after birth. We had all kinds of company & we were able to enjoy the whole day with family & friends.

(Getting ready to go home)

Greyson was mesmerized with the new baby...he had woken up very early wondering where his mommy & daddy went. He hadn't gone back to sleep & Nana & Papa took him home for a nap. 
We had a great stay in the hospital. We got to come home Thursday morning but I didn't actually get to stay home an entire day until the next Tuesday when she was a week old. She had a mild case of Jaundice that the Dr.'s just wanted to keep an eye one. Her Bili ruben never got higher than 13.5 but we had to take her to the Dr. every day to have it checked (hospital emergency room during the weekend) & back to her pediatrician on monday. By tuesday it had gone down drastically so we were able to stay home.

(All bundled up)

A little over a week had passed & because of all the running around I also lost all of my baby weight (what I figure to be around 17 lbs) & another 8lbs on top of that. Rilynn has been nursing like a champ ever since she was born! I haven't had one problem whatsoever & I'm sure that has helped...but an active toddler has also been a big help too. Losing the weight has not been a priority to just is what it is. It was right in the middle of all the holidays too...I was eating all the time so that just goes to show how different pregnancies & labor can really be.

(1.5 weeks post pardum)

For the record, Rilynn has been an extremely good baby! She is very laid back...hardly cries & has even given me several nights of good sleep going 4-5 hrs in between waking to eat. I had been waking her up to eat, but she always dozed off without much interest so I decided to let her sleep...& me too. =) We are all doing great. Of course we were super busy with Christmas & time spent with family, but because of my VBAC I have been able to do more & enjoy it so much better than the last time.

(Precious baby)

We were given another wonderful Christmas present this kids were born a few hrs apart...Dec. 9th & Dec. 10th. It is the most wonderful time of the year to reflect on another baby that was born...the Son of God -Jesus!! He is the reason we have so much to be thankful for!! 

(The foyer of the hospital)

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Thursday, January 2, 2014

Happy New Year!

I can't believe another year has come & gone. 2013 was a big year for us! We had our ups & downs...our sad times & happy times...overall God has blessed us & we are ever grateful for His faithfulness & help throughout the year.

We lost 3 special loved ones...but added 3 beautiful's amazing to think God worked it out that way so that even with loss, we have gain. 
In our own family, we experienced joy in finding out we would have another baby...a girl this time & she has been an absolute dream these 3 weeks of her life. I rang in the new year cuddling her, surrounded by friends & family, just watching a movie, feeling loved. She is so precious & beautiful! Definitely the highlight of the year!

Another big event was traveling with Greyson to meet his extended family & some friends in IN, OH & PA. We had a wonderful time & it was the perfect way to spend quality time with my first born before his sister arrived. My grandma & grandpa Good finally got to meet Greyson & she read him his favorite book- The Little Engine That Could =) We also got to do lots of fun things & Nana & Papa were able to get lots of cuddle time in. 

At the same time, we moved into our new house. Mom was able to come back with me & help set up the house. She did so much for us during that time...I don't know what I would have done without her! We LOVE our new is pretty much everything I had hoped for. Someday we would like to update the kitchen, but other than that there isn't much to change. God provided us a place very close to my inlaws, out in the country, on a lake...the perfect place to raise a family =)

Matt's family business is seemed like every weekend they would have someone out on a service trip. He traveled a lot over the year & while it wasn't fun being away from him, the work they were getting was wonderful. My father in law said in all the years he had owned the business (over 25 years) he had never seen it this busy. Needless to say, I am grateful for a hard working husband!! Long days & short nights with kids in between have been hard but its a wonderful "problem" to have. So many people are without jobs & at a time when it seems bleak, we are being taken care of.

2013 was also a hard year for my mother in law & us as we watched & tried to help where we could. She has been battling cancer & the last few months of the year saw her in the hospital more than we would have liked. They are slowly trying to figure out the best form of treatment, the best way to take care of her & how we can also help her at home. She has had great care from family & friends. They cook, clean & help her with anything she may need. Her positive attitude during this time has made all the difference & we were still able to enjoy the holidays with her at home. We weren't sure she would get out of the hospital this last time for Christmas, but she made it back on Christmas Eve! We didn't have Christmas until Friday, but she wanted to do it. It wasn't just like we'd always done, but it was wonderful just to be together & share our gifts with each other. 

Without Jesus as the center of our lives, none of these few events in 2013 would be possible!
He has protected us over the many miles of traveling, He has comforted us when we needed it most. He has allowed our family to come for multiple visits & be here not only to help but it was such a blessing to have my parents arrive just in time for Rilynn's birth. God worked out everything we needed to sell our old house, buy a new one & once again...perfect timing! He has provided for us in more ways than we can count...He has sustained us when we felt drained. He has given us a great joy in our children & answered so many prayers in that area. He knows the future even when we are uncertain of the outcome. HE knows what we need!
In HIM, we don't have to worry about tomorrow...because he holds it in His hands. 

Welcome 2014! 

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