January 30, 2014

Introducing Mackenzie Marie: The Birth Story

What a wild ride bringing this little girl into the world has been. And yes, even though she is already 7 weeks old, I give you...

Mackenzie Marie's Birth Story

At 33 weeks I was placed on bed rest because of my rising blood pressure and at risk for pre-eclampsia. One week later, the blood pressure was better, but I was suddenly fingertip dilated, -2 station and thin membranes. Things started to begin and frankly, way too early for anyone's taste. I continued my bed rest, and my labor continued to progress yet I made it up to 36 weeks where bed rest was listed and it was decided that if I give birth, I give birth. At this point, I had progressed to being dilated to 3 and I was having fairly regular contractions around 15 minutes apart. On December 6, I decided that I had to be done at work. There was a big fear between my husband and I that my water would break while I was downtown and that would not have been a good situation. By Monday, I was still contracting hard, but they were not getting closer together. My husband and I wanted to enjoy some of these quiet days together so we went out to lunch and saw a movie (Hunger Games. AWESOME). By Tuesday, my contractions completely stopped and I was starting to get frustrated with my discomfort and my sudden lack of progress.

On Wednesday, December 11, we went in for my regular checkup. I had an ultrasound and found that Mackenzie had moved back up and her head was now stuck on my left hip/pelvic bone instead of being in the correct position to vacate. At the NST, she was pretty hyper and I was contracting like crazy. We then went in to get checked by my OB. She did a cervical check (which felt like she was seriously trying to reach up and poke my heart for as uncomfortable as this was). She then mentioned my membranes were extremely thin, gave a singular vicious poke accompanied by my yelp of pain and my water broke in an epic rush. We were off to labor & delivery!

The only labor picture... Obviously before the real business went down 
I labored well for about the first 2 hours but wasn't progressing. I knew I would be getting pitocin so I didn't want to wait for that to get my epidural. Seriously, pitocin contractions are beast. I got my epidural and settled in for the long haul of flipping from my right to left side, naps and just waiting for my little princess to make her way down. However, my blood pressure tanked and I started to get sick. They quickly perked me up with some ephedrine and I was doing much better. Mackenzie on the other hand was going in the wrong direction- literally back up instead of down. While laying on my left side, she was not handling the contractions well and her heart started to decelerate. Stuck in my hip, I was forced to continue laboring on my right side which meant that the epidural was starting to wear off on the left. I was starting to feel things. Instead of rushing me into a c-section, they decided to give me the pitocin to see if she would move and present herself. Thankfully, she moved and we were able to get me on my left side but to no ado, my epidural was no longer doing its job. Ouch. Finally, around 10:10p that night (10.5 hours after my water broke), I was fully dilated and ready to have my baby! Just 20 minutes of pushing with my sunny side up baby girl and we met our sweet princess, Mackenzie Marie, who weighed in at 8 lbs 3 oz and 20.5 inches long. She was perfect in every way.
Mackenzie's first photo


My postpartum time in the hospital was good. Mackenzie was a very easy baby while there, pretty much sleeping all the time. I kept thinking there was something wrong with her because she was so quiet and so chill. Alas, both of us were healthy. I was ready to go home. We were discharged on Friday the 13th around 11:30 in the morning and we went to pick up her big brother Jackson so we could start our new lives together as a family of 4.

Jackson meeting his baby sister for the first time. He absolutely adores her.
Grandma & Grandpa meeting their 1st granddaughter. 
Mackenzie's 1st "professional" photo
I'm ready to go home mommy! 

Happy to be feeling good, I was excited to be having such a decent postpartum experience; however, by Sunday, I wasn't feeling well. I had developed a massive headache and backache (not to mention my massively engorged lady lumps). I had a home visit from a nurse scheduled and it turned out my blood pressure was incredibly high. By Wednesday of that week, my husband and I started to worry a bit about my health. We were worried about my having postpartum Pre-e, so my husband sent me off to bed early that night; and, like a saint, dealt with the sleep deprivation involved with a little lady waking up to eat every 3 or so hours. The next morning, I was not well. My head was pounding and I had developed a large, baseball sized lump in my right armpit. I went to see my doctor to have my lump as well as my blood pressure checked. My blood pressure was through the roof and I was sent to a surgical consultant to have my lump drained- this thing was a mix of an abscess, clogged milk duct and swollen gland. Awesome. However, that wasn't the main concern. My blood pressure was crazy high (170/110) as well as were my liver enzymes and I was immediately admitted to the hospital with postpartum pre-eclampsia. This was devastating to me! Not only was I unprepared to be sent to the hospital, but all I wanted was to be at home cuddling with my baby girl. I begged for prescription meds in lieu of the hospital stay, but to no avail, I was admitted. I spent 24 horrendous hours hooked up to antibiotics for my mastitis and magnesium sulfate for the BP/Pre-e. I had blood drawn every 6 hours to check my liver and my arms appeared beaten and bruised from this regular assault to them. I was released after about 48 hours, but felt awful coming off of these meds. I was given blood pressure meds to take at least until my 6 week postpartum checkup. I can say without a shadow of a doubt, that it was a terrible experience. No new mom wants to be taken away from her baby. I don't think I have ever cried so much in my life.

Mackenzie has continued to thrive and we didn't miss a beat getting back to our daily routine of cuddling and napping.
Baby feet. Nom Nom Nom. 
I didn't think it was possible to love anything as much given my heart was already overflowing for my son, but Mackenzie is just a dream. She fits into our family just perfectly as if she was meant to be here. Jackson absolutely adores his little sister and can't go to bed or leave for school without giving her a hug and kiss. He's had his moments with bad behavior, but overall has been a wonderful help.

Daddy's Little Girl 

Our family is wonderfully complete.



January 28, 2014

New Everything

I have started and failed to complete a number of blog posts over the past two months. Topics ranging from the hideous 3rd trimester of pregnancy to the birth story of my new daughter.

I will tell those stories, I promise.

The last couple months of been such a whirlwind I can barely comprehend at times all that has happened to me over the last year. It was as though I was living in a dream. The people I encountered, conceiving a baby against all odds, pregnancy... Did this really happen?

As I sit here staring at my beautiful daughter, I am struck by the fact that 2014 will be a very... new year for me. I will have to adjust my life to having two kids. I have to re-lose all the weight (to the tune of about 45 pounds). I have to start over with running. I have to find my groove at work. My husband and I will have to work harder than ever to find balance.

While there are a lot of adjustments that feel a bit overwhelming, I also have this sense of peace.

I have a new baby. A baby girl. I'm not sure how I was worthy enough to have my dreams come true.

My heart is so full.

 
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