Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Henlee's Birth Story

Henlee Brielle Parkin
June 1, 2017 
6 lbs. 8 oz. and 19" long

On the week of Memorial Day, exactly 2 years after we first moved to Logan, my mom came up from Vegas to stay with us for two weeks, hoping to time things right for when our sweet little baby would be born.  My due date was June 4th, which was that Sunday, and my mom was planning on leaving June 13th.  We definitely hoped the baby would come sooner rather than later so my mom’s time would be well spent, and get to actually spend time with her new grand baby instead of waiting around, hoping I would go into labor (my doctor wouldn’t induce me til the 12th, so that would mean my mom would get next to no time with her, and not be there with me and Hesston for that somewhat scary transition of bring a new baby home!) 

Luckily, that Thursday while I was at work, I was actually texting my sister in law Jada about labor signs, because I noticed I was having a lot more “period-like” cramps vs. the Braxton Hicks I had so much of earlier.  She was saying, "Well it's June now...just so you know" (haha, I had been saying all along how the baby wasn't allowed to come in May cuz I wanted a June baby...and well, I got my wish!)  By 1:00 PM that day, I could tell I was getting more and more “cramps”.

Here's some screenshots of mine and Hesston's conversation right up until I went into labor.  I love that Hesston was sending me ideas of how to induce labor, and I was still determined it was not the day, and that I was gonna make it 'til lunch...HA!  I definitely got proven wrong :)

While I was trying to close up shop at my job, explaining last minute things to my personal trainers (I worked at the employee gym at USU), I had such a strong and painful contraction that I couldn’t even talk, and had to tell my trainers to give me a minute cuz I couldn’t move or say anything until it passed lol.  They definitely were a little worried!  Luckily I had already called Hesston like 15 minutes earlier saying I think I needed him to come get me, and boy was I right!  Luckily he showed up soon after that last bad contraction, and we left my gym and headed for the hospital!  Luckily Hesston had packed all of our hospital bags and car seat, but we did need to grab phone chargers, so I told him I felt good enough to go home first.  I stayed in the truck while he ran in and grabbed the chargers (and my makeup bag, cuz I could not live without that lol).  My mom came out and asked if it was really go time, and I said “Yep!” I was definitely not loving the pain I was in haha.

Logan Regional Hospital {AKA the BEST place to have a baby!!}
We drove to the hospital, which was about 10 minutes from our house, and I had 3-4 really good contractions just in that short drive!  I tried coping with the pain by pushing my foot into the footrest of the truck, but it only helped a little.  That epidural could not come soon enough lol.  We got to the hospital, went up to Labor and Delivery, and told them I was pretty sure I was in labor.  They asked how far along I was, and I told them 39 weeks and 4 days (they hardly believed me cuz my belly just never got very big lol).  Anyways, they got me into a room and had me get changed into a gown.  Hesston helped me in the bathroom, and soon after, I got situated on the bed.  The contractions were still coming on strong, and I just squeezed Hesston’s hand as hard as I could to try and help.  I also would squeeze the bed rail (I guess squeezing things with my hands is my pain coping mechanism lol), but my hands were getting really tired, so I was definitely asking for my epidural at this point.  My fear was that I would progress too fast and not get it in time!  When they first checked me to see how dilated I was, I was about 4 ½ cm!  Luckily, my epidural came within an hour after getting to the hospital.  When I was getting the epidural, I remember bending over while holding Hesston’s hand, and he had to take his wedding ring off cuz I was squeezing his hand so hard and it was hurting him lol.  My anesthesiologist was really nice, and she said she had been doing it for over 14 years, so I knew I was in good hands!  And boy, she really was good at her job.  It really didn’t even hurt at all!  Probably because contractions are just so much worse haha.  The epidural first took on my left side, and they told me it works by gravity so they had me roll over, and wait about 15 minutes before it took full effect.  My right side went numb just like she said it would (thank goodness!), and I was a happy camper from there on out! (Hesston jokes that I went from a “dragon” to “high as a kite Bob Marley” after that HAHA!)  

That epidural definitely worked some magic!

For the next hour, we just had the TV on to kill time and to distract me (we watched Family Feud the whole time haha), and I had my mom go around and get some pictures of our hospital room, and a couple other fun pictures so I could remember the details J

The details board showing all the people involved, and the things I was wanting for my birth process
Getting into the hospital bed!
We're ready to go!
The monitor showing my heart rate and contractions
Baby's exam table
Within an hour, they came and checked me again, and I was already at a 7!  They then had Dr. Noorda who was on call come in and break my water  (I remember being glad I was numb for that part cuz it kinda freaked me out to think how close I was getting, and feeling the water gushing out would have been a little scary!)  Anyways, now that my water was broken, the contractions started coming really close together, and baby girl couldn’t catch a break.  Her heart rate went from being in the 150-190 range to only 60’s (ya, super scary!) Four nurses rushed into the room, and Hesston started getting really nervous, and said that was the only time he felt himself get lightheaded and tunnel vision like he was going to pass out.  I don’t remember feeling overly nervous, I knew I was in good hands, but they put an oxygen mask on me, explained what was happening, and gave me a shot of a drug that slows down labor.  

A slightly blurry picture, but it's one of the few I got with my amazing nurse Alysha!

The nurse said she knew it seemed counterintuitive to want to stop labor, but the baby needed to get a break from all the contractions that were coming one on top of the other.  Within what felt like only 5 minutes, things seemed to be ok again, and luckily baby’s heart rate was back where it needed to be.  It was only an hour after they broke my water (so about 6:00 PM) when I was dilated to a 10!  Since I had the epidural, they make you wait an extra hour (called “rest and descend”) so that gravity can just work on helping the baby slowly come further into the birth canal.

At 7:15 PM, the nurse came in and said we could start trying a few pushes!  They put the leg stirrups up (which kind of freaked me out, again just realizing how close we were to having a baby!), and with the help of Hesston and my mom, the nurse coached me through the contractions (which had to be seen on the monitor since I couldn’t feel a THING! Haha) I would push for 10 seconds, 3 times whenever I would have a contraction).  It was pretty tiring!  

The nurses had to help slide me up the bed and get me into position since I was too numb to do it myself haha
They had told me that I had 3 hours to push, and then if baby wasn’t here yet, it would be C-section time.  I of course took that as a challenge, and said to myself “no way am I having a C-section, I am stronger than that!”  So I pushed and pushed (which really was quite difficult since like I said before, I was NUMB as can be and couldn’t feel anything lol).  I didn’t think it would take me as long as it did, but I pushed for a solid hour before they even contacted the doctor.  As I pushed with the nurse, Henlee got closer and closer to crowning, and they could see her hair!  It was funny because the nurse said “looks like we’ve got some dark hair!” and Hesston looks at me jokingly, saying “Annalisa, is there something you need to tell me?” Lol…he’s a total blondie, and my hair isn’t much darker.  The nurse assured him that it’s probably only because it’s wet so it looked darker than it was.

Of course of all days, I went into labor on a Thursday, which was my doctor’s only day off.  So I was a little bummed when they said Dr. Fowers wasn’t going to deliver me, and they don’t even contact them to let them know!  (Otherwise they would never get a day off, which makes sense).  They just use whoever is on call.  Lucky for me, when they told me it was Dr. Blackett on call, I was super relieved!  Everyone I have ever talked to LOVES Dr. Blackett, and so I felt very blessed that I at least got to have her.  And she really was so great!  Such a sweet, kind doctor, I honestly would have loved to have her as my doctor in the future.  Anyways, at about 8:40 or so (about an hour and 15 minutes from when I started pushing), Dr. Blackett got into position!  Luckily, all of my pushing had paid off, even though I could never really tell if I was doing it right lol.  Baby girl was close!  I only pushed for another 15 or so minutes, and as she was getting really close to having her head out, the nurse told me to give it all I got!  Again, the competitor in me was ready to just beat the clock and get her out, so I pushed really hard!  Dr. Blackett said “hold on, slow down just a bit!”  I got a little too gung ho and got a nice little 2nd degree tear haha.  Once again, SO grateful for that wonderful epidural lol.  With just a few more “gentler” pushes, baby girl’s head popped out, and it wasn’t much longer til the rest of her body came out too!  I remember it being the weirdest feeling of “emptying” my body as Dr. Blackett pulled her out!  But it was such a neat experience! 

Seeing my baby for the first time was very surreal, and they laid her on my tummy right after she was born.  Henlee cried a bit as I held her on me and that’s when the emotions hit, and I was trying to soothe her and tell her “mommy’s here” and just stroke her head…definitely got the tears flowing lol. 

Once the umbilical cord had a chance to empty the blood back into baby (known as delayed cord clamping…having that extra cord blood helps babies recover faster), Dr. Blackett asked Hesston if he wanted to cut the cord at that point (I’m glad they let him decide in the moment…he wasn’t so sure about it in the beginning lol) But he felt good, and decided to cut it!  

So glad we got a picture of daddy cutting the cord!
They then took her over to the table to get her measurements, and do the other necessary treatments on her.  We had all made bets on which day she’d be born, her weight, and her height, and Hesston bragged that he got two out of three lol.  ALL of us guessed too low on her weight...she was a six pounder like I thought, but none of us guessed as high as 6 lbs. 8 oz!  

Getting her first shots :(
But daddy was soon there to comfort her :)
They brought her back over to me, and let me hold her on my chest skin to skin for a nice long time.  They give you two hours in labor and delivery to just spend time with baby before getting moved to the Mother-Baby unit, which was so nice!

Baby was excited to meet Grandma!
Testing my legs out post-epidural...glad it wore off fast!
Heading to Mother-Baby Unit!
The whole experience of giving birth to my first baby was so special to me, and I could not be more grateful for how everything turned out.  I was blessed with the nicest hospital, the kindest and most skilled nurses and doctors, the most supportive husband and mother, and the most beautiful baby in the world!  I am such a lucky girl, and honestly can't wait to do it all again ;)

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Maternity Shoot - 38 weeks

{Our Maternity Shoot}

Now that baby girl is here, I am FINALLY posting my maternity shoot pictures!  I of course thought I had more time, but baby decided she was ready to come out lol.  I am so glad I decided to do a maternity shoot before I had my baby.  It definitely was last minute (I gave birth less than 2 weeks later!) but was completely worth it!  Luckily, I was referred to a wonderful photographer here in Logan, and she was able to do the pictures for us with only a week's notice!  And she did an AMAZING job!  Here are a bunch of the gorgeous shots she got...I can't wait to get them printed and put them up in baby girl's {eventual} nursery :)

Thanks again Stacey for getting us such beautiful pictures!  To anyone that lives in Logan and is needing great pictures at great prices, go check Stacey's website out! She's amazing to work with!!

Monday, May 29, 2017

37 Weeks

How far along: 37 weeks, 6 days
Maternity clothes: Nothing more really…with only a few weeks left I think I’m good for now J
Stretch marks: None…yay!
Sleep: I’m still doing pretty good.  Just have to have my one pillow between my knees and under my belly, and I just flip side to side a lot.  Luckily I still sleep all the way through most nights!
Best moment this week: Doing our maternity shoot!  For a while there, I was debating doing one since I’m still trying to be careful with budget (it definitely will be a relief once Hesston lands a job!) Anyways, I decided to look into it and see if I could do just a mini shoot just so I could have a few cute professional pictures with me and Hesston to document this first pregnancy.  I contacted Stacey Hansen from a referral I got from one of my trainers at work, and I could NOT be more grateful that I chose to go with her!  She gave us a great deal, and she gave me TONS of beautiful pictures.  On the day of the shoot, everything went really smooth, and we couldn’t have asked for better weather!  We met our photographer on a Saturday evening at Denzil Stewart Nature Park in Logan, and it was the prettiest spot!  I had never even heard of it, and was so glad she knew about this place!  We got there a little bit early and walked around looking for spots we for sure wanted to get pictures in.  Hesston even did a couple of test shots with his phone, and swears he could have just done the whole shoot himself…too bad babe, I wanted you in the pictures haha.  Anyways, after meeting up with our photographer and looking over all of the poses I really liked (thank you Pinterest!), we shot pictures at a bunch of really pretty spots, including down by a river…ya, this place was awesome!  I had two different outfits, and luckily it wasn’t too difficult changing even though we were standing out in the middle of this park haha.  Not too many people were there luckily :) After seeing all of the pictures though (which by the way Stacey got back to me VERY quickly) I couldn’t have been more THRILLED with how everything turned out!  I’ll put all the pictures up on a separate post :)
Miss anything: At this point, it’s just the same stuff, like being able to sleep on my back, being more comfortable while sitting, etc…but really life isn’t too bad!
Movement:  Same kind of cramped up type movements haha.  To me it doesn’t look my belly has gotten much bigger, but I’m sure baby has, so I’m thinking she is just really crammed in there lol.  One of the nights, she REALLY stretched out her legs a few times, and it honestly hurt!!  Her little feet were sticking out as far as she could get them to go, and my body didn’t like that very much lol. She’s hit my ribs a couple times too, and that definitely doesn’t feel too good!
Symptoms: Still this darn tailbone pain, constant Braxton Hicks, but luckily, I haven’t noticed the upper back pain as much lately!
Anything making you queasy or sick: Still no!
Have you started to show yet: Yep…it will be weird to not have this belly anymore actually haha
Gender prediction: Baby girl
Labor signs: Just having lots of Braxton Hicks!  Nothing too painful, but my stomach just gets reallllly tight, so it’s more uncomfortable than painful.  I don’t want to know what the real ones feel like just yet!
Belly button in or out: Still mostly flat, but it sticks out a touch if I stand just right…even my photographer said she had a moment she could see it popping out!
Wedding rings on or off: Still on!  I never had any problems with swelling thankfully :)
Happy or Moody most of the time: Really happy!  I feel so blessed with everything in our lives right now.  Even though we’ve had a heck of a time getting a job for Hesston (even though he has two masters degrees…ya we’re stumped a little bit too haha), we’ve learned to be grateful for everything going right in our life, and truth is, we have a LOT to be grateful for!  This baby is healthy, my body is still handling pregnancy really well, we aren’t having to move RIGHT before delivery like I was afraid could happen, so ya…life is just peachy :)
Looking forward to: Just baby girl getting here!  It really is crazy how close we are getting, and even though I feel great and don’t mind if she takes her time (just not too much time haha), I am getting more and more excited to meet her, and to have a new little baby to share our home with.