Thursday, December 29, 2011

The Birth of Kamryn Marlee Rhoades - 11-11-11

First, please accept my apologies for taking so very long to update my blog. Many of you know by now that we welcomed our beautiful daughter, Kamryn Marlee Rhoades, on November 11, 2011. It confirmed how special we already knew she was when she came on such a unique day. She's an absolute miracle.

Kamryn was a month early and joined us on a full moon. According to my Mom, it was the same exact story with me when I was born. On Thursday, the 10th, I went in for my routine check up to monitor my contractions and baby's activity. For the preceding three days, I had been having pretty regular contractions. After the exam, my doctor determined that, although I hadn't really progressed, that my contractions were too regular to send me home. She decided to keep me in the hospital overnight just to monitor things. It was purely a precautionary measure due to my lack of feeling. Jacob was working on a job about an hour and a half away and wasn't able to get there until late, so my Mom accompanied me to the hospital.

As the night went on, the contractions got more intense and really consistent - often, only a couple minutes apart. As things intensified, so did my muscles spasms and dysreflexia. In other words, my body was creating a lot of physical stress in an attempt to warn me that something major was going on beneath my feeling line. As it turns out, these warning signs make me feel really, really crappy. My legs were in spasms like I've never seen before, I was sweating like crazy below my feeling line (which is a response from my nervous system), and I was extremely nauseous. And in all of it, I began to worry that in the midst of my body trying to warn of pain, that it would create too much stress on the baby.

When things were only slightly better in the morning, but I hadn't progressed in labor, my doctor decided it would be best for me to remain in the hospital until the baby came - even if that meant two or three more weeks. That was news I wasn't thrilled to hear, especially if I continued to feel that way. However, before I knew it, things took a sharp turn. The nurse walked in and while I was expecting her to suggest some sort of medicine I didn't really want to take to help with the pain and spasms, she said something completely unexpected. She explained that she had just spoken with my doctor, who had just consulted my high-risk physician, who had recommended that we go ahead with a c-section that day! The procedure was scheduled for only two hours away! I burst into tears. We were utterly stunned.

Our wish was to have Jacob in the room and me to be awake when they performed the c-section, but after they had trouble with the epidural, my doctor decided to just proceed with putting me under. The procedure was so quick! Baby and I were both healthy and back in the room with our family in less than an hour. I remember being wheeled back in and seeing Jacob holding Kamryn. It was a sight I always dreamed of and that I'll never forget. When he laid her in my arms, it was surreal. Time stood still. I don't have words to describe the emotions I felt.

We spent the next three days learning some baby basics, learning how to breast-feed and enjoying the most beautiful mountain view from our hospital room. The experience was wonderful. We soaked up every second of it. There was one particular moment on the second night that will be with me forever. Jacob, Kamryn and I were all laying together in the hospital bed, listening to a playlist I had made before hand and the perfect song was on. I remember just becoming completely overwhelmed with love on a level that I had never felt before. I'd been told that would happen, but experiencing it is something completely different.

With both of us recovering well, with no unexpected health issues, we came home on Monday. I think that was the shortest hospital stay I've ever had. Being home has been great. I was on bed rest for the first two weeks; just to be extra careful (again, due to the lack of feeling where the incision is). While it was a little slow getting back up in my chair after being down so long before and after the delivery, I'm pretty much back to my old self now. I have quite a bit of strength to get back, though, so I look forward to getting back to the gym.

I couldn't have done any of this without my sweet husband. Since we have been home, Jacob has been taking the best care of both of us. He is the most natural father and even better at all this than I imagined he'd be. Kamryn and I are so lucky to have him, it brings tears to my eyes on a regular basis. I am so thankful for our perfect little family. Also, my Mom and Dad have provided much-needed support when Daddy has had to work.

Kamryn's calling, so that's all the time I have for now! Look for my next posting as I take you along with me in this journey of motherhood on wheels. I have a lot to learn and am excited to share. Merry Christmas and a Happy, Happy New Year!