The Gang's All Here!

The Gang's All Here!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Hope Arrives

I can't believe Miss Emmaline is already three weeks old! Time sure does fly, faster and faster with each child. In case you were curious, we are pronouncing her name Emma-LEEN but it can also be pronounced Emma-LINE (which I like as well, but prefer the LEEN). I promised you her birth story and here it is...

My parents came down the week of February 18th to help us out with the kids and to be here in case my doctor decided to go ahead and induce me. That Friday I felt somewhat foolish having "rung the alarm bell" maybe too early. I was feeling pretty good and was able to run some errands, which I hadn't really felt up to the past few weeks. However, my spurt of energy was short lived and by Saturday my headache had returned along with the nausea and just general malaise. We went to dinner that evening and by the time we left, I literally thought my head was either going to explode or roll off of my neck. I took some Percocet that night with the hopes that it would help, along with an early bedtime. I should also mention that my OB had made me swear up and down to call her if I started not feeling well. As most of you know (and if you've spent any amount of time reading this silly blog), I HATE to cause a fuss, especially if it seems like it should be no big deal. My OB had told me that she was the one on call that weekend and to not hesitate to call...

Sunday morning I woke up feeling the same, which was SO frustrating. Honestly, my patience at this point was waning, mostly because I really hated feeling like half of a person. We decided to go to breakfast and I went because I needed to eat and I wanted to get out of the house. After breakfast, I decided that I HAD to lay back down and that it was going to be a long day. At that point, I was on the verge of calling my doctor to see if there was anything else I could take to kick the stupid headache. Steve came up to check on me and made the decision for me - I was calling the doctor. So, since it was Sunday, I had to use the answering service and wait for the doctor to call me back. I figured it would be awhile, so I settled in to try and sleep for a bit. My doctor called me back in less than a minute!! She said she'd been worried about me, knew that if I had called things were taking a turn for the worse, and wanted to go ahead and deliver. Another birth plan out the window!! Although, I felt so terrible at that point, I just wanted whatever was going to help me feel better. I grabbed a quick shower, threw a few last minute things in my bag and off we went to meet our baby!

Once at the hospital, I was admitted quickly and an assessment was done to see whether I needed to be induced immediately or wait until the morning. Bloodwork was done (I was surprised I had much blood left to give considering how much they'd taken from me). We had absolutely amazing care from the staff - so wonderful, in fact, I'll save that for it's own post - totally worth it! Anyway, my head was hurting so bad I couldn't fill out the paperwork, so Steve ended up writing for me while I narrated. By the way, once you've had cancer + complicated pregnancies + plus surgeries, filling out paperwork is a LENGTHY process...

My doctor came in to check on me shortly after that and thanked me for calling her - she was relieved that I was in the hospital and under her watch :). We went over the birth plan - it was decided that we would induce in the morning. She encouraged me to take the morphine she had prescribed as we just couldn't seem to manage the pain with the headache. So, with her encouragement and reassurance, I said YES! to the drugs. The morphine was a lovely shot in the ass, but oh my lord, SOOOOO worth it. It also had my old pal Phenergan in it, so within five minutes, I felt like a new person. One of my best friends was visiting at the time and both she and Steve remarked at how quickly my personality changed, back to my delightful, cheerful self (LOL! kidding, my normal, sarcastic highly entertaining pregnant self is more like it). Anyway, it was such an incredible relief to have the pain under control.

As for the induction, it was the easiest of the three! Everything went mostly according to plan. The Pitocin was started at 6am and my OB broke my water around 9:30. My nurses were monitoring me VERY closely and were insistent that I not be in any pain (fine by me!). I was ready for the epidural by 11am and things progressed very quickly after that. In fact, Emma arrived so quickly (one push and out she came!) that the staff wasn't ready and had to be paged! It was amazingly quick, NOTHING like Simon's birth which was an exercise in frustration and pain. Steve had said he wanted to announce whether it was a boy or a girl at the birth, but it happened so fast he didn't have a chance to see! So, the nurse ended up spilling the beans, which was funny.

Emmaline Hope was 7lbs, 8oz and 20 inches long. She was also 5 weeks early, so she would have been HUGE had she gone full term. She is absolutely the sweetest, cuddliest and most wonderful addition to our family. It's funny how we didn't realize our family wasn't complete until she arrived. I feel like we have been given the most precious gift and such a challenging few years. Emmaline is the true embodiment of what HOPE represents for our family. I'm so excited to share her with all of you!!


Monday, March 2, 2015

So Much Baby Mama Drama

I'll start this post with a giant apology! I know that I have been absent and not good about updating the blog, and well, a lot has happened since my last post. I am so sorry for the delay, but hopefully once I share the details you can forgive me? And the best part, our sweet, sweet baby GIRL has arrived!! Emmaline Hope Hinman arrived via induction on February 23 at 1:29pm weighing in at a whopping 7lbs, 8oz and 20in long. And yes, she was early, born at 35 weeks, 2 days.

The biggest reason for me not updating the blog was my declining health. At the beginning of February, I started to have headaches. They started off mild enough, but gradually increased to pounding, relentless pain everyday. My blood pressure was also on the rise, but not alarmingly high at that point. My nausea returned with a vengeance and along with that came feeling just "blah" which is the best way I can describe it. I was having a particularly bad day on February 10th. I had been awake most of the night before with what I thought were contractions, but wasn't 100% sure. My head was pounding and I was just plain miserable. I had an appointment scheduled with my OB for the morning of the 10th, so I decided not to call, and just go in at my regular time. Thankfully, Steve decided to work from home since we also had a house full of contractors working on our master bath reno (again, never a dull moment...). My OB took one look at me, decided I needed to head over to the hospital for 24 hours of observation and "rest". Once admitted (which is wonderfully quick in labor and delivery!), the doctors started a battery of tests to rule out preeclampsia (I had this with both Stella and Simon) and HELLP syndrome, which is a much more serious complication from preeclampsia. I also had an emergency ultrasound to determine baby's size, in case they felt delivery was immanent. I had really mixed feelings on being delivered at that point. While I was 33 weeks and change, my goal all along had been to make it to 35 weeks (to hopefully avoid another stint in the NICU) and ideally to 37 weeks. I desperately didn't want to have my third baby in the NICU for any mount of time. The baby weighed (an estimated) 7lbs, 3oz on the ultrasound, which is GIGANTIC for 33 weeks. I spoke with not only my OB, but perinatologist as well.  We determined a "wait and see" approach would be best along with a 24 hour urine collection ( to determine where I was on the preeclampsia scale. Oh, and I was also contracting every 5 minutes, so an IV was started to hydrate me. They couldn't control the headache (which was unbearable by that point), so I ended up on two Percocet every 4 hours with Phenergan. That combo finally kicked the headache by the next afternoon.

I was released from the hospital the following night and placed on modified bed rest. A completely practical solution when you already have two kids and two dogs. Thankfully, I had stabilized and the contractions were back to random. We decided that perhaps it was time to bring in some reinforcements and asked my parents to come down and help us out the following week.

Stay tuned - my computer time is short lived these days - I'll update with Emmaline's birth story soon - it's a good one!!