Monday, March 10, 2014

Blakely Marie is here!

Blakely Marie Dotson
2/12/14, 10:54am
8lb 3.5oz

We arrived at the hospital Wednesday morning at 6am.  I wasn't induced with Knox, so I wasn't sure what to expect, however I definitely didn't expect for them not to have my paperwork or know I was coming in.  After a few minutes of standing around, they advised we go on up to Labor & Delivery and they would handle my paperwork later.

Once upstairs, they let me in my room and asked for me to get into my gown.  At this point it was 6:30am or so, and the nurses were beginning to prepare for their shift change.  The nurses still on duty planned to administer my IV and pitocin, and then the day nurses would take over from there.  I've never been a huge fan of needles.  Going through IVF will change you, though, as I was injecting myself numerous times a day for weeks on end.  However, for some reason my body never seems to cooperate with IV's, and for this reason I was a bit apprehensive.  Ok, a lot apprehensive.  I didn't sleep A WINK the night before in anticipation of the IV.  Really, you say?  Well, sure enough the nurse prepares my arm and I already feel like I'm going to pass out.  They get me ice chips, Stephen starts fanning me, and I'm fully reclined.  When I feel like she can begin, she sticks the needle in. The BIG ONE.  Why didn't she deaden it?  No bee sting?  Then she starts talking out loud: "I thought this was a good vein.  I might have missed it.  Oh, looks like I hit a valve.  Let me see if I can make it happen still.  I'm sorry I'm hurting you.  Let me see if this is it.  Nope, I'm sorry.  I'm going to have to start over."  All of this can be described as KATIE'S WORST NIGHTMARE.  

I'm in tears, seriously in pain, and nauseous.  I ask her why she didn't deaden it. Her reply is she "doesn't like those small needles."  Um, I do.  So she went to get the other nurse.  Said nurse comes in five minutes later, and within seconds has deadened my arm and the IV is in.  Hallelujah.  I told her I wanted to kiss her.  It was awkward for a moment, but I didn't care.  It was done. 

Once the IV was in, she started the pitocin drip.  It was well after 7am at this point, and my new nurses were on duty.  They checked me and I was 6cm, and having semi-regular contractions.  Nothing out of the ordinary, I'd had contractions since 25 weeks.  This was easy.

My doctor came in around 8:15 and checked me again.  Still around a 6, so she broke my water.  Though extremely uncomfortable, it was nice to know that things would start happening.  It was now 8:30am, and we just had to sit and wait to see how my body would progress.

9:15am and I wanted an epidural.  Seriously, 45 minutes.  I had high hopes that being so dilated walking in it might go so quickly I wouldn't need drugs.  No go.  My doctor mentioned that I would go from nothing to active labor once my water was broken, and she wasn't kidding.  The REAL contractions started almost as soon as my water was broken and were intense from the get-go.

9:45'ish, epidural was in and I was feeling great.  Or was I?  Some parts of my legs were numb, but not all.  One leg was more numb than the other, and contractions were still noticeable.  I called the nurse in at 10:00 and asked if she would check me.  I just felt like there was a lot of pressure.  She wanted to wait until an hour had passed from the epidural to check me, so she told me to wait until 10:45, unless I was in intense pain or felt the urge to push.  

I held out until 10:30, and then called her back in.  The pressure was really intense and I knew that something was happening.  She came in to check me, and sure enough I was complete and she thought it was time to push.  When she came to meet me that morning and go over all of my information, I let her know that Knox came after only a few pushes.  To test my theory, she asked me to give a test push to see if she should call the doctor now or wait until it was time.  I pushed and she immediately said, "Call the doc."

My doctors office is attached to the hospital, so Dr. Schneider was there in minutes.  At 10:40 she arrived to start setting up the room/my bed.  I had invited my mom and mother-in-law to stay for the birth if they wanted, and both stayed.  Once my doc was ready, she told me to push.  Almost immediately Stephen exclaimed, "I can see her hair," and the doctor told me to slow down.  She wanted me to go slower, and the fact that I could feel most everything made this a lot easier...well, more manageable.  At the next contraction, I felt her shoulders come out and then seconds later, at 10:52, she was here and immediately brought to my chest.  We all hedged bets on her weight, and my doctor won.  EIGHT pounds.  Holy cow...2 pounds heavier than her brother :)

The entire birth experience was amazing.  I couldn't have asked for a better doctor and team of nurses,  and having Stephen, my mom and MIL there made it so special!  

Knox was at school while this was going on, and once he was out he came up to meet her.

I was overcome with emotion the second he walked through the door. Everything had forever changed, for the better, and I couldn't wait to share her with him.

He was slightly timid at first, then quickly warmed up.  He was smitten!

Knox picked out a gift for his sister:  a kitty cat hat and a baby doll.  

She knew exactly what he would want, too:

He was so excited to get his spidey costume!  He'd been asking for it for some time!

The grandpa's were excited to meet her, too!  

This picture of my dad makes me so answered prayer, in the flesh.  A sweet miracle baby!

And all three dads:

Over the next few days, we had lots of visitors.  Family and friends came by to see our sweet Blake, and she had a quite a few outfit changes, too!  We were so excited to learn that she was a good baby...not a lot of crying, latched on and found breastfeeding pretty easy, and slept like a champ.

We were discharged on Friday, Valentine's Day.  

She wore the same outfit home I did 32 years before:

So meaningful.  So perfect.  So blessed.

Now the real fun begins...starting life at home as a family of four.

This didn't begin without any drama, though.  Right when we walked in the door, Knox and Daddy left to take him to the doctor.  He was running 103 fever and severely lethargic.  Diagnosis:  pneumonia and orders to steer clear of the baby.  Needless to say, we started the "real fun: with a bang!

Up next:  our first few days home!

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