Thursday, January 13, 2011

Family of FIVE!

I know I'm WAY behind on this, but it's better late than never, right? One week ago we welcomed our little Lucas James Davenport into the world! HOORAY! He was born on Thursday, January 6, 2011, at 8:04am, weighing 8 lbs. 2 oz. and measuring 20 inches long.

He looks almost exactly like Sam did when he was a baby (same nose, same serious brow, etc.), but not quite as "old." Sam's always had an older face, even as a newborn, and though Luke looks like a little old man sometimes, he's still got a lot more "baby" in his face than Sam did. He also has brownish hair! Dave thinks it'll stay brown, but I think it'll end up blond.

He is doing very well and other than an undescended testicle that they can't find and slightly elevated Bilirubin levels, he is very healthy! The testicle thing is something they aren't concerned with yet and said it's something we and his pediatrician just need to monitor over the next year because it will probably come down on it's own eventually. And though the whites of his eyes are yellow, the Bilirubin levels weren't even elevated enough for them to give me a number. They just said to keep nursing him, put him in sunlight when we can, and it'll go away on it's own. So along with that, and the fact that it was a very smooth delivery, I am feeling pretty darn blessed.

So for anyone wanting more details of the labor/delivery story (and anyone who doesn't mind the glorious details of child birthing), here ya go...

Anyone who knows me knows I was really stressed and nervous about the whole induction and how it was going to go, but it turns out I didn't even need to stress! The night before, I got everything ready and felt 100% prepared, then went to bed that night as anxious as ever. I kept thinking, "Wouldn't that be awesome if I went into labor on my own on the way there tomorrow morning..." Well, I didn't go to labor on the way there, but instead woke up at about 2:45am with my first real labor contraction!

As with my other two kids, I knew right away that it was real because it was painful enough to wake me up. But, wanting to be 100% sure before I woke up Dave and rushed them to the Sipes's house, I let three more contractions pass, each about 10 minutes apart. During that time, I got up and finished getting together some last minute things, then woke up Dave. At that point it was pretty obvious it was real labor.

So after dropping off the boys at the Sipe's (by then it was about 4am...Tara, you rock), we were off to Prescott Valley, speeding the whole way so I didn't have the baby in the car. But I was still only about eight minutes apart on the way there, so I felt completely safe. And actually, it turns out I had more time with this one than I did with Josh! Crazy how things work. And I am so grateful for the Lord answering my prayers, even though I didn't pray them. I never prayed that I'd go into labor naturally, only that whatever is best would happen. But He knew how stressed and nervous I was, and so I feel like this was a HUGE blessing, and just one way for Him to show me that He loves me and is actually aware of us and cares about our concerns.

Anyway, I was dilated to about a six when they ended up getting me in and checking me (about 6am), but as soon as I got changed and in the bed, things started progressing pretty quickly. Within the hour I was almost completely dilated, so my OB told me I could go along with my body and do whatever I felt was necessary, whether it be pushing or just waiting through the contractions.

At one point I was laying on my side and I felt like I'd hit the "transition phase" (for anyone who's ever done natural childbirth, most will agree that this is the WORST part) and my contractions were so painful, intense, and right on top of each other that I felt like it was the end of me. At that point point I felt the unyielding need to push, so I did, and told the doctors it was time and it was happening NOW.

BUT as soon as I got off my side and got into "delivering" position, the contractions regressed back to the way they were before and the doc told me to stop pushing because apparently my cervix wasn't ready. WHAT?!?!

So after waiting and waiting (with the doc, the nurses, and all the equipment ready and watching), the doc finally decided to give it more time and he'd come back in fifteen minutes. Of course almost as soon as he left, I hit that transitional phase again. They gave me 1 mL of pitocin (which is a tiny dose) to speed things back up and then had me turn back on my side since that's the position I was in before. And not even a minute later, that unbearable pain came again, along with the horrible, uncontrollable need to push. Only this time it was ten times stronger.

Besides Dave, there was only one nurse in the room at the time and I told her (I guess you could really say I was yelling at her) I HAD to push--and I actually started regardless of what she said because I couldn't help it. After checking me and seeing that his head was actually coming through, she frantically called for the doc to come back in and while waiting told me to keep him inside and pant instead of push. So I did...with the top of his head sitting almost outside of me...and as soon as the OB came back in and got on his gloves, I had to start pushing again.

Anyway, about 30 seconds later, tiny Luke was born. And I have to say that though I am extremely proud of myself for doing it without medication and wouldn't change anything about that, it was HELL. Excuse the term. I don't remember my experience with Josh being that painful, but this time around there was a moment where I slipped into a place of feeling like I wouldn't make it through. It's a feeling I'll never forget.

...One more reason (besides the crappy pregnancies I have) I feel like I never want to have kids again. I know I never want to have an epidural with any of my kids, yet the whole pain and crappy feeling of delivering a baby is enough to keep me from having more. Hmm. We'll see how I feel about it in a couple years or more...when it's not so fresh.

Anyway. I do have to say that though it hurt like Hell and I never want to do it again, because of the result it was a joyous experience. There is nothing like the immediate physical relief once that baby comes out. And then the spiritual bliss when hearing the first cry. And even though I just underwent misery, as soon as they laid him on my chest, all of that vanished and I felt like the luckiest mom in the world. He was so beautiful and perfect. And at that moment, for the first time ever, Dave got teared up. For some reason he didn't with Sam and Josh.

He was so perfect and all the nurses and doctors kept commenting how perfect his head was and that they never see such perfectly shaped heads on newborns unless the baby was c-sectioned. Anyway, I just feel like a proud mama.

And I really liked the new birthing center. They let me keep him on me, skin to skin, for as long as I needed right after, leaving me and Dave alone with him while I nursed. Then about an hour or two later is when they finally took him and did all the routine stuff...which they actually did right there in the room (everything is done in the room).

I also like the birthing center because if mom and baby are doing well, they let you leave after 24 hours, vs. the two-day thing they used to do. I really liked that, seeing how I am always SO uncomfortable in the hospital after (hate the beds and the constant interruptions, etc.). So that next day we left!

Life here has been...different. It's always an adjustment with a new baby, especially one that can be difficult, but I know it's something that will become routine. And from day one we felt like Luke was the greatest addition to our family and we wouldn't have it any other way.

As I knew would happen, I've had some nursing difficulties. I expected it. I prepared for it. But it still doesn't make it any easier. As with all my kids, I produce too much milk and have what's called overactive letdown, which means because there is SO much milk, it comes out way too forcefully and strong, causing a chain reaction of numerous problems for baby and mother...resulting in constant engorgement and pain for me (nothing relieves it because I produce it too fast) and constant tummy problems for baby.

I had this with both Josh and Sam, though I had NO idea about the problem with Sam and didn't know what it was or how to control it, so Sam eventually stopped nursing. But with Josh I figured out the problem (thanks to the HEAVENLY La Leche League website!) at about 3 weeks old. By then, it'd already been going on for a while so I had a late start at getting it conquered. But eventually, by about 3 months, I was finally regulated.

But because Josh had gotten so used to only being able to eat for about five minutes at a time, it was an eating habit he held right up until the end, which was thirteen months of age. So I am praying that because I am trying to tackle this early enough, that it regulates sooner and that Luke goes back to eating beautifully and normally, like he did his first two days of life. I have high hopes, but I'm not counting on it, because I know this is life. And sometimes I feel like I've been cursed with difficult newborns and that I just need to accept that they will all be like this.

...another reason I shy away from the idea of having more kids. I know it sounds selfish, and I know in a few years I'll feel differently. Like I said, when it isn't so fresh...

So anyway, thanks to that issue, I feel like utter garbage, Luke feels like garbage, and neither of us are really sleeping. The most hours of sleep I've gotten a night since we got home has been 4.5 hours, collectively, though usually it's just been 3 per night. And I feel horrible that the reason my baby isn't feeling well and not sleeping is because of an issue I have...not him. But I know there's nothing I can do immediately to change it and it's something that we just have to get through until things get better. I love my baby so much, but a lot of the time I wish I could fast-forward to one month from now.

The boys have taken to him REALLY well. Josh has actually surprised me, since he was the one I was so worried about. But they love their little baby brother, and Josh has even learned to say "baby" since then! :)

And Luke already has such a sweet personality. He is SO cuddly and SO soft (and really fuzzy, too). And I love that we spend lots of time gazing into each other's eyes. Even though things are difficult right now, I am extremely blessed and I couldn't have asked for a more wonderful family. I thank the Lord for my wonderful, special boys every single day, and for my wonderful, supportive husband who is a lifesaver to me. I love them so much and I know that being a mama is a blessing and the greatest thing I could be doing.

And I have to say thanks again to all the wonderful people who have been so helpful! Thanks to the Sipes's for taking my kids that first day and night (and taking them so early in the morning!), and for the Quists for taking them that next morning and afternoon until we got home! Thanks to everyone who's offered themselves, and to everyone who's made us meals! You are all angels and we appreciate it more than you know!

I've posted all the pictures on my facebook account, but here are some of them. And here are the links to some videos we took as well:

Little Squeals
Under the warmer
First Bath1
First Bath2
More squeaks

Also, here are two other cute videos of Sam and Josh. This one is of Josh saying "baby." We had to get it on video, since he never talks! And this one is of Sam explaining how you check your temperature when you have a "favor" (fever).


Travis'wife said...

Oh, I just love birth stories, Jennie! Yours sounds wonderful & short (yay for short!). I'm sorry you have such awful nursing experiences. What a bummer, good for you for not giving up!
I remember feeling like life sucked during Naomi's birth (and probably the during the boy's too, but I've forgotten), but it didn't take long for the beauty of her sweet spirit to overpower the pain. It's amazing that that happens, isn't it??
You're amazing, strong and you know who you are! Thank you, and congratulations.

dmaismith said...

So happy the birthing process went naturally. I'm sure Heavenly Father knew what you wanted and wanted to give it to you. Congratulations!