Sunday, March 5, 2017

Our Birth Story: Meeting Beau Michael

We welcomed our sweet Beau Michael Butler on Thursday, February 23rd at 10:12 pm. He was 7 lbs, 13 oz and 20” of perfection and we are so, so thankful for this good and precious gift from above!

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I have been so excited to share his birth story because of the faithfulness the Lord showed us through welcoming Baby Beau into the world. We have never had to rely on our faith quite like we did waiting on and meeting this little one.

Y’all know I love everything pregnancy/labor/birth, and I have experienced three VERY different births with each baby. Jonathan said he thinks it’s so I can help and/or encourage other mamas through sharing our experiences.

I labored with Jase naturally to 9.5 cm & 95% effaced, but we couldn’t get the cervical lip out of the way to deliver vaginally and ended up having a c-section when his heart rate started dropping and I started swelling from trying to push.  I delivered Kade 100% natural VBAC. Was 9 cm when I got to the hospital, and by the time they got me in my room, IV in, and I bounced on the ball for a few minutes, my water broke and I pushed him out in about 20 min. It was a textbook perfect delivery.

And sweet Beau had his own agenda too. They say the third is usually the wild card and they either “fall out or stall out.” Well…He was 10 days late…41 weeks + 3 days, which is the latest our practice wants you to go. I honestly would have kept going if they thought I was okay to because I wasn’t miserable or uncomfortable or anything, and I would have REALLY  loved for him to come on his own. But they wanted me to go ahead and try to get things moving because risks start going up as you start moving too far beyond 41 weeks. I had to pretty much beg to wait till Thursday when Dr. H was on call.

Here is the last update for the few days prior to the morning of February 23rd when I went in to be “induced.”

I stayed up till about 1 am the night before typing that update, finishing up some last minute things around the house, and baking cookies for the boys and the doctor. They wanted us to call at 5 am to make sure they weren’t too busy and arrive at the hospital at 5:30 am to begin the process. I woke up around 4:15 am to take a shower and they told me to come on in when I called. I figured they would want me to come on in since I wasn’t elective.  We got to the hospital around 5:50/6…and anyone who knows me isn’t shocked that I was late to our induction. It felt SO weird walking into the hospital like normal without being in labor. It was almost time for shift change, so the nurses who checked us in, took down my info, & put in my IV were going to be leaving in an hour. They were very sweet. She got the IV in the first time and said I’m very vascular, but it was not very comfortable. I didn’t look cuz I still don’t love needles.

We met our nurse Allie at shift change and she was a doll. I liked her instantly. Dr. H made it into our room about 8 am and broke my water. We were so glad they let me wait till he was on call. Jonathan and I both really, really like him. He made me feel very comfortable and was laid back enough to keep us calm, but matter of fact enough to keep us informed of all possibilities. He’s very relatable too and has a great bedside manner. When he checked me before breaking my water he said I was 3 1/2 cm, 60% effaced, and a –3 station. It took some work to break my water & he apologized because he said he thought he was killing me, but it didn’t hurt. My blood pressure was good and they wanted me to sit on the monitor for 1 hour afterwards to make sure everything was okay after breaking my water. It felt like I was peeing myself, but I remembered feeling that when they broke my water with Jase.

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Around 10:05 I had some mucus plug and bloody show when I went to the bathroom. It continued a little every time I peed throughout the day. I started walking with Jonathan, but there weren’t any contractions. We kept waiting for them to start, but there wasn’t really anything going on. The hallway where we were walking laps was small and we saw the same people over & over. Everyone really tries to stay out of your way and let you do your thing, but I remember thinking how much better it was laboring at home. I did not enjoy the waiting game, and I know Jonathan was ready for things to kick start into action. They would monitor me every 30 minutes/hour or so for about 10 minutes. I finally started having a few contractions, but they were REALLY far apart. Like, one contraction an hour. I was SO excited to have them & Jonathan said “I bet most women are not this excited about having contractions!” During our time in the room I was playing praise music over the speaker and Jonathan was reading to me from Hebrews and James. He also read me the verse of the day which was very encouraging. He was such a trooper. He went downstairs to eat lunch around noon. I made sure to snack lightly and stay hydrated throughout the day too.

At 2 pm I was 4 cm, 70%, and they were thinking they might have seen some meconium in the water. When Allie checked me, she had a little bit of a tough time finding his head because I was so posterior which kind of scared her (& us). She called in the charge nurse to check me and they both had me place my hands under my pelvis. She said she felt some hair on the baby’s head but that he was still very posterior. Beau was having some decelerations of heart rate during contractions (which weren’t even super intense yet) at that point & I could tell it wasn’t good. A couple were what they call “lates” (late decelerations) and a couple were variables. They had me turn on my side and do oxygen if his heart rate didn’t recover quickly. There were one or two that scared them a little and took him longer to recover from than we would have liked. At this point they gave me a ginger ale and popsicle thinking maybe I needed a little sugar. They also called Dr. H to come on over and check me out. He asked if I minded the internal monitoring so we could get a better read of his heart rate, and I told him to go ahead with it. (I have a really hard time keeping the monitors on because of the way I carry. My belly is SO round- imagine trying to put a monitor on a tight watermelon that moves & getting it to stay.) He told me he didn’t like that we were seeing the decelerations so early, and if I was 9 cm it wouldn’t be too big of a deal, but he didn’t know how the baby would handle it when contractions really started coming on heavy & more frequent. I knew what the decelerations most likely meant and was immediately thinking we may have a cord issue on our hands. I knew God could totally loosen that cord, but was also prepared to have another c-section if the cord issue didn’t resolve, he couldn’t tolerate contractions, and if active labor didn’t speed up.

They kept me on the monitor for a while. I made sure to snack & drink during and started trying some nipple stimulation, squatting, bouncing on the ball, walking, & diffusing clary sage essential oil (said to bring on contractions) etc. to get things moving. I was so desperate and ready to be in active labor! It was really hard not to stare at the monitor the whole time and watch his heart rate. (That’s why it’s so much better for me to labor at home if possible.)

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There wasn’t really much action for the first several hours.

I knew I was on a timeline because risk of infection increases with each hour after they break your water. I didn’t know how long they would let me go total, but I had already been at the hospital for about 8 hours and my water had been broken for 6. I reached out to a few people and asked them to pray specifically for labor to speed up. Jonathan prayed out loud over us claiming a vaginal birth with healthy baby and healthy mama. He said “I know God can do it. He can loosen that cord and get this baby out. We want to raise the boys to follow and serve Him, so I know He’s going to honor that. He’s trying to teach us something here.” He prayed specifically for the cord at that point, and one of my best friends Laura said she prayed the same thing.

Dr. H came back in at around 3:40 and said that he talked it over with another doctor and they didn’t feel comfortable administering any Pitocin because my strip was showing category 2 tracing (decelerations during contractions). I prayed specifically before hand that I wouldn’t need any Pitocin for a couple of reasons, one being that I am a VBAC, so this was actually an answered prayer (even though I felt kinda discouraged at the time- it hit me a couple hours later). I told Dr. H we wanted a healthy mama & baby no matter what that meant, but we were still optimistic for vaginal delivery and believing everything would pick up and start moving quickly very soon. Also told him we really didn’t want an emergency c-section (or c-section period) if at all possible. (We want more kids, and depending on how your incision heals, it can be dangerous after too many. Plus, the house where we’re living now has everything upstairs- which I wouldn’t be able to climb for a while- and I wouldn’t be able to pick up the boys for a while either. It would just be really, really hard since I knew Jonathan would have to go back to finishing the house pretty quickly afterwards too.) He was reassuring & encouraging even while presenting the facts, and we both really appreciated his presence and demeanor.

The baby started tolerating contractions much better at this point and Allie said he looked perfect on the monitor. I started standing at this point because he didn’t seem to like when I sat on the ball, and I wanted gravity to be able to work too. My contractions started picking up and coming more frequently. I felt like they were really doing some work. Contractions are definitely more intense when laboring without your water and after nipple stimulation, but I was relaxing and breathing through them. When I tried to fully relax my shoulders, face, & even facial expressions, the baby’s heart rate seemed to drop. Jonathan said he could tell from the look on my face when it was going to happen, so I continued to relax through them but made sure to look a little stronger through them (if that makes sense). Jonathan told me a few times after some decelerations that this baby stuff was too stressful and this needed to be our last one. (Don’t worry, he’s already changed his mind since then.)

We were mostly in the room by ourselves and the nurses would come in occasionally to check on us. At 5:30 I was a full 4 cm and not posterior anymore, and that was probably one of the most deflating moments of the day. We’d been at the hospital almost 12 hours, weren’t seeing a lot of progress, and were starting to feel emotionally tired. Physically I felt fine, but it had been a roller coaster. We were really having to encourage each other & just pray out loud (what felt like constantly). I would have sworn I was further along at this point. I started asking Allie about how long it would take me to get ready for a c-section if we needed to get him out quickly for some reason. I asked if she thought I should consider an epidural so they could administer meds quickly if I needed to go to OR. She was super encouraging because she knew I wanted a natural delivery, so she said she didn’t think we were there yet, but that we could consider it before heading to OR. She said sometimes it  allows people’s bodies to relax enough to finish up.

At 6:45 they were getting ready for a shift change and I met our new nurse, Jenny. I know they didn’t want the heart rate below 90 really or staying low, so when I saw his heart rate around 80 and staying there, I asked her if I should hop in the bed on my left side and get some oxygen. She said yes, and around this point I started shaking a pretty good bit. It didn’t hit me that I was probably starting the transition phase at this point because it happened much later in my progression with the other boys (and I don’t remember shaking at all with Kade), but I decided to lay in the bed for a while with the oxygen. I asked for the peanut ball to keep my hips and pelvis open. Jenny told me she loved that thing and felt like it kept lots of women out of the OR. Contractions started slowing down in frequency at this point, but definitely not in intensity. (Thinking back, the SAME thing happened with Jase.) I was still only 5 1/2 cm and 80% effaced. When I heard that, I asked Jonathan if he thought I should get an epidural. I could tolerate the contractions, even though they were pretty intense, but honestly I wanted to be prepared for a c-section. I asked him if that was a lack of faith or just being wise, because I really didn’t want to be put all the way under if it came to that. We still didn’t know how Beau would tolerate the rest of labor and the actual pushing. We decided it would be a good idea and told Jenny. She started the fluids at that point while I rested. I had literally been standing for the last 3+ hours or so, and it felt good to lay there for a little while. I had to get one bag of fluids all the way through me before they could administer the epidural.

The hospital was SLAMMED that night too. The anesthesiologist was giving another patient hers and would make it to me next. She got in my room around 8:15 pm. She was probably my least favorite of everyone we interacted with at the hospital. (The whole staff was phenomenal.) She just didn’t have a great personality. She spoke in a demeaning tone towards our nurse, and Jonathan said she asked “Is this the girl who didn’t want one earlier?” in a really snarky way. Thankfully I was focused on relaxing through a contraction and didn’t hear her, because I really prayed I would be Christlike to everyone, and I just might have lost it on her if I’d heard that. Jon said Jenny had my back and said “Yes, she can do it without one because she’s done it before, but she’s been here for a very long time today and we’re just trying to get the baby out.”

They tried to sit me up on the bed, but his heart rate tanked and Jenny told her I wouldn’t be able to do it that way. She asked if she could do it with me laying down and she agreed to try. I started having a contraction and asked them to wait till that was done. (I could tell she was annoyed having to wait.) Jenny said “You are doing great. I can’t even tell when you’re having a contraction from looking at you.” After they had the epidural in, they had me lay on my back so it could disperse evenly since they had to administer it in my side with me laying down. I was very nervous to get on my back because Beau hated that throughout my pregnancy and always had swings in heart rate when i was on my back. Thankfully he was tolerating it really well. I was still shaking pretty bad at this point. Partly because I was cold- I had been cold all day- especially my feet. I remember looking at Jonathan and telling him “It’s okay, this shaking is normal and I’m totally fine.” Jenny said she was excited to see my progress because I’d probably made some really good strides with those last contractions. The anesthesiologist asked if my feet felt warm and tingly yet. I was thankful when they started to feel warm because it was the first time that day. They kept asking if I was feeling less of the contractions yet, but they were still very intense. It took about 20 minutes for the medicine to kick in. She checked me again before putting in the catheter and I was 8 cm. I was SO excited to hear the progress and asked to be turned back to my side with the peanut ball. I was still able to move and could feel the contractions, but they were not nearly as intense. My mouth felt very dry and I asked for some water. Jonathan also made me a Rehydrate. I remember thinking at this point that I was totally going to have this baby!

Contractions started coming on really strong and more frequent, even some double peaks one right after another.  I started feeling some pressure like I needed to go to the bathroom, so I knew that it was probably time to push. I asked Jenny if she could get Dr. H to come in and check me because I either had to go #2 or it was time. He came in my room a few minutes before 10, and when he checked me he had a surprised look on his face and said “She’s complete. She’s ready to push. Get everybody in here and let’s do this.” I remember saying out loud “Praise the Lord!” and seeing a look of total excitement and relief on Jonathan’s face. It took them a few minutes to get the bed ready and for everyone to get in there. Since they thought he may have some meconium, they had the NICU team come in to check him after birth. Dr. H said we still didn’t know how he’d tolerate the pushing, so he’d like to have a vacuum on hand and asked if I was okay with that if it came to it. I knew it wouldn’t so I told him yes, go for it. He asked one of the nurses to grab one for him because he wanted his hands on it since at this point it’d be faster to go that route than c-section.  

I heard the nurses telling him the lady across the hall was fully dilated and ready to push, but he said she was going to have to hang on because he had to get this baby out. I started pushing at 10:03 pm. Jonathan, Jenny, & Dr. H were all very encouraging and acting like he was coming with every push. They had me take a deep breath in, hold my breath to push for around 10 seconds, take a quick breath and push again. I remember from pushing with Kade that Tiffany told me to use my abs and curl up around the baby and push, so I did that. I remember sending the pressure towards my bottom side (sorry to be vulgur, but it’s almost like you’re struggling to go #2 and trying to push that out.) After the first couple of pushes, Dr. H said “Wow, he’s doing really great through those contractions” and was very impressed with how well he was tolerating the pushing.  His heart rate was perfect. We went through 3 rounds of pushing (3-4 times each round). Sweet baby Beau arrived at 10:12 pm. They checked him out (very quickly) and said he was perfect. Gave him an 8 on the APGAR at 1 min and a 9 at 5 min. The first thing they commented about was his big hands!! (Jase had big hands like that too.) Jonathan also told me later the cord was wrapped loosely around his neck one time (obviously what was causing the decelerations), but loose enough there weren’t any issues. I have NO DOUBT that God loosened that cord when Jonathan prayed that specifically. I also think the epidural allowed me to relax and rest enough for contractions to pick back up. I’m not sure if they would have done that on their own? I remember the exact same thing happened with Jase, which makes me wonder if his would have picked back up too? I do remember with Kade they told me my contractions were MONSTERS but I had a long time to recover between them.

I wanted to cry when they laid him on my chest, but I was almost too excited for any tears to come out. I can’t even describe how overwhelmed I felt with God’s goodness and faithfulness, right up to the very end.

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It was such a long day. A day of renewing our mind and continuing to put our trust in Him, His perfect plan, and His perfect timing. I am  incredibly thankful for all of our friends and family who were praying for us. I know we are blessed with some incredible prayer warriors in our life, and I have no doubt the prayers were heard and answered on our behalf on February 23rd. I truly cannot thank you guys enough…you know who you are.

Jon snapped these few pictures (so thankful he thought to do that) while they were letting the cord finish pulsing. My heart could seriously burst!

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I had no tearing at all (another answered prayer), but Dr. H said there was a little cyst that sometimes pops up and it’s just fluid, so he went ahead and took care of it and gave it a little stitch. The placenta delivered very quickly too. (Dr. H showed me his cord was done and was white- I kept asking if they were sure it was done because it seemed so quick.) He held it up for Jonathan to cut it. Afterwards he rushed out to get to the other lady. He came back in about 10 minutes to sit with us, so the other one must have gone fast! We told him a genuine heartfelt thank you for hanging in there with us. We are so, so grateful and know it was an answered prayer for him to be our doctor that day. I think a few others would have already done a c-section at that point. Plus, he helped us feel very calm and comfortable. We baked him a healthier version of choc chip cookies using Enjoy Life chocolate chips, so he was asking me about it. Said he was skeptical when I told him all the things they didn’t have, but that they were actually good. Ha!

Our nurses were absolutely incredible too and we are so thankful for the great care they took of us all day. They are totally in it with you. All of ours were so great.

I started nursing Beau pretty quickly right after he was born. It took a couple of minutes for him to latch, but he finally figured it out & did an awesome job. He ate very often all throughout the night.

They gave me a turkey sandwich and some apple juice after everything had calmed down. I remember waiting too long to eat and drink after Kade and starting to feel a little yucky, so I asked for food right away. As soon as the epidural wore off (which was very quickly) I walked to the bathroom to potty while they cleaned the bed. They told me they wouldn’t take my IV out till I went potty 3 times. Jenny told me I was the fastest to get those 3 pees out of anyone she’d ever seen. (I was highly motivated cuz the IV was killing my arm, so I chugged a ton of water.) I loved that at the new hospital, you do everything in the same room & don’t have to be moved. The rooms are super nice.

After a couple of hours, we got word out to everyone that he was here because I know they were ready to hear from us. I’m sure everyone was thinking worst case scenario because we were at the hospital for what felt like an eternity. Jon headed to Waffle House because he was starving. Bless his heart- I know it was such a long day for him.

When he got back, they checked me and the baby and all looked great. My prayer was that Beau would be “perfect,” and that would be the word everyone would use when describing him. We kept hearing the word “perfect” when the nurses or pediatrician checked him, and it made my heart sing at another answered prayer.

Our faith grew tremendously the day sweet Beau came into the world. I am thankful for this birth story and all I learned through it. I am, as always, so incredibly thankful for Jonathan. I know I’m blessed to be his wife, but these boys are also blessed to have a faithful, praying Daddy. {Is there anything better than seeing your handsome hubby holding your sweet baby for the first time?}

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And I am so, so thankful to be this sweet baby’s mama. I have no doubt he will be a champion, a leader, a warrior for the Lord, and a world changer. I cannot wait to watch him grow.

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Thank you, Lord, for this good and perfect gift from above. (James 1:17)

We are so excited to officially be Butler, Party of 5!!

6 comments:

Emily R said...

Congratulations!!! So sweet and a great testimony!

Lori Alexander said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

I follow your blog faithfully! Congratulations on your precious bundle of joy!

Dana D said...

Sooooo perfect!! God is good and His time is best! Way to go guys! Love you both and your faithfulness.

Moon Sparkle said...

Congratulations! Thanks for sharing your birth story. :)

Anonymous said...

Aww! He is just that, PERFECT! Enjoy all the sweet newborn snuggles :)
-Nat