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Haven’s birth story.

27 Jun

**If you don’t want to hear ALL about a baby being born please stop reading.**061417_1Wednesday the 7th I was two days past my due date and boy was I done being pregnant! I woke up determined to get this baby girl out! I walked 8 laps around the neighborhood, I did squats, and every other activity that has worked to bring on labor for others. I started having mild contractions but nothing too severe so I laid down for a nap, because I had exhausted myself. I was prepared to repeat everything again after my nap. When I woke up though the contractions were still there and the pattern was what it needed to be, but they were no where near painful. Our hospital was set to go on “divert” at midnight for two days, so we would have to go to another hospital if she came during that time. We decided to load up and just see if they would let us stay to deliver. IMG_0289When we got to the hospital, at 8 pm, I was only at a solid 3 dilated and 65% effaced. The doctor on duty was the one who was scheduled to do my induction that coming Monday, so I think she was eager to help us stay because of that. She said she could strip my membranes and send us walking for 2 hours to see where that got us. We were willing to try it if she was. The stripping alone progressed me to a 4 and 75% effaced. So we set off on our long walk! IMG_0344I was really glad that I hadn’t done a second set of laps around the neighborhood because my legs were killing me by the end of our two hour walk and I’m pretty sure I’m now an expert of the hospital hallway layout. I could probably walk the halls with a blindfold and never run into a single wall. About 30 minutes into our walk the contractions really started picking up and by the end I could barely walk through them because they were so painful. I knew at that point that Baby Girl was on the way!
Side note: As I was pushing myself to walk through strong contractions poor Scott had to stop for a leg cramp. I was really worried that he would need an epidural but luckily he was able to breathe through the pain. ;]IMG_0476Once we got back up to labor and delivery they had all of my paperwork filled out and a room was ready for us. I guess they had already decided to keep us. Thank goodness because there was no way I was going home with how painful the contractions were at that point. The doctor checked me again and I was at a 6. She said her plan was to break my water and then maybe start pitocin as well. She recommended an epidural, because the combination would become very painful, so of course I took her recommendation. IMG_0315The anesthesiologist gave me the epidural and while we were waiting for them to come back in to break my water we decided to take a “before baby” selfie. Right as we snapped the picture I told Scott “I think my water just broke…but let’s take one more picture.” I’ll never be able to look at those pictures and not laugh. The doctor came in and checked me again and of course I was right. She said that she would be back in 4 hours to check on us. We planned to sleep a bit to rest up. We guessed that we wouldn’t have a baby until around 6 or 7 that morning. (HA!) While they were rolling me to change my sheets my epidural shifted and I started feeling all of the pain on my right side. Feeling labor pain on only one side of your body is completely disconcerting. I would rather have felt it on both sides at that point. (Of course this happened during the transition phase. OWWY!) My nurse called the anesthesiologist back in and tried to get it to work the way it was positioned, but nothing helped so they needed to redo it. They laid me flat on my side and gave me a whole new one. That immediately delivered relief.IMG_0366My bed was then elevated back up and suddenly Haven’s heart rate dropped into the low 70’s. Panic set in as the whole team rushed into our room, my nurse put an oxygen mask on me, and they started flipping me one side to the other trying to get her heart rate back up. Nothing was helping and time seemed to be ticking steadily along. I had been able to hear her heart beating on the monitor the whole time we were there but as I tried listening now it was almost completely silent. I looked at Scott with terrified eyes as I worried we were losing our girl. He whispered “It’s going to be alright, Lyssa” but I didn’t believe him. I asked him afterwards about it and he said he was just as terrified but knew he couldn’t express that and risk me getting more upset which would have made the situation worse. They started asking each other to “grab the doctor” or “where is the doctor” and lastly “I can’t find her.” This mama has never been so scared. Finally she came running in and said she wanted to check me real quick before we would move to a c-section. I was complete (10) and it was time to begin pushing! Apparently what happened was while I was on my side laid flat I progressed from a 6-10 so when they elevated me back up Haven shot down into position and that shocked her because it wasn’t a slow progression down. Poor thing. Luckily her heart rate evened out before pushing began.IMG_0563Two minutes after she checked me I started pushing. I told the doctor, when we arrived, that she would need to give me an episiotomy but she assured me that wouldn’t be necessary. I knew better though. After 4 contractions and less than 10 minutes of pushing Haven was ready to make her entrance. The doctor kind of laughed, after many efforts to avoid an episiotomy, as she said “you were right” she then gave me a tiny episiotomy and Haven was born at 2:02 am on June 8th!IMG_0423When Haven came out she had the cord wrapped around her neck two times and was bright purple. The doctor quickly removed the cord and immediately placed her on my chest. I was a little worried about her coloring but knew they would have rushed her off if they were really that concerned about it. Her color returned to normal after a few minutes of them messing with her on my chest. Phew!IMG_0329Our sweet girl weighed in at 8 pounds 1.3 ounces and was 20 inches long! I’m still in shock that I carried an 8 pound baby! She is perfect in every way. The first thing I noticed was that she had my lips which I had prayed for! Everyone says she looks just like me and I LOVE hearing that. Scott’s first words about her were “ALYSSA she has hair!!” (no one in either family ever does) and as she was delivered: “She’s so beautiful, Lyssa!” He is one smitten Daddy. Really, we all are!IMG_0527Haven is such a mellow baby. We’ve only ever heard her cry a handful of times. The rest of the time she just grunts or lays there peacefully. She’s just so beautiful that we can’t stop staring at her. I was so worried that my heart couldn’t hold all this extra love but the second I saw her my heart was overflowing with love for this sweet child. I can’t even begin to imagine life without her and she’s only been with us for 2 weeks.

Royal is OBSESSED with her! I thought he would resent her for coming but all he has for her is love. He is constantly snuggling her and giving her kisses. He always says “Haven, you bess friend!” (Haven, you’re my best friend.) and “I yuv you, Baby Haven!” I completely melt as I watch their bond as siblings forming. We’re just trying to teach him not to give her kisses while she’s trying to sleep. (Haha.)IMG_0306After two years of trials and heartache, Haven couldn’t have come at a better time to us. She came to remind us that good does come around again and that God is faithful even when we feel as though things will never get better. Her name means: a place of safety or refuge. Before we found out we were pregnant I stumbled upon Psalm 107:28-30. (Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and He brought them out of their distress. He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed. They were glad when it grew calm, and He guided them to their desired haven.) These verses gave me great encouragement as I hoped our safe haven would be around the corner. A week later we found out we were expecting and when we were told we were having a girl the name Haven soared to the top of our list. It just seemed to fit her so perfectly! She’s already living up to her name. She has healed our heartache and given us a place of  joy to rest in. I’m just so thankful that God chose her for us! IMG_0516
Thank you all for your prayers and well wishes, and please continue to pray for us to have guidance as we raise this darling girl!

-Name Meaning-
Haven: a place of safety or refuge
Marie: wished for child (also my middle name)

Welcome Haven Marie, you are so very loved!
“He stilled the storm to a whisper;
the waves of the sea were hushed.
They were glad when it grew calm,
and He guided them to their desired haven.”

-Psalm 107:29-30 

•Photos by Olive Gray Photography


Waiting on Baby Girl.

31 May

Dear sweet daughter,

You can come now. Daddy is home. Our bags are packed. All baby prep is done. You’re healthy as can be. My arms are ready to hold you. We’re just waiting on you, darling.

Love, your impatient (horribly uncomfortable) mommy


Olive Gray Photography

Royal’s birth story.

18 Aug

**If you don’t want to hear ALL about a baby being born please stop reading.**

IMG_7401copyI woke up at 5 am to my water breaking on July 31st, 2014. I didn’t want to alarm Scott as he was sound asleep but he started to stir, looked at his phone, and realized he had overslept for his early morning shift. He of course startled awake and about jumped out of bed but I told him to hold tight for a second because I was pretty sure my water just broke. I felt another gush and that confirmed it. It was such a God thing that he overslept as he would have already been at work and I would have had to call and wait for him to get home.

I then called labor and delivery and they told me to take my time coming in. The nurse told me to enjoy a shower and to get a good breakfast in because they wouldn’t let me eat once I got there. I felt completely normal at that point but at 6:30 my contractions kicked it into high gear and I told Scott and my parents it was time to get moving.

IMG_7309copyI was shocked at how painful my contractions were. I became speechless, as I usually do with intense pain, but as the pain intensified I started almost screaming. I’ve never known a pain like that before. They told me that Royal was positioned against my spine and that’s why it was THAT bad. Back labor is no joke, you wouldn’t wish it on your worst enemy. Ouch.

I continued in that same pain for a few hours but each time they checked I was still only dilated to a 2. The staff then strongly recommended that I get an epidural because my body was so tensed up from my pain that it put my dilating at a standstill. They thought that if I had an epidural it would relax me enough so my body could do what it needed to do. They were right. The minute I got the epidural I felt like a whole new woman. I was completely relieved of my pain. Phew. It was such a nice break. I had control of how much of the medicine I was getting, so I was able to keep feeling in my legs which was important to me as I wanted to be able to push fully when the time came. I would strongly recommend an epidural if you get to the place I was at with pain. There is no way I could have continued that way for over 12 hours.

IMG_7377copyA half hour after I got the epidural they checked me again and I had progressed to a 4. They then decided that they wanted to speed up the process and gave me pitocin in my IV drip. My parents had just gone down to the cafeteria when my midwife and nurse came running into the room and started flipping me onto my left side. They were really quiet but they had concern written  all over their faces. I couldn’t figure out what was going on until they then tried flipping me onto my right and I could see the Baby’s heart rate monitor. Royal had been staying between 140-150 bpm during my pregnancy and labor but when I now looked he was at 70 bpm! I started to panic. They then gave me oxygen and kept moving me trying to give Royal some relief. My midwife asked another nurse to get the doctor and it became apparent to me that I was about to get a cesarean section. FINALLY his heart rate started coming back up after they had me about on my head and rolled completely onto my left side. PRAISE GOD! I have never been more terrified in my entire life. I am so thankful that the staff was fast acting and were able to help my boy and also save me from a c-section.

IMG_7381copyApparently Royal had a negative reaction to the pitocin and that’s what caused the severe drop in his heart rate. After the pitocin was stopped my body took over and within an hour and a half I went from a 4 to a 10 and they told me it was time to push! AH! I couldn’t believe how quickly it went and I honestly didn’t feel mentally ready to start pushing. My nurse cleared the room of everyone but my mom and Scott, and began preparation for delivery. My epidural chose this moment to stop working. Yay! *rolls eyes* Natural childbirth time!

I started pushing at around 3:30 and was making really great progress until Baby’s head didn’t want to come the last part of the way. Once it was clear he wasn’t going to budge they attached the vacuum to his head and when my next contraction came I pushed and my midwife pulled….nothing. He wouldn’t come. I took my deep breathe and pushed again…the vacuum then snapped off his head. It was then decided that I would be getting an episiotomy. I was nervous about it, but at this point in labor, I was ready to be done and would have done just about anything to get my boy here! With that…he arrived!

IMG_7320copyRoyal Matthew was born at 4:53 pm and was immediately placed on my chest. My mom later told me that my face went from a look of pain and exhaustion to one of complete love and joy at my first sight of him. I’ve been made a believer of  “love at first sight.” I looked over at Scott and I could see how in love he was with our baby and was touched as his tears flowed freely down his cheeks. The proud daddy did the honors of cutting the umbilical cord and with that we were separate.

I was in awe at Royal’s beauty and also at how big he was! All the doctors had been telling me what a tiny baby I would be getting, and here I was holding a 7lb 6oz 20inch boy! I couldn’t believe that all of him fit in my belly! All that mattered to me was that he was finally here and he was healthy!! On the APGAR test he scored an 8 at one minute and a 9 at 5 minutes. The tech told us that she never gives a 10 so he was as healthy as it gets. God is so good!

IMG_7344copyScott then got to hold Royal for the first time and once again his tears came. I have never been more attracted to my husband as I was in those moments. Seeing your tiny baby placed in the arms of the man you love is about as good as it gets. I can still sit for hours watching Scott interact with our son, it’s just so precious and sweet to me.

IMG_7328copyI finally have my family. It’s been such a long long road to get here but every step was necessary to get right where we are. I am so thankful for a God that made my every wish and dream come true with one tiny little boy’s entrance into the world! He’s my rainbow after the storm and my everything! There is not one thing I wouldn’t do for this little man and I’m absolutely alright with the fact that my world now entirely revolves around him and his care. I am taken with him. Everything about Royal turns me into mush! I can’t get enough of him! When I set him down to do the dishes or something else I immediately miss him. This is a foreign love I’ve never known before but it somehow feels completely natural to me.

IMG_7318copyThank you everyone for your continued prayer and support, and please keep it coming as we now raise this sweet boy!

Name meaning
Royal: child of the King
Matthew: God’s gift

Welcome Royal Matthew, you are so very loved!

IMG_7370copy“For this child I prayed and the Lord has granted the desires of my heart”
-1 Samuel 1:27

•Photos by Olive Gray Photography•