Sunday, January 27, 2013

Introducing Owen Blake

Introducing to my little blogging world, Mr. Owen Blake Clifton.  We are so excited that he is here and doing so well.  Here is a little picture of our sweet man! 

We will see how far into his birth story I can get before I am needed by the cutest two year old or the sweetest baby boy.
Once again I was successful in not going the full 40 weeks with this pregnancy.  Reid was born at 38 weeks 2 days, so that is about the time I was excpecting this little guy to make his appearance.  However, this pregnancy had been very different from the beginning and we new very early on he rode very low.  I constantly felt him pushing on my hips, and whenever we had ultrasounds they always had to travel much further down my torso than they ever did with Reid man. 
Needless to say, I knew that when it happen, it would happen fast.  I had a doctor's appointment at 37 weeks, and I told Mark a couple of weeks before hand, "the time they mess with me, is going to be the time I go into labor."  I go in to the room and find out they are going to check me, and instantly get nervous.  I think about asking them not to, but decide he is the doctor and he knows what is best.  True to what we already knew he had to go under his head to see how far along I was.  Turns out I was 3 centimeters dilated already and 70% effaced!  I was floored.  I knew I was probably dilated, but had no idea it would be that much! I asked if it was ok if I went to work and all and he said yes, that it wasn't really an indicator of impending labor. 
So the next day is Thursday and I go to teach school, Mark goes to Shreveport, and everything is just like normal.  In fact I even am evaluated by my principal.  At lunch I think I have a contraction or two but nothing major so I don't worry really, just know where I am at in the back of my mind.  Mark and I talk and discuss whehter or not he should stay in Shreveport like he does every Thursday or come back.  He decides he doesn't feel right about staying and comes home.  We go eat at my grandmother's house, and I am still feeling a little strange and begin to notice tightening in my stomach.  I don't think much because it doesn't really seem to be consistent. 
We go home, get Reid in bed and sit down to watch a movie.  It is then I decide to start timing contractions.  They aren't hurting, just a tightening at the top, but they are coming every 30 minutes, then every 15, then every 10 in about a 2 hour span.  It is then I tell Mark what is going on, that I don't think it is anything, but just to keep it in his mind.  We go to sleep and they are still about 10 minutes apart at 10:00.  I stay awake and time them as much as I can.  About 12 I wake Mark up and say they have moved down low and are feeling more uncomfortable.  We debate going to the hospital, but I eventually tell him to go back to sleep since there is nothing we can do.  From here they kinda go sparadic, so I try to go to sleep.  Around 2:30 after an hour of sleep, they wake me up again and are about 5 minutes apart.  I begin timing them and decide to get up and walk around and see if that makes a difference.  I do that for about 30 minutes and they move to 3 and a half minutes apart.  I do this for another 30 minutes and then wake Mark up and explain everything.  We debate going in because we really don't wanna be sent back home, but knowing my quick labor history we decide to head in anyway. 
So we leave at 4:30 AM on Friday January 18th.  We get to the hospital and find out I am contracting, but am still at a 3.  They wont let me get up and walk or anything because I am 37 weeks.  The doctor says if there is no change in an hour we have to go home.  So an hour goes by and I am found to be a 4, which is something we had been praying would happen if it is God's timing.  Apparently that wasn't enough change for the doctor because he tells them to give me another hour and if there is no change I still go back home.  So once again we pray, contract, and wait.  By this time it is 7 or so.  They come back at 8, and I am a five and they decide it is good enough and I'm staying.  They begin an IV for fluids for an epidural and get that process started. 
The anesthesiologist comes in to do an epi, which they have to do twice, because the first time they hit a vein in the epidural space.  So that takes twice as long, and is extremely uncomfortable, because of leaning over.  That begins to take effect and makes me feel light headed and sick, and makes my legs feel WEIRD.  It felt like your face after you have had novacain at the dentist.  They never really went completely numb, just felt asleep.  I felt like I needed to move them or keep contracting them or something, it was strange.  In fact when the doctor came in he made the comment "You do not look comfortable, you're supposed to be comfortable right now."  I'm at a 7 and he breaks my water, and says he will come back and if I have progressed then that's great, and if not then we will do pitocin.  I am so confident that it will be no problem because of Reid's birth.  However and hour later he comes back and I am still at a 7!!!  I was in shock.  They start the pit and tell me when I start feeling pressure to call.  I told him after he checked me that something felt different and I did already feel pressure, but apparently they didn't believe me.  Well 15 minutes after the pit was started I tell Mark I am feeling a lot of pressure.
We call the nurse back in, and she checks me, which REALLY REALLY begins to make things feel not so good.  I am at a 10 and ready to push.  It is then I begin tell Mark I can't do it, that it is going to hurt like last time, and in general just begin to freak out a little.  We begin pushing and luckily it doesn't last incredibly long because I can once again feel, especially in my bottom.  I keep telling Mark I can't do it, and don't want to do it, and scream through each push.  After the first push they tell me they can see the top of his head.  We keep going and after a couple more pushes his head is finally out.  Apparently I was pretty loud and had Mark by the shirt haha.  They told me to put my hands under my legs and chin to my chest and I told them "No!" Another push had his shoulders out, and they start telling me to look down because he is here!  That was probably one of the neatest scenes, watching your child come in to the world.  I never saw it with Reid and honestly probably wouldn't have cared because of all the hurting and emotions that were happening at the time.  At 2:51 Owen Blake made his grand entrance, red faced, and full of cheeks.  In fact that was one of the first things the nurse and doctor said was "Oh my look at his cheeks!"
This was once again one of the craziest experiences of my life.  Emotionally I was much more prepared this go around, and it was just completely life changing once again.  We are all doing well, getting un-sore, and settled down and adjusted.  Please pray for Reid as he is adjusting and for me as I am home for a while with both kiddos. 

Friday, January 4, 2013

The New Year

I cannot believe that 2013 is here.  Honestly it seems every year I turn around and Christmas is over before we know it and the new year has snuck up on us.  There are so many good things that will happen this year, I am just excited to get it started.

To be honest 2012 was one of the hardest years I have ever had to go through.  It's been rough, with some unexpected bumps and bruises along the way.  I am so grateful that I couldn't really foresee what all would happen because I think I would have run and hid somewhere and said "wake me up in summer 2013!"  We have learned it is very hard to live off a teacher's salary when you have to worry about driving an hour each way for Mark for school and the gas that uses each month, daycare, rent, food, electricity, insurance and all those weird things that come up like two tickets, school expenses, and broken collar bones lol.

However 2012 brought us a bright, bubbly 2 year old who has had to go through more changes than I would have ever liked for him to do in his young little life, but he has done brilliantly.  Our marriage has grown stronger as a result of everything and for that I rejoice!  We have enjoyed a healthy pregnancy with our second son and cannot wait to meet him in a few weeks.  My cousin had a sweet baby girl who is healthy and doing brilliantly.  After just a few weeks at the school for the new year I will be able to hold my sweet baby boy and have some time off with both boys.  Then it is back for 2 months until summer hits, Mark graduates, and we are able to start the life we have been wanting to have since that time the previous year.  We are so excited for that.

Mark and I were talking about how we are "halfway done" and just how we can't believe we actually are doing it.  We actually left a job he enjoyed to pursue a dream, I actually left my home which I loved to go to work, we are actually halfway done with this year, and we have made it.  I am so grateful to our Lord who has seen us through.  I will not say it has been easy, that I haven't had my doubts or shed many many tears, but we are on the downhill slope!  Thank you to all friends and family who have helped us along the way and prayed for us.  We are grateful for you and your faithfulness.  Stay tuned for a little brother here pretty soon, but for now I am spending the last weekday I have with just my first born playing with him.