I am embarrassed that it has taken me so long to blog about Samuel's birth. I don't get many things accomplished these days between feeding him and running 6 other kids around.
Where to start?
We had started to be watched closely by my OB because of proteinuria. Things were going okay and I was so, so grateful for each day that we'd get through. We had steroid shots to help develop Samuel's lungs 2 weeks before (around 30 weeks) and I was trying to pay close attention to his movements to make sure he was staying active.
I had a night or two where I'd try to poke him awake and couldn't for awhile and was tempted to take myself to L&D (those were nights when Jon was at work). We had done 2 non-stress tests prior to this and both were normal.
About a week and a half after spring break, Samuel was not moving as much as normal on a Friday evening and Saturday. We went out to dinner on Saturday with friends and on Sunday morning talked to Jon about going in after church. (I was teaching a lesson, Emily was speaking in Sacrament Meeting and we were saying the prayers so we decided to go to church first).
Of course, during Church, Sam was active. I was relieved and kept thinking over and over "Should we really go in?" After talking to Jon, we both decided that we had already planned on going in and we might as well. We had a quiet afternoon and Emily was willing to watch the other kids.
L&D was busy (of course), but they were so kind to check us in and get me hooked up to monitors. Everything was going great and they had concluded to let me go home, but then, his heart rate dipped down during a contraction. They didn't like that - not at all. They then decided to do a couple of more tests (via blood work and ultrasound). About every 30 to 45 minutes, his heart rate would drop and they would shift me to lay on my other side. His heart rate would come right back up but it was staying down a little too long.
They soon concluded that I would at least spend the night and probably stay a couple of days to monitor him and try to get further into the pregnancy. Jon went home to take the kids to my parents house for dinner and to put their worries at ease. We were 32 weeks and 3 days along (in between the time that we had Jack and Hailey).
As the afternoon turned into the evening and evening into night, my OB, Dr. Kaelberer came in a couple of times (I was so lucky in that he was the doctor on call that day!). He said that I was making the nurses really nervous with Sam's heart rate dropping and by 9:30 p.m., he decided that we'd gone long enough and it was time to just deliver.
I called my mom and asked her if she could go to the house and sleep there. She was my lifesaver through all of this! Jon got to the hospital around 10:30 or so. We knew we were going to have C-Section (both Jack and Hailey were born via C-section). Dr. Kaelberer had one other C-Section he was doing and then I was next. As we waited, a NICU nurse came in and reassured us that our baby would be well taken care of and I'd get to get him as soon as possible after I was out of recovery.
We got all prepped and went back to the OR. The nurses were great, my OB was great and his partner was great too (I actually know his wife through PTA) and the anesthesiologist was great too.
The surgery went well - mostly. I always get really shaky with anesthesia (especially when my arms are tied down - I later had really bad neck pain because of it). I felt like I was in more pain during this surgery than the others. The "slight tugging" sensation is not slight! Jon held my hand through the whole thing and stood and watched (I don't know if I could do that).
There was scar tissue to get through first, but I felt like they got to Samuel pretty quick. They told me when he was coming and as soon as they pulled him out, he started to cry. That is the sweetest sound in the world - especially being early! Jon snapped a couple of pictures and they literally handed him through the window to the NICU. He looked great - he had great color and seemed healthy.
After just a couple of minutes, a nurse stuck her head back into the window and said that he weighed 3 lbs. 13 oz (we were estimating 3 lbs. 8 oz. so we were so excited that he was bigger than we thought) and that his Apgar scores were 8 & 9! Those are great scores even for a full tem baby! I was so relieved and so happy that he was okay and was doing well. He was 17 inches long and was born at 12:27 a.m. on April 13th.
We had decided to have a tubal ligation (which still makes me a little sad that I've already gotten to that point in my life), so they did that and then stitched me up. It seemed to take forever! After they finished, Jon went and took some pictures of Samuel, and I was taken back to my L&D room for an hour.
This is Samuel right after birth. They immediately put an IV in his left hand and put the oxygen monitor on his right hand. They started nutrients and antibiotics through the IV.
Thankfully, he did really great with his breathing. The steroid shots had done what they were supposed to. When we saw him about an hour later, they had oxygen in his nose, but after he pulled that out a couple of times, they didn't put it back in.
He was rooting around a ton - just like a regular newborn. He loved a binkie from day one and I felt bad that I wasn't able to just nurse him.
After recovery, and on my way to my room, they wheeled my bed to the NICU to see him.
Of course, I've loved him for a long time. I had endured 3 miscarriages (so many, many weeks of pregnancy not feeling well) and was so happy that we finally had our last little baby with us. He had blondish hair (not as blonde as Kate) and from the start, we felt like he looked most like Kate. I was so happy to see this perfect, cute baby and touch his back.
They took me to my room (only to discover that my CNA was a fellow PTA President from another school in our district). I was finally able to sip on water and have ice chips and get a little bit of sleep. Jon went home around 3 in the morning to get some sleep so that he could get the kids ready for school that morning.
I am blessed far more than I deserve to have 7 wonderful, amazing kids! Samuel is a pure joy and I am so grateful for modern medicine and my motherly intuition that literally saved 3 of our babies lives. For Jack, Hailey & Sam, I was able to know to go in and have things checked out because I just didn't feel like they were moving enough. The Lord has watched over us and blessed us and we are so thankful to have these great kids sealed to us forever!