Friday, March 28, 2014

Piper Rae Howard

On Wednesday, February 12th @ 6:23pm, we welcomed our third beautiful baby girl into the world. She was 7 pounds 19.5 inches long and just PERFECT.

Everything about her birth was better than I could have imagined. Being as I desperately wanted a vaginally birth this time around, I thought my hopes and dreams would be shattered honestly. I thought I would struggle with it, and regret not having a vaginally birth and giving myself my "one true wish". But I was wrong. I was SO wrong. Even now, 6 weeks post partum, I wouldn't change a single thing about Piper's birth. As week 37 past and week 38 went behind me, I still had the yearning for a VBA2C. Even up until the day I delivered Piper, I wanted a vaginal birth. I tried everything. Love making, love making and more love making. Evening primose tablets. Red raspberry leaf tea AND pills. Spicy food. WALKING(ouch!). More love making.  Pretty much all the "old wives tales" BUT castor oil. NO thank you. I hate puking and I hate diarrhea more than anyone. Literally, huge fear of mine(even though I have terrible morning sickness). I feared going into labor sick, exhausted and beyond dehydrated. Not worth it. :)

I pleaded with God, asking Him if it was HIS WILL that my water would break and I would have Piper vaginally BEFORE my scheduled csection at 39 weeks. And as I woke up on Wednesday morning, I was on one end SUPER stoked I was having a baby that day but also a little disappointed. But there were still many hours in the day until I needed to report to L&D so I said "There's still time LORD!"

As I kissed my sweet little girls goodbye and as Stephen and I walked out the house on that warm sunny February afternoon, I was at peace. I was at peace because I knew I was having Piper the way God wanted me to. The way HE planned it. Not me. But Him. His plans and His ways are not our ways. He has a much better plan as I am learning. He gave me the peace and the comfort and the TRUST I needed to enjoy that day.

I sat in my husband's work car as we drove the 30 minute drive to the hospital and was at complete PEACE. It was amazing. My so-called "DREAM" I thought I wanted, was no longer at the top of my LIST. The top of my list was the birth God wanted. The top of my list was having a healthy mom and baby. The top of my list was ENJOYING THAT DAY no matter what was thrown at me.

See, we are 99% sure Piper is our last precious baby so I was not going to let my wannabe "vbac dream" destroy the birth of my final child. The child who will more than likely complete us! 

We chose to have a birth photographer which honestly was the best decision I have ever made. I recommend it to everyone! There is nothing like looking back on these beautiful pictures taking you back to one of the best days of your life. Truly, do it! You won't regret it!

I knew February 12th would be an amazing beautiful day. My girls were safe and sound with their Grammy. My husband was by my side. I had my birth photographer. An amazing beyond amazing nurse that day. And the best OB I could have ever dreamed of. It was perfect.

As I got hooked up to the monitors, what do you know, I began contracting. Not painful. Crampy. but very regular. Every minute. I remember my Doctor coming in to visit me before we went back and he said, well good thing your having your baby today! 

A few months prior to this, I expressed to my OB that I wanted a VBAC.(He has delivered all three of my children and what a blessing that was!) But he really didn't feel comfortable with my decision. My husband really trusts and respects Dr Clare and he really thought I should listen to him. I was hesitant because I still wanted my Vba2c despite what any doctor thought. I studied it, researched it, read about it, heard success story after success story about vba2c. I knew I could do it. And honestly, I think everything would have been fine. It honestly would have probably been successful if I chose to do so but like I said, I gave the Lord till Wednesday February 12 to decide if Vbac was the safest route and He closed that door.

I am honestly thankful. I am thankful because God gave me a rockstar nurse that day. I love all the DMC nurses and it helps so much that my amazing mom is a postpartum nurse there but man, God gave me just who I needed that day. My nurse knew our past birth stories and knew I wanted this to be different. Being that Tynlee and Anistyn were both 36 weekers and sent to NiCu and Piper would be a 39 weeker, her and Dr Clare did everything as close to what we desired as possible. I gave them my "birth preferences" not birth plan, trust me, don't make a birth plan, it rarely works that way. They honestly did everything I wanted from pictures during delivery(she took pictures with Stephen's phone since the photographer wasn't allowed in operating room). They delayed cord clamping. Calming music during my csection. Stephen held her right after birth(well, after they suctioned all the excess fluid from her lungs). I held her before anyone else did. My hands weren't tied down. IT WAS PERFECT. During my spinal, my amazing doctor even stood in front of me to make sure I was comfortable and rubbed my arm. He truly cares and I love that about him!

I was a lot more nervous this csection because I had weeks to think about it. I knew what to expect and I thought I was sooooo prepapred. But nothing I mean nothing prepares you for it. You just do it and no matter what, you still have tons of scattered emotions. I gave my husband one last kiss as he waited patiently before meeting me in there. I walked into c-section room 2, I was hoping for room 1 since that's where Tynlee and Anistyn were born in but---HEY, its okay, everything was still perfect :) I walk into this cold cold cold STERILE room. I sat on the table for about 15-20 minutes before I even got my spinal. My nurses were laughing with the anesthesiologist and making me feel ever so calm, well as calm as they could. I sat there like a hunchback(still contracting) and watched every single instrument be set out on the table. I don't recommend that by the way. INTIMIDATING and a little nerve wracking. I was thinking "wait you don't need that big long scary clamp thing right?".

I was honestly most nervous about the spinal. The first time with Tynlee, didn't feel a thing cause I was in active labor and contracting and with Anistyn I felt it and they hit a nerve and it took 3-4 pokes and it did not feel pleasant. So I was worried about that again. But thankfully, with my sweet doctor by my side and the anesthesiologist who was also amazing by the way, we got it the first try and it was literally PAIN LESS. They through  my big fat self on the, what seems like one foot width, operating table. Maybe it just feels small cuz I am so huge, especially pregnant! HAHA! I instantly was getting numb and I knew there was NO turning back now. They clarified once again, No tubal right? and I said RIGHT. Don't you dare. LOL

The curtain went up, a lot lower than I remember so I was able to see my doctors hands work which was great but the first 5-10 minutes after getting the spinal I was soooo nauseous even with the anti nausea meds. I seriously thought I was going to puke(even though I did not eat all day). Stephen came in and grabbed my hand and I could see the same nervousness in his eyes that he had with the other two. But he kept them hidden well and just tried to calm me.

They let Stephen stand up as Dr Clare pulled Piper out. I watched his face as this was happening and I will never ever forget the look he had. It was half way "I don't want to see my wives insides and half way complete and utter amazement". I saw his eyes well up with tears and I lost it. My heart once again grew. It opened up to a love I was blessed to experience THREE TIMES. 

Piper was born screaming and what a beautiful sound that was. A little gurgly but CRYING! They had to spend about 10 minutes suctioning her out, almost needing the NiCu, because of her being blue and so much fluid! But I was thankful my amazing nurse did everything possible because she knew I didn't want the NiCu again. But of course, if she NEEDED it, I wouldn't hesitate but I was thankful my nurse wasn't so soon to send her off.

Hearing her cry while I was getting stitched up was a new experience. Stephen got to cut her cord too which was absolutely GREAT! They took the curtain down and Stephen walked her over to me and I got to hold her and instantly she stopped crying. It was breathtaking. She knew my voice. Better than I could have ever imagined.

I had to go to the recovery room so Stephen and my nurse and Dr walked Piper out to meet the rest of the family waiting in the waiting room.

After Piper had her bath(daddy stayed with her the whole time!) and I was in my post partum room, we were reunited for good and she no longer left my side the rest of our stay. We had a private room at the very end of the hall. No disruptions. Hardly any visitors. Just Stephen, me and Piper. Big sisters couldn't come because of the flu outbreak which I was sad about. But us three bonded those two days. She came out hungry, latched on right away and has been a pro ever since. My milk came in on day 3. We went home 48 hours after my surgery. I was up walking and feeling great the next morning. I didn't need magnesium this time so all I was on was Ibuprofen for the swelling pain. I feel amazing and I am still so happy I had another csection. Honestly, wouldn't change a thing, even if I knew my vaginal birth outcome would have been successful. And if we have baby #4 someday, I would choose csection again. I am one blessed and happy mommy of three amazing beautiful little girls! 

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