Thursday, February 24, 2011


Finally! I feel like we live in the very last place in the country to get some snow! We were excited to introduce Malachi to the snow, but I kind of figured he would not like it very much since he does not have an appreciation for the cold.

Regardless, we bundled everyone up and headed outside for a few minutes!

We got some cute video of him just looking around but eventually (after daddy put some snow on his head) he decided that this snow stuff really wasn't for him.

He was also quite upset because he couldn't walk around in the snow. His pants and jacket were too big and puffy so he really couldn't move. I don't know why, but for some reason it made me think of the movie "A Christmas Story". Are we bad parents for laughing at our poor little boy who was hating his first snow?!?

Once he got in Daddy's arms everything was better and he was okay with looking at the snow, he just didn't want to get up close and personal with it.

I had to briefly bring Eli out and get a picture of him in his very first snow. He thought it was a little bright out, and wouldn't even open his eyes to check it out. Oh well, at least we got a quick picture before I rushed him back inside :)

Eli is doing great with his weight gain. He must know he has a lot of weight to gain to catch up with big brother. Today he weighed in at 6 lbs 12 ounces. His starting weight was 5 lbs 5 ounces so in 3 weeks that is awesome!!!

But clothes are still a challenge for little mister. He is still very much in preemie size as all the newborn stuff falls off him. Last night I put him in a newborn gown and found him like this:

We are having lots of fun with our boys! It is a big challenge, but our life priorities have definitely changed. To wake up this morning and be so excited to see the snow so that we could take Malachi out and let him experience it (even if he hated it). Kids just give life a totally different perspective and purpose and I would never want to go back to the way things were before.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Lots of........

We've been doing a lot of:


and as much of this as we can get:

Yup, exciting times, but I am loving every moment of cuddling my little guy as I know he is going to grow way to fast.

Sleep is going about as well as can be expected. He usually goes about 3 hours at night, but last night we did get one 6 hour stretch which was AMAZING! So Swaddler blankets are a huge thing right now, but I did my research to try and find the very best swaddle blanket on the market and I saw nothing but great reviews for a blanket called "The Miracle Blanket". Well, this blanket is living up to its name. It wraps Eli up nice and tight and he can't wiggle out of it and we all sleep better at night with him in his miracle blanket!

He is already changing so fast. He is still wearing preemie clothes, but starting to outgrow a few outfits. We have started putting some newborn stuff on him, but they practically fall off of him :)

He is pretty good at ensuring his pacifier stays in his mouth. He uses his arm to hold it in - smart boy :)

So how is Malachi adjusting to being the big brother? Well, he doesn't even really acknowledge or notice the baby unless Eli fusses which doesn't happen very often. It is hard right now, and will get harder when Peter gets back to work in a few weeks (so thankful that he works for a company willing to give him 2 paternity leaves in a 6 month timeframe!). The sleep deprivation is going to be the hardest part, but in some ways I think this might be the easier way to have kids. Malachi hasn't been the king of the castle for too long so the adjustment for him is going very smooth. He is too young to really show any jealousy and I can't wait to watch these two brothers grow up together and be buddies!

Friday, February 18, 2011

2 weeks

For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.

My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.

Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.

Today I am so incredibly grateful that God chose to give Eli life. His first week of life was so incredibly difficult for me to handle, but God got us through it somehow. Looking back now, I truly have no idea where the strength came from. But, it is pure bliss here on the other side. I see the miracle that is our little boy! He is a living reminder that every breathe is given to us by God. I love to snuggle up close to him and feel his chest rise with every breath and to listen to him inhale life giving air!

Today I am thankful for the miracle that is life!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Happy 10 Months Malachi!

Malachi is 10 months old today and boy is he growing up!

The shirt he is wearing is the perfect shirt for this boy:

Some of the milestones Malachi has hit this month include:

Getting his 4th tooth
Plays Peekaboo: He hides his head behind something then pops it back out or if there is no place for him to hide, he puts his head down and then pops it back up!
Signs "All Done" when he is ready to be done eating
Dances when you say "Dance"

His two biggest milestones are:

Becoming a big brother. Even though he didn't really have to do anything for this one, it is still a big milestone in his life and hopefully they will be best of buddies!

Learning How to Walk: For the last month he has been taking steps, but over the last week he has really taken off with the walking and now can walk all the way across the room!

I can't believe how much he continues to change and grow. He is starting to want his independence and wants to feed himself (completely on table food now, yay for no more purees!) and for the most part likes to wonder around and play for himself. He is also starting to show signs of a temper when he does not get his way. We still feel so blessed to have this little character in our life :)

Monday, February 14, 2011


Well, there are no fancy restaurants or big date plans for us today. There are no extravagant flowers or big jewelry purchases for us today. But there certainly is a whole lotta love!!!

Happy Valentine's Day from Mr. Handsome Himself!!!

I sure do feel like one lucky and loved lady today!!!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

The First Day of the Rest of Your Life

We are so thrilled that Elias is home! It is a real answer to prayers that he is now healthy and on his way to catching up with big brother :)

We are still working on figuring things out and getting in to a routine. I have to remind myself that routines take time and this is a huge family adjustment for all of us. Peter has the next 3 weeks off work so hopefully we can settle in for the most part by then. Elias has been very easy to take care of so far. He wakes up about every 2 1/2 hours to eat and then goes back to sleep until the next feeding time. Things just feel a whole lot smoother than they did when we came home with Malachi, but maybe it is because we are now second time parents and not amateur first timers :)

I think our primary concern right now is helping Malachi adjust. He is totally out of his routine and has to make a huge adjustment now that there is another baby in the house, but it is no different than any child when they become the big brother or sister. He just needs a little extra TLC. Malachi doesn't really notice Eli. Although when Eli started to cry, it scared Malachi and he started to cry too - it was kind of cute and funny.

The NICU totally freaked me out right before we left. Eli is having some issues with choking while he eats. The nurses in the NICU were concerned about it, but the doctor said we are experienced parents so he knows we can handle it. Eli is still learning how to breathe in some ways so when you combine the eating and the breathing he sometimes chokes. While we were there the nurse showed us some ways to feed him which help open the airway and ways to hold him after he chokes to open up the airway. They also discussed how someone with a common cold could give germs to Eli and how it could go into RSV (which they said is going around really bad right now) and pneumonia for him and then he would have to go back the NICU and it could be really bad for him. Needless to say, I was thoroughly freaked out at the idea of bringing home a fragile baby by the time we left.

Fortunately things are going really well. We aren't having visitors to hopefully keep him from getting sick and he is getting better about not choking when he eats. Otherwise, things seem to be going smoothly. Here's some picture overload of our first 2 days at home:

All ready to leave the NICU!

First moments at home:

Snuggles with big brother

Attempting to get a picture of big and little brother (neither were cooperating)

We think he looks like "Elf on the Shelf"

First bath:

Thursday, February 10, 2011

About as good as it can get right now!

Day 5 - Wednesday the 9th:

It was amazing to get to walk into the left wing of the NICU and not the right wing of the NICU. We were shown to where our little boy was and there he was FINALLY the way we have been dying to see him. No C-Pap, no IV, no feeding tube - just monitoring wires. He was awake so I was talking to him and the nurse said "you can go ahead and pick him up". I was kind of surprised that we didn't have to get any permission to move him but so eager to hold him on my own!

He was awake for awhile before he nestled back in to sleep. We just spent the afternoon holding him, cuddling him, kissing him, taking pictures of him, and feeding him. It was so nice and really made us eager to get him home. Leaving him today was NOT easy. I think something was just different in the fact that he was not on any intervention so it felt like he didn't need to be there and that he was just a normal baby. It was hard to put him down and walk away from him since he was so "normal".

So what is going on from here? They are pretty much just monitoring him to make sure he doesn't have any further breathing problems. He is eating like a champion. They try to feed the babies every 3 hours on a schedule but they said he wants none of that. He is eating more often and a lot more than they were originally offering him. They had us bring up the car seat and were going to do that test sometime last night on him so hopefully he passed that! It is so great to be in this place. At this point they are pretty confident he will be home by Friday so we are almost through this storm.

We are so thankful and grateful to everyone for their thoughts, words of encouragement, and prayers while we are going through this time. We are often asked how we are doing and how I am recovering. Emotionally, I think we are handling this about as good as can be. It is so difficult to have your newborn baby sick. It is so hard to not have Malachi at home with us. It was so unnatural to have this baby I carried and had bonded with be instantly removed from my body and not get to see or touch or hold him. It has brought out this momma bear instinct in me and I am going to have a really tough time sharing him with others for awhile. As far as my recovery it is going really well. It is amazing what the body can do when it is forced to recover quickly. I am very tired and feel like I am running on fumes most of the time, but that isn't going to get better anytime soon and I am very ready for Mr. Eli to be the one keeping me awake at night!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Another Day Closer

Day 4 - Tuesday the 8th:

Today Elias continued to make huge improvements. The doctor really didn't want to push it so he left him on C-Pap, but lowered the pressure to a 3. This is basically no pressure. When we got up there, he had pulled his C-Pap out and was breathing just fine on his own so the nurse assured us that we were almost done with the breathing stuff.

It was so nice to see him not on the IV anymore. One less wire hanging from his body. He was also so content to not be under the jaundice lamps anymore so he could enjoy his life swaddled again :) We just enjoyed our time holding him again. He was content to be in our arms for the day! The nurses now are just kind of letting us be. The only thing we can't do is move him on our own because they don't want to mess up the C-Pap. But all they do is say, "it is time for a diaper change" or bring in the syringe for the oral care and hand it to us.

Today He got a new roommate. We were there when they brought in a very premature baby (under 2 lbs) and even with a situation like that, they were all calm and collected and got her stabilized quickly. I know they handle situations like that everyday - it is truly incredible. Eli is definitely one of the big boys in the NICU though!

We didn't stay as long in the NICU today. Malachi was struggling and needed some Mommy and Daddy time so we were planning on bringing him home for the evening. Plus - it was his 6 month Gotcha Day and we wanted to celebrate!

It was a little hard to leave so early in the day, but the nurse assured me not to worry and that Eli would be just fine. She said he would probably be moved to the other, less intensive side of the NICU that evening and that she really thought we would not be seeing that C-Pap machine the next time we came in. He was fussing when we tried to leave, so I just couldn't leave the bedside with him upset. We had somehow lost his binky, so the nurse had to get him another one. With a binky in his mouth, he was one perfectly content little boy and I could leave a little easier.

One final picture of that C-Pap Machine and Eli letting everyone know he wanted his binky

So off to celebrate with Malachi we went. The boy lives for Ice Cream so Peter's parents got him an Ice Cream Cake. He really enjoyed the Ice Cream part, but more than that he discovered Oreo Cookies for the first time and really enjoyed those cookies!

Malachi - You have been such a joy in our lives over these past 6 months. Life would not be the same without you. You put a smile on everyone's faces with your silliness and the joy that you have! Happy half Gotcha Day big boy!!!

The nurse called us in the evening. First thing she did was assure us that Elias was fine :) She wanted to let us know that they had moved him to the other area and also wanted to let us know that they had taken him of the C-Pap machine. This came as a huge surprise to us and we were so very excited and hopeful that he would do well with it off.

We just called and checked on him. He is still off the C-Pap machine and has taken his first bottle! Another few (big steps) closer to getting him home!!!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Day 3 - Monday the 7th

Today we once again, spent our day in the NICU. Elias was still doing really good. They tried to take him off of the C-pap but he did not respond as well as they wanted so they had to put him back on it. They were however, successful in lowering the pressure down to 4 - so another step closer. They feel like he is very close to coming off of it, but want to make sure he doesn't have to work too hard at breathing which could set him back. Plus, he needs every calorie he can get right now and they don't want him wasting calories on trying to breathe. So, I am just trying to be a patient momma :)

I did ask the nurse today if he would spend the remainder of his visit in the level 3 NICU or if he would be moved to level 2. She told me he is actually probably "too healthy" to be in level 3. So that made me feel better. She said to not panic if we come in someday and he is not in his spot, that they probably moved him.

When we got there, they were putting a new IV in. They said he has very squiggly veins, so they had a tough time. They were trying to bribe him with sugar water in a syringe to keep him happy. The poor boy has poke marks all over his body from all the different places they have tried to get IV's and run different tests. I hate that he is having to be bothered so much, but I know it is for his own good. After no luck they finally had to settle for a vein in his foot. It was hard to listen to his unhappiness. I just want to scoop him up and take him home where he won't have to be poked and prodded so much.

He also has to spend all of his time under the lights for his jaundice. That means he can't be swaddled. So he is constantly flailing his arms and legs. Poor little guy :(

After they got the IV, they had to take the prongs out his nose and suction his nose and clean him up. They did this the night before, so we knew what to expect. Once again they had to upset my boy. They discovered he loves his pacifier and that seems to be the one thing that offers him comfort while they pick on him all the time.

After that, they made him happy by swaddling him and handing him to me! His reward for all their cruelty :) They also gave him his food in the tube during this time so he was quite a happy boy. We got to spend some time talking to the nurse about what else needs to happen before he can come home. He needs to continue to up his feeds and be able to eat without the feeding tube. In order for him to be able to eat without the tube, he needs to be off C-Pap. She thinks he will do well with the feedings as she said he sucks really well on the pacifier and is starting to let them know when he is hungry. He also needs to be gaining weight, which up to this point he has not done (which is normal). He does not need to be back at his starting weight, just needs to be gaining again. He needs to be able to regulate his own body temperature without being under the heater, which she believes he would be able to do but since he is naked under the jaundice lamps all the time, they have to give him heat. He may also need to pass a car seat test, since he is so small. This would mean he needs to be able to sit in the car seat for an hour and keep his vitals up during that time.

All these things seem doable. The biggest ones of concern are getting him to eat and having him start to gain weight. One step at a time..........

They also sent up someone from lactation to talk with me. So we are definitely getting some cues that we are almost through the breathing issues and then we can start working on the other stuff.

After awhile the respiratory therapist came in to check on us. I asked her if she needed him back and she said no. She asked if we wanted to switch parents though. I keep telling Peter that I will share, but he hasn't wanted to. He has been letting me have my time, which they really do push the bonding time with mommy! He still said no, but the respiratory therapist and myself kind of made him :)

Peter with his mini-me:

Eventually it was time for us to leave. Always the biggest bummer part of the day. But we still have a little boy at home who wants to see us and we also are really tired and need to get sleep. It will be so nice to have everyone back together in one place.

A picture of a picture of him when he was off C-Pap. Yup, looks like his daddy!

On the way home, I was thinking just how amazing medical technology is and I was so thankful that I live in a place where my children are able to get the medical attention they need. I think of all the babies born worldwide, maybe a week or two shy of the point where they would be okay, but they don't have the medical care options. It is hard to think of what happens to them. To realize, that Eli would not be here with us right now, to know that he would not have survived without this type of medical intervention puts it all into a different perspective and makes me so sooo thankful. I just cannot imagine losing him, especially to something that in the NICU they can treat so easily.

Update: I just talked with the doctor this morning. They are not going to try and take him completely off the C-Pap today, but they are going to lower the pressure to a 3 and the doctor believes he will do just fine coming off the machine tomorrow. They are also going to take him completely off IV feeds (they were supplementing him with a little bit of sugar water through an IV). They are upping his feeds once again to 25cc's and this evening will up him to 30 (so one ounce). His bilirubin levels are back down so no more jaundice lamp for him, which means he can be swaddled and happier! We are getting there - Go Elias!!!

Monday, February 7, 2011

72 Hours

On the way up to the hospital last night Peter and I were discussing all of the difficult things we have gone through in these first 4 years of marriage. We have dealt with a husband in college, some health problems, a job layoff, an adoption process, and now this. We also discussed how thankful we were for the life experiences we have not had to endure - miscarriage, death of a child, huge medical issues with a child. Thankfully every difficult thing we have gone through has brought us closer together as a couple and this situation is no different.

Anyway, this is definitely up there in painful times. The only pain I can even try and compare this to is the pain I felt when we were having delays in the adoption process near the end when we were just dying to get Malachi home.

So anyway, on to what has taken place in these first 72 hours of Eli's life:

While I was in labor, we had gone through the possible scenario's of what would or could happen with delivering a baby at 36 weeks. The hospital I delivered at is not prepared to keep little ones who need some extra health attention after birth but with my water broke there was no option but to deliver and pray for the best. The hospital said that it really could go either way that he might do fine or he might have to go to a NICU. We also had the gestational diabetes to worry about as the lungs mature even slower in babies with gestational diabetes.

Right after Elias was born they whisked him away. It was so not the moment I was hoping for, but his health was all that mattered. The pediatrician and respiratory specialist worked with him for a good 20 minutes or so in the room before they decided to take him into another room because he was really struggling to breathe on his own. They said they would continue to assess him and try to get him breathing on his own for a few hours before making the call to transport him.

Peter went down the hall with Eli and so there I was kind of all alone, wondering about my baby. It was a very difficult situation for me to be in, but the nurses were all so great and understanding. Peter and the nurses with Eli did their best to keep me posted on what was happening. Unfortunately the reports were not that good. He was really struggling.

As soon as I could put a little weight on my wobbly legs they were able to wheel me down to see him. I only got to spend about 10 minutes with him and it was so hard for me to see him like that. He was supposed to be in my arms and we were supposed to be happy and celebrating but instead all I could do was hold his hand. At this point, we knew he would need transported. They were trying to figure out what hospital had room for him and get the transport team on the way. My nurse asked if they could take the oxygen off for a second so I could have a picture of his face but the respiratory specialist said they couldn't. I really was okay with that since all I cared about was his health but it was just so hard knowing he was going to have to leave.

I got settled back in my room. I was tired and they were really pushing me to eat something. I knew I needed to take care of myself but all I could think about was Eli. I was told that the transport team had arrived and it could take a few hours for them to stabilize him enough to leave. Peter didn't tell me this until later, but when they were working on him, he said blood squirted out and he had no idea what was going on - apparently Eli was working so hard trying to breathe that it was causing his lung to bleed. The transport team gave him some medication that it sounds like was really the turning point for Elias.

Before they left with him, they brought him by my room. His color was already so much better and he finally looked relaxed. Still, even though I knew he needed to go it was so hard to say goodbye to him.

I knew I would be discharged first thing in the morning and would be able to go be with him. So Peter and Eli were off to the big hospital while I stayed behind and worked on recovering. I did have a few visitors stop by to help take my mind off things and the nurses were really trying to occupy me and make me feel better. It was really great to see Malachi too, even if he wouldn't sit still :)

After a few hours Peter returned for the night. He said that Eli was doing better and that they were predicting a 5-14 day stay in the NICU. This is not what I wanted to here, but it was reality and I just wanted him to be okay. My doctor gave me a sleeping pill so I could rest through the night and I did okay knowing that Elias was where he needed to be and getting the help he needed.

Night one in the NICU on the breathing tube:

The next day we did all the things that needed to be done to be discharged. I got my lectures that I needed to take it easy - blah blah blah :) We went home and got cleaned up and were off to see our little boy. In the night they had taken him off the breathing tube and put him on a nasal one. They said he did not like the breathing tube down his throat. I don't know how you can prepare yourself to walk into a room and see your child hooked up like this, but after being around it for two days it really isn't as bad of a set up as it looks.

I was finally able to look at and touch my baby. 24 hours doesn't seem like a long time, but believe me it was long enough! Although, I still wasn't able to get a good look at his face. I was able to change his diaper and they inserted a feeding tube while we were there. Up to this point, he had just been on IV fluids. They also started him on what they call "oral care" which is basically a syringe full of milk in his mouth while they do the actual feed in the feeding tube. I was able to give him his first syringe full of food and boy did he like it!

I also got to hold him for the first time! While he is on the C-pap machine, it is quite the ordeal to get him into a position to hold him. They have to call over a respiratory therapist and it takes them and a nurse to actually make the transport over. But it is so worth all the work. He slept for a couple hours while I held him! He was still struggling to breathe though. He was taking about 90 breathes a minute which means he was still working pretty hard at it. When he got over a 100 breathes per minute, it would set off an alarm. As you sit in the NICU you hear these alarms quite often from all the different babies. It is a sound I do not like to hear. But cuddling with him was pure joy!

We did eventually have to leave and it was and is still hard to leave him. It is just unnatural to leave your child behind.

We made two trips up to see him yesterday. During the night they tried to lower the pressure on the C-Pap but he didn't handle it well so they turned it back up. When we got there he was under the lights. It was no surprise that he was jaundice. Now he will be constantly under the lights when he is not being held by us.

We spent several hours in the morning with him. I held him for 3 hours. The nurses said he cries a lot which he did show off for us. It seemed anytime someone touched him or moved him, he cried. He is also really feisty with them and flails his arms and grabs on to the tubes. They think he is going to be a handful - bring it on :)

After being there for several hours, we drove home and I got some rest. I really am trying to follow orders and take it easy. In the evening we went and spent time with Malachi - man he looks like he has grown and he is so close to taking off walking!

We went back up to the NICU and got an update on him. He was doing really good. He was down to 40-50 breathes per minute which is normal and he was taking more food. Not only do we have to get those lungs working, but he also has to be eating and keeping food down before he can come home. He needs to be close to eating 2 ounces at a time and last night he was at a half ounce in the tube so we are slowly getting there.

It was a special treat tonight because they took him off all the tubes to weigh him (5 lbs 3 ounces) and clean him up and suction out his nose. He did not appreciate this time too much, but I sure did as I was finally able to see my precious little guys face!

After he got all put back together they let me hold him again! This time we tried him swaddled. They weren't sure how he would handle it but he did great and I got in another hour or so of snuggles. While I was holding him, they lowered the pressure on the C-Pap (they had tried the night before but he couldn't handle it). This time, he did great!!!

Then it was time to go home and get some rest.

This morning I got a call from the doctor. I was surprised to hear him say that they were going to try him off the C-Pap and see if he can handle it. He said they could have to put him back on it, so don't get my hopes too high, but they want to give him an opportunity to at least try it. They have been very aggressive with his treatment and are doing their best to get him home asap! The doctor said even if he has to back on C-PAP they will continue to try and lower the pressure today and would try him off of it again tomorrow morning - so we really are making progress! They are also increasing his feedings to 3/4 ounce so that is great news too.

This NICU stuff is not for the faint of heart. It is a constant battle of the emotions and full of highs and lows. We really can't wait to get him home and get Malachi back home and start our life as a family of 4!!!

I have to take a second to brag on Peter. He has been incredible through this whole thing. I have seriously lost my mind since Friday and am so tired that I just can't think straight. Peter's name means "rock" and he has definitely been that for me. He knows all the medical names for the treatments and understand exactly what they are doing to Eli. He knows what medications Eli is on, and he knows when I need my next dose of meds. He also reminds me that certain meds I need to eat food with (at 2 in the morning, I just am not paying attention) and gets me something. He is running on fumes too, but is still always willing to get me the things I need. He is also constantly thinking about Malachi and tries to spend every spare moment with him. Saturday night, I was so tired and in pain so he tucked me in and then headed over to my parents house to spend time with Malachi - he has been incredible through this whole thing

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Elias Glen Keyser

It still feels totally shocking to be writing this and posting this, but our little mister decided to make an early entrance into this world.

Elias Glen Keyser
Born 12:36 PM Feb 4th
5 lbs 5 ounces
18" long

Here is as much as I can remember about the whirlwind of his birth!

I will spare everyone the details but when I woke up Thursday morning, there were some different things happening and some potential signs that labor could be coming soon. I really didn't want to think too much of it as of course labor is coming soon - I was only a week shy of that "full term" status. I did some brief research (I am a researcher) and everything I read said that it could mean labor is hours away or it could mean that labor could still be a few weeks ago. Since my "symptoms" went away after a few hours I just took it easy and figured we were good to go.

I should have known better. The day before all this, I was in a serious cleaning mood. Like mopping the floor on my hands and knees cleaning mood.

So when Peter came home from work, we did our typical Thursday night thing. We grabbed Mal and headed out on our little "family date night". I kind of joked with Peter that this could be our last meal and that Malachi was going to be a big brother. But again, I really didn't believe anything was going to happen.

On the way home I told Peter I wanted some chocolate (yeah, I know a gestational diabetes no-no). So we stopped at the store and I tried to find some chocolate. Looking back now, I was really uncomfortable and just quickly grabbed something and said lets go home. Eli had dropped awhile ago but Peter even made a comment when he came home that it looked like the baby had dropped some more and I was very uncomfortable walking. All signs now that I look back.

We came home and then I started having those same symptoms I had in the morning. I decided I just needed to take it easy and I would call my doctor in the morning. I love my doctor and I know she is always busy and being interrupted and I really did not want to bother her as I really thought I would be fine until morning. At this point though, I decided that just in case I needed to pack my hospital bag - so I packed.

So I was laying on the couch, watching tv and chatting with my mom online. I was telling her about the earlier symptoms of my day as she has been asking almost daily how I am doing. She was never convinced I would make it to March. She told me to call her if I needed her and she would come get Malachi. I told her I really didn't think anything would happen overnight. Around that time, I felt like I had to go to the bathroom (normal thing these days) and as soon as I stood up, I felt a huge gush of fluids. I looked at Peter and said "my water just broke" and he stood there not really knowing what to think and said "really?!?"

I ran to the bathroom and yelled at him to go find me towels as I was still gushing really bad. I kind of went into a panic at this point and couldn't believe what was happening. The fluid just did not stop. I grabbed my phone, told him to start gathering things - the camera's, finish packing our bags, get Malachi's stuff together. I called the doctor and told my mom my water broke and she was on her way over to get Malachi.

My doctor told us to come meet her at the hospital as she was already there getting ready to deliver someone. She was not to thrilled that at this point as at-9:45 PM I was 35 wks, 6 days.

We rushed around and my mom came and got Malachi and off we went. They put me in the triage room and quickly discovered that my water had indeed broke. They would not have kept me and would have had me transferred if I was not going to be 36 weeks at midnight. I am still glad this did not happen, as I really trusted my doctor and wanted her to be the one making decisions over my care and delivery. At this point, there were no beds available so I had to wait in triage while they moved a mom into a different room and cleaned the room. At this point I was not having any contractions but I was 1cm, 80% effaced, and the baby's head was pretty low. We did have the discussion at this point about all of the what-ifs of delivering a baby at 36 weeks and that the baby may need to be transported.

After another hour or so, they moved me into a room. By this time I was having mild contractions about every 2 minutes. My doctor was going to let me sleep until 5AM and then start me on pitocin. We got settled in our room and Peter went home to take the dogs to his parents house. My contractions stayed steady about every 2 minutes, but they were not too strong and were not lasting long enough. At about 2 in the morning, my doctor had delivered the baby and was getting ready to go rest. She checked me again and I was 2cm, 100% effaced and the baby's head was "very low". She gave me some medication to help me try and get some sleep and before I knew it the room was spinning.

I did get a few hours of sleep but just between contractions that were staying steady at every 2 minutes. The contractions were getting stronger, but I was still able to sleep pretty well. By 5 they were just getting to the point that I was having to breathe through them. Then came the lovely pitocin. I was not too happy that the pitocin had to be started before I got an epidural, but I trusted the hospital staff :) They turned that stuff up every half hour and the contractions started to hurt. There was no more resting. They were coming strong about every 2 minutes still and were starting to last the length of time that they wanted to see.

Around 7:30 my doctor came back in and checked me. I was at 3 cm, still slowly making progress. She okayed the epidural at this point (which I thanked her profusely for) and wanted me to get tucked back in afterwards and get more rest. By 8:00 I had the marvelous epidural and labor was amazing from here :) They gave me more of the sleepy, dizzy meds and I tried to sleep between nurse checks. With the pitocin they had to check my vitals more often plus they were keeping a close eye on my blood sugars because of the gestational diabetes. The baby started acting a little weird on the monitor so they were also in quite a bit changing my position.

Around 9:00 I had made it to 4cm. Slowly, but surely we were getting there. I was trying to just stay positive and hopeful that this baby was going to make an appearance, I just had to stay patient.

Around 11:15, the baby was doing some interesting things on the monitor, which the nurse thought meant I was probably making some good progress. I was thrilled to find out that I was 6cm! Around 12:00 they were back in the room because the baby was having some heart decels. They wanted to put me on some oxygen to see if that would help. They also decided to check me and see if there was a reason that his heart was acting that way and they were shocked to find I was complete and they said the head was right there! I was kind of in disbelief that it was all almost over. Since I got my epidural, everything had been so peaceful and easy.

The room was a buzz with commotion. They called my doctor and they called a pediatrician. I knew there would be a lot more staff in the room than they normally have. They also called in a respiratory therapist to be there for the birth in case he needed some help breathing. The room definitely filled up quickly.

I started pushing and that experience was so not what I thought it would be. Having a doctor who had no sleep the night before, she was hilarious. Truly, she had us all laughing so hard while I was pushing. Pushing went pretty quick and at 12:36 we met our little baby BOY!!!

He was whisked off pretty quick so I didn't really get a chance to look at him or see him. The experience was so much different than what I was prepared for or expected. Parts were much easier than I had anticipated and the ending was definitely not what I anticipated or hoped for. We will end his little birth story here for now and the next update will explain everything else that has gone on.