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Sunday, May 30, 2010

Shiloh's Birth Story

Disclaimer: This is a BIRTH story, it may only interest the lady readers, and I kept it G-rated, but if words like "labor", "dilation", and "pushing" gross you out, then be warned! :)

On that Thursday Brandon and I went to our 39 week check-up at the OB... we were planning on going to the appointment and then down to one of the YWAM houses to join in our all-day meetings. At the OB, my midwife did the usual checks, fetal heart check, measuring my belly, yada yada... then she was planning on stripping my membranes in hopes that it might speed up the start of labor. Just before, I asked her how I could tell the difference between my water breaking with only a slow leak, and accidently peeing myself. She told me that bladder incontinence is perfectly normal at this point in my pregnancy, and that most likely this is what was happening for the past 3 days (I embarrassingly nodded-- yay for failing bladders). But just to make sure, she said she'd test to see if it was amniotic fluid. The initial litmus paper test was negative, but she said that she'd let us get ready to leave while she looked under the microscope to double check. We were waiting in the room, all ready to head out, when she came back in with a smirk on her face and said, "Well, you're actually not going anywhere but down to Labor & Delivery, because it was in fact your water." SHOCKED! Brandon and I looked at each other and didn't know what to say! So we walked down to the maternity ward in a stupor... calling our parents... having not really even soaked in the fact that we'd be going into L&D and not leaving until Shiloh was born.

I was admitted, and Brandon drove back down to our place to grab the suitcase and car seat. They started me on Pitocin at noon on Thursday. I was only 1, maybe 1.5 cm dilated. The midwife came by to see if she could go ahead and fully break my water, but I wasn't far enough dilated for her to do so. My contractions started pretty much right away, consistently 2-4 minutes apart... growing very slowly in intensity. We popped in a movie and kicked back in the room to relax and wait out the day. I'll admit, with not-so-strong contractions, it felt more like a movie day from back in high school!! By 6pm, I had only dilated to 2cm, and the nurses told me that they'd take me off the Pitocin for the night, give me Cervidil for the night to soften my cervix, let me rest, and then wake me up at 4am to shower and restart the Pitocin at 5am. So Brandon and I figured we'd have a quiet restful night, (more movies!) and then were expecting to meet Shiloh sometime late the next day. Ha!

By 9pm, I was continuing to have contractions, ones that I would have to actually 'breath' through. And the nurses allowed me to get up and take 45 minutes to walk around. Brandon and I paced the quiet halls of the hospital, and even walked outside some... all the while my contractions were now coming in my lower back and down my legs. It was beginning to get extremely painful. By 11pm, as Brandon read his book, "Through Painted Deserts" aloud to me, I was cringing and breathing through increasingly painful back labor pains. Another hour of that and I was desperate for some relief. The nurse checked me and I was only dilated to a 3... but I told her I wanted to go ahead and order my epidural. Good thing because by the time the anesthesiologist arrived, I was having excruciating back labor pains, that traveled down into my legs, one right on top of another. He administered it through the speedy contractions, and by the time it kicked in, I was one happy lady! What an amazing man to bring me such relief! He must make a lot of laboring women very happy!

By 1am I was relaxed and resting comfortably, Brandon passed out into a deep sleep. But then at 2am, I began to feel the contractions again. And by feel, I don't mean the pressure, I mean the pain, in my lower back again, and down my thighs. I also began to shake uncontrollably. Those things combined caused me to get super anxious and emotional. I began to cry and called for Brandon to wake up.... it took him a while to snap out of his sleep and realize his wife was in labor and truly did need him! Haha! For 2 more hours he held my hand as I shook like a earthquake, cried some, and began to feel more and more pain. So much for the epidural's initial relief! We popped in another DVD to help pass the time, a Nicaragua surf documentary. Then, just as I was told, I began to feel an urge to push. The nurse checked me just before 4am, and I was dilated to 8cm. But she said she'd come back in 30 minutes to check again, and I couldn't push until I was at 10cm.

5 minutes later I looked at Brandon and yelled, "You go and get that woman, tell her I need to push and can't wait 30 more minutes!" The nurse came back in and sure enough I was at 9 3/4, she called my midwife to come in, and thus began the pushing. I pushed for 30 minutes until the midwife arrived. It was rather hard to get the hang of it... and I am pretty sure that during every rest period between pushes I was whimpering, "I can't do this, I can't..." In addition to the strain of pushing, with every contraction came a burning pain down one of my legs, and I think that was the worst pain of the whole thing. God bless my midwife, the nurse, and my sweet Brandon, they were so encouraging, and I pushed for 1 hour.... gaining a lot of determination in the last 10 minutes. (And through the excitement of it all, we forgot the DVD was still playing, so I was laboring in delivery with the fellas from Nicaragua ripping on perfect waves on the tv screen in front of my bed!) Shiloh was born at 5:02am, Friday morning, May 7, 2010, weighing 7lbs. 11oz. and measuring 21in.... placed directly on my chest, and she was such a beautiful sight to see! The first thing I said was, "Honey, look, she has eyelashes!" Haha, maybe I was a little delirious, but I couldn't believe she had eyelashes. And to my surprise, she was born with a full head of dark brown hair!

My midwife tried to deliver the placenta following Shiloh, however it wasn't coming, the cord still attached to that end broke off. So the doctor had to be paged to come in and he had to assist me in delivering the placenta. I thought the pains were over with the birth of my baby girl, but I still had to sit through another 20 minutes as he removed it... it hadn't stayed in tact, so it didn't come out easily. Eventually by 7am, all was done, and it was just Shiloh, Brandon, and I. Our little family of 3! Shiloh had extra blood tests to make sure there was no infection from my water breaking so early, and I had to have an ultrasound to make sure all of the placenta was removed. But both her and I faired well, and were deemed healthy. She even scored 9/10 on her Apagar scores! We roomed in the hospital the rest of Friday, and were home by dinner on Saturday.

Thank you for all your prayers during my the past 10 months! God did an amazing thing when he created little babies and families!

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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Busy busy busy

What an awesome addition to our new family. For those of you who don't know yet, our daughter Shiloh Alyse was born on May 7, just over two weeks ago. She is beautiful! My wife and I just can't get enough of her, and every time I am gone for a few hours, I just have to rush home to see her. What a blessing she is to our family. My parents and two of my brothers got to come down for a few days to visit with her. It was such a joy, and like always didn't last long enough.

Kirsten is off for the next 4 weeks, and I was able to have two weeks off to soak in the experience of having a daughter. I am now busy getting ready for our next DTS! The next surf DTS starts in the end of June. As of now we have 3 students accepted, 1 in process, and we are expected quite a few more from applicants within the next few weeks. We are hoping for ten students this next school.

Right now I am working on finalizing the speakers for the DTS - there will be a total of 12 speakers on this years school. We have guest speakers coming from as far as New Zealand! We are also busy working on various events that will take place throughout the school, and as the school nears we will work on getting the house that the students will be living in all arranged and ready.

Kirsten and I will both be leading the outreach of this next school, the locations being Nicaragua and possibly Costa Rica. So we will be busy with this DTS for the rest of this year... good times! Pray for lots of energy for us and for our new daughter. God is good...