I am pleased to introduce you to Aubrey Faith Cresswell. Born Monday, December 20th, 2010 at 10:53 p.m. She weighed 7 pounds 15 ounces and was 21 inches long.
Minutes after being born.
We couldn't be more happy with our darling little girl.
Early on day one.
We went into the hospital at 9 am for a scheduled induction on December 20th. Aubrey was already a week overdue and was showing no signs of coming on her own. They were also concerned that she was going be a large baby for a variety of reasons so it was highly suggested that we have an induction as she was only going to grow larger. Shane and I had come to that conclusion on her own so it was only a conformation to us that we were making the right choice.
Hanging out with Daddy - one day old.
After meeting up with my midwife and later our nurse and a Physician's Assistant, they did a check and I was three centimeters dilated. That meant that they could go ahead and break my water and we would wait for contractions to kick in.
I'm not going to lie - that was pretty painful!! Shane was an amazing support and held my hand through the whole thing. After that, we were told to walk the halls and come back to our room every half hour to monitor my blood pressure and the baby's heart rate. Things were going well but contractions were not starting so eventually I needed to be hooked up to an IV so that my body would go into labor.
Happiest with Daddy.
To be honest, most of the day was a bit of a blur as far as times go. Around 6:15 I was feeling contractions but was able to talk through them. I think I was full on breathing through them around 8 p.m. I found contractions to be pretty darn painful but if I was able to "catch" them right in the beginning and breathe through them, I was okay. Because I was hooked up to an IV, if there wasn't a minute to catch my breath inbetween, they would turn down the medicine. There were a few times that I literally had a freakout. I was almost to the point of tears because of the pain and because I felt like I couldn't do it. These were the contractions that weren't "caught" at the beginning. At one point I was given oxygen to help me breathe through the contractions. I had never been on oxygen before and the first two times of using it, I again freaked out. It was a combinatiion of claustrophobia and the sense that I wasn't able to breathe. It was quiet scarey and I almost climbed right out of bed I was so upset. Once I learned how to breathe properly through the oxygen mask, I was able to manage my contractions a bit better - but not much. I hated the oxygen mask. At this point, I was past the point of using anything for pain management other than the oxygen. I had managed labor up until that point med-free. I wasn't trying to be any sort of hero - more just being cheap! You see, because I am not yet a Permenant Resident in Ontario, I do not have access to their free health care system which meant that everything that we had to do in the hospital that did not involve my midwife would be paid for out of our pocket. That included the induction, all of the doctors time, medication/IV, and then being in the care of the doctor because once I went on the IV, I was transfered out of my midwives care and into the care of the doctor. Who by the way was amazing. She actually allowed my midwife to do most all of the delivery.
Long around 8:30/8:45 I began to push. And push I did. Shane was amazing at helping me though it definatly took awhile for me to get the hang of pushing. I found that my nose was incredibly stuffed up so I had a lot of problems getting a large enough breath to make my pushes really effective. After about an hour and a half of pushing, we were getting nowhere and I was pushing with all of my might. In fact, I was really losing a lot of heart as nothing was really happening. I was almost to the point of tears. The back-up midwife was there and everyone was doing their best to encourage me but I could tell that nothing was happening. And the pain was terrible. After an hour and 15 minutes, the doctor came in to observe me pushing. She saw that I was giving it all my might and realized that nothing was happening. She then told me that she felt I would need to have a c-section. I can't tell you how incredibly happy I was to hear that!! I was just ready to be done with pushing. It was just way too hard and I didn't think I had the stamina to push one more second.
At that point, I looked at Shane and saw tears in his eyes. He gently whispered to me that he wasn't going to be able to go through with me having a c-section. And I knew that he was serious. We had talked quiet a few times about how he would handle it if I needed a c-section and I knew in my heart that he just couldn't deal with it. And I was more than okay with that. He had been the most amazing and supportive husband and I came to love him in a whole new way that day. I knew that I would be okay and the last thing I ever wanted was to guilt him into coming into the operating room with me when he knew he couldn't handle it. I knew my midwife would be by my side so I wasn't worried. I just wanted the pain to be overwith!
Immediatly things got underway to move me to the operating room. It was a blur heading there. I was still feeling contractions and at this point was told to either breathe through them or push. Either way it didn't matter - whatever felt the best for me. Nothing was feeling the best so I dealt the best I could. In fact, they were hurting worse than ever and I almost broke down in tears because the pain was so terrible. Once in the OR, I was quickly prepped but had to wait for the anesthesiologist to come to the hospital in order to get my spinal tap. In reality, it took him less than 10 minutes to get there but it was an eternity to me. Later I would learn that Aubrey had turned inside of me - and no one knew it. I was experiencing back labor the entire time and no one knew. It wasn't until she was pulled out that the doctor realized that Aubrey was attempting to be a sunny-side up baby. We also learned that because she had flipped herself, everyone assumed the back of her head was the front of her head which is why everyone assumed she was such a large baby. They were thinking nine or ten plus pounds - when really she was only 7 pounds, 15 ounces. In fact, the nurse who had been with us all day was supposed to go home at 10 pm. It was at 9:45 that they decided I needed a c-section and she decided to stay just to "see how big this baby is!" It was quiet a shock to everyone and the doctors and nurses were placing bets on how much she weighed. I looked up and smiled when it was revealed how small she actually was.
Aubrey was born at 10:53 p.m. but no one thought to go tell Shane that she was born. Not even myself! I felt horrible later but I was so wrapped up in everything that my mind was just out of it. He was paniced to say the least. It had been an hour since we were taken into the OR and he had no idea what was going on. He was calling friends and his family in a right state because he thought something had happened to us. His mom's best friend worked in the NICU at the hospital and she was able to place a call to one of her nurse friends who was working and they came into the OR to see what was going on. At that point, Shane was brough to the door and saw Aubrey for the first time. He broke down and wept and so did I. It was one of the most special moments.
Later I was wheeled into recovery and my inlaws were able to come see Aubrey and I. I was in recovery for an hour and a half. I was able to nurse Aubrey at this time as well. Shane decided that he would head home for the night as he was incredibly exhausted. His mom was going to stay with me instead. Again, I was happy for this as well. I knew Shane was exhausted and needed some rest and I also knew that his mom was more than happy to stay with Aubrey and I. I knew that she would be able to provide me with some great help so I was happy to have her stay. In fact, this was the case for each night I was in the hospital. Shane would stay with me throughout the day and his mom would spend the night with me. It really was a great system.
That night Aubrey had her first bath and I was able to get some rest. I couldn't believe that the tiny little person who was bundled up next to me was mine. Even now, 18 days later, I still can't believe she is mine. She's just so tiny and perfect and though she keeps me up way too late, I love her with all of my heart. It's been so amazing to see Shane step into the role of fatherhood as well. He is amazing with her. I call him the Baby Whisperer. He has this incredible way of calming her down that I just don't have. He's been so supportive to me and there isn't one thing I could ask him to do better.
With her halter monitor - 4 days old.
Our stay in the hospital was anything but restful. Because I didn't have private or public health care, I stayed in "the ward" which is basically one giant room that four women shared seperated by curtains. There was also a small nursing station located in the ward as well. A stay there was about $1000 a day. While I was only supposed to be there for two days (48 hours), our stay turned into four days. On night number two, Aubrey was nursing and all of a sudden, she turned a dark purple. She let out a blood curdeling, painful scream and my mother-n-law immediatly picked her up. I paged the nurse and by the time she came into the room, Aubrey was turing back to a normal color but the nurse could still tell that she had been purple. It was terrifying to say the least. The nurse listened to her heart and observed her for a few minutes but Aubrey seemed to have "gone back to normal". Well, needless to say, my mother-in-law and I were pretty shaken up. It was around 1 a.m. and I was exhausted. My mother-n-law told me to get some rest and she stayed up with Aubrey to watch her for any more episodes. While I slept, apparently Aubrey started to turn purple again. Two hours after I went to sleep, my mother-n-law woke me up to tell me that Aubrey had been taken to the NICU for observation. I was groggy and not quiet understanding what she was saying but after a minute I caught on. There was a wheelchair waiting for me and I was taken to the NICU to see Aubrey. I was pretty shaken up at this point and on the verge of tears. When we got to the NICU, Aubrey had already been admitted. I was able to go inside and nursed Aubrey. The nurses there were amazing and helped me nurse her as it was still so new for both of us and we were having problems with her latch. They were tender and kind and gave me a lot of assistant and support. After about an hour I went back to my room and called Shane to let him know what was going on. He came to the hospital and we waited for the NICU to call us to come and see Aubrey. Around 8 a.m. they called and asked us to come and nurse Aubrey so we made our way to the NICU. To see my tiny baby in the warmer was so hard. She was down to a diaper and had little monitors and wires attatched to her. She was laying on her side and had a big green soother in her mouth. She looked so tiny and helpless. I just cried. It was hard for both of us to see Aubrey in the warmer but we were comforted by the fact that she hadn't had anymore blue episodes. I nursed her for awhile and then we had cuddle time with our little girl.
At home with her halter monitor.
Aubrey was in the NICU for about 24 hours. She had her stomach suctioned as there was a lot of air and mucus in her belly. While in the NICU, she did not turn blue but they had noticed that her heartrate was quiet a bit lower than what the normal is. They had ordered an EKG and and echocardiogram for her which later revealed a very tiny hole in her heart. They also noticed that her blood pressure in her legs was lower than normal. The peditrician wanted to put Aubrey on a halter monitor which would measure her heart rate for 24 hours to see if there were any arythmias or if her heart was beating too fast or too slow at different points during the day. On day three, she was to be hooked up to the monitor and we were to be released from the hospital. But, before that could happen, the department that puts the monitors on went home. So we were stuck at the hospital for another night.
At home with her halter monitor - 4 days old.
The next morning Aubrey was fitted for her monitor. It was pretty sad to see that thing on our tiny baby but we knew it was the best thing for her. She also had her hearing screening done. She passed with flying colors. It was now day four and we were more than ready to head home. And home we went!
Since coming home, we had to go back to the hospital because there were a number of days that we kept noticing that Aubrey's hands and feet were turning blue. We were able to secure an appointment with the peditrician at the hospital. It turns out that Aubrey has something called "Acrosynosis". It's a very common condition that newborns have where their hands and feet and sometimes upper lip turn blue. Their bloodvessels in their hands and feet are not fully developed yet and often taken on a bluish tint. It's nothing to worry about and soon she will just outgrow it. It's a relief to know what she has though! While at that appointment, she had her heart listened to and the hole has virtually disappeared. Her blood pressure in her extremeties has gone back to normal as well. So our little girl is darn near perfect now!
Christmas Eve - 5 days old.
We are adjusting to parenthood pretty well. Our nights are the worst part of our day as Aubrey hates to be put down. She can be dead asleep for an hour and as soon as you set her in her bed she is awake within ten minutes. My one sanity is that we are still living with my inlaws and my sis-n-laws are virtual night owls. They often stay up until the very wee hours of the morning. They love to hold Aubrey and will often hold her when she won't sleep or when she's just groggy enough to fall asleep. They are so good with her and I can't thank them enough for giving me that bit of a rest at night. That isn't to say that Aubrey doesn't want to nurse all.of.the.time at night but when she's finally drifted off to sleep, I can usually have one of the night owls take over. And thankfully, they love it. I'm so blessed!!!
So there is my baby! She's now 18 days old as I type this. We are just so happy with her and love her to bits. It's really true that motherhood changes you. I love my sweet girl and am vowing to cherish these days with her as already I'm learning how quickly time flys by. I can't believe she is almost three weeks old. It's just pure craziness. I'm so happy to be a mom. It's turly the best thing that's ever happened to me. Minus those sleepless nights. :)
And just a few more pictures just because....
Christmas Day with Daddy. He's opening her stocking from grandma. It was filled with socks!
One of my favorite photos of her! Haha! She's getting a sponge bath.