**Sorry for the delay in writing & posting Part 4. Life with four children = NO TIME**
I opened my eyes after I had been "asleep" for what seemed like 20 minutes and at the same time 8 hours. "Was it the same day as when I was in that operating room?" The first thing I remember feeling was very warm and wrapped up in heavy blankets. Quite the stark contrast to having my hospital gown ripped off of me on an icy, metal OR table in a freezing cold operating room. I could see Marty sitting in a chair at the end of my bed and I recognized that I was in the recovery room right outside of where the operating rooms were. (I had been in that recovery room before with a friend.) I said, "Is he ok? Where is he?" He lifted his hand and pointed over toward the left side of my bed and said, "He's right there." And there he was. Lying in the warmer with the glow of the warming lights on him. He was quiet but moving his tiny arms & legs around. There is no way to write a description on how it felt to see him for the first time. Of course, there was always bliss every time I had seen one of my children right after they were born. But this was different. I went into that OR with the full realization that there was a chance my baby would not survive. Or if he did, there may be problems. And seeing him lying there next to me with no wires or tubes, just himself...peaceful, quiet...moving around like a perfect baby boy, was the biggest relief I've ever felt. And those words of description do what I was feeling no justice. Marty asked me if I wanted to hold him and I declined. I felt very groggy and was afraid I was going to drop him. So he brought him over to me and laid him on my chest and held onto him for me. I kissed him and took in that perfect, make you high with love, smell of a fresh newborn baby and thought, "We are ok. We are OK. Thank you God." The nurse came in and suggested I try to nurse him and I agreed. I think Marty, the nurse & Ford were the only ones contributing to that feeding session. I literally just lied there while they maneuvered everything to get Ford nursing. After he was done, my family started to come in to see me (who am I kidding. They were coming in to see Ford, not me.) one by one, and I have very little memory of the conversations we had. I do remember asking my sister how Taste of the Town (a local food showcase where we live where my family's cupcake store had a booth) was and she laughed and said, "You just had surgery and you're asking me how Taste of the Town was!?" My nurse came by later and referred to Ford as my miracle baby. I will never forget that. He was a miracle. The nurses & doctors were all afraid of what they would find when they pulled him out of my belly. A baby that had a Mom who had lost over half the blood in her body. A baby who had been deprived of oxygen because of that blood loss. A baby who had a heart rate so low that they got me from my hospital room to the OR and had him out all in less than 10 minutes. A baby who had all of those things going against him, and yet was completely fine. A miracle. My Mom came into the recovery room and was able to give Ford his very first bath. That has been a tradition for us...she always gave my babies their first bath in the room with us. This time was a little different because the bath area was not where I could see them, but I remember hearing her & the nurse & the water running and thinking, "This is nice. At least there is some tiny bit of normalcy to this delivery." After a while it was time for me to move out of recovery & back to my room. I remember when they wheeled my bed down the hallway and got outside of my room there were so many people standing around waiting for us. And I remember feeling like I wanted to say hi and talk to all of them but I didn't have the energy. I have vague memories of my family hanging out in my room for a short while but I was drifting in & out of sleep. No one stayed long and I didn't really get to bask in that moment and share it with all of them like I had previously with my other babies. I still mourn that loss. It was one of my favorite things about having a baby...the "party" that ensued after the delivery. Lots of people coming & going. Lots of pictures being taken. Lots of hugs & conversations with my family & friends. None of that this time. The only thing I could do was use every bit of my strength & energy to keep my eyes open so I could see what was going on in the room. I know I was up a lot that night feeding Ford, but it felt like I went to sleep for the next 2 days straight. For my last 2 babies my husband had left me to stay the night in the hospital to go stay with our other children at home, but he wasn't going anywhere this time. I could hardly move. The only thing I could offer to care for our newborn was feeding him. That's it. I couldn't rock him, sway him, change his diaper. Nothing. I needed my husband more than I ever have and he was there for me like he's never been. The next day I felt a little more aware but still drifted in & out of sleep all day. I remember answering a text from a sweet friend asking if I was up for visitors and saying, "Yeah! Sure! We'll just be hanging out, so come on by," and then quickly realizing I had no business having visitors. I could not function as a normal person. I asked another friend if she would let everyone know that I wasn't up for visitors after all. I hated to have to do that. And I hated that I wouldn't have my friends come by to see us & meet Ford. But I literally could not move. Could not sit up. Could not hold a conversation. Could not keep my eyes open. It was a very quiet day. We had a few family members come by and of course lots of nurses coming & going. They came in to give me a blood transfusion because I had lost so much blood. I will never look at donating blood the same again. I've never been able to give blood, but I've always wanted to. I will some day. Some stranger made the decision to donate blood. And I now have their blood. It was definitely a strange feeling when they hooked up that bag filled with deep crimson liquid and it began to flow through my IV, into my body. Someone else's blood was going into my body. Weird. And kind of creepy. But I am thankful for it. I had to have it. And thank goodness it was there. I ended up having a second transfusion, because the first one wasn't enough to replenish the supply I had lost. Well, actually even with both transfusions, I was nowhere near where I needed to be in terms of blood supply. But they just wanted to get my body to a place where it could start replenishing the supply for itself. I had no idea just how much that process would affect me & my recovery for the next weeks to come. Marty asked me how I felt about him going home on night number 2 and I asked him to please stay. I didn't think I could do it by myself. I still could barely move and hadn't even been out of bed since I first arrived at the hospital on that Thursday morning. So he slept on that horrible hospital couch/bed thing for yet another night and helped me muddle my way through taking care of our baby. By the next day I was ready to get out of that bed and take a shower. I will never forget putting my feet on the ground for the first time with the help of Marty & my nurse. I felt like I was a baby learning to walk for the first time...like I had forgotten how to move my legs. And I felt like I weighed about 1000 pounds. Slowly but surely I made it to the bathroom and to the shower where I was able to give myself a shower. It was the longest shower of my life. I had to move ever so carefully & slowly and it took forever. But it was a glorious feeling when I got out, to have finally done something "normal" even though I felt very far from normal. The shower helped me perk up a bit and I felt much better that day. We had a few visitors and the kids finally got to come and meet Ford! They were so great with him. They all came strolling through the door in their "Big Sister/Big Brother" shirts, giddy with excitement. They took turns holding & kissing him. At one point I was able to get up & sit in a chair and Reagan took over my spot in the hospital bed, just snuggling with her new baby brother. A surreal & sweet moment. I had all of my FOUR children together in the same room. Welcome to life as a family of SIX. The thought of going home & caring for all of them as I recovered from my traumatic delivery was more than overwhelming. But it had to be done. Thank God for all of my family who stepped in to help me in the next coming weeks. I absolutely could not have done it without them. For the weeks after Ford came home I felt like I loved my life in 2 spots in my house. In my bed & in my comfy white chair. I sat in that chair & fed him and hardly got up, then I retreated to my bed at night and the next morning it started all over. I remember watching my Mom & my sister unloading dishes and putting laundry in the washer and yearning to just be able to do that stuff again...to just be NORMAL again. I actually will never forget the first time I did unload the dishes for the first time after having Ford. It must've been weeks after I had him because I couldn't even bend over & back up for that long afterwards, but it was so freeing. I thought, "YES! I am UNLOADING THE DISHWASHER! Maybe, just maybe I WILL be normal again!"Slowly but surely I made it back to the land of the living & was able to start functioning as a wife & Mom again. Ford's delivery & the recovery from it was one of the hardest things I have ever been through. The feelings I had throughout that time are not soon forgotten. But it makes having him here & healthy that much more precious. His & my life were not guaranteed in those moments, but we pulled through. God must have some pretty big plans for Ford in the future and I can't wait to see what they are.
Friday, January 4, 2013
**Sorry for the delay in writing & posting Part 4. Life with four children = NO TIME**
Posted by at 11:55 AM
Tuesday, October 2, 2012
Umm....ok. Sooo, I'm very unexpectedly and unpreparedly having a baby tonight, and my doctor won't be here for it. Alrighty. Well, as a mother of 3 kids already, I was pretty used to just rolling with the punches and if you know me, you know I'm a pretty laid back person in general, so I didn't let it rattle my cage. Of course I was bummed that the doctor who had been with me through 9 months of pregnancy was not going to deliver my baby, but I was willing to roll with it and excited that we would actually meet our baby boy within the next 24 hours. My doctor told me she had filled in her colleague on everything that had occurred that day and she would be heading to the hospital right away to meet me and get the induction process going. With the minuscule amount of battery juice my phone had left I called my husband and told him we would not just be staying at the hospital overnight for monitoring...that we were going to be having a baby! He was excited and anxious to get back to the hospital as soon as possible. The nurse came in & wheeled me down the hall to a REAL room...Praise Jesus. I could not wait to get out of that tiny, rock hard triage bed I'd been in for the last 8 hours. My Dad accompanied me to my room & texted Marty the room number he could find us in since my phone had now officially died. I remember my Dad saying something about meeting Ford tonight and I assured him it would be the next morning. After all, I was only 1 cm dilated last time I was checked and it was already almost 7pm. I had a long way to go. Marty showed up a few minutes later with my bag and phone charger and we settled in. We were ready to get "the party" started. We all made calls & texts to let everyone know we were being induced and Baby Ford would probably arrive some time in the early morning. My Mom was on her way and so was my friend Shannon, who would capture everything on film for me...well not EVERYTHING....but most things. They both arrived around the same time and we were ready to have a peaceful evening hanging out in labor and delivery. American Idol was on in the background and I remember thinking, "I wish I could turn it up a little and there wouldn't be so many distractions. I'd like to see what's happening." My doctor's colleague came in to introduce herself & check on me. She was very sweet and had such a nice, kind face. She said they would start pitocin and she would be back to check on me soon. The nurse came in with the pitocin and hooked it up to my IV. Here we go. No turning back now. I was already contracting pretty regularly, so getting that little bit of Pitocin was just enough to really kick start my labor. I remember my nurse saying, "Wow. You're on the lowest level of Pitocin and contracting very well. I'm not sure we'll even need to bump you up much." At this point was when I was thinking, "Alrighty...where's that anesthesiologist? Let's get my order in. And while we're ordering...can I get a burger and some tater tots up in here!? I haven't eaten ALL DAY." I had an extremely long and painful wait for my epidural with Ty and I didn't want that to happen again. The doctor came in to check me and see how all my contractions had been progressing things. The words, "Still a 1." came out of her mouth and I was not a happy camper. As she finished her exam, all of a sudden I felt a warm gush of fluid. I thought my water broke. Nope. Blood. More blood. And lots of it. She didn't seem panicked and so no one else did either. She remained calm. But as I could feel the liquid keep coming & coming, I started to get worried. Surely this is too much blood for me to be losing. This can't be ok. But still she remained calm. She told me she was going to break my water and make sure the fluid looked clear and that the blood wasn't coming from there. Clear amniotic fluid. Ok. Good sign. Then she said she was going to put a heart rate monitor on the baby's head so we could keep a very close eye on his heart rate. We had been having trouble with the one on my belly because he kept moving away from it, so I figured that was why we would use the better one. As soon as that monitor went on his head everything changed. It went from a somewhat calm with just a little bit of worry situation to complete chaos & panic. I could hear it. The sound of his heart...barely beating....hardly there....so slow. I will never ever forget that sound. Within a few seconds of hearing that sound, the doctor looked at me and said, "Lindsay, we're going to have a c-section. Right. Now." As cliche as it sounds, at this point is when I really had an out of body experience. It was as if I was watching myself and my family in a movie. In an instant, my room became loud and crowded and chaotic. I'm not even sure how many people came rushing into my room when the doctor called for the so-and-so code, but it seemed like 37. And to contribute even more to the feeling of this just being an experience I was watching and not actually going through, everyone around was talking about me like I wasn't in the room. "Unhook her from that!" "Move her over here!" I remember looking over at my poor husband and just seeing him breaking. I can't imagine what that felt like for him. To see all these people manhandling his wife, screaming & running around and he had zero control over what was happening. I think it was easier to be in my shoes at that point. As they wheeled me out of the room I looked up at him and said, "It's going to be ok. We're gonna be fine." We began our marathon run down the halls of the hospital and all of a sudden there was a man running next to my bed asking me all kinds of questions. Had I ever had a reaction to anesthesia....Was I allergic to anything? I was able to answer all of his questions but the only thing I could think of was my husband. Where was he? I asked the man, "Is my husband coming? Is he going to be in the room??" He answered that they were going to be putting me to sleep and he would not be allowed to come in. Ugh. That was one the lowest moments for me. Knowing that neither of us would really be there to witness our last baby being born. That was almost enough to get waterworks going for me. But I held it together. I just thought, "I can't lose it now. I've gotta stay calm." They got me into the very bright, freezing cold operating room and literally thrust me onto the operating table. For 6 months after I had Ford I had soreness in my lower back, like a bruised feeling, and I swear it was because of that transfer. They ripped my gown off of me and began to drape my belly with lots of heavy blue sheets. I remember the door opening & closing a bunch with people running in and out and once when it opened I caught a glimpse of my husband sitting in a chair in the hallway. All alone. Again, almost enough to make me lose it, but again I held it together. "This is no time to be a sissy Lindsay!" One of my most vivid memories of lying in that OR for the few seconds I was in there and awake was the clanging of metal tools...lots of them. And the counting. They were counting the tools, "One! Two! Three! Four!....," loudly and quickly. I remember thinking, "Lord please let them knock me out soon. I am ABOUT to lose it and I cannot lose it. I do not want to hear one more thing going on in this room. No more counting. No more yelling. No more watching people run around like their lives depended upon it. Knock me out!!" The anesthesiologist settled in by my head and the doctor got into her position by my side. I could still see everything going on. You know that blue sheet they put up to block the patient's view of the surgery? Well, they didn't put one of those up for me since I was about to be knocked out. I could see my belly protruding through the hole in the blue sheets and all stained orange from the betadine. The doctor had her hands up ready for gloves and she looked at the anesthesiologist and yelled, "I'm not scrubbing! Let's go!" Then everything went black.
Posted by at 10:56 AM
Monday, September 10, 2012
As soon as she stuck the monitor on my belly we could hear that all familiar sound of a horse running rapidly down a track. Ok. Deep breath. His heartbeat is there and sounds good. My doctor's face completely changed. A sense of relief washed over her. She told us to get comfortable because she was going to want me to stay for a few hours to monitor his heart rate and just make sure everything was ok. So now that our second son seemed to be doing well, the focus was on figuring out what to do with our first who was not going to last in a tiny observation room in the hospital for a couple of hours. Marty stepped out and made some phone calls and got family to get on their way to pick him up. In the mean time my boys were hungry for lunch, so they went down to the cafeteria to eat something while I just relaxed in the super plush, comfy bed I was in (yeah right!). I watched a little TV, played on my phone and gave the news that I was in the hospital "for observation" to a few friends & family. One of my good friends was in Colorado and I had specific instructions to keep this baby in, until she arrived home. She texted and asked how my doctor's appointment had gone that morning and I had to break the news that I was in the hospital. However I assured her, I was NOT in labor and they were just watching me for precautionary reasons. I was sure I'd be headed home in the next few hours. Another friend who was going to be photographing the birth for me was wondering if she needed to gather her equipment & head to the hospital and I, again, assured her there was no need for that. I'd be leaving in a few hours to go home. I was not in labor, so there would be no reason for me to stay at the hospital. Marty came back a little while later without Ty, and we just sat in the tiny closet of a room talking and looking at our phones. The baby's heart rate continued to look good. As we sat & waited I started having contractions. They weren't extremely painful, just uncomfortable. Lo & behold they started coming on somewhat of a regular basis. They weren't very close together, maybe every 12-15 minutes, nevertheless regular. So we watched my spikes go up on the monitor and, as we did every time I've had a baby, we watched all of the other contraction monitors that were up on my screen and talked about which woman must be getting ready to have her baby and which one was just dramatic and showed up at the hospital when she wasn't really in labor. "Oh look at that girl's contractions. Whew! I hope she has her epidural by now!" and "That girl's contractions aren't even half way up the graph and they're like 25 minutes apart. She's not in labor. Geez...what is she doing here?" My contractions stayed far apart but continued to come pretty regularly. My spikes went almost to the top of the graph every time I had one. The nurse came in at one point and said, "You're having pretty regular, strong contractions. I'm surprised you're not in more pain. Are you feeling those?" Well yes, of course I was feeling them. She asked on the 1-10 scale what my pain level was and I said, "About a 4." I always wondered what the answer to that question actually tells them. I mean, the contraction monitor speaks for itself as far as how strong the contractions are and everyone has a different threshold for pain. So are they really just asking, "How big of a wuss are you?" After I'd been there a little while, my doctor came back in and wanted to check me again. I felt a little excited because I thought maybe since I had been having so many contractions that I might be more dilated and she would say, "Oh! You're in labor...let's get you checked into a room!" Nope. Same number as I'd been for weeks. When she finished her exam, she said, "Well your bleeding has stopped and his heart rate has looked good the whole time you've been here, so I'm thinking you might be good to go home. Disappointment. Of course, the most important thing was that my baby was ok, and he was. But I did have some anticipation that maybe since I was already in the hospital and since I had started contracting some, they would just keep me and we'd get to have a baby! I expressed my concern about having regular contractions to my doctor and she asked if the contractions were picking up in intensity. They weren't. She said since they weren't really increasing in intensity and they weren't productive enough to change my dilation, I wasn't really in true labor. At this point is when I believe God really "stepped in" as the orchestrator of this day. (Of course, he was always the orchestrator, but this is when it became clear to me.) Something in me said, "Don't go home. You shouldn't go home." If you know me at all, I am not a person to question a doctor or their advice. So, when that nagging feeling would not subside, I knew I had to speak up about it. I said, "I really don't feel like I should go home right now. For some reason, I feel like if I leave, I'll be coming right back." So my doctor was kind enough to appease me and she said, "Ok, well why don't we just keep you here for another hour or so and we'll monitor you for that hour and go from there." I agreed that was the best idea. She said she'd be back in an hour. Not 5 minutes after she left the room I had a contraction that had me gripping the side rails of the bed. Well of course, the contractions would pick up and get "real" as soon as she walked out of the room. A few minutes later, a nurse walked in and said, "The baby's heart rate is having decelerations and we're not sending you home tonight. We can't send you home with that going on, and we'll either keep you to go ahead and induce or we'll just keep you overnight for monitoring. I've called your doctor and I'm waiting to hear back from her on what she wants to do." Marty decided he should run home to get my bag. I hadn't packed my bag for the hospital until very recently and I just happened to get all of my toiletries organized in a group on the bathroom counter that morning so if something happened and I wasn't able to grab my own stuff, I could tell Marty to grab the whole group on the counter and I'd have everything I needed. I was glad I did that. My dad had decided to stop by and check on me, so Marty asked if he wouldn't mind staying with me until he got back so I didn't have to be alone. I was so glad to have my Dad there. The reality was starting to set in that we would probably be having a baby very soon and the worry that something might be wrong was unsettling. While Marty was gone, my doctor came back in the room to chat with me about what she wanted to do. She sat down on the stool next to my bed and said, "I have good news & bad news. Which do you want first?" I answered, "Bad news." She said, "I have a plane to catch in an hour. But the good news is that I think we need to just go ahead and have a baby tonight."
Posted by at 2:15 PM
Thursday, September 6, 2012
I'm writing this story really for my own benefit, but thought I'd share it with those of you who like these sorts of stories. I fear if I don't write out as much detail as possible from this experience, the memories will start to fade and eventually be gone forever. Unlike all of my other births (which I remember with perfect clarity) the memory of this one is a tad on the fuzzy side, so I want to make sure to document it. It is, in fact, one of the most traumatic experiences I've ever gone through. I will include details of all kinds, like what I was thinking and things I remember hearing & seeing. I don't plan on being super graphic, so no worries in that department. However this is a story about birth, so if you are not into that sort of thing you may want to just go back to browsing Facebook or whatever it is you were doing before you stumbled upon this. If you like birth stories as much as I do, read on. And buckle up.
It was a Thursday morning. And just like I had spent the last few Thursday mornings, I had my weekly OB check-up. I was 38 weeks. This was to be my last appointment before my scheduled induction exactly one week later. Like always, I had Ty with me (since he didn't go to school on Thursdays and that was my Doctor's OB day) and Marty met me at the office to help me with him during my appointment. We had a very short wait in the waiting room, but enough time for me to update my Facebook status that I was at my last OB appointment and that next week we'd be having a baby.
Posted by at 10:40 AM
Friday, August 24, 2012
Hellooooo Blog World! So, as my title suggests, I didn't die. I'm certain some of you (if there is anyone left who even reads this spider-web covered, dusty old blog of mine) thought I did. I can't even wrap my brain around the fact that I haven't written here in over half a year. I really have missed it. There is absolutely no possibility of me doing a re-cap post that catches everyone up on all of The Miller Experience happenings. Sorry Charlies. But hopefully I can do a little here & there of the most important things. I just wanted to pop in quickly & say Hi and I've missed you, so no big stories here today. However, I plan on catching you all up on the biggest reason I abandoned you....the birth of our 4th child. To say I have had my hands full, or that this has been the longest, hardest summer of my life, or that having our 4th has completely changed everything I thought I knew about parenting (and childbirth for that matter) is an understatement. So, stay tuned and I'm going to fill you in on how I came the closest to death I've ever been and how Mr. Ford Thomas made his very "grand" entrance into this world.
Posted by at 1:01 PM
Sunday, January 22, 2012
Posted by at 9:23 AM