Monday, July 26, 2010

A Conner Story

This pregnancy came with a very different feel. It was a completely different experience than before. Not in any bad way...just different. Maybe it is because life was already so busy and hectic. Maybe it is because the third time around I was just a lot more familiar with what to expect and what not. I don't know for sure. But the pregnancy seemed to just fly by from the very beginning.

Then, about a month ago my doctor had me start going to non-stress tests a couple times a week because at a few of my apts his heart rate had been a bit accelerated. My doctor is phenomenal and is very proactive. The non-stress tests were just to keep a close eye on things even though she was not seriously worried. Thank goodness she did have me going to the non-stress tests or else we may not have ever known, but at my apt on Friday, July 16, while they were measuring my amniotic fluid it came up Quite low. At the previous apt it had been borderline low, but in a matter of days it had dropped low enough that it had to be addressed. I was a couple of days past 37 weeks, and since I was considered to be full term at that point and being that the fluid was low enough to cause concern, they decided it was safest for the baby and I to induce labor that afternoon. The doctor checked me and I was already 2 cm dilated. They said I could go home and get things in order but to be back at the hospital within 2 hours. I called Todd (who I believe was in as much shock as I was) and he immediately started prepping things for us to leave to the hospital. I got home, packed a bag (which had not been done yet since I was not at all expecting to have a baby 3 weeks early), took a shower, had David come over to watch the kids and we headed to the hospital.

Once we were at the hospital they got me all settled in a room and at about 5:30 started me on pitocin. My goal was to make it through this labor without an epidural. I had come very close to going completely natural with Kellen and for me it was just something that I wanted to have experienced from beginning to end in its raw form. I just wanted to know what the Whole thing felt like the way nature intended it to be and it was something I wanted to be able to say I had done in life. Suddenly though, being induced and having it happen so out of the blue, I was a bit worried about my ability to cope.

Labor started a lot slower this time around. Contractions got going, but it took them awhile to start being very productive contractions. At 1 am the checked me and I was just at 3 cm. They broke my water and that is when the real contractions kicked in. I labored through pretty tough contractions for the next 2 hours. Around 3 am they came and checked me again and they painfully told me I was at a 4. At this point I was beginning to feel very tired and very defeated. The contractions got much worse the next half hour and by 3:45 I was just fed up with the whole "natural" feeling of it all and was to worn out to go on. I begged the nurse to check me again because I didn't want to get the epidural if I was passed 7 cm. But she said I was only at a loose 5. I was just done, so I asked for the epidural. The nurse tried to push it off, but I was losing my nerve and insisted she get someone in there. 10 or so min later they had me sit up and began the prepping me for the epidural. Sitting up in that bed, trying not to move was the worst thing and the worst pain I had ever experienced. Right as they were putting in the epidural catheter I started to feel pressure during a contraction and thought to myself, "There is NO way I can be feeling this kind of pressure. I was only at 5 cm 15 minutes ago!"

But sure enough the pressure I was feeling was Very real. The minute the epidural catheter was done being put in they let me lay down. Mind you at this point they had not administered the medicine through the epidural, they just had it put in. The moment I lay down on my back the pressure came back in full force. I was one of those crazy laboring women who was yelling "I have to push! I have to push!" The nurse quickly checked me and said "I am so sorry. You are fully dilated and crowning" (or something close to that). The anesthesiologist tried to quickly administer some medicine to numb the urge to push, but there was no hope of that. I had to push Now! The nurse ran out and ran back in followed by a number of hospital staff. Mind you this was all a big blur to me due to the fact that all I could focus on was the pain and the need to push. As soon as I saw what looked like a doctor running in I started pushing. The doctor got there in enough time to sit on the bed, Todd quickly grabbed the video camera and a small amount of screaming and pushing later Conner slipped out into the world. It all happened so fast and seemed so intense to me that when they were suddenly asking if I wanted my baby on me it seemed almost surreal that he was really out and actually here. But the minute that he was on my chest everything slowed down and there was my little boy. A moment later I realized it had all happened so quickly and chaotically that my mom was not even in the room when he was born. They had made her step out for the epidural and he had come so quickly that no one had a second to go and grab her and get her back in the room :( It still amazes me that I went from being 5 cm to Conner being born in a little over 20 minutes. Yikes!

I am very happy with myself that I got to experience natural childbirth from beginning to end. And now that I have done it I am happy to say I don't think I will ever be doing it again!!! It just got so crazy and hectic at the end. Next time I would like it to slow down a bit more, be able to be a little more in the moment and have my mother in there as well :) But it really was an amazing experience!

Life with Conner has been wonderful! He has been such a great baby. He is so content and easy going. He can sleep through all the crazy noise and activity his siblings can dish out. He even manages to sleep through their hugs and kisses and all sorts of love and attention. He is such an adorable little guy. Makenna and Kellen have both adjusted so well. We had been quite worried how Kellen would do, being such a Momma's boy and all. But he has not been jealous at all and has done a really wonderful job of going with the flow and adjusting to all life's changes. It feels good having the three of them. I am so in love with my little family. I feel so content and happy and fulfilled with all that life has given me. Life is at a very good place. I know I am so richly blessed. And there is no joy in this life more overwhelming and consuming than the joy that family brings.

Here is a look at the last week or so with our littlest boy Conner.

Such a handsome little boy! I love that he looks like his family but definitely has his own unique look as well.
Grammy took a week off work to help out around the house. We all love our Grammy time and are missing her very much!
Conner's first sponge bath at home....they never appreciate all the pampering they get when they are young ;)

A very happy and in love mommy!

Makenna couldn't be more excited and proud to be a big sister again. She is so great with Conner, adores him to death and will hold him as much as you will let her! I am so lucky to have her as a daughter and such a sweet sister.

He almost always sleeps with his arms up by his head. I find it so cute!
Getting more and more alert every day! You can't tell too much in these pics but his eyes are quite blue, at least for now.
Am I not the luckiest Momma in the world??

Kellen just makes me smile. He is so in love with the baby and is clumsy about it. It is just so darn cute. I love my boys so much!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Conner Elijah

Forgive me for keeping this is challenging to type too much when you are only using one hand because your other arm is cradling the most beautiful little baby boy you have seen.
Conner Elijah McKamey joined us on July 17that 4:10am.
He checked in at 7lbs 9oz and 21 inches long....not bad at all for being nearly 3 weeks early!
On Friday afternoon at my non-stress test they found that my amniotic fluid was too low to safely continue the pregnancy. I will give the whole birth story later, but I am happy to say that he got here quickly and safely and I was even able to have him natural, which had been a goal of mine. Mind you, now that I have gone natural beginning to end I don't think I will ever do it that way again :)
Conner is a beautiful, healthy, strong, sweet little baby boy. He has been so easy going and such a joy to have around. He is eating like a champ and sleeping well. He is a big cuddle bug and can easily tune out all the crazy noise around him that he has been hearing for the last 9 months in the womb. Makenna and Kellen are both embracing him with arms wide open. Their worlds have been turned a bit upside down and they are continuing to adjust great! Makenna is the little mommy I expected her to be...very happy to hold and be protective of her little brother. She is thrilled that he has "yellow" hair like her. She will no longer be the only blond in the family! And Kellen is doing really well. He loves his little brother and thus far has not been too jealous. We just have to keep a close eye that he doesn't love his brother too hard! He can be a bit of a brute with his hugs and kisses. :)
We are so happy to have Conner here! Already it's impossible to imagine life without him.
Just moments after being born. Being checked out extra closely to make sure his lungs were fully matured and developed.
Love at first sight...again. Nothing compares....

A very proud and sleepy father!
Trying to get a look at the world with those little eyes (blue for the time being).
Makenna is such and enthusiastically proud big sister!
Grammy and her McKamey grandkids. Kellen is a very happy big brother!

Such a sweet baby boy!
Momma and her boys! I am such a lucky woman!

See what a little blond he is?! It's so cute to me. He definitely has his own unique look!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Let the countdown begin...

36 WEEKS! Seriously??!!!! Usually pregnant women are complaining about how slow their pregnancy has gone by, but for me it is just the opposite. This pregnancy seems to have gone by in a flash. It seriously feels like just yesterday we decided to start trying for another baby again and now suddenly he is almost here!
It is strange because it still feels very surreal that there will be a newborn in our house in less than a month. Physically I feel VERY ready to have this baby here. I have all the end of the third trimester complaints- I just feel sore and tired....the way you would expect to feel after being pregnant for 9 months. I feel pretty ready physically and emotionally for all the changes and adjustments that will come with a new baby being brought into the home. The nursery is finally done. Everything is organized, washed and put away and we finally have a functional nursery with everything in it but the baby. So in all ways I am very ready to have this baby boy. But the reality of bringing home a child...when I really sit and think about doesn't seem real. It seems like something we are talking about and preparing for but that isn't actually going to really happen. Does that make sense? It almost reminds me of the way I felt being pregnant with Makenna...having your first child and not really knowing exactly what to expect and not understanding fully the reality of what it will really be like to bring home a baby.
Anyway, things continue to go well with the pregnancy. I am having to go in for non-stress tests every week because he has had a pretty high heart rate a couple of times at my regular doctors apts. Every non-stress test has gone perfectly well and normal and by all accounts he is healthy and strong. The child moves like a maniac. It amazes me he is able to move so much given how little room is left in there now. But he continues to bounce off the walls. It will be very interesting to see this little guys personality. I guess we will be seeing it Quite soon!
I was shocked when I saw how much my belly has grown in 6 weeks!!! It has just torpedoed right out there. I certainly carry my babies low and out! It scares me a bit for how much more this belly could grow before Conner's grand appearance. Yikes!!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Oh, to be a kid....

We have reached the band-aid phase in our home, much thanks to Kellen for this. Makenna used to HATE band-aids. You had to try your hardest to convince her to put a band-aid on when she really needed them, and even then it was only successful half the time. But somewhere Kellen learned about band-aids and fell in love. Now EVERY DAY I get a request from Kellen to put on a band-aid. He will pick one out, help me open it and show me where it needs to go (always somewhere on the legs). And of course if Kellen has one, then Makenna needs one as well. It started to get a little out of control so now they are both limited to one band-aid a day. I am sure some people think I am silly for letting them play with band-aids, but hey, it is only $2 for a box of band-aids that lasts a couple of weeks. And the smile on Kellen's face when he is sporting his band-aid is WELL worth it!!
Makenna decided one night to put her headbands on her and Kellen like sweat bands and have them race each other. It was hilarious to watch them run back and forth racing. Lots and lots of laughs and smiles. I love my kiddos and the cute, silly things they are constantly doing.
Kenna and her little buddy Cam. They are such goofs together!

Kenna has become a regular trapeze artist. She has taught herself how to do so many trick on this gym bar recently. For awhile it was making me nervous as can be, but she does quite well and really, there is no stopping her. She can hang upside down with no hands in few different positions, can do little flips on the bar and all sorts of things. Crazy girl!
Kellen does his best to keep up with his sis. He looks so cute trying to swing on this by himself. He is a brave little dude and definitely strives to be as big as he can.

Kellen is such a goof and Loves to try and be like his big sister. She was trying to show him how to put on a headband and this is the best he could do. Such a silly kid.

Dr. Makenna (if you ask her then she will tell you she wants to be a doctor when she grows up) gives really great check ups. She is very thorough and a very gentle, friendly doctor. Kellen LOVES these check ups and asks for them frequently. There is always something so sweet to me about this interaction. I love it!