Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Life Does Go On

So, apparantly, we have officially survived being the parents of five kids. Well, for a week, anyhow. It has been a really long week, now that I think about it, and I am not sure what more I have accomplished except a lot of nursing baby Briggs. Oh, and laundry. I swear, the end of the world will come and I will still be doing laundry when Christ shows up again! I am eternally grateful for the wonderful, kind friends and family who have helped and brought in meals and been understanding while I have baled on my responsibilities for youth conference, carpools, and motherhood this week. I don't know how I will get it all back together again. And for those of you who have called, THANKS, too! I am having a hard time calling people back on the phone since I tell myself I should try and rest, or I'm referee-ing the other kids, or, oh yeah, doing laundry! Bottom line, life is going on and I am getting used to the feeling of being five steps behind all the action. I have had these pictures downloaded from last weekend. I know Erin did a wonderful job blogging for me, but I thought I'd give you a few more details (not ew, gross, THOSE kind of picture-details, though) from Briggs arrival.

Last Saturday was incredibly productive, but I honestly did not have "have the baby" on my to-do list. My doctor (who I could not be more fond of) gave me her pager number in case I wanted her to strip my membranes that weekend. After talking with Tyler, though, he reminded me about what a crazy time at work he had the last few days of the month, so I figured I'd wait until my appointment on Monday to do anything drastic. Well, by Saturday afternoon I was pretty uncomfortable, so I called my Dr. anyway, but she was headed into the OR. Later that evening I was going to the temple with my mom and siblings, so it was gonna be too late to do anything and I could hold out until Monday. BUT by the time we were done at the temple my lower back was ka-illing me and I was pretty sure it was back labor (even just mildly, so, though) and so I went ahead and called Dr. Lewis. She told me she was at her office doing paperwork before heading back to the OR and when I told her it'd take me about ten minutes to get to her office, she told me to come in and she'd check me. See, I've gone to the hospital early before and been sent home, so I was totally not interested in playing that game. And how cool is it that my doctor would have me come in after office hours just so I wouldn't have to waste time being sent home. Well, after a quick check, Dr. Lewis exclaimed, "Wow, girl, I don't know what you've been doing, but you MUST have been having some kickin' contractions cuz you are a total 4 and ready to have this baby." She went ahead and finished stripping my membranes (which wasn't too much) and told me she'd meet me at the hospital in a couple hours. The minute I stood up I knew that "back labor" had just been kicked up an intense notch and I started to have a little panic about all the stuff I needed to do and I was trying to figure out WHAT I was going to do with the other kids. SO, I was supposed to chaperone the regional dance, so I stopped by the stake center to let them know I'd be checking my uterus instead of dance cards. Then I called Tyler's dad to find out if he could stay the night, which, of course, he said "Sure." He was so sweet and told me he'd come right over and hang out while I puttered around waiting for Tyler. (He had taken the boys to the hockey game; the girls were with Grandma Dodie at a musical.) I HAD to change my sheets and do the dishes, had time to finish picking up the rest of the house, take a shower and dry my hair, and check my email. FINALLY Tyler made it home with the boys and we got them tucked into bed, Tyler gave me a quick blessing before we left, and I was way ready to be at the hospital.

I was really having contractions! Real, legit squeezers by the time we went up to the hospital and got checked in. You should have seen the nurse's face when she asked me the last time I was checked and I said a couple hours before. Then she said, "By who?" I thought that was funny. Who would be checking my cervix other than a doctor? (I wondered what the nurse would have said if I answered, "My next door neighbor.") When I told her Dr. Lewis had seen me in her office at 8pm, they all nodded that they had been waiting for me, but didn't know what had taken us so long. Combined with Tyler teasing me the whole time I was filling out the information and answering the nurse (about whether or not I was really having REAL contractions), AND that we took longer since Tyler waited for the end of the hockey game to come home instead of when I called him, the nurses had a little hey-day giving Tyler a hard time while I got all checked in. For the first time at St. Rose I went straight into a room and got all settled for a quick lil delivery.

Dr. Lewis came in shortly after I got all my wires hooked up and broke my water (which made me nervous that I didn't already have an epidural or pitosin, like other times) and pretty much asked us what time we thought she'd be back. My guess was 1:30am, Tyler's was 2am. She headed home for a couple hours rest and the nurse was trying to set my IV (poorly, I might add. Seriously, is it a law that IVs don't go in right on the first try with me. It didn't help that I was seriously dehydrated from all the sun that day, oops.) Once another nurse was able to get the IV running (with a smaller needle in the side of my hand) they called Dr. Epidural in for THE best epidural I have ever had. You know how they tell you the bee-sting numbing part is the worst part of the epidural, well up til now I thought they were lying. I've always had tons of painful pressure and a half-numbing experience with my epidurals, so I was anticipating all that again. But NOOOOO, the good doc done good. I was seriously so impressed I kept telling him I'd write him a letter of recommendation. He didn't really take me up on the offer, but would take a picture with me when it was all said and done. I didn't even get the bad shakes this time, just a little shivery-shiver.

Shortly after the epidural, Tyler spread himself out on the couch for a rest. He'd worked really hard so far that night, and following a day of golf and a hockey game, don't you feel bad for him? Well, DON'T! Homeboy slept for a good solid five hours while my and his mom sat in the chairs and my poor sister was left with the wheelie stool. I'm glad he got to rest, I guess. This whole baby thing has been REALLY hard on him (sorry if some sarcasm soaked through right there.) The rest of us settled in to a night of watching the monitors, but funny thing happened to my legit contractions when I got a really good epidural. Uh, yeah, they pretty much slowed down to a five to eight minute gap. Here's the grandmas passing the time, too.

OH! It was excruciatingly annoying not to be progressing FOR THE ENTIRE NIGHT. To make matters kinda harder was the fact that I hadn't eaten anything since that afternoon and I was really hungry. About 2:30am (we obviously missed our target times) the nurse came to check me because the baby's heartrate was dropping whenever I'd have a contraction. I think she had barely started the pitosin at that point, so I was hoping for bigger numbers than the 5 I had been at 12:30am. Well, let's just say she was generous to give me a 5 1/2. What's a 1/2 anyway? That is so a way to make the mom feel like she's progressing, when she's really not. ANYWAY. The nurse shifted me a couple times to help the heartbeat, but my contractions were still really sporadic and I was begging the nurse to amp up the drugs to get my contractions rolling. Apparantly they can't do that so they don't over-stim the mom, but I was looking for some over-stim at that point. Being used to quick labors, my patience was about shot and I was getting tired. Well, baby boy's heartrate finally cooperated with my contractions, until about 4:30am when it started to drop again. By THAT long of not a lot happening, my patience was about shot and I was starting to get emotional. I was feeling for everyone that we were all up the whole night and when it started to get daylight outside it was about all I could handle. I finally cried (literally) for someone to wake up Tyler at 6:30am because I was not progressing past a 6 and it was obvious the baby was under some stress. My sister was AMAZING keeping a watch on the monitor, but only telling me positive stuff and pausing long enough for the problem to pass before she would answer my questions. I knew it was bad and figured the nurse was going to be pushing for a c-section. She'd already told me she thought the cord was wrapped around his neck or there was a kink in the cord (which was good to know what was going on, but I could have done without the hand motions of the slit-across-the throat and the bend-the-hose actions she was doing with her hands as she was saying, "Oh, baby not happy.") I had visions of going home with 5 kids and having been cut open. I had not bargained for that; it wasn't what I know; I was beginning to panic a bit. And my nurse, while nice, was not nearly agressive and assertive for my taste. She flipped me from side to side, put my on oxygen, etc. but finally at 6:30am I asked her to call my doctor. The next 30 minutes were the longest of the morning/night as I waited for Dr. Lewis to come. I was in and out of it since I was pretty tired (luckily the epidural was still SO good!) from being up all night, but I'd ask Erin questions every few minutes. It was pretty tense.

As soon as Dr. Lewis came in she was SO confident and refreshing. She asked what happened to the middle of the night thing and I told her I wasn't progressing; that I was sure they wanted to cut me open. She just sat on the end of my bed, looked my straight in the eyes and said we're gonna do this; don't worry, etc. It was great. However, when she checked me I said, "Please just tell me I'm at least a 7" and when she said, "You're fine." I thought, "Great! I still haven't progressed." She told me to push with all my might on the next contraction. WHAT! You should have seen the nurse look at her. And basically, Dr. Lewis took me from a 6 to a complete 10 in about 2 minutes with some serious manipulating of my cervix. When she was done she said, "No that's how to get you complete. Let's deliver a baby." You should have seen the nurse look like, "Huh!?" Then all these nurses came in (it was right at the shift change), but by then my doc had my bed torn down and herself gowned and was positioning everyone around. Even better was when my sister started taking pictures the nurse told her she couldn't and then Dr. Lewis said THAT was a policy worth breaking, looked right at Erin and told her she was fine to take as many pictures she wanted. I LOVE MY DOCTOR! Here's some of the moments Erin captured in that 13 minutes from when Dr. Lewis walking into my room and when Briggs was born at 7:08am!

I think I pushed about four times total, but she was encouraging me to keep pushing as she was trying to get the cord unwrapped. I asked her when his head came out if the cord was wrapped around his neck and she said, "Nope, he's fine." Tyler told me later she had just barely removed the cord from around his neck before she answered me.

I LOVE the moment when they put him on my FLAT (alright, still pretty pudgy and smushy, but flatter) stomach and turn him from that purple-y gray to reddish pink right in front of your eyes. I was so in the moment of relief and happiness I didn't see everyone crying (or welling, as Tyler claimed). Again, it was a pretty intense hour. Here we are falling in love with Briggs:

First reports had him looking like Brevin with the scowl and lips. Of course, I think he's changed a lot since the first few minutes, and I definitely think he'll be shedding the skinny old man look soon for a chubby baby with all that he's been eating this week. He was actually a little longer than two of our kids at 19 1/2 inches, but weighed less than any of them at 6 lbs. 6 oz. He's a skeeny-lil- peanut for sure. I just love him.

Really, I do have a few of the most handsome men in my life!

Briggs pretty much arrived hungry. I can't believe how much this kid eats. A week into it I am beginning to think he'll be getting a bottle of formula at bedtime. The past few nights he's been up from 11pm until 4am which is, pretty much, killing me. See, the open bird mouth is a dead give-away that he's ready to hit the boob buffet.

Here's one of me going, "Seriously, can I get something else to eat besides this water and ice chips?!" Even the hospital food was yummy!

They moved us to a different room (after a herpes incident. The nurse had written that I had herpes in my chart instead of strep B. Apparantly English as a second language with nurses can be tricky if the Doctor doesn't make sure she's heard correctly.) Tyler and I both totally snoozed for a few hours and then he headed home to pick up the kids and a shower.

The kids are pretty much in love with their brother. Brock was tickled by everything Briggs did, whether it be opening his eyes or moving his feet. Brevin had a lot of questions like, "Where are his ears" (under the cap) and if the smoothie Tyler brought me came from my boobs, too. (The nursing thing is providing A LOT of conversation for the kids.) Caylee had watched enough baby shows on TLC she wanted to know more medical facts, like if I had a c-section and if they broke my water. Kenzie, though, was classic as SHE was the one to point out to us that the name we picked was ALSO the name branded on all our household toilets. That's right. We've been living in this house for over three years and I have never noticed the word BRIGGS stamped on the toilet bowls. Sure enough, though, Kenzie is observant enough to notice that. I just told her "it's a good thing we love toilets, right?" (BTW when I got home I checked the bowl and sure enough. I don't know how I never noticed that before.)

I do have to say I shook my head several times to see ALL FIVE KIDS together. Crazy.

Our first night at the hospital was a long one. The sweet nurse spared me an hour while she charted so I could sleep. And then the two of us rested throughout the morning. Special thanks to Annilee for bringing me some supplies and to ALL those other friends and family who came to visit. It was nice to be able to relax, for a day, and then I was ready to be home. Here's a couple pics from Monday morning between naps.

And before we went home:

Not a very happy camper in his carseat. Don't you love how newborns clothes still drown them? The wrinkley forehead is pretty constant as he's pretty concerned about a lot these days.

So, we're figuring it out, day by day. The fact that it took me five days to complete this post is pretty indicative of our life these days. I really am grateful for all those who've helped with meals and my other kids, too. I am trying to be better about napping when I get a sec, but I am a little nervous to leave Brevin and Brock unattended. I keep trying to remember to take pictures of the little guy, but I am finding he's cuter in person than on film. Maybe I'm biased. Until later . . .


Donna said...

Loved the post... It's so fun hearing all the details. I've been thinking about and praying for you a lot over the last week. Seriously, you know I'll do anything to help you out. I'll call later and hope I don't wake you!

Babs said...

I love that you live in detail. I am so thrilled for you. After hearing about Dr. Lewis, I totally think I need to switch!

I'm sorry I was in NY when all the fun was happening...I missed the lemonade stand too :-(.

I can't wait to come for a short little visit and meet Mr. Briggs...I bought groceries this weekend with making a meal in mind, so just pick the day.

Love ya...get some rest.

Tausha said...

you are one gorgous lady-even in labor-you SUCK! Ahhh-i wish that i could hold him and give him a great big sniff. (i know-random-but i love the new baby, freshly clean with lotion, powder and clean diaper smell) Go send your hubby out to by a movie thay your boys have never ever seen-at least 45 mins-and then you can take a nap. This really works-i did this when i had my third. Good luck on the sleeping issue-every mom should be able to get a free pass for naps-not just when you have new babies. A brighter note-moms day is on sunday!

Chris and Heather Rice said...

I loved hearing all of the details. I'm bummed though because I can't see all of the pictures for some reason. But from the ones I can see-he is precious and you are glamorous (especially having been up all night birthing a baby!) Congratulations!

Angela said...

I loved the post but was also bummed because I can't see about half the pictures. He is SUCH a CUTIE and I want more pictures that I can see of his beautiful face. Thanks for the update.

sarah said...

I can't believe he was so tiny! how come i have monster babies and you get the tiny ones? I hope he starts sleeping better. Katelyn is sleeping from 8-5 consistently! It's awesome! That's probably because when she's awake she's attached to my boob! i swear that little girl can eat!

Tristen said...

You look way too good to have just birthed a baby! Go you! I couldn't see all the pictures either...kinda weird.

Leah and Dustin said...

I can't believe how itsy bitsy he looks in his carseat! Congratulations, Barlow Fam, you've got yourselves a keeper there! It almost made me baby hungry when I saw your hospital picks...ALMOST, but I'm feeling really good and FULL right now so I'm just going to enjoy looking at your pictures. He's just precious!

Kourtney said...

I still can't believe you had the baby the day we were joking about it! Briggs is an adorable tiny little peanut.
Frankie slept on a cot pretty much the whole time I was in labor with Landon. Men are funny like that, I guess.
Your doc sounds like an angel. And HELLO! Dr. Epidural is HOTT!!!
Congratulations again!!!

julie said...

CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!! Ron said that he ran into you guys at Target and said that Briggs was a cutie. You look pretty smokin in those pictures for someone going through labor and then having a baby!!! You did good!!!! :)


Great Story! I, too, can't see the last half of the pics...bummer! Hopefully, after some much needed catching up, you'll be able to update them. You look great! Congrats!

PS...Love that your daughter noticed the toilet funny!

Sarah said...

Congratulations Barlow family! Thanks for the details. I loved reading it. It's such a miracle when a baby is born. Can you imagine Briggs' labor on the plains! Your doctor sounds INCREDIBLE!

Marsha said...

Thanks for sharing Sarah. Who looks that good during labor, apparently you do! So glad Briggs is here safe and sound and you're surrounded by great family and friends. Don't forget how important those naps are.

Joy said...

Congratulations on everything, Sarah! He is a cutie-pie!!!

Erin said...

Hey, I didn't mind the wheelie stool! It was fun. AND, I'll totally be there for you (again) when you're there for baby #6. Woot! Woot! 'Cause who wants to stop with an odd number?!

Jenn S. said...

Bummer, I can't see the second half of the pictures - but loved the birth story, hooray! You do look fab in your labor pictures. I for some reason have zero labor pictures and now I know why - I would not look as cute as you, huffin and puffin away. :)

Rick/Dad/Grandpa/Mr. D said...

Sarah - he is adorablicious! And you have FIVE kids! Oh my goodness - where does the time go? What an cute family!

chris jenkins said...

i finally got a chance to read this post - huge congratulations!

i too love that you wrote all the details. it will neat for you to have all that somewhere down the road. and for your kids and grandkids to read it.

i really wanna come visit you when all the craziness dies down and bring you some cooking and my gift!

hope you are restin' :)