Hello everyone! I am happy to introduce you to Katelynn Joyce. She was born on June 30th at 1:58 PM and weighed a whopping 9 pounds 3 ounces and was 21 1/2 inches long.
The induction and delivery were wonderful. For the first time ever I was 4 cm dilated when I went into the hospital. Usually I'm barely 1 cm, and that includes my two natural labors. My body just likes to do it all in labor for some reason. So, this time I was rather comfortable and the doctor said I could have an epidural at any time. I thought I needed to at least feel a little bit before I opted for the pain reducer, but I told them I definitely did not want to miss my window. Within a few hours and still not feeling the sweat of being uncomfortable I decided to have the epidural.
The epidural went well, but before the doctor left the room my blood pressure dropped. I felt faint; the doctor rushed back in and gave me a shot to help bring it back up again. They said it can happen and it does happen. I've never had a bad side effect of an epidural, but that is something to consider when choosing your birthing options. I always wanted to try to give birth without drugs, but my babies are so big I was completely scared out of my mind.
From the epidural incident I continued to dilate. Then when I reached 10 cm my doctor came in to see how much longer it would be. He asked me to push and before I really pushed long he stopped me and said we are going to have a baby on the next push. So they draped me and got ready for the baby. It is in those few minutes a million things go through my mind. I don't know if I can even reiterate the things that flood my mind, but they shift my courage and strength into overdrive and get me through what is to happen next. And like the doctor said, one push and Katelynn was born. Just so all of you don't get jealous about the one push thing I labored with my first for 29 hours and pushed for 2 hours. I paid my dues, so to speak, but it got easier from there.
Katelynn was beautiful. She was all pink and perfect. Toes and fingers, ears, and eyes. It was the moment we had been waiting for months. She immediately recognized both Brian and my voice and was very calm and quiet, but very wide eyed. She squeaked and squealed, but did not cry. That was how she communicated for at least a few weeks. I thought it was cute. Then the moment I had hoped for my husband happened. He was looking at Katelynn in the baby warmer and she quietly looked right back up at him. You could see the intense emotion of this pregnancy and his mom's illness and death all coming to a close. He had tears in his eyes as he welcomed the life of his new child. How blessed our family was to have such a wonderful woman and mom in Joyce, and even more blessed to have this new life in Katelynn. As the adage goes; from death breathes new life. We just got to experience them both.
From there we breastfed and bonded. She was a pro and I did not need any help with any of it. We were released in two days after Katelynn's 48 hour check-up. We arrived home with four happy siblings ready to hold their new sister. Even Isabella wanted her turn at holding the baby. The next few days were filled with naps, bonding, and getting to know each other. Everyone was wondering if I would get the post partum pre-eclampsia like I did with Isabella. I made sure to keep my feet up, drink plenty of water, and really rest.
Then on day six after birth, the headaches came. I was in denial that this was happening again, but did go in for a blood test at the OB's office. By that afternoon they had the results and the pre-eclampsia was back and this time it was worse. They immediately admitted me to the hospital and gave me a 24 hour IV drip of Magnesium Sulfate. That was not fun. It could have been worse because some women are nauseous with the drip, but I still felt hot, dizzy, achy, and irritable. Brian had to stay in the hospital with me to take care of the baby so I could nurse. It was a terrible weekend full of exhaustion and irritability. I was glad to be released three days later to rest - not bed rest, but as much bed as I could.
My parents took the three girls back home with them; I kept Alex and the baby. Alex had a Cub Scout camp from 8-4 every day and a neighbor of mine offered to take him and pick him up. So all I had to do was nurse and rest. That was a good week. The headaches took about two weeks to go away and I had to go in to have my blood checked. By two weeks the pre-eclampsia was mostly out of my system and I could begin to do more normal things.
The first week on my own with five kids was hectic as I had to develop new routines to do things. My goal was to not let the baby get hurt. Isabella and Sydney are too little to really know how to treat the baby. Isabella likes to try to sit on her and pick her up. Sydney likes to love on her, but does not realize squeezing hard can hurt. So, there was a lot of holding the baby and doing things in order to keep her safe.
The following week I was getting my groove back. I could cook dinner, do laundry, keep the house picked up, do art projects, read books, and all the rest with this new addition pretty easily. I think it helped that she was not as much of a main attraction anymore either. The kids were just glad she was here, but not obsessed with that fact anymore. I decided to brave it and took all five kids to the zoo by myself. We had so much fun and did so much more than I had set out to do. My goal was to get in the car, drive there, get safely into the zoo, and see an animal or two. That would have been a good day for me. But, we ended up staying five hours at the zoo, seeing the dolphin show (that you could not take strollers into), petting the sharks, riding the ponies, seeing the animals, and just enjoying hanging out and laughing. The kids all had their little rolls to help. Alex helped with Isabella and Maria made sure to hold Sydney's hand. That allowed me to hold Katelynn. It worked out so nicely and we all had fun.
That is about it for the month. We did end up finding a car that worked for the 7 of us - a Ford Expedition. We all have headrests, and shoulder belts. I am thrilled to be driving an SUV again. Honestly the van was probably more convenient with its sliding doors, but the Expedition has a fun factor.
Have a wonderful month! School is getting ready to start here.