The Fat Hydrangea

Sara Michelle - Cleveland, Ohio

It's a BOY! Meet Graham Thomas

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We are super excited to announce the arrive of our new addition - Graham Thomas- who was born on October 3rd, 2017 at 10:01am (almost three weeks early!) We are so excited to have THREE boys! He is such a sweet little baby and we think he looks so much like Evan already! (Which is awesome, because Miles and Leo totally have my genes and look like my dad!) We are tired but we are overwhelmingly happy. He fits into our family perfectly! 

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The Week Before Graham's Birth

The week before Graham's birth, 36-weeks gestation, I was having a lot of concerns about his level of movement and activity. He was always super active and kicking and moving around, and then one day there was just hardly anything at all. Even when I'd try my tricks to get him to move (full bladder, drink something sugary, lay down and flip from side to side), he wouldn't always move. "Watch for fetal movement" is the one thing doctors always drill into your head during the last few weeks, so of course I was super concerned when I did everything I could and could not feel him move! We ended up in Labor & Delivery or my OB's office every day that week so we could get heart rate/movement checks . While he wasn't moving around, his heartbeat was always strong and steady and he always JUST passed their movement test. It was very stressful. It felt like being on a rollercoaster of concern, relief, concern, relief. An ultrasound also showed that he was measuring really big - 8 lbs 13 oz at less than 37 weeks! Given his size, the movement concerns, and the fact my last labor was SUPER fast, they decided that it would be safest to get the baby out sooner rather than later. However, they first wanted to see if I had undetected/late onset gestational diabetes, which would account for his size (Type I diabetes runs in my family). If I did have it, they would have wanted to do a C-section to avoid shoulder dysplasia and to mitigate the risk of me going into labor, not making it to the hospital,and the baby getting stuck (Can you even imagine? Agh!) Thankfully I passed the glucose test with flying colors! Having ruled that out, I anxiously awaited my doctor's appt the next day so we could discuss next steps again.

The Day Before Graham's Birth

The Monday morning of my doctor's appt when we were going to discuss "the plan", I started having contractions at about 2:00am. They weren't SUPER strong, but strong enough I couldn't sleep. I went to my doctor's appt and sure enough I was over 3cm dilated and was definitely having steady contractions, but baby was still really high. She said she wanted to let me labor naturally a little longer, but wanted to bring me in to the hospital at 10:00pm that night to be induced if labor didn't progress. (She also confirmed there would be someone with me who could drive me to the hospital REALLY quickly if needed!) 

After worrying for months about going into labor in the middle of the night and all the chaos that would have been involved, this was the perfect scenario! The boys were already at my mother-in-laws for the day and Evan was working from home, so I was able to rest and do the all the last minute preparations I needed. Evan called of work and cleaned the house and mowed the lawn. My mom and sister had plenty of time to make it up from Columbus to watch the boys while we stayed at the hospital. I felt super prepared! It was wonderful. 

Hospital Time

After tucking the boys into bed for the night, we headed to the hospital! Throughout the day, nothing had changed in terms of the intensity/frequency of my contractions - until we got to Labor & Delivery at 10:00pm.  They got me checked in and hooked up, and all the sudden my contractions got 10x stronger! (It's like the baby just knew it was go time!) At this point, I was 5cm dilated and they gave me an epidural around midnight. Against the little voice in my head, I allowed the clearly new resident anesthesiologist to do it, and I got a few more pin pricks than I had bargained for! It hurt, but once it kicked in I felt pretty good... for awhile... 

From midnight until about 5:00am, we rested and let labor progress. I started to notice my contractions getting stronger, but took it as a good sign that I was probably progressing! However, my 5:00am checked showed I was still only 5cm dilated. Boo! We continued the current course until 7:00am when my OB arrived at the hospital for her shift. At 7am, she determined that the baby was still really high and so she wanted to break my water once she was done with her rounds. Again, I noticed my contractions were definitely getting stronger and stronger. Several times I pushed the button to give me a little "boost" of pain medicine via the epidural, but honestly I never felt it do anything. 

When my doctor came back at about 8:15am and broke my water... I clearly realized my epidural was no longer working. Like at ALL! I felt every move the doctor and nurse made and every ounce of pressure and pain! Holy cow - worst pain of my life. They called the anesthesia team immediately, and the CRNA quickly noticed that my epidural had come UNPLUGGED! (The little cord that went from my back to the IV). She plugged it back in and thought it would be a quick fix. However, with my water now broke my contractions were off the charts strong and I was feeling everything. They waited a few minutes and when I still wasn't feeling it, she pushed some medicine through directly which should have given me immediate relief, but again, didn't feel it. She adjusted my epidural in case it wasn't in right, pushed some more medicine directly, but again didn't feel it. I was in so much pain at this point I was shaking like a leaf! She decided to just completely redo my epidural at this point. This time I could feel the relief on my right side, but nothing on my left. In fact, it concentrated all the pain to the lower left side of my back and it was EXCRUCIATING! They ended up giving me a spinal on my left side. Finally I was feeling some relief, but then I realized I literally could feel NOTHING on my right side. I couldn't feel my leg and couldn't even bend it! This whole process took a little over an hour. Of all of my labors, it was the worst hour of pain .

Of course this is when my doctor comes back to check me, and determines I'm 10cm dilated, baby has dropped, and I'm ready to push. Ready to push when I couldn't even feel a single contraction or lift my legs! Great! (I even said when I had my epidural with Miles - baby #1- that I wished I could have felt a little more pain because I realized with Leo's delivery - baby #2 and no epidural- feeling the pain helped me push the baby out FAST! With Miles, I could feel contractions but no pain, so I pushed for over two hours.. I was not pushing hard enough!) And now here I was having to push with no feeling whatsoever. The doctor basically had to tell me when I was having a contraction and when to push. Thankfully just a few pushes and baby was delivered! 

It's a BOY! 

Of course we were SO EXCITED to find out what we were having, having decided to be surprised with this baby! Well, I deliver him and I can't move, and no one tells me if it is a boy or a girl right away! I finally yell "oh my gosh, is it a boy or a girl?"

Evan looks at me with a sneaky little smile and says "What do you think?"  

"BOY!"

Graham Thomas! The most perfect little boy! 8 pounds 11 ounces, 20 inches long, with the most perfect little head of hair and sweetest little face ever. He has long skinny legs just like Miles did and sweet dimples just like Leo. 

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Life With Three Boys

We are still adjusting to life with 3 kids aged 3 and under! (Do you ever really adjust? Haha!) The first couple of weeks were the hardest because my back was hurting SO BAD! I had a deep bruise where my epidural(s) were and it ached like no other. I couldn't lift the big boys at all and even just walking for too long made me feel like my back was going to give out! Thankfully we had LOTS of help and I healed quickly!  Life is a little chaotic, but we are all over the moon happy! This time around, I'm trying to really soak up every second. The newborn stage is definitely easier and more enjoyable this time, I think just because I truly know the hard parts are just a phase and it goes by so quickly. 

Everyone keeps asking me, now that he's here, if we think we'll have another. While part of me confidently feels like I would be happy being DONE, I could also see us being ecstatic about a "surprise", I could see us wanting to try again in a couple of years, or eventually adopting a child who needs a good home. While that doesn't really give an answer, I think it just means we'll be happy with whatever God has in store for us from this point forward!

Thanks for celebrating this awesome new baby with us and bearing with me on the blog front! I thought I'd have at least a couple of weeks of bedrest before Graham's arrival to draft and schedule out posts, but clearly that didn't happen so its going to be a little quieter here for awhile while I get in the groove! I do have some awesome things to share here soon so be sure to check back once in awhile ;)

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