Thursday, August 30, 2012

Amelia Ann Killpack

I had a really hard time writing this.  I find it hard to convey one of the most joyous moments in my life into words.  

Two weeks before she was born I went to my weekly appointment where my doctor checked me and I had dilated to 2cm and was 80% effaced.  The next week, I was at 3cm and 100% effaced.  The doctor told me I could have this baby anytime.  My doctor asked me if I wanted to be induced.  I was really hesitant about this because I didn't want to have to have more interventions, I kind of wanted my body to go into labor naturally.  I weighed the pros and cons and decided that it would be nice to have it scheduled because McKay was starting school on the 21st and didn't want to interfere with school.  So it was decided I would be induced a week early on the 16th. 

McKay and I both took the 15th off so we could spend some quality time together.  This quality time was spent cleaning, doing last minute things around the house, and errands. The entire day I kept finding myself thinking, "I can't believe I'm going to be having the baby tomorrow and how much my life is going to change."  I was in a calm nervous mood the entire day.  That night McKay and my Dad gave me a blessing and was what I needed to get me through that night.

That morning on the way to hospital, all I could think of was how these nine months have gone by so fast and   how I've been thinking and dreaming about this day all of my life.

The doctor broke my water and started me on pictocin around 8:30 a.m.  Having my water broken was a weird sensation, it was uncomfortable and I didn't like the sensation of laying in my own
amniotic fluid (yuck). Within two minutes of me being on pictocin, I started to have regular contractions.  
My game plan for labor was I wasn't going to try to be a hero during labor.  When things got uncomfortable I would be making the call to the anesthesiologist.  My contractions got to the point where I couldn't relax in between contractions and it was getting really difficult to get through them. McKay was very sweet and tried to make me comfortable by massaging my feet so I wouldn't focus on the pain.  Two hours into having regular contractions I was done feeling what it felt like to be in labor and had the nurse call the anesthesiologist.

I've heard so many horror stories getting the epidural. I wasn't nervous about it,I was really looking forward to it.  McKay on the other hand had a hard tie with it.  He stood in front of me so I could lean over him while I was poked.  When the anesthesiologist said that I might feel a pop sensation, McKay had to sit down in the chair to take a breather.  Poor McKay.  Five minutes after I got the epidural I felt like I just climbed a mountain.  I was so happy.  It's funny to look at the picture of my before (above) and the picture of me after I got the epidural (below).  I was so happy I started to blog, check Facebook, text family and friends, and make some phone calls.  I've heard so many good things about the Italian Ices you can request at Davis Hospital, I took full advantage of them.  I asked McKay to go get me three different flavors of them so I could see which flavor I liked the most.  After I got my Italian Ice fix, I was able to rest.


Around 11:30 the nurse checked me and I had dilated to five centimeters.  I rested some more and made some more phone calls to friends and family.  I was feeling great.  At 1:30 the nurse checked me again and I was at a seven.  A hour later the nurse checked me again, she looked at me and said, "You're at a 10, I'm going to call the doctor."  I was so shocked, I started to shake uncontrollably because the realization of how this was all going to be over was a little overwhelming.  I was expecting to have one of those long and exhausting labors you hear first time mothers have.  Instead I was in labor for only six hours.  McKay and my Mom held both of my hands to comfort me.  I continued to shake until the doctor got there.   

When it came time to push, I had no idea whether or not I was doing it right because I was so heavenly numbed.  After ten minutes of pushing, the doctor told me that he was going to use the vacuum to get her out.  At the time I didn't think anything of this, but later found out he did this to save Amelia's life.  As her head was coming out McKay was in awe on how much dark hair she had on her head.  The doctor was still struggling to get her out so he had to resort to option B, to make a more roomier opening.  Less than a minute later I was able to see that dark haired little girl.  I felt so many emotions when I first laid eyes on her.  Tears of joy ran down my face.  

There was this climax of all of these emotions of knowing being pregnant was over (yahoo for being able to sleep on my back), knowing that labor was over, the anticipation of being a parent, memories of my Grandpa and how this sweet little person was just with him, and the excitement of knowing that I had a new assignment and focus in life.  I've never seen McKay so emotional in my life.  He's not the type of guy that cries or likes to admit it when he is emotional.  McKay sweetly kissed me, whispered in my ear how proud he was of me and how much he loved me.  I felt so lucky to be sharing this moment with someone who I dearly love. I could tell something wasn't quite right with her; she was really limp and unresponsive.  I was expecting the nurses to put her on my chest so I could get a better look at her and hold her.  Instead they were doing their best to get her stable and breathing.         

At the time we didn't know what was going on because the nurses didn't say much to us as they worked on her.  We were told when Amelia came out her Apgar score was at a one, a couple minutes later it went up to a three, a five, and then to a seven.  McKay could sense something wasn't right with her and started to feel light headed because he was so worried and concerned about Amelia, the nurse told McKay to go sit down in a chair because he looked like he was going to pass out.  When the nurses were able to stabilize Amelia they wrapped her up and let me hold her for the first time. McKay and I didn't get to spend much time with her because after a minute the nurses took her and told us they needed to get her into the NICU to see why she's having problems breathing. 

A hour after labor and delivery was over Amelia's pediatrician came into the room to give us an update on her condition.  He told us they were in the process of running a bunch of tests to see why she was struggling to breathe.  After I got settled into my postpartum room and got the use of my legs back I was wheeled into the NICU with McKay to see Amelia. The neonatologist was there and gave us an update on Amelia's condition.  He told us that Amelia's body wasn't producing this lubricant in her lungs called surfaxin.  Surfaxin makes it possible for the lungs to contract so you can breathe.  To help Amelia's lungs produce more surfaxin, they inserted surfaxin from a pig into her lungs.       

It was hard to see Amelia hooked up to an IV, tubes, and wires.  You could tell Amelia was doing her best to breathe on her own, she was making these grunting noises.  The doctor told us this is her way of trying to get as much air in her lungs.  This was really sad to see her this way.  Later that night McKay's parents came up to visit us and Mckay and his dad gave her a blessing.  It was so sweet to see those big hands being laid upon her tiny head.     

Over the next two days every couple hours we would go visit her in the NICU.  Everyday her lungs were improving.  48 hours after I delivered I was released, but sadly Amelia couldn't come home with us quite yet.  For the next two days McKay and I would drive up to Davis Hospital every four hours so I could feed her.  We were sad that Amelia wasn't home with us, but at the same time it was nice going home and being able to rest and recover and have the NICU take care of her.           

Breastfeeding was difficult because she was being bottle fed.  I didn't realize how complicated breastfeeding could be.  It's like rocket science at first.  There's so many factors that play a role in whether or not you're successful.  I'm glad Amelia caught on pretty quickly and its been pretty smooth sailing so far.

After being in the NICU for four days, the doctor gave us the go ahead to take her home.  We were so excited!  Finally, we would be able to feed her at home instead at the hospital.  We became good friends with the NICU nurses.  They helped us out so much.  Also, I need to thank my mom for helping me out so much.  You don't realize how helpful your mother is until you become a mother.  Mom I love you.    

It's been two weeks since she was born.  I haven't gotten much sleep and to be honest its been an adjustment.  There's been times where I've felt overwhelmed and not qualified enough to be a mother.  What trumps all of these feelings is knowing how lucky and grateful I am to have Amelia in my life.  

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Dear Amelia

Dear Amelia, 

It's 11:44 p.m. and I'm laying in bed in my post partum room in the hospital and I thought I would write you a small letter.  You were born yesterday and I've never have felt such a wide range of emotion and love for something I've only been acquainted with for less than 48 hours.  I heard of expecting mothers doing this and thought this would be a good idea so I don't forget some of the things I've been feeling up to this point.

Yesterday you were born and I've been thinking of this day all of my life when I would give birth to my first child and meet you for the first time.  I can't believe it's come.  I felt this way when I married your dad.  I kept thinking to myself, "I can't believe I'm getting married.  I can't believe I found this wonderful man to marry, to be the father of my children and grow old together."  Your dad and I waited a while to have you and I hope you understand it wasn't because we didn't want you, it was we needed those years to help prepare us to be your mom and dad.  

It took us a little longer to get pregnant with you. At the time it was kind of hard, but I'm glad we went through that.  When we left it to the Lord, that was when it was the right time.  A week before I found out I was pregnant with you we got Winston. He's been a great addition to our little family and I'm sure the two of you will love each other very much. You can say Winston has been our guinea pig, he's taught us how to take care of a living thing, other than a plant.    

I remember the day I found out I was pregnant with you.  After many months of failed pregnancy tests, I got a positive test result and I couldn't believe it!  I sat on my bed for about ten minutes with the positive pregnancy stick in my hand thinking to myself, "Is this for real?"

For as long as I can remember, I knew deep down inside you were going to be a little girl. I had a dream about you early on in my pregnancy.  In my dream your great-grandpa and grandma Craig's house was on fire.  I went up to the house to make sure grandma and grandpa were out of the house.  As I did this flames were spitting out of the back door.  As I backed away from the flames I saw this beautiful baby crawling on the ground inside entry of the house. All I can remember of this beautiful baby was she had auburn hair and these big beautiful eyes.  As soon as I saw her I knew it was you.  Without even thinking I ran into the house and grabbed you and shielded you from the flames and carried you to safety.  I instantly woke myself up from this dream hoping that it wasn't real.  When I came to my senses I was so upset about it I didn't sleep the rest of the night.  That was a crappy dream to have, but I know deep down inside that was you and it made me even more excited to meet this beautiful little girl who would be my daughter.   

At 16 weeks we received some test results from you and they came back negative for some serious health problems.  This worried your dad and I to death.  We were able to get an early ultrasound of you to make sure everything was ok.  We later found out the test result was due to human error and that you were healthy and 100% fine.   The only good thing about experiencing this was I was able to confirm that you were indeed a girl. Your dad thought you were going to be a little boy, but I knew he was wrong.  

I'm a really lucky girl.  I didn't have any complications during my pregnancy with you.  Not once did I feel morning sickness, get nauseous, throw up, or was super sensitive to smells and foods.  My appetite did change quite a bit.  To be honest, my appetite increased significantly.  I'm sorry if you inherited my sweet tooth and my love of carbs.

I'm in no way curvaceous or voluptuous, but when I was pregnant with you I never felt more like a woman. Real women have curves and I sure did with you.  Thank you for making me feel busty and hippy.  It was nice to feel like that for a while.

I'll never forget feeling you inside of me moving around like you were doing the tango.  To see you move from one side of my stomach to the other side was always a treat, well most of the time. But it always reassured me that you were in there alive and kicking.

I hope you enjoy being outdoors, being active, going swimming, gardening, sewing, cooking, and decorating because that's what I did a lot with you.  It was fun to have a little buddy to haul around to keep me company.  

This week when I went to my doctor appointment and he told me he was going to induce me, I couldn't believe it. Two nights ago as I was getting ready for bed, knowing that next day I would meet you, I couldn't stop thinking about how my life was forever going to change.  By you coming into my life would change my life, but change me as a person.  I love your dad so much, but have never have felt such instantaneously love for anything as much as I did when I first laid my eyes on you.  The things that mattered to me before you were born don't anymore.  I don't care I have an extra 30 lbs on me, a flabby stomach, and big bags underneath my eyes.  All I care about is loving and taking care of you, teaching you the important things in life, and being a good parent to you.

I feel so honored and lucky you chose your dad and I to be your parents.  I feel extremely blessed to have you in my life.  I can't wait to spend everyday with you.  I know there will be hard days, we might not always see eye to eye, or get a long, but I know that I will learn so much from you.  I hope I can teach you right principles so you can be successful in life.  

Love you so much,

Your Mom.