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.  


The Slacks. said...

What a beautiful post with beautiful pictures! We are so happy for you two. What a perfect little family. Parenthood is amazing.

kylee said...

Courtney she is so beautiful! I loved reading her birth story. It is truly a surreal experience! I am so glad that everything went well. I agree with you...breastfeeding is more difficult than you imagine!

JD and Alicia said...

What a sweet post, you made me all teary. She is so darling, I can't wait to see her again!