Tuesday, November 30

Birth story--Day 3-5

My apologies in advance—this is a long post with very few pictures. Due to the complications, we didn’t take a ton of pictures these first few days.

The day of Ainsley’s birth. About an hour and a half after Ainsley was born the doctors were finally ready to fill me in on what happened during the birth. Due to the use of the vacuum delivery tool and Ainsley turning her shoulders during the birth process I experienced third degree tearing and required quite a few stitches—the doctor said I even had some muscle tears. The doctor also mentioned that she had to manually remove my placenta since it did not delivery on its own—at the time I didn’t think much of it, again I was so happy Ainsley had arrived and was healthy. I later learned this manual removal of my placenta would land me in the hospital just five days later. I also have read that it is rare for doctors to need to manually remove the placenta. After learning all of that news, I realized I would have some recovery time ahead of me, but I was SO hungry after not eating for over a day my thoughts turned to eating!

Ryan’s parents (Larry & Linda) went to McDonalds (the only place open at 3:30 am) and brought us some food. By the time they arrived, I was no longer hungry and was feeling very weak. I thought I was weak due to low blood sugar—I tried to eat a few bites, but was just literally exhausted. The nurse got me ready to move rooms from Labor & Delivery to the Mother & Baby unit—just across the hall on a different wing. When she stood me up to transport me, I became very light headed and told her I needed some more time to rest. After resting for a few minutes, I realized I just wanted to get to my new bed and go to sleep—so I told the nurse I was ready. She pushed me in a wheelchair and I kept my eyes closed the entire time because I felt like I was going to pass out.

Once I got to my new room and met my new nurse, I asked to use the bathroom. She took me to the bathroom and I was feeling a little weak. As soon as I sat down in the bathroom, everything went black and I told my nurse I didn’t feel well and immediately grabbed on to her. I then passed out and later learned from Ryan she did an excellent job of holding me against the wall so I wouldn’t fall and hit my head and then pulled the emergency cord. The next thing I remember was waking up on the floor of the bathroom with 10 doctors and nurse surrounding me. I opened my eyes and said, “what should we do next”…they all started laughing (because I went from passing out to being totally coherent) and said that I gave them a good scare.

I don’t remember much of the next six hours. They some how got me back to bed and I fell asleep.

The next thing I remember is waking up to a young male resident doctor doing round and he came by to let me know my blood counts were extremely low..6. Normally they are 12. He said that a blood transfusion is very risky and I was young and would build up my blood volume over time. The whole time he was talking to me I was flat on my back—every time I sat up I would get light headed. I remember being confused by this news thinking how will I take care of my baby if I can’t even get out of bed. I fell asleep again, had no energy.

The next thing I remember, they brought me Ainsley and my doctor (Dr. T) stopped by to check in on us. I remember seeing Ainsley for the first time after delivery—I hadn’t seen her for several hours due to me passing out and not being able to sit up. The doctor unwrapped her blanket and I remember saying, “oh, her tiny legs”. I hadn’t seen my daughter’s legs and she had been in this world for almost 12 hours! I wanted to count her toes and make sure they were all there—my doctor immediately handed me Ainsley and I spent some time laying with her and hugging her. I remember thinking to myself—this was not what I had planned. I didn’t know that all of these complications could happen. I had packed so many outfits and cute things for Ainsley in the hospital and I could barely sit upright to hold her without passing out.

Here is a picture of Ainsley when she came to visit us--I made this tag for her hospital crib.


After holding Ainsley for a bit, my doctor talked with me about the blood transfusions. She took one look at me and said, she strongly recommend the blood transfusion. I was very pale and she explained that I had lost almost half of my blood volume. I said YES, YES, YES—bring on the transfusions, I was so thankful my doctor was there and she quickly got the orders going for my transfusion. I received two units that day and was finally able to sit up and walk without getting light headed.

Sunday
I remember taking a bath this morning. I was so thankful to be able to walk and not get dizzy or light headed. They drew my blood for testing that morning and with the transfusions I was around 7.8 blood volume—again 12 is normal. My doctor recommended 2 more units of blood. I remember thinking, I felt so much better after getting the 2 units yesterday and simple math told me I needed to keep working my way up to 12 so I said YES yet again.

I was finally able to eat around lunch time—I finally was hungry. Here are some pictures of me eating lunch—not the most flattering picture, but you can tell I have a little bit of color coming back.


That evening we were able to give Ainsley her first bath--again, no photos, I remember being really weak when we gave her a bath this night, so no pictures. We did take pictures of her first bath at home (at the end of the post). Here is a picture of her post bath--all clean! You’ll notice she has a baby IV. I was running a fever during the end of my labor—so they attributed that to an infection since I was in labor so long. They gave me IV antibiotics during the birth and for the days that followed. They also gave Ainsley IV antibiotics as a precaution.


Our new family--one of our only family photos in the hospital. This was taken on Sunday--we were exhausted, but so excited Ainsley was here!


Monday
Ainsley and I both headed home on Monday morning. I had lots of pain meds and iron pills since I was still recovering from the tears at birth. I felt weak, but was so excited to be home and to start caring for Ainsley! This is a picture of A and me Monday evening. You’ll notice I look very puffy—still look pregnant. What I didn’t know then was that my body still thought I was pregnant since I had retained placenta in my uterus which would land me back in the hospital by Thursday of that week.


Tuesday
Ainsley's first bath at home!



Ainsley's first full day at home--so peaceful!

Monday, November 29

Labor story--day two!

I didn't get much sleep on Thursday evening because my contractions were painful, but not regular. Around 5 am on Friday, October 8th Ryan and the nurse finally convinced me that taking some pain medication would be helpful and would allow my body to rest since I had been up for over 24 hours. I got the pain meds and immediately feel asleep--thank goodness! I woke up a few hours later and had progressed enough for them to break my water around 10:30 am. I remember them telling me at the time we had a 14 hour window to work with to delivery Ainsley before I was at risk for infection due to my water being broke. I received an epidural shortly there after.


Ryan ready to meet our baby girl!


All afternoon, they checked my progress (it was slow)! Around 8 pm that evening my doctor (Dr. T) came in and said I was fully dilated and we were ready to push! I was so thankful, and so exhausted. My doctor had been on-call for 24+ hours so she had to leave, but she introducted me to a new doctor that would be with me through the delivery.

After pushing for 1+ hour, I rested to regain my strength. We then began pushing again at 9:30 pm--I realized I was exhausted, and we weren't making great progress with Ainsley coming out so I let the doctor know that if we needed to use other methods to help deliver Ainsley we would be okay with that. I was concerned about (1) the stress on Ainsley from the length of the labor, (2) stress on my body, and (3) the 14 hour window was closing in on us.

They called in a doctor at the practice that specializes in C-sections and vacuum deliveries. She arrived around 10:30 pm and we did more pushing...around midnight she said we were ready to use the vacuum to try to get Ainsley out safely. We had three tries before we needed to then do the C-section, due to the stress on the baby. The first try the vacuum slipped off of Ainsley....at that time I looked at Ryan and said a prayer to God to help us deliver our baby safely. I knew I was exhausted and had very little energy left. Second attempt didn't work. I then prayed even harder and pleaded with God to help us delivery Ainsley safely. On the third try--she was delivered at 12:37 am on Saturday, October 9th.

We heard her cry and were overjoyed!! I was so thankful to see our healthy baby girl!


As the doctors kept working on me, I kept asking "is everything okay". I could hear the doctor and the resident talking as they were working on me--but they quickly responded we'll fill you in when we're finished. I had no idea what was going on, but didn't know at the time the range of things that could go wrong--so I focused the next hour and a half as they were working on me on spending time holding Ainsley and talking with Ryan about how we were so excited our baby girl had finally arrived!

Here are some recent pictures of Ainsley--now at 7 weeks. She loves to kick her feet and move her hands. She is an active little girl!


Enjoying life!


She was kicking so hard her booties fell off.


Kicking!


So content!


A close up!

Sunday, November 28

The past two months...

I've decided to write about Ainsley's birth and the complications that followed, resulting me spending 16 days in the hospital during the first month of her life in three separate hospital admits. I want to write about it to (1) document the journey our family has been on in the past two months and (2) to give thanks to everyone who has helped us over the past two months--God, family, friends, countless nurses and doctors. It is a LONG story--so I'm going to take it a day at a time. I want to say at the beginning of this story that we are so thankful to God that we have a beautiful, healthy daughter--Ainsley Allison Cohenour. All of these complications have been worth enduring for her. Here is a picture of me and Ainsley (at the doctor's office--our second home)!


I had a VERY healthy pregnancy with Ainsley--I was super tired the first trimester, but the second and third trimesters were great, despite the fact that it was summer and I was hot all of the time! Ryan and I went to childbirth classes in the summer--although they could not have prepared us for all of the complications that we would face.


Our due date was October 1st and we were so excited to welcome a new addition to our family after 9 years of marriage.


I had planned on working up until the time that Ainsley was born, but I ended up taking off four days before I was induced because I was staring to have high blood pressure and not feeling well the week before she was born. Ryan and I took this picture the week before Ainsley arrived--we went to a town close by and had lunch and then took some outdoor photos.


I had a doctor's apt on Monday, October 4th and at that time I was experiencing high blood pressure (for the first time in my pregnancy). The doctor said we would keep an eye on it, and proceed with the plans to induce on Thursday, October 7th. This was a picture Ryan took--notice how BIG my feet are. I had major swelling in my feet the week before Ainsley was born--a sign of high blood pressure.


Our doctor told us to check in at 6 am on Thursday, October 7th at Labor & Delivery for our induction. I woke up at 2:30 am that morning to prepare, even though our bags had been packed for weeks! I was so excited. We left the house at 5:30 am (it was a 5 min drive!). We didn't want to be too early, so we stopped by McDonald's for a breakfast burrito! We arrived at Labor & Delivery at 5:50 am and got checked in.

Ryan in the hospital lobby before we headed up to Labor & Delivery.


I learned from the nurses that morning that many couples are late for their induction time--they do last minute shopping, packing, etc and some times arrive hours late....I couldn't imagine! Our doctor called the labor and delivery staff the night before I was induced and assured them that we were a couple that was prepared and would be on time! She knows us all too well--we were excited to meet our baby girl!

Me in the hospital lobby before we got checked-in!


Here I am all checked in and ready to go. They gave me Cytotec to help get my cervix ready. I will write about this drug later as they gave this to me during my third hospital stay as well--it has multiple uses apparently! Around late afternoon, I had progressed enough for them to start piticon to help jump start my labor. That first night in the hospital I barely slept, I was so excited to meet our baby girl...but I realized labor was not progressing as fast as I had thought.

Its beginning...

Its beginning to look a lot like Christmas! Ryan got our mail today and we had a special package from Aunt Angie! Thanks Ang!!


Ainsley couldn't wait to try her dress on!


Here is A in a cute onsie her Grandpa Allison bought her! She's all smiles.




Deep in thought!


Sleepy!

Saturday, November 27

Weekend

On Friday I did a little Christmas decorating. I have SO many decorations--this year, I decided to just put out my favorite decorations and not go overboard. I like the simplicity of our decorations this year. Here are a few!

Kitchen counter top with some yummy Christmas treats!


The manger--love there are two babies featured in this picture--baby Jesus and our Ainsley.


Kitchen counter top!


This star was one of my mom's decorations, it will be a good reminder of mom this holiday season.


A wreath that I bought at Target this year..only $10!


A mini tree for Ainsley's room.


This morning, I ran out and got my hair cut! I have the greatest stylist, Chelsey, I'm trying to grow my hair out for a pony tail--so she just did a little trim!


Today we got dressed up and went to our favorite BBQ place for lunch! They have great food and the cutest decorations.


Ainsley eating lunch--milk not BBQ!


We of course had to wear our Black and Gold to support the Hawks...even though we lost to MN today.


Miss Ainsley smiling at her mama--she is starting to smile more.


I made some black Friday purchases--mainly Ainsley related! I bought this new drying rack which comes in so handy since we don't have a dishwasher.


We pre-mix Ainsley's bottles and put them in the fridge so we can quickly feed her when she gets hungry--because the baby girl is the picture of peace until she is hungry and then she lets the world know that she is ready to eat!


We stopped by Day Care this week to meet the staff again before Ainsley starts in December. The told us they use a bottle warmer, so we thought we'd get one for Ainsley at home so she would have consistency between Day Care and home.....the girl is in LOVE with that bottle warmer. I have never seen her eat so fast (YES, dad--you were right).


We had a busy day and out little one is tuckered out!

Friday, November 26

Thanksgiving

We had a low key thanksgiving this year--which was very needed. We stayed at home this year and didn't travel, which meant not being with family--but thankfully we were able to talk on the phone yesterday.

We went to a friend's house for thanksgiving dinner and had a great time.

I am thankful for this little one this year! And, those cheeks that are finally filling out because she is gaining weight! This is a picture of her sleeping peacefully this morning!


Yesterday Miss Ainsley was so sleepy--I think she knew it was Thanksgiving and the primary objective was to eat and sleep. We took this picture before we headed out to the dinner and she was already yawning!


At the dinner she was so good--everyone held her (which she loved) and then we snuggled her in her carrier and brought her home.


If Ainsley could talk, she would say she is thankful for Mr. Bear--she loves this bear and just stares at him or tries to hold his hand--so cute!