Friday, April 25, 2014

Birth Reflections

Only one of my children have a birth mark. Aiden has a light brown oval spot on his right side. 

However, Blake had this spot on his right foot. It looks like a cigarette burn on the skin. The doctor didn't know what is was, but it is healing and fading very slowly.

God had given us this treasure of family, but I need to remember they are His. I give God my family. After all He loves them more than I could. Going through a situation where things do not turn out like you think they will reminds you of that.

Some people have made comments or asked questions of Matt about our home birth in such a way that made him question if our decision is to blame for the trouble we had. Should we have made better choices? Was there someone to blame? Us frail humans want someone to blame don't we?
I thank God for the choices we have made through this entire process. God led us to a home birth with our specific midwife. You know a home birth was not even an option at the beginning of my pregnancy. My mother birthed my youngest two siblings at home and has suggested it to us, but I didn't want to. You need to feel compelled to do something like this and prepare for it. So the concept was not foreign to me. The only way I even considered it was because Aiden was such a fast delivery.
From start to finish Aiden was born in five hours and the drive to the hospital was horrible.

There were some factors about my birth and hospital delivery that pushed me to look for another place to deliver and after watching my sister give birth, being an objective observer, that pushed me to really consider a home birth. Also the fact that my nurse midwife at Floyd had delivered at home with her last baby I knew there was something to it. God kept pointing me in this direction. I kept meeting people that had chosen a home birth and ironically all of them were in the medical field. So I know they had quite a bit more information to make this informed choice.

We had a good pregnancy and I am convinced that if we had delivered at a hospital they would have pushed us into a c-section delivery. This is not the delivery I wanted. I know that I would have caved at the hospital and asked for drugs, that would have lead to me not being able to push Blake out, that would have lead to him getting stuck or us rushing to a c-section. God had this.

I did not tear in delivery, Blake was able to be delivered naturally, no shoulder distotia. There was nothing we could have done differently to have my placenta cooperate. There was no reason why it didn't release. No one was at blame for Blake getting pneumonia. God knows he was squeezed through the birth canal, so how could he have breathed in fluid and get an infection in his lungs. I don't know why these things happened, but there is no blame. We live a fragile life and things happen.

I am so thankful that the people surrounding me knew the right things to do at the right time. We live right next to the hospital. Our care was timely and ready at a short notice. I have had quite the experience and such a story to tell. Even now looking back there is nothing I would have done differently. I would still have a home birth had I to do it all over again.

Perhaps a more conscious effort to walk everyday and eat a few more salads would have been better choices but God is good and takes care of us always.

 My baby is beyond perfect and the dimple I found on his cheek has been probably worn there by my kissing his irresistible soft cheek. I love to talk about my experience and my baby ask us questions anytime. :)

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Blood is Our Lifeline

Saturday morning I woke up feeling refreshed and so good. I thought I was ready to start the day and called the nurse to see about taking a shower and then I sat up.....
Oh that was bad. I physically crashed, my peripheral vision was blurry I was very dizzy and wanted to pass out. My blood count was very low. There was such an issue with them trying to take the blood so they could check my blood count. In fact the nurse had come in Friday night with an ultrasound machine to try and find my veins to draw the blood. My right arm has no veins to stick. They are very thin and very far under the surface of the skin. No wonder I had needles. No one can get a successful stick. Only my left arm cooperates. So thankful they did not take out that IV line. Dr. came in for his morning rounds and confirmed that I needed blood. 2 liters and a transfusion seems so scary but that is what I needed.
Blood = Life  This puts me in mind of the blood of Christ
We can only have life eternal with accepting how Christ sacrificed and gave his blood for our sins by asking for forgiveness.

It took 5 hours!!! to get that much blood through my IV. But my reward at the end was to get to be wheeled by wheel chair to the nursery to see and hold Blake. Wow! He is so heavy on my sore belly.

Going through labor your body automatically generates extra blood because you loose about 1 unit during delivery, but since I was hemorrhaging blood the entire time I had the placenta still attached I had lost too much. They had tried to get my body back to health by giving me all the extra fluids over night but that was not going to be enough to help my body regenerate all I had lost. During the day I thought about the pioneer women and others who would have had a home birth and not the resource of a hospital to help, Would I have died in child birth? If I had not been able to have the blood transfusion my body would have needed 90 days to create enough new blood to replace what was lost. I am so thankful for having a hospital to go to when needed.

Matt was a sweetheart and went home to make me my favorite popcorn with peanut butter and chili powder, yummo! He also made me a virgin pina colada and brought them back to me in the hospital. What a man!

I had spent the whole day literally in bed. It was so needed. I had two visitors but needed the rest. I must have looked bad because everyone kept saying how pale and white I looked. Matt had stayed with me all day. I know it just kills him to sit in a room all day but he was right there. While receiving the blood I was not to move. Matt was my bedpan buddy. You know you are loved when someone takes care of you like that. Through thick and thin right?

Grandma Murphy with Blake

Excited big brother visiting during his snow day. Hospitals are not great places for kids to visit. So the kids enjoyed thier time with Nana this week at home.

Sunday I was a brand new person. I got up and took a shower, washed my hair! Oh that feels so good. Remember I delivered Friday morning and have not been out of bed since.

I walked out to hold Blake and the Doctor and nurses saw me and literally took a double take. They couldn't believe how much better I looked. Almost to the point that they didn't recognize me. Lots of family and friends came by after church and the rest of the afternoon.

I ended up going home late that night. Matt really wanted to watch the football playoffs. His Broncos were in it and won. They beat the Patriots, a pretty big deal. Go Peyton Manning!

It was so nice to be home but I had a hard time leaving this precious boy.

I returned to be with Blake and start nursing. I had been pumping but nothing yet. Blake is still taking oxygen and breathing very rapidly and unsteady. Also had a feeding tube while on the oxygen. I was with Blake all day in the nursery holding him whenever I could. Having him skin to skin is so important both for Blake's health and for my milk to come in. All week was a battle to get my milk in because I had lost so much fluid and blood my body was fighting to regenerate all of what I needed as well as getting a start on trying to produce milk. Blake's health steadily improved with me there holding him and talking to him. He came off the feeding tube by the end of the day.

Tuesday Blake was in the room with me all day! They let me stay at the hospital with Blake and while no one needed the room I could stay right next to the nursery. Another praise is that my milk is starting to come in. They take him back to the nursery two times a day for his shot of antibiotics and I am able to nurse him first and then supplement with a bottle.
Corbin had a snow day today and he and Matt came to see us.

So tired of being in the hospital and went home to have dinner with the family tonight. And of course the kids just wanted to sit with Matt . I was not missed at all. Nana has been with them this week and it is almost like a vacation for them.

Wednesday was such a good day. Blake is so happy and content. He was circumcised  today and that made him grumpy, then he slept for five hours. Called Lydia to come keep me company. We made footprints of Blake in his baby book. Michelle came by and brought a blizzard what a precious friend.

This week a friend from church passed away. Al Rudolph has been fighting cancer and he went home to heaven this week. So many people have been touched by his life and will miss him. I will go to his viewing Thursday.

Thursday Blake is ready to come home, however we are required to stay in the hospital till all of his antibiotics have continued for seven days. We were able to go home after his midnight shot Friday night.

Through the bitter cold I took my precious baby home. With living right next to the hospital Matt and kids were home and Blake and I came home to a quite and peaceful home at last.

After all this that we have been though I am doing great but my answer is I'm tired. It will take a long time for my iron and energy to build back up.

Funny, usually after a birth discharge they recommend that you not pick up anything that weighs more than 10 pounds but in my case nothing more than Blake. :)

God is so good and He takes care of us.
Final thought on the birth next post.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Mama of Four

It is taking a long time to realize that I am a new mom again and not just a new mom but a mom of four! My heart is so full.

They come back to my room and tell that Blake has pneumonia (infection in his lungs). Now they keep him full time in the nursery and try to get an IV in him to start antibiotics.

My chubby baby is a hard stick like me and they did get one Saturday morning. When Doctor Pittman our pediatrician came in and explained about Blake I just cried. The whole day had caught up with me and I needed a good cry. Everyone left and Matt and I had some time alone.

Matt and I got to talk and process through our whole day. Poor Matt, I couldn't imagine watching my spouse go through all those things today! Or even my mom--seeing her daughter experience that pain.

Above all things today there was a sense of joy and love not fear. As this birth approached I would have fear creep into my spirit. Fear of the natural birth that we had planned and fear of what we didn't know to happen. But I had been praying for God to take that spirit of fear away. Perfect love drives out fear. The Lord helped me to claim these scripture verses; Isaiah 41:10, Psalms 56:3-4, Proverbs 3:24-26, Isaiah 26:3-4, Matthew 11:28-30, Philippians 4:13, Isaiah 40:29-31, John 16:21-24, Jeremiah 32:27

Also Michelle had made me a worship cd that helped me. Love the song "Oceans" by Hillsong United.

So when all of these obstacles to our birth story happened my heart was resting in Jesus. That is the only way I was able to make it through these very difficult day and week ahead.

Matt left at 9p. Living right next to the hospital was super nice. I was looking forward to a night of rest,not being able to sleep all day. Remember I had awoke at 1am with labor pains. Super long day. Walked in to kiss little man before bed. Have to tell you I barely made it. Very woozy.

They also had to give Blake oxygen. His breath was very shallow and fast. They needed him to stabilize and breath slow and deep.

Spurts of rest. Kept dreaming about labor and delivery. The machines kept beeping and they continued to put in IV fluids all night. Had asked about getting IV out of my arm. My arm was so swollen and sore but after having such a hard time giving blood decided to leave in just in case I needed something. So glad I did....

Saturday was a surprise. Next post

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Our Home Birth

January 17th Friday Morning at 10:04 am
Blake Matthew Murphy was born

Here is our amazing birth story-
January 2nd I was 2 cm dilated, on the 9th we were raring to go. Surely this baby will be born any day, but wanted a nudge for sure. Aundria did a stretch and sweep and I am at a full 4 cm. Can't be walking around like that long right? That next night I had lost some of my plug and had the shakes really bad (which are hormones kicking in gear) we sent the kids to spend the night with my friend because this is surely the day. Nope.... false alarm. The 16th we did another stretch and sweep. I am at 5 cm. After each of these days I feel very crampy and super tired.

At this point I can't believe I am already at 5 cm. The labor ahead must be super fast. Every night I was ready to wake up to labor pains and begin labor. All of my babies have been over due by two weeks, I really didn't think I would make it to my due date this time with how big I was, but here we are 41 weeks.

Thursday night the 16th went to bed but woke up at 1:12am with first contractions. Contractions scattered about 20-35 minutes apart and only 30 seconds long. Called Aundria Radmacher my midwife to let her know what was going on with me and Holly W. who is going to be my birth coach. Mentally preparing myself for the night ahead. I took a warm shower and woke Matt up. Holly was there when I got out. Called Aundria to come and my mother. Aundria brought a back up midwife to assist her (Jenna). 

Labor was steady, Holly was wonderful about praying and quoting scriptures, night faded into morning and it seemed like things were progressing so very slowly.

It felt better to labor sitting on the ball or standing up or sitting in the bathroom. Day light showed snow had beautifully fallen. In fact Corbin had a snow day from school. My planned childcare fell through this morning and the kids were with Sherri W. Praise Jesus for the church family that jumps in there when you have a need.

Matt and the ladies had been in and out checking on me; Holly never left my side. I really needed her. Just her presence and knowing she was praying and there to rub soar muscles. By 7am it didn't seem like labor was progressing as fast as I thought it was going to be. With Aiden we were in labor from start to finish 5 hours. This time I was already at 5 cm to begin with and now it has been 6 hours and no pushing contractions. 

My sciatic nerve especially in my back and right leg were in so much pain and no position was giving any relief. Alundria rubbed my leg and back several times.

Aundria monitored Blake's heartbeat constantly after checking me and we were still sitting at 9 cm and cervix just wasn't getting up over his head. I laid down in bed and she broke my water and now contractions really started to hit at a much harder intensity. The surprising part was that even with these hard contractions I still was not feeling the pushing contractions.

Again laying down on the bed was terribly painful on my back and right leg. I went to sit in the bathroom again and was so beyond continuing this labor. Holly asked if I could push with the next contraction and I just held onto this idea like a life line. I was very much ready to push this baby out. I was so tired. So that's what we did in the bathroom. I didn't want to move back to the bed. So I balled up, chin down and pushed with everything I had. Such pain.

I did this a few times and then went down on hands and knees. Here came Blake! Matt said the ladies looked at each other like can you believe how big he head is? When I delivered Blake completely I was on the floor on my back. Once his shoulders were born he came out very quickly. I am so glad the ladies didn't say anything about how big Blake's head was.

Blake's face was dark plumb/ almost black and non reactive. The ladies worked on him and he did cry and breath. I was too overwhelmed with finishing my part of this birth to be afraid for Blake. It was so fast but there was definent concern for his limp and not breathing response. 

Miracle beyond belief is that I didn't tear. Everything stretched to allow Blake to pass through. A few attempts to push out the placenta and the energy of the room turned to worry over me.They got me off the bathroom floor and we went to lay down on the bed.

The ladies pushed on my belly gave me two shots of pitocin, Blake nursed. All the things that would cause the placenta to release and push out but it wasn't coming. Now it had been a half hour and no success. Aundria called 911 and EMS came to take Blake and I to the hospital. I was loosing too much blood (hemorrhaging). When EMS came I had already lost 1,000cc's of blood. I felt like I would pass out. Everyone kept saying I was pale as a sheet. EMT's put in the IV and gave me at least 2 bags of fluid and put me on an oxygen mask. 

I had asked what was going to happen when we got to the hospital. What are the options? Everyone was in and out preparing to leave and I was beginning to need emotional support. I needed Matt. He was with me when we loaded up in the ambulance. We decided to have Blake admitted with me in the hospital and he was getting him taken care of.

The EMT's used this tarp with handles to bring me from my bed to the gurney at the bottom of the steps. Two big guys had me and the EMT boss had Blake. I was very faint and not really sure what to think about all that was going on. Pain and fear were starting to build. I trusted God to be with me and that everyone was doing the right thing but afraid of how much more pain was ahead with the placenta and why it wasn't coming out? I was not very aware of my surroundings.... yes you see the lights blurring above you down the hospital hall just like the TV shows represent. While they wheel you to your room.

We get to the labor and delivery ward and the doctor on call treated me. I immediately asked for pain medication but he was not going to give anything till he had asked me questions. With each response the doctor became more and more serious and focused. Matt was by my side the entire time. I could see he was very worried. How old are you? How many pregnancies? Is the placenta planted in the front? Have you had a c-section before? We don't know why the placenta won't release but he was going to manually remove it. There was not time for pain meds only time for action. If that doesn't work we will go to the Operating Room and see about removing it surgically. The worst case here is if the placenta has grown into my  c-section scar. They would have to perform a hysterectomy if that were the case. Prayers and tears were flowing. 

He tries right away, lots of pain a big gush and out it all comes. Another check and sweep to see if it has all come and yes it is done. Praise Jesus! Very mangled placenta he says. I guess we will not do a placenta print. :)

The whole time my mom is with Blake. They are checking him out. His sugars are a bit out of wack and I hear everyone ask if I or he has gestational diabetes because he is so big.  Everyone is in my room-- IV heart beat monitor and blood pressure cuff are all on my arms. Relief and praise is in the air. WE MADE IT! The baby is here....everyone is stable.

Blake Matthew Murphy
Friday, January 17th 2014
11 pounds 5 ounces 23 inches 

My precious baby!

Carolyn was so sweet standing right by me and feeding me ice chips. My mouth was so so dry and I couldn't have anything till antibiotic and fluids went in. So about 90 more minutes.

Blake came in the room everyone oohed and awwwed. My back and belly, chest and legs, everything hurt and was so sore. Plus all the stuff on my arms hurt so bad I didn't want to hold Blake's weight yet.
Blake's blond fuzzy hair was very pronounced against his red skin. Such big cheeks. Matt nicknamed him pork chop. I stuck for the rest of our hospital stay.

So EMS came at house around 11a, Hospital at 12noon. I think I nursed him around 2:30p Nursed very well. Still at this point a bit oblivious to what's going on. Later told I lost 40% of my blood. (2 liters)

Before I fed him the second time (around 5p) they wanted to do another blood sugar test on Blake. They were gone over an hour. Something was wrong. Blake had choked up a lot of amniotic fluid and the found fluid in his lungs.

More on next post....

Thursday, April 3, 2014

January is all about Baby Blake

40 weeks is the estimated time of pregnancy, time for your baby to grow healthy and develop all his parts. But also time for mama to prepare mentally and physically for this new life to take over. 

This is the fourth time God has blessed me to carry a little life. These nine months have been such a whirl wind in so many ways. Our life is so full and busy with three little ones already; taking Addie to preschool three days a week, leading bible study two days a week, getting Corbin on the bus with evening activities of boy scouts and dance class, church and friends. Also decisions we were praying about and seeking direction for in our delivery with this baby. Just so much happening. I'll give you the highlights.

The first picture of our little boy

April is such a busy month for the Murphy's as Adaline is born on the 7th and Corbin the 27th
This lady was about to find out that April has lead to baby number 4.

Mother's Day Eve I found out that I was to have a special Mother's Day and that we were Expecting!
Matt had some pressures at work this spring and while we were wanting to expand our family he didn't want to know about any "special news" so I held my joy inside for a few more weeks.

The last week of May -In fact we were packing to take a trip to Memphis to see Matt's twin sister Melanie and her family. Nephew Karter (my favorite boy name-by the way) was graduating and celebrating his 18th birthday. So we were headed down to celebrate together. Matt was outside loading up the van and I brought him some ice tea in a baby bottle. "What's this?" he asked. Not even getting the meaning until he looked up to see my obnoxious grin that told all. "What?!" he smiled real big and gave me a hug.

We kept the news to ourselves for a couple more weeks before telling our family. We wanted to let Karter have his special time before we told. We told family and then friends.

My bunco group was so surprised when I told them at our painting party.

So this is me 2 months pregnant in a canoe with three small children and Matt.

This is us 3 months pregnant taking a weekend alone at the VW show in Effingham, IL.

I was able to share in my sister's pregnancy while being pregnant myself. She is 8 months and I am three months.

We took a six mile hike at the gorge. (3 months)

Our anniversary Trip to Branson, MO

And here it is!! Our 20 week ultrasound. We have never found out the sex of any of our babies, but this time I was anxious to know. I was truly hoping for a little girl so Addie could have a sister,

But clearly that was not meant to be.

This is me at 20 weeks. I am so glad we found out the sex. No disappointments at delivery.

One of the facts to note this pregnancy was that I have a placenta that has planted in the front of my womb instead of the back which is more typical. There is no reason to be concerned, everything will continue fine. Just this causes the babies movements to be more muffled, which also explains why I had not really felt baby boy kick on the outside yet.

Here we are together the night before Grace delivered her baby boy (Brayden). Grace actually delivered on her due date. So rare.

I was so proud to be there with her and have the honor of cutting the cord.

My first nephew to hold in my arms. So precious!

After seeing a birth in the hospital again from the objective view as an observer, I really wrestled with the idea of having a home birth. From the get go Matt and I really thought hard about where to deliver this little Murphy and decided for several reasons we would not be returning to Clark. However we didn't have a clear picture of what we wanted to do. Up through my twenty week ultrasound we were seeing a midwife in New Albany and planning on delivering at Floyd Memorial Hospital.

After watching Grace my mind was totally changed and my mothers light hearted "have a home birth" idea really seemed like the way we wanted things to go. Not to late at 20 weeks? I sought out some wisdom. God opened the doors for us and we found a fantastic fit with our midwife Aundria.

So much to tell about our birth decision and midwife- no room or time here.

So the fall continued with such a peace of mind.

Glowing with pregnancy here at month 5.

Our big family vacation on Fall Break

Month 6

My pregnancy has gone so well. I am feeling about the same as my other pregnancies, just a bit more tired chasing after three and being a little bit older.

Yet by Thanksgiving I felt like I hit a wall. Everything was so laborious. I was getting miserable. Physically wore out and so tired. My other pregnancies had tired days but I felt like I just zoomed on up to the last week or two just fine. Now already at 32 weeks I am just drained. Many days needed naps and spells to rest.
This baby is moving all over and kicks to the right side of my belly the most. Right when I lay down to sleep is the time he likes to roll around a bit.

I felt super big at Thanksgiving

December was so full of activity. Matt was such an awsome husband and dad. He helped out all the time.

We celebrated birthdays

I threw together Aiden's 2nd birthday

We were treated out for my birthday 36!

And of course we can't forgo our Murphy's Christmas party!
By Christmas I had lots of pressure in my lower belly and have been swollen in my face, hands, legs and feet since week 36.

I even felt a little ambitious and made the Crown Lamb for our family Christmas Dinner! I have wanted to do this for years.

But now this last week before delivery H-U-G-E! does not even seem like the right word to describe how big I feel. So swollen and ready to meet this new baby.

My due date is January 9th

I was so certain that I would not make it to my due date the larger my belly expanded.
So 1/2/14 My appointment with Aundria went like this. She did give me a check up and we were 2 centimeters dilated, 50% effaced and -1 Station. I was thinking that I would ask her to give me a nudge but when she asked if I wanted my membranes stripped I chickened out and said maybe halfway.

I will tell you more about our progress to delivery next post.