Monday, March 23, 2015

Newborn Photos + Thoughts

Talmage's amazing Nona Lise was sweet enough to take some newborn photos of our little family. You could say we had fun....we only took over 400 photos haha.  I'll spare you the time and post them in increments, these are just a few of my absolute favorites. Talmage was only a week and two days old in these pictures.  I had just nursed him before we started so he was in this cute milk drunk phase with his eyes all half open.  Towards the end of the shoot he totally fell asleep and it made for some adorable pictures!  I especially love all the pictures we took of his little details- his hands, his feet, his ears and his adorable cushy lips.  I love this little boy so much my heart feels like it could burst!  As cliche or as cheesy as you wanna call it, I literally could burst into tears at any moment thinking about how lucky I am.  I am one happy mamma, that's for sure.  

^^ the details ^^ 

^^ always sleeps with his mouth open- just like Daddy ^^ 

^^ I could kiss his toes all day ^^

^^ I can't wait to see what color those big eyes will be ^^ 

I adore those precious eyes!! 

^^ Angel baby ^^ 

^^ So in love with these two ^^

As I was nursing Talmage the other day my mind started thinking about the past few weeks and all of the things I don't ever want to forget.  So....some thoughts:

-During dinner the night Talmage was born Braedon told me he had thought of a name for our baby, but he was nervous to tell me since I had shot down almost every other one of his ideas.  After some prodding he finally told me the name, Talmage.  I told him, "I didn't hate it", and then jokingly said, "Well if he's born tonight then we can name him Talmage"!  Next thing we knew we had a baby boy in our arms few hours later.  While we were deciding on his name Braedon looked at me with tears in his eyes and said, "I don't care what we name him, we can name him whatever you want". 

-The first thing I ate after delivering was starbursts and fruity mentos.  Nothing else really sounded very appetizing and I didn't feel starving like most people said I would.  If anything, I didn't have much of an appetite.  My mom brought me a jamba juice the next morning and it tasted SO yummy.  It was the first "real" thing that I ate and enjoyed.  

-For the record, Talmage has officially pee'd on Dad during diaper changes WAY more than he's peed on mom. 

-Every once in a while Talmage will giggle in his sleep- I honestly think he's giggling, and a few people have witnessed it.  My nurse side worries at first that he's choking or not breathing right.  

-Talmage LOVES to be sung to.  Sing to him, and he is smitten.  Seriously, eyes wide open and he'll stare at you the whole time.  We do a lot of singing at our house now.  

-My first outing alone was to Target to get a few essentials for breastfeeding that I hadn't thought of before Talmage was born.  I couldn't even make it out of the door without tearing up, and I may or may not have bawled the whole car ride.  Call it hormones, but it was hard being away from my baby after being so close for so long!  

-At Talmage's 3 day pediatrician appointment he weighed 6 lbs 14 oz and was 20 inches long.  His birth weight was 7 lbs 3 oz and 18.5 inches long.  We are pretty sure they measured the birth length wrong in the hospital haha.  At his 2 week appointment he weighed 8 lbs even, and measured 21 inches long.  I may be tooting my own horn but it made me proud to think that was all my doing!  I feel lucky that nursing has gone so well for us.  

-Late at night when I'm nursing instead of looking at Facebook or Instagram, or playing candy crush (guilty), I just stare at his little face.  I don't think it will ever get old.  This boy is as sweet as sweet gets, and everyone that meets him feels the same way.  Can't believe how happy and content I feel with life right now, he has changed our world and most definitely for the better!  

-I might change my mind or think I was crazy for saying this later, but right now at this moment I feel like I was meant to be a mom, and I can't wait to have more kids.  I'm perfectly happy focusing on this new little peanut for a while, but I know I'm gonna crave labor, delivery, and the newborn phase again and again. I'm one lucky girl! 

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Baby Tally's Birth Story


2 . 27 . 2015

He's finally here!!  
Those last few weeks were a bit torturous.  Not even because I felt uncomfortable, but because my impatient personality was really just getting the best of me.  I woke up everyday thinking,

"Is it gonna be today?"

 "I sure hope it's today"

 "What can I do to make it happen today??"

I think baby Tally was definitely proof to me that the baby will come when they are ready (really isn't that the best way anyways??).  Having worked as a nursery/ postpartum nurse and taken care of women who have been induced I have pretty strong opinions on whether or not it's a good idea to have a baby before they are fully "cooked".  Let's just say I was second guessing my opinion as the due date came closer and closer!  A pitocin drip and an artificial rupture of membranes was looking pretty good!  You might be thinking, chill out, you were only 38 weeks.  I hope you're thinking that because really I was being ridiculous.  I have to admit it, I'm just incredibly impatient!  

So, on to the birth story.  Do I need to forewarn you that it's gonna be long and probably more details than you want?  Ok good.  

The morning of Tally's birth day I woke up at 6 am and got ready for work.  I was bummed about going to work again instead of being able to be on maternity leave at home with my babe, but I had been having lots of contractions every time I would work and looked at it as time for my cervix to keep dilating and effacing.  I was in a particularly good mood when I got to work even though we had a full board.  Meaning, the labor and delivery board was pretty packed with women in labor, and since I am a nursery nurse it would be a busy day of new admits.  I get to go assess all of the new babies a half hour after their born, give them their first round of medications, do the first bath, and either they are passed off to "couplet care" and the postpartum nurse takes over, or I send them off to the NICU, or I start an IV and the baby gets something not requiring NICU like antibiotics/ fluids etc and stays in my care. 

I worked with Anna in the nursery that day and we had been joking around that I was allowed to go get a resistance ball from L&D and do some bouncing but not until 5:00 that night (we work 7am-7pm).  We had fun laughing at me that day while I would dance around the nursery, do a couple squats, and then finally at about 2:00 I told her I was gonna go do the stairs.  I kept joking that I was gonna add myself to the already full board and make her do all the work on her own for the rest of the day.  

I went out to the stairwell and started a light jog up the stairs....granted very slow and very huffy puffy as you can imagine.  I got to thinking about my baby and how for some reason I REALLY wanted him born in February.  When I first found out my due date and before I even knew what we were having I told myself I wanted a February baby (even though the due date was March 11th).  My Aunt Carrie was born in February and she passed away in a car accident when I was only 7 years old, but she had the kind of impact on people that you can't forget.  I felt close to Carrie, as we all did, and when I started walking those stairs I could feel her walking (or should I say waddling) along next to me and laughing at how silly I was being.  I was trying so hard to get him to come.  I remember thinking to myself, Carrie, I'm gonna need your help. First I'm gonna need your help to make it up these stairs, but I'm also gonna need you to help me finally meet this sweet boy of mine.  Will you please help me?  

I was fully planning on working until 7:00 that night, but by some miracle with the amount of discharges we had I was sent home "on-call" at 3:00, even with a full board.  There was a postpartum nurse working that had discharged all of her patients and luckily she also does nursery so she took my spot.  It was a happy and rare surprise but I didn't really think much of it.  It is only now looking back that I realize what a tender mercy it truly was.  

My mom had been in Vegas most of the week for a work trip and would text me every day asking how I was feeling and asking me to "wait" until she got back to have my baby.  I knew she was going to be home Friday evening, and when I left work around 3:45 I called her.  I told her I was frustrated and I had been contracting all day while I was working but couldn't get them to keep going. It felt like mild period cramps. I told her that I knew my body would go into labor when it was ready, and I knew I was being silly, but that I just really wanted to have my baby.  She reminded me that if I laid down and they kept going, even if I changed positions, that I was probably in labor, but if they stopped then I wasn't.  She told me I needed to just go home and rest, and I knew she was right.  Even though I wanted to go run laps around the neighborhood to try to push me along, I took her advice.  

I got home, turned on Netflix, and started timing my contractions.  They were about every 5-6 minutes apart for an hour. I talked to my best friend Micah on the phone and told her I was getting excited but trying not to get my hopes up.  Unfortunately, I got up to shower and get dinner ready and they totally stopped.  I was so bummed.  Braedon got home, we ate dinner, and since I would be working again the next morning we decided to make it an early night and just relax so that my body could make it through another 12 hour shift.  We turned on the office, the one where Michael realized that Toby is back from Costa Rica.  We had just watched the part where Michael walks back to the annex and sees Toby and yells over and over, "NO! NO! NOOOOOO!' And our giggle bots were activated!  We were both laughing so hard, the kind of giggles where you can't stop.  Next thing I knew I heard a "pop" and it kind of felt like my baby had just kicked me, which was weird because he was getting so cramped in there that I was only feeling turns and slight movement rather than jabs.  I sat up a little and felt the first little gush and realized MY WATER HAD BROKEN!! It was about 8:30pm.   

I got a huge smile on my face and looked at Braedon, "My water just broke! My water just broke!" His face was priceless.  Sheer terror.  

Braedon: What? It did? Are you sure? What do we do?? 

Me: (in between laughs) Yes! I'm sure! Look! (water still gushing)

Braedon: Uhhh, K, uhhhh, what do we do??  Should I grab a towel?

Me: (still laughing) Yes! Grab a towel!  I need to call my mom!

Braedon: (looking in linen closet, stocked w/towels and sheets) We don't have any towels!! We don't have any towels!! (we had towels)

Me: Yes we do! (thinking to myself, just grab a towel from the bathroom ya goon!)

Braedon came back with a kitchen towel (priceless).  Still looking like he had just seen a ghost.  

Braedon: Well what do we do? Do we need to go to the hospital? Should I throw together a jump bag?

Me: (still laughing) Yes.  My bag is already packed, just pack our toiletries and whatever you'll need.  

I called my mom and she thought I was crying cause I was laughing so hard while I told her what happened. This is when the "shakes" started.  I think I was in shock a little but I was also just so stoked that we were going to have our baby within 24 hours.  (Most OB's protocol is that if your membranes are ruptured longer than 24 hours then a c-section is indicated for high risk of infection). 

My mom is a nurse and used to work L&D so she asked me all the important questions, was it just a leak? Was it gushing? Was it tinted green? Was I contracting?  It was definitely a gush, luckily not tinted green (this can mean the baby has stooled and can be really dangerous), and I wasn't contracting.  She told me not to worry, to take my time getting our stuff put together and then go to the hospital.  She said if I didn't start contracting they might let me sleep through the night and start pitocin in the morning if my body still wasn't doing anything.  

Braedon helped me get to the bathroom and once I sat down the contractions started.  At first I welcomed them with excitement....and then they got pretty intense.  Like so intense that I was yelling at Braedon, "get out! get out!" haha.  Poor guy was just trying to throw our toiletries together and I kept telling him to leave me alone.  It didn't help that I also thought I was going to go number you know what- even after two and half years of marriage, there are still some boundaries you just don't cross! I was still shaking, and the excitement had kind been taken over by thoughts of how painful those contractions were.  That's when I turned on my "birth affirmations" playlist from the hypnobirthing classes we took.  

*side note* I'll probably have to do a whole post on my experience with hypo-birthing classes,  wanting a natural birth, and why I considered these things but for now I'll just stick to the birth story.   

Now, at this point, I hadn't totally decided that I was gonna do this naturally (kind of late to decide I know).  When I took my OB class during nursing school and learned about epidurals, I thought to myself I wanted to do it naturally.  Then, seeing an epidural be placed during clinicals as a nursing student that was reaffirmed.  We took the classes but didn't get to attend the last one, and I was really spotty on listening to the recordings.  Basically the recordings help you to visualize and relax.  You're supposed to listen to them every night...I probably listened to them once a week for a month and then super randomly after that.  When I was feeling really uncomfortable (for example on our plane ride to Hawaii) I would turn one on because they put me right to sleep.  Braedon and I were probably the most annoying hypo-birthing students.  We giggled through the classes and didn't always take the teacher seriously.  However, we always loved when she would do the visualization at the end of class because we felt super relaxed after.  If anything, we looked at it as a good way to cope with stress.

Honestly, I complain about a stubbed toe, and act like its the end of the world when I get a headache, so a natural birth was kind of just a dream to me.  

Once the contractions started coming closer together and lasting longer, I looked at Braedon kind of apologetically and said, I don't think I can do this, I'm getting an epidural.  He looked at me firmly and said, "You know what Stef, that's ok, we'll do what you need to do".  I knew Braedon had full confidence in me that I could do it naturally, but I also knew that he would respect my decision to get an epidural.

I kept the recording playing from my cell phone and Braedon helped me get dressed. It was time to go to the hospital!  I kept contracting through all of this and had to stop a few times on the way out to the car.  Braedon kept asking me how I was doing but I really didn't feel like I had the energy to respond.  I would just nod my head and we kept going! 

We walked into labor and delivery and went straight to the triage desk.  Basically the clerk didn't believe I was in labor.  I was trying my best to remain stoic throughout the contractions but in hindsight maybe if I had come in screaming (like I felt) I would have been admitted a little faster haha. I was annoyed because I work at St. Mark's and she didn't recognize me.  I felt like saying, "uhh lady I'm a nurse, I work here, and I promise you I am in labor, admit me NOW".  They put me back in the triage room and had me change.  I was still not making any noise while I was contracting and I still had the recording playing from my phone, I just held it close to my face.  I kept playing it on a loop until I delivered. Braedon helped me get changed into a gown and I laid down on my side.  I felt awful.  I told him I was gonna throw up, and luckily he brought me a bag fast enough.  We had spaghetti for dinner, and that's all you need to know.  

We arrived at the hospital around 9:45 pm and I'm not sure exactly what time the triage nurse finally came in to check me.  It was a really busy night (remember the busy board from before?).  I could tell she didn't believe my water broke- she even said, "A lot of first time mom's think their water broke but really they just wet their pants".  I kind of wanted to punch her and I must have given her "the look" because she decided to forego the amniosure (checks to see if it's amniotic fluid leaking), and just check my cervix.  Plus Braedon piped in that I worked upstairs in the nursery and she finally put two and two together and recognized me.  She told me she had been checking cervixes all day and that no one had come in past a one.  I told her I had been dilated to a 4 and 70% effaced just three days before at my OB appointment.  She checked me, got a surprised look on her face and said, "You're at a seven! Let's get you in to a room! You probably want an epidural!".  By this point you could tell I was in pain during each contraction and the nurses really started to move fast.  I was so annoyed that I was going to have to get up again to get in the wheelchair and in to another bed.  Movement at that point was the last thing I wanted to do.  

Once we got into the room and I was in bed I kind of just curled up on my side with my head close to the bed rail and my hand over my face. I had my phone with the recording playing right next to me, I think I was kind of embarrassed by it and that's why I was so closed off. But it was helping and I wasn't going to turn it off. I was in the zone and I didn't want to talk to anyone.  My mom said it looked like I was just in my own little "cocoon". 

I was squeezing Braedon's hand through each contraction and he was so good, encouraging me, telling me I could this and breathing with me. He would remind me that the contraction was almost over, and that helped.  I stayed curled up on my side and felt bad for the nurse who had to start my IV.  She tried to time it so that I wasn't contracting during it but they were getting so close together that it was kind of unpredictable.  They told me the anesthesiologist was in the next room and I felt reassured that he would be there soon to give me an epidural, but then I felt the "bearing down" feeling, and I could tell the baby was coming. 

I told the room,

"I think he's coming"

"I feel like he's coming!"

My voice was weak, but firm, and a little panicky.  The nurse checked me and said I was at a +2 and complete (meaning my cervix had completed dilated and the baby really was coming).  That wheelchair ride must have done it haha!  That's when things felt kind of crazy.  I could sense the rush about the room- getting the delivery table ready, paging the hospitalist, etc.  I remember thinking to myself, "I'm one of those girls, I'm a stop and drop.  I hate when they come in and stop and drop!". I also realized at that point that I wasn't going to be able to get an epidural, and I had to make a choice.  Either I could panic, or I could accept it, and I did my best to just accept it.  I prayed to Heavenly Father over and over for help, and I know help was sent.  My Aunt Carrie was still there to help me get through it.  

 They told me there were paging Yamashiro (my doctor), and weren't going to make me move into a position to push just yet (side note: Vernon Yamashiro is the best OB out there if any of you are looking!)  That's when my mom finally got there and she rushed in and gave me a little hug.  I didn't feel like I could give much attention to my mom or to Braedon, and it took all that I had to at least look up and acknowledge them from my "cocoon".  That's when I had my "wild woman" moment and the contractions were so bad that I couldn't hold in my voice any longer.  I moaned and screamed with them. The contractions were bad but I do feel like I was able to totally relax in between them and I think I have my hypo-birthing classes to thank for that.  

Finally it was time to move and to see where I was at.  Yamashiro was finally there and I felt at peace knowing it would be him delivering my baby and not the hospitalist on call.  Turns out the baby was ready but still had quite the journey to make! He had a rough time getting under my pubic sypmphysis and I remember feeling discouraged because I would see some progress as I pushed and then he would slip right back where he was.  One step forward, two steps back. Once I got him through my pubic symphysis the pressure was really intense and I remember thinking, "Oh so this is the "ring of fire" that we learned about in nursing school, it really does suck" haha.  I ended up needing an episiotomy and felt a little panicky before, but I closed my eyes while he cut and I felt some stinging but knew that it meant that the next few pushes would mean I was meeting my baby.  My mom looked at me and said, ok this is the one, and those words sounded soooooo good! Dr. Yamashiro told me not to push as hard as I was with the other contractions, and to just do short slow pushes instead. He coached me through it and a few short pushes later Talmage Kelly Murdock was born at 11:53pm on February 27th, 2015. It was the best reward I could have ever asked for!! 

I have to laugh because when I got pregnant I told my mom that I was going to have this baby on February 28th (due date was March 11th).  I remember looking at the clock around 11:50 and thinking, I can't do this for ten more minutes, I don't care if he's born on an odd number anymore just get this baby out! (Apparently I have a weird thing with odd numbers...not anymore!)

Unfortunately my nursing instincts kicked in and I was kind of obsessive over his color, his breathing, etc. for the first little bit.  I mean, you can't exactly blame me, not only am I a nurse but my job is to assess newborns!  I remember feeling worried because I felt like I didn't know him, I didn't even recognize him! But I felt protective over him and knew I would do anything for him.  It was such a rush and everything happened so fast that it took a while for me to really process.  It wasn't until around 4am that night when Talmage and Braedon were both sleeping that I really just totally lost it.  I cried and cried- happy tears- over what just happened.  Over the past few days things have totally changed.  I feel like I know this baby better than anyone besides Heavenly Father, and I know that he knows me and recognizes me as his mamma.  

Honestly, as cliche as it may sound, I have never been happier, more content, or more at peace in my whole life.

Becoming a mom is hands down the best decision I've ever made.

So there you have it!  A three and half hour labor, a beautiful baby, and a happy family.

Now for the photo overload! (there were about 200 so I promise I really did try to narrow it down).

Talmage's sweet Nona Elise took these photos the next day while everyone came to meet him.  He has so many admirers already!  I was tired and sore, and still felt pregnancy swollen everywhere but was so happy to have all the support and love around our new family.

^^ Beautiful Nona Lise ^^

The Grandpa's

Had to document his poor bruise!  

^^ So thankful to have my mom there for everything! ^^

^^ All my sisters, minus Melissa ^^

My whole world :)

Tal Man's first bath
Last but not least I have to thank my incredible husband for being my partner through this amazing experience!  I didn't know this kind of happiness of love existed.  

Thanks for reading!


The Murdock family of three :)