Monday, October 24, 2016

Postpartum depression, sich

     We had been living in Northwest Arkansas for exactly one year. We were about to welcome our fourth child to our family with a four year old, two year old, and one year old. We had had such easy pregnancies, deliveries, and recoveries that I just assumed this would be the case.  Once Silas was born we hit the ground running. He was a challenging baby who would scream every night from 10pm-1am. I would go in our backyard to let him cry so he wouldn't wake the other sleeping people. At around 2.5 months the colic finally went away just in time for his reflux and asthma like symptoms to flare up. I decided to potty train Anna Kate because three kids in diapers was expensive! Also, this was right around when we decided to do some testing on Hudson to see why his growth had drastically slowed. I was basically going through the motions and just surviving. 
     If you asked me on any given day though, I would say, " I'm good" or " we're busy, but getting it down". On the inside though I was seriously struggling with frustration and exhaustion but too embarrassed to let anyone know. I was a new pastor's wife and there wasn't any way I was going to let anyone know that I didn't love my situation. I was buying into the lies of guilt and shame for the way I felt. I  had a loving husband, healthy kids, a home, food, clothes, cars, and I was a believer in Jesus. Shouldn't that have been enough? I was getting more mad at myself and trying to pull myself together on my own.  I never had feeling of harm, just feelings of gloom. My pride ruled what could have been a sweet time. I was also snapping my fingers and expecting God to make my baby sleep through the night and make me feel "normal". I felt disappointed that those things didn't happen when I felt that they should happen. Again, hindsight is 20/20.  I know he allowed me some adversity for my sanctification and for His good plans.
     There's only so many target runs and sonic happy hour drinks a mama can do to make the days better. Around 6 months after Silas was born, I was so drained that I began pouring my heart out to the Lord. He listened and heard me. He brought Psalm 23 my way... The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. HE makes me lie down in green pastures. HE leads me beside still waters. HE restores my soul". I was trying to keep up an impossible appearance and trying to do it on my own. In truth, Jesus is the only strength that can carry me. There's such a stigma about postpartum depression that makes women stay in it longer, at least I think so. I really believe that if we can let go of the shame and bring it to the light that the Lord gets the glory and we get to bask in the blessing of fully depending on him. While you may or may not have had a season of depression, my guess is that at some point you have felt weary.  Even Jesus felt weary at times, but he knew where to place his weariness. Hebrews 4:15, For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weakness, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin". He was fully God and fully man. 
     So, when you are at your wits end, bring it to the Lord. Matthew 11:28, " Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest". Some days I still struggle with being overwhelmed and it's ok. I'm not perfect.But, I'm doing what I can to remember I have a God who sees me and hears me and knows me and is waiting to meet me just where I am.  And for that, I am thankful.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Scarlet's Birth Story

Scarlet Wren's Birth

So... I had been having blood pressure issues the 8 weeks leading up to Scarlet's birth. I tried resting, modified bedrest, bi-weekly visits, and a few other tests to get to the point where her health was the best as possible and my health was at the greatest risk. After completing my appointment on the August 8th, the doctor requested to schedule the induction on the 10th. Unfortunately we got a call around 2:00 that same day saying we wouldn't be able to go in on the 10th after all. I was frustrated.
     I ended up going for a walk that night and had the most painful contractions in my back I have ever experienced in any pregnancy. I laid down, drank some water, and then I felt Scarlet do some outrageous flips. I was sure she had turned from head-down to head-up to head-down. On Tuesday we talked with some doctors and nurses and felt that we needed this baby out soon. So Wednesday morning I went to the ER and met my doctor and sure enough my water was leaking and my blood pressure was the highest it had been so we were admitted to have a baby. I got settled in my room to check on Scarlet and when the doctor checked me, he couldn't find her.  He had to be aggressive and I actually smacked him out of reflex. Can you imagine the panic at that moment?? We hurried and got an ultrasound. Turns out the little booger who was engaged 36hrs ago had decided to move out and up. Thankfully she was still head down, but we needed her to drop. That's when they started the pitocin and we waited. I was a 3cm and 70%. 1 hour later 3cm and 70%. 1 hour later 3cm and 70%. You know they always say that your labors get faster with each baby, but mine have gotten slower. Smith took 17 hours. So we just thought this was typical and we would be here all day (and night). 
     My doctor came back in about 2hours later and said let's just go ahead and fully break your water and see if that helps. I started having contractions every 2-3 min about 45 minutes later. Yay! Then Scarlet's heart rate dropped and we were sure she just dropped and was ready to come out. So I got checked again...3cm 70%. I about died. The doctor mentioned the possibility of a c-section, but wanted to hold off as long as possible. So we flip flopped, brought in the oxygen, cranked up the IV fluids, and turned off the pitocin. Her heart rate was irritable a few more contractions and then stabilized.  My sweet doctor wasn't sure if I was dehydrated, my placenta was shot because of the month of high blood pressure, or if she had a nuchal cord.The nurses decided we had better go ahead and get the epidural just in case we had to head to the OR in an emergency, so that's when I got my epidural. Side note, I have never had a nicer anesthesiologist; I wish I could hug her today. Eventually we decided to start the pitocin again and she seemed to tolerate in well. My friend, Jennifer, Ronnie, and I were in the room when the nurses literally ran into the door and came barging in because her heart rate dropped again and didn't come back up like they wanted. We waited about 20-30 more minutes and then Dr. Gorman said he was sorry, but we have to do a c-section. She just wasn't tolerating labor. So for her safety, that's what we did. I cried. 
     This whole pregnancy has been a rollercoaster so we finished with a bang for sure. Charlie Foster came up and stayed until the c-section was over because he is just so kind. Ronnie texted and called a few family and friends, I hugged Jennifer( which we aren't huggers, but it was an emotionally charged moment).I hugged and kissed Ronnie, we prayed with the nurses and Dr. Gorman, and I got wheeled back.  It took awhile for my epidural to take on the left side. As in the anesthesiologist tried 2 more times to get it to work before she would have to put me to sleep. I got choked up and in a state of crazy tried to reason that I was relatively tough and just go ahead and cut because I did't want to miss them pulling this baby out.  We had been praying for weeks for good birth weight, breathing unassisted, good sucking reflex, stable body temperature, and stable blood sugar. It was the moment we'd prayed for and I did't want to miss it. Because the anesthesiologist rocked, she by intuition, moved the catheter in my back while I was on the table and got it in the right spot at the right time. Again, I could hug her. She talked me through everything. Dr. Gorman assured me that we would find out the culprit to Scarlet's distress before he made the first cut. Ronnie came in with his scrubs on and held my hand. A few minutes later I heard Dr. Gorman say, "Dad look at this". He unwrapped the cord around her neck three times and then that beautiful cry was heard at 8:15pm. They took her and checked her out. Her apgars were perfect. No issues at all! We praised God.
      Right about then my blood pressure bottomed out and I about lost it on the table. They had to give me multiple rounds of meds and fluids to bring it back up rather quickly. About 8-10 minutes later they placed that crying baby girl on my chest and she calmed down. She was soon tiny, 5lbs 8oz and 18.5 inches. Dr. Gorman later told me that umbilical cords can vary in width. The wider they are the better because they provide elasticity and sometimes you can deliver naturally. Unfortunately for Scarlet, hers was extremely thin. Hudson had a nuchal cord as well, but his was thick and only wrapped once. Poor thing was being choked with every contraction.Which in hindsight now, I think the flips I had felt on Monday were actually her getting the cord wrapped. Also, a week earlier, I had learned of a stillbirth at 38 wks from a family member for this very same thing. I busted out crying multiple times in gratitude of the provision and favor that had been bestowed on her life. I don't understand why certain things happen and certain things do not. I know they all have a purpose and a plan. Today though, I am just thankful! 
     As Dr. Gorman was stapling me closed I let out a big "OW". He panicked, I told him I was just kidding. We needed a laugh after that drama. We went to recovery with her still on my chest. We facetimed the kids and our parents. It was a sweet night and thankful to end our birthing family with #6. I'll be honest I was so nervous that it wouldn't be a sweet and intimate experience wit the c-section. For me, it far exceeded my expectation. I think so much has changed with how they are done with the baby. I didn't miss out on anything that I didn't have with my other kids. However, I hands down think that people who have multiple c-sections are the real champs. The recovery with a natural delivery is literally nothing compared to a c-section. I've been induced, went into labor, had epidurals, had epidurals fail at a 10, and torn. None of that comes close to what I experienced this first week. Hence, why I never plan on doing this again. So I applaud all the mamas today who have had c-sections, my eyes and compassion have been opened.

Made it to 36 weeks 4 days.

getting ready to head to the OR

seriously sweet.

little 5lb8oz 18.5inches at birth

in recovery
hello you parrott child, you

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Pregnancy update week 35

She is growing!

Total weight gain: 24 lbs, 4 in one week!!( Which is why we had some problems yesterday.)
Maternity clothes: just the belly band or hair tie
Miss anything: skinny feet
Movement: She has been very active. 

Food cravings: nothing

Anything making you queasy or sick: Nothing but heartburn.
Have you started to show yet: Majorly
Gender: Girl
Labor signs: Braxton Hicks and Regular contractions periodically. 1cm

This week: I started having what I would consider labor type contractions for more than an hour at our staff advance last week. Which caused me to guzzle an insane amount of water in a short period of time. They stopped after about 4 hours. I also have a smudge of a skewed view because these contractions feel the same to me at 1cm or 4cm, so it is about perspective. I went to the doctor on Monday feeling like someone could put a needle in my hands and feet and water spew out. The scale was amazing and revealed that mama has put on weight rather quickly this week, instead of the half pound a week previously. The doctor said I'm retaining fluid which made sense because my blood pressure was 180/102. Which basically means I bought myself a ticket to L&D triage. My doctor that I normally see was out of town, so I saw the sweet doctor that happened to deliver Smith. He checked Scarlet, ordered a few tests rather quickly, and sent me on down. He told me that I really needed to get my blood pressure down or Scarlet was coming out today. Yikes! So of course I panicked and the opposite happened. Thankfully after about 20 min of laying down my blood pressure came down.  Just at the perfect time for me to start contracting every 3-4 min. Which then prompted the doctor in L&D to order an immediate Biophysical Profile( basically an ultrasound to check her breathing, heart rate, movement, and amniotic fluid). You know they are serious when they make you change into the gown and bring you papers to sign with your hospital bracelet. Scarlet got a 10/10 which meant she could stay put as long as the contractions stayed the same or slowed down. IV fluids seemed to take care of that and we went home and the contractions stopped around 8pm.
 The doctor said if she was born this week she would be in the hospital for about a week. If she could make it to 36.5 weeks then she could most likely go home with me as usual. The next 2 days were the most important to take it easy. So we are praying for one more week for Scarlet to stay put.

Belly button in or out: In
Wedding rings on or off: My wedding band is on, engagement ring is either stuck on or off

Happy or moody most of the time: a little anxious, but trying to savor these last weeks

Looking forward to: I want time to stand still next week. Scarlet will be good and the kids still home...

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Silas and Smith New(er) Room

  Silas and Smith have been sharing a room since Smith was born. It was time for Smith to transition to a big boy bed( insert tears). He's the oldest child to move to a twin bed, but to me he still seems so little. I was worried he wouldn't understand to stay in his bed. I most importantly did not want to lose his 2.5-3hr nap immediately either. Thank goodness he has been a champ and has done amazingly in his bed. He could have cared less the first day, but gets super excited to be able to get himself in his bed on his own. Growing up is so bitter-sweet.
  So, we had to buy a few mattresses, bedding, wall decor, etc. We had Ronnie's childhood twin bed headboards that we just painted red. I originally wanted to stain them gray, but the navy paint would not come out of the crevices for the life of me. So, paint it was. We got all their bedding from Target in the Pillowfort line and it's really cute. Silas picked where he wanted each picture and that's how we went with it.

All the wall decor is either from Hobby Lobby or I made it.

Ronnie had the great idea to add a chalkboard to the wall

Curtains are from Ikea. Can't beat their prices

Sunday, July 3, 2016

31 Week Pregnancy update

Total weight gain: 17lbs
Maternity clothes: I finally broke down and bought a maternity pair of jean shorts from Old Navy. Everything else is stretchy or flowy
Miss anything:I'm really missing running again. Especially, because of the JT's song Can't stop the feeling.
Movement: She has been very active. 

Food cravings: I'm on a cereal kick right now
Anything making you queasy or sick: Nothing but heartburn.

Have you started to show yet: Majorly
Gender: Girl
Labor signs: Braxton Hicks with a few regular contractions.

This week: We've been traveling like crazy and I have really started swelling. It's been so fun though. My blood pressure was also elevated so I think I'm headed to weekly visits.

Belly button in or out: In
Wedding rings on or off: On, but my hands have started swelling.

Happy or moody most of the time: Pretty happy.

Looking forward to: Being home and relaxing.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Pregnancy week 26

Total weight gain: my scale says 16, my doctor's scale says 14, so I guess 15?
Maternity clothes: No, only one pair of pants still button, so it's just a matter of hours
Miss anything: Not today :)
Movement: She has been very active. 

Food cravings: CHOCOLATE, which is probably why I've gained 5lbs in 3 weeks.
Anything making you queasy or sick: I had a meat aversion, but it seems to have gone away

Have you started to show yet: yes, I think she has really come forward this week.
Gender: Girl
Labor signs: Braxton Hicks contractions all the time. The doctor recommended we make sure I'm not dilating and thankfully I am not. We bumped my next visit up a week and we'll just keep monitoring.

This week: had the glucose test and as far as I know, I passed.

Belly button in or out: In
Wedding rings on or off: On, but my feet have started swelling.

Happy or moody most of the time: Pretty happy.

Looking forward to: Summer and swimming. We head to the SBC soon , so I'm looking forward to catching up with friends. 

Monday, May 9, 2016

Pregnancy update 21,22 &23 weeks

21 Weeks
22 Weeks

23 Weeks

Total weight gain: around 10. I actually think it is more or it's shaped differently because I've lost muscle tone.
Maternity clothes: No. I did have to bust out a hair tie one day this week. 
Best moment of this week: Anna Kate got to feel her move
Miss anything: Not today :)
Movement: She has been very active. I can feel maybe a head and a bottom now at the same time in two different spots.
Food cravings: Sour!! I'm still on a raspberry train and lemon is competing.
Anything making you queasy or sick: raw chicken has made me gag again

Have you started to show yet: yes
Gender: Girl
Labor signs: Braxton Hicks contractions several times throughout the day.  I did almost go to the ER two times because I was contracting every 7-10 minutes, but thankfully they died down after a few hours.

Belly button in or out: In
Wedding rings on or off: On

Happy or moody most of the time: Sentimental

Looking forward to: lots of friends' showers, kids programs, Ronnie's graduation ceremony