Sunday, August 10, 2014

Lucy Jo :: A Birth Story

Well, well, now that the shock of the news of another adorable Vander Ley inhabiting the world is over, come read all about how she came to be! It's another good one!

Wonderings at her existence started in my thoughts last August. I was experiencing some heightened emotions and general unwell feelings, and thought that perhaps God said that it was time for another one. I started taking pregnancy tests like crazy, but they all came up negative.

Finally, after a whirlwind weekend of family and the baptism of our two boys, I took one more test on a Monday morning in September. And there it was, clear as could be:

Luke and I shared a quick 'awe/ahhh!' before he went off to work and I went back to sleep.

(what? it was way early in the morning and I was knocked up - I needed all the sleep I could get!)

The pregnancy took off in the normal way and I soon began puking and laying around all day due to nausea. It was a fun little treat that instead of my typical 12 weeks of sickness, I got a full 16 weeks of puking glory. 

Of course I still had 2 little munchkins running/crawling around, so it wasn't like I was on my bum 24/7. More like 22/7. 

We told our families much earlier with this one, because, let's face it, there is only so much hiding of the puking I could do. They were all lovely and very excited. 

Soon enough, Christmas rolled around, as did my 20 week point. 

We were heading to MN for the last weekend in December, so we nabbed an ultrasound appt that Friday. After all the measuring, she asked if we wanted to know. 

Of course!

And, there it was, a girl. So exciting! Especially since we actually had a name picked out, which if you've been following any of our birth stories, you know is SO rare. 

It was a fun thing to share with our families and friends for the holidays. 

Time went on, and I got bigger and bigger. I had a questionable glucose test, and I was gaining weight rather rapidly. And the day I took the test, I had a suuuper high blood pressure, which was no bueno because the reason Drew came when he did was because pre-eclampsia. So, that won me some closer monitoring. 

And then week 32 came. And the contractions started. And they were every 10-15 minutes. And they weren't going away. And they didn't go away for the rest of the pregnancy. 

I was put on some medicine to help the contractions go away, which helped for a couple of weeks. And then it didn't help anymore. I was spending more and more time on basically non-dr ordered bedrest, just to calm my body down. We REALLY didn't want to end up in Sioux Falls with a preemie, so Luke started picking up a lot of slack and I spent a lot of time on the couch.

And then one day I went to see the doctor, and after talking to me about a lot of different symptoms and checking me, he casually threw in at the end of the appointment that from then on I was on total bed rest. I could only get up to pee. 

Ok then.

Not sure if you know this, but complete and total bed rest with 2 little kids at home? Not easy. We are super lucky in Luke's work schedule that he works 6-2, and we are late night people, so our kids sleep late in the morning, so I was really only on my own for a couple of hours, but its impossible to be fully down with a 2 year old and a 1 year old. 

After a couple weeks of that, and lots more doctors appointments, he reiterated how important it was that I stay down, so my MIL and SIL started taking turns coming to help me out in the morning. Family is such a wonderful thing!

It seemed that every time I went to the doctor, he would give me a plausible day we would do the c-section. So, I would plan on that. But, then things would interfere. For example, one time we were there talking about doing the c-section that weekend (which worked perfectly in our schedule because of family things), but then he talked to perinatologist, and he said don't do it. So, we waited, and waited, and planned mentally for one day, and then another. 

Finally, we went in on a Monday morning. Luke had stayed home from work so he could go with, on the off chance that we were going to do it that day. And the doctor did one last check of my cervix, one last symptom check-off, and told me to be in the hospital at 5:30 the next morning because this was it. 

So, we went home, did the last of the packing, sent the kiddos to his parents' for the night, and got ready to add another to our brood. Of course that night had to the night that our landlord broke a water line, and we were without water. It came back on briefly, but when I got up in the morning hoping for a shower, I was out of luck. Luckily we have the BEST hospital ever, so when we got there they let me hop in the shower before prepping me. 

Getting prepped was AWFUL. I got poked and prodded and a catheter placed. I was literally arching off the bed in pain. It made me feel all shaky and terrible before the surgery even started. But, they finally got me ready and I thought the worst was over.

Ha. Ha ha, and triple ha.

The worst was yet to come.

Because you see, part of having a c-section is having a spinal block. Not the most fun part, but doable right? Yeah, 45 (that's FORTY-FIVE!!) minutes later, the 3rd (THIRD!!) doctor to try finally got my block placed. The nurse that was holding me had to switch out with someone else because it got too hard to hold me up. My other nurse kept going out to update Luke on what was going on and to compose herself, because it was so awful to watch. I was one more try away from having to go completely under for the surgery, which would have been a huge bummer!

Afterwards my back was full of poke holes from failed tries and I spent the first two days sitting on ice packs. But, no harm,  no foul, and my back is totally fine now. 

Our nurse took our camera and took pictures of the process so we could see what happens on the other side of the curtain. I was so excited!

The little miss had a lot to say from the get-go as she started squawking before they even got her fully out of my tummy. Grandma B insists that what she said was she wanted a pony, which I am sure is exactly what every newborn is thinking about!

She came out a little low on her sugars, so the doctor wanted her to have some sugar water. I was still really shaky, because I had spent most of the surgery throwing up, so daddy got to give her the bottle.

After a couple of hours of recovery, she got to meet a bunch of her new family including her brothers, grandparents, two aunts and a cousin. It was a busy day for the little miss!

Drew being thrilled

Auntie Amber

Will showing supreme enthusiasm

Telling Auntie Jourdan all about it!

family of 5!

snuggle time with daddy, which is just the best!

showing off her little peepers

mommy and Lucy selfies

ready to go home!
(I am still mildly obsessed with her coming home outfit)

ready to head home as a family of 5!!!

Monday, August 4, 2014

tap tap :: is this thing still on??

hello all and sundry.

yes, yes, contrary to popular belief, I am still around. just ... not here.

you see, soon after my last post (ummm, a little under a year ago), I took on a momentous task, a task that consumed all of my fall, winter and spring.

would you like to see the result?

Miss Lucy Jo Vander Ley 
May 6, 2014  7:36 AM
7lbs 15 oz  19 1/2 in

that's right. we're THOSE people. the ones who decide the 3 kids in under 3 years is a wise idea. 

fun? a little crazy-making? full of diapers, cuddles, sneezes and tantrums? rewarding, frustrating, wonderful?

yes, yes, all of those things. 

wise? well, we'll see.

our little girl is now almost 3 months old, full of smiles and giggles, especially for her daddy. Will is 1 1/2, walking, talking, leaving a trail of destruction behind him wherever he goes. Drew is 3, an older brother extraordinaire, who takes the concept of being 3 very seriously. 

Luke and I are still here, perhaps a little more tired, but a lot more blessed. 

I will be back soon with a birth story, and pictures of the boys, and just general updates.