Monday, August 25, 2008

Brody's Birth Day

Two weeks? Has it really been two weeks since I last posted? Seriously, where does the time go? Where did summer go? It was too short! Can I get an amen? And does that mean Brody is over two weeks old? It doesn't seem possible.

But yes, it has been two weeks since I posted. I've been a little busy.

With little this...

And little that...

And oh yeah, all these littles...
(Yes, he is screaming his head off. No, he didn't like snuggling between his two sisters.)

I thought I should back track and talk about Brody's Birth Day a little bit, more for my own sake than any of my readers, because it's amazing how quickly those moments you "swear you'll never forget" fade away. And it's probably a good thing, or the pain might just keep us from having more of these precious little things!

So here we go. And if there are any male readers out there, I'm talkin' about a real, live birthin' here, so read at your own risk.

On the morning of my due date, 8-8-08, I woke up at 5:50 in the morning to a quiet little "POP!" It startled me, and yet I knew instantly that it was probably my water breaking! I went back to the dusty corners of my mind from that childbirth class five (FIVE?!) years ago and remembered that your bag of waters can have a slow leak, be broken by the doctor, or literally POP like mine did. I got up expecting a gush, but when there wasn't one, I second guessed myself. But when I got in the shower a few minutes later, there was absolutely NO DOUBT that indeed my water had broken. It gushed! Gary called the hospital, and the doctor said to get there quickly since I was already 4cm. dilated the week before.

I got ready in record time - yes, hair and makeup - and finished packing my bag. I really didn't know what to do with the water which continued to gush, so I asked Gary to get me one of Addie's diapers. Oh yes, you read that right... I wore one of Addie's diapers. It's pretty much the only reason I'm glad she's not potty trained yet. It did the trick for the 15-minute drive to the hospital!

When Gary went into the girls' room to get the diaper, they woke up and he told them that we were headed to the hospital. They were ecstatic! They raced around the house singing, "The baby's coming! The baby's coming!" It was the cutest thing in the world. We kissed them goodbye and off we went!

I'm not going to go through every little detail here, so this part will be an abbreviated version of what happened over the next 10 hours. Because, really, who wants to hear what we did for 10 hours of non-labor? It's not like Gary hijacked my Facebook account or anything like that.

My plan was to have as much of a natural labor as possible, unless I just couldn't take it or the baby was in danger. I've done it both with an epidural and meds and without in the past, and couldn't honestly say that I preferred one way over the other. So this time, I was just going to go with the flow and decide as we went.

The problem was that even though the doctor urged us to get there quickly, I wasn't having regular contractions when my water broke. It's ironic, because for a month before that, I was having regular contractions several hours a day. After we got to the hospital, it seemed like every time my contractions would pick up, they'd stall out and we'd just sit and wait and nothing would happen. The catch is that after each contraction I did have, the baby's heart rate dropped dramatically. It's a scary thing to watch the monitor and see that little line plummet and hear those "beeps" get slower and slower. After losing our baby last August, I can assure you that we were a little on edge.

The doctor and nurses explained that the baby may have been sitting on or pinching his cord in some way, which could explain the drops in his heart rate. That one word - CORD - was all they had to say to get MY heart racing.

The concern over the baby's well being really tensed me up, and I couldn't concentrate enough to breathe through contractions which although weren't consistent, were getting more intense. I opted to get the epidural, which brought much relief and I have no regrets. The baby's heart rate actually got better at this point, probably because I was more relaxed. They gave me an oxygen mask to wear for the baby's sake, not mine, and the extra dose of oxygen also helped the baby.The doctor recommended a small dose of Pitocin, which I was very hesitant about, but she hoped it might get the contractions going in order to get the baby out of there - they were all concerned about his well being as his heart rate began to drop again, despite the oxygen and changing positions multiple times to get the baby in a more comfortable place. I've not heard good things about Pitocin (bad experiences with friends, mostly), but I completely trust my doctor, and because I was very worried about my baby, I gave it a shot. It turned out that it didn't help, so after just a few minutes, they took me off of the Pitocin.

Because so much time had gone by after my water breaking and because I had lost so much water as the day wore on, they actually put some water BACK IN, in hopes they could float the baby more so that he wouldn't be pinching his cord. Who knew they could do that?! Thankfully, it worked a little bit, but there was still concern.

I'm telling you... I felt like a marionette with all of the cords and catheters coming out of me! (And for what it's worth, I learned that a catheter is any tube coming from your body - not just for pee. Sorry... just had to put that out there.) It wasn't exactly how I'd pictured it, but I was thankful to be taken care of by such a competent staff at the hospital.

Finally, the doctor and nurses were out of options and approached me about the possibility of having to do a C-section. I had been adamant all along that it would absolutely be a last resort. They explained that the baby's heart rate just wasn't where they wanted it to be and the contractions weren't indicating that we were very close yet. My heart was pounding and I sent up a short, desperate prayer to God that my baby would be okay and that we could make it through this. I felt tears sting my eyes and I remember silently pleading with Him that I wouldn't need a C-Section. And I was terrified that I might lose another baby.

But out of the blue, the doctor decided to check me one more time. She said, "Oh! You're at 10 centimeters. It's time to push!" In the next eight minutes, I pushed through two contractions, insisted on pushing one last time (despite them telling me to stop), and Brody Ryan was born. Gary helped pull him out and put him on my chest, as I sobbed and cried and thanked the Lord over and over again.

My hospital has a new rule where the mother holds the baby skin-to-skin for the first hour, even before the baby is weighed or anything. It was bliss. I cherished every second of that hour, experiencing nearly every emotion imaginable. I nursed him for the first time, which he took to easily, and I just thanked the Lord for such a gift in this sweet boy.

I was so eager to pass him to his Daddy after the hour was up, and it was a sweet moment to watch Gary holding his son. He's not proud or anything...

We wanted our girls to be the first people besides ourselves to hold baby Brody, so they came in and we shared some sweet moments alone with them. You've never seen two prouder big sisters. They were so tender and quiet with him, and really continue to be two weeks later.

There's so much more to share... the dynamics of having three, details about how the girls love on Brody, the rollercoaster of emotion I've been on in the last few weeks, how we chose his name and just little things that make Brody who he is. But I'll have to come back to those, or this post will be a kajillion times longer than it already is!

Dr. Jensen high-fiving the girls after Brody was born

It was difficult to go through the day without thinking of Joshua, Brody's older brother. I need to write more about it later, but I can say without hesitation that although Joshua cannot be replaced, Brody has filled the hole in our hearts that has been there for a year. The day Brody was born, there were so many comparisons and stark contrasts to the day Joshua was born, and it was impossible to ignore them. But God is so good and Brody is here to prove that. Much more on that later... there's still so much I'm processing.

The rest of this will be very picture heavy, as they really tell more about the day than I could. So I'll just end with pictures, pictures, and more pictures! Because you can't have enough pictures of a tiny, newborn little miracle. And he is.

My mom, me, and Brody... just a couple hours old

My sisters, Brody and me

Emma and Brody, 1 day old

Addie's an expert at holding babies

All the grandparents


  1. You are THE MOST BEAUTIFUL laboring and new mommy ever!

    Love you, Angie, and can't wait to hold that little peanut!


  2. I love all the pictures! Love those sweet, sweet feet. God is definitely good. You're a momma of 3...can't wait to hear more about that. I've been thinking of you so much, and it was fun to hear your birth story again...I didn't know they could fill you back up with! Love you!

  3. Absolutely amazing and indeed beautiful! I LOVE the idea of skin to skin... oh how I wish I had that. Thank you for sharing the ups and the downs. Looking forward to hearing "the rest of the story."

  4. Thank you so much for sharing all the details and the photos. You looked so beautiful--like you weren't even in labor! My heart was "swelling" with joy as I read this post. Congratulations. I can't wait to meet Brody in person.

  5. Such great pictures...he is so sweet. Can't wait to meet him tomorrow!!!

  6. What a wonderful story. I'm so happy that everything worked out in the end. I had issues also, was on oxygen, and worried whenever they said my baby's heartrate was dropping. And now my baby is almost 5!

    And, for the record, I also took a shower and did my hair and makeup before going to the hospital. Those pictures are going to be around *forever*. Might as well attempt to look good!

  7. So happy to see an update on how you guys are going!

    What a beautiful story Angie. I am just so happy for you and Gary and your girls.

    Your pictures brought tears to my eyes, remembering how precious a gift of life is!

    Love Annie xx

  8. Love all the details. Thanks for sharing the pictures! So wonderful.

  9. So happy for you! What sweet, sweet pictures. Though I gotta admit the one of Addie holding Brody combined with your "expert" comment had me literally laughing out loud! Ahhhhh..... those "keepin' it real" pics are sometimes the best!

  10. Thanks for sharing that with us!!! I've been wondering how you were doing. Almost 2 years ago now, I was adjusting to having 3 kiddos!

    The pic of Brody screaming between the girls is priceless!!!!
    SInce I probably won't get to kiss that sweet baby cheek, give him one for me!

  11. Oh what precious pictures. You family is lovely and I cannot believe how beautiful you looked throughout the whole thing! Wow. Congrats to you!!

  12. Congratulations for you and your family. What a blessing ideed... I have been checking back after you had Brody. I'm so glad you didn't post in some ways as you need to savor the first moments... I just love your blog

  13. Wow, how awesome is that!! Thanks for sharing it all (and getting me excited for my delivery in the next couple months!!).

    You look great for just delivering a baby!!! Your family is so photogenic!

    Hope you enjoy many more weeks/months/years to come of your precious Brody.

  14. This post literally brought tears to my eyes for I remember the precious day my baby was born. Just as you said, memories come and go but a mother never forgets the birth of her child.

    Brody is beautiful and I have to say that you look fabulous. I don't think I saw one sweat drop on your face. My next labor and delivery I'm going to try to make-up thing too. You've inspired me. :) It makes for great after shots.

  15. The pictures are just absolutely precious!!!

  16. Congrats on your new little boy! :) You have a beautiful family. And, yes, God is very good.

  17. I'm so happy for you and loved all the pictures (especially Addie holding Brody).

    You're amazing and beautiful! I'm so proud to be your friend.

    Love you tons!

  18. beautiful ... just beautiful. I'm so glad you are experiencing that healing of the hole in the heart too!!! And let me know how I can help now that you have 3. 3 is a new ball game (as I'm sure you already know).

  19. You make beautiful babies!

  20. Welcome little Brody! Angie, you look BEAUTIFUL in all these pictures, and your family is adorable. Brody looks like he fits right in.

    How are you doing? Are you getting any rest??

  21. By the time I got to where he was born and laying on your belly, I was in tears. What a beautiful birth story. Praise God!

    I L.O.V.E the picture of you sitting on the bed with Brody and Addie and Emma is there next to you and you are talking to her with the sun coming in and shining on you. It is a wonderful image. You are a beautiful mommy (and you look a lot like your mom) of 4 children. I bet Joshua is smiling down from heaven watching his two big sisters playing with his new baby brother.

    Thank you for sharing your story and your pictures!

  22. Oh Angie, I was crying by the end of the post. I love the picture of their 3 heads together and the picture of Emma looking into your eyes while holding Brody is breathtaking. You are so beautiful and have such a beautiful family. Congratulations again. I am so very happy for you. Big hugs, xoxo Dee

  23. He is so adorable Angie! I thought I commented this blog like a week ago, and just realized that I only thought about doing so...

    I'm so excited for you and your ever growing family. I hope Addie has gotten a little better at proper baby-holding in the past couple weeks :)

  24. Angie,

    I'm SO happy for you and your family. ALL the pictures are just beautiful. The way you expressed your feelings about remembering Joshua during this time was very moving.

    My favorite pictures are the ones of their sweet little heads together and those toes.

    Again, congratulations on the birth of your sweet baby boy.


  25. Your baby is beautiful! This story is so beautiful, too. God bless you all!

  26. There is so much to say after this post, that I'm intimidated. (How sad is that?)

    First, the fact that your water broke with a pop made me giggle. It sounds like a scene from a movie. (Although, to make it complete, Gary should have jumped up and run into a few door frames as he was gathering your bags.)

    The whole story was beautiful and scary at the same time. Praise God for wise doctors, eh?

    Those first pictures made me cry.

    And the pictures of Brody with the girls? Priceless.

    I'm sure you will always miss Joshua, but I pray the birth of Brody helps to heal your heart a little. And I say with certainty that I can't wait to meet your sweet family someday. I just know it will happen.

  27. Hi Angie-
    I found your blog earlier tonight via facebook, and despite the fact that I have to be at the airport to go back to Texas in 6 hours, I've been reading like crazy ever since. Congratulations on the birth of your little boy! You have a beautiful family!


  28. OH, thank God for this wonderful treasure. He is the cutest little one!!

    And I wonder, too, if your Mom saw the "little girl" in you that day and had a few tears herself...

    Beautiful Mama are you!


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