It’s been a while, huh? Well, I realized I never wrote the story of how my newest little monkey, Olivia, was born. Now that she’s over a year old, I figured it was time to document it (oops).
This was my 4th pregnancy, and not as bad as some of the others. I was nauseous and threw up, of course. But not as much! And the nausea went away when I was about 6 months along. It was definitely more taxing on my body though. I am getting old, I guess 🙁
After going through Lincoln’s birth, I was terrified of not being able to get an epidural. So I asked my doctor if we could schedule an induction. He agreed, and it was scheduled for Tuesday, May 16th.
About 2 weeks before the induction date, I decided to take a nice bath with all kinds of yummy-smelling things. For the next few days, I was SO itchy, but figured it was because of the products that I had never used before. It mostly went away, but not fully. The Wednesday (or Thursday… it was a long time ago!) before my induction, the itchiness in my feet went bonkers. I had a hard time falling asleep, it was so bad.
I remembered an article I had read on Facebook a few months prior about a woman who’s hands and feet got really itchy during pregnancy. She ended up having a condition called cholestasis, which can be fatal for the baby. So I called my doctor the next day, and they took a blood sample. They told me if it was positive for cholestasis, we’d induce right away. And if not, we’d wait until Tuesday.
Sure enough, it came back positive. But for who knows what reason, they said “well, you’re induction date is so close, we’ll just wait.” UMMMM are you serious?! I spent the next few days in a constant state of panic, doing kick counts like crazy (which I’ve never actually done, because my babies never stopped moving).
Fast forward to Monday night, and I noticed I hadn’t felt any kicks recently. I drank a glass of orange juice and laid down on the couch. I tried every trick in the book to get that girl to move, but for an hour and a half I never felt a thing. Needless to say, I started to freak out a bit.
My brother and sister-in-law came over and packed up my kids and their stuff while Jonny and I went to the hospital. As soon as they hooked me up and I saw that everything was fine, I breathed a huge sigh of relief. That little stinker just wanted to scare me 🙂 The nurse checked my dilation (I think I was at a 4) and asked the doctor if we should just go ahead and induce, because I was scheduled for the next day anyways. They decided to wait an hour and check me again, and if I wasn’t progressing then they’d send me home.
I remember being annoyed, because I clearly wasn’t in labor. As anxious as I was to meet my little girl, I’ve done the whole “up-all-night-giving-birth” thing, and I just wanted to go grab some Costa Vida and get a good night of sleep first 🙂
Lo and behold, an hour later I was at a 5 or 6. Yet again, I was in labor without knowing it. We got settled into a room, and we let everyone know that it was baby time!
I got started on my antibiotics for group b strep, then had to hang in there for at least 4 hours for them to kick in. As time went on, I could start to feel my contractions, but they weren’t bad at all. My mom and sister showed up, and we all just hung out and chatted while we waited. It was all very chill.
When I was at a 7, the nurse told me if I didn’t get an epidural now, there was a chance we wouldn’t have time. So I went ahead and got it! I was hardly in pain though, so I have to admit, I was just a little tempted to push it off.. But I’m glad I didn’t 🙂
Around 2am-ish we did a practice push, and she almost came out, so they got everything set up. After 1.5 pushes, Olivia Gwen Katseanes was born. The epidural was perfect. Strong enough that I didn’t feel pain, but not too strong that I couldn’t feel some of what was going on.
When chubby little Livi came out, we were all surprised at how big she was. She was 8 lbs 12 oz, 20 inches long, and super duper pudgy.
Labor and delivery were a breeze with her! It was all very easy and enjoyable. It was after birth that things got a little rocky. In the hospital, Liv struggled to stay warm and her coloring was kind of wonky. We were able to go home at the scheduled time, but I was a little worried. She also struggled with latching, and we never had a good feeding. I’ve always had a hard time with breastfeeding, and didn’t want the stress of it, so I decided to pump exclusively. Best decision ever! I was able to give her breastmilk without any of the stress of breastfeeding! I’m sure people thought I was crazy because it took longer that way, but it was really the best decision for us.
We were able to go home from the hospital on Wednesday, but that night around 1am, I woke up to feed Livi and found 8 missed called from her pediatrician. I vividly remember listening to 3 of her voicemails in bed, and hearing the panic in her voice as she said “I’m sorry I keep calling, but you really need to take your baby to the ER right away, and this can’t wait until morning.” I had the biggest pit in my stomach and was in complete panic mode as I, again, called my sister-in-law to come watch the kids while we went to the hospital.
The drive to Primary Children’s was the longest half hour of my life, and I can honestly say that I have never been so afraid in my life. They had run some blood work, and the results showed that her white blood cell count was very high, and they were worried about sepsis (which can be very deadly for infants). Throughout the night and morning, they ran all kinds of tests on her, including a spinal tap. It was just a lot of waiting after that. Once the initial tests came back ok, we relaxed a little.
I went home to the other kids while Jonny stayed at the hospital that night with Livi. It was all kind of a blur.. a stressful, exhausting blur. But she was finally cleared, and everything was good! Best. news. ever.
At her 2 week checkup, her pediatrician noticed a knob on her collarbone and asked me if she was a fussy baby. I said no, not at all! The only time she gets upset is when we change her clothes. She ordered an x-ray, and it turns out her collar bone had been broken at birth. It was so strange, because of all the doctors that had checked her over (2 in the hospital, her pediatrician, then multiple doctors at primary children’s), no one had noticed it! And she’s such a trooper, that we didn’t even notice she was in pain. Thankfully, infant bones heal quickly, and she only had to be wrapped up for a week.
The other kiddos had colds, and although we tried to keep Livi away, she still got one. It hit her right after the sepsis scare, so that, along with the undiscovered broken bone, explained why her WBC was so high.
After all of that, she had a little tag by her ear removed, and she developed a capillary hemangioma. It’s far enough away from her eyes that it won’t cause any problems, and will go away on its own.
This poor little girl went through a lot in her first few weeks of life, but she was so happy through it all. She is an absolute angel. We all love her so much, and I am so incredibly blessed to be her mom. It has been the best 14 months, and I love that she is a part of our family.