Grant Joins the Crew

In a week, Grant will be three months old. I’ve had his birth story waiting in the wings, but its been a busy three months, with the holidays, friends visiting from out of state in January and a plaguing stretch of illness that has beaten us all for the better part of six weeks. 😦

So here, finally, is the story of Grant making his grand appearance.

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Our third child was due on Thanksgiving day, but a week past that date, I was ready to get this show on the road. I wasn’t miserable, but I was tired of waiting. So that meant talking about inducing. My awesome doctor and I had made a plan together that I was mostly comfortable with, but still, I had my reservations about being induced.

So the plan was: go to the hospital Thursday night the 5th, check to see how far progressed things were. If they were favorable enough, go home and sleep and then return in the morning to start pitocin. If not, try Cervadil to prepare for induction with pitocin in the morning.

We got to the Birthplace around 6:15pm, and got all checked in. I needed Cervadil – all the contractions I’d felt over the past week only had me dilated to a TWO. So we settled in to watch the live Sound of Music with Carrie Underwood. My friend Kelsey came to hang out and take pictures, hoping baby came that night. My mom came a little later. The Cervadil did its job and contractions ramped up and by 11pm I was having steady, firm contractions. But by an hour or two later, they totally petered out. Kelsey went home, and Mom, Kyle and I tried to get some sleep here and there.

In the morning, my wonderful Dr. Barrett stopped by on her way to the clinic and broke my water, hoping to kick things back into gear. My contractions had never quit, but they had gotten much weaker and further apart – certainly nothing I had to work through. I could walk and talk and smile…it was definitely not active labor.

Breaking my water helped – things started getting more real again. But in an hour or so, it wasn’t progressing, and contractions had dipped down to Easyville again. At this point, I was bored and slightly frustrated. I was ready to have this baby! I wasn’t totally exhausted – I was just ready to get this show on the road and finally meet this little person who seemed far too comfortable in their watery, warm nest. :-)

Thankfully, all along the way, the baby’s heartbeat was steady and happy as could be. Around 10am, I made the call: it was time for the “get the baby out cocktail”. “Dear nurse, just juice my IV with pitocin, please and thank you.” They “gave me a whiff” (their words) of pitocin at 10:30am and it was onward ho!

FINALLY things started getting real. I was so relieved to actually feel like I had to concentrate on relaxing through the contractions. They got hard and fast in a hurry, and by 1pm I was feeling like the end was near. My doctor arrived for the delivery – it was finally time to push this kiddo out!

Once again, Dr. Barrett coached me so well. I probably pushed for 15-20 minutes, and at the halfway point I asked, “Why isn’t he coming out?!” because of how quickly Taylor had come. I thought maybe this time would be even shorter, but as it turned out, this Incredible Hulk child was quite a bit bigger than Taylor had been, so that could account for the “slower” pace of pushing. :-)

Anyway, our baby came into the world at 1:59pm and Dr. Barrett and Kyle announced in tandem, “It’s a BOY!” as his wet, sweet, beautiful self was placed on my flushed chest. Grant Richard, our sweet surprise, our second son and third child, was finally here. My first thought was “Jack is going to be so excited to have a brother!” :-) We were overjoyed.

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Looking back, I cannot believe how in control, calm, covered with grace, and able to concentrate I was during his labor. It was really awesome. I was so present, so able to focus, and was a lot more verbal – i think that helped me push through the pain in a better way. A lot of people were praying for me – I could feel it. Kyle and Mom were so helpful to get me through the most challenging points. And Char, my mother-in-law, ended up arriving to cheer me on for the last half an hour! Love my labor team. :-)

From the point when my labor REALLY started to his arrival was only 3.5 hours. Grant was easy on me, and he nursed right away like he was born a pro – latched perfectly and settled in for almost an hour before we finally weighed and measured him. We were all slightly shocked to learn he was 9 lbs. 9 oz. and 21 inches long with a 15 inch head. My little beefcake baby. He wins the prize for biggest at birth, coming in at 3 ounces heavier than Jack was.

We had such fun introducing Grant to his brother and sister and the rest of our family and friends that stopped by the hospital. He was doing so well that we were able to get home the next evening and continue to rest up in our own beds.

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Grant has the most sweet, cheerful and happy-go-lucky personality! I cannot imagine our lives without his sunshine, so I’m ridiculously glad that God surprised us with his beautiful life. Welcome to our family, Granters. Mama, Daddy, Jack and Taylor love you SO much.

Grant (2 of 49)photo by Sarah Smith – Grant, one week old

 

taylor’s birth story

The night before baby girl’s due date, I made a special point to rock Jackson before he went to bed. He had been asking for several nights if we could do that and I felt it was important. I sang him a song and gave him a kiss, grateful for the two wonderful years of being his mommy.

As I got ready for bed, I looked up “acupressure points for labor” on Google, because I was ready to be done. I also downloaded a contraction counter app for my iPod, just in case. All of that must have been helpful, because at 3am I woke up with a contraction that was painful enough for me to wonder “Is this it?! I timed them and got up for a bit, and then laid back down and they persisted. After about 40 minutes of timing and the contractions being 3-5 minutes apart and lasting a good minute without deviation, I woke Kyle and told him I thought we better call our mom’s so they could get up here.

I texted them and about 10 minutes later called them both to ask them to make their way up to the hospital. We packed our things, ate some breakfast and called a friend from church to come stay with Jack for the morning. I called ahead to the hospital and the nurse thought it sounded like I was definitely in labor since the contractions weren’t slowing down or easing up at all.

A little apprehensive of arriving at the hospital too soon, we sat in the parking lot in the dark for about 10 minutes trying to decide if I was ready to check in. The next contraction was hard enough that I decided I was. I was wheeled into the same labor and delivery room where Jack was born! – that was surreal and fun. My nurse was great and things were definitely moving in the right direction toward delivery!

My mom got there at the same time we did (6am) and Char (Kyle’s mom) arrived a while later. For a while, the contractions just continued as they had been and I chatted and rested. After two hours, Dr. Barrett checked on me and I had progressed a little and my water had broken. She suggested getting in the tub for a while and seeing if that would ramp things up.

It did. I was having a little more trouble relaxing fully through my contractions because they were wrapping around to my back – I didn’t remember feeling pain there with Jackson’s labor. But I soldiered on. At around 10:30am, I was starting to think that drugs/pain relief sounded really, really good. I just liked the idea of turning off the pain and just dealing with pressure. I talked it through with Kyle and my mom and Char and told the nurse that I was interested in the interthecal shot. (Similar to an epidural but only requiring one poke with the needle and it wore off after 4 hours.)

JUST after that, I could tell I was probably in transition or something. The contractions were getting to the point where they didn’t really let up in between and I was feeling shaky, nauseous and just a little crazy. When my nurse came back to check me before ordering the drugs, I was far enough progressed that I would probably be complete too soon to have the meds and still be able to push effectively. Somehow I just knew that would happen and I wasn’t surprised, but I was annoyed that I couldn’t get the shot and turn off the pain. The nurses called my doctor to come from the clinic since I was so close.

Then all of the sudden it was like the contractions were tripling on top of each other. I was frustrated and trying to cope with the insane intensity. I knew I was ready to push, but my doctor wasn’t there yet! At some point I asked if there was PLEASE another doctor that could come in so I could push…which quickly turned into me TELLING them to get another doctor in because I was not going to be able to NOT push. Crazy people!

Thank goodness, just moments later, my wonderful Dr. Barrett skidded into my room and got down to business. She checked me and it was already time to push! I remember telling everyone in the room to just tell me what to do because I couldn’t think or process or anything. I also remember asking God to help me because I was having a really tough time dealing with the intensity of everything. My eyes were closed for about the last 30-40 minutes of her birth just so I could block out everything and focus as much as possible.

Dr. Barrett had me start pushing, which was SUCH a relief. I think it was about five pushes or less, and no more than 8 minutes of pushing before we met our daughter. SHOCK. That happened so fast! (Jackson took his sweet time – 2 hours+ of pushing!)

They placed my little girl on my chest and I was so happy to see her! I said, “Oh my gosh, she’s so tiny!” and soaked up the moment because I didn’t really experience it with Jack due to the exhaustion and shock of pushing so long. Here she was and she was beautiful. They measured her and weighed her and snuggled her in a blanket. She was perfect – 8 lbs. 5 oz. (a whole pound and one ounce lighter than her brother at birth), 21 inches long and scored 8-9 on APGAR.

We were instantly smitten with our gorgeous daughter and deliberated on her name for just 10 minutes before deciding she was, indeed, Taylor Charlotte Puelston.  We moved to a recovery room and I floated high on adrenaline and the joy of being delivered from pregnancy, now with my baby in my arms. Later we welcomed the grandpa’s, aunts and uncles to meet our sweet girl.

   

Recovery has been a DREAM, thank the Lord. She is a sweet, wonderful newborn with surprisingly dark hair and long fingers, feet and toes. Jackson loves her and has done really well so far with the new normal. I can’t believe how “right” it feels to have two children and be their mommy. God is so gracious and we love our little Taylor-girl!