Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Wave of Light; October 15, 2014

October 15 is an internationally recognized day to raise awareness for pregnancy and infant loss. For a long time those that have suffered the tragic loss of an infant and/or pregnancy have had to suffer through those losses in silence because it is such a "taboo" topic- even though it shouldn't be something they have to keep quiet about. As time has gone on the recognition of these precious babies gone too soon has become greater and families are able to speak more about their losses.

Last year I wrote this in my post:
"This is a day when all parents (all over the world) who have lost a child can come together and be supported by each other and their families. The tradition has been to light a candle at 7 PM and let it burn for one hour. With families across the world participating in this it makes a continual "wave of light" for 24 hours. I think it would be awesome to have all of our family and friends participating in this." 

Our special spin was to have people carve a pumpkin and light it in honor/memory of Sawyer. We announced our engagement and pregnancy with him with pumpkins, so we only thought it was fitting!

The response and participation of our friends and families was OVERWHELMING, to say the least. We probably had over 70 pumpkins lit up for Sawyer and all other babies gone too soon.  You can see those pictures in my Wave of Light: Pumpkin Style post! 

I have been wanting to post something so that whoever wants to participate this year can, but I also wanted to wait until closer so that people wouldn't forget! I want to do the same as last year and do a Wave of Light, but in pumpkin style again! I realize that October 15 is on a Wednesday and many of you will have functions at church - but I think that if you light a candle at ANY hour during that day to be a part of the international Wave of Light. Also, last year there were some who hadn't gotten a pumpkin but instead lit a candle - that works great! Josh and I will carve a pumpkin, but you are more than welcome to participate in ANY way you are able. I just don't want people to think they can't participate because they don't have a pumpkin or they won't be home right at 7 PM. Please participate if you want - in any way you can on October 15!

I would love to do a picture post like last year, so feel free to post your picture and tag us or text/email it to me! Help us remember the babies gone too soon and show support to all of the hurting families around the world. 

Looking forward to seeing your pictures on October 15 :)

Love,
Ashlyn

Sunday, September 28, 2014

RC: Hospital/Newborn Pictures & Update on Life

Life at home with Rhory has been great! Josh and I enjoyed her and all of her goodness for a week before he had to head back to work. Once he went back to work my mom came over to help me with Rhory and around the house to ease the transition of Josh going back to work. This last week I was on my own - and I think I did pretty well! Rhory and I had a couple of adventures on our own and a couple of days just hanging out at home :) My recovery has been great and I am already back down to my pre-pregnancy weight. Rhory is also doing great - at her two week check-up she weighed 7 pounds 13 ounces (up almost a pound from the 6 lb 15 oz she was when we left the hospital). Her sleep has, for the most part, been good. We are going through her 3 week growth spurt currently so sleep is hard to come by at night but I am sure it will return to 'better' soon.

I posted a blog a while back with the update on my job situation. As many of you know I left my teaching position last year to complete the student teaching for my Master's Program in the public school system. Unfortunately during the middle of my program Gwinnett County changed how they do student teachers and only utilize students who are completing a program IN the state of Georgia. My school is online and OUT of state - therefore, Gwinnett county was out and my only options that were relatively close (minimum travel time 40 minutes one way) were Rockdale, Jefferson, Fulton, and Dekalb. In the midst of discovering all of this an opportunity has arisen for me to return to my previous position at the school I was at this last year. I am happy to say I gladly have taken the position because my school allows you to use your own classroom for student teaching and it will be a financial blessing for our family! It is definitely bitter sweet having to go back to work, but my mom is keeping Rhory and I couldn't think of a better plan! Plus, once all of our kids are old enough I will have the perfect schedule because it will be the same as theirs. I go back October 27, when Rhory is about 7-1/2 weeks old. Luckily Thanksgiving break will be right around the corner :)

Now, the part everyone really cares about - PICTURES! Josh and I were blessed with a wonderful photographer who captured not only Rhory's birth but also her beautiful newborn pictures. Any of my mommy friends who are in need of pictures, or anyone really, I encourage you to check out Paige Beni Photography. You will NOT be disappointed! I am not going to post ALL of the pictures here, for some obvious reasons, but I am going to post a good amount because I seriously cannot pick a favorite - I love them all! These pictures are worth more than 1,000 words <3
























Love,
Ashlyn

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Rhory Camille: Adventures with Jaundice

When we left the hospital on Saturday morning (September 6), I was in heaven. Everything seemed so surreal and I couldn't believe we were actually taking OUR baby home - HOME. Coming home with a baby was all we had ever wanted from the moment we found out we were pregnant with Sawyer. Obviously life took different twists and turns that we had anticipated but after much anticipation it was finally happening.

The first night at home was an adjustment for sure! Josh was super sweet though and set up everything on my night stand so we wouldn't have to be running all over the house in the middle of the night. Rhory had some issues transitioning to her bassinet and we tried several different things, but nothing seemed to work. After getting frustrated with the bassinet I told Josh we would just work on it in the morning and fix the batteries in the music player, etc. 



We got up the next morning and headed back to the hospital to get labs drawn for her jaundice levels. When we left the hospital the levels were at 11 (and had gone up from 10) so they wanted us to come in and see how much they had changed over night. They drew the labs at 9:15 and told us we would have the results within an hour. We headed to CVS to grab some things and then to my moms house. We knew there was a chance they would re-admit us so I didn't want to drive ALL the way home, even though I secretly hoped we wouldn't have to go back. My aunt works in the NICU at Gwinnett Medical and called around 10:15 to say her levels had jumped all the way up to 16 and we would for sure have to come back. I hung up the phone and just cried. I was so disappointed that we had finally been able to take a baby home and were now having to turn around and go right back to the hospital.


To a lot of people it may have seemed as if I was over-reacting because all that she needed was the intense light therapy and then we would be going home again once her numbers were down. Our previous experience, though, was playing a major part in my emotional state along with all of my crazy post partum hormones. I was so frustrated that we had to spend more time in the hospital with Rhory when I just wanted to be home. I asked several times if we could just do light therapy at home, but with it being the weekend and they usually have issues with insurance it was better to just stay at the hospital. We had a room that we were able to stay in so we were with her the whole time, but she spent MOST of the time under the lights, only coming out to nurse. 

On top of being stressed and overwhelmed about going back to the hospital, they told me that we may need to supplement with formula. The reason for this is because pooping is the best way for babies to get rid of the extra bilirubin that the lights are breaking down. I understood the reason, but I felt like I had been sucker-punched. I was terrified that "supplementing" with formula would turn in to her refusing to nurse, therefore squashing my dreams of breastfeeding. By no means do I think there is ANYTHING wrong with formula, I had just wanted breastfeeding to be successful. I fought supplementing, but as my aunt explained it - it would just be for a short time to get us out of the hospital faster. So, I gave in and as the days progressed and my milk was actually coming in she was taking less and less of the formula supplement so I started feeling better about things. It also helped her settle down in the bed because she was full and would sleep. I have been through the whole "not being able to hold your baby" experience before with Sawyer and I hated it was happening again. I soaked up everytime she woke up hungry because that meant I was able to hold her! 

She was on the lights from the time we checked in on Sunday, September 7 to Monday night at 12 AM. When she came off the lights and we were finally able to hold her for more than the 30-45 minutes she was nursing we were SO excited! I don't think she slept in her bassinet that whole night! LOL. Her numbers had been coming down so that was the reason for taking her off of the lights. They had planned to re-test Tuesday morning at 6 AM and when they did her numbers were still low which meant we were going home! The discharge process took WAY TOO LONG, like 6 hours too long. But alas, we were finally able to leave the hospital again! A huge thank you to our parents for taking care of us with food while we were holed up in the hospital!

moment of snuggling before back under the lights!

one of many good meals

NO MORE LIGHTS!!!
 
she had "sunglasses" on which led to the yellow around her eyes


snuggles all around



FREEDOM!

Before we left I made an appointment with our pediatrician for Wednesday the 10th because Rhory's levels would need to be checked again. They had gone down, and we went back one last time on Thursday the 11th to make sure they were still going down. Everything looked good so we don't have to go back until she is two weeks old! Which is in two days - AH! I feel like time seriously needs to slow down because she is already growing too fast! 

Love,
Ashlyn

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Rhory Camille: Birth Story

As I write this, I am watching my husband hold our one week old daughter and I am still in denial she is a week old! 

In my last post I shared that I would be attempting a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean), rather than the schedule c-section. Early on I was unsure of what to do in terms of delivery and most of it was fear. I actually had a fairly easy recovery with the first c-section so I was trying to go with what I knew was familiar. Dr. Pohl had suggested a VBAC and told me that I would be a perfect candidate. As time went on the idea grew on me and I finally decided two days before the c-section that I would, in fact, like to try to have her vaginally. With Sawyer I was also induced and after 24 hours and getting stuck at 9 cm, we ended with a c-section. That was the biggest thing holding me back. I didn't want to go through labor and not be able to do it. The biggest factor that was drawing me to it was the fact that we want several more children and with each c-section the risks increase. 

When Dr. Pohl offered the idea at my 39 week appointment I was just too unsure, but knew I needed to make the decision soon. Once I decided, they scheduled the induction for 1 AM on September 4. The other option was 10:30 AM, but I knew that I just wouldn't be able to stand waiting. In fact, I had wanted to go in immediately after my appointment on September 2! On Wednesday, September 3, I stayed in bed as long as possible. I knew after getting out of bed and getting ready that I wouldn't be able to sleep before heading to the hospital. Josh came home early from work and we finished cleaning up the house, went to the grocery store, and had our last meal at Cracker Barrel! I was struggling emotionally because I knew that to most it was our "last night as just the two of us" but in reality it wasn't. I was missing Sawyer something crazy and getting nervous about Rhory's birth.
blurry, but snapped a pic before we left for the hospital!

one last family picture!

just checked in!

this was right before I started pushing, I love you can see my Sawyer tattoo :)


When 12 AM rolled around it was time to call the hospital and see if they had any beds, they did so we waited until 12:30 and left for the hospital! When we arrived we had to check in and get everything situation with the nurses. We got back to the room about 1:30 - 1:45 but they didn't start pitocin until about 2:30-2:45. I wasn't sure what Dr. Pohl's plans were and they weren't really sure either, ha! They checked me when I first got there and I was still 2cm. I was able to get some sleep until about 5:30 and then the contractions became increasingly uncomfortable. Dr. Pohl came in at about 7 AM to check me and break my water - for which I was totally unprepared! I had wanted some type of warning. LOL. With Sawyer, they gave me the epidural BEFORE breaking my water - I was not so lucky this time. I was 5 cm so I was definitely making progress.When Dr. Pohl left he also said "We should be having this baby sometime around 6PM!" The nurse asked me to let her know about 30 minutes before I wanted the epidural because it kind of took some time. That was at 7:10. I told her I was fine for now, but knew the contractions upped their game after getting your water broken. I wanted to wait until 7:45 to get the process started. Um yeah... I lasted 5 minutes. The contractions came on so strong and so fast that I was totally unprepared! I said, "NEVERMIND! I need that thing now!" I was trying so hard to breath through them, and hold Josh's hand to try and distract myself. He was so great about everything! They FINALLY arrived at 7:45.

They started the process and wanted me to sit up. Oh geez, moving during contraction has to be an absolute joke and then I knew I was going to have to sit so still and I was incredibly nervous about moving on accident while they put in the needle. With Sawyer I was hardly feeling my contraction so it wasn't quite as stressful. So, the epidural was in and after about 30 minutes I knew it wasn't working on one side. The nurse had to insert the catheter and that for sure let me know it wasn't working. I was so disappointed for two reasons... 1) I was in SO much pain and 2)the SAME thing happened with Sawyer's delivery. I tried telling them this time and all they could do was give me a booster thing because the epidural was already numbing me so high. I wanted them to replace it but they didn't. Oh well, with our next kid I will know to tell them that it doesn't always work on my right side so they need to try to correct that first! It got better after the booster but that is about when I started feeling some pressure. It was now 9:30 AM. The pressure continually got worse and she checked me at 10:30. I was 7 cm! That was the moment I knew she would be coming much before 6 PM! The pressure got worse and by 11 I was begging the nurse to check me and I remember saying "I seriously feel like I am about to poop all in this bed!" LOL. She said that was a good thing and she would check me - lo and behold I was 8 *almost* 9... then I promptly started freaking out. I wasn't sure if I was ready! 

The pressure kept getting worse and I could start to feel some of the contractions in my vaginal area towards the right side. I hit my bolus button for the epidural a few times (you can only hit it every 12 minutes so I probably only hit it twice before she had to check me AGAIN). When she checked me at 11:45 I was 10 cm and she knew it was go time. She called Dr. Pohl to let him know and he said to go ahead and have me start pushing. I was so nervous because I didn't want her to come and him not be there. I was scared to death of delivering her and him not being there. She told me I had to push to get her head down before he would come over (his office is at the hospital just across a bridge). So, I started pushing. Josh and I both made a comment about how it would be neat if she was born at 12:09 (that was the time Sawyer was born, just AM). She said she didn't think I would have to push long, but that it probably wouldn't be that soon. Finally she said she could see her head and she called Dr. Pohl. That was the moment when the pressure intensified times 100 and I could feel a lot of what was going on, especially on the right side. He FINALLY arrived, and got ready with his scrubs and everything else. He had me push just about 4 times and then her head was out! I couldn't believe I had actually done a successful VBAC and I was looking at my beautiful baby girl. Once her head was out he told me not to push - UH>>> WHAT?! There was still so much pressure, but he was suctioning her and making sure the cord wasn't around her neck. 

He finally told me to push just one last time and he pulled the rest of her out. He cleaned her off a bit and then placed her on my chest. It was the most emotional experience and both Josh and I were a mess of tears. What a blessing! Josh and I instantly said how much she looked like Sawyer - and she did. She was the spitting image of her precious big brother. The hospital has a policy where they like to let the moms have the babies skin to skin and start breastfeeding for the first hour after birth. I was nervous about breastfeeding being successful, but Rhory nursed like a champ and it definitely gave me some confidence for the days to come. We just soaked in all of her newborn goodness before the baby nurse was to come in to the room. The next hour was spent with the baby nurse giving her a bath, weighing her, etc. Our parents were able to come visit before we were moved from the delivery room.

this has to be my favorite picture
 Rhory Camille Murphy
12:43 PM
September 4, 2014
7 pounds, 7 ounces
20 1/4 inches




family in the waiting room :)
The next hours are kind of a blur. I was moved from the delivery room to the mother/baby room and both Rhory and I were checked over by our nurse. Rhory was nursing about every two hours and we had several visitors before things settled down around 8:00 PM that night. Rhory hates to be swaddled and she hated the bassinet so a lot of the first night was spent in my arms - which we both didn't mind :) The hospital is very pro "rooming-in" and I didn't really see the nurse until she had to come in and check me and/or give me medicine. They were really great about letting us just have time to start getting adjusted. 

The next day we had several more visitors and then some visitors from different people that needed to check Rhory over. They weighed her again, checked her hearing, and the pediatrician came in to check her over. I was ready to go home, but Dr. Pohl had said that I experienced more blood loss than normal with a vaginal delivery and had ordered a test to check my hemoglobin levels. He came in that afternoon and said they were low, but nothing that wouldn't be fixed with daily iron supplements. He indicated he would be more comfortable with me staying an additional night just to make sure things were staying on track. Josh and I agreed that if the doctor felt it was a good idea for me to stay Friday night, then we would be staying. Looking back, I am glad we did because of Rhory's jaundice levels. I mentioned to the nurse that she looked slightly yellow and she ordered a bilirubin test for in the morning. That night Rhory experienced what they call "second night delight" and I swear she was literally attached to my breast, nursing ALL night long. Fine by me though, she still hated the bassinet so I would have probably held her all night long regardless :P. 

Friday morning they did the bili test and it came back a little high so they were still going to discharge us, but wanted us to come back the next morning (Sunday morning) for a repeat test. We finalized all of the discharge paperwork and made our way out of there! (Side note: She now weighed 6 pounds 15 ounces, which is normal for them to lose some weight.) We knew from the beginning we were going to want to stop by to let her meet her big brother, and that is exactly what we did. It was hot and I wasn't feeling the best so it was a short visit. We then headed home with our baby girl - what a glorious feeling that was!









Sawyer had an outfit just like this for his coming home outfit. Obviously in boy colors :)



Murphy Family <3

Huckleberry LOVES the baby!

I will post more about our second stay due to her jaundice levels rising later. I have been trying to write this one post for like 5 days! LOL


Josh and I are head over heels with this little lady. She truly is our rainbow after the storm, and we are so thankful. It hasn't been easy, as we have realized so much we missed out on with Sawyer, but we are relishing in every little noise and movement Rhory makes, soaking it all in trying not to miss a beat. She looks a lot like Sawyer, too. At first I struggled with that because it made the reality that much more... real. It is still such a weird experience - to be sad about all we missed out on with Sawyer but overly happy about all we are able to experience with Rhory. I know her big brother is watching out for her already and I have already told her how much he loves her. 

Thank you for continuing to pray for us through this new adjustment! Our family is blessed and I am so excited to see the blessings that continue to unfold. 

Love,
Ashlyn