Olivia's story...

2:01:00 PM

Wow. Where do I even begin to start?

April 5th, 12 a.m. - I awoke which lately because of my swelling in my arm wasn't uncommon. But this moment was different. My entire abdomen was hard as a rock. SO hard, I could barely get out of bed. So hard, that I thought my little Livy was stuck {yes...that would be the still asleep me!}. I finally got out of bed, walked into my bathroom and tried to contemplate what exactly was going on. Finally it dawned on me...I must be in labor! I paced the halls. I tried to talk to my husband. {who kept telling me to climb back in bed. stop being silly and go back to sleep}. I finally got to the point where I noticed the pain was not really stopping for much of a break. So I called the on call doc. She asked if I thought I was in labor. I told her I honestly had no I have never been in labor before! The other end of the phone was silent and then I hear her tell me "I would like you to take your time, but get to the hospital within the hour. I can tell by your breathing that you are in fact in labor!" You would think that I would have been ecstatic! To be honest...I was scared! I have never been in labor and was scared! I am used to everything scheduled. I had a plan. I had everything set up! And my darn husband was STILL in bed not cooperating as he didn't believe me even AFTER I spoke to the doctor! 

Let the tears flood...

We called my neighbor who was my back up "just in case". She rushed right over and I lost it. All my fears came pouring out inside each droplet that fell. She hugged me. She prayed over me and she reminded me that I was about to look into the face of a sweet angel. God had specifically plucked out of the heavens for me. My angel to love, caress and watch over. Raise her in the righteous ways of our Lord and to complete our family. I quietly walked into my children's bedrooms. I kissed, hugged and whispered how much mommy loves them into their ears.

Load em' up and bring em' in...

Paul loaded the car with our belongings he thought he would be unloading back at home within the hour. We checked into the hospital just after 2 a.m. and they took me to a room, put me in a gown and started to monitor me since we needed to be sure this was the real thing. We laid there as we watched the numbers steadily sky rocket and fall. And then the started lowering and not doing much. After an hour on monitors the nurse came in saying the activity has slowed and she figures she will send us home within the hour. We figured OK...false alarm. Then...the numbers started rising, my tummy tightened and we watched as my sweet Livy's heart rate...dropped. Like...a lot. Next thing we knew the room doors flew open and our nurse asked if I had moved, tried to get up etc. Paul and I both shook our heads no and asked if she was OK. She said she is not gonna send me home until my doc comes in first thing in the a.m. And that if Livy's heart rate did it again they would wheel me in immediately to get her out. She shifted me to my left side where I had to stay for 4 1/2 hours before my doctor came in. That bed felt like a cement slab below me! We tried to doze in and out but the anticipation was killing us!

In with the white coats and medical charts!

When my doctor arrived. He let me know he had just got out of a meeting with his colleagues and because of how much Baby Livy's heart rate had dropped they all felt it was in her best interest to get her out that day. 15 days before her due date and 10 days before my scheduled c section! We were told we would get her out late afternoon as long as she continued to look well and that we were going to get moved to our home for the next 4 days! Room 3! My nurse let me make myself at home. Plugging in my wall plug from Bath and Body Works, setting out hospital favors for friends, family and staff that helped us. I was even able to take one final shower and get myself ready before I dawned my lovely gown! {we laughed when Paul was handed this hair cover...he ended up switching to the normal "guy" one!}

Let the games begin!

Finally at about 1:30 we were told to start getting ready. Go potty for the last time {doesn't every mom say "potty"?!} I did my walk, while my nurse helped guard my backside! Leaving room 3 for the O.R. My nurse was amazing! {I did ask her MULTIPLE times over the course of days I were there if she would come home with me!} she helped me stay strong as Dr. Good did his job {no anesthesiologist was Dr. Good! I couldn't help but CONSTANTLY make comments about how "good" I feel etc! HA!} The surgery went well! No scar tissue build up, no windows etc! My doc said everything looked wonderful! Livy was breech and I felt a whole lot more pressure than I ever have before. But there she was...all 7 lbs. 12 oz of dark skin and dark hair. I finally got myself another papoose and I was thrilled!

I was so excited that for the first time ever {on the very last addition to our family} I was able to have my baby go straight to my chest for skin to skin just after being born via c section! It was like a dream come true for me as I had felt like it was something I had always missed out on. By this time of holding her, taking in her wholeness and breathing in that sigh of relief she was safely here and in my arms that the pain started to kick into high gear. Despite Dr. Good's efforts I was beginning to feel pain on my abdomen and also able to wiggle my toes on my right side. I must also say...I wasn't yet stitched up! My body has a mind of its own! I push medicine through my system so fast that the spinal was already wearing off! Because of this my OB had to do topicals etc to make it so I didn't feel all the pain! {my darling friend of Happenstance Photography came to my home and took these breathtaking photos of Livy (the one in the header and the one below)}

5 + 1 = Complete...

After I was stitched back together I was able to recover in my own room instead of the cold regular recovery room. I was much more comfortable and had the very best care possible! Of course I instructed each person that walked into the room to be sure and grab their "hospital favor" on the way out! We always save the first day for family only. First is our kids...Paul went out and got them once our nurse instructed that I was OK to have visitors. It was about dinner time when they came. They were over the moon excited to meet the newest addition to complete our family! The kids and grandparents stayed through bath time {our nurse again...AMAZING! She let the kids help throughout the entire bath!} and then went on home till the next day. I gave my big kids a kiss and hug and told them we would be waiting for them the next day!

12 hours had passed...

I was thrilled to announce over the intercom to my night nurse "I PASSED GAS...I PASSED GAS!" as in order to eat food you have to prove your body is functioning properly! Never in my life have I been so excited to utter those 3 words! Now I know why Noah gets so excited! The nurse came in checked my vitals and I felt something weird. She checked and I had passed a larger blood clot. She said to not be alarmed that we were looking good and that she would be back in 45 minutes to start unhooking me and I was going to be able to stand with help and work my way to normal. I was so excited. I laid in bed. Paul was fast asleep as it was 2 a.m. and all of a sudden felt like I had a hose spouting from my nether-regends. I figured "OH...catheter came loose or something." so I buzzed my call and let them know. My nurse comes in and immediately after checking pages the doctor, extra nurses and tells them to bring in a scale. I asked what was going on and she said...well...we are hoping nothing but your losing a lot of blood...things started getting fuzzy at that point. My entire body started shaking uncontrollably {shock} and when I looked over at my nurse weighing the pad she pulled out from below me she had a scared look on her face when she told the doctor it was over a pint within a span of 15 minutes. By this time Paul woke up and was standing next to me. I kept telling them I was scared. The nurse informed the nurses to pump my IV's full of pain meds and she looked me in the eye and said...I need you to be calm. But this is going to hurt. She checked inside of me and said my uterus was pie shaped and filled with blood clots that they needed to prep the O.R. I started to cry. I said I just got out of surgery what do you mean? She said, "I will do everything I can in here...but we need to have it on stand by just in case. Can you do this?" I cried and said yes. From this point I had a doctors hand up one area, a nurse pushing on my freshly cut lower abdomen and one pushing from another area. I think they said they removed a total of 10 larger blood clots. Once they were done with this {hour or so after mind you} we paused for a short break where all of a sudden I stopped breathing and was gasping for air. I kept gesturing to put my head up {I am a severe asthmatic} and finally someone realized what I was trying to say and adjusted me and I gasped loudly. It happened a few more times. Paul said the look on their faces was terror as this was happening. He said he had to sit down as the room was too overwhelming and there was blood everywhere. Almost as though I had been up and about. He also said it was the most horrific and gruesome scene he had ever experienced. But he sat by my side. During the "short break" the doctor started panicking again and sent orders for a "special kit" can't remember the name to be brought in. They then told me to dig up all the strength I could again, started pumping my IV's again with pain meds and I focused my attention on Livy who throughout the entire time was fast asleep in my arms. I started praying "Lord Jesus, I pray for your safety and protection to be upon me." over and over and over again. Every time I woke and came to I remember praying this again. They inserted a "balloon" into my uterus and pumped it full of fluids with a separate IV attached to it. I was to have this in until we got the bleeding under control which ended up being the next evening. It was uncomfortable and felt like I had been tortured. My doctor praised me telling me how wonderfully I did that most people cannot endure what I went through without surgery. Had they done would have been a hysterectomy. AS a DNC wouldn't be possible to remove the clots due to the c section. The entire time I knew my Father was there beside me. He helped to give strength to Paul to sit beside me throughout it all and He endured the pain along with me. He is just and He is mighty. He also knew it wasn't my time and that I have much more to accomplish with my new family.

The next day the kids only stayed for about 10 minutes. The pain was so intense they had me on the highest pain meds that they could administer (I went home on the same meds). I was told the next morning how lucky I was to be alive. That I almost died. The amount of blood mixed with the magnitude of the complications nearly took my life. I was reminded this with every new nurse or doctor that walked in. By evening of day 2 my face was white...I mean pasty pasty white (I am native American mind you so very much NOT normal!) and my eyes were reddish black all the way around. That evening they removed the catheter and the balloon. They were cheering saying I was in the clear. I was thrilled! Walking was slow and hard but I was doing it! I was so excited! At one point I decided to attempt to walk to the bathroom on my own. Paul was asleep (again!) and the nurse was doing vitals on Olivia. I went slowly and once inside the bathroom I felt light headed. I called out to my nurse who told me to sit down. I did and she came into the room waking Paul to watch the baby. She asked if I wanted to hold her hand and I said yes. Next thing I know I wake up with a wheelchair in front of me and a room full of nurses (including the charge nurse) they said they wanted to get me back to bed and I said I really needed to go to the bathroom so they helped me after protesting with that point I passed another large blood clot. I started to cry and they finally came to the conclusion that it was old and we were good...but I was still scared. I had to be poked multiple times (I hate needles mind you) and was pretty used to them by this point!

We found out after 3 rounds of pokes that my blood levels were low enough for a blood transfusion...BUT. I came in healthy, not anemic and with what they dubbed "super blood". Because of this they ordered me on Iron pills, bed rest for 2 weeks before I start my normal c section recovery and iron fortified foods {think steak, spinach, nuts, orange juice etc} I felt very thankful and lucky to not have to endure anymore. But instead to be able to look forward. I also made sure that I wore makeup everyday {still!} as I am as pale as a ghost without it right now! We stayed an extra day in the hospital all the while my sweet Olivia Joy is a gem! She truly is the most wonderful tiny addition to our family! Livy truly is our last as I was informed with what happened to me and them not really understanding why it happened since my surgery went so well...that I am no longer able to have children. They fear it will happen again the next time.

Home at last...

It has now been 3 weeks since Livy joined our family. She is one of the greatest blessings I could ever ask for. Her demeanor is so sweet and endearing. I love her times a trillion. I truly believe that God had this in His plan. But not to bring harm to me. Instead as a way for me to be able to take a moment. Breath in THESE moments. We do not and will not know when our last breaths are. But I am so thankful that I get to stare into the faces of the ones I love most with more sincerity than I ever have before. I am a busy active person. But for 3 weeks I have had to lay flat. My pain level is still pretty intense 3 weeks after. I am still on pretty heavy medications to help take a "bite" out of the pain. Unfortunately it does not take it all away. I am exhausted after being in a store more than 10 minutes and need to rush to sit down. My skin is still pale and I laughed when my doctor described my scenario as being beat up by a boxer. Cause that is exactly how I feel and what I had told Paul when I tried to get him to understand the depth of pain I am in. I was battered and beat up from the inside and the outside. This may be weird to say...but I am thankful. Thankful for this journey. Yes, I cannot wait to have my energy back. I cannot wait to be able to do something other than lay on my couch. But its in these quiet moments that bring us closer to God which in turn brings us closer to our families and in return closer to our friends. My friends have been amazing. They have been bringing us meals every other day {for the next few weeks they continue}. I even have some in the freezer that friends have brought by when they come to see the baby so that we have something when the meals stop! Truly am so very blessed.

I had a moment last night where I broke down in friend whom I grew up with left this comment on my wall which again made me cry...but in a good way! 'I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
-Paul 2 Cor. 12 Christ's power rests on you in this moment, in your physical weakness, you have incredible spiritual strength, Crying when you need IS strong, spiritually and physically and so is sharing so people can pray. What a blessing that families like yours exist in my generation, a godly caring husband, and wonderful servant hearted children, and of course you.'

I continue to heal. Recovery will be longer than a normal c section. I cry often over what had happened. Like a form of PTSD. But I am thankful to be alive. Thank you to those who have been praying for me. I know a lot of you have been following me via Instagram (@britchesnboots) and I am so grateful for your love you have shown to me! I have to take things slowly but hope to be back up and running very soon! Until then, have a blessed day!

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  1. Friend my heart hurts for you. I am so sorry that you had to go through this but your attitude is amazing. Keep holding your littles tight and cry as much as you need. I was so busy preparing for Snap that I missed all of this and just thought your bed rest was due to the c-section. You are amazingly strong and your Livy is lucky to have such a strong mommy. I wish I lived closer so I could lend a hand. Praying for you and your family sweet friend!

  2. Oh wow! I was anxious to read your birth & recovery story as I saw you had mentioned the complications on Instagram a few times. I'm just amazed by what you went through and what you've endured. I'm so glad you made it out ok! xoxo

  3. Oh my goodness! I had no idea you went through all this...Praise God!! You are so strong and what an amazing testimony of trust and faithfulness.

  4. I'm glad you shared. I know it can be hard but I also know that you want to remember because you went through this journey and came out of it stronger! I have been following on Instagram so I saw pieces and parts just so glad you and baby girl are home and recovering well!

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  10. Cried through the whole blog. God is so good! Thank you for sharing your very personal story. What a testimony of faith & courage in the toughest of circumstances!

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