Birth Story!

I apologize for the lack of posts, in my head I imagined excess time while I was on maternity leave to blog and clean and cook…none of which occurred!  My days were filled with Charlotte snuggles, getting Mason to and from school, taking Charlotte to doctor appointments and tests, volunteering at Mason’s school, and spending wonderful quality family time!

For those who don’t know or haven’t heard here is what happened that led up to Charlotte’s early arrival and her grand arrival!

Two weeks before, Kasey started swelling out of no where. It appeared over the course of of a few hours.  Kasey’s mom, Penny, noticed it and from there we all were on “Kasey watch”!  With the swelling came rising blood pressure and Penny being a nurse watched her blood pressure closely.  We started going to the doctor more frequently for monitoring, they were more laid back about it than we were and at one point I had to have a “come to Jesus” cry session with one of the OB’s.  Kasey was getting worse quickly and when Kasey tells someone she feels like a train ran her over, that’s HUGE she never complains!  We went in on Tuesday where they found +3 protein in Kasey’s urine sample (it had been +1 the 2 visits the week before), really high blood pressure again, and an incredible about of weight gain due to the massive amount of fluid so we were sent to L&D.  Once there, Kasey had bloodwork and tests before it was determined Charlotte was better in rather than out so we were sent home.  Kasey was miserable and continued to get worse by the hour.  I prayed and prayed for her health, I knew Charlotte was fine but Kasey wasn’t and I was so scared for her!  In my heart, I was breaking for Kasey.  She is so strong and so positive but to see her in such misery with the pitting edema and having such high pressures I was a mess.  We went back for our Friday appointment and it was a repeat of Tuesdays but the protein in her urine was now +4.  Charlotte passed her non-stress test and the doctor came in.  She wasn’t happy with the protein and after Kasey told her about the ache behind her eye we were sent back to L&D.  This time, the wonderful Dr. Walker was on call and after looking over labs and examining Kasey, he decided it was best to go ahead and induce labor.

To induce, Kasey had to have medication to stop the contractions she was having, a pill inserted to ripen her cervix, and then pitocin.  Kasey also had to have magnesium sulfate during labor and for  24 hours after for the blood pressure.

While everything was going we watched tv, waited, waited, watched some more tv.  At one point during the night, Kasey was asleep and the nurse came in after 2 very very bad blood pressure readings. She decided that she wanted to stay in the room to watch her closer. Magnesium Sulfate is a horrible medication, it does it’s job but it is hell. I had it with Mason and would never wish it on my enemy. Kasey got to experience it with Charlotte and it’s not something she’ll ever forget. The nurse and I sat and watched Kasey for a while until the nurse encouraged me to try to get some rest that she would be right outside the room. I rolled the recliner over to Kasey’s bed and rested for a while but my nerves wouldn’t let me sleep. It was so hard, I can’t even describe how hard it was to watch her go through that and knowing there was nothing I could do. Morning came and they started pitocin and lowered the mag.  We waited and waited, watched more tv, joked, hawked the blood pressure machine and at one point made a game out of guessing what the numbers would be. If it was horrible bad it would beep, we quickly learned the silent button!

Dr. Highland was on for the day and came in to break Kasey’s water.  From there things moved quicker and the pitcoin was increased. The epidural took 3 attempts to get in, once in and the dosage figured out, all was ok.  Kasey was obviously uncomfortable and again I couldn’t help but worry about her and pray for her.. Around 6:30, Kasey was at 7cm and I called Kathryn Cooke the photographer so she could head our way.  Things really started moving fast from there. We called both sets of grandparents so they could come on.

The NICU was notified and Charlotte’s room was ready. The NNP and Resp. Therapist were on stand by.  The OB came in and said Kasey could either labor down or start pushing. The nurse got the room ready and after a couple of practice pushes, she said we were ready to go!  It all happened so fast in my mind and forgive me for not knowing all the the details from this point forward!

Charlotte was born at 9:06 pm, she arrived in 1 push. She was so small and flew into the doctors arms.  She didn’t cry the typical newborn cry, we didn’t hear her cry for several days actually. They whisked her to the warmer isolete where they had the NICU staff and nursing staff ready to help her start breathing, get warm, etc. They did so and even let us see her for a little bit before they took her upstairs to the level III NICU.

Biggin and Karen came in the room to be with Kasey while we went to the NICU with Charlotte. I felt much better about leaving Kasey knowing she was in good hands.  Kathryn Cooke stayed for a little while to be there for Kasey.  Kasey had to stay on magnesium sulfate for an additional 24 hours for her blood pressure and to make sure she didn’t have a stroke because of the blood pressure. She was finally able to go home a few days later.

Charlotte had a short 8 day NICU stay and we were able to bring her home to meet her big brother!

Kasey was amazing during it all. There’s no way to appropriately summarize the birth, it was beautiful and heart wrenching all at the same time. It was the event that brought everything full circle and I’m still in awe of it all.  I’m a Mom to now 2 precious blessings. I never in a million years could have imagined it.  She made it possible for us, she put her life on the line to bless us, she gave up a year of her life, she put her life on hold many times so that she got Charlotte here healthy and happy. This is a gift that I’ll never be able to repay but I will remind her how much she means to us!!  Just amazing, surrogacy is just that..amazing!

Pictures to come!

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Charlotte is here!! I apologize for the delay in posting this and I promise to get everyone caught up as soon as possible. If you are not my friend on Facebook, be ready for a lot of pure preciousness!!

She was born October the 18th at 9:06pm weighing 5lbs 5oz and 19 inches long!  She was admitted to the NICU shortly after birth where she still is. She is healthy and just needs some time to grow before they will let her come home!

Kasey is doing well and her blood pressure is getting better! The swelling is going down and she reports that she feels great! Once our lives get settled, I will make a post on the birth and events that led up to Miss Charlotte’s grand appearance!

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Charlotte is just a matter of minutes old, so petite but full of spunk!

Thank you for all of the love and prayers, we ask that you continue! We love you all!

Kasey’s week in review – 35 weeks!

How far along?
35 weeks

Total weight gain/loss?
The total is questionable. 🙂

Maternity clothes?
That’s all that will fit!!!

Sleep?
Awful! I am up more in the night hours than I have been in a while. I get up, walk around, and Charlotte plays.

Best moment this week ?
Getting to see Charlotte! Her little face is so sweet!

Food cravings?
Potatoes. And Kathryn spoiled me with a White Hot Chocolate from Starbucks today….it was DELICIOUS!!
Food aversions?
yucky mayo made with olive oil!

Gender?
GIRL!!! Charlotte Olivia!

Labor signs?
LOTS of Braxton Hicks!!

Pregnancy symptoms?
restless, swelling, tired, insomnia…..Its just getting to that point. Everything is worth it.

What am I looking forward to?
Seeing Charlotte in less than 35 days!!!!!!

Milestones?

5 weeks to go! That is 35 days. I can’t get over how fast its coming!

When we got to see Charlotte she was weighing 5lb 4oz and precious! Sweet and petite! She should be well over 18 inches long. Movements aren’t as dramatic, but she sure does wiggle from side to side. Kidneys are fully developed and her liver can process waste products. Her job for the next few weeks is to put on weight (but not to much, right?? haha)

35weeks

Kasey’s week in review – 34 weeks!

How far along?

34 weeks!

Total weight gain/loss?

25lbs!

Maternity clothes?

All the time. They are about the only thing that fits anymore!

Sleep?

Its fair. Charlotte wiggles all night long, so throughout the multiple times I am up, she keeps me occupied! (Good luck with that Kat and Jordan 🙂 )

Best moment this week ?

Getting a massage!! It felt so relaxing and it was much needed!!!!

Food cravings?

Sweet potatoes, baked potatoes, dove ice cream bars, applesauce, apple juice, and lemonade have been on the top of my list lately. Although I have recently I wanted spaghetti-o’s, but I have held off from buying any.

Food aversions?

Still that mayo!

Gender?

Girl!! Charlotte Olivia!!!

Labor signs?

LOTS of Braxton Hicks!!!

Pregnancy symptoms?

Being tired mostly. But we only have 6 weeks!!!!

What am I looking forward to?

More massages and counting down the weeks as they fly by!

Milestones

We have 6 weeks to go!

She weighs around 4 3/4 pound and almost 18inches long! Fat layers are filling out and making her more round. Her skin is now smoother than it has ever been. Lungs are continuing to mature as well as the central nervous system!

34weeks

…Practice run!

We had a practice run Tuesday night to labor and delivery!  Kasey started having Braxton Hicks around lunch time and they never went away. After a call to the doctor’s office, she tried everything suggested and they continued for several more hours.  The wanted her to come in to L&D to get checked out to rule out pre term labor. Thankfully they weren’t changing her cervix and even better is the Fetal Fibronectin test came back negative which means there is a VERY LOW chance of going into labor in the next two weeks.  She continued having them until late in the day Wednesday.  Please continue to keep her in your prayers and that these practice contractions slow down until it’s Charlotte’s birthday!

What this did show us was all that we still have to prepare and get ready so this was our practice run!  Now that the practice is behind us, we’re ready to go!

Kasey’s Week In Review – 33 weeks!

How far along?

33 weeks! 7 to go!

Total weight gain/loss?

last time at the dr, still at 23. Tuesday that number may change!

Maternity clothes?

All the time!

Sleep?

With my body pillow, its great.

Best moment this week ?

Spending time with Wade, as always! And the Murray’s Mill Festival is awesome! 🙂

Food cravings?

Sweet potatoes! Baked potatoes! Hot Dogs! YUM!

Food aversions?

still that mayo…nasty!

Gender?

Still a GIRL!! Charlotte we can’t wait to see you!

Labor signs?

Nothing progressive yet, thank goodness.

Pregnancy symptoms?

Tired mostly, but we are so close to the end. So much excitement all around us!!!!!

What am I looking forward to?

Counting down another quick week!!

Milestones?
We are officially down to 7 weeks!!! Charlotte is weighing in at about 4 pounds and should be over 17 inches by now!! She is losing her wrinkly skin where she is plumping up. Her bones are hardening more, besides her skull, to help with delivery!!

We are all so excited and can not wait for the BIG DAY!!! 🙂

33weeks

Charlotte’s Pedal Tractor

I had the best surprise from Karen and Kevin!  From the time we found out Miss Charlotte was on the way, I wanted her a pink tractor, one that she could ride around in and take to shows/events.  I never in a million years thought I’d ever see such a beautiful tractor!  Kevin put a lot of love transforming the top picture into the beautiful one of a kind that we now have waiting for her!  I was so surprised, I can’t even begin to describe how excited I am for Charlotte!!  Thank you so much, Kevin and Karen!!!

charlottepedaltractor

We took the tractor to Murray’s Mill per Mason’s request! He is so proud to have it for Charlotte, it melts my heart!

charlotte tractor

Daddy and Mason were checking it out and talking about all of the parts!  Mason says he is ready to teach her how to ride it!