Sunday, January 1, 2017

Calvin Joshua | Our Work of A.R.T.

    I suppose it's probably time that I update my blog and introduce the little man that this whole journey has been about! I'm not good with time management as it is, so add some sleep deprivation and a helpless, albeit adorable, little being to the mix and things get messy. Literally. My house is a disaster. But back to the important stuff...
     My labor was long and definitely didn't go as planned or hoped (but do they ever?). I was set for induction on Thursday night, but my crazy nesting had me running around the house cleaning and I actually went into early labor on my own. I was having contractions 2 -3 minutes apart all night long, but they gave me Cervadil anyway to get things moving a little faster (if there is a next time I will not worry about moving things faster.). Friday there still wasn't much cervical change so they gave me another Cervadil that would be removed at 1am and we (Tyler and my best friends Holly and Ashton) hung out and judged people on HGTV most of the day.
    That evening it was just Tyler and I, so we waddled walked the halls to get my contractions really going. It worked! I began having contractions that I couldn't walk or talk through, so we went back to our room and I bounced on the ball and paced for awhile. I noticed I was having back labor (oh joy), but it wasn't too bad yet. Tyler got some sleep on the couch while I continued to bounce and pace. Eventually I called Ashton and asked her to come back because I was having trouble coping with the contractions on my own but wanted Tyler to get as much rest as possible (we had already been there for over 24 hours at that point and he'd hardly slept).
    After Ashton got there and the Cervadil was out I was really in labor and feeling those contractions! I labored on my own for awhile but after a couple hours we decided to start the Pitocin to, yep, you guess it, get things moving. Again, I really wish I would have just taken my time, because I was definitely in labor on my own.
    Apparently I am really sensitive to Pitocin because they only had me on a 2 (they can infuse you up to 20) and I was having overlapping contractions. I don't remember those two hours very well because I honestly think my mind was just in shock after going from normal, gradually increasing contractions, to overlapping, end-stage type labor.
    I got my epidural but I was still in the same amount of pain. After about 20 minutes they realized it wasn't going to work so they had the doctor redo it. The second one worked (Hallelujah!) and I was finally able to get some sleep.
    The next morning my water broke on it's own. I felt and heard a "POP", even Ashton heard it from across the room, and I said, "I think my water just broke!" By that time I had dilated to a 4 and things were going great. Holly came back shortly after that and they had lunch while labored on [painlessly! Hooray!].
    After a few hours I  started to get uncomfortable again. The pain got worse and eventually it felt like I didn't have the epidural any more. I was also in transition during this time and started vomiting (fun) and getting the urge to push. The nurse checked me and I was at a 10 and ready to go, but the attending doctor was delivering another baby, so she told them to turn off my Pitocin (a little ragey about that). So there I sat, for two hours, no Pitocin, ready to go, but having to wait. I pushed when the urge hit anyway, not sure if that was good or bad but it was what it was. It hurts to fight the urge to push and I had been in labor for nearly 40 hours at this point. I was pretty over the whole thing. My epidural worked on and off, I'd say I had some pain management over all but not much.
    Fast forwarding to pushing; I pushed for quite a bit, making minimal progress. After about 3 hours the doctor came in and said it was time for a C-Section. I asked her if Calvin was ok, to which she responded that he was a champ and his heart rate was perfect. I then told her that if both Calvin and I were ok, I would like to keep trying for a vaginal delivery. She gave me thirty minutes, the time it takes to prep the OR, to get him out. At this point they admitted that I wasn't going to make any progress on my back, so they brought in one of the male nurses, Jared, to help. He had been advocating for and helping women with epidurals try different positions to help deliver their babies vaginally when they had previously been told they wouldn't be able to. He and Tyler got me up on my knees and holding on to the back of the bed for support. Tyler held my oxygen mask and fed me ice chips, Jared helped support my back and monitor my progress, while Holly and Ashton cheered me on. During this time I made a ton of progress. The doctor came in planning to wheel me out for a section and instead told them to cancel the OR. "We're having a baby!" she said.
It took another hour, but he was finally born after fourty-seven hours of labor and five hours of pushing. The cord was wrapped around his neck and his fists were up by his cheeks. He had a major cone head and he was a little stunned after so long in the birth canal, but all in all he did great. They laid him on my chest and now, here we are. Introducing our sweet little guy who is going to be three months old in just a couple weeks!
   Now the fun part, photos:

While my epidural was working.



I brought his 3D ultrasound with to look
at when I was feeling discouraged.

You are NOT confined to your back
when you have an epidural.

The best partner.


He was so worth it. The needles. The pills. The tears.
He was worth every moment we spent waiting.

Our first family photo!

Photo credit Melissa Adams, LLC

Photo credit Melissa Adams, LLC

And finally:

As all my loss mamas know, October 15 is pregnancy and infant loss awareness day.
As with our pregnancy announcement, we wanted Calvin's birth announcement to convey our joy, while acknowledging the grief that so many are feeling every day, and that we have felt (and feel) ourselves.
I am so proud of the announcement my husband wrote:

    After starting labor induction late Thursday night, Macy and I are so excited to introduce our new son! Calvin Joshua Rodeffer was born at 9:20 Saturday night weighing 6 lbs 15 oz and 19” long. It was a very long and tiring 47 hours, particularly the nearly 5 hours of pushing Macy had to do. She did so good! She worked so hard and refused to give up. I’m so proud of her and impressed by her. She had two amazing friends supporting us and encouraging her, as well as an amazing staff in labor and delivery to work with. We are so loved and so grateful.
    Many of you know that October 15th, forever his birthday, was also National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. Too many people know that. Far too many. It isn’t fair that while we had the privilege of celebrating our first few hours with our brand new son, for many, the grief of loss remains all too fresh. Hearing this announcement and seeing our baby will be hard for some. Maybe impossible. No blame or judgment here. We haven’t forgotten those emotions and I pray we never do. We have struggled through infertility for more than four years and experienced 4 miscarriages. But we haven’t had it the worst, not even close. This is only to say that we empathize with the difficulties of others and share the grief. For us, in vitro fertilization was the miracle that resulted in our son. It was far from easy, but certainly worth it. It provided no guarantee, but, medically speaking, it was our last-best chance. Our hope is that this journey has paved the path of greater appreciation for our son, greater sense of responsibility for loving and parenting him, greater fear of taking him for granted, and greater empathy for the grief of others.

I know this post was long, if you made it to the end, thank you. Thank you for walking with us, for thinking of us, for praying for us. We could not have walked this journey without the support of our friends, and we pray that we never forget the road that led us to where we are now, so that we can be there for others like they were there for us.

"Everything that is real was imagined first."
- The Velveteen Rabbit


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