Sunday, July 13, 2014

Friday, June 27, 2014

Marra's Birth Day

Disclaimer:  This will be long and detailed, so you might be bored.  These details are written for me and Jason so that we will never forget that glorious day.  You have been warned.  Being that she's almost  two three months old, here is the story, finally.   

On April 4, 2014, I sent the above message to Jason.  On April 5th, I would be 39 weeks and 3 days pregnant with Marra.  The boys as I've mentioned many times were born on 38 weeks and 3 days, so it would make perfect sense that our girl would be 39 and 3.  The "divisible by 5" is in reference to the fact that Gehrig was born on the 25th and Keane was born on the 30th.  In Jason's and my crazy minds, having her being born the 5th made perfect sense.  Maybe I had a premonition (although I felt like I had been having a lot of premonitions) or the fact that Jason and I are numbers obsessed (7/7/07 etc) and are crazy, or a combination of both would put April 5th as a perfect day to have Marra.

Per my last few rants I was getting impatient and thought this girl would be coming sooner rather than later.  She of course came later, and I was very ready to have her and meet her.  I had even scheduled an induction the following Monday, April 7th.  Also, my mom had been coming to stay with us Friday ever since I hit 36 weeks as insurance just in case I happened to go into labor during the weekend and she'd be here to watch the boys.  Of course after many false alarms, I told my mom that Friday the 4th, to not worry about coming until the next morning especially because my dad was feeling under the weather.  I had so many false alarms that I thought it useless for my mom to come earlier.  That move definitely tempted the fates.

Below is a time line of her arrival on April 5th, 2014. 

I had a very restless night sleep which was unusual because I had been sleeping like a rock all my 3rd tri.  I woke up very uncomfortable with a lot of contractions and this did feel VERY different.  I woke Jason up at around 4:45, and unlike my previous false alarms saying "I think I might be in labor" I gave him a very definitive statement saying "Jason, I'm in labor.  We're having her today."

I called AND sent at text to my mom telling her she needed to get to our place as soon as possible, and she responded they would be over right away.  They live about 50 miles from where we live, so I knew it would take them a while.

I started packing up, and didn't even bother timing because my contractions because braxton hicks or not, are always 3-5 minutes apart.  As I packed up and got ready, the contractions would come and go, and I was okay breathing through them, but they were way more intense than my many prior false alarms.  I was scurrying around with Jason prepping for our departure, putting our bags in the car, and making sure the boys would be set for the next few days.   Breathing through each contraction as it would come.  I didn't notice this through all the hustle and bustle but apparently Murphy, our dog, was following me around the whole time I was doing this.  According to Jason, Murphy's behavior made him (Jason) know for sure that this was not a drill.  Jason also contacted his coworkers letting them know that he wasn't coming in. 

Boys wake up.  I do my normal morning routine with them.  Get Gehrig to the potty, and make him breakfast.  Keane wakes up shortly and joins him to eat.  After breakfast I turn on Jake and the Neverland Pirates.  Through this, I tell them Lola and Lolo are coming because we need to go to the doctor because Marra is coming out of my belly.  Don't really think they knew what that meant and I think they just shrugged it off and went back to their show.  Other than that, their morning was a typical start to their Saturday. 

My mom and dad arrive.  We said our hellos and then goodbyes as we needed to leave.  I was still so paranoid about having her in the car!  Gave the boys big hugs and kisses and tell them we are off to get their sister.  My mom and dad give me big hugs and my mom gives me a big "God bless you" kiss. 

7:15 AM:
Jason and I hopped in the car and were off to the hospital we went.  Finally!  I was so anxious and excited to finally meet this baby girl of ours.

About 1/4 of the way there Stevie Wonders For Once In My Life came on.  Next thing I know I'm fighting back tears upon hearing the first line "For once in my life, I have someone who needs me..."  All the memories of me and Jason came flashing back to how we got to where we were, how we came up with this little girls name our first Valentines Day together 10 years ago, and now driving to the hospital to have her after having two beautiful boys.  I looked at Jason and said "I'm getting emotional"  
"Because we're going to meet her today," I responded with my voice cracking as I failed to swallow the lump in my throat and keep tears from streaming. He grabbed my hand and held it the rest of the way there.

 7:45 AM:
Arrive at Cedars.  Jason parks the car (in a primo spot right next to the entrance!) and we head to L&D.

8:00 AM-10:30ish:

Check in and sent to triage.  Apparently a pretty busy morning as they are hopping about trying to get everyone checked.  Here we are waiting.

Finally we get assigned my awesome triage nurse Claudia.  She started checking my vitals and got me on the fetal heart and my contraction monitors.  She did a cervical check and determined that I was at a 4. That's also when we discovered that my blood pressure was sky high (160/100+ on average).  I had normal blood pressures all throughout my pregnancy so this was quite the "bonus" during labor.  I may have felt like I was tolerating my contractions, but my blood pressure was telling me that my body was not too happy about it. The OB resident came racing in freaking out that my BP was so high and gets labs drawn to make sure I don't have pre-e.  Then my OB of over 10 years, Dr. Brock,  comes by after a long night in the hospital also telling us that he tore his meniscus, and he was gonna go home and sleep and possibly come back for my delivery, but the attending might deliver instead.  He also sees how high my BP is and says that it is probably due to my pain.  He then goes home to rest, and the resident comes back still freaking out worried about my blood pressure.  I mention a few times that I should probably start the epidural soon and that should stabilize my bp.  Also, after delivering Gehrig super fast and without pain relief, I had no interest in repeating that again if I could at all help it.  He prescribes hydralazine (bp med) and magnesium in my IV.  That courses through my veins, and yet my BP has no change.

Also within this time they determined that I am indeed in active labor and staying.  (Yay!) I also don't think they would've let me go even if I wasn't in active labor because my blood pressure was so high.  They start planning to move me out of triage into delivery.  Jason asked if it was possible that the room with a view was available, which also happened to be the room in which I had Keane and Gehrig.  Claudia runs out to check and hallelujah!  Lucky for us, it was!  They were in the process off cleaning it and Claudia made sure that it was reserved for me.  I cannot tell you how happy this made us, especially Jason.  Not including the super fancy birth suites that the stars pay for, Room 4 on the regular L&D floor is the best room hands down.


We move in to our favorite room the room where Keane and Gehrig were born!  This is the view.


So glam.  Me pre epidural, obviously still managing okay since I still managed to get a smile out. Not if you checked my vitals however. 

They had to administer another dose of my magnesium drip so the charge nurse came in to confirm (they have to validate the dosage etc).  When she came in, I thought to myself "hmmm, she looks like Maya's mom from the boys old daycare."  I asked her she was Maya's mom, and indeed, she was!  That was pretty cool and we swapped stories of how the kids were doing.  That made me really happy that she was going to be taking care of me, as many of you know, having a great L&D nurse is so key to having a great labor experience.

Labs came back determining I did not have pre-e .  I knew I didn't because other than high bp, I did not have any other symptoms of pre.  I had wrists and ankles that looked normal, no edema whatsoever, and didn't see any floaters.  Although, through the rest of my stay, I'd continue correcting nurses and residents every time they would refer to me as having pre-e, because to them it seems that pregnancy induced hypertension is synonymous with pre-e, which it isn't. I talked to Dr. Brock about this later and his response was "Welcome to my world."  Ha. 

Because my bp was high, the doctors were anxious about getting her out so they decided that I was to be on pitocin, and added that to the drip.  I said  "If you give me pitocin, I want the epidural soon."  I was still managing my contractions fine and didn't feel crazy or feel like crying, just occasional, intense discomfort.  Nothing like transition with Gehrig, or the excruciating "why-is-this-happening-to-me-I'm-crying-at-every-contraction" pain I felt with Keane.  My blood pressure was still high at this point and hadn't calmed down (the fun "stroke risk" numbers).  At around 11:15 the anesthesiologist came in to administer the epidural.  They had me do the normal drill, sit on the edge of the bed, and hunch over,  and put the local before putting the epidural in.  I screamed when they did the local because it BURNED.  I apologized for being such a baby.  The epidural was administered perfectly, kicked in quickly and I felt instant relief from my discomfort.  I didn't realize how uncomfortable the contractions had become until that kicked in and I felt so much better.  My blood pressure also instantaneously went back to normal after the epidural took effect.  My scary stroke inducing numbers went away, proving that it was indeed the pain that was making my pressures spike.

They check me and I'm at a 5.5-6 cm.  During this time I text most of my family and friends and let them know the news.  Also let everyone else know via social media that we're meeting her today!

Since the epidural had kicked in, I was pretty much just chilling with Jason in the room at this time.  I was watching TV, texting friends, and waiting.  My mom would send me photo updates of what the boys were up to which I loved.

At 2 o'clock I got checked and was at a 6-7 cm.  I sent a text to a friend saying I will probably be here until 5pm thinking I was going 1 cm an hour.  I hadn't eaten all day and the nurse asked me if I wanted anything and offered me Italian Ice.  Whaaaat?????  Not just ice chips?  She came back with a strawberry flavored push pop type Italian Ice, and ahhh so good.  At 2:30, my nurse also told me to flip to the other side, and upped my pitocin just a little bit.  I was basically just loving life and waiting.  They were also in contact with my doctor (who went home) about my progress and he decides around this time to head over the hill to deliver Marra. Woohoo!

"Hmmm..." I think to myself "This rectal pressure is coming out of nowhere."  My nurse comes in and I inform her that I have a lot of pressure.  She checks me.  Her eyes get big and she says "You're complete."  Jason and I got so excited because the moment had finally come!  They call my doctor, and yes, he is already over the hill, about 5 minutes away and he orders the anesthesiologist to up my epidural a little so that my pushing sensation calms down until he gets there. After this point everything Happens fast fast fast.

2:50:  Anesthesia comes in to up my meds a little before the doc gets there so that my urge to push subsides.  She upped it but I don't really thing it stopped her from coming.  Marra was still making her way out.  

2:55: I am sitting and all of a sudden I feel that sensation I had heard and read about many times.  I felt little "pop" like a balloon, in this case a water balloon popping,  and sure enough, my water broke.  (My water was broken for me for both Keane and Gehrig.  Apparently I produce amniotic sacs of steel that don't break on their own, or until the very end).  I asked if there was meconium, and the nurse said yes.  I LOST it.  I started bawling and freaking out because I didn't want another NICU baby with collapsed lungs, and the IV and all of that!  The nurse was baffled and said "why are you crying?"  I explained to her what had happened with Keane, and she quickly calmed me down.  I guess mec is graded due to thickness, and mine was a level 1 this time around, light and clear.  It was probably a grade 3 or 4 with Keane as his was super thick.
Hearing that calmed me quite a bit.  I still sent a text to my mom to pray that she not aspirate the mec.  Then my brain goes back to the task at hand, birthing this baby girl. 

3:05-3:17:  Doctor Brock finally makes it to my room.  AHHH!  Finally, a delivery he was present for as he had been out of town for my other deliveries!  He gets dressed, and gets every one set up. He puts me in position to deliver, and checks me and his eyes got wide and said "Lets have a baby."  According to Jason when he looked down there with Dr. Brock Marra was already crowning.  So I get in position, and for the first time I cannot feel anything and push what I think I'm pushing.  Ha!  I pushed and asked "is she coming?"  and they all responded "oh she's coming."  I did another push and Dr. Brock stopped and asked Jason "Camera ready?"  and Jason was caught off guard and said "Oh ya okay" and grabbed my camera.

3:18:  Dr. Brock instructed one last push and out she came!  Head, shoulders torso legs, everything!  She was here!!!! And Jason did a good job of using the auto settings on my camera!  :)


She was placed on my chest right away, and Dr. Brock and the nurse rubbed her back to stimulate her.

She was a bit stunned, and was taken back to the warmer where they stimulated her some more, and finally she let out another nice big cry.  Then calmed down and took everything in.


The baby girl that I had dreamed about all my life was finally here!  After she was nice and warm they handed her to Jason so he could get a look at his daughter.  I watched him hold her and I could see him taking short gaspy breaths, overwhelmed with emotion.

Then she was handed back to me and I stared at her in absolute awe for the longest time.
I studied her face, ran my finger on her forehead and on her cheek.  Tapped her little nose, and kissed her a million times.  I also found her little dimple on her right cheek.  I was once again filled with so much love for this beautiful little baby.  No words can describe my euphoria that I was experiencing.  Jason and I were both so happy to finally have her with us.

We sent a text to my parents with a picture of Marra to share with her brothers.  Keane at first was confused and didn't understand why Marra was out.   They shortly packed up the boys to come meet us at the hospital.  Apparently the whole drive there Gehrig kept saying "Are we there yet?"  which I find absolutely hilarious because he never does that with us.  They got there at around 5 pm.

The moment my boys came in to meet their baby sister was absolutely magical. I know I say this a lot but it really felt like my heart was going to explode when they first held and saw her.  I will never forget the look of love and admiration on their faces upon meeting her.  There was no indifference, just pure curiosity, joy and the most innocent and sincere love I've ever seen for this person we had been telling them about for the past 7 months.



Then of course, they are still young boys so that lasted for maybe 10 minutes when they went back to wanting to run around the halls, asking to play with the Iphone and destroy the hospital.  Ahh, I did have the 10 minutes of bliss.

My parents got some cuddles with her too of course!  My dad wearing a mask since he was getting over a cold.

Shortly after that, they transferred me to Maternal Fetal medicine (not regular recovery) as they had decided they wanted me to be on the magnesium drip for the next 24 hours.   After I transferred to that room, the boys and my parents left as the room was really small and trying to contain the boys was virtually impossible. My parents took them back home, and it was just me, Jason and little miss Marra at the hospital.  


I was cleared to leave maternal fetal medicine and move to regular recovery at 3:15 pm on the 6th, when she was a little over a day old.  The 24 hours prior were pretty good except that the beeping of the IV kept me from being able to sleep well because one line or another would stop working and drove me nuts.  During that time, Marra was such an easy baby and would only fuss when hungry and would quickly calm down after she started feeding.  Latching and nursing champion from very early on!  Also throughout the night if a new person would come and check on me (if my nurse was on break) they would ask if I need help or advice or if I would like to try a different hold.  I would smile and say "This is my third baby" to which most of them would laugh and say "Oh!  Ha ha ha, you're a pro, I don't need to tell you what to do."  Oh, and my BP kept going up to scary numbers only when I would nurse due to the contractions, so more proof that my body's reaction to pain was high bp.  And man, did those nursing contractions HURT.  After I was done nursing it would go back to normal. 

We moved to regular recovery when a room opened up finally at 9 pm, and hallelujah, I finally got to take a shower and walk freely since I was no longer tied down to the IV.  I think it wasn't until then when I was no longer tethered that I got to truly relax.  I knew that I wouldn't get this same peace and quiet with her at home, so I just cuddled with her as much as I could.  I also fell asleep with her in my arms, and quickly got scolded when the nurse saw me (oops).

Discharge day was the 7th of April and I was anxious to get home to my boys and get my girl home.  I put her in her going home outfit that we had picked out months ago, and of course I got to put the little bow on her hair that I had been dreaming of doing forever.


Paperwork and discharge was done at around 11 and we were off, leaving Cedars-Sinai L&D for the last time with our baby.  They have taken such good care of me and my babes since 2009.



On our drive home right before we turned on our street, Coldplay's MAGIC came on, and we decided to do another lap before making it home.  Very apropos to how we were feeling on that drive. 

Once we got home and brought Marra in, my boys crowded around her car seat.  They gave her kisses and then spontaneously started serenading her with rock a bye baby.  It was so perfect, and I couldn't have imagined a better welcome home for our baby girl. 

And with that, we started our lives as a family of five.  Jason, Anne, Keane, Gehrig, and Marra. 


Friday, June 6, 2014

My Children at 2 months old

My babies at two months!  It's so crazy how different they all look from one another.




Thursday, June 5, 2014

Marra is 2 months old!

Yes yes, I know I'm backlogged, but since I'm here right now, I figured might as well post this before it dies in drafts forever.  I also did a one month shoot that will be posted...sometime.  ha ha




So here is my Marra at this day and time.  At two months her head and neck control has gotten much better, like her brothers at the same age.  She now smiles, but we definitely have to work it to get her to smile.  She is smiliest the most in the morning when she first wakes up.
This girl is a GOOD sleeper.  She is such an easy baby, and really barely makes a peep at night.  I actually feel normal and rested!  She wakes up twice at night.  She'll usually cry, then having her nurse usually calms her down and puts her right back to sleep.  She has so far been my easiest baby out of the three.
She continues to look more like my side of the family, although there are some baby pictures where she does look a lot like Keane too.  She reminds me most of my moms side and many on my side of the family refer to her as an Enriquez baby (my moms maiden name) because she definitely looks very Enriquez.   I think she looks a lot like my maternal grandmother, and there are moments where I feel like I am traveling through time and seeing my grandmother as a baby.  I thought that from the day she was born, and when I see glimpses of it, my heart swells because I feel like this is my connection with her since she died before I was born.  Marra has the most tan complexion in comparison to her brothers.  It's not as dark as my skin, but she sports a beautiful golden tan at all times.  We call her the chameleon baby however because it seems that her skin tone changes throughout the day.  I know that sounds crazy but my friends who have visited can attest to it! 

Her brothers continue to ADORE her.  Gehrig upon seeing her everyday always says "What a cute little baby!" and will want to kiss and hug her.  Keane will do the same and is soooo good with her.  When she cries, he does his best to try to comfort her.  I'm still amazed at how smoothly the boys took to her without any big regressions or aggressive anger towards her.

Jason is so in love with her and I love watching the two of them together.  The other night we swapped duties and he gave her a bath and I gave the boys a bath. My goodness she would not stop chatting with Jason the whole time.  I have never seen her so chatty. 
Speaking of chatty, this girl does love to coo.  She usually will do bursts of cooing, then will just sit and observe everything that is going around her.  She loves being held looking out as she loves taking everything in.  When she is awake, she is not a fan of being cradled because she is quite the busybody.  :)  The only time she likes to be cradled is when she is nursing or falling asleep.
We continue to be so in love with this little munchkin!  I call her my little Dolly because she really is my sweet baby doll.  She is so lovable and I cannot imagine my life without her.

(Yes, I promise I'll get that birth story out soon!)  

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Sorry For The Silence

Between taking the boys to school, attempting to keep up with cleaning and taking care of this newest cutie, I haven't been able to sit down and write what I've been wanting to share.  I will expand on these three topics soon though:

Marra's Birthstory (have managed to finish 3/4 of it!)
Gehrig baby turning 3, his biggest milestones and all the cute things  I'll remember about his past year.
On having three kids: Why it's not as scary or overwhelming as I thought it would be.

Until then, hope all is well.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

In the works

Birth story is in the works.  For the time being, here's a pic of my little girl.  

Monday, April 7, 2014

She's Here!

Our daughter Marra Joelle was born this past weekend, April 5, 2014.  She was 6 pounds 11 ounces, 19 inches long and as beautiful as can be!  
More to come later.  We are all so in love with her!