Sloane’s Birth Story

Our perfect little angel baby is 1 whole week old and what an eventful week it’s been! I spend most every day reflecting on her delivery and to be honest there isn’t a lot that I can tell you about it. My husband is probably the one who needs to write this story and maybe one day we’ll get him to do that. But nonetheless, here’s my side of the story…

I’ve always felt pretty aware that birth is an unpredictable thing. There’s no real way to control how it’s going to go. The idea of having this structured “birth plan” has just been crazy to me. I went in expecting the unexpected and still I never could have imagined things happening the way that they did. I had such an easy and healthy pregnancy. Complications during birth weren’t anything that we needed to be over concerned with.

Last Tuesday morning I had my weekly appointment with the OB and everything was perfect. I was progressing well and she predicted that Sloane would be here by the weekend. Of course Alex and I were elated to hear that news. Although it did set in and the paranoia of being on water-breaking watch began. She said it would be soon but I didn’t expect it to be that day.

Sure enough it was! Around 8:00pm we headed into the hospital to confirm that my water had broken. It did and we settled into our little labor and delivery suite. We called all of our family and they headed our way.

As I’m sure you’ve heard labor is not in any way comfortable. By midnight I was ready for an epidural and had consumed more orange flavored popsicles than anybody would consider healthy. Mr. anesthesiologist came in to make my life a lot easier but unfortunately it didn’t work out that way.

After an hour in the epidural still hadn’t helped anything. I was still feeling every contraction from start to finish and had no relief. They guessed that this could have been because of how fast labor was progressing. Mr. Anesthesiologist returned and gave me a little more of the medication in hopes that would help my discomfort and it did. Within minutes I was feeling great.

My nurse came in and checked on us and this puts us up to around 2am. Alex and I decided to take a little nap before things really started.

And that is basically where my story stops.

I vaguely remember different glimpses of the rest of the night and when people that were in the room talk about what happened it all sounds familiar.

I remember a light being shined in my eyes. I remember a room full of doctors and nurses telling me to stay awake. I remember Alex holding me on one side and a nurse on the other. I remember the OB holding up Sloane, telling alex to cut the cord, them laying her on my chest, and a sweet little NICU nurse saying that it was time for them to take her away.

That’s it.

Multiple others have informed me of the events of the night so this is essentially what happened:

When Alex and I laid down to nap I went unresponsive. He woke up about 30 minutes later to check on me and I was 100% out of it. Thankfully Alex is a doctor in training and knew what to check for. Praise God for having a husband in medicine.

He immediately called for my nurse and everyone ran in for an emergency delivery. Normally with me being unconscious they would have done an emergency c-section but Sloane had already decided that she was on her way out. They had no choice but to go on with the delivery and thankfully this process only lasted about 30 minutes. However Alex would say that he’s sure it lasted hours longer than that.

Immediately after she was born I started becoming slightly more lucid. So I do remember alex cutting the cord, Sloane crying, and her being laid on my chest. I guess if I had to pick what I got to remember from my child’s birth those would be the three events that I chose.

Sloane was a trooper through it all. Since she was on her way out on her own without much assistance at first she inhaled amniotic fluid which caused her O2 to drop and a patch of fluid on her lungs. She got to say hello and then immediately had to be taken to the NICU. *cue the nurse saying “it’s time for me to take her away now”*

The frustration I remember feeling is unreal. I remember everyone yelling at me to stay awake and being mad because I thought that I was awake. I was trying to talk but couldn’t and that made me mad. I wanted to hold her and miss NICU lady took her away and that was infuriating but my body wouldn’t let me express any of this.

Basically through all of it my husband is my hero.

Had he not woken up when he did, neither me or Sloane would be here. At multiple points throughout this process he thought that his wife and daughter were dying and that’s a feeling that I can’t even imagine. He’s an absolute rock, though.

After they took Sloane back everything was a blur. Alex was in and out all morning. I kept having him run to the NICU to take pictures of her so I could see her. I was still recovering form whatever kind of spell that I had so I wasn’t allowed to get out of bed much less leave the labor and delivery room.

I’d say around 9ish I was once again fully aware. Once my epidural wore off they let alex take me back in a wheel chair to actually meet her and that I remember every second of. The nurse in the NICU at the time handed her to me and I just cried.

Sloane was off of her oxygen by that afternoon. Her nurse said that she pulled it out all on her own so they assumed she didn’t want it. She had one episode after they took her off the oxygen when her levels dropped which was followed by her coughing up the fluid that she swallowed which was actually a great sign. She was just correcting the original problem.

As for what caused my unconsciousness, no one really knows for sure. Every medical professional in that room swore that they had never seen anything like it. They decided that it must have been a reaction to the epidural. It could have been because of how fast the labor process was progressing, the amount of medication that I received through it, or that the medication somehow leaked to the rest of my body rather than staying in my lower back.

Regardless, I basically overdosed. The light I remember being shined in my eyes was them checking to see if I had a stroke, they contemplated giving me Narcan. What we learned here is that I am not someone who can handle experimenting with opioids.

Different doctors and nurses popped into our room the next day and always started with “so do you remember me?” The truth is I almost did. They all had familiar faces but I couldn’t pin point exactly who they were or why they knew me.

We spent our few days in the hospital running back and fourth between our room and the NICU. We tried our hardest to nap between feedings and visitors. We were beyond exhausted.

Sloane had to have been held by 30+ doctors and doctors-to-be in her few days in the hospital. Perks of being friends with so many medical students. It’s comforting to know that we have a list of the most qualified babysitters out there.

I was discharged on friday morning but Sloane had to stay until Saturday just for supervision. We stayed until bed time on friday and then came back again in the middle of the night to feed her. Going home without her on friday was probably the hardest thing that we’ve done. We just had to keep reassuring ourselves that we could go back and get her first thing in the morning. I have such a respect for parents whose children are in the NICU for even longer than just a few days. I genuinely don’t know how you do it.

So here we are! Heading home with a precious, perfect baby girl. We could not be more thankful to Jesus for taking such good care of us. We have soaked in all the newborn cuddles and love this past week.

Thank you so much to everyone who has called, texted, visited, brought us food, and just checked in on us in our first few days settling in at home. We appreciate you more than you know!

Dream Pregnancy

“For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.”

‭‭Psalms‬ ‭139:13-14‬ ‭ESV

You guys. These past 9 months have FLOWN by–even if it didn’t feel like it in the moment. Someone told me pretty early on in my pregnancy that time will never go by slower or faster than when you’re pregnant and that couldn’t be more true.

I have officially reached full term and I’m not sure that Alex or myself have ever been more ready to meet our daughter. It is so so surreal. This week all that has been echoing in my mind is Psalm 139. “You knitted me together in my mother’s womb” This verse is of course plastered everywhere in hopes of reassuring worth and self image but it’s never been more important or meaningful than it is now. “Knitting together” is exactly what God has been doing through me these past 40 weeks and that is the most crazy beautiful thing that I could possibly imagine.

I really am so thankful for the pregnancy in general of course but especially how easy it’s been. It really has been a dream pregnancy. I was fairly sick during the first trimester but isn’t basically everyone? What was worse than that in my opinion was the absolute exhaustion. It made working full time and doing school full time hard. It didn’t last forever thank God. Alex loved the sick aspect of it. He found it enjoyable to document the process. Literally. He was in the bathroom with my Nikon each morning before we left for work taking pictures of me puking. As you can see here…

Now second trimester really was a dream. Post sickness and fatigue. Back when I could actually sleep without getting up 5 times throughout the night to pee.

Now, however, I just feel huge and tend to be easily irritated. Trust me when you’re 25ish weeks and you feel huge and uncomfortable, you aren’t. Just you wait and see.

Also, 10/10 would recommend not being 8-9 months pregnant throughout the scorching hot and humid summer months. We voted to switch up our timing next kid if we get the chance. That isn’t promising considering we had zero say in it this go around. But that’s life!

All-in-all, despite minor discomforts, this pregnancy has honestly been so easy. We absolutely cannot to hold our sweet girl officially any day now!

Maternity Pictures

We had maternity pictures done at 33 weeks in mid-July. Possibly on the hottest, most humid weekend in July. I guess when you’re due in august that’s really your only option. Despite the frizz and sweat we endured we were THRILLED with the way that they turned out. Alex hates doing pictures and still said he liked them. Seriously Crystin Urban is amazing and the sweetest. Here are a few of our favorites from the shoot!

**fun fact: these pictures were taken at Romanza Johnson Park by drakes creek in BG. That is also where we had one of our first dates (three years ago almost to the day!) where alex met my family. Kayaking the creek/floating turned into a disaster 😂 really funny story though.

^^ This one is one of my favorites!

^^ That sunlight 😍

^^ And this one is my very favorite!

Photography by Crystin Urban

The one where I find out I’m pregnant.

Just so that we’re clear, this was an absolute surprise. Alex and I love children and of course we wanted to have one or two or five eventually. BUT, we’re young. I have a couple semesters left before I graduate and alex has a couple more years before he does. Our goal was to wait until we were finished with school.

BUT LOL AT THAT. So here’s the story of how Jesus wrecked my plans yet again and we found out about the teeny tiny little human that we’ve already grown to love SO much.

So, we’re in Pennsylvania to spend Christmas with the Stewart’s. We went up a little early to spend some extra time with everyone and hang out before we headed to NYC for the actual Holiday.

Prior to leaving Louisville I wasn’t feeling well so I went to the doctor and found out that I most likely had a sinus infection. They wrote me a prescription for an antibiotic. The next day we left to go to PA and about 5 hours into the drive we realized that we forgot to stop at Walgreens to pick up my meds. As the week went on I started feeling worse, I took some cold and flu medicine but it never really went away. My mother-in-law (who works at a surgery center) had one of her doctors write me a prescription for a zpack just to knock out whatever was going on before we went into the city. I didn’t want to be sick while we were there. So Alex and I drove to riteaid one afternoon to pick up my meds.

Now it should be noted that this cold that I had also came with extreme exhaustion and a ridiculous cough. I literally coughed all day and night long and wanted nothing more than to just sleep. Just a couple days before we went to riteaid I joked with Alex that I felt like I had a hernia or something. I swear that I could feel something weird in my stomach every time that I coughed. Not necessarily painful but definitely uncomfortable. He was like “well you can cough yourself into a hernia.” And we laughed and thought nothing else of it.

Fast forward two days and we are at the pharmacy. They inform us that it’s going to be be 10 or 15 minutes before it’s ready so we did a couple laps around the store. We walked passed the “family planning” isle and I looked at alex and said “hey what if I’m pregnant.” I think initially we both kind of dismissed the idea but then it just kinda came over me that holy crap I actually might be pregnant.

I had just peed before we left the house so I bought the pregnancy test and a bottle of water and chugged it while sitting in the chairs by the bathroom in the back of the store. I was beyond nervous/anxious/terrified because I knew it was going to be positive. My hands were shaking so it took me what felt like an eternity to get the test out of the box. I also still didn’t even have to pee so I was convinced that it wasn’t even going to be enough for the test to work.

But it was, and it was instant. There was no waiting 2-3 minutes. Those two pink lines immediately showed up. In shock I threw it into my purse and ran outside to find alex. I sat down and the look on his face said “And…?”

I remember saying something along the lines of “it’s positive, it’s in my purse, I can’t get it out right now.” So naturally he didn’t believe me but I tried reassuring him that I wasn’t lying and that I really just couldn’t get it out because I was processing. I remember initially being so excited but unable to say actual words because of shock. He pulls the test out of my purse and we just sat there in shock. We finally got my zpack from the pharmacy and went to the car and we started panicking.

Was there such thing as a false positive? Do I need to go to a clinic? Should I take another test to be sure? Omg I need to find an OBGYN. How far along am I? How many glasses of wine have I consumed in the last few weeks? Is it even safe for me to take these antibiotics now? Etc. etc. etc.

We drive around for a solid 45 minutes before actually going back home. Sandra called a couple of times asking what was taking so long. I had no idea how I was supposed go home and not immediately blurt out “hey guys, I’m pregnant” as I walked through the door. But I couldn’t because at this point we were 3 days from Christmas and couldn’t pass up the opportunity to tell everyone we were having a baby via unwrapping a Christmas gift. So we had to just pretend like life was normal and it wasn’t about to change forever.

I took a second pregnancy test after dinner just in case. Still positive. The anticipation was killing us both though and it was difficult to not seem like we were hiding something because every conversation and gesture exchanged felt so obvious. Later that night we were upstairs watching a movie with all of the siblings and we told them then just because we were dying a little on the inside. They were just as shocked and excited as we were. When we were going to bed Hillary looked over at me and said “Goodnight momma” and smiled and that’s when it really hit me. I’m gonna be a mom. Oh. My. God.

The next morning we went to target and got a cute little miniature stocking and wrapped it up to give to Alex’s parents for Christmas. We face timed my parents and siblings and let them know that way.

Alex and I agreed to push off all of the planning and freaking out until we got back home. We really wanted to just relax and be thankful for our new babe and time with family. We went to NYC for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day and it was so much fun to experience, we absolutely loved it. NYC is where I got my first taste of morning sickness, though. Hot dog stands on every corner were a form of torture. I got really good at holding my breath between blocks and using my scarf as a gas mask.

So jump ahead and we’re back home in Lou. Shock and panic have settled and we are just absolutely thrilled. I took a third pregnancy test when we got home, ya know just in case. Again, still positive. We found an obgyn and FINALLY got in for our first ultrasound. It seemed like we had been waiting for ages, but then again the month of January did last 70 years long. Staring at the screen and watching the teeny tiny little arms and legs wiggling was the most surreal thing I’ve ever experienced.

I am officially in the second trimester now and our next appointment is just a week away. According to my app baby has grown the tip of its nose and that little detail excites me more than I can explain. I can’t wait to see a more human-looking version of my babe. Morning sickness has subsided but the dire need to sleep 15 hours a day has not.

It has been so much fun to see my stomach grow this first trimester. We cannot wait for august and sweet Baby Stewart to get here!

GS

Life lately—November 2017

How is it already halfway through November? We have been having beautiful, gloomy, crisp, fall days in Lou. This is my absolute favorite season and I swear it comes sooner every. single. time. This whole year has flown!

Life lately has been so good, busy, and fun. To hit a few of the high notes:

Fed graduated obedience school!


He’s our babe. So, yes, he makes this post. Fed is an austrailian shepherded. I’ve had and been around dogs my whole life, various breeds. But I have NEVER been around one with so much energy. Apparently this is a common thing with aussies. So since he is hyper AF and had a bad habit of jumping on people we decided it was best to get him in with a trainer. We decided on Scott Borden from Our Dog Trainer in southern Indiana and we could not have been more pleased. Scott was incredible with Fed and while he still has all of his energy he’s SO MUCH better at controlling it. Aussies are smart dogs in general so Fed does well with being trained and honestly I think he prefers it. He likes the challenge. He will also be getting fixed soon and has no idea. Poor guy.

I got a new job! 

I have two semesters left of school after this one (PRAISE JESUS) and they can both be done 100% online (again, praise Jesus). I’ve been wanting to get a full time job. Preferably in a school setting since that is what I’m going to school for. My mother-in-law saw a post about openings at an elementary school in Indiana and so I got online and applied. (Thanks Sandra, you da best). Before I had even finished or submitted my application the assistant principle called and asked if I was interested and we set up an interview! About a week later they called back and informed me that I got it. So naturally I’m extremely excited! I’ll be working as a teacher’s assistant in a moderate level special education classroom. After paperwork and all of the legalities I should be starting very soon!

It’s the most wonderful time of year again! 

Our Christmas Tree! Peep the cutest photo bomber ever.

Oh yes. All of the holidays! Last night we had Friendsgiving with our people in Louisville and of course it was a good time. Minus the fact that I literally dumped my plate all over my lap mid dinner. I’m so graceful…..

It should also be noted that our Christmas tree has been up for a week and a half now. We weren’t wasting any time. I’ve been extra excited for Christmas this year mostly because it’s our first married Christmas. We had to go and buy a whole new tree, ornaments, everything. Alex is also Buddy the Elf so we had a lot of fun decorating.

Anyway, we are going to be here there and everywhere in the next few weeks and I can not wait. We are alternating holidays between my parents and Alex’s while his schedule permits travel for both thanksgiving and Christmas. This year we are spending thanksgiving with my parents since we were in PA last year. We’ll be heading down there next Wednesday and staying through the weekend. Then the weekend before Christmas we are going back down for a quick visit with my parents for the holiday, coming back to Louisville because I’ll be working the following week, leaving to go to Pennsylvania to the Stewart’s household, then spending Christmas Eve and day in NYC! Then back to PA and finally back home. Lots of travel but it’s going to be oh so fun. Pray for our dog who will have to be a good boy and sit in our backseat through it all.

Other reasons that December is the best:

It’s my birthday! I’ll be 22 in just a few short weeks which is fun! The beginning of December also marks the end of the school semester for me *insert praise hands*, and also our anniversary! This December 30th we will have been married one whole year and that’s so surreal. It feels like this past year has gone extremely fast but it also feels as though it’s been way longer than just one year. We’ve packed a lot of life into that year so we can’t complain.

Alex’s life update:

There isn’t one. He’s still in the library studying his life away per usual. He said to me yesterday “Oh dear God it’s almost 2018.” Which he hates the idea of because 2018 means step 1. He had to put his first down payment on that cheap little boards exam today so this most likely marks the beginning of a nightmare on Preston street. Those poor med students….

But on a much more interesting note, last week the Global Health Missions Conference was held at church. It was HUGE. One of the coolest things was that Samaritans Purse set up a full hospital inside a tent outside that we got to walk through. It had everything from an ER, to an OR, to an ICU. All inside a tent that fit on a sidewalk right beside Southeast. INSANITY. It looked like this 👇🏼 The most recent hospital they set up was in Iraq. We particularly loved it because we got a little preview of where Alex will be working once he’s finished with his lifetime of school. Just the US Army’s version of a pop up hospital somewhere. Seeing that makes all of the studying a little bit easier.<br<br
hat pretty much covers it. Tons of fun, restful, and exciting things coming up. We are elated ☺️

Have great day everyone!

GS