January 27, 2016

baby griki 2: weekly updates!

He's here!

Clark Carlson Frazier
arrived Friday January 22, 2016 at 10:02 am
weighing 8 lbs measuring 20 inches. 


Our baby boy was due to arrive Friday January 29th.  However, given my labor with Marley, we scheduled an induction for Monday January 25th.

Sunday January 10th I had contractions for EIGHT hours. Grant kept asking if I wanted to go to the hospital...but since they weren't getting any worse or closer together, I would rather be at home timing contractions than hooked up to a monitor watching contractions.  At least then I could clear out the DVR and be tired in my own bed.  Sure enough, I woke up Monday morning without contractions but completely exhausted.

Thursday January 14th I started having contractions while at work.  After two hours of them getting progressively worse and closer together, I called my doctor.  She sent me to L & D.  I left work in the middle of the day and thought for sure baby was coming.  We got to the hospital, and the contractions stopped.  We walked for an hour, still nothing, so home we went.  Looking back, I really shouldn't have been surprised.  Our children are obviously planners too.  Marley had a day of less movement around 37-38 weeks that put up in L & D.  As soon as we got there and I had some juice, she started moving.  She just wanted to know what to expect.  Clark wanted the same thing.  He needed to know what to expect and to make sure we were ready for him.

The night of Tuesday January 19th, I was having regular contractions every 3 to 8 minutes, lasting 30-50 seconds each.  Given how things had been going the last week and a half, my doctor sent me to the hospital.  We checked in, our nurse had never heard of POTS and wasn't sure why I was taking a beta blocker. I sat on the monitor, and then they had me walk.  30 minutes into walking, I was done.  It was late, I was exhausted, and with the POTS, we actually discovered that the walking STOPS my contractions.  Basically my body can only focus on so many functions at once.  If my heart and autonomic functions are focusing on walking and keeping me upright, the contractions stall.  As soon as I crawled back into bed, the contractions started up again.  But since I wasn't progressing, back home we went....contractions and all.

We made it home around 1 and went straight to bed.  At 2:52am I woke up in the midst of a panic attack.  It lasted for next 20 hours when I fell asleep the next night.  I've never experienced anxiety like that before and with POTS the anxiety can be present but not controllable.  My mom thinks it was because Tuesday night was basically my worst case scenario.  Painful contractions, no progress, a nurse that knew nothing about POTS, and complete exhaustion.  Each visit to L & D was a reminder of how traumatic Marley's labor and delivery were.  I honestly wasn't sure I could do that again but also wanted to make sure we did everything possible to avoid a C section.

By Wednesday morning, it was time for me to put my oxygen mask on first...I needed to take care of myself so I could take care of baby.  I called my doctor, explained what was going on, and asked if there was any change we could move my induction up to Friday January 22nd.  My doctor's office does not do elective inductions until 39 weeks.  She decided to schedule my induction for the night of Thursday January 21st.

Thursday night we called in at 6pm to check in about our 7pm induction.  They told me that all the beds were full and that I should call back at 8pm.  My cardiologist was emailing me to see if I was at the hospital yet and we were hopeful a bed would be available later.  My patience was wearing thin and the anticipation was getting the best of us.  We called back at 8pm and the beds were still full.  They told us to call back at 9pm.  Marley was already in bed, my mom was already at our house, so we were just trying to rest as much as possible.   Thankfully when we called at 9pm, they were ready for us! We were told to arrive at 9:30 and they would have us in a room by 9:45pm!

By 9:45pm we were in our room and I was getting hooked up to monitors.  I was feeling so anxious and trying not to focus on what we went through with Marley.  They hooked me up to fluids, started the pitocin and took my blood work for the epidural.  I had just had blood work done two weeks before so I wasn't too worried about my platelets.  However, my numbers came back even lower than with Marley.  Thankfully, the anesthesiologist was willing to move forward with my epidural.  They used a different wash and tape with the goal of avoiding the same chemical and adhesive burns I had with Marley. (Flash forward: They worked! Only a minor adhesive reaction.)  Got the epidural in place and my blood pressure tanked.  This happens with everyone, and we anticipated it would be even more likely to happen to me because of the POTS.  Once we stabilized my blood pressure, we were in it for the long haul.  They monitored my contractions and continued increasing my pitocin dosage all night.  Grant was able to sleep off and on.  I didn't sleep at all but was able to rest most of the night.  Even though the epidural was working and I wasn't in any pain from the contractions, I could feel the impact my POTS was having.  My body was working hard to maintain all of the things it should be regulating more automatically.

Thankfully, we made it through the night.  At 6am, I was 4.5 cm and feeling very defeated from a long night of contractions.  My body was craving my 7am beta blocker and I was starting to panic that we were in for another full day of labor like with Marley.  My cardiologist came to check on me before he started seeing patients and was pleased with my HR and blood pressure numbers throughout the night.  He said things looked good and to call if we needed anything.

When the nurses changed shift, I was antsy.  We'd had unpredictable luck so far with nurses.  However, this nurse walked in and said that her niece had POTS.  She was completely familiar with it and was willing to do whatever we needed to do to manage my POTS.  She walked out of the room and I told Grant "She's such a blessing!"  She was exactly what I needed to mentally keep me in the game.  At 8:45, my doctor came in and I was 6.5cm.  She broke my water and said she would see us soon! Our nurse told us she was sure our baby would be here by lunch.  What felt like a few minutes later, our nurse called the doctor back and three pushes later, Clark was here at 10:02am!  We are beyond thrilled and relieved that he is finally here...and that his labor and delivery were so much easier than the first time around. Our hearts are so full that our family is complete!


Fun fact...my doctor is married to my boss. Another item on the Campolindo Bucket List I never knew I had (meeting spouse, getting engaged at Campo, having my boss' wife deliver my baby...).

January 25, 2016

The Name: Clark Carlson

Just like with Marley, we knew we were going to keep Clark's name a secret.  Our families were ruthless.  My grandma had a list of family names that she would rattle through while we were on the phone together.  My mom offered money. His parents would try and catch him off guard. From the time we announced we were pregnant, I worried about how much Grant might share with a few drinks in him.

Pretty quickly we settled on 

Clark Carlson


Clark was my great grandpa's name.
Grant and I never had the chance to meet him.  
But we've loved the name ever since we heard it!
He was a high school teacher in Sanger and president of the Rotary Club.

Carlson is Grant's middle name.
Marley has my middle name and we knew if we were having a boy, 
he would get Grant's middle name.
Carlson is Grant's grandmother's maiden name.

To celebrate his arrival we handed out Clark bars with "It's a Boy!" stickers.
Not many people have their own candy bar...

And of course, now that he's here...his quilt and letters can come out of hiding!

baby griki 2: The Nursery!

Now that he's here...we're so excited to share the nursery!  Clark's bedroom is definitely my favorite room in the house.  It has wood beams on the ceiling and the natural light is pretty terrible most of the day.  The combination makes for the coziest room in the house and I know it will be the perfect boy bedroom for many years to come.






Clark also got a quilt from Cotton and Clover courtesy of Grandma and Grandpa.  It's been in hiding for months along with the two Cs from Hobby Lobby.  As soon as we got home from the hospital, Grant hung the quilt up!

Welcome home Clark!

January 21, 2016

baby griki 2 update: weeks 38 and 39




















Week 38 ended with a false alarm.  I was teaching in the morning and started having some contractions.  Over the next three hours, they became more consistent and painful.  There were between 5 and 7 minutes apart and lasting for 30-50 seconds.  I was SURE it was baby time.  My doctor sent us to L & D, they hooked me up to the monitor, and the contractions slowed way down in both timing and intensity.  So after a few hours of monitoring...home we went.  I took the next day off of work to regroup and rest.  The earlier part of the week was pretty typical.  Tired, feeling very pregnant.  I spent my days busy at work trying to focus on completing everything I needed to.  At home, we spent our time soaking up all the Marley snuggles we could and enjoying one of our last weeks as a family of three!

Week 39 was full of anticipation.  We spent the weekend relaxing and I spent three days at reflexology!  Marley, Grant and I were all extra anxious for baby to arrive.  Monday, Marley and I got to enjoy a fun day together since I didn't have work!  I also had my last doctor's appointment where my doctor was very surprised I was still pregnant.  Tuesday was the first day of finals!  By Tuesday night I was having contractions every 3 to 8 minutes lasting 30-55 seconds a piece.  My doctor sent me to labor and delivery where they saw the contractions on the monitor...but my body wasn't actually making any progress.  Since I'm not 39 full weeks, they don't do anything to help your body progress, so home we went--contractions and all.  Such a frustrating and exhausting experience.  I decided I needed to start my maternity leave on Wednesday.  My body and mind were both exhausted.  POTS was triggering some pretty serious anxiety and I really needed to focus on myself.  Based on the two false alarms with no progression, and my level of anxiety, my doctor has decided to move up my induction to tonight!

Please prayer for a quick and safe labor and delivery for all of us!

January 7, 2016

baby griki 2 update: weeks 34, 35, 36, 37





Week 34 was a busy and long week.  Scott and Lindsay came to visit with baby Hudson.  Marley was in love! Then we celebrated my mom's birthday with brunch at our house.  Marley got her first candy cane when we picked out my parent's tree at Bob's.  I struggled through the last week of work before break.  The kids were antsy and so was I!  I saw my cardiologist for only the second time during this pregnancy--major accomplishment! With Marley, I was seeing him every two weeks starting my third trimester.  We continue to be so thankful that we have a better understanding of POTS this time around and how to manage.  My cardiologist is pleased with how things are going, reminded me of all the tips and tricks I can try, and told me to let him know when I'm in labor.  Praying that things continue to stay manageable and that baby keeps cooking!

Week 35 was the toughest week yet.  At the start of the week, baby dropped! I began to feel extremely uncomfortable with regular braxton hicks contractions.  It was a stressful few days until our ultrasound to check his position.  As we expected, he had dropped and was head down.  With no other signs of preterm labor, and no plans to leave town, my doctor wasn't too concerned. With some relief from the appointment, I was able to enjoy our 4 year wedding anniversary and all the Christmas festivities.  In maternity leggings of course. It was so special to watch Marley enjoy all the magic of Christmas.  We sang Christmas carols, baked Christmas cookies, saw the Christmas pageant, and watched a lot of Christmas movies.  I have no doubt that by next year she will be helping me get out the decorations in early November.

Week 36 was a much calmer week.  With Christmas over, it was time to nest! Grant and my dad added a bunch of storage to the garage and we made several trips to goodwill.  The Christmas decorations were put away, and we finished the nursery! Insomnia was out in full force and I knew the nesting had settled in when it was 11:30pm and I was scrubbing the infant car seat clean. And then I took a shower.  And then I tried to fall asleep.  Marley is handling all the baby equipment like a champ.  With her new bitty baby as the tester, we've been trying out all the baby equipment and Marley loves being helpful! We know she is going to be a great big sister!

Week 37 meant the end of break.  We soaked up the last weekend of laziness.  Mom and I made a massive Sam's Club run to fill my freezer before baby gets here.  It was a little too much walking for me because I had crazy, inconsistent contractions all night.  Mentally I tried to prepare myself for the final push through work.  Just 14 days with students plus one work day until maternity leave!  It was nice to be back at work and feel like progress was being made.  Still cramping and contractions, but nothing consistent.  Halfway through the week the swelling began.  Thankfully, I'm sleeping better because work is wearing me out! Marley and I have been enjoying movies and snuggles in the afternoons.

Can't wait for baby to be here! We want him to cook as long as possible; but I can't wait to see what he looks like and get to know his personality! Trying to savor all the kicks, rolls, and kicks in the ribs. Hard to believe I only have a few weeks (at most) left before our family is complete!
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