Jul 7, 2010

Baby Bryce

This post has taken me a few days to complete - life with a newborn (and four other kids) is demanding and this last week has been a blur! In fact if there are incomplete sentences or mistakes don't be surprised. Some words that come to mind to describe my feelings over the past week are blessed, overwhelmed, amazed, stressed, scared, faith, prayer, snuggles, love, exhaustion and gratitude. Lots has happened -

First the birth story: Wednesday, June 30, was my induction date. I didn't sleep much the night before, and then that morning was the slowest ever! I waited, and waited, and waited for a call from the hospital to tell me when to come in. I knew I was 6th in line but didn't count on all the spontaneous labors that came in that day. We took the kids to their library reading groups that morning, and Mark got a bit of yard work done, and we waited. Finally I got a call and headed to the hospital, getting up to my room just before 3 pm. Dad Horton was our on call babysitter for the day, so the kids were excited to have time with Grandpa.

So they got my IV started, started the Pitocin at 3:45, and broke my water at 4 pm. I might be a baby but I think an IV in the hand is one of the worst parts of the whole experience! At that point I was dilated to 3, 80% effaced, and the baby was at "0" station. Nothing much exciting happened over the next while - the contractions took a while to pick up. Once they finally started going they gained momentum and strength...I labored through them until they were coming every 2 minutes and hard. I finally asked for the epidural which I was given at 7 pm when I was dilated to 6. It was the best epi I've ever had - I could still move my legs which was awesome. And I could still feel enough to know what was happening. Within just 30 minutes I was complete & ready to push...baby was at a +3 station and the nurse said pushing usually starts at +2 so I was really ready. I ended up having to wait a bit though because my doctor was performing a c-section! It's a real good thing I had an epidural or that waiting would have been impossible.

When the doctor finally arrived it was a whirlwind - they immediately prepped the bed, got me in position, and told me to push on the next contraction! I pushed hard once and the head came out, pushed hard again and Bryce was born at 8:18! Probably the smoothest delivery I've had. Only 2 pushes! I was so excited to have him here safe and was thrilled to hear that first newborn cry. He was so cute! They wiped him off, Mark cut the cord, and they immediately let me have skin to skin time with him. That was amazing. He did great on his apgar too - a 9 and then a 10. I also got to nurse right away. Mark was so excited to have a son that looks like him. And as a side note my labor and delivery nurses were awesome!

The time in the hospital was annoying, as always. I am always itching to get out of there as soon as possible. I don't know how anyone can sleep there with all the interruptions & noise. Bryce was so asleep however he didn't even eat much so it came as no surprise that first night home that he wanted to eat ... ALL NIGHT! The kids loved coming to see baby brother in the hospital - all but Ammon who had to stay away due to a nasty cough.

Proud Papa

Holly is really gentle
Ella is full of love
Josh is so proud
A cute happy dream
He loves his fingers and always wants access to his hands
Day 3: sweet, sweet boy
Monday was a very emotional day. First of all the poor little guy had his circumcision that morning. That is definitely a question I'll have in the next life...why? He wasn't happy and Mommy was crying right along with him. Then to top it off, we had Bryce's bilirubin levels tested for the third time (a sad blood draw from the heel) and he was high risk which meant he had to go on bili lights. I've never experienced that with any of my other kids (which I guess is lucky since it's quite common) but it was no fun at all. He had to be in this little UV bed as much as possible except when nursing. As you can imagine, it wasn't easy especially when he was awake and wanted to be held. His level tested at 18 and the nurse said if it reached 20 he may have to go back in the hospital for treatment. I was so worried. Mark gave him a beautiful blessing and it brought much peace and assurance that he would be OK.

The night shift was especially hard. He did NOT want to be in that bed any longer. Thankfully, the next morning's test showed his level at a 15 - a significant drop. He had to be on the lights one more day although not quite as intense (we could hold him when he fussed) to get his level down below 14. By the next morning the news was wonderful - his level was at 13 and he was done with the lights and no more trips to the hospital lab for heel pricks! I knew instantly our prayers had been answered and his blessing had been fulfilled.

Bryce is horrible at night. I hate to say it but it's true. I think I have had one three-hour block of sleep since he was born. Other than that he wakes VERY frequently. Some nights I sleep a total of two or three hours. He sleeps great being held but doesn't like his bed. I know it will change - I am not giving up, and not really complaining either, just looking forward to a time when nights improve. Until then mommy is a little loopy and I don't have much energy, so I sit and hold him and stare at him in amazement.
1 week old

Today (Thursday) was Mark's first day back to work, and I survived! The kids are all adapting pretty well. Every time Ammon sees Bryce he says "Hi Baby" and gives him a soft kiss on his head - so cute! The other kids all love to hold him and are for the most part pretty helpful with things. I am so so so grateful for Mark - he has been amazing over the past week - taking care of me, the kids, the house, and even finding time for projects in the yard. He truly stood by my side and supported me through this whole experience. He is a super daddy and a wonderful husband and we feel really blessed he was able to have the time off from work. I'm also grateful to my dad & Kristen for taking over while we were in the hospital, and for all the friends and family who have helped and shown kindnesses. A new baby truly is a miracle...we love you Bryce!


  1. What a sweet post! So beautifully written. I still feel so bad for not being able to come yesterday or today. Heidi really wants to see Bryce and I was thinking of maybe bringing her by on Sunday? What do you think about that? Send me an email and let me know if you're up to it.

  2. Congrats!! He is adorable and makes me baby hungry

  3. I'm so glad that you had a great birthing experience! Two pushes?? Wow, way to go! I loved reading about your experience. Thank you for sharing!

  4. Congrats! (I know I'm a bit slow.) Our first baby ended up back in the hospital with jaundice... so scary! Luckily all our other children never had it bad enough to need the bili lights. It's not fun at all. I hope things are going well for you and all the new adjustments haven't been to tough. :)