Friday, August 19, 2011

Joy is Born!

~Baby Joy's birth story~

What an amazing week we have had. Amazingly good, amazingly joyful, and amazingly evident that God had His hand in every detail.

August 11th:
I posted my last blog post as we walked out the door late Thursday night. As you know, I was freaking out about my induction date as even though it was scheduled, I knew it was a possibility that it would be pushed back if the hospital was too busy with patients that went into labor on their own. Sure enough, my worrying seemed justified when I called an hour before we got there and was told they were too busy and to call back in an hour. The next time I called back, I was transferred a few times and spoke to a nurse named Tiffany - the same Tiffany who delivered Will and who we loved so much. She said that she saw our names on the list and remembered who we were. She also recognized that my due date was the same day as I had Will. She couldn't believe it and was so happy for us. She told me that there were actually rooms but not enough nurses to induce me that night but we could come and hold a room, sleep there with the baby on a monitor so I wouldn't worry and then be induced in the morning at shift change. They were so busy that no one else was admitted to the hospital for inductions for 4 more days. Pretty amazing.

August 12th: (Possibly graphic for male readers)
Right at 8am my appointed midwife, Lylaine came in. Even though she was with the ob practice I go to, I had never met her. I explained my story once again and told her that "the doctor" was going to induce me with a cervix softening gel called cytotec. (I was extremely nervous about this as even though they used it to induce Will and it worked, I have read a plethora of horrible things about this drug, how it is not FDA approve ((which is probably a good thing)) but that it causes uterine eruptions, and fetal and maternal death. ) Lylaine said she would not use cytotec and agreed it could be dangerous. She said it is most commonly used in stillbirths because they don't have to worry about hurting the baby. She checked me and said I was a good candidate for a foley bulb - which I had never heard of. It is basically a balloon they put up in your cervix and then fill with water. The pressure of the baby's head pushing on the balloon makes the cervix dilate. When you dilate to 4 cm it would fall out and that is usually all it takes to get labor going. This sounded like a wonderful idea to me - especially since I was already 3cm. So she put that in and then our job was to walk. Josh and I walked around the floor of the hospital at least 400 times in about 4 hours. We kept waiting and waiting for the bulb to fall out but it never did and I was getting really frustrated, to think that it was taking that long to get to just 4 cm. Finally, at noon and with seemingly nothing happening, Lylaine checked me and and said that it had fallen out of the cervix a long time ago, just not all the way out, out -if you know what I mean. She announced that I was 6 cm, broke my water and we went off walking again. I was so happy when I actually started feeling the contractions. We walked for about an hour and at that point I was at 8cm and we all knew things would probably go fast from there since my other births were so easy. My mom got to the hospital and came in and talked with us for a while until it was time to push. The last 3 contractions were pretty painful but definitely not unbearable. Josh decided that I am unbiblical for not having pain in childbirth. I told them that my body was pushing and Josh refused to let me have the baby standing up so I got in the bed, pushed 1 and 1/2 times and at 3:18pm, out came little Joy. Josh got to catch her and announced that she was a girl. Just 7 hours of easy natural labor, no epidural, and a quick time of pushing - I didn't even tear. If I had been induced the night I was supposed to be, I would have had the doctor that said to use cytotec and would have had a totally differemt experience. Pretty amazing.

They put her on my chest for a few seconds as they scored her with an APGAR of 9. She was screaming so I knew she was okay. The neonatal nurse put her in the little bed area and did the typical suctioning and weighing. She weighed 6 lbs 2 oz. What a tiny girl! I once again had to fill out my "your a bad mother" forms to decline the Hep B, Vitamin K shots and that stupid eye ointment. Everyone puts that on their babies but does anyone know that the only thing it is for is to protect against STDs? Our families came in and saw her but we knew at that point she need some help breathing because every breath was fast and accompanied by a sad grunting sound. Claire was so excited to finally meet this much talked about "baby Peanut" She came to my bed and I showed her that my tummy was gone and that baby Peanut had come out. She felt around on my belly and said in a very excited voice "Now your baby is gone, you can run and jump with me!?" They brought Joy over to me and Claire and we said hello and goodbye quickly as she had to go to the nursery for some oxygen. It was a bummer because no one was able to hold her but me for that brief 2 minutes. Josh went with Joy to find out what they were going to do with her and make sure they didn't do anything we didn't want them to.

I was feeling pretty darn good so I got out of the hospital gown and put on a robe I brought and went to see Joy. Our parents saw her from the nursery window. (It wasn't a NICU. If she had needed more invasive treatment they would have transferred her to Arrowhead). The nurses said that she would just need some time and to be monitored. They also wanted to do an IV of antibiotics to rule out the possibility of the fluid in her lungs getting infected. I was not so keen on this idea as I do not think it's a good idea to wipe out whatever good bacteria she did have but I couldn't not let them do it as if she did somehow get an infection it could be deadly for her in her current state. She stayed under an oxygen hood, and then said they needed to get x-rays of her chest to see if her lungs just had fluid or if they were underdeveloped. Again, not something I wanted to do but it was necessary. The x-ray revealed that she just had "wet lungs" but there was a tiny line on the x-ray that they thought could be an air pocket. I do not fully understand why this was a bad thing. Aren't lungs supposed to have air in them? The neonatalogist that day was super annoying in that he talked in circles and never answered our questions, he just vaguely talked around them and smiled way too much. It turned out that the supposed "air pocket" was either never there, or was absorbed because it was gone the next day.

August 13th:

Joy's breathing improved greatly overnight but she was still "singing" every few breaths and her respiratory rate was high. They put a cannula on her and turned her oxygen to 30%. It seemed like a long day. We weren't allowed to touch or hold her as she was working so hard to breath she didn't need more stimulation. At this point we were hoping to go home the next day, until they told us she need to be off oxygen for 24 hours before they would discharge her. She also need some billi lights this day as she was borderline jaundice and didn't want it to get worse. The nursery nurses were so annoying, some of the were nice, some of them (including the one that was always assigned to Joy) were very snooty. One would tell me one thing, and another would walk by 3 minutes later and tell me something else. We had to be on our toes and know which nurses would allow what.

August 14th: I was discharged but able to stay in our room, I just wouldn't get the hospital conveniences,( i.e. food and a nurse barging in every so often to check my blood pressure. ) I was so thankful for this because I did NOT want to leave Joy and I wanted to breastfeed her. Josh took Claire home and came up every day in the morning, took Claire home for her nap and then brought her back in the evening along with dinner for me. At that point, we had been able to hold Joy briefly but she was breathing too hard to breastfeed. They hadn't given her any form of food except her glucose IV but they said that since she was a few days old they really needed her to get more calories. I had been pumping since she was born but with little results. I gave them whatever I had pumped and unfortunately they supplemented with formula. I was sad she had to drink that disgusting stuff but what can you do? I pumped and pumped every hour to encourage my milk to come in and gave whatever I got to the nurses to mix with the formula. Slowly, I started getting more milk and I worked at it very hard to make sure they didn't have to give her anymore formula. She was on formula for 2 days.

August 15:
I went to the nursery in the morning and was told that Joy had "turned her corner". That day we were able to hold her more and she began to breastfeed. They began weaning her off oxygen and by 11am she was completely off of it, she also finished her antibiotic treatment that day so she was no longer hooked up to anything except the monitor which just tracked her heartbeat and oxygen saturation. That night, I had the nursery call me every 3 hours (or when she woke up) so that I could go in and feed her. She is an excellent nurser.

August 16th: I assumed we would be going home this day and was dismayed when the snooty nurse said they wanted to keep her for 48 hours after she was off oxygen. I was getting anxious because I was told that morning that the hospital was full and at any moment to expect someone to tell me I need to leave my room. I waited all day with my bags packed and ready to be booted out but they never came to tell me to leave. Joy was allowed to come in the room with us which made us and Claire very happy. There was a scare that she might need another jaundice treatment so she spent most of her time in the sun which even the snooty nurse said must have helped. That night, Joy was taken off the monitors completely and allowed to sleep in the room with me. It was very nice to be able to do what I wanted with her with out some crabby old nurse looking over my shoulder and telling me what I could and could not do.

August 17th: I was told at 4am that I need to leave my room. I was so grateful for them letting me stay so long and what perfect timing as I was pretty sure we would be able to go home this day. I packed everything again and put it in the nursery with Joy and then sat in the nursery for about 6 hours until the timely and efficient doctor strolled in and waved his magic wand over her so she could leave. Finally, a little after 1pm, we were walking out of the hospital and so ready to be home with our new family member. Pretty Amazing. It feels so strange to finally have a baby in the house.
I feel like its the end of an era - In a good way of course. I've thought a lot about Will this past week, not even a year ago I was still happily pregnant with him, unaware of his impending doom. Who would have thought that not even a year later we would be bringing home a totally different baby. It's hard to believe my body was able to put out two of these in a year's time.

Joy's full name is Joy Elianna Tompkins. We chose Elianna, because it means "The Lord has answered" or "The Lord has responded". I know she is a direct answer to my prayer that day Will died. "Please, Lord, please let me be holding a live baby by this time next year."

The Lord has responded... Pretty Amazing.


  1. what a great story indeed! I am so glad everything went so well and I love Joy's middle name - God answers - what a testimony! AND your "non-biblical childbirth"... that sounds like a nice way to feel whilst in labor to me!