I can hardly believe it has been almost 6 weeks since this all took place. With each baby and every passing year I feel like the time flies faster and slips through my fingers! I am living the best part of life right now. It seems like it was only a week ago that we were driving to the hospital to evict our third little love. This time is filled with moments I will treasure every day for the rest of my life. So here we go.

The delivery story of Ainsley Kate:

The weeks leading up to my due date I was unsure what to expect. Having gone a week late with Caden and 10 days early with Brynn, I was kind of at a loss for what my time frame would be. At my 36 week appointment I talked to my doctor about my predicament with Taylors school schedule. Finals started at BYU on April 17th and my due date was the 18th! My doctor is seriously the best. He told me that he had been through that experience with one of his own kids and was in the middle of a test when he got the call that his wife was in labor. He quickly picked up the phone and called over to the hospital to schedule my induction for a week earlier than my due date. At 36 weeks I was 1cm dilated and barely effaced. At 37 weeks I was 2cm dilated and 70% effaced. As 38 weeks approached I prepared as best as I could in case this baby girl decided to come early like her sister. 38 weeks came and I was still at 2 cm, he stripped my membranes and sent me on my merry way. The end of this pregnancy was miserable. It's funny now looking back, I actually can't remember what pain I was feeling exactly, or how it felt. It's amazing how quickly we forget. I felt like my ribs were going to explode every day. My placenta was on the front left side so baby girl was always in my right bottom ribs, her bum and feet were literally touching my ribs at all times. Usually I would complain about braxton hicks but this pregnancy I wished they would last longer and come more frequently because they pushed her down out of my ribs. The last week my hips and pelvic joints were just in so much pain. I had this weird pain shoot down the insides of my legs like a severe muscle cramp and my legs would literally give out and I couldnt stand or walk. It was lovely when they came on the middle of a store.. I would stand holding onto the cart and hope they would pass quickly. Oh the joys of pregnancy. Week 38 passed quickly, after I passed the point when I would have had Brynn, I just accepted that I would probably make it to my induction date. It was nice to be able to plan around an induction date! I got all my freezer meals done, the house was spotless, the kids were bathed and packed. I took the kids to my parents house the night before my induction, I went home painted my nails, showered and did any last minute packing. I felt totally prepared when I hit the sack that night. I was so anxious for the morning to come, but I slept really well!

5:20 AM -- The alarm went off and it was an automatic JUMP out of bed for both of us. It was time! Taylor threw on some clothes and took the bags down to the car. I put on a little makeup and got dressed and checked to make sure everything in the house was just the way I wanted it.

6:00 AM -- We decided to take Taylor's dads blue Porsche (super snazzy) to the hospital. We pulled onto the road and all the sudden my nerves were about to explode. I couldn't contain my excitement. We drove quickly to the hospital and dropped off a redbox on the way.

6:30 AM-- We arrived at the hospital and headed in to check ourselves in. I couldn't remember where anything was in the labor and delivery wing. I was so turned around when we had Brynn I had no idea where I had delivered and where I had been in recovery. We walked straight in to the check in and then they sent us to our delivery team. It was so weird going up to the nurses station and saying "Hey I'm here to have my baby..." haha. Jocelyn was my nurse, she was seriously so nice. She handed me my gown and had me get changed.

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7:15 AM -- My nurse came back in with another student nurse. She asked me if it was ok if Brianna joined in on the team. I hadn't ever had a student for labor and delivery before, and they have to learn somehow.. So I figured why not? Probably should have thought twice about it though ;) They grabbed the IV kit to get my fluids started. Now I honestly don't mind anything else about labor, but the IV is a nightmare. Now this is where things went not as planned. Since Jocelyn had to teach Brianna, she had to verbalize every step of what they were doing to place the IV and everything they needed to avoid. They started with the tourniquet, then she started poking around my veins with her finger. As my veins started to swell she began pointing out all the valves in the vessels (which I didn't even know I had) and explained if they hit a valve it would be really bad.. As she is sitting there rubbing my valves. Seriously just that alone was enough to make me queasy. She then went back and forth between two veins trying to decide which one to use. Brianna followed her fingers to feel what she was talking about. They finally decided on a vein. At this point the tourniquet had been on my arm for several minutes. My arm hurt and my blood vessels were huge under the skin. They pulled out the IV needle, I looked away and they asked If I got queasy from needles. I told them I do when it comes to the IV, They told me to keep my head turned away. Next thing I know I feel the needle and then both of them gasp and Jocelyn says "Oh boy! You are a squirter!" and of course at that point I turn to see what the heck they are talking about! As I turned my head I saw blood all over my hand and the sheet. I immediately laid my head back and everything went bright white. I started sweating and I felt like I was going to pass out. My head rushed. They were still trying to place the IV so they were moving the needle around in my arm and pushing it in. I wanted to scream at them to stop. Taylor ran over seeing that I was pale as a ghost. They finally placed it and pulled the needle out. The room came back in focus and I felt like I could finally breathe.  They told me to keep my head turned while they got supplies to clean up all the blood and change the sheet. I laughed about it because I was so shocked at how I had responded to the whole situation. The combination of the blood plus the pain, and hearing every step of what they were doing was just enough to push me over the edge!

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7:25 AM -- I tested positive for Group B Strep at 36 weeks. I wasn't positive with my other babies so I really wasn't expecting that. They hung my IV fluid and started me on my first bag of antibiotics. I had to run two bags of antibiotics before they would start the pitocin. The antibiotics had to be in my system for 4 hours before I delivered the baby for them to be totally effective. So they didn't want my labor to progress any faster than that. They hung the bags high to make them run fast. My arm felt like it was burning from how fast the fluids were running. I was so ready for the pain in my arm to be gone. Seriously, that darn IV is the worst part!

8:00 AM -- My antibiotics finished running and they called my doctor over to start my pitocin. He hung the pitocin and started it at a level 2. He sat down to check me and had Jocelyn grab the hook to break my water. He checked me and I was still at 2 cm but almost 100% effaced. With Caden I was numb before they broke my water. It was weird feeling that waterfall when he broke my water! They told me they could up the pitocin every 30 minutes by 4 levels. My doctor told me I could get my epidural any time I wanted after this point. I decided I would wait till I couldn't tolerate the pain anymore. Everyone left the room and I was grateful for a little break. My head still felt funny from almost passing out an hour earlier.

8:40 AM-- Jocelyn and Brianna came back in and upped my pitocin to a 6, my contractions were started.. but were about 11 minutes apart. They changed my bed pad and towels since everything was basically soaked.  Lovely.

9:00 AM-- The nurses came back in and upped the pitocin to a 10, my contractions were still coming but not very close together.

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9:30 AM-- They came in to change my pads and towel again and upped my pitocin to a 14. My contractions were really starting to hurt at this point and they were about 4 minutes apart. Taylor ran down to the cafeteria to grab some breakfast since he hadn't eaten anything yet. I told him to hurry in case I called for the epidural and I needed him back.

10:10 AM-- The contractions were to the point that I couldn't tolerate them anymore. Taylor  was still down eating breakfast, but I called for the epidural so I could at least get on the list.

10:30 AM -- Taylor got back just in time before the anesthesiologist came. Jocelyn and Brianna followed. I signed some papers and then he pulled everything out to get the epidural started. I sat up in bed facing Taylor and Jocelyn. After jolting straight up with the epidural when I was in labor with Brynn, I wanted Taylor there to hold my shoulders down. Brianna went around back with the anesthesiologist. She told him she had never seen an epidural placed before so he decided to make it a learning experience. I hugged my knees as they did the numbing shot first. The anesthesiologist proceeded to explain every last detail as he prepared to place the epidural. I wished I could plug my ears as I hugged my knees tighter. As I felt the pressure and popping of the needle going in he explained which layers he was breaking and what I might be feeling. All very informative for a student nurse, but it was like pure torture to the woman in labor. All four of them, Taylor included (As he was just finishing up a semester of anatomy), were discussing the details of the spine and skin and muscles in my back. Battling the pain of every contraction on top of it. I wanted to cry. Hearing him describe every last detail as I was feeling it was so scary. He mentioned that I might feel a metallic taste in my mouth, or a shot of pain down one leg. I closed my eyes and tried to block out what he was saying. He finally pulled the needle out and started taping the epidural tube to my back. I sat up and felt a rush of relief. It started working quickly and my legs were already starting to feel numb. I told the anesthesiologist about my past experiences with the epidural, being completely numb, so numb that I couldn't move my legs or toes one bit. He calculated my size and the dosage and assured me that this time would be different.

10:50 AM -- My legs were feeling pretty numb, but I could still feel some of the pressure from contractions. I could wiggle my toes and move my legs a little. It felt like this epidural was going to take differently than the last ones had. I felt a little dizzy and groggy. I remember telling Taylor I felt like I needed to cry.. but I wasn't sad or anything. The epidural messes with my head a little.

11:40 AM -- I was finally numb enough that the nurses could come check me and place my catheter. Jocelyn said I was at about a 4-5 cm. She moved the baby's head to the side a little to clear some amniotic fluid that was stuck around the head. Jocelyn let Brianna place the catheter since I was numb and wouldn't feel it. I was feeling super light headed, and really couldn't even hold my own head up. They laid me back and put me on oxygen to help with the light headedness. I felt like the light headed passing out feeling hadn't fully left ever since they placed my IV. They upped my pitocin to 20 which is the highest they could go. I warned them that with both of my other babies I went from 5-10 cm in one hour. There was only one other mom in labor and delivery that morning and we were both being induced. They were having a "race" to see which team would get their baby here first. So the 5-10 cm in an hour was good news for them, but they didn't really believe it would happen.

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12:15 AM -- The oxygen was helping a little. I didn't feel quite so light headed. I was starting to feel the pain of contractions on my right side, I decided to push the button on the epidural. Lane got to the hospital to start filming just in time. He got some shots of things around the room.

12:30 AM -- I called my nurses to come help turn me to my right side since the epidural was settling to my left side. Jocelyn decided to check me since it had been almost an hour. I was 8 cm! Brianna laughed and said "you weren't kidding!" They went and grabbed the delivery cart and called my doctor to head over for the delivery. Lane set up behind the curtain right by the door to the room. When the doctor arrived he helped Taylor put on the delivery clothes and gloves. Taylor was a lot more confidant since he had delivered Brynn. He knew just what to expect. I could actually feel my legs a little. I could hold them up in the stirrups without them flopping to the side! The epidural had turned out perfectly!

12:45 AM -- A contraction started and they had me grab my knees and push. I pushed three times through one contraction and the baby was down. Her head was right there. My doctor wanted to see if we could deliver her without breaking the skin, but it was tight. My belly was already kind of flat since she was mostly out, it was weird. They waited for another contraction but it didn't seem like it was coming! I remembered that I had asked for a mirror, but they hadn't brought it over. Jocelyn quickly grabbed it and brought it over so I could see. Her head was right there. She had hair, it was lighter than Brynns, but I could see the little tuft on top of her head! The contraction finally came. I pushed twice and the skin was just not going to budge. He later explained the reason was because the scar tissue I have from Caden's episiotomy just won't stretch. So I will probably have episiotmies with all the rest of my babies. He clipped the skin after the 5th push.

12:58 AM -- I pushed one final time and watched in the mirror as my baby entered this world. Taylor held her perfectly so I could see her while the doctor suctioned her nose and mouth, he then clamped and clipped the cord. She gave one tiny cry and then I begged Taylor to give her to me! Her face was so squished and covered in that white pasty stuff. She looked like my other babies, but she had her own look as well. They placed her on my chest and she felt so warm. I noticed the dimple in her chin right away. I wiped her face and kissed her cheek over and over. They finally asked if we wanted to see how much she weighed. Everyone bet that she was low 7's I was expecting her to be bigger than Brynn, but smaller than Caden. They laid her on the scale and numbers showed 7 pounds 9 ounces! WHOA! I was not expecting that! Another week and I would have had an 8 pound baby! The doctor stitched me up while they weighed measured and swaddled my tiny baby girl.

Ainsley Kate Van Leeuwen
12:58 PM
7 lbs 9 oz
19 inches

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They brought her back over to me all bundled up. She felt like heaven. There is something so incredible that happens when they place that tiny baby in your arms. Nine long months of waiting and suddenly they are here, their own person, so sweet and perfect. I felt my heart tripple in size as I stared at her sweet squished face.

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They brought me a bulb syringe since she had tons of bubbles in her mouth. They usually suction the baby's stomach right after delivery, but with her they didn't, so apparently that is why she had so many bubbles. The room hustled and bustled around me, as time stood still for me. It was so nice to have my brother there to take video and pictures.

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We snuggled our baby for a moment and then eveyone left so I could have some time to feed the baby. She was pro right from the beginning. She kept grunting/squeaking every time she breathed out. I thought it was so cute and sweet, Jocelyn informed me that it might be caused by her struggling to breathe out. She never really cried when she was born so her lungs may not have opened fully.I could have held her and listened to those tiny grunts forever.

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When she was done eating Taylor and Lane took her down to the nursery for her first bath. My head was pounding, I had the worst headache. Jocelyn came in and put me back on oxygen. She said it was probably from being so light headed and then pushing so hard during delivery. The oxygen helped a lot and my head felt better after about 15 minutes. She stayed and cleaned me up and switched me to my recovery bed. Her and a male student nurse wheeled me out of the room and down the hall. When I passed the nurses station they all laughed and said that the other woman in labor was still at a 4 and was nowhere close to delivering. They all congratulated me on winning the race. haha. In recovery I ordered some food and waited for my epidural to wear off. I wanted the IV out so bad, They had to finish running the pitocin bag that was hanging, and I knew they wouldn't take it out until I could walk to the bathroom on my own. Lunch came and my pitocin finished running. They removed the IV cords, but left the insert in my arm in case of emergency. They brought Ainsley back in to me to eat again. They kept coming in and taking her because she was squeaking/grunting so much. Her oxygen levels were at 98-99% every time they checked her, but they still wanted to be cautious. Taylor took Lane to dinner and I waited for them to get back and my family to bring my kids to the hospital. I was hoping to get my IV out before my kids came to see their sister, but my epidural was not wearing off. It took until almost 8:00 that night for me to finally be able to "kind of" walk to the bathroom. Taylor slept at home that first night and had some reviews on campus the next morning. That first night in the hospital is always a sleepless one anyway, every 3 hours they check on you, the baby comes in to eat every 3 hours. That time in the hospital is so special for mama and baby. I cherish the memories I have spending quiet time alone with my sweet new baby. She is the perfect addition to our family. She Is so perfect in every way and my hear is so full of gratitude that I am blessed to be her mother. We love you little Ainsley Kate!


1 comment :

n.davis said...

this made me cry. she's so perfect. i love her and you so much. all of you!!!!