Friday, June 12, 2015

Hadley's Birth Story

"Ms. Cline, my name is Dr. Goldberg. I am the neonatologist on call. Your baby is in the NICU. You'll be able to see her soon."


I took the pregnancy test on October 2 and it was instantly positive. This was not part of our plan. Not even part of our five-year plan. I was terrified and not sure that my heart could handle loving two children. McKinley was my whole world and I was scared of what our relationship would look like with another child in the family. 

I spent most of my pregnancy telling people that we were excited, even though it wasn't planned. I think I was mostly trying to convince myself that everything would be okay. Everyone told me that once she was here, my heart would just grow. That I wouldn't have to love McKinley less, but that my heart would become capable of loving even more. 

I had terrible debilitating pelvic pain from 22 weeks on. The chiropractor told me it was sciatic pain. I tried to treat it with alternating ice packs and heat therapy, but nothing seemed to work. It was difficult to walk most days, so I found myself crawling to the bathroom in the middle of the night. At my check ups, the doctor would ask how I was feeling, and I would say fine except for the sciatic pain. At 37 weeks, she saw me walk into the exam room for the first time. When she came in to see me, she told me that she could tell just by watching me walk that I was not dealing with sciatic pain. She asked me a few questions, made me do some stretches and poses and then diagnosed me with symphysis pubis dysfunction. My own research had led me to that conclusion, but I felt silly trying to diagnose myself and it seemed dramatic to tell your doctor that you think that's what you have. She confirmed it though. And that 37 week appointment went from a routine checkup to talking about a repeat cesarean. 

I went home and did my research. I cried. There was a lot of crying. I was so worried that a repeat C-section would be so hard on my body that I wouldn't be able to pick up McKinley. I also didn't want to be away from her for three days while I was in the hospital. 

At my 38 week appointment, I told her I was ready. I had felt confident in my research, and I was in so much pain that I just really needed to have the baby so that I could walk again. It is not impossible to have a vaginal delivery when you have SPD but I was willing to give up my dream of a VBAC because I was in such an incredible amount of pain. I was worried that my pelvis would actually break in half. The most important thing became getting the baby out, not how she would make her arrival. 

On Wednesday, June 11, I walked my oldest baby over to my aunts house where she would be spending the night. I tucked her in and I kissed her goodbye. I came home and I cried and cried and cried myself to sleep because I was so sad to be leaving my baby girl. I didn't know what was coming. 


8:55 am. 7lbs, 10 oz. 18". Perfect. 

Hadley Janette. They were right. My heart doubled in size. 

We spent the first day cuddling and learning about each other and smelling each other. I kissed her and held her and kissed her again. She struggled to nurse at first, but I wasn't worried. I was an old pro and I knew we would get it figured out.

We had visitors. I got out of bed less than 12 hours after she was born and I walked to the rocking chair in my room where I sat for over an hour. It was easier for me to walk than it had been for the last 10 weeks. I was no longer in pain and it was wonderful. 

At 11 PM, my nurse came to take my vitals. Her name was Cindy and she looked like Farrah Fawcett. I will never forget her. She asked if I wanted her to take the baby so that I could get some rest. I said no, that I would be keeping her in the room with me. Aaron suggested that we send her to the nursery just until she needed to eat the first time so that I could get a little bit of rest since we had gotten up at 5:00 to be to the hospital at 6:00. I *was* really tired, so I agreed. Cindy promised me that she would bring Hadley to me as soon as she started to fuss. 


I reached for my glasses on the bedside table. I wanted to see who was talking. I recognized Cindy, and the look on her face was one of compassion and understanding. I immediately started sobbing. Dr. Goldberg was not there to comfort me. He was there to provide factual information only. 

He told me that Cindy had taken Hadley to the nursery and checked her vitals. She fell asleep in her bassinet. Cindy went to the computer to do some charting. Another nurse walked into the nursery and saw Hadley laying in her bassinet. She had turned blue. She was not breathing. The nurse yelled out to Cindy who came over to Hadley and bagged her to get her to start breathing again. They paged the the Dr. on call who came in and ordered tests to be run. They did an x-ray which show that Hadley's heart was enlarged. He informed us that this could be due to an infection or a heart issue that was missed on an ultrasound, but we would have to wait for the cardiology team to come in at 8:30 to do an echocardiogram. I felt like the air had been sucked out of my lungs. 

The doctor informed us that we would be able to see Hadley once they had her IV started. He told me that he would let Cindy know when I could visit Hadley, and that she would prepare me to go to the NICU. He was very no nonsense about, and then he left. Cindy told me she was going to go find me a wheelchair and that she would send the tech in to get me ready to go see Hadley. I checked my phone. It was 3:45. 

I turned on a worship station on Pandora on my phone. It just felt like the only thing to do. I immediately began praying and begging God to let my baby be okay. 

It is very painful to cry (sob) with stitches in your stomach. 

The tech came in to get me prepared to go see Hadley. Cindy brought me a wheelchair and helped me get out of bed. She wheeled me in and I got to see my baby for the first time in what felt like forever. 

The NICU blinds were partially open, and I could see that the sun was starting to rise. It was just after 5:00. Hadley's nurse introduced herself to us. Her name was Angela. She told me I could sit and hold Hadley as long as I wanted, but that the cardiology team would be there to get her at 8:30, and that would probably be a good time for me to go back to my room and order myself some breakfast. I really didn't want to leave her, but for my own health and sanity, they forced me out at 8:15.

My doctor came in to check on me as she was doing her rounds and I just sobbed when I saw her. I told her I was very scared, but I was also incredibly thankful in that moment for the repeat C-section. I thought of all of the things that led up to that moment. Hadley being in the nursery and having someone find her at the perfect time was all orchestrated by God. If she had been in my room, there may have been a completely different outcome. 

I didn't want to eat, I didn't want to shower. I didn't want to do anything but sit and hold my baby. But with gentle insistence, my new nurse made me eat so that I could take my pain pills. She made me take a shower because her job was to take care of me even though I just wanted to take care of Hadley. Her name was Rosemary. She was my favorite. 

Hadley was on sugar water until her echocardiogram came back. They didn't want me to feed her in case she would need surgery. Thankfully, everything looked okay and I could start nursing her again. It had been more than 12 hours since the last time she nursed, plus she was full of sugar water, so it took us a couple of feedings to get into a groove. 

The results of the blood test came back and showed that her CRP level was high, which indicated an infection. They would continue checking her CRP level every 48 hours until it went down. The only way to combat the infection was with strong antibiotics. For the next seven days, she received three doses of antibiotics per day. She had her vitals checked every three hours, which included multiple heel pricks. She was hooked up to monitors 24 hours a day. 

They had her on a three hour schedule, so that helped set the schedule for my days. I would go in and feed her around 6, stay until 7:30, go back to my room and order myself breakfast, then go back to feed her again at 9:00. I would stay there for an hour or so, go back to my room to shower, and head back down as soon as possible so that I could spend as much time with her before my mom and McKinley came daily around 1 or 1:30. They would visit for a while, bring me food, and just let me hang out with my biggest girl. I would soon find out it was only the beginning of feeling like my heart was in two places at one time. She would eat again at 3:00, 6:00, 9:00. Sometimes I would eat dinner between 3:00 and 6:00 and then stay there from 6:00 until 10:30, just holding her except for those few times they had to do their vital checks. I did as much as they would let me, like changing her diaper and swaddling her.

I would leave at 10:30 (they would gently kick me out) so that I could get an hour or so of sleep before I had to come back. During the night shift, the nurse would call me when Hadley started to wake up so that I could get as much sleep as possible. Sometimes that meant they didn't call until 7:00 but other times that meant they were calling as early as 5:30. I was so thankful that once her blood sugar stabilized they let me feed her on demand. I was so delirious that I got up one night, brushed my teeth and walked to the NICU. They asked why I was back and I said "because you just called me!" The nurse told me to go back to my room - I had only left Hadley's bedside 20 minutes prior. I had already fallen asleep and dreamed of their first phone call. That was a level of exhaustion I've never experienced.  

Her daddy came to see her every night after work. He would hold her and soak in as much as he could before leaving to head back home to see McKinley before bed. Then he would get up and do it all again. I was so thankful for those moments we had together in the midst of the trial. We ordered Jimmy John's one night, sort of like a hospital date night. They were 45 minutes late. I was freaking out because I needed to get back to Hadley but I wanted to enjoy dinner with Aaron. A serious lack of sleep and crazy postpartum hormones did not help the situation. There were tears. 

The nurses were really amazing. The first couple of days she was in the NICU, I would just cry and cry. This wasn't what I had planned! I had a list of things that were going to happen and an extended hospital stay was not on the list. The nurses would bring me tissues, comfort me, hug me. They would give me hopeful updates about Hadley's bloodwork. They listened to me go on and on about how much I missed McKinley but how I was oddly thankful to have the time to bond with Hadley. They would walk by and catch me ordering stuff on Amazon at 4 am (I did LOTS of retail therapy that week) and ask me what I was ordering. I really thought highly of them and was so thankful for the way they cared for my sweet baby. They left a lasting impression. 

One week and 10 hours after she was born, we got to bring our little sweetheart home. 

I typed this up months ago but left it sitting in my drafts. I still remember every detail. It has been an amazing year.  McKinley is an amazing big sister and Hadley is the little piece of my heart that I didn't know was missing. We are so very thankful for the nurses who saved her life and the nurses who took such good care of her in the following week. 

They will forever be a part of our story. 

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Accent Vlog Proposal

Hi friends. I have an idea that I want to propose to you and I hope you'll play along. I saw a video on Facebook of one of my friends whom I've never met in real life, nor talked to on the phone. I loved hearing her voice and now when I read her tweets, I feel like I can hear her saying them.

Soo, how about you record yourself and upload the video to YouTube and then come here and post a link to your video? Then everyone who wants to know what you sound like when you talk {tweet!} can come here and watch your video! Sound good?

"What do we talk about in our video?", you ask? That's a fantastic question! Last year, Stephanie at Adventures In Babywearing posted an Accent Vlog that I loved and have been meaning to record an accent vlog of my own ever since. 

The directions:

Say the following words:
Aunt, route, wash, oil, theatre, iron, salmon, caramel, fire, water, sure, data, ruin, crayon, toilet, New Orleans, pecan, both, again, probably, spitting image, Alabama, lawyer, coupon, mayonnaise, syrup, pajamas, caught.

And answer the following questions:
What is it called when you throw toilet paper on a house?
What is the bug that curls into a ball when you touch it?
What is the bubbly carbonated drink called?
What do you call gym shoes?
What do you say to address a group of people?
What do you call the kind of spider that has an oval-shaped body and extremely long legs?
What do you call your grandparents?
What do you call the wheeled contraption in which you carry groceries at the supermarket?
What do you call it when rain falls while the sun is shining?
What is the thing you use to change the TV channel?

Anything else you want to add in is great! But this is a good way to start. I'm excited and I hope that you'll join me.  I'll post a linky next week and you can join anytime.  Record a video on your phone, upload to YouTube, and come on over!

Thursday, October 25, 2012


{I've been itching to get back here but didn't know where to start. Today is good, right?}

Cut up strawberries, bits of {homemade. TOOT TOOT my own horn.} pancake, and honey nut o's scatter the floor under highchairs and booster seats. My un-socked feet pull with each step - honey nut o's are sticky. I just need to sweep real quick, then we'll read a book.

"Mama, help", she says. Pink broom in hand, she is sweeping up the crumbs from our morning feast and my scattered thoughts.

I wanted this to just be a quick sweep, 30 seconds at most. I stop myself from being frustrated, put down my broom, and sit on the floor so I can help her handle her broom. Because "mama, help" actually meant "mama, teach" and I pray for the teachable moments so why would I let this one slip through my fingers.

She sweeps a pile together, we work as a team to get it all in to the dustpan. On the way to the "tash", she dumps it on the floor. "Uh oh, Kiki" she says. I reassure her that it is okay, we will just sweep it up again. She is pleased with her work, making sure all of the crumbs get into the "tash" on the second attempt.

We wash our hands (because broom handles and dustpans have germs) and she runs off to play with her friend Caleb.

My eyes are slowly being opened. These are the moments I've prayed for.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Loose Ends

I said about a week and a half ago that I was going to post a vlog. Then our computer with the webcam had to go to the doctor and we just got it back. I could've used my iPhone, but, meh. I will work on it soon.

McKinley is growing and talking and running and I am having so much fun with her. She is truly the light of my life. She is still nursing, and as my grandma says, it provides her more "soul food" than nutrition at this point, although I believe she's still reaping the benefits of nursing.

I never thought that we would still be going strong. Honestly, when I received the samples of formula in the mail during my pregnancy, I held on to them. I wasn't committed to breastfeeding past 6 months until she was born and we developed a great nursing relationship. I know that we were very fortunate to not have any bumps in the road. While I would have cut anything out of my diet for her, I'm not sure we would have lasted past 12 months if I would have had a super restricted diet.

Now, I feel very emotional about the thought of her weaning. Some days, I think I'm ready. Other days, I think of how she is likely the only baby I will ever nurse, and then I don't want to even think about stopping.

It was not my intention for this post to just be about our nursing relationship. But now I have to go, and, um. Sorry.

Oh, I had a dream last night that it was time for the Spring Time Change again and it stayed light out until 6pm instead of 5pm. So if we could just go ahead and make that happen right now, that'd be great.

Monday, January 23, 2012


Thanks to Mariah for my new blog design!  I gave her a couple of ideas and a color scheme and she ran with it.  I love it!

Watch for a vlog later this week... I'm feeling brave!

Thursday, January 19, 2012


My to-do list is long. Bedding needs washed, floors need swept, the bathrooms need cleaned, someone should buy some groceries, and my baby needs to have her baby clothes switched out for toddler clothes. Of course, the clothes swapping is my favorite and least favorite of my chores to do. My favorite because I love to introduce new, cute clothes to her wardrobe, and the least favorite because my baby isn't such a baby. When I consider that she could be an only child, I find myself hanging on to every stage a little bit longer than she does.

Oh, the dishwasher needs unloaded and reloaded, and the previous load that is drying on the counter needs put away. And the crockpot sitting off to the side of the sink has a ring of leftover (burnt) chili that I just can't scrub away. The counter must feel overwhelmed just like I do.

But as I was listening to the Today Show yesterday, while nursing McKinley in our special chair, I heard Hoda (or Kathie Lee, not sure) say "Be Here Now". Whatever you're doing, whoever you're with, Be Here Now. So, I let that sit all day, in my mind and on my heart.

I played some dolls and read a couple of books, and had extra tickle time. And it was hard, but I put my phone down.

I'm going to print out some signs and hang them around my house. I might get all fancy and pinterest-y and make them look pretty, or I might print them out in Comic Sans* and just hang them. The sign isn't important - the words are.

Be Here Now.

*I would never.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Back at it.

I wonder how long I can do this. Up every hour, maybe two, through the night. The squeaky glider. Closing the door behind me, then opening to double check on her.

I’m tired. I know that parents are supposed to be tired, but McKinley just doesn’t sleep well alone. Some nights she ends up in our bed. Ok, most nights.

I won’t let her cry, even if everyone says she’s playing me. I did for one night, and yes, after 7 minutes she went back to sleep. But until she can tell me what her cries mean, why should I ignore them? Maybe she has nightmares. Maybe her mattress is uncomfortable. Maybe she has a belly ache. I don’t like to sleep alone, so I’m not sure why I make her.

The monitor lights up, I hear her little cry. Grab my glasses and my phone (Thank you, God, for smart phones), and I rescue her. When she cries out, I come to her. Gosh, I’m thankful to know what that feels like.

The days (and nights) are so long. But the years. They are flying by. Soon, this will be a memory. And as odd as it sounds, I don’t want to forget.