Thursday, August 25, 2011

Welcome Baby Corbin!

Well, it has been almost three months since Baby Angel arrived...June 24th to be exact. Corbin Cole Willoughby joined our family at exactly 4:00 PM at a whopping 9 pounds, 2.5 ounces and 22.5 inches long. While his birth story isn't as long as Paxton's (it's all relative, right?), we still wanted to remember how our sweet baby boy entered the world so as any good modern family would, we are blogging it.

Five long days past his due date, Baby Corbin decided it was time. At 4:00 in the morning I woke up feeling the first signs of contractions. I'd been having Braxton-Hicks contractions for months, but I knew these were different. It didn't take long for Brad to wake up and realize what was going on. He had been a little on edge too. Every time the Braxton-Hicks started, we'd both wonder if this was really it. I told Brad I was pretty sure this time, it was really it. We rejoiced because this happened to be the one morning (ever) that Pax decided to sleep in past 6:30. This gave us a chance to get our things together and make a plan. By the time he was up, we had showered and had our hospital bag ready to go. By about 8:00, Pax was on his way with Grandma and we were going to wait it out and see what would happen.

We started by calling our most amazing doula, Kayti Ricker. Her advice was to take it easy, cook some breakfast, and just hang out until the contractions got bad. Well, it didn't take long to realize that I was in no mood for breakfast. In fact, I wasn't even capable of cooking breakfast. Brad decided that we should go to the hospital because I was probably farther along that I thought I was. I kept protesting because I remembered going to the hospital after 24 hours of labor with Pax and being only 2 cm. I couldn't imagine that I had progressed very far after only 4 hours. So after another a call to Kayti and a call to the midwives, it was decided that we would head in. Apparently, Brad's descriptions of me during contractions (and Kayti hearing me in the background) was enough for them to decide it was time.

We drove to UCSD and made a couple calls/texts on the way. When we got there, I surprised myself by accepting the wheelchair at the emergency entrance. A little different than my entrance with Pax where I went to the parking garage and walked all the way in myself. By the time we got up to our room and Rebecca Lesser, the midwife on duty, came in to check me, I was at 5cm! I was so happy I cried. I thought "Yes! They aren't sending me home!"

From this point on, I progressed about a centimeter an hour. They checked twice along the way and things kept moving. The contractions were definitely intense and things seemed to be happening quickly. We spent the next few hours in our hospital birth center room this time. With VBAC's they make you stay in the standard labor and delivery rooms because they want you to be monitored the entire time. I do have to say that the monitoring was by far, the most annoying part of the process. Every time I moved the wrong way or tripped on the cord, the nurses would have to come in and reattach everything.

Things went pretty smoothly until I was almost fully dilated. Just as it had happened during my last labor, they discovered that there was a lip of my cervix that needed to be reduced before I could dilate to 10 cm and start pushing. The midwife was finally able to remove it and I was now ready to push.

The next issue that arose was the position of the baby. While we had all thought that he was face down, it was starting to seem like he might be sunny side up (like Paxton) which is not at all ideal for delivery. Two midwives and an OB all tried to determine his position, but no joy. They even brought in an ultrasound and tried to look while I was pushing, but they still couldn't figure out exactly how he was coming out.

After pushing for well over an hour, I started to get discouraged because it didn't feel like I was making any progress at all and it was reminding me so much of my labor with Paxton where I pushed and pushed for hours. I decided that it might be time to try an epidural and I told this to Brad and Kayti. More than anything, I didn't want another cesarean and I thought if this would help, let's do it. After a conversation with the nurses, we came up with a plan. We decided that we would bring in the head midwife and have her take a look and see if she could determine if I was actually making any progress at all when I was pushing and get her feedback. From that point, if it still seemed like nothing was happening, we would try something else. Even though I was just feeling ready to be done, I agreed to have one more opinion.

As soon as the head midwife came in, things started to turn around. She had me change position a few times and the nurses had a couple tips for pushing (one of them being push for a count of 10...seems simple, but it was hugely helpful) and suddenly there was progress. I kept pushing and just as I thought Corbin was about to make his entrance, it was clear something was wrong. In seconds, the OB rushed in to assist. Apparently, Corbin's shoulder was stuck under my pubic bone, an emergency situation called shoulder dystocia. Luckily, the OB was able to manually move him and get him out. Everything happened in a matter of moments and as terrifying as it was, I am so grateful for the resources available at UCSD.

Once he was delivered (and yes, sunny side up), I saw him for only a brief moment before they whisked him to the other side of the room. In the midst of the actual delivery, the room filled with probably a dozen people. It felt like the entire pediatrics department had arrived. Because his heart rate had been dropping during the last few contractions and he came out a little blue and didn't breathe right away, they wanted to give him oxygen and make sure his color was okay. They also wanted to run some precautionary tests in the NICU so they sent him directly there. I got to see him for another few seconds before he was gone. I was incredibly disappointed that I didn't get to have skin-to-skin time with him right after birth, but I was so grateful that he was okay and that Brad would be with him.

About an hour and a half later, they decided that I was stable enough and ready to go to the NICU to see him. I had thirty minutes with him before there was a shift change and we had to go to our hospital room. Unfortunately, the results from the blood test weren't back yet so they wouldn't let Corbin come with us. I was not excited about leaving my baby again, but I was thrilled that I had been able to hold him and nurse him. Brad and I went up to our room and a couple hours later, Corbin finally joined us for good! While there had been a few hiccups in his arrival, we were so happy to have a healthy baby in our arms.

That same evening, Paxton arrived at the hospital in his new "Big Bro" shirt, along with both of his Grandmas and his Papa, to meet his new baby brother. This was one of the sweetest and most memorable moments of my entire life. He was absolutely thrilled to meet Baby Corbin and kept saying "be gentle with Baby Corbin" while he kissed him and patted him on the head.

We can't even begin to explain how much our life has changed now that we are a family of four. It is truly amazing! Everything is just more...there is more happiness, more tears, more chaos, more joy, and so much more meaning. Our lives are so much richer watching things through the eyes of our little ones. We are so blessed to have welcomed sweet Baby Corbin into our family and we can't wait to see what the future holds for him.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Our Little Helper

Even before the baby arrives, Paxton is excited to be a big brother and seeks (or invents) ways to help. Recently, he's helped search for a changing table at IKEA, pick out a big brother gift to take to the hospital, dig through boxes for itty-bitty clothes, and test out the baby's new sidecar co-sleeper. He even test fit the co-sleeper he used as an infant to see whether he'd fit and be sure it was comfy enough for Baby Angel. The verdict? Too small for Pax, plenty comfy for the newest Willoughby:

But, my favorite moment of Paxton's help so far was last week at our midwives appointment. Pax loves to hear the baby's heartbeat when we visit (on a weekly basis now), so it was extra exciting this time when he got to do it himself. He pushed the chair right up to Merrilee's, climbed up, squeezed out the cold blue gel (with a little midwife help), turned on the doppler microphone, and placed it in just the right spot to pickup the baby's heartbeat. He was very proud and mommy and daddy melted just a little. Thanks for being such a great helper, Paxton. It warms our hearts to know that your love and helping hands are ready to meet Baby Angel whenever he or she arrives.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Family Pictures

In honor of another big milestone in our family, we had some family pictures taken to remember this incredibly special time in our lives. It's not much longer that we will be a family of three and we wanted to capture some images that we can show our little one someday. Our friend, Catie, from Vuefinder Photography took some absolutely incredible pictures for us. I had an idea in my mind of what I hoped these images would reflect and she went above and beyond what I had imagined. I look at these images and I see the love in our family as it is now and the excitement that all three of us share about meeting Baby Angel. If you want to take a peek, I put an image gallery up on our Mobile Me site. Catie, thank you for making these memories come to life!

Some little gems

First of all, I wanted to post an image with Baby Angel's not-first trip to Disneyland. As we're nearing the end here, my belly seems to be growing at a ridiculously rapid rate and I thought it was worth documenting. Little one...someday you can look at these and I hope they make you smile :)

On a completely different note, some of the things that Paxton has said about Baby Angel are absolutely priceless and I have been trying to write them all down so I will never ever forget. Here are some of the little gems so far...I'm sure there will be plenty more!

"Baby Angel come out!" and "Open the door!" - Um, yes please!

"Boy" and "Baby Brother" - This one still hasn't changed...he's completely convinced!

"Baby Angel come out the bebo" - We're working on correcting this one. We just bought the National Geographic "In the Womb" DVD for him to watch. Although if he thinks the baby is coming out my belly button, it's definitely not the end of the world :)

"Baby come out the door and eat breakfast" - If Pax is serving, it will likely be pancakes or waffles. I'm sure it won't be long before Baby Angel is coming into our bedroom in the morning announcing "sugar time" just like his/her big brother.

"Baby's talking now" - This is what Pax said with his ear to my belly. I have no clue what the baby said, but maybe someday he'll tell me.

"Mommy's baby coming on Saturday" - He didn't specify which Saturday so I'm hoping that he's referring to one of the next two Saturdays. If he's right, Brad says we'll take him to Vegas.

"Baby Angel getting taller. Be a big boy like Paxton." - This was Pax's comment to my ever-growing belly. Obviously, the belly's getting bigger so Baby Angel must be getting bigger too.

Edited on 5/26 to add...
"Paxton touch Mommy's big bella" - Not a clue where this came from, but so cute.

"I love Baby Angel" - Three times this morning, Pax leaned over to hug my belly and tell his new sibling how much he loves him/her :)

"Baby Angel eat pizza in Mommy's tummy" - Pax's comment after a big pizza dinner at Blind Lady.

Friday, May 13, 2011

We're taking guesses!!!!

Keeping Baby Angel's gender a surprise has truly been a treat! We are enjoying the mystery and know that the big birthday will be that much more exciting. What has been unexpected (and definitely entertaining) has been the constant stream of guesses that we've had from our friends, family, and complete strangers. Everyone has a guess and a theory about why they're right. Everything from the way I'm carrying to the fact that I'm eating more sweets to a ring on a string. It seems like it's been about half and half guessing a boy versus a girl, but we thought it was time for a proper poll. Go ahead and record your guess and leave a comment with your theory...I'm sure we haven't heard them all yet and it will be a blast to share these with the little one someday.

Is Paxton getting a brother or a sister?

And just for fun, these were from Mother's Day. I can't wait to see what next year's picture will look like!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Our little pineapple

So according to Baby Center, we currently have a 4 pound pineapple in my belly. It's hard to believe that not too many months ago, we were talking about lentils and lima beans. Now it's also hard to believe that we will very soon be reaching watermelon and pumpkin territory. Yikes! So far, everything is progressing perfectly and our little pineapple is measuring perfectly and in exactly the right position. Not sure if it's the swimming, the acupuncture, the massage, or the fact that I'm not sitting in front of a computer 40 hours a week this time, but we were thrilled to hear that Baby Angel is right where he or she needs to be. We are looking forward to a completely natural birth this time around and according to our midwives, we shouldn't have any problems. Yay!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

My Top Ten

This pregnancy has definitely been harder than the first one which I think is often the case. Other mamas I've talked to definitely agree that carrying one little one in your belly is tiring enough, but doing that while you're chasing another one around is exhausting. I feel like I've spent a lot of time complaining lately so this post is dedicated to the top ten things I'm enjoying about being pregnant this time around :)

Here goes...

1. Sharing the experience with Paxton. This is my number one for sure! It has been so much fun talking to Paxton about his new sibling and having him cuddle and kiss to my belly.
2. My walks. Last time, I was able to continue running until a few weeks before my due date, but it's been much harder with this pregnancy. I'd really been letting that bother me, but I'm starting to embrace it and realize that slowing down isn't a bad thing. I have had some of the most relaxing and peaceful walks lately. Pax, Baby Angel, and I have been enjoying springtime and it's wonderful!
3. No back aches this time. Hopefully, I didn't just jinx it
4. Not knowing if Baby Angel is a boy or a girl. It has been lots of fun keeping this a surprise and imagining what it will be like both ways. Definitely fun to do things a little differently this time.
5. Being pregnant in the spring. All the new life ducks, tulips starting to blossom, green grass, wildflowers...yes, all that silliness actually makes this pregnant thing seem festive and fun :)
6. Knowing that this little one will have an amazing big brother waiting to meet him.
7. Not having to make so many decisions. Last time it seemed like we had to decide so many things like where we'd have the baby, what pediatrician we'd use, vaccines, where the baby would sleep, etc... Things are so much simpler since we invested so much energy last time.
8. Having an active baby in my belly. This little one is a kicker for sure. While sometimes it's pretty darn uncomfortable, the *constant* reminders of the new life growing inside my belly are hard to beat.
9. Swimming! I didn't get a chance to try this out last time, but it's true that swimming when you're pregnant is wonderful.
10. Knowing that when this pregnancy is over, I will be holding a sweet, new life in my arms :)

Design by: Blogger XML Skins | Distributed by: Blogger Templates | Sponsored by Application Monitoring