03 April 2017

Welcome to the world, baby boy!

Introducing Caden Michael:
born October 31, 2016 @ 4:58PM, 6 lb. 14 oz, 19" long.

Birth Story:
I was lying in bed that Monday morning and was half awake since Shaun had just hit the snooze on his alarm. He had just gotten back into bed from the bathroom when I was woken up by what I thought was gas pain at first, but then quickly realized that what I felt was a contraction. It was about 5:30 in the morning when I felt the pop.

I quickly sat up and told Shaun, "I think my water just broke." I slowly got up to go to the bathroom and felt more warm liquid and was pretty confident that it was time. I also started to lose my mucus plug at that same time. We were caught completely off guard since I was still two weeks out from my due date!

Once we were both out of bed, I called L&D to let them know and they said they'd see me when I got there. It was really happening!

I rushed around the house trying to make sure that we had everything we needed. Luckily, I pretty much had my bag and the baby's bag packed already and Shaun quickly threw some things in a bag for himself. About thirty minutes after my water broke, the contractions started getting worse. A friend mine told me that I'd know when I was in labor because I would be able to talk through the contractions; I'd say that's pretty accurate! 

We got in the car and headed for the hospital; Shaun drove while timing my contractions. At one point they were about 3-5 minutes apart and I was getting really nervous. In Hawaii, you do not want no get stuck in rush hour traffic and here it was about 6AM and we were right in the thick of it. Thankfully Shaun knew a "short cut" through some back roads and about 45 minutes later, we arrived (should have taken us half that!)

We got to the hospital at 7:00 and didn't have to wait long once we got there. They then took us back to examine me and test to make sure that my water really broke (I was 100% sure of this.) Once it was confirmed we were admitted and they brought us to our room in labor and delivery. It felt so surreal being in that room!

Before I knew it, a doctor had come in to run through everything with me; she kept mentioning pitocin and I was really confused as to why they were talking about that since my water had already broken and I was clearly in labor. Come to find out, if your water breaks, they want you to deliver in 18-24 hours to avoid any kind of infection. They put in my IV (terrible experience resulting in a blown vein in one arm and a very uncomfortable IV inserted into the other arm) and started a very low dose of Pitocin since by this time, my contractions had slowed down to about every ten minutes.

Since I hadn't eaten, they were nice enough to let me order breakfast from the cafeteria since we knew it would probably be a while. Things were going well, however, around 10:30, I was still only at 1 centimeter. They put the foley bulb in around that time and within about 3 hours, I was at 3-4 centimeters. The pain was definitely increasing, but I wasn't sure that I was ready for the epidural. They had me talk to the nurse anesthetist just as a precaution and we decided to move forward with it since he was going to be leaving for lunch and didn't want to come back to me being in extreme pain. Once the epidural was in place, they increased the Pitocin a little bit and I was feeling great.

When we had first gotten to our room, the nurse midwife had done an ultrasound to make sure that baby boy was still head down; during the same ultrasound, they found that he was, but he was also facing up! This isn't necessarily a problem, but can prolong labor and especially pushing. Because of this, they mostly had me lying on my side the whole time with an exercise ball between my knees in hopes that he was flip over (I also wasn't a very big fan of this, not very comfortable especially while experiencing contractions.)

At about 4:15pm, the nurse came back to examine me and I was already at 9 centimeters and baby boy was dropping with each contraction. She said that she would be back around 5-5:15 to check on me, but shortly after she left, I started feeling a lot pressure. It felt kind of painful, but definitely a different kind of sensation that I had been feeling. I was starting to get nervous that I was going to have the urge to push and no one was going to be in the room with us. I also had asked for something to help with this new pain that I was feeling so they had the anesthetist come back and add a dose of another pain medication to my epidural, it helped so much.

Luckily, the nurses were monitoring me from the nurses' station right around the corner because they noticed the baby's heart rate dropping a bit with each contraction. They said that it was due to head compressions when they came back in around 4:40 to start setting up for delivery. I remember thinking that that's what they were doing, but I still thought we had a while to go! Before I knew it, they were telling me to push! I pushed for about five contractions (15-20 minutes) and Caden was born at 4:58PM.

I remember pushing and having my eyes closed and then I opened them and he was there! Again, I had no idea he would come that fast and it was just so surreal. The nurses had asked if I wanted to have a mirror so I could watch and I declined, but I kind of wish that I hadn't. Shaun cut his cord after it stopped pulsing and once they finished examining him, they brought him over to me for a few moments before they took him to get cleaned up. 

The aftermath took much longer than the actual delivery since I had suffered a second-degree tear. Shaun and the nurses kept saying how Caden shot his arm out during the delivery, which probably caused it. That and maybe the fact that he came so fast. They took good care of me though and before I knew it, we had this tiny, little bundle, all wrapped up, and I was finally able to get a good look at his perfect little face. Shaun was loving holding our little guy and we sent photos to both of our parents, who were on the east coast.

Around 9:30pm, we were transferred to our room in the mother/baby unit. We were starving so we decided to order pizza delivery and I ate a whole small pizza myself haha. It was amazing. 

I absolutely could not believe how fast everything happened (just under 12 hours since my water broke), especially since this was my first pregnancy. Everyone kept making it sound like I would go way past my due date and even the nurse midwife told me that many first-time moms can push for up to three HOURS. Boy did we prove them all wrong! 

I feel EXTREMELY blessed to have had an easy pregnancy, a relatively easy labor and delivery and a perfect baby boy. We could not be happier to have our little man in our lives!

Warmest Aloha,

11 September 2016

Exciting news!

I think I may have mentioned that my husband had been deployed for the last six months, but haven't talked a real lot about it since I've just been getting back into blogging recently.

Anyway, last Thursday, my baby bump and I got to welcome home our sailor! 

What an amazing day. Since we didn't even find out I was pregnant until a week after Shaun left, this was the first time he got to see our baby bump in person.

Special thanks to my friend, Ann Carter, of Ann Carter Photography for capturing these moments for us!

Warmest Aloha,

29 August 2016

Team Blue or Team Pink???

At 16 weeks, I was lucky enough of find out the gender of our little peanut and there was no mistaking it! 

I was so excited and determined to find a cute way to tell Shaun. Again, he was still deployed at this point and when working on a submarine, communication is VERY limited. I didn't want to just send it in an email (that, by the way, he may never get) or tell him over the phone, so I decided to make up a little gift box with a couple onesies, a laminated ultrasound photo, and a DVD that I had made for him. At 17 weeks, I went out in town and paid to have an extra ultrasound done at a place that will record it on DVD. This was the best and only way that I would get to share that moment with my husband.

I was also lucky to have a friend who was planning to travel to South Korea to meet her husband, who also works with Shaun, at the next port call. She was able to see him and personally hand him the package. When your husband is in the military and never home, you just have to find a way to make things work!

26 August 2016

Our pregnancy announcement!

After my 12 week appointment, which was actually at 11w1d, I decided to make the call to post our announcement. I had another ultrasound and everything was looking good; baby boy was still measuring a little ahead at 12w2d and his heartbeat was 167 bpm.

Ultrasound at 11w1d.

Due November 14, 2016!

With planning to leave for a three-week long trip to the mainland the very next day, I thought it would be a good idea to break the news at that time. I was also going to be attending a wedding in Charleston at the end of the week and figured it would be easier if everyone knew ahead of time why I wasn't drinking at all. It was nice to see friends and family that I hadn't seen in a long time and celebrate our news.

Coming Soon... Will be be Team Blue or Team Pink???

25 August 2016

Long overdue, but the results are in..

We are pregnant!!

I'm so sorry it's taken me so long to update after our last procedure. So much has happened and it's felt overwhelming to even think about updating my blog, but I think it's about time.

In my last post about our IUI, Shaun had just left for deployment and we still had five more days to go before test day.

On Saturday, March 12, I finally worked up the courage to get out of bed in the morning and pee on a stick. To my surprise, it was POSITIVE! I almost didn't believe it and honestly thought I was reading the test wrong to the point where I had to get the packaging out and read the instructions again (after that amount of tests I had taken up to this point, you would think I'd know for sure, but I couldn't believe my eyes!)

My mom and dad were in town at the time visiting so it was nice to be able to share that news with them right away. Luckily, after Shaun left Hawaii, they had headed straight to Japan so he was in port when I got the news. I was able to call him and tell him, but they were 19 hours ahead of us, which actually put him five hours earlier in the morning than Hawaii time (confusing, I know.) I called him every hour, hoping he would hear his phone and wake up, but I didn't get a call back from him until about 1:00PM Hawaii time. Talk about a long five hours!

He was so happy and the tears started flowing. You don't always realize how much trying to conceive can weigh on your husband, but in that moment, I think I felt the weight lifted off of both of our shoulders. Finally an answer to our prayers!

On Monday, March 14, I went in for a blood draw to test my HCG levels. I finally got a call back the next day and the nurse said that I was definitely pregnant (HCG was 31000!) They scheduled me to come in that Thursday, March 17, for my first ultrasound. 

Our little peanut at 5w3d, measuring ahead from the very beginning at 6w1d.

First "bump" photo at 6 weeks.

Tune in tomorrow for our pregnancy announcement! 

09 March 2016

Hiking Hawaii - Kuli'ou'ou Ridge.

A couple weekends ago, Shaun and I went on another hike with a few friends. This happens to be another one of my faves that I had been dying to take him on. So glad we've had some free time together over the few weeks before he left to cross some things off our bucket list.

The hike was Kuli'ou'ou Ridge and it was a little over five miles roundtrip. It was a perfectly clear, sunny day and the views were better than ever.

 Waimanalo to Kailua.

Hawaii Kai and Hanauma Bay.

Bird's eye view of Diamond Head.


Warmest Aloha,

07 March 2016

One week down..

We ended up doing the IUI (Intrauterine Insemination) last Saturday.

Everything went well and we had 15 million motile sperm. While that sounds like a lot, I realize it could have been a little better. The doctor did say that anything over 10 million was good so praying one of those little guys found it's way to wear it needed to go! haha

36 hours before the IUI was scheduled, we used an HCG injection to trigger ovulation. Because of this, doctors usually recommend waiting at least 14 days to take a pregnancy test otherwise, you run the risk of getting a false positive (HCG is the hormone that your body starts producing when you are pregnant and is what home pregnancy tests are looking for.)

My mom and dad get in to Hawaii tonight so I'm glad they will be here this weekend when I'm ready to test. Shaun left for his deployment last week so any distraction is definitely welcome. I'm really hoping and praying that I have some good news for him when I talk to him next!

I'm just trying to stay positive in the meantime. If we don't end up getting a positive this month, I really just want to work my butt off and get back into shape while Shaun's away. I've really slowed down on exercising, especially with the Follistim, as rigorous exercise is not recommend when using that medication :(

We also talked before he left and decided that if we don't get pregnant this month, we will start the IVF process when he gets home. There is a good chance we will be moving to Guam at the beginning of next year and we will no longer have the infertility benefits that we have here in Hawaii.

All your positive thoughts, prayers, and baby juju are appreciated! Five more days until test day!

Warmest Aloha,

25 February 2016

The stars have aligned.

I went for another follow-up ultrasound this week on Tuesday. I still had the three follicles seen at my last appointment with the two larger ones at 15mm and one right behind at 12-13mm.

My doctor told me to continue the Follistim for a couple more days and trigger Thursday (tonight.) Our IUI is scheduled for bright and early on Saturday morning and I am thrilled to say that my husband came home today so it will work out perfectly for him to be there.

In addition to this, we received some more good news today - 
Shaun has been selected for LDO (Limited Duty Officer!) 

In non-military terms, this means that Shaun will be promoted from enlisted to officer, it's a HUGE deal and we are both thrilled! He won't get commissioned until later this year so until then, he'll continue his "chiefly" duties. Once commissioned, he will go to officer school for about five weeks then there is a good chance we will be moving again, although we won't know where until it gets closer.

I am so happy for my husband - he is the most hard-working, intelligent person I know and he is an excellent leader. This promotion suits him and I can't wait to see what he accomplishes. In all honesty, I am okay with moving around and with this Navy life we live. There isn't any place I wouldn't follow my husband to and I can't wait to see where this wild ride takes us!

20 February 2016

Follicle Update.

Yesterday morning, I went in for another ultrasound to see how my follicles were doing and I got some interesting news.

First, the doctor saw an additional two larger follicles on my left ovary as opposed to just the one on my right from the other day. She also said that the one on my right hasn't really grown at all in the couple days since my last u/s. All three are about 11mm right now and they must be around 17+ mm in order to trigger ovulation and proceed with the IUI.

My body has been responding to this injectable medication much differently than the previous oral medications that I've tried; things seem to be progressing much more slowly.

At my Wednesday appointment, my doctor said that the IUI would probably be early next week, but with the news we received yesterday, it doesn't sound like that will be the case. 

This might turn out to be a good thing after all since Shaun has to go back to work for a few days and will not be available to do the IUI until later in the week.

My doctor initially said that she was going to increase my Follistim dosage to speed things up and hopefully trigger Monday, but then after explaining to her that Shaun won't be here until the end of the week, she said that we can keep it the same and kind of coast things along for now and do another u/s on Tuesday and go from there.

So, at my day 10 u/s, I was really upset because he had taken off work (which is not easy for him to do right now!) and we were WAY off; but then I got this news yesterday and it's kind of good? 

We did make arrangements for cryopreservation in the event that things take a turn and we do have to do the IUI before he comes home. 

I'm praying that our timing works out though and we don't have to use it after all.

Looking forward to seeing how things look on Tuesday!

Thanks for checking in!

Warmest Aloha,

17 February 2016

Cycle update.

I had an ultrasound appointment this morning to check and see how many follicles have grown since I started the Follistim injections. The news was somewhat disappointing.

The doctor only saw one larger follicle that measured 11mm on my right ovary and several smaller ones on the left; she said that the ones on the left probably won't catch up in time for the IUI.

I was upset. I know I should be happy to have the one, but I could have accomplished that on my own without medication. From what I understand, the whole point of using medication is to try and get more than one follicle to mature to increase the possibility of conceiving.

I have to continue the nightly injections and go back on Friday morning for another ultrasound to see how much they've grown and if we can schedule the trigger injection and IUI procedure.

Another reason why this was so upsetting is because my husband took the rest of this week of from work to make sure he would be home for the IUI. So far, the IUIs that we've done have been around cycle day 13 or 14; with Saturday being cd13 and not having the option to do it on Sunday, I thought for sure it would be Saturday. Shaun won't be available next week due to work so our only option is to try naturally until he leaves and cryopreserve a semen sample for the procedure next week (sorry if TMI, but there ain't nothing about this process that isn't TMI!)

Needless to say, it was a rough morning. Shaun and I ended up down in Waikiki for lunch then he brought me to get a manicure; that all made me feel a little bit better ;)

On a happier note, we just booked the Sheraton Waikiki for next weekend. They had a great military rate and it's about time for a nice, little staycation.

Warmest Aloha,
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