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Monday, January 30, 2012

Owen's birth story

Tuesday, 1/17 started like any normal day. Well, normal when you're 9 months pregnant & feel like a whale.

I had a doctor's appointment at 2:20 p.m., so I spent the morning straightening up the house (which I now realized was last minute nesting!) & getting myself ready.

I headed to the doctor & realized on the way that I was definitely having contraction, although they were definitely not regular or very strong.

At the appointment, Dr. Driver said I was 4cm dilated & had "a look" (must mean big & tired-looking) about me that made her think it wouldn't be long before Owen made his arrival.
We reviewed how to assess contractions & when to plan to head to the hospital.
At this point, I was still thinking we had several days or more to wait.

After getting back home I realized that I should probably sit down & really time out my contractions. At about 5 p.m. they were becoming more regular & were about 10-12 minutes apart.

I called Chris & we decided to start making some phone calls to keep our parents in the loop.
I continued straightening up the house, getting dinner ready, etc.

About 7 p.m., I was timing contractions about every 8 minutes.
I snacked on a little food while Chris ate dinner. We chatted while Chris finished packing his bag & started loading up the car. I think prior to this point I was in complete denial that this was really "it". I decided to try to take an hour nap around 9 p.m. & when Chris woke me up at 10 p.m., my contractions were about every 6 minutes apart. Chris was definitely getting anxious. My parents had already decided to head to Nashville & were in route.

Just after 12:30 a.m. on Wednesday 1/18, my contractions were every 4-5 minutes & it was time to hit the road!
My parents arrived just in time & they followed us to the hospital.

The Hospital
Chris & I were placed in a triage room about 1:30 a.m. where Shana my nurse assessed me & determined that my contractions were definitely coming regularly about every 4 minutes but I was still 4 cm dilated.

Just after 2:30 a.m., another assessment revealed that I was still 4cm dilated but my water had broken. That was the ticket to be admitted & move into the labor & delivery suite.

Dr. Driver was called & by 3:30 a.m. Becca took over as my nurse. In no time Jane had placed an IV in my right hand & had IV fluids running.

We managed to get a little off & on rest until 7:30 a.m. when Dr. Driver stopped by to assess me. I was only 5 cm & because my water had broken she wanted to start Pitocin to move things along. My day shift nurse

Well, Pitocin is not my friend...we started "slow" with the Pitocin @ 2/hr about 8:00 a.m. Within 20 minutes, I was considerably more uncomfortable. At this point I was able to deep breath through the more intense contractions & could still rest a bit between.

Every 30 minutes-1 hour, the Pitocin was turned up by 2/hr. By 10 a.m., my contractions were lasting 60-90 seconds & were about every 2.5-3 minutes apart.
My breathing strategies weren't working & I couldn't get any rest between contractions.
Chris was so supportive, but reassured my that getting an epidural was not the end of the world.
An epidural was not really in my plan, but neither was Owen arriving 2 weeks early!

I began to entertain thoughts of an epidural, talked to my nurse about it, and requested to meet with the anesthesia team.
At this point I had only progressed to 6 cm. So about 11 a.m. after 16 hours of labor, I consented to the epidural. I was so nervous about the placement and potential side effects, but was so ready for a little relief & some rest.
My mom & my nurse were an amazing team of supporters during the epidural placement.
The 1st attempt was unsuccessful, but luckily the 2nd attempt was successful & within 20 minutes I felt sooo much better.
Now I know why so many people opt for epidurals!!!

Chris' parents arrived just prior to the placement of the epidural, so they came back in & visited for a few minutes before I began to get quite sleepy.
I slept off & on for several hours (as did Chris & our parents) quite comfortably with the only side effect of the epidural being chills.

At last...
I progressed from 6-9cm from 12 p.m.-4 p.m. I was beyond ready to meet our son!
Just before 5 p.m., I made it to 10cm & Dr. Driver was called. She was off-call & her partner Dr. Yu was delivering another baby at another hospital.
By 5:10 p.m. I was feeling so much pressure to push that I could hardly stand it.
My nurse called the in-house on-call OB & Dr. Newsome came in & prepped.

Dr. Newsome was amazing. He talked me through what was going to happen & told me that I was in charge. He was probably in his 60s & had given up his private practice several years ago to be the on-call OB at Baptist. I knew he had delivered tons of babies & that made me feel so good!

I started pushing at 5:20 p.m. After 1 push, Dr. Yu arrived & took over. I could not have asked for a more supportive team to aid me during the pushing process.
Dr. Yu talked me through everything & my nurses were amazing cheerleaders.
Chris sat at the head of my bed, rubbing my head & stroking my hair. He was a-m-a-z-i-n-g!!!
My mom was present for the delivery & although she stayed back out of the way, it was wonderful to have her there & to know that she was encouraging me too!

Just as an epidural was not in my birth plan, using the birthing mirror wasn't either.
But, plans change & the mirror was awesome!
Being able to see Owen's hair & realize just how close we were to meeting him made everything seem so do-able.

After about 45 minutes of pushing, Owen Palmer Tarr entered the world @ 1804 p.m.
He was such a trooper during the delivery as the umbilical cord was wrapped around his neck not once, but twice. He never showed any signs of distress & was born wide-eyed & squealing!!!

I will never, ever, ever forget the feeling when Dr. Yu held our son up for us to see. Within second he was on my chest & we were staring our Owen in the face.
My mom cut the umbilical cord which was a special moment for us & her.
I was able to hold him for a minute before they took him over to the warmer in our suite to clean him off & suction him out a bit.
Chris watched with pride as they checked our little man out.

Owen's Apgar scores were an impressive 9 & 9.
His skin color was so perfect.
His blue eyes were wide open.
His lips were so full & beautiful.
And his hair......dark blonde & gorgeous!!!

My dad & Chris' parents came back in after just a few minutes to meet their 1st grandson. The looks on their faces as they met Owen were priceless.

Although 23 hours is a long time, the reward at the end was more than worth it.
I would not change a thing about Owen's arrival into the world.
I had the support of my wonderful husband, family, & the amazing staff at Baptist Hospital.

And now, I sit watching our little Owen sleep peacefully in his swing...I can't believe that I am his mother.
I feel so blessed & I can't imagine being any happier!!!

Welcome to the world Owen Palmer!

Owen Palmer Tarr

Announcing Owen Palmer Tarr...

Arrived 1/18/12 @ 1804
7 lbs., 5 oz., 2o inches
So loved by his proud parents-Chris & Sarah

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Dear Owen

I cannot tell you just how excited Mommy & Daddy are about your nearing arrival.
Although we don't yet know all of the details of your arrival, we are so ready to welcome you to our home and our family.

Knowing that you could be here any day now makes me think of finding out about you.
I can still remember the shock and fear that quickly turned to excitement when I told your daddy about you for the first time.
I remember the sweet moment at 8 weeks & 6 days when we saw you on the ultrasound screen & could even see your tiny little heart beating...how amazing!
We kept your existence a secret until 12 weeks, although we were bursting at the seams to share our exciting news.
We had so much fun sharing our news & since the excitement has just been building.

I often lie awake in the middle of the night and wonder what you look like.
Will you have daddy's nose or mommy's nose?
What does your cute little baby chin look like?
Do you have long legs like daddy or short legs like mommy?
And of course, the biggest mystery to me is your hair-how much hair do you have & what color is it????

I think about the moment in which they will lay you on my chest.
It makes me teary even now.
I cannot wait to feel the warmth of your tiny little body, the softness of your skin, and I most certainly can't wait to feel your tiny fingers curl around mine.
I can't wait to see your daddy holding you for the very first time.

I think about the first few moments we will have together as a family of 3.
I imagine I will feel as if time is standing still because the only thing that will matter at that moment is our little family.
We are looking forward to settling on your middle name during those few minutes together so we can share it with everyone.

We will be so anxious to introduce you to the rest of our family.
Owen, you have 2 grandmothers, 2 grandfathers, 2 great-grandmothers, 1 great-grandfather, 4 aunts, & 2 uncles who already love you so much!
We have so many other friends & family who can't wait to meet you and watch you grow up.

I wonder about the moment we will bring you through the door of our home.
It will be so precious to finally be able to lay you in your crib, rock you in our rocking chair, and make use of everything we have been preparing since we knew about you.

I can't wait to learn all about you...
What your various cries will sound like,
When & how much you will like to eat,
Where you will most like to sleep,
What your favorite toys will be,
What your favorite bedtime story will be,
What songs will put you to sleep & which will make you want to dance.

Simply put, we can't wait to meet you Owen!
You are our most precious gift from God.
We already love you so much & know that our love for you will only grow stronger & deeper in the days, months, and years to come.


Saturday, January 7, 2012

Owen's nursery

I'm baaacckkk!!!
I am obviously soooo behind with blogging, but to get somewhat up to date I thought I would post a few pictures of Owen's nursery.
We still have one more picture to hang on the wall beside his crib.
Otherwise, it's pretty much done.
I'm so happy with how it turned out & can't wait to introduce our baby boy to his precious room!

There are so many special touches in Owen's nursery...the lamp and soft cloth blocks were made by Cheri. The picture above the changing table was painted by my dear friend Beth from Belmont. I made the pennant banner hanging above the crib. I love that so many things in the nursery have such special meaning.