Saturday, May 30, 2015

Charlie Joseph Gibbs

The birth of Mr. Charlie is a miracle to me, just as all my children's births are. This baby was supposed to be in our family and he has fit like a missing piece since moment one. But, getting him here was a whole other experience.

Beau entered Basic Training for the US Coast Guard on April 7, 2015. I sobbed ever day for two weeks and then cried every night for the other six weeks. Being very pregnant and taking care of two kids, plus seriously missing your hubby, takes its toll. And miss him we did. We had a paper chain and a calendar that we would check off every day that passed. It was about seven eternities before we got to the end. 

The week Beau was to return home I went to my doctor and she had serious baby news. She started stripping my membranes and then said "Well, I will be very surprised if this baby makes it until Saturday." Saturday was my induction date and I REALLY needed him to wait so Beau, who returned home Friday night, could be here to watch him be born. I left the office feeling nervous but also excited for the end to come. Two more days and I would get to be with Beau, three more and our little man would be here! The benefit to this news was Beau's Company Commander gave him permission to call me every day. That was awesome.

Friday morning came and the baby was still in my belly and Beau was on his way to be one of the newest members of the United States Coast Guard. I waiting at Jenny's house anxiously getting text updates from Jamie and Mechel and watching the girls have a dance party with their best buddies. It was a wonderful morning. I felt very happy for the first time in eight weeks. At about 10am I got THE call, the one I was waiting for, "Hey babe, we are on our way to the airport soon." AHHH. Finally, FINALLY! So, I talked to the baby in my stomach and let him know that he could come any time he wanted, his daddy was on his way home.

Beau got dropped off at the airport and all the while I was stalking his airline. Apparently his first flight was going to be delayed and make it so he missed his second flight. When we asked them about it they said that he would be bumped to a morning flight. That was just not going to fly as I was supposed to have a freaking baby in the morning so, we had then change his flight. It made it so he was going to get in really late but, I didn't know what else to do. Luckily his gates were really close so he just switched over. Well, as I looked and looked, all of a sudden his ORIGINAL flight was on time! UGH! So he went back, told the lady that his wife was crazy (:)) and then switched back. He barely made his connection but, he made it. Meanwhile, back at home, I was preparing to surprise Beau and pick him up from the airport. He thought my mom would be the one to do it but, I had the girls make signs and I picked him up. 

When we were there waiting, he came out and almost didn't recognize us. He was so overwhelmed and I could tell. The first thing he told me was "I'm not suppose to hold your hand while I'm in uniform." He wasn't even in uniform.... Poor guy was having some SERIOUS culture shock. Especially because Gracie would not stop talking. She said to him "mom said I could stay up and talk the whole way home." And she did. NON STOP. Evie passed out right after we buckled her in but Gracie Leigh, she had missed the main man in her life and she told him about ever single detail of the last 8 weeks. It was so surreal to be driving home with him.

We went to bed at about 1am. In the middle of the night I rolled over and put my hand on Beau's stomach. He jumped out of bed, freaking out because someone was touching him. I freaked out because he was freaking out. hahaha. Needless to say, we had a rough first night. We were up at 6am and headed to the hospital by 6:45. Marisa and My mom came over to sit with the girls (love you guys!) and we were off. It was at this point that I began to seriously freak out. I mean, panic attack freak out. I knew that I was pregnant and had to have a baby but, my focus had solely been on Beau and getting him home so, I wasn't even in baby mode. Oh man...this was happening and I was freaking exhausted. It was like 8 weeks of everything came crashing down on top of my pregnant body and I just couldn't do it anymore. Not to mention that my husband wasn't sure if he was even allowed to hold my hand so, we were a wreck.

After we checked in they made us wait for a bit before they took me back to get ready. I have never been induced before so I wasn't sure what to expect. When I got changed and on the bed the nurse came to give me my IV. I was strep B negative this time but, because I had been positive with both of the girls, they wanted to give me the antibiotics anyway, just to be safe. By this point my anxiety was in full swing an I was feeling nauseous. I have a very very serious phobia of needles (like, I pass out phobia) and so when the nurse came to give me the IV I was sick with nerves. Well, the dang train a nurse blew the vein in my arm on the first try and I proceeded to throw up, a lot. This was not a positive start to an already slightly nerve racking situation for me. She then figured out that I wasn't kidding when I said I really hate needles and so she called in the tech to come and do it. The tech was fantastic. She gave me litacain first, which was amazing, and so I didn't even feel it in my other arm.

They started my antibiotic first because I needed to have it in my system at least four hours before they broke my water. In the meantime my very tired husband took a nap on the couch while we watched the Harry Potter marathon. My mom popped in for a while which was great and also my sister Natalie. She has been at all my births so it was really wonderful to have her at this one too. I sent Beau home to be with his girls because he hadn't really been able to see them the night before and he really missed his ladies. He hadn't been gone more than 20 minutes when my midwife showed up to get things going. She decided I had been on the antibiotic long enough and was ready to break my water. I had a mini panic attack because Beau wasn't there and I wasn't sure how quickly I would progress so I had my mom call him but, Kristy still went ahead and broke my water then instructed the nurse to turn the pitocin on. That all happened in a five minute period. Within 10 minutes I was feeling contractions, 15 minutes Beau showed back up, 20-25 minutes the contractions were so horrible I couldn't breathe. I wasn't allowed to get off the bed because they were monitoring the baby so I just sat there. The contractions were so intense I honestly couldn't catch my breath. I was feeling so torn on what to do at this point. On one hand I really really wanted to have this baby naturally like I had with the girls, I felt like I was letting him down somehow by getting an epidural. On the other hand, I was freaking exhausted. Two months without Beau while being pregnant and taking care of everything alone took it's toll. Not to mention the fact that we didn't get to bed until 1am the night before so I was running on a very short 5 hours of sleep at this point.

Beau and I said a prayer and decided that I would get the epidural. I just couldn't even function. I had never felt pain like those chemical contractions and mix that with my water being broken, I was a mess. The nurse called in the anesthesiologist and then started pumping my IV full of fluids so I wouldn't get sick from the medicine. I was so nervous. I wasn't sure what to expect as I had never done this before so, I had Beau give me a blessing and then we were ready. The anesthesiologist came in and he was so great. He talked me through the entire process so I wasn't completely freaking out. He would have to stop in the middle of the procedure while I had a contraction and then he finished pretty quickly. Bent over as they shoved a needle in my back while having contractions was probably the worst experience ever but, Beau was a rock and totally talked me off the ledge.

Once the epidural was in they put me back on the bed. He told me that he gave me the lowest dose possible to start out with so we could see how my body would react and then he swung the little button to press if I needed more meds over the back of my bed and left. I was doing great for about 15 minutes then, I started to feel kind of strange. I kept telling Beau that I was going to throw up so he would come over, I'd puke, and then the room would start to spin. I could feel myself passing out. So Beau called the nurse in and she came running because she said she was monitoring me out there and my blood pressure was plummeting. I wasn't feeling pain but I was super nauseated and I felt floaty. The nurse gave me a shot of something that would bring my blood pressure back up and then I felt totally fine again. This happened off and on for the next hour. They called the anesthesiologist and asked him how much medicine he gave me because my body didn't seem to be liking it very much and he said "I gave her the absolute lowest dose!" I also just remembered that they kept rolling me to the side because they kept losing the baby on the monitor. The final time I crashed pretty hard and the regular stuff they were shooting into my IV to pump my BP back up wasn't doing it's job anymore so, they gave me some harder stuff and shut off my epidural and the pitocin to try and regulate my body. It was the strangest feeling yet. I was almost to blacking out point and then, my BP zoomed and I shot awake, threw up, and felt much better.

Suddenly, my midwife showed up and checked to see where I was. I had only been in labor for three hours so I thought for sure I wasn't ready but, she said "Well, it's time to push." And then they were setting me up for delivery. Now, keep in mind I had only ever delivered without meds so it was the most bizarre thing ever for them to be telling ME when it's times to push and not the other way around. I wish I would have written this story right after his birth because this part is a little hazy. I remember Beau being right there, like he always is. My steady rock, keeping me in control when I feel out of control. I also remember my awesome sister was there and my mamma was behind the curtain. Her very sensitive mamma heart can't take some situations so she stepped behind until the second he was born she was right there. I only had to push three times. My midwife was incredible. I delivered him in maybe five minutes and I didn't tear at all which is a first! However, I was hemorrhaging again but she was able to get that under control after turning the pitocin back on and cleaning everything out.

After the last push she handed me this little tiny boy human and I think my heart almost burst. He was perfect. Perfect curly black hair, perfect face, perfect everything. They let me hold him, Beau cut the cord, and then he had swallowed a ton of fluid so they took him pretty quick to clean him out. Oh my goodness. He is a dream come true. A dream I didn't even know I had, come true. I immediately knew that he was supposed to be mine. I looked at his incredible little face, I looked at Beau's incredible face, and I just felt complete.

He was born at 3:12pm on May 30, 2015 weighing 7lbs 15ounces and 19inches long. We named him after my Grandpa Waters whom I miss every single day.

That night, after everyone had left and it was just Me, Beau, and Charlie, I just sat and reveled at the fact that my husband somehow came home to me to be here for this incredible event. That he was able to hold my hand, encourage me, love me, pray with me, support me, and just lend me his spirit when things got hard. I can't express the feelings I had watching him hold his son for the first time. It's something we hadn't planned on and something I would never change. I am eternally grateful for the small moments that I have been a part of in this life and watching Beau hold each one of his children right after they are born, are some of the most incredible moments in my life. I am so grateful for the man and father he is.

I am also so grateful for my sisters. They are my rocks. Marisa took my girls without there even being a question and spoiled them so rotten, they sobbed when she left. But more that that, she supported me, let me complain, cry, and be mean, and loved me still. I am so so so grateful that I got the months with her that I did before we left.
 Natalie came up from Moab without a moments hesitation. She is my person. She makes me laugh during labor, chats, and is on the other side of everything. She is that way in life too. My heart feels full that I get these wonderful women all to myself. Sometimes being the little sister is the best.
 And of course my mother. My mom hates to see her children in pain and therefore she is terrible during labor (no offense seriously) But, that's what makes her so incredible. She hates it and yet, she is there. She stays for the miracle because even if it terrifies her, she is my mom and she loves and supports me through it all. And I love her for the person she helped me become. I hope I can love my children as fiercely as she loves hers.  

So now I am a mother to two little rascal girls and an incredible little boy. I think I love him so much I turn crazy as I hug him and squeeze him. I can't stand it. He is such a perfect tiny human and such an unexpected blessing. I can't believe I am so lucky that I get the raise these three children. How blessed I am.

Gracie's Birth Story
Evie's Birth Story