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Saturday, October 24, 2015

Virginia's Birth Story


Virginia Caroline Buchanan came into this world on Thursday, July 23, 2015 @ 5:06pm via cesarean section. She was 9 pounds even and measured 22 inches long. We stayed in the hospital 72 hours after her arrival and went home as a family of three on Sunday, July 26, 2015. 

I wouldn’t say that I am a person that loved being pregnant, but I can say that I felt like I had the perfect pregnancy.  Virginia has been a very considerate human being from day one. I was lucky enough to not have morning sickness. I felt generally healthy the entire 42 weeks. During the last month and a half or so of my pregnancy I did get a little uncomfortable. My feet and ankles were pretty swollen and I had crazy heartburn, but other than that – I felt great. Virginia was a perfect little occupant of my uterus. I won’t go much more detail than that regarding the many months preceding her delivery.
As many of you know, Virginia went over her due date, by a day short of two weeks. In my birth support group, it is affectionately called the “guess date” by many as that really is all it is – a guess. Her guess date was July 10th and while I was later told that a more accurate date was probably July 15th, July 10th is what was official on all of my medical charts so that’s what was official in my head. While I always logically knew that it was a guess date, I didn’t want to believe it. Not only did I expect her to arrive by that date, but I also had a “feeling” that she was going to come early. Bryce and I were completely “ready” by week 38. Every week and every day after that felt like an eternity. We were both so excited and so in love with this little girl that we literally felt like we could not wait for her any longer. I now recognize that “feeling” as a sincere desire that she would come early, but that’s all it was.
This was my first real lesson in motherhood. I wouldn’t say that the lesson learned here was that of patience. I think the more accurate word to describe the lesson is graceful (ha!) acceptance of the unexpected.
Things had been winding down at work since the beginning of July. The MyHR team at eBay had been planning on my maternity leave and my cases were dwindling. Every day I would come to work and every day we would joke about me still being there. The Thursday before Virginia’s birth, I started having some weird pains that I hadn’t experienced before. At this point I was already nearly a week “overdue”. I had just gone to lunch with my coworkers and wasn’t feeling well. I ignored the pains at first, but worried that if they really were contractions that I should probably head home. I asked my boss if I could leave and we all thought that would be the last time I saw the team until after my leave. I drove home and rested on the couch and soon the pain passed.
The next morning, I woke up, I wasn’t feeling well and had similar pains. I didn’t go back into work, because I thought once more that this was it. Again, at the end of the day – no baby. Saturday came and went and Sunday the same. We enjoyed a picnic in the park on Sunday evening while I read Harry Potter in Bryce’s comfy lawn chair. We had decided that if I hadn’t had the baby by my Midwife appointment on Tuesday that I would ask to be induced. This was the first step off of our birth “plan”. I laugh now at the idea of having a plan, because almost nothing went according to that plan. While on one hand I think it’s helpful to have some idea of how you’d like things to go, I also think it might set a lot of people up for disappointment when things don’t go accordingly.
In my birthing support group, it is general knowledge that “baby will come when baby is ready”. My entire pregnancy, I planned to do everything “naturally” while keeping an open mind to an epidural if I really felt I needed it. I didn’t consider being induced, but by that Sunday, I felt that I would soon be done with waiting. I am glad we decided to think about induction because by Tuesday, I really was done waiting. This is pretty typical of my personality and I now see the same characteristic in my own daughter. I am usually okay with things for quite a long time until all of the sudden I am not and then I am in crisis mode. I missed work again on Monday and went to my appointment on Tuesday. They asked me what the plan was and I asked if I could be induced the next day if possible. I didn’t want to ask to be induced and felt guilty that I had even considered it. I had expected the midwives to fight me on that decision, but they didn’t. Sydney was the midwife on duty that day and she helped me feel comfortable and happy about my decision. I felt an immediate connection with her and felt grateful that she happened to be the one I had my appointment with that day. I was finally going to have my baby (soon). They scheduled to come in that night to prep for the induction. I called Bryce and told him that we’d be going into the hospital with the intent that we’d be staying until we came home with our daughter.
I went into work to move my desk, wrap up a few things, and drop off some treats. Everyone had been so helpful and supportive that I wanted to show some small token of my appreciation. I have been very lucky to be part of a team that has never made me feel like my pregnancy was a burden to them in anyway. Even though we were splitting companies and had a spike in our caseload. I was so excited to finally be able to tell them that I would indeed be having a baby the next day (or so I thought). No more waiting!
Bryce and I had dinner and expected to be called into the hospital in the early evening. That didn’t happen, so we watched Netflix.  I called the charge nurse who said it might not be until after midnight that we would be called in. It was hard waiting to go in, but it wasn’t much harder than the waiting we’d already encountered. Eventually, Bryce and I decided to settle into our bed and try and sleep for a little while. As soon as we did, the hospital called and said they were ready for us. We got ready and headed over to IMC. It felt strange to be going to the hospital in the middle of the night, knowing we were going to have a baby but not experiencing any of the typical scenes we see in movies with women screaming and cars speeding. It was quiet and calm and peaceful, but I could feel the nerves building underneath the surface.
We got settled into our room and we met our first nurses. They took my blood pressure and it was high. It had never been high my entire pregnancy, but it was once we were there. I thought I was doing a good job of staying calm, but my body was betraying me. It reminded me of the scene in Sherlock where he has just experienced real fear and he says with his hands shaking, “I've always been able to keep myself distant. Divorce myself from feelings. But you see? Body's betraying me. Interesting, yes? Emotions. The grease on the lenses. The fly in the ointment.”
I had taken a Hypnobirthing class at IMC and I was eventually able to calm myself down by employing the methods we had practiced for months.
One of the requests in my birth “plan” was that I have a room with a tub so I could work through my labor pains in water, if necessary. That was no longer going to be an option because I would need to be hooked up to an IV once the Pitocin was being administered. I also had to have a few doses of penicillin because I tested positive for Group B Strep. Bryce crossed that item off on each of our four copies (can’t be too prepared) that we had brought. I awaited the IV and the first dose of cytotec. Before starting the actual induction, I was given 4 doses over the next 14 hours to help ripen my cervix, the idea being that it will make the induction more effective. Bryce and I spent the day watching Parks and Rec, resting when I wasn’t having contractions and waiting for my next cervical exam. Another birth plan request (minimal cervical exams) thrown out the window, because of the circumstances.
 At one point during the day, Virginia’s heart rate had dropped and the nurses rushed in to give me oxygen and see if that would bring it back up. I was able to keep myself calm, but it gave me an idea of how quickly things could turn for the worse. I became very worried and hoped that wouldn’t happen again.
After 14 hours, I hadn’t made much progress. Sydney happened to be the midwife in the Labor and Delivery as well! I was so happy because she gave me such a warm greeting. She was very soft in the way she spoke to me and it helped to keep me calm. She decided to break my water and see if that would help get things going. Yet another birth plan request that I decided wasn’t as important as getting things going. They started the Pitocin not too long after that. The contractions at this point hadn’t been too bad and I wanted to go as long as I could before considering an epidural.  However, it was the cervical exams that were killing me. Everything was just so tight, so it hurt like crazy and hurt a little bit more and more every time I had to have one. I didn’t bother keeping track of how many exams I had because I had to have them so frequently.
My Midwife decided that it would be best to have an internal fetal monitor to ensure that they could monitor Virginia’s heart and the strength of my contractions more accurately. She didn’t think it was going to have to happen any time soon, because we hadn’t seen a drop in Virginia’s heart rate for quite some time.
My contractions had started to increase in intensity, but again the pain wasn’t too bad, it was the cervical exams I really hated. It was around 9pm on Wednesday night that Virginia’s heart rate dropped extremely low once again. My nurse came rushing into the room and took evasive measures (I want to use that phrase because it sounds like something you’d say in a science fiction/spy/super hero movie) to attempt to attach the internal heart rate monitor. If Virginia’s heart rate couldn’t get back up, we’d need to move to an emergency c-section. I kept myself calm, but the attempt to attach the monitor was extremely painful after many cervical exams and I still had not dialated past a 1. Because I was so tight, it was extremely difficult to attach. My nurse tried her best, but was unable to do so. Luckily, Virginia’s heart rate normalized and everything was ok, but it was probably one of the scariest moments of my labor. They had to reduce the amount of Pitocin that was being administered in order to ensure that the contractions didn’t remain too strong for Virginia and this set us back a bit in my progression again.
I wasn’t opposed to a c-section because I had already considered that possibility when Virginia was transverse a few weeks prior, but I was worried for her life if the caesarian section had to be an emergency.  
I felt outwardly calm, but my body was not able to relax enough. At this point, I was tired and I was fearful that an internal fetal monitor wouldn’t be able to be attached and an emergency c-section would be my only option if they couldn’t see her accurate heart rate. I had decided at that point to get an epidural so they COULD attach that monitor later on with ease in case that happened again.
I was nervous about doing so, because I didn’t like the idea of sticking a giant needle in my back, but I still felt it was the best thing at that point for me. My nurse, Laura, came in and both she and Bryce held my hand as Dr. Green administered the epidural. It didn’t hurt at all and within 10 minutes I felt relief and felt so much better. All this time I had planned an un-medicated birth, but as soon as the effects kicked in I said “I don’t know why anyone wouldn’t get an epidural!” I think if the situation had been different and I had been able to move around freely at the beginning I might not have felt that way. But for someone who was induced and had to stay in bed the majority of the time, not being able to feel my legs entirely wasn’t that much of a change. I also hoped this would help my body relax and open up more.
I was able to sleep a lot easier that night in between the times that my nurses were checking up on me. Marti was the nurse Midwife on duty that night. I had also felt a strong connection with her during my pregnancy. She was always very detailed and thorough in her explanations and was very direct about my options and risks. She affectionately called herself the “OCD” nurse.
Virginia’s heart rate dropped once more during the middle of the night and it was the longest period of time that they couldn’t find it. Just before it happened, I was having a very strong contraction and the epidural was wearing off for the time being. They asked me to turn to the other side and I said, “Hang on just a sec” but unfortunately there was no time, I had to turn over immediately so they could find her heart rate. Every second that ticked by felt like a lifetime. They were able to find it once more and decided to attach the internal monitor immediately.
The rest of the evening / early morning went by without any hiccups. Bryce was by my side this whole time. He held my hand so lovingly when I needed the extra support through contractions, exams, and even just the emotional moments when I felt worried about little Virginia. All throughout the night we got to listen to Virginia’s heartbeat. It was so special to be able to hear it and know that she was nearing her arrival. Hearing her constant heartbeat was a reminder of just how close and real she was.
The next day went by for me so quickly, because I slept through most of it. Still having contractions, still receiving the epidural, still receiving the Pitocin, and still not progressing much. I was on the highest dose of Pitocin and yet nothing was happening. I remained hopeful that eventually things would change and I could start to breathe my baby down. It was about 3:30pm when I started to feel Virginia descending ever so slightly. The Midwife who had taken over for the day was Angel. She was another one of the Midwives that I felt a strong connection with during my pregnancy. She was also so sweet and tender and understanding of all of my decisions. I was grateful to yet again have a Midwife I truly trusted at my side.
Angel checked my progress once again and I was finally at a 5! After over 36 hours! Virginia was beginning to make her way out, but my body wasn’t ready for her to come. The epidural had worn off once again and before they could administer another dose, we had to decide what our next step was. At this point, I was crying and felt ashamed that I couldn’t handle the pain without the epidural. Angel was so sweet with me. I told her I was sorry for crying and she told me that I had no reason to apologize and that was one rule she had for me, that I shouldn’t ever say the word sorry while I was in her care.
Dr. Porter then came and looked everything over and to ensure that Virginia would arrive safely, we decided it would be best to move to a c-section before it became an emergency. The last part of our birth plan was finally thrown out the window.
The nurses and doctors who would be on the team delivering my baby kept asking me if I was okay. Bryce even noticed that they had charted “patient seems to be coping well”.  When Dr. Porter asked me how I felt I told him that I had already come to the realization that a c-section would be a possibility weeks ago, so it didn’t feel like much of a surprise now. We tried to help her come, but she was just comfortable the way she was. It was time to meet my daughter!
The anesthesiologist came in and administered the epidural dosage once more and they prepped me for my c-section. I was definitely nervous. I kept practicing my HypnoBirthing techniques as best I could, but once again my body was betraying me. I was shivering like crazy, but it wasn’t because I was cold. I just couldn’t get myself to relax. I had so many emotions running through my body. Excitement, fear, anticipation, love, worry, etc. Bryce was by my side and the team that delivered Virginia were all so great. I felt surrounded by a team of people that truly cared about me and my family. 
Virginia arrived at 5:06pm and the entire procedure probably took around 30 minutes. The moment she arrived and they showed her to us was THE best moment in my life. Both Bryce and I wept. We couldn’t believe (and still can’t most days) that we actually had a daughter. I could hear her faint cries on the other side of the sheet and Bryce got up to go say hello and take pictures. They cleaned her up and brought her over to me. As soon as they put her near my face, she reached out of her blanket for me. I immediately felt a strong connection and overwhelming sense of duty and love for this child. I cannot describe how sacred this whole experience felt except that I felt infinite.
Once I was stitched up and ready to go, I got to hold Virginia as we were wheeled back to our room. I was still shaking profusely and Virginia’s cries were shaking with me. We were able to spend an hour together as Virginia and I practiced breastfeeding for the first time. It was just the three of us in that room. We continued to weep as we held our daughter in our arms. Her little cries were so sweet and we both felt terrified that we were going to break her somehow, but she was patient with us. A few of the nurses that had been there for us throughout my labor came in to see our baby. I knew then that Virginia had a special way with people, because everyone who met her immediately fell in love.
Bryce packed up our stuff and we headed up to our room as new parents. The next few weeks went by like a blur with our bumpy foray into parenthood. There were many ups and downs, highs and lows, but the three of us together are unstoppable. Bryce is the best partner, husband, and father-to-my-child I could have ever hoped for. Virginia is probably the sweetest person on the planet and is only ever sad when she’s hangry. Her journey into this world wasn’t perfect, but it was unique, special, and sacred and I wouldn’t trade the experience for anything.





Monday, April 11, 2011

Update.

Blogging is harrrrrrrrrd.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Do you want to be a stay at home Mom or a working Mom?

You mean - I can't be both? Dang. I feel a real blogpost coming on about this one... on another day.

Ultimately, I find too much joy in work to ever give it up completely. But then again - I have no children of my own to love quite yet.

This is probably one of the hardest things that I have/will have to deal with in my life. I won't rule out either one at this point in my life. We will see where my life leads me.

Ask me anything

whats your favorite thing about your job? and your least favorite?

Sorry - I forget about formspring. Here is your answer two months later! :)

My favorite thingS about my job are in this order:

1) The people I work with.

2) The challenge it presents me with.

3) The flexibility and trust my boss has given me.

Least favorite...

My own inadequacies as a human being. I tend to get too frustrated, too easily lately. But I am working on it!

Ask me anything

Monday, July 12, 2010

Ah, Summer!

It has been almost 4 months since Lina’s last post. It’s time for some serious updates.

First, this is a slideshow of our recent vacation to St. George. Read on to hear about the rest of our adventures.



I love summertime. Late nights, beautiful sunsets every day, and fun vacations. Our big trip so far this year has been to St. George. Lina wanted to do something special for my birthday/graduation celebration. It was so much fun. We went horseback riding through Snow Canyon, saw the Beach Boys (well, most of them) and went to the St. George temple. It really stands out among the red rocks of St. George. It was seriously the whitest building I have ever seen.

I haven’t been on a horse since I was a scout, and even then it wasn’t that much of a ride. Not really sure of where we were going or what to expect, I was a little nervous. As soon as we started on the trail, our horses walked slowly in line with each other. I think they could have probably walked it alone without us on it. Because of this, Lina and I could take some pictures of the surroundings. This was a great experience.

On our way down to St. George our tire had a slow leak causing us to fill it with air every time we filled up. I bought a kit to fix it that seemed to work well, but on our way to the Beach Boys concert we hit a nail and had to change the tire in the parking lot at Tuacahn. Nice.

The Beach Boys were great, and Lina and I had fun there. We danced for a lot of their songs, but for the most part, the rest of the audience stayed in their seats even when prompted to stand and dance by singer Mike Love.

Our plans for the rest of summer: Lagoon, camping and hopefully relaxing some.

-Bryce


Summer Pictures

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Rearranging Things

Alright everyone - judge me if you will, but we have decided to do some rearranging around here!

I am a weirdo and I like to have everything make sense, have a purpose, fit neatly into it's assigned cubby hole in my mind. We had originally intended for this blog to be a sort of "travel log" of our journeys together as a couple. It has since turned into the Lina's thoughts show.

So - this blog will be more of a light-hearted, this is what we're up to, where we're moving, etc type of deal. We will probably move it to be private so that people can't come stalk us. We will probably be famous some day and I don't want my children waking up to some creepster in their bedroom (I've heard that this happens!). We do want to keep this up for when we actually start taking pictures of our goings on as a couple/family. Although, Lina is not so good at that stuff, so it might get neglected. Unless Bryce wants to take on that role... EH?

For all things Buchanan related stay tuned HERE at

http://bandlbuchanan.blogspot.com

For all of LINA's RANTS and thoughts - she's moving back to

http://hellomynameislina.blogspot.com

THAT blog will be her thoughts on politics, life, religion, business, school, anything and everything. That will remain open to anyone and everyone. That way if you REALLY don't want to hear it, you don't have to. :) I have deleted all those types of posts and moved them over to Hello, My Name is Lina.

Thanks for being patient with me as I move things to their appropriate places in my mind.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

People Got a Lotta Nerve

Alright Lina - let's try not to be so serious all of the time.

I LOVE Neko Case. If polygamy was legal, I might ask Bryce if he would consider it. Of course, I'd have to get her to convert to the LDS church... better start working on that.