In the last blog, I said the big day was almost here. Little did I know, Landry Mark Carter would make his entrance 6 weeks early on November 5, 2011 at 3:12 am. But before we get to that...
We had our maternity pictures done by a friend on Saturday, October 29. We went up to Oak Glen to take pictures. These are a few of them. We are SO glad we went and did these, otherwise we would have missed the opportunity!
My coworkers threw me a small baby shower on Tuesday, November 1. Landry got some really cute clothes, some diapers, and all kinds of goodies. It was VERY thoughtful and sweet and I had a great time. Here's the stash...
We had been debating about what we wanted to use for Landry's coming home outfit for a while. Since he was due a week before Christmas we decided on a little reindeer outfit. It arrived on Wednesday, November 2nd. Little did we know, this would be the last belly pictures.
Now we're at the big day. On Thursday, November 3rd, I had my regular 33 week check up. I had had some minor cramping off and on for the previous few days, so I casually mentioned it to my Dr. She went ahead and checked to see if I was dilated at all and I was 2 cm dilated and starting to thin. She told me she wanted me to go to Labor and Delivery and wrote an off-work order for the remainder of my pregnancy. I, surprisingly, held it together even though inside I was panicking. I immediately called Paul and he started looking for someone to come relieve him at the branch in Rancho so he could meet me at the hospital. At this point, we were assuming I would be placed on bedrest in an effort to keep Landry inside until at least week 36.
I also called my work, and my Mom. I drove myself to the hospital, checked in, and they hooked me up to monitors. It turned out the cramping I was feeling were contractions. By the time I got to the hospital, they were coming 3-4 minutes apart. That's when I started getting nervous. They hooked me up to an IV and started giving me meds to slow down labor. They also gave me a steroid shot which would help Landry's lungs mature, in the event that he came pre-term. The steroid shot made me REALLY shaky. So shaky that I could not control my body's shaking and shivering. Right after they gave me the steroid shot, Paul and my parents arrived at the hospital. They moved me to a labor room and then we waited. And waited. They continued monitoring me and all signs pointed to a discharge the next day and being placed on STRICT bedrest. They did an ultrasound of Landry to make sure everything was ok with him. They said he was measuring at 35-36 weeks gestation and estimated that he weighed about 5 lbs 13 oz. At that point, Paul and I knew he would be here before Christmas for sure, probably even before December. We still didn't expect him to come as early as he did, though.
We went to sleep that night expecting to be sent home around 11 AM on Friday November 4th. We were still tentatively planning on my baby shower happening on November 5, with me sitting on the couch and letting Nicole (Paul's cousin) open gifts for me. Paul slept at the hospital with me. My contractions were really sporadic and Landry's heartrate was good and he was active, but obviously sitting lower.
The next morning a perinatalogist came in and talked to us about the ultrasound. After having a conversation with me about how great the Kindle is, he very calmly and matter-of-factly informed us that there were "infarctions" on my placenta. Basically, there were spots on the placenta that were dying. Apparently, this happens as the placenta gets closer to 39 weeks gestation. Since my placenta was already doing this, the doctor decided it was less risky to induce labor and get Landry out rather than leave him in and hope we could get him to 36 weeks gestational age. If we had not taken him out, the doctor said he could have been a still-birth. That's when I started really freaking out. But Paul was there and we both knew that God was in control of the situation.
We called my parents, and Paul's cousin Nicole to let them know he was going to be born sometime Friday or possibly Saturday. Obviously, the shower was also cancelled. They started me on Pitocin to induce labor, gave me Magnesium to help with Landry's neurodevelopment, and another shot of the steroids to speed up his lung maturity. I also asked for an epidural as the contractions started getting a little more intense and was given an epidural sometime in the afternoon. Getting the epidural was a little traumatic, but not too terrible. Apparently, I have a very tight ligament in my lower back where they needed to put the epidural. But I survived. After a lot of waiting and not very much pain at all, I was in active labor (4 cm dilated) by 9:06 pm on Friday night. At that point, it became pretty obvious that Landry would not be joining us until Saturday morning sometime. By this time, my parents, and Paul's cousin Nicole and Aunt Laverne were at the hospital waiting. Eventually, the epidural started to wear off and I was really feeling the contractions, which were getting closer together. I was still only about 6 cm dilated. I asked for a top off of the epidural, they gave it to me, and the contractions just kept coming. Eventually, I asked them to check me again and I was complete, meaning it was time to push. They took me to a delivery room and got the NICU team prepared. All told, I pushed for about an hour. The pushing wasn't as terrible as I had expected (thankfully), and my recovery has been really pretty speedy.
Landry Mark Carter was born at 3:12 AM on November 5, 2011. He weighed 5 lbs 12 oz and was 19.5 inches long. He's a little string bean! He spent 8 days in the NICU due to some breathing troubles in the beginning, learning how to tolerate feedings and eat on his own, and a little bit of jaundice. But he is home now and we are loving on our little boy! Here are a bunch of pictures!
Landry all bundled up. He initially had a tube for a ventilator in his mouth. His little lungs couldn't quite breathe by themselves.
Daddy reading to Landry.
Landry Love all curled up under the Bili lights for his jaundice.
This was my favorite thing to do for several days, just let him hold my fingers. I couldn't hold my baby, but he knew who I was, which made those 4 days that we could not hold him a little less excruciating.
He has really large hands, but they are so sweet and precious!
Landry love with no more ventilator!!!
The day we finally got to hold our boy!!!!!
Daddy and his boy.
Landry and his Grandad.
Landry and Grandma. He was ALMOST born on Grandma's 50th birthday!
Landry Love, wide awake!
Getting dressed to come home, November 13, 2011!
First car ride!
Watching his first Cowboys game with Daddy. We think the fact that Landry came home made the Cowboys win in such an epic fashion!
Grandad and Grandma came to welcome him home!
Resting with Daddy...
What are YOU lookin' at, Bunny?!?
Hmm...what should I do when I wake up?
What is that thing? Why does it click all the time? Can't you see I'm trying to sleep?!
I like this blanket my Great Grandma Betty sent me!
Eskimo kisses from Daddy!
Full belly=sleepy baby.
Please, oh please stop taking pictures of me!
Meeting cousin Lukas for the first time! I can't wait to play with all my cousins!
Why hello, Uncle Matt!
Hi there, Aunt Nicole!
Addendum: Landry's cousin Caleb was also there, but he was very excited by all of Landry's things (swing, bouncer, exersaucer), probably because he remembered using them!
Kisses from my Mommy!
Sleeping on the Boppy...
Snuggles with Mommy for awake time after breakfast! I like this chair Uncle J fixed for me!
Trying out some tummy time on Grandma Dixie's blanket. My Mommy used this blanket when she was a baby.
I was not really interested in tummy time. But I WAS interested in my paci.
I'm a tired guy! But I am happy to be home!
All told, Landry's birth was quite the emotional rollercoaster. We were overjoyed to welcome our precious son, but very scared about having him in the NICU. I had to leave the hospital without my baby and I would never wish that feeling on anyone. Paul and I spent many nights crying and praying together. Our families were and are so supportive of us through this whole experience, and the love and support we have felt from our friends and even people we hardly know has been indescribable. We are so grateful for all of the love and prayers that Landry has received. He is truly a blessed little boy, and a blessing to our family!