June 23, 2009

Grandma and Grandpa Sampson left over the weekend. Everyone misses them terribly. We have had so much help here and we are so grateful. It has been wonderful to have both our families be able to come visit and lend a hand this time. W enjoyed having everyone here and love you all.
Mom and Dad went to church the first Sunday with us and performed a miracle. Porter, who has refused to stay in nursery without me went in without a single complaint and had a great time. This week, he stayed with just a little fuss, mostly for show. I am so glad for the turn around. Now I can go back to my classes again. :) This picture is after church. We tried to get one of everyone smiling, but it took a couple tries.

Our in-laws, Robyn and Mike gave this awesome shirt to us when we were there visiting them, and I love it. If you can't see it in the picture it says, "Does this diaper make my butt look big?"

He looks a little suspicious, a common look in the first several days. He wasn't sure about this new world.

His first bath.
He is just so cute, we have to take all kinds of pictures.
This was yesterday. He is already getting bigger.
While Grandpa Sampson was here, Porter was his shadow. Everything he did, Porter did too. He was very sad to see "gampa" go. He hasn't learned 'Grandma' yet, but he misses them both. When he got up this morning he asked about them, ready to go to the guest room and get them.
At Merlin Olsen Park. He had so much fun there with Grandpa several times. he didn't have nearly as much fun with me there today.

Playing peek-a-boo with Grandma.
Adam called to me last night to bring the camera and when I got to the bedroom, this is what I saw.
Porter likes to go in the bedroom and find Adam's change and put it in our piggy bank, which is a big pink pig. I guess this time it went in a different type of piggy. :) Sorry about the sideways video. We always forget that we can't turn the camera to take a video, but it was too cute not to post.

June 14, 2009


How could I forget how good babies smell, or how cute those half asleep smiles are?

June 09, 2009

First days at home

Porter was, and is still, really really excited about baby Gabe. He loves to do anything to help and hold the baby...to the point of being really really upset when there are things he can't help with and when he can't hold him.

We are so sad Mom had to go home today, but so grateful that she was able to come. She was such a big help with everything, especially Porter. He loves her to death and is so good for her. Thanks Mom for everything. We love you.
My boys. Aren't they the most handsome men? :)


Can you guess which is is Porter and which is Gabe?

June 08, 2009

Gabriel Otto Sampson

Saturday June 6Th, 2009, Gabriel Otto Sampson finally came to meet his family. We are so happy to have him here. He is very mellow and sleepy still, but as cute as can be. Here is his story. (Sorry for those of you who don't like long ones, but this is more for me, so I want to write everything down that I remember, while it is still fresh in my mind.)

A couple weeks ago, Adam gave me a blessing. I was promised that both I and the baby would be healthy, that the birth of our child would be difficult, but it would also be both peaceful and joyful, and that I would know when it was the right time.

On Friday morning at 2 am I was woken up by a pretty strong contraction, and I just had the feeling that this was it. It was the right time. Contractions stayed pretty strong all through the day, gradually moving from 8 minutes apart to 3-5 minutes. I had practiced my breathing and meditation and that worked great for me. I am so happy for everything I studied up on about hypnobirthing. It made most of my labor a fairly pleasant experience.

They say that second labors tend to go a little quicker. That wasn't the case for me, but we did make good progress throughout the day. I had a regular doctor's appointment scheduled at 3 so we went to that and met the Dr who was on call that weekend. My regular doctor was out of town. I was glad we met him that afternoon, since he ended up being the doctor to deliver Gabe. Of all the doctors in that practice he would have been my second choice after our regular doctor and now in hindsight, I would bump him up to #1. At 3pm I was dilated 3+ cm and he told us we didn't need to go in to the hospital if we didn't want to and could go home until later, which we did. We wanted to spend as much time at home as possible.

By 2 am the next day, I was still in labor and starting to wear down. I still wasn't in a great amount of pain, but I couldn't sleep through the contractions, and I knew that if I was going to be able to push when the time came, that I was going to need to get some rest somehow. After 24 hours of active labor, my body was very tired. I was falling asleep between contractions for a minute or two only to be woken by the next one. We decided that even though it was quite early in the morning, we needed to call in our support people for Porter and head to the hospital. I hadn't planned on an epidural, but I knew if I got one, I would be able to get some sleep, and have a better chance of a successful vbac. I was worried that if I didn't, I would not have the energy I needed and end up with a c-section just for that reason. It turns out, that was a really good idea, since I ended up continuing on for several more hours.

Not too long ago, I talked to a student who had done a rotation in this hospital's maternity ward. She had worked with all the nurses there and also recently had a baby there, so she had great advice for me. She gave me the names of some of the best nurses who are very supportive of natural birth and really good with the moms. It turns out I didn't even need to request anyone. The nurse she said was the absolute best came on her shift right after we got there and she was able to stay with us the entire time. She was amazing. Great personality and so great with us.

Since I was considered high risk as a vbac patient, they do a lot of extra monitoring to make sure everything is okay. (Ironic since this is the more natural method) She was very good about explaining why they needed to do a particular thing and how it would be done. Both she and the doctor always gave us our options and never pushed one way or the other. I think I was hooked up to every device, tube and monitor possible. And just when I thought I had everything, they added the oxygen mask, just to prove me wrong. :)

When I got to the hospital I was at 6+ cm and almost completely effaced, but still a little high. It was going to take some time for him to drop so they planned to get me the epidural and then break my water to bring him down a little better, which would probably take some time. I came in just at the right moment for the anesthesiologist and was able to get the epidural right away. They broke my water and then let me go to sleep. Normally they move you around every thirty minutes so that the epidural stays even on both sides, but he was dropping better when I stayed on my left side, and his heart beat was stronger that way, so I was able to get some really good rest for a couple hours without being disturbed to change positions.

A little after nine o'clock they checked me and I was complete. They let me rest for another twenty minutes to see if he would move down any more on his own. He didn't really, so they got me started pushing. I have what they call a low-lying pelvis so his head had a hard time coming down under it, which was part of why it took so long. He also kept rotating his head position. They had a scalp monitor on his head and he kept twisting it into the doctors way. I think he was just trying to get in the best position. After almost three hours he was just low enough that they could use the vacuum to help guide his head. The Dr had to turn his head because he was still facing sideways, and it turns out we discovered he also had his hand up by his face, so there were several factors making it difficult. We were so happy to have such a supportive Dr and nurse who cheered us on and did everything they could to make sure we didn't end up needing a c-section.

We found out after that the Dr had assembled a c-section team, just in case, but he never said it to us. He was always really encouraging and positive, and I personally am so grateful for that. If he had come in and told me that he had that team ready and waiting, I would have gotten so discouraged and might have given up. The nurse was always really encouraging also. She and Adam would chat between contractions, distracting me from how tired I was and making time go by faster.

Adam was a great labor coach. He jumped in and helped me in every way he could, boosting my spirits and keeping me going. For about a third of the time both the doctor and nurse would leave the room for a bit, so just Adam and I were together and he did great, leading me through the contractions and counting out my breath. It was really special to have those moments alone with him. After about an hour of pushing I was hitting my limit and during one of those alone times, I asked Adam to say a prayer. Almost immediately after, I got another wind and was able to keep going with much more energy. We prayed again in one of those times, towards the end, right before they were going to try the vacuum as our last effort. I think it made all the difference in the world.

We didn't get to keep Gabe right away. Because they had used the vacuum, they wanted to get him to the nurse right away to make sure everything was good. He had a slightly fast heart rate so they took him to the nicu to listen to it on the monitor for a bit. It was fine, and everything else looked good. He had 8 and 9 on his apgars. They kept him in the nicu for a couple hours just to keep an eye on the bruise from the vacuum and make sure it didn't cause any problems, which it didn't. I had a small tear that they sewed up and other than that I was fine too. We both have recovered very well.

Because they had wanted to take him up to the nicu, I didn't hold him right away. We had him for a minute or two before they took him and Adam got to hold him, but I started shaking from the epidural and adrenaline and didn't for fear of dropping him. We were waiting to see him before deciding on a name, so when Adam came back in and asked me what name I thought, I said I didn't know yet, because I hadn't really spent any time with him. He, who hadn't really been gung ho about the name before this, said he thought he looked like a Gabriel; a little angel. Once we got him back to the room with us and spent some time with him, it became clear that it was true, the name just fit him. We chose Otto as his middle name from Adam's side of the family. He has fond memories of an relative named Otto in Germany, and his grandmother's brother is named Otto as well. All in all, we think he has a great name with a lot of history and something to live up to.

Gabe had his two day check today and the doctor was amazed at how well he is doing. His bruise is healing much, much fast than the 4-6 weeks that he had predicted, almost all the swelling is gone and it is looking better and better so they didn't need to do a hematocrit test for that. He didn't need another bilirubin test because he isn't jaundiced, as the doctor had expected in the first few days. The only test they did was a test to check for anemia because of the bruise, and it was so good it shocked the doctor. It was 7.8 on Saturday and they would expect for it to have gone down to hit it lowest level today, and it was an 18; very good. He said he didn't know how it had risen so much in just two days, but whatever we were doing to keep it up.

All in all, I know we were blessed to have such a good experience. The blessing Adam gave me came about completely. We had such a peaceful, joyful experience. The doctor and nurse we had made sure that we never had anything to worry about. They put us completely at ease and made me feel so comfortable and cared for. I was completely at peace. It was difficult. Even with a great epidural, it was still very painful and hard, but I wouldn't trade the experience for anything. Both Gabe and I are perfectly healthy and healing well. He completes the next step in our family and we can't imagine life without him.

Thank you everyone for your support, phone calls, prayers in our behalf, and all the little things you do. We are so grateful for the fantastic friends and family we have.