Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Meet Peter Brian Russell.

Meet Peter Brian Russell. 

He was born on November 29, 2014
Two weeks early.
7lbs 4 oz.
19.5 inches long.

Here is our birth story:

I found out I was pregnant back in April. Eric and I were beyond excited (and a little(lot) nervous). Both my mom and my sister were both really sick(nauseous) in all their pregnancies. I was crossing my fingers that maybe I got the other genes... the ones where being pregnant was a piece of cake... but as many predicted I was lucky enough to learn that when people talk about morning sickness they really mean morning/noon/night/all day sickness. Pregnancy was a journey for me, and Eric was so patient with his sick and hormonal wife. Around the second trimester I made the decision to quit work and stay home for the rest of my pregnancy. Eric supported me, and I am so very thankful! My pregnancy consisted of throwing up, suddenly being allergic to the heat, understanding what sciatic pain means, and getting to experience contractions at 28 weeks and on.

Eric and I both had a feeling I would go early. With the amount of contractions I experienced the last couple of weeks and the discomfort I was having, we both were praying that I would go early. At my 36 week check up, I was 1cm dilated and the baby was nice and low.  All I wanted to hear at our appointment was... You will have you baby on this date... However all we got was, "Statistically speaking your baby will be born sometime around December 13, your due date." When I went in for my 37 week check, I had only progressed a little bit and was now barely 2cm dilated. At this appointment my doctor talked about how the chance of me having my baby will increase with each week as we get closer to 40 weeks... basically, that there wasn't a high chance I would go into labor that week. That night I was having some uncomfortable contractions - the only thing different on this night was they seemed to be regular, more uncomfortable and around 3-5 minutes a part (which really they were about 7 minutes apart, I was tracking them wrong. Oops...) and they lasted for 2 1/2 hours until we decided to call the doctor to see what we needed to do. The doctor told us to go in to the hospital and just get checked out. I hadn't progressed since my doctor appointment that day so I was sent home.

Surprisingly enough, I wasn't too discouraged. It was actually almost a relieved since I was so stressed about whether or not I was really in labor. That was Tuesday and I continued to have some uncomfortable contractions Wednesday and especially Thursday (Thanksgiving Day). On Thursday I told Eric the baby was welcome to come anytime after I finished my Thanksgiving Dinner. All I wanted was some delicious home cooked food. We went to a friends house and I was having contractions the whole time, but I knew they weren't close enough together or painful enough to be concerned that I was in labor so I just hung out. That night all I wanted to do was walk around and see if that helped, but good ol' Wisconsin decided to be FREEZING, temperatures were in the teens, so Eric and I decided we would walk around on Friday to get me out of the house.

Friday we walked around almost all day, got some few last minute things for the hospital and just windowed shopped all the black Friday sales. I felt a lot better that day, only have a few sporadic contractions throughout the day. We ended our night watching some Jimmy Falon and went to bed. As I layed in bed that night about the fall asleep I remember thinking...  Wow, I don't feel sick at all right now. No nausea, no contractions, I am going to sleep great tonight! and no sooner then I finished this thought did I have a contraction and felt a pinch/pop. Sure enough, my water broke. Eric had already fallen asleep, so I got the bag and myself ready - I just needed a moment to take in the fact that I would be seeing my little man in the next 24 hours and our lives would be changed forever - I then woke up Eric and told him I was pretty sure my water had broke and we needed the head to the hospital. After scraping off the ice from the conveniently timed frozen rain storm, we headed to the hospital about an hour later getting there around 1AM.

We got to the hospital around one, did the test to confirm my water had broke and I was in fact leaking amniotic fluid, which I was. At 2AM I was admitted into labor and delivery. I was still only 2cm dilated at this point. The real labor contractions started right when we got the hospital. I was not a fan! I knew I was going to get an epidural, I just hadn't really thought about how long I wanted to wait. The nurses said they would be in at 3AM to put in my IVs and get me ready for an epidural if that is what I wanted. I decided I would wait until then to get my epidural. I may be a wimp, but I stared at the clock unsure if I could even make it until then as my contractions came on stronger. I was having a couple of cluster contractions where I wasn't always getting a break in between them. Eric was my rock just sitting there with me. 3AM turned into 4AM by the time I was able to get my epidural. At this point I was dilated 3cm. People ask if the epidural hurt and my response is, I don't think so. I was having pretty strong contractions at this point so that is all I remember.

At 5:30AM when the nurses checked me to see if they needed to start pitocin, I had progressed to 5cm dilated on my own so they just let my body continue on its own. My new nurse came in probably around 8 to check on me. My doctor was on the way to the hospital that morning for a scheduled c-section and she wanted to check me so he knew how to handle his time when he came in. Eric was just waking up at this point and you can imagine his face when she checked me and said... Well you are at a ten, we'll start practice pushes while my doctor was still on his way. Crazy! After about an hour or less of real pushing once our doctor got there, our beautiful baby boy was born at 9:30am.

Labor was such a low key and intimate experience. For the majority of pushing it was just Eric, me, and our delivery nurse. Our little boy came out healthy and we were instantly in love!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Apostle Islands

Been way too long for a blog update. I meant to update this more often to document what we have been doing out here and so friends and family from home can see what we've been up to as well. And it's been over a year... oops. =)

Milwaukee has been pretty good to us. We love it here! I couldn't ask for a better place to live during fall. We went to a pumpkin patch called Elegant Farmer with some friends a couple weekends ago. The apple cider donuts are by far my favorite thing about going there. 

The trees are beautiful this time of year, even though they are starting to become pretty bare. The bitter sweet thing about fall is it means winter is right around the corner, which is depressing a little bit. Nothing could have prepared Eric and I for the record cold winter last year. It was the coldest winter Milwaukee has had in around 20 years or so, and predictions are that this winter will be right there with it. 
Tree in our backyard
One cool thing about last winter was it was SO cold that Lake Superior froze over and created access to these really cool ice caves in Northern Wisconsin. Eric and I decided to make the road trip to the Apostle Islands to see the caves since they can only be accessed every couple of years. We didn't know if it would happen again while we were here, so we headed up the last weekend they were allowing people to walk around. We went in March. It was awesome! So glad we made the drive! 

Just walking on one of the great lakes. No biggie....