By: Jennifer Murray

Hudson Bradley’s Birth Story: Part 3

Catch up on Hudson’s Birth Story Here:

Hudson Bradley’s Birth Story: Part 1

Hudson Bradley’s Birth Story: Part 2

Sorry to keep you hanging – It’s been a little crazy adjusting to my new full-time job (nursing Hudson). He’s a champ, though and doing SO WELL! He turns 6 weeks on Wednesday and is already 10lbs!!!  Back to his Birth Day…

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So I was able to be wheeled back to my recovery room with Hudson in my arms. I cannot even begin to describe how good that felt, being able to be with him after birth. We transitioned to skin to skin right away, which was another thing I didn’t get to experience with the boys. Tears freely rolled down my face as I looked into his and felt his little body on mine.

He began making some grunting sounds instead of crying, that caused some alarm, but often breathing improves with skin to skin, so my nurse was willing to give him a little time to work it out. Since he was struggling with full breaths, we didn’t get to try nursing, but I was super content to just get to take him in and enjoy the moment.

The whole moment was surreal. We had a BABY! ONE Baby. 

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Brad was able to go get the boys who had just arrived and bring them back to my room to meet their baby brother. Their eyes were wide in amazement and their smiles couldn’t have been wider. My mama heart burst.

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About 10 minutes into having the boys back with us, things started to get more serious. The enthusiasm and excitement that had been present in the delivery room faded. Phone calls were being made to a neonatologist, respiratory therapist, and things started feeling rushed. Brad took the boys back to the waiting room, and they gave Hudson some oxygen as he laid on my chest.

The respiratory therapist assigned to Hudson was one of the same one we had with the boys. What a provision and comfort from God! It became clear that his breathing was becoming more concerning and his time in my arms was coming to a quick end.

The respiratory therapist looked at me with empathy and kindness and asked if I was okay as I handed him over to her care. As much as I hated to give him up, I was certain he would just need a little extra care for a few hours, as many 36 weekers need. Although I didn’t want him to spend any time away from us, I knew the continued care nursery would be close by and was thankful we wouldn’t be having a NICU experience this time.

They wheeled me to my regular room, and shortly after Brad went to check on Hudson’s transition. We learned then that the oxygen support the Continued Care Nursery could offer was not enough. He was in the NICU, and had actually stopped breathing twice on his way there.

It was a tough blow. We obviously felt anxious, not expecting him to struggle this much. On top of that we weren’t able to be with him for several hours while they tried to stabilize him.

It was hard to not have thoughts of “why”. Why was he struggling as a 36 weeker? Why did I go into spontaneous labor instead of make it to his scheduled c-section? Why did we have to do the NICU again? Why couldn’t this be a normal happy birth day?  Why was God putting us through another scary trial? 

They put him on C-Pap and gave him a dose of Surfactant to help his lungs inflate fully, which seemed to show immediate benefits. My first thought when I saw him on C-Pap, was, “This is no big deal. It’s just C-Pap. Thank goodness he’s not on a vent.”

By the evening his oxygen support on C-Pap was near room air, and we began believing our return to the NICU would just be for a quick visit. We were able to see our little guy again and introduce him to grandparents and aunts. Things were improving, and he was beginning to look like he just needed a little extra TLC to give his lungs a boost. We knew he was in great hands at the largest {and best} NICU in the state, St. Vincent Women’s.

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Our spirits were up as we considered it an unexpected set back. As much as we wanted Hudson in the room with us, we hadn’t slept since Monday night and it was now Wednesday night. We were emotionally and physically ready to get some rest with hopes that everything was looking up from here…

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By: Jennifer Murray

Hudson Bradley’s Birth Story: Part 2

As I said in Part 1 of Hudson’s Birth Story, it still feels a bit surreal to write this story even though we are starting the 4th week of Hudson’s little life. This week was supposed to be his due date, but God had other plans…

So the middle of the night drive to St.Vincent Women’s was very uncomfortable. I felt like I was constantly contracting and couldn’t feel when they ended or started, which made me think the contractions weren’t “real” and I was just experiencing a very irritable uterus.

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They sent me straight to triage and began some of the check-in process bedside. I was hooked up to the monitors as they tried to track my super active little guy. The resident came in to access me, and gave us the news that I was “already in active labor”. I was shocked because my pain level was not high, and I just didn’t expect going into spontaneous labor after making it 32 weeks (and measuring into the 50’s) with our quad pregnancy. However, as we looked at the monitor my contractions were in a very predictable pattern, sometimes as frequent as every 2 1/2 minutes!

They began IV fluids to try hydration as a means to try to slow the contractions and put off delivery. At around 5am my on-call doctor (My doctor happened to be on vacation out of the country) moved me to a labor and delivery room so that I could try and get some rest and hold me off until at least later that morning when there would be all hands on deck staff-wise.

Things seemed to calm down significantly once I was in my room. Have you ever tried to REST on a gurney? Impossible!  We had more space, quiet, and comfort. Brad was able to doze off for an hour or so, and my discomfort improved. By 6:30am my contractions had slowed to every 5 minutes, decreased in intensity, and there was even talk of going home.

At 8:45am two of the doctors on staff as well as 2 residents came in the door. I was expecting an either “let’s watch you until this afternoon” or “go home, take it easy, and come back if anything changes” message. Instead, Dr. Bivens, simply came in and said “9:30”. It took us both a few moments to realize he meant a c-section at 9:30 – in less than 45 minutes! He didn’t want to risk my uterus rupturing due to my transabdominal cerclage, and he felt strongly that my contractions were not going away. (He was right, they started right back in and increased intensity immediately after he made his rounds.)

Everything went into fast forward mode of surgery prep and calling/texting family (who had no idea we were even in the hospital). We really had no time to process it at all. There was no alone time between Brad and I to talk or emotionally prepare. (I’m sure many of you have felt similarly with an emergent c-section situation.)

I remember telling Brad that I just didn’t want to do it (have the surgery). I was dreading the anticipation of the preparation, the surgery itself, and the recovery to follow. I was scared about going early, even though we should have been in the clear at 36 weeks.

I remember walking down the OR hallway in our blue surgery attire, and stopping to pray with our God-send of a nurse before I went in to be prepped. Sadly, I don’t remember one word of Brad’s prayer, but I remember holding his hand, hugging and kissing him goodbye, and feeling peace that God was with us. I knew we were in incredible hands, and I resided to trusting God’s timing.

All of the doctors and nurses in my delivery room were phenomenal.  Everyone was in great spirits and full of encouragement. Brad was escorted in just as they started. I was so extremely thankful to be able to have him in the room with me.

Although Hudson had been head down at our last appointment, he had moved all over the place since then, and they had a little bit of difficulty getting him out. He was (and is) SUCH a mover! It was so good to hear his cry and know he was outside me.

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Brad went over to check him out and was able to hold him next to me. I could not contain my emotions.

Instant love. Relief. Joy. Healing. Intense Thankfulness.

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I got to look at him and take him in, unlike the boys’ delivery where they were rushed off to a resuscitation room. It was over 48 hours before I was able to meet them, due to my own health being so critical. So needless to say, I couldn’t have been happier to have him in the room with me, as they completed my surgery, and continued to look him over.

And when they had me all put back together, there was this moment.

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All 6 lbs and 15 ounces of him in my arms, where I wanted him to stay forever, but where he would be taken from shortly…

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By: Jennifer Murray

Hudson Bradley’s Birth Story: Part 1

I’m still a bit in shock that I have this story to write, with all of its uncertainties and unexpected turns, but God’s faithfulness is woven into all the details. He knew. He wasn’t surprised or shaken. He had us in His hands the entire time.

So let’s rewind just a bit to the week before the birth day. We had just celebrated a great 35 week appointment. Hudson looked great on the ultrasound (although his size was starting to be a bit daunting when I thought about how big he might be at full term). My health checked out great as well and we scheduled a c-section date for Tuesday, July 12th. It was a super exciting day! We had an end goal, and no reason to believe we wouldn’t get there. After all, my uterus had already endured a quad pregnancy stretch, I had a transabdominal cerclage still in place, and everything was still going “vanilla”.

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We celebrated as a family with a lunch out at Bub’s Burgers. Overall, I was doing well for the third trimester. I was definitely feeling it, but reminded myself often that even the tough days were nothing in comparison to my 3rd trimester when I spent hospitalized for 4 weeks with the boys.

The night of turning 36 weeks pregnant Brad and I had a kid-free night, thanks to some super thoughtful friends. We spent a night at a hotel nearby and relaxed. (We even joked that it was within walking distance of two hospitals if I went into labor!)

The boys had a great time with their best friend, Henry, while Brad and I had some great conversation and time off together. We exchanged silly face photos between the boys. (Little did I know that I would be needing that crazy expression in about 24 hours.) 

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I was able to float in the pool both days, which felt so great on my body. I went home feeling the best I had felt in weeks! I even commented on the way home to Brad about how relaxed my body felt.

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That afternoon I rested in our quiet house, while Brad put together a Rock’n Play that we had picked up the day before. That evening Brad and I went to pick up the boys. On the way home I felt a lot of discomfort, which I chalked up to being in the car too long and the bumpy country roads. When I got home I took a warm bath and laid down, while Brad put the boys to bed.

At around 10pm as I laid on the couch, I knew I was having several contractions, but didn’t track them or realize there was any pattern. I assumed they were Braxton Hicks that would come and go as they had been daily. My stomach had been upset that afternoon/evening so I felt like that had triggered them.

As we went to bed around 11pm, I decided to track them on my app since they hadn’t calmed down. I couldn’t really decipher when they were starting or ending, if they were truly contractions or just irritability, or if they had a predictable pattern. However, I counted around 12 in the hour I monitored. As much as I wanted to deny them, I knew we needed to call into my on-call doc to get his input.

We called in, and there was absolutely no hesitation to have us come in. I had a hospital bag started and a list made, so I had Brad throw some things together purely “just in case” they decided to keep me overnight for observation.  I was reluctant to head to triage, because I wasn’t really in any pain, just discomfort, and I hated to go in just to be monitored for a couple of hours. However, I knew better than to stay home and take any risk.

By now it was around 12:30am, and we had to find someone who would answer their phone and come over to sit with the boys while they slept. Thankfully our friend Karen got the message and headed over right away.

I left the house uncomfortable, a little nervous, and more worried about missing a night of sleep than truly being in labor…

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