welcome to the johnson family blog~ my name is mindy & my husband is brian, aka baja. we have been married since 08.08.08. the two of us became the five of us! our tiny baby bird, vivienne, arrived 04.12.12, baby lucielle came on 08.06.13 and baby edith on 11.19.15. thanks for stopping by our blogsite. here you'll find our photography work & our personal life, everything from family portraits to what’s going on in our life. it’s both a blog (to connect with friends and family who live a little too far away) & a journal/scrapbook (to remember all the little details as our family changes). so welcome, thanks for coming & enjoy! contact me at: hopefeathers {at} me {dot} com.

May 16, 2012

Vivienne's Birth Story: Part II

Before I could get my epidural, I had to have an IV of a bag of fluids. My veins are hard to find and it was extra hard to be still during the contractions, but they finally got the IV started. Then began the waiting and coping. Brian was a great coach and helped me through each contraction. I felt a slight surge of excitement after each contraction because I knew that I was one contraction closer to meeting Baby Bird! Brian held my hand and kissed my forehead and encouraged me with truth to keep me calm. Without him, I easily could have started to panic and hyperventilate. My eyes were closed a majority of the time from either sheer exhaustion between contractions, or focused concentration during. Every once in a while, I'd take a peek at the IV bag to see if I was getting closer to when I was allowed to get the epidural. Our awesome labor nurse, Nancy, came in with another bag of fluids and explained that I needed to wait another 20-30 mins for my epidural because the anesthesiologist was called in for an emergency c-section and couldn't do it until he was finished there. It was torture to be that close to relief, but still so far! After 4 hours of the worst pain and the most concentrating I've ever done, the anesthesiologist entered our room at 10pm! Yay! The details here are a little fuzzy, but I remember him asking me to lay on my left side and bring my knees up to my chest. This position was excruciatingly uncomfortable when contractions hit. I thought I was going to pass out! He gave me a little shot to numb my back. As someone who hates needles, it hurt, but I would have rather had a million shots than feel another contraction! When my back was a bit numb, he asked me to lay perfectly still (even during a contraction!!!) as he inserted a small tube into my spine with a continual drip of numbing medication. These 5 minutes were the worst of the entire night! It was hard to be in that position and try to be still knowing that he's putting tubes in my spine!!! It all became worth it when three contractions later, I was able to take the first deep breath in 5 hours. I opened my eyes and saw Brian smiling at me. It really was an amazingly relaxing moment. I felt like I could finally process the fact that in only a few hours we would be meeting our baby! It was so freeing to know that Brian and I could enjoy these last moments just the two of us and share in the joy of what was about to happen without the distraction of pain. I was elated!
Twenty mins after I got the epidural at 10pm, Nancy came in and checked out the fetal monitor. She looked concerned and we asked what was wrong. She said that she didn't like how high the baby's heart rate had gotten. They like to see baby's heart rate be below 160bpm and our baby was 180-190bpm. She said that they would keep a close eye and if it doesn't get lower, then they'd call our OB. I was laying on me left side so I couldn't see the heart rate monitor, but Brian could and he started getting nervous about Baby Bird's heart rate not going down. He prayed for the Lord's protection over our little one. After a high heart rate for more than 30 mins, they paged the OB on call from our clinic. Unfortunately, it wasn't our OB, but we still felt comfortable and confident that Dr. Pettit would take care of us and our baby. She explained that Baby Bird was stressed and not doing well with labor and that's why the heart rate was high. She said that since we'd waited to see if it would go down and it hadn't, that there was a chance that baby would crash and we'd have to get an emergency c-section. Her recommendation was that we do an immediate c-section before it became an emergency situation because she didn't think that Baby Bird could handle several more hours of labor as I was still only dilated to 5cm.

My relaxed calm disappeared and my mind went foggy. I knew a c-section was always a possibility because Baby Bird was measuring so large, but I didn't really think through the possibility that baby could be in distress and needed to be born asap! Brian asked if we could have a moment alone for we say yes. He kissed me and we agreed that whatever was best for baby, was best for us. Then he prayed for the Lords protection over me and baby and for His will to be done. We texted the grandparents to come because we were going to have an emergency c-section within 15 mins. A couple minutes later, the nurses came back in the room and handed Brian some blue scrubs and a mask and told him to change into them. Then he held my hand as they wheeled me into the O.R. He couldn't come in right away because they had to prep me for the surgery, so he waited outside the room and prayed and texted people to pray for us as well. I hated being without Brian for the beginning part. I wished he could have held my hand through the whole thing. But there was a really sweet adorable grandpa type man who was in charge of monitoring my vitals. He would put his hand on my face and gently whisper that I was doing so well. It was so comforting. I wanted to hug him when it was all over... but I was strapped down and numb. They put up the draping so I couldn't see the surgery. They pumped me full of even more numbing medication in my epidural. They strapped my arms down. Then they said that they were going to test my numbness by pinching me with some clamps. I couldn't feel it. So they started cutting. Then they called Brian in. It was nerve wracking for them to cut me open without Brian holding my hand! When he got to my side, he held my hand and smiled. Then he leaned past the blue draping so that he could watch the surgery. He kept leaning back to tell me how cool it was. I remember shaking uncontrollably and feeling really cold. The one part of our birth plan that I was adamant about was that I wanted Brian to be the one to announce to me who has been in my tummy for 9 months. I remember hearing the Doctor say, "Ok, Dad. Are you ready?" and they pulled Baby Bird out of my tummy! Brian watched the whole thing and said, "It's Vivienne!" We were both SO surprised! We both thought she was going to be a boy!
Papi in his blue scrubs as he tells the family in the waiting room that we are headed into surgery!
Our daughter, Vivienne Ruth Johnson was born on 4/12/12 at 12:08pm. She weighed 9 lbs exactly and was 21.5 inches long. Brian said that as soon as they pulled her out she cried and turned pink immediately. Her apgar score was 9/10 at 1 min and again 9/10 at 5 mins. Brian went over and cut the umbilical cord. They then had to take her out of the O.R. to run some tests and monitor her because of the meconium. Apparently the reason for all of the distress (poop in my tummy and high heart rate) was because the umbilical cord was wrapped around her neck! So scary! Glad I had a c-section so that they were able to get her out safely! As soon as they could, they held Vivienne up to my face and I was able to nuzzle her and kiss her sweet cheeks. Unfortunately that was the only contact I had with her for TWO HOURS! A major drawback to a c-section! I wanted so badly to bond with her right away.
Vivienne's first photo
Mommy gets to nuzzle sweet Viv for the first time. I wanted to scoop her up, hold her tight and never let her go! But I was still cut open so it wasn't an option!
More first snuggles from mommy!
Proud Papi
Brian joined Vivienne for some testing and I was left in the O.R. so the doctor could finish sewing me back up. It was kinda hard to be left alone, but I wanted Brian to be with Vivienne so he could hold her and love and and do some skin-on-skin for bonding. I was groggy and numb in the recovery room for an hour while Brian held Vivienne by my hospital bed. I remember being incredibly thirsty, but I could only eat a couple ice chips at a time. As soon as I had regained feeling in my arms, I was able to hold my sweet baby girl! She was hungry so I breastfed her for the first time! It was surprisingly second nature. Vivienne fell asleep in my arms and I fell head over heels in love with her! Brian went to the waiting room to announce Vivienne's birth with his "Vivienne's Papi" shirt to our families in the waiting room. By 2:15 am, I was recovered enough to hold Vivie as they wheeled us to our room. At 2:30 am, our family came in and got to meet Vivienne! It was so awesome to see their joy. They didn't stay long because it was the middle of the night and they were all coming back the next day. By 3 am, our new little family was finally alone for the very first time! Other than nurses coming in to check on my recovery and give me pain medication, we got to enjoy our first sleepless night with our new daughter! Well, it was sleepless for me. Brian fell asleep while I fed Vivienne and once she fell asleep, I simply enjoyed looking at her and holding her for two hours! Because I couldn't get out of bed, I needed to wake Brian up to put Vivie in her bassinet so I could get some rest too. That was easier said than done. I "yelled" his name several times, but nothing! Finally I threw some ice cubes at him and it worked! Poor guy was exhausted!

Vivienne's first bath
Papi snuggles while Mommy recovers from surgery
Meeting Grandma Diane for the first time
(L) Meeting Grandma Dina for the first time. (R) Papi changing his first diaper... EVER!
On April 12, 2012, Vivienne Ruth Johnson enjoyed her first sunrise. We love her so dearly!!!

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