Happy One Month, Briggsy Boy!

While I realize that my baby boy is already 5.5 weeks old, I still wanted to write a one month post. I was waiting until I was done with his video. However, with a newborn, my schedule is no longer my own. So I am finally finished! I plan to make a few of these every now and again so I can capture our lives together step-by-step in a way that I truly enjoy. I hope you enjoy watching it!

What we learned about our Briggsy this month:
  • He loves music
  • He can follow objects with his eyes
  • He can already hold his head up for long periods of time
  • He loves to snuggle on mommy's or daddy's chest
  • He always seems to be fussy when someone new visits
  • He hates sitting in wet diapers but doesn't mind dirty ones
  • He is never phased by Lola's barking
  • He doesn't mind a bath
  • His favorite place is his changing table
  • He only likes the soother pacifiers so far
  • He likes to stay up late and sleep in late like his parents
  • He really has no schedule quite yet
  • He's already losing his newborn hair
  • He still has steel blue eyes
  • His daddy actually doesn't mind changing his diapers
  • Mommy won't let anyone else feed him yet
  • Lola gets mad if we let him cry
  • Our love for him has turned our world upside-down

Our boy is definitely growing! Just look at the difference between his new born picture and his one month picture! I never thought I would have a tall kid...but that is exactly what he is right now!

One Month Measurements:
11 lbs 10 oz.
22.5 in. long 

My 10-pound Treasure

Today was a tough day for me. I tried to deny it. I wanted to avoid it. But......

We officially had to put away some of Briggs's newborn clothes. My big boy is already a 10-pounder! Praise the Lord that he is a healthy and growing boy. I know he can't stay my newborn forever. It just goes to show how precious time is and to truly treasure every day...it is such a gift.

Play time!

After a long day at work.
Lola treasures him too.

Carry Me Through

Just a word of warning: this post was very difficult for me to write and perhaps difficult for others to read. I almost didn't post it but I wanted to be truthful in what I went through and maybe even bring some awareness to my situation. Also, I think I needed to post it for acceptance- of myself.

I was blessed with a very healthy pregnancy. I thought the toughest part about having a baby would be getting the baby out. Honestly, labor was not the most physically difficult thing I have dealt with before. I wouldn't say it was a walk in the park, but it was much more tolerable than I had expected. However, I never expected postpartum recovery to be so difficult. Before explaining my pp complications, I would first like to point out how THANKFUL I am that Briggs was born such a healthy boy. He has adjusted at home like a champ. So that was my first priority. So now it was time to get his mommy healthy.

The first few days of recovery were fairly normal. I was in some pain, but the meds helped and I was just physically exhausted...which was to be expected. Then on Day 4 of postpartum, water started tasting a little funny to me. Water shouldn't have a taste, right? I didn't think much of it. I just assumed it was a side effect from my medicine. So that evening, I took a nap while Briggs was napping. When I woke up about an hour later, I experienced one of the scariest moments of my life. My sister and Ryan had ordered us sushi. When I went to take a bite, I couldn't taste anything on the left side of my tongue. Then I realized my face felt funny. So I ran to the bathroom and looked in the mirror. I was horrified to discover that the entire left side of my face was paralyzed. I could still feel it, but I couldn't move it. I thought I had had a stroke. I immediately called the OB on-call. I was hysterical. She told me it was most likely postpartum bells palsy. It was not a stroke. And MOST LIKELY I would get function of my face back. Wonderful. She prescribed some steroids and referred me to an ENT.

Sunday Night
Tuesday Night

The next two weeks were emotionally very confusing. On one hand, it was the happiest time of my life but on the other hand I was humiliated to show any kind of emotion in my face because that would only enhance the appearance of my paralysis. It was difficult to eat. I slurred when I talked. I could only drink through a straw. I was so ashamed for Ryan to even look at me. I had an MRI done just to rule out a tumor. Luckily, no tumor. I have been in and out of doctors appointments to monitor progress and to make sure it actually was bells. Praise the Lord, I am happy to say that I almost symptom free now after 2.5 weeks. I still have weakness on my left side, but most people probably wouldn't be able to tell. The worst symptom now is that my left eye is so dry still, I have to wear glasses all the time. (I'm afraid Briggs won't recognize me once I can wear contacts again.)

Why did I get this? The ENT doctor told me it was a freak thing. The pregnancy related bells is more common in women who are in their third trimester. Then there is a very tiny percentage who get it postpartum.  She said it could be due to stress and inflammation. The way to fight it is by taking steroids (sorry Briggsy boy if you become a meat head in your teenage years) and...time. I know it may sound like I am being completely vain, and I have realized that perhaps I need to reevaluate this weakness in my life. However, it was so difficult to wonder if Briggs would ever see me smile, or if Ryan would ever be able to look at the woman he married ever again. Would I ever be able to invite my friends over and hang out without feeling ashamed or trying to hide my face?

I sent up so many prayers trying to accept whatever fate God had in store for me. Finally, as I lifted my troubles to Him, my face slowly began to heal. Now I am able to go out in public again (besides doctor appointments). Briggs and I took our first trip to the gym this week. We were able to walk a mile around the indoor track. I also went out to lunch with Briggs and my real estate team for one of their birthdays. I am starting to feel like myself again. For the few of you who knew, thank you for your prayers. For the majority of you who did not know, I'm sorry I didn't say anything. I wasn't ready to face the truth about my condition. I know that you all would have accepted me and loved me with open arms...I just had to figure out how to do that for myself. I am blessed beyond measure for my friends, family and my Lord for carrying me through.

This is how He helped carry me through:

His Birth Story

24 hours exactly before meeting my baby
1.5 week-old Briggs and mommy
I feel as though Briggs's birth story starts out a little earlier than when I thought it would have (although I didn't know it at the time.)  As I mentioned in the 37 week post, I had been having contractions frequently and was dilated to 1 cm at that week's appointment. Leading up to my 38 week appointment on a Friday, the story was still the same. I was so convinced that at that appointment I was going to be dilated to at least 3 cm because I was so uncomfortable and had been having contractions all week long. Well, sure enough my OB was delivering a baby that morning so I was checked by the Physician's Assistant. Unfortunately, I had not progressed at all! I might have been a little more effaced, but that was it. Needless to say, my spirits were pretty down. It wasn't because I wasn't going into labor yet, it was because I was feeling so much activity but nothing was happening. I was beginning to worry I was going to go way passed due being a first time mom. I really did not want to be induced either.

That next Monday the 16th, was Ryan's birthday. Our families all met at Bazbeaux's for his birthday celebration. The whole night, I was miserable. I definitely felt the contractions about 5 minutes a part for at least one minute. However, it was more uncomfortable than painful, so I just figured it was more of those pesky Braxton Hicks that I had been dealing with for the last two weeks. That night, we had cake and ice cream. We took the following picture because my parents have a picture just like this one 2 days before I was born on my dad's 27th birthday. Guess what birthday this was for Ryan?

My contractions continued throughout the next day. So on Tuesday, I finally convinced myself maybe this really is something. So I called the doctor. They had me come in. I was checked. I was now "a little" over 1 cm. I cried. (How do OB's deal with all these hormonal women, by the way?) She gave me some meds to relax my body. She said my body was kind of in spaz mode. They hooked me up for a non-stress test just to make sure the baby was ok. He was perfect. However, they did detect my contractions. They thought the new meds would help my body relax and help me sleep so if I really was in early labor, perhaps my body could be a little more productive. They did help me sleep. However, at that point I was mentally preparing myself to not be able to meet my baby until around 41 weeks.

Wednesday was a pretty non-active day as far as contractions. I was physically feeling better but still pretty down in the dumps. Then on Thursday my mom and sister were sick of me moping around so they took me to Broad Ripple so we could walk around and shop at some of the local baby and bridal boutiques. It was so nice to get out of the house despite being the size of a jumbo jet. I felt really good for the first time in a month. When Ryan came home that night, I had convinced myself that I was going to just relax and enjoy the rest of the time of just being us two. So we had a quiet night. We even tried starting a puzzle. I suck at puzzles. So Ryan worked on the puzzle and I drank pineapple juice- I think I had read somewhere that it helps induce labor. So it was a crazy night at the Robinson household- fo sho. I had fallen asleep on the couch and I barely remember Ryan helping me to bed.

Then at about 1:00am Friday morning at 39.2 weeks pregnant, I woke up from the contractions again. Ryan was still awake. I was joking around saying this was it. But I really thought my body was just playing tricks on me again. These contractions were different though. They completely wrapped around my back and I definitely couldn't talk through them. However, I was so hesitant to call the doctor on-call because I didn't want to wake her in the middle of the night and I didn't want to drive 35 minutes to the hospital, only to be disappointed again. However, the contractions intensified. I continued to labor at home for about 2 hours. I finally convinced myself to call the doctor when I felt something move...like the baby's head. The doctor sent us up to the hospital. The contractions continued all the way up to Carmel. Ryan was awesome. He helped coach me through each one despite the fact that he was driving. When we got there, a nurse greeted us at labor and delivery. She said, "So you think this is the real thing?" and I said, "I hope so...otherwise this really sucks." So I get all gowned up, she checks me, and...........I was dilated to 4 almost 5! The nurse told us we were there to stay. Hallelujah!! I then smiled at Ryan and said "We get to meet our baby today!"

Things moved pretty quickly after that. They sent me to a labor and delivery room. Gave me my IV's and the glorious epidural. I didn't even feel it because I was having a contraction through the sticking. I was a little worried that the epi would slow down my progress, but it definitely did not. The only scary thing that happened, was that at one point it had lowered my blood pressure so much that I felt as though I was either going throw up or pass out or both. The baby was distressed from the drop as well. The whole medical crew came in and helped me through it both emotionally and physically. After that we kept a very close eye on both my BP and the baby's heart rate and both were at a healthy place for the remainder of labor.

At 7:00am, the doctor on call (Dr. Raney) came in to check me and break my water. I was now at 7cm on my own and 100% effaced. She broke my water and then headed back to the office in Zionsville. My nurse then asked if I would mind if two Purdue student nurses could sit in during my delivery. I told her I didn't mind as long as they weren't my former students-ha. So I met the student nurses...and despite being form Purdue, were precious and ended up being my saving grace.

At around 10:00 am, I was feeling a TON of pressure. I didn't have the strongest epi as it was at my request, but the pressure definitely was getting way intense. My nurse and the student nurses came in and I asked her when I was going to get checked again. She said Dr. Raney told her not to check me again until 11:00am because I was a first time mom. I told her she should check me soon because I was feeling so much pressure AND every woman in my family has had super fast deliveries. She told me that was good to know, but didn't want to check me too much. The student nurses looked concerned as they left the room. At around 10:30, the nurse and the student nurses came back in. The student nurse had convinced her to come in and check me...thank goodness she did! I was dilated to 10cm and the baby was at a +2 station. I was ready to push-and my doctor was at the office in Zionsville. The nurse calls my doctor then (Dr. Johnson) and she leaves the office and rushes over the hospital. It took her way longer than usual because roads were blocked off. So I had to wait until 11:00 until she got there to start pushing. I was so ready to push and felt helpless because I had to wait.

As soon as she got to the room at 11:00, I began to push right away. Ryan was on my right, coaching me through the whole thing. He was awesome...but I think the doctor was getting frustrated when he would let go of my foot to go cool himself down between contractions-ha. My mom and sister were behind my head recording the whole thing on video and taking pictures. I really wanted to have his first breath recorded.  I remember the doctor and the nurse kind of giving each other a look after pushing through the 3rd contraction. In my head, I was kind of freaking out thinking the baby's head was stuck and I went through all this only to have an emergency C-section. So I put myself in a very determined and focused mental zone. I had the eye of the tiger and was not about to give up. So I pushed through about two more contractions and then-on the first push of my final contraction, he literally flew out like a jet. It scared me so much I screamed! I was not expecting him to fly out so fast that the doctor literally had to catch him.

So then we met. He was such a "perfect pink" the nurse told me that they let him stay on my chest for about a half hour without even taking him away to measure him or take his vitals. It was the most spiritual and breathtaking moment I have ever experienced in my life. My son had arrived. He was beautiful and healthy...my prayers had been answered. At that moment I had finally understood the magnitude of God's love for me. Praise God for our miracle!!

The first text I read once in postpartum, was from John Noel, the preacher who married us but who is also one of our best friends in the entire world. His text was a simple prayer for Briggs. I can't think of a more appropriate way to wrap up this post and start a new life with these words:

What's in a name?

Many people have been asking how we came up with Briggs's name. Well here is somewhat of an explanation and meaning behind our son's names:

We came up with Briggs because the girls I hung around with in college had a friend named Briggs. I always loved his name because it was so unique and very masculine. The name was always in the back of my mind. And plus I thought Briggs Robinson sounded good for a little guy or for an adult. Ryan makes fun of me because I had a 4-step test for our baby's first name:

Test 1: Can you picture him with that name as a baby? 
Test 2: Can you picture using his name at a parent-teacher conference for elementary school?
Test 3: Can you picture the announcer saying his name as he steps up to the plate in his high school baseball game?
Test 4: Can you picture him introducing himself as a young adult at his first real job interview?

"Briggs" passed all the tests with flying colors...so that is how it became official!

We came up with Beto (Bet-oh) because it was my grandpa's name on my dad's side (Roberto but people only called him Beto). If I am the clone of my dad, dad was the clone of my grandpa- both in personality and in appearance. I was SO very close to my grandpa Beto. One of the last things he said to my dad was how he was proud of who he was and that he was just like him. And then he went on to say and then there is Krista...she is just like us. We live on! So I knew I always wanted my grandpa to "live on" with my first son. So thats why Briggs is my little Beto. 

On my dad's way to the hospital the morning I was in labor, the song that reminded us of grandpa in his final months came on the radio. When dad came and told me while I was in the delivery room, I started crying because I was filled with so much joy because i definitely felt my grandpa's spirit with me when little Briggs was coming into the world. 

Kara, my lovely Grandma, me, my cousin Lorin, and Grandpa Beto
Also, I still plan on posting his birth story soon, but in the meantime here is a sneak peak of one of Briggsy's newborn photos. As soon as I receive the rest, I will post those as well. 
He honestly is the best thing that has ever happened in my life. Here is my life:

"The moment a child is born, the mother is also born. She never existed before. The woman existed, but the mother, never. A mother is something absolutely new." ~Rajneesh