Thursday, March 31, 2011

Gracie's Story

Short Story: Grace Kelly Shaw arrived in our family on January 14th, 2011 at 4:36am. She was 4lbs 15oz and 18 inches long. Labor was very long (30 hours), but totally worth it. The only complications that this little preemie had was severe jaundice (not normal baby jaundice, but preemie jaundice) and bacterial pneumonia. We are very very blessed!!!

Here is the long version:

At 31 weeks pg, we were told that something was just not right with my growth and Gracie's. We were watched closely.

At 33 weeks pg, we discovered that my amniotic fluid had dropped to 4.5 cm, but baby was doing fine. We were admitted to the hospital for a few days and then sent home on bedrest.

At 34 weeks pg, the fluid had dropped even more to 3.4cm, barely. Again, admitted to the hospital...this time to stay until delivery. Delivery was estimated at 36-37 weeks.

Here is where it all started. lol. Admitted at 2 in the afternoon on Wed, the 12th of Jan. I was having some minor contractions and was 1cm dilated. Was told that I was not allowed out of bed for anything other than going to the restroom. And needed to take in as close to 4,000 calories a day as I could!!!!! SERIOUSLY! My weight had dropped, and they were concerned that baby Grace was suffering from a lack of food. AKA slowly starving. (Horrible to be told that your disease is causing your baby to starve.)

By 7:00pm, Brian and I were all resting easily with our laptops and tv going. We were preparing our minds to 2 weeks of hospital bed rest. THEN...whamo. Our nurse came in and told us that the dr had discussed with a specialist and decided that the risk of keeping Gracie in...was greater than her risks out. And, we would be inducing in just a mere 3 hours!!!! Honestly, the Lord had already prepared my heart for whatever was going to come. I was not attached to any dreams of how labor would happen...I just wanted my daughter to be born alive.

At 10:00pm on Wed evening...the induction began. I actually asked for an Ambien so that I could sleep some. Moderate cramping in my back set in, contractions 5 min apart or so, and an ache in my hips that would not go away. Livable by all means. Starting to think that maybe this would go quickly and that by the afternoon, I would have my baby!

At 12:00 on Thursday afternoon, the contractions were every 3 min apart. They were strong...but not strong enough. I was at the maximum level of Pitocin. And, I had only dilated to 2.5 cm. By this time, my contractions were still very manageable, but the pain in my hips was causing me a lot of problems. Also, I was sick to my stomach and was needing to go to the bathroom every 20 min. I am not joking. Finally, they put a catheter in at 1, b/c I was just really struggling with the bathroom issue. We played Phase 10 for awhile...I had to finally call it quits though.

At 2:00 pm on Thursday, the nurse could tell I was starting to enter the stage of not coping with the pain as much. I still felt that the contractions were not horrible and confident that I could continue, but the catheter and hip issues were sending me over the edge. I was now dilated to 3cm...and they wanted me to consider the epidural b/c my body needed to relax. I took it, even though I felt I could have gone on more. It paralyzed one side of me and didnt effect the other side at all. Interesting.

At 5:00pm on Thursday, they broke my water. Contractions were every 2-3 min apart and getting stronger. We thought, this is it! Wrong. lol

At 10:00pm on Thursday, I had been in labor for almost 24 hours. I was quite discouraged. Still 3 cm, still no change. Still sick. Still half paralyzed. And struggling a little mentally from a lack of sleep. The dr came in and asked if I would consider a pressure point massage b/c she felt it would help push things a little faster. Baby was doing I agreed. Massage Therapist was a weird one, and we all got a kick out of her later on. Also around that time, my Dr gave me the option of a C-Section b/c she knew that I was just not ready. After all, they were trying to make a baby come...and it was just too early for her! I declined and told her that if by 10 the following morning, I was still pg, then we could discuss it.

At 2:00am on Friday, I awoke to crazy insane pain. And drenched in sweat. Epidural was no longer working. And would not work again, except for a tad bit of relief here and there. The pain was basically there to stay. BUT, my body had finally kicked in and things were moving. From there on, things went fast. From 3cm to 10cm in less than 2 hours.

At 4:00am, I told them that I felt that it was time to go. Sure enough, it was. With now no pain meds in me... I started pushing. After 12 great pushes, Grace Kelly Shaw entered into our world at 4:36 am. Alive. She did not cry at first, but looked great. Preemie everything. She weighed in at 4lbs 15oz and 18 inches long. 8 out of 10 for her apgar score!!! The ped specialist just looked over at Brian and shook his head. She was a miracle. They were floored that she was so perfect. Our nurse even cried over the fact that the Lord had done such a mighty work in this little ones life.

From that point, we have had several setbacks...Including a week on the bili blanket and a NICU stay for Pneumonia. BUT, the Lord is a good and gracious and merciful Lord, and Gracie is evidence of it. Even if things aren't always exactly perfect in my eyes.

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Monday, March 7, 2011


The many Christmas's of The Shaw Family
I know, I's March. Who really cares though, right??? 5 years from now, when I look back on this post, I will remember that life was so full in the end of 2010 and begining of 2011...that I didn't have time to stop and post on my blog until March. I will remember that Christmas that year was a calm before a storm...a beautiful blizzard of a storm. And I will remember that I loved this Christmas. :)

Christmas at Home

This year, we had our Christmas Morning at home...and on Christmas Eve! We wanted the kids to be able to open their gifts at home, and to have some time to enjoy them, so we decided to open one day early. There were really no complaints with this! lol We loved having Christmas in the little farm house. Hard to believe that next Christmas, we will have a little one toddling around and grabbing all the ornaments off the tree. For this year, Charlie had that job.

Christmas with the Teens

I tell you, the teens in our ministry, are really just like family in many ways as well. We love them, and miss them when we are away from them. For Christmas this year, the group went downtown for light gazing, carriage rides, and the Spaghetti Factory!

Can you see the awesome shoes that Nicki and I spotted???
It is good to have a fellow shoe lover for a friend.

Hannah...not Banana

Christmas at the Shaw's

This year, all of Brian's extended family from Arkansas and Mississippi came up for an Indiana Christmas. It was a full house, but there was a lot of fun to be had! We played games non-stop, went on a "cousins" date, and really enjoyed the fellowship.

(Abbie and Isaac with one of their favorite doggies...Meater. He has been with Aunt Amanda and Uncle Justin for as long as they can remember.

Now that, is cut throat card playing.

BLING! Cory showing off his awesome Santa Bingo prize.

Out on the town...kinda. "Cousins" date. Hopefully a new tradition.

Christmas at the Pulliam's

Christmas at my Mom and Dad's house is like going to Mr and Mrs Claus's. Everything is just perfect and you have that warm fuzzy feeling like when you just come in from the snow and are drinking hot cocoa. Know what I am talking about???

Aren't my parents beautiful? (Or handsome...depending on who you look at!)

Our Christmas Eve
The very first year that Brian and I were married, we went shopping together on "our" Christmas Eve. "Our" Christmas Eve is the day before all the festivities begin. Normally, that is the 23rd of December. We love this day. Most years, we eat at Olive Garden for dinner and finish up shopping. Some years we have not been able to afford to do much, so we all just have a nice dinner at home and then go look at lights or something. But, we always try to set this day aside for us. This year, we took the kids to the Children's Museum, then to Dr Boccone's office to check out Gracie, and then to our annual Olive Garden dinner. (Which was provided via gift card from an awesome teen!!!)

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December Snow

December snow is a special snow. The kind of snow that makes even the old at heart, feel like a 5 year old once again. The kind of snow that you peak out of your window first thing in the morning, to see how much you got. The kind of snow that you can't wait to play in. It is the snow that holds amazing hope, anticipation, and MAGIC!

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