Sunday, April 28, 2013


A story from two nights ago:

4:30 am. It's the third time trying to get the little guy back to sleep. Momma's soo tired, and she's frustrated that she can't seem to get him to stay unconscious. He's eating and has slowly slipped into halfway between waking and sleeping.

Suddenly he giggles.

Just like that, Mom's frustration vanishes.

This kid is soooo worth it.

Little Guy's not even a month old yet
and already he's such a ham.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Nathaniel's birth

Here's the story of Nathaniel's birth. It was an incredible experience, and one that I will treasure in my memory forever. This version has lots of details, so it's kind of long, but I tried to limit the gory details. Even so, everyone's squeamish about different things, so... be warned. It is a labor and delivery story after all.

Thursday night (March 28th, 5 days after baby's due date), my water broke. Except, I didn’t know that it broke, or rather, I knew something happened, but I couldn’t tell if it was my water breaking, or if I had lost my mucus plug, or if it was just that I had suddenly lost the ability to hold it when I needed to potty. It was such a slow leak that only happened every couple of hours. By Friday evening, I was starting to wonder if it really was my water broken because it hadn’t stopped (so it wouldn’t have been my mucus plug) and it didn’t have the scent of urine. But I wasn’t having any more contractions than I had been (just a few here and there that weren’t very hard), so we decided to hold off going to the hospital until after Chris’s choir concert. The concert was beautiful. My mom and Chris’s whole family got to attend with me, and afterwards all of us went and got frozen custard at Coney’s.

On the way home, we told my mom that we felt like we should go get me checked out and see if my water really had broken, so we dropped her off, grabbed my hospital bag and drove over to Utah Valley Regional Medical Center. They checked me in, and put us in a room. The nurse did a ph strip kind of test on the fluid and sure enough, it was amniotic fluid. We were staying. Because my body hadn’t gone into labor really at all, we decided to start me on pitocin right away, and see where that got us. Also, because it had been about 24 hours since my water broke, they started me on anti-infection stuff as well. So just after midnight on March 30, baby was officially on his way.

Contractions started coming fairly consistently, but they started out quite mild. I felt like I was able to relax and let my body work with the contraction instead of tense up and fight against it. Chris and I didn’t have much to do but wait. Every once in a while, nurses came in and checked on us. Our main nurse that night was a gal named Hillary, and I loved her. She was so personable, and really competent. Sometimes the way people take care of you can feel a little condescending, but she was remarkable at putting me at ease and even laughed at some of Chris’s jokes and mine.

There was a couch in the room next to the bed that folded down into a bed. That’s where Chris slept that night. Neither of us slept a ton, but we did each get a little sleep during the night.

Sometime between 3 and 4 in the morning, the contractions started to get a lot harder to deal with. I was really struggling to relax during them, and definitely wanted something to help with the pain. (I decided before going in to the hospital that I was planning on an epidural) My doctor wanted me to be to a 3 or 4 before I got an epidural, and I was only at like a 2. But the nurse said I could have something in my IV that could help take the edge off the pain. I thought that sounded like a great idea, so my IV tree got another bag (I think at one time I had 5 different bags dripping into my arm). The drugs really helped, and even though they made me dizzy, I was able to sleep again.

By 6 a.m. I got checked again and had dilated to a 3. The nurse called my doctor and then the anesthesiologist who came and gave me my epidural. He was this older man from some Middle Eastern country (I think, judging by his accent and name). A fantastic anesthesiologist who obviously had been giving epidurals for so long that I’m pretty sure he could have done the whole thing in his sleep. He was really nice and really efficient. Fairly soon, I lost all feeling and control in my left leg and almost all feeling in my right. The nurse put my catheter in, and once again, I was able to sleep.

On and off throughout the morning, nurses came and checked on us, took my temperature, helped me switch the side I was laying on, checked how dilated I was, etc. etc. Mostly, I just slept. I’d wake up here and there for a little while, but thanks to that blessed epidural, pain was fairly minimal and I got some much needed rest. Chris was there with me almost the entire time. He left to go home (a five minute drive) and grab things or to change his clothes I think two times, and sometimes he’d go out into the waiting room and update my mother and his parents and sisters about how things were going, but overall, he was just constantly by my side, willing to do anything he could to help, especially by getting flavored ice chips for me to suck on. He was my rock: constant, steady, and loving.

Partway through that morning we got kind of discouraged because it had been several hours since I had been checked and when they did check me again, I was still at a three. I thought, “oh no. c-section, here we come” but about two hours later I started progressing again. I think I was up to a 4. Then I progressed quite rapidly to a 6+ , then fairly quickly all the way to a 9+ and by 1:30 I was fully dilated and effaced.

My doctor (who amazingly was in and out most of the day checking on me. I thought this was awesome, and she probably couldn’t have done it all the time, but I guess because it was a Saturday, she had time) recommended that they let me “rest and descend” for an hour before we started pushing. I was still blissfully in epidural land, and so didn’t feel in any rush. Also, though baby had descended to a measurable stage (I think he was at -1 at that point) we were hoping he would drop a little more before we started pushing. At 2:45, my nurse and her capstone student (Shea and Heather respectively) came in and told me that the other patient they were helping was also ready to push, and would I mind waiting just a bit longer (this was apparently that other lady’s 6th child so they thought that pushing would be rather short, which it was. They said she pushed like one and a half times and the baby was out). I had spent almost all of the previous hour sleeping, and didn’t at all mind sleeping some more, so I said that’d be just fine.

Finally at 3:40, a nurse named Jennifer came in and said that since Heather and Shea were still finishing up with the other patient, she was going to help me start pushing until they got there.

She told me the basics of pushing, and at the next available contraction, we got going. Thus began the approximately 2 hours of pushing. An hour in (so about a quarter to 5:00) Shea and Heather came in and relieved Jennifer. All three of these nurses and Chris were really good at being encouraging and saying things like “Good, Sarah, another one just like that!” or “You’ve got it, you’ve got it, keep going!” etc. I was amazed at how much power and strength their simple words gave me to keep going. I could rest in between contractions, and nothing really hurt very much, but it was still a workout. Their words helped me find the willpower to keep at it. Chris also kept me going by feeding me ice chips in between contractions and by occasionally grabbing my hand or firmly patting my leg as if to say “you’re doing fantastic. keep going, and I love you.” Like I said, he was my rock. Not squeamish at all, just steady and sure.

A few times I wondered if all the verbal encouragement everyone was giving me was just a farce to keep my spirits up or if we were actually progressing, but it turns out that we were progressing, it was just a slow and steady progression. At about 5:30 it looked like he was getting really close, (I think that’s when Dr. Burnett went and changed into her scrubs.) and that he’d be born before Shea and Heather’s shift ended at 6:00. Shea asked me what drink I wanted to have once the baby was born (I chose apple juice) and she went off to get it. She came back in with a big cup of apple juice and a boxed meal with an apple, cookies and a turkey croissant sandwich. She said it was incentive for me because I could eat and drink once baby was here, and I’m almost embarrassed to admit how much the sight and thought of food was what helped me find the last reserves to finish those final pushes.

Nathaniel Dean Machado was born at 5:42. When I heard that first cry, I just had this rush of relief and joy sweep over me. I pretty much just sat and cried while they weighed him, looked over him, measured him, etc. (a NICU team was there to check him out because I had a fever during the day and because the amniotic fluid had had some meconium in it). Chris took pictures and then before I knew it, they had placed my beautiful little boy on my chest and I got to hold him for the first time. It was pretty amazing. Dr. stitched me up and then things quieted down fairly quickly.

I got to nurse Nathaniel right there, and he latched on really well. Also while we were there, and after things quieted down we decided on his name. There had been two front runners (the other one we're keeping to ourselves in case we want to use it for another child), and we went with Nathaniel Dean Machado. Born on March 30, 2013 at 5:42 pm. Nathaniel weighed 8 lbs 3 oz, and was 20 inches long.

If you're still reading at this point, you either just love me a lot, or you really like hearing labor and delivery stories. Regardless, thanks for taking the time to read our story. Like I said, it was an incredible experience and one that I want to remember forever. I also found that when I was pregnant, I wanted to learn as much as I could about labor and delivery, so maybe this story will help some gal who feels the same, and she can read in lots of detail one version of childbirth.

I'm recovering well, and our little Nathaniel is such a sweet boy. He loves music, and whenever you sing to him while he's awake he'll get really still and turn and look at whoever is singing to him. Its adorable. We love him lots and are sooo glad he's here.

Lastly, as a bonus, here's another picture of our cute little guy with his momma. 

Mom and Dad sure love you, Nathaniel!
It's like he's saying, "Aww, Mom! Do you have to do that on camera?"
Yes. Yes, I do.


Friday, April 5, 2013

Bath time

This post should prolly come later because I haven't written anything since Nathaniel was born, but if I hold off, I'll just forget. So hopefully I'll have time to go back and write about his birth and such (it was amazing), but for now, here's some photos of Nathaniel Dean Machado (born March 30, 2013) having his very first bath at home.

Beginning of his bath. Just a little nervous.
Definitely not enjoying it now.

He loved this part at the end when we washed his hair.

But he didn't like getting all dried off.

Getting all dressed and warm (Daddy combed his hair).

All clean. He was such a trooper, even though he really didn't like it.
Chris and I are in heaven being with our little guy. He's a super content little kid, and he eats like a champ. When the lactation consultant at the hospital saw him latch on she said, "Wow, he's the poster child for latching on!" Also, not that we're biased or anything, but we pretty much think he's the most adorable baby on the planet.