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Beau’s Birth Story | My Journey into Motherhood

November 24, 2021

I’m Paige!
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November 25, 2020

 

 


One year ago, our lives were changed forever as we welcomed into the world, Beau Anthony Kuffel. Nothing I had ever read, watched or heard, could have possibly prepared me for the overwhelming feeling of connectedness that I share with this sweet little being.

 

David and I found out we were pregnant the same day we closed on our home AND the same day Madison went into lock down due to the Pandemic. The news came as quite the shock to us, and we spent almost the entire first trimester trying to wrap our minds around it, while also navigating the ever changing world around us. We were equal parts excited and overwhelmed.

Like many other partners at this time, David was not able to attend my first ultrasound. I headed in solo, unsure of how I would feel or what to really expect. I remember thinking that he looked like a little jumping bean, and it was wild to me that such a tiny little thing could move so much! Still, I was in awe (and I think a bit of shock) that this was really happening. As my belly grew, it all became more and more real. We started to plan out the nursery (a jungle theme) and began discussing names. When the anatomy scan revealed boy, we excitedly announced that his name would be Beau! It was also during this time, that we found out that our little guy had a two vessel umbilical cord. The news of this scared us at first, but we were happily relieved when the doctors reassured us that it was still a healthy pregnancy. Even better, they ordered bi-weekly stress tests and weekly ultrasounds to monitor his growth and development, and by that point David was able to attend! During the times that he couldn’t, my mom would gladly step in, and over the weeks our excitement grew!
By the time my third trimester rolled around, I had been diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes, which was not something I took well. I remember calling my mother in law from the hospital waiting room nearly hyperventilating because I was so afraid of what that meant and so confused at how it happened. I had hopes that the results were somehow wrong . I ate healthy, how in the world did that make sense? It didn’t..and my dietician reassured me over and over again that it was nothing I had done, but sometimes it just happens during pregnancy. We worked together to find a balance of meals that didn’t send my blood sugar through the roof or plummeting dangerously low. I was given all sorts of advice, “no fruit before noon”, “eat every 2-3 hours”, “stay away from juice, jam and honey”, “don’t eat sandwiches”, “check your salad dressing”…all of which I followed to a T. I was adamant on not wanting insulin, so after much trial and error I found a routine that worked and stuck to it. My diet consisted of the same meals every day. Breakfast: scrambled eggs and kale
Snack: turkey jerky and raw veggies
Lunch: greek yogurt, hard boiled egg, nuts and an apple
Snack: protein shake and string cheese
Dinner: fish or chicken and cooked veggies
Snack: fruit

Every..single..day.. and by the end of it all I wanted was a Culver’s Concrete Mixer.

All things aside, everyone was happy and healthy and right on track. I shot my last wedding at nearly 38 weeks pregnant and all around I felt fantastic. (Apparently diabetes had a few perks). On the Sunday before I was due, we headed to the hospital after thinking that my water had broken. Turns out is was a false alarm, and the nurse sweetly chuckled to herself while explaining to me that I had just peed myself and that I could head home..embarrassing right? She said it happens often, but I’m still convinced she was just being nice to me. I did have to come back in the next morning though, for my routine stress test. At that stress test they found that my blood pressure was a little high (probably from all the excitement the night before) and they wanted me to come back the next day. I had already begun dilating so we decided to do a membrane sweep as well to see if we could get things moving. When I returned the next day, we had made progress but again my blood pressure was a tad high so they asked me to come back again in the morning for yet another test. Frustrated, I asked if there was anything I could do and we moved forward with an induction. I spent the rest of that day walking laps around the hospital, bouncing on a labor ball and attempting to “lunge” our little guy out. While we clocked close to 5 miles, still no baby.

I wanted a natural birth, and my nursing team was wonderful about giving non medicinal options. The next morning we used a foley ballon to help with dilation and a breast pump to help produce oxytocin to speed up contractions. I began going into active labor, and the nurses wheeled in a giant tub filled with warm water which helped ease the pain of the contractions. The water helped so much, that for a while I was chatting with my nurse about photography and giving her tips on how to shoot in manual, which David and I still laugh about to this day. Over the next few hours, things intensified and before we knew it David was in the tub with me and the room was filling with nurses. A water birth isn’t the most common form of delivery, so a few nurses who weren’t scheduled to be there came to learn from the experience. I was in active labor for about three hours, then pushed for 24 minutes. I remember laying on my side asking how much longer I had to push for and making eye contact with one of my nurses just hoping I wouldn’t pass out. My blood pressure was dropping, and all I could see was the one nurse, everything else was getting dark. Someone brought me orange juice to perk me up and I drank it through a straw while hanging over the side of the tub. One push later, I heard the doctor say “I see his head, he’s coming!” and I could feel David start to shake behind me. His heart was beating so heavily that it was pounding against my shoulder. As my tunnel vision blurred, I knew I couldn’t wait for another contraction so with every ounce of energy left in my body I gave on final push and felt an instant change in pressure.My ears were ringing and everything started to get blurry, I could feel David shaking with tears and then….. all of a sudden he was there, on my chest, our Beau. He seemed so peaceful, he just rested there and opened his eyes. It is a moment that neither one of us will ever forget, and even now, a year later I get emotional thinking back on it. The feeling is indescribable. We got to hold him for a few moments as they let the cord pulsate, and we both were in such awe. There he was, so perfect, so content.After cutting the cord, they took him for his assessment and David along with a few others helped me out of the tub. We spent the next 48 hours learning all the basics of nursing, swaddling, bathing , etc. Again I am so grateful for our medical team who was so patient and informative. I don’t think I slept at all those two nights because all I could do was stare at our perfect little babe. People say that having children is like having your heart live outside of your body, and for the first time ever, I understood what they meant by that.The rest of our stay was pretty routine. Beau passed all of his checks with flying colors, and my numbers had stabilized as well. We FaceTimed with friends and family and one sweet nurse even met my mom outside to bring me that much needed Concrete Mixer! Even though we we’re bummed that visitors weren’t allowed, we enjoyed soaking up those first few days as a new family of three. We returned home to two very curious pups who have turned into the goofiest, sweetest, most patient big brothers we could have possibly wished for. While I am still having a hard time believing that my sweet baby is ONE year old, I am loving all of the time we’ve had together this past year. Continue to look forward to the memories and laughs still to come. To the boy who made me a momma, who showed me how invaluable time really is, and who makes me appreciate the present moment-Happy Birthday. love, Momma

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