Awsumb Kenneth Hardy
Born on:  October 19, 2001  
Time:  6:55 AM
Evergreen Hospital, Kirkland Washington
Weight:  7 lbs 8oz  Length:  20"

The Birth Story

     On Tuesday, October 16th, I went to visit my doctor, Doctor Deb Stemmerman, for my last regular appointment.  I was then given the last set of tests to make sure everything was ok with the baby.  The doctor determined that an additional procedure was in order before being induced on Thursday.
      Wednesday morning I went in to the doctor and received a foley catheter to begin opening my cervix.  I went home and had contractions and cramping all day.  By evening the catheter fell out.  This meant my cervix had opened up to 3 cm.  I tried to get some sleep before we needed to check in at the hospital the next day.
     Bright and early on Thursday (7:15 am), we checked into the hospital.  At this point I was only 2 cm as my cervix had shrunk a bit.  The nurses set us all up, and started me on Pitocin (a medicine that induces contractions).  My contractions became regular and were pretty close together. 
     During my pregnancy, it was determined that I had abnormally high blood pressure, which is caused by a condition called preeclampsia ("pre-seizure").  In an effort to keep my blood pressure down, I was only allowed to labor on my left side.  This was very frustrating.  I got up every hour to empty my bladder and would stall as long as I could before getting back into bed.
     The Pitocin did effectively cause me to have regular contractions.  It did not, however, seem to help me have effective contractions.  I was constantly wondering how long it would last.  My doctor told me that I would be ready for my epidural by the time the Mariners and Yankees game started, and that I would deliver the baby after the Mariners won (guess she didn't know they were going to lose!).  I just kept focused on that clock!
     After the game, the nurse had cranked up the Pitocin and I was having contractions almost constantly.  This was very difficult because there was only a very short break in between.  The contractions were much easier to handle with my feet dangling over the side of the bed.  But every time I was instructed to lie back down to keep my blood pressure under control.  Despite all this, I was only dilated 4cm and the doctor wouldn't give me an epidural until I was dilated at least 5!
     I figured at this rate I would have the baby on Sunday.  The doctor started talking to the nurses about preparing for a c-section.  As the doctor went across the hall to deliver another patient (also named Wendy!) my contractions became almost unbearable.  The time was 11:00pm, I was then offered some Stadol, a pain-killer to help deal with the contractions.  I thought this drug was just great!  I could now only feel the peak of the contraction, if even that.  I hallucinated about being lined up on cookie sheets to go into the cookie oven.  I wanted to be in the line with the people who knew how to breathe correctly and get peanut butter cookies. (OK, I was a bit out of it).
     As the Stadol wore off a new shift of nurses was coming in to work.  I was told that I could not have any more drugs because the doctor was going to come over to prepare me for a c-section.  We waited and waited for the doctor to come.  Finally I was given a half a dose of Stadol and told that if the doctor was not there in half an hour I could have the rest and then have an epidural.  The nursing shift changed officially and the new nurse began to play with my Pitocin levels.  Again I was having no relief from the contractions.  I started to cry and told the new nurse that the old nurse promised I could have more Stadol if the doctor didn't come (the doctor was now doing an emergency delivery down the hall).  Finally, the nurse gave me more, but I was in such pain, I thought she was only pretending to give me the drugs to get me to stop crying! 

The morning after - 10/20/2001

     The nurse finally got a hold of the doctor on the phone.  She agreed that it was okay and sent in the anesthesiologist to give me an epidural at about 1:30am.  What a relief.  The doctor finally came in to check on me and decided to let me go a bit longer.  As Kenneth curled up in the window seat to sleep, the nurses tucked me in.
     About 5:30am Friday morning (October 19th) I woke up and felt pressure.  The nurse checked and I was fully dilated.  She asked if I wanted to start pushing.  When I asked her how long I would have to push for she told me a few hours.  I decided we might as well start!
     The nurse started coaching me through pushing around 6:00.  After just a short while, she told me to stop pushing because the baby was already here and the doctor was sleeping in her office!  After the doctor arrived I pushed a few times and Awsumb Kenneth Hardy came right out at 6:55 am.  There was only a small tear and a couple stitches needed.  The baby, however was not OK.  He looked dead.  He was not breathing and had no muscle tone.  The staff was all very professional, and although we knew something was wrong we were constantly reassured.  His APGAR score was only a 2.
     The nurses were able to get him breathing, but decided to take him to to the nursery.  At our hospital babies only go to the nursery if there is a problem.  The nurses let Kenneth carry the baby.  In the nursery, they put the baby under a warmer and hooked him up to monitors.  The minute they gave him a shot (his Hepatitis-B immunization), he perked up and started crying like a healthy baby.  They decided he didn't need to stay in the nursery after all.  He was then given an APGAR of 4, then 5.  When Kenneth carried him back into my room I knew he would be OK.
     Awsumb was a bit hypoglycemic like we thought he might be.  So, as I breastfed for the first

The morning after - 10/20/2001

 time we also gave him a bit of glucose.  As the day went on the nurses continued to check him and after only having glucose a couple of times his blood sugar was normal.
     Friday was a very long day.  Many of our friends came by the hospital to see us.  After a marathon drive from Utah, my parents arrived in town that afternoon.  When my father sat down next to me it was just like looking into Awsumb's face!  Awsumb looks just like my brother, father and Grandpa Awsumb. 
     That night I was able to get a bit of sleep.  Kenneth held the baby all night long.  The next morning we came home from the hospital.  Now it was Grandma Awsumb's turn to hold the baby all day long.  After such a long pregnancy it was so nice to be home with our new little baby.  I was so excited to be off bedrest the next day I immediately started organizing and cleaning the house.
     Monday we went back to the hospital for our postpartum check up.  Awsumb was a bit jaundiced and had lost some weight.  Since we were breastfeeding so well and the weight loss was in an acceptable range, the nurse said to just keep up the good work and the jaundice would go away.  I did get a lecture about taking it easy, though! 
     Since then, things are going really well.  I finally relaxed a bit and we have just been snuggling.  Kenneth and I have things all worked out.  He changes the baby and keeps me with fresh water ( I just can't get enough!).  My milk came in on Monday and the baby is eating well.  I do not have any soreness in my breasts, just the initial fullness.  I also am healing just fine from the delivery.  I've just had a bit of swelling.
     Awsumb went to the pediatrician for the first time on Friday, the 26th.  He had gained back all his weight and was now past his birth weight and doing just fine.  Sunday we went to church for the first time.  Awsumb slept through all the meetings, even Primary with 60 hyper children!
     Kenneth and I are so thankful to have little Awsumb with us.  He was sure worth the wait!

Click here to see Pictures from Awsumb's Blessing Day

Little Awsumb's Ultrasound Pictures

     We were lucky to have seven ultrasounds to see our little baby.  When we first suspected I might be pregnant we called and made an appointment to see the doctor at the fertility clinic we had been working with.  The clinic rushed us in and our first ultrasound was on 3/08/01.  The baby was just a few weeks.  All we could see was a small dot with a rhythmic heartbeat.  This was Kenneth's favorite, he was so excited that we were pregnant.  (I will spare you, as they were not that exciting!)
     After confirming what looked like a healthy pregnancy the fertility clinic sent us to my regular OBGYN. After all we had been though trying to have a child I was very confused about why this was happening now.  Not to mention the fact that I was having problems with the pregnancy, and my OBGYN office didn't seem to be much help.  Finally, friends convinced me to change doctors.  I was put on a few different forms of progesterone to keep the pregnancy from spontaneously aborting.
     The first time we could really see the baby was on 4/17/01.  These pictures look like a play-dough figure, or the gingerbread man!  Finally on 6/14/01 we found out the sex.  It's a Boy.  Pictured below from that session are only the babies head, spine and body.
     The most clear ultrasound was on 7/20/01 when I was a test subject at Siemens.  The new software they were testing was so amazing.  Much better resolution than the ultrasounds at  my OB office.  We saw the baby's face, not just the "skull look" but the pockets of puff under his eyes, and his lips, etc.  As the technician was concentrating on showing off the software, and we were just excited to see the baby so clearly, we completely forgot to ask for a good picture of the face, below shows his leg bone. 
     In the beginning of September I was put on bed-rest, because I was developing preeclampsia.  During the last few weeks of September I wasn't doing so well.  The doctor said we would have the baby that week!  I was given steroid injections to help the babies lungs mature faster.  We went to the hospital to see a specialist, with a Siemens machine.  Everything was ok, and I was told to go home and stay on bed-rest and that we would have the baby by the first of October.  We were so excited to see the baby's hair floating around!  Wonder if it is red, or maybe curly?
    As the doctor reviewed my chart to schedule and induction she could not find my glucose test results from months ago.  Turns out I had tested positive for Gestational Diabetes, but the test results had been lost at the lab.  We now had a second set of problems and had to postpone the induction to get my sugars under control.  Because of the preeclampsia I was still on bed-rest and going crazy!  On 10/02/01 the doctor took another ultrasound.  The baby was "tasting" his fingers.  We saw the cutest profile of the babies nose!  The doctor was going to try to pull us another week further so the baby would not go into shock and become hypoglycemic after birth.
     By now we were going into the doctors office every couple days, and one week had an appointment everyday!  Stress tests were given and blood work taken to monitor the baby closely.  10/11/01 the last ultrasound was taken and the baby waved to us, or so it seemed.  We were then finally given and induction date!
     Ultrasounds are obviously more exciting for the expecting parents.  The baby is much easier to make out during an ultrasound because you gain perspective as the technician moves the wand around.  Enjoy viewing some of our favorite ultrasound pictures...

The Gingerbread Man

It's a Boy!

Growing Femur Bone

Awsumb Kenneth Hardy map
Awsumb Kenneth Hardy's Scrapbook