Our Birth Story

Our Birth Story

Our rainbow baby Beau Robert Faison was born on April 10, 2020 at 12:45 pm and weighed 7 lbs 8.8 oz 21 inches long. He is absolutely perfect in every way. He was born at the onset of a national pandemic.

It’s hard to believe it’s been a whole year since a day I thought would never come. My due date was April 17th and we scheduled his induction at 39 weeks. I had a prenatal appointment the day before and was still only measuring 2 cm but was completely thinned out and Beau’s head was sitting so low!

Our hospital bags were packed and we made arrangements for my mom to be at our house to stay with the other kids. Although this was super convenient and I was so ready to have him here, the biggest reason we decided to have an induction was due to COVID-19. Things were changing almost daily in the healthcare world, and I was terrified the hospital was going to change the rules again. At that time, we knew wouldn’t be allowed to have any visitors and only Gene could be with me. I don’t know how I would have gotten through it without him by my side and I wasn’t going to wait any longer to see if the coronavirus would take that from me. We had initially wanted all of our kids outside in the waiting room when the baby came but Covid had other plans.

I had been having contractions all night and was still having contractions on the way to the hospital the next morning at 4 AM. Needless to say I didn’t get much sleep. Since this baby was so special and our last one, we decided not to find out the gender and I think the idea of finally finding out also had me super excited that night. I slept in and out of dreams of “it’s a boy” or “ it’s a girl.” Nervous and anxious, we left around 4:30 AM for the hospital on Friday morning with our face masks in hand ready to find out if we were having a boy or girl!

We arrived at the hospital with face masks on to huge signs outside the hospital with COVID-19 plastered all over them notifying visitors of the new rules. We made our way through the checkpoint at the door and a bunch of questions which made us feel like we were living in a sci-if movie. We rode the elevator up to the labor and delivery floor and much to our surprise the hospital was pretty empty and the women’s center seemed pretty normal. A sigh of relief.

As we got settled into our room, I opened the blinds and the sun was coming up in the most beautiful sunrise I’ve ever seen. I felt so blessed.

Once we got there we couldn’t leave our room. The hospital would deliver all of our meals, as the cafeteria was closed, even feeding Gene which they normally don’t do. I had to wear a mask any time anyone was in our room and I had to wear a mask during the delivery.

Our amazing midwife, whose name is also Mary, got there, broke my water, and started me on pitocin. The plan was to get the epidural because with my last delivery, I had complications with my placenta and I was scared we would encounter that again. It wasn’t long after we started the process that I started feeling the contractions. After rocking on the ball and withstanding the pain for a little while, I told them I was ready for the epidural. I was still only measuring 4 cm which was felt like a blow because with the pain I was feeling I was guessing I was at least a 7!

Getting the epidural felt like it took forever. I was trying to be still in between suffering the pain of contractions while the anesthesiologist was poking around trying to get it right. That was the longest few minutes of my life. My contractions were so severe by this point and it was all I could do to sit there still and let them stick me.

Once I had the epidural I felt a ton better, ate some ice chips, checked my phone, and waited. Things seemed to be going ok.

When Mary came in and checked me…. Beau was coming! His head was right there and the staff quickly prepared for me to push. I was even able to feel his head before I started pushing. Gene and Mary set up the phones to FaceTime my sister and my mama and our kids who all would have been there if it hadn’t been for COVID.

Legs up. Newborn bed was ready. Lights were on. Tools prepared. Pads were down. It was time.

I think I only pushed a few times and he was here! Mary exclaimed, “ITS A BOY!” and tears started flowing as I got to hold him for the first time. It was truly a joyful moment and I can’t really even describe it in words. Beau was here. After everything it took to get us this sweet babe, he was here. I was holding him and watching his pouty lips. There’s no greater feeling than holding your newborn baby, especially after loss.

Gene cut the chord. Everyone was cheering and smiling. Happy moments. Our kids were on the other end of FaceTime screaming “I knew it was a boy!” While I was coddling Beau, the anxiety of reliving my placenta issues set in with Gene. I could see him paying attention and looking nervous, asking questions. He quickly told me sister we had to hang up. It took a little while and after some pushing on my tummy, my placenta finally delivered. We were in the clear.

Or so we thought.

I don’t even know how much time had passed since Beau was born, but things had calmed down. Mary had come in and said she was leaving and she would see us tomorrow. We were alone with Beau in the room. And I have to admit with no visitors it was kind of nice to just be the three of us. The simplicity and intimacy of it is was just beautiful.

After a couple of checks and the nurse pushing on my belly, she said she was going to call Mary to come back. It seemed that I was bleeding more than I should. I could see Gene’s face. He had that worried look again. Mary came back and as I was still holding Beau, I was passing huge blood clots and soaking the bed with blood.

My uterus was not clamping down like it should have. They called in another doctor who came immediately. If the bleeding didn’t stop I would possibly have to have a D&C to make sure the entire placenta had been removed. On top of that, I had a fever.

Let me remind you this was the start of the pandemic and the thought of me having a fever meant I could possibly have to get a Covid test and if God forbid I was positive, I could have Baby Beau taken from me. This was my biggest fear. Fear and doubt crept in. The doctors and nurses left the room and my anxiety took over. I started balling begging Gene to do something. I couldn’t be separated from my baby. All I could picture was me in a room all by myself with my milk drying up and my baby screaming for me in the nursery. I know, dramatic right? But at the time it was very, very real.

Gene took the baby while the doctors worked on me. Things weren’t getting any better. They gave me some meds in my IV that were supposed to help stop the bleeding.

The next time they checked things seemed to be improving. I sat up to eat something more than ice chips while Gene held our sweet baby boy. The next thing I remember I was sitting there talking to everyone and all of a sudden Gene was in my face shouting my name and all I could smell was a horrid smell that stung my nose.

I passed out.

Thank God Gene was holding the baby when it happened. A nurse had rushed in and waved some ammonia in front of my nose and all of a sudden I was back.

I lost too much blood. I saw Gene disappear into the bathroom. Later he told me that he went in the bathroom and talked to God begging him and pleading with him to save me. Shortly after, our doctor, Dr. Federici came in and checked me out and the bleeding had stopped. I had to receive a blood transfusion. 2 pints of blood.

It was super eerie that someone else’s blood was being pumped into my body but let me tell you.. once I received that blood, I felt 1,000 times better.

All of that happened in just a few hours. Dr. Federici came in before he left and looked at me and said, “No more babies. Your uterus is tired.” Baby number four was no easy feat but oh so worth it. The next day, I felt a ton better and we were even able to come home later that evening.

Childbirth still amazes me. The fact that my body went through all of that in less than 24 hours is unbelievable. I was so tired and scared. I had to let God take over and get me through it and He did. This birth experience gave me a whole new perspective on and respect for birthing babies.

Beau Robert, you are one year old today! It has been one whole year of loving you, feeling so much joy in every giggle, smile, watching you sleep, nursing you, and cuddling you. Thank you for making me a mommy again and for being my rainbow.

Xoxo,

MK

Pregnancy After Miscarriage is So Hard

Pregnancy After Miscarriage is So Hard

In honor of Pregnancy After Loss Awareness Month, I’m republishing the blog post I wrote when I was 19 weeks pregnant with our rainbow baby.

Pregnancy after loss is so hard and it taught me not to take things for granted. It taught me how naive I was my first three pregnancies. It taught me in the wake of something terrible, can be something beautiful.

I’m spreading #palawarenesss to help people understand how hard pregnancy can be but how much harder it is after you’ve suffered loss. I’m spreading awareness to stop the perception that pregnancy is all glamorous and happiness. It’s ok to be pregnant and sad. That doesn’t mean it isn’t beautiful or that you’re ungrateful. It just means your scared. Those feelings are valid. Walking into that ultrasound room expecting to hear something bad, the constant worrying, checking for blood every time you go to the bathroom and breathing a sigh of relief when there’s nothing, holding your breath in between kicks praying there will be another.. imagine feeling uncertain about every second for 9 months straight. That’s what it’s like to be pregnant after loss.

I’m here to spread awareness to help people understand that every pregnancy is different and you don’t know the journey it took to get there.

Oh, and rainbow babies are real. Very real and oh so perfect in every way. Scroll down to read the post.

Pregnancy After Miscarriage written November 19, 2019

This pregnancy has been a whirlwind of emotions so far. I will be 19 weeks this week and after losing our last baby at 9 weeks, I am still extremely nervous every day.


Every time I go to the bathroom, I can’t help but look for the one thing that has the potential to change everything… blood. Every time I feel any kind of pain, it sends off alarms in my head. Every minute of every day, I have to try not to think about what could go wrong.


Am I drinking enough water? I forgot to take my prenatals. Maybe I’m sleeping the wrong way. I’m not eating healthy enough…. All of these thoughts that I have this time around because I’ve experienced how quickly babies can be taken away.


It‘s hard to see the future when the future has been ripped away from you before. It’s hard to imagine I’ll actually give birth this time or that we’re actually having a baby. Some days it still doesn’t feel real, even when I’m looking at this growing belly or putting on my maternity pants. Who would have thought that buying onesies and tiny hats would be scary?


I’m terrified. Nothing is promised and theres no guarantee I’ll be pregnant.. even tomorrow.


Looking back on when I was pregnant with my first 3 kids, I honestly feel like I took those pregnancies for granted. That I.. got lucky.. that we made it through those 9 months that I realize now are so fragile and delicate. There are so many babies and mamas that aren’t that lucky. And I had no clue until it happened to me.


So many people have said to me, things like.. I knew it would happen for you! Or… I’m so happy you’re pregnant! All things we want to hear, but in the back of my mind, I’m thinking… when will we ever feel like we’re “in the clear” this time?


Don’t worry, there are plenty of moments where I am SO excited! We are thinking of baby names, asking about family names for inspiration, and we’ve even started buying a few baby things. We’re looking at car seats and I am planning on where to put the crib, and what new furniture to buy.


Every. single. moment. I am grateful.

Even with the worrying, I am thankful, and I won’t stop praying, praying, praying that our rainbow will be here this Spring, plump and healthy with all ten fingers and all ten toes! This holiday season we have so much to be thankful for and I will continue to pray for all of those other mamas out there who are pregnant and battling their own fears… and for those mamas who are still hopeful and trying.


Xoxo,

MK

Life After Loss: Rainbow Babies Are Real

Life After Loss: Rainbow Babies Are Real

You lose a baby. Then what? Life doesn’t just stop. Your grief doesn’t just go away. Days pass. You somehow keep going. Things get easier. Your grief comes up every day but it doesn’t tear you down the way it used to. You’re stronger. You’re braver. You’ve grown to know your grief. You manage it better than you did at first. But just when you least expect it, every now and then it will still bring you to your knees.

New hope emerges. It seems like it’s been forever. Forever since you felt that feeling. The feeling of hope and excitement and giddiness, and all that comes with the thought of a new baby.

You see those two pink lines again. God is telling you to hang in there. You are scared to death. With each doctor’s appointment there is so much anxiety. So many nerves. But with each month that has passed, you start to believe this could actually happen.

You really don’t truly believe this baby is real until you hear that first cry… or until you feel that first latch. Everything about this is different. You notice every moment. You feel every touch. You take in every smile, every milestone. This baby is real and here and you just can’t get enough. You notice every little crevice and roll in those chunky baby legs. Every diaper change. Every bath. Every time he wakes you up. Every giggle. Every smile. You don’t have any other care in the world when he’s looking at you with those big round eyes.

There is something truly special about a rainbow baby. This baby isn’t a replacement. The memories of before are still there.. but this baby reminds you that there is hope. There is joy again. And it’s that much sweeter.

Xoxo,

MK

Our Pregnancy Journey

Our Pregnancy Journey

I write this as I sit here waiting to go into labor. It could be any minute or it could be days. My impatience and anxiety are growing yet I am trying to treasure every last moment. I have all of the third trimester things right now… my body hurts, I spend most of the time going to the potty, I can hardly breathe anymore, and don’t even think about asking me to bend down! But through all of that I am constantly reminding myself how lucky we are and the road that brought us here.

It was the fall of 2018 when we decided maybe another baby was in the cards for us. We have a big family and we wouldn’t trade it for anything. We are literally made up of his, hers, and ours. Gene (my husband) and I each had two children before we got married and in 2015 I gave birth to our son Brady. That pregnancy was a dream. It went by fast and everything about it was easy until my placenta wouldn’t deliver. My ob had to manually remove it but that was the worst thing that happened during our entire pregnancy and delivery so hey, not bad for our first try at babies!

Fast forward to December 2018. I saw those two pink lines on a pregnancy test that told us we were going to be parents again! I called and made the confirmation appointment a few days later, only to be let down later that same day when I started bleeding. They told me it was a chemical pregnancy and if I hadn’t been tracking my periods I wouldn’t have even known the difference. There was no sac. No baby.

I was heartbroken. I had gotten super excited already in just the few days that I thought I was growing a tiny human again. December came and went and with it we lost our beloved pet shih tzu of 8 years as well. December was a whirlwind of emotions and sadness but wouldn’t compare to what was coming.

We got pregnant again on our next cycle. Wow! We started telling ourselves all the things you say when something positive comes after tragedy. This is meant to be! God works in mysterious ways! There’s always light after darkness! We just needed to be patient! All the things.

Later in January, we went for an ultrasound at 9 weeks. There was our little bean on the screen! My palms were sweating. Gene looked like he was going to pass out. Something wasn’t right. No heartbeat. To say we were devastated is an understatement.

I had birthed 3 babies with no complications. How could this be happening now? Was something wrong with me? Were we only meant to have Brady and that was it? Should we just be grateful for the beautiful family we have? So many unanswered questions. So much doubt. So much guilt. So much heartache.

I chose to get the D&C because honestly I just couldn’t bare to go home and sit and wait for my dead baby to literally leave my body.

Just when I thought my body was starting to recover, two weeks later on Valentine’s Day, I was in my classroom having a Valentine’s party for ten bright eyed third graders when blood started gushing down my legs. This is graphic so if you don’t want to know the details, skip over this next paragraph!

I went to the teacher bathroom and was passing softball size blood clots. I managed to waddle outside of the bathroom to the phone to call my mom who also works at school to come to me. We ended up going straight to the Women’s Center where I was admitted to (of all places) the Labor and Delivery floor for the next three days.

I had to walk the halls so the clot would pass while listening to newborn babies cry and watching pregnant mamas prepare to meet their unborn babes. There are no words. It was a huge setback.

The following months we tried to get back to “normal.” Finally summertime came and we enjoyed life again, spending more time in the sunshine and with family. Time was healing us.

July 2019 was a good month. In August, I saw those two pink lines again! Only this time I didn’t get too excited. I didn’t freak out like I wanted to. I didn’t tell the world that we were expecting again.

We went for an ultrasound at 12 weeks. Scariest. Day. Of. Our. Lives. Everything was fine! Baby bean was growing. From then on I never got comfortable but I was hopeful. We found out at 20 weeks that I had a low lying placenta. They assured us it would correct itself and it did. We decided that we weren’t going to find out the gender. This was our surprise rainbow baby.

When you are pregnant after experiencing a miscarriage, anyone who has been through this will tell you that there’s always a trickle of doubt in the back of your mind. Even at 38 weeks pregnant, the moment you notice you aren’t feeling baby move will send you into a frenzy. You will be nervous for every single prenatal appointment. You will continue to think “Is this real?” You will pinch yourself just to make sure.

Time is a funny thing. When I look back on this journey in particular, I think about how I felt then. How I couldn’t see past my grief. I couldn’t believe that I could get past that empty feeling. I didn’t think I would ever feel like myself again. Grief never really goes away but it changes.

I think about the baby we lost every day. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t wonder what life would look like today if that baby was here. Was she a girl or a boy… would she have had red hair and big brown eyes? She or he would be 8 months this week.

So we made it this far. We are at the end of this pregnancy. Just when we think, “We did it!,” a national pandemic hits the US. Coronavirus. One baby shower cancelled and a change in birth plans… leaves us with no birth photographer and our other children won’t be able to visit us in the hospital. This has tried to bring us down. The anxiety and fear that has set in surrounding this virus has been overwhelming. We are nervous about being in the hospital where there are known cases. We are worried the baby, or any of our kids, will get it and have to go receive treatment without us by their side. It is terrifying. But we will not let this ruin what we have waited so long for. This happiness. This joy.

We are only days (maybe hours!) from meeting our rainbow baby. We are overcome with excitement and gratefulness. Our entire story has led up to this. And I know this isn’t where our story ends and I am nervous about how our delivery will go! We are praying for a healthy baby.

Maybe it’s a “thirties” thing.. but you begin to see your life as a novel God has written for you. There’s a setting and a plot… even characters. There are chapters. There is heartache and tragedy. Love and happiness. We are starting our next chapter and it just feels right.

Xoxo,

MK

Pregnant during the pandemic

Pregnant during the pandemic

I think it’s safe to say that everyone is aware of the worldwide pandemic that is the Coronavirus, or COVID-19. The media surrounding this virus has provoked fear, panic, and skepticism across our country. Schools are closed, events are cancelled, sports seasons are halted, and grocery stores have cut back their open hours. We have been encouraged to stay at home, refrain from going to the park or have play dates with friends. It seems the internet and news programs have forgotten about much else besides this virus. The average healthy person may or may not be worried about catching the virus, but what if you’re pregnant?

The CDC tells us that because COVID-19 is a new disease, we do not know yet if a pregnant woman has a greater chance of contracting the virus nor do we know how the virus impacts pregnancy or whether it can be passed on to the unborn baby. The CDC website states that there have only been very few cases in pregnant women and that much is still unclear. Read more here – (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prepare/pregnancy-breastfeeding.html?CDC_AA_refVal=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cdc.gov%2Fcoronavirus%2F2019-ncov%2Fspecific-groups%2Fpregnancy-faq.html)

In a way the data is positive in the fact that the numbers of pregnant women who have had the Coronavirus are very low. There have only been a small number of complications with pregnancies in women who have had Coronavirus and those outcomes cannot be solely blamed on the virus itself, according to the CDC. Overall, pregnant women should still be cautious and stay away from anyone who is sick, just as they would treat the flu or strep throat, or the stomach bug.

Does this information take my fears away? Absolutely not. I was anxious and nervous about birthing a healthy baby before I even had knowledge about what this virus was and way before the virus came to America.

Does this information increase my fear at 8 months pregnant? Absolutely. The fact that there is so much unknown is scary. However, what’s more scary to me is how people are reacting to all of this. It’s a pandemic of panic.

My biggest fear is that I would have the virus and have to be separated from my baby after delivery. (This happened in England!) Although I would never want to get my newborn sick, I am more concerned that because of the hype surrounding this virus and the precautions that have been put in place by hospitals to protect us due to the hysteria, that those special first few minutes, hours, and days with my newborn could be compromised if I were to test positive for the virus. What if this virus could affect me simply as a bad cold and not harm my baby at all? I get it. So much is unknown and we can’t take any chances. Can you imagine not being able to immediately bond with your baby?

I am not trying to downplay this serious virus by any means and these precautions may be necessary and in our best interests… But I can’t help but be prematurely disappointed in how this may affect our delivery. I have been looking forward to spending those first few days with our baby in our little hospital room bubble since the day we found out we were pregnant. I have been looking forward to seeing our other children’s faces as they walk in our room to see the new baby for the first time. Granted, I’ll still get to see their reaction, even if it’s not until we get home since our hospital has now implemented new visitation rules stating no children may visit a patient. And we will still be in a little hospital bubble at some point, but so much is unknown and out of our control because of the craziness that has been provoked recently that it does cause us to be anxious and nervous about what will happen when our baby decides to make his or her entrance into this world.

I will heed all precautions and avoid people and public places and the Lord knows I’ve been washing my hands like crazy. I will sadly stay away from Target. (Internally crying) I will continue to be the germaphobe that I have always been when it comes to trying to avoid any kind of sickness. But the only way to get through this with a peaceful mind is to have faith in God. This is all out of our control and there’s nothing I can do about the hospital policies or when the baby decides to come. There’s nothing I can do about the way the entire world is going ballistic. I can only have faith that everything will work out the way it’s supposed to. That’s. All. I. Can. Do.

When the fear sets in, I have to remind myself that we have overcome SO MUCH to get this far… surgery to remove my IUD, over a year of trying to get pregnant, a chemical pregnancy, a miscarriage, and everything in between… After many negative pregnancy tests… after we had stopped “trying,” and those two little pink lines appeared out of the blue… We have made it through every ultrasound and every prenatal appointment with flying colors. We have spent 9 months worrying and hoping and preparing for… now.

The world can’t hurt this joy.

I will do everything in my power to protect this baby, as I would do if there wasn’t a pandemic outside my front door. All that’s left for us to do is keep the faith and trust in God, praying that this too shall pass.

Stay healthy my preggo friends!

Xoxo,

MK