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

A Year in Review: Why I’m Holding Onto 2020

A Year in Review: Why I’m Holding Onto 2020

Everyone has talked and posted about how awful 2020 has been. Most have had the perspective that this year has been so hard with many trials and tribulations, that they just want it to be over. Many have lost loved ones, lost their jobs, had to close their small businesses, and had to make very difficult decisions for themselves or their family. The year has tested us all. So many of us are wishing 2020 a speedy farewell!

But not me. I’m holding on to 2020 in these final hours as much as I can.

For me, 2020 was life changing. We started the year out with the first anniversary of losing a sweet babe, but being very hopeful and anxious with only a few months left until our rainbow baby was due.

March 13, 2020 was a completely normal day. I was teaching and prepping my classroom for my last week of work before the baby was to be born. I had just gotten all of my students on the bus when all of the adults were running and buzzing with the news that the governor was closing schools across the state due to the pandemic. I don’t think the pandemic felt real until that afternoon. I had the mindset that I had one more week at school before maternity leave. One more week with my beloved students and now I had received news that I wouldn’t even get to tell them goodbye. This was it.

In the back of my mind I knew this was also going to be my last day as a teacher in that third grade classroom. Although I hadn’t made an official decision about whether I would return to work after my maternity leave was up, I subconsciously knew this was it.

The whole thing left me very pregnant and very emotional. Pregnancy after loss had enough fears in itself but now on top of worrying about whether I was going to deliver a healthy baby, I also had to worry about Covid-19 and all that brought with it. Changes were being made at the hospital daily. The news was reporting each day about the rise in cases. Having a baby during a pandemic was completely unexpected, nerve racking, terrifying, but also so worth it.

Less than a month later we welcomed our sweet rainbow baby into the world and into a very small bubble. Over the next few months, we decided to homeschool our kids. Our oldest son moved to his moms to attend school there which was another huge transition for us. And I quit my job to be a stay at home mama.

So. Many. Changes.

My feelings this year? Ugh. Emotional roller coaster. Every day it seems there’s something new to worry about. If I didn’t have anxiety before the pandemic, I definitely do now! The constant worrying about what decisions to make and how to protect my family. The constant pressure to do things that I wasn’t comfortable doing. Wanting to do what’s best for us and having to deal with the consequences of saying no to people. The stigma in our town that Covid “couldn’t come here” or that “it’s all a bunch of bull.”… When I’m over here praying to God each night that the virus stays away from us. It was a lot.

And on top of my feelings and fears of Covid, there was a lot of disappointment. I was heartbroken that my five year old wouldn’t be able to experience a true year of kindergarten. I was devastated that my kids couldn’t visit us in the hospital when we had baby Beau. I was sad that my daughters had to abruptly leave school and couldn’t see their friends anymore. I was disappointed that our son missed his last year of playing rec league baseball and our daughter missed out on her first year of softball. I was terrified every day, every time we went out, and with every request from a family member to come over that we would contract the virus and get really sick.

However…. above my fears I realized this year has been the biggest blessing.

My kids have been healthier than ever. They have grown closer to each other. I haven’t missed a single snuggle, kiss, laugh, or cry.

In what would normally be a very busy time of running kids back and forth to practices, rushing off to school in the mornings, getting home late, grabbing quick dinners, cramming for tests and exams, arguing over homework…. everything that was completely normal and now is nonexistent is everything I didn’t realize we needed a break from.

It’s funny how life can give us unexpected miracles right when we need them. Things we had begun to take for granted had suddenly become special. And things we were super rigid on as parents seemed like not that big of a deal.

We let the kids stay up late and sleep in. We let them have Snapchat so they could connect with their friends. They ate all the snacks and drank some soda and laughed and played and enjoyed life. Even if it was different and anything but normal.

I have been able to breastfeed Beau with no pumping or having to drop him off at daycare listening to him cry for me when I leave. I’ve rocked him to sleep for every nap time and he has fallen asleep in my arms every night. No snotty noses or coughs from being in a classroom with germs. There’s been less schedules and more lazy afternoons. We spent weekends on our boat going on adventures and fishing, enjoying the great outdoors. We went on vacations anyway even when we were told to stay home. We. Enjoyed. Time. Together.

Our kids are healthy and safe, and while they might be missing their friends or some of the “normalcy” we used to know, they have made the absolute best of it and are still enjoying life. So while most of the country is kissing 2020 goodbye tonight, I’ll be whispering a “thank you” for giving me the one thing I didn’t know I needed more of… time.

Xoxo,

MK

There’s no place like home

There’s no place like home

I’ve always been a homebody. Ask my mama. When I was in preschool, I would cry and cry during nap time because I wanted to go home. When I was a little girl, I hated sleepovers. My mama even had to come get me once from a friend’s house late at night because I wouldn’t stay. As a grown up, I LOVE to travel but my favorite place will always be our home.

After Gene and I got married and we became his, hers, and ours… we began taking trips and opened our hearts and children up to how wonderful it is to travel. We aren’t rich by any means but we make it a priority to take vacations each year. We have made our own tradition to take the kids somewhere different, somewhere they’ve never been, every year. We are fortunate and proud to be able to provide these experiences for our children. Traveling with a big family is definitely something they will always remember!

This pandemic has put a halt to life as we know it, especially to anyone’s travel plans. Who knows if we will even get to take a vacation this year. As sad as that makes me, it doesn’t bother me to stay home. I’m not one to always have to go somewhere. I value the time I get on the weekends to stay home and clean. I always find a way to be productive around the house. There’s always a project that can be done! Gene is the same way. He would much rather be at home in the yard with the kids or grilling in the backyard than running the roads.

I know there’s many of you that say you aren’t cut out for being a stay at home mom or that homeschooling isn’t for you. But for me, I could actually swing it. If you know me, you know how organized I am. Creating my own schedule for the day and organizing our day for the kids is definitely something I could thrive on.

I know this isn’t true homeschooling fashion. I’m totally fine with letting them sleep in, and letting them go outside to play. Honestly, what’s being required of them now that school is out is too much. Yes, they are used to sitting in a classroom at a desk for 7 hours a day but they can’t possibly do all of that work they would normally do at school, at home.

Number one, there are too many distractions here. My home is not set up to be a learning environment. Number two, I might be a teacher but I’m not a Spanish teacher, okay? I can’t assist them with everything. They need help from teachers that they would normally receive in the classroom but it’s not that easy to receive that kind of support at home. Number three, our kids don’t know what to do. This is a crazy time and they are just as unsure of everything as we are.

So no I’m not going to make them sit at our kitchen table all day. I’m going to let them go outside and play. I’m going to let them watch movies. I’m going to let them go on 4-wheeler rides and sit by the fire pit past bedtime.

I know this pandemic is an awful, terrible thing that has caused so much disruption and chaos, illness and death. We are disappointed that we, like the rest of our country, are having to sacrifice many things we love. We may not be able to travel again for a while. We aren’t going to be able to have the kids visit our hospital room when the new baby is born. We can’t spend this spring going fun places. The girls may not be able to celebrate their birthdays the way they’d like to.

But above all of that, today we are healthy. Today we are together. Today we can hug each other. And we are just going to take one day at a time being grateful that the world has slowed down a little bit.

We may be quarantined, but honestly there’s no other place I’d rather be.

There’s no place like home.

-The Wizard of Oz

Xoxo,

MK