Friday, December 30, 2011

2011, in review:

January: Caleb was diagnosed as Failure to Thrive due to insufficient weight gain and chronic dehydration.

March: Caleb was hospitalized for 5 days with RSV, a nasty stomach virus, and an ear infection, all at the same time. The day after leaving the hospital, at 16.5 months of age, he took his first steps!

April: We found out that we were expecting another little Purser!

May: Caleb was diagnosed with Eosinophilic Enteritis.

June: Caleb spent the afternoon in the ER for vomiting and dehydration. The next day he got an NG feeding tube and started his elemental diet.

July: We found out that Caleb would have a little BROTHER! Caleb had surgery to place a g-tube to take the place of the NG feeding tube.

August: We had a lovely vacation visiting my family in Minnesota.

November: Caleb turned 2! I made it to full-term (37 weeks)! Caleb had a clean scope--the eosinophil cells were gone!

December: Caleb started getting a few new foods to eat. Baby Russell joined our family, big and healthy and just in time for Christmas! Nate and I celebrated our fourth anniversary.


It's been quite a year. In January, Caleb was just barely starting to pull himself up and walk around furniture. He had just figured out how to go from a crawl to a sit. Now he's running everywhere and starting to walk up stairs! Caleb went from being 16 pounds in January to 18 pounds in July to 21 pounds in November. I won't tell you what happened with my weight. ;) He went from wearing size 3-6 month clothing to 12 month clothing! I can't even begin to describe how much has happened with his vocabulary and cognitive development.

A lot of good things happened in 2011. It was a pretty big year! Sure, we had two hospitalizations, two diagnoses (one quite major), and one surgery, but it sure is nice to end the year on a good note! We have two healthy little boys (relatively speaking) and a lot to look forward to.

I couldn't ask for more.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Russell's Birth Story

I know, I know, my baby is already four weeks old and I'm just getting around to writing his birth story. Can you blame me? I have hardly slept in the last month. It's a little crazy around here.

The Story:

Wednesday, December 14th: At my regular OB appointment the doctor stripped my membranes and scheduled an induction for my due date, December 21st. I was 3cm dilated and about 90% effaced.

Saturday, December 17th: I finished the last of my Christmas shopping. While buying Russell a bank for his Christmas gift, the lady at the check-out asked when I was due. I told her that I had an induction scheduled for Wednesday, and that I was too comfortable being pregnant to think that I'd be going into labor on my own. That evening, around 6PM, I went from having no contractions whatsoever to having really painful ones every few minutes. They were too painful and too fast to even be able to time them. Jenna was planning on coming to our house that evening anyway, and she got there just in time. I was ready to go NOW.

So, Nate and I left for the hospital around 7PM. When we got there I was dilated to 5cm, my water was bulging, and I was having very strong, regular contractions lasting at least 60 seconds and coming every two minutes. They admitted me right away and offered an epidural. Remembering how awful the epidural made me feel last time (and how it hardly even took the edge off of the contractions, anyway), I wanted to wait as long as I could before getting it. But my contractions were soooo strong that every time I would get one I would say, "I think it's time for an epidural!" But every time the contraction would end, I would be sooo happy that I could feel my legs. So I decided to get an epidural once my water broke, because I had heard that contractions were much stronger after that.

The nurse didn't think it would take very long at all for Russell to come. She thought he would be here before midnight since it was my second delivery and my contractions were so strong and close together. Our goal was to make it past midnight, since I needed at least four hours of antibiotics since I was group B strep positive.

About an hour and a half after getting to the hospital, the nurse checked me again and I was 6-7cm. Right after checking me, my water broke and the first thing I said was, "I want an epidural!" It took almost another hour before the epidural was in, but I guess my contractions were so strong to begin with that it didn't get any worse after my water broke. And the epidural was much better than last time--it took the pain away, but I could still feel and move my legs!

Then Nate slept, and I tried to sleep. The nurse checked me every hour and surprisingly I wasn't 10cm until about 3am! At that point she noticed that Russell was posterior (facing up towards the ceiling, not down towards the floor). Posterior babies are much harder to push out, because they can't descend down the birth canal as easily. That's why it took me so long to dilate even with those crazy contractions. So, then I got another dose of epidural, threw up, and the doctor came in and I started pushing.

After about 15 minutes of pushing with the doctor trying to turn Russell so he wasn't posterior, the doctor told me that I was pushing effectively, but that this wouldn't be a typical second delivery. :( Russell was big and he wasn't able to turn him, so I shouldn't expect delivery to be fast or easy. Sad! So, then the doctor left and I pushed with the nurse for the next TWO HOURS! Yikes! Two hours of giving it my all in the middle of the night. It was HARD WORK!

At that point, I needed another dose of epidural. And I started getting this excruciating pain by my left hip bone that didn't go away with the epidural. It felt similar to an ovarian cyst rupturing (which I've had many times), only much more painful. I couldn't think of anything but the pain. I had to press my fingers into my side to make the pain even somewhat manageable. I kept saying, "I can't...I don't..." thinking, "I can't do this any more! I don't know how much more I can take!" But I knew that I didn't have any other options.

Then I threw up again. The doctor came in and said, "How do you feel about forceps?" And I said, "YES, PLEASE!" So, after about two pushes with the forceps and a few more pushes otherwise, Russell made his grand entrance!

Eleven hours of labor and two hours and fifteen minutes of pushing in the wee hours of the morning, and I delivered my 8lb 5oz, 19 inch boy!

I got to see him get cleaned off and weighed, and I got to hold him skin-to-skin right away for about an hour. He was born hungry and had enough energy to nurse for over half an hour right after birth. I swear he's been hungry every second of his life. VERY different from Caleb!

And I'm proud to say that between all of my sisters, I now hold the record for the smallest baby and the biggest baby. :)

Saturday, December 24, 2011


Russell David Purser
12/18/11, 5:24AM
8 pounds 5 ounces
19 inches