Monday, March 14, 2011


Samuel Luke Walsman
Born March 4, 2011 5:26 am

Samuel made his arrival 5 weeks earlier then we had expected (we were planning to be induced 1 week early at 39 weeks due to the large size of my babies) and he was 6 weeks premature.  I wrote an email to a friend telling her what happened and because I don't have lots of time :) I just copied and pasted it below.  It should explain what happened and then I will follow it with pictures.

 I started having these short bleeding episodes a few weeks ago.  I had one on Monday February 21st, but it stopped quickly and I had no cramping so the midwives didn't even have me come in to the office.  Then I had another bleeding episode that Friday.  I went to the ER.  They did an ultrasound and saw no placental abruption and my cervix was soft but closed.  They told me to follow up with my midwife on Monday.  Monday evening I had another bleeding episode and went to the ER again.  This time they admitted me.  The following day I was transferred to the high risk pregnancy unit not knowing how long I would have to stay, days, a week, until I delivered?  They weren't telling me yet.  I was being followed by a group of obstetricians as well as a group of high risk maternal/fetal specialists.  I was told on Wednesday, March 2, that they would not be letting me go home until after the baby was born.  They would let me go to 37 weeks at the most and then would induce labor.  The risk of a full placental abruption was too great to let me go home.  If I were home and that happened I would easily bleed to death and obviously the baby would die too.  They told me that if I went into labor between then and 37 weeks they wouldn't stop the labor, they would take that as my bodies way of saying, this baby needs to be born.  They told me if I bled again, even a little, they would deliver the baby.  Even being in the hospital, a placental abruption is a scary thing and they have to majorly rush you to c-section if that happens and it is risky.  So they wanted to prevent that from happening.  

When I went in Monday I was contracting regularly.  And I was 2-3 cm dilated and 30-40 percent effaced.  So two things were happening, the bleeding episodes AND pre-term labor.  I evidently was having contractions, etc., without knowing I was having real labor.  By Tuesday afternoon my contractions had stopped and I thought on Wednesday when they told me I would be in the hospital until I delivered, that I would be there for 3 1/2 weeks.  I never imagined that I would bleed again or that labor would increase.  For some reason, I just couldn't fathom delivering that baby early.  

Thursday about 5 pm I took a shower and when I got out I realized I was bleeding again.  It was a rush, rush situation, getting me in a  hospital gown, getting the monitors on me, the doctor came in and told me I'd probably have to have a c-section.  I wasn't bleeding heavily though so she said she would check my cervix.  Lo and behold I was 3-4 cm dilated and 70 percent effaced.  So change was happening that I was completely unaware of.  Since no blood came off on her glove after the examination she said she would let me try to deliver vaginally but if there was any issues with the baby, if he showed any signs of distress then she would rush to an immediate c-section, also if I had any increase of bleeding then she would rush me to c-section.  She said they weren't going to mess around and would do an aggressive induction with pitocin and breaking my water.  Because the likelyhood of c-section was great and because of the intense induction she strongly urged me to get an epiderul.  I knew the experience was going to already be very traumatic so I agreed to getting the epidural.  

It was so scary and I was so so so sad to deliver the baby early.  I was so scared about what he was going to have to go through being born 6 weeks early.  There were lots of and lots of prayers though and I knew deep down that God was in control of the situation and it was going to for the best.  I didn't and still don't understand why things happened this way, but I trust God had good reasons for allowing this in my life and in little Samuel's life.  

By 5:00 am on Friday morning, March 4, I was ready to push.  With literally one small push he was born.  He came out crying and pink so that was very good.  They even let him be on my chest for a minute or two before he was rushed over to the neonatal team.  He really did great but was grunting a lot, working very hard to breath.  Before they took him to the NICU they let me see him again for a couple of minutes and i got to hold him skin to skin.  He was grunting terribly.  The grunting they do means that they are working very hard to breath.  Because of that they had to get him to the NICU quickly and he was put on a nasal canula that basically pushed air into his lungs to help them to open up and therefore help him to breath.  They started an IV on him immediately and he was hooked up to all sorts of monitors.  

Long story short, he spent 7 days in the NICU, the first 2-3 being the most intense as he transitioned, God so faithfully answered the cry of my heart for my son, and he just got stronger and stronger.  I was able to nurse him on and off for his first few days of life, and progressively more.  He just did amazing, it has really been miraculous to see.  I had to stay in the NICU for 24 hours on Thursday night so they could see that he could take all his feedings by breast (for a while he had a tube that went in his nose down to his stomach and he got my pumped breastmilk that way during the middle of the night and intermittently during the day).  They stopped his IV on Thursday morning, and by Friday morning we were just doing the last minute preparations for him to be discharged.  I brought him home yesterday about 2 pm and he is nursing like a champ and just doing amazingly well.  Oh, about kangaroo care, well, that was a fight with some of the nurses but we did some of that and then I got to nurse him quite a bit and hold him skin to skin for that, so it all worked out.  Now I'm wearing him in the sleepy wrap a lot and just enjoying my little tiny baby!  He was 5 pounds 4 ounces when we went home, half the size Micah was when he was born!!!  

This has been one of the most intensely traumatic experiences of my life, but I know God will use it.  I'll be able to help other moms that go through the same thing where as if I'd never been through it, I wouldn't be able to.  It is just one of those things that you can't possibly understand unless you've been through it.  It was horrible, but yet God was faithful and He got us through it, and Samuel did so well, and got strong and well so quickly.  I'm so thankful!  It is great to be out of the hospital and home!  

I realized during my labor that the last pictures I had taken of me pregnant were when I was only 14 weeks or so.  My friends with me were very willing to take lots of glamorous shots of me in the hospital gown! :)  

Steve and I prayed together for Samuel before he was born.  There were lots of tears and constant prayers in my heart.

Here they are helping Samuel to breath.

I'm looking on, longing for my boy!

They let me hold him once more before he was taken to the NICU.  

It was so hard seeing him with all those wires and tubes, not being able to hold him.  But he wasn't there long!    This is me seeing him in the NICU for the first time.  It took me a long time to recover from the epidural and I didn't make it to visit Samuel until late Friday afternoon-which was torture!  I wanted so badly to get down there but I couldn't get on my feet for so long!  I'm not sure I EVER want an epidural again!  

This was heavenly for me!  Holding my baby!

This is Ashley, one of the nurse practitioners.  She was AWESOME.

Here is Samuel not long before he was ready to come home.  

Going home!!!


"But you, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness."
Psalm 86:15


love2bmom said...

he is so beautiful and perfect in every way. Thanks for posting Abby!! Big hugs and congratulations to all of the Walsmans!

momto9 said...

Congratulations! what a beautiful baby!!!!!!

angie said...

I love that cute baby boy already!Give him a kiss and a hug from his Aunt Angie.I am so glad he is home now.Hope all is well.As soon as finals are over, I will come see him and you.Tell the other boys hello for me.

praguegirl said...

Congratuations! Samuel is adoreable. I love following your blog. What an awesome bundle of joy sent from heaven above! Love, Ann Heppding

j.j. said...

Thanks for posting and for all the pictures. (He was born on my birthday.)I loved the last few with his eyes open! Samuel is adorable. Makes me excited to see my little boy =)

Tammy said...

Congratulations! What a tremendous blessing to read this! God is so faithful and I loved seeing your strength through it all! Samuel is so adorable and looks so alert. Blessings to you and your gang of boys!

jennifermull said...

I happened upon your blog, and just wanted to say that your story is inspiring... It makes me think about my own "high places" and is a good reminder of what a good God we serve. I have 8 kids, and some have had minor complications, however it was my last one who was in the NICU 10 days, and it does teach you different things. Mostly, it teaches you about God's faithfulness! Congratulations on your beautiful baby and blessings to your family. (Btw, I had four boys before my first daughter. I now have five sons and three daughters!)

Anonymous said...

So glad he is doing well. I had the EXACT same thing happen with Asher _ the bleeding and all. I ended up with a c-section though.

He is gorgeous!!