Baby Joey’s Birth Story


What an eventful delivery!  I should have expected this with how UNeventful the whole entire pregnancy was.  Seriously, I had no sickness, I wasn’t any more tired than I was previously, if my belly wasn’t growing I would have never known there was a little guy growing in there!  Towards the end of the pregnancy I developed cholestasis which just meant that my bile salts were building up in my blood and they wanted to induce labor right at “full term” so the baby’s environment wasn’t compromised…this is the point where the benefit outweighed the risk of him staying put in the womb.  I was on medicine to combat the symptoms which worked amazing and was ordered non stress tests twice a week until induction.  All throughout the pregnancy my blood pressure had been perfect, even two days before the scheduled induction.

On Thursday, March 19th at 5pm I had my final meal prior to being admitted for the induction.  We finally got the call around 10pm that night to head on in to triage to get set up for the induction process.  I was supposed to have “ripening” that evening with cytotek as I was not dilated as of Tuesday and was barely thinned out.  At 11:30 that night we discovered that I was already having contractions on my own, was 1cm dilated, and 50% effaced!  The bad thing was, they discovered my blood pressure was starting to rise drastically since Tuesday.

At about 12:30am on Friday March 20th, we finally got settled into our Labor and Delivery room.  The doctor decided that since I was already making progress on my own that they would skip the ripening and start the pitocin drip instead.  Every few hours they’d increase the low dose drip and check my vitals.  My blood pressure was still increasing but it was only being read during or immediately after a contraction.

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At approximately 8am my mother and her fiance joined the forces, my mother in the delivery room with me and Michael patiently awaiting the arrival of “Baby C” in the waiting room.  At this point my contractions are about 5-7 minutes apart and I barely felt them but they were measurable on the monitors.  My first real check since being admitted occurred at about 3:30pm, right after my husband stepped out for some, ahem, waste removal since he was stinking up the joint.  This check showed I was 70% effaced and 3cm dilated and they wanted to break my water…I didn’t want them to do that until my husband got back so we waited.  Right after that my doctor was stuck in the OR for an emergency for hours and again, my blood pressure continued to rise no matter what we did to try to bring it down.  A lot happened around 10pm this evening, I begged for my water to be broken even if my doctor wasn’t able to do it, and it was – I was 4cm, 70% effaced, and at a -1 station, and because my blood pressure continued to rise they decided I needed to be on magnesium to combat potential seizures due to the still increasing blood pressure.  At this point I was tied down, catheterized, hooked up to several monitors, and put on a bolus of magnesium that was just pure torture followed by a drip of it.  They explained to me that because I was on magnesium that the NICU team would be present for delivery and he’d be taken away from me for 24 hours after delivery while the magnesium was still being pumped into my body.  When they started the bolus, I felt like I got hit by a bus, everything got hot, I felt dizzy and sick and just needed to pass out.  The broken waters added pressure that I couldn’t relieve with movement because I was strapped down and my legs were in these walking machines to prevent clotting.  I asked for some medication to help me sleep that night so they gave me some Nubain through my IV and I was able to sleep about 5 hours.

At about 5:30am on Saturday, March 21st, I was able to get an epidural.  I knew being tied down was going to only cause things to be more painful so the decision was to keep me as comfortable as possible.  At this point, almost everything in my birth preferences went out the window…and later we’ll see that the only thing I was able to accomplish from my preferences was not getting a C-Section.  The epidural was nothing…Joe was able to stay in the room with me and everything was peachy.  They checked me again and I was 5cm, 90% effaced, and at a 0 station.  The epidural worked like a charm and I was pain free and hoping I’d be pushing before it wore off!  The only thing I felt at this point was pressure…and sometimes it came on hard but it was bearable!  At about 8:30am they said I was in transition – I asked to be sat up so that gravity could help bring him down since I couldn’t walk around and as soon as I did that I got sick.  They checked me and I was 6cm, fully effaced, and at a station 0.

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Contractions continued on strong and at 12:45 I asked to be checked and I was 8cm, fully effaced, and finally at a station 1!  They said with the magnesium it slows down the processes so they would check again in a few hours to see how I was making out.  At about 3:45 I felt like I needed to push with every contraction so I asked to be checked and low and behold I was at a 10!  It was a slow night in L&D so the doctor actually was with me nearly the whole time along with the entire L&D staff cheering me on with every contraction from 4pm on to his delivery nearly 3 1/2 hours later.  With every push I was trying to rest and towards the end I was literally passing out between each contraction and woke up to cheering and coaching in my ears from Joe.  I had Joe on my left and my mom on my right the entire time.  Baby was making progress but getting stuck at the very end.  I was exhausted and my options were keep on pushing, which I didn’t have the strength to do having not been able to eat in over 2 days and on medicine that made me feel so sick, or to try a vacuum.  I asked for the vacuum and said I can do it just a little longer.  The vacuum helped but when he was crowning he got stuck and the vacuum popped off and the doctor had to perform an emergency episiotomy and with one more big push he was out and placed on my chest as I begged to hold my Joey.  It was surreal.  Every emotion I had running through my body just came together right then and there and it was just beautiful.

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After this everything went downhill. The placenta was delivered, the doctor was stitching me up but there was massive bleeding. There was placenta still stuck and the doctor had to manually remove it but there was hemorrhaging that had to be taken care of immediately. Before the baby was taken to the NICU and after he was cleaned he was placed on my chest for a few minutes of bonding but I couldn’t even keep my eyes open because of the blood loss…I was passing out and asked my mother to take him and give him to Joe.

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They cranked the Pitocin up to 100, hooked up a new epidural and continued to manually remove placenta and push on my uterus with all of their might. The bleeding could not be controlled so they wheeled me off to the OR for a blood transfusion and to get the hemorrhaging to stop while applying pressure both inside my uterus and outside at the same time. By the time we arrived at the OR I was in and out of consciousness trying to answer questions the surgical team were asking me.  They were able to get the bleeding to stop because of my doctor’s quick action of applying pressure the entire trip to the OR.  I was told I was lucky to still have my uterus and I was later told I was lucky to be alive.  I remember telling Joe and my mother as I was being wheeled out from L&D to the OR to stay with baby, I needed to make sure he was ok, but they waited for me instead.  Apparently they were left in the room as everyone shuffled to get me and baby out and safe.

Joe was great keeping everyone informed on a group I created on facebook, but everyone started to get worried once the updates stopped at 3:30 and the next one wasn’t until after I came out of the OR and was admitted to the special care unit for constant monitoring.

Joe’s update: Update! Baby “Joseph Michael Cutri, Jr.” has arrived!!! 19″, 7lb 1oz! Mom and baby are both doing well now… Sorry for the lack of updates… Once Erin Michelle was actually 10cm, she was able to start pushing for a natural birth… After 3 1/2 hours of pushing, we were barely able to see his head. We were given the option for use of a vacuum to assist in delivery, which didn’t work out according to plan at all… The vacuum got his head out, but it snapped off and left him crowned and unable to fully come out…emergency episiotomy got him out. They cleaned him up but he had swelling on his head which was a result of the vacuum.

They had to put him into nicu because of this swelling and the magnesium sulfate they had to give erin for her blood pressure…

Then, things went a little further downhill ….erin was bleeding internally and sent for an emergency D&C to scrape the uterus for remnant placenta particles and to try to stop the bleeding.

I was suddenly left in the room filled with blood and soiled linens and Joan Kaub… In a panic, they sent us to the waiting room to get us somewhere until they had a clue to what was going to happen next.

On a definite upswing, the bleeding stopped on its own and her uterus was clear of placenta…she was given a unit of blood and properly stitched up.

Baby C was supposed to be 5lb 15oz and about 16″ on Tuesday….little Joey came out quite large!

Spending his first night in nicu tonight, he’s doing well. The girls there are monitoring him closely. He had an apgar score of 9 out of 10!!! Dude is something else! Wishing him luck his first night out of momma and on his own, we are sending him our love and kisses!!!

Because of the magnesium I wasn’t able to see little Joey until the following night.  I had massive swelling from the pitocin and magnesium and had to be wheeled to the NICU but I was finally reunited with Joey!  His faces are just precious.  He had a bout of jaundice which kept him in the NICU a day longer than my stay, we took him home on Tuesday, March 24th and after a home care check on Thursday, March 26th they needed to re-admit him to the NICU as his bilirubin score went all the way up to 19 and they wanted him monitored there under phototherapy in case alternate means needed to be taken.  Luckily that was the highest it went and we were finally able to take him home on Saturday, March 28th (our 6 year wedding anniversary!) where he was finally able to meet his grandma who hadn’t taken her NICU bracelet off because she hadn’t gotten to hold him yet.

He’s been nothing but an angel since being home and even now he is sleeping in his bassinet next to me while I write this making the cutest faces and noises.  I am so in love and would do it all over again for him.  It’s true what they say that it is one of the most painful things you’ll ever go through but you quickly forget that pain once you have that babe in your arms.  The pain is a distant memory, so is the gravity of the situation.  I’m healing nicely and he is healthy and that’s all that matters.  His blood recheck came back better than expected yesterday and he’s already passed his birth weight!  My blood pressure has gone back down and doesn’t need to be re-checked and am already almost at my pre-pregnancy weight again only 10 days postpartum.

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family

Mama and baby

Mama and baby 2

Joey 1

Joey 2

Joey 3

Joey 4

Baby Joey


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sorry for the delay in the announcement, it’s been a crazy week with the complicated delivery and trips to the NICU because of jaundice but I’m happy to say we are home and healthy!

Baby Joey finally made his arrival on Saturday 3/21/2015 at 7:22 pm weighing in at 7lbs 1oz and 19 inches long.  I’ll get a birth story posted as soon as I get some time!  He’s such a little ham!

Dear Baby


Dear Baby,

I wanted to take a few moments of this crazy day aside to write a little letter to you to let you know how excited we are for you and how loved you are by not only your mommy and daddy but by so many people.  You see, you are something we have longed for for a number of years.  Your daddy and I wanted nothing more than to have a baby and for years it seemed impossible with all the medications and surgeries and devastating miscarriages…but finally, on the day before your expected arrival, you are kicking away like a mad man telling me you are excited to make your grand entrance!  Finally, we will have our baby to take home and love here on earth.

There are so many people excited to meet you.  They shared in our joys, heartbreak, desperation, and excitement over the last 5 years.  Even though they don’t know your name yet (daddy and I have kept it a good secret!), they love you right now as “Baby C” and will soon be able to call you by your real name that daddy and I just love.  Grandma is so excited to travel to see you.  She will be on her way tonight so she can experience your birth and meet you as soon as you make your way into the world.  Your uncle Billy, and godfather, is trying so hard to be here for your arrival as well…he’s just trying so hard to make sure he is not sick so he doesn’t spread any germs.  He’s such a worrier…that’s why they make sanitizer!  He sent you the cutest outfit with batman on it.  The rest of your aunts and uncles are taking care of their children and anxiously anticipating the news that you have made your way into this world so they can breathe!  There’s a number of people on your daddy’s side that are so excited to meet you and will be visiting you very often…your poppop has even committed to bringing me an Italian hoagie as soon as you are born since its something I’ve wanted to eat for the last 9 months but because it could possibly be harmful to you I refused to eat it.

My one wish for you, baby, is that you live a life of love.  You are coming into this world with so much support and excitement and love from everyone who has followed our journey.  You are a miracle.  We can’t wait to meet you and love you and although I am excited to see what kind of a man you turn out to be, I wish that life just slows down so we can savor every moment with you.

I’m so excited to finally meet you.  You have 3 angels looking after you now and always and they will be by our side waiting for your arrival.

We love you so much!

Two days before Induction


Can you believe it…two days?  TWO DAYS until my scheduled induction.  And one day before I go into the hospital for “ripening” – crazy, right?

We had our final doctor’s appointments yesterday and here’s the results:

I tested negative for Group B Strep (hoorah!)

My final weigh in showed a total weight gain of 32.5 lbs during this pregnancy – not sure where that all is?  Maybe in my MASSIVE PLACENTA?

Speaking of Placenta…it actually MOVED and is clear of the whole 2cm restriction for a safe natural birth (even though my doctor was willing to let me try since it was over 1cm last month…but now there is no issue)

I’m starting to thin out on my own and my cervix is starting to shorten, but no dilation on my own…so still need to go through with the ripening tomorrow night.

Baby boy is totally head down and locked and loaded…his head is way down in my pelvis and is ready to make his grand entrance.

The ultrasound tech is very happy I’m being induced on Friday since the placenta is beginning to calcify – seems like this is a side effect of cholestasis and causes early labor in many undiagnosed cases.

Baby boy is weighing in at 5lb 15oz per the ultrasound.

I still can’t believe how close this is.  We finally have hot water (thank you Joe!!!).  Joseph worked on the new heater as soon as we got home from the ultrasound yesterday until nearly 2am last night…but we have hot water.  THANK GOD.  Everything is falling into place.  I have my hospital bag packed with everything except last minute items like my phone charger, makeup bag, and toothbrush/toothpaste.  I wrote all the thank you cards out from the shower, all I need is to look up addresses and buy stamps.  I’m hoping to drop those off at the post office while we are en route to the hospital tomorrow if I get all the addresses in time!  I also spoke with Joe’s ex-neighbor who does financial planning about a college fund…once we have baby home and settled we are going to meet with him about setting up baby’s college fund.  I have some money that has been sitting around for a year, untouched, and have more coming in to be our “emergency fund” so I’d like to get things rolling for baby sooner rather than later so the money has more time to grow!

Baby Boy's final ultrasound - 36w4d (they are always one day off on the ultrasound, not sure why?)

Baby Boy’s final ultrasound – 36w4d (they are always one day off on the ultrasound, not sure why?)

Baby boy, please be good to mama…let’s make this a safe birthday for you and we are so excited to finally meet you!  I don’t know how much sleep I’m going to get between now and your arrival because I’m just too excited but Friday can’t come soon enough!

36 Weeks! Only a few more days!


What a crazy week and weekend.  We were supposed to accomplish so much and all week I was thinking “this week is going too smooth, this is just not like us.  Man, I hope nothing happens!”  HA!  Joe and I can never have it easy, something stupid always happens like literally hours before our Honeymoon/Anniversary/Vacation last year Joe hit a pothole and popped a tire…couldn’t do anything about it at that point.  Well this week was full of family drama, panic attacks, and Saturday night our water heater went.  We have an electric tankless heater…you know who stocks those on the weekend?  No one.  So we have no hot water for a little while and baby is coming on Friday.  Thank God for Amazon….one is being delivered on Tuesday so I am praying this little man stays put until he’s told to come out on Friday!  Every other place has a 3-8 day processing period before it is even mailed!  No way, Jose!

I did get some maternity pictures done this weekend by a very talented woman!  Once I get the final processed pictures I’ll post them and a link to her blog!  I do have a sneak peak at one at the end of this.

Can you believe that I have 3 more sleeps before we go to the hospital and 4 more sleeps until the induction?  I still can’t believe it is that close…and there’s still so much to do!  I was supposed to pack my hospital bag this weekend but with all the commotion it was not a top priority.  I’ll get that done today…and work on thank you cards from the shower my mother hosted.

How far along?    36w3d

Total weight gain/loss? 33 lbs!  My weight has been fluctuating +/- 2 lbs since Valentine’s day.  Tomorrow is the final weigh in…I’m curious if it went down again.

Gender?   Boy 🙂

Maternity clothes?  I actually haven’t been wearing any the last few days…

Stretch marks?   nope!  Hopefully we stay that way for the next couple weeks 🙂

Sleep?  It has been great, I wish I could get just a tad bit more…8 hours never seems enough but my mind just goes and goes with stuff that needs to be done so that gets me up.  At least I can turn it off for a little while at night!

Best moment this week?  Definitely doing the maternity shoot…I can’t wait to see how they all turn out!  Did a few in the nursery and then went over to the studio to wrap it up.

Miss anything?   Not waddling lol

Movement? My little wiggle worm 🙂

Food cravings?  Salads.  And Wint-O-Green life savers.

Anything making you queasy or sick?  nope

Symptoms?   Baby boy DROPPED yesterday…I felt it…and still feel it.

Labor Signs?  Nope, thank god!  He needs to cook for just a few more days!

Belly Button in or out?  It’s definitely out…no denying it now.

Wedding rings on or off?  Off – I swell too easily to risk getting them stuck.

Happy or Moody most of the time?   99.9% of the time I am happy

Looking forward to?  Meeting our baby boy on Friday!!

36 weeks!!

36 weeks!!

36 weeks - look at that belly!!

36 weeks – look at that belly!!

This guy hasn't left my side any time I sat down for a breather.  I think he knows the end is near! LOL

This guy hasn’t left my side any time I sat down for a breather. I think he knows the end is near! LOL

Does this shirt make my belly look big?  Behind the scenes at the studio :)

Does this shirt make my belly look big? Behind the scenes at the studio 🙂

Sneak peak at one of the last photos of the day at the studio

Sneak peak at one of the last photos of the day at the studio

Admiring the 99.9% finished nursery.  Just a little cleaning to do and it is done!

Admiring the 99.9% finished nursery. Just a little cleaning to do and it is done!

35 Weeks!


It’s just about 11 days until induction day!  ELEVEN.  Can you believe it?

My  shower was this weekend and let me tell you was I overwhelmed.  It was perfect.  My mother did an awesome job of keeping all the details a secret from me.  Everything was hand made, meticulous, and beautiful.  I’ll have to do a post at some point with some of the pictures of everything she made.  There were a few surprise guests I didn’t expect to see, people from grade school and high school, a girl I worked with for years and was very close with who I’ve recently been chatting with on a regular basis as she is pregnant as well.  The food was great, the company was great, baby C received so many thoughtful gifts and the day was just perfect.  My sisters made me cry with little speeches they prepared.

We have some work to do, laundry and such.  Next weekend I have a maternity shoot and one big shopping trip that my best friend is helping us with and then make some freezer meals to make it a little easier on Joe when he’s helping me 🙂

How far along?    35w3d

Total weight gain/loss? 30 lbs!  My weight has been fluctuating +/- 2 lbs since Valentine’s day.

Gender?   Boy 🙂

Maternity clothes?  Almost 100% all the time, there’s still some items that fit surprisingly well.

Stretch marks?   nope!

Sleep?  I love sleep.  It’s been great.  Only up a few times to switch position.

Best moment this week?  My baby shower.  It was perfect.

Miss anything?   Not waddling 😉 – I really have developed the waddle…it’s pretty funny.

Movement? My little wiggle worm 🙂

Food cravings?  Salads.  And Wint-O-Green life savers.

Anything making you queasy or sick?  nope

Symptoms?   Waddling lol

Labor Signs?  Nope

Belly Button in or out?  I think it’s safe to say it officially popped.  the only time it isn’t poking out is when I’m laying down.

Wedding rings on or off?  Off – I swell too easily to risk getting them stuck.

Happy or Moody most of the time?   99.9% of the time I am happy

Looking forward to?  My last weekend before baby.  Maternity shoot.  Shopping trip.  A mini date with Joseph on Sunday.

35w1d

35w1d

My friend Amy and I - she is 6 weeks behind me, also expecting a boy :)

My friend Amy and I – she is 6 weeks behind me, also expecting a boy 🙂

My best friend and I - I can't wait for her wedding in August!

My best friend and I – I can’t wait for her wedding in August!

My cousin Julianne and I.  She is expecting her boy in June!

My cousin Julianne and I. She is expecting her boy in June!

My sisters and mother - the girls of the family :)

My sisters and mother – the girls of the family 🙂

The God parents and us :)

The God parents and us 🙂

Just us :) I think baby kicked here lol.

Just us 🙂
I think baby kicked here lol.

Birth Preferences


Look at that, you get a double whammy this week!  2 blog posts in one day let alone one week 🙂

Anyways, I wanted to share my Birth Preferences, not Plan, with you all in case you were interested.  I like to call it preferences because nothing ever goes according to plan with us.  When this was titled a “plan” the #1 item on the list was not to be induced – well that got thrown out the window so the word plan was quickly removed and replaced with preferences so I wasn’t disappointed if something else changed.  So…here it is 🙂

Birth Preferences for Mr. & Mrs. Cutri

Our desire is for a safe and calm delivery of our baby. We understand that births are unpredictable and don’t go according to plan but would like our requests met as much as possible. If we need to stray from the preferences we are very receptive to other options to ensure a safe delivery as long as everything is explained calmly to us to aid in informed consent.

Labor

  • Please do not allow male nurses or doctors in my room during labor and delivery, this is nonnegotiable as it will send me in a state of panic. The only male I’d like in the room with me during L&D is my husband
  • Would like to be able to have mobility as much as possible, understanding that Pitocin means I’ll have more frequent monitoring I still would like to be able to move around to aid in natural pain relief
  • Would like the access to a hot shower to aid in pain management prior to offering any medications
  • Would like to keep exams to a minimum unless indicators suggest I’m progressing quickly
  • I am receptive to pain management medications but would prefer to take the edge off with Oxygen or less powerful pain medication prior to being offered an epidural so that I can freely move around
  • My mother, Joan, is the only other guest allowed to stay in the room the entire time during labor and delivery. She will be allowed to use her camera as she will be documenting the very beginning of this precious life. Family members can pop in for a visit as long as I am not in active labor (at the nurses’ discretion, of course – I do not want to break any hospital policies regarding visitors)

Birth

  • Please assist with instructing support persons on how to apply counter pressure, positioning, and warm compresses
  • I do not want an episiotomy; although I hear they are not generally used anymore.
  • I do not want a vacuum used unless we encounter an emergency situation where it is necessary, please seek consent first.
  • Would like the baby placed on my chest immediately after birth
  • Please wait to cut the cord until it stops pulsing. My husband would like to cut the cord.

After Delivery

  • Baby boy will be circumcised
  • I will be breastfeeding; please do not offer bottles
  • Please do not offer a pacifier
  • If baby needs medical attention one of us will always be present

Cesarean Section

  • I would like to avoid a C-section but if one is medically necessary I would like the reasoning calmly explained so that we can enter into a consent fully informed.
  • Surgeries petrify me so I would prefer to be put under for this procedure.
  • I would like immediate contact with baby as soon as I awaken and am mobile
  • Please double suture incision

** I am NOT allergic to latex

***Allergies to medicine include the entire “cillin” family (penicillin, amoxicillin, etc) and Bactrim

A note to the medical staff:

Our journey to this point has been a long and trying road with multiple failed IVF’s and two devastating miscarriages. This is our first time making it to labor and delivery with a precious baby and I’d like to thank you in advance for calmly keeping our requests in the forefront during this delivery. We understand that nothing ever goes according to plan, especially for us, so if any complications arise we request to have the least invasive treatments presented first so that we have fully informed consent prior to intervention.

We would be remiss if we did not express our gratitude for all that you do both big and small during this adventure we are about to go on. We are very grateful for the medical staff that will be assisting us through this delivery. We also appreciate the professional expertise you ascertained while experiencing the miracle of birth on a daily basis and we hope you understand that after our trying time this is all new to us and we would like to bask in the series of “firsts” we are about to embark on as this may be both our “first” and “last” experience with child birth (God willing it is just the first, though).

Thank you all from the bottom of our hearts in all the assistance you are about to give us and thank you so much for understanding how very important this is to us.

With much gratitude,

Mr. & Mrs. (and baby!) Cutri