S: Tuff Clark Purles 4/12/11
BC: Gather 'round and celebrate the joy that has been given. A gift of love - of flesh and blood. A tiny bit of heaven. See the wonder of it all, and marvel at the sight, Share the happiness we know, celebrate the life. Make memories of the times to come, of hours and days and years. Mark down each step, each task, each word - the laughter and the tears. For a celebration of life is such, that one must never be In too big a hurry to stop and smell... to feel... to touch... to see. Yes, gather 'round and celebrate the life that has been given, A gift of love - of hope eternal. Our tiny bit of heaven.
FC: "Children are the hands by which we take hold of heaven."
1: Tuff Clark Purles
2: I told Kellen we were pregnant in our traditional way. I wrapped a baby book, "I Can't Wait To Meet My Daddy" in Happy Birthday paper. Willow drew a picture for him to make him a little less suspicious. He opened it, recognized the wrapping, then read the title. He was shocked. Excited and shocked. Then he saw the pregnancy tests, which only confirmed what he already realized I was telling him. He was not suspecting it at all. He was a little more surprised when I told him I was seven weeks along and that I'd kept it secret from him for three weeks. | We announced to everyone else with my Halloween costume. | You're Going To Be The Father Of Three!
3: SNEAK PEAK
4: 3 Months | 8 Months
6: Willow and McLane's labors were very similar to each other, from the start time, to how everything progressed, to time of birth. I started labor with them at about 5:30 - 6:00 in the morning, feeling uncomfortable enough to wake me up but not strong enough to believe it was actually labor. So with this one, each morning leading up to my due date, I would take a minute to lay in bed and assess how I was feeling. When I decided I was not in labor, I'd get up and think, "Well, looks like today is not the day."
7: My mom planned to come out in hopes of being at the birth, but with work, and boys still at home, she has a limited window and birth is so unpredictable. As with the others, I was dilating and effacing early so I was nervous that she would miss it. Each time I would call her, she was nervous that I would tell her I was in labor. I told her I would keep my legs crossed until she got here.
8: Well, my mom made it out, and I was still pregnant! A couple days went by of us hanging out at home and no signs of this baby coming anytime soon. Then I started to get nervous that she would still miss the labor. So we tried to help things along. We did some major mall walking, I bounced and bounced and bounced on the ball, | Taylor massaged, or should I say dug, into some pressure points. I did everything else short of Castor oil, and still no evidence of oncoming labor. I wasn't trying to kick the baby out, just trying to coax him along before my mom had to leave.
9: My due date came and went. | On Sunday, my mom and I did some more, pretty brisk walking at Walmart. I had to go to the bathroom several times and each time I noticed pieces of the mucus plug. Earlier I had seen slight traces of pink also but didn't say anything in fear of getting their hopes up. Now, I was seeing more and more blood but still only in streaks. | April 10, 2011
10: Monday continued on the same. Kellen and I went for a walk and I tired extremely fast. My stomach was tightening shortly into it. I did some curb walking on our way back and we went home. We ate a late supper at 9:30pm, and it was at this time that I knew I was having contractions. I had felt a few earlier but again didn't say anything because I wasn't convinced myself. My mom felt my stomach during a contraction and her eyes lit up knowing she would witness this baby's birth. I was excited too and started to shift into labor mode in preparation for what was ahead.
11: I went in to say good-bye to my sleeping babies. This has always been the hardest part of labor for me. I wept as I watched them sleeping, knowing that all our lives were about to change drastically and my time with them would be divided once again. I also knew that I was giving them one of the greatest gifts I could give them, that of another sibling to share life and love with. | I like to labor at home for as long as possible without the hustle and bustle of nurses in and out, and being allowed to do what I want. We put a movie on and I sat on the ball during early labor. These lighter contractions are great practice for me to remember my breathing and visualization. During each contraction, I breathe in as deep and slow as possible, imagining my uterus filling with oxygen and opening like a balloon and my cervix expanding. When I exhale, I breath the baby down. A few hours had gone by and it was late. I was tired so we all decided to rest. I laid in bed and Kellen rubbed some lavender oil on my belly and feet. I took a short nap but decided I wanted to keep things moving along so I got out of bed and walked around the room. I squatted with each contraction and during a couple of them, I could feel they were getting more intense. Kellen called his mom to come out to stay with the kids. | I Love You!
12: Just before leaving, Kellen gave me a blessing in which he blessed that this would be a joyous experience for us all. We left for the hospital at 4:45am. I got checked in at Timpanogos Regional Hospital in Orem, changed into the gown, and met Erica, the midwife on-call. Taylor arrived shortly after. I don't think I've ever been happier to see her. I felt so much better just having her there. | April 12, 2011
14: 6:09 Dilated to 6+. Pacing the room, Taylor and Amie arrive. Talk about Amie about to find out gender. 6:14 Kellen mentions how they still don't have a name. Suggestions and jokes are made. 6:16 Kristin went to the bathroom. Comes out and jokes that she hopes she doesn't pee on the floor this time like she did with Willow. 6:22 Every few minutes she stops pacing, and then, on the edge of the bed or desk or tub, squats and goes still and quiet for a long moment. It's ironic that she is the only one in the room not sitting down. Her calm and collectedness is amazing. Such STRENGTH! 6:26 They put on a little belly band to hold the monitor so she doesn't have to wear a strap. 6:55 She says it's getting harder to breathe through. Looking at Kellen, "It's getting there."
15: I had invited all my sister-on-laws to be there. Maria had to work but kept connected with funny, random texts, and Amber was home with 5 day old baby James. Kellen, my mom, Taylor, and Amie were there at this time. I continued to labor, mostly walking, squatting with contractions, and staying relaxed. I hated laying down when they had to monitor me and asked to get back up as soon as I could. I cannot imagine laboring the whole time in bed. I got in the shower for a bit which I have liked during each of my labors. The warm water is relaxing and southing, yet stimulating. Even being up as much as I was, I was ready for more. I was getting bored of pacing and wanted things to pick up. My contractions were still very tolerable.
16: 7:10 Shower 7:35 Out of shower. Checked yourself. 8:15 Moved from birth ball to bed. So tired. Mentioned you haven't felt contractions in quite a bit. Kellen rubbing feet/legs. Resting 8:45 Michelle monitoring baby. 9:00 Up walking the room again. Trying to get things moving along again. Bathroom. Sat on toilet. Had some strong ones. Things seemed to pick up a bit. (More intense.) Pushed into it a little. 9:30 Walking room again. Hesitant to have water brake. Feels mixed emotions about it. 9:38 Small leak of fluid during contraction. Not sure if it's bag of waters? Things seem to be picking back up a bit. You ask if the other woman has delivered. No, Michelle says Jennifer will be in shortly. (Your last 5 or 6 contractions have seemed and sounded more intense. Your noises and breathing seem like you're changing.)
17: My water still hadn't broke which I knew was part of the reason things were moving slower. I was grateful though because it was also making contractions more bearable. I remember Melissa suggesting that I sit on the toilet and my water broke there with Willow. I tried this time and gave a slight push with a few contractions. When I gave into them a little, I had the urge to push. I had tried to check myself at home a few days ago and felt a tight ring. When I checked myself now, I couldn't feel anything. Looking back, I think it was at this point, and probably even earlier, that I was dilated to a 10. All this moving around didn't seem to be doing much so I got back in bed and took a nap. Yep, I don't know how I could sleep but I'm so glad I did. I had been up all night laboring and was tired and hungry. I think this helped me so much through the last stages of the birth.
18: I don't like to be checked much except for when I arrive and when I feel ready to push. However, I wanted to know what was going on with me. It was taking several more hours than I thought and I was worried that my body had stalled. I asked to be checked and was surprised when Jennifer said I was at a 10 with a bulging bag. That's exactly what I felt when I checked myself, I just didn't know what it was. I was a little emotional with this announcement. It's a weird feeling, knowing what's ahead. Not just labor and pain and the "ring of fire", but birthing a baby, and becoming the mom of a new little one, and adding another member to our family. I needed a minute to emotionally and physically prepare myself. | There had been a shift change and Jennifer was now my midwife. When she saw the support of family I had in the room she commented that it was me that was giving them a gift, as birth is a miracle that you don't get to witness often. She had another woman in labor so was out of the room quite a bit. I think if she had been in there more I would have had the baby much earlier because I would have had her to consult with on what to do and to check me for dilation sooner. At this point, I was tired of pacing and didn't know what else to try. I was bored and ready to have a baby. I still wanted to listen to the pace of my body but was willing my body to move along.
19: Jennifer offered to break my water but I was hesitant. I kept thinking about a line in the Hypnobirthing book that said, "Women, hold on to your bag of waters!" I wanted it to brake on it's own so I tried to slightly push through a couple more contractions. To be honest, I don't think I pushed very hard. I was nervous. Then, I felt a trickle down my leg and knew I wasn't peeing. With each contraction a little more fluid came out and I knew it was only a matter of time. So I agreed to have Jennifer break my water. I didn't know what to expect or how this worked. I laid down, she stuck a long hanger looking thing with a hook on the end in and tugged a little. It didn't hurt and I even had to ask if she had done it. | 9:42 Jennifer arrives. Discussing options to move things along. Jennifer checks progress. You are at a ten!! with a bulging bag of water. (She offered to break it and you say you would like a few more contractions first.) 9:48 Complete. A little emotional with the announcement. 9:57 You stand after a contraction and tell Michele, "Yeah, it's leaking." (They wheel in the supplies and set up the baby's bed.) 10:00 There you stand, complete, low station, calm, swaying - Such an amazing laborer. You ask Kellen, "Are you ready?" Kellen: "It doesn't matter if I'm ready." Talking to Kellen about maybe having a cone-headed baby this time. There is a quiet excitement/expectation in the room. 10:02 Squatting with each contraction on the side of the bed. Sounds indicate time is close.
20: I don't remember the contractions instantly getting more intense. I think I had to help this whole labor along. I turned around into my birthing position, kneeling on the bed with my arms over the top. I always get a little more nervous when I see all the nurses coming in with the bassinet, the scale, the towels, and all the stuff that means the baby is moments away. Jennifer said I could push so I did. It didn't feel very effective because I didn't have that uncontrollable urge as I remember having before. She said that I could take turns with my uterus, me pushing through a contraction, then my uterus doing it. This would help me not tire out. I was ready though so I pushed with each. Finally the urge I had been waiting for and I bore down. I think I lost control a little more with this one than I did the others. I think it was the long labor, through the night, and the extra time for anticipation and build up. I remember hearing my mom tell me to not lose focus and giving me encouragement. Kellen had gowned up to help catch the baby but he stayed up by me the whole time. I looked over at him a couple times and saw emotion on his face. He said he was more nervous and worried this time.
21: Crowning . . . the ring of fire . . . and the head was out. I felt the relief of this but then had to push again because the shoulders were at a weird angle. Ug, it was like crowing all over again. Finally the baby was out and I melted over the back of the bed. They had to ask Kellen to come down to look at the baby to help cut the cord and announce the gender. "It's a boy!" I turned around to hold my baby but they had taken him to the side. They were cleaning his airways, and from the look on my mom's face, I was worried if he was OK. Jennifer asked if he was alright then ordered, "Can she hold her baby!?" They brought him over and handed him to me. He felt so good! He felt warm and soft. Must have been all the extra fat. He latched on immediately and effortlessly, without any hesitation, and nursed. The umbilical cord had been cut but we were still connected. I looked at his face and couldn't get over how beautiful he was. He was perfect! I cuddled him tight and felt so much love for him. | 10:13 Agree to her coming back and breaking water. 10:22 Broke water. 10:27 Turned around into pushing position. Changed into a clean, dry gown. 10:29 Kenzie arrives. They are prepping equipment table. Discussing maneuvering with Kellen so he can help deliver baby. 10:36 Pushing - Jennifer uses baby shampoo. Pushing between contractions. 10:40 Sounds - Pushing. Moving a little cervix. Pushing into it. Almost crowning. 10:43 Crowning. Feels baby's head. Can see hair. Super stretched. 10:45 Head out 10:47 Born! Boy! 10:49 Baby to the little bed. 10:49 Back to Mom. Holding crying. "Hi Honey!" "Oh baby . . . " 10:51 "It's a boy huh?" Checking to see. "Oh, he's so cute!" 10:52 Delivering placenta. Giving a pitocin shot to clamp down uterus. 10:56 Checking out baby 10:59 9 lb. 15.6 oz (10 lbs.!) 20.5" Monitoring bleeding. 11:03 Gave a rectal tab to stop bleeding. 11:10 Nursing.
23: Tuff Clark Purles April 12, 2011, 10:47AM 10 lbs. 20 1/2 in.
26: I was grateful that I didn't tear but she said I had only a skid mark. I did have some hemorrhaging so they gave me a shot of pitocin and some rectal tablets to slow the bleeding. I wish the tablets were available on request because my recovery bleeding was much lighter and only for about 3 weeks! I was surprised when they announced that he was 20.5" long and weighed 10 pounds. I thought I must not have heard them right but they said again, 10 pounds. He must have peed or something because when they put him back on the scale to get a picture of that number, it said 9 lbs. 15.6 oz. but they said they round up. This was the perfect time to ask Kellen about names again. After watching me do that he said I could name him whatever I wanted to! And I did!
27: So my mom got to be there after all. It was nice to see her holding my newborn baby, rather than her being on the other end of a phone, having to hang up, and that's it. It was also nice to have those days with her before the baby came and for her to spend more time with Willow and McLane. I was sad she had to leave only hours after the birth and wished she could have had more time with the baby. (Ironically, when she got back to work, they sent out a message announcing that until further notice, they could take unlimited voluntary time off. That would have been nice to know a little earlier!)
28: I love the moments just after the birth when the room clears, the hustle and bustle stops, peace and calm set in, and it's just me and my baby. I think, "I can't believe that just happened! I can't believe I just did that!" I looked at him and was overwhelmed with gratitude. I feel it is one of Heavenly Father's tender mercies giving us a boy. Not that I would be disappointed in the least with a girl. But, with the passing of Clark, then to have a boy to name him after and keep his memory close is such a blessing to me. I'm grateful for Heavenly Father's plan as it truly is one of happiness!
30: A little heaven on earth!
31: Ever since I watched the movie 8 Seconds in high school, or before, I've loved the name Tuff. I've kept it a secret of mine since it is a very unusual name. I didn't know if I could actually use it for my child. I could never find a middle name to go with it either yet I always tried just to see if something would work, but nothing ever sounded right. While in the hospital on June 11, we knew that Clark wasn't going to make it but he hadn't passed away yet. It was one of the heaviest days of my life. The journey we had all been down over the past year, that of triumphs and defeats, excitement and disappointment, pain and suffering, full of experiences that build character and leave you forever changed, was coming to an end. I took a retreat to the bathroom where I let it all sink in then regrouped myself. While washing my hands, the name "Tuff Clark" popped into my mind. My head snapped up to meet my wide eyes in the mirror. Then, out loud, I whispered the name "Tuff Clark." In that very moment, the combination of the names, along with their perfect description of my brother, hit a place in my heart and never left. | Exactly one month after Clark passed away we became pregnant. We didn't find out the gender of the baby so many names were tossed around. I mentioned the name Tuff often while I was pregnant to warm Kellen up to the idea. He was hesitant and I didn't push it. It sealed the deal when I delivered that 10 pound baby boy naturally and Kellen gave his consent that I could name him whatever I wanted. There was no question what his name was, and already had been for 10 months. Tuff Clark, I love you and I love your uncle. I gift you his name. I'm so grateful that you get to carry his name, his honor, and his character with you throughout your life, even though you never met him here in his.
33: The Purles' 2011 To be continued . . .