Monday, February 18, 2013

Announcing Tanner Richard Kulla

Yes, I know the girls have already announced him, but now Mom is:)  Tanner Richard Kulla was born two weeks ago today, on Sunday, February 3rd, at 6:54 a.m.  He was 5 pounds, 12 ounces and 19".  (Oops . . . started writing this yesterday but didn't get it posted!!)

A couple minutes old.

With Daddy

Background/Birth story:  Beginning right before Christmas, my blood pressure started rising.  This is something I haven't had an issue with at all since my first pregnancy, when it went up very fast at the end and I was induced 9 days before my due date because of preeclampsia.  Because I'm used to very LOW blood pressure, when it got up to the 120's over 80's, that was HIGH to me.  At that point the doctor wasn't worried, I just needed to check frequently.  They also checked for protein in my urine, which is standard anyway.  Over the month of January my blood pressure slowly steadily got higher.

On February 2nd I'd stayed home from a wedding that our family went to because I thought my blood pressure was too high.  After napping and sitting all afternoon it had gone higher and I told David I thought I needed to call the doctor.  The doctor on call wanted me to come in to the hospital to be checked.  As soon as David got home we headed to the hospital.  By the time I got there my BP had risen dramatically, to 190/108, and after taking it several times, it stayed in that range.  My urine also had lots of protein.  They told me they didn't send people home with those kinds of numbers, and we were perfectly fine with that because on my part, I was tired of checking numbers and freaking out if I thought they were getting too high.  The monitor was already showing contractions 6 minutes apart when I came in.  The doctor said that your body and baby know it's time to be born when you have preeclampsia. 

The plan was to get a room for me and immediately start antibiotics because I had Group B Strept.  I got a room at about 9:30 p.m.  As soon as that got going they started me on Pitocin.  I planned to have an epidural, so I waited until I was about 4-5 centimeters and the contractions were harder before they gave that to me.  It was probably about 2:45 a.m.  Around 3:30 the doctor broke my water.  I didn't get as much sleep as I normally do with an epidural because I kept hearing the baby's heartbeat and during most contractions his heartbeat went so slow at the middle of the contraction.  I finally asked them about it and they explained how that was totally normal and good when it went slow right then.  I was able to settle down a little although it still worried me.  Also, someime in there they were worried about something because they had me put on an oxygen mask.  I ended up wearing that for at least a couple hours I think.

Finally I thought maybe it was time for baby to be born.  For those of you who don't have epidurals (and maybe even some of you who do), I'm sure it's different for everyone.  For me, most of the time I don't have an urge to push if my epidural is working.  I have never had a problem pushing when told, I just don't NEED to push.  They checked me and said I was completely dilated.  There was a flurry of nurses coming in and the doctor getting ready.  I don't think they were super busy at the time because there must've been about 6 ladies in there.  Either that or they were more worried than they led me to believe! 

During my next contraction I pushed . . . just once . . . and we had our perfect little Tanner Richard join us.  The doctor said she'd never delivered a baby before that with truly just one push.  Tanner had a full knot in his cord and it was also all corkscrewed.  All of the ladies were telling David to get a camera because this was a miracle child and we needed a picture of his cord.  We're just so thankful that he came early and small and there was no trouble with his birth.

Over my time of waiting for Tanner, when my blood pressure was high, I was imagining all sorts of things that could or would be wrong with him.  I figured something must be wrong because I always had low blood pressure and now it was high.  Now we are just thankful that God worked it out so good to give me high blood pressure so I'd have a small early baby who could be born vaginally without any problems, even though he had a full knot in his cord.

Soon after Tanner was born (I'm really not sure how soon . . . . maybe an hour, maybe longer), because of his birth weight, Tanner's blood sugar was checked.  It was low and after a bit of formula it was still low.  Daddy and Tanner went over to NICU.  They were hoping to get his blood sugar up without an IV, but he couldn't keep it up.  A little after noon he ended up getting an IV.  I think by Tuesday he'd gotten off of it but went back on it very soon.  By Wednesday afternoon he was weaned and able to stay off of it.

Tanner and Mommy

Our little present . . . wrapped in his bili blanket and under the overhead bili lights.

Daddy's hand

Tanner had jaundice from ABO Blood Incompatibility.  This jaundice can start on the very first day of life.  By Monday morning he had to be under the lights for his high bilirubin.  He fought with that for many days.  In the NICU he was under lights Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Sunday and Monday.  He was finally able to go home Monday night, February 11th, with a bili blanket (a light that he laid on).  After checking in with his pediatrician each day, he ended up being on that light until Friday morning.  We're so happy to be able to hold him when and where we want now!  When he was on the light at home, we had his playpen w/bassinet set up in the living room, close to the warm woodstove.  He had to be naked on the light and we wanted him to stay warm.  We could cover him, but he was good at kicking off covers too!  If he wasn't happy, we could hold him in one certain chair, with his light wrapped inside his blanket.

Over the lights at home.

Overall, Tanner has been super good.  Mostly he sleeps, but lets you know when it's time to eat!!  He also doesn't like getting diapers changed:)

Wearing the long johns all the boys have worn.  Most of them only got to wear them about once, but they'll fit Tanner much longer:)

13 days old

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Tanner was under the light yesterday, but no longer today. He should be coming home tomorrow :)

Thursday, February 7, 2013


Tanner still hasn't got to come home. He wasn't under the lights yesterday, but then had to be again today. His blood sugar seems to be good, though-it had been low. We're not sure when he will get to come home, but it will sure be exciting when he does! Mom came home for a few hours today at the nurses' urging. Now she is on her way back to the hospital.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Tanner Richard

Our new little brother.
5 pounds, 12 ounces
19 inches
Born yesterday morning.