Sep 9, 2011

Jake's birth story

This is the third in the series of "Birth Stories" I've been sharing with you leading up to Amelia's arrival. If you missed them, you can read Nathaniel's here and read Nicholas' here.

When I went to the OB on Apr. 14, 2008, I wasn't dilated at all and was only 50 percent effaced. I'd been having contractions for several days, mostly between 9:00 and midnight every night, so I felt like it would be soon. HOPED it would be soon.

The next night around 8:30, the contractions started again and around 11:00 they started getting stronger. I sent Grayson on to bed and told him if I felt like I needed to, I'd call the OB and get his opinion on whether or not to go to the hospital.

Around 1:00 a.m. I was SUPER uncomfortable and was pretty sure it was the real thing. (You'd think I would have been POSITIVE the third time around, but all of my labor experiences were very different.) I called Dr. S at that point, and he told me to head on to the hospital.

I called our friend Christy, who was "on call" for the big event, and I told her we'd bring the boys by in about an hour. Next, I packed my bag and woke Grayson up, then we woke the boys up and loaded them in the van.

We got to Christy's about 1:35 a.m. and then to the hospital at 1:55. By that time, my contractions were about three minutes apart, but I still wasn't dilated at all. But by 4 a.m., I was 3 cm dilated and definitely in labor. I called my parents and sister at that point so they could drive to Birmingham from Atlanta.

Finally, by 7:27 a.m., I was 4 cm dilated and able to get my epidural. Unlike the two previous pregnancies, I never got any Pitocin because I progressed well enough without it ... although too slowly for my taste! I ended up getting three epidural boosts during the day to manage the pain from the contractions, and at 4:30 p.m. on Apr. 16, I was at 9 cm and started pushing.

At that point, the epidural had worn completely off and I was feeling every bit of it. Therefore, I was more than a little grumpy. I am NOT a "natural" kind of gal. I'm all about medication. MEDICATE ME.

By 5:00, Jake was crowning, but my OB had run back upstairs to his office to do something FAR LESS IMPORTANT THAN PULL A BABY OUT OF MY LADYBITS. For some unknown reason, the nurses didn't want to deliver without my OB in the room, but Jake's head was one-third of the way out, and I was feeling it like nothing I'd ever known, and I was telling them adamantly that I didn't care that Dr. S wasn't there, to just pull him out already.

But the nurse sat there and held Jake's head inside me with her hand, telling me NOT TO PUSH, NOT TO PUSH, NOT TO PUSH. And I was all, I'M NOT PUSHING, HE'S COMING OUT ANYWAY.

I don't know that I've ever spoken in all caps more in my entire life. I actually said to the nurse in one of my more PO'd moments, "PULL HIM OUT. UNTRAINED HUSBANDS DO IT ALL THE TIME ON THE SIDE OF THE HIGHWAY. YOU CAN DO IT, TOO."

Ten incredibly painful minutes later, at 5:10 p.m., Dr. S ran into the room and straight into the gown that the nurses were literally holding open for him and delivered Jake at 5:11.

Jake Spencer
Apr. 16, 2008
8 pounds, 8 ounces
21 inches long

And then began a long, long, long 30 minutes for me. They laid Jake on the table and he was very limp, and his arms and legs weren't moving. He looked like a rag doll. He didn't cry and he was having trouble breathing, so they put him on blow-by oxygen. (In the photo below, you can see the line on his head indicating where he was held in place in the birth canal.)

I was petrified. I was convinced that all that time he spent lodged in the birth canal had compromised his health.

The nurses didn't help. They were milling around my bed uttering things to each other like, "I don't know. She didn't have any risk factors." And when I asked what risk factors they were talking about, they shushed me and wouldn't answer me.

They called the NICU for a consult, and a nurse came down to examine him. She massaged his back, worked his arms and legs, fiddled with the oxygen, whispered to people ... it TOTALLY freaked me out. Meanwhile, my OB was trying to reassure me while he stitched me up.

But right then, the only thing that would reassure me was seeing Jake's limbs move, hearing him cry and holding him. None of that was happening.

Finally the NICU nurse surmised that while he was in the birth canal, he might have ingested some unsavory things. So she took a syringe, added a tube to it and ran it down into Jake's stomach. She extracted a good bit of blood and amniotic fluid, and he began to cry and move.

OH THE SWEET RELIEF! I hadn't cried until then, but once the danger seemed to have passed, I just had tears running silently down my face. My sweet baby. Finally okay.

Nathaniel and Nicholas came up to meet him at 8:15 the night he was born, and they were completely smitten with him. Nick was a little more reserved, but Nathaniel clapped and clapped.

And once we got home, it was as if he'd always been a part of our family. The boys loved him from the moment they met him, and they've never looked back.

It's my hope and prayer that adding Amelia to the mix will go just as well ... fingers crossed!


Wade's World said...

I love birth stories! I can't imagine what it would be like seeing your baby not screaming and flailing about, but I'm so glad you're little guy was okay!

Can't wait for you to live blog Amelia's birth! You are going to do that, right? :)

ginmommy said...

Beautiful story! Are you anxious/nervous about Amelia's birth? Will someone update the blog to let us know she arrived?

Martha said...

Oh my goodness! What a horrifically scary story -- albeit one with an amazingly happy ending. Why didn't that nurse just help Jake out?!?! Has she never heard of malpractice? Babies aren't supposed to be "kept inside" until the doctor arrives! What was she thinking!

Jami said...

The picture of the boys on the chair is just too much! How sweet! Can't wait to read how they dote and love on their new baby sister.

Beth, Joshua, Isabella, McKinley and AnnaKate said...

How precious. Your boys look SO much alike... I cannot wait for the new arrival.

Rachel said...

Oh my word! I wouldn't have been so graceful during that time. But heavens...what a BEAUTIFUL baby! Oh I could just kiss his sweet little face off!

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