01 January 2011

Jack's Birth Story

I had said all along I would be ready for Jack to be born as soon as Roger and I did our language evaluations and finished our Thai classes for the year. Well, on Friday the 17th I did my evaluation, on Monday I finished class, on Tuesday Roger finished class, on Wednesday Roger did his language evaluation and by Thursday morning I was having contractions.

The last pregnant picture at 39 weeks and 4 days.

Thursday morning I woke up early and noticed I was having a few contractions but I pretty much just ignored them. I was assuming that Baby Jack would take his time getting here just like Asher did. On Monday I had been to the doctor and she had told me that I hadn't made any progress yet. I had resigned myself to wait until I had to be induced.

Asher and I had a Christmas cookie decorating party to go to on Thursday morning so I started making graham cracker Christmas cookies as soon as I got up. The contractions definitely continued, but I was busy and didn't really have time to see how frequently they were coming.

Asher and I went to our party and the whole time we were there I had contractions and I thought they were pretty regular and a little painful. I didn't feel too great, but I still just thought the contractions would stop after a few hours. I had told Roger I was having contractions and he asked me if I thought that Jack would be born that day. I kept telling him no pretty much up until the time we went to the hospital.

Finally around noon Asher and I left the party and headed home. I could tell the contractions were getting more painful and I was anxious to get home and time them. After Asher went to sleep I sat down and thought they would stop. They didn't. For the next few hours I had contractions every 7-8 minutes. At 4 pm Asher woke up and as soon as I stood up to go get him they started coming more frequently.

Roger and I decided to go ahead and move the crib out of Asher's room and into our room just in case Baby Jack was on his way. We didn't want to have to deal with that after we brought a newborn home from the hospital. By the time that project was finished I was starting to consider that maybe this was the real thing. I sent a text message to our friend that was going to watch Asher just to give her a heads up and tried to get a few things done around the house. I got about half of the dishes done before I needed to sit down. While I was on my feet the contractions were about 4-5 minutes apart and lasting about a minute.

I sent Roger and Asher up to the park to play for a little bit and we decided that they would pick up dinner and after dinner we would probably go to the hospital. While they were gone I sat down and the contractions got more painful. I called our friend to come over and told Roger to head home from the park so we could get ready to go. After the boys got home they ate dinner and we got Asher settled down watching a movie. Around 7:15 pm we headed out the door to check out the traffic situation and decide how we would go to the hospital.

We got in a taxi and figured we would just see how far we could get. If traffic was really bad we figured we could jump onto the train and be at the hospital in a few minutes. Praise the Lord there was not much traffic. It only took us 25 minutes to get from our house to the hospital. At 7:45 we walked into the emergency room and told them I was in labor.

They called my doctor and sent me up to labor and delivery. For the next hour they monitored my contractions and checked to see that I was 2 cm dilated. I was obviously hoping to be farther along, but I was excited that I went into labor on my own and before my due date! After an hour of being monitored my contractions were getting into the really-hurting-don't-talk-to-me range. They walked me across the hallway to a delivery room and Roger and I finally realized that this was the real thing.

Soon after my doctor came by to check on me and I think I was about 3 or 4 cm, but I don't remember. We talked about what had happened when Asher was born and she kept reassuring me that this one would be much easier. At some point we had to fill out a form with all of our names written in Thai. The nurses of course loved that Roger could speak, read and write Thai and they started talking to both of us in Thai. I was just sort of nodding and not listening and not understanding (I was in labor, not exactly the best time work on language comprehension). I refused to answer them in Thai, I didn't care what language they spoke to me I just answered in English.

Around 9:30 I told Roger that I would wait another hour and then I wanted an epidural. After the hour was up I was more than ready for it. Around 11 pm I had reached 5-6 cm and I got the wonderful epidural. My doctor stopped by again to check on things and let me know she was going to be near by. She told me to rest and she thought that Baby Jack would be there around 3 am. She broke my water and also went ahead and gave me a little pitocin because everything slowed down once I got the epidural.

I did rest for a little while and Roger was able to take a little nap as well. But soon after that I started to feel the contractions on my left side. They were getting stronger and stronger and very close together. I could tell that things were happening quickly. I told the nurse I was starting to feel more pain and she called the anesthesiologist. He did something and I felt relief for a few minutes, but I also started feeling a lot of pressure. I knew that Baby Jack would be there soon.

The nurse checked and I was almost ready to push. They started getting the room ready for delivery (including making Roger go change into some silly looking scrubs). I'm not sure what they did with the epidural but I could feel the contractions to know when to push. It was so much better than when Asher was born and I couldn't feel anything.

They called my doctor and I started to push. A few minutes later they were still waiting for my doctor. They called her again and Roger and I smiled at what they said. Loosely translated they said "he's gonna be born now." My doctor walked in a minute later and said she was surprised it had gone so fast. I pushed a few more times and felt Jack's head start to be born. Wow. It hurt. Another push and he was out. It was so fast. I couldn't believe it was over.

They cleaned Jack up a little and brought him over to me. He was making a lot of gurgling noises so they kept coming over to suction him. The nurses helped me to start feeding him and he actually made an attempt to eat. I was so surprised because Asher had so much trouble learning to eat. I held him and the nurses took some pictures for us while my doctor finished up everything.

My doctor told us that I had a horrible scar from Asher's birth and that Dr. Pujo had done a very poor job sewing me up. We weren't really surprised to hear that and finally two years later we had an answer to why it had taken me so long to recover from Asher's birth.

Soon after that Baby Jack and Roger headed off to the nursery. Turns out Jack was having a little trouble clearing out his lungs and they needed to keep him in the NICU for a few hours. I think they brought him back to me first and he had another chance to nurse. He was still making this weird gurgling noises, but they said he would be fine.

My recovery this time has been amazing and easy. I feel so good and really after a day or so I was moving around almost normally. I attribute it all to having a wonderful doctor this time and lots of good care in the hospital. I can't believe what a difference it made having a great doctor and great nurses. Jack ended up getting booted out of the NICU after about 2 hours (much sooner than they had planned) and spent most of his first day laying in bed with me eating and sleeping. I was really worried about how Jack would nurse, but he has done a great job. It also helped that every single nurse in the newborn nursery knew how to help me feed him. I would call them when it was time to feed him and they would make sure we were doing everything the right way.

We did have to spend Christmas Day in the hospital which meant there was no Christmas morning with Asher opening his presents. The day after Christmas we were back at home adjusting to being a family of four. So far it's been good. We are, of course, a little tired, but Asher has done great and Jack is a pretty easy baby.


Anthony & Sharon said...

Yay! Thanks for sharing! I know your docs and nurses made a difference, but YOU knowing what to do with a baby as "veteran mom" also helps immensely I'm sure. Way to go Mama being such a good laborer and deliverer! I love that pic of Jack by himself in the NICU looking all around. Cute round face!
Lots of love to all FOUR of you!

Mark and Beth said...

Thanks for sharing your birth story. I agree with you about recovery being easier the second time around. So glad that you had a great doctor and an excellent nurses- definitely helps things go more smoothly. So glad nursing is easier this time, too. You knowing what to do really helps! Congrats again. Jack is beautiful!

Bethany said...

Yay! I'm so glad this delievery was so much smoother. Jack is precious and you are like the wonder mom! I'm impressed! Love you guys and hope the transition to family of four continues to go smoothly!