Sunday, May 1, 2011

Four Months & finally a birth story

Four months already. You would have been 4 months old.

Four months ago, I was in active labour.  My husband and I joked we didn't want Jack to be born on New Years Eve since it's 1) my older sister's birthday, and 2) Jack would have been the youngest in his class. I remember repeating, "today is not your birthday, Jack" as the contractions started getting stronger. We had made lose plans to attend a NYE party about an hour from our house and obviously we had to inform them we were not going to attend as we were going to have a baby instead!

Finally, at 2am on January 1st, my husband and I decided to try sleeping for a bit. This lasted fewer than 10 minutes before I couldn't take it anymore. We grabbed our bags and headed to the hospital a short 5 minute drive away. We checked in and I was already dilated to 4.5.  I knew at that point I wasn't going to be able to labour naturally, something I had toyed with in the months since conception. It wasn't excruciating yet, but I knew that was coming.

I received my epidural by 5am. I distinctly remember the "popping" sound of the needle sliding into my spine. It was gross, but the sensation of cool water pouring down my back (from the pain meds) MORE than made up for it. My waters were artificially broken. Jack had pooped in his waters, so I knew this meant we would have the NICU team there for delivery, and that Jack would be born within a few hours... This was an exciting prospect. I was given Pitocin to speed up the contraction- let the good times roll.
During a contraction
Things progressed for a little while, but with the heart rate monitor belt losing track of Jack, I was told that he would need one of the monitors on his little head to keep better track of things. We did this, but it didn't really help all that much in the end. His heart rate kept slipping and I was instructed to stay on my left side which I did from about 6 am-5 pm. It became excruciating and I developed shoulder pain which is apparently quite common. The other wonderful side effect which came from laying on my left side was that it caused the epidural to pool there, leaving me to feel contractions on my right side.  Oh yes, and lest I forget this fact, I also vomited quite profusely thanks to the medications. This seemed to be the theme of my pregnancy as I had severe all-day sickness with Jack lasting up 'til the end.

By 5pm I was incredibly uncomfortable, tired, and ready to meet my little boy.  I had that urge everyone says you get- the urge to poop. I told the nurse and she told me that meant I was likely ready to push but we needed to see the doctor before we did this.  I remember offering Scott $1000 to carry me to the washroom so I could try to poop. It was so painful. He refused my cash and tried to calm me.  The OBGYN on duty confirmed I was indeed 10 cms dilated. But, Jack was still sunny-side up and high up in the birth canal. We were advised a c-section was in order, and around 5pm I agreed. I think I always knew this would be what ultimately happen, but I wanted to see whether I could indeed deliver vaginally. That would be a resounding "NO!" echoing in your ears...

Eye on the Prize
I was prepped for surgery and my hubby was given a gown to wear which opened towards the front. I had tasked him with the skin-to-skin contact since I was heavily medication and quite worried that I was going to drop Jack. I'm so glad he agreed! :) I continued to throw up in the operating room, much to the chagrin of my nurses and doctor. The OBGYN did a pinch test on my abdomen (can you call it that when it protrudes several inches? ha!) and unfortunately I could feel EVERYTHING on the right side thanks to the medication pooling. He opted for me to have a spinal in addition to the epidural since we needed to get the show on the road. My shoulders continued to ache and I continued puking. It was all around delightful.

Inspecting him
Finally, we were ready to roll and Scott was invited into the room along with his video camera. There was music playing in the background, and eventually we started smelling burnt flesh. It took a few seconds for it to click in that was MY flesh being burned for the c-section. Gross. The radio played one of my all-time favourite songs, Bush's "Come Down". I sang along to the lyrics while being pulled and pushed while they tried to get Jack out of his cocoon.  We joked around with the surgeon, asking whether Jack was indeed still in there.  We were assured he was, and at exactly 6:32pm he let out a wail and was taken over to the table to be checked out by the NICU to make sure he didn't aspirate any of the meconium. That's when Scott stopped filming me and fell in love with his son. He kept repeating, "he's so cute!" and asking the doctor's if he looks okay. He did, and after a few minutes and after acing his testing, he was brought over to me.

I remember looking at him through my haze and thinking he was cute. I don't know why it was so important to me that he was cute, but he was. :) I kept asking how much he weighed and how long he was, but they hadn't measured him and instead placed him on my chest for a few minutes. My shoulders were killing me and I was being jostled as they stitched me back together again. I remember telling Scott to make sure Jack didn't fall off.  Scott and Jack did some skin-to-skin time, and eventually I was ready to be wheeled into the recovery room. Jack was placed upon me again, and my parents were allowed into the room to meet their grandson. We were all very excited, albeit exhausted.

Later that night, when it was just the three of us in the overnight room and everyone else had left, my husband told me he would need 12 more of these babies. This was indeed the very best night of his life.

To think we experienced both the very best and the very worst days of our lives within a week of one another.


Molly said...

Beautiful story and photos! So precious!

Kelly said...

I also had Pitocin, all-day morning sickness til the end, and the pediatric team in the room cuz Adam had pooped. :) The rest of your labor was very different than mine. Goodness lady! I love the story and the pictures. Your husband is so sweet with saying he wanted 12 more. :)

Happy 4 months, Jack. ((hugs))

LookItsJessica said...

Those pictures are so touching, Jack is such a cutie.

Sherri said...

Truly beautiful pictures! Thanks for sharing your story. I'm sorry he's not with you still today!

missliany said...

Love the last picture...absolutly beautiful.

Tiffany said...

Happy Four Month Birthday Little Jack!
He was such a little peanut! Thank you for sharing your story, I love to hear them! I'm sorry he's not here with you today, thinking about you.

Shell said...

Thanks for sharing your story and all the pictures. Thinking of you and little Jack today.

lissasue3 said...

Thank you sharing Jack's birth story. I am so sorry you experienced the happiest and saddest days of your life within a week of each other. It's just not fair.

He's a gorgeous baby, and I hope you have at least 12 more gorgeous babies.

My New Normal said...

What a beautiful baby boy!

New Year Mum said...

My heart goes out to you to tell your beautiful story... and experience such a high then such a devastating low. I can only imagine a fraction of what you've been through. Photos of your darling Jack are so beautiful. Love to you always xoxo

Becky said...

Such beautiful pictures. Thank you for sharing them and the birth story. I guess I was not aware that Liam and Jack were born 2 days a part.
Thinking of you guys always

Nicole Gilbert said...

Thank you for sharing, it's such a beautiful and touching story Jack is adorable and you are one gorgeous mommy! I'm thinking of you!

Caroline said...

These pictures are so touching. It breaks my heart to know how this turned out. He really was a beautiful, perfect little boy.

little vitu's mom said...

what a beautiful boy! I can relate to your story. I wish he were with you now, in your arms.

B. Wilson said...

Yep, totally one of the cutest little faces!

Glad you had this special day, even if it ended tragically.

12 more babies, coming right up. We hope, right? :)

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