Monday, September 12, 2011

Jack's Birth Story

This is a good one...
Thursday, September 8th, started out like any other day. I dropped the kids off at school and ran a few errands before my weekly prenatal exam at 11:30. The doctor listened to the baby, told me I was 0 cm dialated, and asked me if I was having contractions. I told her I thought I may be having a few...maybe a few mild ones an hour...but that I wasn't sure since I had never felt a "real" contraction with my first pregnancy. She told me I would *know* if I were having them because it would be all I could concentrate on. She also told me that once they started, I was to call if they became 5 minutes apart for an hour. Alrighty off I went. I met Aaron for lunch and ran more errands. My mom picked up the kids from school and headed back to her house.
After one of my stops, (around 3 pm) I was sitting at a light and somehow my eyes played a trick on me and I thought the car in front of me had started going. I hit the gas a little and bumped into the back of him. UGH! This just happened 3 weeks prior except we were the ones that were rear-ended and it resulted in a 4 hour trip to the hospital for monitoring...and everything checked out perfectly. I was annoyed because I really didn't want to go back for more monitoring. No damage was done to either car and I'm pretty sure I had driven over a speed bump more vigorously than this bump was. I decided I would be fine and went on about my day. 4:30 rolled around (I was still feeling completely normal) but I decided I should call the nurse and verify what I should be looking for just in case something were to come up after business hours. She told me I ought to go get monitored at the hospital. I said "do I haavvvve to?" She said it is always the doctor's recommendation and that "something made me call in" to her. I assured her I wasn't even going to call because I felt normal but I didn't want to bother them after hours. Her reply was "but you DID call..." I decided to call my old OBGYN in Houston for some advice that I trusted a little bit more. They told me the same thing. FINE!! I'll go to the hospital. Aaron is not gonna be happy about thi$. My mom assured me my job was to get to the end of my pregnancy with a healthy baby.
I told my mom I'd be fine hanging out by myself and that I'd be home around 10 pm. No need to bring the kids and everybody up there to keep me company. Aaron had a phone conference for his school and couldn't come hang with me either.
When I got there (around 5 or so), the ladies at the desk were surprised to see me. They said my doctors office told them I may not come. I rolled my eyes and joked that I didn't need to be there, but oh well. So the nurse hooked me up to the monitors and there I sat...with an almost dead cell phone that I was trying to save for something important...twiddling my thumbs...waiting for them to tell me I was allowed to eat dinner. Finally the hospital OBGYN came in and told me some stuff...told me I couldn't eat dinner yet...and left. The nurse told me the baby on the monitor looked great and that she wished everyone's baby looked that good. Okay let me eat dinner!!! It was going on 7:30 or so. At some point the doctor or nurse came back in and told me I was having some contractions. I started watching the screen and noticed that they were coming pretty regularly, yet I could only feel a slight twinge every so often. 90% of them I couldn't feel at all. I had a funny hunch so I texted Aaron and told him to make sure the SD cards in the cameras were all clear. He kinda thought I was crazy but did it anyway.
Around 8 the doctor came back in and said "first of all, you look great and your baby looks great. But you have an interesting problem. You are contracting every 2 to 3 minutes (WHAT!?) and every so often the baby's heart rate drops during a contraction (he called it late decels)." He told me that currently the baby was safe, but that if he let me off the monitor and the baby's heart started doing that with every contraction, he would lose too much oxygen and it would be bad. Then he said the thing I was least expecting. "The only thing to do is get you delivered."
WAIT! WHAT?! But I'm not ready! I haven't packed a hospital bag! I have a baby shower on Saturday! Actually, the things that really went through my mind were a little more substantial. I am here by myself! I don't want to go into surgery alone and everyone is at home 45 minutes away! I need a camera! Will they wait for Aaron! I haven't seen my kids all day and I'm going into surgery...I would really like to hug and kiss know, just in case. I burst into tears. I think I freaked the doctor out. But honestly, some man I'd never met was telling me I needed to have a baby tonight. And I was supposed to trust his judgement. I almost asked to see his badge to prove he was actually an OBGYN. I told him I felt like I was in the twilight zone. All this was coming at me too fast and I had no familial support to bounce anything off of, calm me down, take cues from that everything was going to be okay, etc. Plus, I had to trust that they weren't sugar coating the fact that my baby was actually okay for the time being. (Later the nurse told me if it really was an emergency they wouldn't have waited for hubby and they would have had the baby out in a minute flat. That made me feel better). Soon after I got all this news, the on-call doctor for my doctor (another unfamiliar face that I just had to trust) came in and told me that she agreed with the plan to deliver.
Sometime in here I called Aaron and told him the news. He didn't believe me and said "when?" "Like NOW...GET UP HERE!!!" He threw a few things together and headed out. He got to the hospital around 9:30. My mom finished bathing the kids and headed out too. My dad was the first to arrive because he was in Round Rock at the baseball game. So I got to see him and Aaron, but not my mom, Owen, or Mason. I was a nervous wreck as they began prepping me for surgery. This was actually happening. And for whatever reason, I couldn't quit tearing up. I am pretty sure I was just overwhelmed.
We rolled into the OR just before 10 pm. They let Aaron come into the OR earlier than normal because I wasn't doing all that great being by myself. Once he got there I was able to calm down. And once they actually started the surgery I was just great! Now I wanted that baby OUT! It was time to meet him and see his sweet little face.
10:27 pm and baby Jack William was born!!! And he was beautiful. And perfect. And screaming! All 6 lbs. 6 oz. and 18 1/2 inches of him!

Everybody did their thing to finish up, Aaron took lots of pictures, and I waited for them to bring him over to me. After Aaron and Jack headed to the nursery (after I saw him of course), Dr. Cutler told me that they tested the gasses in his cord and he was low on oxygen. His cord was also loosly around his neck. She said the decision to deliver was definitely the right one and that it was not because of the fender bender. I felt relieved.
But then I thought about the miracle that had just occurred. I know with 100% of my heart that had I not had that fender bender, I would not have known I was contracting every 2-3 minutes, and most importantly, I would not have found out that Jack's heart rate was dropping with every few that passed. I'd be spending my time this evening not writing this blog post, but doing something else, still pregnant and waiting for Monday, the 26th. My old pediatrician later told me that the situation Jack was in, if undetected, could have resulted in still birth. Wow. I know for a fact that Jack came into this world with God looking out for him. It makes me hopeful for his future. I know God will continue to watch over him (and his brothers) forever. My family has been truly blessed and I am in love with my family of five.