JSL’s Birth Story & Update

Let’s see if I have time to try to type this out now. I guess JSL showed everyone that he was going to do things on his schedule. He knew that Sunday was the best, but decided to be a little trouble maker and complicated things for a Monday arrival. I should have known since it wasn’t good for the OB’s office or some of our relatives for the bris the following Monday.

Anyway, I was really tired Sunday night and went to bed early. It was actually the first night that I didn’t have any contractions or anything before bed. At 3:00 I woke up and was too drained to move to go to the bathroom. At 5:00 I said forget waiting until the alarm goes off, I need to get up. While getting up I heard my hip pop and then when I stood up on both legs I felt/heard a pop in my pelvic area and RAN to the bathroom. Upon leaving the room I yelled to sleeping JL that my water broke meet me in the bathroom. Begin “chicken with head cut off mode” for the experienced daddy and mommy.

JL quickly came to me and was shocked to see that I was indeed telling the truth. He first called my parents to let them know it wasn’t a drill and then called the OB’s emergency/labor number. The OB called back and said to go to the hospital as soon as we can and she’d call for updates and see me later. So JL ran around getting a few last minute things for our bag and getting a bag for NHL. My Aunt S. called and said she would come right over to watch NHL for the day. So he went with her at about 5:30 and spent the day with her and my grandmother (woke her up with the good news). By 5:45 I was freaking out and wasn’t sure how I was going to get to the hospital since I was gushing amniotic fluid. Nothing was good enough. I finally settled on a hand towel folded until it was so thick it barely fit in my underwear, tossed sweatpants on and got into the car. I then felt EVERY bump on the road driving to the hospital.

When we got to the hospital at about 6:15 my mother met us there to go in. They couldn’t get me a room right away. This changed when my contractions finally started. Up until 6:15 I didn’t have any. Then they started quick and were painful. I never had any natural contractions last time without pitocin – my water breaking didn’t start them like it did this time. I told them I felt pressure during the contractions and it was not my first child. That got me a room quickly. The problem – I was at the end of shift and they were crazy after a ton of people leaving at the end of the evening. So, I got a room and a nurse said she would look and see what was going on. As I got up from the wheelchair (it’s a LONG way from the parking garage to L&D) water gushed all over. My pants, legs, sandal and the floor were soaked! She then said – okay I think we can skip the checking and just get a doctor in here for your exam.

A resident came in about 10 minutes later (~6:45) and did an internal exam. At that point I was already 5 cm dilated (much improved from 1 1/2 on Thursday) and I believe she said -2. She didn’t say anything about my cervix at that point. They decided to see how things continued and called my doctor to see what she had to say. They knew what I told them about never going beyond 1 cm the first time when my water broke, so I was already a lot further on my own.

The new nurse came in at 7:15 and looked at my contraction pattern and the baby’s heartbeat. Things were good and going well. She said my doctor was willing to let me have whatever I wanted for pain as I wanted it. I talked with the nurse. I told her I was afraid not to have an epidural since I was afraid of needing pitocin. So, she scheduled the team to come in for the epidural spinal combination. I think that was done at about 8:15 and I was shocked with how quickly I was numb and unable to feel a thing. At that time I had strong contractions going every 2 minutes or less. My doctor came in at about 8:30 to check me. I was still the same with no progress, so she decided (to my horror) to get some pitocin going since my contractions were petering out.

So they got the evil pitocin going at about 9:00 (which luckily I couldn’t feel) and I sat and itched from the epidural reaction. Still the itching was worth it. At about 9:30 they pumped up the pitocin level some. The doctor and nurse came rushing in at about 10:00 – never a good thing. They baby’s heart rate was dropping with contractions and they were in to see what was going on. They told me sometimes that happens when you dilate quickly and the baby enters the birth canal. So it was time for a check. I was now at 7 cm, 0 station, and 90% effaced. Since the contractions were regular they opted to stop the pitocin to see what my body could do. I was also put on my left side and given some oxygen to help the baby.

His heart rate was getting better and they moved me to a larger delivery area just before 10:30 which is right about when JL’s parents arrived from Long Island. My mother works in the hospital so she kept checking in. Eventually JL’s parents took him to get something to eat at 11:00 and left me to rest. That’s about when my doctor came walking in. She figured I’d be ready since I was so far along before that. Well, nothing had happened since they stopped the pitocin. So she said to start it back up again. Within 15 minutes I was having major contractions less than a minute apart and I was feeling them as some twinges with the epidural. They told me to let them know if I felt pressure.

Well at about 11:40 my doctor came back in since she heard about another baby heart rate dive. She did a check. This time I was 10 cm, the baby’s head was visible, and I was ready to start pushing. It was funny. . . last time with Noah I was ready to go while JL was out at lunch with his parents. He came back just in time and told his parents to wait for later to come and see the baby. My mother and JL were with me. This time I had no practice pushes, the doctor was there the entire time. I could feel some contractions (they were coming so quickly they all blended together with the epidural).

I think she was all set for me to start pushing at about 12:15 or so (I remember the local noon news being on the television). The doctor told me that I was pushing well, but not being consistent. At one point she got a little angry that I was pushing, but she didn’t know where. I told her I couldn’t feel a place to push since I didn’t have pressure like last time. So. . . eventually I felt her hands and tried some big pushes. The baby’s heart rate went down again. She told the nurse to get more back up in the room from Peds and a vacuum just in case. That really motivated me . . . in addition to now feeling her hands to push into. About 3 sets of pushes later I was hearing “Oh my that’s a BIG head” . . . the doctor quickly asked if I felt something and then quickly did an episiotomy to help him out. With another set of pushes his head was out and then the rest of him was delivered at 12:31 in the afternoon.

Last night I asked JL if he cut the cord since I missed it. Nope, apparently as he was trying to ask to do it the doctor did it. I’m a little angry about it, but there was a lot going on at the time. JSL immediately went to get checked. He had a 9/9 on the apgar. Eventually JSL was weighed and measured. He was 8 lbs 15 oz and 20 inches long. A much larger head than his big brother NHL, but in his defense he was almost born at 40 weeks and NHL came at 38 weeks (7 lbs 10 oz).

The hospital stay wasn’t too bad, except a few horrible nurses that had me in tears during the night shift. Luckily JL was there with me for the second and threatened to take me home at that point. Jacob did well there too. The pediatric team saw him and after 24 hours both of his testicles were down. The only item we need to watch is his tongue. It’s sightly tied. Nobody mentioned it to me until the day we were being sent home when the lactation consultant said something. She went and talked to the peds team and they said it’s very slight – only a little tight and should not have any issues – just to have his doctor watch it. I also took advantage of the lactation consultants. They worked with me, but agreed that I know my body. They got me a pump to start working with immediately to give him something and to try to keep my breasts from getting mastitis like last time.

Our first day home was rough. I started to swell really badly and was in agony from it. When it got into my hands and not just my feet/legs and thighs JL called my OB. She said it was just the fluids, but she wanted my BP checked at the office in the morning. Then when I got up that morning I passed a plum sized clot and freaked! I called her back again and asked about it since the hospital says anything bigger than a quarter isn’t good. So at 10:00 JL took me to get checked. My BP was a little high for me, but completely normal. The NP was the only one in and she saw me. Said the swelling is normal (unfortunately) and so was the clot. She explained why the clots can happen at this point especially after being in bed all night. Then I showed her some ducts that were already clogging. She agreed that I know mastitis when I see it and gave me a script in case I need it. She told me to pump and if he won’t work with me to just pump until I can no long pump. Last night I had a hot spot and Jacob, pumping, and heating pads helped to get most of it out.

JSL went to the doctor at 2:00 and is now 8 pounds. The PA was very happy with his coloring and said to keep up with the pumping and feeding if he won’t latch and nurse. So that’s the plan for now. He wants to see him again in 2 1/2 weeks unless something happens. We did have a little trauma happen while there JSL’s cord stump got caught on something and started to bleed so now we have to it some bacitracin on it. He’s sleeping a ton and refuses to latch now. He’ll get on with the shield and then flips out since he wants milk NOW (and I have really quickly let down too).

Big brother NHL is doing well. He doesn’t seem to be jealous of his little brother at all. In fact he’s overly anxious to help and do things with his brother. He doesn’t quite understand why he can’t feed the baby a bottle or do more things, so it’s hard to watch him to make sure he doesn’t inadvertently hurt JSL. He’s a proud big brother and shows photos to everyone and tells everyone about “my baby!”

On that note it is time to end this novel and pump before waking JSL up to nurse – we are home alone today. He’s currently passed out in a papasan chair that he loves (thanks for letting us use it L).

C’est Moi
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Here are some photos from last night and today:

In his cozy chair on loan from L:
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Completely out:
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Eyes open and alert today:
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Loving his Boppy:
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