Monday, April 11, 2011

The day we all fell in love.

Jackson Rustin 24 hours old

It is amazing how we women like to talk about labor and delivery.  I think it's actually therapy.  It keeps us from having post-traumatic stress syndrome.  And it is a magical moment we don't want to forget.

We had a baby last Tuesday.  We were able to go to the hospital and have labor induced one week early.  We started a little bit of pitocin and my more-than-ready uterus immediately started contracting every 2-3 minutes.  Not painful, just uncomfortable. 

After a couple of hours Dr. Coleman came in (about 11:00) and declared that it was time to break my water and he kindly and wisely suggested we get an epidural before the watery event. 

The epidural was placed, my water broken and--as usual--intense contractions commenced immediately.  That is when it became very evident that the epidural was working only on the left side of my body.  ugg.  After a good 30 minutes or so the anesthetist came back in to try to fix the problem and discovered that the catheter had pulled itself out. (about 12:00) During the course of the day we figured out that out that the anesthetist had a dental appointment later that afternoon with my dad; so I told him that I was going to call and tell my dad to only get him as numb as he got me.  Unfortunately, there wasn't anything that could be done (short of surgical anesthetic) with the rapid intensity of the contractions/dialation and with the baby positioned against my right side.

By this point contractions were extremely intense and I put Rustin to work trying to keep me comfortable.  (move my leg a little, I need some ice, help me sit up etc.) There is no one more comforting than Rustin.  My mom was there also and she helped a ton.  I'm a lucky girl.

The second epidural was placed to no avail. (about 12:30) The baby was posterior and grating against the nerves in my right side with every contraction, which were every two minutes lasting 60-90 seconds.  My left side was completely numb. I was able to sit up and lean forward on a birthing bar and that was enough to take the pressure off my back.  Rustin and my mom would press a hot blanket against my back during each contraction and things were tolerable.  The effect of the epidural and labor made my blood pressure plummet so I had bags and bags of IV fluids and several doses of stimulants to keep me from passing out. 

Before we knew it it was time to push.  This was the only moment of true tears on my part but my worries were unfounded.  Unlike my previous five deliveries, pushing brought total relief from the pain of contractions.  Jackson flipped over and into position at the last second and three contractions later he was born--at 3:37 p.m.  It turned out that he had the cord wrapped tightly around his neck so he took a little coaxing to get going at first.

All told it took about 7 hours, which is double my other labor and deliveries.  I can't complain though--for a 'not perfect' delivery it wasn't so bad.

Baby Jack continued to have some distress for the first couple of hours after birth so he took a visit to the NICU to have some IV fluids and a little extra monitoring.

Jackson went to the NICU just after Rustin left to round up the kids and get everyone dinner.  No new mother should ever be left alone after giving birth!  I was almost panicked.  I wanted my husband and my kids and my baby.  I felt completely out of sorts.  I was still feeling the effects of all the fluids and stimulants.  I was saved from certain insanity when a good friend (Mitch Moffitt--also our pediatrician...) stopped by and offered to check out the baby and give me some grounding words of encouragement.  Thanks. One of those tender mercies for sure.

Rustin and the kids arrived at about the same time Jackson was brought back to my room.  I felt calm immediately.  The kids couldn't stop smiling and the baby was as sweet and cute as ever.  The kids offered to stay with me and sleep on the floor.  I was tempted to take them up on it.  It's amazing how strong the bonds of family are.  We all felt it.  One of the nurses commented about how the kids were waving goodbye until the elevator door closed.  It is completely different to have a baby with an entire support group of my husband and kids.  When we had Benson the twins were seven.  Today they are almost fourteen.  The difference is immense and so comforting.  I have been promised that my children will be my greatest joy in life and I truly believe it.


VicandNanc said...

Wow, for some reason my blog didn't tell me that you've updated until just barely so I had a lot of reading to do! I love the prego pictures as I swear you never look that prego until you hold your hand under your belly :) And CONGRATULATIONS!! I am so very jealous of you that you have a week old newborn already! My due date is Wednesday & I fear this little one wants to hang out in my belly an extra week just like Tommy did. Loved your labor story- you never did say how long it all lasted. I'm glad it didn't end up in a c-section though & that it was all done in a scheduled day's work :)

Erin S said...

Congrats! He is precious. I am glad that everything is going well. Please let me know if you need anything! Hooray for having him early!

Jamie H said...

thanks for posting the pictures! We love you guys! Congratulations! I want to hold him! Get back to normal soon so I can come and visit!

Camisetta said...

Oh, Kim! He is adorable. And I loved your blog! So sweet. Congratulations!

Nicole said...

I loved reading about the arrival of your newest "Hatchling". Love you all. Congrats!

Juli said...

It is so good to hear your feelings. You described those moments alone so clearly. I think I have felt that before. . .

What a beautiful family!