Jacob’s birth story — it’s a boy!

The time finally came. Our long awaited for baby boy was born! One of my worries was that he was actually a girl, not the boy that the ultrasound tech told us he was. I was relieved when I heard the words, “it’s a boy.”

The mood in the room was light. The anesthesiologist was entertaining. He’s a little old Chinese man that no one could understand. Any time he talked someone would say “what?” and he’d repeat what he said. It was hard not to laugh as I listened to all the conversations.

When baby came out, as was custom, the blue curtain was lowered so Devin and I could take our first look. My initial impressions were first, he was very white. He didn’t have much color to him and wasn’t covered in…gook. Second, he looked very much like a boy. Some babies you just can’t tell but ours was definitely a little old man.

Here is our little one just after arriving, being monitored for oxygen.

20140511-230023.jpg

He came out screaming. Similar to katelyns first cry, it’s a high one. I didn’t get the chance to meet him in the OR because his oxygen levels were not stable. The nurses tending to him debated taking a chest X-ray but held off because they couldn’t hear anything in his lungs and he stabilized once they laid him on his tummy.

Here he is still being monitored.

20140512-160230.jpg

20140512-160245.jpg

My doctor is simply a hoot. When he was nearly finished putting my guts back together he said, “ok, see you again at five o’clock!” I assured him I only needed one c-section that day and didn’t need to see him again in the OR.

Devin went on with the baby for his first bath (something I’m sad about missing as a c-section-er) and all those initial doings of things…whatever they do. I went on to the recovery room where, as hard as I tried, I couldn’t get my toes to move. In a weird way it’s fun to try.

Who doesn’t love baby toes?

20140512-160444.jpg

Immediate recovery was a breeze. I felt good and was alert. Oddly, I don’t really remember the first moment of seeing or holding him. I know I fed him while in the recovery room but that’s about it.

After that I was transferred to my room where I spent the next five days and four nights with our newest baby burrito.

Baby’s first bath.

20140512-160832.jpg

20140512-161110.jpg

Facing the changes

The more kids I have, the more I struggle with finding the time and energy to give each child what they need. Not only what they need, but what I need and what we both want. It’s a challenge adding another munchkin to the mix simply because we all have to switch gears and get used to permanent changes. Katelyn and Abby have generally been pretty good with the changes. I can see that once we get back to regular life and routine they’ll be even more comfortable.

Early this week Abby hit a wall with major protests to nap time. So much so that a few days I didn’t have a lot of choice but to give in. I couldn’t compete with her physically. The last few days have been much better as I’ve made lunch and nap time a priority.
Katelyn has been struggling differently. In her own quiet way she’s let me know that she needs some one-on-one time. She misses Devin while he’s at work more than she used to. She sees that Jacob and visitors are taking up more of her time with us and is sensitive about it. There have been several occasions when we are apart for a short time and she tells me she missed me. So sweet.

So though it’s been nice to have family help with katelyn and Abby, I look forward to getting back to our little family.

Jacob’s birth story — A change of plans

20140507-235738.jpg

After the IV was set, fluids were dripping, and most other preparations were made, we were informed that I would likely not be the scheduled noon c-section. Another mother with gestational diabetes was waiting on test results to determine if she had priority over me. Our go-time was looking more like 3pm if my doc could make the proper arrangements.

NBD. I could wait a few more hours. Then we were told that I’d been pushed to 5pm–another “more urgent” situation came up and now two c-sections needed the operating room before me.

I was given a generous cup of ice water to keep me satisfied for five hours and we decided that Devin didn’t need to be there. So he left to do some shopping near by while I settled in for a nap.

About an hour and a half later (around 1:30pm) my nap was interrupted by two nurses waking me to tell me baby’s heart rate had dropped. We went through the dance of “turn this way…no turn to the other side…sit up…lay down…lean more to that side” all with my hands to the sky to allow for frantic adjustments of the fetal monitors gelled to my stomach. The four nurses successfully got baby’s heart rate to resume to its initial speed but not without some remaining concern. In a matter of a few minutes they were scrubbing down and prepping for surgery. I made a panicked call to Devin who luckily was only ten minutes away. A nurse reassured me they wouldn’t start without him.

A big difference with this delivery is that I probably wasn’t in labor. (I couldn’t tell since I’d been contracting every day for months). Therefore, the spinal block was done in the operating room instead of in the laboring room. In other words, it was without Devin. When I realized that was the case, I got more nervous but a sweet nurse gave me a pillow to hug and her hands to squeeze. The process was a breeze and hardly hurt at all. A few minutes later Devin was with me and the blue curtain was up.

Everything was going great. Pressure was as expected. I was surprised, however, that I became sleepy from the block. I was sleepy with Katelyn and Abby but always thought it was because I went into it exhausted. You learn something new every time.

A few minutes into surgery I started to feel nauseous. That made me nervous as I thought I’d have to fight the urge to throw up the entire time. But the anesthesiologist gave me a couple syringes of meds in my IV and in seconds it went away. Awesome.

Then the moment came and our little Jacob became part of our lives…

20140507-235832.jpg

Jacob’s birth story — D-day

Amazingly, we made it to delivery day. At exactly 39 weeks it was time to get that baby out of me! There were three options for surgery times–early (something like 6am), noon, or 5pm. When deciding on a time I was reminded that I had to arrive two hours prior and fast for 12 hours before. The early slot was defiantly out. The evening one would have been painful because I’d have to fast all day. So noon it was. I could handle that.

We got up like normal with the girls and then finally got around to packing the hospital bag. (So prepared, I know.) We left about 30 minutes late which only seemed to concern me.

When we arrived to the hospital the place was bustling. Valet had a line of cars, parking was packed and the drop off/pick up zone was crazy. So Devin dropped me off so I could get checked in.

They were expecting me so I was taken straight to my room to change. Since Devin wasn’t there, I had the nurse take one last picture of me. As you can see, she’s a nurse, not a photographer.

After Devin arrived, I received the first three of my total seven (seven!) pokes. One blown vein IV attempt, one successful IV and a blood draw. Oh, and a near passing out, oxygen required, experience.

Then, the fun began. :)

20140505-103232.jpg

Jacob’s birth story — Pre-op preparations

Early in the week (April 14) I went in for my “pre-op” visit with my doctor. He had been on vacation for ten days so I was glad baby held out for his return. We went over a few things like risks of c-sections, concerns I might have, and my general health condition. NBD.

I went home after that finally feeling convinced that I needed to buckle down and get things ready. After all, it was T-minus three days to D-day and a hospital bag might come in handy.

My parents had left the previous Thursday (April 10) and were due to arrive on Tuesday (April 15). They were road tripping it from Houston. I hadn’t heard from them for a while so I called to check in and see when they expected to arrived the next day.

My mom answered the phone and when I asked where they were she said, “we don’t know where we are and we are stuck.” She repeated it several times and then elaborated saying they were on some dirt road in Arizona and got their car stuck. Then I hear my dad say, “call the fire department…”

And the embarrassing, complicated and controversial story goes on. Loooong story short–this excursion set them back a day and a half.

To say I was stressed out is putting it lightly. My help was MIA and the clock was ticking. But once again, my good friend Christina came to the rescue. She skipped the gym and came over to help with last minute stuff like setting up the porta-crib and cleaning. She’s the best!

On Wednesday my parents arrived. It’s always stressful to figure out how my children will be taken care of while I’m away. I’ve been so fortunate to have my parents come for the birth of all three of my children and stay for weeks to help with the long recovery. Katelyn and Abby warmed up to them right away and didn’t seem to mind the activities and adventures that occupied them.

I don’t know how much sleep I got that night. The last few weeks are rough for any rest at all.

More to come…