Sunday, January 12, 2014

Unto us a son is given...

My Birth Story

Let me start this post by saying that you are by no means obligated to read this entire post as it is most likely going to be quite long. I mostly want to get it written down before I forget everything! It already seems like an eternity ago...

On Monday, December 23 I had gone to my OB, Dr. Salzetti, and had still not progressed at all. At that point I was 4 days overdue already. I did NOT want to get induced. It was one of the few things I was 100 % against. But Dr. Salzetti said they wouldn't let me go past 14 days overdue and he wanted me to set an induction date for sometime the next week. if I wanted my doctor to deliver my baby I would have to do it by Sunday. For the rest of the week it would be a different doctor on-call at the hospital. So we set induction for Sunday the 29th. I still had almost a week to go into labor naturally. I was CERTAIN that I would go into labor before then...

I did EVERYTHING in my power to go into labor the next week. You know all of those things people tell you to do? "Oh, when I was pregnant I just ____ and went into labor within an hour!" Well...NOTHING worked. I even walked 6 miles on Saturday in hopes that it would put me into labor and I wouldn't have to be induced. I had ONE noticeable contraction on our walk and THAT. WAS. IT.

Sunday, December 29th 2013

Sunday morning at 7:30am we checked into Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla. They hooked a fetal heart rate monitor on my belly as well as a contraction monitor and gave me an IV with Pitocin to induce labor. I was nervous to get the process started, but excited that I would be meeting my baby sometime in the next couple of days. Dr. Salzetti was very positive. He even mentioned that if I had my baby by noon that I would "be home by tomorrow night!" Awesome. Sounded good to me. I wasn't allowed to eat anything while on Pitocin so I spent all day hooked up to a huge IV tower unable to really move around and pretty much starving. The contraction monitor said I was having regular contractions all day but I felt NOTHING. So the contractions were either super weak sauce OR I have an amazing pain tolerance.
At around 8:00pm Sunday night Dr. Salzetti came in to check on me. He said I really hadn't progressed at all after 12 hours on Pitocin and he wanted to try me on another drug that was placed directly in your cervix instead of through an IV. He said that in most cases when Pitocin doesn't work that this drug does the trick. He was hoping that some time in the middle of the night I would deliver this baby. So they took me off of Pitocin and let me eat dinner. Halleluiah.
After dinner they started me on the new drug and I tried to sleep. The only problem was that they had to come in every couple of hours to insert the drug...NOT comfortable. I also had a blood pressure cuff that took my blood pressure every 20 minutes. SO...I didn't really sleep almost at all.
At 1:00am Monday morning the nurse came in and told me that the baby's heart rate was dropping and I needed to be put on oxygen to hopefully help his heart rate rise. I was also placed on my side and told not to move because that was the position that the baby was getting enough oxygen. So then not only was I not sleeping I was worried that poor baby Nathan was in distress. During the night I felt several uncomfortable contractions, but it pretty much just felt like bad period cramps (ok, sorry if any men are reading this, but I can't say it any other way).
By 7:00am in the morning it was time for Dr. Salzetti to go home. He had been on-call at the hospital waiting for baby to come for 24 hours. So he introduced me to the OB who would be taking over for him. Her name was Dr. Lee. Dr. Lee checked me for any dilation...I was still only dilated to a 1. She told me that they were going to stop the drug I had been on all night. I had some good contractions all night but with every contraction shown on the monitor his heart rate would dip. So even though my contractions were mild my baby was not handling labor well. She wanted to try to put me on Pitocin again, but they couldn't start me on Pitocin again until baby boy's heart rate stabilized. She said that if his heart rate did not stabilize they couldn't put me back on Pitocin and we would have to start talking about a C-section. That broke me. I was trying so hard to be strong and to be patient for the last 24 hours, but after another sleepless stressed-out night I was unable to control my emotions. A C-section was NOT in the plans. I started bawling. Poor Dr. Lee had just met me and I could tell she felt really bad. She told me not to worry that she would come back at 9:30am after monitoring his heartbeat and we would see where to go from there.
So for the next two hours the nurse monitored the baby's heart beat and I contemplated what to do. I didn't want a C-section, but I couldn't shake the feeling that it was selfish of me to keep trying for a vaginal birth when my poor baby was in distress. I decided if his heart rate didn't stabilize by the time Dr. Lee came back in that I would tell her I was ok with going ahead with the C-section.
Cameron went home to shower and get ready for the day during this time since nothing was happening. Meanwhile Dr. Lee came in and told me baby was still not doing as well as he needed to be in order to start the Pitocin again. I told her that I was ok with going ahead with the C-section if that's what she suggested. She told me that she felt that I was already being a good mommy to my baby for making that choice. By the time Cameron got back to the hospital they had prepped me for surgery and had a suit ready for Cameron to put on. When Cameron walked in the room Dr. Lee was there and said, "I assume you heard about the change of plans?" Cameron looked really confused as the nurse handed him his suit and said that he hadn't. We briefed Cameron on the plan and he suited up and we got right to it. I felt so bad that everything was just thrown at him when he got there, but things happened much faster than I had expected. By 11:30am I was being wheeled into the operating room.
Cameron wasn't allowed to be in the room while I was getting my spinal anesthesia. I was terrified. I think I was in a little bit of shock because I had a hard time holding my body still because I was shivering so bad. I was FINALLY going to meet this baby of mine who had occupied all of my thoughts for the last 9 months!!!
After I was numbed they let Cameron come in and he sat up by my head and they put a tarp up between the doctors and us during the C-section. I am SO GRATEFUL I couldn't see what they were doing. I'm sure if I had to see my guts sprawled out on my tummy like that...the vision of it would be burned into my memory forever.
Within 10 minutes I heard Dr. Lee say that there was meconium (baby poop) in the amniotic fluid which is really dangerous if the baby swallows it. The umbilical cord was also wrapped around poor Nathan's neck. They pulled him out and pulled the tarp down so we could see our son. He let out a big cry and stretched out his arms above his head like he was the champion.  I cried tears of joy and relief as I heard my son cry for the first time. He was perfect.

Nathan Stanley Jensen
(Nathan-named after Cameron's dad, Stanley-my maternal grandmother's maiden name)
Weight: 8 lbs
Length: 20 1/4 in
Birthdate/Time: December 30th, 2013 @ 11:56am

Cameron went over to the side with a nurse and helped cut the umbilical cord and wash him up. They brought him over and set him on my chest and Cameron and I had a few minutes to look at him before they had to whisk him off to the postpartum room where my mom was patiently waiting to see her grandson for the first time. I stayed in the operating room for another 5-10 minutes where they closed my incision and got me into my gurney and rolled me into the postpartum room.
For about 10 minutes I felt great and was able to hold and nurse Nathan. Then all of a sudden all of the blood rushed from my face and I spent the next 8 hours miserably nauseous and light headed. I felt so sad that I couldn't even open my eyes to look at my baby. Cameron got some really good daddy bonding time during those hours that I tried to sleep off the nausea.
I spent the next 4 days in the hospital. We didn't get released from the hospital until late Friday afternoon because Nathan had lost 10 % of his birth weight and they wanted to monitor him to make sure that there wasn't anything wrong with him. It was a very long 5 days. We were so relieved to finally get Nathan home.
All in all I am so grateful for the way things happened. A couple of days after Nathan was born I was sitting there looking at him and just reviewing and digesting everything that had happened to us in the last few days. As I contemplated why my body rejected all of the attempts at going into labor I felt like there was something wrong with me. Does my body just not go into labor? Will I have to have ALL of my kids C-section because I CANT have them any other way? As I sat there came to my mind and heart the simple whispering of the spirit that my body did not go into labor because Heavenly Father was sparing us from what would have happened if I had gone into labor. Nathan must have important things to do in his life! I'm so excited to be his mother.
I am so grateful for Cameron. I can't imagine doing this without the tender loving care and support of a companion. He is right there with me every step of the way, encouraging me, making me feel like I am doing a good job. I love to see how he holds and loves our son so tenderly.  I am also eternally grateful to my wonderful mother who came and stayed with us all week. She was there for mental and physical strength when we needed it. Because of the C-section there were times where I don't know what I would have done without her because we not only had to take care of Nathan, but I couldn't do much on my own either. Between Cameron and my mom's powers combined we were both taken care of. It was nice to have her reassurance during hard times that everything I was experiencing was totally normal. She was a real cheerleader.

Thank you everyone for your love, prayers, support, texts, and calls. I'm sleep depraved, exhausted mentally and physically, my nipples hurt, but wouldn't change things for the world.   

Here are a few pictures of the first two weeks of Baby Boy's life:
Proud Grandma Kathy with Nathan just a few hours after he was born

Proud daddy-Cameron with Nathan just after he was born

This is how Nathan felt about being extracted so rudely before he was ready to be born (11 days late)

He's even beautiful when he cries. We do NOT see this face very often. Thank goodness, it makes me so sad :( 

Aunt Callie came to see Nathan the day we left the hospital

More Visitors! 

Allison and Brent Wagstaff-We were lucky enough to get a special visit from our dear friends from Utah. It was so good to see them. MOVE TO SAN DIEGO, PLEASE! 

Wes and Nichole Mallett-Thanks for coming over, guys!

Such an amazing Daddy-we love him so

Mommy sneaking in some shut eye where she can