2.21.2017

Jackson Wesley Neve: A Birth Story.

I kind of have a love/hate relationship with these. Before I was pregnant I loved to read them, and see the pictures. WHILE I was pregnant, they t-e-r-r-i-f-i-e-d me. Ha! And now that I've had this baby, it seems almost... weird to share this? Overall I'm so incredibly grateful that Jack is here, healthy, and happy, but my birth experience wasn't earth-shattering or anything. But, I remembered how much I loved reading others' stories so here we are. I'll keep the details to a minimum. :)

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When I first got pregnant, it just didn't feel real. But as time went on with the pregnancy, I got more and more nervous to have this little baby. So much responsibility! Not to mention the fact that giving birth terrified me. But also, as it got closer, I got more and more EXCITED to have him here! I will never forget the first time I felt flutters - I was jammin out to some super loud music in the car and he totally moved! And then the next day, I was playing the piano and I felt it again! I felt like he loved music already and that made me feel the biggest connection to him.

After those first flutters, every time I would teach or play the piano he'd move around like crazy. So I'm convinced he's gonna be a musician. :)

The last good picture of me while pregnant. :)
I had a very healthy pregnancy, and every time I went to the doctor he always said everything looked perfect. Until about 37 weeks. 

I went in for a routine checkup and after they took my blood pressure, they told me it was "borderline high" which can be dangerous for the mother. So, they told me to watch for certain signs of it going up - i.e. headache that won't go away, and abdominal pain, etc. Well that was Wednesday. On Sunday morning I woke up with a terrible headache and of course felt super nervous. Once Jim woke up he convinced me to call the doctor, even though by this time my headache had gone away. I was nervous to call because I had been convinced Dr. Spencer was going to tell me to go to the hospital, but he just told me to take it easy and they'd check me at my next appointment in a few days.

On the following Wednesday (38 weeks) I went in again and my BP had skyrocketed... which I'm sure the stress of that being a possibility didn't help, ha!
Dr. Spencer says, "What's your husband doing today?"
"Working", I said.
"Well, he's gonna have to come home. It's baby day for you!"

I wanted to be shocked, but honestly I had kind of suspected this would happen since my blood pressure was borderline the week before. So I texted Jim and told him to come home. Dr. Spencer told me I had time to go home and get my things, so we decided to meet there and get everything ready. On the way home from the doctor I may or may not have freaked out just a little bit. :) But once Jim got home, my parents came and met us at our house and my dad and Jim gave me a blessing that all would be well.

With that comforting send off, we were on our way to the hospital! It wasn't how I envisioned at all - driving to the hospital without feeling any contractions/water breaking/anything. Dr. Spencer checked me before I left his office and I hadn't really progressed toward labor AT ALL, so he prepared me for a long labor.

We checked into the hospital quite calmly at about 10:00 AM on August 31st (again - not what I expected at all, but looking back it was pretty nice!) I changed into a hospital gown... and then the excruciatingly long wait began.

Because of the high blood pressure, I was told by my doctor that I would have to be on magnesium sulfate to prevent seizures during labor (scary!) and that "it wouldn't be very fun". They started me on pitocin about an hour after they got me hooked up to everything and I was progressing very s-l-o-w-l-y. I honestly didn't feel a single contraction. And every time they'd come check me it was like: 
"oh you're a little less than a one!" 
-one hour later - 
"oh you're right at a one!" 
-one hour later- 
"you're a little more than a one!" 
Seriously... excruciatingly slow.

They monitored my blood pressure every 30 minutes and it always stayed really low so I was hopeful that I wouldn't have to have the mag. By about 6:00PM... pretty much nothing had happened. Ugh! People kept texting my mom asking why they hadn't seen pictures yet, when it was really because 8 hours later we still had no baby, nor were we even close! Jim and I were honestly so bored. We had brought some DVDs to watch (which was a great suggestion!) BUT the TV didn't have a remote so every time I got checked we couldn't pause it and we couldn't hear anything... so that ended up not really being helpful. :) Because everything was so slow at this point, the doctor suggested I get an epidural so they could do some more things to progress my labor.

This was the part I was most scared about, but it ended up being super easy! I've had dental numbing shots worse than this. My anesthesiologist was an older gentleman, and he was fantastic. He kept calling me "kiddo" :) which was cute and helped me relax. After the epidural, Dr. Spencer broke my water and I started progressing a little bit faster.

Then, the dreaded magnesium sulfate was administered. I was hoping I wouldn't have to have it because my blood pressure was always so low when they checked! But I guess it was needed as a precaution. This was honestly the worst part about my whole experience. It made me feel so loopy, tired, and dizzy - and I had double vision. I couldn't focus on anything. It was a loooooooong night because I was exhausted, but I couldn't sleep due to the fact that on top of the normal check-ins, I had to be checked even more often because of the mag. I would just drift off to sleep and then my oxygen monitor would beep (my level dipped every time I fell asleep), or a nurse would come in to check my reflexes, change my medicine, etc. It was excruciating.

Honestly after the magnesium it was all kind of a blur until all of a sudden it was time to push (I say "all of a sudden" like it was so quick... but I really mean 26 crazy-long hours later!). I felt really lucky that I never felt a contraction - the only pain I felt was in my tailbone... which wasn't fun but it was bearable.

When it was finally go time, I only pushed for 30 minutes. Such a tender mercy after that long labor! My contractions were strong but far apart, so I had quite a bit of time between each one. I was SO THIRSTY so I had Jim give me ice chips every time I had a break. At one point my doctor fell asleep in between my contractions! Lol! It was nice though, it honestly helped me feel relaxed and comfortable. 

FINALLY, after 26 hours of labor (did I mention it took 26 hours?!?!?!), Jackson Wesley Neve was here. Born at at 2:38PM, September 1st, 2016. 19 3/4" long, and 6 lbs 1/2 oz! He was beautiful. 

First picture ever! 

So teeny.

First-time grandparents meeting baby Jack! I think Grandma is a little bit smitten. :) And Grandpa is so happy he doesn't have to do the sleepless nights! 
So many people talk about that "magic" feeling when they hold their baby for the first time, but I want to be honest here and say I didn't feel that at first. I didn't get to hold him immediately - he needed a little help to breathe right at first. But because of the magnesium and the double vision, the first look I got of him was.... two heads. Haha! Even though the birth and labor went well, it was still a bit of traumatic experience for me. As they were cleaning him up and everything I just started crying. The sweet nurses kept reassuring me "he's going to be okay, don't worry!" but that wasn't my thought at all - I knew he was fine. I was just exhausted, overwhelmed, scared, and a million other emotions I don't think I can even quantify! It was like I had been holding it all until that moment.

The recovery was rough until they took me off of the magnesium... and then I felt twelve billion times better! That stuff is rough, I tell ya. By the time all was said and done, we had been in the hospital for nearly 4 days. And that was quite ENOUGH! I was so sick of having nurses come in our room every other second. Jack had a bit of jaundice, so we had to wait for the arrangements to get a bilirubin light at home. By the time we left it was 5:00PM on Saturday!

First time in the carseat. I think this picture is hilarious! :)

The first few days at home were difficult because he was on the jaundice light which had to be plugged into the wall. And while we were grateful to finally be home with him, it's hard to take care of a baby in the middle of the night when they're essentially hooked up to a cord! Luckily though, that went away after a few days and it's been good ever since. :)

We called him our radioactive baby for the first few days. 
I was kind of embarrassed to admit that I didn't feel that magic feeling right at first, but I think it's important to not sugar coat that part of my experience. I was pretty distraught about it at first because it seemed like everyone I talked to had that moment! I was worried something was wrong with me because I didn't have it immediately. But, I can honestly say that I feel it now. My heart has grown and Jack has occupied his own little place in there. :) He lights up our whole world! He is so smiley, happy, sweet, and just adorable. He has really been a good baby from the beginning and we are so grateful! He's even sleeping through the night these days! 

A few pictures from his first week of life: 

Meeting Grandpa Neve for the first time! I don't have one with Grandma Neve...
First bath at home!




Love how much he is loved! 
First family photo. 
Being a mother is both challenging and incredible at the same time (on top of a million other things). And I wouldn't trade Jack for the world! Now that I have experienced giving birth I can honestly say I am in awe of all the mothers who sacrifice so much to bring children into the world. What an incredible, terrifying, rewarding, beautiful, difficult, tiring, amazing experience! 

I'm so grateful for the beautiful spirit sweet baby Jack brings into our family. Happy {almost} six months, little baby. 

1 comment:

Riss said...

I had a wretchedly long labor with Lisel, too (like 24 hrs) and I didn't feel the bond at first either. I was just so exhausted and emotionally drained! Rosalie's labor went much smoother though. Hopefully your second will be too! Not saying you had a terrible experience, but it's always nice to have an easier one. :)