As I sit here typing with one hand, Jack is sleeping in my arms. He is in the stage where he is crying and screaming unless he is being held. That is why it has taken me so long to get this done. Jack is 7 weeks old! And already he is smiling (video to come) and cooing. I have been peed on more times than I can count, Jack has squirted poo all over me twice, and I have had vomit projectile on every inch of my body. I have the longest to-do list but it seems as though there always seems to be something more pressing to be done like dishes, laundry, getting boogers, rocking to sleep, cleaning up cat throw up, bathing, feeding, diaper changes, and baths. But nothing beats holding this warm body close to me as we stare into each others' eyes. So as promised, here is the birth story. It includes details, so to any women who haven't given birth who are reading this, or to any men, I warn you! I used to think labor talk was disgusting and too detailed so I understand if you do. So you might want to skim.
Oh and this is long.. but worth it!
I had measured pretty much right on the entire pregnancy. I had a doctor’s appointment 2 weeks to the day (April 12th, a Tuesday) before Jack was born. And I was measuring 39 inches when I was 36 weeks. So my doctor thought he was going to be big so she ordered an ultrasound for me the following week. She was out of town the next week, so I didn’t see her and just got the ultrasound. They estimated the due date to be May 3rd and his weight at the time to be 7 lbs 7 ounces. So a normal size. After this appointment I was walking to my car and I got an overwhelming feeling that Baby Jack was close. I had a feeling he was coming early. I didn’t know if that meant in 2 days or 2 weeks, but I knew he was coming earlier than May 11th… which was his due date. It was like I could feel him close. I could feel his spirit. And it didn’t make me feel scared or overwhelmed. I just said to myself, “Ok I have to be ready.” It was a peaceful feeling. 2 weeks later, I had Jack. So the feeling was real and he WAS early!
I started to have contractions around 1:30 am on Tuesday April 26th (I was 37 weeks and 6 days). I wasn't sure if they were contractions at first, but then I could tell they were because I had extremely sharp pain in my back and it would wrap around my sides into my stomach and hips. I started to time them and they were about 8 minutes apart. I fell asleep around 2:45 but then woke up again around 4:30 because I was having even more painful contractions. So I timed them and they were 5 minutes apart, but still not consistent. I started to get ready for the hospital. I honestly thought I would be turned away from the hospital because the contractions weren't consistent and I was so early. But at 6:15 am, we arrived and entered the triage room.
The nurse checked me and I was dilated at a 3 and 90% effaced. So we waited for an hour and 15 minutes until 7:30 am and she checked me again and I was then a 4+ and still 90% effaced. So they told us we were staying and having the baby that day! The nurse estimated that we would have the baby around 8 pm that night. So I called my mom and sister Lindsey (Lindsey is a labor and delivery nurse in Colorado. I wanted them both to be there for the delivery) and they got in the car and headed out. I told the nurse and the doctors that I wanted to wait until they got there. But things started moving too fast and we couldn't slow them down. Baby Jack wanted to come out!
We moved into the labor and delivery room and waited for the anesthesiologist to come give me the epidural. The contractions were really strong and painful by that point and I couldn't handle them anymore. (Women who CHOOSE to have babies natural are crazy in my eyes! I hated the pain and never want to experience it again! I am all for the meds!) I was told the anesthesiologist was in a c-section but would be right in. While I waited for him, I got the IV in my hand. It hurt! I told the nurse it hurt and she tried to make it feel better, but just ended up stabbing around inside my vein instead. The IV actually never seized to hurt the entire time it was in.
2 hours after getting the IV, the anesthesiologist showed up. I was told the worst part of the epidural was the numbing and it would feel like getting the IV. I knew right then I was in trouble since the IV was STILL hurting me so bad. Let's just say that the whole epidural hurt almost as bad as the contractions. But remember, I was having contractions and feeling every single one of them while getting the epidural so that experience was awful! He poked my back and I instantly felt sharp, shooting pain down the left side of my back. My body jumped so they asked me where it hurt and I started bawling. And I mean extreme crying! I haven't cried like that in 8 years. Brandon had never seen me cry so hard so he started to get teary-eyed. He felt so bad for me. He came over and held my hand while the anesthesiologist continued to poke my back. He readjusted the needle and then I felt sharp, shooting pain down my right side. Then he adjusted again. But this time I felt sharp pain directly on a bone like he was poking that bone. The anesthesiologist readjusted again and then I felt sharp, shooting pain across my lower back. Finally, the last readjustment and the numbing started to kick in. It took me a while to be able to lie down on my back, and for the epidural to kick in and to make it to my feet, but once it did... life was ALL GOOD AGAIN! I actually could always feel my feet, but the epidural did its job at numbing all the painful areas. I no longer had back pain or back labor. I no longer could feel the contractions. We turned on some John Mayer, Brandon took a nap, and I played the Brain Game on my DS!! The on call doctor came in and told me things were moving a lot faster than expected and there was nothing he could do... that he had to break my water. I was so sad knowing Lindsey and my mom wouldn't be there. But he told me that even if we delayed things as much as possible, I would have the baby before they got there. So I decided that I would rather have the baby as soon as possible rather than a couple of hours before they arrived. The doctor checked me and I was a 4+ and 100% effaced.
|Steph in the delivery room. Right after she got the epidural.|
From then we waited a few more hours. During that time, the nurse came in a few times because the baby's heartbeat kept taking abnormal dips and the contractions had slowed down. She sent the information over to my doctor who reviewed it and was worried about the dips. So she gave me a very small amount of Pitocin. The nurse checked me again at that point and I was a 5 and 100 % effaced and a 0 station. The nurse had me turn on my right side to help the contractions.
25 minutes had passed and I started to feel this really weird feeling in my pelvis. So I called the nurse. When she came in she said, "So you are feeling some pressure down there?" I guess it was pressure?! She knew exactly what was going on. She kept me on my side and checked me again. I was a 9, 100% effaced, and 0 station. I went from a 5 to a 9 in 25 minutes! Apparently the Pitocin worked and it's a good thing they gave me a small amount. The nurse told me to give her a push, which she had to instruct me how to push, and just like that I was at 10 cm and +3 station! It was time to start pushing and have the baby!
After one set of pushes, the nurse told Brandon to look. He could see the head! Jack was all ready to enter the world. Brandon said he saw a lot of hair and that a piece of his hair was sticking straight up like Alfalfa! I pushed for about 20 minutes with the nurse and Brandon holding my legs. I would hold my stomach and feel it get tighter and I would feel pressure down there so I would know that I was having another contraction and it was time to push. In between each contraction, the nurse was setting things up, and we were all just talking. It wasn't stressful, I wasn't nervous, I wasn't in pain, and I wasn't sweating like you see in the movies. It was a very calm 20 minutes. I remember always feeling like his head was further out than it was. To me it felt like the whole top of his head was exposed the entire time I was pushing! His head got far enough out that the nurse said she was going to go call the doctor and tell her to come. I was ready to have the baby.
The nurse came back in and said the doctor was 10 minutes out so we had to wait for her to arrive and I could not push until she got here. It was hard not to push! My body was telling me to push and parts of my body were ACTUALLY pushing, so I was trying really hard not to add to the natural pushes. Brandon said he could see the head progressing out during that time, but I tried not to push! The doctor arrived 15 minutes later, got suited up, and had me push to get the head to the point it was at before. I did that in one push. I was kind of hoping that I was going to have a miracle and not tear or need to get cut, but that didn't play out. The doctor told me I was going to tear upwards so she would need to give me an episiotomy to avoid that. At this point I didn't care. I told her to go ahead. The nurse leaned over me to push the call button to have another nurse come in to help with the delivery. I watched her hand reach over my chest. And I listened to the conversation on the speaker. And during those few seconds of time, the doctor had cut me and told me it might pinch a little. I asked her what she said because I didn't hear her, and she just said, "oh never mind!" During those few seconds I got an episiotomy and I didn't feel it at all.
I pushed for 10 minutes (2 and a half sets of pushing) and Jack's head came out and his shoulders and the rest of his body followed with no complications. Our beautiful baby boy was here! He even arrived before the other nurse could come in to help. It happened so fast! He cried instantly. He was healthy and beautiful. Until you experience the birth of your own child, you won't appreciate the beauty of birth. I was so overwhelmed with joy and emotion when I heard Jack's first cry. He was perfect in every way. And had a full head of hair! I never checked if he had 10 toes and 10 fingers. I just held him in my arms, starring at the perfect little human being. I was in awe of the miracle and blessing of life that we were given by our Heavenly Father.
Jack was born at 1:24 pm on Tuesday April 26th, 2011. He weighed 7 pounds 13 ounces and was 19 and a half inches long. He was the perfect size for us. Not too big; not too small. He was born 15 days early. He was just anxious to meet his mom and dad!
|Jack Brian Marcum right after he was weighed and cleaned off.|
They put Jack on my chest instantly. Brandon got to cut the cord as Jack was lying across me. We initiated skin to skin immediately and enjoyed his presence for a few moments before they cleaned him up. I will remember those few minutes for the rest of my life.
|Right after his first bath|
|His hair is curly when it gets wet!|
After the delivery, I leaned over to Brandon and told him, "Labor was a lot easier than I was expecting." I was in labor for 12 hours from the first contraction to when I delivered Jack. For the first baby, I have been told that is really good. I pushed for a total of 30 minutes, which is awesome. So even if there were other complications, everything went well and we are the happiest parents ever!
Well it ended up that we had Jack too quick for my mom and Lindsey to get there in time for the delivery. So Brandon videotaped the delivery so they could see it and feel like they were a part of it. I was also able to watch the video so I could see what was going on down there on the other side of my big belly! It is such a miracle. That video is obviously never going to be seen by another soul, but I am so glad we videotaped the event. What a beautiful moment that we will always be able to remember!
|Dad ad Jack|
|Mom and Jack|
I ended up having a periurethral laceration (upward tear) during delivery, so I was cut down and I tore up. So the healing process afterwards was short from fun. It also ends up that there were actually a lot of complications with the epidural. The anesthesiologist hit a spinal fluid sac and spinal fluid was leaking in to my back. My back always hurt. I had bruising and swelling on my back where the epidural needle went in for several weeks post delivery. I had constant headaches from the day after I delivered. They never got better. Some days I felt like I couldn't function because of them. They would wrap around my skull, into my ears, my temples, my forehead and behind my eyes. Level changes hurt, bright lights hurt, and talking hurt.So a month after Jack was born, I had to get a blood patch (aka blood transfusion). They took blood from my arm and put it in to my back in the same hole that they put the epidural in. That is when I found out that the anesthesiologist actually did hit a vertebrae and to this day it is still bruised and I cannot bend my back very far at all. They put the blood in to the hole of the fluid sac, to cause a blood clot. I had to lie on my back for an hour after the transfusion to help the clot form over the hole. My headaches slowly went away over the next few days. I still get headaches in the afternoons, but the pain is no where near the pain of when I had the spinal headaches. So things are a lot better now.
|Jack Brian Marcum|
|Aunt Lindsey and her nephew Jack|
|We made t-shirts for my mom and dad so my mom and Lindsey wore them here! My Dad had to stay home with my sister Brittney who was finishing her senior year of high school|
|I was very swollen here after that IV. But this is me, Brandon, Jack, and aunt Lindsey|
|The family just starring at Jack!|
|I literally just starred at him everyday in the hospital. I actually still just stare everyday!|
|Jack is the first Grandson on my side. This is a very proud Grandma!|
|Aren't his skin rolls to die for?!|
|Going home! His hand are hilarious. They are pretty much always like this when he is in his car seat.|
|Leaving the hospital|
|On our 2 minute drive home, I got very nauseous and Brandon had to pull over.|
|Arriving home for the first time with a baby|
|All diaper changes at first required at least 2 people. This one required 3!|
|Brandon and Jack.|
|Great Grandma Moss, my Mom, Great Grandpa Moss, and Jack|
|Jack is the first Great-Grandson on my Mom's side!|
|Brandon is an amazing dad.|
We love our little boy!