Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Meet Jack

Introducing our precious baby boy, Jack Joseph, born Saturday October 3rd, 2009 at 3:16am.

Jack Joseph
Born October 3rd, 2009 3:16am
7 pounds 8.7 ounces
21 inches

We've spent the past 19 days getting to know our precious baby boy and could not be more over joyed with his arrival. The past nearly three weeks have been the best days of my life and I could now not imagine Joe and I's life without him. I look at him and can't even begin to put into words the love I feel for him.

I realize this post is very long over due but finally below is our birth story.

I had planned to work up to my due date, September 24th, but decided to cut it short and started my maternity leave September 23. I'm extremely glad I worked as long as I did as Jack decided to make quite the fashionably late appearance 8 days after his due date. I was fully prepared to go past my due date but never did I imagine he'd end up being an October baby.

Those 8 over due days were the longest most anxious days of my entire life. I would torture myself with afternoons filled with never ending episodes of A Baby Story, Birth Day, Bringing Home Baby and Deliver Me.

40 Weeks

At my 40 week and 1 day appt an induction was scheduled for October 3rd 6 AM. Thankfully we never made it to that scheduled induction. Friday October 2nd, around midnight, I began having regular mild contractions that were about ten minutes apart. Around 2 am I decided to try getting some sleep and was able to sleep off and on throughout the night. My sweet husband spent the night watching over me just waiting for something to happen . . he later admitted routinely checking the couch I was sleeping on to check for some sort of sign that my water had broke.

Friday afternoon at 1:30PM we had our last doctor appointment. At this point contractions were still mild but timeable at about 7 minutes apart. Thankfully they had been doing their job as the doctor proclaimed I was now 3 centimeters dilated. After checking availability at the hospital she sent us over to labor and delivery. We hadn't eaten lunch yet so we decided to grab a quick bite to eat first and then made our way to the hospital.

Waiting to be admitted

I was checked and admitted at 3:25 PM Friday Afternoon, 4cm. I met the doctors that were on call, was hooked up to the monitors and set up in my delivery room. I was still able to get up, walk around and use the bathroom at this point with a good amount of ease. At 5:30PM they broke my water. At this point contractions began getting much stronger. They were still bearable but stronger. It was interesting watching the monitors as each contraction came and went. By 7 PM my nurse offered me an epidural as the contractions were much stronger at this point and the anesthesiologist was in the room next door administering another epidural. 7:30 PM my epidural was started. I was checked again at 8PM and was still 4 cm dilated. Joe and I tried getting some sleep at this point and dozed off and on for the next couple hours.

At 2:30 AM my amazing nurse, Mindy, checked in on us and determined I was finally 10 cm dilated and could feel the head very low. She asked if I was ready to do a few practice pushes. This was the point where everything hit me like a ton of bricks. The reality of having a baby, being a mother, the outcome of the last nine months . . it finally hit me I'm going to be someones Mom. And with that my answer to "Do you want to do some practice pushes?" became "No, that's ok." My anxious, sleep deprived husband looked at me in disbelief. After 8 days of anxious over due waiting I was now apparently in no hurry. Mindy agreed to give me a little more time and said she'd be back in half an hour at which point we'd need to start pushing. I agreed. While I wasn't in any pain I could feel the pressure of each increasingly intense contraction and though I felt like I could push I didn't feel like I had to push . . yet.

As Mindy left the room Joe gave me a lecture about how it was time to finally meet our son. I remember some guilting was involved, as well as mention of my ten years deceased Great Grandmother. He really knows which buttons to push when he needs to. And with that Mindy was back in our room at 2:45AM and I was actually pushing. Joe with one leg, Mindy with the other. At 3AM they called the doctors in and we continued pushing. Joe was amazing through the entire thing. Very supportive and encouraging through each push. I was blessed to have him by my side.

7 Pounds 8.7 Ounces

At 3:16 AM Jack Joseph entered the world grabbing and tugging at the umbilical cord wrapped around his tiny shoulders. Having him placed on my chest the second after he was born was the single most amazing experience of my life. My exact words were "He's beautiful. I know everyone says that but seriously he really is beautiful!" He weighed in at 7 pounds 8.7 ounces and 21 inches long (a far cry from the 9 pound baby we were continually warned about). Perfect.

Meeting Jack

Following delivery there were a few complications. While I managed to fair pretty good without any external tearing thanks to the wonderful doctors perennial massaging, I unfortunately had some extensive internal tearing that needed to be addressed. They tried repairing everything in the deliver room but weren't making much headway and needed better lighting and equipment. So just as Joe was arriving back from giving family in the nearby waiting room the news of Jack's arrival I was being wheeled out to the operating room. Admittedly at the time I didn't think much of it. My doctors were very convincing to me that my tearing was not a big deal and I'd be fixed up in no time. Looking back it was actually pretty scary for Joe but I'm thankful my doctors were able to keep me as calm and relaxed as they did since I obviously had no idea how bad it was.

I was back in my room by 5:30am and we finally were able to call family back to introduce Jack.

I had a wonderful experience delivering at Penn State Hershey Medical. I had amazing nurses and doctors (with the exception of one first year resident who simply lacked confidence in herself) who contributed to a really positive birth experience for me and my husband.

I hope to update more about our first days home with Jack soon.


C and M October 26, 2009 at 8:50 PM  

YAY! You updated! It was fun to read your birth story. I'm glad things are going so well. Looking forward to seeing the three of you again soon.

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