Monday, April 6, 2009
The Legend of the birth of Jack Barry
Mr. Jack Barry was born at 2:30 am on Saturday April 4th. Legend will tell that a cuter baby has never been seen before, and likely never will again.
On Thursday, April 2nd I was 1 day overdue. I wasn't uncomfortable, but wanted to get things moving along if I could. I called my favorite Chinese restaurant and asked for an order of the spiciest dish they had. I scarfed it down and went to bed.
Friday, April 3rd I woke up at 5 am with what I assumed was pretty bad gas. I fell back asleep but woke up again 8 minutes later with the same gas. I thought that was odd but went back to sleep. 8 minutes again I woke up with "gas" and realized that gas is NOT timeable. At that point, I knew it was go time. I figured I should save my strength so slept off and on until 8 am (unusual, because I'm usually up by 6:30 am max). Around 10 am Troy came out to the living room and I told him it wasn't gas but contractions. I decided that since it could be a LONG day, that he should go to work and we would just go about our day as normal.
After he left, I went to the library to renew a book that was due on April 4th (irony), dropped off some Easter candy at the church for the Easter baskets, went to Wal-Mart to return an item and walk around. After seeing the white trash that hangs out at Wal-Mart at 11 am on a Friday, I got in my car and went to Fred Meyer. Fred Meyer is no fancy-pants store but it's much nicer than Wal-Mart! I did a few laps, picked up some more rechargeable batteries (baby stuff takes a ton of batteries!), and then dropped off a baby shower gift at someones house. I figured I would indeed not be making the shower on Sunday afternoon.
The contractions were getting much stronger when I got home, so I laid down for a bit. Troy headed off to a doctor's appointment and I swear the second he left the contractions kicked in hard core. I did a load of laundry and dishes to distract myself, but by this time they were coming every 3-5 minutes and were STRONG. They generally encourage you to head to the hospital when they're "5-1-1": every 5 minutes, lasting 1 minute, for more than 1 hr. I was already there, but wanted to avoid being at the hospital for any period of time. I labored on my yoga ball and when I fell off the yoga ball during a contraction, I knew it was serious!
Troy called and I encouraged him to head home from his doctor's appointment soon. I also called our doula Lexi to tell her we would be leaving for the hospital and would be there between 5:30 and 6 pm.
We got to the hospital and I was told I was only 1 cm dilated and 75% effaced. W-T-F?! I knew from our childbirth classes that lying down was the worst thing to get baby moving, so Troy, Lexi (doula), Troy's mom, and I headed outside to walk a 6 mile trail around the hospital. We got about a half mile down the trail and had to head back because I was required to be monitored for 20 minutes every hour.
After about another hour I was checked again and told I was only 2 cm dilated but 90% effaced. I could not for the life of me figure out how I was supposed to do this for "xxx" number of hours since I was making such slow progress. I would have stayed home longer but I required an IV of antibiotics that I was supposed to have twice four hours apart before Jack was born.
After the 2 cm check, I got in the tub to try and labor it out a bit. That was a big backfire because 1) the tub was tiny, 2) I couldn't use the jets because I had the external fetal monitor on and they couldn't pick up his vitals with the jets making noise. At that point I uttered one of the two swear words during my time in the hospital. When the nurse said no jets, I yelled "I fucking hate the fetal monitor". Also being in the tub caused Jack's heartrate to decell a bit so that freaked out the nurses. I stayed in a bit longer lying on my side and ate a popsicle.
At this point Troy had been by my side the entire time. He was FANTASTIC about coaching me through the contractions and was like a perfect version of what we learned in our 12 week Bradley Method classes.
After the tub, I got on the bed and laid down for a bit. I knew it would delay labor but I just wasn't up for walking. After another internal they said I was maybe 2.5 cm and not making a ton of progress. They won't admit you until 4 cm, but said that since it wasn't busy I could stay there and just wait and see how it went. THANK GOD we stayed!
The next number of hours were a complete blur and I remember at one point the nurse telling me it was 11 pm and she needed to check me. I remember saying "how in the hell did it get to be 11 pm"? I decided I would try to get up and pee and then labor on the toilet for a bit. Poor Troy at this point probably developed a giant bruise around his midsection because I just wrapped my arms around his belly and SQUEEZED during every contraction.
Once I got on, I had intense waves of contractions and then felt a BURST. Troy and Lexi thought I was having the runs, but I said "that is my water breaking - I freaking know it". No one seemed to believe me until I said "I have to poop". A bowel movement is a sign that labor is progressing quickly. At this point I hadn't had a single dose of antibiotics so they kept trying to get me off the toilet and back to bed for the IV. I had wave after wave of contractions and just couldn't move. Finally I got a break and ran to the bed.
The funniest thing is the nurse who administered the IV told me "sorry sweetie, this might hurt a bit". REALLY, um I didn't even noticed it after having what felt like stabbing pains in my midsection since 5 am.
At this point, I got another exam and was told I was only 6 cm. That is the only point during the labor that I thought "I can't do this". I had already been in labor since 5 am, and couldn't imagine going another estimated 4 hrs+ to get to 10 cm and then god knows how long I'd have to push. Troy and Lexi the doula were amazing and kept encouraging me.
I also started to get the intense shakes after each contraction. From our classes I realized this is a sign of transition. Transition is usually the hardest part of labor, but also the quickest - I was almost there!. A few minutes after I was told I was 6 cm I guess I started grunting during contractions. Everyone yelled "don't push" because apparently I was trying to! Lexi taught me to blow out (like bubbles almost) during contractions to avoid trying to push. I labored like that for about 15 more minutes and then turned over and told my nurse "I AM GOING TO PUSH". She quickly checked me and said I was 10 cm and could push if I wanted to. GLORIOUS feeling!
They ran and got the doctor, and set up the squat bar. I got up and was allowed to push when I felt like it. The doc came in and basically just stayed the F out of my way which was awesome. After about 15 min at the squat bar I decided to try the sideline position. I laid on my side and Troy held my leg in the air. I would push whenever I felt like it, and then would rest about 5-10 min in-between contractions. I kept telling the nurses "I don't feel like I'm making ANY progress" but everyone assured me I was. Lexi kept saying "this part is long because a baby has never been through there before so he's having to make a path".
At this point I realized that OMG, I am almost done. I also thought "I could probably still ask for an epidural at this point, but I'm so close"! Troy and I had a code word for "I want an epidural and you better give it to me", but I totally didn't even think about using it during the whole labor.
At one point the doctor said that I was tearing a little in a weird direction. He said that he could keep letting me tear or could give me a slight episitomy. I REALLY didn't want an episitomy, but I also didn't want to keep tearing so I agreed to it. After all was said and done, I ended up with three 2nd degree tears from Jack's 99th percentile head.
After about an hour of pushing everyone yelled "he's out, he's out". I laid back on the bed with my eyes closed and said "thank god". Then the doctor kind of started laughing (from what I can remember) and said "no Sarah, his head is out, you have to push the rest of him out". I gave one big push and he just slid out like a baby beached whale. For the record, I never felt "the ring of fire" that everyone talks about when the head is crowning.
When I felt him gush out of me, Troy said "babe look, it's Jack". I sat up and sadly the first words my son heard me utter was "he's so clean. I didn't realize he would be so clean". The doctor put him right on my chest and we just stared at each other. Then the second thing my son heard me say was "holy shit look at his finger nails"! I've been saying for about 10 weeks that the pain in my stomach must have been him slicing at me with his finger nails. This kid came out like freaking Wolverine! Lexi proclaimed them the longest nails she has seen in witnessing births over eight years.
Troy, Jack, and I just laid there while the doctor did his thing down by my "business". We tried to feed him but he wasn't really having much of that. He was WIDE awake and just taking everyone in. That is when he heard the third thing out of my mouth (when will I learn?) "Jack you're so handsome. I was really scared you were going to be ugly". Oy. Troy then cut Jack's cord.
After everyone left, Troy, Jack, and I hung out for a bit and just bonded and smiled at each other. Troy then went and let our family in and the wave of "paparazzi" flooded in. The rest is a blur, but from what I remember, everyone else agreed that he was a beautiful baby.
Breastfeeding is going as good as can be expected. He latches on ok, but he has such a strong suck that it's still pretty painful right now. The lactation consultant in the hospital couldn't figure out why it still hurt after witnessing that his latch was correct. She then stuck her finger in his mouth and almost lost her nail because of his power suck. Another nurse came in while he was in his little bassinet and stuck her finger in his mouth to test his suck. She went to pull her finger out and ended up pulling him across the bassinet because he's so strong and wouldn't let go!
Overall I don't really remember the pain; only seeing Jack. I do remember how AMAZING Troy was throughout the whole process. The man was a freaking rock and I couldn't have done any of it without him. I would have given up at 2 cm if he hadn't been there for me.
We're home now and just trying to get things figured out. Jack is such a good baby and LOVES LOVES LOVES his daddy so much. He seems to love me every 2 hrs when his tummy is full. Ha!
Stats: 8 lbs 4 oz
Length: 19.6 inches
Head: 34 cm...99th percentile!
If you made it this far, I applaud you.