jakob’s birth story

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First of all, to everyone (regular commenters and delurkers) who posted with kind words and well wishes for our new family, a huge and heartfelt “thank you”. I’m exhausted and don’t know if/when I will get to the computer next (although I’m trying to keep up the weekly Thursday photos, so I’m hoping for at least once a week) so the fact that there really are people out there who are reading this after I take the time to post is appreciated, and your warm words mean a lot when I’m struggling through the fourth feeding in a row in the middle of the night.

daddy and baby

Two weeks ago, on the 17th of May, my mom picked Yannick and I up in the wee hours of the morning and we drove down to the hospital for our scheduled C-section. Yannick was half asleep. I was wide awake and freaking out- I’ve never had ANY surgery in my life and was really, really scared of the unknown.

At the hospital we got put into a room and I had to change into a hospital gown. The nurses and residents came by and did their various tests, like blood pressure and stuff. I had to drink a small glass of a very salty liquid, I think it was to settle my stomach. About 2 hours after we were told to be there, they were ready to take me in. I had to walk to the operating room on my own while Yannick stayed in the first room and put hospital scrubs on over his clothes.

In the operating room I had to get up onto the table and wait for the anesthesiologist (sp?) to do the spinal epidural. The table was so narrow! I was so nervous about what was going on (literally) behind me that my back started cramping up, but blessfully it didn’t hurt one bit and before I knew it my legs started feeling that funny full-yet-tingly feeling that my lips get when I’m frozen for dental work. They had me lie down and luckily pulled out a tray for my arm (the one that wasn’t hooked up to oxygen and blood pressure monitors) so I wouldn’t feel like I was falling off the bed, since they prop you up at a bit of an angle and like I said, the bed is REALLY narrow.

Once I was frozen Yannick was allowed in and he sat by my head and they raised a screen at my chest level. Yannick had our video camera with him and took some footage then tried to put the camera over the screen- I yelled! I was naked, spread-eagled and cut open on the other side of that screen- NO ONE needed to see that! The nurses promised they’d let him know when the baby was about to come out, so he put the camera away in the meantime. On my part I felt only a bit of movement and a lot of pressure, but absolutely no pain at all. The worst was the feeling like someone was sitting on my chest and I couldn’t breathe in fully. I didn’t really feel any tugging, but I did feel jostled around quite a bit, so much so that it was almost like being rocked back and forth. Before we knew it they said “the baby’s coming!” and Yannick turned on the camera and we have video of our squirmy little guy coming around (the side, thankfully) of the curtain and being whisked about 2 feet behind us to a little station they had set up. Yannick said “he’s cute!” and I said “he’s got hair!” then Yannick left me to go over and be with our son.

In minutes they had him weighed and bundled up and given to Yannick. I’d been worried about this since Yannick has never held a baby in his arms. Ever. He only started playing with his sisters’ boys once they were around 2 years old and has never held a newborn, changed a diaper, etc. And now here he was the only one who could hold our son while they sewed me back together. And he did it like a pro! He cradled our swaddled son in his arms and brought him right next to my face so I could see him and we were allowed about 10 minutes before they brought the baby to the nursery.

I’d wanted Yannick to stay with Jakob until they go to the nursery just to tell the nurses that we didn’t want him to get any formula, so he left and my doctor kept on sewing me up. It felt the same as the delivery- just more tugging and pressure. About 5 minutes in I started to feel nauseous, and let the guy know. Within another minute or so I was ready to throw up, but they gave me some Gravol via IV and it kicked in right away. It probably took them about an hour to sew me back up and then I was brought to the recovery room a few floors down.

sweet dreams little one…

The recovery room didn’t go so well. They told me I had to stay there until I could move my feet and bend my legs, which would normally take about 2 hours-ish. All in all, I was there for 5 hours. They gave me a shot of morphine for pain, then another one. I complained of feeling very itchy, and they thought it was the epidural wearing off, so they gave me some Benadryl…with another shot of morphine. The itching got worse and worse and I started scratching myself so hard I was cutting myself. That’s when I remembered having a similar reaction when I was given pain killers after my car accident…and the reaction was to morphine. Great. I told the nurses and they gave me some drug that flushes all other drugs from your system. It worked well, except that it also flushed any traces of pain killers from my body. Next thing I knew I was literally sobbing in pain as I felt every single cut through my abdomen and belly. They gave me a shot of Demerol which worked wonders, and by an hour later I was pain-free…but still itching like crazy. Then they wouldn’t let me go upstairs until the itching was under control. I don’t know why they didn’t give me more Benadryl, but in any case they FINALLY let me go upstairs to my room and see my baby. The itching took about 2 full days to go away, for the drug to leave my system completely.

I’d been scratching my face so much that I was swollen when I got up to the room and my poor family thought something horrible had happened. Luckily Yannick had been down a few times to see me in recovery and had told them what was going on, In the meantime my lucky son had about 20 visitors and everyone got to hold him and see him and lavish him with attention while his mommy was otherwise indisposed.

oh! the places you’ll go…

The rest of the hospital stay was uneventful, if you don’t count having a catheter inserted and being drained without painkillers an event, nor learning how to breastfeed an event, nor having lots of friends and family come by an event, nor taking about 3 full days before being allowed to enjoy solid foods (thanks for asking Deawn!) an event. But I’m not going to get into all of that. The most important thing was that we did it. We spent the first night in a semi-private room then got moved to a private which was wonderful since the other baby in the semi was a screamer. We figured out how to breastfeed and how to eat or sleep at the same time. We changed diapers. We went for walks down the hall and did “laps” to the elevator and back to get moving. And on Sunday afternoon, we got to come home with our son.

And now it has been two weeks. I don’t know where the time went. The days blend one into the next as we count down the two weeks we have remaining to get everything we own out of this house and into the next one. I’m panicking just a wee bit, but doing what I can to hold it together and accept as much help from friends and family as possible to get things done on time. Right now the only thing getting me going through the long hard hours are the few moments a day I get to see Yannick and the knowledge that in 2 weeks we will be in our new home as a new family.

Two weeks. Already.

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Author: Jennifer Lori

maker, baker, cake decorator, mother, wife, partner, friend, gamer, reader, nerd, dork, geek, nail polish addict (not necessarily in order of importance)

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