The Birth Story of Jackson Austin March 22, 2005. I started writing it within days after his birth, completed it only 6 months ago. Second child thing.
On Tuesday morning March 22, 2005 at 9:30am I went in for my weekly OB appointment to see Dr. Soper. I was 39 weeks and 3 days by the due date that Dr. Soper had given me of March 26th based on my LMP, but I was 38 weeks and 3 days by my ovulation due date of April 2nd (I know when I ovulated). Everything looked good… BP was fine, baby’s heartrate was in the 140’s. She checked my cervix and stripped my membranes. She told me that I was 2 cm dilated, and I responded, “The last time I was 2cm dilated, I gave birth 3 hours later!” Dr. Soper’s eyes grew wide and she told me that she had forgotten that I had delivered so quickly. We discussed having her induce me by breaking my water and decided that if I had not delivered, I would go into the hospital on Friday morning March 25th and have my water broken..
I left the doctor’s office and made several calls to let friends and family know about the progress. While in the car I started having frequent contractions, but nothing stronger than the Braxton Hicks contractions I had been experiencing for several months. I did wonder if this was it. They were a bit "gassy" feeling like early labor with Kate. I stopped at a party supply store on the way home to get an “It’s a Boy!” sign for the front yard and then went home where my mom was watching Kate. The contractions continued, and my mom and I started timing them at about noon. They were coming every 1-3 minutes, but they still weren’t very strong. My mom was ready for me to go into the hospital. I thought they might go away. I got a lot of things done around the house that afternoon. Hung house numbers outside, did some laundry, finished packing hospital bags, etc. About 3pm, the contractions started to get stronger but were in no way painful. They started to feel very similar to my early contractions with Kate but still fairly mild. I was starting to believe that I was in labor. I called Matt, and he came home early from work. After he got home, I made some banana bread and fixed our dinner of vegetarian sloppy Joe’s. The contractions continued every 2-5 minutes through all of this. After dinner (about 6:30pm) I felt really sleepy, so I got into bed. I dozed a bit, and the contractions eased off and were only coming every 10 minutes. Matt came in to ask me if he could go to Kinko’s to fax some paperwork on the house we are buying in Colorado (added that we backed out of this house which is good because we ended up in cohousing instead!). I said yes, but to take the cell phone and not be gone long. Not 2 minutes later, I felt my water break (about 7:15pm). It wasn’t a big gush like when my water broke with Kate, but there was a definite popping sensation and a wet feeling. I called out for my mom to call Matt back home, but fortunately he had not left yet. Matt called Dr. Soper to tell her that my water broke, and she said that she would meet us at the hospital. I remember sitting on the toilet after my water broke panicking a bit because the contraction subsided for a few minutes. I was so afraid something was wrong and was asking my mom why I didn't have any contractions.
Matt was much calmer about driving to the hospital this time around. I had my first post-water-breaking contraction in the car, and now they were “real” contractions. It was raining pretty hard, so Matt dropped me off at the emergency entrance and went to park the car. I stood at the information desk through a few contractions (I am again using my yoga vocal toning quite loudly) and got lots of nice comments and looks. Matt came in, and we were escorted up to Labor and Delivery triage (they wanted me to take a wheelchair, but I preferred to walk – it was too uncomfortable to sit through the contractions). They already had a room ready for me when we got to Labor and Delivery. I changed my clothes, and Dr. Soper arrived just as I was coming out of the bathroom. She checked, and I was 3-4cm dilated (This is about 8pm). The nurse then needed a 20min reading on the fetal monitor before I could get up. It was a pretty uncomfortable 20 min, but fun to hear the baby’s heartbeat the whole time. I then got in the shower. That was like heaven to have the warm water beating on my back through the contractions. Since I am very vocal during contractions, it felt like I was singing in the shower. I remember focusing on the tile pattern in the shower during each contraction. I'll never forget that pattern! After about 30 min in the shower, something just felt different, and I suddenly felt the urge to get out. I knew I was hitting transition. Matt helped me dry off and get dressed. About then I also started feeling a little bit of “pressure.” I let the nurse know, and she called Dr. Soper to check me again. At about 9pm I was 7cm dilated. For the next 20 minutes or so I leaned against the upright bed through the worst of the contractions. My coping mechanisms were vocal toning exercises from yoga and squeezing Matt’s hand. The contractions seemed to come one on top of the other, and I remember dreading the start of a new one. They were becoming almost unbearably painful. I tried to keep my vocal toning low to open my throat (and thus supposedly my birthing canal) and keep relaxed. The moment I started to tense up, I couldn’t stay on top of the pain. Not sure which was the cause and which was the reaction, but it my voice started getting high, it meant that I was tensing up. I remember thinking “why did I not get an epidural?!?”
At about 9:15pm I knew that something was changing and I could feel the baby starting to descend. I started calling out, “He’s coming, he’s coming!” At this point I was lying on my side. Dr. Soper and her PA student were in the room, and I knew that the nurse was quickly setting things up. I continued to have very painful contractions one on top of the next. I called out again, “I can feel him coming right now!” Dr. Soper helped me turn over onto my back, I could feel the baby making his way down. I pushed once or twice all on the same contraction, and the baby slid out all at once.
Jackson Austin made his way into the world on Tuesday, March 22, 2005 at 9:26pm. He weighed 8lbs7oz and was 22in long. He had the umbilical cord wrapped once around his neck, but as soon as that slid off, he started crying. Dr. Soper handed him to the nurse, who placed him directly on my chest. Poor Jack had a lot of bruising and a smooshed, swolled nose from making his entry so quickly. I also remember the nurse saying “What big hands he has!” as she handed him to me.
The placenta came quickly and easily after the birth. I had no tearing so I was sitting up and breastfeeding pretty quickly. Jack took to breastfeeding without any difficulties. During our first night in the hospital, Jack was taken to NICU to be checked out because he had so much bruising that they were having a difficult time telling whether he was oxygenating well or not. He also was very congested-sounding when he breathed. I wouldn't let the staff take him without me, so I slowly walked to the NICU with them. I was so tired and my abs were sore. The NICU staff laughed at how big he was. They checked him out, decided it was all just bruising, and let us go back to our normal room. We were discharged the evening of Thurs, March 24th. At home Jack developed significant jaundice. A home care nurse came the morning of Sat, March 26th to draw his blood. Jack was readmitted to the hospital that evening to go under the bililights. By the next evening Sunday, March 27th (Easter!) his levels were low enough that we were discharged. My milk was also very slow to come in. It didn't show up until day 5-6 and never with that significant fullness and engorgement that I had after Kate was born.
Cooking dinner while in early labor with Jack
Jack a couple hours after birth (see his poor swollen nose?)