Friday, September 9

Everett Jonathan: A Birth Story

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I figured I better hurry and write this all down before I forget all the details. Everett was due September 7, and I figured that since my mom never had an early baby I'd probably make it until then. I went in for my 39-week appointment on Tuesday, August 30 and my doctor told me I was dilated to a 3 and my cervix looked great so she wouldn't be surprised if he came in the next few days. Of course that made John so excited that he'd call or text me multiple times a day saying "Are you having the baby yet?"

I woke up Friday morning at about 2 AM with back pain. It was enough that I couldn't sleep, and by 2:15 I was experiencing what I was pretty sure were contractions. I started timing them and got up to get ready just in case. They steadily got more painful and closer together, and by the time we left for the hospital at 7 they were 3-6 minutes apart.

Once we arrived and they put us in a triage room, my contractions slowed down. They were still painful and at the end of an hour I was still dilated to a 3. I was so disappointed and afraid they were going to send us home. Luckily my doctor said she thought I'd still have the baby that day, so they kept us in triage until a room opened up (another hour later).

The nurses in the delivery room asked if I'd like an epidural or if I'd rather walk for a while. When I asked them if it made any difference they told me it didn't really, and I was experiencing horrible back contractions (the baby was posterior) so I requested one right away. I hate needles with a passion and was dreading that part, but in reality it was no big deal (I barely felt anything after the initial numbing prick) and that anesthesiologist quickly became my favorite doctor in the whole hospital.

The epidural kicked in and my pain went away, but my blood pressure dropped and I got nauseated. My nurse put an anti-nausea medication in my IV which took care of that problem. I also got really bad heartburn and was offered what is honestly the most disgusting medicine I've ever tasted. Next time around if the epidural gives me heartburn I think I'll just suffer through it.

After my nausea and heartburn were under control, I was able to relax for a couple hours and it was such a relief. I dilated from a 5 to an 8 in an hour, then an 8 to a 10 within the next 45 minutes. Everything went so much faster than I'd expected it would, and by 5:00 I told the nurse I felt like I needed to push. It was hard work, but actually not nearly as bad as I feared it would be. At 5:42 PM, Everett was born.

The doctor put him on my chest and I burst into tears. It was such an amazing moment to meet the little person that had been inside me for 9 months. He had a full head of dark hair and big eyes and I'd never seen anything more perfect. It felt like only a minute that he was with me, then the nurses said his breathing sounded bad and they whisked him off. John and my mom went to the other side of the room, where a whole group of people surrounded him.

I watched and listened but couldn't really hear what was going in. After a few minutes they told us he needed to go upstairs to the special care nursery and see a specialist. I was so worried but trying not to panic. John went up with him and after what seemed like forever they both came back down and John said everything was fine. We got an hour or so with Everett and then we were told that he was breathing too fast and he was taken upstairs again.

I was taken to my recovery room while John went upstairs again with the baby. I didn't hear anything for a few hours other than tests were being ordered and an x-ray was being done and I was getting more and more upset. Finally when my epidural wore off my mom wheeled me (and my IV) upstairs to see Everett. He was hooked up to so many wires and his stomach was rising up and down with his labored breathing. I was afraid that something was seriously wrong with him and nobody seemed to be able to tell us what was going on.

To make a VERY LONG story short, the pediatrician discovered that Everett was born with pneumonia so he had to stay in the hospital for a week. It was honestly the hardest week of my entire life. John and I spent all day with him, then at night John would go home to sleep while I stayed with the baby. Between feedings, fussiness, and the nurses coming in every few hours to check his vitals and administer antibiotics, I barely slept. But it was all worth it because tonight I'm at home in my own bed listening to my husband's sleep breathing and my baby sucking on his binky (because he's basically nocturnal) and I've never loved anything more.

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