Friday, February 28, 2014

Jenson- Birth Movie

My amazing sister Mindy made this video for me while we were in the hospital, we love it and wanted to share it with you! Enjoy

CLICK HERE to see it!

Love my smiling boy!!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Jenson at 1 month!

Weight: 9lbs 10oz (52%)
Height: 21.9 in (77%)
Head: 15 in (83%)

I can hardly believe our little guy is already 1 month new!  Jenson has been a good night sleeper since the beginning, if he eats around 11-12 pm he normally wont wake up till 5 {yeah!}.  This past week has been a bit challenging trying to figure out life on our own.  Babe is back to school and work full time so all day everyday is just Jenson and I {I love being a mom!}  He hit a 3 week growth spurt and was cranky most the day... I kinda hit my whits end!  I sure am thankful I have a supportive husband who comforts me when I have a big cry fest! Don't worry I'm good now, thanks! ;)  We switched formula and started trying some other things to help with his gas and fussiness, which so far has been a big success!  He is back to his normal angel baby self, and I finally have my sanity back, well most of it!  

Babe used to love penguins and got this when he was little, maybe little dude will love them just as much! :)  
Okay seriously, isn't he just the cutest thing? Somedays I just can't stop looking at him! 

Friday, February 21, 2014

Jenson's Birth Story Part 3

I started pushing at 12:10 AM, and was having contractions about every 2-3 minutes. I started to feel queazy while pushing and had to stop and throw up for a bit {TMI?} thank you mom for holding my barf bag and keeping my hair out of my face {moms are the best!}. I was shaking uncontrollably, I couldn't stop my teeth from chattering, they say that's normal but it sure is a weird feeling! It seemed like forever until they called the doctor in. (My regular Dr. - Dr. Carriker had gone home at 6:00 p.m. and wasn't on call, so she'd turned me over to her associate).  Dr. Gaslightwala {now that's a last name for you!} was finally called in, and she gave me the green light to push for what would be the last time {FINALLY}.  After all that hanging out in my pelvis, little dude decided once his head was out he wanted to come the rest of the way RIGHT NOW!!   The doctor was trying to suction out his nose and mouth but couldn't really finish because he just kept coming, at 1:34 a.m. our baby was born!  Because he decided to keep coming without giving the Dr. some time to do an episiotomy, I got some nice tearing (2nd degree) and lots of stitches, thanks little dude! (GRAPHIC DETAILS ALERT---Dr. Gaslightwala had a hard time sewing me up, the tissue was really swollen so each time she'd put in the needle, it would tear out and cause more bleeding. I didn't bleed enough to need a transfusion, but it was a lot and it took a long time for all the stitching. {Once again, I was sooo thankful I had the epidural and couldn't feel the full degree of what was happening down there...} 

Matt got to cut the cord, then they placed my beautiful baby on my chest. I can't even describe the feeling of holding my baby for the first time.  We were in awe looking at our little Jenson Matthew, something so perfect in every way just sent from our Father in Heaven.  After a minute or two, they took him over to the warmer to run some tests and get his weight {7lbs 11oz} and height {21in} he got a 8/9 on the Apgar scale as well, not sure what that means but they said it was good!  Another random thing Jenson was born with what they call a partial circumcision and hypospadia (his urethra is a little cricked) so we have to go to a urologist in May to hopefully fix everything (sorry buddy for sharing that with everyone...). Something wasn't quite right with the way Jenson was breathing, he was breathing faster than normal {normal babies breath about 30-60 times per minute, he was breathing up to 120 per minute}.  They thought this could have been because he swallowed some meconium, and they said it would most likely go away on it's own, but they quickly brought him back to me after he was cleaned up a bit so I could hold him skin to skin.  They thought this would help his breathing. 

 He was so awake and was just looking around the room.  I wanted to hold him forever but I could hardly keep my eyes open, I was exhausted and couldn't even see straight.  After what seemed like hours, they took him over to the warmer for his first bath, swaddled him, and let us get some shut eye {or at least as much as you can get when sleeping in a hospital...}. They would normally move us after a couple of hours to the Mother and Baby section of the hospital but because it was so early, they let us spend the night in our labor room.  6:00 a.m. came way too early when they started to get us ready to move rooms.  Getting up after laying down for what seemed like days was so weird.  My legs were still a little tingly but I could still feel them and walk on my own, they helped me into the bathroom to change gowns and go to the bathroom {TMI? not as easy as it sounds...} I started to get really dizzy and felt like I was going to pass out.  Once again, my mom was there to fan me and get me cool rags and some crackers, she's amazing! 
We spent the day in our new room holding our sweet baby, face-timing (video chatting) with family members, and getting used to the idea of now being a family of 3.  I was so lucky to have so many awesome nurses that I trusted and felt comfortable around, and it was nice that they didn't have to come in to check my vitals so often!  They were still watching Jenson, running tests and checking his vitals, still keeping a close eye on his rapid breathing.  Our night nurse, Kendra came in and gave us the results of the tests that they had been running on Jenson.  They rated his score on one of the tests they ran, I don't remember what it was, but it verified that his breathing was continuing to be too rapid.  I know our Savior was looking out for us, as well as the baby, and that included giving us Kendra as a nurse.  She had a "gut feeling" {aka the Holy Ghost} that they needed to get an x-ray of Jenson's chest.  She was really persistent until the doctors listened to her.  The x-ray showed that Jenson had a Pneumothorax {DEFINITION:  An abnormal collection of air or gas in the pleural space that separates the lung from the chest wall and which may interfere with normal breathing.} The results didn't come back till early the next morning.  Matt had to go to school so it was just my mom and I when the NICU nurses came in to tell us what was happening.  They took Jenson up to the NICU to give him oxygen that would hopefully clear up the Pneumothorax.  He was placed under a "hood" of oxygen, given an IV for fluids, and they continuously monitored his heart rate, breathing, and oxygen levels.  His breathing continued to be labored, and they didn't want to put undue strain on his little systems, so they also put in a feeding tube.  The feeding tube didn't last long, he didn't like it and within only a few hours, he had pulled it out, (he left it in one corner of his bed, then high-tailed it to the opposite corner of the bed!  He's been advanced since day one!!)

His nurses said that if he could pass his swallow test and keep eating, then he wouldn't have to put the feeding tube back in, and that's just what he did.  (They wanted to make sure he could tolerate eating without his heart rate and breathing rate accelerating, so they started him slowly-which he didn't appreciate much!)  Jenson has been a fast eater from the start {gets that from his mom}.  He likes his food right when he is hungry, and it's almost gone as soon as he gets it.  Because of this, he never wanted to breast feed, I just wasn't fast enough for him.  We tried everything we could think of to get him to latch on and want to nurse, but he never did.  All the nurses and lactation specialists tried to help, but to no avail.  I pumped for a long time, but finally gave up so now he is just on formula.  
It was good that Matt went to school before they took Jenson to the NICU because I know he wouldn't have left us and gone to class if he had been there still.  Once class got out, he came to the hospital and gave Jenson a beautiful blessing, he blessed him to make a quick recovery and that everything would work the way it was supposed to for him to be healed.  After the blessing, I finally felt at peace and knew that everything was going to be fine.  

Jenson was under the oxygen "hood" for about 10 hours straight.  Each x-ray that they did showed more and more improvement, so they removed it, and he stayed at 100% on room air.  That meant we could hold him finally!  He was still hooked up to all the monitors to make sure his oxygen levels stayed up, his heart rate was normal, and to keep an eye on his breathing (which made holding him very uncomfortable and awkward-but I'll take that over the alternative any day!)
Funny story,  I was holding Jenson skin to skin and watching his breathing on the monitor.  It started to get really low and it stayed there for a long time, like 12-18 breaths per minute (which is normal for an adult).  I was starting to get worried so my mom and I kept trying to wake him up and get him to breath better.  Normally when his levels go all weird it means that his monitor cords fell off so I started to make sure all his cords were stuck to him.  I looked down and found the cord that was monitoring his breathing stuck to my chest, hence the reason his breathing was so slow.  I couldn't stop laughing, seriously I haven't laughed that hard in such a long time!  My mom and I were full on crying.  I don't know how Jenson stayed asleep laying on me because I was laughing so hard!  There is humor all around if you just look for it, laughing seems to make everything a little better!  We tried to take a picture of it attached to me, but I was laughing so hard it became impossible!  I'm sure no one else would have appreciated it as much as we did anyway! 

Being discharged from the hospital and going home without our baby was one of the hardest things I've ever had to do.  I wouldn't wish that on my worst enemy.  The extra sleep was nice but we headed back to the hospital as soon as we could the next day.  We pretty much camped out in his room every day.  The Shawnee Mission Medical Center has private NICU rooms, which was awesome.  The biggest bummer was washing our hands (up to the elbows) for 3 minutes every time we came into the NICU.  They even have a little timer there so you make sure it's a full 3 minutes!  That's a really LONG TIME.  You should try it sometime!  It became comical to see us haul everything we could think of into the NICU first thing in the morning because no way did we want to have to leave to run to the car for something we'd forgotten.  You really had to want something badly to leave and have to return to that wash basin again!!  Poor Matt left for Church and to run to school a few times!

Jenson was in the NICU for 5 days {Jan 30-Feb 3) and each day showed a little bit more improvement.  By Saturday his Pneumothorax was cleared up, his breathing was slowing down and becoming more regular, he was having regular bowel movements and peeing lots, his IV got to come out, he was eating well, and gaining weight!  We thought we would get to take him home soon but we learned that once your baby is in the NICU it's hard to get them out until they are perfectly healthy.  The last concern was his billiruben score.  They tested it each morning and it just kept going up (it went from a 11 to a 15 over night, but not enough to put him on lights yet.)  We were kind of frustrated because they wouldn't normally admit a child to the NICU unless they needed to be put on the blue lights, and everything else that they were concerned about had been cleared up.  Jaundice peaks around the 3rd or 4th day and then normally goes back down, so we were not to worried yet.
  On Monday morning we called Jenson's NICU nurse (thank goodness for technology, we could call whenever we wanted and check in on him, yeah--we were "those" parents!) his score went from a 15 to an 11, YEAH!!  Which meant we got to FINALLY take him home!  The night before they had to do a car seat test while Jenson was still hooked up to monitors.  He had to be in his car seat for at least an hour, without his heart rate or anything going up.  He passed that with flying colors and stayed asleep in his car seat for 4 hours! :)  He had passed all the tests and when the doctors came in to do their rounds Monday morning, they gave us the green light to go home.  This whole parenting thing was about to get real. We are so thankful for all of the nurses that watched over our little guy, we were truly blessed, prayers work! 
Jenson is doing great since being home, he is a great sleeper, which we are so thankful for!  Most days I can't put him down, I am so thankful he is finally here and hope we can do all we can to be the best parents for him.  Thank you to everyone for all of the love and support, especially my amazing mom for staying even longer than was planned and making sure I was never alone!  Now we're just hoping we can get the hang of this parenting thing sooner rather than later!  

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Sleeping baby

Seriously guys, I could look at this little dude all day!  I can't get enough!  I think he is going through a 3 week growth spurt because all he wants to do is eat and be held, he doesn't sleep so great during the days unless he is being held {okay twist my arm, I'll hold you all day!} This boy has some crazy sleeping positions thats for sure {when he actually sleeps ;)} enjoy, just like I do all day!! :)

Jenson's Birth Story Part 2

My afternoon consisted of lots of cat naps, helping Matt with homework, and eating popsicles.  Around 2:40 Ann came in and checked to see how dilated I was, only a 4, boo!  I felt like I wasn't progressing at all even though little boy was just hanging out in my pelvis.  Ann then suggested something called a peanut ball {it looked like a yoga ball shaped like a peanut, hence "peanut ball"} I had to place it in-between my knees and it was supposed to help abduct (widen) my hips more so little man would drop down further into the birth canal.  I would switch sides every 20 minutes or so, but I was still only dilated to a 5 when the time came for the nurse's shift change.  I was lucky to have Christina again, even though I wish I wouldn't have been in labor long enough to see her again!  By now it was after 7:00 p.m.  My doctor, Dr. Carriker went home for the night and left one of her associates, Dr. Gaslightwala, in charge of my delivery. They never put in a catheter, but rather they just occasionally drained my bladder.  There was a Dr. in the hospital that they call a "Hospitalist", who is always there, on call for whatever they need, that wouldn't require them calling the regular physician.  This hospitalist or "Labor Dr." came in and inserted an internal monitor for contractions.  This would be a better indication of the intensity of the contractions as well as their duration.  It also helps them determine how to adjust the Pitocin levels.  When they realized I wasn't dilating as well as I should be, Dr. Gaslightwala said, "Well, I think we can see the writing on the wall for this one".  She was talking about  the need for a c-section.  I was not prepared for that at all.  I got depressed thinking about how long I had already labored, I would hate to have to do all of that just to have a c-section in the end.  I had two incredible nurses that were determined not to let that happen!

They decided to have me try some different positions to help me dilate more.  The first one we tried was called "Hands and knees" and just like it sounds, they had me get on my knees and hands and rock back and forth {let me tell you this is not an easy task when you are numb from your waist down...} I stayed there for about 20 minutes, kind of an awkward position {thank goodness for blankets}.  The heart rate monitor also wouldn't work right so my nurse had to hold it on my stomach the whole time {awkward...}  But if there was one thing I learned about giving birth is you just can't care about who sees you, with all the different shift changes and people walking in and out I'm pretty sure half the hospital has seen more of me than I would have ever thought possible! 
After the hands and knees position, they sat me up as far as my bed would go and dropped the end of the bed down so my legs were lower, with my feet together.  I don't know if it was the meds I was on or just that I had been laying down all day but I was pretty sure I was going to pass out while sitting up like that.  I got so dizzy, my mom kept getting me cold rags and trying to fan me to keep me cool.  I couldn't stay like that for long but I knew that as long as I could the better chance I would be dilated more. I actually made it in this sitting position for nearly 30 minutes.   I was so nervous for Christina to check me again, if I was still at a 5 then I was sure I would have to have a c-section, so I just prayed I had dilated more. My prayers must have worked, all day I had been dilating so slowly every every hour.  When she checked me I was dilated to an 8+, almost 9 within 1 hour.  What a blessing and a weight off my shoulders knowing that I didn't have to worry about a c-section anymore.  After a few more naps, popsicles, and watching animal planet {I don't know why that channel interests me so much...} a few nurses came in saying that little man's heart rate wasn't picking up on the monitors anymore, they kept switching me from side to side trying to see his heart rate on the monitors.  I didn't know what was going on and it all seemed so fast, next thing I knew I had on an oxygen mask and they told me to keep deep breathing and try to stay calm {stay calm really?} I just looked at Matt and my mom for some reassurance, I am so thankful to have had them both of them there with me.

 The baby's heart rate came up finally and I was able to take off the oxygen, I knew he had to be coming soon!  A bit before midnight, Christina came in and said it was time to start pushing.  Holy flip!!  This was really happening.  I had been waiting for this moment since we knew we were pregnant but now it was really happening.  I wasn't sure I was ready anymore but ready or not he was coming. My room started to fill up with nurses {for me and for little man}.  At Shawnee Mission they do everything in your room {weight, cleaning, shots, tests, bath, etc... so he never even leaves the room!} I don't even know how many people were in my room, I was just focusing on Matt and the thought that our little boy would be here soon.  They put my legs up in the stirrups and told me what to do. Take a deep breath in, let it out, then a deep breath and hold it for 10 seconds while you push with all you've got {repeated 2 more times...}.  Then sit back and wait about 2 minutes to do it all over again.  I am so thankful Matt was right by my side the whole time, holding my hand.  I am pretty sure he was squeezing my hand tighter than I was even squeezing his!  His soft reassuring voice cheering me on and encouraging me is what kept me going!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Jenson's Birth Story Part 1

I hit 40 weeks on January 23rd, we went in for a Dr. appointment (Dr. Christine Carriker) and biophysical sonogram that morning to see if it was okay for little dude to keep cooking.  Everything looked good on the scan so they sent us home with an induction date of January 27th at 8:00 pm.  I pretty much tried everything I could to get him to come on his own, hours on a yoga ball, lots of pineapple, walking, walking, and walking etc... but no success, he wanted to come on his own time!  Before we left home for the hospital, Matt gave me a Priesthood Blessing.  I'm grateful for the power of the Priesthood and for a worthy Priesthood holder husband who honors it and blesses our family, because the blessing calmed me and gave me the peace that I needed to get through what was coming, and what, in hindsight, was much more of an ordeal than we originally had thought. 

We got to the hospital around 8:00 pm on the 27th.  I had been feeling funky all day but I think it was just the nerves of the whole "un-known". Everyone can tell you everything they want to about how labor is but no two stories are the same, it's just something you have to experience on your own.  We met our nurse Christina and got changed into my gown.  She checked me and I was only dilated to a 1 and about 80% effaced {depressing!} Next came the IV, my biggest fear!  If you know me at all you know I am terrified of needles.  And like I thought it would, it killed! They had to put it in my hand because I have no veins in my arm {well obviously I have them but no one can find them...} my hand burned all night long, I wanted that thing out as fast as it was in but no such luck!  
They started me on Cervidil around 9:20.  I had high hopes that this would send me full-on into labor that night because it always does for my sister and few other friends, but, just my luck, it did nothing.  I had to stay in bed for about 2 hours after getting the Cervidil, talk about a full bladder!  I got to eat my last meal around 11:00 pm.  I seriously don't understand if you need your energy to have a baby why do they take away food?  The IV just doesn't cut it for me, I prefer real food not ice chips and popsicles for days.  If I would have known that I wasn't going to be eating for a few more days I would have eaten a little more that night! ;)

To help me get to sleep my nurse gave me some Ambien, and boy did that make me looopy!  I was out of it in like 3 minutes flat.  I just remember getting all dizzy and not being able to focus on anything, I don't really like the effect drugs have on me.  I was pretty out of it until around 6:00 the next morning when they took out the Cervidil and started me on the IV fluids to wake the baby up a little.  The rest of the morning went pretty slow, like the whole day.  I got to take a shower, they did a stress test, and I got to meet my new nurse Ann {I LOVED her, she was like another mom}.  I got checked again and was only dilated to a "loose" 1 and still 80% effaced.  They started the Pitocin around 7:20 am, this was really happening!  My doctor came in and broke my water around 9:30 {weirdest feeling!} and I was finally dilated to a 2 and 90% effaced! 
Before we came in everyone kept asking me if I was feeling any contractions, and from what I knew I wasn't.  I knew that I was having them but I felt nothing, I thought I was going to be one of those lucky girls who has really easy labor... haha I was sure dreaming!  I wanted to try to go natural as long as I could but I also was not against the idea of an epidural.  Around 10:00 am I started feeling my contractions full force (well full force for me, I don't want to know what it would have been like later) so I decided to get the epidural.

  Looking back that was one of the best decisions I could have made that day. 
 Like I said earlier though, the thought of an epidural scared me {HUGE NEEDLE!} but I was at the point that I could handle a big needle poke better than the contractions.  I got the epidural around 11:20 I had Matt on one side and Ann {my nurse} on the other.  Matt is very curious and asked questions most the time, a lot of the doctors even let him watch what they were doing, more because of his curiosity.  The epidural was nothing like I expected, it was something I wouldn't want to do multiple times.  They kept asking me if was still feeling pain, and lucky me, I was.  Something wasn't right with the epidural so they called in another anesthesiologist to do a second one.  Joy!!  My wish came true and I got to have 2 in less than 30 minutes!  The second time I felt something a little different so I knew that this one was a little different.  It worked a little better but I never had the pain completely gone {lucky me!} They also had to come and up my dose more often because of my height (or that's what they said).  

Then started the waiting game... and a long game it was!