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!  

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