Thursday, December 20, 2012

Justin's Birth Story

Just a little background: Justin's delivery was originally scheduled for December 7th, but due to preeclampsia, the doctors moved things up a day, to December 6th...

December 6th, 2012, was a very long day.

With my C-section scheduled for late afternoon, I had to spend my morning and early afternoon hours on the couch (SIDE NOTE: Bedrest SUCKS--I feel really bad for the mommies out there who have to spend an extended period doing it because man, those 3 1/2 days were HARSH), and hadn't been able to eat or drink anything since the night before.

And then there was the fact that my employer announced layoffs that morning. Nothing like thinking you could lose your job in the morning and giving birth that afternoon! So I was literally glued to my phone as I got text after text of who was leaving. The company lost some great people that day, but I'm happy to say me, my sister, the bestie, and a few other close friends are all safe. 

Once news from work settled down, it was time to take a shower. The lack of food and water, though, made me really lightheaded, so back to the couch I went before I even dried my hair. An hour later, and we were in the car, headed to meet our newest son.

We arrived at the hospital, finished a brief registration, and before I knew it, I was gowned up and getting an IV in pre-op. We had an absolutely FANTASTIC nurse named Tricia, who talked and joked with us the entire time.

Mike & I took our obligatory pre-baby goofy photos:


My blood pressure was still pretty high at this point (stupid preeclampsia). And they drew blood to check on my platelets one last time (stupid gestational thrombocytopenia). I was cautiously optimistic for a higher count since I'd been prescribed ste.roids for 10 days. And so we waited...and waited...and waited. My scheduled time for surgery (5:30 PM) came and went due to a 40-minute backup at the lab.

And during this time, I got to experience some lovely, regular contractions. Apparently Justin knew it was game time as well. :)

Then the nurse got the call. My count was down to 69,000, the lowest it had EVER been for any of my babies. Suddenly the nurses were talking about general anesthesia (read: getting knocked out) as opposed to the spinal, and calling my OB to see what type of surgery they should start prepping for.

And so there Mike & I sat, trying to digest this new situation. General anesthesia meant he couldn't be in the OR with me, and that I wouldn't hear the baby cry when he emerged from my womb. But I decided that as much as that sucked, I was at peace with whatever kept everyone (both me and Justin) safest.

Not long after, my OB arrived. She & the anesthesiologist talked to another anesthesiologist and assured me that it was probably safer to do the spinal than the general; with general anesthesia, apparently the possibility for aspiration was a bigger concern than me throwing a clot in my spine and becoming paralyzed. Fun stuff to hear right before someone wants to slice you open. And so we all decided to do the spinal as originally planned.

So at 7 PM--an hour and a half after I was originally scheduled to go back for surgery--I took the short walk down the hallway to the OR. I sat up on the table and immediately started shivering. I was facing the tray full of surgical tools, stunned to think they would need all of that FOR ME. Then out of curiosity, I peeked at the monitor to see my blood pressure--156/116. WOWZA.

The spinal didn't take long, and before I knew it, I was on my back with that warm, fuzzy feeling cascading down my legs to my feet. At this point, my OB was pinching my stomach with some rather large tweezers and asking if I could feel that, to which I responded, "Uh, yeah!" And so they tilted my the table to an angle that lowered my head so that the spinal could travel further up my back and numb my tummy.

Really, really weird sensation. But we won't dwell on that.

Next Mike came in, and the real work began. As per usual, I joined in the random conversation; instead of talking about the Buckeyes like we did for Nolan's birth, we discussed how awesome the mac & cheese is at Panera Bread. 

Random, right?

And then I heard, "Okay, time for baby!" which I knew actually meant "Time for us to stand on your chest to pop this baby out!" But luckily, they didn't have to fight as hard as they did to get Nolan out, and so at 7:34 PM, Justin Steele was born.

And Mike was there. And I got to hear his first cry. Exactly how I wanted our last child to enter the world. 


Before I knew it, I was stitched up and back in pre-op, waiting for the feeling to come back into my legs so I could head up to my room. This was also the point where the pain and nausea kicked in, so I had to hand Justin to Mike for his first feeding out of fear that I would drop him. Then Mike took Justin to the nursery, stopping to see Abby & Angie on the way. They texted me that he was 6 lb 4 oz, a full pound smaller than we expected him to be and easily the smallest of all my boys. Oh well. Still perfect. :)

Finally, I was wheeled upstairs, where I greeted my small group of visitors by throwing up (some pain meds and I just DON'T get along). But I got to hold my newest munchkin and kiss him and just enjoy his smell a bit--and then I threw up again. By this time, it was 10:30 PM, so my guests left, Mike departed to go home and get some sleep before working a 12-hour shift the next day, and I sent Justin to the nursery in anticipation of getting some sleep.

YEAH, RIGHT. I never sleep the first night.

And the next morning, I was greeted with a completely broken-out face that was likely the result of an allergic reaction to the spinal anesthesia. So I was NOT in the mood to have my picture taken for the rest of the hospital stay. No worries--there'll be plenty of opportunity for photos later. :)

Fast-forwarding a bit: Justin is two weeks old today, and so far has been a DREAM. He eats well, he sleeps at night, and he's just so content. I even got a genuine, non-gas smile out of him the other night after a 3 AM feeding. He's just been an absolute joy, and I'm trying my best to soak up every minute of it.

More posts to come, detailing the brothers' reactions to one another and all those fun things, but for now, I'm going to go snuggle with my littlest. :)

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