Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Yikes! What a place to slack! (Happy Birthday Jacob!)

(this is an UBER long post, with tons of pics just for you Kel!)

In all of my recent insanity, I neglected to do one of the things that I promised I wouldn't miss doing again. I missed my Jacob's birthday post! You know it's bad when my husband is pointing out "hey-you never posted for Jacob!" Whoops.
So, though I'm now one month late,


Jacob is my very headstrong little wild child. I do realize that more than just one of my children could be officially classified as "wild child", but he is usually the title bearer. I have often said that Jacob is the one who will test me and try me (and maybe push me over the edge), and I love him dearly for it! I am a much better person, and a much better mother for every minute I spend learning from him.
(as with my other kidlets, the birth story follows. If you're the squeamish type, or just don't like reading about birth in general, skip it! And as the other birth stories, it's long!)
Jacob was the first of our planned children. Now there's a surprise! ;) Just a few months after moving into our first actual house, we found out that Jacob was on the way. We had a cute little family that was growing again, a bit more space to spread out, and he was due in April-the perfect time to have a baby. Life was good! After three pregnancies in close succession, I figured I had it down. I knew the drill, I knew how my body worked, I knew what to expect. If I had only known how wrong I was! The pregnancy should have prepared me for what lay in store....in hindsight it was a warning as to the little one that would next join our family! lol It seems that his pregnancy was payback for every pregnancy symptom and whiny pregnant lady that I had ever made fun of. Braxton Hicks contractions for more than half of the pregnancy? I figured you were just paying too much attention to every twinge. I learned how irritating the reality of that could be. Dizzy spells? Get over it...until I was constantly plopping down to avoid falling over. Sciatic nerve issues? Buck up, it can't be that bad....OH, how wrong I was! I knew that Jacob was not the last child who would be coming to our family, but by the last months of my pregnancy with him, when people would ask (as they always do), "so, are you going to have more?" or "how many more are you going to have?", the answer was always "well, we know there is at least one more after this, but we'll have to see how the next pregnancy goes." Had all my pregnancies been like my 4th, I definitely wouldn't look forward to pregnancy as much! :)
We chose Jacob's name shortly after finding out that he was a boy. After days of making lists, and deliberately leaving the name Jacob off the list due to it's popularity and despite the constant nagging to add it, I finally added it to the list. As soon as it was written down I knew that this needed to be his name. Why? I really couldn't say. When I approached Aaron with "I think this baby's name needs to be Jacob", there was no arguement from him. (and we found out a couple of months later-before Jacob's arrival-that other family members had felt very specifically that his name needed to be Jacob as well....I guess one day we'll find out why!)

Obviously I made it through the pregnancy and survived, and believe it or not was feeling much better by the very end. By the time 37+ weeks rolled around, I was more than ready for Jacob to join us. I remember running up and down the stairs at our home every time I would get contractions that would come more than 2 or 3 at a time and last longer than just a few seconds. I was more than happy to help things along! Having had Taylor 2wks early, and Alaina 10 days early, the thought of going much past that was killer! I actually spent an afternoon calling reflexologists and massage therapists to try to find someone who would perform reflexology for me. Most of them seemed terrified at even the thought of reflexology on a pregnant woman, and one woman went so far as to tell me that unless my ankles were "soft", that my body was in no way ready to deliver my baby, and that she refused on a matter of principle to even lay a finger on me. O.K. I did finally find one massage therapist who seemed more than happy to give it a shot, although before even booking the appointment she made sure that I knew that reflexology had never done anything for anyone she knew as far as starting labor. Once people were in labor she had done hospital massage sessions to encourage labor, but she'd never been successful in helping start it. I figured, what's it going to hurt? I get a 30 min massage, and a 30 min intense foot massage. I was only 50% effaced, and not dilated at all, so I figured worst case, labor doesn't start and I feel great and relaxed! there was nothing to lose!

I gladly booked my appointment with her for Sat April 5th, at noon. 2 weeks and 1 day before my due date. That first weekend in April was (as always) General Conference Weekend. We did our traditional big breakfast, and spent the morning listening to Conference. I left shortly before morning session ended so that I could make my 12:00 appointment. I remember that the massage therapist's name was Amber, and to be honest, I wish I could track her down now! She was wonderful, one of the best massages I've ever had. (Except from my husband, who is truly the best. no, I'm not offering his services. You can borrow the table, but not the husband. And Hanks, you can't borrow the speedo either.) After a full body massage, she went to work on my feet. It felt amazing. Totally worth every penny. Nothing exciting happened in the office, and I'm sure as I walked out the door she figured I was in for another week or two of pregnancy. Much to my delight, shortly after getting in the car I got a nice steady contraction. And a few minutes later, another! Woo-hoo! Hope after all!

I went home just in time to put the kids down for naps, kick my feet up and catch afternoon session. I didn't mention anything to Aaron for a little while, but by 4pm when contractions were still coming fairly regularly I was starting to get a little excited! They were nothing intense so I realized that they could still just go away and mean nothing, but kept my fingers crossed. Being the dutiful husband, he wondered when we needed to get into Labor and Delivery. I let him know that if I was still contracting regularly that evening (after his 6pm meeting), that we'd head in. I called my mom to give her a head's up and let her know that we might be needing her services that evening.

Not to be deterred, I spent the 2hrs that Aaron was gone walking on the treadmill and crawling around on my hands and knees. The kids thought this was a wonderful game! :) I just wanted to make sure that the contractions kept coming. When Aaron arrived home they were still happening with regularity, so we called the folks and headed on in to the hospital. Our insurance was in the midst of a change, so we actually had the choice between the two hospitals where I had previously delivered. We had chosen to use the one where the girls were born b/c the one where Taylor was delivered has a very strict "no inductions before 39wks" rule. I knew that if we went to our hospital of choice where no such rule existed, they'd be much more apt to keep me there! We got all checked in, I put on the lovely hospital gown and got the fateful check. 3cms! I knew that if I hit 3, my dr would let me stay, so this thrilled me! The not so thrilling news that followed came from my dr. He was on call for the weekend at the other hospital, so if I stayed put, he would not be able to leave where he was to deliver my Jacob. Bummer. He told me it was up to me, but if I switched over to the other hospital he'd make sure I stayed and had my baby. Ok-I'll take it!

After unhooking everything, getting dressed again, and checking out-much to the disappointment of the nurses who were bored silly since the floor was empty-we headed over to the other hospital. Thank goodness for my dr! He checked me right in, told me I was not going anywhere, and started up my good old iv of antibiotics for my fun group b strep. His exact words were, "you're not going anywhere! After your last labor, you'll probably pop this baby out on your way home if I let you leave." Ironically, as soon as he stepped out of the room, the nurse launched into us. She started telling Aaron and I horror stories about our baby coming too soon. Even after telling her that I had delivered 2wks early before and had no fear in doing so again, she crammed the hospital's 39wk policy down our throats and proceeded to tell us about all of the respiratory problems that her baby had, even at a week overdue, and essentially scolded us for condemning out baby to certain breathing problems if we stayed there in the hospital with plans to deliver that next day. Hmmmm.... I tried to just brush it off, but Aaron was beyond ticked. My dr came back in the room shortly after that (the nurse had left), and his first question was to Aaron, "What's wrong?" After telling him what had just transpired, he rolled his eyes and tried to contain himself as he vented about L&D nurses thinking they know everything despite the fact that they are not the care providers and that maybe they should think before they speak. He then left the room. A few minutes later when he returned he told us that that particular nurse would NOT be returning to my room and that she was not to be involved in my care whatsoever. He had reviewed the current staff list and the list of who would be in the next day and hand picked who he wanted working with me. It pays to have a wonderful dr!

Thankfully his picks on the nurses were wonderful, as I'd end up needing it. I got a few minutes of sleep that night (emphasis on FEW), as I waited for the feeling that things were picking up. Unfortunately, that feeling wasn't coming. We feared that labor would go quickly like the last one (about 3 1/2hrs) and wouldn't give us time for two full rounds of antibiotics before baby's arrival, and we were all surprised to find that at 8:00 the next morning I was still laying there, with both rounds of ab's done, still very much pregnant. *sigh* Time for good ol' pitocin. After a few hours on the lovely pit drip, I finally started feeling like things were going to start moving along. But much to my dismay, they weren't intensifying the way that they should. I asked to be checked b/c something just seemed off. Sure enough, I was stuck at 6cm, and baby was sitting posterior. Fun. Well, at least I knew why my back was hurting more than anything else. Thinking that just some walking and some hanging out on my hands and knees ought to solve things, I got as active as I could.

The hours drug on and I was getting tired. My wonderful dr had spent a good many hours of the morning just hanging out with us there in our room. He even did some hall walking with us. By noon I was really starting to hurt, but knew from lack of pressure that the baby still wasn't sitting right. Back to the halls we went. We walked laps a few more times, having to stop when the contractions hit so I could lean on the wall while Aaron smashed his fists into my back with as much force as he could muster. So much for gentle counter pressure! Sadly, even with his full body weight leaning into me I was asking him to press harder into my back! lol At that point my dr joined us in the halls again. There were two or three other women in L&D that afternoon, and we had walked past two epidural carts just sitting outside their doors waiting to be administered. After 2 pain-med free births, I envied an epidural for the first time. My dr noticed the longing in my eyes as my head turned to the carts and I muttered, "I don't know if I can do this much longer." I still love his answer of "Well, sure you CAN, you just have to decide if you want to." He encouraged me to head back to my room and we'd check to see how much progress had been made. I was finally at 9cms, baby was still sitting posterior. Without the correct positioning, I didn't have the downward pressure I needed to help me dilate. For those not familiar with posterior babies, the baby's head kept ramming into my tailbone instead of into my cervix. Fun times! (you can see bruising on his face from his nose to his chin in his first pictures b/c of how he was sitting at that point) My dr said, "well, we're close....but you don't want an episiotomy, do you?" Heck no! He offered me another option, that didn't sound very appealing, and at the same time sounded great. But let's face it, at that point, any chance of finishing things up was sounding great! He said that he could do a manual rotation. Ok. I know that I understood what he offered, but just how much it registered, or the process registered....I guess that was a bit more sketchy. It didn't really click in until he said "ok then. Well, this is going to get uncomfortable for a bit, so, well, just hang on, this is really going to hurt." It did. Yes, it did. But absolutely worth it! As soon as baby was turned, his head slipped right into where it needed to be and within minutes, he was in my arms! Finally! Ironically, it was almost exactly 24hrs after I had had my first contraction after my reflexology appointment that Jacob joined us here. He made his appearance at 1:19pm on Sunday April 6th. He weighed in at 6lbs 8oz, and measured 19 1/2 inches long. We joke that he came out screaming, and hasn't stopped since. :)
He had pretty severe jaundice for a bit, that required being on a full light bed (top and bottom) for 6 days, which was very hard for me. Thankfully his levels decreased after two days on the lights, he had been borderline for a transfusion because he was so high. I was not used to not being able to love on my new baby all day. But we made it through that first week and the difficult weeks ahead with a very fussy and very high maintenance baby. I still contend that not being held much that first week contributed to that!

Jacob has made the past 5 years extra exciting, and always keeps us guessing. I can't believe we will be sending him off to Kindergarten in the fall.... It is so fun to see him learn and grow, it has been especially fun to watch him learn to read. This boy is ready to take on the world-as can be seen by the constant taking off on his bike. Yikes. A bike at 5yrs old made him think he can just leave the house on his own whenever he wants (we're finally getting the point through a month later), I am terrified to see what a license at 16 will do for his thirst for adventure!


justdawn said...

Awwww.... Happy Belated Birthday, Jacob Aaron!!!

I totally love reading your birth stories! I can't wait to hear about Seven's birth:)

Kelsey said...

I love this boy!!! He always makes me laugh :) I can't wait to see him at 16.. he he I forgot how bad that labor was..yikes!
Just for the record Hanks ( I don't know who you are) I borrowed the speedo and got a massage. Weird :)

Justin said...

It has definitely amused us to have Jacob randomly show up at our house to play with Hyrum now that he has his own wheels.

More for the record, the Speedo is wearing a bit thin in the rear. So be careful if following Aaron to the pool ;)

Mindy said...

I love that you write their birth stories. It brings back memories from mine--good and bad!! I was hoping you'd say the pregnancy/labor was the price for really easy toddler/pre-school years......you say it's more of a forecast of what is to come??? Crap, I've been hoping I paid my price for Ethan and it would only get easier;) I see why you can have more kids now, if all of yours aren't like that! Just thinking of pregnancy is effective birth control for me. Labor/delivery is the "easy" part for me--I am one of the whiny pregnant women. But to my credit, my pregnancies really are horrible. I throw up 1-10 times each day for nearly the entire 9 months (even when drinking water by the tsp.), get dizzy enough that I have to physically hold onto something to stay up, Braxton Hicks contractions seem fun because at least they aren't greatly painful, an episiotomy isn't a question of "if" but "when"....you get the idea. I am lucky when it comes to delivering though--1/2 hour of pushing with Kate, maybe 10 minutes with Ethan--and I drove calmly to the hospital for my inductions at 39 and 38 weeks. Ethan sat on my sciatic nerve through his pregnancy and my leg still randomly starts going numb sometimes. He was also posterior and I was in/out of painful back labor for a couple of days before my induction at 38 weeks due to hypertension. What do you tell a 3 year old when mommy is on hands/knees crying in pain??! Luckily Kate took good naps and I could be downstairs and call Jason to tell him to get home, quick! And after taking Ethan home, my "relaxing and recovering" week was replaced by doctor visits and Primary Children's Hospital for his jaundice. And for some reason I still think it is really cool to feel a little baby moving around in your tummy:) However, Ethan is on a one-man mission to be our last child!

Mindy said...

that comment was way longer than intended--sorry