July 7, 2009

Jack's Birth Story

Our little Jack-Jack is one week old today. The week has really flown by. My parents came in on Friday and we have really been enjoying our time with them and they have been loving every minute with the grandkids.

Right now Jack is sitting on Grampy's lap hicupping away. He slept great last night. He went to bed around 10pm, woke up to eat at 1am and 4am and then slept until 9:00! It was so great. I've gotten a few naps in but mostly I've just been going to bed kind of early and sleeping in late, which has been great.

It seems like just a few days ago, but it was a whole week, now since the day Jack was born. Here is the story of how it all went down:

Steve and I got up at about 5am to get our bags loaded up, get the kids up and in the car and drop them off at our friends' Josh and Kelli's house. I set them up with their breakfast and kissed them goodbye. I warned Kelli that we might be back in an hour if we didn't get in. On the way to the hospital, I kept trying to tell myself that there was a good chance we would be sent home and I didn't want to get my hopes up. I did not have a scheduled induction, since the hospital was already maxed out for scheduled inductions that day. My doctor had spoken to a nurse (Nurse Koper - more on her later) the day before and told her that he really wanted me to be induced and that when I came in, she was to call him.

We got to the hospital a little after 6am. I was hooked up to the monitors for Jack's heart rate and my contractions. I was having none. I laid there watching the monitor on the screen and I just knew they were going to send us home since I was obviously not in labor. Our nurse came in and introduced herself. Her name was Mary Jo Koper. We couldn't believe she was a Koper! We've NEVER met another Koper. She hadn't either and even called her husband at one point in the day to tell him about us. She was so sweet. She told us that she knew, from talking to Dr. Fuller the day before that he would not want us to be sent home. So, even though they didn't have a labor room available to move us to, she got my IV started in the tiny little triage room, and started me on pitocin around 8am. At that time, I was still dilated to 4cm and about 50% effaced. A little after 9am, Dr Fuller came in and broke my water. I have always had my water broken by a doctor - I've never had it break on it's own. With both Steven and Gabby, my doctors broke my water and then I just sat there as it all leaked out. But Dr Fuller broke it and then pushed it all out right away, so that it would empty faster, bringing Jacks head down faster, to help labor progress faster. It was VERY uncomfortable to have him push on my belly to get it all out, but it seemed to make a big difference. After the water was out, my contractions became a lot stronger almost right away.

Nurse Koper offered me Stadol for the pain a few times when the contractions got pretty strong, but I didn't want to take it. I had it with Gabby and it made me pass out. I wanted to remain awake and be aware of what was going on, so I didn't get any. Dr Fuller kind of talked me into getting an epidural early. I told Nurse Koper that I wanted to wait and get it only if I really felt like I needed it, as things progressed. Dr Fuller pretty much said to just get it now, that it wouldn't slow my labor down at this point and I'd just be better off getting it now before the labor got really hard. So I did. I joked with Steve that I didn't know if I really needed it for pain yet, but that they could go ahead and stab me in the spine just for good measure. So I got the epi at about 11:30am. It was kind of funny to get it while still in the tiny triage room. Steve and the nurse had to move the bed over so that the anesthesiologist could get his cart into the room and have the room to just stand in there. Steve was then pinned a tiny corner between the bed and the wall.
(A picture of Steve's corner)
The epidural, as always, was wonderful. After it was in, I was completely unaware of my contractions.

I'm not sure what time they finally moved me to a labor room, but I was checked just after moving in there and I was dilated to 6cm and effaced a little more. Not long after that, maybe an hour or so, I started feeling a lot of pain and pressure. I pressed the button on my epidural to get some more medication in but it didn't seem to do anything. I called Nurse Koper in and told her that I felt a lot of pressure and she had the anesthesiologist come in to give me a dose of pain killer right into the IV. She checked me again and I was about 8cm. The extra pain killer worked a little bit. The pressure lessened in most of my abdomen but was still very strong and sharp in my pelvis. Jacks head was bearing down and it was so painful. After that, Nurse Koper stayed in the room, checking me often and getting me to turn and move to try to turn Jack. His head was facing the wrong way (I'm not sure which was - I just know it was painful), and she was trying to get him to turn. Soon after, she checked me during a contraction and I was ready at 10cm. I felt like I needed to push to make the pain stop, but between contractions, I was going back to 8cm, so I couldn't push all the way, yet. so, I began pushing only during contractions at this point, but had to stop in between. This was exhausting. Finally, I told her that I had to keep pushing between because of the pressure. She called Dr Fuller, who's office is across the parking lot, to come over because I was about ready. She got off the phone and told me he'd be here in about 10 minutes. I looked at the clock. It was about 2:35 and all I could think was that I did not want to still be doing this in 10 minutes. About a minute later, she got back on the phone and told Dr Fuller that he needed to come right now. He was there soon, and I gave about 2 pushes after he was there and there was Jack! He was born at 2:52. Nurse Koper grabbed Steve's camera and took tons of pictures right away of us and Jack.

(Steve cutting Jack's umbilical cord)

He screamed and screamed and screamed. He screamed on my chest, getting dried off, he screamed on the scale, he screamed getting diapered and swaddled and screamed in Steve's arms and mine. He screamed for about half an hour. He finally calmed down and was very awake and alert. He stayed awake for over an hour.

This labor was my fastest of the three. It was only about 6 hours from the time labor was started until I started pushing, it was 16 hours with both Steven and Gabby. But this was my hardest and most painful delivery. The epidural seemed to just stop working at the end. Maybe it was still working a little but not as much as it did when I had Steven and Gabby, for sure. The recovery seems to be going just fine. Thankfully I did not tear or need an episiotomy, so no stitches makes for easier healing.

The last week with Jack has been so sweet. He just seems to fit right into our family like he's always been here. His brother and sister just love him. He is very sweet, sleeps great, eats great and poops great. He has mastered all three of a newborn's skills! I am so thankful for this sweet blessing we've been given. I've always wanted a house full of little Kopers. And here I am.

A longing fulfilled is sweet to the soul...Proverbs 13:19


Shaunna said...

Sorry the epidural ran out...That was one of my fears for sure!!

Glad you survived, and glad your recovery is going well!!

Little "Jack-Jack" is soo precious!! Good job on the sleeping, Jack...Keep it up for Mommy and Daddy!! :]

Love ya Leah!! Can't wait to see you guys when you get to Abilene!!

The Kopers said...

Hey Lee,
I can't wait to see you guys and hold precious little Jack-Jack! He's so cute, and all your children look like themselves! I was sure Jack would look like Steven, but he's a combination of all of you!

I'm pretty sure we'll be beating you guys to Abilene. I can hardly wait!

The socks are from Nordstrom. I'll e-mail you the link. Talk to you soon, love ya!