My Birth Story: Jackson James

I started writing this post when Jackson was just weeks old and now he is almost 8 months old so I thought I better get this finished before I completely forget!

Thursday, July 2nd around midnight, I felt a small gush. With William I was GBS (group B strep) positive, so if my water broke, I was told to be at the hospital within an hour, but this time around, I was negative so decided to just change my clothes and go back to bed and wait to see if contractions started. They didn’t. Throughout the morning, I kept having small gushes, but nothing like you’d see in the movies and no contractions. Around 11am I decided to call my OB to see what he thought and he said that I should go to the hospital and get checked just to be safe.

I called Brent to come home and my mom to come over to watch William. We got to the hospital around 1:30pm and they took me into triage to monitor me. Because of the pandemic, your support person isn’t allowed to come in until you’be been admitted, so Brent waited in the car. They monitored the baby and checked me but I was still only 2cm dialated and 50% effaced (same as I was earlier in the week when I got checked by my OB). The OB on call came in to do a couple tests to see if my water had broken. The first 2 tests she did came back negative, but she decided to look under a microscope, and it came back positive for amniotic fluid! I was SO relieved (if you haven’t read my pregnancy update yet, read it here). Typically they want you to have your baby within 24 hours of your water breaking, and since we weren’t at that point yet and I wasn’t having any contractions, the OB said we could go home, have dinner and put William to bed (my mama heart was so grateful that I was able to do that one last time before turning his world upside down) and then come back at 8pm to be induced if contractions hadn’t started yet.

We ordered dinner and I got to put my sweet boy to bed and shower before heading back to the hospital. This time, since I was being admitted, Brent was able to come in with me! We walked in, both wearing masks, ready to welcome our 2nd baby into the world!

We got into our room and they gave me my IV, and then started me on a low dose of oxytocin. It definitely worked because the contractions started and picked up quickly. At 11:35pm the OB came in and broke my water. Around midnight I decided that I wanted an epidural, as the contractions were beginning to be a bit much for me. I got the epidural at 1:00am and at this point I was only 4cm dialated. By 1:15am, I was in excruciating pain. The epidural wasn’t working and I was having a hard time breathing through the contractions (especially with a mask on). My nurse brought me a peanut ball to see if it would help, but it didn’t. She decided to check me again (2am) and I was fully dialated. One hour after I got my epidural. CRAZY! They usually wait about an hour after you are fully dialated to let you begin pushing, so I waited, in agony, trying to breath through the contractions. Unfortunately for me, baby boy was doing just fine on the monitors, and other babies were more critical, so the doctor wasn’t available for me to start pushing. I was in so much pain that my nurse decided to give me an extra dose through my epidural, to hopefully help with the pain. By the time the doctor was on her way, my nurse checked me again, and Jackson’s head was RIGHT THERE. She asked if I wanted to see and I definitely did so she said, “Okay, don’t push, I’ll be right back with a mirror.” My epidural had finally started working but I was SO NUMB. I couldn’t feel my legs at all. So when she said not to push, it freaked me out a little, because I literally couldn’t feel anything. Lol. It all worked out though, She brought me the mirror and I got to see Jackson’s head crowning (I wish I would have taken a picture). The doctor was ready for me to push at 4:10am and Jackson James was born at 4:14am! (The doctor actually told me not to push as hard for my second push, ha!)

The doctor put him on my chest and oh my gosh, I cannot even describe the joy I felt. With William, they took him away right away, so getting to hold my precious newborn right away was such a happy moment for me. My husband is a bit squeamish and didn’t want to cut the umbilical cord, so the doctor asked if I wanted to cut it and I didn’t hesitate to shout “YES.” What an amazing experience!

Jackson James
4:14am, July 3, 2020
22 inches long

Things were going really well. I was able to nurse him shortly after giving birth and we got to do a lot of skin to skin. He was a big baby, so they were monitoring his blood sugars just to be safe. They were always right on the recommended number but started to go down after a few hours. Since he was born so quickly, he had a lot of mucus that he was trying to cough up, which in turn made him not want to eat, which made his blood sugar go down. Long story short, when he was only 8 hours old, they took him away from us and rushed him to the NICU to get his blood sugar up. Don’t get me wrong, I am so grateful for modern medicine taking care of my baby, but my heart was broken. I sat in my hospital bed, crying, barely able to walk (since I had gotten that second dose of epidural, my legs still felt like jello), and a nurse came in saying that they needed the room so it was time for us to pack up and leave. She said they had arranged for a bed on the pediatric floor for me to stay in so I could still nurse Jackson every 3 hours, but my husband couldn’t stay with me.

We packed up our bags and headed to the NICU to see Jackson (Brent had to sit on a bench with all of our bags while I went in). I wasn’t prepared to see him with an IV in his head (how the dextrose was administered to keep his sugar levels up). The nurse was such an angel and felt so bad that nobody had prepared me to see that – she hugged me and said it will all be okay. I got to snuggle him for a bit before going and taking my bags down to my “sleep room” until Jackson was ready to come home.

Every 3 hours, I would go up, change his diaper, take his temperature and then wait for a nurse to come test his sugars before I could pick him up and nurse him. I would nurse him as long as he wanted on each side and then supplement with formula to make sure he was getting enough since my milk hadn’t come in yet. Usually by the time I was done this routine, I would have about an hour left until I had to go back up (the clock starts with his blood sugar checks). I would either go eat something or try and sleep for that hour. Brent got to do some skin to skin with him later that afternoon and again the next day so I could go home to shower and spend some time with William before heading back to the hospital.

Thank goodness, Jackson handled being weaned off the dextrose like a champ! There was only one check where his levels weren’t high enough so they kept the dextrose drip at the same number. By 9pm on Day 2 (July 4), he was fully weaned off. They kept the IV in just to be sure that his levels were still good at the next 3 hour check – and they were! The IV was removed at 11:45pm and then again, we were being kicked out (super frustrating, but I understand). They needed the NICU room, but weren’t prepared to discharge Jackson at midnight, so we were being moved. They moved us both to a semi private room in the c-section wing. Here in Canada, we have the option to choose between private or semi private, and Brent and I always opt for private, even though we have to pay out of pocket for it, because that is our preference. For me, sharing a room with a brand new baby was stressful, as I felt bad every time Jackson would cry (when I was changing his diaper etc.). Another frustrating thing was that since this room was considered a “sleep room” for me, Brent wasn’t allowed to be in there, but the family I was sharing with was allowed to be together.

Sorry for the rant. Everything ended up turning out fine. They finally let Brent come sit with us around lunchtime the next day and we were finally seen by the pediatrician and given the ok to be discharged around 1:00p.m.

The rest is history, and this sweet little angel baby, is almost 8 months old now. Where does the time go?! Keep scrolling to see some amazing photos Brent got of his birth and a few squishy newborn photos.

Thanks for reading.

xox. -K

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