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Jackson Matthew- 7/15/10


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  #1  
July 19th, 2010, 10:32 AM
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It is a daunting task to write about the most incredible experience of your life, but I am very happy to do it. There will be a lot of details that may not be interesting, and it is ridiculously long, but I needed to get all of this out so I remember it always. Thanks in advance for reading, and I also want to thank you ladies for being a huge source of comfort and support for these past 9 months, which were both stressful and beautiful. I am so looking forward to reading each of your stories, in time.

Wednesday, July 14th, was a completely normal day. We went to get the car seat inspected, hung out, and DTD later that night. I am not sure if that is what caused me to go into labor, but I doubt it because I didn't cramp afterward until the next morning. I did have a hard time sleeping that night, and couldn't really figure out why, but I had this ball of excitement in my stomach. Our new air conditioner had just arrived that day and we had it all set up. It was cool in the room and I wasn't very uncomfortable but I had to get up to pee about 4 times, of course. A couple of the times, towards the early morning hours, I felt small gushes when I got up. It was clear and watery and a little a bit sticky, and for a second I felt some excitement but then I remembered that we DTD and I convinced myself that it was just semen, because that's what it looked like (I STILL don't know when/how my water broke, for sure). I went back to sleep, and woke up on Thursday, July 15th, in an irritable mood. I was 37 weeks and 6 days pregnant. Matt (DBF) had to work a 10 hour shift and I had absolutely nothing on my agenda. The nursery was set up, the apartment was clean. I was huge, hot, bored, and just not looking forward to trying to entertain myself for the entire day. I also had the feeling that I was going to be pregnant forever. I even wrote a facebook status at about 9AM that said "I'm so bored, I wish I could go into labor just to have something to do"

And then the cramps started, around 10-10:30AM. They started like mild period cramps, and I wasn't too excited or surprised, I figured it was from DTD. Also, I have never even had one BH contraction, so I didn't know what they felt like, and I was convinced that my uterus was not hardening, just aching a little. I got in the shower and while I was in there I felt a couple more, and they weren't terrible, just irritating. Before I got into the shower, I peed, and when I stepped away from the toilet (TMI) another small clear trickle came out. I AGAIN chalked it up to DTD, because I figured when my water broke it would be a huge gush. Also, I hadn't seen any mucus (besides the stuff that I figured was semen) and there was no bloody show. So anyway, even though I "knew" I was not in labor, I thought maybe I was having practice contractions or something and I told DBF before he left for work to keep his phone on and that he might get a call from me, because I may need to get checked out if the cramps didn't stop. I was hungry and before dropping him off at work (he works at a restaurant) I had a big sandwich. I was contracting all the way through eating and driving home. When I got home (around noon) I drank some water and sat down with my feet up, thinking the pains would go away, but they got more intense. That is when I posted on JM about early labor and what it feels like. I only got read maybe 3 of your kind responses before I was in some serious pain and had to go lay down to see if I could time the pains. It STILL felt just like period cramps and I didn't think I was actually contracting or tightening. They were coming every 5-6 minutes at that point, so I called my OB. He said to take a warm bath, or a nap if I could, and try to keep timing the pains. He asked if I DTD recently and told me it is completely normal to cramp after DTD. He said I could get checked out if I needed to but to him it sounded like I was either having false labor or very early labor. (HA!) So, being a dumb first timer, I just laid down again. It wasn't even 20 minutes before I shot out of bed, grabbed my purse, and hauled myself to the hospital. I finally realized that I was having to breathe really hard through the contractions and that it was better to be safe than sorry. Also, by that time I was peeing about every 10 minutes and having INTENSE pressure down below every time I sat down. Right before I left for the hospital I used the bathroom one more time and there were a couple of tiny bits of bloody mucus. Looking back, I don't know why I was in such denial!) I had called Matt when I was lying down and when he heard the pain in my voice he told me to go to the hospital. He didn't really think I was in labor, but he knew how scared I was. So, on my way to the car, I called my OB's office back and told them to call L&D and let them know I was coming. The hospital is only a 5 minute drive away, thank God, but I contracted through it. I also contracted while walking from my car to the building. I look back and can't believe I drove myself to the hospital, as that is not ever how I envisioned the whole scenario. I didn't even take my all-packed-up hospital bag! THAT'S how convinced I was that the whole thing was going to turn out to be a false alarm. I got to the hospital sometime between 2-2:30.

So of course I had to "check in" at the hospital (I was already registered to deliver there, but at my hospital they still make you check in so they know you are there and everything). The receptionist took forever finding my information and making sure I was supposed to be there. They hadn't gotten a call from my OB yet so they made me sit there while they called and confirmed. Another receptionist walked over and started talking to me and asking me annoying questions, not about if I was okay or in pain or anything, but about what I was going to name my son and how she knows this many children named Jackson and why it's a nice name and blah blah blah. Eventually they saw the pain on my face and someone called L&D for someone to come and get me. A nurse came down and while they were checking on my insurance (UHG!) the nurse saw the look on my face and asked if I was having a contraction. I said "I don't know, but it hurts" and she lightly touched my tummy and said "Oh yeah, that's a good one". I looked at her with wide eyes and she asked if I was alone and I told her yes, because I didn't think I was in labor. She just said "we'll see" and led me upstairs to L&D, luckily a short walk.

When I got to my room she had me change into a gown and pee into a cup. There were more small blood clots in the cup. I laid down on the bed and she hooked a monitor up to hear Jackson's heartbeat, and then she checked me, which hurt and made me contract HARD. She looked completely shocked and told me she was going to get another nurse in to check but that it felt like I was "moving along fast". When I asked her what that meant, she told me I was 6, almost 7, CM dilated! I was stunned. I started to cry. I told her I needed Matt, and she tried to calm me down. The other nurse came in, checked me, confirmed. They could not believe I labored that long at home, and I couldn't either! Then she dialed Matt's number for me because I was shaking so hard and told him that I was in labor and to come to the hospital. Somehow, he managed to get a ride home to grab my hospital bag and then to the hospital in about 15 minutes. It felt like an hour though. I was actually starting to feel pressure at that point and I was terrified that Jackson would be born without him there. The contractions were starting to come hard and fast and I was a mess, I was a mix of excited, shocked, and terrified. Matt arrived at around 3:15 and after that it was about 3 hours until Jackson was born, but honestly my memory gets a little fuzzy around now. (First timers, the rumor is true- you REALLY do block out most of the pain and yucky memories of labor).

I know that I changed position a few times, but that nothing really made it better. I tried the birthing ball, the stool, and laying sideways in bed with my feet up on the bar. Nothing really helped at all when a contraction hit. For me personally, it wasn't even as much about the pain that made it so bad, it was the extreme, "never before in my life did I know this was possible to live through" type of discomfort. I don't mean to scare anyone, it was just that the pressure was so unbelievably bad that not a single thing could take away from it. It really was like trying to take the biggest BM of my life, one that my body was trying to eliminate but that I knew intellectually just would never fit through. It was too late for an epidural, I am pretty sure, and I didn't even ask for one. I knew I was already closing in on the end, (amazingly! I thought it would hours, even days, to labor) and that an epi wouldn't do any good. However, when they offered me a little bit of narcotic, I accepted immediately. She told me it was only for very short term help with taking the edge off, because they didn't want it affecting the baby. She was right, it was VERY short term. It didn't even really take the pain or pressure away at all, it just made me less anxious about the whole thing, and not tense up so much during a contraction (which, by the way, were coming one on top of the other). I got a little dizzy and groggy but only for about 15 minutes each time I got a dose of the narcotic (which was possibly Demerol?). I got about 2 doses within 90 minutes. Matt did great, but he really did nothing. I did not want to be touched/massaged/talked to AT ALL. All he did was hold the water bottle up to my mouth when I needed it. My OB came in and was all smiley (I was not as friendly to him) and checked me-I was fully dilated and ready to push. This was between 4:30 and 5:00. I was scared to push because it hurt like Hell of course, but it did feel better than just sweating and swearing through a contraction. One of the nurses was completely helpful, soft spoken and guiding me through each push, and one of them annoyed the crap out of me. She kept telling me I was pushing with my face and "doing it wrong". I went to childbirth class, I knew how I was supposed to push! If I pushed with my face (which I did, a tiny bit, and broke one blood vessel in my eye) It was NOT intentional. I was pushing mostly the right way, and I know that because I only pushed for an hour and a half! Anyway, they kept trying to get me to change positions, but nothing helped, so all I wanted to do was lie there and scream. Finally they made me get onto the birthing stool which was set up ON the bed and I sat on it and bore down and that was what got the baby out of me. My body gloriously started doing a lot of the work itself and it was completely awful of course but good because I knew I was getting closer. My OB changed and came in with all his tools and we were good to go. At one point in the "home stretch" he (my OB) remarked that while my contractions were strong and my pushes were great, the contractions weren't quite long enough and he wondered if they shouldn't give me a little bit of pitocin. THAT scared the crap out of me because I know pitocin produces strong contractions and I could NOT imagine feeling anything more strongly. So, right after I heard that, I pushed like my life depended on it, felt the "ring of fire", screamed for Matt to get the camera, heard the OB announce the sight of his head, and at the last second they flung me off the birth stool and onto my back so I could push out the rest of his body. It was 6:22PM. It was AMAZING but unfortunately, things got pretty scary for a short while.

I heard, "He has a cone head!" from somewhere, and they told me to look at him, and I did, and I started to cry. They grabbed him and brought him over to warmer within one second of being born and he wasn't crying. I was frantic of course, asking if he was okay, and the nurse said that he was pale because he had the cord wrapped around his neck but that his heartbeat was strong and he was breathing. I was relieved, and Matt grabbed my hand and we both started crying. After a minute Matt went over to watch them work on Jackson and he took a few pictures. We finally heard him start to cry and it was the most beautiful sound I had ever heard in my life. They called out that he weighed 6 pounds and 11 ounces, and was 20 inches long. They were still working on him though, the entire time that my OB delivered my placenta and sewed up my tear (I tore pretty bad, about the length and location where an episiotomy would have been). I wanted to hold him so bad but the nurse kept telling me that he needed some special care. After about 20 minutes they finally put him on my chest and he stared at me and it was wonderful. And then they whisked him away after about one minute. I knew there was something wrong and I asked the other, more blunt nurse if he would be okay. She told me that it seemed like he would be, but she couldn't make any guarantees. She said the cord was wrapped twice, very tightly, around his neck when he came out and that usually the Dr can just lift it over their heads but in Jacksons case, he had to cut it off immediately and that he couldn't wait to for Matt to do it. She said his heartrate was fine but that his apgar score was low because he was very, very pale and also kind of limp. They had to take him to the nursery and hook him up to an IV to get fluid. He had IV's in his hand and his belly button. Matt and I were obviously extremely worried but I knew deep down that he would be just fine. They said they would take me to him in a little while. My mom and sister arrived then and I was grateful they were there to distract me. Matt went to watch them work with Jackson. After about 30 minutes, they let me get up and into a wheelchair and wheeled me over to my son. He was looking a lot pinker, and he was moving more. He did have severe cone head, because he was squished into my pelvis for so long, but his head was the only thing that got affected and his face was not swollen and looked absolutely perfect, even from his first seconds of being born. He was born with a lot of black hair. It was awful seeing him hooked up to machines, but I was so happy that he was looking better by the minute. After about an hour of watching him, the pediatrician told me that I probably would not be able to breastfeed him that night or the next day, but he was responding very well to the fluid and he thought he was going to be completely fine.

After that, when I could finally drag my eyes away from Jackson, the nurse took us to our postpartum room and helped me out with the insane (yes, insane) bleeding and hooked my IV up to some water and pitocin to help me drain it all out. I ate some dinner and started to feel more human. They brought Jackson in, still hooked up, but looking about 100% better. They placed him on me and honestly I have never felt anything better in my life, I fell completely and hopelessly in love. He made a wonderful full recovery and I was able to breastfeed him later that night. It took him a while to get the hang of it, but by now (his fourth day of life) my milk has come in and both of us are doing fantastic with it, which is a HUGE relief. I do have to use a nipple shield because of my flat nipples, and am hoping to get rid of it soon, but other than that, breastfeeding has been wonderful and beautiful and not the least bit of an issue, despite worrying about it for 9 months. They took his IV off the next morning (Friday). He lost 3 ounces in the hospital but I found out this morning at his Dr appointment that he gained 2 of them back already! He is doing great.

We stayed at the hospital until Saturday morning, when we were all given a clean bill of health and sent home. My mother stayed with us until this afternoon (Monday) and just left, which was very hard on my postpartum hormones (especially because Matt had to return to work) but I will be just fine. Jackson is the best baby I could have ever asked for, and we are euphoric. He is not very fussy, and only cries when he is hungry or wet or wants a cuddle. He sleeps a lot still, of course. We are tired, but it is worth it. I am pretty sore but nothing a little tylenol with codeine can't handle. Matt is adjusting well and is an excellent, loving father. I have absolutely no complaints, and only gratitude for being blessed with such a perfect little boy!

To sum everything up, labor was neither easy nor half as bad as it could have been. I was lucky to have a VERY quick labor for a first timer. I am surprised, as my mom had me 10 days late and was in labor for about 20 hours. Jackson was 2 weeks early and took about 8 hours to deliver. I remember reading this from BTDT moms, and now I know it is true: You NEVER know what is going to happen. Birth plans are great, but just be prepared for anything. I was sure I was going to have a long labor, spend time in the birth tub, get an epidural, delay cord clamping, breastfeed right away, etc. None of this happened, but everything turned out perfect anyway. Also, trust your own body. Don't be afraid to get checked out and sent home, like I was, because I cut it pretty close by waiting so long. You ladies are strong and amazing and all you first timers will get through it, but if I had advice to give, that would be it. Thanks for reading!
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Aimee
Mama to Jackson (23 months)
Fiance to Matthew

Last edited by rainbow_brite19; July 19th, 2010 at 10:34 AM.
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  #2  
July 19th, 2010, 11:02 AM
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Thanks for your story! It's great to read all the details. Congratulations on your beautiful little boy, I'm so glad you're both home & are doing well!
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  #3  
July 19th, 2010, 11:05 AM
mommy_2_ava_1109's Avatar Mommy to Ava & Jack
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What a beautiful birth story! Congratulations!
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  #4  
July 19th, 2010, 11:15 AM
KirstyB's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Congratulations
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  #5  
July 19th, 2010, 11:35 AM
krystal g's Avatar Happy to be a SAHM!
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Great story!
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  #6  
July 19th, 2010, 12:37 PM
MariyaEvans's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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I'm glad everything went so well. Congratulations!!!
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  #7  
July 19th, 2010, 12:40 PM
i:heart:you's Avatar Super Moderator
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Great story, I'm glad everyone is recovering well. Congrats!!
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  #8  
July 19th, 2010, 12:44 PM
Mommy2Ethan's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Congrats!!
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  #9  
July 19th, 2010, 12:45 PM
Jeanie915's Avatar Hallie's Mommy
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What a great story! I am so glad your little guy was so strong and able to recover to quickly! CONGRATULATIONS!!!!
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  #10  
July 19th, 2010, 12:49 PM
Trish36's Avatar Mom of 4
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What an awesome birth story!!! I can't believe that it happened so quickly. Congrats once again!!!!
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  #11  
July 19th, 2010, 01:10 PM
mshah's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Beautiful story!!! Congrats!!! Of course, now everytime I feel a menstrual-like cramp I'm gonna wonder!!!
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  #12  
July 19th, 2010, 01:32 PM
knightsgirl's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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I loved reading your birth story. There were so many touching moments!! I loved how Matt rushing to the hospital was like they show in so many movies!

It's great that you were able to labor so successfully without too many drugs! I can only hope I do as well this time, but I'm not worried about getting another epidural if I need one.

I'm glad Jackson turned out to be fine and it's really great that BFing is going so well. I know that was a big worry for me with my first. But he ended up being a pro at it. =D

Again, I loved reading your story and thank you for sharing it with us!! =D Now go enjoy that little man! =D
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  #13  
July 19th, 2010, 02:05 PM
forest's Avatar Cara, Mom to two girls
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What a great birth story!!!! I read the whole thing. Congratulations and I am glad you are both home and doing so well.
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  #14  
July 19th, 2010, 02:08 PM
lala2007's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Love your birth story Aimee. I am so scared and nervous though. Reading your story I am going to post what happened to me last night.
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  #15  
July 19th, 2010, 02:34 PM
Buttercups's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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I enjoyed reading your story. Thanks for sharing with us!
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  #16  
July 19th, 2010, 04:29 PM
dee.76's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Thanks for sharing such a beautiful story!!!.. Congratulations!!!
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  #17  
July 20th, 2010, 01:57 AM
mrsjl's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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great story, aimee. I'm so happy for you
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  #18  
July 20th, 2010, 06:05 AM
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beautiful story and what a handsome little guy!
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  #19  
July 20th, 2010, 11:38 AM
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Awww!!! I love it! It really brought back memories of both my births, but the first one, particularly. I know what you mean about pressure. I don't describe labor as pain but as pressure. Lots of it! Well congrats and glad it all turned out perfectly!! Enjoy that beautiful baby boy!
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  #20  
July 20th, 2010, 01:55 PM
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Great story & congrats!
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