Thursday, August 18, 2005

Birth Story

My water broke at 4:30am on Sunday, November 17th, 2002. Tom happened to be sleeping in my room at the hospital because he had torn the bathroom apart and couldn’t sleep with all the dust in the house. I had been in the hospital since September 29th. My doctor had visited me the day before and was thrilled to see that I was hardly having any contractions and she felt that I would make it to December. Clearly, she jinxed me.

So, after my water broke, I called the nurse who checked it out and said, yep, you’re ruptured. She told Tom and I to try to get as much rest as possible because it was going to be a long day and she went off to call Dr. Reyes. Tom and I didn’t know what to feel – on the one hand happy and excited that we’d finally get to see our boys but also terrified because I was only 30 weeks, 5 days pregnant. Tom couldn’t relax because he was so worried about - everything. He went home at 5:30am to meet a contractor about the bathroom and to assess the damage. Remembering this, I can’t believe I let him go but I was doing ok at the time and I was in really good hands with the nursing staff so, I let him go.

By now I had started having contractions that hurt and they were coming about every 7 minutes. By 7:00am they were coming even faster and they really, really hurt. Since I had gone into the hospital when I was 23 weeks, I never went to the birthing classes so I had no idea how to cope with the pain. One of my nurses, Stacy, told me to softly hit my forehead with my hand over and over and over. So, I did. And cursed – A LOT. At 9:00am, Stacy came in to check on me and saw that I was in a lot of pain and that the contractions were about every 3-4 minutes. She announced that she was going to call the doctor to schedule the c-section. See, they wanted me to go as long as I could manage the pain because every second counts when you’re delivering that early. Plus, being in active labor increases the hormone that matures the babies lungs. Stacy came back in my room and said that my surgery was scheduled for 11:00am. I called Tom and told him to get his butt back to the hospital! He arrived at 10:25am, just as they were wheeling me down to get prepped for surgery. He kissed me as they whisked me away and then he went off to get prepped, too.

Once in the operating room, they put me on the table and had me sit up. While I curled my enormous belly over a pillow and the nurses held my hands, the anesthesiologist put a needle in my spine to administer the anesthesia. It wasn’t that bad and of all the medical things that were done to me, that procedure would rank nearer the bottom than the top – the top being the worst. Then, they laid me down and strapped my wrists down. The anesthesiologist kept poking me with needles from my lower belly to my chest to see what I could feel or not feel. Then my doctor came in with her assistant and they got to work. Tom came in at about 11:05 and Thomas Jackson was born at 11:06am. Henry Dean followed at 11:07am. Tom videotaped everything and remained so calm throughout. Dean was crying weakly but I didn’t hear anything from Jack. Each baby had his own team of NICU nurses and respiratory therapists. Finally, after what seemed like hours, Jack gave a little squeal. They wrapped them up and brought them over to me. Their little faces were about the size of apples. I got to look at them for about a minute and then they put them together in an isolette to wheel them down to the NICU. Jack weighed 3 lbs 5 oz and was 16 inches long. Dean weighed 2 lbs 13 oz and was 16 ¼ inches long.

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