Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Baby Fun Results

We had several predictions for the baby to be born on his due date--8.11.11. However, he was born SHORTLY after midnight and most the predictions were after that. My cousin-in-law Dani predicted 8/11 at 2:33am. She was the closest...but she was over! (So sorry, Dani!)

So the winner of the date and time is our friend who lives down the street...Jean Gorton! She predicted 8/10 at 7:53pm and that was the last prediction for the 10th. Yay for you Jean!! That's $50 coming your way.

And the winner of the weight prediction for $25 goes to our other neighborhood friend, Julie Miller (who is busy with a newborn of her own). She was the first one to predict 6 lbs 11 oz. Jacob predicted 6 lbs 10 oz. and was kicking himself for being 1 ounce off. Well done, Julie. I would never have predicted that small. JJ is now our second smallest baby. In fact, our first, third and fifth babies were 6 pounders and our second and fourth were our 7 pounders. Cooper is VERY proud of the fact that he holds the record as our largest baby, tipping the scales at 7 lbs. 9 oz.

Thanks for playing, Everyone!

Fast & Furious

Okay, so fast and furious does NOT describe the last month of my pregnancy (or this post for that matter). More like slow and frustrating (hopefully the post won't be that way). It wouldn't have been so bad if the uncomfortable and painful contractions I spent weeks timing actually did something--like, oh, you know, send me into labor--and no matter how many kids you've had or not had, the last 4 weeks are always a waiting game.

Now toss in a tiny wrench...I tested positive for Group B strep, which I've never had. Apparently I'm not in danger, but it could harm the baby, so I would need antibiotics during labor and delivery. I've had the same OB since we moved here when Jared started PA school in 2004 and she even delivered Karcyn over her lunch hour. Dr. Hendrickson told me that because of the Group B strep, I needed to not labor at home like she suspected I would want to do (and she suspected correctly) and come in earlier...when the contractions were strong and 5-7 min. apart for an hour so they can give me the first dose of antibiotics and then a second dose 4 hours later.

There were days I timed contractions for 7 hours straight when they were 12-10 minutes apart then got as close as 5-7 minutes apart, but not for an hour. And they weren't as strong as they could be...a sign of true labor. And as much as I didn't want to keep looking at my watch, I felt I needed to be aware of all contractions because of the GBS development.

Toss in a second wrench...Dr. Hendrickson would be quitting her practice the beginning of August, so I would be seeing Dr. Bird for the last two appointments before my due date. On August 1st when I saw Dr. Bird the first time, I was measuring almost 2 cm.

Toss in a third wrench...we have a big family vacation planned a week after my August 11th due date--an immediate family reunion with my parents and then Jared's family and grandma that was planned over a year ago--before the baby was. We really wanted me to deliver earlier rather than later because of this...that and the fact that we're driving from the northwest corner of Oregon to the southwest corner of Utah, which could prove difficult after a vaginal delivery let alone a C-section.

My mom flew into town on Monday, August 8th hoping to be a grandma again. But there was no baby.

I saw Dr. Bird for the last time on Tuesday, August 9th. I was a good solid 2 cm. If I had been further dilated, like a 4, and soft, she would have broken my water. But here's the catch...I do not dilate until after my water has broken. And usually I go pretty quick after that. Stupid uterus and cervix.

Toss in a fourth wrench...I had a C-section with Jake so my subsequent deliveries have been overshadowed and somewhat tainted because of this. Dr. Bird knew of our Aug. 19th trip and knew that Friday the 12th was the absolute last day I could deliver. She knew I didn't want to have an elective C-section, so we discussed some "natural induction methods" because giving pitocin to a woman trying for a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean) isn't in anyone's best interest.

We decided on the least invasive method of induction...and for the life of me, I can't remember what it's called. But we can toss in a fifth wrench now. Dr. Bird was going out of town the next day for a week. Dr. Bennett would be on call for the week but there weren't any other doctors, or there would only be one. Dr. Bird asked me if I was up for being induced that night (Tues.). I said sure...let's get this show on the road! But of course, the birthing center was "full" with other inductions. So she said she'd leave a note for Dr. Bennett to call the hospital in the morning to see if I could get in and if not, they'd call on Thursday and if not, then Friday it would be. She knew I was capable of having a VBAC delivery because I'd done it 3 times already and that in this case it was just a timing issue. I certainly appreciate her doing everything she could to help me when I'm not even her patient.

I left the appointment feeling pretty dejected even though I usually go on my own fairly close to my due date and I was still 2 days out. But the impending trip and possible C-section if I stalled during the induction weighed heavily on my mind.

Wednesday morning, we waited around for the office to call to see if I could get on the schedule for an induction. Mom decided to take the kids (all 4 of them!) to see a movie. Brave woman. After they left, Jared called the office to see what the status was. The hospital was full with inductions, with 2 additional women waiting to get in. It was apparent that the only way I was going to get in to the hospital before Friday was to go on my own.

So Jared and I went walking. We walked about 1.5 miles around the neighborhood before he had to go to work. I contracted like crazy and it hurt, but of course the contractions quit when we stopped. Jared went to work and I napped for about an hour before the kids came back from the movie. Mom said they were great (sure...for her). She actually left them in the theater while she went and got snacks. The theater manager helped her carry the food and drinks back to their seats and was so impressed with how polite and well behaved the kids were. When my mom relayed this to me, I would have clarified to make sure the manager had the right row of children but mine were the only ones in there.

Karcyn and Calvin were acting like a 5 and 3 year old, so I took them for another mile walk around the neighborhood. Unfortunately, it wore me down more than them.

We went to bed around 10:30pm. A contraction woke me up around 11:40pm. (Jared says I've never been awoken by a contraction before). As I sat up to empty my bladder, I felt two small, almost imperceptible, pops in my abdomen. In the 8 steps it takes to get from my bedside to the bathroom, I was wet when I got there. I've never "wet" myself before. But I wasn't convinced my water broke because 1) it never has and 2) maybe I just fabricated the pops in my head. I had several contractions pretty close together after that for about 15 minutes. After changing, I climbed back in bed and I felt unsettled with that decision. I didn't want to go to the hospital under the assumption that my water might have broken. But waiting another 8 hours til morning wasn't the smartest idea either. It's not good for the baby once the membranes have ruptured and even worse for one whose mother has GBS. The contractions continued to come 2-5 min. apart and they were strong. Even though it had only been 30 minutes of this, we decided it was probably show time. Jared called the hospital to let them know we were coming and that my water might have broken and that I would need antibiotics.

We woke up my mom to tell her we were leaving. I also left her the phone numbers of two neighbors she could call later in the morning during a socially acceptable hour so she could come to the hospital and be there for the birth, assuming they admitted me. 'Cause you never know. I spent 3 hours "proving" I was in labor with Calvin.

We got in the van at 12:30am and drove to Tuality hospital. The contractions were picking up in intensity and consequently I had a little bit of road rage on the way--and I was the passenger. We got to the parking lot at 12:45. I had to stop outside the hospital door for a hard contraction when we realized we were on the wrong side of the hospital. Since it was after hours, we needed to enter through the ER doors, the next block down. So around we went, as fast as we could. I had to stop inside the hospital for another contraction.

We checked in at the birthing center at 12:50am. I was taken to a room in the back and was told to get into a gown. More contractions. The nurse checked me and I was 4 cm and she confirmed that my water had indeed broken. Good...there was still enough time to get the epidural that has eluded me the last 3 deliveries. What kills me is that they have to take blood work and check my platelet count before the anesthesiologist will come and administer the meds. The nurse said it would be about 30-45 minutes. What?? Do they know how long that is in "contraction time"?? Might as well be 45 hours! The contractions were getting closer together and increasing in intensity. I started to whimper and told Jared I didn't feel like I could make it that long. Maybe they could just shoot me and put me out of my misery instead.

After that, it's a fuzzy blur. I sat at the foot of the bed on the edge and closed my eyes and tried to will the pain away. Jared stood facing me with his hands on my shoulders as he rubbed them and my neck. I grabbed his arms and dug my fingers in when the contractions started. Apparently I leaned the side of my head into his arm too because he told me to take my earrings out so they wouldn't puncture him or my neck in the process.

The IV was in to give me fluids and to be ready in case I needed to go to the ER for a C-section (standard procedure for VBAC) and I guess my blood was drawn at the same time and sent to the lab to get that process going. The on-call OB, Dr. Bennett, came in shortly after. I don't think I ever really "saw" her. My eyes were clamped shut. I could hear her and Jared talking though. Somehow, I managed to sign the VBAC consent form that she put in front of me. And then the contractions became excruciating and unmanageable. My breathing was fast and shallow and panicked. The contractions were so hard and deep and close that I couldn't get on top of them nor could I just catch my breath with a minute of relief in between. I even punched poor Jared a few times and bless his sweet heart, I heard him say this was the worst time for a husband: because he couldn't do anything to help me.

It seriously felt like I was in transition--I've only experienced it 3 other times, but there's usually no mistaking it. Yet I was only 4 cm. just a few minutes prior. It was ludicrous to even entertain such a thought so I certainly didn't suggest it. I was already out of control and feeling like a fool. No need to seal the deal with that statement. I heard Jared tell the doctor that once my water breaks, the contractions are relentless. He told me the doctor said she was noticing that just in the short time she was there and asked how long it had been since I was last checked. He said "maybe 20 minutes." So once that current contraction eased up enough for me to be checked again, she announced, "Oh, you're a 9!" The elusive epidural eluded me once again. Dude, I didn't care. I was far enough now, I didn't need it. But one more contraction and I announced I needed to push. I don't remember this at all, but Jared told me I was checked again, I was complete, and the doctor said "Go ahead, I'm right here."

Except that I was on the very edge of the bed. Then I felt like I was laying flat on my back...a horrible position. Jared said the nurses were trying to get me further back on the bed and pull the foot of the bed off, get the drop cloths ready, get the mega light down from the ceiling, & put my feet in the stirrups, which I resisted. I heard them call for a baby nurse "stat" and somehow in the midst of all of that, I forgot how to push. I felt wickedly out of control...not a cool feeling. [I later joked with Jared that had we been a couple on TLC's "A Baby Story," they would have taped the labor and delivery and then the producers would have thrown it out because if it had been aired, NO woman would ever want to go through labor and Jared said, "Naw, they'd just take the video, show it in all high schools and it would become the national campaign for abstinence!"]

Apparently I remembered how to give birth after all and 5 minutes later (give or take), we had ourselves another baby. Dr. Bennett said it certainly made for an exciting night for her and now that it was over, she'd put on her gown that she didn't have time to do earlier and finish up.

Meet Jared William Hough (JJ), born 8.11.11--on his due date--at 1:25am. He weighed 6 lbs. 11 oz. and was 20 inches long.

[**We borrowed a camera (because ours is in the Puget Sound somewhere) which has the hospital pictures on it, but don't have the USB cord for it yet. So we used Jared's iPhone to take pictures on Sunday 8/14 after church.**]

Jared and I shudder to think what might have been if we had timed contractions for an hour, instead of 30 minutes before leaving for the hospital. Jared would have been delivering the baby in the van on TV Hwy or in the hospital parking lot--that's what would have happened. We're both grateful we left when we did. This was the FASTEST labor & delivery in Jenn Hough birthing history.

Our concern, however, is that the nurse had just put the bag of antibiotics on the IV stand right before I said I had to push. They never had a chance to get into my system, which left the baby unprotected. They did blood work on him shortly after delivery to find out if he was positive for GBS. Thankfully, he was clean. Perhaps that's a blessing from his fast entry into the world. Usually the longer the babies are in the birth canal, the greater the chance of them contracting it. We are so grateful and blessed beyond measure and I, for one, am SO GLAD to have labor and delivery behind me! And I feel fabulous. My best and fastest recovery! Perhaps another blessing of a quick labor and delivery and a tender mercy for our upcoming trip.

The kids ADORE little Jared. They fight over who gets to hold him. Karcyn loves saying "Coochie Coochie Coo." When my mom brought the kids to the hospital Thursday afternoon, one of the nurses was checking JJ's vitals. Calvin walked up to her and said, "Sooo,'s that baby doing?"

The baby is doing great! We are all in love.

Jake (11) and JJ

Cooper (8) and JJ

Calvin (3) and JJ

Karcyn (5) and JJ

The three JHs :)

Dr. Jennifer Hendrickson would have made four JHs, but we wish her well in her new job so that she can spend more time with her own children.