Johnny was born on June 4th at 5:25PM weighing 7 lbs 14 oz.
I spent a couple of weeks, prior to John's birth, "taking it easy" because of signs of toxemia. I was so miserable and ready to have a baby. I made an 8:45 appointment (even though my doctors office didn't officially open until 9:00) on Monday the 4th, the day that I turned 37 weeks in hopes that Dr. Fowers would start me since I was "full-term." My blood pressure was high, like it had been for the previous few weeks, and my doctor didn't hesitate to call the hospital and see if they could fit me in. I was at a 2 and 60%. Not great, but something. I was all smiles when he asked if I could go over and get started right then.
By 9:30AM I had my IV and the pit was started but only for five minutes when my nurse realized that I had a positive group B strep test and need four hours of antibiotics before they could start me. I was disappointed that I had to wait four more hours making things get off to a slow start, but I patiently waited and was started on the pit again at 12:30. I respond awesome to pitocin. It doesn't take much to make my contractions right on top of each other. At 1:30 Dr. Fowers came in and broke my water. That created a very exciting hour as I carry TONS of water. I don't want to be too graphic, but they could hardly keep up changing the towels as I soaked through everything.
Unfortunately it took from 12:30-5:00 to get from a 2 to a 5. From about 2:00-5:00 was excruciating. We couldn't get the pit just right and so I wasn't getting the brake that is normal for labor that is not induced. My contractions were painful and hard, labor was much worse than I remember it being with Ali, but I had my mind set on not having an epidural so I stood by that decision. Josh was very supportive of natural labor as well. The best thing about my labor this time was my nurse. She was amazing! I felt like I had a doula. She had a lot of recommendations. She rubbed my back. She was kind and helpful. Josh was my labor coach, but there is something about a woman's touch that is so soothing. She and I were both disappointed when it was time for the 5:00 shift change and I hadn't delivered.
Amazingly, I went from a 5 to a baby in 25 minutes and she was there along with my new nurse. Dr. Fowers ended up sprinting to my delivery once again. Luckily he was already in the parking lot when they called him. He got there just in time to ask me if I wanted to tear of have and episiotomy. I said, "cut me!" That is my way of saying, "get this over, I can't do it any more!" He was out in one push after that.
I had planned to help wipe him off and was looking forward to recovery time, but it didn't go as planned. I was quite disappointed. I spent 15 minutes of his first three hours with him. I didn't even get to hold him before they took him to NICU. This may be TMI, but it is interesting to note that my placenta was double the size of a normal placenta. That was likely caused by anemia (low iron). I knew I was HUGE, between the extra water and large placenta, now I know why.
I spent a while recovering and Josh stayed with Johnny. They let me go straight from Labor and Delivery to NICU to hold Johnny for a few minutes. It was so sad for me that I couldn't be with him. It is unclear to me what was going on except that they were worried about his oxygen levels.
The kids waited to see him that night, but he wasn't released from NICU until after 10:00. They hung out in the room with me for a while waiting. They got dressed up, for fun. I am glad that I had them there to entertain and distract me. I really wanted to be with Johnny!
They only got to see him on facetime (on the phone) which really worked awesome to keep me in the loop too.
And through the window.
He was finally released but only for a few hours because his blood wasn't oxygenating. I was so happy to have him in my room. He was sweet and tired. I really felt like he was doing fine.
He did get a bath before he was taken back to NICU. He loved having his hair washed.
They asked me to send him to the nursery to be observed when I went to sleep. We sent him with the nurses at about 1:30 AM when Josh left and they came and told me that he was back in NICU at 4:00AM. By morning he looked like this. They pulled his hand IV when they released him and they missed in the other wrist so they had to put the IV in his head. The NICU nurses were so nice. I almost never saw my nurses. I spent all of my awake time with Johnny. It wasn't a restful hospital experience. I really felt like John would be fine, but I was stressed about how much it was going to cost us. Now, it looks like it will be about $14,000. Ouch!
Only twice in my life I have had experiences where I felt the presence of spirits on the other side, and both times were when I had a new baby. The first was when Andy was born, I know that Ali was there with us for a few days. The second was just after they told me that Johnny had returned to NICU. I felt the presence of John Gregory, my Great Grandpa, the man that Johnny was named after. I felt him with me for a few minutes. I felt that he wanted to comfort me and reassure me that Johnny would be okay. I felt that he did not want his decedents to experience the pain that he endured with the loss of his first three sons. I asked him to go be with Johnny, and comfort him while I got a little more sleep. Of course I couldn't sleep very well. I am grateful for these powerful experiences, and I have no doubt of the post-mortal and pre-mortal lives.
The best thing is that everything turned out fine and he got to go home with us. We got "clearance" to leave at about 8:30AM and we were out of there by 11:00. We were so happy to have Johnny with us and to be united as a family.