Thursday, March 3, 2011

Birth Stories Series: Jenn's Story of Max's Birth

Guest Writer, Jenn Weitkamp

My name is Jenn, I am a Mommy to an amazing little fellow named Max, and am married to the absolute love of my life. Getting pregnant with our little bundle came at the most hectic time in my life. In addition to working a full time job, I was in school full time finishing my up my bachelors degree, caring for my ill father, and had just started the process of buying our home. Not noticing anything amiss when I was feeling tired and run down, it wasn’t until I noticed I was a month late that everything clicked into place. Even though it might not have been perfect timing in my mind, it was perfect timing in someone else’s eyes.

40 weeks came and went with no signs of labor. Thankfully this was alright with me as I was just finishing up finals. At about 40 weeks and three days I started having mild cramps, it was really nothing painful, just mildly annoying, and I figured that it was par for the course. That night, those mild cramps became more intense, and through out the entire night I was up and down up and down. At my previous appointment, my doc had said not to call unless contractions were regular. Well these were anything but regular, some lasted 10 second, some lasted upwards of 2 minutes. Sometimes they came every 20 minutes, some came ever 3 minutes. Not realizing that labor is different for everyone, I figured that I was not actually in labor.

Since these contractions kept coming, I decided to call off work that day. I remember I spent the entire day “nesting” , scrubbing the kitchen floor on my hands and knees, driving to the store to make get incredients to make lasagna. My husband would call periodically to check on me, and I just remember telling him that everything was fine, and I would get checked up at my appointment that evening. Fast forward a few hours and I was at my regularly scheduled doctor’s appointment. Everything was status quo, and my doctor said that if nothing else happened we would schedule an induction for this coming Tuesday. Before getting ready to send me home she casually said “ Oh I guess I better check to see if your dialated or not” While checking me she gave me this ridiculous look and said “ You better go home and get your bags, your having a baby tonight, your 5 centimeters dialated!”

When I got outside, my husband was waiting for me in the car and when I told him we were having a baby tonight he barely believed me! We went home, got out bags, and headed to the hospital at about 6:45pm. By the time I had gotten settled in my hospital room and got my IV in ( which might I add was horrific, it took 5 different people to get it started and my arms were covered in bruises, not something you want to go through when your having contractions!) I was up to 7 centimeters. I decided since things were going so quickly I had better get my epidural now, which I did. Even though it didn’t completely take the pain away, I was sure glad I had it.

Around 9:30 the doctor came in and said he was going to break my water. At that point my mother in law and Mom left to grab some dinner in the hospital’s diner, thinking they had plenty of time befor the arrival of our little guy. When the doctor broke my water it ended up having Meconium in it. They explained that due to this, there wouldbe some extra people in the room during delivery just to make sure. About 30 minutes later, after vomiting several times, the nurse came in to check on me and ask me how I was doing. I told her I felt like I needed to push. She had the doctor come in about 15 minutes later, and they told me I was at 10. The next 20 minutes ( yes 20 minutes) were a blur. I remember the nurse trying to encourage me by saying “ Lets push this baby out before change of shift!” I remembered thinking “Well that only gives me about 15 minutes because its almost 11 o’ clock!” Sure enough, about 15 minutes later the love of my life came into the world, weighing in a 7 lbs 14 oz and 19 ¾ inches long. I remember feeling this rush of adrenaline, and this incredible love for that tiny little boy.

Unfortunately at some point the doctor ended up having to give me an episiotomy, which was certainly not fun by any means. After getting to hold my Max, he was taken away to the nursery so I could get cleaned up and transferred to our regular room. At this point I was exhausted, and told that once Maxy had been weighed and cleaned up they would bring him in with us. Once we got into our room, I laid down in the bed and fell asleep.

Around 3:30 am I woke up, and realized that they had not yet brought Max into the room. It made me panic and I called nurse. Evidently while in the nursery Max had a moment where he had difficulty breathing, and had looked a little dusky. Luckily he was doing OK, but they wanted to monitor him a little longer before bringing him back in. A few hours later we were reunited, and he has been healthy and growing ever since.