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Joey's Birth Story

Sunday, February 12 was *MY* thirtieth birthday. Steve and I had plans to leave Andy and Rachel with my parents and go out to my favorite restaurant for dinner. As usual, Mother Nature had other plans. Last Sunday was the Blizzard of 2006 in the northeast. I woke up to about 6 inches of snow on the ground and more falling heavily. I was bitter and ticked off and in a decent amount of pain.

It was all centered in my lower back and really really sharp. I wasn't sure what it was and didn't even think I might be in labor. Around noon I called my OB's office because the pain was getting worse. Of course, another doctor from her practice was on call and he asked me to describe my pain. He said, "You're definitely *not* in labor. It sounds like a kidney stone or sciatica.  You can come in to the hospital if you want, but given the weather, I'd take 2 tylenol and lay down with a heating pad."

So that's what I did. My husband, feeling bad for me, went out to a local restaurant in the snow (now over a foot deep) and brought home dinner. I had three or four bites before getting up to go to the bathroom.

TMI Alert: When I pulled down my pants, there was blood in my panties. 

I called DH and he called the doctor back. Now the doctor was saying I should get to the hospital as soon as possible. We explained that we were an hour away from the hospital where I planned to deliver (under the best conditions), with the snow, we didn't know how long it would take. He told us to go to the nearest hospital.

We had no one to watch the kids. My parents live 45 minutes in the wrong direction and their street hadn't been plowed at all. We called a friend from my mom's group to see if she could watch Andy & Rachel. She could, for a few hours. She had to get her father to the hospital for cataract surgery at 5 am. Her house was on the way to the hospital so we dropped them off and off to a different hospital we went. At this point we recognized my back pain as regular contractions, coming every 8 minutes. I was sitting sideways on the front seat of our car, on a towel in case my water broke.

DH ran every red light between our house and the hospital. There were very few cars on the road because of the snow, but the roads were snow-covered, icy and BAD.

It was like a movie scene when DH drove up the driveway to the emergency room in the wrong direction, in the "ambulance only" lane and ran in to get someone to come out for me with a wheelchair. I had to explain to the ER staff that I was supposed to deliver at another hospital, at the end of March, a scheduled c-section, that my OB was up in northern NJ, that I think I was in labor all day, etc etc.

They asked me the same 15 questions over and over again. Some I couldn't even answer-- like was I postive or negative for Group B strep. I didn't know, I was supposed to be tested for it on the following thursday! The nurses were amused that it was my birthday and that I was giving birth. It seemed like it took forever for the initial exam. I was fully effaced and 5 centimeters dilated. They asked if my water broke and I didn't think so. The nurse did some kind of litmus paper test and determined I had a leak because there was amniotic fluid on the outside but my membrane was intact.

They put me in an operating room and the anesthesiologist arrived to give me a spinal block. That 15 seconds where I had to sit up and relax for the shot seemed like they took forever, but the relief from the contractions was almost instant. We had to wait a little bit for the OB on call to get there. Apparently, he had to dig out his car.

Surgery went well and quick. I felt a little pressure as they pulled Joey out and he started to cry immediately. He was born at 7:52 pm, exactly 48 minutes before I was officially 30. He weighed 5 pounds and 5 ounces, 17 inches long. They showed him to me and whisked him away to be cleaned. I could still hear him crying but as they took him away I could hear that something was wrong. I started to feel saliva collecting at the back of my throat and I couldn't swallow. I started to panic. The anesthsiologist put a suction tube in my mouth like the one at the dentist and it wasn't helping. He gave me something in my IV and I fell asleep.

I woke up in the recovery room. Steve told me that the baby was in the Special Care Unit-- a level 2 NICU abd that he had to pick up the kids and bring them to another friend's house to spend the night. So he left and I kept asking to see the baby and the nurses said I couldn't yet. They brought me to my room and I fell asleep for the rest of the night.

The next day I didn't get to see the baby until almost 10 am. He was in a radiant warmer in the NICU, using a CPAP machine to breathe. The CPAP essentially pushes air into the lungs. He was on that for two days. Then he had a canula (sp?) that put an oxygen blend beneath his nose for him to breathe. He also had a tube in his throat to help clear out the mucus in his stomach (at first) and then to feed him through. He pulled this out himself a few times. On the third day or so they put him under bililights for jaundice. By this morning though he's been nursing for a few days (very successfully), he's breathing room air and he's being weaned off the isolette. We're hoping he can come home tomorrow or monday.



( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 19th, 2006 06:34 am (UTC)
What a wonderful, exciting birth story Juli! How far away was the hospital you ended up having to go to? And was it better or worse than the one you had planned to go to?

Hey, it's a good thing Steve never planned that big 30th party for you that you wanted! You would have had to leave early! :) Maybe you can do it up big on the 31st bday and call it your 30th! :)

Feb. 21st, 2006 05:53 pm (UTC)
It was a very dramatic, soap opera-esque labor experience. The hospital ended up being great. I had a gorgeous private room that looked more like a hotel than a hospital with a spectacular view of the Navesink river (and Jon Bon Jovi's chateau...)
Feb. 19th, 2006 01:35 pm (UTC)
OMG congratulations!!!! That is wonderful news :) He's a great birthday present! :)
Feb. 21st, 2006 05:54 pm (UTC)
Thanks! He's the greatest birthday present ever! Such a little sweetie!
Feb. 19th, 2006 04:07 pm (UTC)
wow, Juli, what a story! It made me tear up, I'm so happy he's doing so well now and that he'll be home very soon! :)

What happened that they needed to knock you out and you couldn't swallow?? That sounds scary. I hope you are doing better now.
Feb. 21st, 2006 05:55 pm (UTC)
Thanks so much!

The doctor said it's a side effect some people have with this new medication they're using. It was scary but I'm fine and sooooo happy.
Feb. 20th, 2006 12:23 pm (UTC)
That is so cool! :) Mr. Baby came within 6 hours of being born on my mom's birthday. If he'd waited till mine I think it would have killed me though. Good story!
Feb. 21st, 2006 05:57 pm (UTC)
Thanks... it was definitely odd while it was happening. I remember thinking it would be a fun story to tell.
Feb. 21st, 2006 06:11 pm (UTC)
I can just picture you going, "Not planning a birthday party or event for me, are you? I'LL SHOW YOU!"
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )