Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Joshua's birth story

written by Jonathan
edited by Courtney

Monday 10/19 and Tuesday 10/20, Courtney told me on my way home from work that she wasn't feeling too good and that she may be in labor. Both nights the contractions went away later in the evening. On Wednesday 10/21, I had a big day with a tour group of 94 people coming to Marsh. Needless to say, I was a little tired when leaving work around 5:15 pm. When Courtney told me again, that she hadn't felt good all day and that her contractions were about 8 minutes apart and regular since 2:30 pm (for three hours), I gave it little thought. I get home, we eat dinner, and Courtney's parents take off for church. 

By now (around 6:30 pm) the contractions are about 5 minutes apart and still regular. Fairly quickly, they become 2-3 minutes apart so we decide to go to the hospital and get checked out. We dropped Jules off at Courtney's sister's house on the way to the hospital and get there around 7:45 pm. The lady at the desk told us it would be a little bit before we could get into a triage booth, but they ended up calling us back by 8 pm. 

The nurse checked and Courtney was 5 cm dilated and having contractions steadily every 2 minutes. So they prepare a room for us. As the good Lord would have it, Dr. S was on call (Courtney's preferred OB). She came by around 10:30 pm and broke Courtney's water. She saw some meconium in the water and decided to have the pediatric team come in to be ready to check the baby out when it was born. She also told us that she would not be in a hurry to get him crying in order to have the chance to suck as much fluid out of his mouth as possible. 

Labor came on pretty quickly and Courtney was 7 cm dilated and was doing great at managing the pain but by 11:30 pm, it was getting tough. Around midnight, the nurse checked her and she had progressed to 8 cm dilated.  She decided to get an epidural since she felt it had taken so long to go from 7 to 8 cm. The nurse had asked her earlier if she'd like stadol but she declined.  When she decided to get the epidural we told the nurse and of course, it took them a while to get there. 

By 12:30, I pushed the button to call the nurse.  They answer and while I'm asking to see our nurse, Courtney blurts out "I NEED STADOL." The nurse comes in, checks her, and because she's 8 cm dilated she told us that the drug would go straight to the baby so she couldn't give it to her. She said there were two people in front of us and two doctors working on the epidural before they'd come to our room. 

At this point, Courtney was having the strong desire to push. The nurse told her that she couldn't push or she would tear her cervix. Courtney kept explaining over and over again the need to push.  The doctors came in and gave her drugs around 1 am, but as the anesthesiologist asked what she felt Courtney said she still felt strong contractions and a huge urge to push.  She kept telling them that it wasn't working, so the doctor did some things to get her hooked up quicker. 

Finally, he got the meds to work and the nurse checked and Courtney had progressed from 8 to 10 cm while they were trying to administer the epidural.  Then Courtney got to rest some so we both took it easy for about 45 minutes. 

At 2:05 am the doctor came back in and we started pushing.  Immediately I saw a little head peeking through with plenty of hair. With the second push there was not much change, but on the third push the head came out. Then we stopped and waited for another contraction.  Finally, with the fourth push he was out at 2:13 am on the second contraction. 

Of course, he started crying too quickly and was grunting as opposed to screaming (indicating fluid in the lungs). Dr. S suctioned his mouth and nose and the pediatric team wisked him away to their table.  They started sticking a vacuum tube down his throat and nose and sucking out fluid. 

His apgar scores were 8 at 1 minute and 9 at 5 minutes. The team left and Courtney was able  to hold him.  We were able to have Nanna, Mamaw, and Memama come in to see him for just a minute. He was still grunting so they took him to NICU for testing that was supposed to last four hours. At 4 am, we were moved downstairs to a mother-baby room. Around 5 am I went to check on him in the NICU and was told he wouldn't be done until 8ish. Aunt Whitney came by around 7:30 am and she and I went to see him on the way out but no one was allowed in the NICU except for me and Court. 

It was then that the nurse had a doctor come talk to me. He told me that Josh's blood test showed a "marker" that could mean infection and they would be giving him precautionary antibiotics for 48 hours. This meant no family, no in-room stays for 48 hours while they kept him in the NICU. Therefore, we made a trip down the hall every 3 hours to feed him. 

The first two trips, I took Courtney in a wheel chair since it was a good distance to walk. From then on, she could walk it on her own. Josh did great and continued to improve. Courtney felt 100% within 24 hours.  It turned out to be a blessing in disguise to not have a lot of company and to let baby bond with mother while we were in the hospital. Breastfeeding was easier, and things just seemed to click. 

Saturday morning 10/24, we got word that there was no infection and Josh would be released as soon as we could get a hearing screening done and when his circumcision was complete. Courtney was discharged at 11:30 am and Josh was finished at 12:15. The nurse wanted to wait until he peed after the circumcision before letting us go. We waited and waited, anxious to get home and introduce him to Jules.  At 2:30 pm, the doctor felt we'd had enough waiting and we were discharged to bring Josh home. It was a great experience and God has once again poured out so many blessings on my family.

Joshua William Tucker
Born 10/22 2:13am
9lbs 3.5ozs. 21" long


Ashley said...

Congratulations! Sounds like everyone did great and we're so glad to hear baby Josh is healthy and happy!

Southern Savvy said...

Awww...Great birth story. But, you lost me after the part where you only had to push 4 times b/c all I could think about is what seemed like forever that I had to push. You go rock star Mom!

Anna Ruth said...

It was so nice to read about the whole thing! We hope that we can see you on Monday.

merritt said...

A great narrative. Thanks for sharing!

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