Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Jackson's Birth Story

If you haven't already heard, we had our baby boy on March 18th. His name is Jackson Todd Hibbard which is special because both of our boys have middle names from our dads. Landon's middle name is James which is from Peter's dad and Jackson's middle name (Todd) is from my dad. Anyway this post is going to be me telling how everything went with Jackson's birth and the recovery after. It's a pretty long story that I was hesitant to share because of its length and because I hate to feel like I'm just sitting here complaining or being negative but my sister convinced me that I need to write it down for myself. So consider this your warning that this may be too lengthy and slightly boring for a lot of you.

When I was about 34 weeks pregnant, I had an ultrasound and my doctor became pretty concerned because my amniotic fluid level was very low. She was worried that Jackson wasn't getting the nutrients that he needed and said I would need to come in at minimum once a week for an ultrasound to watch the fluid levels and make sure he was doing ok. At this point I was asked to take it easy and to take my physical activity down to a minimum. Basically our goal was to make it to 37 weeks. Well, needless to say I made it to 37 weeks and my doctor said our new goal would be to make it to 39 weeks and that she felt comfortable to induce me at that point. At my 38 week appointment we scheduled an induction date and time for March 20th at 6:00 AM. My mom scheduled a plane ticket to get here the night before so that she could be here to take care of Landon for us. 

Two days before I was supposed to be induced I woke up at 4:30 AM with regular contractions. I woke up Peter and told him "I think I'm in labor." He said "OK, let me know when your contractions get worse" and went back to sleep. Haha second baby, what can we say. I woke Peter up again at 6:00 AM to let him know my contractions were getting more intense and closer together and that we should start getting ready to go to the hospital. We ate some breakfast, got ready and waited for Landon to wake up around 7:00 AM. We gave him breakfast got him dressed and dropped him off at a friend's house for the day. Once we got to the hospital and got checked in, they said I was at 5 cm and 80% effaced but my contractions were slowing down so we started the waiting game. 
After trying to relax and wait for things to start picking up again I got an epidural around noon. I had gotten an epidural with Landon so I knew what to expect but this epidural felt way different than my first one. Immediately after the epidural had been put in I felt a terrible headache, nausea, and awful pain running through my spine. I didn't know what was going on but I thought I was probably being dramatic and tried to ignore it the best I could. They broke my water to get things to speed up a little more at this point. We were then informed that Jackson's heartbeat was dropping during every contraction and they were getting worried. They put me on oxygen and started to get everything ready to get him out of there. There were also some concerns going on with the amniotic fluid again so they got a team in the room ready to take him in case he couldn't breathe when he came out. They didn't know for sure what to expect but they were ready just in case. Before I knew it my doctor was there, I was at 10 cm and it was time to push. I started pushing at 5:23 PM and at 5:28 PM I was holding our baby boy. He was breathing fine, his heart rate was good and our worries had gone away. He was perfect. 

After spending a few hours together with our baby, Peter went to go pick up Landon and bring him to meet his new brother. Let's just say it didn't go like I had maybe dreamed about. Landon was completely uninterested and when we tried to put Jackson on his lap he started kicking and flailing all over the place. (sigh) I guess I realized Landon really is still so young and I'll just accept the fact that we won't have any cute brother holding brother hospital photos this time. Anyway Peter went home with Landon for the night since we didn't want to ask anyone to watch him overnight and my mom wasn't supposed to fly in until the following night and I braved the first night with Jackson by myself. I really started to notice the pain in my spine accompanied with the awful headache at this point and had yet to be able to keep anything in my stomach. It got to the point where I was not able to think or function properly, which I know probably sounds so dramatic but it's honestly how I felt. The nurses then started pumping me with so much pain medication just so I would be able to sit up and feed Jackson and it did start to dull the pain to a point where I thought it was going away. I honestly was so ready to leave the hospital but because they were watching my symptoms I had to stay another 24 hours. This time Peter was able to stay the night with me because my mom had arrived, it was so so nice to have her around to help with Landon. 

After our 48 hour stay we were able to leave and I went home with 3 prescriptions of pain medication hoping the pain would eventually leave and I could feel like a normal person again. We got home and I laid down for a few hours to rest and try to get some relief. It had been days since I was able to keep anything in my body and I honestly felt so weak and so confused as to what was going on with my body. I woke up from my nap and knew something was seriously wrong. The pain medication was not helping anymore and I was no longer able to hear out of my right ear! The pain from my spine into my head was becoming unbearable. Peter and I knew that we needed to go to the ER to get this figured out immediately. I was so upset because we were literally just in the hospital hours ago and I really was trying to tell myself I was fine and it wasn't that bad. I know this story is getting so long so I will start to cut it short. We ended up being in the ER for almost 24 hours while my angel mom stayed with both boys overnight! Here is a summary of what we found out had happened: when the anesthesiologist gave me my epidural, she had accidentally put a hole in my spine with the epidural needle. This caused spinal fluid to begin leaking out of my spine which causes a lot of complications including terrible pain in your spine into your head. This is what they call a spinal headache which can only be fixed by what is called a blood patch. This is a procedure where they draw blood from your body and then go back into your spine where you got the epidural and fill the hole in your spine with blood forming basically a scab over the hole. 

Eventually we were wheeled back up to Labor and Delivery for me to get a blood patch. It was unreal how quickly it fixed the problem. We were able to go home within an hour after the procedure but I was not able to lift anything, bend over or turn my back in anyway for 3 days because it could break the blood patch and cause spinal fluid to start leaking again. The crazy thing is spinal headaches are pretty rare but my mom has actually had one before and so she knew what was going on when I told her what I was feeling. I'm so glad my mom was here to help so much with the boys. She seriously was amazing at being there for whatever I needed and I couldn't have done it without her. Now we are home and doing a lot better. I am loving every minute with Landon and Jackson. Being their mom is the most fulfilling thing I could ever imagine and I would go through the whole process again and again to have Jackson in our family. I know this post might have seemed pretty whiney but I really am grateful for the chance to be a mom and although I may have had a bad experience with parts of Jackson's birth I still look at it with a lot of joy and positivity because we now have another amazing little boy.

Nikki, my best friend from High School came to visit a couple days after we got home. She has pretty much been there for every important event in my life and I am so grateful I get to see her more now that we live close by.

These three make my heart melt like a popsicle on the 4th of July. I love my boys!

My mom who I will never be able to thank enough for all that she did for us while she was here! Seriously, you're the best! I love you Mom!