Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Adalyn's Birth Story

The first 20 weeks of my third pregnancy was not like that of my previous two; it was filled with worry, fear, dread and a lot of research. I spent most free moments researching the likelihood of having three children with Gastroschisis, there were no reported cases of three siblings with the same mother and father having Gastroschisis. Ben told me that if this pregnancy resulted in a child with Gastroschisis that he was going to call Oprah and the Today Show and at least make a little money (why he thinks it would make us money I have no idea). I told him I did NOT want him to do such a thing; people would look at me like I was doing something during my pregnancy to cause such a disorder.
Aside from the constant worry and panic, my pregnancy was filled with morning sickness for the first three months, I could not drink water for the first 5 months (I would get violently ill if I drank water), and I craved chips and chocolate (I should also mention that I gained the most weight with my third pregnancy). I was sure we were having another boy, and was actually hoping for another boy, we knew what we were doing with a boy and we had all of the clothes toted up in the basement. Keaton was our boy name, we didn't even talk about girl names, we knew it would be another boy and I knew that it would follow the same path as "his" brothers, Gastroschisis; I also knew I wouldn't be able to handle it this time, I didn't have it in me this time. I craved and wanted to have a normal pregnancy, I wanted to be able to hold my baby right after delivery, have "him" sleep in my hospital room with me, be able to nurse "him" right away instead of having to pump for the first 3 weeks. I wanted to know what it was like to have a normal delivery, but I didn't think it was in the cards for us.
My OB doctor, Dr. K insisted on waiting to do our "20" week ultrasound until I was 21 weeks, so that we could have the best opportunity to see if this baby too would have Gastroschisis. So the day came in July when we were back in that ultrasound room waiting for to stand face to face with the truth. I was relieved that the day had come; I was tired of obsessing over the unknown, the thing I couldn't change, we still had a 2% chance of having another child with Gastroschisis, I just wanted to know. The ultrasound tech did a quick glance (she told us that she was just allowing the machine to warm up) before turning on the display tv so that we could see everything on a 42" HD television. When the television came on, we were looking at our babies head, she began measuring, we went all the way down the length of the body, I saw no tree. It had been two years since I last saw that tree, maybe I was rusty. She asked if we wanted to know what we were having, Ben said yes, I asked if she saw any abdominal defects. She smiled and said she did not see anything, I asked her to check again. After asking her the third time Ben said everything was fine and he was ready to find out if we were having a girl or boy.
The Ultrasound Tech proceeded to move her wand and told us that we were having a girl! Ben smiled from ear to ear and then admitted that he would have to buy a gun, not bullets, but a gun to set by the front door, so all the boys that would come over would know that she was not to be messed with! I tried with everything I had to enjoy the good news, but I couldn't let go of the fear that she would be born a he and with his intestines outside of his body.
The next 14 weeks went by rather quickly and without much excitement, I had a few other ultrasounds, I was a high risk pregnancy (two premature babies, a traditional C-section incision on my cervix led to my classification) so they monitored me and the baby very closely. With each ultrasound I was informed that she was still a she, and she still did not have Gastorschisis. At 35 weeks I began dilating, I was at 3 cm and 75% effaced, Dr. K was cautious with me telling me that if I felt any contractions closer then 14 minutes apart to get in right away (he was worried that my vertical incision on my cervix would tear open leaving me to bleed out in about 5 minutes). I monitored my contractions like a mad women, I even downloaded a contraction counter for my phone. I went in to the hospital a few times when they got closer then the allotted time and I was sent home when they tampered off and didn't amount to anything. At 37 weeks we scheduled my C-section for 39 weeks, it would take place on Tuesday December 6th, tentatively I would be the second C-section that day.
I was having contractions the full duration of my 38th week, on and off, nothing that lead to concern, 17 minutes apart was all the closer they got. Ben had Saturday December 3rd off (he works 3 out of the 4 Saturday's a month), so we decided to go pick out our Christmas tree, knowing that after baby arrived we would have little ambition to do so. We went right away in the morning; we allowed it to drop before setting it up in the house. As we set up the Christmas tree and began decorating, my contractions came back; they were still holding out at 17 minutes apart.
Ben's mother and brother came over at around 4pm to check out the tree; Ben offered everyone a beer, I made a smart comment, about not drinking too much, because I wasn't going to have him drive me drunk to the hospital like he did when I was in labor with Porter (we were both too focused on my quick progressing to realize that Ben was not sober to be driving me that night). Joan (Ben's mom) asked me if I was having contractions. I explained that I was but there were still around 17 minutes apart, the last couple had been 15, but I didn't expect them to last.
We sat down to eat supper and I wasn't hungry, I instead logged another contraction into my phone and noticed that my contractions were now up to 12 minutes apart. I told Ben and he urged me to go in. I grabbed my hospital bag, computer bag and camera bag and walked out of the house. I got into the car and decided I should call in first, I didn't want to just show up and I was sure that I would get there and they would stop. When I called in, they suggested that I drink lots of fluids and rest for an hour and see if they stopped. So I brought my bags back into the house and I poured myself a large glass of water and laid down on the couch; it was 7 o'clock.
An hour went by but my contractions did not stop; they were hanging at 12 minutes apart, not painful and they were only lasting 30 seconds. Nothing too concerning. Ben urged me to go in to just get checked. I told him I would go in if they got any stronger, closer or lasted longer. At 9 o'clock they jumped from 12 minutes apart to 8 minutes apart, not any stronger and not lasting much past 40 seconds. Ben told me I had to go in; so I agreed, I called the OB floor and told them I was coming in and I loaded my bags in the car and drove myself to the hospital, fully certain that I would be sent home. Ben called his mom to just be on standby, so she could come and sit with the kids if for some reason I didn't get to come home.
I got to the hospital and got checked in at the ER and went up to OB, got hooked up to the monitor and the nurse did an exam, I was still 3 cm and 75% effaced, so no change in 3 weeks. Dr. K was watching my progression via a computer at his house (isn't technology great). The nurse asked me my pain on a scale from 1-10, zero, she then asked me how far apart my contractions were, I said 8 minutes. She looked at the strip closer and said she is picking them up every 2 minutes and they are getting to be pretty intense. She was going to call Dr. K and make sure he was observing the same thing. She came back in the room about 10 minutes later and wanted to check me again; I was 5 cm and fully effaced. She told me to call Ben, Dr. K was coming in and she was calling an OR staff, that it would take about an hour, she was hoping we had that much time before baby came. I called Ben and he said he would be there shortly. About 20 minutes later Ben walked into my room with Dr. K right behind him. Ben barely got his coat off and we were rushed down to the OR room, Ben was given scrubs and access to the locker room to change. I was given a spinal and prepped for surgery.

Adalyn Darlene Jensen was born at 11:58pm on December 3rd, she weighed 6 pounds 6 oz and was 20 inches long.
She was very blue; it took her a little while to cry (my heart didn't beat until I heard her cry)

Getting some Oxygen; she is starting to pink up.

Our first picture together.

 6 pounds 6 oz

Daddy and his girl

I finally got to experience the joys of delivering a "full" term, healthy child!

Only 7 days old, she helped us bake Christmas cookies at Grandma's.

Adalyn has completed our family, I am genuinely thankful to have been given the opportunity to experience so many different paths involving child birth, and newborn life. I wish every person a healthy child and an easy delivery, but I do not wish that all of mine where that way. I learned valuable life lessons and I became a stronger person and a better mom, having to go through what we did. If it were not for the experiences we went through with the boys, how could I have appreciated Adalyn's birth experience as much as I did?!?!?!
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