April 6, 2016

Jensen's Birth Story

It has been one year since Jensen was born. Happy Birthday, Jen! Shortly after he was born, I wrote out a few quick notes, so I wouldn't forget anything from the day. I'm so happy I did that, as I read through my notes, I couldn't help but tear up at the journey of getting to Jen's birth, and the journey we've been on since then. Without making this any longer than it already is, here is Jensen's birth story:

March 31, 2015
We had our weekly appointment, Dr. Hewitt checked me and said I was 2cm and 70% effaced, which seems miles better than it was at the last appointment when she said I was only about 1cm. This time she was able to do a membrane sweep. I convinced myself that I was having this baby on the 3rd because it was a full moon, so I had 3 days to get this show on the road.

April 2, 2015
Happy birthday Josh! Cole and I celebrated his Daddy’s birthday by being sick. We know how to have a good time, right?! Cole had a fever of about 101, I was sitting at 99.4 and feeling crummy, and crossing my fingers that my temperature wouldn’t go any higher. When I went to the hospital when I was in labor with Coleden, I had a fever and he had to stay in the NICU for monitoring right after he was born. I really didn’t want Jensen following in Cole's footsteps, and luckily, by the next morning we were both feeling much better.

April 3, 2015
Full moon. No baby. Dang it.

April 5, 2015 (Easter)
Around 3am I started having contractions, they were between 8-12 minutes apart. Around 6am, they started slowing. Our Easter was spent with our friends, the Lannings. Cole had fun hunting for eggs and jumping on their trampoline with Sophia. I had occasional contractions, but nothing that had me feeling like we needed to hop in the car right away. We got home around 3:30pm, and about that time my contractions started coming back more regularly. I called Labor and Delivery around 6pm (when contractions ranged from 5-10 minutes), I was told I need to drink a big cup of water within 30 minutes, and take a warm bath. If I continued to have consistent contractions, we should start making our way to Ruidoso. After sticking it out as long as I could, I decided we needed to head to the hospital around midnight. 

April 6, 2015
The hour long drive was not a fun one. First, we needed to get gas, and the gas station on base apparently closes for the night, so we had to drive into Alamogordo to get gas. Second, the normally picturesque drive went completely unseen due to the time of our drive, and lack of street lights.  I hummed my way through contractions, it was the only thing that eased the pain I was feeling.

We finally reached the hospital around 1am. I got hooked up to the monitoring equipment so they could determine if they were going to keep me. I was dilated to 5cm and had very consistent contractions, so I was definitely staying (that took about 30-45 minutes). I was moved to an actual room, and after about 45-60 minutes, Nurse Beth checked me again and said I was at 8-8 1/2cm and 100% effaced. Josh said he overheard them saying they needed to get ahold of Dr. Hewitt and have her get here quickly. Josh hadn't even finished bringing all of our stuff in from the car, and Dr. Hewitt was being told to get here quickly?! This was going so fast, almost too fast. When he brought the last bit of stuff in, Dr. Hewitt had arrived, it was about 3:00.

At this point my contractions became very difficult to handle. I asked Josh to play some music to distract me, he chose my Supernatural soundtrack, it seemed appropriate. I don’t think my nurses were used to women playing music while they labored, they seemed excited to have something to listen to and enjoy while they worked. Oddly enough, hearing them sing along to my music made me relax. It was such a normal thing to do; who doesn’t sing along to music in the car or shower?! I was contracting away, and my nurses were singing along, like it (being in labor) was a normal thing-and it is. It's one of the most natural/normal things there is. It was a sort of ego check. I think I had started feeling sorry for myself, not the kind of sorry where I wanted to be pitied, more like I had begun doubting my body. I had to have a cesarean with Coleden, and that experience weighed heavily on my self-confidence. Who knew something as simple as a couple of nurses singing along to The Animals "House of the Rising Sun" would give me peace of mind? It made me refocus. There’s a quick little passage in Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth that always stuck with me. One of the women that shared her story commented saying “Then I thought, no, I’m supposed to be having a baby here, not thinking of myself!” I couldn’t have said it better myself. So stop worrying about the past, and focus on right here, right now; and from here on out, nothing but positivity.

My nurses knew how I needed to be spoken to in order for me to stay focused. I was able to concentrate on my body and my contractions, while they prepared my room for delivery and continued to encourage me at all the right times.

I do want to take a moment to give Josh a lot of credit. With Cole, I wanted Josh right next to me, I needed him to hold my hand, to stroke my hair. I needed that constant touch to help me through each contraction. This time around, he was trying to do the same thing, but I was so overstimulated that I couldn’t be touched. I felt like I was hurting his feelings, but I didn’t have the ability to express how I was feeling, I could only speak in monosyllables and even that was proving difficult. He never skipped a beat, he stopped touching me and kept encouraging me and reinforcing what the nurses told me. He was doing everything he could to be my amazing support, and I cannot begin to express the gratefulness I felt to have him by my side.

Around 3:20, Dr. Hewitt broke my waters and told me it was time to push. I pushed 2 or 3 times and began to panic, this was the point I had gotten to with Cole and wasn’t able to go any further and I ended up with a cesarean. This was now new territory, and I was desperate to have the birth I envisioned, so when Dr. Hewitt told me to focus on her words and push, I did exactly that.

At 3:34am Jensen Luca Trout was born, weighing 8 pounds 3 ounces, and he was 20 inches long. I have never been more proud of myself than in that moment when I got to hold my brand new baby (I wasn’t given that opportunity with Coleden). I remember looking into Josh’s eyes and seeing so much love in his eyes, our family was complete, and we couldn’t wait to find out more about this tiny little human, with his new baby smell.

Josh stayed with me for a few hours, then made a trip back home to make sure Cole was okay, since we left in the middle of the night, he would be waking up to our friend, Billy (remember the Lannings from earlier? Guys, seriously, these people are the best. I wish everyone had a Billy and Shelby of their own.), and wanted to make this huge change feel a little less huge for the newest big brother. 

When Josh came back up to the hospital, he did so without Cole (he still had the sniffles from a few days prior).  Now that it was daylight, Josh commented on how freckly I was looking, and how he had no idea hormones could make freckles pop so much. After taking a closer look we realized that I had actually popped all the blood vessels in my face and neck when I was pushing Jensen out, but somehow didn’t burst the blood vessels in my eyes-weird. Even Dr. Hewitt was impressed and couldn’t figure out how I managed that.

Jensen and I were released the following day, but we ended up having to go back to the hospital for a couple of days in Alamogordo because Jensen’s bilirubin levels were crazy-high. Eventually he evened out and we were able to start our lives as a family of four.

It has been a blast to watch Jensen grow this last year. His personality is so bubbly, and happy, and I wouldn’t change a thing about him. I’m very grateful to be this little boy’s mama. Jensen, you made a dream of mine come true. You gave me my confidence back. You have a piece of my heart, and I hope you know that your daddy and I will always be there for you and your brother. I love you, Jensen Luca. Always.

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