"It's Go Time!"

Thursday, January 15, 2009 16 Comments A+ a-

Jon has taken Hudson and Devyn out for an afternoon errand, which has left Reagan (both pronounced and spelled like the president) and I home alone. She is currently snuggled into my new Hotslings sling, sound asleep, and held close to my chest. I’m able to look down at her perfect, tiny features and say a quick prayer of thanks for her arrival and presence in our lives.

I know I owe you all a birth story and my apologies for not getting it on here sooner. I have some valid excuses, several of which involve three little ones who are trying to adjust to the new changes that come with a new sibling. But I have also found that the more I process Reagan’s birth story, the more I realize how traumatic it was and how greatly it effected Jon and I.


When I last left you with an informational post, I told you about the recent developments of Mom being in the hospital due to Gillian Barre, Courtney was on her honeymoon, and I had just endured five hours of false labor in the hospital myself. The rest of that weekend was spent with immense pressure on my pelvic bone, from the fact that the baby had dropped incredibly low. I walked with a sideways gait, one that Jon called my "saddle" walk, as though I had just gotten off a day-long horse ride. I’m telling you, I don’t remember pressure as intense as it was that weekend.

Jon and I turned in for the night around 9:30pm on Sunday, December 28th (which also happens to be Christine’s birthday) and for whatever reason, I decided to lay out Devyn and Hudson’s clothes for the next morning, something I never, ever do. My thought was that it would make for an easier way to get out the door. I woke up on my right side and glanced at the clock, something that I did often during those last weeks and noted that it said 12:03am and I turned to lay on my left side. As soon as I’d turned, I felt a "pop" and warm fluid start leaking down my leg. I, of course, knew instantly what had just happened.

I jumped out of bed, waking Jon in the process, and informed him that my water had just broken. With each movement, more fluid leaked out and I was scrambling for towels in the bathroom. Jon asked if I was serious and could tell from my wide-eyed look that I was; we both sprang into action. Jon made his calls to his family and my aunt, announcing, "Its Go Time!" and I tried frantically to reach my sisters, to which no one answered on the first call. As Jon threw together a bag for the kids and packed the car, I was still in the bathroom trying desperately to stop the leaking. I can’t tell you how many towels I soaked and all I could think was, "Well, this is it."

We met my aunt and uncle at my parents’ house and picked up my sister, Allison, at the same time. Devyn and Hudson were transferred to the care of Uncle Grant and Aunt Debbie, and we were on our way to the hospital. At this point, remembering Christine’s experience when her water broke and the fact that she was already pushing by the time they pulled up to the hospital, I was waiting for the same intense contractions but they had not yet started by the time we got there.

The labor was pretty routine and uneventful, with the exception that the baby’s heart rate decelerated after each contraction. This worried the midwife and nurse, even though its perfectly normal for a baby’s heart rate to decelerate during the contraction, it rarely happens after the contraction. We had a hard time find a position that the baby liked and finally decided that I would only be able to labor on my side. I had requested the epidural as soon as I’d arrived but had to wait until I’d received my first round of antibiotics for my Strep B. I even had to receive the epidural while on my side as well.

The next two to three hours passed by with me lying on either side, an oxygen mask to my face, and I was even able to get an hour or two of rest. This labor was nothing like how I’d pictured it, with all three sisters, my mom, and Jon by my side. But Mom was on the floor above mine, in the middle of her six-hour immunoglobulin infusion, and was calling constantly to check on me. Christine had opted to stay home with a fussy Elliana, Courtney was still on her honeymoon and I could not get a hold of her, so the only sister to attend was Allison. Talk about an adjustment to my ideal birth plan.

Around 6:10 or 6:15am, I woke from my light sleep and told Jon that I felt like pushing. He ran to get the midwife and I knew the time had come to push this little one into the world. Sure enough, I was dilated to 10cm and fully effaced. Everyone got into position and on the next contraction I was told to push. I started pushing, only to be told to slow down from the midwife, and even asked to stop pushing. Then without waiting for another contraction, the midwife asked for one more half-push and at 6:27am our baby entered the world.

Now, this is where it got traumatic and I’ve yet to fully process everything, so bear with me. The baby was placed on my chest and the gender had yet to be announced, so my very first action was to take a peek between the legs and happily (but surprisingly) announced that it was a girl. What happened next was a blur…

I remember looking at Reagan’s face and noticed how very blue and purple she was. Her sweet, tiny mouth was open but there was no air going in or out and definitely no crying. I remember the pediatric nurse yelling at Jon to hurry and cut the umbilical chord and Jon shakily did. Reagan was then whisked away to the waiting bassinet where the nurse was trying desperately to make her cry. During this time, I’m laying across the room, a little shell-shocked as I see the fear and dread on Jon’s face. A slow perusal of the room shows fear and worry on almost everyone’s face in the room.

The nurse working on Reagan demanded the head nurse and started "bagging" our baby girl. They placed an air bag over her mouth and started thumping on her chest. The next 20 minutes was spent with me asking if she was all right and getting no response from anyone, searching Jon’s face for any sign of relief, and watching as Reagan’s body finally turned pink. She still refused to cry but the pink color was definitely a good sign and Reagan was finally returned to me for some skin-to-skin time and her first feeding. It was definitely the most traumatic experience of all three births.

The rest of the day was spent with me running on pure adrenaline and this mama didn’t start getting tired until much later that night; even though Daddy was passed out by 4:00 in the afternoon. =) One of the most memorable moments of this birth was when Mom’s nurses wheeled her hospital bed into our room so Mom could meet her newest granddaughter.
We don’t know why Reagan arrived two weeks early, when both Devyn and Hudson were late. We don’t know why Mom has been battling this disease for over six weeks now. I hate that Courtney cried on her honeymoon when she was told that she’d missed her niece’s birth. Christine and I are both thrilled and shocked that our daughters are only 15 days apart. And I don’t know if we’ll ever know why our family endured such an eventful December, but I can tell you that we’re so very thankful for the arrival of Reagan Jacqueline. While she is proving to be one of our more fussy babies, she is such a joy and I already can’t imagine life without her. We are truly blessed!

I’m a coffee drinking, book reading, laundry procrastinating, husband and children loving, mess of a woman who believes that chips and salsa can fix anything. We have chickens running around the backyard, a mountain of dishes in the sink, and on any given morning, I have at least 10 school forms that need my signature or initials. It’s a crazy life {I prefer to call it controlled chaos}, but its ours.

16 comments

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7:15 PM delete

WOW you are so articulate and beautiful at that for sure! I was crying at my desk as I read your story. Congrat's again and I love you very much!

The best picture which made me cry the most was the one of you and momma! WOW! God is good!

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Melody
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7:50 PM delete

Wow what a story. Don't you dare appologize for not posting this sooner ! I'm sure that your hands are more full than most of us could begin to imagine.

I'm so glad that everything turned out to be ok. Congratulations again...now go get some rest while your new little one sleeps.

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Jenn
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8:52 PM delete

Thanks for the story. I love that picture of your mom meeting her. I hope your 2009 is much less eventful.

What a beautiful daughters you have.

Jenn

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Paula
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8:56 PM delete

Very sweet. Congratulations.

She is beautiful.

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Melissa King
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11:01 PM delete

What a story to tell. I am so glad that everything is ok. I seriously love the picture of you and your mom with Reagan. It made me want to cry, it was so sweet.

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LDraper
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11:32 PM delete

I am so thankful that we love and serve a God who is in complete control. And, I am thankful that He works all things for good.

Reagan is so beautiful (it feels so odd, and yet awesome, to type that and not be talking about my own daughter!) and I pray that your transition is smooth.

God Bless you, Jenn!

Lindsey

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Anonymous
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7:57 AM delete

I'm so happy that she is safe and healthy. What a beautiful baby!

Julie

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Courtney
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8:33 AM delete

I agree, that picture with you and mom got me choked up a little too.

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Christina
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8:36 AM delete

Thanks for sharing this with us. So happy that your baby girl is here, safe and healthy.

Also, thanks for sharing how to pronounce her name because I was saying it REE-gan for some reason. :-) Beautiful name, beautiful girl!

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11:34 AM delete

OH IT IS SO GOOD TO HEAR FROM YOU ON HERE!!! Yay!

She is just beautiful!!

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Marsie
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6:21 PM delete

Seeing you and Becky with Reagan.... it's still making me cry, I'm crying tears of joy!! I love you amazing, strong, beautiful woman!! You're doing AWESOME and we love you so much!!

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Lorena
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2:05 PM delete

How scary for you. I am so glad that you had a happy ending! Her color in the pictures looks excellent. She is very pretty.

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10:44 AM delete

Congratulations!! Fun! JCT, my #2 son, surprised us 3 weeks early with that same little "pop" and trickle!! The best fun to me was coming home and finding the house the way I left it ~ in a hurry. I remember seeing the scrapbook pages that I was working on when my water broke still laying out on the table. . . It was little things like that that made me smile ~ because God had "gotten" me! He totally caught me off guard and that was a really fun thought to me!!! Many blessings!!

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AndiMae
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2:19 PM delete

What a beautiful story, Jenn! And oh, my goodness- don't even apologize for not getting to it sooner! You know all of us mamas understand :) I am so sorry that part of Reagan's story still brings back tramatic memories- and I am so very grateful that God kept her safe and that she is okay! She is so beautiful!

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Stacey
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4:57 PM delete

Thank you for sharing this story, Jenn. I have been praying for you continuously. And I will remain in prayer for you as you continue to process this difficult and scary event. Thanks be to God that sweet Reagan is okay!

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Tina Janelle
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10:45 AM delete

Jennifer,
Have you have heard about Blog Books? I just saw this, and immediately thought of you. Your blog is one of the most book-worthy blogs that I read!! Check it out at: http://www.blurb.com/create/book/blogbook

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