Saturday, June 14, 2014

Welcome, Jace!

Baby #3 was born June 9th, 2014 
at 7:58am at the American Fork Hospital
7 pounds, 8 ounces
19.5 inches long

and he was a BOY! 

We named him Jace Kendell Garrison.

The story:
I had been toying with the idea of trying a VBAC (vaginal birth after c-section -- read post here).  My doctor was supportive and said we would just see my progress over the next couple of weeks and that I could make a decision as it got closer. He went ahead and scheduled me for the morning of June 9th because it would be easier to cancel than to schedule something last minute.  Each week, I was still a total ZERO with minimal contractions (only mild to medium braxton hicks), even up to my last appointment at 39 weeks.  At about 38 weeks though, I had come to the conclusion that a c-section would be best. I did like to think about a VBAC as an option, but ultimately, the thing I wanted to avoid was a traumatic experience like my first (40 hours of labor) and I risked having that happen again by trying for it. It felt good though to make the decision on my own, to actually CHOOSE a c-section. My attitude changed and instead of being bitter and upset that I HAD to have another one, I realized that it was a blessing this time because I wouldn't have to labor (like I did with Claire), and I didn't have a risky delivery (placenta previa, like I did with Alex), so this time, I was determined, would be the best c-section yet and I could just relax, enjoy, and focus on the more spiritual, special moment of this baby's birth.

A lot of people say, "It must be so nice that it's scheduled and you know what to expect" and they are right... but there's also a side to knowing that is really hard. When you don't know when you're giving birth, it's all a waiting game and when it happens I'm sure it all just happens so fast you don't have much time to worry or get anxious. But that's the downside of knowing. The whole week before June 9th I was pretty emotional. Lots of overwhelming feelings knowing what was coming in just a week.  It was happiness and excitement, but also fear and dread at the same time. Having a baby is hard! A major surgery is scary, the hospital time and recovery is hard, nursing and no sleep are life changing sacrifices that are hard to ever feel ready for! But luckily, with lots of support and love from family and friends and a Priesthood blessing from my husband, the weekend before delivery was great. Ben's mom took Claire and Alex so that Ben and I could have a Saturday day-date and quiet Sunday before Monday morning. It was wonderful.

We went to the Utah Valley Parade of Homes that evening :) Watching me walk around those houses was comical (I really can't believe I was a zero still because it felt like I was a 9 at times). We had fun dreaming about a future home (waaay down the road) and talking about things we liked and disliked in each home. When I couldn't walk anymore, we went to dinner at Costa Vida and caught a movie, Edge of Tomorrow (which was really good!).  Sunday we went to church ALONE which hasn't happened in 4 years and then just packed, relaxed, and tidied up the house.  I didn't sleep a WINK. It's a problem I have when I have big things the next day (ask my mom about Christmas Eve). When I say "not a wink" I mean it.  It was awful but we got up at 5am, showered and got ready and headed to the hospital.

We got there at about 6am and got all checked in. The nurses kept saying how fast Dr. Jones is and that they have a hard time keeping up with him because he's so great and efficient. "Cut time" was 7:30am and they were rushing to have me all prepped by then.  Dr. Jones ended up being about 10 minutes late (which they were all surprised about) and I headed to the OR at about 7:35. Getting the epidural with Alex was one of the most painful things EVER and I was just dreading it for this one. The anesthesiologist got me all prepped and told me, "Slight pinch and burn" and seriously, it was like little bee sting. I said, "Is it over?" and when she said, "Yep!" I couldn't believe it. I just kept saying, "Thank you! That was so awesome!!" I was seriously giddy. 

Ben came in as the sheet went up and the doctor came in. When the doc asked "Feel anything sharp?" ( I always hate that part because I'm never entirely sure and I kind of have a freak out moment, like, "Let's just wait a minute and be sure before you cut!"). I could feel them get started and doing whatever they're doing and reminded them that we didn't know the gender and to let Ben be the one to tell me. Within a couple of minutes, they told Ben he could stand up and look at the head and watch as the baby came out.  

He stood up, took a few pictures and then all that crazy pressure and uncomfortable-ness happened as they pull the baby out (seriously, so weird) and they said, "What do you think it is?" And I said, "Boy!" and Ben said, "Yes! It's a BOY!!" and the little baby cry started and I started crying and Ben was saying, "Oh he's so cute!!"  

He had a perfect knot in his umbilical cord, which is freaky. They said it's very rare and happened when he was small enough to make the loop and go through it completely. It was lucky that it wasn't tight and didn't hinder his development at all. Who knows, too, what would have happened had we gone for vaginal and had that... you never know.

Ben went over to be with the baby and take some pictures and kept saying how cute he was. I was calm and relaxed as they sewed me up and Ben brought little Jace over to see me. (We still weren't 100% positive about the name, but pretty sure).

They wheeled me back to the room I had started in to get me stable before moving me to the recovery room. I was pretty dang relaxed and almost fell asleep several times, but the nurse would come in every time I did to tell me I was forgetting to breath and not to fall asleep until the epidural wore off completely. I was there for like an hour I swear, seemed forever, until they finally took me to the recovery room. 

The nurse came in, gave me one percocet, did some vitals, and left for a while.  When she came back, she had a water and saltines and asked if I needed anything? I said, "Um... my baby please?!" I was pretty bugged because by this time it had been almost 2 hours since birth and I hadn't held him. "Oh, right," she said and left to get him. I may have had a slight break down when she left but come on, understandable given what I'd just gone through on zero hours of sleep.

Finally held my baby boy! He is so perfect.


For about 4-5 hours I was nauseous and feeling more pain than I would have liked. When the pain was finally under control, I then was so groggy and drowsy, it was hard for me to keep my eyes open. My mom came, but I don't remember a lot of it, and then Raquel & Brad brought Claire and Alex in. It was so cute. Alex came and sat by me and was so mellow, he just smiled huge and pointed (with his signature sqweal) to Jace and wanted to touch his hands and face. Claire came over and didn't want to hold him, but said she loved him and gave him a kiss. She asked me why we couldn't take him home and also asked where the other baby was? Not sure about that one... After a while, she held him and loved it. They were both so calm and cute, it was great. But again, I was SO drowsy it was awful.

Family of FIVE!

That night was pretty good, Ben slept there with me and Tuesday was great! I was able to eat real meals and walk around by myself. It's especially great when all the cords and IVs come out and you feel FREE. Lisa and Kraig came by that evening to meet Jace and Ben went home with them to watch the NBA game and sleep in his own bed (I'm a good wife).  But he's a good husband too because Wednesday morning, he woke up and weeded and sprayed and fertilized and mowed the lawn :)

 I was feeling so good Wednesday, I thought about going home that evening.  The kids were being brought back down to us Thursday evening and we thought it would be nice to go home, sleep in our own beds and settle before chaos hit.  The nurses and PA all said they couldn't believe how well I was doing and that they never would have guessed I was a c-section patient.  Jace passed all his tests and we were discharged at 7pm!  It was so fun driving home with this new baby and pulling up to our house.

Thursday the headaches started.  The anesthesiologist said it could happen because of the spinal but when she had asked, I hadn't had one.  I researched it and I guess they can happen when something is punctured during the spinal and some kind of brain fluid actually leaks or something until it heals... weird, who knows. They lasted a few days and were AWFUL. They were like migraine powerful.  Luckily, they mostly would come in the evenings and would go away when I would lay down. 

Claire and Alex came around 3pm, with my mom and Grandma Johansen. They were so cute with him.  That night was great, both kids slept perfectly all night and the baby was up about every 2-3 hours as expected.  It only took a couple nights until he was on a solid 3 hour schedule and would sleep soundly between each feeding at night, giving me about 6 hours of sleep (broken up: 2, 2, and 2).

We are feeling so blessed with our little family right now. What a special time and we are trying to cherish every moment. We are so grateful that Ben works from home right now and can be around to help and be with the kids. The moments (usually in our bed) when all 3 kids are with us; kissing, loving, and holding baby Jace; tickling, laughing, and playing... those moments that are straight out of a Hallmark commercial... we are all so in love and blessed and happy!


Molly said...

Congratulations! He is so handsome! I love the name (I have a brother, Jace)

Claire Hawkes said...

I'm so happy for you! I can't believe the cord was in a knot! Everything happens for a reason and I'm glad it turned out well for you. He is such a handsome boy. That picture of you holding your bump before you got into the OR made me bawl my eyes out!