Friday, November 21, 2008

Wesley's Story

Wesley Edward Johnson entered our family November 10, 2008. He weighed 6 pounds, 4 ounces and was 19 inches long. Wes came out squawking like a tiny baby owl, and immediately captured the hearts of his mom and dad who had been waiting so long to see him. He's a strong little guy who never needed oxygen and breathed on his own just fine in spite of coming to us at 35 weeks. He has his daddy's eyes, his mommy's nose and chin, and his grandpa Weatherspoon's mouth. And this is his story.

It was Sunday night, and I was so tired. I had been contracting all day, but I wasn't prepared yet to go back to the hospital for another checkup or more drugs. Randy was up late studying for an accounting test he had on Tuesday, so I took Che back to our room to let her hop around and get some exercise. I read my scriptures, played with our squirrel, and around 12:30 I put her to bed and tried to lay down and rest myself. I was contracting pretty hard, so it was difficult to fall asleep--but I finally took something for the pain and dropped off for about an hour and a half. Randy came to bed around 3 and I woke up again, pretty uncomfortable. We talked for about fifteen minutes about his upcoming test and schoolwork he had to take care of . . . when all of a sudden I felt a suspicious . . . how shall I politely put it . . . wetness. I interrupted Randy by telling him I thought my water had broken. He asked if I was certain, and as I stood up out of bed, all doubt was removed. My water had definitely broken and I stood there awkwardly half disgusted, half amazed that it was actually happening and that there was that much "water" inside of me. Randy pops out of bed asking over and over, "What do I do?" so I sent him to the bathroom to get me a towel and then to wake up my mom. He runs to the bathroom and comes back with two little face washcloths, which made me laugh because I needed more of a beach towel at this point. So he went and woke up my mom, and she helped us gather ourselves together, get me into some dryer clothes, and drove us to the hospital.

Now as you know I have been a frequent visitor at Orem Community Hospital. The nurses all know me, I know the quirks of the different rooms and so on. But this time I was sent straight into a delivery room, where I was hooked up to the monitors and waited to find out how far along I had progressed (up to this point, after nearly 8 full weeks of pre-term labor, I had only dilated to a 1+). The nurse checked me, and . . . I was only 60% effaced and had only dilated to a 2. The contractions were strong but they wanted to hurry things along so I got my epidural (heaven bless the person who invented those. It was the first relief I had experienced in two months) and then was placed on pitocin. They turned up the dosage of pitocin until I was going full blast, and by noon I was . . . dilated to a 3.
At this point the nurses were joking about my IV tree, because it was full. I had my epidural catheter, a saline drip, antibiotics for strep B, a saline bag they were pumping into me to cushion his cord through the internal fetal monitor (who knew they could do that?) and shortly after this picture was taken I was also hooked up to the oxygen mask. From the decels on the fetal monitor, I think baby was getting tired of this ordeal as well.

Around noon my doctor came in to check me again. Nothing had changed--just a few hours more exhausted. At this point we had a decision to make: get a c-section right then, or wait all day, possibly all night, and see if I ever progressed further. Since I had been having contractions strong enough to have a baby for 8 weeks, the odds weren't very good that even with the added boost of pitocin I would ever progress. After seeing our little baby's heart rate drop dangerously low earlier, I was ready to have him safely out--so after talking with Randy we decided to opt for the c-section.
Isn't Randy cute in his space suit? I was not feeling so cute at the time. Mostly just really, really scared of the c-section. I never thought I would have one, so I wasn't quite prepared. I just said a prayer, practiced yoga relaxation breathing, and tried to focus on the little boy that we would have very soon.
The nurse and anaesthesiologist wheeling me in the OR in the picture above were so nice. The anaesthesiologist especially helped by talking me through everything that was happening. Thank goodness for the curtain they put up to prevent you from seeing your insides open in front of you . . . I don't think I could have handled that! I haven't even asked for too much detail from Randy, who did take occaisional glances on the other side of the curtain. The whole idea of my insides being on my outside kind of freaks me out :o)

The next thing I knew (it happened really fast--I think the actual c-section took less than 4 minutes) I heard the funniest little squawk, followed by more little birdie noises. The surreal thing was that the baby bird I heard was our baby--after all that time, and labor, and pain, and weeks spent on the couch, he was here. And he was beautiful. And so I cried. And Randy cried. And we were finally a family of three.

He has been such a little angel from the beginning. He came out so healthy and strong--thanks to all those prayers that family and friends had been sending on our behalf--and I was so grateful that he didn't need oxygen or time in the NICU. He sleeps well, feeds well, and makes the funniest little chinchilla noises that melt his daddy's heart.

He already discovered his thumb!
Special time with Grandma. Thanks to her, we made it to almost 36 weeks!
How cute am I?
Thank you Grandma Johnson for my cute elephant hat!
And for even more photographic evidence of the miraculous cuteness of Wesley's first week of life, see my mom's blog!
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