Jett’s arrival (birth story)
At my 38 week checkup I came home in tears because the doctor told me I had made no progress and Jett was still several days away (bittersweet because I was so ready but glad because Anita–my go to babysitter– was in Cape Town for her honeymoon).
Then, around 2:30am on September 1 (4 days later), I got up to go the bathroom and got back into bed and immediately felt a strong contraction. I stayed awake waiting to see if another would follow…ten minutes later another contraction that nearly pushed me out of bed. Still, I waited… Around 3:00am I was so uncomfortable I went downstairs thinking I’d be able to fall back asleep while watching TV (because, remember, Jett is “several days away from coming”!). I could not get comfortable I was in so much pain–which made it very difficult to time contractions because I couldn’t tell if I was just in constant pain or actually having labor contractions.
Around 4:00am I went back upstairs. Half way up the stairs I hear Kasey wake up and ask if I’m okay. I tell him I think I might be in labor. He JUMPS out of bed and meets me at the top of the stairs. “Are you sure? What do we do!?” (Third baby and he’s asking what to do…) I told him I was going to take a bath to see if the contractions subside. Meanwhile, he is so certain it’s “go time”, that he is carrying all our stuff to the car. I was able to relax enough in the tub to realize this was probably real and somehow my contractions were already three minutes apart. So Kasey grabs both kids out of bed and we rushed to the hospital… (Judah was so excited!! He wanted to stop for a cookie on the way to celebrate Jett’s birth-day!)
I get checked in while Kasey waits in the waiting room with the kids. The hospital and staff are very slow but nice. They let you stay in your own clothes and pretty much leave you alone until you’re ready for delivery– no gowns, no being hooked up to a monitor (after the initial assessment, they unhook everything unless there is reason to suspect distress), you can have snacks, no movement restrictions (in fact, I walked out to the waiting room several times to see Judah and Genesis–each time Judah told me to go back until the doctor took Jett out). It was nice to be left alone and be able to walk/stand/squat/whatever.
Kasey called Kelvin, a good friend of ours, to meet us at the hospital to watch the kids. Around 7:00 Kasey was finally able to join me in the labor ward. The hospital underwent shift change and I was moved into the delivery ward by the midwife (interestingly, they only did one exam and otherwise watched me and my body for symptoms of labor progression– anyone who’s been through labor can appreciate that!) my doctor rounded about 8:00 and offered to break my water but cautioned it would become much more intense. I was exhausted and so uncomfortable, I said I would wait a bit longer and asked for an epidural. The midwife prepped my IV and placed the order. About 30 minutes later (8:30) she comes back with laughing gas and informs me they cannot find an anesthetist. (I’m sorry, can you repeat that!?) She tries a few more times to get one but is unsuccessful. Around 9:00 she comes in to check me- my doctor’s suggestion– and I’m fully dilated and ready to go. All natural it is!
She breaks my water around 9:15. Shortly after I hear someone running down the hall in high heels. I remember thinking that it must be really important if she’s running in heels. Little did I know that it was my doctor running to my room!!! Apparently her secretary misunderstood the midwife’s message “to come catch a baby” and waited several minutes to tell her. But she made it in time to suit up– and three pushes later Jett David was here at 9:29 am. He was a healthy 3.6kg and 50cm long.
Kasey took the iPad out to the waiting room to show Judah and Genesis their new brother. They were so excited they wouldn’t let him brig the iPad back! They patiently waited 4 hours in the waiting room for this moment!