Jack's Birth History

I had a pretty uncomplicated pregnancy with the exceptions of gestational hypertension and that Jackson was breech.  I had an external cephalic version at 37 weeks to see if the doctors could get him to turn.  It was unsuccessful and I was scheduled for a c-section when he was 39 weeks.  At 38 weeks my water broke, at home, and the umbilical cord immediately prolapsed.  John called the hospital and explained to the nurse the situation. The nurse told him to call 911 and tell them it was a true emergency and to take me to the closest hospital.  The ambulance arrived at the house within minutes of his calling.  The paramedic came in and took one look at me and told the driver we need to move now.  They discussed which hospital would be closer (shouldn't they know this already).  They decided on a hospital, I transferred myself to the gurney and we were on our way.

On the way to said hospital there was discussion about there being too much traffic downtown due to a parade at the time.  So then the decision was made to go to a second hospital.  Still pretty close and we didn't have to change directions.  During the ride the paramedic checked my pulse-oxygen level once and it was 100%, checked my blood pressure numerous times because it was so high and told me to calm down.  HELLO, I don't have control of the high BP!!  She never gave me oxygen or started an IV.  I was pretty calm and even told John that we were having a baby and discussed the date.  I have a thing with numbers and his birth date had to "balance".

When we arrived at the second hospital someone (dispatcher???) over the radio told the driver to go to yet another hospital.  So there we went to another hospital 20 minutes away!!  This was the hospital that I did all my prenatal care so I was kind of relieved to be going there.  BUT, I really had no idea what was going on.  I knew that the cord was hanging out but I didn't know what that was doing to my sweet baby boy. 

So we arrived at the hospital and were greeted by a team of OB/GYN and nurses.  One OB jumped on the gurney with me and placed her hand inside me to take pressure off the cord.  We went straight to the OR and they put me out completely.  The next thing I remember is John waking me up in recovery.  He told me that Jack went without oxygen and they had to resuscitate him for 6 minutes. It still hadn't hit me. 

They took him straight to the NICU where they started him on the cooling protocol.  They lowered his body temperature to about 93 degrees for 72 hours.  This was to preserve the brain that hadn't been damaged and to prevent any further damage.  Since he had to be this temperature for three days I couldn't hold him.  When they brought his temperature back up I finally got to hold him with all of his wires and cords.  They were monitoring every bodily function possible.

At 5 days old the NICU physicians, neurologist, case manager, chaplain, John and I had a meeting where they told us that he did have a significant amount of brain damage and would probably have moderate cerebral palsy.  I was numb the entire meeting, nothing that they said really registered to me except that the neuro told us about the divorce rate of parents with special needs children.  My son is in the NICU with brain damage and he brings that up.  I didn't like him much after that.  Then came the meeting with the case manager and getting him signed up of all of the special needs waiver programs.  She did most of the paperwork but I really didn't think that Jackson would need any of this help.  I was in major denial. 

Jackson was doing pretty good except we just couldn't get him to suck on a bottle.  We couldn't even get his little tight jaws open to get a pacifier in there.  So next was a swallow study which he passed so we went at it again with a pacifier and a tube that pushed milk through.  But he just couldn't.  So the neonatologist suggested that he have a G-tube placed.  A scary thought but he couldn't thrive without it.  Off my little man went, 16 days old and having surgery. John and I were educated on feeding him and cleaning around the site.  5 days later he was discharged!  Now I could start getting settled into my routine with Jackson!

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