Friday, July 06, 2007

our little firecracker

As I type this from my hospital bed, Charlie is sound asleep on the pull out chair. I really don't know why he is so tired. He got a beautiful sleep on Tuesday night while I was on the couch tossing and turning with (unbenownest to me) the discomforts of early labor - and he got a beautiful sleep last night, while I was poked and prodded by nurses and doctors every hour and nursing our newborn son every three hours.

Now he's happily snoring while I'm sitting here, looking at my breastpump machine and wishing I didn't give away my hands free pump bra so I could at least pump while I document the arrival of our fourth child.

Men. What can you do?

When we arrived at the hospital yesterday afternoon, my contractions were coming every nine minutes. I know that you're not suppose to go to the hospital until they are five minutes apart - but we made the executive decision that I should be checked out when I noticed that my socks were wet.

And I hadn't stepped in any puddles.

The contractions were somewhat painful - but I suspected that the doctor would tell us to go home and come back when they were closer together and more intense. Instead, they admitted me on the spot and quickly had me hooked up for monitoring.

My regular OB had finished a 12-hour shift from 7 PM to 7 AM, when we arrived. Therefore the doctor on-call was not familiar with my obsession rationalization for wanting to have a VBAC. When she looked over my records and said that we'd have to do a c-section as soon as possible, I told her that wasn't part of my "plan."

They checked me out and although Charlie thought for sure the baby would be crowning and I'd have to push a few times before he was born ... in reality, I was only 1/2 cm dilated. My regular OB was paged and even though he had left the hospital only a few hours earlier, he returned.

On the Fourth of July.

To see his flaky patient, that he was suppose to deliver by c-section last week ... and then rescheduled to do a c-section, this week.

Provided she didn't go in to labor first and deliver on the one day he was suppose to have off.

Which I did.

It is truly no exaggeration that every single person that I spoke to on the Labor and Delivery floor thought that I was totally off my rocker to attempt a VBAC after my triplet pregnancy. Particularly when they looked at my records and noted that when I delivered at 31 weeks, I was measuring 52 weeks pregnant. With HELLP Syndrome. And PUPPPS. And severe pitting edema - just like I have, now.

But despite what every medical professional was telling me, I was really determined.

Until - they checked me again - several hours later and I was still only at 1/2 cm dilated, despite my contractions which were now coming on every six minutes.

Because there was no way my doctor would induce me to help move things along, my options were limited ... (1) go for a c-section or (2) wait, who knows how long, for dilation and hope that the baby doesn't become distressed in the meantime.

The one thread of hope I was holding on to for a beautiful VBAC experience, was lost when the woman in the room next to mine, let out the most intense blood curdling scream I've ever heard in my entire life. The nurses told me that she had been in labor for more than 30 hours and was now getting prepped for a c-section.

After some more discussion with my doctor(s) and Charlie, I decided to go with a repeat c-section. I would have really liked to do a VBAC, but since I was not dilating and was informed that labor would most likely be very long - my entire focus shifted to getting the baby out as quickly and safely as possible.

Once I made that decision, things started to happen very fast.

After three attempts, they started my IV.

Drew blood for labs.

Whisked me off to the operating room.

Administered my spinal block.

Ushered Charlie in.

And the next thing I know - they are lifting out of me one of the most beautiful and fattest, newborn babies I've ever seen.

Our baby boy, who has still not been named, was born on July 4 at 4:32 PM.

He weighed in at 9 pounds, 12 ounces, 21 inches long and has rolls of fat on his arms, legs and face. He is absolutely perfect in every way and is an excellent cross between William and his sisters, with William's round face and his sisters brunette hair.

I'm doing pretty well - the recovery for a singleton c-section is not nearly as difficult as it was with the triplets. But of course there is discomfort and simple tasks like walking to the bathroom can take 10 minutes.

Chances are, I'll be in the hospital until at least Saturday. But Charlie tells me that he'll upload pictures the next time he goes home.

Provided he doesn't fall asleep first.


  1. wow! What a big boy! Congratualtions to both of you on your miracle boy!
    Me first- have been checking regularly to see what is happening! 2am, 5am and all day today! Wonderful happy news.
    Rebecca D

  2. And just want to add- VBAC is a journey not a destination. Because of your choice to wait it out you got to go into labour on your own and your boy was born on the 4th of July- for the next 4 yrs (at least) you will be able to convince him that all those fireworks are just for him!
    Going into labour on your due date! You are an urban legend Jenna! (along with the whole natural pregnancy after IVF thing)
    Rebecca D

  3. Happy Birthday to the nameless new baby. Oh Jen, I have been checking your blog continuously for an update. I even looked at my watch today @ noon wondering if he had arrived yet or if you were being prepped for surgery. My dh's b-day is the 4th of July too and when he was younger, his parents used to tell him that all the parties & fireworks were all for him. He He He!!!!

    Congrats to you and Charlie. I know you are feeling very blessed right now. Hope you can be home w/ all of your children soon. Let me know when we can come down for a play date.

    Deana(from Rubber Ducky)

  4. He's here! The darling baby boy is here! I kept scrolling, looking for the name, and I guess he hasn't been named yet! Congratulations guys, I am so happy for you on the birth of (what I'm guessing is) a gorgeous little boy. Take care, relax, and update us when you can. Next time you post I hope we can put a NAME to a face!

  5. Wow! That's a baby! Congratulations to all!

  6. Wild congratulations! You did exactly the right thing--followed your instincts and then did what you thought was best for your child. That is what mothers do, right? Don't worry about the little guy's name. DD#2 was named 4 1/2 years before she was born. We called her that during the whole pregnancy, told everyone that is what her name would be. And then when she was born--you guessed it--the name just didn't fit her. We had to come up with something else entirely. She is 21 now and not having a name the second she was born hasn't seemed to have hurt her any.

    Enjoy that precious baby and rest while you can. The fun really starts on Saturday.


  7. Congratulations Jenna!
    What wonderful news! Little baby boy born on the 4th of July! Perhaps a patriotic name or a Patriots name:)

    Have a speedy recovery and enjoy the time in the hospital. When I had my first, the doctor offered to keep me 2 extra days at the hospital. I told him I really wanted to get home. Once home, like a minute after I walked in the door, I thought 'Why didn't I listen to him? I was waited on hand and foot and now I need to feed the dog.' After my second, same thing. Went home as soon as I could as I wanted to start the bonding with our first and second child right away. Got home and wham, there it was again, why didn't I listen to the doctor? Honestly one more day away from home would have had no effect on our family bonding and I could have gotten some sleep (or at least my husband could have, as he really got a ton of sleep in the hospital pull out beds)! Little life lesson for me... as it turns out, I'm obstinate! I am capable of learning though and have already determine the max days insurance will cover for the up-coming birth of our 3rd.

    All the very best Jenna! What a lucky little boy, as he has joined the sweetest family I know. Enjoy!

    Loads of love,
    Michelle McKeig

  8. Well, now you MUST name him George! Or Sam! Congratulations, I was worried about you all day!

  9. What an amazing adventure....or trip, as you might say!

    That is one BIG boy! You did the right thing...that would have HURT!!!

    I'm so glad everyone is doing well. I can't believe you held out to your due date, that is truly amazing!

    Congruatulations...can't wait to see pictures of the little guy!

  10. Congrats and best wishes on the birth of your son! So is John Phillip Souza Jefferson out of line for his name? Continue to heal and rest.

  11. Congrats on your bouncing big baby boy!! Here's to a speedy recovery - enjoy him :)

  12. Congratulations on your (big) little boy!!! I'm sorry the VBAC didn't turn out as planned but you did your best!

  13. Congrats Jen & Sleepy Dad! What a wonderful day to have a baby! How special that he'll think those fireworks are just for him every year... That's so fun :)
    I'm impressed by your ability to stick to your guns even through labor, and think that a repeat Csection is just as admirable, simply because you made it this far and tried SO hard!! You're an amazing woman! Congrats to you, and I can't wait to see "The Unnamed One"!

  14. CONGRATULATIONS!!!! What a big boy :)

    Well, sometimes VBAC doesn't end the way we intended, but at least you gave it a shot. Your baby was born on HIS due date, not a scheduled due date. You got to experience the excitement of contractions/water breaking/etc. I am so happy for you.

    PS...I believe I am in early labor right now. We'll see :)

  15. Congratulations! Fourth of July is a fun birthday! Good thing you went ahead with the c-section, that is a big boy for a first natural delivery. Don't worry, you really didn't miss out on anything but a lot more pain. Can't wait to hear your name choice!


    To bad you couldn't convince the doc to give Charlie some meds so he could temporarily breastfeed. ;)
    That way you could get some rest! Men should be able to breastfeed, hehe.

    I went in on the 1st at 9am and delivered on the 3rd at 4pm with my oldest. I think you made a wise decision on the repeat c-section.

    I know you will pick a beautiful name!

    Happy 4th on the 4th of July!

    Mrs. Carrot

  17. Oh my gosh, congratulations!!! Having had two 31 weekers, 3lb4oz and 3lb8oz, I think it must be such a strange feeling to have a baby that weighs what they both, or in your case, all 3 weighed combined!

    How fun, a 4th of July baby!! Sounds very healthy and name him already. :)


  18. Super Congratulations! Thank you for sharing your journey, I have enjoyed reading about it.

    Also if you can convince someone (or yourself) to make you a hands free pumping bra, here are some instructions

    Sleeping Baby. Jan has a wonderful collection of baby 'stuff'

  19. CONGRATS! I guess you are going to have rename your blog now! :)

    I hope that you have a speedy recovery and that your bouncing baby boy gets a name soon. You have till you leave right?

    So happy he was a nice HEALTHY weight. My daughter was 8lbs10ozs and now is only in the 30% for her weight! SO who knows what he will turn out like. Maybe he will be your little football player!

  20. Congratulations! Ms. American Pie got her much deserved "little" all american independence day bouncing baby boy! No wonder the fireworks were bigger and louder this year - you were CELEBRATING!

    Now, get some rest, both of you, and hurry up with those pictures!

  21. WOW...Congratulations!!!! My trio didn't even come close to weighing that much COMBINED!!! (27 weekers)

    Enjoy your "rest" while in the hospital for the next few days...Once again, CONGRATULATIONS!

  22. WOW!!! I am so happy for your family! You guys did great! And what a big boy! Regardless of how he got here, at least your body went into labor first...then you just have to do what is safest for you and him:) Can't wait to see pictures!

  23. Oh Jen..

    Linda (Chicago)

  24. Congrats and best of luck!!! All of us in NJ are soooooo happy for you!!! Dying to know the name!!

  25. Congrats!
    Looking forward to pictures...and stories of triplets reaction to him.

  26. COngratulations and Happy Birthday little sparkler!!!
    Yeah! I am so glad things went well and that he is here and that you are fine.
    Can't wait to see the pictures :)

  27. Jen- CONGRATULATIONS! What a wonderful story to have your baby on the 4th of July. When I had my singleton csection after the triplets, I was NOTHING compared to the first time around. I think once those muscles are cut, they are cut. You will up and about in no time.

    But man, oh man, he's a big one, ain't he???? That is SOOOO awesome! I can't wait to see his picture and CONGRATULATIONS.

    No name the kid already! Wake Charlie up and ask him the first thing that pops in his head.

  28. Congrats on your 4th of July baby! Wow, big boy! I can't wait to see some pics, I'm sure he's adorable :)

  29. Congratulations! I'm so happy for you!

    BTW: My husband just happened to mention this week that should we have a baby on the 4th he'd name it "Independence." Good thing they ask the mother the name and not the father!

    Can't wait for pictures!

  30. vety the nuts mom7/6/07, 8:57 AM

    Oh Jenna, we can truly say the fireworks were brighter because of your son's birth on Wednesday! Congratulations to all of you! what a blessing and such a big baby too! Ok, now back to work since I've devoted the past couple of days to reading your entire blog....yikes! :)

    I can't wait to see the pics!

  31. Congratulations on your new baby! Your blog was nominated as a blog I might enjoy reading and here I am!

    I hope you have a quick recovery.

  32. Jen, Charlie and gang:

    Congrats on the baby boy. My precious husband was born on the 4th of July in 1976, so he’s a Bicentennial baby. When we starting dating I decided what we do on the 4th of July is totally up to him!!!!!

    Always celebrate his birthday as a separate occasion from the 4th of July. What we do is the first half of the day is my man’s birthday, and we do not mention it in CONNECTION with the 4th of July and then we spend the evening celebrating our Country’s BIG DAY!!!!

  33. Congratulations on your BIG boy!! I would have passed out after having 1 lbs 14 oz to 2 lb 9 oz babies. Even a 5 lb'er looks big to me now lol. Enjoy your little one. I can't wait to hear what the kids think of him!!

  34. Congratulations! You so did the right have those instincts for a reason! Don't let anyone make you feel crazy for doing what you feel in your heart. Can't wait to find out what you will name him. What do his brother and sisters think?

  35. Congratulations Jen. As you can see by all of the comments, you have many adoring fans who were waiting anxiously to hear that you and the baby are happy and healthy. Can't wait to see pictures and find out what his name is!


  36. Congratulations!!!! Enjoy your time with your newest family member. Take all the time you need in the hospital and rest, rest, rest. Remember that the pain killers are your friend!
    Can't wait to see pictures to your new little guy.

  37. Happy Birthday to baby ? That is one big baby!! Can't wait to see the pictures!! :) Susan Coleman

  38. YAY! Happy birthday big guy! He came when he was ready, that is so wonderful. Congrats! Almost 10 pounds, OMG, I think the repeat C was a good idea! AHHH so happy for you! And yay for you for breastfeeding again, I know after a C, that it can be tuff for a while, but then again you know that, you are super momma, of 4 amazing beautiful babies. I am so happy for you. And let hubby rest for now, but once you get home, he gets the 3am and 6am wake up calls!

  39. Just wanted to wish your baby boy a happy birthday! Congrats! Join Charlie and get some sleep! :)

    Enjoy the baby.

  40. Congrats to all of you! Can't wait to see pictures. I'm sorry you didn't get to have it the way you wanted it, but it sounds like it may have been meant to be. A fourth of july baby, how cute!

  41. And more congratulations to you and Charlie. What wonderful new. And what a privilege and thrill for you -- to give yourself and your baby the very best delivery possible under the circumstance. Bravo!

  42. Jen

    Wonderful! Congratulations. I had been looking, obsessively, for an update. I am so happy for you all. Don't forget to show us some pictures on the BB! We miss you.

    All the best

    "jen in MA"

  43. Congratulations! Can't wait to see pictures of the little chunker!

  44. Congratulations!!!!! So which Founding Father's name did you choose? :)

    Welcome to the world little, I mean, big boy!
    Jenna, I'm so impressed with your strong will and that you stuck it out so long. Now, you got to 'experience' labor and you STILL made the best decision. Can't wait to see him.

  45. Congratulations!!!!
    What a story! I have been checking your blog like a nut. I am so glad both you and your baby are well! Sorry the VBAC didn't work, but I am sure it was for the best...
    Cloe (Carolyn's bb)

  46. Congratulations!!!

  47. Congratulations Jen! Hold him tight and give him a hug from Maine :)

    tracie in me

  48. one of many cuzzins!7/6/07, 11:38 AM

    Hi Jen!

    Congrats MOTHER OF FOUR!! Yipee!! Everyone back here is so happy for you! We're all anxious to see pictures of your adorable son.

    Hope you can catch a few winks before the 'big' kids come into visit.

    You obviously have a huge fan base and we're all looking forward to a chuckle with the latest excapades and reactions of your brood.

    Congratulations to Charlie and my potty training Godmother, too!

    Hugs all around...

  49. Congratulations on that juicy little babby of yours! I bet that was something giving birth to a 9lb baby after having tiny triplets. What a joy!

  50. Been reading your blog a long time - this new addition deserves a comment. Congratulations to your whole family!!

  51. Congrats!!! A happy ending to a happy story - I was getting worried last night here on the east coast. Now that you have his weight, I'm sure you are glad for that c-section.

    Enjoy that singleton.

  52. Congratulations on your new baby boy!!

  53. Hooray! I'm glad all is well and can't wait to hear what his name is.

  54. Congrats!!!

    After all of the IVF struggles you have been through...Now you are raising 4 children! I am nothing but thrilled for you. Can't wait to see the pictures, and hear how your trio react to the new addition to your family. Maybe by the time you get home, your mom will have them potty trained!

  55. Okay time to stop being a lurker with anonymous comments. CONGRATULATIONS. I am so so happy for you all. You baby was just shy of my baby girls weight. And big enough to be handled BEAUTIFUL! I am so glad you waited until he was ready to arrive. Take your time on the name. I find it hard to name a boy for some reason. What a journey!

  56. awwwww! Congrats you guys! What a fabulous Fourth of July present!

  57. HEY! I just heard the news!!! I am so happy for you, Charlie, the Triplets and Auntie, too!! Baby No Name is so lucky he gets to celebrate w/the country but also shares a birthday with my Brian! And born around the samed time too!! Brian was born at 1 pm --
    5 YEARS AGO!!

    And let me tell you what a little "Firecracker" Brian has turned out to be! Be warned!;-) It is SO much fun!!

    By the way he had to wait for his name as well - 4 days later My Mother started calling him Brian Thomas Coleman Hoverath; Reiner walked in and said "Yeah, okay I like it" and walla he had a name!

    Such great news! Send pictures. Love, hugs and kisses to all. Marg

  58. So happy for you & your family! I've been checking frequently for your updates & am so glad everyone is happy & healthy! What a big guy! He needs a big & beautiful name! Take care & congratulations! If I was closer I'd offer to come over & help out :)

  59. CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!!! So wonderful - and I am so glad you are well and that you had a July 4th - 4th baby!!! Just perfect.Can't wait for pics.

    (and a subliminal message here: Henry, Henry, Henry :))

  60. Congratulations on your robust and beautiful (I'm sure of it) baby boy!!!!

    Now, stop making me cry ;)

    Jean R

  61. Congrats!! 9lbs! Good golly thats a healthy baby boy!! Maybe he needs to be named Jack Henry? Or maybe Henry Jack? ;)

  62. Congratulations! What a great day to have a baby. It's amazing to have a somewhat "normal" pregnancy after PE, much less after triplets. Great job momma!

  63. YAY!!! congrats! my second was almost as big (9.5 lbs), and i was thrilled with my c-section. best wishes to you all! :)

  64. Congrats to you and your family. What a big beautiful boy - as a mom of preemie twins, I cannot imagine the joy you feel having such a chunk to hold :). I have been reading the blog for ages, this is the first time I have commented. Take care!!

    LisaB/MA 'one of the duckies'

  65. congratulations on your wonderful new addition.
    sorry your VBAC didn't work out. my second one was smaller than my first, but it still hurt like hell. course, i'm stubborn and wouldn't take any pain meds....

  66. Congrats on your precious baby boy! What a blessing.

  67. Oh My God! Almost 10 pounds. Probably a good thing you had a c-section. Congrats. I'm so happy for you.