Welcome to the World Jaxton Marshall Barkes!

18 Oct 2012 by hbarkes, 3 Comments »
Family of three

Wednesday, October 10th

Heather was scheduled to be induced on Wednesday, the 10th. We arrived at the hospital at 7:45pm. We got into the delivery room and Heather got comfortable in her gown and bed. wed arrival At 9:30, the nurse came in, attached the baby’s heartbeat monitor, Heather’s contraction monitor, got her IV inserted and some fluids going, and drew some blood. It was really special to hear Jaxton’s heartbeat, and know that it won’t be long before we can be holding him in our arms! Scott & Heather Immediately after the IV got started, the nurse then gave Heather the drug Cervidil, which is supposed to start ripening the cervix to help begin the labor process. At this point she is dilated to 0 cm (with 10 cm being the point that pushing begins). Shortly after, the nurse came back with some bad news. The results of her blood work had come back, and her platelet count was a 74. It is supposed to be at least 100 in order to get the epidural. Heather had planned on getting the epidural to help with the pain of contractions. The nurse said that we can check her blood again in the morning, and the count might be back up to where it needs to be. By 11:30, the Cervidil is finished and Heather was able to eat a meal – chicken noodle soup with some cheese and crackers. After she finished eating, she had until 5:30am Thursday morning to rest. Heather didn’t get much sleep though; it was nearly impossible to sleep with so much nervousness and anticipation.

Thursday, October 11th

At 5:30am Heather takes a shower. Then the nurse checks her cervix to see if the Cervidil had worked. Unfortunately she was still at a 0, but the cervix was at least a tiny bit softer. They drew some blood again to check the platelets. With fingers crossed, we got the news – her count had dropped to 57! Her OB doctor arrived shortly after 7am, and confirmed that she would not be able to get the epidural. This was not good news! Heather had no idea that it was even a possibility that she could not get the epidural, so this came as a big shock. At 7:30am, the nurse then started an IV of the drug Pitocin, which is what the body produces to start the contractions. Her and I try to stay positive and we play some games of Skip-bo and Phase 10 to pass the time. By 9am, she is beginning to feel the contractions, which have been showing up on the monitor since last night. Heather says “So this is what contractions feel like!” She was able to talk through them, and not completely crush my hand. The nurse checks for dilation, but she is still at 0. Shortly after that, we quit playing card games and are all business. She gets on one of the “birthing balls”, the big rubber balls that are supposed to be more comfortable and help the process along. I rub her back to relive the slightly increasing pain in her lower back during each contraction, which are now about 3-4 minutes apart. At 11:40am, she decides to get back in bed and try to get in a comfortable position on her side. Almost as soon as she does, she says to me, “either I just peed myself, or my water just broke!” It was her water. This is a good sign; it means that she is progressing with labor. This is also when her contractions get more intense… way more intense!  Monitor At 1pm, the nurse tells us she in now dilated to 1cm. We both look at each other, thinking, “We have a long ways to go!” We start talking to the nurse about what her options are for drugs that can help with the pain, since she can’t get the epidural. They decide to try a drug called Nubane that she could get through the IV. It is supposed to help take the edge off the pain, but not completely cover it like an epidural does. The other problem with Nubane is that its effectiveness diminishes the more it is used. So she needs to wait as long as she can to get it, or it won’t work very well later in the process. Around 3pm, Heather’s sister Amber makes it to the hospital, and my parents Dave and Kathy show up right after that. Heather is not in much of a mood for visitors though, so they go to the waiting room. Shortly after 3, the nurse suggests we try a half dose of Nubane, which should last about an hour. visitors2 Heather didn’t think it was working, but I could tell that it had some effect because she wasn’t crushing my hand as hard and by her facial expressions. She was feeling good enough to have some visitors, so Amber and my parents come to the room and say hello.   visitors By then Heather’s mom Joleen and stepdad John get there and peek their heads in as well. The contraction pain comes back full force, and the second half of the dose of Nubane is administered. At 4pm, she is now dilated to a 2. This time the drug doesn’t appear to have any effect, and her contractions are now back to back without any relief in-between them. After 30-45 minutes of back-to-back contractions, the nurse backs off the Pitocin level to try to give her some relief. It helps some, but she needs the Pitocin to keep progressing with labor. Around 5pm, the nurse was able to move us to a room with a bathtub, so Heather can try to take a hot bath to help with the pain. After getting settled in the new room, she gets in the bath. It helps a little bit, but the bathtub is really big and she has a tough time getting in a comfortable position, so after about 30 minutes she gets out and back in bed. By now Heather is so miserable with pain that is asking if she can just get a C-section because she can’t take it anymore. My coaching of “You can do it! You’re tough! You’re doing great!” is met with “NO I CAN’T!!!” The nurse and her OB doctor start to discuss what other options she has for other drugs. At about 6pm she is dilated to a 3. They start to give her Fentanyl, which is supposed to be a lot stronger than Nubane. It is supposed to last for about 2 hours, but it didn’t have any effect on her pain. At about 9pm, when Heather is practically begging for a C-section, they take her blood one more time to see if hopefully her platelet level has changed for the better. With fingers crossed, it comes back at 74. It is a lot better than is was in the morning, but still a long ways from being 100. At this point, we believe that Jaxton’s angel in Heaven Aunt Jamie made her presence felt. The anesthesiologist on call, Dr. Lair, came in to her room and he had a discussion with us. He did his residency at a hospital that doesn’t check platelet levels for epidural use. He felt confident about giving Heather one, but we had to understand the risk. At this point, Heather didn’t care what the risk was; she just wanted the pain to go away! After discussing it with Dr. Lair and her OB doctor, we decided to go ahead with the epidural. The process takes about 20 minutes, and she had to hold completely still while he put a catheter in her spine. I wasn’t sure how she was going to do that, since she was shivering and chattering with pain, but I was so proud of her for doing it! The effects take about 20 minutes to feel, so she lay back down and waited for the pain to go away… but it didn’t. Dr. Lair checked things out and found the catheter was somehow kinked, so she had to do the whole process all over again! She summoned up the courage to hold completely still again, and this time it took about 30 minutes. Oh sweet joy it worked! Once the epidural started working, she no longer felt any pain! The nurse checks and she dilated to 5.5 cm. We are progressing! Heather can relax now, and she allows the family to come back and visit for a little bit. It was a big relief for me to see her like this, instead of crying with pain. By 11:30pm, she is dilated to 8, so we start to get excited that the end is near and Jaxton will soon be with us!  waiting room

Friday, October 12th

She gets stuck on 8 for a few hours. Finally, around 2am, the nurse tells us she is at 9cm! By now she has been on Pitocin for about 19 hours, and her contractions actually start getting further apart. At 2:45am, she is at 9.5 cm, with a very small part of her cervix being stubborn. She tries laying in different positions to get to 10, but nothing seems to work. Her nurse enlists the help of a different nurse who comes in the room. At 3:50am, she is successful at getting her to 10! Now it’s time to push! Her mom Joleen relays the news to the rest of the family in the waiting room, and Amber gets the camera ready.   coaching daddy Then she pushes, and pushes, and pushes some more. I start to see a small portion of his head, which is really cool! Unfortunately, her contractions are still about 6-7 minutes apart, so the process continues slowly. Heather lays her head back and gets a small amount of rest in-between contractions, and I lay my arms and head on the bed rail while holding her hand. looking at us I was so proud of her strength and stamina! So with me on her left side, and Amber on the other side when she wasn’t using the camera, Heather digs deep and pushes until about 5:55am, when finally his head is out! The doctor quickly unwraps the umbilical cord from his neck twice. With one last push, Jaxton Marshall Barkes was born at 5:59am! In the happiest moment of my life I got to cut his umbilical cord and watch Heather bring Jaxton to her chest. Aunt meets him It truly is a miracle to see! They quickly take him to be cleaned up, and he turns his head and looks right at the both of us.  It made my heart melt; in that moment I knew that I would do anything and everything in my power to love him and protect him. They measured his stats-8lbs 2 ounces, 20 ½ inches long. Amber shot some pictures and ran out to tell the family anxiously waiting in the waiting room. Soon after they all came in to meet him. happy family Now I know what “proud papa” really means! A special thanks to all the family who waited all day and supported us-Amber, Joleen and John, Heather’s dad Rick, Dave and Kathy, my Aunt Cindy and Uncle Dennis, my cousin Kasie, and especially my sister/Jaxton’s angel-in-Heaven Jamie.  Her nurses were extremely helpful and patient, and Dr. Lair too. everyone meets him And an extra-special thank you to Jamie DeLong, who made sure our entire experience at Shawnee Mission Medical Center was comfortable and unforgettable.  We are so happy and excited to have brought this little bundle of joy into the world and can’t wait to experience life with him.

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3 Comments

  1. Judy Smith says:

    Thank you for the story and especially the pictures. God has blessed you! He is beautiful and Heather you did a great job. I can hardly wait to hold him. Love 2 all 3 of U

  2. Shelli Veatch says:

    What a fabulous story!! Great documentation!! You 3 make a beautiful family! Congrats!

  3. Congratulations! I love all the pictures. You will experience unbelievable joy as you watch him change every day. Excited for all of you!

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