well...it seems that baby jonah decided that he had had enough of this pregnancy too! here is the labor and delivery story:
i woke up early saturday morning around 6am with intense lower back and lower abdominal pain on my right side. it didn't feel like normal pregnancy pains, so i had an inkling it might be labor but i had also been having a lot of braxton hicks so didn't believe it was real at first. SH massaged my back for an hour and i was able to fall back asleep for a while. i woke up around 9am and felt much better - the pain had subsided for the most part - but then i started experiencing contractions. i tried timing them but they weren't consistent. 5 minutes apart, then 7, then 9, then 12, then back down to 7, etc. and they never lasted more than several seconds. i ate breakfast and tried to ride them out for a bit in case they were fake, but at around 10:30am they still hadn't gone away and they were getting painful, so i decided to call my OB just in case. she said to go the hospital so she can be sure it isn't real labor. i took a shower, grabbed the hospital bag, and SH and i went to hackensack hospital at around 11:30am.
as soon as i got there, i got hooked up to an IV. they said my urine test showed i was a little dehydrated, and dehydration can cause contractions so they were trying to get more fluids in me. since i was still early (36 weeks, 6 days) they were trying to avoid labor if possible. at my OB appointment two days before, my OB was concerned because i had low levels of amniotic fluid. she told me to drink as much water as possible, so i had been guzzling water as much as i could but apparently, to my surprise, i was still a little dehydrated. while on the IV the resident checked my dilation and said i was barely dilated. after about two hours on the IV, they waited to see if my contractions calmed down. if they did, i'd go back home. but the contractions actually got way worse right after finishing the IV, and when the resident came back to check on me, i had dilated to 1-2cm. the nurse called my doctor who then said in light of the stronger contractions, she wanted to get the baby out. SH and i looked at each other like o_O. i guess we both knew it was a possibility that i'd have the baby that day, but since i had had a false alarm before, we were thinking it might just be another one.
the hospital staff then started prepping for delivery. since it was a saturday, my OB wasn't working. we had to wait for her to come, as well as the other OB staff on call. the OB nurse on call came in and introduced herself. she then asked if i already have a baby, so i told her lana was born at hackensack almost 3 years ago. she says, "i knew you looked familiar!" turns out, she was my nurse for lana too! i'm usually really good with faces but i guess when you're confronted with l&d that's the last thing your brain remembers. she was seriously the best - so warm, friendly, comforting, supportive. so she starts preparing, and at one point she called my OB to find out where she was. OB said "i'll be there in 5 minutes." but 15 minutes later, she still hadn't arrived. when she finally got there, she said "i got a ticket!!" i felt so bad. she said the cop was a jerk and gave her a ticket even though she has MD plates and said she had an emergency c-section to get to. ?!?! she said he said "yeah yeah i'm sure you do, i hear that all the time." Well maybe you hear that all the time because it's true, because you're a cop in hackensack which has one of the biggest hospitals in the area! ugh. it's nearing the end of the month isn't it? someone's gotz quotas to fill...
anyway, so i got wheeled into the OR at around 5ish. everything went well. i spoke with the anesthesiologist beforehand and told him i have a high tolerance to anesthesia and that i had major teeth clenching/chattering with the last c-section, so he said he'd give me extra drugs and something to help with the clenching. this time, i wore my hockey mouthguard during the surgery to prevent the jaw pain but i didn't need it. my teeth were fine and there was no clenching/chattering so i was really grateful to the anesthesiologist for that. with lana i had a sore jaw for 3 days afterwards, and it seriously sucked.
jonah hajun (하준) choe was born at 5:56pm on saturday, 6/21/14. he weighed 6 pounds 13.3 oz and was 19.25 inches long (although according to the pediatrician at his 1 week visit, he's really 20.25 - he said the hospital staff don't really stretch the babies out to find their true length). they were right all along - he IS a big boy. he was born at almost 7 pounds even though he was 3 weeks early! i can't imagine how big he would've been had i gone to the scheduled c-section at the 39 week mark - maybe close to 9 pounds! the nurse said since he's early there's a possibility he'd come out looking a little limp, but he came out screaming his lungs out and looked healthy. he went to the regular nursery at first, but then his breathing got a bit shallow and fast so they sent him to the NICU just to be safe and monitor him. he got a little extra oxygen and was put in an incubator to keep his body warm. i was sad that he couldn't come to my room with me and just hearing "NICU" made me nervous, but the nurses and doctors assured me that he would be totally fine and that it was just the typical assistance that's given to babies who are slightly early but need help with transitioning to the outside world. they originally said he'd come to the normal nursery by tuesday but the doctor said sometimes his resting heartrate would drop for a few seconds here and there, so they decided it doesn't hurt to keep him in NICU and keep monitoring his heartrate while he's at the hospital. so jonah ended up staying in NICU the whole time we were at the hospital. i went down there for every feeding except for the two in the middle of the night so i could get some sleep. the NICU nurses are seriously so so awesome. it's not easy to have a baby and then not be with him constantly, but i felt so much better and at ease after meeting the NICU nurses and seeing how lovingly they cared for jonah. i definitely want to send something to them as a thank you gift - nurses out there, what's a good gift? home-baked cookies? haha.
after the c-section, i went to the recovery room. you don't get moved up to the regular postpartum room until some of the anesthesia wears off and you can move your legs. just an hour after he was born, jonah nursed like a champ, like lana. he nursed for a full hour! while jonah was nursing, there was a bit of a commotion in the down-there area - apparently, i had some excessive bleeding and passed a couple big blood clots so the doctors were concerned for a bit, but after i got put on some meds to accelerate contractions, they said everything started to look normal. the next day my OB said i lost a liter of blood and was really anemic - my hemoglobin count was really low. i believed it because that whole day i felt really weak, confused and generally just out of it, and on sunday night i almost fainted. i loaded up on steak while at the hospital to get more iron and i also got put on iron pills.
jonah and i came home wednesday afternoon. we went to the pediatrician for his 1 week appointment on friday (technically, he was 6 days old). our peds said he spoke to the neonatologist at hackensack and got all the info about him being in NICU. after examining him, he said he won't even treat jonah like a preterm baby because he looks perfect. :) he weighed in at 6 lbs 12oz so he had already gained back the weight that he lost after being born. he is eating, sleeping, peeing and pooing well, though much to our dismay his days and nights seem to be a bit mixed up. lana is doing pretty well too. she loves her baby brother and always wants to help which is cute but annoying haha. she really misses/is jealous for my attention though, which is so sad. i try to give her as much attention as i can but it's so hard between feeding/taking care of jonah, trying to get in the naps i desperately need and dealing with my own body's recovery. she's also definitely shown moments of acting out - she does things that she knows are wrong to get our attention (like drawing with crayons on our staircase...). but overall i think she's adjusting as well as any almost-3 year old could when faced with the situation of having their world flipped upside down, haha. we are also surviving because my mom is doing everything for us. she is cooking amazing food (and oh, my appetite is back and raging - hormones are such a scary thing), taking care of lana, cleaning when the nanny's not around (our nanny comes every day for 3-4 hours), etc etc. i love my mom!
the big question i had before having the baby was whether i'd experience pelvic pain afterwards. it's hard to tell - i'm still on percocet and motrin round-the-clock, so we'll see when i stop taking them. but for now, i don't really feel the pelvic pain. maybe it's because it's gone, or maybe it's there but i just don't notice it because of the pain meds + the c-section pain is overshadowing it. we'll see. we are so thankful and praise God for a smooth delivery and a healthy baby, and thanks to everyone for all your support and prayers during the pregnancy. having a boy is sooo different (the circumcision almost made SH cry - i left the room entirely) but it's so wonderful. can't wait for everyone to meet him!! :D