Post Shared by Jessica, Jarrett’s mom. Feel free to follow their story here.
Jarrett’s big sisters were spending the night with my mom and they would be delivered to the babysitter in the morning so my Mom could be there for the birth. Jason and I went to bed knowing that we would meet our son the next day. I prayed that night that the delivery would be as smooth as the girls and that Jarrett’s cleft lip and possible palate wouldn’t be too severe and that his eye would be unaffected (we were told at an ultrasound that his eye was effected).
We arrived at the hospital at 6:30 am and I was given Pitocin to induce labor. The doctor broke my water at 8:30 and it was smooth sailing until about10:00 am. By ten o’clock I was more than ready for an epidural. I was dilated to about 5 or 6 and I was feeling the contractions more than I cared to. The anesthesiologist arrived and I was prepped for the medicine. However, I was forced to wait a few minutes longer when another patient needed attention. Finally, I had the epidural and I was feeling quite comfortable. I watched the contractions go across the monitor and they didn’t seem to be too intense yet. I was prepared to relax for awhile and watch some tv while we waited. The nurse, who was great, came in to check me with her two college student shadows in tow. There were multiple college students observing that day and they had bets going on whose patient would deliver first. By the end of the day 8 babies were born at Fairfield Medical Center! So when I was checked around 11:30 I had dilated to 8! I was unprepared for that number! Around noon I began feeling the urge to push and they told me the doctor was on her way. I felt pressure through many contractions before I was actually able to push, which was a good thing because I pushed 3 times and we met our baby boy. The room was full of my doctor, nurses, students, the pediatrician and what seemed like 10 other people but I only had eyes for that beautiful baby boy!
I had been nervous about what my reaction would be to seeing him for the first time. The doctor announced that he did in fact have a cleft palate as well but I barely heard her. I was completely in love! He weighed 8lbs 5oz and was 21 inches long. The cleft palate meant that I would not be able to nurse but would instead have to pump and feed him with a bottle. We knew feeding him would be our greatest challenge but we were forced to wait to feed him. He was breathing too quickly to be able to feed him right away. At first we were told it was normal and I held him skin to skin in order to help him calm down. I could have done that all day! However, he wasn’t able to calm down, forcing the doctor to order an EKG. My poor hours old baby boy screamed his way through the EKG (probably because he was starving and no one would let us feed him) but he passed, telling us his heart and lungs were healthy. Finally he calmed down and we were ready to try feeding him. The nurse suggested we try an Avent bottle but that was not what he wanted. We then tried the pigeon nipple that we were given at our consultation with Jarrett’s surgeon at Children’s Hospital. Jarrett took to that bottle immediately. We only had one of those bottles because they are pricey and we would have to contact Nurse Nancy, the cleft lip and palate nurse at Children’s for more bottles. Nurse Nancy was great and she had told us prior to Jarrett’s birth that once we figured out what bottle would work for him, she would send us more.
Jaycee and Jersey arrived at the hospital to meet their baby brother and they were in love with him too. We had prepared them for his cleft lip by showing them my baby pictures ( I was born with a bilateral cleft lip and palate), their Uncle Josh’s baby pictures (born with bilateral cleft lip) and Jarrett’s ultrasound pictures. I don’t think they even noticed his lip! Jaycee was super protective from the very beginning. She didn’t want anyone but her to hold him and they have a very special bond forming already. Jersey was a typical 2 year old who wanted to hold him because Jaycee was but then was more interested in the popsicles that were stocked in the hospitality room freezer.
Jarrett and I spent 2 days in the hospital and he ate wonderfully and I tried to catch up on some sleep before entering the chaos of being at home with 3 kids.