Saturday, January 12, 2013

Arrival of Jackson Scot Campbell

Jackson Scot Campbell was born January 1, 2013- a whopping 22 days early! He is perfect and we are totally in love. Here is his story. 

Christmas week: Picture on last entry
The week of Christmas I was feeling especially exhausted and even noticed a sudden waddle in my step. There was an aching pain in my pubic bone, like I had walked into a table or been kicked with a boot. I attributed this to ligaments loosening and my pubic symphasis widening to prepare for delivery- I didn't realize how much Jackson had dropped. Even still, babies can drop weeks before they are born, so I didn't think much of it. Braxton Hicks were still happening, but I hadn't noticed any real contractions. Back pain continued, and late night bathroom breaks/ insomnia increased. I didn't have a real nesting time, although there was an afternoon where we argued about my desire to have the nursery ready to go now. I explained to Dan that there's not much we can control, but having it done and ready, even if it was 4 weeks til my due date, is something we can control. We also finished up 'baby class' with our doula. October was really early to take delivery/ newborn care classes, and the November class we signed up for was cancelled. In December, noone was hosting their classes due to the holidays. January classes would be too close to our due date for comfort (in hindsight we are glad we didn't wait!) We ended up finding a doula who would offer in home, private lessons on topics like labor, breastfeeding, newborn care, etc. She was absolutely wonderful and we finished our last class the week before Christmas. 

Dan and I spent Christmas alone with Wally, and prepared to have his family in town later in the week for a late Christmas/ New Year's Eve celebration. Dan had the week of Christmas off due to holiday down time (you got either Christmas week or New Year's week off). Dan enjoyed the week relaxing with Wally and preparing for family, while I worked ahead at work to finish up projects to allow schedule flexibility while our family was in town. (Hindsight: glad I worked ahead). 

Family visits: pictures on last entry
Dan's family arrived later in the week, and we were so glad to have a house full of people! We celebrated our late Christmas and spent the weekend laughing, playing board games, eating way too much, and generally enjoying time together. Sunday the 30th we went to Wonder Works and spent the afternoon. I was feeling especially good, given I was able to rubber-band-trick some pre prego jeans to rock with these cute brown boots! I was bummed to miss some of the fun at Wonder Works, like the high ropes course, the swing around roller coaster thing, and the laser tag, but again... I was very content with our weekend and our last few weeks before baby. At one point, we  took the stairs to the next floor instead of the elevator- little did I know there was no second floor! I climbed from the first to the third floor and while I was not excited to be so exhausted and pregnant, I was grateful to be healthy enough to complete the feat. (These stairs come into play the next morning.) 

While the family was in town, we remarked how it's too bad Jackson's due date was still almost a month away, because it'd be cool if he was born while everyone was here. Even on New Year's Eve we commented that it's too bad he won't be born on time for the 2012 tax break. To which I replied "Ya, pretty sure I will not be birthing this baby in the next 24 hours" (This was about 6 hours before my water broke). We bought a cute Alabama onesie one day, and it was size 3-6 mo. We said the size didn't matter cause he won't be here for the championship game anyway (ya.... he was a week old, lol.)

New Year's Eve:
I woke up this morning with very sore legs, feeling generally fatigued and with a bit of a sore throat. Dan's family was fighting a cold all weekend, so I figured I was also starting to fight it. I attributed the sore legs to the previous day's stair climb, although Dan's mom had told me how with one of her labors her main symptom was sore legs (apparently a sign of early labor is fatigue and soreness). I decided to sleep in two more hours and go to work late. I normally do not work Mondays, but rather than do 8 hours New Year's Day, I wanted to do 4 on the 31st and 4 hours on the 1st to split up the work to have more time with family. I worked my half day, feeling very productive and optimistic about completing my December to-do's, heading into January much more confident in my new job. On the way home from work, I met Dan and his mom at the Labor and Delivery floor of the hospital to get a tour. We had been meaning to get a tour and pre-register, and figured waiting until she could go with would be a fun thing to do together. About 3:30pm, we toured L&D and picked up the three sets of paperwork they make you fill out when you arrive. (Hey, we'll have them ready and just date/time them when the time comes)

That afternoon, I got a second wind (apparently also a sign of early labor- energy burst). We cooked up a storm of appetizers and munchies and proceeded to, yet again, eat way too much. This is when we commented on how Jackson would not be born in the next 24 hours. The boys played video games and drank beer, while us girls got ready for a night on the town. Here's our spread of munchies that night: 

8:00pm: We girls decide we need cute outfits to wear out and head to the store. Sara and Sam found cute shirts, and I was hoping to find either a cute dress, or skinny prego jeans, something- with no luck. We arrived home to start getting ready about 9:00pm. At this point, I was feeling very large, and pregnant, and generally throwing myself a  pity party about being pregnant. I wanted to wear something cute, or sparkly, or anything than basically everything I had. After multiple outfit changes, I decided on a green pre-prego dress with boots and a cardigan. 

10:00pm: Kathy (Dan's mom) and I drive the crew to Pier Park to enjoy the Panama City Beach Ball Drop at midnight with live music and lots of people. We've heard it's lots of fun and decided it would be a fun way to ring in the new year. Here's a picture of the 6 of us, taken by Kathy, just before we left the house: 

11:45pm- ish: While talking to one of Dan's coworkers and her husband, I feel a pop in my lower back. Sort of a rubberband snap/ baby kick feel near my tailbone. It wasn't painful, but I remember thinking it was a weird spot to feel him kick. Again, I chalked it up to Jackson settling in and my ligaments stretching. Then I feel a little trickle, and worried I might have a repeat of the garage/ groceries story, I head for a bathroom. The single stall bathroom of course has a line of drunk younger than me girls, going two by two to chat it up and taking entirely too long. As I try to squeeze and cross my legs, the trickle continues. Finally, I ask if I can cut the line and say it's "kind of an emergency." I get into the bathroom, empty my bladder, and notice still a little leak. Thinking now that Jackson is just sitting on my bladder, I decided to fold up some TP to catch the slow trickle, and proceed to wash my hands. While washing, I soak through my makeshift pad and think... well that's not good. I repeat the process and head for a bigger bathroom. 

11:50pm: I find a bathroom that is not a porta potty or a one-stall and settle in for a few minutes. On the way between the bathrooms, I call my dad (a Physician's Assistant) to ask what it's like when your water breaks. He tells me it is a big gush of water and that it likely didn't break for me, but I am not convinced since I have heard it can be a small trickle, or even barely noticeable. As I sit in my lonesome stall, I discover the fluid is slightly tinted pink/ peach color and has a sweet smell. Definitely not urine.... ok... At this point I am convinced that something is going on, but surely it was not my water. I text Kathy and tell her I am leaking fluid. We soon rendezvous to discuss what to do. 

Midnight, New Year's Eve: Kathy and I are convinced that my water has broken, and we need to update Dan and head home. We all kiss each other as the ball drops, and update the 4 college kids that we are leaving and they should stay and enjoy. We head to the car, discussing what happened and what to do next. Now, I must say, Dan and I don't go out often anymore, and especially don't get many chances to drink and let loose. This, however, was New Year's Eve, and Dan was enjoying the fellowship and drinks with the guys. So... that said... we head to the car. I ask Dan if he has a workout towel anywhere in the car for me to sit on, and the conversation goes like this: 
"Do you have a towel for me to sit on?"
"Yes, but go sit down."
"Right, but do you have a towel I can sit on?"
"Yes, but get in the car, I'll get it."
"No, Dan, do you have it for me to sit on IN the car?"
"Yes, Heather. I will. get. it."
"Dan, get in the car, I see it. (as I grab the towel) I need it to sit down babe."- as I am laughing at him
"Ok, now sit."

Shortly after midnight: We are trying to leave the festivities, as the fireworks are going off right after the ball drop. Bad idea. Traffic is unreal, and the cops are diverting us this random way to control the traffic flow. We debated asking if we could go the normal way and blaming it on my labor, but considering we had an open container in the car that was left by one of the boys, we stayed the course. We finally arrived home late, probably 1am or so. 

At home: We had not finished packing my hospital bag, but we had bought all of the necessary items and made a to-pack list. Our doula had told us that false labor contractions will subside in a warm bath sometimes, so in I went while Dan tried to help pack the bag. Now, Dan helping pack while tipsy and frantic was quite the sight. Finally, we gave him a specific task: blow up the yoga ball. Well, in his fast pumping, the hose flies out and air whooshes out of the ball. Dan frantically reattaches and pumps more vigorously than ever. I received no response from the OB on call, so we decide to head to the hospital anyway. I get out of the bath, wash off my makeup, and tell Dan to relax for a few minutes while I finish packing. This is what he and Wally did: 

2:00am: I grab a quick snack before we leave for the hospital: Frosted Flakes. Right about now, the other 4 return from Pier Park, with McDonald's in hand. Dan also decides to eat quickly, and in scarfing his sandwich bites the heck out of his cheek. Apparently it was a bad bite, and was gushing blood into his mouth. Of course Rob uses his flashlight app to look into Dan's mouth, remarks how gross it is, and then Matt joins the viewing. I decided I wanted to see, and weave my way through the maze of hands and heads near Dan's mouth right as someone tells Dan to move his hand. His hand comes down, hits the cereal bowl, and we are left with Frosted Flakes and milk everywhere. Kathy comes down the hall to find the four of us twisted together, covered in cereal, laughing, with Wally licking at our feet. Ok... clearly a sign it is time to leave. 

2:30am: Admitted to the hospital at 1cm, 85%. 

5:00am: 5cm. Contractions are very strong. Dan has been a wonderful coach and helper. We've sat on the yoga ball, taken a warm shower, even walked the halls some. Right about now is when things turn. Dan has been coaching me through contractions saying "you're ok, it's ok." At this point I have been increasingly annoyed by this phrase and I grab his shirt saying "STOP saying it's ok. I know it is. I'm not dying. Find something else to say." Dan looks at his mom for help, and while hiding her laughter, she encourages him to tell me I'm doing great, and we're almost done. The nurse told me things were progressing well and she thinks I'll be having this baby by breakfast, to which I reply "What time is breakfast?"

6:30am: 8-9cm. I decide to give in and get the epidural. 

7:00am: Epidural. The NA asks me, while administering the epidural, if anyone's ever told me I have a little bit of scoliosis back there. (Are you serious?! I am mid contraction, getting an epidural. I don't want to talk about the dang scoliosis.)

7:30am: Time to push, with a fresh epidural. 

 8:35am: Dan and I are both exhausted, and Jackson Scot Campbell arrives at 7# 12.8oz, 20 1/4 inches long. Beautiful and perfect. We are so blessed.

Jackson Scot Campbell 
Proud Daddy with his boy
Campbell Family Jan 2, 2013
Wally getting Jackson's scent from a shirt, right before he cuddles with it :) 
Ready to head home Jan 3, 2013
Wally and Jackson meet Jan 3, 2013
One of Jackson's favorite nap spots- Dad's chest. 
Our little man is quite the thinker. He often takes breaks while awake to strike a pose similar to this one. 


  1. Heather, I loved this! You had both Sonny and I laughing like crazy! He says you should have told the NA that your dad had nicknamed you pretzel. Jackson is going to enjoy reading this when he's older! As I said on FB, you look wonderful! You all look wonderful! Congratulations again! Much much love!

  2. Your birth story sounds wonderful! And Jackson is so sweet. I was adamant about not wanting an epidural, 15 hrs in with no change, 1 epidural and 3 hrs later I had my Connelly!
    Congrats again, those newborn snuggles go far too fast! Soak it up!