Allyne Maren Jensen was born on January 24th, 2017. She weighed 7 lbs. 2 oz. and was 19.5 inches long. Her name is Allyne, but we will be calling her Ally (everyone can feel free to do the same).
A lot of people have been asking how to pronounce her name. Allyne is my middle name, and it is pronounced Al-een. Ally is pronounced like, well, how it looks. Think "Aly Raisman" (the gymnast).
I haven't blogged since Jayce was 6 months old (YIKES) and I usually just keep everyone updated on Facebook and Instagram. However, since this is a birth story and destined to be a little longer, I thought what better way to update everyone than on my trusty blog. So here it goes! Ally's birth story.
Before I became pregnant, and we were thinking that maybe another baby was in our future, I was convinced that I wanted a VBAC. For those who don't know, a VBAC is a "vaginal birth after cesarean." It just sounded like something I wanted, and I would NOT even entertain the idea of another c-section. I remembered recovering from my first one and it was no walk in the park. I wanted to try a VBAC, end of story.
VBAC's are common, but you have to still find a hospital and a doctor who are insured to do them. Luckily, I did. His name was Dr. Babb and honest to goodness, he is the best doctor I have ever had. I will touch on that further in a little bit. It seemed like a perfect scenario. His offices were right across the street from the hospital. They were both located in Tulsa so it was close to Brandt's parents who could take care of Jayce for us. So, I scheduled a new patient checkup with him in May of last year. He got to know me and I got to know him a little bit and he seemed like a perfect fit. When I explained that for our next baby, I would like to try a VBAC, he was super supportive but said that he currently couldn't take any VBAC patients, but that could change in the near-ish future. This didn't really bother me as I "wasn't pregnant yet."
HAHA. Yeah, I was.
I was a couple of weeks pregnant at that appointment but wouldn't find out for a few weeks after that. So, needless to say, he was surprised when I came back in July and was pregnant already.
He spoke with me again about my delivery options. He said that if I did want to do a VBAC, that there were some awesome doctors there in his practice who were taking VBAC patients. Now that I was pregnant though, I was having some reservations about doing a VBAC. I'm not sure why, and still to this day I am not sure why. I kind of didn't feel the need to question why. I had decided pretty early on in the pregnancy that I wanted a repeat c-section. Once I had made the decision, I felt incredibly calm and excited to deliver. And, on the plus side, I got to keep Dr. Babb, which I was so happy about because he was literally my favorite!
Now that I gave a little bit of a background on HOW the baby was going to come, I will go into the actual story. My doctor scheduled me for January 24th, 2017 for his first c-section of the day at 7:00 AM. So, we had to get there at 5. Not super fun but I couldn't sleep the night before anyway. I was way too excited.
So we woke up EARLY, got our bags, and headed to the hospital. Shortly after arrival, they got me all hooked up and inserted my IV which is, and always has been, my least favorite part. I'm not sure what it is. I think it's because it stays in my arm and is just freaky. And they always do it like RIGHT when you get there and get in your hospital gown. Anyway, they inserted my IV and asked me about my father's mother's dog's medical history. Once all of this was done, We had some time to just sit in our room and wait. Brandt covered me with a blanket because all of the fluids they were pumping in me had me shivering like crazy. Then, my doctor came in and told me it was almost go time! Once he said that, I was like "Holy crap........it's time." Suddenly, I began to wonder where all the time had gone, because I could have sworn I had just found out I was pregnant. Since this was a scheduled c-section, I would be getting a spinal block. This is done in a sterile environment in the OR so Brandt had to wait outside. I HATED leaving him even for the 5 minutes it took to complete the procedure.
Once they wheeled me up to the OR doors, my doctor was right there to help me up. I had to stand up so I could get up onto the table. I was told beforehand that a nurse would stand in front of me and mentally help me through getting the spinal, but instead, my doctor did. When I told you he was one of the best doctors I've ever had, I meant it. I have never had a doctor care for me in such small ways as Dr. Babb did. Instead of standing off to the side and just waiting for everything to get started as is pretty normal, or walking in right before they start, he was there the whole time. I am so so so grateful for him. He is such an amazing doctor! Anything a nurse could have done in the operating room before the c-section started, he did. Down to rubbing my back while they stuck me with needles! I seriously recommend him to ANYONE in the Tulsa area. You won't be disappointed.
It was finally time to get started. Brandt walked in right as they were beginning. We talked the whole time. I kept asking him what he thought Jayce was doing. He kept having to tell me that it was still quite early and he was probably sleeping. I felt literally nothing (YAY DRUGS) but I was shaky, despite feeling quite warm and comfortable. It was overall just a WEIRD feeling. After about 10 or 15 minutes, my doctor said "Ok Liz, you will feel quite a lot of pressure now." His assistant then put his forearm on the very top of my belly and puuuuuushed. At that point, Dr. Babb asked them to take down the drape so I could see the baby being born. Wow! What an incredible moment. I couldn't see any blood or incisions anything, just Ally being lifted up Lion King style. Brandt was behind me, and standing, so I am really curious as to how much he saw. I asked him if he saw anything too gross and his response was "........I'm fine." LOL
Dr. Babb does what is called "family centered c-sections", which basically means they drop the drape to allow me to see the baby as she is being born, and then I get to hold her in the OR and even begin nursing if I wanted to. His goal is to make the c-section experience as pleasant as possible, and allow us the opportunity to witness as much of her birth as possible and keep her as close as possible afterwards. I didn't get to experience any of this with Jayce, so I was ecstatic over the fact that I got to keep my baby with me constantly. Just being able to experience the birth of my daughter in such a way really helped me cope with some of the struggles I have had with being knocked out for Jayce's birth, and not getting to experience his first few minutes of life. I feel very blessed.
They took Ally to wipe her off and everything while the doctors started closing me up. The whole time, they kept asking how I was doing, and if I could feel any pain or discomfort. I kept making them laugh with my responses because I was just so happy in that moment. I really couldn't feel anything, and to be quite honest, it was the most comfortable I had been in months. So I said "I feel awesome. Great job, everyone!" They all laughed. Pretty sure I was their favorite patient of the day.
I got a special procedure done in the OR before I was wheeled away. The anesthesiologists gave me some sort of block in my abdomen area that lasts for about 4 days. I attribute this to my basically awesome recovery. Again, YAY DRUGS.
Once we were all done, and baby Ally was on my chest, they wheeled me to the recovery room which had the warmth of a 16th century torture chamber. It's just the place they take patients to allow the anesthesia to wear off. It was there that I got to nurse Ally and bond with her and talk with Brandt. After about 45 minutes, I was able to move my legs slightly, so they wheeled me back to our room.
We stayed a total of two nights, even though I was cleared to go home the day after we had her. She had jaundice and needed to be observed overnight. Which, though we are grateful for their diligence, we knew that keeping her in the sun and going every day to her pediatrician to check her levels would do the trick. Which, it did. They never did lights or anything. Just kept her an extra night. I was going a bit stir crazy and just wanted to be home and shower in my own bathroom and sleep in my own bed.
I was told multiple times that I was such an easy patient. I really tried to be, but it wasn't too hard because I was feeling awesome! I am now about two weeks postpartum and have only had a few times where I have felt like "Wow, yeah, I just had major abdominal surgery." But other than that, I feel surprisingly normal. Having two kids, on the other hand, has been super interesting! Today is my first day flying solo. Wish us luck!
And now, for a TON of pictures! Enjoy!
The final moments before her big arrival
Comfy in bed before she got here
Selfie in the OR!
Just me and my girl
Her first few moments of life
Dad giving her a bath
Dad holding Ally back in the room
My mom holding Ally
Those little legs <3
Jayce meeting Ally!