March 27, 2013

{jack cameron; a birth story}

a week ago, i wasn't ready to be a mother.
sure, i was pregnant.. but only 28 weeks. that leaves at least 10 more weeks until full term! lots of time to get ready. lots of time to get a crib and a change table and nursing bras and baby clothes.
now, a week later, and i've been thrust full steam ahead into motherhood.
and it's the greatest.

on march 15, i flew to calgary then drove to lethbridge to spend a week with my brothers while my mom was in las vegas with grandma, grandpa, and bonnie. once we got to raymond we noticed my feet were swollen, but with being pregnant and flying we figured it was just something that was bound to happen eventually, so i kept waiting for it to go away. but it didn't. in fact, it just kept getting worse. first my feet, then my ankles, then my knees, and eventually my face.

i remembered my doctor mentioning that my blood pressure was a little bit high, so i went to get it checked out a couple days in a row, and it was steadily increasing. thursday, march 21 i called my doctor in edmonton and told her what was going on and they suggested that we go to the ER in raymond just to be better safe than sorry. so to emerg we (ryan drove me) went. they hooked me up to the blood pressure machine, then started making calls. within a couple of hours they had all the paperwork done to get me looked at by an OB in lethbridge - so into lethbridge we went! once we were in lethbridge they took some blood, a pee sample, my blood pressure.. then got me into a bed. here we'd been thinking that i'd be spending maybe an hour or two in lethbridge, and suddenly i was admitted.

the next couple of days were just sort of a blur - a boring, bed ridden blur. friday, march 22 carter and my mom both made it to lethbridge. i was just being monitored. the doctor would stop in and give us plans for the day - bed rest - and then leave. same on saturday - bed rest. he kind of said that maybe if my blood pressure stabilized i'd be able to go home and be on bed rest, so we were making plans for me to stay at mom and dad's place in raymond and have carter commute back and forth on the weekends. the only answer we had given to us while in lethbridge was that yes, i did have a condition called preeclampsia.

sunday, march 24 my blood pressure still hadn't stabilized, but we were still planning on me just being on bed rest and hopefully making it to 32 weeks, delivering in lethbridge, and playing it by ear. but sunday afternoon had different plans. the doctor announced that he was looking to get us transferred - to calgary, if possible (because we have so much family close to that area), or to edmonton if necessary. by 4 o'clock sunday night we had our travel plans - edmonton. carter and i got on an air ambulance just before 6 o'clock, and we were in the royal alexandra hospital in edmonton around 8 o'clock (i'm never driving from edmonton to lethbridge again - the flight is so much easier/faster/nicer!).

waiting to be transferred
the first thing the doctor asked me when she came in sunday night was if i knew how sick i was. i had no idea - i'd been feeling fine besides a couple of minor headaches and the swelling (which kept getting worse!). she looked me right in the eye and said, "you have what we call severe preeclampsia, because you're less than 32 weeks. we're prepping you for delivery in the next couple hours."

full steam ahead!

carter and i had been given priesthood blessings that morning, which is what i think helped us to stay so calm. we were able to get all the preparations out of the way - not like there was time for a whole lot! we only had toothbrushes with us! i had blood drawn a couple of times and an IV site put in, and finally at about 1 o'clock monday, march 25, i was taken into the OR for an emergency cesarean section.

as far as the surgery goes, i remember every second. the sweet, sweet nurse who held me as the spinal was put in and held my hand until carter got in, the doctors chatting over the new restaurant they visited over the weekend between asking for surgical tools, watching the reflection of things i've only seen on tv (thank you, a baby story!) in the huge overhead lamps, the pressure of a million pounds sitting on my chest.. and then the weak, but definitely audible cry of little jack being brought into the world.

only minutes old, beside daddy's hand
he weighed 2 lb 9 oz and measured 14 inches long. but besides being tiny, he is perfect. in every way. from his tiny ten fingers and toes to his little lungs that are 100% capable of supporting him without any help.

we are so madly in love with this little boy. 

a spitting image of his daddy!!

how huge is that soother?!

first [decent] family photo.

kangaroo care.
as of right now (jack is about 3 days old), he is still in the NICU at the RAH, where he's expected to be until around his due date (june 14). his lungs are more than capable of getting him the oxygen he needs, but he is on a cpap machine that helps to pressurize the oxygen so his lungs can just get stronger and stronger. he is being fed breast milk (go me!) through a tube in his throat and that is also being supplemented by nutrients through an IV. 

we have been so blessed to have the amazing experience that we've had at the RAH, even though it was an unexpected one! the staff here has been incredible. both of our moms were able to come up and spend a couple of days as well, so that's been helpful. 

as for mama? the c-section recovery has not been nearly as bad as i thought it would be. i'm sore, but mostly from being in a hospital bed for a week. i'm hoping tonight is the last night in the hospital for me though! 

keep an eye out for updates on our new little family :)


  1. Congrats Nicole!! I was so surprised to see Jack came so early -- it's crazy how perfect he looks for how young he is!! I have a cousin who went through a very similar pregnancy and delivery as you. She lives in Edmonton too, so if you ever need someone to talk to, let me know and I'll put you in contact!

  2. I'm glad to hear your story and I'm glad that it turned out so well! Your sweet peep sounds to be doing amazing (what a little fighter!) So congrats again! I can't wait to meet him.

  3. Adorable! We are praying for you and Jack!


I love comments!