Saturday, February 17, 2007

The Rest of the Story....

For the inquiring minds that want to know, here's my birth story.

Sunday Night:

We went around the corner to our friends' apt. to watch the Super Bowl and hang out with them. During the second half of the game, I started having some stronger contractions and Bubba and I decided it was probably best if we went home and got to bed early and got some rest. We were in bed by 10, but I was too distracted and somewhat excited to do anything but lay there. I was resting, just not sleeping. By about midnight I got up to go lay on the couch, because the contractions were really starting to ache in my back, and I thought I'd lay on the heating pad and not bother Bubba all night.

Very Early Monday Morning:

Around 2am, the contractions started getting serious. When I say serious, I mean that I could no longer just lay there and try to ignore them, I had to breathe through them, and they hurt in my back like a b@$*#. I was used to regular ol' Braxton Hicks, been having them for about 6 weeks, but this was a whole different animal. I am pretty sure I slept at least a little bit in between, because the night went WAY too fast for me to have been up and suffering all night, but I'll tell you that they got so bad that I had to start rolling off the couch and onto the floor on my hands and knees just to be able to get through them.

Early Monday Morning:

I went to the bathroom about 5:30am and had more mucus plug (hey, I didn't say this was going to not be gross....birth is a beautiful thing, but it's pretty gross, too), so I woke Bubba up and we started getting ready with the final 'checks' on things. We started timing contractions about 6am, and by 8:30 they were the required 5 minutes or less apart and 1 minute in duration, so we decided it was time to go to the hospital. We arrived about 9am and went to triage so they could verify that yes, indeed, I was in labor. Well, turns out, I wasn't in ACTIVE labor, and was only 1cm dilated and only partially effaced. So the chipper resident came back to tell me that they would NOT admit me, and told me to go walk around. WALK AROUND?! It was a balmy 8 degrees outside, with a stiff wind, and she wants me to WALK!!! I cried. I was already tired from not sleeping. But, I was determined to get this labor going, so we decided to walk down the street to the Time Warner Center, probably the only place in Manhattan to walk around inside for free. It was about 10:45am by now, and they told us to not come back for two hours, or if the contractions were 2-3 minutes apart. At least they were nice enough to let me keep my bag there, so we didn't have to lug it around. And when I say 'we' I mean Bubba.

Late Monday Morning:

We walked the frigid 2 blocks to the Time Warner Center and made it inside, all the while I was having contractions that were really starting to hurt! Went inside Williams Sonoma, and were actually asked if we needed any help when I was bent over double next to the display of Kitchen Aid Mixers. We stayed there for a while, then pressed on, going inside the Borders Books, and walking around the 'mall' a bit longer. At one point I thought I was going to be sick, and I was starting to lean over the second-story railing during the contractions and making Bubba very nervous, so we went downstairs to the Whole Foods to get some lunch. We found a table, and I concentrated on not making a big scene in the middle of the store while Bubba went to get us something for lunch. (A little aside here, while Bubba was gone, I saw Alfred Molina walk by!!) Ate lunch, but continued to feel like I was going to lose it at any minute, and the contractions were getting much closer together, AND we were nearing our two-hour mark, so we decided to go back to the hospital.

Early Monday Afternoon:

By the time we got there, I was in some serious pain. The resident showed up again to check me, and I was almost 3 cm dilated and almost completely effaced!!! I was officially in Active Labor! PROGRESS!!! She said that was enough to admit me, and if I wanted to get an epidural, now would be a good time to get that ball rolling, as it takes a little time to get everything set up for that because I had to have an hour of fluids via IV. Fine, great, whatever. I promptly lost my lunch in the trash and didn't really care at this point. We got to our labor and delivery room (ironically the room we saw when we did the hospital tour) and got the IV started. Bubba would come help me when a contraction started, and basically we just labored for a few hours waiting for the IV to pump me full and the anesthesiologist to show up. My doctor was not on call, but her partner was, and she came in to check me. I was 4cm by this time and she said things looked great. But by 3pm, I could no longer really make it through the contractions, and I was really tired, so I sent Bubba to find out where the hell the anesthesiologist was, because I NEEDED HIM!!! He came in a few minutes later, and I had to sit up on the end of the bed very still while they put the needle in my back. I got the 'walking epidural,' which meant that I got the spinal blocker portion of the epidural first, and he would come back later to give me the narcotic part of it prior to the heavy-duty pushing (if you get it too early, it wears off before you actually get to the 'real' part of it, so they just get it all ready to insert into the catheter). But the blocker portion would relieve a significant part of the back pain, and it certainly did! It took a few minutes, but MAN, did that feel great!!! The best part was that I still could feel my legs, and actually move them and stuff, just didn't feel the pain. I highly recommend this to those of you out there about to do know who you are.

Late Monday Afternoon:

Around 5pm, everything was going smoothly, but I was starting to feel the contractions on the side I wasn't laying on, so I asked the doctor if I could switch sides. She decided to check me to see how far along I was, and I was pretty much completely dilated the full 10cm! 5 cm in 4 hours, she was impressed. She said I could try pushing through the contraction if I wanted to, and I said ok, let's try it. After one push, she hustled out to get the nurses so they could remove the end of the bed for the birthing part. The next contraction came, and I started pushing, and 20 minutes later, Drew was born!!! At the very end, they had to suction him out because his heart-rate was dropping a little more than the pediatrician liked, and he was almost out anyway, so they got the suction cup on his head and just pulled him right outta there! I actually saw that part, and it was kind of freaky. Turned out the problem was that the umbilical cord was tangled up in his legs and kind of inhibiting him from descending all the way. So he had a little ring around his head for the first few days, but he didn't even have a cone head the next day! Oh, and Bubba's best intentions of staying at the 'head' end went by the wayside....he was holding one of my legs and the nurse was holding the other, and he was everything. I actually went so fast that I didn't even get the narcotic part of the epidural, there wasn't time. I did all that with just the spinal blocker!

Monday Night:

Drew got all checked out, which was of course perfect. After they got everything taken care of, we had to wait for the 7pm shift change before we could go over to the post-partum rooms, which I think was a blessing, because we got some time alone with Drew and I got to eat my dinner in peace.

It was a wonderful experience, and I'd do it again. I knew I'd probably have a quick labor, my mom had quick labors with all 3 of her babies, so that part wasn't that surprising.

So, there you have it! The Rest of the Story....


cjh said...

I'm all emotional. I'm so glad everything went as smoothly as one could hope for...and with a very handsome outcome. Can't wait for y'all to be in Texas again!

Timmie Smith said...

Epidurals are indeed one of the greatest inventions of our time. Being able to see the mama relax a little when it kicks in even makes the daddy feel a lot better.

I tried to warn Bubba about getting recruited. When it's time to push and there's no sign of the second nurse the We in "We are going to hold her legs" takes on a whole new meaning! While I wasn't planning on being part of the action I didn't really mind it. A lot of the gross factor is eliminated when you know that it is your child. I guess that is also what allows parents to clean up poop and catch vomit in their hands (yeah, this is coming) and smile.

Sorry to hear that you had to hike around to get things moving.

For an interesting birth story check out the second post on . This is one of the guys in my research group. Baking cookies while in labor is not my idea of a good way to pass time.

Bubba said...

It really was no big deal. Now, I'm a guy that gets uneasy when I walk by a hospital. I don't watch hospital shows on TV because they make me sad. But, as the father, you are an active participant and it takes on a whole new meaning.

For me, all day I kept saying, "We're having a baby TODAY!" It was very exciting. There was only the one let down when we had to leave and go walk. I've never felt more helpless but also more needed at the same time. Being in NY away from family this is something that we definitely did on our own, though Katie did most of the heavy lifting.

And yes, I saw everything. But I found I wanted to watch, I wanted to see him come out. It was really cool and emotional, but not overly so. Calling the grandparents and telling them the baby crying in the background was their new grandson was really cool. And the moments alone together in the labor and delievery room with our new son was just awesome.

Finally I would like to say how proud and amazed I am of my wife. She was awesome. Birth is just something totally amazing and beyond description until you go through it. I thought Katie was the most beautiful woman on the earth, but then I saw her with our son, and suddenly she was more beautiful than I could ever imagine. Amazing.

Bubba's Sis said...


Bubba's Mom said...

You are an awesome woman Katielady! We are so proud of you and Bubba. And, I have a feeling this is something you probably will experience again in the not too distant future. (And second labors usually go faster!!)

cry it out! said...

Great story! But I think you got totally robbed with the epidural -- no time for the narcotic part?! So very sad. But I'm happy all turned out just fine. Congratulations!