Our Labor Experience

Hi, this is Darrell, Jen’s DH, reporting on Labor and Delivery
Wednesday, March 19, 2003. 4:05pm. “The big boy ultrasound”
We arrived at our scheduled ultrasound and waited for a few minutes. The tech called us in and got right to work. Her measurements showed that the baby is pretty big, and she almost couldn’t measure his head all the way across because of that. He looked healthy though and the heartbeat was good. The placenta and amount of fluid looked great. Femur, chest, and head all measured beyond 42 weeks, with the head being 10 cm in diameter. She explained how that the cervix typically only dilates to 10cm, and if the head was that big, it could be something to be concerned about. He’s estimated to weigh 10 lb 6 oz already. That’s 4.7 Kilograms (according to my handy dandy online conversion utility) for our friends in advanced countries where they actually use metrics. 🙂 She called downstairs to our doctor’s office and relayed the news. The nurse said that we should come by the next morning at 9am. We were scheduled to go at 4:30, but they were very insistent that we go at 9. We thought about that all night. Jen didn’t go to sleep until about 12:30 am, and woke up early the next morning at about 5:45am. She didn’t get a whole lot of sleep and says that she just snapped awake. That was the start of a busy day…
Thursday, March 20, 2003. 9am. “The early morning DR visit”
We arrived at the Dr appointment on time and sat for only a minute or two. We were called in weighed, etc, etc. and waited about 10 minutes for the doc. She talked with us and checked Jen’s cervix. She was between 1 and 2cm. Not good for 1 week overdue. Da Dum Da Dum. So…we talked with her a lot about options and she said that she’d predict inducement had only a 15% chance of working with the baby being large, not engaged, and Jen’s cervix not being dilated very much. 15% change of success pretty much made the decision for us – C-section time! After we agreed, the doctor stepped outside to call to see when we could get in. The time we got was 5pm. The doctor said not to eat or drink anything, to which Jen responded “Can you tell me that in 10 minutes after I’ve had some water? Haha” Doc said that she could drink a little right away but then no more, so that’s what we did. Basically she said show up at the L&D ward at 3pm and she’d be there at 5. Conveniently, we had her 4:30 appointment anyway, so she’d be able to get over to us quickly. So, home we went to make last minute preparations!
Thursday, March 20, 2003. 1:05pm. “Getting Ready”
We’re getting ready to head to the hospital soon. We have to leave here at 2:30pm to be there at 3. We are doing last minute things like straightening the apt and repacking the bags. We sure don’t need all that junk to get through labor now! Darn, and we went to all those classes too!!! Haha, oh well. My parents are on the way, her aunt who is coaching us has been called, my work has been notified that I’m officially on leave and now we wait. I am also still waiting for my benefits lady at work to call me back because I assume we have to inform the insurance company that we are having a C-Sect…I don’t know. More info soon!
Thursday, March 20, 2003. 1:30pm. “Still Getting Ready”
Just talked to benefits people at work. We don’t have to do anything with the insurance people, according to them. I don’t know if I belive that, so we are taking the insurance company phone number to the hosp with us anyway…One hour and counting before departure!
3/20/03,2:04pm,”Daddy gets dressed”
Do most dads dress nicely for when their baby is born? I bet not, but it feels right to me. I’m at least going to wear a nice shirt and tuck it in. At least he won’t think daddy’s a hippie. har har.
Well, we’re leaving for the hospital…Everyone wish us luck!
From here on I am typing from the notes I took on my handy Dell Axim PDA – the IRS was nice to us this year!
3/20/03, 3:27 pm, “Arrival”
We finally arrived in Room 24 of the Labor and Delivery ward just now. We have really been here about 20minutes already just filling out paperwork and signing forms. Now that we’re here, Jen has donned the official hospital gown. The award winner for ugliest piece of fashion on the planet.
3/20/03, 3:48 pm, “In L&D”
We just met Pat, the nurse assigned to us. She had the most riveting blue eyes that they must be contacts – too vivid to be real. She asks Jen a bazillion question like does she smoke, drink, do drugs, have HIV, etc, etc, etc. Then she puts Jen on the same monitors that they use for a Non-Stress test. We sign more forms. And poor Jen has no pillow. She doesn’t seem to mind, however.
3/20/03, 3:51 pm, “In L&D”
Jen is getting her IV put in now.
3/20/03, 4:11 pm, “In L&D”
Gee, Jen just got a shave…down there!
3/20/03, 4:16 pm, “Jen’s Aunt Cathy arrives”
Title says it all. She’s here for support and photo taking. Nurse also just told us that we should be going into OR at about 5pm.
3/20/03, 4:21 pm, “Killing time”
Jen and Cathy chat about the war, as we wait.
3/20/03, 4:27 pm, “Monitor Rap”
Jen is still on the fetal monitor. When she turns it makes static. She just figured out that she can wiggle and make it sound like rap. We are all having a good, tension breaking laugh.
3/20/03, 4:45 pm, “To the OR!”
Finally, the time has come. Jen is now being moved to the OR. It’s really real. I’m about to have a baby. Ohmigod, ohmigod! Grin! I’m actually not nervous at all. We were nervous when we were deciding to have kids. I have to wait outside while they prep her.
3/20/03, 4:51 pm, “Scrubs”
I get to put on faux doctor scrubs. They’re funny, but again not high fashion…
3/20/03, 4:54 pm, “Waiting”
I’m usually the most patient person I know, but this waiting is driving me nuts. I know Jen is in OR getting something done to her and I can’t be there. Darn darn darn!
3/20/03, 5:07 pm, “Waiting Nearly Over”
The nurse just came out and the epidural is in. Geee, I’m glad I didn’t have to watch that, but I bet Jen was wishing I was there to hold her hand. We’re big hand holders around here. I have to stay outside a little longer, so I am pacing. I think it is in the manual, that expectant dad’s have to pace, and far be it from me to ignore hundreds of years of tradition.
3/20/03, 5:08 pm, “More Waiting”
Haha, a doctor just came out of Jen’s OR and said “Huh, you must be Mr Jen.” On a normal day, I would have had some witty comeback, but not today…mind is too busy.
3/20/03, 5:14 pm, “Drs Arrive”
Doctor Gallagher, Jen’s OB, and Dr Cox, another OB from her group, just arrived. Dr. Cox will be assisting in the C-section.
3/20/03, 5:15 pm, “What we’ve all been waiting for…”
I just got called into the OR. Jen has been crying because she was scared and nervous. I hold her hand for a while and meet the Anesthesiologist. Drs start working. I can’t see much, but there’s blood, not too much. They work and work. This baby does not want to come out of his hotel utero suite. Haha. They have her opened up, the incision made in the uterus, but can’t get him out. They bring out a hand pump like they show you in Labor Class. I didn’t know they really used them, but they do. They plunk the bowl on his head, pump it up, and pull. Pop! It comes off. They go “Argh.” Seeing Dr Gallager, a nice looking, tall thin woman, with smiling eyes and perfect teeth go “Argh” is really a funny sight, let me tell you. OK, so they put the pump back on, and then Dr Cox puts all his weight on the top part of Jen’s abdomen and pushes while Dr Gallagher pulls. I see the top of the head. I see the head. I see the torso. He’s out. He’s gray!
3/20/03, 5:18 pm, “What we’ve all been waiting for”
Brendan Gene has arrived into the world. That 3 minutes felt like 30 – seriously. If you would have asked me how long it took from when I went in to when he was born, I would have, in all seriousness, said about 30 minutes. He’s 8 pounds, 6 ounces (3.8 Kilograms) and 20.75 inches (52.7 centimeters) long. He has dark brown hair just like his mother. His eyes are indescribable, going from blue gray, to a bit green, to hazel. My god, he’s beautiful.
3/20/03, 5:19 pm, “1st test scores”
His 1 minute apgar is 9, can you believe that? Nine!!!Ruf Ruf Ruf! Daddy already has something to crow about.
3/20/03, 5:23 pm, “2nd test scores”
His 5 minute apgar is also 9; I’m so proud!!!
3/20/03, 6:26 pm, “1st breast feeding”
Jen and Brendan (and me) are in the Recovery room after the C-section. He is just starting his first breastfeeding. Looks good.
3/20/03, 9:10 pm, “Feeding thoughts, revised”
Well, we just tried to breastfeed for the first real time in our room. It was only somewhat successful. He seems to get frustrated and won’t stay latched on for long. I hope this doesn’t cause us too much difficulty. Despite that, Jen is in Hog Heaven. She’s sooooo happy. My family (Mom, Dad, and younger brother) is here with us. Also, a lady that I work with came by – that was a nice surprise.
3/20/03, 9:35 pm, “Finger Suck”
Awwwwww, he just sucked on Daddy’s finger for the first time. What a weird-o feeling!
3/21/03, 1:17 am, “BF again”
Jen is breastfeeding again. It looks OK once he gets going, but it just takes a while for him to get going.
3/21/03, 2:35 am, “Nook-u-ler waste”
Wow, we just changed the first Nuclear Waste diaper, and it was nasty. I’ve never seen black doody before. haha. When we took the diaper off, he peed on Jen, the bed, and two receiving blankets. So, I’m going to walk to the Nursery upstairs and get about 4 more blankets for the next change.
3/21/03, 4:00 am, “Sleep, perchance to dream”
Man, I’m so tired. I guess I’ll finally lay down and rest. I have been so wired that I have been just walking around and watching the baby. This room that we have has two beds, so one is for me. I guess it used to be a two patient room that has been converted. It’s not the most comfortable bed in the world, but at least I can stay here with Jen and Brendan instead of having to go home.
3/21/03, 9:00 am, “Waking”
I just woke up, a little bit rested, and hopefully ready for day two. We just found out that our pediatrician is our of town until Monday, so it will probably be Jen’s OB that does the circumcision. Just thinking about that makes me wince. Another pediatrician looked at him and said that he is fine. I’m really glad to hear that! We’re concerned about his short frenulum – I don’t know if I have talked about that, but it is the little piece of skin from your tongue to the bottom of your mouth. His, like Jen’s, and unlike everyone else’s, goes all the way to the end of the tongue. All the doctors that we have asked about it are not concerned, but we are.
3/21/03, 5:00 pm, “Heads up”
He lifted his head once or twice today. That was interesting. He gets frustrated during breasfeeding. He gets the nipple in his mouth and just keeps it there. I wonder if this is bad?
3/21/03, 5:21 pm, “Visitors”
Our friends Dobie and Marian came by to visit us today. Hehe, Jen just congratulated me on one entire day of being a daddy. What a sweetie!