When last I left you, we were three weeks until our due date, and I had cancelled an important work trip to be at home with my beautiful, nesting wife. Let me just say, I am glad I stayed home. Not because the baby came (he didn’t), but because he DID come the following Wednesday (March 2, 2011 @ 4:14am), and we felt ready. (Well, mostly ready).
So let me back up and tell the story.
Monday, Feb 28, A2 went in for her 37 week appointment. The doctor saw her blood pressure was a little high, so she told her she should go over to the hospital and have it monitored. We didn’t think too much of it – A2 had rock solid pressures throughout the pregnancy – and just thought it would go down as the day wore on.
Then they got her blood work back and her platelets were around 116 or so. Platelets are supposed to be around 190. It wasn’t in the danger zone (under 100), but not good especially because her older sister had the same issue with her first pregnancy and actually dipped below 100. At this point, it’s about 3pm and A2 calls me to come to the hospital. They have admitted her for overnight urine test to check for protein in her urine and make sure preeclampsia isn’t setting in.
So we spent the night at the hospital in the antepartum part of labor and delivery. A2 slept pretty well (other than having to pee often and into a bucket). I had one of the most uncomfortable sleeps of my life (and please note, I have slept often in coach of an airplane) on the chair with built in ottoman.
When we got going on Tuesday, the second round of blood work was done and her platelets had dropped to 106. By noon they had not found significant amounts of protein in her urine, so her kidney and liver function appeared to be OK. The doctor was on the fence – she wasn’t good enough to send home, but not bad enough to really recommend inducing. We were sent to see another doctor in the hospital to get a second opinion.
This was one of the funniest moments in the hospital. This lady was crazy. She was an older, african-american lady who had JUST gotten Dianna Ross tickets. She was doing an ultrasound with one hand while she called her sister and closest friends to brag about her tickets. We had a great time with her and her staff, but left that ultrasound with pictures and no particular prognosis.
All this time, I’m trying to convince every nurse and doctor we saw to just slip A2 some pitocin so we could get this show on the road. It was my running joke…
A2’s doctor came back over at 6:00 and told us she had consulted with the other doctor and they were recommending that we go ahead and deliver. The way she said it was, “We’ve decided we’re going to deliver this baby – and we’re going to start now.” We both went into panic mode. I’m thinking – what, do I need to go boil water and get some clean towels? A2’s blood pressure cuff went off and it read 180/120… some absurd number. The doctor looked and said… “Umm.. I’m going to pretend we didn’t see that.”
They got us moved into a delivery room, and hooked us up to the IV fluids, antibiotics, and the wonder drug pitocin.
At this point, we were going through shift change in the hospital, and things in Labor and Delivery were going nuts. Within the space of a few hours, we had almost every nurse on the floor in our room. The nurse we were supposed to have ended up going into an emergency c-section, so we got the front desk nurse with helpers coming in and watching us as A2 started to labor. When we got the epidural (the most incredible medical advancement since penicillin) we finally got our dedicated labor nurse; Christy. Christy was amazing. She was there for our every need. All of the nurses were amazing, but we really felt like Christy was something special, helping us through the first time craziness.
A2 got the epidural at 10:30pm, after which I was able to get a few hours of sleep. She tried to sleep, but every time she got close, the stupid blood pressure cuff would go off automatically – so she just counted sheep and watched her contractions for a few hours. From 10pm – 2am, she went from a 3 to a 5 or so… not much progress. But then from 2am – 3am she went bonkers, going quickly from a 5 to a 10. When Christy came in she said she was going to call the doctor and get us ready to push. Christy pushed with us for about 45 minutes, and we got the baby pretty much all the way down the birth canal. We had to stop pushing at 4 to make sure the doctor was going to get there in time. She came in and A2 pushed for just 10 more minutes before the nurse said to her “head’s out!” – and the next thing she knew there was a baby up on her chest.
He let out a big cry right after he came out, which was a relief since the only risk of having him 2 weeks early could have been underdeveloped lungs – but his powerful cry was reassuring. There were cascading waves of emotion for both of us – relief, happiness, tears, excitement. Here was the guy – in the flesh- that we had been thinking about, worrying about, praying for, and excited about for the last 9 months. Here he was and he was REAL!
The whole birth experience was amazing. One of my Facebook status updates said it all:
Our little man was born on March 2, 2011 at 4:14am. He was 6 lbs 12 oz and 21 inches long.
More pictures on Facebook
I got some pictures and video as they cleaned him up, weighed, measured, tagged him, and took him down to the nursery. The doctor got A2 put back together while I was watching him get his first bath and get into his fresh digs. By this time, it was about 5:00am or so, and I went back down to L&D to get things together for us to be transferred to postpartum. We transferred to postpartum right before the nurses shift change. We said thank you to Christy and all the other great nurses in L&D and got set up in our new digs.
First order of business – ordering food. A2 was starving! Then, our boy came in cause he was starving too, and we had to get mom’s milk coming in. He fed for a bit (with some help from the nurses and lactation people), and then mom’s food arrived and she fed for a bit. After things settled down, we slept a bit, since we’d been up all night.
Everything else during postpartum was a bit of a blur. We had the baby room in the nursery so we could get more sleep while we were in the hospital. He did really well in there, and they would bring him in twice during the night to feed. Ben and Travis came to visit on the first day and Heidi and her girls came on the second day. Family only in the hospital – we were so tired and overwhelmed we just spent most of the time staring at our boy and getting used to the feeling of being parents.
We had a short list of names – but knew which one it had to be when we saw him. He was definitely an Eli… but we still will call him WEJr on the blog, because he definitely does have some wisps of white in those eyebrows – and he looks a lot like his Daddy as well. (Handsome man!)
Coming home didn’t quite go without a hitch. The nurse came in to discharge Eli and as she was going through the paperwork, A2 started seeing spots and having a headache. The nurses came in, shut off the lights, and had her sleep it off – just to make sure she didn’t have a spinal headache. But here I sit, for four hours, with this baby who has been discharged but with a wife who hasn’t… that’s when it really hit me 1) how scary parenting is and 2) how reliant I am on A2 for the care of this baby. Totally. Humbling. Experience. Thankfully, everything was OK with A2 and she was discharged at 5pm or so.
WEJr has been a model child (so far). He eats, sleeps, poops, and repeats. He’s had two good reports from his pediatrician so far, and is currently registering at 7lbs 1.5oz. He and mom are both used to breastfeeding, so that’s going super well. We’ve been very lucky to have the MIL in town to help for the last week or so. She’s probably bored by now, but we are enjoying having her around. She SO KINDLY finished the painting in the nursery, and we finally chose furniture… so look forward to pictures of a decorated nursery here in a week or two.
Thanks to everyone for their congratulations and kind words. We are loving parenting, so far, and are grateful for your kind words, great examples, and encouragement. This has been a huge miracle for us – I can’t believe that just 3 years ago I was still wondering whether I would ever meet the right person I would want to give my whole life to and have this family experience with. I am so blessed to have met that person and I thank my lucky stars every day for her and now for this amazing, miraculous little boy too.
Some videos too: