Monday, September 14, 2009

BYOB ... OR ... Birth Your Own Baby

Wow where to begin.

Describe where babies come from? Nah that'll take too long.

Describe Bella's conception? Nah that post would be too short.

Let's just talk about the birth, from my unique point of view shall we? Harumph!

I'm sitting here starting this post, watching my wife nurse/burp Isabella. The good stuff is coming in, big time, to feed our new bundle. In fact Bella just pulled off a bit early and there was a wardrobe malfunction involving milk. Ah good times. There are some things you forget about over the years. But a new kiddo brings them "flooding" back.

But back to the birth.

In the aftermath, after the after birth, we calculated in our very tired brains that Heather labored for a little over 20 hours.

In another post I said Heather is super-woman. I meant it. All moms are ... but I think I'm married to the most amazing, brave, strong and giving woman ever. She daily pours out her life to fill ours with her love, her caring, and her selflessness. I love her very much.

And I'm so glad to have her still here with me.

You see Isabella's birth wasn't like Josh's birth. Pretty much the only thing they have in common is that a kid was born. Other than that things were not the same.

Different hospital.
Different experience. Muchly different.

Heather and I both went into this birth thinking that it would be much like what the birth for Thing One was like. We were surprised.

With Josh there was no particular pain. With this there was a lot. With Josh there were no particular difficulties. With this birth we got scared.

The baby pics are included in this post at the bottom. If you'd like to scroll down to check them out, go ahead. Then come back here and read about our journey to have her.

Taps foot and waits ...
Whistles ...
Checks watch ...

Hey you're back! Cute ain't she? Yep momma done good.

Well in order to get this cuteness Heather really had to go through a bit of hell.

During this time I felt pretty inadequate as a 'coach' too. Guys are "fixers". We see a situation that's broken for our wives and we love to solve the problem for them. Usually this works out pretty well. But when it comes to situations that are beyond our ability to control ... well ... we feel helpless at times.

Well the party all started early Thursday morning. I woke up for work, and began to groan about needing to be up and get ready. Heather hit me with, "I wouldn't worry about going to work. I think I'm going to have this baby today."

Since my work is giving me off 3 days for the baby, I immediately thought, "Score! Five day weekend!"

See how sappy I am sometimes?

So instead of rushing to the hospital, forgetting everything important just like in the movies ... we calmly gathered our neatly organized things, fed the dog, double-checked our things and calmly strolled to the door. We mounted our gold steed .. one Honda Odyssey and rode away into the gleaming morning, leaving Castle Horton in the capable paws of Storm.

Once at the hospital we made our way inside. Heather's mom and dad were with us, thank God, in addition to Thing One. ALL of us had bags to carry too. We looked like some Hollywood star's entourage. Well a Hollywood star in labor.

We hung around the hospital until sometime later that afternoon when the docs talked us into starting the pitocin drip to help the contractions along. This is something we wanted to avoid, wanting to go as natural as possible but it ended up being necessary.

So they started Heather on a very low dose. The nurses even hinted at the dose was so low they may as well not even mess with it. See they were used to women who come in, get knocked out, get jacked up on drugs and basically have the baby shot out of them. It's pretty much how they put it to us.

And no judgment here from us for those that choose that. I mean wear whatcha dig, right? Heather and I wanted to do things as natural as possible. Call us crazy.

So as the night went on the pitocin level was raised until it got to ten. Although contractions were coming stronger and more regular, things still weren't progressing as we wanted.

Thursday turned into Friday. Heather was up pretty much all night. I got a little sleep.

Later on but still very early Friday morning the contractions picked up. And unlike with Josh, they began to hurt her. Heather started making noises which I'd never heard her make before.

Sometime that morning her regular doctor had to go home; Friday was her day off.

Lovely I thought. We get to do this without the doc Heather trusts most. Sigh.

But between 5 and 6 that morning (Friday) we were pretty convinced that Bella was on her way and coming fast. So Doc Lindsey was called back in. I was thankful that she came back on her day off.

Soon after that Heather was feeling as though she could push. The doc wasn't in the room with us at the time but nurse Igor (Martha ... but thats not much better right) was told to ask the doc to see if Heather could push.

The word came back that she could try.

And then the real work began.

I've skipped SO much on this though honestly. By this point we were already both stressed beyond our wildest dreams. Some of the nurses, Igor in particular, seemed to have no respect for our Birth Plan of which we had provided them copies.

Being geeks that we are this ticked us off. This being our last pregnancy and the fact that medical service providers were not giving us much in the way of 'service' it really bothered us.

Igor was a pain the pahtooty. I nearly threw her out. I'm not kidding. The old bat got on my nerves big time.

Heather was soooooo out of it, she could no longer really speak up for herself when Igor decided to unceremoniously shove her hand into Heather to repeatedly and often "check her" ... which ... was something we had requested in our birth plan to NOT be done.

Sigh. Again.

So I've not painted a very good picture of our stress at all. I'm still beat and Heather is beat about 1000 times worse.

But trust me when I say that by the time the pushing began Heather looked and seemed already spent of strength. Her eyes looked tired. Her whole being looked weary. And in her eyes I saw fear. And inside me something began to hurt in a way it never had before. I was worried for her and scared as to how things might turn out.

Heather is going to write more and more details on her blog but for now I will skip ahead to about 6 hours later (maybe more).

Lets just say that Heather pushed a LONG time. Likely 2-3 hours. Her dilation just wasn't changing very much though. Changing positions (other than flat of her back) didn't help things either. You see, her lying flat of her back wasn't part of the birth plan either ... neither was holding her breath to push.

ALL things that Igor thought highly of and continually and LOUDLY expressed her opinions of said items. Like I said I nearly threw her out.

Aaaaaanyway. I got word that Doc Lindsey had to go ... again. I thought ... OMG. We're alone with Igor and docs which we don't know very well.

Why couldn't we have had one of the other umpteen nurses we DID like? They had been to our rooms. There was Jennifer, Sherri, Vicki, even Mercedes would have been better that Martha/Igor. Personally I was rooting for Sherri to come back cause she was funny and respected our wishes but it was not to be.

It wasn't long after noon, maybe 1pm, that Igor noticed (as did I) that Bella's heartbeat was dropping when Heather would have a contraction. Then it would spike way, way up. Heather looked like she wasn't even there anymore. I barely recognized her eyes. And Bella was struggling. Things were getting scary.

Igor went to get the "house doc". Basically what I thought here was that we were getting the lowest common denominator. Know what they call the guy that graduates at the bottom of his class in med-school? Doctor. I was SO sure we were getting THAT guy.

He showed up about the time I was thinking C-section. And he looked worried. Against our birth plan but with perfect presentation he calmly suggested that Heather try lying back and let us lift her legs so she could try pushing from that position.

So Igor took one leg and I took the other. The doc got into the catcher's stance and Heather pushed. Bella was WAY up in the birth canal when this push began. She just wouldn't come down. But as the doc checked after the next three pushes were over, she had come down all the way.

The entire atmosphere of the room suddenly changed.

It went from the depressing one of "we have to tell these folks they have to have a c-section" to "this baby is coming out NOW and the doc isn't ready".

It was quite a mood swing. You could tell another woman was entering the room right Bella? Ahem :) Had to kid you sweetheart.

So the head showed up .. whammo!

And the doc said, "Hold it right there for a minute". Pretty sure Heather was as surprised by those instructions as I was. Cause I was looking at my daughter's head while out of the corner of my eye, I could see the doc with his hand caught in his sleeve while the assistant nurse (Andrea) tried to put a glove on it.

It was right about then I was thinking I'd have to catch my daughter lest she hit the floor. Oh crap.

But Heather held on. And the doc got dressed just in time. He asked for another push. Heather had new reserves of strength since she knew her daughter was so, so close.

She pushed.

And Bella came out ALL at once. It was very fast. When her head cleared the rest of her came sliding out with no hesitation at all.

The doc held her out and put her directly on Heather's belly to let her warm. No warmers for us crazy natural birth folks. When the umbilical cord stopped pulsing I got to cut it.

And then Bella was with us. We ALL cried.

So when I look over like now and I see her hiccuping, while grandma Asher and Heather laugh, it makes me happy inside.

I'm glad my daughter is here. And I'm glad we're all safe back inside Castle Horton.

Yeah Bella that's your very own first sign in this world.

Us geeks don't go to even a birth without our tech. Though cell phones didn't work too hot in this particular room. Crudskie.

Josh and I got to shared this non-comfy couch and chair on which to sorta sleep Friday night after Bella arrived.

Bella in her first cradle ... yes it was totally not as cool as what Daddy made for you dear.

That's Jennifer, Bella and Heather going through a checkup for Bella on Saturday morning.

My two favorite chicks on the planet. The one with the longer hair is pretty much my hero and I kinda love her a lot.

My two dears asleep after all their hard work together.

A quiet little moment with me and my lovely daughter.

That brother of hers loves his little sister.

I love this picture.

I was really happy with how Bella caught the sunshine here. She's pretty than the sunshine though.

This is Doctor Hill. He's the guy who stepped in and saved our bacon.

Heather, Bella and Doc Lindsey. The doc is very cool! I like her a lot!


Fred said...

Congratulations guys. Kim and I are happy to hear that everyone is doing well.

Sounds like Dr. Hill was an answer to some your prayers while stuck with Igor.

Doc Lindsey is awesome. Even though she didn't let me cut the cord when Luke was born, I forgive her (apparently she didn't know that I've stitched up Marines in my earlier years).

Shaddy said...

So far, I just looked at the pictures since I'm at work and have to actually get some work done upon occasion.

Bella is gorgeous! I'm not just saying that because I think I should. She truly is a doll. Thank you so much for sharing the pics. I'll be back.

TheBakers said...

She's perfect loved the pics. The blog was ok too Ha ha


Annie said...

First congrats!!!!! And what a great post! Reminds me why I stopped at two kids! Loved the pics...your wife and daughter are beautiful. What a tribute to your wife! First time I ever heard a hubby call his wife a hero after having a baby!!! Kudos to you! Anyway congrats again on a job well done...can't wait to hear more stories about your days with a son and now a daughter. :)

Rob said...

Fred, I didn't remember that you guys worked with Doc Lindsey as well. Very cool!

Rob said...

Shaddy, awww thanks for saying my kiddo is gorgeous ... well even though that's stating the obvious ... :) Just teasin ya!

Rob said...

TheBakers, thanks guys .. glad ya liked the pics and kinda liked the blog, ha!

Rob said...

Annie, thanks so much for stopping by! Always glad to see someone new read my ramblings. Thanks for the kind words! Hope to see you around here!

Shaddy said...

I finally got to read your story. I'm so, so sorry Heather had such a very, very difficult time. You all must have been extremely scared at times.

Bella certainly doesn't look like any of the difficulties harmed her at all. She's a picture-perfect little sweetheart.

I admire all of you for the support and love you obviously have for each other. It's a joy to see a family with such beautiful bonds tying you together.

Rob, would you do me a favor? Please give Heather and Bella and Thing One a big hug and kiss for me. And then, please ask Heather to hug and kiss you for me.

I love you all,

Shaddy said...

I finally got to read your story. I'm so, so sorry Heather had such a very, very difficult time. You all must have been extremely scared at times.

Bella certainly doesn't look like any of the difficulties harmed her at all. She's a picture-perfect little sweetheart.

I admire all of you for the support and love you obviously have for each other. It's a joy to see a family with such beautiful bonds tying you together.

Rob, would you do me a favor? Please give Heather and Bella and Thing One a big hug and kiss for me. And then, please ask Heather to hug and kiss you for me.

I love you all,

(You may get this twice but I want to be sure it gets posted).