Saturday, September 17, 2005
Kim will tell you she knew it was a girl. My sister will tell you the same thing. So will various people around my office.
Well, they were right.
Saturday morning was supposed to be a day of sleeping in, with Nick at his grandparents’, and the morning to doze. That dream was shattered, however, when Kim came back to bed around a quarter after seven to tell me that she was wet.
Holding pee-jokes back, I asked if her water had broken. “I dunno” was the reply (which had been the reply to countless “Was that a contraction?” questions I’d asked over the past two weeks). I suggested that we go to the hospital to get it checked out, since they wanted her in nice and early for some antibiotics against a group-b strep (whatever that is) that they’d discovered some time earlier.
Three hours later, I finally had Kim convinced and we were off to the hospital.
After an interminable wait in what I will call the “four-to-a” room, where up to four pregnant women can wait to be taken to a delivery room, we learned that Kim’s water had indeed broken and that they would eventually want to hook her up to an IV to get the clendomiacin into her.
After another interminable wait in what I call the “four-to-a” room, Kim got her antibiotics, and we went for a walk, trying to get the baby to re-engage the pelvis, a position that the kindly Dr. Evenson had told us the baby had already reached. Apparently, it’s not likely that a baby will disengage the pelvis, but our Lillian is up to many impossible things. She re-engaged (or engaged for the first time, depending on whether or not you believe Dr. Len) and we headed home.
We spent the afternoon fairly restful and Nicholas came back to us fairly early on. Four games of Pokemon-Sorry later (I won the tournament, 3-1), Howard and Mary Jane (or Mr. And Mrs. MacPherson, if you prefer) returned to take Nicholas and bring us our doula. For those of you not in the know, a doula is a childbirth facilitator. Kinda like a midwife, but not quite as technical. Kinda like a birth-coach (me) but more technical. As a side note, Kara did an amazing job, and if any of you bloggers ever need a doula, I would recommend her.
We returned to the hospital around eight-thirty for the second round of antibiotics, and the nurses talked Kim into keeping the needle in her arm. This turned out to be a mistake, as the needle bent and sent a bunch of saline into the part of Kim’s arm that isn’t vein, and puffed up the arm painfully.
We left the hospital after spending another couple of hours in the four-to-a, convinced that Kim was not in labour, despite some contractions that had seemed to be leading somewhere.
The night was spent for Kim, trying to start labour. I helped when I could, but the rest of the time was spent playing solitaire and waiting.
5:30 saw us back at the hospital. We knew that it was getting close to the time they would want to induce labour, and that was something that Kim had said she wanted to avoid. She got the antibiotics, and by the time the doctor was ready to see her at 10 or so, she’d already decided she’d be induced. She didn’t want to be too tired to give birth, so it wasn’t too much of a blow when Dr. Corbet came into the room and told us that induction would be happening now.
With this stunning piece of news, and the oxitocin drip started, I was so excited I fell asleep for a half-hour. Kim and Kara did – well, whatever it is that expectant mother and doula do when labour is imminent.
When Kim was allowed off the fetal monitor and could get up and go, we went walking the halls of the third floor of the Grey Nuns hospital. Kim had wanted to walk through her labour and, while this was not the off-leash area, Kim was walking. When the contractions started, I didn’t know what would work best for Kim, so I just walked up to her and gave her a hug. The next few contractions allowed us to fine-tune our technique and before too long, Kim would allow me to support her weight with my knees while I held her.
We walked for a good half-hour, circling the halls, looking at baby pictures, contracting (well, Kim was contracting. I wasn’t.) Kara was there, talking Kim through her contractions, helping Kim to learn how best to manage her pain. I started taking a more active role as well, talking to Kim while she breathed through the contractions.
When walking was over, Kim and I stepped into the shower (once I figured out how to make the thing work) and continued the process. She felt the baby drop and had to start squatting during contractions. She hung off of my neck while I stood there and told her she was doing a good job. At one point, she wondered if she was doing any good at all – if she should find some way to deal with the pain. I talked her through her uncertainty, and pretty much immediately, she said she needed to push. We got her out of the shower, and into bed where they told her she was 8 cm dilated. 10 cm is fully dilated and time to push, so I figured it would be pretty soon. I dashed into the bathroom and changed back into my underwear and pants (not socks, though, Sean) and returned. After that, she was in bed the rest of the way.
Fifteen minutes of pushing saw the birth of my baby daughter.
She was born at 6 pounds, 14.2 ounces, and 21 inches long. She enjoys sleeping, eating, pooping, shrieking (Cry your rage, Lillian), and plotting to take over the world with Jack.
She is very, very cute, despite a disturbing resemblance to grampa Bob, and I think she's actually trying to be cute when she yawns. It works, though.
Welcome to the Johnstones, Lillian. We're all wack-jobs, but we all love you.