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Saturday, May 26, 2012

A Welcome Cry

Our boy was due on May fifth. He had no plans on making his arrival on that day or any day in the foreseeable future, so Sara was scheduled to be induced on May eleventh. We were instructed to arrive at the hospital at seven o'clock in the morning. Sara would be doing triple shots of Pitocin. Fun.

So the May eleventh came. The hospital bags were ready. We had Grai scheduled to be dropped off at daycare and picked up by some of our dearest.  In our minds were were all set. We would leave the house at twenty to seven, drop Grai off at her teacher's house, and head to the hospital. We would be a few minutes early, but that was in our nature. We are punctual people. People that aren't drive us both nuts.

But then Sara peed. It was quarter to five in the morning and she just had to go to the bathroom. On her arrival back to our snugly bed, she was quick to realize that she might still be peeing. Odd, I know. Try being the one sleeping next to her. She nudged me to tell me about her trickle. She told me that she thought she may have experienced some incontinence, but, that on further examination, discovered that her water had broke. Cool, I thought. I was still sleeping.

Sara did not welcome my continued slumber and urged me to turn on a light. Fine. Wait. What?! Of course. It was go time. I popped out of my sleep and obliged. I ran to the bathroom and grabbed a towel and placed in strategically near the leak. Success. Now what? We were scheduled to be induced on this very day anyway. Were we to go to the hospital now or at the same time that we were scheduled? I wasn't sure, so I did the only thing I could recall needing from my labor. A shower. I asked Sara if she would like to shower. She did. This gave me time to get Grai up, load the bags, and find the phone number for our doctor.

When Sara was done showering, she phoned the doctor's office. The nurse told us to come in at seven o'clock, our scheduled induction time, unless things were progressing unusually fast. They weren't. Though Sara was having regular contractions, things weren't progressing at all. We just didn't know it yet.

We dropped Grai off, made our way to the hospital, got checked in, and headed up to the labor and delivery ward. Sara's nurse hooked her up to the monitors. One for her. One for our baby. Everything looked great on the monitors. Then they did the check. Nothing. No dilation. No effacement. Baby hadn't even dropped yet. The nurse checked with our doctor and he ordered that Sara be induced anyway.

At 9:20 a.m., the Pitocin drip began and so did the real labor. Early on, the contractions the Pitocin produced reminded me very much of my labor. They seemed to be tolerable. Sara and I got some Facebooking in. We sent text messages, e-mailed friends, and we did laps and laps around the labor and delivery ward. Quickly, though, her labor changed. She was experiencing intense back pain which hindered her ability to continue our jaunts.

Sara finally started to dilate by one o'clock in the afternoon. She was becoming more and more miserable with each contraction. With her only position of comfort being draped over me with my fists pushing as hard as they could into her lower back, I was beginning to become fatigued myself. I think she was at one or two centimeters and I think we both felt like this was an awful lot of anguish for not much progress.

A few more hours past and the nurse checked Sara again. Three centimeters. It was four o'clock in the afternoon. This was ridiculous. Sara was inconsolable. My arms and back were screaming at me. We were both irritable. Sara finally gave in to the idea of an Epidural. Thank you God. Thank you! I don't like pain medications, but there are times, friends. There are times.

The Epidural was administered after five o'clock with a spinal to provide immediate relief. Sara was laughing at the next contraction. It was that effective. Again, thank you, God, for creating people smart enough to create drugs like these. We are forever indebted to you.

To our regret, the Epidural did stop Sara's labor progression almost immediately. Even with an increase in Pitocin, it took just over four more hours for her to progress to five centimeters. Our stubborn little baby, bless his heart, still had not dropped. It was nine thirty at night. Not even coffee was cutting it anymore.

Over the next hour, Sara progressed rapidly. She went from five centimeters to nine and a half, but still no sign of baby Kaz in the birth canal. The nurses, ours and a student, had Sara try different positions to keep things moving, and, in all the shifting, Kazmer's heart began to decelerate. 130 beats per minute, 100, 90, 84, 70, 66. With the scare of a four minute deceleration, the nurses called in our doctor and had Sara flip from her back to her elbows and knees and put her on oxygen. Now for those women who have experienced labor, it is known that labor embraces humility. That humility is doubled when you are forced to have your bare ass high in the air for everyone to view. I'm sorry, Sara. At least you have a nice ass.

After twenty-five minutes of elbows and knees, Sara was flipped again to her back. Again, Kaz began to decelerate. Our doctor had also arrived. He and the nurses advised that the baby's decelerations were the result of the umbilical cord being crimped or being wrapped around the baby's neck. Neither sounded good to me. Neither was good. Sara was turned back to elbows and knees again to allow for more slack in the umbilical cord and bring Kazmer's heart rate back up. The doctor called in the surgical nurse and prepped the O.R. for an emergency c-section. No one let on to Sara that this was being done. She would have wigged.

At twenty to eleven, the nurses had Sara flipped to her back again and did another check. She was finally at ten centimeters and only had a smidge left to efface. With the nurses assistance Sara was fully effaced. It was just after eleven p.m. Kaz was still not in the birth canal. Still, in hopes of avoiding a c-section, the nurse instructed Sara to push.

With me supporting the right leg and the student nurse supporting the left leg, Sara pushed with each contraction. It took some time, but by eleven forty-five, the top of Kazmer's tiny head was visible. His heart rate continued to be stable until we was fully crowning. It was just after midnight and he began to decelerate again. Come on, kiddo. No c-section. No c-section.

It wasn't too long before the doctor joined us back in the room and began to help with delivery. I was thankful. Sara was pissed that he was blocking the mirror she had been using to help herself through the pushes. Even with the help of the mirror to guide her and the assistance of me, the nurses, and the doctor, our boy's noggin would not make a full appearance. It was twenty after twelve in the morning on May twelfth. Sara was given one more chance to push with the assistance of the vaccum. If Kazmer was still resistant to birth, the c-section would be performed. One. Two. Three. Push!

The last push was the longest one. The vacuum was only used for forty-five seconds, but it worked. His little head emerged, cord wrapped around his neck, followed shortly by his long, lanky body. It was twelve twenty-nine in the morning. Kaz, all naked and slimy, was freed of his umbilical cord and placed immediately on Sara's chest. She hugged him. We were both crying. He was not. Cry, baby. Cry, baby. C'mon, baby. Cry. Seconds seemed like long minutes, but he soon let out the most welcome bellow. Thank you, God! Happy birthday, Kazmer Joseph!

May, 12, 2012, 12:29 a.m. 20.5" long and a comfortable 7lbs. 1oz.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Unstuck the Kid!

With the hassle of adoption paperwork, home studies, and interviews behind us, we've almost nothing to do but wait for the little squirt to arrive before the court date to finalize his adoption is set. And waiting for him we are...

We (Sara) are presently at forty weeks pregnant. Forty weeks and stalled. You see, the last three visits to the doctor produced nothing. Not a dilation. Not an effacement. Not a decent of little, fetal head into the birth canal. Nothing. Of course, he's not going to stay in there forever. Come hell or high water, he'll come out, and I'm learning valuable lessons while I wait. Let me share them with you.

1. DON'T joke that nothing is happening as you enter the exam room. The luster of this joke will be lost in the fact that your wife is still not effaced or dilated. She will be angry at everyone, but mostly you.

2. DON'T tell your wife that this little delay of game is okay because it will give her time to focus on the end of school. She's sick of school and she's sick of being pregnant. And, at this point, she might be sick of you too.

3. DON'T remind her that she requested this baby to remain in womb as long as possible, you know, for convenience sake. She will not care to recall this statement nor will she appreciate the reminder. Trust me.

4. DON'T tell her you understand. If I were a man, I would be in worse shape than I am. Thank God I'm not. It's bad enough I had our daughter three weeks early. Clearly I don't understand.

5. DON'T offer comfort in suggesting that the cervix can thin at any time or that dilation can occur once labor starts. At this point, you've aggravated her so much, this is beyond the realm of comprehension.

6. DON'T tell her she's overreacting. Just don't, okay.

7. DON'T sit awkwardly in bed next to her because you're afraid to open your mouth or stay or leave or blink or leave the bedroom light on or turn it off or anything. She will think that something's wrong with you or, worse, that you think something's wrong with her even though it's neither. You're just scared shitless. Say something. Then pray.

I've been praying a lot. Talking, a minor wincing in anticipation of verbal backlash, a quick prayer session, and a sturdy brace for response. I've got the methodology down pat, and I can see the end is almost near. So can she. We're both excited and anxious and glad and nervous and all those jittery feelings you feel right before you have a baby. We're both a bit on edge waiting. All three of us are and Graisyn maybe more than the two of us. In fact, I'm quite surprised that she hasn't managed to pull him out by his ears. Ahh, yes. There's always tomorrow for that.