Clara’s Delivery Story

Today (June 29th, at the time) is the big day!  We’re set to begin our birth story and I wanted to take the opportunity to chrono-log our big day where we welcomed our beautiful daughter into this world.

11:30am – Finally got the call and have been admitted for the induction. We got placed in our delivery room,  with a view of I-25. Bethany put on her ballroom gown and we’re hanging out waiting to meet our nurse.
On a tech/distraction front, this room leaves a little to be desired. The TV has a pretty sophisticated menu hooked up, so my chances of plugging in a laptop are pretty slim. The sound only comes out of this handheld speaker next to the bed. I suppose when you’re in the heat of labor they don’t want the room to be blasted with the sounds of Game 7. Right now in her we’re in no mood for TV. We’re a combination of anxious and nervous for what’s next.

12:15pm – Just got our first visit with our nurse. Bethany is hooked up to the monitor now and so far everything is looking good. We’re now waiting for a sizable data sample to be shared with it doctor.

1pm – Things are moving pretty slowly, but I guess that’s expected when you have to cover all bases. Bethany’s been fitted with an IV Port and they’re now running final tests before proceeding with the induction. We thought waiting at home was hard…

1:45 – It’s go time! Bethany has her Pitocin cocktail in her IV and we’re now waiting for the first big contraction to hit. She’s mobile, we’ve taken a lap around the birthing wing and are anxious.

3:30 – Haven’t really felt any change. We’re saddled in and are now watching The Avengers.

6pm – Still playing the waiting game. B’s contractions are starting to pick up. We have dinner on the way and are wondering if we’ll be able to have it before they cut us off on the food.

9:10pm – We just visited with our doctor. There has been some change, but to say that things are moving more slowly than planned would be an understatement. We’re definitely developing our patience. I feel bad for Bethany, as she sometimes has a difficult time getting comfortable. We’re going to see where we’re at later tonight and determine whether we need to take a break. By the way, we were able to get dinner as our last big meal for a while. The food was decent for hospital food, but nothing to write home about. Bethany ate Prime Rib and I had the French Dip.

11:11pm – Things are starting to pick up a bit. Bethany is starting to feel some painful contractions, and we’re dilating further. At this point we’re going to see if Bethany can sleep through a few of these and we can get in a nap before we hit full throttle.

The next sequence of events are approximations, as things kicked into high gear, and I’m not stupid enough to keep a real-time log of labor activities while my wife is enduring contractions. I’m going to try to keep this in present tense, offering my reactions at the time.

11:30pm – Bethany woke me up, as her contractions began to grow painful and were too unbearable to sleep through. We’ve been going through pain mitigation techniques with mixed forms of success.

12:30am – We’re in full-pain labor now. We’re going to spend some time in the tub to see if that helps out.  Nurse Leah, who is working with us tonight has been phenomenal and so patient with us. She hasn’t left our side through the whole thing.

– As the pain gets more intense, Bethany is starting to consider the epidural. The tub has been somewhat helpful, but since we’ve induced labor with Pitocin, the baby heart rate monitor is non-negotiable.  We keep having difficulties with the monitors staying in place and are moving out of the tub. In leading up to labor, we discussed our desire to avoid the epidural if possible, but now with each contraction Bethany is asking for the Epidural.  Right now I’m trying to remind her of our approach and at this point won’t start taking the epidural demands seriously until she starts talking about them between contractions.

– Now we’re between contractions and Bethany has started talking about the epidural. We re-evaluated our options and decided to proceed.  We’ve signed the consent forms and are waiting for the anesthesiologist, who is currently working with another patient but should be a long shortly.

– We’re on a whirlwind now. Things have begun progressing rapidly with dilation, and in no time we have the end in site.  Now we’re approaching the borderline. Bethany has been a champ with the contractions, doing a great job of focusing on her breathing. The doctor has been woken up and is here, that must mean we’re close, right?

– Ok, the anesthesiologist is here, but now we’re approaching a point where Bethany can start pushing soon.  While the epidural will relive pain, at this point it’s going to prolong what has been a pretty fast labor.  Bethany and I look at each other and agree that we’ll go ahead and take the gamble with the shorter labor.

– Bethany’s been a champ at pushing and we’ve seen some real progress. We don’t have a great sense of how much longer we’re going to be, but can feel the continued progress.  With each contraction different things start coming out of our transformer bed: handles and leg platforms to help position during pushing.

– Our doctor has told us that this next contraction is likely going to be the one. Next thing we know the amount of medical staff in the room have doubled and what looks like a caterers table of medical instruments has appeared in the room. The foot of the bed got removed and our doctor gets decked out with the semi-OR garb – all within about a minute.

3:58 -  Doc was right, this was the last contraction. Bethany went to a place I didn’t think she had and pushed and out came our little… baby!

– Is it a girl? All this time we’ve thought we were having a girl, and our doctor moves away the umbilical cord to reveal: girl parts! No repainting of the nursery needed! Our baby girl has been placed on Bethany’s chest.  “Dad, ready to cut the cord?” I look around and it takes me a half-second to realize they’re talking to me. “Dad” hasn’t set in yet.  Snip goes the cord.

5:00am – Clara, the name we’ve chosen for our baby girl is now happily feeding from her Mom. I’ve now taken this opportunity to go nuts with the camera and take a ton of pictures.  I take this opportunity to start making some phone calls and let our families know about their new addition.

5:30am – The nurse performs all of the measurements for Clara and we find out that she weighs 7.31 lbs and is 19.5 inches long. We got to take her footprints, of which we got a set of our own.

6:00am – The delivery room – the room we’ve occupied for the better part of the last day – is no longer needed. I got to wheel Bethany out while she carried Clara over to the room where she’ll spend the first day of her life…

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