Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Enter New Baby: The Epic of Child Birth!

You all know the new baby is here! That means I am shutting down the blog now. Good bye. Just Kidding. Now it's time to reveal all of the gory details that so many of you hunger for.

I think it is fitting to begin with some vital information about the baby's due date:

1. Baby was not due until November 2, for those of you not in the know.

2. Parents were not expecting baby until November 2, for those of you in the know.

3. Father was kicking himself for such ill planing on his part (no attending his favorite Halloween party this year, for those of you in the know.)

With that in mind, Sylvia and I settled into bed on Friday night. Sylvia was tired from staying home that day. She had not been feeling well and thought a day crammed with nesting minutia might relieve her sullen attitude. I think our heads hit the pillows around 9:30pm.
At 1:20am or so, I awoke to the sounds of soft giggling and a light under the bathroom door. I cracked the door and found Sylvia trapped on the commode like a barnacle stuck in a tidal pool. And like the ocean, her waters had broken their chains and were flowing uncontrollably. At this point, I went into complete shock.

(Actual photo of actual clock used for documenting actual time of departure to hospital and actual time of my mind loss)

We were able to sandbag the levee long enough to collect the effects we would need for labor. I had planned weeks ago to have a birthin' kit composed prior to the labor. It would include movies, lip balm, ipod, massager, aroma therapy and girlie magazines (like this, this, and her favorite). I just realized when I said 'girlie magazines' you probably though I meant my favorite magazine. Anyway, after Sylvia slapped me and I got a hold of myself, I quickly tried to assemble our stuff so we could shuffle off to the hospital. Sylvia was as cool as the other side of the pillow as we got in the car and began our trip to Family Land and the pending GBE at 1:39am.
(hastily assembled bags)

When we arrive at the "Baby Place" at St. Joseph's Hospital of Denver, we were met with a measure of skepticism about the baby's early arrival. After some strange tests (the beginning of a battery of tests that are required during the labor process) it was determined that indeed Sylvia's waters had broken and a baby was eminent. Now off to the labor suite!

We were ushered to a new room where the tike was to be born. Our new environs were a fantastic hybrid of a Holiday Inn Honeymoon Suite, chicken hatchery and that laboratory from Jurassic Park. I then set up shop while Sylvia got acquainted with the bed and a bevy of nurses and would-be probers. I opened the afore mentioned aroma therapy device and asked Sylvia what movie she would like to watch while we waited...for something to happen. We were waiting for something to happen because, unbeknowst to us, the breaking of the waters does not mean the baby comes right away. To be honest, after I had found out her water had broke, I thought I would have to deliver the baby in the back seat of a cab or something.
(Sylvia still smiling and me even further out of my mind)

After Sylvia had settled in, the nurse explained that she would need an intravenous drip or IV. Sylvia has a strong aversion to needles. In fact, last time she had contact with a needle she got the vapors and collapsed in waiting room of our oral surgeon's office! I was hoping not to see a repeat performance. The nurse had a great idea and after inserting the IV, covered the area with a cut off baby hat--we had the MacGyver of nurses. Sylvia got a little woosie but didn't vomit! We were all very proud.

(the cleverly devised Cut Hat Intended to Keep IV's Not Noticable or CHIKINN)

For the next five hours we waited. We waited for contractions. We waited for tests. We waited for more probing. We waited for baby Thurmond. We waited. Finally, a nurse named Elisa Patterson, whom we had met before coming to the hospital, came in. We were very happy to see her. She was our favorite nurse in the seemingly endless nurse/doctor interview process we went through before baby time. She was direct and told it how it was. Sylvia and I both appreciate this approach.

Elisa came and told us that we had two options to get the contractions started. First, we could wait a few more hours, see what happens and then introduce Pitocin. Or, we could introduce the Pitocin now and get the show on the road. Not ones to dilly-dally, we opted for the latter. Elisa was pleased with the decision. Within a half hour, Sylvia was hooked up with the rapid fire baby solution and we were off and running. We were now creeping up on the eighth hour and the nurses were hopeful that we would have a baby in the next 8 hours--we felt the same. Jeez!

The hours of waiting to quicken their pace as Sylvia's contractions increased in frequency and painfulness. At hour ten, Sylvia called for the anesthesiologist to administer the epidural. Moments later as guy who looked like a slightly thinner Drew Carey walked in proclaiming he was the fastest catheter slinger in the West. He said he was on his 600,891 catheter for the night and was aimin' for more. He assured us that he knew the arachnoid mater like the back of his hand and was a meninges mastermind. His confidence astounded us and we said, "fire when ready!"

However, like Achilles, Oedipus, Agamemnon and George W. Bush, hubris would be his ultimate downfall. Nurse Drew inserted the the long hose that was to deliver the goods to Sylvia's nether region and provide a blissful semi pain-free delivery. Sylvia was as brave and didn't squirm an inch as Nurse Drew practiced his love of women. With the epidural catheter in place, we were ready for baby!
(Sylvia's "Let's Do This Face!" Notice the CHIKINN once again)

After another couple of hours things got very serious. Sylvia's contractions were becoming sharp spikes of pressure and her face was doing some really weird stuff. It was apparent that the Earl of Epidurals, Nurse Drew, had missed the mark and Sylvia was feeling it. Quickly, the nurses called for the more senior catheter wrangler...Dr. Franklin. Within minutes, Dr. Franklin floated in like the Mary Poppins of pain management. He sternly but sweetly called in a rich British accent for the movie we were watching to be turned off. He adjusted the lights and went to work. After only a few moments, Sylvia was where she needed to be for the final push.

By 3:15pm, Sylvia was dilated enough for her to start really pushing, so she pushed. The nurse we liked, Elisa, rejoined us for the finale. Sylvia gritted her teeth an gave three hard pushes every contraction. I held her left leg while Elisa held her right. Elisa put my hand on Sylvia's belly to feel for the contraction and sound the alert to start pushing. After about twenty minutes of hard labor, I could see dark black hair. The baby was coming. For the next twenty minutes the head got bigger and bigger. Sylvia pushed hard and smiled in between each contraction. I have never been so impressed by anyone.

(Blurred for your convience. You didn't want to see the slime anyway.)

Finally at 4:46pm Roby Marie Thurmond was born. I don't think I'll miss the Halloween party one bit.