Day 1 - The first day of the rest of my life...
Release the doves, queue the music, reset the calendar. SHE IS HERE! Hallelujah! I have received the permanent title of parent and here's my log from the hospital.
We got to the hospital right at 0630, our scheduled arrival time. We were escorted to our room where we waited for about 30 minutes before the nurse showed up. She asked Mrs. Lock a lot of questions about medical history and labor plan details. She gave us some paper work that we need to fill out and return before we leave the hospital. The nurse was then relieved by another nurse in an exchange of shifts. Megan R.N. became our attendant for the rest of the labor period.
I got our stuff out, laptop unpacked and realized I forgot the charger for it. Without it, we had about an hour of battery life and since it was our stereo as well as our communication to the outside world, I figured I needed it. So I took off at 0830 and promised to be back in 20 minutes. I got home, grabbed the charger, pet the confused cat, ate some cottage cheese that was in the fridge, then took off back to the hospital. When I walked in, our doctor was attending to Laura and no sooner had I set the stuff down, I heard Dr. M proclaim "No bag is safe from me." She popped (is that the right word?) the water and I barely witnessed it. That was at 0845. Just then the contractions started heavy, taking Mrs. Lock's breath away, and not in the romantic way. The pain, according to her, was enormous. She described the contractions as a menstrual cramp times 300, something Mrs. Lock said I still couldn't relate to. Dr. M said the expelled fluid showed some meconium, our baby apparently had a bowel movement in the womb, not a good thing.
Now that the water is broken, Mrs. Lock stood up to go to the bathroom and expelled a lot of fluid onto the floor. So much so, the nurse paged the janitor. The janitor showed up with a mop and a Slippery When Wet stand - joking about the stand.
After about an hour of the excruciating contractions, Mrs. Lock ordered the epidural. She calculated that if the contractions continued at that rate, she would have no energy when it came time to push.
The epidural doctor arrived quickly and administered it to Mrs. Lock at 1010. After she got the hookup, Mrs. Lock was in high spirits. She said she could barely feel the contractions now and felt much better, and as a result, I could relax too (and find time to write this).
1120, the spoonfuls of cottage cheese I had a couple of hours ago have done nothing to break my fast, so I told Mrs. Lock I was going to go on a walk. She asked me if I had eaten breakfast and I said no. She told me I should try and get something to eat and I confessed my walk was going to go through the hospital cafeteria but I didn't want to admit that to someone has hasn't eaten in over 12 hours and can't eat for the rest of the day.
Mrs. Lock has been complaining about various fluids coming out of all of her orifices. Also, since the epidural the contractions have mutated into a dull tightening of the colon or as she puts it, "my butt hurts." During one of the contractions, Mrs. Lock said she was seeing stars and I was to summon the nurse if she were to pass out. I can do that.
1145, nurse is worried about Mrs. Lock's blood pressure being too low, 80 over 40. What they don't realize is this is normal for Mrs. Lock. She's always had low bp and low body temp averaging 96 point something all of the time. They give her epinepherine to raise her bp. This is how it starts. You start with one drug (epidural) and the hospital has to administer many more in a juggling act to keep the body's systems balanced.
1210 Mrs. Lock's mom and step dad stopped by for a surprise visit.
1220 Dr. M stopped by on her lunch break to check Mrs. Lock's progress. 8 cm, 80% effaced but the head still has not dropped down. Still at -2. Dr M says the patient's cervix is cooperating, the baby isn't.
1245 I dozed off for 2 minutes. Amazing. I'm sitting here waiting for the arrival of my first child and I'm calm enough to fall asleep.
1400, the nurse is installing a lead on the head of the baby for better measurements. Works like a cork screw to a cork.
1515 Mrs Lock is at 9cm, getting close. Her family is still here in the room and we have the TV on. We're watching an Animal Planet special with the sound off, a show about miracle animals. This particular episode shows a police dog in an a reenactment and it is sparking conversation in the room. In the reenactment, they show the police dog attacking a gun man, but the gun man fatally wounds the dog. The guests that are with are throwing out theories about how the police department could've done a better job and saved the dog's life. And everytime someone in our room says something about this tv show, I have to laugh because other than having a woman in labor in the room, the situation is a normal one and such conversations are common.
1550, starting hour 9 of labor. I've been on instant messenger for most of the day and received about a thousand queries about Mrs. Lock's status. I finally got wise and just posted the status in my status message. That's what it's there for right? A status message?
Dr M closes her office, dons scrubs and is attending to Mrs. Lock full time in the maternity ward.
1600 We start pushing even though the baby is still high up. Mrs. Lock is fully dilated.
Pushed for 2 hours. 1800 decided on c-section.
I entered the OR at 1825. Baby Lock was born at 1835. Took lots of pictures of the baby and the procedure. Emotions all over the place. I now understand the word joy. Mrs. Lock got to see the top of the baby's face (from nose up) when the surgeon held her above the surgery divider at Mrs. Lock's chest. Baby is whisked into warmer for cleaning and respiration initiation. Mom and daughter back in the room at 1915. I called friends and family.
2010 weighed and measured. 20.05 inches, 8 lbs 12oz
Family visited until about 2100 then left for home. I ran home and greeted a very angry cat and a famished rabbit. I myself scarfed down a couple of PB&J sandwiches and booked it back to the hospital. I'm downloading the 80+ pictures I took today to the laptop at 2230. Sleep? Can't sleep now. This is too exciting.