Sunday, October 25, 2009

So We Have This Baby....

I haven't posted since well before our baby was born. This should be your first indicator of what it's really like to have a baby around the house. I'll take time over the next couple of weeks to talk through the ups and down, but mostly just hilarious reality of two people who were obviously built to be an aunt and, uncle bringing a baby into the world.

Today, I'll catalog the birth experience.

If there was one thing Courtney was terrified of, it was the act of pushing a 8-10lb baby out of her naturally. Or having surgery to remove said newborn. And I felt this was a completely justifiable fear. I'm sure there are husbands out there who tried to help their wives out by saying things like "It won't be so bad" "It'll be over before you know it" or "It's been happening for thousands of years.." Not me. I agreed wholeheartedly that it would likely be awful, painful, and scarring to the psyche. For this reason, we both agreed, and informed anyone within earshot that there would be massive drugs administered in the Willis birthing suite at Forsyth Hospital.

We were right! The big day came, then went, and no baby. So, we waited a week or so, then scheduled an induction. Super. Everyone said this would make the labor process even longer. Just Courtney was hoping for: a few more hours of agonizing pain. So we drove over to the hospital at 6am, checked in, and got hooked up to the labor-inducing drug, Pitocin. Nothing happened.

Sure, the little monitor went up and down, up and down. But no pain, no contraction feelings, no baby. So, the doc finally came in around noon and suggested he "break her water" to speed things up. "Super" we said. "Is it time for drugs?"

He says "Well, it's still likely to take several hours, so let's wait until you need them." We went along with the doctor's suggestion.

He took this big plastic hook, shoved it up inside of her, and broke the water. I sort of expected a gush of liquid. Didn't happen. Sort of nothing happened. For a few minutes. Then WOAH.

Contractions came like the breakers at Waimea Bay. (for the geographically challenged, that's a big surfing spot in Hawaii with huge waves...) My normally placid, angelic, Christian wife transformed into a fire-breathing monster. With every subsequent contraction over the next ten minutes, she demanded more and more loudly for the drugs.

The anesthesia team finally showed up to get to work. About this time, the OB doc decides the hear rate on the baby is not rebounding quickly enough to contractions, and puts Courtney on oxygen.

So, she's hurting more and more with each contraction, and she's on O2, and she's pissed. She's jerking the mask off of her face because it feels constricting, and she's demanding the baby be removed by c-section, NOW.

So then, the OB gets the super idea to place a heart monitor on the baby's head and check to be sure the umbilical cord is not around the baby's neck. This apparently hurts. By Courtney's reaction, this is about the same as having your foot removed with a butter knife. And, at this point, the contractions are for real. Courtney is coming 2-3 feet up off of the bed with each round.

Remember those anesthesia guys? They keep having to pause each time Courtney has a contraction, which is approximately every other breath. So they're not making a lot of headway.

So they turn her on her side to get the meds flowing into her epidural, and this one nurse, who I have not seen all day, non-chalantly says "she looks ready, we should probably check her cervix." So, she just reaches up in there like she's checking the stuffing in a turkey, and says, "oh wow, it's time. Baby is here." She says this in same tone of voice I would announce it's time to get more gas in the car. So, not too wound up, I'm betting to keep Courtney calm.

Courtney hears, and it the opposite of calm. Instead she begins to repeat her mantra for the day "IT WAS NOT SUPPOSED TO HAPPEN THIS WAY. THIS IS NOT THE PLAN!!!" She's crying, upset, screaming with each contraction, and the scene has gone from serene to pure chaos.

Remember the anesthesia guys? they announce that the drugs take a minute or twelve to take effect.

Courtney has a fit. They double the dose and pump harder. One looks at the other and says "the button" in reference to the self-administered button for more anesthesia. The other docs just gives a no not to wave him off. I wonder why. The OB doc then makes an off-handed comment "I think we need to hurry up and get the baby out, and there may not have time for the meds to take effect."

HA! Courtney comes unraveled. This is her worst nightmare. And we all hear about it. He's saying push, she's saying no. It's a battle of wills.

The baby wins. Apparently, when the nurse said it's time, she really meant "it was time 20 minutes ago." Courtney loses, and has to push. Or at least tell us she's pushing, because it turns out she's been pushing all along.

The meds finally take effect, and the next round of contractions are "not so bad."

So I get assigned a leg to hold back. I thought this meant just hang on to the leg. No, it means pull the leg back to where the knee is beside her ear. and much to my surprise, this means I'm face to face with a vagina. (Courtney's of course)

And here comes a baby. I had sort of planned on "peeking in" on the whole vag area. Not an option. It's facing UP. Anyone in the room has to look at it.

And two contractions later, baby.

It was really just that simple. And everything since has been just as easy.