Hello Tiny Greg

On Friday, we had a kid! His name is Greg (Gregory James). He's 7 pounds, 20 inches long, and the doctors tell us he is healthy.

I'm slowly becoming an expert swaddle wrapper.

(Delivery Report)

Thursday, 5:30 am: Julie gets up and runs 8 miles. I join Julie for the last 4 miles and we both agree that she's gotten faster. Our theory is that "nesting" for her is running faster.

Thursday, most of the day: Julie works a totally normal day (teaches class, goes to meetings, etc). From 7:30 to 8:30 pm, we attend our final baby training class at the hospital. This one was called HUG Your Baby and it was intended to help us understand what will make newborns happy based on what "stage" they happen to be in at the moment. Having completed this class, we were now fulling trained! The feeling is much like finishing a college degree, "What was it I learned how to do, exactly?"

Thursday, 8:55 pm: I prepare a snack plate (for sharing) of thinly sliced apples and cheddar cheese. Just as I'm about to settle down to my snack, Julie mysteriously wanders off to the bathroom (she's usually very prompt and attentive for cheese snacks).

Thursday, 8:59 pm: Noting out-of-pattern Julie bathroom noises, I become suspicious that something unusual is afoot. Queries like, "Are you okay in there?" Are answered only with a cryptic, "I'm not sure..."

Thursday, 9:00 pm: Julie emerges from the bathroom and says, "I think my water just broke." My innate risk management and priority system kicks in and I set about quickly finishing my snack (with sharing). We begin a 30 minute test I found on the web to verify that Julie's water had in fact broken.

Thursday, 9:30 pm: Yep, her water broke all right. We're gonna have a kid! I set about packing everything that hadn't been packed yet. Also, scrounging for snacks.

Thursday, 11:00 pm: We arrive at the hospital. It was after hours so we go in via the ER. Julie is taken to maternity in a wheelchair. Having run 8 miles this morning, she finds this amusing.

When the water breaks, they want you to deliver in 24 hours - evidently this prevents infection. Julie wasn't having much in the way of contractions yet. They had us just hang out in a delivery room and see what would happen.

Julie - monitored, not sleepy.

Thursday, night: We "slept" in that room all night. Both of us were too excited to sleep. Not having done this before, we didn't know how it would go. Whenever we tried to get a handle on the upcoming chain of events, the staff would try to be helpful, but it mostly came down to "we'll just have to see". I think we both wanted to see a flow chart of what events triggered what other events to happen.

Throughout the night, we could hear someone else having her kid. Initially, this was the normal moaning that we were familiar with from the hospital's child birth class videos. Eventually it intensified to a screaming vomiting fury. Aggressive, angry vomiting. I think this may have become a source of anxiety for Julie.

Friday, 8:00 am: In a brief fit of usefulness, I call Julie's office and explain that she will be missing work today and that she doesn't plan to return any time soon. I also mention that we're having a kid today. Julie had even given me a list of appointments and a note for one of her relief instructors, all of which I dutifully relay.

I have no idea if this message made it out of the main office. We anticipated the news would spread like wildfire and that we'd get some congratulatory emails from Julie's colleagues. None came. Confronted with similar information, my colleagues had a strong showing. I think that means I won! On the bright side, Julie didn't get any emails demanding to know why she didn't show up to teach. We'll probably learn more on Monday.

Friday, 8:45 am: Julie still isn't having very impressive contractions. Her OB (Dr. Gros, pronounced the awesome way) visits, puts her on  (contraction inducing) pitocin, predicts a noon delivery, and leaves.

Now, I have to be honest. At that point, watching nothing happen was starting to get stale. I'd managed to sleep about for about an hour the night before and the only available entertainment was watching Julie's contraction monitor. There were times in the morning, that I may have been dozed off in my chair and sometimes didn't stir when the staff came in to check on Julie. I promise that I was dreaming very supportive dreams.

Friday, 10:00 am:  Now it's possible to tell when Julie has a contraction. Increasingly, it's a matter of her kinda meditating between, then closing her eyes while the magic of contorting pain worked her over for a minute.

Friday, 12:30 pm: A nurse tells us that Julie is only dilated 6 cm. Julie's contractions are turning into a wild ride, and 6 cm represents no progress for the last hour. The stall triggers Julie to ask for an epidural.

Friday, 12:45 pm: The epidural rocks. Julie says it takes away about 50% of the pain, but she doesn't lose any feeling and can still move her legs. From what we knew of epidurals, we had expected that she'd be completely numb from the stomach down.

Friday, 1:00 pm: Julie's OB walks in. He decides that we can hurry up the dilation by doing a bit of pushing. I'm pretty sure we are compensating for a lazy/tense uterus by using Greg as a battering ram. I'm not sure if we are getting ready to deliver a kid, or if we are still just trying to get ready. The OB thinks that if Julie has one big contraction, Greg will "come flying out". They make some good progress on the dilation front, and Dr. Gros decides to wait a bit before having another go.

Friday, 1:45 pm: Despite being on a steady epidural drip, Julie's ability to perceive pain returns in full force.

Friday, 2:00 pm: A frustrated nurse anesthetist tries to give Julie some pain relief by eventually injecting 2 big syringes (think "roll of quarters") full of magic pain drugs directly into her back. They are spaced a few minutes apart.

Friday, 2:30 pm: The supplementary epidural drugs have no effect. A different nurse anesthetist shows up and verifies that Julie is still hot/cold sensitive at the waist - evidently this just shouldn't happen with an epidural. Julie has super mutant chem resistance.

"Super mutant chem resistance" is very specific technical terminology. 

Friday, 2:40 pm: Julie and the new anesthetist decide that something may have slipped and that they should have another go at placing the epidural. Like the anesthetist before her, this one expresses enthusiasm at performing an epidural on someone in such good physical condition.

Friday, 2:41 pm: Just as the anesthetist is leaving to fetch her kit, Julie's OB walks back in. This time, he is different. Evidently, he'd seen what he needed to see and he's committed to delivering. Nurses immediately begin to transform cabinets, the bed, the lights... everything into baby delivery mode. Suddenly it feels like the movies.

Friday, 2:50 pm: I take my spot next to Julie and all Hollywood delivery activity begins: "all right... get ready... Deeeep breath... PUSH! Hold it.. Hold it... Deep breath... PUSH!"

Friday, 3:20 pm: Tiny Greg comes out, face up, with his arm next to his head in a superman pose. I'm told that facing up like that leads to "back labor" which I understand is an extra painful variant.

During our birthing classes, we were repeatedly told that the two best tools for back labor are a hot tub (available, but not while you're on a pitocin drip) and the "double hip squeeze" massage maneuver (which I had offered to perform, but Julie wasn't interested). Mark strikes one and two for birthing class.

Friday, 3:21 pm: While Greg goes off to charm a nurse and get all of his world welcoming treatments, Dr. Gros engages (as near as I could tell) in a very serious effort to prevent Julie from bleeding to death. He succeeded, but I think he used every drug in the room to get there. Before we were done, he'd used up the pitocin and given a few additional injections of other drugs to encourage the final contractions along. At one point I looked over and said, "It sounds like you've given her all the contraction inducing medicine you've got." To which he responded with a more-serious-than-usual, "Yes... I have..."

Friday, later: Julie is okay. She lost about 800 mL of blood. Evidently that's 2-3x the "normal" amount, but she's dealing with it. She's pretty smoked and spacey. I don't blame her. Short on blood and loaded up with drugs, I think she did really well.

Julie with a brand new tiny Greg. Hello little dude.

Sunday, late morning: Julie is probably getting tired of all the iron and vitamin C foods I'm pushing her to eat. After a lot of watching and lab work, the hospital has decided that they're willing to discharge her without a transfusion. She'll take vitamins and rebuild her own blood supply.

We're supposed to stick around until 3:20 Sunday afternoon to make sure the Group B strep Julie was cultivating doesn't try to nail tiny Greg. However, recent check-ups for both Julie and Greg have satisfied all the decision-makers and I think we're just waiting for a time after lunch when we're comfortable to leave.

"Has successfully passed..." Awww, baby's first certificate. It also means he can hear.


John Brewer said…
An excellent report scripted with your usual flare for catching the subtleties of the absurd with your smooth tongue in cheek smirkiness.
Bryan said…
Haha! Awesome script... I imagine this read by Ron Howard, using his narration voice for Arrested Development. :)
Looking forward to seeing the little dude in person.
Bren said…
Congratulations! I could identify with some of what went on, although it has been 35 years since "Willie" was born!! I love the pictures of you with Greg and of Julie with him!! Thanks for sharing!!
Brenda said…
Oops, that comment should be from Brenda, not Bren!

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