Friday, December 19, 2008

Five years ago today

I guess there's a time in most peoples' lives where they can define almost everything as "before" and "after." Mine came five years ago today, when Ian was born and I stopped living for myself and started living for our family.

In commemoration of the tot's fifth birthday today, here's a partial reprint of my bloggish behavior on that date:


John's labor experience (abridged version)

My "day" so far:

6:47 a.m., Thursday, Dec. 18: Wake up (as one normally does just before the alarm goes off) and glance at the clock. I roll over to go back asleep, and notice Claire bolt upright in the bed. "I'm 99 percent sure I'm in labor," she says as she notices I'm awake. She's had contractions since 5.

7:30 a.m.: Initial phone calls are made to Claire's parents. No need to come over yet. I catch our downstairs roommate, Ceres, before she's off to work. "Guess who's coming over today?" I ask. She guesses it's a mutual friend, but then gets an amusing look of surprise, concern and excitement when I put my arms together in a rocking motion.

8 a.m.: I call out from work, and Claire calls her law school dean's office to say she's not going to make her civil procedure final exam today. I tell her that it's too bad she won't have the second brain when she makes the test up.

9 a.m.: Claire's mom comes over and I make a suggestion that we go catch an early show of the new "Lord of the Rings" movie, seeing as labor is at least 3 hours, 20 minutes (the length of the movie) away. I am stared down.

10 a.m.: Phone calls are flying and Claire's dad has now come over. Contractions are about eight minutes apart. I make Claire a bowl of applesauce.

Noon: No significant change, the nurse on the phone said to come to the hospital when contractions were five minutes apart. We pick up some sandwiches from the shop on the corner, and Claire has some chicken noodle soup -- after picking the chicken out with a fork.

12:30 to 2:30 p.m.: Claire picks "X-Men 2" out from the DVD stack to pass the time. It is happily distraction.

3:15 p.m.: We leave for the hospital after sending out an e-mail alert. Battling San Francisco traffic, we get to Kaiser Hospital about 40 minutes later.

4:30 p.m.: Claire is examined and is dilated 4 cm (she needs to get to 10). Contractions are hard and heavy.

6 p.m.: Claire's dad and I get something to eat from the hospital cafeteria, then switch off with Claire's mom. Claire is well beyond the point of eating.

6:45 p.m.: The doctor says Claire has dilated another centimeter. Everything seems well, the doctor and nurses compliment us on her progress.

But then,

8:45 p.m.: Still 5 cm. Claire laments the lack of progress and the doctor decides to manually break the water bag to speed things up. The doctor thinks the baby is "sunny-side up," which means the baby is facing front, which is more painful (especially on the backside) because of the forehead position.

10:45 p.m.: I know as soon as the doctor reaches and a slight frown crosses her face. STILL 5 cm. The doctor says using drugs to speed labor may be appropriate. More contractions -- we're all getting tired.

12:01 a.m., Friday Dec. 19, 2003: It is now officially the baby's due date. Claire gets an epidural and there is a centimeter of progress. It is decided, however, that if there is not even more significant progress in the next couple of hours, we'll use the drugs.

1 a.m.: With the epidural almost completely numbing her, and with time until anything is else is going to happen, Claire is finally able to get some sleep and I am able to type up this record. (Sounds like) Pitocin· is now being used to increase the contraction strength.

2:05 a.m.: More good news. The doctor says Claire is now at 10 cm. No need to push yet, and with her back pain subsiding, Claire is able to say "I feel much better than I did a few hours ago. I don't know why I was so discouraged."

3:05 a.m.: Claire is allowed to push, so she starts.

4:05 a.m.: Still pushing.

5:05 a.m.: Still pushing. Second doctor is brought in and says that if pushing and a vacuum doesn't work after three or four contractions, we may be looking at a C-section. Claire redoubles her efforts.

5:19 a.m.: Our beautiful, if slightly ashen and slimy at the time, son comes into the world. He seems healthy -- with great color, although he is "grunting," which means he is not breathing as easily as he should. He is taken into the intermediate care nursery for observation, but doctors are optimistic his lungs will clear up within the hour.
Nothing's been the same since. Happy Birthday, Ian!

1 comment:

Claire said...

This is a really sweet post.