Friday, May 13, 2011
The birth of Charlotte Baker
My morning thus far:
5:32 a.m. — Wife nudges me. “No joke, I’m in labor.” Contractions about eight minutes apart.
5:50 a.m. — Calls to family. Had to decide what to do with our soon-to-be-eldest, as it’s “Super Sports Day” at his school.
6:15 a.m. — Claire calls Labor and Delivery at Kaiser San Francisco. “Sorry, we’re full up today.” Jaws drop. They call Kaiser in Redwood City, where space is reserved.
6:30 a.m. — More calls to family. Claire’s mom decides to drive down, sister-in-law will come to get Ian.
6:45 a.m. — Contractions getting hard and intense. Ian wakes up, come into our room and pretends he’s a cat. Claire humors him, then retreats into bathroom so he doesn’t see her in distress.
6:50 a.m. — “Where is everybody?” Claire asks. I help her downstairs. She has a hard contraction and makes me pull her around the corner so Ian can’t see.
6:55 a.m. — Auntie Vicki arrives to take Ian. She looks more worried that anyone else!
7 a.m. — Claire’s mom arrives. I yell down the hall, “Attention roommates, third time’s the charm! We’ll keep you updated!” (We had a pair of false alarms in the past couple weeks.)
7:05 a.m. — On road, southbound 280 to eastbound 380 to southbound 101. Claire wonders aloud, through gritted teeth, if we’ll make it. I make a quip about the cliché regarding police escorts.
7:25 a.m. — Blessed by easy traffic, we arrive at the hospital in Redwood City. Swell — there’s a lot of construction. I find the emergency entrance and pull up. I help Claire out of the car and, like a scene from a bad sitcom, her water breaks just as we step out. The upholstery thanks its lucky stars.
7:30 a.m. — Claire’s mom escorts her up while I park car. I wait at pedestrian light with a technician and we marvel at the number of jaywalkers in town.
7:45 a.m. — Claire is fully checked in. Nurse says, “This probably won’t take long.”
8:10 a.m. — The room is crowded. Nurses, student nurses, midwives, lab techs, anesthesiologists. It’s like a scene from a Marx Brothers movie.
8:35 a.m. — After nine months of pregnancy indicating she wanted to give birth au natural, Claire is hooked up to the epidural after a couple hours of actual pain. “Hey, I was in excruciating pain.”
8:40 a.m. — I get sweaty and light-headed thanks to a lot of stress, standing and no food. I need to sit down. Nurses temporarily turn their attention to me! (I'm fine.)
9:10 a.m. — Eight centimeters dilation. This is going faster than last time.
9:20 a.m. — Screaming, loud screaming (think Claire on "Lost") from room down hall. Not an auspicious sign. Then, like in movie, a baby's cries. "That was fast," we think. Nurse later comes in and says the woman down hall was so fast she was brought in by ambulance!
9:35 a.m. — I have time to blog. Next update will probably be after birth. Claire is doing fine.
9:50 a.m. — Things are calm. Claire has some minor objections to the text above, but a good journalist doesn't budge!
10:20 a.m. — Contractions picking back up. Not quite pushing time, but Claire thinks it'll be soon. Might have to sign off for a while. While update when able.
10:50 a.m. — Pushing for last 15 mins. All well, won't be long. Forgot how messy this was. Think I blocked it out of my memory.
11:08 a.m. — Claire nearly breaks my wrist during a contraction. Woman has a grip.
11:20 a.m. — Delivery Doctor finally arrives. Her name is "Rumble." Sadly, she wasn't introduced by Michael Buffer.
11:54 a.m. — Charlotte Kathleen Baker was born, 9/9 on the APGAR (no doubt a hint as to her future SAT scores), 20 inches even and 3840 grams (8 lbs, 7 oz). Everyone's good!
Below: Charlie's first movie. Caution, she is a tad immodest in parts.