January 23, 2007
Coaching My Champ
So we wouldn’t forget, Becky and I both decided to write about our time at the hospital when our family of two became a family of three.
We arrived at the hospital at 1:30 p.m. We found out she was dilated at 5-6 cm. The resident doctor asked if Becky wanted the epidural, and Becky said softly, “Yes.” I followed immediately after with a prominent “YES,” revealing my need to protect my love from pain. The doctor saw that our message was clear and said that there was a line up for the epidurals, but it wouldn’t be long.
I got the odd chuckle from doctors and nurses when they saw that I always had my pocket watch in hand, timing contractions, how far they were apart, and how many there were in the last hour. But they didn’t seem to mind when I had all the information about Becky’s record of contractions over the last hour, afternoon, day, or the last couple of days.
At 4pm I began to worry how long it would take for Becky to get her epidural. She could be dilating faster than the epidural line was moving and I wouldn’t be able to do anything about it! So I went to find the nurses to communicate my concerns. I know they caught the urgency in my voice but I don’t know if that was the reason they bumped Becky up in the line. Either way I was glad to see that they finally took us up to the delivery room for Becky’s epidural at 5 p.m.
But then, as some of you may have read in Becky’s post, we waited up to an hour everytime (4 times!) after postponements of the epidural. Becky’s first nurse (who stayed the most with Becky) said, “You are, undeniably, the best patient I’ve ever had… and I’m talking about the best out of my good patients.” Becky was awesome. She was an athelete while she worked through her contractions, dilating up to 7 cm.
Finally, the epidural was in, which was another pain hurdle for Becky. The aneasthesiologist was pretty impressed with her too. Not long after, Becky said, “Oooo, this feels nice.” Then we joked about her becoming addicted, or at least — highly recommending the drug to others. With the pain gone, we waited and watched as the moniter revealed a declining blood pressure number.
After her water was broke by another resident doctor, Becky was also given some natural hormones to help things along. Eventually, she was fully dilated at 10 cm but still waiting for the baby to move down from a “-1 position”. While we waited, we enjoyed listening to music and watching the monitor spit out rolls of paper revealing a record of her contractions.
At 5:20 a.m. our doctor, with the resident doctor, were prepared to help Becky with her delivery. I so badly wanted to cry while Becky was experiencing the pain of getting Emma out into the world. But she needed a strong, stable partner. She needed a familiar, secure voice beside her. I found this out fast after about the third time of running back and forth from the sink to cool off the damp cloth to wipe her face and forehead. She started pushing early (due to an early contraction) and I was a second or two late for the count. She said, with a sound of desparation in her voice, “You’re not counting!” I never missed a beat after that.
Aside from Becky’s pushing and my counting, crazy Becky found a moment or two to provide a source of comic relief for everyone in the room by commenting on the need to hear that she had been making MORE progress than “a little,” and asked to put the baby back in her pre-labor position. That’s my wife. No wonder why I fell in love with her.
Somewhere in the middle of Becky’s 80 minute labor we also shared an “I love you” between one of the contractions/pushing that reminded us both of the “us” that has been there since two years ago. I kept running my fingers through her hair (the way she likes) and reminded her of how strong she is. Then our doctor grabbed my attention, pointing out that my baby’s head was showing!
I could actually see the great progress Becky was making with her pushes and consoled her with this knowledge through the following contractions. For the last bit Becky was told to make short pushes so she wouldn’t hurt herself more than she needed to. Our talented doctor was truly on top of things. She quickly moved the umbilical cord that was wrapped around the baby’s neck and gently held/helped the baby while Becky pushed our child out.
“IT’S A GIRL!” said our doctor. We were so happy. Becky said, “I wanted a girl!” Then we went on and on about how beautiful she was while tears fell from our eyes. The resident doctor asked if I’d like to do the ceremonial cutting of the umbilical cord. I confidently said, “Yes” and after, the baby was wisked away to be washed by the nurse and checked by our doctor. It wasn’t long and our baby girl, our Emma, was in our arms stealing our hearts.
Becky and I are so happy. This experience of bringing Emma into the world has brought her and I even closer together than we were before.