It always seems that, no matter how prepared you think you are, when the time comes it’s always an adventure.
Last week Amy went to her doctor for standard checks to see how the pregnancy was progressing. Both she and the baby got a clean bill of health. They did note that during the check that even though there was no labor at the time, Amy was already over 5 cm dilated. This is pretty much standard fare for Amy. Before Daniel was born, she walked around over 6cm for more than 2 weeks. I had already decided (and Amy will back me up on this one) that our delivery date was going to be the 11th of March, and at this time, all the signs were backing me up. The next checkup was scheduled for the 10th.
A week goes by and the appointment arrives. As expected by us, but not the doctors, Amy’s still pregnant.
A quick check, and everybody is still healthy. Amy’s still about 6cm, so they decide to do a process called “stripping the membranes”. What usually happens in this process is it kicks of labor within 24 hours. Amy almost immediately starts to experience “cramps”.
I need to preface this with a little bit of history. During our pregnancy with Daniel, Amy’s water broke and we made it all the way to the hospital before contractions set in. Both times, she’s elected for the epidural, and so with Daniel she never had anything that she could definitively define as a “contraction”.
So, back to present day. Amy’s started to experience “cramps” almost immediately after the membrane stripping. She still elects to go to work, and finish getting things ready to go for her absence. Finally, around noon she leaves for the day. The “cramps” are getting worse. I think that we should probably go get Daniel from Daycare, drop him off with his Grandparents so that we’re free to go to the hospital when the time comes. Amy doesn’t think it’s that bad, and thinks that she can make it till the morning before the baby will be born.
We get Daniel fed and when he’s in the bath, Amy starts to time the cramps. I think at this point we’d both decided that they weren’t “cramps”, but actual contractions. By 8:30 when we finally got Daniel to bed the contractions are lasting about 30 seconds, and are coming about every 8 to 10 minutes. We decide to relax a little bit, so we watch a little bit of TV and try to keep things low stress.
By 11:00, we’ve both come to the realization that this baby isn’t going to wait until morning. We grab all of our bags, and load them into the car. We call Amy’s parents to give them a heads up that we’re about to drop Daniel off because we’re on the way to the hospital. We get to their house about midnight, and get all of Daniel’s stuff (including Daniel) offloaded and setup. We don’t waste a lot of time here because Amy’s really starting to feel the contractions. Casual timing with the car clock and how often she squeezes my hand put the at every 4 to 5 minutes, and lasting about a minute each.
Reaching the hospital from Amy’s folks place takes about 20-25 minutes, and puts us at the hospital about 30 minutes after midnight. We get checked in and they take us back to the “Triage” room where they ask us all the pertinent questions for a new admittance. They do a quick check to see how far along she is, and find that she’s already at 9cm with the head in the +1 position. What that means is, the baby is already started on his way out.
This is about the time that the nurses all start running. This baby is on his way, and he’s not waiting for us to get our stuff together.
It’s a mad dash at this point to get the medications that Amy needs and the fluids going before she can get her epidural. They get the IV fluids in, and finally get the epidiural in place, much to Amy’s relief.
They don’t wait any more.
The doctor comes in the room, and the pushing starts. After the second push, you can already see the hair on his head. The nurses and doctor has her pushing in sets of 3 per contraction. On the forth contraction, they have her do a forth push, and out he comes. Jared Robert Stone enters the world. The time is 1:52 AM. We’d been at the hospital for less than an hour and a half.
He’s 8 lbs 0 oz, and is 18 3/4 inches tall. He’s surprisingly calm considering how kicky and squirmy he was all day that day. He latched on for a little bit of feeding almost right away, and then seemed content to rest for a while.
Right now, mother and son are both doing very well.