23 January 2016

A Different Kind of Friday Night Dinner

I'm beyond happy to tell you that baby Five has arrived.  He was nearly a week late and after putting his mom through four days of progressive labor, he arrived at a fighting weight of 9 lbs 6 oz and 20.4 inches tall.  His hands and feet are ginormous and he looks just like his daddy.

His mama is doing great and happy to be home.  She so impressed me with her strength and grace.  The girl made hardly any noise during labor.  Not a curse word, not a scream, not even a complaint.   She had 30 minutes hard labor and ended the evening like she didn't just birth a giant baby.  It was as if she'd merely had an unpleasant dental experience.

At one point, She mentioned that it was too quiet.  I asked her if she wanted some music but a contraction hit so she couldn't answer.  After the contraction ended, Nephew asked her "How about some Skrillex?" then proceeded to "Cats.Boots.Cats.Boots.Cats.Boots" beat box.  We were cracking up laughing.  This is an example of how the evening went.

My nephew stood in it the whole way, he never wavered.  I was so proud of him, I could burst.  He didn't get grossed out (his words), he helped her when she needed it and more importantly, gave her space when she wanted it.  He made jokes that made everyone laugh.unfortunately extensive knowledge of hospital rooms and stays, he knew what to do to make her comfortable before she even really knew she needed it.  He adjusted her IV, he knew how to pack her pillows around her, and knew how to read the monitors.  He knew how to ask things from the nurses and doctors without seeming like the demanding, overbearing husband.

So, details.  She had been partially dilated, fully effaced, and having contractions the whole week.  Finally at 4:00 they went to the hospital when contractions were consistently five minutes apart.  The family arrived over the next hour and by 5:30, things were getting real.

However, her water wouldn't break.  All the other things were happening but her water wouldn't let go.  They did it for her and let her progress.  Then her cervix would only open fully on one side.  So, with the threat of pitocin lingering, they put her in a few different poses to help facilitate the process and told us that after an hour they would have to intervene. 

Right as we were nearing the one hour mark, I went out of the room for a moment.  The nurse asked how she was doing and I told her that her contractions were pretty consistent but that you wouldn't know it because you would think she was just resting.  The nurse said she would check on her again in a few minutes.

When I returned, the nurse came in and checked her.  (this is where I state the obvious: there is no such thing as dignity in the hospital, specifically during childbirth)  We watched as the nurse reached in and suddenly her eyes grew wide.  "Oh, there's the babys head!"

Suddenly there was a group of people in the room.  The baby had earlier pooed in the birth canal so they had the trauma birth team there just in case. Thirty minutes later, he was laying on his mama's chest, sucking his thumb, and looking at us like "Who the hell are you people?"

We loved the birthing team.  I don't know if  they are just quiet as a group or if they followed her lead but they were so quiet.  No raised voices, no sense of urgency, just encouragement.  They even commented about how strong she was during hard labor. 

Now, the fun stuff.  The boys weren't in the room at all.  Kevin, his brother and dad all waited out in the waiting room.  The kids were at their bio dads.  Her mom is in jail (I  think I told you that story?  in jail for the next eight years) so it was all of nephews family: his mom, his grandma (Kevin's mom), his sister, and me.  Her sister was on her way but things were happening so fast, it looked like she was going to miss it.

It turns out that she arrived on nearly the last push.  The nurse asked if she was allowed in and Niece was all "Sure, why not?" in between pushing.   I watched the sister come in, see the goings on, hesitate with goggled eyes, then with determination walk all the way into the room.  Unfortunately, the only space left was nearly head on with the delivery so we had a good giggle at that.  

Kevin's mom knew what was happening, of course, but she kept kind of losing the thread of events.  My sister-in-law gave her the tablet to play Candy Crush.  My hand to god, she sat not six feet away with a straight-on view of the birth and played Candy Crush.  Occasionally she would look up then return to her game.  At one point, she just said "Oh, he will be out with the next push" without hardly pausing her game. 

I texted Kevin a photo:
The other mother related story was right as things were starting to progress, my mother-in-laws cell phone rang.  She never has her ringer set below SHOUT and it's been a thing.  My sister-in-law snagged it out of her hands with ninja-like reflexes and shut if off.  Then she firmly put it down next to her and said "No." as if speaking to a small child.  Sister repeated "No." when she protested while the rest of us tried to hide our laughter.

I loved the maternity nurse too.  She put Nephew and I to work taking care of both his wife and the baby.  We helped bathe him, dress him, hold him while they did his bracelets, shots, and tests. Like his parents, he's the most chill baby.  He fussed a bit with his shots and he protested during the bath but he was otherwise just a happy baby.  I just so appreciated her kindness and the being given the opportunity to be hands on with him the first few minutes of his life. 

It will be one of my favorite memories watching Nephew care for his wife after delivery.  They were in their own little world and for once in my life, it was a Hallmark Channel moment to behold.  He helped clean her up like it wasn't gross, making self-deprecating jokes the whole time.  I actually heard him joke "It's like a crime scene, he murdered your vagina."  This made me laugh but I watched the nurses look at him in disbelief.  They laughed too, eventually.

There was no plan for all of us to be in the delivery room, specifically me.  I had planned on waiting outside, knowing it was going to be a quick delivery.  (she had C2 in the car on the way to the hospital)  But things did progress gradually that I was in the middle of it before I even realized what was happening.

And I wouldn't change a moment.  Because I didn't have children and I wasn't a part of any other the other births, my only frame of reference was high school biology and my Greys Anatomy medical degree.  While it wasn't angel singing, ethereal wonderfulness nor was it the melodramatic screaming and grossness.  It was fantastic and amazing.  One moment there wasn't a baby and the next there was.

Welcome to the wold little man.


Chrissy Coonradt said...

I love LOVE birth stories. My second daughter was born on a hardwood staircase. But the real reason I'm commenting is that you look EXACTLY like my mother. I feel the need to prove this to you. What is your email address? I probably have a profile photo of my mom with a newborn just like this photo. Incredible.

Surely said...

Sure, they say everyone has at least one doppleganger in the world. :) Now I'm curious

kellwynn at hotmail dot com