Monday, April 16, 2012

A Considerate Child

New photo slideshow if you click the link Sibling Love: Peter is a Week!

Warning: there are explicit details of labor and delivery beyond the first paragraph.  For men or those of weak stomach (or who just think it's TMI), the first paragraph is the short version, sans gory detail.

Holy Saturday I began contractions at 4:20 pm and Peter was born at 7:02 pm at Hillsdale Hospital, delivered by Dr. Bediako and attending nurses Amy and Aimee.  It was a short labor, but fairly difficult.  Mother and baby are healthy and well. :)

Long version:

I was due on Easter, so I decided that we should invite everyone to come have Easter dinner with us in Hillsdale.  With the chances of actually having your baby on your due date, I figured most all of the scenarios would be fine.  1) The baby would come early, and we'd be home to celebrate with family (and they'd feel bad for us and bring most of the meal).  2) The baby would come right on time and everyone would enjoy each others company and then come see us in the hospital.  3) The baby would be overdue, and I would be at Easter with my family, very pregnant (they would take pity on me and bring most of the meal).  So you see, in all three of these scenarios (scenarii?) I would get to see my family and have a delicious Easter feast.  I really was thinking.

My parents were planning on coming the Thursday before Easter if the baby was born before then or the Thursday after Easter if he wasn't.  It sounds complicated because my dad had just started a new job, and he only had off Friday-Monday.   After finding out at my doctor's appointment on Tuesday that I was already 4cm dilated, however, they decided to take the risk and come out the Thursday before Easter regardless.  I had high hopes that the baby would be born before Sunday night so that my dad would be able to meet him or her before he had to leave (and not see him or her until summer).  Ideally, they would arrive and be here to watch the kids while we left and had the baby.  Perfect world.  And then, of course, my mom would be here to direct the masterful Easter feast that would be prepared with or without me in my own kitchen. :)

They arrived Thursday night.  We chatted away, made some plans and went to bed.

Good Friday, no action.  We went to mass together, and I really thought that all of the up-down during prayers might make me go into labor, but alas, it didn't.  By the way, Cate and Dominic were perfect during this.  Angels were watching over us.  Then we came home and dad went to work on setting up my garden--tilling up the soil and fencing it in--while mom and I shopped for Easter.  Then we took the kids to the park.

Holy Saturday we tinkered around, chatting and eating and preparing.  All the while, we made plans for long Easter Vigil and things for Easter.  We went for another long walk, hoping to induce labor.  I think my dad was sad that he wouldn't get to see the baby, and I was sad that there wasn't a thing I could do about it.  Sigh.  At least we could enjoy Easter Vigil all together and then have a lovely Easter meal, complete with lots of desserts (because I gave up desserts for Lent this was an especially exciting prospect).

Dad and I went to Gelzer's Hardware store to pick up a few supplies to fix the rusted-out  railing and the garage door that sounds like a hot tub is turning on in the living room whenever you open or shut it.    While there, I began having fairly strong contractions, but I kept the news to myself, thinking that they would probably peter out (no pun intended), and I'd better not get anyone's hopes up.  Home we went.  Contractions continued so I began to time them - four minutes apart, 45-60 seconds each, fairly strong.  I told Matt.  Then after 4 more contractions, I called the hospital.  After discovering at my routine ob. appointment on Tuesday that I was already 4cm, and knowing that my last labor and delivery with Cate were under 1 1/2 hours, the ob. had warned me specifically not to dilly dally in getting the the hospital. So they told us to come in and we arrived at 4:50, just 30 minutes after contractions started.  I was only 5 cm dilated, but definitely in labor.  After all paperwork was done and my ob arrived, they broke my water.  It was probably about 6pm.  Contractions picked up significantly in intensity and by 6:40 I was 10 cm and ready to push.  After the worst, most intense pain of my life, Matt told me "It's a BOY!" and I wanted to collapse when they handed me my beautiful Peter Ambrose at 7:02pm.  I couldn't believe that such a perfectly formed, even if a little slimy, baby had been in my womb just minutes before.  No wonder I felt like I had a giant ball in front of me, he must have been really curled up!  7 lbs 8 oz.  21 1/4" long.

Unlike Cate, Peter did not come out "like a bar of wet soap" (doctor's words).  He had a firm, round head and was more stubborn about coming out.  It ended up in some tearing and stitching and a most agonizing afterbirth.  They said something about waiting for the placenta to naturally separate so there was less bleeding?  But the contractions during the afterbirth were as intense as during transition and I was simply not ready for them to be that strong.  They weren't with the other labors.  But, if I've learned anything, just as no two children are the same, no two pregnancies or labors are the same.

I would describe the labor as "fast and furious".  Those 2 hours and 40 minutes fit a lot of pain into them.  I can't really compare it to a long labor, maybe that's the same intensity of pain, just longer.   But I am not eager to repeat it anytime soon.  Though obviously it was worth it, and I would do it again to have Peter.  And he was considerate to have come while my dad was still here.

Peter was as fit as a fiddle, albeit rather sleepy, and I was doing well, despite the fast "trauma".  After a bit of coaxing, the ob and pediatrician signed off on letting us come home early so that we could be home for Easter dinner with the family.  Matt went home early to take Dominic and Cate to Easter mass and then came back to bring us home.  After just 17 hours, we were home with our tiny new bundle just in time to enjoy the feast that had been prepared.  Ham, scalloped potatoes, salad, asparagus, rolls, deviled eggs (none for me) and for dessert, chocolate cream pie, strawberry cheesecake, Easter cookies, and chocolate covered oreos, all washed down with chilled white wine in the company of my mom and dad, oldest brother and his family and Matt's brother and his family.  It was a fine, fine Easter.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Peter Ambrose: the First 72 Hours

At the hospital April 7th, 2012

At home: April 8th-10th