Thursday, August 24, 2006

Rise of The (S)Thinker!

It’s been a busy couple of weeks.

The due date for our daughter was the middle of September. A couple of Wednesdays ago, on the 9th, we were watching Prison Break on the Tivo when the wife goes to use the restroom. She comes out shaken and crying—there’s blood, a lot of it, and it’s bright, bright red. In our birth classes they said that this was a very bad sign, and both of our minds leapt immediately to the worst-case scenario.

I called our OBGYN’s office and got the answering service. She helpfully told me she’d message the doctor on-call, but that she might not be able to get back to us for up to 20 minutes.

“Um….shouldn’t we be going to the hospital instead of waiting by the phone?”
“Sir, I’m not a doctor. I can’t tell you that.”

I’m not a doctor either, but I’ve watched every episode of House, and there was no way I was waiting 20 minutes. Happily, it only took 30 seconds, and the doctor agreed—get to the hospital.

I calmly ran every red light and broke the speed limit in four different jurisdictions, and we got to the emergency room at about 9:30. Emergency rooms are an interesting place. Anybody in an emergency room has a story to tell, even the drug addicts. Heck, the addicts might have the best stories. After a wait they took us up to the neonatal unit, took a look, and sure enough—her water had broken, 5 or 6 weeks early, and she was not dilated at all. Too early to deliver, so they told my wife that she could be looking at up to two weeks of bed rest.

And that’s what we did on Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Happily they hooked me up with the wireless internet connection, so I did lots of ego surfing, game playing, and browsing through YouTube. Sunday a different doctor from the practice that our midwife works out of came in, read her chart, shrugs, and says, “I think you’re ready enough—we’re going to start inducing you, and you should have the baby tomorrow.”

She and I were both stunned. Our midwife, the resident, and the nurses had all been saying at least one more week, possibly two more weeks, and now we were looking at having the kid the very next day. I paced. She cried. The nurse came in and started her on a drug called Pitocin, which is used to begin contractions. “They’ll be very light tonight!” she said. “You should be able to sleep through the contractions!” she said.

Neither one of us slept through her contractions. The dads get a nice vinyl couch to sleep on, so while I chafed against that she grunted her way through the night. The next morning they upped the dose and made the contractions that much harder, so we tried our breathing exercises!

Him: “In 2 3 4, out 2 3 4! Great job, honey!”


Him: “Well, that’s one contraction closer to the end, right?”

Her: “SHUT……….UP……….”

She didn’t really want to do the epidural—she’s got a thing about needles—but I talked her in to it. She loved, loved, loved, the epi. I could look on the graph and see the contractions coming and going….

“Golly! That was a big one! How do you feel, baby?”

(dreamy look in her eye) “Did I have a contraction? Oh….gee…..”

I liked her a lot more after the epidural, too.

Finally, she fully dilated to ten and it was go time. My intent during the actual delivery was to sit off to the side and be a cheerleader, but a few pushes in the nurse tells me to come over and hold my wife’s leg up. This gave me the full view, which is unforgettable, but I’m glad I did it. And then, at 1:25 in the afternoon, I became a daddy! They had to take her up to the neonatal intensive care unit for a couple of days because she was having trouble regulating her temperature, but we were able to bring her home last Thursday.

So now I’m a family man. I know I’m going to have to work hard on the balance piece, because I’ve been so into my work the last couple of years, but it’ll all come together. Maybe this year I don’t lead the book study, coordinate Read Naturally, and do 5 different after-school clubs.

Life is good. It was already good, but now it’s better. Welcome to the world, daughter!

Pictures to follow when I find a good hosting service.


Blogger The Science Goddess said...


6:11 PM  
Blogger Kim said...


6:18 AM  
Blogger Michelle said...

I'm so glad that everything turned out well--congrats!

Try photobucket. I love it.

7:34 PM  
Blogger "Ms. Cornelius" said...

I am so happy for you! Talking her into the epidural was probably the greatest thing you could do for her-- besides NOT sitting off to the side during the Moment of Truth.

Felicitations! Joy! Hurrah!

10:08 PM  
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5:06 AM  
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8:18 AM  

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