And we meet again... you may remember me from such famous blog posts as the Live-Blog of Baby #2
or Weekend Alone with the Kids
... or maybe as SnarkyDaddy
. So here you go... the final installment of the live-blog birth extravaganza...
3:00pm - Amy arrives home from picking up her parents at the train station to inform me her water has broke. She dropped a gallon or so on the sidewalk in front of our place. It is probably frozen by now, so be careful if you're walking past our place. If you slip and fall, you can probably sue her ass. I know a good attorney.
3:10 - I'm pretty sure Amy decided to break her water today because it's Sunday and I'm watching football. So now I’m left with the ultimate of moral dilemmas – who needs my support more today – my wife who is about to give birth, or my fantasy football team. I explain to Amy that she's going to have to wait a little bit - the Saints-Redskins game is in the fourth quarter and the undefeated Saints are losing and it's really important that I see what happens. I was somewhat expecting a quick slap in the face, but forgot who I'm dealing with. Water breaking to Amy does not signal jump in the car and head to the hospital, it's simply an indication it’s time to take a shower, put on a little make-up, do up the hair – not like throw it in a pony tail – we’re talking full blow drying and flat iron. One might think she was about to get married, not delivering a baby.
3:30 - So the big question for me is whether I should just put Amy in a cab or drop her off at the hospital myself? I mean, I'm certainly not going to go to the hospital for this one. Her birthing a child is a pretty regular occurrence now. And it’s not like I go along with Amy when she gets her haircut... or her nails done... or her teeth cleaned. Those are all regular occurrences, which birthing children we can now categorize as a regular occurrence as well. So, I'm thinking taxi over driving her - I mean, first of all, its cold outside, so why should I have to deal with that? Or I guess I could compromise and drop her off at the El. That way I'm putting forth a little more effort than the cab by driving her three blocks. I will probably score some major points with her that way. Plus the El is totally environmentally friendly. So if she even thinks about complaining about it, I can just bring up global warming and what can she really say then?
3:35 - Apparently Amy doesn't even care about global warming - She wants me to drive her all the way to the hospital. Who is this person I married? I don't even know her anymore. Well, when the cute little baby Polar Bears go extinct, we all know who to blame - SnarkyMommy.
3:40 – Amy still has to flat iron her hair and she is having contractions every five minutes. I tell her to forget her hair and let’s hit the road, but she insists. At this rate, I won’t be missing any football… I’ll be delivering the baby in the living room.
4:00 - We’re finally in the car… and the contractions are getting painful. We haul ass to the hospital and as we pull up I notice the free parking spot right in front – 30 feet from the front door. That spot is never open! Never in the history of the hospital! Clearly Amy isn’t going to expect me to pay $20 to park when there is a perfectly beautiful free parking spot steps from the hospital doors. “I take it you still want to valet” I say. “YES!” Amy screams. The contractions are coming on a little quicker and more painfully than they were supposed to according to the Amy play book. But when we pull up to the hospital doors, there isn’t a valet in sight. “what do you want me to do, just leave the car parked here?” I ask. “Just park it quick” I help her from the car, put the car in reverse back down the ramp to secure the best parking spot at the hospital. Looking back on this day, I’m not sure what I’ll be happier about… the birth of our third child or parking spot I snagged.
I’m thinking the parking spot. I mean, I’ve had two babies before this… but I’ve never had a rock star parking spot like this.
4:10 - So here we are back at Illinois Masonic. If you recall the last live blog, this place has got itself a little bit of a hand washing issue, but I'll get to that in a little bit. First I have to point out that since our daughter was born Northwestern opened up itself a brand spankin new maternity hospital that is more of a five star resort than it is a baby birthing facility. Despite the fact that the hospital rooms have 24 hour room service with a big fat menu, in-room spa services, and high definition flat screen TV's with a video game system in each room, SnarkyMommy elected for this place that was last updated in 1962. A hospital room there feels more like you're staying in a room at the W hotel... except with no real privacy as people keep barging in your room every 5 minutes. Oh, and except for babies popping out all over the place.
I mean if we were there I could be playing Modern Warfare II on Xbox 360 right now and protecting the world from terrorists. Then I wouldn't have to be involved in the birthing process at all. I mean... what's more important... dropping out a kid or saving the world from terrorists? Yeah, I thought so...
4:15 – We arrive in Triage and the contractions are coming on quick and painful. She looks at me and says “I don’t know if I can do this” as she moans. I ask if there is anything as I can do and she tells me there isn’t. So I figure I need to get to blogging, so I open the laptop only to have the nurse come in and say “maybe you could talk to your wife instead of being on the computer.” This nurse clearly knows us too well already - Amy asks me the same question every day. But right now Amy actually wants me on the computer. I turn to Amy and say “do you want me to talk to you?” Amy gives me an emphatic “No!” So let’s recap… the nurse already hates me, Amy apparently doesn’t want me around… must mean it’s time to check my fantasy football scores.
4:40 – Amy is writhing in pain. The contractions are every minute and last a minute. Amy is screaming to the nurse “please, just get me the epidural”. She responds “We will, we just need to fill out some forms, do your IV, take some blood, send the blood to the lab, wait for it to get back to make sure your platelet counts are alright for anesthesia.” Amy looks at me and cries “I don’t think I’m going to make it.” The nurse immediately then turns to me and says “this is totally normal, she’s going to be fine.” I asked Amy for the hundredth time if there was anything I could do for her. She says “get me the upstairs to Delivery so I can get the epidural” At this point Amy’s screaming in pain every other minute has got everyone scurrying to get her upstairs. I do the only thing I can think of - I believe it’s the universal sign of empathy when standing next to someone in pain - I grabbed Amy’s hand so she could squeeze it.
Now I know what you’re thinking readers. You want to know how I was handling all this. And, considering I didn’t even know the score of the Cowboys-Giants game, I think I was holding up pretty well. But I have to tell you… she squeezed my hand awfully hard. It has a little throbbing in it as I type this right now. Maybe they should give me the epidural.
4:55 – We’re on our way to Delivery. The nurses push Amy and the gurney on the elevator and push the button to go up. Nothing. She pushes it again… nothing. Amy is screaming in pain. I am giving the nurses evil looks. The nurse screams out to another nurse for some special key to allow us to get to the right floor. The elevator finally moves… down instead of up.
5:15 – The anesthesiologist is in the delivery room within 10 minutes. For something that at one point seemed like might take another hour, comes surprisingly quickly. Amy has continued to scream in pain every time a contraction comes… which is like every other minute. They ask me to leave so the epidural procedure can be performed. They didn’t have to twist my arm too much… I leave for the calmness of the waiting room.
5:45 – I return to the room and Amy is a new woman. She is relaxed and joking. Oh, Mr. Epidural, how we love you so!
6:00 – So the epidural appears to have relaxed Amy a little too much… 30 minutes ago she was screaming in pain and now she is lying to the doctors and nurses. She is filling out some paperwork to donate here cord blood and came to the questions "Have you traded goods, services, or cash for sex in the past five years?" She had the audacity to answer "no". Apparently she is in some serious denial. Last year there was this expensive pair of shoes she really wanted and she asked me if I would buy them for her. I told her sure, if she did something for me first.... yada, yada, yada... she had herself the shoes.
And yes, I did yada the best part.
If that wasn't goods for sex transaction, I don't know what is.
6:30 – So not anything exciting to report. The epidural is doing its thing. Amy is reading a book. The contractions continue every minute or two. They haven’t checked her dilation since we were in Triage when she was 4 centimeters.
So to get back to this hospital and its hand washing - they not only have themselves a serious hand washing issue here but they have chosen to share that with the world. To set this up, here is what I happened during the birthing of baby #2
two years ago:
"Get this. While I was waiting in the hall there is this bulletin board with a chart titled “Hand washing Hygiene” and this hospital is at a whopping 40% with a goal of 60%. Three thoughts come to mind after seeing this: 1) There are some people with some dirty-ass hands at this hospital 2)Their goal was 60% - what 70% would have been asking too much?. 3) They chose to make this information public? 4) How do they collect this information - are there hidden cameras in the bathroom? Ok, so 4 thoughts come to mind, not 3... I got a little aggressive."
And so here I am - I have returned to the scene of the crime. So the burning question in everybody's mind has to be... did they do it? Did they wise up and remove these embarrassing stats from the hallway?
6:45 – Amy’s hair was not forgotten before we left the house, but our camera and video camera were. As I leave the delivery room to meet my Mom in the waiting room to get the cameras, I stop in the hall to see if there is an update to the hand washing saga. Sure enough, it’s up in the hall for everyone to enjoy.
And good news, they are up to 75%! That is quite an improvement over 40%.
Last time I was kind of hoping the baby would miss the doctor’s hands and fall to the floor – as the floor was almost certain to be cleaner than the doctor’s hands. But this time – the odds are in my favor – there is a decent shot his hands will be clean.
7:15 – Amy is feeling some pressure and tells the nurse she feels like it’s time and the nurse doesn’t believer her. Amy informs the nurse she had better get the doctor. The doctor on call comes in to inform Amy that her regular doctor is on her way from home to deliver the baby, and Amy shouldn’t push until she is there. Amy says “It feels like the baby is there, you’d better check”. Sure enough, we have ourselves a head. Furthermore, without Amy pushing at all the baby is making its way out. The nurse and doctor scramble to get everything ready.
7:22 - Five minutes later, without a single push from Amy, out pops Maeven Anne. She’ll go by Maeve. Weighing in at 7 lbs. 9 oz. and 20 inches long. I have to tell you, she’s a gorgeous baby and she was worth every ounce of pain I went through to get her out. And worth the pain Amy went through as well I’d, although it is difficult to really know which of us had a more grueling time.
Well there you have it folks. In all honesty, this proves once again that my wife is absolutely AMAZING. After witnessing the pain that Amy was going through, all I know is if it was me pushing out babies we would have exactly ZERO children… I could never have dealt with pain like that. I could barely deal with her having pain like that. And I have to say, Amy retains her MILF status after baby #3. The best friend a guy could have for a wife and now three beautiful kids… I am officially the luckiest guy in the world.
Maeve, as Jack and Emmie can attest, you have a superstar for a Mom. You are in great hands. Now, if only your Dad can get his act together.
Labels: Birth, Live Blog, Maeve, Pregnancy