Lyla Carole Snyder - due 11/30/06, born 11/29/06 at 10:38 PM
My wife calls me at about 12:30 in the afternoon on Wednesday 11/29. She tells me she's feeling a bit different than before, but nothing too major. This will be our 3rd baby and Wife has never gone into labor without a bit of help, so we don't necessarily know what to expect. Wife has a history of quick labors though, so we are on alert to anything that could be a signal. In fact she had gone in to get checked out 2 weeks earlier, because she was feeling rather strong contractions. I guess they were only Braxton Hicks contractions. So anyway, Wife's cousin, an anethesiologist (sp?) is with her when she calls me this time. Cousin sees a lot of births and labor and what not. Cousin helps Wife decide it's not time yet. We hang up and I am kinda at the ready, so trying to wrap [censored] up at work.
Wife calls again at 2:45, she's on her way (with Cousin) to the hospital. I close my stuff down, fold up shop and head out to meet them there. I arrive and meet up with them in the Delivery Room at 3:30. For the first time, I'm nervous. I mean really nervous. I wasn't nervous at all with the earlier two kids. I wasn't nervous at all for the past nine months. Now I'm real nervous. Some of you might have read about how I had been feeling about things in general (tradgedy abounding). I am guessing I was still feeling it.
So it's 3:30 and things are going pretty slowly. Wife is definitely in labor, but not mega bad yet. Baby's heart beat is lower than nurses like to see it, so they constantly monitor it. My wife is a "cup is half empty" type a lot of the time, so hearing that the baby's heartrate is slightly low is more like hearing "There's a reasonable chance they baby is in distress and there will be problems." Not good for the situation. Nurse assigned to us has only been in Labor and Delivery for about 8 weeks, so I don't think she knows when to tread lightly. Anyway, they monitor Wife and Baby continuously - so no big deal. I've learned from the previous, if there is a problem, the staff makes you know it pretty quickly. They are not in the business of [censored] around with that kind of thing. So you first timers just realize, if there is something to worry about, the Staff will let you know by word and/or action (foreshadowing here).
Around 7:00, Cousin convinces Wife to spend time in the shower. Each delivery room has a nice sized shower. So Wife strips and sits down on the birthing ball (recommend this) in the shower, while I sit next to her (clothed) and rub her lower back as contractions hit. I start getting soaked, so I take my pants, shoes and socks off. So there we are:
Wife: Naked, big tummy, sitting on a ball holding a shower hose.
Me: Skivvies, sitting on a stool, rubbing Wife's back every now and then.
We stayed there for about an hour and a half. From time to time the nurse would come in to check on us. I wondered if she was uncomfortable with me being skivvied, cuz she had to get down on her knees right next to me to put the baby monitor on Wife and all. Nurse had to do this 3 times during the shower scene. And Yes I thought of this thread while all this was going on
and got a little tingly (lead to a personal session a few days later).
Anyway - the shower lasted until about 8:30, by that point Wife was so relaxed by the shower that we were now afraid things had slowed down! Not what she wanted. So shower ended.
Once out of the shower and back on the bed, things ramped up quickly. Over the next hour and a half the contractions got real intense. Wife had not taken any drugs with first two kids, and did not take any now. Not a macho thing, she was just too fast the first couple times and some reason paranoid of the needle this time. So there was a lot of pain for Wife. I sat astride her on the bed and pressed hard on her lower back as the contractions went. Cousin sat in front of her on the bed and Wife leaned forward and put her head on Cousin's shoulder and rode out the pain.
This went on until about 10:00. At that point, the Mid-wife checked Wife's cervix. Wife is now 9cms and about fully effaced (sp?). Water still not broken and baby not dropping down to the canal as far as we'd like. Mid-wife suggests breaking water to get things going. Wife says, "Okay, but you'll stay here right?" Mid-wife: "I have a patient 3 doors down, she is well behind you, but very "needy". I'll be back and forth between you two, but you get priority, cuz you are closer." Wife: "Okay, let's do it." For those who don't know, breaking the water basically tells the kid: No time to chat, time to head out.
Things get going pretty quick now.
10:20 - Wife is in real active labor, urges to push getting very strong. Mid-wife steps in: "Well, other patient is now active too. It's gonna be close between you two." Me thinks: "[censored] wonderful." Nurse now has and elder partner in with us. Elder is running the show, while Mid-wife is in with Other.
10:25 - Baby still up. Elder suggests Wife turn around and face the bed. The head of the bed is up. So Wife would be on her knees, arms/head resting on the end of the bed. Wife had success with this with Kid #2, so agrees to it.
10:30 - Position switch worked. Baby now putting tons of pressure on Wife. Wife gets urge to push. Elder says: "Hold on! You need to turn around and face us." There is a bar over the end of the bed now, so wife can duplicate this position while being face out, so staff can get to her. No sign of Mid-wife. Elder tells Nurse to go find Mid-wife, cuz we are ready to go!
10:31 - Mom is switched to face out. Baby real low now. No Mid-wife. Me pissed and anxious.
10:35 - Mom can't hold back anymore. No Mid-wife. Elder says, "Can't hold off any more. Let's get teh baby out."
10:36 - Mom makes first push. I can see baby's crown.
10:37 - Baby head out. But oh [censored], the cord is wrapped. I can see it. I am cool, cuz I am ignorant to what it could mean. Standard stuff, right? Still no Mid-Wife. Elder running things. Elder, "Don't push. No matter what, don't push." Elder turns to the table full of tools. Fumbles around for what seems like a minute (prolly 3 seconds). Mid-wife now running in. Elder grabs the tools. Puts two clamps on umbilcal cord. Snips the cord. Now baby has to come out real quick. Elder: "Wife we need you to lay back now." (try to visualize wife on knees, just going straight back without adjusting her leg position. personally, i don't bend that way). Mid-wife gets aside of Elder. Mid-wife: "Cousin and Dad! Pull her legs out straight!" Done.
10:38 - Mid-wife and Elder literally pulling the baby out by the head and shoulders. Baby out. Lyla born.
I breath huge sigh of relief momentarily, then I see Lyla being held up by Mid-Wife. Lyla is purple from head to toe. Like nothing I have ever seen before. I am sure I was just staring at her wide-eyed. Mid-wife wraps Lyla up and hands her to Wife to hold. Craziness settles down.
A few minutes later I get to hold her. I realize what I just saw and begin to cry. Visualizing her purple body, knowing what was at stake, I couldn't hold back. I was retro-scared or something. For days afterward, any time I would hold her and think of her purple body, I would choke up.
Kids are precious.