Last Friday night\Saturday morning my finances water broke. Our original plan was to take our time getting to the hospital but were told to come right in if the water broke. I got the bag I packed just incase, grabbed our dog and loaded up into the car. Put a a couple of bags on the passenger seat…because, baby or not, I have to protect the interior! We stopped at her parents house and dropped our dog off and then we were on our way! 2 weeks before this, we had the baby shower, a week before, we moved to a new place and now as if it was planned, he was on his way.
As I said, we just moved. We decided to move closer to my finances parents. Problem being her OBGYN and hospital was closer to our old place…which was about 45 minutes away WITHOUT traffic. Luckily, we didn’t encounter traffic as it was after 12:00 am! We did however encounter a police helicopter flying low over the freeway with it’s search light on. I would later find out there was a car chase going on a few miles away at the time.
When we got the hospital, they took her right away to a room with a bed and hooked her up to a bunch of monitors. The nurse also tried to hook her up for an IV…she showed them the massive bruise on one of her arms from the last time someone in that hospital attempted to put in an IV (which was 2 weeks prior, she went to her OBGYN and had high blood pressure, we were sent to the hospital as precautionary measure..she was put on bed rest and the blood pressure normalized…it was just good old fashioned work related stress!). When the nurse came back she informed us that her OBGYN was on vacation and the on-call Doctor would come see her when she’s closer to giving birth. In the movie Knocked Up..that was a big deal. We didn’t really care. My fiance really liked her Dr. but as long as baby arrived and was healthy..who cares who’s there on the day.
What we didn’t quite anticipate was just how long she would be in labor. From the moment her water broke to our little son being born was just short of 26 hours. As you could image, the water breaking at midnight means that we had only just gone to bed to get some sleep. Neither of us had slept yet.
Over here in the US, as long as the babies and moms vital signs are good, they will keep waiting. My fiance wanted to do a natural birth but after about 20 hours with no sleep, she gave in and asked for the epidural….as crazy as it sounds, after 20 hours they said no because she was still only a 3 (3cm dilated).
2 hours later she begged for the epidural and told the nurse that she couldn’t do it any more, she would take a cesarean. The nurse got combative and said “Why?, the contractions are not even registering on the monitor. It’s too soon, the epidural wears off after 16 hours. You can’t get the epi until it’s safe and we know it won’t wear off”…anyways, I think to just appease her, she checked her cervix again and said it’s a 3 OR a 4…my fiance got upset and said “I’m not making any progress?”…the nurse reassured her “Oh no, it’s a 4, it’s a 4. I’ll call the Dr. and ask if we can get you the epidural”
Anyways, by the time the Dr. approved her to get the epidural, she had been in labor for almost 25 hours. She kept telling them she was feeling a lot of pain and a lot of pressure but the machine for measuring contractions barely moved from an 8-10. (for frequency). Finally they get the approval for the epidural but say it will take an hour to prep and get the anesthesiologist. At this point, another nurse comes in with the combative nurse…my fiance again spoke about feeling a lot of pressure. The new nurse says is the babies head low? Combative nurse says “it’s not that low”. They decide to re-position the monitors on her stomach. All of a sudden the line for contractions became very erratic. They go down to check her cervix again, they don’t even put a finger in and say “Ok, it’s time”
At this point it’s 01:15am. I had just told her parents about an hour before that, that it looked like baby won’t arrive for a long time. That the nurses were saying she was still only 3cm and the contractions weren’t being measured on the monitors. Now we found ourselves in the position that he was coming and she didn’t have any pain relief. She hadn’t slept and she was getting pissed off.
I didn’t really want to watch the birth but it happened so suddenly that the nurses asked for my help to get her legs into position and to help pull them up to her chest when she was pushing. But possibly the worst thing about the entire process was; because it was so sudden the Dr. wasn’t there. It just so happened that it was a full moon (apparently women go into labor at a high rate when there’s a full moon) so the Dr. was in the hospital for another birth…my fiance kept saying that she had to push. The nurses kept telling her she couldn’t she had to wait. They kept telling her to “blow out candles on a birthday cake”…which pissed her off even more! The Dr. got in just in time…She pushed maybe 4 or 5 times and he was out. She barely made a noise until the last push when she gave an almighty scream.
Baby came out and didn’t make a peep. In fact, I was the only one crying in the room. I was worried by mammy’s reaction, or lack of reaction at the time but have since realized mother mode kicked in and she was engrossed with watching him and what they were doing to him. Over here, they no longer wash the baby right away. So, they wiped him down with a towel and gave me some clamps to cut the chord with. The color came rushing into him and he was put on mom’s chest.
I’m not an emotional person but I felt overwhelmed. I didn’t think I would cry but I cried like a baby. Unfortunately, he picked up an infection. So we had to stay in hospital for a couple of days…it was very emotional. They made us leave him in a room with strangers…that’s when mommy cried. She’s been crying every day since but tears of joy. She says she feels completely different. As though she’s whole now. She also says, the birth was pretty traumatic but other than the last push, she can’t really remember what the contractions felt like.
A week into parents, I’m the man when it comes to burping him. The couple of extra days in the hospital gave us ample time to pick up tips from the nurses on swaddling, breast feeding, diaper changing etc. She now has her stupid 6 weeks off (yay, America)…He was born on a Sunday morning. I was back at work on Monday. (working remote from the hospital). I don’t think anything will match the euphoric feeling of holding him for the first time.
It was an incredible experience.
Conor Crean Monaghan our little Thairish American. Conor in Irish means lover of hounds. His mother picked that. Crean is after the legendary Irish explorer, who went on multiple expeditions to the antarctic. Once braving an 35km trek to save a crew mate and a 1500km journey in a lifeboat to seek a rescue mission for the crew after their ship became crushed and stuck in the ice. He’s proving to be a tough little man himself, not crying when he was born…I bet Tom didn’t either.