Thursday, May 04, 2006

She's here!

Noel's had mild contractions all week, but not strong enough to really get the process started, so her doctor scheduled her for induction. We came in yesterday morning, got checked in about 7:30, got her up to the room, strapped into the monitors, and by 8:30 she was set up and on her I.V. They started her on petosin (a form of oxytocin that triggers contractions), and her contractions - as well as the pain - started getting stronger. So they injected some groovy painkillers into her IV while they were waiting on the anesthesiologist to get there to do her epidural (which up until this point she had refused to do because of the fact they shove a BIG HONKING NEEDLE into her spinal column, but once the contractions started coming on strong, she changed her mind).

By this point she had been on her IV for maybe half an hour, and was dilated 4 centimeters (all of which had taken the week previous to accomplish). Since she was being induced, the contractions hit fast and pretty hard, so she didn't have a lot of time to steady her breathing and get on top of the pain, so it was very uncomfortable to start with. So she asked for the epidural, which took 45 minutes to get there, about a minute to get infused (if that's even the right word) and a few more minutes for the even groovier painkellers to set in.

By this time it was just after 10, and I was starving (having not eaten since 5 in the morning), so Noel laid back to get some rest, now that the contractions were mild again, and I went down the street a couple blocks to grab a sandwich, leaving Noel's mother there by her side.

Having never done this before, I had no frame of reference for the time involved. I know that it's different for every mother. Some women are in labor a matter of hours, others get to spend an all-day affair in their labor/delivery room (if not longer), and though I had been told labor was faster when induced, I wasn't prepared for how fast.

I was standing in line waiting for my sandwich, not 20 minutes after I had left when I got a call from her mother.

"Hi, where are you?"

"I'm at Philly Connection, getting a snadwich...what's up?"

"You might want to get back here. She's 9 centimeters and they're saying she'll deliver before noon."

"Sweet Lord, that fast? I'll be there in five minutes..."

So I grabbed my sandwich (which was luckily being wrapped as I took the call), and rushed back in to the hospital. I got back into the room just in time for Amy (Noel's doctor) to check her out and say "all right, no more cervix, you can start pushing anytime now..."

So maybe 15 minutes of pushing later (maybe more, maybe less, it's hard to say at this point), Cassandra was born, purple and wet, at 11:47, weighing in at 8 pounds, 14 ounces.

From there the whirlwind started. She stayed in the room a while and nursed, then she was taken off to the nursery to be warmed up and bathed while we cleaned up and got moved to our post-partum room.

They kept her in the nursery the rest of the day and overnight to keep an eye on her (because the pediatrician on staff though the heartbeat seemed a little too strong for comfort so they wanted to monitor her vitals and oxygen intake), letting her out to feed.

Then this morning, they released her to us in the room, saying that everything seemed normal, and that the problems that could have been indicated by the stronger heartbeat would have come on by then if they had been present, and that it was most likely just a normal irregularity that a lot of day old babies have while their heart and lungs get used to working properly. So all things being good, she'll be able to come home with us tomorrow.

It's a different world now. I look down at her, and she's so soft, so tiny, so real that it doesn't seem real, but there it is. There's so much ahead of us, so much to do, and yet I'm not scared at all. We're both thrilled, excited and a little intimidated, but we're looking forward to it.

Here's some pictures :)

1 comment:

Charlene said...

Congradulations I am so happy for you