Hannah is just now over 3 days old. Wow, what a fun and crazy 3 days it has been. I thought it would be fun to recap the whole thing from my perspective.
January 7th, 2009 4:02 am
I was stirred awake, very nicely, by Kate and was feeling pretty confused. Kate said that she thought she was in labor. I wasn’t sure what the next step was, so I asked her if her water had broke and how long she thought the contractions were going on for. She explained that she had gotten up at 2:30, took a shower, dried her hair, and then started watch Grey’s Anatomy. She wasn’t really convinced that she was in labor so I asked is she wanted me to hang out with her out in the living room. She liked that idea.
I grabbed a pillow and blanket and followed her out to the living room, to start making camp on the couch. Realizing that we hadn’t packed the “last minute” items like a tooth brush, we decided that I should finish the last of the packing. By the time I finished that, we were too excited and the contractions were getting closer. We decided it was time to page the doctor. When we talked to the doctor she told us it was time. We packed up the car, fed the dogs and headed out to the hospital.
We arrived at the hospital at around 5:30 in the morning and got checked into the triage room. They just wanted to check Kate and make sure that she was in labor. After the check, she was 4cm dilated and we were getting moved to a labor and delivery room. We were so excited. I should remind you that Kate is still going through contractions frequently throughout this whole process. We get checked into the labor and delivery room, which is a huge room. It was nice because Kate was able to be very active while she was laboring. We weren’t in the room very long when Kate’s doctor showed up to check on her. Kate’s doctor was doing rounds, otherwise she wouldn’t have been at the hospital. As it turns out, Kate was 7cm dilated, which happened in the period of time that it took us to move from the triage room to the delivery room. Things were moving quickly.
At this point in the morning it was the shift change and the sad thing about that was that our super cool nurse was going to be replaced. We didn’t know who we were going to get to replace her. Lucky for us, we got another great nurse. She had a lot of experience and was very good at helping us get little Hannah out.
Throughout the next couple of hours Kate got to the magic number of being 10cm dilated. It seemed to take so long though. She went from 4cm to 7cm so fast that we thought it would continue to move quickly. The two hours that we spent getting the rest of the way dilated included a lot of pacing around the room and pushing on her back to try and make it as comfortable as possible.
When it was getting close to pushing time the baby’s nurse showed up and so did the doctor. Also, because the nurses were so familiar with the birth plan that Kate and I made, there was a mirror (so Kate could see Hannah coming out) in the room and a squat bar (for alternate birthing positions). Kate tried a few positions while she was pushing: squatting, which was good, but was hard to maintain; on her side, which helped turn Hannah and get her farther down the birth canal; and eventually delivered Hannah on her back.
The actual pushing took around 2 hours, which is a long time to be pushing, I think. Kate said it was worse than running the Butte to Butte, and for those of you who don’t know it was a 10k run that Kate did (pregnant). We got a good routine down though. Between contractions I would talk to her and give her some water. When it was about time to push, she would look into my eyes and I would help her get a big huge breath. She would then start pushing with that breath and I would help her get into a good position (chin on her chest, pulling her legs up to her shoulders) and push it (it being Hannah) out toward the ceiling.
Kate said the whole thing was like a swim meet because we were all cheering for her and encouraging her to push just a little bit harder every time. It was hard for me to stand there doing none of the physically demanding pieces of the whole thing but Kate says she couldn’t do it without me. After about an hour and a half of pushing, and her doctor saying things like, “get out here you little shit,” and “if you keep this up, I am going to do your first pap smear,” her doctor asked about using the vacuum, which sounds scary, but it isn’t really scary at all. We ended up using one, and it really is just a suction cup with a handle that the doctor attaches to the head of the baby and helps pull it out a little bit. Although she had a cone head when she came out, you could hardly notice a few hours later.
January 7th, 2009 11:57 am
Hannah Becker was born!
I am not trying to gross out any future mothers, but when the head comes out, it is like, “how is there anyway that just fit out of her vagina.” It seems impossible, but here she is. As soon as the baby’s head was out, the doctor was clearing out Hannah’s nose and mouth. Then literally a few seconds later Kate pushed the rest of Hannah out. It seemed like if I blinked, I would miss the rest of the delivery. As soon as Hannah was all the way out, they plopped Hannah right on top of Kate’s chest and we got to meet Hannah for the first time. Soon after this, I cut the cord which was easier (physically) than I thought it would be.
At this point in time all emotional responses and excitedness overran anything else going on with me. Although I always felt the pregnancy was real, there was always the chance that something might happen in delivery. It was awesome to see her in person and know that she was really there. It was really cool to touch her because her for the first time. Throughout this initial time of meeting her I wasn’t only excited but I was also really proud of Kate for doing all of this. It seems like such a hard challenge to house a baby for 40 weeks and 1 day, and then push all 8 and a half pounds of it out of an orifice in your body.
Note: Due to me having more important things to do, I only made it this far into the birth story while it was fresh in my head. What can I say? I just can’t help myself when it comes to being able to hold Hannah and watch her grow. It is like the best chia pet ever. That said, I will continue the story, but be warned that I may be less accurate and make stuff up completely.
Throughout the next hour or so the doctor was waiting for the placenta to make it’s way out, which took longer than normal, and had to stitch up the minor tearing that happened. Kate and I got to enjoy her while this all happened. At some point, Kate’s dad showed up, and Kate was pretty decent at that point and he stayed at certain spots in the room so he wouldn’t see anything he didn’t want to. Both Kate’s dad and mom got to hold Hannah while we were in the delivery room.
Soon it was time for Hannah’s first (sponge) bath. First I weighed and measured her (8 pounds, 9.6 ounces; 20.5 inches long). Then it was time for the bath. The nurse showed me what to do, because lets face it, I never bathed a 1-2 hour old baby before. I will say this though, I wasn’t one of those dads who was afraid I was going to break the baby if I moved her. I’ve learned from other people that they aren’t super fragile. Now, that doesn’t mean I throw her around (at least not yet), but I was able to scrub well enough and move her arms and legs around to clean what I needed to clean. After the bathing part was done, the nurse washed her hair.
We ended up hanging out in the delivery room a little longer than we needed to, but it gave us plenty of time to get Kate showered and hang out with Hannah. Kate’s parents were around too, which was nice. It makes me happy to have grand parents who are excited and involved. Lorna, showed up at one point with a placenta recipe she found on the internet, because we make fun of people wanting to eat their placenta. Anyway, she got to meet Hannah and hold her as well.
January 7th, 2009 3:18 pm
Right after the shirt change we got moved to the mother-baby wing. This is where we spent the rest of our stay at the hospital. Here is a summary of what happened and because I don’t remember all the details we are moving to bullet list mode:
- Lorna and Kate’s parents moved over to mother-baby with us.
- Max, Annette and Henry showed up and hung out with us too, and they came with milk shakes for us!
- Took some great pictures.
- Eventually people took off to let Kate and I have some alone time with Hannah.
- There was a menu fiasco, and Kate’s dinner didn’t get ordered correctly and was late.
- Dinner was served, which was good, I mean, I didn’t have any.
- Kate and I talked about the experience and deciding how cool and fun it was.
- My headache was getting worse so I ran to a convenience store to get something for that, which was extra bad because I don’t normally get headaches.
- We slept a little. I basically had the baby on my chest or next to me as much as possible. It was too hard to sleep because I was busy watching Hannah.
- At some point in the night, Kate stole my baby.
- Throughout the night they did some tests that they needed to do (i.e. bilirubin screen, hearing test).
- Apparently while Kate and I were conked out in the morning Lorna brought by some McDonald’s breakfast, which was delicious.
- Shortly there after, Kate got her second breakfast from the hospital.
- Lorna showed up on a break and enjoyed her part of the McDonald’s breakfast.
- The pediatrician visited and checked out Hannah. Her bilirubin levels were still a little high, so she ordered a blood draw screen.
- There was a blood draw in the late morning for the PKU screen and to do another bilirubin screen. That was annoying because the blood draw wasn’t done very well and it took a long time. It was traumatic for everyone!
- Then Hannah had her hospital picture taken, which was also sub par. Basically, the photographer was just annoying the baby and they didn’t get great pictures anyway.
- Kate’s parents showed up to hang out and have lunch. Ron showed me the cafeteria and got us all some lunch.
- Max, Annette and Henry came over again.
- The nurse that was on call for us when we left was really nice and went above and beyond in terms of getting us ready to go. She even got us and Henry some foot/hand print ink for baby books.
- Max and I took our bags down to the car and he helped me get the car seat installed which was fun because I got the seat belt twisted and it took us a few minutes to fix it.
- The doctor came in and talk to us about what is going to happen in the next few weeks and then we packed up and left the hospital.