Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Benjamin William

The first three months of your life have kept your dad and me extremely busy, which explains why I haven't been keeping this updated with all of your activities. We finally got to meet you and see your sweet face at 2:47pm on October 24th 2008. You were born 8 lbs, 11 oz and 21 inches long. I'll never forget the feeling I had when I first saw you. Through my tears, I felt an instant desire to protect and care for you. You were sooo cute, and tired! It was a long day.

I'll start with a few details about the day you were born. It all started the day before your birth on Thursday, October 23rd. I started to have contractions in the morning , but Dr Yee said not to call until they were 5 mins apart for over an hour, so I kept a pad of paper with me all day and wrote down each contraction. Laurie picked me up that day, and we went to lunch at Blue Barn on Chestnut Street, and we both had the burratta grilled cheese, (my last meal for a while...) During lunch I felt a contraction about every 20-30 minutes. Laurie was nervous that she would be rushing me to the hospital at any minute, because I kept taking my note pad out of my purse to jot down when my contractions were happening. I told her we had time, but what did I know? We then went to Bi-Rite ice cream in the Mission where I got a scoop of snickerdoodle ice cream - YUM. After I got home the contractions started coming closer together. I called your dad to tell him to come home early from work just in case. I was right. At 4:45 they started coming every 5 minutes.

Your Dad and I quickly and calmly packed, showered and ate a snack (chicken noodle soup and toast). We got to the hospital at about 7:30pm. They told me that I was in fact in the early stages of labor, but that the hospital was full at the moment. Whaaaat? That happens?
It wasn't even a full moon! The triage nurse said I should probably go home anyway since it seemed like I had some time, although they told me that my water had broken already, so they knew we'd be back soon. We went home, and tried to get some sleep, and at about 2am after NOT sleeping myself, I woke up your dad, and said "It's TIME!" He wrote down the timing of my contractions for about 20 minutes, and wanted to wait for the full hour so we wouldn't get sent home again. After I shouted that I was going to the hospital without him, he realized this was not like before, and we raced to the car. Luckily the car was already packed and we knew exactly where we were going. At this time, I was IN PAIN, and I made your dad stop the car with each contraction, which was about every 2 minutes at that point. Good thing it was 3 in the morning, no other cars on the road... When we got to the hospital, they were expecting us, and all our paperwork was out, and they were ready for us to get checked in. I was progressing so quickly that I thought I might try to do it without without meds (epidural). I'm very glad I didn't do that, because you were in a sideways position, which is not ideal for labor, and after many failed attempts to encourage you to move, you never did - and you were to big for the Dr to be able to move you, which means I would have gotten the meds at the end either way.

After 2 1/2 hopeful hours of trying to push you out calmly with just the nurse and your dad and I in the room, the on-call Dr came in (Dr Green), and she said, "we need to get him out, NOW". Apparently you were getting pretty tired and we weren't progressing. All of a sudden our calm anticipation turned into the middle of an episode of ER. The head nurse came in, the anesthesiologist came back, the bright lights turned on. Because of the fact that you were quite large, and not moving into the correct position, they mentioned needing a C-Section. At which point I felt completely defeated, and burst into tears, drained of all of my energy. FINALLY Dr Yee arrived, and assessed the situation. She told your dad she was going to try forceps, and if it didn't work we'd be going to the OR. When I heard this, I gained my composure back, and knowing this was our only shot, I used all the energy I could possibly muster. Everyone in the room was involved. It worked.

Seeing you for the first time was surreal. I was completely overcome with emotion. Nothing else mattered in the world. You didn't exactly come out gracefully, so they didn't give you to me right away it seemed like hours while they cleaned you off, your dad cut the umbilical cord, they weighed and measured you, etc. Finally you were in my arms, and I never wanted to let you go. I didn't expect you to be so cute on the first day. I couldn't stop staring at your adorable face. So tiny and so precious, with HUGE cheeks. Your eyes opened, and I fell madly in love with you.

Alex and both of your grandmas were waiting patiently outside the delivery room to meet you. We finally called them in, after we gained some composure and while you were eating for the first time. We loved the fact that they were there to greet you so soon after your birth, and they were so thrilled to see you. No one could take their eyes off of you.

Your dad was amazing that day. He was such a strong support, and made the whole thing a lot easier for us. We were really in it together, and I felt much stronger and able to get through it all with him by my side. It was an exhausting night/day for all of us, but we were so happy to meet you!

Our first family photo :)