Archive for October, 2010

Nathan Timothy [our last name]. Born 10/28/10 @ 4:53 pm. Although his delivery was terrifying, Nathan was released to us almost immediately. He is, as we speak, laying in bed with his mother, experiencing for the first time the wonder of breasts.

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The C Word

So the doctors are starting to get a little worried about us. We’ve been here almost 16 hours and Leigh Ann is still only 8 cm dilated. There’s a pow-wow in our room in about 30 minutes at which point we’ll discuss our options.

We were hoping to avoid a caesarian. But also we were hoping to win the lottery, climb Mount Everest, and a negotiate a Middle East peace treaty.

Sometimes you take what you can get.

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I know I give California a lot of crap, but how many kids get to be born in a delivery room with a skyline view of the Hollywood Hills?

How’d we end up here? Well, shortly after dinner, Leigh Ann started having contractions. When she was still having them two hours later, we headed for the hospital.

Normally they don’t admit you until you’re 4 cm dilated (we were only 2.5), but Leigh Ann’s contractions were so regular (every 3-4 minutes) and so intense (she peaked the needle at least twice) that they changed their mind. I believe the turning point may have been when Leigh Ann screamed the title of this post.

So here we wait. Probably until morning. Leigh Ann’s taking a nap, and I’m sitting at the window, watching the houselights above Sunset Blvd twinkle like dying stars.

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We’ve been admitted, folks.

I’ll try to make another post when we get moved to an active delivery room. But there’s a chance we won’t talk again until I’m a Dad. Wish us luck.

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Who knew it would hard to maintain a blog when (a) your in-laws were sleeping in the living room of your apartment, (b) your wife was 9 months and 6 days pregnant, (c) your apartment was flooded, and (d) the only way you could connect to your hotel’s router was by holding your laptop two feet off the ground while standing in the bathroom?

For my next act, I will try something easier, like . . .

But, seriously, I’m not posting to complain. I’m posting because we just had an hour of contractions, each 4 to 5 minutes apart.

One more hour of this and we’re grabbing our bags.

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You know you’re under some stress when your wife is 5 days past due and that isn’t even the lede.

The lede is that I’m writing this from a hotel room. What happened, you ask? Did I finally get sick of the in-laws? Did I stand on the couch, bang my slipper on the coffee table, and tell everyone that I couldn’t stand another god damned minute of Dancing With the Stars?

Only in my dreams.

No, today, after getting home from our doctor’s appointment (more on that in a moment), Leigh Ann and I discovered that our apartment had flooded. And I don’t mean just clogged sinks and some water in the bathroom. I mean puddles on the floor. In the living room. In the kitchen. In the bedroom. Everywhere. Have a look:

So, courtesy of the Rodeway Inn, we await the carpet cleaner’s 8 AM arrival. I’ll have more to say about this fart stick of an experience (and about the idiot apartment manager who helped caused it), but I’ve already downed a couple Ambien and fear the direction of my prose.

As for our doctor’s appointment today, there was small but steady progress. Leigh Ann is still 1 cm dilated, but the doctor recorded (for the first time) several contractions on the monitor. If you’ll excuse the sports metaphor, I’m calling this a 3 yard gain. It ain’t the kind of play you’ll see on Sportscenter. But if you do it every down, eventually you’ll cross the goal line.

And, man, do I feel like spiking the ball.

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Friday Night Update

Leigh Ann’s cervix is now 70% effaced and 1 cm dilated. That’s up from 50% and 0 cm. It ain’t labor, but it’s progress.

One thing I wasn’t prepared for today . . . at our check-up, the doctor asked us if we wanted her to “strip the membranes.” Apparently this can help induce labor. Leigh Ann was game. But because I’m a big sissy about anything I haven’t run through the Googles, I asked if we could wait until our next appointment (Monday).

Only, now that I’m home, the Googles isn’t helping me much. I’ve learned what “stripping the membranes” entails (the doctor puts her finger up your cervix and detaches the amniotic sac from the wall of your uterus) and how it’s supposed to work (the ruptured sack releases a flood of prostaglandins which are thought to help begin labor). But I’m having a hard time finding any scientific information about the effectiveness of this procedure.

The only real study I can find concluded the following:

Routine use of sweeping of membranes from 38 weeks of pregnancy onwards does not seem to produce clinically important benefits. When used as a means for induction of labour, the reduction in the use of more formal methods of induction needs to be balanced against women’s discomfort and other adverse effects.

So I’ve got until Monday to figure out what the hell that means.

If you’ve got any experience/advice, let me hear it.

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Induce This

I have a love-hate relationship with superstition. On one hand, I love the human impulse to sniff out cause and effect relationships. On the other hand, I hate the human tendency to get those relationships terribly wrong (see: frogs and warts).

You want to know why people believe weird things? Because they get desperate. Because their due date is, let’s say, TODAY and yet their babies still haven’t dropped and their cervixes still haven’t dilated. So they’ll try just about anything to start labor.

Which is the only explanation I can come up with for why my Mother-in-Law certain people think that eating a pineapple or eggplant Parmesan or yellow curry will start labor.

Fox News Alert: That’s all crap, people.

What do doctors do when they want to induce labor? Make you blow up a balloon or take you on a bumpy stretcher ride? No, they give you prostaglandin or oxytocin (pitocin). That’s it. So when you’re looking over these “how to start labor naturally” lists ask yourself the following: does this method involve semen or an orgasm? Because if not, you’re probably wasting your time.

NEXT POST: how to administer prostaglandin at home . . .

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Cognitive Cable News Dissonance

You know when you’re playing fetch with a dog and you “fake throw” the tennis ball? And then the dog scours the entire backyard trying to figure out where the damn ball went? You laugh your ass off but then feel sort of, you know, mean? Well, that’s how I felt last night when my Father-in-Law spent 30 minutes flipping through the channels trying to find Fox News.

I deleted it yesterday.

Not on my TV.

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Get Comfy

I’ve added a Due Date image to the sidebar. Technically, we’re due this Thursday. But the baby is still riding high and the cervix through which we expect it to emerge has yet to dilate (0 cm).

So we could be here awhile.

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