Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Welcome Benjamin Anthony

Benjamin Anthony was born Tuesday, September 15, 2009 at 4:33:AM. He was 7lbs 7oz and 20 1/4 inches long. Those are the facts, here is the story:

It's Go Time

We were sitting on the couch Monday night, it was around 8:05, Allison says "I think I just had a contraction" I said "OK" About 30 minutes later, Allison says she thinks she had another one. The time passed and as we got closer to 9 o'clock, so did the uncertainty of whether these were contractions or not. By 9:04, Allison was sure they were contractions. They were 7 minutes apart, but not painful yet.

We tried to remember our birthing class. They told us when it's time, you'll know. So we kept that in mind and since they weren't painful and Allison could still carry on a conversation through them, we were just tossing the idea back and forth that today could be the day. After 3 contractions 7 minutes apart, the contractions jumped to 5 minutes apart and it's about 9:20-9:25 at this point.

We get off the couch and go upstairs. If we need to go to the hospital tonight, we need to get washed, dressed and grab our bags, that were thankfully already 90% packed. We were upstairs for about 30 minutes and the contractions were coming like clockwork every 5 minutes. Ready or not, I think it's time. We decided to get our stuff together and hit the road.

Allison was ready before me. She was sitting on the bed saying "C'mon, get the stuff together. We gotta go" So I rushed to the office where our bags were stored. The video camera was charging so it was on the floor along with our digital camera. I took everything piled on the floor and threw it into the suitcase. One of the things that went into the bag was the list of what else needs to go in the bag. The 10% of stuff that couldn't be packed before hand. What's on the list? There's no time!!! Go on without it!!! Just grab stuff, maybe it was on the list.

I got dressed. I tried on 3 pairs of jeans until I found the ones that were most comfortable, then I ran around the house looking for my sneakers. This must be why Allison and my mother always told me to keep things in their spot, so you'll know where they are when you need them. Well, I think I finally see the light. I spent a good 2 minutes looking for them. My hands were shaking and I had a nervous reaction that I had to tend too before we could leave.

After we decided to go to the hospital, it took 20 minutes to get out of the house. 20 minutes! Now for the drive:
The Drive
We got into the car and I told myself to calm down. Allison and Baby C were going to need me, so pull it together punk. We called Mark from the car to ask him to tend to Molly in the morning. I think immediately as we left the complex Allison had a really strong contraction, then they started coming every 3 minutes.

I usually drive at or close to the speed limit. I had the CRV at 85 MPH a few times on the drive. Allison yelled at me to slow down, but I couldn't help it. When she made sounds of pain, my foot automatically hit the gas. I was like Maverick on the drive to the hospital. Allison would warn me of an approaching car, but I already had him in my sites. Bogey, 2 o'clock, black Pathfinder. Another bogey approaching on my 6, prepare afterburners in 3..2..1...I was in the zone! The danger zone.

We made it from the Turnpike to the 408. Once we hit the 408, the contractions changed again. They increased in intensity and were now 2 minutes apart. I thought to myself, they didn't cover this in birthing class and please please don't have this baby on the highway.

We hit a few lights on Orange Ave, but we got to the hospital. Google Maps said it should take 35 minutes, we estimated it would take 30, we made it in 25. I'm happy with that. Valet parking was closed for the night, so I pulled up to the doors and a gentleman met us with a wheelchair and took Allison to triage.

Winnie Palmer Hospital is a gorgeous place. Marble bathrooms, waterfall in the entrance, beautiful glass dome waiting area and then you have Triage. I will start off by saying the admin and nursing staff were very helpful, but what a dump this place is. If you are looking for the armpit of Winnie Palmer Hospital, look no further. It looks like a doctor's office waiting room with beat up chairs and the delightful scent of urine.

Allison had pre-registered during our tour of WP, so she signed in, got her vitals checked and was told to sit and wait. I'll also say up front, Allison is a tough chick. She fights through pain and illness better than anyone I know. If I get a slight sniffle, I'm under covers laying out, looking to take off 2 days from work. She's a champ. We are waiting for Allison to be examined in a Triage room and her contractions are getting more intense and she is visibly in pain.

This was the worst part of the birthing process. Allison was in pain, lots of pain, and there was nothing I could do about it. I rubbed her back, let her squeeze my hand, but that was all I could do and it didn't help. We got called into a room where we answered about 100 medical questions, then they took her to be examined. She was at 6 CM and she was being admitted. We spent about an hour in Triage, then we got a room in delivery.

To The Delivery Room
They wheeled Allison (on her bed) into the elevator and up to the 2nd floor. We met our nursing staff, then Allison's hero. I don't remember their names, but they administered her epidural and then rode off into the sunset. But as they rode off, I swear I heard "Wherever there is injustice, you will find us. Wherever there is suffering, we'll be there. Wherever liberty is threatened, you will find..The Three Anesthesiologists"

Ok, back to the story. Our nurse Erica was awesome. She was very warm and friendly. She would talk to us like a friend and not a nurse, but knew when to turn on her nurse talk. Throughout the delivery process, there were 6 or 7 nurses in and out of our room. I don't remember their names, but they were all wonderful.

After Allison got her epidural, they hooked up the fetal heart monitor and contraction seismograph machine. I don't think that's the real name, but that's what I'll call it for now. They couldn't believe how the contractions just kept coming. Strong contractions one minute apart without any drugs to induce her. They said it looked like she was on Pitocin, but they know she wasn't. I was watching the printout on the seismograph machine and Allison was just sitting there, all smiles and resting for the job ahead.

Although Winnie Palmer looks like a 5 start hotel, it's still a hospital. So what's the best way to be seen by a doctor or a nurse while in a hospital? That's right, just fall asleep. Shortly before 2 AM Allison fell asleep and about 2 minutes after that the nurse came in to check her. She was 10cm dilated. The nurse left to call the doctor and said once the doctor arrives, she could start pushing.

Push it Real Good
That's right, I went there. The doctor came in that's when the fun started. Allison's doctor is Dr Snow. Dr. Snow has 4 partners. 3 of which Allison met and liked. The 4th partner, that Allison had never met was now here to deliver the baby. Her name was Dr Thatcher. I love Dr Thatcher. She did such an excellent job taking care of Allison and Benjamin. Granted I have nothing to compare it to since this is my first child, but I have to say, I thought she was just excellent.

A lot went down in that delivery room, I'll talk about some of it here, but some of it is best left between a husband, a wife and the delivery room walls. I don't think I've been a parent long enough to tell you all about the joys of parenthood, but I am qualified to tell you that delivery is such an exciting and rewarding experience. I recommend it to everyone.

When Benjamin was born, he was moving his arms and legs, but wasn't crying. We asked the doctor, why he wasn't crying. she said it was normal, nothing to worry about. They continued their work, clamped the umbilical cord and ask me to cut it. I took the sheers and cut it. It's a lot harder to cut than you'd think. I liken it to cutting squid when on a fishing boat. It was tough and thick. Anyway, I cut it and they took him over to measure, weigh and give meds. Then he finally started crying. It was the best sound I've ever heard.

Hearing him cry and having the nurses tell me that he looked perfect set my water works going. I took about 40 pictures in a 2 minute time period. Then I remembered Allison was still there. I went over and asked how she was, and told her she did a great job, that I loved her and was proud of her. Then it was back to the baby and it's been about Baby C ever since.


Audrey said...

I can't believe I just read this whole epic birth story... but I did. (At work, no less. Shhhh...) Anyway, phenomenal job all around on blogging the entire pregnancy. I hope you'll keep it up. I enjoy your sense of humor (especially all Top Gun references). And I'm sure Ben will enjoy it, too. Good luck with the hard part... parenting!

Anthony C said...

Thanks Audrey.
I plan to keep it going. We've been lucky so far. He's been a really good baby.

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