Abigail Beth was born Wednesday, September 21, 2011 at 4:40:AM. She weighed 8lbs 2.1oz and was 20 3/4 inches long. She had a full head of hair.
Our delivery experience was a lot different with Abigail than it was with Ben's delivery. What? You'd like to hear all about it? That's great, because I love telling the story.
That night, Allison had contractions for about three hours. They weren't consistent or strong. They varied. 5 minutes apart, 9 minutes apart, 2 minutes apart, 7 minutes apart.... C'mon stupid contractions! Get organized! I was ready to meet my baby girl. I wanted to go to the hospital, but Allison talked me out of it, so we watched TV then went to bed.
Tuesday came along and with that came a few txt messages from Allison, from work "Just had a strong one." "Had a few small ones during my demo." When she got home from work she admitted to having some more contractions in the car. Medium to high intensity, but still not consistently spaced.
We had a pot roast from a crock pot for dinner. It was day 2 of the pot roast, so I wasn't too excited about it. I decided to make spaghetti for myself. What does this have to do with the story? Absolutely nothing, but you know how much I like talking about food.
Back to the story. Allison had contractions for the next 2.5 hours. They were getting stronger, but not as strong as when she had Ben, so we didn't really know what to do. Allison didn't want to go to the hospital, but three hours of contractions two nights in a row seemed like a big deal to me.
I called Grammy and Poppy (Allison's parents.) It was a better plan for Ben to go with Grammy and Poppy while he was still awake instead of calling them to come and get him in the middle of the night. So they came over and took Ben to their house for a sleepover party. I knew if the contractions kept up for another hour that I was taking Allison to the hospital. If I had to take her kicking and screaming, so be it, we were going.
About 20 minutes after my in-laws left with Ben, Allison agreed that it was time to go to the hospital. We gathered our belongings, packed the last few items we needed for the hospital bag and hit the road. This time instead of putting the list in the bag, I put the ACTUAL ITEMS listed on the list in the bag. I'm an old pro now. In preparation, I put aside an outfit to wear to the hospital weeks in advance. With Ben, I tried on 3 pairs of pants and I couldn't find my sneakers. This time I took a pair of underpants, socks, pants, a t-shirt and a golf shirt out of the rotation. They sat on my closet shelf for 2 weeks just waiting for the call. I changed clothes and brushed my teeth in 3.2 minutes.
We left the house at just about 8:00:PM. To keep everyone calm (everyone being me) I was thinking of all these jokes. I asked for permission to tell them, permission was granted, then revoked because I was making her laugh too hard! ARE YOU KIDDING ME? I'm killing it tonight and now I have to stop? I don't remember the jokes, but one of them involved the package of cookies I packed in our hospital bag and if we needed to be admitted before I opened them or if could I open them as soon as we get to triage. I did a whole Seinfeldian bit about them. It was awesome.
We listed to Z100 on satellite radio and had a regular conversation. Who would you rather see in concert? Beyonce or Lady Gaga. Lady Gaga or 1990s Madonna. Silly stuff like that. I chose Beyonce and Madonna. I think Allison chose Lady Gaga both times. Between rounds of "Who would you..." Allison kept saying how they're just going to send us home. And that it wasn't time. I said let's just see what they say. Safety first.Worst case, we get ice cream on the way home and we have a lovely night out.
We got to the hospital just after 8:30. I dropped Allison off at the front door then went to park the car. By 8:47 we were sitting together in the triage waiting room and Allison was txting me, which I thought was ridiculous because I was sitting right next to her. Our legs were actually touching. She could have just written a message then showed it to me on her phone, or leaned over and whispered something to me, but she felt the need to txt me instead.
One complaint I have about it was their choice in programming. They were showing a Nancy Grace type show. Nancy Grace herself was not the host since she is on the Dancing show, but the lady hosting was just as irritating. They were discussing the teen girl who gave birth to twins then suffocated them in her bathroom, dumping their bodies in the laundry basket. REALLY? Is this the only thing on? These women are about to give birth to babies. Put on some happy programming. Positive stuff. You're a hospital for women and children, I know you've heard of Postpartum Depression! Inappropriate!
Aside from that, Triage was great. We were seen within minutes and were admitted within the hour. I feel a little guilty about one thing though. When we got to triage, there was this Spanish speaking couple (he spoke both, she only spoke Spanish) waiting to be seen. She was in a lot of pain, writhing around in agony, sweating, breathing heavy. It was not fun to watch. They were next. She got up and walked away. A few minutes later, a nurse came looking for her. She wasn't there. The guy (I won't say husband, I don't think they were married) was sitting there playing Angry Birds. He didn't move. He didn't even look up. The nurse turned to Allison and said, "OK, I guess I'll take you."
We went into the nurse's station to fill out some paperwork. Allison said her pain number was a 4 or 5. Midway through the questionnaire, I looked outside and the Spanish speaking couple was sitting right outside the door and judging from the pain chart, her pain was between 8-10. I hope for his sake she never finds out that he just sat there playing Angry Birds while the nurse looked for, then skipped her.
Within minutes of arriving in the delivery room I set up shop. Camera: ready to roll. Laptop: powered up, Firefox tabs opened for Facebook, Twitter, Gmail and of course Yahoo! Sports to track the massive choke job by the Boston Red Sox. Cookies were open and I already polished off a few of them.
They checked Allison, she was 3 or 4 cm dilated. They told us they'd be back in two hours to check her, then with a straight face, told Allison to try to relax and get comfortable. I don't think Allison's been comfortable since sometime early July. I didn't have that problem.
Milli came in from time to time to check on Allison and make some small talk. At the two hour mark the doctor came in and said Allison hadn't dilated any further so she wanted to put her on Pitocin to increase contractions. It kicked in about 30 minutes later and Allison was ready for her epidural. After she got her epidural, they broke her water and again told her to try to sleep. They said they'd be back to check on her in a few hours. We turned off all the lights and tried to rest.
Just before the doctor left, she said "I have a surgery scheduled for 6:30:AM. So we have to have this baby before then or after then." I thought that was a odd thing to say and envisioned a 'Father of the Bride 2' moment happening. I must have had a look on my face because Allison told me everything was fine.
I took my sneakers off, unbuttoned my pants and curled up on the rocking chair with a few blankets. The thermostat was set for 65 degrees. I fell asleep right away. I woke up occasionally when they nursing crew came in to check Allison's blood pressure and some other machines.
Around 4:20:AM Allison woke me up and said she had a lot of pain. I pressed the call button and the nurse came in. She was happy and cheerful coming into the room. She had a big smile on her face. As she checked Allison, her demeanor changed immediately and a look of panic came across her face. She pulled out her phone and called the doctor. "Delivery STAT we need you down here." She pressed the call button and requested a delivery team STAT. She would probably deny it and say that's business as usual, but I know what I saw. Unfortunately I've made the look of panic at work a few times. I know what it looks like and that was it.
Nurses came running into the room. They set up the newborn lamp and baby station in about 2 minutes. While one group of nurses was setting up the baby station another was getting tools and scrubs ready for the doctor. The doctor came in and checked Allison out. She rushed to put on her scrubs, mask and visor. She said "Are you ready? The baby is right here."
I asked "Really?" She said,"Yeah, come look." HELLO!!! THAT'S A BABY HEAD! I don't know what I was expecting to see, but I was shocked that she was right there. Allison had to push for close to two and a half hours before Ben was that close. Abigail got that close while we were napping.
The nurse said "Papi, get your camera ready, get your baby book ready, then grab a leg." I was a step ahead of her. Remember, I'm an old pro now. I had my camera on the table next to me with the baby book under it. I used a hospital menu as a bookmark for the footprint page. I'm ready. Let's do it!
I was talking to Allison, making sure she was OK. Four nurses and a doctor are in the room, but I'm sure my asking "You OK?" would unearth any problems that may be occurring. It felt like a My Cousin Vinny moment. "I should've asked you a long time ago for these pictures. You got it, honey! You did it! The case cracker, me in the shower! Ha ha! I love this! That's it! "
The doctor laid Abigail on Allison's chest. She cried for a bit, then got quiet and just laid there. My two #1 girls laying together quietly. Mental picture moment, I doubt that will happen very often ;) Abigail laid on Allison for 20-25 minutes before the staff cleaned her up. She was perfect. Ten fingers. Ten toes. She cried right away. She had good color and a full head of hair.
When she was first born, I thought her hair was curly. I said she looked just like her mama. Then she had her first bath and FOOP! Her hair got spiked and she looked just like me. My mother sent my baby picture and there is no denying she is my child. Well, she's either mine or Law's from Tekken. You decide.