Thursday, June 28, 2007

The Origin of Harrison

This is the story of Harrison’s birth. Diana’s part is italicized, Charlie’s is not.

Diana was ready to get the baby out. Our doctor had told us before that it completely safe to induce labor if we so desired. Diana had made up her mind that she wanted to do just that, even though the baby was due in just four days. (If you doubt Diana’s determination, I have videotape of her waddling to the stage, eight months pregnant, to receive her college diploma.) He loves to brag on me. I was also getting anxious to see what all the fuss was about, especially after a frustrating bout of false labor a few days earlier. So we called and made an appointment with the OBGYN to get induced.

After the usual check-up, the nurse checks to see how dilated Diana is. The nurse pulls out her fingers, and there is blood on them. Diana says, “I know what that means!” The nurse left the room to go check with the doctor. I had no idea what was going on. Diana tells me (and the doctor later confirms) that she is already in the first stage of labor. Well, that’s a relief, I thought ... although in retrospect, I was nowhere near relief.

We had to kill some time before going to the hospital (so they could be ready for us), so we made some phone calls and went to see Diana’s dad since he works nearby. He manages a K & W (a cafeteria-style restaurant). Diana had pie (I’m in labor and that’s all I can think about. Pie.), and I had some french fries because we had breakfast before going to the OBGYN. Diana’s dad was, of course, excited.

We got to the hospital about noon, filled out the forms, were escorted to our room, and waited. The doctor came shortly thereafter and broke my water. Then she told us to walk around. Our hospital is a little on the small side, so there was only so much of that we could do. Diana had some mild contractions, but nothing to get excited about. After a couple of hours, it was decided that medication was needed to speed up the whole contraction process. The small bit of Pitocin they gave me was just enough to remind my body of what it was supposed to be doing.

Once the medication began to take effect, the contractions were definitely stronger. I was no longer sitting on the sidelines, either playing my DS or reading Wizard. It was time for me to do my part. I sat or stood next to Diana for pretty much the rest of the labor process.

I would go get ice chips for her, and give her one when she needed it. I hooked her Ipod up to a portable mini-speaker system we had so she could listen to her favorite songs. Mostly, I just held her hand, encouraged her when she needed it, and shut up when she didn’t.

The contractions kept getting worse and closer together. She wasn’t getting enough time to rest between the contractions, so they gave her some medication for just that purpose. Stadol was wonderful. I would be half asleep, start having a contraction, wake up, scream my head off, and then drift back off.

Around eight p.m., my parents came to visit. Shortly after that, Diana’s dad and step mom arrived. They all ended up staying through to the delivery.

The stronger and more painful the contractions were, the closer I knew I was to seeing Harrison. The more it hurt, the less likely I was to cave in and get an epidural. Don’t get me wrong, it was terrible, but I knew it was pain with a purpose. The last few hours of labor flew by because of how intense it all became. Before I knew it, it was 11 p.m. and I was ready to push.

It took a minute to get a good idea of how to push and what everything felt like. After I had my body scoped out, there was no stopping me. The doctor said whenever I felt the urge to go ahead and push with the contractions. She also said to push harder the more it hurt. When I felt a contraction coming, I just took a deep breath, grabbed the handles on the bed and pushed as hard as I could. Before I knew it, the nurse said I could feel the baby’s head. The doctor then turned to Charlie and said; “It will be any minute now. Pretty soon, I will tell you to put down Diana’s leg. Then I want you to reach down, grab Harrison, and put him on Diana’s stomach.” Charlie shrugged. “O.K.” This from the guy who wasn’t sure if he wanted to cut the umbilical cord. Soon after that, the doctor told me to stop pushing for a minute. I knew from my preparation that this was to suction his airway and turn his shoulders. I thought at the time it took a little longer than it should, but I didn’t know why until later.

The doctor looked at Charlie and said “O.K. Put her leg down and reach down here. Diana, PUSH!” One more push and Harrison was out. Charlie placed him on my stomach and my little boy that I had been dreaming about was here. I didn’t cry when he was born, I just smiled the biggest smile ever.

They whisked him away to clean him off. I looked up at the clock and said “Did I seriously just push out a baby in 22 minutes?” The doctor laughed and said yep. I watched them examine Harrison as the doctor put me back together. I remember seeing Charlie cut the umbilical cord across the room, which I thought was strange. The nurse then came to me and said “I know you wanted to nurse him in the delivery room, but we’re going to have to take him to the nursery because he’s not breathing as well as we would like.” Then, they let me hold him for a minute before they took him off to get better. Although I was worried at seeing how pale he was, I knew he was in good hands.

Later, I found out the reason for the breathing problems and why it took the doctor so long when I wasn’t supposed to push and why Charlie cut the umbilical cord after he was born was because it was wrapped around his neck. The doctor had to cut if off before he could be born. We are very blessed, because if I had had to push longer, Harrison might have been in some serious danger.

Now of course, he’s fine. I thank the Lord everyday for my beautiful boy. I’m so glad my birth experience was what I wanted it to be. Charlie was wonderful throughout the whole thing. It’s a lot of pain and a lot of work, but it’s sooo worth it.


Anonymous said...

Cool stuff, Di. Sweet baby boy!

Mat Brewster said...

Good story. Cute kid.

X-orter said...

Congrats to the new mom and dad.

Amy Brewster said...

Thanks for the great story of Harrison. Congratulations!

mullinz8 said...