Cat and Mikey and I just got home from the hospital last night. Aside from a little choking spell that turned out to be nothing, everything about baby is perfect! Everybody seems to think he is the most beautiful baby in existence (and of course, as the daddy I can attest to that fact! :-> ), and he's a STRONG little bruiser! We actually have difficulty sometimes getting his arms out of the way for feeding, or getting his legs out of the way for diapering. Somebody call John Jacobs! ;->
Last Monday morning we went into St. Francis Hospital for a "formal ultrasound." Our doctor had done an informal ultrasound the Thursday before, and he was concerned that Baby was getting a little bit large and if he got too much bigger he wouldn't be able to be born normally. The formal ultrasound said that he was NINE POUNDS AND TWO OUNCES! There is a margin of error of sometimes even a pound or two on those things, but the doctor wanted us to go in and induce labor as soon as possible anyway. We got a call later that day that we would be induced on Tuesday morning, so we made sure everything was packed up to go (our labor bag must weigh at least 600 pounds!! :-> ), ate Mexican food and went for a walk (those are things that naturally set off labor in some women... not us!), and tried to get some sleep (fat chance of that!)
Tuesday at about 7am we showed up at Hillcrest Hospital to induce labor. Cathy was not dilated or effaced, just a little softened up, so they gave her something caled Cervidil to ripen her cervix. They put it in at 10:30am, and by 1pm she was in active labor (contractions of 1 minute about 2 minutes apart). Normally they would leave the Cervidil in for 12 hours and then check her, and if she was ready they would induce labor with Pitocin, but since she went into labor naturally they didn't have to induce at all... glory to God!
She handled the labor VERY well... we did our Lamaze breathing and back rubs and everything we knew to do from classes (anyone who is going to have a baby TAKE THE CLASSES! It will really help you to know what is happening and not be as scared!) and she actually had LESS pain as the contractions got worse for a while. Now, to have a baby the mother has to be dilated to 10 centimeters; our doctor would not give her an epidural until she was 5cm. Around 4cm she started really feeling it and getting a little scared, so we were really glad when it was time for that epidural! The anesthesiologist was wonderful (she barely has a mark on her from it), and from then on it was pretty comfortable for her until the very end.
When she was finally 10cm dilated, they checked and found out that Mikey was in transverse position, meaning he was on his side (babies are supposed to be facing the mother's back with their heads pointing to the bottom). It's not a big problem; they turned Cat on her side and he turned by himself until he was in the right position, and soon it was time to PUSH!! This is the hardest part of the labor, but most of the time it is a relief because the urge to push comes long before it is OK to (10cm). Cat had been asking to push for quite a while before they would let her. I got by her head and counted (someone counts so the mother will not forget to breathe in between pushes) and she PUUUUSHED!!!! She pushed like a champ... I thought she was going to explode! She pushed and pushed, and soon we could actually see the top of Mikey's head, but by this time is was long past midnight and Cat was exhausted. The doctor had to help pull the baby out with suction, but that doesn't hurt the baby and it was great to actually see him at last! All I remember was looking down there when someone said "Here it comes!" and seeing a jumble of arms and legs, and then it looked like the doctor was making a balloon animal out of them, and then there was our baby! I looked back at Cat and I think started applauding for her, and then I heard Baby's first cry and looked over to see him again. It was 2:25am on Wednesday morning, and it was one of the most wonderful moments of my life.
It was rough for Cat, though... she had some bleeding when part of the placenta didn't deliver, and the doctor had to go in and get it out. And she did have some tearing, so she has some stitches, some of which are painful. But she and Mikey are both fine, and we praise God for our new blessing!
-MJ and Cat
(p.s. For anyone who didn't get that "John Jacobs" joke... http://www.jjpt.com/)