August 27, 2007

Annie's Day, Part II

Okay, so we arrived at the hospital at a smooth 7:40 a.m. I will give you an early hint Annie…fashionably late works well at parties; not so much at giving birth. Do you remember when I told you how quiet Mountainside is? Not on Thursday June 28th at 7:40 in the morning it wasn’t. Two other women beat us to the hospital to be induced well before we arrived. Do the math honey, we were already at three births that day guaranteed. This already put the hospital over its daily birthing average. A couple of well timed thunderstorms would take us to a total that Mountainside probably hadn’t seen for a long time.

One of the problems with our tardy arrival was the fact that Mountainside only owns two walking fetal monitors. It was important for Mom to be able to walk around freely for the type of birth that we wanted you to have. Damn, time out. Mom wanted to do the whole thing naturally. I know, ambitious. Some day you will be in the same position and you may make the same choice, but a word to the wise. Watching is the single hardest thing I have ever had to do. Don’t put the future Mr. Poulas through the same wringer I went through. I’m just kidding. I loved watching, but your mother was in a lot of pain.

While the ends certainly justifies the means you should know ahead of time that Mom didn’t pull off the feat, and she is the most headstrong, stubborn person I’ve ever met. When she puts her mind to it, it gets done…ask her about your first stroller some day and how she helped close the deal between an up and coming stroller manufacturer and an on the rise retailer in the Northeast…just so we could by their stroller with the store credit we had from your shower 2 months earlier.

Back to your birth day. The clock now read 8:30 and the midwife was just arriving. By this time your Mom should have had 30 minutes of fetal monitoring to develop a baseline and also been prepped for her Pitocin drip. However, we were still relaxing and waiting for the show to get started. Joann is definitely the type of personality that gets things moving, so shortly after her arrival you guys were wired for sound and good to go. The monitors (matching blue and pink for each of you) were strapped to Mom’s belly with three inch wide polyester bands.

Naturally, as this was a day where our stress needed to be as high as humanly possible your mother’s previously blown up heat rash was terribly aggravated by the bands that held the monitors in place. Your mom can be very easily annoyed and the fact that she had to wear monitors was just about enough to set her off, but add the rash to the equation and she was over the edge. Fortunately we had an ace in the hole…

About halfway through your pregnancy we decided to get a little bit of help from the outside. We hired a Doula named Kim Collins. She is a local mother who has found her path in life by helping families get through natural childbirth. Like your mother she was initially an Attorney, but she later realized that she was more of a nurturer than a litigator. First and foremost though, she is a wonderfully calming woman who brings a little bit of her Zen vibe to would be moms and dads. I will say it again later, but the day would not have gone anywhere near as well as it did (and at times it was excruciatingly difficult) without Kim

So our ace Kim arrived at the hospital and assessed the situation of the monitors in her astute way. All we needed was for one of the other women to require an epidural, and thus need continuous local monitoring, to get our hands on a walking monitor. Kim was also the one who made sure that the nursed brought some cortisone cream for mom’s rash and just like that things were cruising along nicely again.

It was now around 9:15 and the Pitocin rolled into the room with the nurse and it was time to jumpstart your labor. Your mom is terrified of needles and even the small one for the I.V. scared her considerably. The very large, very intimidating needle was actually one of the factors involved in your birth plan involving no epidural. We did however get through this first needle and Mom decided to take a little nap. Kim, Joann and I took some time to catch up and listen to some tunes while she rested and then I went down to get a snack.


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