I’ve been meaning to post this for a while, but have been quite busy, and also tired….!
For those of you who were wondering, Lily’s birth made for a very long, and strange day. Last Monday, July 18th, we went in to the doctor at 8:20am for our final checkup before either the Lily decided to come out, or she was induced on Wednesday night. Everything had been 100% fine throughout the entire pregnancy, until that morning. Almost as soon as Lauren was hooked up to the monitors for the “non-stress test,” our doctor came in and hurriedly told us to go to labor and delivery, next door at Mercy Medical Center. Alarmed, and rather confused, we headed straight over. We didn’t know it, but we were checking in for several days.
Once Lauren was checked in and connected to the same type of monitors, the doctor came over and explained everything. Apparently, Lily’s heart rate was decelerating or d-cel’ing when Lauren was having a contraction. This is the opposite of what is supposed to happen, and caused Dr. Johnson to be quite alarmed. I then called Lauren’s parents and Tiffany and told them they should leave for Bentonville as soon as possible. For the next eight hours, though, there were no signs for alarm. Lauren and Lily were doing great!
Around 2:00pm or so, they decided to start Lauren on a small amount of Pitocin, which is a drug used to induce labor. The goal behind this was to see if the baby showed signs of d-cel’ing again, or if not, to evaluate whether or not it would be possible to induce Lauren the next morning to have a “traditional” labor. For almost three hours the Pit was gradually stepped up, and everything looked great. Again, Lauren and Lily were both great! Around 5:00pm, Dr. Johnson came in and told us to have dinner, get a good night’s sleep, and to get ready for Lauren to be induced at 4am the next day. He also gave her a drug called Cervidil, which would help prepare her body a bit more for labor.
After getting permission from the nurses, I went to Red Box to get a movie, and to Carrabbas to get carry-out for Lauren, Tiffany, and myself (Lauren’s best friend Tiffany had been with us for several hours, and was going to stay to help with the labor, along with Lauren’s mom Laura.). When I returned, we put on an episode of The Cosby Show and dug in to dinner! Then, within only a few minutes, one nurse came in acting a little odd and hurried. She was followed by another nurse, and then another, and still another, until pretty soon all the labor and deliver nurses were in our room. They were doing that annoying thing where people talk about you and not to you….. They asked us to put away our food, immediately, told us that Dr. Johnson was on his way up, and soon handed me some disposable scrubs and asked me to put them on. They didn’t tell us (they were waiting for the Doctor to do that), but it was pretty clear that they were prepping Lauren and myself for Lauren to have a C-Section. When Dr. Johnson arrived, he explained that the baby’s heart rate had dropped again, several times in the last 30 minutes or so, and that the dips had lasted longer than before. As a matter of fact, as he spoke, Lily’s little heart again d-cel’ed, and he said strongly, and yet very compassionately that he need to get Lily out immediately. I’m sure you can imagine our shock. Just a matter of minutes earlier, everything was fine, we were laughing, just beginning a nice meal, and excited about the fact that Lily would be born the next morning. And now, a few minutes later, Dr. Johnson left the room to finish scrubbing up, leaving us with only a couple of minutes to prepare. I had just enough time to grab my phone and text our parents (text, not call, because there was no time….!) a short, surely-shocking text, “Things have changed. C-Section ASAP,” and that was it, our parents would have to be filled in later. In shock, and yet trying to be strong for Lauren and Lily, I asked the nurses if they could leave us alone for a few minutes so that we could pray. The nurses agreed, and Tiffany and I prayed for and with Lauren. And then, after we were done praying and attempting to com fort Lauren (who was being so strong!) they began to wheel her down the hallway toward the operating room. I was able to follow, and then to go into the room once Lauren’s spinal tap was completed. Tiffany stayed in the hallway and called our parents for us. A few minutes later, the one of the nurses brought me into the operating room and gave me a seat by Lauren’s head. For the next few moments, Dr. Johnson performed the operation and then a hearty, robust cry let us know that our Lily was born! Lily was born at 8:25pm, Monday, July 18, 2011.
During the entire operation Lauren was alert, and very, very brave. I can’t brag about her enough. Nothing went as expected, or as she hoped except this final bit: and as soon as we heard that cry, we knew that everything was going to be OK. “What does she look like? Can you see her? Tell me what she looks like…..” Lauren asked me repeatedly. I couldn’t see Lily, though, until they let me stand up and then move over to her. It was very hard to leave Lauren’s side, but she wanted me to. Lily was crying and fussing, no doubt, shocked by the outside world. She was covered in a little meconium, but tests showed that she had not inhaled any of it! I took pictures, trimmed the cord, and then, when they were done checking her over, I picked her up and carried her to her mother. It was an honor to be able to present little Lily to Lauren. The meeting was short, unfortunately, as they needed to finish the surgery, and to check Lily. At Lauren’s request, I accompanied Lily to the nursery. There I learned that she was 7.6lbs and 20 1/2 inches. She had all her fingers and toes, blue eyes, and brownish hair. (Her eyes have since changed, and I think they’ll be brown – I’m still not sure what exact color her hair will be.) I stayed with Lily as long as I was allowed, and then watched her outside the window of the nursery. As soon as Lauren was released from surgery, though, and taken to our postpartum room, I went to be with Lauren. My wife had been through so much, and I couldn’t wait to rejoin her at her side. About an hour after she was born (it took a little longer, but after a little strong petitioning, and some help from the head nurse, Lily was brought from the nursery into our room so that Lauren could finally hold her and bond with her.
About 10:30pm Lauren’s parents arrived, and spent a little time with us. Lauren was very glad that they had finally arrived. I was too! The rest of the night was a blur, and there wasn’t a lot of sleep! I changed my first diaper (many diapers, in fact), and held my sweet little baby girl as much as possible.
It was a strange day indeed, but in the end I can’t complain. Lily is wonderful and very healthy, and Lauren is doing amazingly well and on the mend quite nicely.