September 25, 2009

Your Guide to 50 Hours of Labor

Ever hopeful writer that I am, I went into my wife's labor inducement appointment earlier this month equipped with a notebook and pen, intent on chronicling the event as it unfolded. Of course, I was expecting a fairly routine labor experience but, as you'll see here, as with so many things in my life, this whole thing wasn't exactly "routine."

Sept. 16, 2009 - 7:30 p.m. - My wife and I arrive at the hospital and quickly realize the staff seems to know more about our pregnancy than we do. So long as they don't know the details of the conception, I guess I'm okay with that.

8:30 p.m. - My wife now has so many tubes and wires hooked up to her, she looks like some sort of biological experiment. I keep expecting a doctor to come in and say "Gentlemen, we have the technology. . . we CAN rebuild her.

8:45 p.m. - A doctor inserted a labor inducement drug near my wife's cervix in a procedure I think I last saw in an adult film. My wife pointed out there's an advantage to having a woman doctor: "Their hands are smaller." Good to know. . . and ewwwwwww.

9:20 p.m. - I started filling out baby book information, but I gave up because my handwriting looks like something a person buried alive would claw into the lid of the casket. Computer keyboards have spoiled me for life.

9:45 p.m. - Wife: "I'm really thirsty. . . and I dropped my straw." This was a hint for me to pick up the straw. It's going to be a long night.

10:08 p.m. - My wife isn't happy with her IV placement, which apparently feels like Satan's trident inserted into her wrist. We had the IV moved to her forearm instead. I reminded my wife the baby probably won't move in a similar fashion.

Sept. 17, 2009 - Midnight - I get the feeling this whole thing isn't going to proceed all that quickly.

2:30 p.m. - I slept for over 12 straight hours, so I feel great. My wife looks like she wants to destroy me in a variety of painful ways; apparently she didn't have the same awesome night of sleep I had. Several inducement treatments into this thing and her cervical dilation has only made baby steps so small, most babies would make fun of them.

4:40 p.m. - Cleaning urine off my wife's catheter after she went to the bathroom was an unexpected experience I'm pretty sure was nowhere mentioned in our wedding vows. Labor contractions don't look nearly as fun as people never said they were.

7:10 p.m. - My wife officially reached three centimeters in dilation. At this rate, she'll give birth sometime in December, or possibly early next year.

9:17 p.m. - Just a thought here: anything over 20 hours of labor is just simply unnecessary. Congress should make a law or something.

9:50 p.m. - I consider it a strong sign I'm a great husband that I can detect, and get ten feet away from, my wife's projectile vomit. A couple nurses weren't quite so lucky. Neither were a couple pillows and a large portion of the floor.

Sept. 18, 2009 - 4:30 a.m. - Seven centimeters dilated. It's like her cervix is running in super slow motion or something. My journal posting has become fairly sparse because there are only so many ways to write "waiting. . . waiting. . . waiting some more."

7:45 a.m. - Over 36 hours after being admitted to the hospital, my wife is at 8 centimeters dilation. This baby had better sleep through the night AND do the dishes for the first 10 years of his life to make it up to his mom and me.

9:20 a.m. - Exhausted and helpless; both of us. Eventually, you just start wondering whether the "miracle of birth" mostly refers to the patience required to get through it.

12:15 p.m. - Entering hour 41 of labor. It's like some sort of drawn out negotiations between my wife's cervix and the U.N. security council.

2:40 p.m. - There's something both relieving but terribly sad when you realize your wife just can't take any more labor and sleeps through her contractions; you just grow to accept a c-section is inevitable.

4:45 p.m. - Natural birth is back on. Wife is now at 9.5 centimeters dilated.

7 p.m. - Wife is preparing to push!!

7:30 p.m. - Baby's heart rate is not responding well to all the pushing. This does not bode well.

8 p.m. - Back to a likely c-section. ARGH!!

9 p.m. - Wife is being prepped for surgery. I'm looking around the delivery room at all the hopeful stuff we packed, expecting a natural birth. It's all very emotionally draining. It's hard to be funny after nearly 50 hours of labor. Even a good fart joke won't get me to laugh right now, which is saying something.

9:12 p.m. - I'm waiting to be called into the operating room to join my wife. Man, it sucks just standing here alone in an empty delivery room, with nothing but a head full of nightmare scenarios playing out over and over again. Praying for a happy ending to all this.

9:50 p.m. - A healthy Aiden Ryan Rhodes was delivered successfully at 9:38 p.m. via c-section. It's an odd sensation, writing this with so much pride seemingly about to take control of me. I think I'm ready to start this little adventure. At least, I hope I am. . .

Posted by Ryan at September 25, 2009 01:17 PM | TrackBack
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