Here’s the first post about Maggie Moonbeam (sister of Sophie Sunshine, and daughter of ours!).
Saturday Morning arrived…and Betsy had not had any sleep. She had contractions (and she knew it this time) since around midnight. She woke Neal up around 4am so that he could appreciate the contractions as well.
They timed the contractions for the next hour and 1/2, with Betsy calling out, “there’s one”…with neal awaking again and responding with, “that’s five minutes, uh, I think.”
Finally Sophie woke up (at her usual hour of 5:30AM), and they figured it was time to head out to the hospital. First, getting Sophie ready with all her required supplies.
You know that Sophie goes nowhere without her “bahbah”, and at this time in the morning, Cici-Lala is also in demand (that would be the fuzzy thing hanging from her left arm).
So, Sophie was brough over to Ana’s house – I really think we fooled her since she jumped out of the car to play with Ana’s daughter Christina (who, like all normal people, was asleep at 6AM). We quickly shut the door and took off so she wouldn’t notice us leaving….the slick move that all parents use to avoid the tears and tantrums.
We then made a CVS run, picking up the snacks we knew would never be available at the hospital. Second time around you get things figured out.
Within the next 10 minutes we were at MGH, and Betsy was hooked up to all the monitors and doodads and geegaws. She was happy that we were in the same room as the first time around. I guess that suggested some kind of birthing karma or something.
I do think that your first birthing experience is like your wedding – there’s a lot of stuff going on, you feel like only some of it is about you, and it goes by in the blink of an eye.
As you can see, we had plenty of time to wait, talk, and even make funny faces. This was even before Betsy had the Epidural. She practiced breathing through the contractions, er surges. After a few hours of this, the surges were getting to be a little too much to bear. It was time to call in the anethesiologist, Richard.
Richard came in, hooked her up to the good drugs, and all was right with the world again.
A quick word about the nurses. At the first birthing, we had a great nurse, Penelope. She was supportive, showed Betsy all sorts of positions, and really helped her through the process. When we asked the admitting nurse about who we would have this time around, she said, “Well, Penelope is a really special nurse – I don’t think you’ll find many like her.” Good job setting our expectations low.
Our Russian nurse had VERY strong opinions on how to run a birth. You can guess how well that went over with Betsy. There was a good battle back and forth over who was in charge. I think if Betsy weren’t bare-assed she might have been more confident. She got what she needed though!
There was a disagreement about how much Epi Betsy should be getting – the nurse didn’t want to call anyone in to adjust it downward…so Betsy talked to the doctor. The doctor wasn’t too keen on it either…so Betsy got Richard. He turned it down.
The doctor was a little worried, since there was meconium in the fluid. That meant they had to bring in the suction, and have the pediatricians around. Within minutes, there was 8 people in the room. Betsy said, “What is this, birth by committee?”
When it came time to push, it was quick. Almost too quick. 11 minutes quick. I just about missed it quick. If I had been in the bathroom I would have been a daddy quick. They had the suction cup to pull her out quicker, so they could get the meconium out.
Maggie came into this world without a cry…she just kind of slid right in. Head up, full of poop in her mouth, ready to deal with everything she had to face. They grabbed her, cut the cord, put her on the table, rubbed her down, sucked out her mouth, and pronounced her ready to go. She still hadn’t cried. It was a little surprising, since Sophie screamed the moment she came into this world.
I finally had a chance to cut the cord…but it wasn’t the same as the first time around. I felt like a second stringer at a ribbon cutting ceremony. All the real work had been done. Now they just needed someone to make the second cut so that I could say, “I cut the cord”.
By that time Maggie was finally crying, and so I felt a little better. Betsy had been worried as well, since she didn’t hear Maggie say anything. We’re now learning how a mellow baby operates. No real crying, no real fussing, just taking life as it comes. Betsy says (of course), “That’s your child.” No screaming every two hours? I’ll claim that as my progeny. Now that Maggie was scrubbed clean of her fecal robe, she was ready to be presented to Mommy.
One other difference the second time around was the hospital stay. According to all the booklets the baby should stay with the parents in the room. Dad should sleep there as well. All one big happy family. Right. The last sleep you will get for months is available that night in the hospital, and they suggest you have a newborn sleep in your room.
We didn’t make that mistake twice. Maggie went nursery when Betsy was ready to sleep. I went home, since the bed there was much better than the folding bed they wheel in for tired fathers.