A Birth Story… Kind of

23 Mar

Dad blogs are so much easier to keep up on before you are actually a Dad.

It all happened so quickly that it literally has taken the whole week to catch up. Ok, to be honest I am a long way from catching up. But it is time to go back and tell the birth story — from my perspective.

Thursday March 14, 2013 was normal. I got up, I got dressed, I went to work. I worked all day, and because it was my “Friday” I went to a quick happy hour with some friends. Then I got the text. Mrs. Pickle had noticed something not quite right and called the doctor. No big deal she said, “I’ll let you know when I find something out”. Ok then.. Barkeep! Dos Equis please! Twenty minutes went by and in came a call. Mrs Pickle was headed to the hospital on doctor’s orders, mostly for precaution. All was still normal but I decided it was definitely time to head home. Onward to the hospital I ran.

I got down there about 5:30 pm and the Mrs was resting comfortably. No “contractions” (we would later find out that was a lie) and she would probably get to come home in less than an hour. Awesome; I settled in. Just about the time we were going to go home is when things changed, and literally our lives changed forever. The doctor wanted to check for any signs of labor before we left and what do you know, she found Mrs Pickle slightly dilated. About 30 minutes after the doctor checked her out, Mrs Pickle’s water broke. That is actually a funny story in and of itself, probably to be told at Thanksgiving cribbage sessions after a few beers are had. So we’ve now checked off two of the checkpoints toward labor but yet we are not in labor.

Sidebar: The funny thing about this whole experience is that the doctors and medical staff spent ample amounts of time assuring us we were not having the baby that night. I understand that little Baby P was a little bit premature, but c’mon: labor is labor!

Back to business. We find ourselves slightly dilated, without a water sack, and now staying in the hospital overnight. They wanted to get at least one more dose of steroids on board to help development (we’d already had two doses at 28 weeks, and by “we”  I mean Mrs. Pickle) and just to keep a close eye on her.  At this time I want to introduce you to another little fun facet of the night: cramping. Mrs Pickle kept saying she felt this cramping way low in her stomach and the doctors kept telling her it was just round ligament pain. We disagreed with the professionals on that and so we started tracking them. Anyone who has been pregnant can attest that there is a big difference between round ligament pain and contractions — intensityFor the next 90 minutes Mrs Pickle had contractions, er I mean round ligament pain, every 5 minutes like clockwork. As we go settled into a room for the night, we were finally able to convince our nurse that these were in fact contractions.

At this point… I believe it was about 9:30 pm. Who really knows, because the whole night is just a blur. The doctor had went to go deliver another baby and would be back shortly. Every time that Mrs Pickle would have a contraction she would have to stop everything she was doing. Yep, these were the real deal. It was at this point, when she told me to come and give her a kiss while she still liked me, that I realized we were going to have a baby that night. The prevailing thought for me at this point in the night was something along the lines of “HOLY MOTHER OF GOD WHAT AM I SUPPOSED TO DO!?!?!?!?”

The doctor came in close to 11 and checked Mrs Pickle again… dilated even more. Check that last box, labor is on. We are having a baby. Order the epidural. Call the nursery. Notify the parents. HOLY MOTHER OF GOD WHAT AM I SUPPOSED TO DO!?!?!!?

I’m going to fast-forward a little bit here, because the beef of the story has been told. At 2:00 AM on Friday, March 15, 2013 a beautiful baby boy was born. He came in at 18 inches long (2 inches of that was attributable to his immense cone head!) and 4 lbs 5 ounces. We had already decided to call him Nolan Wayne, but the name seemed even more perfect when we got to see him. He came out screaming and kicking — a fighter! — which is just what you want to see out of a newborn. I was able to cut his umbilical cord and the new mom was able to hold him for a few minutes before I carried him off to NICU.

Yes, NICU. Neo-Natal Intensive Care. The hardest part about this whole story is that Mr Nolan was born 8 weeks early and so required some special care. That is where he currently is after one week of life, and though he is making incredible progress he will probably spend his first few weeks of life in there and not home. Tough is an understatement. Leaving him each night becomes increasingly more difficult. Luckily he has started to gain weight back toward his birth weight and is off all breathing assistance save a whiff of oxygen. He is quiet, yet feisty. He is alert. He loves to be held, he loves to pull his feeding tube out of his nose.

He. Is. Perfect.
Check him out for yourself!

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