Wednesday, December 31, 2008
The short version: Anders Alfred, born at 2:18 AM on Saturday, December 27th, 2008; 6 pounds 5.8 ounces, 19" long (probably). Yes, he was born on Kate's birthday. I'd mentioned how similar the timing was with the two pregnancies, and we knew they were going to be close, but somehow I hadn't really considered that he might come on the same day. Hopefully they won't mind sharing a birthday!
We're calling him Andy. Anders is the Scandinavian version of Andrew (that's with an "ah" sound as in "father"). We have Anders(es) on both sides of the family. And Alfred is for Doug's dad, of course, who passed away just two months ago.
The long version: I'd been having mild cramping contractions off and on for a couple of weeks, but I was definitely getting more uncomfortable, and I could feel that the baby was really low. On Friday I had another doctor's appointment, so Doug and Kate went out with me and played at Borders while I went in and got checked. I was dilated 3 cm and 80% effaced, and the doctor said he was surprised that I hadn't had the baby yet. (Later he told me that I looked like I was in labor, but didn't act like I was in labor.) He did say not to wait too long to get to the hospital.
We went to Chevy's for dinner that night, and then went to Fred Meyer to pick up some stuff to make cupcakes for Kate's birthday. Cramping continued. Doug took Kate over to the toy section while I pushed the shopping cart around, cramping.
I didn't particularly want to go into labor right then, since Kate's birthday was the next day and we had plans. I'd also agreed to teach the older Primary girls some beginning crochet that morning, for Activity Days (I'd warned them that I might not be available, but would come if I could). The cramping wasn't particularly strong but I began to realize that it was a bit too regular to be just cramping.
We got Kate ready for bed as usual, went through our toothbrushing, prayer, and book-reading routine. I lay in bed for a while watching the clock, and timed things at about seven minutes apart. Around midnight I decided that I was definitely not going to get any sleep, so I got up and started packing, just in case. (And got out some Sunday clothes for Kate and showed Doug where they were, just in case.)
At the point at which the contractions actually became painful, they progressed rather rapidly. When one hit I would stop and breathe, and rub two points on my lower back. I told Doug it was definitely time to go. We called the Tracys, as pre-arranged, bundled Kate up in her blankets, and headed out to the car. We left the house at 1:30.
We were in and out of the Tracys' house between contractions (dropped Kate off--she seemed groggy but not overly distressed), and were back on the road. I had the seat tipped back and was trying to keep rubbing my back while we drove. By this time I was feeling the urge to push, which struck me as Not A Good Idea. Doug ran a couple of red lights (carefully).
We got to the hospital's valet parking, and hit the front desk at 1:45. A nurse took me to triage, and then disappeared briefly while I changed into a hospital gown. I said to Doug, "Is she coming right back? Right now would be good. Like now now now." She came back and checked me and said, "You're at ten centimeters and ready to deliver!" So we wheeled into delivery and got busy.
My doctor wasn't on that night (he'd shown me his holiday schedule, so I wasn't expecting him) so I had the doctor who was filling in for him, and a resident who I really liked but didn't catch her name. We had an all-female team of two doctors and two nurses. They coached me through pushing through the contractions, and I was doing pretty well, but still had to have an episiotomy. I was hoping to avoid another one of those, but it just wasn't happening. I grow 'em small, but apparently I just can't push 'em out. Urgh. The stitching up took longer than the delivery.
They pulled Andy out at 2:18, all curled up and squalling, had Doug cut the cord, and then they put him on my tummy right away. I said something like, "Hello, little brother! You made it!"
Being born is hard work!
Once we were all cleaned and stitched up, weighed and measured, they took us to our room. Doug stayed with us for the rest of the night and conked out immediately on the uncomfortable fold-out bed.
I remember feeling rather shocky after Kate's delivery. This time was better, I think. I was still sore, and getting up and down off the bed was just as difficult, but once I was up it wasn't too bad. And though I was disappointed at not being able to avoid another episiotomy, I felt better about the whole thing. The first one felt like a violation, but this one seemed more like a team effort, for some reason.
Doug picked up Kate from the Tracys' around lunch time (we hear she had a good time and played with their cat a lot) and then brought her to the hospital later that afternoon. She didn't seem particularly interested in her new baby brother (he doesn't really do anything yet). They brought one of her birthday presents to open there (a new Elephant and Piggie book! Yay!)
Daddy bonds with Andy.
Kate decorates the newspaper.
My family called and sang Happy Birthday to Kate, and then they sang Happy Birthday to Anders. This will certainly make for a busy Christmas season, with double birthdays. How nice that they'll have Daddy home over winter break.
I took these pictures the next day:
I think he does look like Kate did, particularly in the profile. A photographer came by later and took some more pictures, which you can see here (visitor password 75881254605978). I think that first one looks a lot like Kate.
In delivery, when they measured Andy, I'm pretty sure they said 19". But the card on his bassinet said 15¾". One of the nurses noticed and said, "That can't be right!" so she measured him again and got 20½". This led to some confusion on our part. Makes it hard to rattle off the stats. But I took him in to the pediatrician yesterday (his bilirubin levels tested normal, but he looked pretty yellow, so the doctor wanted me to bring him in) where they measured him at 19", so that's what we're going with. That seems about right--Kate was a few ounces heavier and 18".
Doug brought Kate back over Sunday afternoon, and we got these pictures of them together. Awwww!
(Kate's lips are chapped, if you're wondering what that is.)
I was discharged on Monday, around lunchtime. I had packed two little sleepers for Andy, and let Kate pick out which one he should wear to come home. She picked the blue one.
Kate had fun playing with the buttons on the bed. This is where she said, "Watch me fall!" and then let herself roll down as the front end of the bed went up.
My milk came in Monday afternoon (that was quick--the fact that Kate nursed for waaay too long may have something to do with it). Andy's eating well but he sure does spit up a lot. Kate was like The Amazing Non-Urping Baby, so I don't really have a feel for how much of this is "normal," but we're getting the hang of feeding and burping, feeding and burping, feeding and burping, burping, burping. (Burp.) And according to the pediatrician's scale, he's almost back up to his birth weight already. He sleeps really well, so far, once he's worked all the bubbles out.
Welcome to the family, Andy!