Welcoming Boy Number 1

The Wife and her Basketball

The above picture is of my wife the day before she gave birth to our first son. That’s right, less than 12 hours prior. She gained right around 30 pounds with each child and carried them like little basketballs in her tummy. Before I begin, the obligatory disclaimer: If any facts are incorrect, I apologize to the Wife in advance. It’s been 9 years, I may miss a detail or two.

The birth of our first child did not go as we had expected. We went to the obligatory child birthing class to learn to breath and all that good stuff. Fat good it did, as you will see. My wife went into labor somewhere in the wee hours of a Sunday morning. All I know is she woke me at around 4am. She thinks labor started around 2 am. I believe I asked something to the effect of “What’s going on?” She yelled back, “What do you think's going on!” My mind wasn’t quite up to speed yet as we’d gone to bed sometime after midnight. As a side note to any pregnant or thinking of being so, an orgasm is a really good method of inducing labor when you’re close to your due date and are tired of carrying your precious bundle of joy.

I called the doctor and told him the contractions were less than 3 minutes apart. It was a little difficult to get that information as my wife was crawling on the floor moaning in pain very loudly. The doctor agreed we should go to the hospital. I drove her in and they put her in one of the maternity “triage” rooms, where they check you out and figure out how far along you are. She was 6 centimeters dilated. She was definitely in labor. They put one of those belts around her to measure the contractions and get the frequency. Tip to first time fathers, when you see this big spike on the machine, don’t tell your wife/girlfriend, “Wow, that looked like a really strong contraction!”. She’s liable to rip your nipples off. Needless to say, that comment didn’t go over well.

At this point, my wife wanted drugs, preferably an epidural. When we asked the nurse about it, she said they’d have to put a bag of fluids in my wife. I had presence of mind enough to ask how long that would take. The answer was 30 minutes. My wife practically cried and said “I can’t wait that long!”. They went ahead and started the bag of fluids. By the time it was empty, she was 10 centimeters dilated, meaning it was basically time to push. That meant she couldn’t get the epidural any longer. That’s right people, she delivered that baby with no drugs. (Qualifier right here, I know we discussed her taking Nubane (sp?), a milder drug for the pain, but I can’t remember if they actually used it or not. Help with that hon?).

Since she was 10 centimeters, the doctor came in. Her regular doctor told here he’d be available for delivery any day that weekend except for Sunday. So of course she had the baby on Sunday. The on call doctor we thought she would get was also unavailable as well so we got this guy we never met before. Since her water hadn’t broken yet, he grabbed the crochet hook and broke it for her. The problem was he neglected to tell her he was doing it. Next thing you know, she’s really wet. The other problem was that once her water broke, she got the contraction from hell. You know, the kind that makes you stand up in the stirrups. At this point, the moved her to a wheelchair to go to the delivery room. Problem is, she started needing to push the second they got her in the chair. You never saw nurses move so fast!

One thing I forgot to mention, shortly before they broke her water, my wife was having trouble with the pain of contractions. For all the birthing classes we took, all I could do was stand there with my mouth hanging open. It took a nurse to grab my wife’s face with both hands and tell her to breath. After that, I think she relaxed a little.

Once we got in the delivery room, it went pretty smooth. She pushed for about an hour, and out popped our beautiful little boy. I will note, however, that the doctor that delivered our son was a hack. He had the worst bedside manner and caused my wife more recovery time than she probably needed. She tore during the delivery before the episiotomy and then he cut her too much. In contrast, with our second boy, her regular doctor did the delivery and stretched her out during the delivery so she didn’t need the episiotomy. (I know, too much information).

In total, the labor and delivery lasted about 6 hours. My wife did ALL the work and I really was along for the ride on this one. Total space cadet. I did much better with the second one. One last note. I called my mom and my wife’s mom when we went to the hospital to let them know the baby was on the way. I told them we’d call after the baby was born. Our son was born right around 8:30 in the morning. Literally minutes after the birth, the nurse announces there’s someone at the door that would like to come in if we didn’t mind. It was my mom. She’d shown up about 7:30 and was waiting. Italian moms just don’t listen.

Update: The little lady corrected most of my mistakes, and I've made the corrections. I'll use her words for the last ones, as it is easier: The hack broke my water just before the epidural incident. They both happened at about 8 cm. The doctor who agreed to give me the epidural was nice.


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