April 17, 1996
April 17, 1996 dawned a perfect Maryland spring day. We were two weeks from God turning on the heat full blast, as always happened the first week of May. I was on day three of my enforced maternity leave and had an appointment with my midwife at 11am. Based on LMP, I was due April 8th, (but I know the child was conceived on CD4*, so that was WRONG) and by their calculations, I was 9 days over.
At this point, I still was scheduled to have my child at the practice's birthing center, attached to the back of their offices. It was like a luxurious bed and breakfast. You were attended to by the midwife and could labor in whatever manner you were most comfortable.
My visit was more of the usual. My midwife decided I needed to have a meal, come back in three hours and have a non stress test. Problem was, I had a cold and wasn't very hungry. I got a biscuit from Roy Rogers. In retrospect, that probably didn't put enough sugar in my body to jump start my baby. (If I got a do over, I would change that to a strawberry shortcake instead!)
At 2pm, I was strapped into the barcalounger type chair and some monitors were put all over my belly. Forty five minutes later, Marge was back and shanking her head. "Suzanne, you've failed the non stress test and can't deliver at the birthing center. I'm going to strip your membranes and send you over to the hospital." She added, "You're having that baby today."
Ed was carry our friend Aaron's cell phone and was driving into DC on the way to work when I called him from the OB's office. He later said it was the weirdest thing to be driving and the phone rang (remember, 1996, not many people had cell phones). He turned around and drove up to Frederick. (We'd just moved down to Laurel, almost an hour away.)
Membranes stripped, I drove over to the hospital. Meanwhile, I detoured on my way to labor and delivery and placed calls to Mom and Ed's Mom.
Checking in was a breeze, since I'd submitted paperwork to the hospital at 34 weeks that I thought we'd never use (birthing center, remember). I met some nice nurses at L&D and was told that they were setting me up for a Biophysical Profile, since my baby was overdue and failed the non stress test.
Biophysical Profile is a fancy name for a more comprehensive sonogram. I was taken by a gurney downstairs to radiology and waited. And waited some more. Finally, after being bored to tears for almost an hour, the tech came out and wheeled me into the room, apologizing for the delay-she'd been very busy that afternoon.
Meanwhile, Ed had just gotten to Labor and Delivery, where he was met by midwife Terri. He was told that I would probably be having a c section, but I had no clue at this point! I was getting that very detailed sonogram.
The technician was nice, asking me if I knew the gender before she'd even put the goo on me! She was good about turning the screen away so that I'd still be surprised-I'd gotten 41.5 weeks without knowing. She commented that I grew them big-that my little one was nearly 10 pounds. (She pretty much nailed it-he was 9lbs 11oz)
Once my scan was done, back up to L&D I went. I got to see Terri and we talked about the game plan. I would be given pitocin and we'd see what happened. Unfortunately, she wanted to monitor the baby's vitals, so I was stuck in bed. So much for the laboring comfortably part! I endured three hours of back labor, being a whiny pain in the butt to Ed the whole time, especially when I had to pee and they wouldn't let me get out of bed to use the toilet!
At 9pm, after three hours of those contractions, and what I was later told was a HUGE amount of pitocin, I was only 3 centimeters dilated. I only moved up 1 centimeter in three hours of assistance. Terri started talking about having a C section to me. This is what good practitioners do-they give the hubby the scoop, so he's prepared, then wait until the laboring mother sees the writing on the wall by herself!
So, at 9pm, the decision was made that I'd have the C section. I had to endure another hour of the pitocin before the OB and the OR was ready for me. My OB practice had four midwifes and four OBs. I'd met all the midwifes, but none of the OBs-Terri had to call Dr. L in.
At 10pm, the nurses walked me down to L&D. Apparently, I was the first laboring mom who had ever walked into the OR! I sat down on the table and was met by the anesthesiologist. Terri had me put my head on her shoulder while the nice man numbed me up nicely. (I don't really go into it, but my midwives were AWESOME with both pregnancies).
A few moments later, Dr. L walks in and introduces himself. In all the time I'd been going to the practice, I'd never met the doctors, only the midwives. He's quite chipper and excited to get this show on the road. I can understand that!
They set up the blue drapes and stick IVs into me, then once everything is all set up, Ed is ushered in, dressed head to toe in blue surgical wear: scrubs, hat, mask and booties.
After all of that buildup, and the three hours of my back KILLING me, the surgery itself was a breeze. Within 5 minutes of Ed being ushered in, we heard wailing and Dr. L announcing "Suzanne, you have a baby boy." Wow, a boy! He made his entrance at 10:19 pm. Apgars were 9 and 9 and then 9 and 10.
They swaddled my son (known here as Gameboy) and presented him to me and Ed. Ed had tears in his eyes as he told me that Gameboy looked just like his dad. All I know is that I had a BIG baby. He was 9 11, 21 inches long and had a 15 inch head. (There was no way he was coming out the normal way, that's for sure!)
Gameboy was ushered off to the nursery, Ed followed, and they patched up Humpty Dumpty. Word to the wise, though-if you have a late night C section and you are fair skinned, you will be sent to the regular recovery rooms and spend way too much time there.
I got to my room at 12:15am and called my mom to tell her the news-only to find my sister Legacy had already called the hospital and gleaned the information already. Nice one, take the joy of sharing my news away from me!
Our friend Aaron (a coworker) was there waiting for Gameboy's arrival, too. Aaron took great pleasure in asking me how many weeks I was, going back and reading the corresponding week in "Your Pregnancy Week by Week", them coming out and announcing stuff like "Your baby is as big as a grapefruit!". He was rather excited to be there to see Gameboy show up in the nursery.
I finally got to hold Gameboy on the 18th, a little after midnight and investigate those huge cheeks, dimpled arms and monkee toes. Twelve years later, he's got the cheeks, but he's not the bruiser he was when he came into the world.
After five days in the hospital, we went home to enjoy life as a family, our little family of three. Let the crazy sleep patterns begin.
Happy Birthday, Gameboy! Enjoy your last year as a pre teen!