It’s been a week now since Arden came into this world and it has been a whirlwind ever since. Vanessa doesn’t have much time on her hands anymore between nursing and taking care of Arden. Somehow blogging just won’t fit into the day. So she asked me (Chris) to write this blog post. The more I think about it, I probably have a better memory about the details because I was the only one to whom the nurses wouldn’t give any drugs. While Vanessa got an Ambien, all I got was one hospital sheet to lay across a couch that measured approximately 5 ft long and had plastic covered cushions.
The delivery story started last Wednesday night (don’t worry I’m not going to go into the details). We checked into the hospital at about 10 pm that night because the Dr. wanted to induce labor the next morning. Over the past 4 or 5 weeks, Vanessa’s platelet count had been dropping, and her doctor was concerned about letting her go past her due date. So after a quick appointment on Wednesday morning, it was confirmed that we would need to get the show on the road– she was scheduled to be induced on Thursday morning.
After I came home from work we loaded the car for our hospital stay. I have to believe the only reason we packed so much was because this was scheduled and not spontaneous. I don’t think I would have had time to pack 3 bags, 3 pillows, a diaper bag, blanket, camera, video camera, baby clothes, and car seat had we been randomly awakened at 3 a.m. to go to the hospital.
I’m not sure if it was easier for Hazel, though. She began to get a little nervous when she saw all of the bags sitting next to the door. She even begged Vanessa to stay.
After we checked in, like any other Dr. or hospital visit, we had to fill out mountains of paper work. I was beginning to think the reason we came in the night before was so we could have a chance to have all the paper work signed off by the next morning. After the final signature Vanessa popped her Ambien and I curled up on the couch and we tried to get some sleep. The nurses took one last blood sample to ensure Vanessa’s platelet count was high enough and then she was out.
At about 3 am the nurse came in and woke Vanessa and me up to tell us the platelet count came back too low and that she wouldn’t be able to have an epidural. She even said the Dr. may want to postpone the induction if the platelet counts were too low. Of course, Vanessa was too drugged up to care and kept saying “I can just do without, it won’t be a big deal.” I, however, started to get really nervous. I know that women do it all the time without drugs, but I did not want to see her go through all of that pain when there were ways to avoid it. Luckily, the nurse said they were sending it off to another lab to do a manual count and that hopefully it would come back at an acceptable level.
At about 7 am our new nurse came back in and told us the good news that the manual platelet count came back at an acceptable level and the induction could start. That’s when all of my stress went away and I started to relax. I knew now that it was just a waiting game.
We were both excited to get the show on the road. Here is Vanessa pre-contractions.
Ready to go on Thursday morning. Notice the time of the day is almost 8 am. At this point I was thinking we’d have a baby by at least 3 pm.
However, things progressed rather slowly. Actually they progressed really slowly. Once the induction medicine kicked in, Vanessa started have intense contractions about every 1-2 minutes. Of course, she tried to put on a happy face to the nurses every time they asked her how she was doing. Then when they left the room she would turn to me and wince with pain. She finally let me ask the nurses if there was anything that she could take before the epidural. They gave her some pain medicine that the baby really didn’t like and the baby’s heart rate dropped considerably. Luckily the Dr. happened to be there and they moved Vanessa around until the heart rate came back up. I really didn’t know what was going on during all this, which is probably a god thing. The Dr. and nurse were so calm I thought it was a normal thing.
After that they said the next pain medication would be the epidural. When that hit we both relaxed quite a bit. Supposedly the epidural would speed the process up, but things still moved rather slowly. In fact, about 9 pm the nurse told us it would probably be around 4 or 5 the next morning because things were moving so slowly. So we both decided to get some sleep and just wait. At 11:30 pm the doctor happened to be at the hospital delivering another baby so she thought she would come check Vanessa out one last time before she went home. Well it was a good thing she did because she said the baby was about to walk right out. Now we were just racing against the clock as to whether she would be born on the 23rd or the 24th.
And at 11:54 pm Arden Quinn Calcara came into this world at 6 lb 10.4 oz.
(From the tattoo on the nurse, you would think she was born at a biker bar.)
Checkout the sweet hair-do. I wanted Arden to see me at my best.
Waiting to be discharged.
And finally heading home.
Welcome to the fam, Arden.