Thursday, April 24, 2008

The long and the short of it

Well, Avelyn is officially 6 days old today. I still can't believe it. Right now she is sleeping on my chest and I cannot fathom how this perfectly formed, beautiful person came to be mine. She is absolutely the best thing that has ever happened to me; already I can't imagine our lives without her.

As previously posted, there was no change at Tuesday's OB appt regarding all those technical details -- still 3cm/60%. We were all hoping I would last until the induction date but with everything that had been going on they were all surprised I hadn't gone into labor yet.

Just two days later, during my weekly ultrasound on Thursday, we found that in the last 7 days the amniotic fluid level had dropped dangerously low, which occurs in roughly 4% of pregnancies. In my case this was most likely caused by the placenta just giving out. Luckily the baby was showing no signs of distress and her heart rate and breathing pattern were strong. They sent me back up to my regular OB with well wishes saying I would probably be having a baby! Even though I understood the situation, I still don't think I could comprehend that we would have this baby in the next 24 hours. Even after I got upstairs and was signing in to see my doctor and the receptionist said - "Dr. X wants you to go across the street to the hospital and check in and she will meet you there. Congratulations! You're going to have your baby!" EVEN THEN, I was still stunned thinking "Baby = Maybe" not "Baby = NOW FOOL!"

I finally got a hold of Kevin and told him he would probably need to come to Houston because we were probably having a baby today. It wasn't until I'd already checked into the hospital and was waiting for them to call me back before I thought to ask a nurse what they were planning to do for me. This surreal conversation went something like this:

Me: I'm sorry, when you said induction were you referring to the scheduled induction on the 27th or are they planning to induce today?
Nurse: Um, today [idiot]. Dr. X is going to check you to determine if we need to deliver you tonight or early tomorrow morning.
Me: Oh. [awkward pause] So I should probably tell my husband he needs to come back into town.
Nurse: Yes.
Me: Okay, wow, thank you. [AGHHHHH!]

I phoned Kevin again who promptly got moving, and my grandparents to keep me company until he arrived. Pretty soon we were in a room and the rest is history. Kevin brought a great pizza as my last child-free meal and then I slept the night away thanks to the wonderful effects of Ambien – 6 whole hours. I realize now why that was so important.

We started the Pitocin at 5 am the next morning and Avelyn was born just 9 hours later at 2:05 pm after 40 minutes of pushing. It was the most amazing experience ever and I highly recommend it (with epidural, of course). The whole thing was just very relaxed, calm, exciting and FUN thanks to my wonderful doctor and nurse. Kevin did a fantastic job too – he was supportive, attentive, funny, worried, nervous, everything a new dad-to-be should.

When she came out I just remember being totally stunned at how surreal it all was. My belly deflated (a good amount anyway), a baby was lying on it instead if in it and she was breathtakingly beautiful. She seemed like such a little stranger but in the most familiar way. It was really odd how everything changed in an instant -- She made two people into a family who seconds before were just a couple.

Crazy. Wonderful. Beautiful. Life.

Last night before baby

5 times the charm

Our last "just the two of us" photo (note the "IV fat face")

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