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Kieran's Story

Jun 24, 07:39 PM · from the mouth of Tyler

Okay, I’ve been promising a little write-up about our experience the past week, so I’ll give it a shot. Part of the reason it’s taken me this long is because I’ve been so busy, but it’s also partly because I’m not really sure what to say. The past week has been filled with so many emotions that I’m not sure how to put them into words.

Last Monday, Jess and I went to the doctor for her weekly check-up. We’d been going once a week for the last month or so, so we were pretty used to the routine. We’d go in, Jess would pee in a cup, get her B.P. measured, then the doctor would measure her belly, check to see if she was dilating, and listen to the baby’s heart beat. Well last week, the doctor wasn’t satisfied by the heartbeat. He hooked Jess up to a fetal heart monitor, and still wasn’t satisfied.

So he ordered a biophysical profile, which is an ultrasound where they look for the baby’s movement. The ultrasound tech watched him for 30 minutes, and he barely moved at all. He failed his test. :( So the doc told us he’d induce her that day. By this time we were already 5 days past-due, so we were expecting something anyway. But still, the news that we’d be having the baby within 24 hours was exhilarating and worrisome at the same time. He told us to go home, get our stuff and come back in a couple of hours.

I can’t tell you how frenzied we felt during those couple of hours. We had to go home and get all our affairs in order for the next week. Freak out!! We rushed around trying to remember everything we needed to do, packing our stuff, calling people, and arranging for the dogs to go to the kennel.

***

We went to the hospital, checked in, and got set up for the induction. Jess was strapped to a fetal heart monitor, given a drug that helps the cervix to dilate, and we began the wait. We were there all day, just sitting around, waiting. My parents came in at 9pm, and stayed at our house. Around 10pm, the nurses gave Jess a sleeping pill and I went home to try and get some sleep myself. Let me tell you: that was nearly impossible!

I got up before dawn at 5:15am and got myself to the hospital, already sleep-deprived. The nurses had just started the Pitocin when I got there (Pitocin is the drug that starts contractions.) So again we waited for a while, then the doctor came in with an entourage of nurses and examined Jess. Turned out that even with the Cervidil (dilation drug) working all night, Jess hadn’t dilated AT ALL. He felt her belly and determined that the baby hadn’t dropped into the pelvis. So he told her he needed to do a c-section. We could tell he was expecting a fight because we obviously didn’t want a c-section… Jess made it clear on her birth plan that she wanted to have the baby naturally, with no drugs (birth plan = detailed list of how we’d ideally like the whole experience to go down.). So he gave us all kinds of statistics and worst-case scenarios, and gave her an ultimatum… either have a c-section and deliver a healthy, happy baby, or try to deliver him naturally, and deliver a {quote} “sick-as-shit baby”. So we obviously weren’t going to argue with that. I think that because we had a birth plan, he thought we cared more about following it than of doing what was best for the babe.

***

Wow, so the rest of the day is kind of a blur, but here we go…

Jess got her epidural (which was very uncomfortable for her) and started shaking uncontrollably due to the drugs. That’s apparently normal, but it was still kind of scary. Then she got wheeled into the O.R. at 11:30. I remember feeling at around 11:15, “Holy shit. This is really happening. And it’s happening NOW!”. I had to wait behind about 15 minutes for them to get her prepped. I’m sure if I was alone that would have felt like the longest 15 minutes of my life, but luckily my parents had arrived about 20 minutes earlier, so they were there with me. I had to put on this white jump-suit and a hair cap, face mask, and little booties to go over my Birkenstocks. (I was thinking about the comments Jake and Andy made about jumpsuits the day before!)

One of the nurses came to get me and walked me into the O.R. Talk about a surreal experience! It was a bright white room filled with people in blue scrubs and face masks, and for all that was going on, it was eerily quiet. A couple of beeping machines and the doctor quietly giving orders to the nurses… otherwise, silence.

I walked over to Jess and sat on a stool by her side and held her hand and kissed her. She had a mirror set up so that she could see the whole operation. (Tough girl, huh? Some people would have gotten queasy just being in the room, but she wanted a front row seat for to watch her belly being sliced open!) I managed to snap off a few shots with our little camera, and before I knew it, the baby was OUT! It was so fast, I didn’t even see it coming! I managed to take two not-so-great pics of the baby being pulled out. First they got his head out, and suctioned the liquid out of his mouth and nose. He immediately started making noise. It was at that very moment, when I first heard my son’s voice, that everything changed. It was like I was immediately transported to an alternate reality. I want to explain the emotions I felt and thoughts that raced through my head, but I just can’t. Maybe I was suspended in a few moments of shock, or maybe I was living so in the moment that I can’t remember that part. I think it’s that things were just happening so fast that I didn’t have time to think, only to watch. I do remember that my jaw hit the floor (not literally) in awe of it all. Seriously though, my eyes were bugging out of my head and my mouth opened, dumfounded.

The nurses immediately brought him over to the baby assessment area and started cleaning him up, giving him oxygen with the cutest little baby-sized oxygen mask, and doing whatever else they needed to do (I couldn’t really see). I snapped off a few pictures and a couple of videos, then the nurses invited me over to see him. My legs were like rubber. I walked slowly and carefully over to him. He was laying naked on the table with his umbilical cord hanging out of him. He looked cold and scared, so I asked the nurse if I could hold his hand. She said I could, so I put my index finger in his hand and he clenched his little fingers around mine. Knowing that skin-to-skin contact is vitally important to a newborn baby, I laid my hand across his whole chest and belly. He was warm and fragile feeling, his skin soft and clammy from 41 weeks in the womb. I started to tear up a little at that moment. I was able to cut the little bit of cord still attached to him. It was already cut, but for me to cut the little end off of it was symbolic and I appreciated it.

The nurses swaddled him up and gave him to me to hold. I walked him over to Jess and sat back down and put his face next to hers. The two of them looked at each other and touched cheek to cheek. She said hi and kissed his little head. This is when I really began to cry. Jess did too. It was a magical moment. Luckily, one of the nurses in the room had the forethought to grab the camera and take a few shots. I was so thankful for that.

After they got her all stitched up (stapled, actually), they brought me to the post-op recovery room down the hall and made me wait for Jess and the baby. I think I was away from them a total of 5 minutes, but it was the longest 5 minutes of my entire life. Finally, they wheeled them down to the room. My parents came in and got to hold him and cry. Jess got a chance to breast-feed, which was very important to us, because babies who don’t feed right after birth tend to have difficulty doing so and often end up being formula-fed. Then the nurses had a chance to do a more thorough assessment.

***

I’m not going to detail the next few days for you because quite frankly, they run together in my mind. Kieran was born at 11:59am Tuesday June 19th, and we were at the hospital until noon on Friday the 22nd. The hospital stay was a long haul. We had the baby in the room with us every second that we were there except for a couple of brief times when he was brought to the nursery to various tests. His pediatrician even came to our room every morning to do him check-up rather than insisting that she do it in the nursery (where they usually do it).

Kieran is a good baby. I mean it. He doesn’t cry a lot. In fact the only times he really cries are when we change his diapers, clothes, or bathe him (which we’ve done once so far). Otherwise he’s a very happy baby. He’s sleeping about 18 hours out of every day. He’s breastfeeding like a champ. Breastfeeding was really a concern for us because so many moms try and end up getting frustrated or having problems and switching to formula. But so far he’s doing great!

And on that note, Jess is doing great too. She is absolutely a natural. The two of them have this magical connection, where she can tell exactly what he needs and when he needs it. She’s the perfect mom and he’s the perfect baby. And she’s also the perfect wife.

I can’t possibly describe the love I have for my baby and my wife. It’s beyond words.

 

Comment [16]

  1. Andy responds with:

    Wow. Looks like I stumbled onto this posting moments after it got up. The pictures are so descriptive and wonderful. I love the one where he’s biting your nose! And I’m amazed you’re able to so clearly describe everything that happened. From reading this, I feel like I was right there!

    Birth is really one of life’s great magical mysteries. Think about it – all you have to do is get busy like you always do, and then 9 months later a NEW PERSON comes out of one of you. That’s kind of freaky… it just… happens! But I can’t imagine how that must feel seeing your own new person for the first time. I’m truly in awe of you guys.


    · Jun 24, 08:05 PM
  2. Jimmy's Girlie Saree responds with:

    ::tear::

    No, really, there are tears in my eyes. Thanks so much for your dissertation. What a lucky baby he really is to have the two of you!

    And I must say, my favorite is also the one where he is kissing (or biting?) your nose :)

    And the requisite “Awwwwwwwww”...

    Lots of love to the three of you!


    · Jun 24, 08:15 PM
  3. TyTy responds with:

    He’s sucking my nose actually. In the hospital, we were trying to avoid pacifiers because they can interfere with his learning to breastfeed. So the nurses showed us how he can suck on our pinkies for pacification. At the time that this picture was taken, he has being fussy but I didn’t have a free hand to give him a pinky, so I just stuck my nose in his mouth. It seemed to make him happy for a while!

    As you can see though, since coming home from the hospital we’ve changed our mind about the pacifiers. So far, no problems with breastfeeding.

    BTW, Jess wanted me to give you his birth stats: 9 lbs, 2 oz. and 20.5” long. Also should mention that I accurately guessed his weight to the ounce!!

    Here's a little video of him being a happy baby.


    · Jun 24, 09:17 PM
  4. Iak responds with:

    Congratulations again you two! You’ve successfully brought about the first, next generation Polly. Imagine him seeing this site in ten years after possibly some more massive baby posts.

    That just made me think. Ya know how some directors make all these dark, bizarre movies that almost seem like there’s little hope? Then have kids and magically the mood in their movies changes? This site has started a transformation from that early beginning of naughty references to John’s sister to a much bigger catalog of our collective, “adult” accomplishments. Most likely still containing much potty humor. OK, now my brain is going to shut down from that pseudo deep thought.

    I just have one question… Did you have that “machine which goes bing?”


    · Jun 25, 02:27 PM
  5. Jim responds with:

    Wow man … just wow. Sounds like Kierans 0th birthday was an absolutely wild ride. I’m so glad that you got the happy, healthy baby option. I was starting to get nervous when we hadn’t heard from you so long after the induction. It sounds like an absolutely amazing thing—c-section or no. I still can’t imagine what it’s gotta be like to be a dadoo. By the way, Jess has to be the smiliest mom that I’ve seen right after having a kid—a few of my old coworkers have had kid(s) and most of their pictures weren’t nearly as smiley; even the one who had a c-section also. Jess looks like someone who was truly happy to have just given birth.

    Bravo to Jess for wanting to see the process. I was miffed that they wouldn’t take pictures of my back surgery—i mean c’mon, how often do you get to see your spine, or something as amazing as your kid being pulled into the world? Hats off to her! During a natural birth, will they do the same thing with a mirror?

    You need to get that picture framed that the nurse took of the three of you. What an absolutely amazing shot—incredibly telling. I have to admit that even I had a little bit of wetness in the corner of my eye reading the story and seeing that picture.

    I love the rest of the shots and videos. Kieran really looks like an amazing creation. I can’t wait until we get to meet him. At some point when things calm down (hehehe, riiiggghhhhtt – “calm” with a newborn), we should fire up an iChat. :)

    Oh yeah—I love the fact that you had on your Birks—priceless. :) Does that make them birkenbooties, or bootystocks?


    · Jun 25, 04:27 PM
  6. Jimmy's Girlie Saree responds with:

    Request: If you have time, I’d love to see a “two week” update video! So maybe on the 3rd of July. Or maybe if you dress him in something cute for the 4th, a video of that ;o) They change so much in the first few weeks!


    · Jun 28, 06:27 PM
  7. Iak responds with:

    Dress him in something cute? You mean like a jumpsuit?


    · Jun 29, 01:02 PM
  8. Jimmy's Girlie Saree responds with:

    A red, white, and blue jumpsuit… specifically. Preferably with sparkles. And one of those little bouncy star headband things.


    · Jun 29, 01:36 PM
  9. Tyler responds with:

    I can’t promise a red, white, & blue jumpsuit, but I can promise that he’s cute. And actually, many of his one-piece baby clothes do resemble jumpsuits.

    To answer a couple of your questions, yes, there was indeed a “machine which goes bing.” I’ve got a video from the O.R. to prove it. I’ll upload that soon. Also, yes Jimmy, they do have mirrors for natural births. In fact, the one Jess used was wheeled-in from her regular delivery room.

    Finally, I posted this on my “A New Arrival” posting, but I don’t think anyone noticed it there, and I think it’s worth seeing. So here it is again, “Jordan Sings Pink Floyd.”


    · Jun 29, 02:06 PM
  10. Andy responds with:

    You know how Lisa LOVES Jordan? Well she LOVED that video! Your house is just teeming with cuteness.


    · Jun 29, 02:19 PM
  11. TyTy responds with:

    Here is the aforementioned video of the operating room. Be sure to listen for the “machine which goes bing!”


    · Jun 29, 09:03 PM
  12. TyTy responds with:

    You may recall a posting I made some time ago about The Family Bed. Well, I’m pleased to say that so far, it’s working out nicely for us! In that posting, I referenced this photo from the manufacturer of the Snuggle Nest:

    Well, it seems to work pretty much exactly like the picture would suggest…

    It’s really nice actually. As you can imagine, the bond new parents have with their baby is so strong that they don’t want to be away from him any longer than they have to. (This is true of us at least.) In fact, the first time we went somewhere without him, (to the grocery store while Jess’s parents watched him), Jess started to cry. But really, he’s a great sleeper. There have been nights when one of us has had to stay awake and comfort him or replace the pacifier in his mouth. But generally, it’s comforting to have him right next to us. And I’m sure the feeling is mutual with him.

    (By the way, don’t bother telling me what a geek I am for taking this picture with the self-timer and a tripod set-up on the bed…. I already know.)


    · Jun 30, 05:20 PM
  13. Jimmy's Girlie Saree responds with:

    I love it!!


    · Jul 1, 12:48 AM
  14. Andy responds with:

    Awwwww….

    Why are the covers all the way up over your shoulders? Is it because you’re naked under there? The imagination runs wild…

    But seriously, it looks nice and cozy, and all three of you are obviously quite comfy.


    · Jul 1, 09:36 PM
  15. Jim responds with:

    See, I’m with Andy… I think you could have at least tried to mimic the sample pic a little better-sheesh! ;) Still waitin’ on the jumpsuit dude…


    · Jul 6, 01:43 AM
  16. Bryan Traverso responds with:

    Congratulations again Ty and Jess. I love how you are getting Kieran hooked on Pink Floyd already. Congrats again on being the first of all of us you two. The rest of us will just have to keep on practicing :)


    · Aug 8, 11:13 AM
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