3.01.2007

Eleanor Jane has arrived!!!

I tried posting this yesterday, but I couldn't get online in the hospital. My boy, Shaun came through tonight with a cingular 3G card. Right on bro... and here's ELLIE!!
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This morning started out like any other. At 5:45am Gabby called out from her gated doorway, “Dada. Gabby’s poopy. I take off my diaper.”

Usually, I change her diaper in the dark, and put her back in the bed. But this morning I looked at her and thought that she deserved something different on her last morning as an only child. I asked her, “Gabby, would you like Dada to lay in the bed with you?” She replied, “Yes, tell me story?” Thus began a splendid morning with Gabriella. We told stories, had fun getting dressed slowly, and looked at pictures of me and Basia as babies.

It was around breakfast time, that we got a call from the hospital informing us that they were too full to accept us for the scheduled 9:00am induction. We tried to remain calm as our well laid plans began to unravel.

Gabby’s drop-off at school went without a hitch, but instead of proceeding to the hospital, as planned, we headed home to wait. I was able to knock a few tasks off my to-do list…nailing the back onto Ellie’s dresser (for stability), migrating the pack n’ play to the living room, converting it into a bassinet, and emptying of the last camera cards, etc.

Basia called her doctor to get the scoop on the delayed schedule only to learn that the hospital was so backed up that we may not be going in today or tomorrow. Need I mention that Basia’s heightened state of emotion led to tears of anxiety? We resigned ourselves to wait it out, and I began to work from home. Within 15 min we got a call from the hospital beckoning us in ASAP (before someone else got the bed). Off we went!

Checking into the hospital felt a lot different than our experience with Gabby. There were lots of questions, forms, and formalities. Then we remembered that we skipped all that with Gabby since we arrived via ambulance.

(disclaimer: from here, it gets detailed- medically)
B got started on an IV and penicillin (for Group B Strep) immediately, and pitocin shortly thereafter. The doctor broke her waters at 12:15 to help get the proverbial ball rolling.

Think of a snowball rolling down a hill, it slowly gathers snow and grows. Slowly growing. With each revolution, the snowball’s growth comes faster, and the acceleration continues until that little snowball turns into an avalanche. Are you imagining it? Ok, now imagine that snowball as a thumb caught in a car door. Basia’s avalanche was mighty painful.

At first, the pitocin didn’t do a whole lot. Basia had some mild contractions but she was talking through them. We chatted, played sudoku, fiddled with the TV, and made a few phone calls. B was only 3-4 cm dilated.

After an hour or so, they increased the pitocin distribution rate from 2 to 4ml/hr. It’s funny, things were going so slow, that Basia and I were contemplating sending me out to get a DVD since the TV volume was busted and we’d have all the time in the world.

Sometime in the following hour, her contractions started to increase in frequency and strength. They increased the pitocin rate to 6 ml/hr and Basia was still only 4 cm dilated. It was around this time that B was started to think about calling in the anesthesiologist for her epidural.

Here’s the thing about the epidural. In Basia’s experience with Gabby, it worked wonders in blocking the pain of the contractions, but she ended up confined to her bed until after delivery. For Gabby that was a no-brainer, since the pain was so big so fast, and the whole process was only a few hours. This time around, it felt like it would be a lot longer process, so B was understandably more hesitant about not attaching herself to apparatus and confinement before it was necessary.

The contractions grew, and we called for the epidural. The doctor inserted it about 20-30 min after we made the call, and everything seemed better. B was still not much further along (dilation, station, effacement). Since she’d now been hooked up for over 4 hours, it was time for her second dose of penicillin. This one was much more painful than the first. And since it was delivered through a vein in her arm, the epidural had no effect (it’s only for the contractions). Basia was warned by the nurse that the second dose would be painful, but we didn’t expect what she got.

As we were dealing with the penicillin pain, I noticed that the contractions were progressing. They were now 1½ minutes apart and the baby’s heart rate was dropping during the contractions. Good signs.

After 15-20 minutes of penicillin pain, it finished…but then (a little before 4:00) Basia noticed that she could feel the contractions again. What??? But she’s got an epidural, you say? Let me tell you, she was definitely feeling the pain. I was helping her cope with the contraction pain while trying to contact the nurse to get the epidural fixed. Since the ward was sooo busy, our nurse was unreachable for a good 20 minutes. As each contraction would come, I’d put down the phone, squeeze Basia, let her scream in my ear, repeatedly click the button for more epidural, watch the monitors for heart rate, contraction timing, etc., then try to call the nurse again until the next contraction came.

When the nurse came in it was evident that something was not right with the epidural, so the nurse paged the anesthesiologist to come re-dose and adjust if necessary. Unfortunately, one anesthesiologist was in the midst of a C-section, and the other was in the midst of putting in someone else’s epidural. After about 20 more agonizing minutes, the anesthesiologist finally along with the nurse.

Now comes the exciting part. The nurse asked Basia where she could feel the pain. Contraction. “Everywhere.” Contraction. “Ok, do you feel pressure?” Contraction. “What do you mean by pressure?” Contraction. “Like a pressure building, below.” Contraction. “Yup…I feel pressure.” Contraction. “I’m going to need to check you.” Contraction. “I’m checking you, NOW.” Contraction. The nurse checks Basia. The anesthesiologist explains that sometimes the epidural can move inside. Contraction. He’ll give her another dose, but it may not do much if the epidural moved. The nurse makes for the door, and shouts. Contraction. “We’ve got delivery, NOW.” The anesthesiologist delivers the next dose. Contraction. A slew of folks enter the room. Contraction. Our doctor expresses remorse for the epidural not doing its thing. Contraction. The doctor takes her position. Contraction. The nurse tells Basia that yelling won’t make this any faster. She needs to breathe. Contraction. Basia breathes. PUSH! Contraction. PUSH! Contraction. PUSH! Contraction. PUSH! It’s a girl!!!

(disclaimer: details are over.)
It is a girl. Everyone thought it would be a boy. Even the doctor said, “And, I was looking forward to a bris.” Ellie was born at 4:59 pm. She weighed in at 8 lbs. 5 oz. And she is beautiful. She’s got light brown hair, blond eyebrows and eyelashes, an Andruk nose, and a chin dimple.

Welcome to the world, Ellie.

3 comments:

Alicia said...

CONGRATULATIONS to the whole family!! We can't wait to meet little Ellie. We are so very, very happy for all of you.
:-)

Love,
Alicia and Dave

Mom said...

Ellie is beautiful -
I have tears in my eyes and a
smile on my face -
Mazel tov !!
Yossi and his lovely girls - all 3
Kisses to all

Keith said...

Jodi, Dylan and I would like to congratulate the entire Cohen family on their newest wonderful addition. Ellie is sooo cute. We cannot wait to meet her!

Love,
The Levine's