Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Edmund Paul Rodgers (part 1)

He's here!  Edmund Paul made his early appearance on Thursday, February 16, at 11:17pm.  He arrived in fine form: 7lbs, 8oz, 20.25", and possessing a moderate amount of darkish hair and a distinctly Rodgerian nose (which we all suspected).

Now you all know I'm not one to go into big gory details of labor and delivery and all that, but I thought I would give the low-down on a few issues of interest, mostly because I really like going back in the blog and reading about the first few weeks of Harriet's life.  And since I seriously could not remember the words to All Hail the Power of Jesus' Name earlier today, I think I need to write things down before I go completely senile.

When I blogged on Wednesday night, I could not have told you that a mere twenty-four hours later we would be oogling over the latest addition to our family.  The next morning, I felt some back cramps that were identical to the "contractions" I experienced with Harriet - but not wanting to get excited over something that really wouldn't amount to anything, we continued on with our day.  This included making breakfast and lunch, teaching music lessons to the siblings, and fetching and installing our new washer and dryer.  By the middle of the afternoon, the length and intensity of the back cramps became longer and stronger and I thought that I would offer them a bit of my attention.  Harriet went to spend the evening with Aunt Clara, Uncle Dum, and Baby Mima, Steve started the dishes about six times, and I put the last few items in the bags.  And then we sat around nervously for a while.  I kept praying that this would actually be the real deal.

By 7pm, things were still happening and we were going a tad stir crazy.  Plus, in my excitement I had neglected to eat anything of any nutritious value except for puppy chow all day long, so we decided to grab something to eat.  I reached the Chinese Food Stage* while eating our Runza meal, and before an hour had passed, I was pretty sure that I had passed up the 27 Dresses Stage**.  We left Grammy to finish watching Selling LA, and ran home to grab the hospital bags and give me time to shave my legs.  (Because we all know that vanity reigns in moments such as these.)  Even though the contractions were close together and fairly painful, they weren't overwhelming in the least.  Part of me felt guilty for going to the hospital: what if it wasn't soon enough?  Would they just send me home?

After getting settled in and checked out, the nurse said, "You aren't going home until you are taking this baby with you!"  She called the doctor, I got an epidural, and an hour and a half later Edmund Paul entered the world.

In retrospect, this was such a crazy easy labor and delivery.  The total amount of time was 14 hours and the total amount of Time in Absolute Misery was about 10 minutes before the epidural kicked in.  And we were only at the hospital for an hour and a half before he was born.  It was perfect!  After everything was said and done, I thought, "This was so easy!  We should have lots of kids because it just works so well!"  (That was while I was still on the adrenaline rush, I'm sure, but it was a good feeling while it lasted.)  At one point we were wondering if I would have time to get the epidural, and I psyched myself out to endure the pain.  To my surprise, I discovered that even though it was horrible and I would never ever choose to go without pain meds, I could do it.  This was due not only to an altered mental state (a kind of knuckle-down attitude) but also thanks to Steve's helpful coaching.  I was so glad he remembered some of the techniques because the nurses were absolutely no help at all when it came to pain management tips.  During one particularly bad moment, he said, "Well, your hair looks really good...."  And I laughed and was momentarily distracted.

I was so glad that we had a positive experience in labor and delivery with Harriet because I have to say that the overall tone of the staff was very different this time around.  One nurse second guessed everything she did.  Saying things like, "Is this right?" and "I'm not sure I'm doing this correctly," about simple things like hooking up an IV does not exactly inspire confidence.  While the other nurse was more confident, she would totally space off things.  I didn't bring my birth plan because I didn't have to debate anything last time.  But this time we had to push to get him back into the room so I could nurse him before his wakeful period was over, I had to deny vaccinations for myself, and be adamant about asking for details of medications before they were plopped nonchalantly in my mouth.  I felt like we had to be more alert and defensive, which was definitely a different experience.  I'm going to bring a birth plan next time, and just be more prepared to stand up for what we want.  Thankfully, even though we had 22 (count 'em!) different medical personnel come into our room over the 36 hours we were there (I totally stopped keeping track of names), nobody said a word about our rooming in, or the fact that E was sleeping with me each night.  I was so so so happy to finally come home on Saturday morning.

The sleeping baby awaketh...I'm going to devote a post to Edmund himself, and then a post to how Harriet is handling the whole thing, so stay tuned!

See more pictures at Clara's blog!

* Referencing my personal labor signs: Steve and I were eating really bad Chinese food when I reached the toe-curling stage of pain with Harriet.  I can't eat that Chinese food now without feeling pukey...I don't think I'll be turned off of Runza so easily, unfortunately.

** Clara and Levi invited us over to watch 27 Dresses when I was in labor with Harriet...but I didn't tell them that it was getting to be super-duper painful, so they couldn't figure out why I was crabby/stomping rudely out of the house.  Thankfully, Grammy wasn't offended that we left her and HGTV to their own devices.