Great news, everyone! Katie gave birth to the baby this week! Say hello to Rosie, daddy's little detective!
So here, let me tell the entire story. We were late in getting to bed on Sunday night. As in, so late, we didn't bother to load the dishwasher and move laundry. We just decided we're tired, it's late, so we'll do those things in the morning.
Around 11:30, Katie's water broke halfway. It took about 10-15 minutes to call the doctor and confirm that yes, that's good enough to count as a full water breaking in Katie's case. So both we and Katie's doctor had to get to the hospital right away.
Problem #1: The snowstorm that shut down the Portland Metro Area had not completely abated. There was still some ice/snow on the roads and our driveway. We made it to the car, and I started to get the snow/ice brush from my truck, but the trunk was frozen shut. So we had to sit in the car for five minutes and do a manual defrost until it was safe enough to drive.
It was kind of a weird drive, in that I was rushing to get there as soon as possible, but I was also going extra-slow due to the weather. The good news is that there was NO traffic, because it was midnight, but still, I didn't get there as fast as I wanted. Especially since Katie's contractions started for real during the car ride; I wanted to get her to the hospital as soon as possible.
Problem #2: Mary. We thought we'd have to take her to the hospital with us, but guess what? Our neighbor was outside, letting their dog poop. At midnight. Lucky for us the neighbor kept such odd hours that day! The neighbor was put in charge of watching Mary, until Grandpa came to get her. Lucky for us, he was awake, too. His weather problems were way worse than ours, though.
So we got to the hospital around 12:30 AM, and went directly to our room. Katie got changed, and the nurse checked Katie's progress. She called in another nurse, for a second opinion. Meanwhile, the contractions started getting worse. The nurses agreed that the childbirth was happening SOON, so they started to rush things. We didn't get the "checked in" paperwork done until the next day.
Katie planned to do an epidural, so they got the epidural doctor in as soon as possible. As you may know, you have to lie perfectly still, so the epidural can get put in properly. You may also know that it's hard to lie still, when you're going through minute-long contractions. The doctor tried to get the epidural done in between contractions, but they were too close together. Katie had to suffer through a contraction without moving, so they could put it in.
From what I understand, the epidural is a drug cocktail which numbs the lower half of your body. It starts from the toes and slowly goes upwards until it hits waist level. It takes about 30 minutes, but Rosie didn't want to wait that long. It ended up being an involuntary natural childbirth. It went very quickly, but it was still incredibly painful. Having numb feet doesn't help during a childbirth, you know? You want the whole bottom half of the body to be numb.
I have no idea how they define the labor proper, but that was from 2:08 to 2:15. The head became visible at 2:12 or 2:13. So that was a fast labor! They put the baby on top of Katie for a while, and I took lots of pictures. Here's the best of the bunch.
As you can see, she came out purple and messy. There was no opportunity to clean her up, which was listed in the baby birth plan that we brought with us, but we didn't find it until the day after.
It wasn't very long before they had me sit down, and they put Rosie in my lap. Here's the picture of me holding her for the first time.
They needed her (and me) out of the way, because Katie hemorrhaged. I won't go into the gory details, but Katie lost four pints of blood, which is about half the blood in a human body. She had to have an emergency blood transfusion while they worked. There were 7-8 medical personnel in the room the whole time, and Katie had multiple IVs, in addition to the epidural.
They didn't finish until after five, which means Katie spent longer in post-labor than pre-labor and labor combined. Our doctor confirmed that this is the #1 cause of death during childbirth in third world countries. It's not the actual childbirth part; it's the inability to get blood transfusions in case of emergency. We are very, VERY lucky this wasn't an involuntary bus or home birth, due to the winter storm. Katie probably would have died if that had happened.
For the first day, I was in charge of changing diapers and everything, simply because Katie had trouble moving her arms. It's hard to move your arm with an IV going into the back of your palm.
On the second day, I went back to work. And on the morning of the third day, we went back home. It seems weird to say "morning of the third day", when it's just two days and some odd hours, not three full days. I dunno. I still have a weird sense of time now. I imagine I'll adjust eventually.
Anyway, Rosie is born! I think I'll use this as an excuse to take a vacation from blogging for the rest of the year. See you in 2017, everyone!