Tuesday March 29th Robin was admitted at South Shore Hospital. We started in the Special Care Nursery section of Labor and Delivery. If you’ve never seen SSH’s Baby Wing, you should. It’s HUGE. It’s all on one floor (The same floor as the Cafeteria btw…) and is easy to navigate.
2+ years of tests, scans, pokes, prods, scrapes and other grossness not to mention the 39 Weeks of pregnancy, had all lead to this day.
Admission moves along smoothly and they tell us that it could take 3-5 days and blah blah blah…We know this. Our nurses are amazing, the Midwife is awesome, we’re super-stoked.
Drug number 1. Cytotek (Misoprostol). On the baby/contraction monitors until the morning. I went home the first night. No sense in staying. I took care of the cats and ventured back in the early afternoon.
No real progression. Our Midwife gives us some options, but recommends the Transcervical Balloon Catheter. Benefit is that Robin wouldn’t have to be tied to the monitor while it was in and less drugs is better, generally. We went for a short walk around the grounds, grabbed a coffee and headed back to settle in. Law and Order: SVU marathon? Sure!
Slooooooowly progressing, although I’m pretty sure the Midwife was lying! We met our 6th nurse and third Midwife at this point. I’ve became a little famous amongst the staff. I slept in the room on the fold out chair/bed thing. (Not gonna lie folks, I actually liked it) I’d leave for a couple of hours, just to stretch my legs and panic away from my laboring wife. Tomorrow is April Fool’s Day. We’d prefer it if we didn’t have an April Fools baby…
Pitocin Time! IV in and back on the monitors. They moved us to the Birthing Unit. HUUUUUGE room. Like, twice the size of our Master Bedroom, huge. Again, we settle in and the Docs and Midwives talk about the plan. Robin stays on the pitocin and they steadily increased it as the day wore on. Contractions coming regularly, but not “productively”. The baby is still too high.
“We’re going to break your water.”
As soon as that happened, Big time labor. Robin goes into immediate, painful back labor with contractions coming every 60-90 seconds. She isn’t getting a break. After a really painful while, Robin asked about pain relief options. Epidural? Epidural! They missed the first one, but Robin got a big dose of the meds and her Blood Pressure dropped to the floor. The Anesthesiologist ran in and got her stabilized. We then were informed that the baby’s heart rate never fluttered. “Most of the time if Mom’s BP drops that low, The entire NICU team runs in here…” My daughter is hardcore, y’all.
Of course, you cannot move your legs once you’ve had the epidural. Every 30 min or so, the nurses would come in and move Robin around. Eventually, they had her in the trendelenberg position with an inflatable donut between her knees. At about 4:30am on Day 5, The MDs, nurses and Midwives met in our room. “I’m going to get that baby. We need to do a C-Section”
“About an hour and a half…”
It was snowing. Hard. In April.
Fitting, I suppose. I was born on Feb 10th, 1978. Mere 2 days after the snow stopped in the “Blizzard of ‘78”. As my dad is very fond of telling me, “It was a cold day…”
We had the luxury of having one of the birthing rooms with real windows. As the surgical team assembled (most of them ending or starting their shifts) they in turn took stock of the weather. “ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?” was the phrase of the morning. No kidding…
They went over all of the risks and the procedure itself then they whisk Robin into the operating suite…
I was standing there all alone in the birthing room for a moment. I put on my scrubs. I looked into the mirror. Last moments as Tony. “Dad” was going to take his place in short order. Heavy.
Julie, one of our Midwives came to get me.
“Do you get Squeamish?”
“I have no idea…” I said sheepishly.
“OK. Just in case; walk directly into the room, walk directly toward Robin’s head. Do not look around!”
She took my phone and told me that she’d take a bunch of photos. She did. They are awesome.
I walked in. I sat down at Robin’s head and held her hand. A fury of activity was happening behind the drape and all was beeps and whirs and then, suddenly… A cry.