We’re in the hospital now — just after I got to work this morning
around 8:45a, Kathy called thinking her water broke. So I canceled all
my meetings on my drive home (it’s a quick commute now — only about 10
mins), and got home. Kathy was pretty much all packed up & ready to
go — I, on the other hand, had nothing at all together. I think it was
some sort of psychological denial behavior — we had pretty much
convinced ourselves that Kathy was doing amazingly well, still going to
the gym and everything — so we figured the baby would be late and we’d
end up scheduling induction for next week sometime. So anyway, I threw
some clothes into a bag, then grabbed another bag and threw
approximately a dozen pieces of electronics gear (and power supplies!)
in, and we were ready to go. I mean, it’s a little ridiculous, really.
We’ve got 2 iPods (my full size & her shuffle), 2 digital cameras
(an SLR & a point and shoot), mini-speakers, my laptop, 2 cell
phones. Tons of stuff. I guess the kid will want his/her own iPod soon.
Anyway, now it’s 11a; we’ve been here about 45 minutes, and the nurses
aren’t quite clear on whether her water’s broken. We’re pretty clear,
but that doesn’t seem to count. 🙂
11:20a now, and I think they’re about to send us home, but are going to
call the doc first. This all seems very sketchy to me. Basically, they
test the pH to see if the water’s broken, using that litmus paper that
we all used back in high school science. It came back as inconclusive.
Seems like we should know somewhat more definitively what’s going on,
but maybe not.
12:55p and we’re still here, but haven’t talked with the doctor yet.
Seems like Kathy’s feeling contractions maybe every 20 minutes now, and
we think her water’s definintely broken, but, again, don’t have
confirmation on it.
Now it’s 3:30p, and the kid is definitely on the way. We’ve been
admitted, seen the doc, and, hey!, Kathy was right. Labor. Contractions
are every 5 minutes or so now. Kathy’s hooked up to an IV for
hydration, and the techs are taking some of her blood now. Dr. Hoff
says things look very good; baby’s heart rate is doing very well, and
everything is fine. We’re watching The Princess
Bride on DVD now — one of Kathy’s favorite movies, and she’s
in pretty good spirits. "Anybody want a peanut?"
Almost 8p now — time seems to be moving pretty quickly. Kathy got her
epidural about 45 minutes ago, and life has been a lot better since
then. Around 5p the contractions got to be super-painful — she was
having a really tough time. It’s still early going yet — she was about
2 cm dilated (on the way to 10 cm, for folks who haven’t gone through
this) — but contractions are happening every 3 minutes very regularly,
and everything is good. Beth came by a bit ago and was here for all the
pain/epidural excitement, plus she brought me a sandwich. Really nice
to have her here. Now she’s out getting dinner, Kathy’s asleep (yay!)
and I’m watching the American League beat the bejeesus out of the
National League in the All Star Game, plus listening to some Amos Lee
on my iPod. I’m glad Kathy’s getting a little sleep — it was hard to
watch her go through the painful bits a while ago. It’s really nice
thinking about all of our family going to bed tonight thinking about
the new little guy who’ll be here tomorrow. Clarity is coming in fits
& starts for me. Every once in a while I get glimpses of us as a
family, or me as a dad, or Kathy as a mom. It’s hard to put words to
it, really. But it’s a special feeling, I know. It’s a weird thing to
explain — there’s a certain feeling of communion knowing that this
feeling of becoming a parent is something that so many other people
have felt — a type of humility and shared experience, I think. I
suspect I’ll have a lot of these moments over the coming hours, days,
months & years. Anyway, just now I’m happy that Kathy’s getting a
bit of respite.
Getting close to midnight — after sleeping for about an hour, Kathy
& I watched an episode of Scrubs, then one of the Muppet Show —
the awesome episode when Steve Martin guest starred. What a great show.
Fun to think that we’ll get to experience all of these things that we
love like the Muppets with our boy. Kathy’s going back to sleep now,
but I’m not too tired, so I’m going to watch some stuff on my laptop
then maybe get some sleep myself. We’re thinking that it’ll probably be
4a or so when the real action starts — maybe looking at a 5a birth?
4a now, July 13th. Birthday, looks like. Happily, Kathy’s pretty much
asleep now, and has gotten a few hours since midnight as well. I
stepped out of the room for a bit, because as long as I was there, the
two of us wanted to chat, which means not being asleep. 🙂 Anyway, I’m
in a small waiting room down the hall for a bit while she sleeps. The
hospital is really empty tonight — just nothing going on. We think
there’s another woman in very early labor across the hall from us, and
a co-worker of Beth’s who had a baby girl about 12 hours ago, but
that’s it. In the rest of the hospital, everything is pretty much
silent, even the ER. I just stepped outside a little bit for some fresh
air and it helped a lot — you forget that you’ve been inside for a
long time breathing inside air. One of the things that I really love
about the Bay Area is what nighttime air feels and smells like — crisp
& cold, no matter what time of year. A little after midnight we had
a bit of a scary episode: the baby’s heart rate declined to about 80 or
90 beats per minute, after being pretty much at 150 all day. We think
it got worse when they had Kathy turn onto her right side — during the
pregnancy, the little guy has pretty well burrowed into her right ribs.
They turned her back onto her left side and everything has been good
since. Speculation is that maybe the umbilical cord is in a funny
position — that may mean Dr. Hoff has to be a little creative during
delivery, but we’ll see. I did have my first truly parental feeling, I
think — I felt just for a minute that there was maybe something really
wrong with my boy and I couldn’t do a single thing to help him. Stomach
clenched — just a terrifying, helpless feeling. I suppose I’ll feel
like that more often from now on. That seems okay to me. 🙂 Anyway,
the baby was never in serious distress; things seem to be fine now.
7:10a, things going fine. Kathy’s at 7 cm, so could be awhile still.
We’ve been here 21 hours now, so a good long time, but she’s doing just
great. She’s starting to feel some discomfort in her ribs with each
contraction now, but not a lot else to report. It feels different here
in the morning — new day, new things to happen. On the news they’re
talking mostly about the space shuttle Discovery going back into space
after the time off because of the accident. 34 years ago, when Kathy
& I were born, we had only recently gotten to the moon — I wonder
what space exploration, and other science, will be like 34 years from
12:30p now, and Kathy’s resting — she’s almost completely dilated,
which means it’s nearly time to push, which we figure will take an hour
or so, depending on how things go. It’s taken a little bit longer than
we expected, with some adventures with her epidural getting
disconnected, but things are doing well now, the baby’s heartbeat is
strong, and he’s nearly here.
12:40p. In the few minutes before all the action, it’s pretty quiet in
here — nothing but the steady beat of our boy’s heart. I like watching
Kathy sleep now, getting a bit of extra energy in. I’m so proud of her
through this whole pregnancy — she’s just been incredibly strong,
graceful, responsible — through a lot of weird, uncomfortable
situations. People we’ve seen over the last few weeks couldn’t believe
that she was so close to due — she’s just been incredibly positive and
energetic and happy. I’m really proud of her.
12:50p. Somehow, I’m really proud of our boy, too. I don’t know how
that can be, since we haven’t really laid eyes on him yet, and he
hasn’t done much more than kicking Kathy in the ribs a bunch of times
over a lot of months. It’s weird — listening to his strong little
heartbeat, I feel proud of him for just hanging in there. I think he
knows the jig is up now, though — he knows something’s happening to
the warm, comfortable spot his mom has kept for him over the last 9
months. Starting to move around a bunch, time to head out.
now it’s 10p on July 13, 2005 — and Samuel Pearce Lilly is getting
towards 7 hours old now. he’s sleeping soundly; kathy and
i are listening to music and watching him sleep. amazing. perfect,
really. here’s a bit from a simon & garfunkel song that just played
that seems appropriate:
my mind’s distracted and diffuse
my thoughts are many miles away
they lie with you when you’re asleep
and kiss you when you start your day.
and so you see i have come to doubt
all that i once held as true
i stand alone without beliefs
the only truth i know is you.
and as i watch the drops of rain
leave their weary paths and die.
i know that i am like the rain —
there but for the grace of you go i.
know what that song’s called? "kathy’s song". always been one of my
favorites. anyway, after a lot of amazing effort by kathy, Sam was born
at 3:20p this afernoon. 8 lbs 1 oz, shattering the over under — we
were thinking more like 7 pounds. 19 inches tall. and super healthy.
been a busy day for us — we spent a little time with the little guy,
then i went with him to get a quick checkup and bath. since kathy’s
water had been broken for more than 18 hours, they wanted to do a blood
test on him — everything came back great. he’s been mostly sleeping
super peacefully for the last 4 hours or so — it’s fun to just watch
him. so many expressions he’s already got that we’ve never seen.
anyway, that’s it for now. more late tonight, probably.
5:30a on Thursday morning now; Kathy’s working on teaching Sam to eat a
bit more. Both are doing great. I think maybe we’ll try to take a
picture or two then I may head over to Starbucks to upload a few
pictures and movies that we’ve got, maybe get a coffee for dad.