So, my wife Noëlle and I have been blessed by bragging about the easiest pregnancy. No morning sickness, kid right on track, smooth sailing. We even joked about it Friday night, March 26, at 34 1/2 weeks, before going to bed, with Noëlle’s mother Phyllis and sister Melissa in town for her baby shower (which was Saturday, March 27). I was a small kid, born a little early, so not too big and easy to shoot out. Noëlle was a 9lb cannonball. We even just had the crib, the car seat and some other basics that arrived. Therefore everything we needed for the baby.
Saturday March 27, 5:30AM, Noëlle is having contractions. We were thinking Braxton-Hicks, practice contractions and baby massage. Stuff we covered in our birthing class that she couldn’t attend today because of her baby shower today. I thought it might be the real deal, since this was off-color considering the rest of the pregnancy.
After the shower, the nurse’s line at Kaiser suggested we go get her checked out, to reassure her. Well, things took an unexpected turn…
3cm dilated. No water breakage, but labor. Yikes. That qualifies as a preemie. We wanted natural childbirth, but the doctor suggested we take a drug called tributylene (sp?) to stop the labor for hopefully 2 weeks and brings us to 36-37 weeks. At 34 1/2, they don’t stop labor, but it allows for the baby to not have a bunch of IV’s and tubes stuck in him by coming early. 2 shots of the drug later, the kid wants nothing to do with it and he’s coming out.
So, we went from wanting to keep him in longer to wanting him out quicker! Might as well, right?
I’ll spare you the actual labor details, but will share a couple: the doctor had to break the bag of waters, which splashed so strongly it knocked the mid-wife backwards! But before that, as I was coaching Noëlle through her contractions and she was doing pretty good, the pain became very strong to the point of wanting drugs.
We were offered two choices: epidural or some IV name I forgot. One takes the edge off, is an IV but can leave the kid a bit comatose. I wasn’t gonna have any of that. The epidural, well, she was way fidgety for it. But, the doc checked her dilation before deciding. She was at 5cm when the stronger contraction started, went from 4cm to 5cm in an hour. Then she went from 5cm to 9cm in 30 minutes, right as they were deciding which drug to take (I wanted the one with the least risks for the kid, but was going to respect my wife’s pain and decision, while reminding her of the long term).
Needless to say, at 9cm, the kid is almost out. So, about 15-20 minutes later (felt pretty short), our baby came out. We didn’t get a chance to do the one-hour skin-on-skin contact, as every minute counts for a preemie, so I cut the cord right away too. But at least she did it drug-free!
Our son is in the NICU right now, doing OK considering. He needs some help to breathe, grunting a little bit, and will be connected to a tube that allows him to breathe room air (no respirator), until they need to discharge him. He’s a fighter. He was fighting to get out, feeling whatever was causing the womb to not be safe anymore was not a good place to hang anymore. He’s been kicking throughout the pregnancy too 🙂
Everything was going well, but that means nothing. You can’t expect the perfect plan. Never happens in my life, that’s for sure! But seeing the little guy squirm made me feel better, even if he’s a little early. 18.5 inches (47cm), 5.08lb, (2.5kg).
Please join us in welcoming Fletcher Marek Til (Marek after my Dad).