March 21, 2007

Baby day: A running commentary

8:20 a.m.:
Mood: Bored but cheerful. Pain level: Minimal. Baby: Snug as a bug in a rug.It's been four hours since we checked into the hospital, and I've finally figured out how to a) connect to the wireless network, b) type with one arm connected to an IV and the other wrapped in a blood pressure cuff, while c) not dislodging the fetal monitor.

Here are some of my observations from this morning: (I am functioning off approximately two hours of sleep, so I apologize if they lack in profundity):

3 a.m. just might be the worst possible time to try to wake up for any reason.

There are a startling number of people eating Jack in the Box drive-thru food at 4:30 on a Wednesday morning. In retrospect, considering my blood sugar levels, I should not have counted myself among them.

It's time to get over my irrational disdain for disposable coffee cup lids. Unfortunately for Sam's car and clothing, that lesson came a bit late.

Mystery of the morning: If the average American woman is overweight, and the average American woman gains 40 pounds during pregnancy, why are labor and delivery beds the size of a saltine cracker?

I'm thankful for friendly nurses, wireless Internet, and whoever advised me to pack blankets and pillows from home.

My TV is set to the all-local-news-all-the-time channel, which has now shown the story about the Smelly Sneaker contest (sponsored by Odor Eaters, of course) at least seven times.
I'm not sure which has the lowest production qualities: local furniture commercials, local car dealership commercials, or local news.

Sam has a remarkable gift for sleeping while sitting up. I, on the other hand, require a perfect equilibrium of comfort before I can doze off. Early in our relationship, I forced him to spend the night in an armchair while I sprawled out in my luxurious twin-sized dorm bed. Even though he never let me forget the sacrifice he made on behalf of our fledgeling college relationship, I'm pretty sure he got more sleep that night than I did. For some reason, I'm having flashbacks to that night.

9:02 a.m.
Mood: Sleepy but upbeat. Pain level: Increasing, but it's a good pain. Baby: Waking up a little, but still pretty mellow.

Ah, the pitocin is kicking in. The nurse adjusted the contraction monitor so I'm now getting written credit for my discomfort. I'm sure that, later today, I won't need a Scantron printout to validate my contractions, but for the time being, I'm finding a sense of motivation and self-satisfaction in the slowly increasing pain.

9:25 a.m.
Mmmm. Yeah, it's definitely starting to hurt, but I'm appreciating it. Forward progress. It's like the burn of accomplishment that comes from a good workout.

Miss America? Is she still famous enough to be on TV? Well, it is daytime.

9:31 a.m.
OK, I can see how this contraction business might get old after a while. Thankfully, every single person I've seen today has been informed of my opinion on pain-relieving medication. I'm as eager for drugs as a troubled kid on an After School Special.

Kenny Loggins is now on TV. I think I'll try to get some sleep before the next contraction.

1:24 p.m. (guest blogger Sam)
The last four hours have seen quite a bit of activity, an increase in the frequency and strength of the Ras-contractions, the administration of not one but two doses of pain meds (which have allowed Monica a few moments of much-needed rest but also make typing a bit too tricky) and, most notably, her water was broken about an hour ago.

Things are moving along and more quickly than I would have expected. Our room will some be abuzz with activity as Monica receives the much wished-for epidural. Her contractions are coming along with enough pace now that she no longer is receiving the pitocin. It has been eight and a half hours since I've had coffee spilled on me (no wonder I'm chilly).

Our friend Alicia should be here shortly to help keep the both of us sane (and bring lunch?). I've busted out my portable speakers and hooked up Monica's mp3 player, the only sounds in the room are the beeps from the machine that represent our baby's heartbeat (go Rasbaby!) and acoustic folk/rock.

I've given up all pretense of cohesive paragraph structure. Oooo, this song features Rasbaby's real name, how entirely fitting.

The TV is covered, thank God, The Price is Right traumatized me in ways I'm not prepared to talk about.

That's about it for now. Keep checking back for Ras-updates.

3:58 (still Sam)
Since the last update Monica has learned that she is a serious promoter of the epidural. She is now able to sleep through contractions that are twice as strong as ones that were leaving her in tears three hours ago. Alicia arrived and we shared a bacon ultimate cheeseburger.
We've been at the hospital for 11 hours. We just found out Monica is completely dilated! The fireworks could be starting. TTFN!

7:28 p.m.
I (Monica) am back, and it's time for the big announcement!

At exactly 5:30 p.m., Evangeline Kathryn Wiant entered the world.

She weighs 6 pounds 13 ounces, and is 18 1/2 inches tall. She's perfectly healthy, has her father's curly brown hair, and is doing great.

My room is abuzz with visitors at the moment... but I just had to finish the story for all of you. Cheers!

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