I’m totally biased, but I really think baby Anika is the cutest baby I’ve ever seen. Carol and I are absolutely in love with her and are enjoying every minute of her presence. I like her when she’s happy and calm, and when she poops and cries. I’m completely dazed when she practices her smile.
I’ll start you guys off with some pictures of Anika and then get down to the details of the tough labor Carol and Anika went through.
Cute pictures right? Anika was born on Thursday April 21st at 8:30am, but Carol’s water broke at 12:30pm the day before. Here’s the timeline and story:
Wednesday 20th 12:30pm. Carol’s water breaks. There is some significant leakage but she is not feeling any labor pains. She googled and it seemed it it was really that the water broke.
1:20pm. Carol calls me at work to give me the news. I freak out and tell her I’m on my way. She tells me there is no rush but I really don’t believe her. I hang up the phone and realize I was supposed to go get gas right after work. I’m really good at having gas in the car you know how things are some times; the day you really need it is the day it is not there.
1:25pm. I’m on the car and I call Carol to see how she’s feeling, she tells me she really has no contractions so we agree it is ok to get gas.
1:55pm. Carol is trying to get a hold of the doctor and wants to take a shower before going to the hospital. After the shower, we finally get a hold of the doc he says that even though there are no pains, we need to go to the hospital. Carol is almost done with her hair =)
3pm. We arrive at the hospital. Still no pains so we check in without any rush. At that point we’re wondering if the water really broke or what.
3:30pm. We’re in a nice, private hospital room. We thought it was just a fancy place to see if the water really broke but we quickly realized that the bed was one of those ready for holding your feet when in labor. We also notice directional lights in the ceiling so we were sure this was a “birth giving” room.
3:50pm. They take a sample of the dripping water and send it to the lab. The lab confirms it is amniotic fluid. Still no labor pains.
4:30pm. They begin inducing Carol into labor through an IV with Oxitocin (Pitocin). They explain that after the water breaks they like the baby to come out within the next 24 hours to minimize the risk of infection; because the amniotic sac is no longer protecting the baby.
10pm. The Oxitocin worked slowly but by this time the contractions were getting really painful so we decided it was time to get the epidural. The epidural has a slow drip of the thing that makes you numb. But your body recovers quicker from the drip than what the drip can make you numb. When you really want to not feel pain you need to push a button that increases the drip and you get significantly numb in about a half hour, the numbness then lasts a while.
Thursday April 21st 3:40am. Carol was able to sleep on and off for short periods of time throughout the night, and we only pushed the epidural button once or twice. At 3:40, the nurse came into try to give the first real pushes but nothing really happened. The nurse suspected the epidural numbness was not letting Carol push properly, so she was going to be back in a while when the numbness was wearing out a bit.
4am. The epidural wore off a bit and carol was able to push, this time the pushes were doing something but the nurse decided we were not ready for delivery.
6am. The nurse comes in for another round of pushes. Since we were not sure if the epidural was the issue at 4am, we did push the button between 4 and 6am. At 6am, the epidural was numbing Carol and she had problems pushing again.
6:30am. The nurse comes back, the epidural effect was off. The pushes are significantly better. We’re now sure the epidural messes things up so we decide to not push the button any more. This is bad news for Carol because we had only pushed it when she was really losing it. Next time she’s in pain, there will be no relief.
8am. The doctor comes in for the first time and says it is time to deliver this baby no matter what. I remember thinking to myself there was no way that baby could come out right now, I mean, we could see Anika’s head but it was really not poking out, not even a little.
After a lot of pushes, the doc decides to do an episiotomy. Yeah, that made Anika’s head come out quite a bit. But just like 1/4.
After more pushes, the doc decides he needs to use the suction cup to pull Anika’s head out. On the first try, the cup did not get a good grip and didn’t do much at all. But the doc was just warming up.
The second try was a good one but the doc didn’t put a lot of pull to it.
Then came the third one. This was a very decent pull. I thought the doc had given it all on that one but it failed. I got really worried, what if the baby didn’t come out? What if the suction cup messes up the baby’s brain?
I thought about telling the doc to think things twice but then I thought I really have no idea what I was talking about, maybe this was normal and the dangerous pull limits were still far from being reached.
Then came the fourth suction cup pull. Even harder than the third. This one did it, it pulled half of the head. The doc stopped there for a while, took off the cup, thought for a while. I’m not sure if he then pulled the head with his hands or if he used the suction cup. But a minute later, the head was all out.
The doc maneuvered just a bit and in less than a minute, the entire body was out. I could not believe it!
8:29am. Next thing I know the doc is holding the cord for me and asks me if I want to cut it. I’m like “ohh yeah,, ok”. I remember thinking if stopping for me to cut the cord was needed. I was worried for carol and her episiotomy. I just wanted her to get stitched up. But I just went with the flow again, talking about it would only stop the process more. And I wanted to cut the cord; I just remember thinking that I hoped us stopping for this would not affect Carol or Anika a tiny bit.
Having seen how sharp those scissors were. I wanted to make sure I didn’t cut the doc’s fingers, they were pretty close to where I had to make the cut. So I opened the scissors just enough to get all the cord, I failed by a tiny bit, like 1milimeter. I finished it off with a second tiny cut.
The baby was being held by the baby doctors and as soon as the cut was made, Anika was swiftly taken to the other side of the room where they had her tiny bed. I then remember Carol telling me to not take my eyes off our baby as soon as it came out, so I went with Anika.
They swiftly dried her with a cloth, unclogged her nose and mouth. She was crying really loud, not sure when she started. They then put her on the scale to weight her. 7lbs 6.8oz. Then they wrapped her in a blanket and gave her to me. As soon as I talked to her she calmed down, no more tears! I like to think she immediately recognized my voice, but maybe she recognized the first comforting touch. All the other docs were just worried about checking her vitals and such. I just wanted to hold her and tell her it was going to be all right.
I then took her close to Carol. Carol was crying, from happiness and relief. I’m not sure when she started crying, it started with tears of pain? I’ve got to ask her. I was close to crying too, I could feel the knot in my throat.
Once they were done with Carol, I gave her Anika and she held her for a couple of minutes. Then the nurses took Anika to get a more thorough check and a bath.
They noticed she had really low blood sugar and poor oxygen levels in her blood. They were worried. I was really worried. They called for the baby doctor. While we waited for him, they fed Anika some formula.
The doc said some blood test were needed and that sadly, an IV had to be placed in the back of her tiny hand. She definitely did not like that:
They bathed Anika and we waited a while for her next blood sugar and oxygen level check.
12pm. The blood sugar and oxygen levels were at an acceptable amount so we were free to go to our room. They had changed carol to another room, when I got there all our stuff was already there, not sure how. Carol’s mom was probably the one doing the hauling, she was there next to us for everything. They had ordered breakfast for me, I was starving.
The doc gave the nurses instructions to keep Carol and the baby there until Saturday and that the blood sugar had to be closely monitored on Anika.
In order to get Anika’s blood sugar to better levels, she had to be fed immediately. But she was not hungry at all! I remember I was shaking her a bit to get her to wake up and nothing. I then gave her to carol and she tickled her feet a bit, that woke her up! She took less than one ounce of formula and some colostrum from Carol, not sure how much since you can’t really measure that.
About an hour later, they tested the blood sugar and she was in normal range; we were relieved. The nurse recommended us to keep trying to feed her whenever she was awake.
Saturday April 23rd. Anika arrived home! The only strange instructions we had was to place Anika under the sun when possible because she was a little Jaundiced.
Monday April 24th. We went to the pediatrician and he said the Jaundiced issue is progressively getting better and that we should still put her under the sun if there is any, but that there’s nothing to worry about.