Monday, March 9, 2009

Labor and Delivery

I guess I'll start with last Friday, February 27. I stayed home from work because I just didn't feel well. I was exhausted from the whole week and just couldn't do it. Mom came down after work for the weekend to help me with whatever I needed. I didn't have a lot left to do to get ready for the baby, but I wanted to have the house clean and I just didn't have the energy to do it on my own. I could hardly bend over and I had cankles that wouldn't stop.

Saturday morning, we slept in until about 8:00. We had waffles for breakfast and headed out for a good walk. I was tired of being pregnant so we wanted to see if we could get things started. I wasn't too hopeful because I'd already tried walking several times during the previous week without any success. The contractions always started when I would walk, but as soon as I sat down, they'd stop.

It was pretty chilly, so Mom half jogged beside me while I waddled down the sidewalk. We walked around the church and through the park. I was trying everything I could think of. Uneven surfaces, stairs, everything. The contractions started like always, but I wasn't too excited about it. We got back home and started cleaning. Well, Mom started cleaning and I did what I could. But the contractions didn't stop.

Levi was worried because his mom, Jenny was flying in that night, but wouldn't be here until about 12:30 or 1:00. He didn't think she would make it. I assured him that even if it was real labor, she would probably be here in plenty of time.

The contractions just kept getting stronger through the day, but they were all in my back. I knew that they felt really different than Braxton-Hicks, but I felt them so much in my back that I wasn't sure if they were real.

Mom started cleaning like a maniac and instructed me to start packing my bag and one for Omar. I had to start breathing through the contractions at that point. I took a really long, hot shower that felt great except during a contraction. I got dressed and we headed off to the hospital.

This is me breathing through a contraction just outside of the apartment on our way to the hospital.

We got to the hospital and finally got to use the bright red, emergency phone. Levi asked what he was suppose to say when they answered. Maybe something about your wife being in labor?

We paused in the hallway for hopefully the last pregnancy shot.

We checked in and I changed into a gown so they could check my dilation and effacement. I was just over a 2 and about 80% effaced. I'd made progress from my last appointment on Thursday, February 26--I was dilated to a 2 and was 70-80% effaced. They hooked up all the monitors and I just waited for an hour. If I made enough progress in that hour, I'd stay.

They came back to check me and I was about the same dilation and just a little more effaced. About 90%. The nurse said that I had to walk around the hospital for an hour to move things along and then come back to be checked again. She recommended that I eat something because it would be a long time until I could eat again if I stayed at the hospital.

Here I'm pausing for a contraction with Aunt Codi. Mom called her when we went to the hospital and she came down. It was SO nice to have her. She's a labor and delivery nurse at Alta View, so she knows everything.

After the walk, I hadn't really made progress, so the nurse called the doctor and he recommended a shot of morphine to ease the pain and allow my body to relax enough to dilate and that I go home. Gratefully, I'd prepared physically to stay at the hospital, but prepared mentally to go back home. They gave me morphine and phenergan so I wouldn't throw up all night. Here we are going home.

The nurse said to give the shot an hour to work and if it didn't, we could come back. Medication affects me so quickly that I couldn't make it out of the hospital without a wheelchair.

I laid down as soon as we got home and tried to relax. The morphine kicked in and I managed to sleep in between contractions.

Scott brought Levi's mom, Jenny home about 1:15 am. Scott and Levi gave me a blessing and we all tried to go back to sleep. I don't think Levi got any sleep. He didn't even try to sleep before his mom got there because he was so anxious. When we all went to sleep at 1:30, he couldn't sleep because I'd squeeze his hand with every contraction. He was exhausted.

Dad had been called earlier and decided to start driving from Roundup, MT at about 2:30 am. He had about 8 1/2 hours to drive if he was speedy.

At 4:00 am, the contractions were bad enough that I woke Levi and said it was time to go. I couldn't sleep anymore and the morphine was definitely wearing off. We woke our mom's and headed back to the hospital.

You can easily see how excited Jenny is. I, on the other hand, look exhausted and have changed into pajamas.

Here we are checking in for the second time.

We headed for room W512, but had to pause in the hallway for a contraction.

I changed again and the nurse checked my dilation. She casually says, "You're at a 1." My jaw dropped and I started to stutter about not being able to go backward in dilation when she says, "Just kidding. You're a six." Levi thought it was hilarious. I thought it was a good thing I was in so much pain or I'd have smacked her. They announced that I was a 6 to the nurses station right outside the door and they all cheered for me. I loved it because the nurses were so good at making me feel like an individual even though they deliver an average of 400 babies a month at this hospital.

Suddenly, it was apparent that Omar was on his way and everyone went to work.

The anesthesiologist came and gave me the epidural. Levi was sitting in front of me, watching everything. He saw the needle for the local anesthetic and his jaw dropped. I told him to stop looking, but it's a good thing I'm not afraid of needles. I'd have never been able to rely on him to coach me through it.

Several family members were called at this ridiculously early hour (it was about 4:45 am) and Aunt Codi came back down. Here she is knitting, watching the monitor and updating someone over the phone. What a multi-tasker!

I had to text my best friend, Megan to let her know.

The epidural was wonderful. It felt a little funny as my legs went numb, but the relief it provided was phenomenal. The back pain was gone but I could still feel a little pressure with each contraction.

Then Omar decided to make things a little difficult. He kept hiding from the heart monitor, so the nurse put in an internal monitor that monitored both his heart rate and my contractions.

Omar's heart rate started to drop with each contraction and the nurse noticed meconium. That's when he has his first bowel movement before he's born. It can indicate some distress, but doesn't necessarily. It does mean that the respiratory team from the NICU would be in the room when he was born.

I was put on oxygen to make sure that Omar was getting as much oxygen as possible and then we just waited for me to finish dilating.

Omar's heart rate was dropping more with each contraction and I wasn't dilating as quickly as the doctor wanted. I was at an 8 and he decided to give me one hour to progress. If I stopped progressing, they would give me a little pitocin to move things along, but if Omar's heart rate dropped anymore, they would have to do a c-section. I was dreading that. I really didn't want to have to be in the hospital for four days and not be able to take care of Omar as well as I wanted. Mom called the family and everyone started praying for us. Here's a shot of the monitor showing his heart rate.

During the next hour, Omar's heart rate dropped less during each contraction. Amazing what a bunch of family praying for you can do. When the doctor came back to check me, I was fully dilated and he said I could start pushing. I was excited, but had heard that I could be pushing for a really long time since it was my first baby. He also confirmed that Omar was posterior, but was able to flip him fairly easily. It was wonderful when he finally flipped. My back pain lessened so much.

I started pushing at 10:00 am. Each mom took a leg and pushed, I think as hard as I did.

So I pushed and pushed and pushed. The minutes went by and then the hours. The doctor was notified that I was getting close around noon. Dad was getting close, but still wasn't here. We thought he was going to miss it. It was Sunday morning so there weren't any volunteers at any of the desks in the hospital. He kept getting lost and couldn't find his way up to the right floor. Finally, he walked into the room at about 12:20 pm.

Just a few minutes later, Omar Thomas Antoine was born at 12:29 pm. Levi was not able to cut the cord because the doctor wanted to make sure he didn't aspirate the meconium. The doctor cut the cord and handed him off to the respiratory team.

He was 8 lbs 4 oz and 19 1/2 inches long.

And here are some pictures of all of us finally holding him.

Step 1: Get Married; Step 2: Have a Baby; Step 3: Start a Blog

Now that I'm not working, I'm taking over the blog. We'll see how it goes. I've never been good at keeping a journal, but I want to keep a record for Omar. Here we go!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

It's a BOY!

I know most of you already know it's a boy. Sorry we haven't updated the blog in a while. Been busy at work.
So we're having a boy--the Antoine name lives on. I can't tell you how happy I am, but I would have been just as happy with a little girl. When I first saw the image on the screen I got a feeling I don't think I can explain. His name will be Omar Thomas Antoine. Here are his first pictures...

Oh course he's already got his first pair of Timbs, thanks to Grandma Sheridan...

On Nov. 8th at like 7am I felt Lil Omar kick for the first time. So I had to ground him for kicking his dad. Tana says I can't ground him, but I can. Well hope all of you have a great Holiday Season.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Greybull, WY

So this week we attended the funeral of Tana's Grandma (on her father's side) out in Greybull, WY. It's about an 8 hour drive, so we rented a Rav4 to make the trip. Didn't want to risk the Honda. It was fun seeing where my wife grew up, I mean I've been there before for our reception but we were just there and gone. This time I was able to visit Shell (Pop. 50). Just visiting there made me realize that we truly do come from different backgrounds. I mean I joke about it but man, that town was so small I knew everyone in 5 mins. I think it's because I really did stick out like a sore thumb.
The drive out there is long but it's amazing. Just look...

It was good though for me to see where my wife spent her childhood. I asked if she ever wanted to move back, I got a loud "NO"... which is understandable, I'm from the hood but does that mean I want my kids growing up there... "NO". Heres the ranch that she and her brothers ran all over...

I just find it amazing that two people with such different backgrounds found each other. It shouldn't work but it does, and the reason it works is because of understanding and the fact that in our lives the thing that comes first is our Father in Heaven. I know that in my wife's life I'm second next to Him and I'm okay with that because she knows it's the same with me.
As I think about being a father and what I can do to be a great one I realize that all I can do is teach him (or her, Grandma Jenny) to put Him first, and most of all trust Him. If that's the one thing my child learns from me then I think that means I'm a great dad.
Here are some more pictures to enjoy

Ok, this next picture might be nasty to some but look at the bug that hit the car... they grow them big in WY.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

It's Real

You know, it didn't really hit me that I was going to be a dad till I heard the Lil' Twans heart beat, 170 BPM... I told the doctor it's lil heart was beating so fast because it's excited for football season... GO GIANTS! I guess the Pat's are out, (sorry Old Man, and Lenny, maybe next year). Back to being a dad, I just hope and be a loving and understanding father. I know that with Tana by my side I will be, and if not I'm sure Grandma Jenny and Grandma Sheri will slap some sense into me... I'm more afraid of Grandma Jenny, I've been hit by her before. Love you mom. All in all I think I'm ready, at least my Father in Heaven thinks I am, and if he's backing me, I guess I should say us, if he's backing us we can't go wrong. Bring on the smelly diapers...