Sunday, August 12, 2012

Frederick Arthur Andre

Frederick (Fritz) Arthur Andre was born at 4:58 am at a strapping 7 lbs 13 ounces. Ilsa started labor at about 1130 pm and we left for the hospital at about 1230 after the contractions were about 3.5 minutes apart. When we arrived around 1, they were a little understaffed (a C-section was being done at the time) yet they got us into an triage exam room quickly. They did an exam around 1:20 and found Ilsa only at 3 cm; they were thinking that we might get sent home. They said we'd stay in the exam room for an hour. Ilsa labored and had contractions every 2-3 minutes during that time. Her water broke around 2:20. They did another exam and found Ilsa at 8cm! (5cm in an hour -- no wonder those hurt), and she had contractions for a while there, probably for another 40 minutes or so. They guided her about how to better do the contractions, and my role became clear -- to provide an object for her focus on during them. The contractions would start, her face would tighten up, her eyes would bulge, and she would breathe through them. They were not terribly happy with the baby's heart rate during some of this; they tried a few different positions. Around 3 or just after, they quickly admitted her and we went back to the delivery room. The contractions were coming quickly, and things seem to happen quite fast after that. They tried a few different positions to help the baby keep his heart rate above 100; on her back was the best for most of it. Ilsa transitioned to pushing around 330am. Ilsa did some work on the birthing stool, where she could sit -- these pushes seemed more effective, but the baby didn't tolerate them as well. At one point, we were pretty close to being rushed back to the OR for a vacuum delivery -- at this point they could see the baby's head and the electrode (they had switched to a clip-on/screw-on electrode (just like Jo had), but the baby tolerated the contractions and pushing better and so we kept going. They noticed that the baby had pooped; there was meconium in the discharge/water, so after birth they were going to have a team to whisk the baby away and clean him off and try to get all the meconium off so he wouldn't inhale it. Ilsa was a champ; she took all the coaching ("don't yell -- use all your energy to push") really well and she quite literally delivered. At one point she was disheartened and I told to remember that she had run 8 miles, and if she could do that, she could certainly do this. After that, she rallied and pushed even harder. At 440am we could see a large circle of dark hair; a few more pushes and the baby was ready. The delivering team wasn't --- the pediatricians (who were going to do the whisking & cleaning) hadn't quite arrived yet, and they asked Ilsa to slow down. That wasn't really possible, and at 4:58 out popped the baby. Ilsa saw his eyes open right after he was out -- I was focused on the fact that his umbilical cord was wrapped 3 times around his neck! They got him untangled, told us it was a him, and brought him over to the cleaning table. Once there, we heard some suctioning and then a healthy cry. Frederick Arthur had arrived. I am so very impressed with Ilsa; she took nearly no pain killers -- just one dose of Fentanyl (and barely that) and some lidocaine for the last pushing (as she was tearing a bit). She was amazing through this; Frederick is very lucky to have such a strong and awesome mother. Afterward, I held Frederick while they sewed Ilsa back up -- it was so very nice to be in the same room the entire time instead of the separation that we went through last time where Ilsa was left alone for so long. After she was sewn, we put Fritz near the boob, and he latched right on. Some pictures from the first few minutes are below.

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