Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Happy Birthday To Our First Born

Yesterday Daughter#1 turned 27. It hardly seems possible at times. She was our first and, hence, was our practice baby. The twins (aka The Son and Daughter#2) had it much easier since we sort of had the feeding and caring of a baby down by the time they came along. We had no idea what to do when the Doctors handed over Daughter#1 to us in the Birthing Room. All in all though, she seems to have turned out pretty well.

When Ann and I decided we were ready to start having kids, things moved right along. Apparently Ann was quite the fertile woman. After waiting the appropriate 9 months and a few days, Daughter#1 (which we didn't know was Daughter#1 at the time) announced she was ready to come into the world. Sort of. Ann's water didn't quite break as sort of started leaking. I remember it was on a Thursday because Thursday was softball night. Our workplace had a softball league and all the younger types and some of the older types all played. When I picked Ann up, she announced that she thought her water might have broken, but she wasn't sure. This would turn into a recurring theme through out the whole birthing process. In what turned out to be a stroke of good planning, Ann's OB/GYN was right on the way to the softball field. We owned a Triumph Spitfire at the time so we rolled down Shirley Highway to Seminary Road, top down and no clue what lay before us, and whipped into the Doctor's office. They confirmed that indeed her water had broken or was leaking and stand-by to have a baby. We were naturally excited, but seeing as Ann hadn't starting having contractions, I saw no reason to pass on the softball game so off we went. Now as important as the game was and having a baby is, what really mattered was the pizza and beer after the game. Its tradition you understand. So after getting a few laser eye looks and a few "You better watch your drinking Mister" from Ann, we hustled on over to Angie's for pizza and beer with the rest of the team. I think some of this was lost on Ann since she couldn't drink and she didn't want to fill up on pizza before birthing a child. I ate and drank her share so as not to be rude to the owners. Contractions began about 10:00 that night - sort of. Ann had back labor and she had a hard time telling when contractions would start and stop. We had a stop watch and it was my job to time the contractions and how far apart they were. Now after a day of work, a game of softball and much pizza and beer, I was pretty tired and wanted to sleep. So most of the night went like this:

Ann: I think I'm having a contraction!
Me: (Starting watch) Are you sure?
Ann: I think so.
Me: Ok. Let me know when it stops.
Ann: Ok
Me: (Falling asleep)
Me: (Waking up several to many many many minutes later) Has it stopped yet?
Ann: I not sure. I can't tell, Were you asleep?
Me: Of course not. (falling back asleep)

Repeat for several hours. At about 3:30 in the morning Ann decided it was time to call the Doctor. I asked her if her contractions were getting close enough to warrant the call. They weren't, but Ann was all in a panic about getting caught during rush hour traffic on I-95/I-395 as we made our way to Alexandria Hospital and having to give birth on the side of the highway. The last thing she wanted to hear were traffic reports over the radio about some woman giving birth on Shirley Highway and traffic was backed up to Quantico. I told her it was too early to call. She was a crazy pregnant lady in labor so she made sure I made the call. So I lied to the Doctor about how far along things were. He said come on in and so we did. We checked in at the hospital and made our way to the maternity floor. The Doctor took one look (a look - not an exam) at Ann and said "No way you're close to being ready to have your baby." But I guess he was use to dealing with first time parents to be and crazy pregnant ladies and didn't send us home, but rather sent us off to walk the halls. Ann had previously decided to go the natural childbirth route, no drugs and they put us in a nice birthing room. Not that we used it very much those first hours as we were busy walking the halls. The contractions really started to kick in around 7:00 or 8:00 as I remember and Ann took to her bed with a fetal monitor attached. It was kind of freaky watching the strip of paper print out the ups and downs of her contractions. I don't think Ann was that fascinated by it. Go figure. As the intensity of the contractions picked up, Ann started rethinking the whole no drug thing. However, her doctor wasn't at the hospital. Rather he was over at their office about a mile away doing normal appointments. He would drop by from time to time though to see how things were coming along. Around 10:00 Ann decided to heck with this natural childbirth stuff, just bring drugs and lots of them. No Doctor though. The nurses told us they would tell him as soon as he made a return visit. When he arrived, he did an exam and told Ann she was progressing nicely and drugs? Heck she didn't need any drugs, besides she was too far along now. The scream that echoed down the hallway was not from a contraction. I think she wanted to strangle him, but I'm not sure. Anyway, Daughter#1 came along at 11:30AM. Blonde haired and blue eyed and we welcomed her into the world. Its been an interesting first 27 years. I just wish she would learn to balance her checkbook. Happy Birthday Kid!

No comments: