the pregnancy story

06.09.2005 — His birthday! What a day! We got up bright and stinking early, with only about four hours or less of sleep, to get to the hospital at 6:00AM. Once there they gave us a Per-Op/Post-Op room to hang out in while they started Danielle's IV and hooked her up to the fetal monitor. After a lot of waiting around the anesthesiologist that would be working Danielle's surgery came to visit. He was a great doctor and very good at explaining exactly what would be happening and the reasons behind it. He also threw us a curve ball when he asked if I would be going in. This was a shock to me since I had been told that since she would be under general they would not allow me to be there. After some internal debate trying to decide if I could make it through it without passing out and becoming a liability, I decided to go with the part of me that wanted to be in there more than anything. While I changed into scrubs they took Danielle back to prep for the surgery.

After what seemed like eternity they came and took me back to the OR. When they brought me in they had already started the C-section. The anesthesiologist had explained to us earlier that with general they have about 8 minutes to get the baby out before it started to feel the effects of the anesthesia. I was given a place to sit and the anesthesiologist kept me informed about what was going on at each step. When they brought his head out I stood up and started taking pictures. Surprisingly, I didn't pass out and was able to get a lot of good pictures of him being snatched from the womb. He had a good bit of fluid in his lungs and stomach from the C-section so they pounded on him pretty good to get him to cough the stuff up and turn a more normal color. After they got him in a good condition they wrapped him up and I was able to hold him for a bit before they moved him to the nursery. They were still closing Danielle back up when we left the OR. In the hall on the way to the nursery he was greeted by my mother and father and Danielle's mother, father and older sister. His initial measurements were 8 pounds, 8 ounces in weight and 21.25 inches in height.

I had to wait outside the nursery a bit before they let me in so when I was allowed in they had already started working with him. They checked him out thoroughly and the only thing of concern was his rapid breathing. This was brought on by the fluid/mucus that was still in his lungs so more pounding ensued. After a while the lactation consultant came in and told the nurses that Danielle would be in recovery soon so they finished up their exam and wrapped him back up. The lactation consultant took us back to the recovery room where Danielle first saw him. She was still in a good deal of pain and being pumped full of medication. They were both crying and unable to get him to latch on so they just allowed him to rest on her for the bonding experience. After a while they wanted to get Danielle's pain under control and to complete his exam. So they took him back to the nursery. I made sure Danielle was doing fine and then went to watch his first bath.

After waiting around outside while they performed a circumcision on another new baby, I was finally allowed back inside the nursery where he was being warmed under the heat lamps. I sat with him for an eternity while the nursery staff tended to two other newborns. After about an hour's wait I went back to check on Danielle. By this time she had been moved to the room we'd spend the next few days in. They had finally gotten Danielle's pain under control and she was in much better spirits. She wanted to know how he was doing and when they'd bring him back to her. I was instructed to get his baby book and get hand and feet prints in it. I took it back to the nursery when I went. After more waiting, they finally came back and did the hand and feet prints before giving him his first bath. They gave me some initial care instructions for him and allowed me to take him back to our room. Danielle was overjoyed to see him.

What followed was a few sleepless days and nights in the hospital. He couldn't figure out the eating process and so he stayed hungry and cranky. He slept most of the day after his "minor surgery" and didn't eat much. He kept us awake at night with his odd breathing patterns that all new parents worry about. We had lots of visitors that we enjoyed seeing very much. Most of it was a blur...

Finally on June 12th we were allowed to go home. At his final check-up he weighed just 7 lb. 10 oz. which seems like a lot of weight to lose, but they assured us it was normal and with-in their safe limits. After his PKE test was done and Danielle's staples were removed they allowed us to pack up and head home. It was a rainy, ugly day but we were glad to be going home with our new baby boy.

06.08.2005 — Last OB visit and Pre-Op at Athens Regional Medical Center. The OB visit was typical except that we met with Dr. Thompson to go over tomorrow's "plan". After that we were sent to ARMC to fill out the Pre-Op paperwork and meet with the anesthesiologist. After waiting for 30 minutes or more we spoke with the general admissions person and then the insurance person to collect the co-pay. Then we waited over 2 hours to have Danielle's blood drawn for typing in case a transfusion is needed tomorrow. The anesthesiologist also threw us a curve ball when he said he could "try" a spinal block so that Danielle could be awake for his birth. But after some thought we decided to stick with the general anesthesia since thats what we had thought to be the only route and it had less chances of them goofing up and making her back worse. After this we were sent up to the labor and delivery ward to check in with them. Keep in mind we'd been at the hospital for over 3 hours at this point and have had no lunch so we're starving and anxious to get out of the place we know we'll spend the next few days. After answering all the same questions for the third time we were allowed to leave. Now to see if we can actually get any sleep before having to be at the hospital tomorrow at 6:00AM.

06.01.2005 — Tenth OB visit at the beginning of 38 weeks. Danielle is measuring right on course and his heart beat was about 130 beats/min. Last visit should be next week assuming he doesn't try to arrive early.

05.29.2005 — Danielle thinks he may have had his first set of hiccups today. She's having either real contractions or Brackston-Hicks a lot lately and is having trouble sleeping. Not much longer now...

05.25.2005 — Ninth OB visit at the beginning of week 37. We got to see him in an ultrasound today as they measured and made sure everything was on track. He's measuring in the 74 percentile with a huge head (measuring 39 weeks), just like his daddy. The nurse was glad to hear we have a C-section scheduled. His current weight estimate is 7 lb. 9 oz. and he's still got 2 weeks to go. (Of course that estimate can be off a pound either direction.) At this point ultrasounds are difficult to understand since you can't get enough of him in the picture to tell what you're looking at. First two show his face/head, the next one shows the "shadows" of his rib cage, the next two confirm his "boyhood" and I don't recall what the last one was showing.
ultrasound ultrasound ultrasound ultrasound ultrasound ultrasound

05.12.2005 — We had a bit of a scare today. He hasn't been as active as of late. (He's probably just running out of room.) This morning Danielle didn't feel him move for several hours and nothing she did would make him move. We rushed into the OB and they hooked her up to fetal monitors. Of course by the time she got into the OB's office he had started moving. His heartbeat measure from 120 to 160 beats/min while she was hooked up to the monitors. Everything checked out fine and they sent us home. This impromptu visit replaced our regularly scheduled eighth visit that was scheduled for tomorrow (Friday the 13th). We're to the weekly visit stage of the pregnancy.

05.10.2005 — We went to tour Athens Regional Medical Center this evening to see where he'd be born. On a completely separate note, I think I was able to hear his heartbeat for the first time by pressing my ear to the belly.

05.03.2005 — First Brackston-Hicks? Danielle experienced what we think was her first set of "contractions" while we were out at the park for a picnic lunch.

04.29.2005 — Seventh OB visit. OR time for June 9th is set for 8:00AM. His heartbeat was still around ~135 beats/min.

04.12.2005 — Sixth OB visit. Danielle seems to be measuring right on course (approx. 31 cm.) and the heartbeat was fine at ~135 beats/min. Set the birth date... he'll be born on June 9th. Mark your calendars! (Assuming the doctor and the OR can agree on a time.) Painted his room this weekend as we're trying to get it finished up.

03.18.2005 — Fifth OB visit. Everything seems to be going well. His heart beat was ~145 beats/min. Danielle was measuring 27 cm., which is right on target.

02.16.2005 — Fourth OB visit. His heart beat was ~141 beats/min.

02.11.2005 — I felt him move for the first time.

02.01.2005 — 3D ultrasound confirms... ITS A BOY!
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01.18.2005 — Third OB visit. Listened to the baby's heart beat. ~147 beats/min.

01.15.2005 — Danielle feels him move for the first time.

12.27.2004 — Our friend was nice enough to do an ultrasound for us to try and determine the sex of the baby. We think its a boy...
ultrasound ultrasound ultrasound ultrasound ultrasound

12.21.2004 — Second OB visit. Listened to the baby's heart beat. ~172 beats/min.

11.15.2004 — First doctor's visit. Seeing the heart beating and seeing the baby move makes it all more real. The technology behind an ultrasound that allows you to see inside the womb has got to be the best use of technology I've ever seen!
ultrasound ultrasound

10.11.2004 — Not much to see yet...

10.10.2004 — Who would have ever guessed one small line could change your world forever?
pregnancy test