Sunday, January 18, 2009

Stardate 63048.98 - The Story of Kate's Birth

Cheryl's due date was estimated as this coming Tuesday, January 20th, and even though Loren was born 2 days early we were not expecting a Friday night birth. Cheryl had seen her doctor in the afternoon, and nothing imminent appeared to be happening. We were just sitting around the living room around 7:15 PM getting ready to start Loren's bathwater when suddenly Cheryl announced, "My water just broke!"

A little history is in order. While Cheryl's water broke quite suddenly with Loren, her contractions never really started on their own and the doctor induced labor about 3 hours after the actual water break. So we figured we had some time and spent the next 15 minutes making phone calls to Lisa (who had agreed to take Loren to her place if anything sudden happened), Cheryl's parents (letting them know we'd probably need them on Saturday), and Cheryl's doctor (obviously) as well as packing up a bag for Loren and tidying up around the apartment. But around 7:30, while Cheryl was sitting on the floor helping Loren to get her coat on (or something similar) a contraction hit. Since that was different than last time, Cheryl urged us to get to a taxi.

We caught a taxi right in front of our building as soon as we stepped outside (which doesn't often happen). Meanwhile Cheryl had another contraction in the elevator and another one as soon as we got into the taxi (they were about 2 minutes apart). Originally the plan was to get her into the hospital and checked in, and then I'd run Loren up to Lisa's place and return in plenty of time for the birth. Once in the taxi (at 7:40 PM) Cheryl called Lisa to have her meet us at the hospital and I posted to Twitter (at 7:42 PM) and the blog (at 7:45 PM) that we were en route to the hospital. Cheryl's contractions continued to get stronger and closer together and they were 90 seconds apart as we walked through the front door of the hospital.

It is not a short walk to get to the elevators and in retrospect maybe we should have asked for a wheelchair but at the time neither of us thought we were so close to delivery. Cheryl made it as far as the elevator and as I pressed the button she grabbed the wall and yelled through another contraction. At this point she began to say, "The baby is coming now! The baby is coming now!" as she crossed the hall and slid down onto the floor she began yelling through yet another contraction. Loren began yelling at this point, and a group of nurses waking down the hall dropped their dinners and came running over. They thought Cheryl had fallen. I yelled at them, "The baby is coming now!" and they scrambled for a stretcher. We were there for maybe 5 minutes, and during this time Lisa appeared and we completed a 10-second hand over of Loren and her luggage and got her out of the drama.

Once they got Cheryl on a stretcher they wheeled her around the public elevators to the staff elevators and it was a quick trip up to maternity. They told me not to follow her into the room, but to go quickly to the front counter on the floor to give them Cheryl's name and insurance information. I only had time to hand the piece of paper with the photocopy of her card to the nurse when they started yelling for me from down the hall, telling me the baby was coming now!

I quickly entered the room and the baby's head was already half-way out and at 8:05 PM, fifty minutes after Cheryl's water broke, Katherine Orrock Sawyer was born!

Early Saturday Lisa brought Loren over to meet her little sister, and then I took Loren home while Cheryl's parents drove into the city.

Once they met Kate, they came to the apartment to watch Loren while I went back to the hospital. That night I came home in time to put Loren to bed, and then went back to the hospital Sunday morning. Luckily everyone was healthy and everything went smoothly so we were discharged first thing Sunday morning and were home by 10 AM.

I'm now surrounded by women at home! As I have been for almost all my life...



JamesF said...

Wow. I hope Loren wasn't too traumatized.

You both did good. I would have been freaking the #*&$ out.

Good thing you didn't make it into the public elevator.

Kim said...

There is something to be said for a fast birth. You both handled it very calmly. :-) Not sure I would have done the same.

Trailing Male said...

I have a cousin named Justin. His mother has always said that she named him that because she got to the hospital "Just in time." Congratulations to you all!

Sean said...

Congratulations to you and Cheryl! Apparently Kate wanted to make a dramatic entrance into the world.

SMY said...

Congratulations! And what a story! Can't wait to meet her!

@JSto said...

Congrats! You now have the same female to male ratio as The Grizz. ;-)

CAPT_Sawyer said...

I feel The Grizz's pain... ;-)