Monday, October 05, 2009

Labor: Meditations on pain, childbirth and breast pumps. "Introducing Autumn Glory"

"William, hurry, come here." It was 4:30 this morning and the urgency in my wife's voice could mean only one thing: some type of illegal activity was occuring outside our window. I braced myself ready, for the worst. Was someone's home being broken into? Maybe ours? Was a brutal homicide under way? Maybe the police were billy clubbing Javier into submission?

As I quickly ran down the hall, or rather stumbled, I realized the acrtivity must be right outside the "clothes" room - ooh my curiousity and fear peaked! But as I arrived at the bathroom I realized my wife was sitting on the potty - this was a strange development. Kia quickly whispered, "Paloma's on the changing table alone, my water broke, change her diaper."

Her water broke. My heart started to calm down - at least nothing illegal was going on. I made my way to Paloma and saw her laying there on the changing table. Jammies unzipped with a bright green 'cloth' diaper exposed around her midsection. As I found out later, Mommie had decided to check on Paloma's cloth diaper. The house was cold and a wet midsection would be rather unpleasant. As she was preparing to change the diaper - boom, come thou fount.

And that's how the day started! How exciting.

After some frantic prayer and struggling thinking, we decided to call Aunt Jenny and ask her to take the train from Chicago to Aurora. Shortly after 5:30am I phoned and Jenny answered. She would be out with Hamilton on a train to arrive at 8:00am.

A good start! If only we could postpone delivery till then. Kia was not getting many contractions and it seemed that maybe we could wait till Jenny's arrival.

At 6:00am I called my Mom and requested she make the trip from Chatham to Aurora. She didn't answer the first call (late night partying) but did call back promptly. She assured me her departure would be within the next 45 minutes to 1 hour. Wow, that was one fast moving Grammy!

Things were starting to line up nicely and I was confident the baby would be born by 9:00am. I speculated I would be able to make my meeting scheduled for 7:00pm that night. I would probably even have time to go by the house and put on "business casual" clothes. Assuming, Kia would be okay with that, of course. My confidence grew when Kia, down in the basement doing laundry, called up "I think you better call."

I knew what she meant - call the Dancas. In other words...she couldn't wait till 8:00am, the baby was moving quickly and was ready to party.

So I phoned and again Lidia Danca saved the day. I tell ya that Danca clan is unbelievable. Lidia was at the house within half an hour. Strangely, the contractions weren't coming, so we decided to pick up Jenny and Hamilton at the 8:00am train, drop them off at 301 Fifth, and then make our way to the hospital. Maybe this baby wouldn't be born by 9:00am...

So that's what we did. Except we also made a pit stop at Philip's Park to try and "walk up" some contraction action. The walk didn't go so well (note to self, by adult sized diapers before baby #6 goes into labor) so we decided to head over to Rush Copley. The only thing I could think of was, "would it be selfish to get a starbuck's coffee on the way?" I decided it was so I didn't mention it to Kia. I'm here to serve!

We checked into Rush Copley around 8:30am and they confirmed the obvious, Kia's water was broken. Strangely enough, contractions still weren't coming very often or very strong. For the next six hours we walked the halls, Kia sat on "the ball", hooked up the breast pump and did whatever else she could to bring on labor (I had a grand time making all kinds of jokes and strange comments). The latter worked the best and after about 3o minutes on the super charged breast pump (for those who don't know, a pump that uses a motor to draw out breast milk, conveniently stored in a bottle), some serious labor was setting in. (Ealier in the day I had seen the breast pump in the hall and tried to convice Kia it was an outboard motor for small pond worthy vessel).

At this point I must confess, I was a bit worried about my wife. She has an incredible pain tolerance, but this labor was taking longer than the last 3 and she was pretty tired. She seemed to be intimidated by this intense pain wasn't sure if she could handle it. We discussed pain meds and I assured her that it was fine with me. But I knew she wouldn't like the side effect. Kia decided to press on! Go Black Beauty!

About 3:00pm she was curled on the bed and in the middle of an intense contraction. She managed to say "I think you better call someone I feel like I need to push." Ooooh, this was a good sign. I glanced at her privatels to see if a head was sticking out, nothing yet so I pushed the little red cross button and told the nurse, "she's ready to push."

Within a minute the midwife, Noreen, and a nurse were in the room.

My wife then proceeded to demonstrate that she is hands down the toughest person alive today on planet earth or any other planet for that matter (take that you alien wusses). In the past I've seen her pick up red hot pans and as they sear into her flesh simply say "ouch." I've observed her three times push out a baby like its the side effect of eating way too much really cheezy pizza - constipation style - "ugh" and its out.

But today, she became my official hero. She is so tough.

Friends, family...this was some serious pain, so strong, I even felt it three feet away. The contractions were super heavy and long and the body was weak after wrestling with labor for the previous 8 hours.

But my wife, gripped down hard on my hand and rode them out olympic style. Noreen told her to do what her body was telling her to do, push. And she did. Two, maybe three pushes and there she was. Gold medal all the way, yeah!

Our sweet Baby 5 had arrived!

Autumn Glory Whitney, 5 lbs 14 oz, 181/4" in length. Good job Momma, good job baby #5!


Waitsfam said...

What a treat to read from Daddy William's perspective.

Praise God for this new life; Praise God for the life in you, dear brother.

Much love,
your sister

John Whitney said...

That's my son...and daughter-in-law...and grand daughter!! What a team!!!!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations, friends!


Cara said...

Your story-telling style is inimitable, William! Love it.

We are so very happy for you guys. Can't wait to learn more about sweet Autumn Glory.

Elisabeth said...


chad said...

i've never had so much fun reading about the birth of a baby. congratulations guys!

judi said...

I echo my hubby's comment. William, you are truly one of the funniest guys we know! We are so excited for you all and can't wait to see pictures, post some soon! Love ya!

Katie said...

Yay!!! Go Kia!

Thanks for the fun read, William. I'm definitely passing this one on to Josh.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations you guys. That's just amazing. Welcome to the world Autumn is your season and a glory to have you here.

Love ya,

Cheryl Beynum