When Julia left off with her last post, it appeared that little Cole was simply content with the status quo and not at all interested in responding to Julia's prodding (i.e. spicy Indian food for lunch and double dosage of Castor Oil for a mid-afternoon snack). We moved along with business as usual throughout most of the evening. Our apartment complex hosted a great bbq dinner and carnival for the kids so we spent a couple of hours socializing and enjoying the beautiful Boston weather. After the activities settled down, we put Kate to bed and started our evening rituals of school work/news/espn checking (me) and blog surfing (Julia). Around 9:15 PM, Julia sent out a couple of texts to her friends in which she begrudgingly accepted defeat at the hands of mother nature despite her aforementioned efforts.
And that is when the fun began (bear in mind that I was a mere spectator throughout the night)!...
At about 9:30 PM, Julia started to show signs of uneasiness and discomfort. She didn't quite know how to diagnose the symptoms. Was it queasiness? gas? constipation? - need I go further? Could it possibly be a contraction? I tried my hardest to imagine what a contraction would feel like and how that might relate to what Julia was feeling - I got no where!
Soon, the discomfort started to last a little bit longer and in concentrated doses. Julia made some phone calls to undisclosed sources that indeed confirmed that she might be experiencing the ever elusive fit of contractions. The word "might" was enough to convince me to get everything gathered up in case this dress rehearsal turned into the real show.
In the meantime, we reached out to our experienced neighbor and birthing class instructor, Liz, to give an assessment. By the time she got there, the "contractions" were spaced 3-5 minutes apart and intensifying. She gave us the calm and collected nudge to take this thing seriously and head to the hospital. I made the call to the on-call OBGYN and left a message (which was never actually returned).
We hopped in the car and sped our way to the hospital (only three miles away). Julia's contractions (yes - definitely not gas at this point) were longer in duration and higher in frequency. She was in some serious pain/torture. Hitting every red light on the way there did not exactly help things. By the time we reached the hospital it was 10:20 PM. Still, we figured we were in good shape. We wanted to get Julia admitted and set up and then I could return for the bags once the epidural kicked in.
After stopping a few times due to some debilitating contractions, we made it up to the labor/ delivery room in about 10 minutes. As soon as we walked in to the room, the nurses jumped into action. Apparently, they caught on to something that my medical expertise (yes - I've sat thru five seasons of Grey's Anatomy with Julia) managed to miss!
We made sure they understood that Julia wanted an epidural ASAP and the nurse started to get Julia set up. The initial check showed that Julia was 7 cm dilated. I think we were both thinking "Oh crap - what do we do if she can't get the epidural!" Of course, I kept my thoughts to myself and remained absolutely poised and in control. Still, the nurse said that if they move fast, Julia should be fine to get the epidural.
I figured I would make myself useful and get Julia some crushed ice and water. I found my way over to the ice machine, filled up two cups with ice and water respectively, and made my way back to the room. Upon entering the room, I feel as though the entire mood, pace and occupants’ demeanor had changed. Indeed - all HELL had broken loose!
The Doctor had just rushed in and the nurse was frantically setting up the IV. Then, they drop the bombshell on me - Julia is dilated to 9 cm. I run the math in my head (9 cm = no epidural!). Julia is in incredible pain (the type of pain that no human nor animal should ever have to bear).
I didn't quite know what to do. Julia had been induced with Kate and despite a little discomfort when the Pitocin kicked in, the whole labor was quite enjoyable. I'm not just saying that either...we were laughing, chatting and having a jolly good time throughout the whole ride.
There was nothing jolly nor good about the events I witnessed leading up to 10:53 PM. Julia was in a zone, however, and pain or no pain she wanted Cole out. The Le Mas (ms?) breathing techniques (learned three years ago) came in handy. Julia survived each contraction and geared up to force this little guy out into the open. The nurse actually had to tell Julia to hold off on pushing so the doctor could get somewhat situated. While Julia and I painfully endured each contraction, the doctor and nurse were rushing to get the baby delivery prep tools situated. The doctor didn’t even have time to put on her gown before Julia started pushing. Julia absolutely willed the little guy out in three pushes.
In-freakin-credible is all I have to say! I know Julia will likely try to defer the heroic credit to me on this one, but I have to admit that my role (by no means small) was largely (okay - entirely) diminished by my amazing wife. Little Cole was born exactly 23 minutes after Julia was admitted! Things moved so fast that Julia experienced the entire labor all NAT-U-RAL - no drugs, no nothing!
I think we were both in a state of shock shortly after Cole was born. What the crap just happened? Is he really already here? The poor little guy got a little bruised up along the way due to his forceful and rapid entry.
We honestly feel so blessed to have a healthy little boy in our family. Kate is excited to have finally met her little brother and has already tried to offer him every treat imaginable! She will definitely be a great big sister.
Here are the stats:
Name: Cole Michael Nixon
Birthday: 9/9/11 at 10:53 PM
Weight: 8 lbs 9 oz
Height: 21 in
Hair: Jet Black (zoolanderish)
Feet: big (the nurse looked at his feet and said that he has "some big a** feet" - it runs in the family!)
Skin: a little pink and purple