Posts tagged Bradley
Well I’m sure many of you are anxious to hear the birth story, so we have decided to give it to you from two perspectives: mine and Carrie’s. While the overall story will be the same, the details will undoubtedly be different. We’ll start with mine, and Carrie’s will follow.
It was Thursday night and we went to bed like any other weekday night, expecting to wake up and go to work in the morning. Although we had pressed some labor inducing pressure points the past couple days, we had no idea that labor was about to begin. Carrie fell asleep first as I worked on an article for my Michigan football/basketball site as is our usual nightly ritual. I finally turned off the computer and went to sleep around 11:30.
What seemed like a few hours later, I was awaken out of a deep sleep by Carrie jumping out of bed, running to the bathroom, and yelling, “J, I think my water broke!!!” I jumped up and ran into the bathroom, stepping in “water” all over the floor along the way. She asked what time it was, and thinking it had to be 3 or 4am, I looked at the clock shocked that it was only 12:30. We decided to call our doula, Tanya, to let her know. Since labor hadn’t actually started yet, she told us to go back to bed, get some rest, and not call the doctor, because they would tell us to come into the hospital right away and we would be on the clock. She told us to call her back at 5:30, or earlier if there was a major change.
We got back in bed hoping to get some sleep and expecting a long road ahead. All I could think of, however, is the Beastie Boys song “No Sleep Till Brooklyn.” About a half hour later, labor started. Since we took Bradley classes and prepared for this moment, everything we learned was that if labor starts in the middle of the night, sleep in between contractions because you’ll need to save your energy for later.
Over the course of the next four hours, the contractions got worse and worse to the point where Carrie couldn’t lay down through them anymore. At 5:30, I called Tanya and gave her the update. She asked a bunch of questions and even talked to Carrie and we decided that she would come over around 10:30. We could make it until then, or so we thought.
It became apparent that Carrie needed some items that she had run out of. The drug store, Duane Reade, opened at 7, so I ran out to get those items and some Gatorade right when they opened. This is where I made stupid dad mistakes number one and two. I made the seven block walk, got everything I needed, got to the checkout counter, and realized I had no money. I had forgotten my wallet. So I ran home, grabbed my wallet, ran back, paid, and ran back home sure that Carrie was going to kill me. Mistake number two was that in my hurry to grab everything, I got Gatorade G2, the low calorie kind. Tanya had specifically told Carrie to drink something with calories. But Carrie was fairly out of it by then, and we didn’t even realize until afterward.
At that point, the contractions were getting really bad and the only position that seemed to work was sitting on the toilet. We tried pretty much all the techniques we had learned in Bradley class, but this was all that was working by now.
I talked to Tanya again because Carrie had started throwing up, and she said she would hop in a cab and come over right away. It would take her about an hour to get there. We kept fighting through the contractions and I tried the calming technique that she had told me she really wanted to use: visualizing the beach. Unfortunately, she was having none of it. She even said, “I don’t want to go to the beach; I want this to stop.” I was starting to lose hope (although I would never outwardly show it). I was definitely ready for some reinforcements, and thankfully, Tanya arrived.
The plan had been for me to take Buddy to a house-sitter when Tanya got there, but she quickly decided that Carrie was far enough along that it was time to go to the hospital. Sorry Buddy!
I called the doctor and told her the status, and she said to come in right away. It was 10am at this point. I called for a cab (not telling them that we had a pregnant lady in active labor).
Tanya told us we had to go, but Carrie didn’t think she could make it down the stairs, let alone a 20 minute cab ride. We got her dressed and I frantically grabbed our go-bag and the car seat. We made it outside, after stopping for contractions at the bottom of the stairs and in the building lobby. We climbed into the cab as Carrie was moaning “I can’t do this!” Tanya got in the back with Carrie and I rode shotgun to give the driver directions. When we got in, he wasn’t very happy with what he was seeing and hearing. He barely spoke English and kept saying “ambulancia! ambulancia!” Tanya calmed his nerves by telling him that we were going to make it to the hospital and to just get us there.
Along the way, Carrie was hurting from all the bumps. At one point, she screamed, “I’m going to die!!!!” Tanya was doing a great job of calming her down and reassuring her, while I was reaching my hand back from the front seat and letting her squeeze the life out of it. After we hit a little bit of construction on the West Side Highway, we got to our exit and then hit a road full of pot holes, to which Carrie screamed, “This is the road from hell!!!!” I think the cab driver got a little chuckle out of that, but we were only a couple blocks from the hospital, so he was calling in my credit card number to dispatch. They were taking forever to respond to him, so he was saying (in Spanish), “Run the credit card, this lady is going to give birth in my cab!”
We made it to the hospital and Tanya took Carrie inside while I finished paying. As we got in an elevator, Carrie started another mammoth contraction. Some lady had the gall to get on and press the fourth floor (we were going to 12) and hold the door. Carrie screamed, “shut the door!!!” Then things got interesting.
We got off the elevator and walked into triage waiting room, which was filled, not with people in labor, just with people. We barely made it into the room when another huge contraction started, wailing, moaning, and all, so Tanya and I threw down our bags to support Carrie. A triage nurse had the nerve to say, in mid contraction, “You need to clear the way.” Tanya said we would do it after the contraction, but the nurse snarkily said, “one of you can hold her and one of you can move the bags.” Again, we said we would do it after the contraction, but she said something about it being for safety, to which Carrie yelled, “SERIOUSLY?!?!?”
The contraction ended, we moved the bags, and Carrie sat down in a chair. It took about 15-20 minutes for the nurses to call her in to a bed. Her contractions were almost non-stop at this point. When they called us in, Tanya told me to go in with her. New York has this awesome (as in, not awesome) law where they don’t let the male go in right away. They have to ask the patient questions about domestic violence first. Well, we were prepared (since we had already been there twice for early contractions). I went in with her and when the triage nurse started to say something, Carrie said, “He’s coming with me. There’s no domestic violence. We’ve been here before.” So the nurse then said, “Well if you’ve been here before, then you know how to put the gown on.”
We got to the little room in triage and made it through some more contractions. The doctor came in to check the cervix and our worst fears came true. She was only at 4cm. At that point, I didn’t think I would be able to keep Carrie going any longer. We had prepared for nine months to have a completely natural birth, she had stressed that she really didn’t want an epidural, and in our meeting with the doctor a couple weeks ago, she told her that. But at that moment, hearing that she was only 4cm when she expected to hear 8 or 9, she lost it.
Thankfully, the doctor was awesome. She encouraged Carrie and did just what she said she would do in our meeting: asking Carrie to just go a little longer. She also informed us that Carrie was dehydrated and needed an IV. Even if she got an epidural, she would still have to have the IV because the dehydration was keeping the cervix from relaxing in between contractions, which explained the extreme pain Carrie was in. She wasn’t getting any kind of rest in between.
We were in there for about 20 minutes and the IV really seemed to help, but Carrie was still really hurting and still asking for the epidural. I wasn’t sure how much longer I could hold off. This whole time, every chance I got, I had been texting back and forth with Tanya, who was still in the waiting room (they only let one person in at a time in triage). She was giving me encouragement and saying that Carrie wasn’t really 4cm. Everything pointed towards much more than that.
All the sudden, two different nurses came in saying the baby’s heart rate was declining and they needed to check Carrie again. Just as they started to check her, Carrie screamed, “I have to push!!!” The nurse said that she was now 10, plus 2, or in other words, 12cm., so they called for the doctor. The doctor came in and told Carrie it was okay to start pushing and that it was a good thing because the baby was coming, so they were going to wheel us in to labor and delivery.
The triage nurses started wheeling the bed away and I noticed that no one had remembered to grab the IV pole, which was still attached to Carrie’s arm. If I hadn’t yelled at them to stop, they would have ripped it right out, but they stopped and grabbed it and then wheeled her into L&D. I ran into the waiting room to grab Tanya and then went back to the room, which was right across the hall.
She started pushing at about 11:40 and eventually, the doctor told her she had to lay on her side. It all happened so fast that the way she laid, her top half was off the bed and I was completely holding her up. Tanya was on her left side holding her leg up, and a nurse was holding her right leg up, while the doctor was monitoring the pushing.
At first, Carrie was really screaming when she was pushing, but the doctor told her to focus that energy downward instead of outward. She really seemed to respond to that and did a great job of pushing for the next 10-15 minutes (if that). I started to see the baby’s head come out and the doctor had Carrie reach down to touch it so she knew it was almost out. As it came a little farther, the doctor reached in and unwrapped the cord from around her neck (it was only wrapped around once, so it wasn’t a huge worry). Then, Brooklyn came out and it was the greatest feeling in the world.
Carrie was exhausted and incredibly relieved that we had done it. I couldn’t help but tear up as she pushed her out and the doctor sat Brooklyn up and she started crying. I don’t really remember much during those first couple minutes other than hugging Carrie and then standing with Brooklyn underneath the heat lamp while Carrie pushed out the placenta.
If you or your wife is pregnant, or you’re planning to get pregnant down the road, and you want to do a natural birth, I would strongly recommend getting a doula for your birth, especially if it’s your first one. We felt so comfortable with Tanya because she had witnessed so many births and really understood all the signs to look for in the process of labor. Obviously, I had never done it before, so having someone who we both felt comfortable with and trusted was invaluable.
A few days before that, we met with Tanya for a final time to go over any last fears, questions, or requests and she told us a couple of stories about recent births where they didn’t trust her instinct and ended up not getting the birth they wanted. I don’t really remember the details of them, but was right in both instances if she had only trusted her instinct instead of giving in. That told me that I could trust her, and boy am I glad I did. I don’t think we would have made it to the hospital if she hadn’t been there because by the time she got to our apartment, Carrie was a lot farther along than either of us thought. She was still coherent in between contractions, which all of our training told us she wouldn’t be.
I’m so incredibly proud of Carrie. I knew that if any woman in this world was capable of a natural birth, it was her, and even though I almost gave up while she was asking for an epidural, I never doubted that she could do it. The biggest challenge was helping her believe that she could. Thankfully, that worst period, where she was saying she couldn’t, was really the period of self-doubt, which is a the final stage of labor.
The funny thing is that we had wanted so badly to give birth in the birthing center, but didn’t even need it. We had wanted to spend as little time in the hospital as possible, that our hope was to show up, be checked, and be admitted to the birthing center for the birth. But because of how far along she really was when we got there, even though the initial exam didn’t reflect it, we were in the hospital barely an hour before Brooklyn was born. I had gone to bed that night expecting to wake up and go to work, but my daughter was born before lunch time. Carrie obviously won’t say it was easy, but from nothing to born in less than 12 hours, with only about 20 minutes of pushing is not too shabby.
Well, you’re 31 weeks along now and you weigh about 3 1/2 pounds. Your eyes can now respond to light and you are moving around like crazy. Your kicks are getting a lot stronger and we can see you moving around from the outside of mommy’s belly.
Mom had a baby shower in St. Louis last weekend and everyone was so generous. We are really excited about everything we received for you. While she was there, I spent the weekend moving some of our extra furniture and clutter into storage so we could make room for you. Big shout out to our friend Topper for helping out.
Sorry to disappoint you, but you don’t get your own room yet…it’s half of our bedroom. We completely rearranged the room from they way it’s been since we moved in and set up half the room for you. It’s still not complete yet because mommy’s chair hasn’t come yet and we haven’t set up the crib yet, so I won’t post any pictures until those things happen. But it’s looking great and I’m really excited about it.
This weekend, we went to Babies R Us and got to park in the “For expecting mothers” space, which was fantastic, and we got some more stuff for you. We got a gate to put up around your swing (pictured) in the living room to keep Buddy from jumping on you. We also got your stroller and a lot of clothes, including a Jets outfit. Unfortunately, the Jets just lost in the AFC Championship game, but you’ll be able to wear it next football season when they win the Super Bowl. We also hit up Marshalls and TJ Maxx for some amazing deals on outfits for you. You’ll definitely be the best dressed baby in NYC.
Last week was our last Bradley class. One of the girls in the class who already had her baby brought her to the class. She was so cute and just laid there and nursed a lot. I can’t wait for that to be you in just a few weeks!
We have our next doctors appointment tomorrow afternoon, and then I’m going to Chicago for a couple days this week for work. Hopefully we get some more ultrasound pictures of you tomorrow. Next week, we have our tour of the birthing center, and in a few weeks we’re taking some classes at the birthing center. It will be a busy next few weeks as we count down the weeks until you’re born!
Keep growing and developing!
Yesterday was Christmas Day and we had a great time celebrating with mommy’s family. It was great to relax and play with your cousins Gavin, Eldon, and James, watching them open presents and play with their new toys and books. It all really made me realize how much different next Christmas will be. This was our last Christmas without you and for that I couldn’t be more excited. Your cousin James was born this past March, so he’s the same age you will be next Christmas and I absolutely can’t wait. He’s so cute and precious, learning how to crawl and starting to grab our hands and pull himself up onto his feet. And next Christmas, that will be you!
Your Aunt Lisa gave us a little red pea coat and some red leggings for you to wear next winter. You’ll look absolutely beautiful in it. She’s so excited to buy stuff for you since she has had the last four years to buy clothes for her two boys (Gavin and Eldon), and now you’re the first girl in the extended family. Somehow I think you’re going to be the cutest one 🙂
Mommy’s belly is really starting to grow now, which means you’re really growing too. You should weigh about two pounds now, equal to about 900 paper clips (who knew?)! You’re also the size of an eggplant (but much better looking, of course). Mommy has noticed that her body is aching a lot more and she has to take things a lot slower now. I’m having trouble walking slow enough to keep pace with her! But she has been doing a great job of eating right and drinking lots of water and not pushing things.
Everything says that you’re starting to look like you will look when you’re born. I can’t wait to see how beautiful you are when you come out in about three months. Your due date is three months from tomorrow!
Another present I got for Christmas is a book from your Uncle Andrew and Aunt Lisanne called What a Difference a Daddy Makes, by Dr. Kevin Leman. I’m really excited to read it and I already read the fist couple chapters. It’s all about the role a father plays in the growth of his daughter. I guess I never realized the importance of the cross-gender relationship is: father-daughter and mother-son.
The book made a great point about how society really portrays fathers as distant, uninvolved, and irresponsible. It talked about a study of major TV sitcoms in 1998, and out of 102 shows, only 15 had fathers as central, recurring characters, and only four of those portrayed the dad as “competent and caring.” Four out of 102! No wonder there’s so many abused, orphaned, isolated kids out there. It’s the way we’re taught to be. But it’s not the way we’re designed.
The author, who is a psychologist an “expert” on marriage and parenting, and also happens to have four daughters (and a son) himself, says that the father-daughter is THE most important relationship. I’m really looking forward to reading more about it and really working at being the best father I can possibly be for you.
Well, we’re in Chicago right now and supposed to head back home to New York tomorrow, but there’s a blizzard hitting NYC right now that will probably force us to stay in Chicago at least another night.
On Wednesday, we have our last Bradley class. Two of the couples in the class have now had their babies, and another couple is only a couple weeks away!
We just found out that my cousin Bruce and his wife Brooke are pregnant, so we’re excited for them. You’ll have a cousin to grow up with who is only a couple of months younger than you!
By the next time I write you, it will be 2011, so keep growing, keep kicking, and get ready for an exciting year!
Wow, I can’t believe it has been a month since I’ve written you. I have been really busy with traveling and so much has happened in the past month. Work threw us a baby shower and gave us some great gifts that you’ll love in a few months. We got some onesies, some toys that you’ll love playing with, and some books that I can’t wait to read to you. You’ll have to remember to thank them once you’re able to talk. 🙂
It seems like every day you get more and more real. Mommy’s belly is really growing and you’re dancing around like crazy. It’s so cool to feel you move. Sometimes when we’re laying in bed and mommy is sleeping, I like to just put my hand on her belly and feel you moving all over the place, imagining what it will be like when I can actually hold you and see you.
You now weigh between a pound and a pound-and-a-half and you’re past the week of viability. Supposedly, your ears can now hear, but I’m not sure I like what you’re telling me. A couple of weeks ago, you were kicking like crazy, so I asked you if Michigan should keep head coach Rich Rodriguez. All the sudden, you stopped kicking. I even held my hand there for longer than I anticipated, but sure enough, no kick. So then I asked if Michigan should fire him, and right away, I felt a big kick. You must not be reading my other blog, Maizeandgoblue.com, because I’m still supporting him. That, or you’ve already been corrupted by mommy. Thankfully, my secret Santa at work got me a great gift, one that you’ll be wearing a lot. A Michigan onesie and socks.
A couple of weeks ago, we had a little bit of a scare. Mommy was having really sharp stomache pains, but decided to try to go to work anyway. By the time she got there, it was really bad. She called her doctor who told her to give it an hour and if it doesn’t go away, to come into the hospital. It didnt’ go away, so we went in and they ran some tests and everything checked out okay with you and her. She ended up getting a couple bags of IV fluid for being dehydrated, and then the pains were gone. The doctor gave her strict orders to drink a gallon of water a day, which she has been doing a great job of. The only problem is she has to go to the bathroom a LOT. But we’re both glad that you’re healthy and growing perfectly.
At Thanksgiving, your great-grandma Bush brought us a cradle that her dad had built from a tree in his front yard. We can’t wait for you to use it. What a great family heirloom! She also knit a really nice blanket for you that will look great on you.
We went to Chicago last week and got to see your cousin James. He was born this past spring and it’s so crazy to think that this time next year, you’ll be that size. He was rolling around and sitting up and even crawling a little bit!
Your other cousin Gavin came to visit us this weekend and we had a great time. He’s four years old and his prayers for the past couple of years have consisted of “please let me ride the subway train with uncle Justin and aunt Carrie. Amen.” Well, he finally got his wish and loved it. Seeing his face when the train was coming and while riding it was great. I can’t wait until you’re here so I can experience those kinds of joys with you…seeing you light up at the things that you like and showing you the great parts of this world.
Our friends from college, Nate and Kate Miley just had a baby girl a couple of weeks ago and we’re really happy for them. It’s fun to look at their pictures and live vicariously through them for a few months until you come. Just thinking about those first few days and weeks with you is so amazing to think about. I still have no idea what to expect, but I know it will change my life forever.
Bradley class is going well, but it’s almost finished. One of the girls in our class had her baby a couple of weeks ago as well, so it’s exciting to start seeing these couples that we have been in class with for the past few months start to actually have their babies. The next one is due on Christmas day, so we’re praying that all goes well.
This weekend is our first weekend at home together in over a month, so we’re going to relax and enjoy it. We’ll probably start getting your room ready (and by your room, I mean half of our room…welcome to New York!). We’re going to rent a small storage unit to put all of our non-essential furniture in for the next few months so we can free up space for you.
Next week, we’re going back to Chicago for Christmas…our last Christmas without you! While it might be more relaxing than future Christmases will be, it certainly won’t be as enjoyable. We’re really looking forward to welcoming you into the world in 15 weeks!
It’s been a couple of weeks since I’ve written to you, Pablo, but you certainly haven’t been forgotten. I was in Baltimore last week for the Ravens-Browns game, so we didn’t get to do the picture, but since then, we’ve started taking Bradley classes to learn how to have a natural childbirth.
Today is the first day of the 15th week and since the last time I wrote, not much new has formed with you except that your organs and everything are getting stronger and you’re growing. You’re about the size of an orange now. Soon we’ll find out if you’re a boy or a girl, and judging by peoples’ votes on here, it looks like everybody is split. I can’t wait to find out!
Mom is feeling a little bit better now that the first trimester is over. The nausea seems to be going away, but now she’s starting to get a lot of back and neck pains.
We are now trying to decide which hospital to have you at. We are currently planning on NYU, because that’s where the doctors we’ve been going to deliver. But apparently NYU isn’t great with natural birth, so we are contemplating switching to St. Lukes-Roosevelt Hospital, which has a birthing center. Doing so would mean finding a new doctor.
The current practice is a group of four, two of which we’ve already seen, and any of the four could be the one to deliver you. We really liked the first one we saw, but the second one was pretty abrasive and barely even recognized that I was there. Neither of us liked her, but a girl in our Bradley class is using that same practice and said she really likes that doctor. So who knows.
The other positive thing about switching to St. Luke’s is that it’s on the Upper West Side, near Columbus Circle, so it will be much easier to get to than NYU when you’re on your way. Hopefully we can get that figured out soon, but regardless, we’ll make sure you’re in good hands.
This was a great sports weekend. Michigan beat Indiana to move to 5-0 and Denard dominated again. My mom (your grandma, who I can’t wait for you to meet) called and said we should name you Denard. Carrie isn’t too keen on that idea though. But if you come out of the womb with dreads, we definitely will.
Also, the San Francisco Giants won the NL West today for the first time since 2003. The playoffs start on Thursday and the Giants host the Braves. I’m hoping it’s the Giants vs. Yankees in the World Series and I’ll definitely try to get tickets. But we have to get through the Braves first.
Buddy had a bad eye infection this weekend. I felt bad for him because he definitely wasn’t his crazy, hyper self. He could barely open his eyes, so he just slept a lot. We took him to the vet and got him cream that we have to squeeze into his eyes three times a day. It made me think about what it will be like when you’re really sick. As bad as I feel for Buddy, I’m sure it will be even harder to take when it’s you.
Well, this week should be a normal week. I don’t have to travel next weekend, so I’m just looking forward to spending more time with Carrie and watching the big Michigan-Michigan State game next weekend!
Talk to you next week.
So it’s been a while since the last post. Once again, I was out of town for the weekend, so we missed the Week 14 picture. At this point, it’s too late, so we’ll do the next pregnancy picture and post this weekend.
I’m beginning to understand that this whole having a baby thing is really a process of bringing you way out of your comfort zone. I’m certainly not saying it’s a bad thing, but the more we dive into this, the more I realize it.
Last Wednesday, we decided to start attending weekly Bradley classes. Being a guy, when Carrie first introduced the idea, I thought it meant we were moving to Illinois and going back to college. As it turns out, it’s a 12-week class on a natural childbirth method. Yes, women, I know you’re probably bored reading this by now because you already know all about it, so bear with me.
Essentially, what Carrie wants to get out of this is a greater understanding of techniques to improve the natural birth process, and for me to learn them as well since I’ll be a vital part of it all. I agree wholeheartedly since I know about as much about childbirth as she does about the intricacies of Rich Rodriguez’s offensive system.
Nevertheless, I wasn’t super excited about going to the first class last Wednesday because I thought it was way too soon to start it. I had absolutely no idea what to expect. I envisioned sitting at a desk watching a teacher put slides on a projector, and taking notes. Then we got there and it was in a woman’s apartment and there were mattresses, pillows, and big rubber balls all over the the floor. Cool, apparently the natural birth process involves going back to kindergarten.
We sat indian-style on the mattresses and did introductions and talked about nutrition. The first class was very basic. It was just us, one other couple about our age, and a 40-year old girl whose boyfriend lives in Florida and, therefore, isn’t able to attend the classes with her. So while the first session wasn’t anything like I thought it would be, I found it interesting and was excited to come back.
Tonight, there were two more couples there, both a little bit older, in their mid-to-late 30s. I must admit, it was nice to have a couple more guys there who are in the same position as me. One is a Michigan State fan whose wife is a Notre Dame law school grad, so we have some big bragging rights on the line in the next couple of weeks (Michigan plays Michigan State next Saturday).
Tonight’s class was certainly a first for me: the first time I’ve ever been in a room with 10 random strangers talking about breasts, breast feeding, and breast pumps for an hour. Talk about stretching the boundaries of your comfort zone! But you know what, probably 99 percent of guys know nothing about it, yet it’s something we’re going to have to learn about in the coming months. I know it will be beneficial for both Carrie and I in about six months, and sharing those awkward moments with three other husbands made it not quite as bad.
To tell people at work that I can’t go out for drinks to celebrate their birthdays because I’m going to a birthing class doesn’t exactly sound like the most manly thing in the world. But to be there with my wife and to be amongst three other couples (and the one woman whose boyfriend is in Florida) who are all committed to helping the birth of their first child go as smoothly as possible, is definitely more manly than a night of drinks at a pub in Hoboken. And I wouldn’t miss it for anything.
Today really hit me how we’re entering that new world. The one of the stroller brigades in Starbucks and shopping for groceries with an infant strapped to your chest. The one of screaming babies and extreme lack of sleep. The one that the single friends and co-workers don’t understand. And it’sone that I’m really looking forward to.
I hope that we can really get to know these other couples in the next 10 weeks even though they all have due dates earlier than we do (late Nov, Christmas Day, Jan. 17, and Feb. 2 to be exact). I also hope to learn as much as I can about how to help Carrie deliver this baby and how to support her all the way.
So bring on the breast talk and push those comfort zone boundaries to the limit. Here we come.