gone in 60 seconds: the story of olive grace

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Friday, November 21st, 2008

olive birthday

gone in 60 seconds: the story of olive grace

alright people, i’m finally getting around to it. olive grace, as teased in the previous post, made her illustrious world debut this morning at 5:06 a.m. here’s the story:

8 p.m.: christen returns from visiting one of her best friends who is giving birth at baptist hospital. she tells me—before going to bed—that she thinks she could have this baby tonight.
8 p.m. and a couple seconds: i think to myself, “self, i don’t know what it is, but i think this could be accurate foreshadowing…”
11 p.m.: as i was in the living room ironically blogging away creating this post, i begin to hear what is either christen breathing quickly and moaning or a coyote with asthma…
11 p.m. and a couple seconds later: christen calls me, “ryan, can you come in here? right now.” (frantic, yet demanding intonation…)
11:07 p.m. (admittedly, a little slow of a response…was researching famous november 25th birthdays…): i go in there to find christen sitting up in bed breathing quickly, moaning and grimacing all contraction-like (thus confirming that there is nary an asthmatic coyote…) she informs that that she’s having real deal contractions and that she thinks this could be it. she tells me to call her sister, ann (who will be keeping lucy during the labor ordeal).
11:07 p.m. and a couple seconds (sensing the need for more responsive actions…): me calling andrea:
(ryan dials number)
(phone picks up)
(clearly a person answers…)
(click. hung up on.)
11:07 p.m. and a couple seconds and a couple seconds: ryan is one persistent you-know-what. calls back immediately (sensing that andrea pulled a christen and hangs up when she half-asleep answers a call.)
(ryan dials number)
(phone picks up)
ann: bla na ik albutte um gues?
ryan: ann, are you awake?
ann: olne blah gee bumper niner?
ryan: ann, wake up. it’s ryan.
ann: (as to somehow fake me out into believing that she’s been awake the whole time and i’m the idiot here…) hey, what’s up. yeah, i’m awake. (as coherently as possible.)
ryan: blah blah blah. get ready. blah blah blah. come on over. blah blah blah. we’re having a freaking baby.
11:08 p.m. through 1:20 a.m. (not worth giving all the moaning and coyote-like details here): basically, we have me timing contractions on my iphone. christen continuing with the barbaric wails. me trying to convince her that it could be fake labor. her threatening to beat me with a blunt object if i keep trying to convince her that it could be fake labor. christen taking a warm bath. me—after quitting trying to convince her it’s fake labor—blowing a gasket in my back by deadlifting my 39-week pregnant wife from a bathtub. me deciding in the 11th hour that it would be a good idea to pack some bags. christen transitioning from asthmatic coyote to full-blown irish banshee. andrea finally showing up. us driving to hospital.
1:30 a.m.ish: we arrive at the hospital, only finding that in order to get christen in a wheelchair (whereas a jazzy would have been so much more awesome…), we had to traverse a skywalk that is a good hundred feet in length. this felt like some kind of sky world in super mario where you have to overcome the bridge challenge in order to make it to the prize…seriously people, just move the freaking wheelchairs to the beginning of the skywalk…
1:40 a.m.: they put us in a room and this is when the obligatory phone calls to family begin.
1:45 a.m. through 3 a.m.: contractions continue. christen gets the drunk medicine that really doesn’t help the pain, but hey, why not make a screaming mom feel like she’s thrown back a few too many??
3 a.m.: anesthesiologist to the rescue. a few observations here:
1. just that morning, christen and i watched a cnn piece about how 2% of anesthesiologists are addicted to the drugs they administer. so, is this guy the 98% or the 2%? he looked a little shady, but it may have just been the fact that he had squinty eyes from just being woken up at 3 a.m.
2. speaking of just being woken up, this guy looked like he was lazarus having just been raised by jesus. i expected to see death linens falling off this guy. now, think about this: this is the dude who’s about to stick a big freakin’ needle in your spine. do you hear me? a big freaking needle. in your spine. you know…that big bone thing that if you screw with, you will die…
3. finally, speaking of big freaking needles in your life-giving bone (no, not that life-giving bone…i mean your spine), i witnessed an epidural with the birth of lucy last year, but this crap doesn’t get any easier to watch. remember the data: sleepy lazarus dude who may be addicted to anesthetics and is two millimeters away from ending your life with a metal prick.
3:05 a.m.: lazarus crack man does his job and all is well. christen’s labor potty mouth is finally put to rest because of drugs.
3:05 a.m. through 4:45 a.m.: blah blah blah. small contractions. blah blah blah. waiting. blah blah blah. family hovering in room.
4:45 a.m.: after manually breaking her water, our nurse (who is an unbelievably great nurse…thanks lissy if you’re reading this) informs us that her head is basically about to pop out and if christen does so much as sneezes, this baby is hitting the floor. notice that i have not mentioned anything about the doctor being there…
5 a.m.: nurses, visibly about to freak out about the doctor not being there, sigh in relief as doctor waller walks mosies strolls saunters in the room and prepares to have a baby.
5:05 a.m.: everyone in place. doctor gives the green light for pushing. christen, drawing from her past constipation face experiences, gives a huge push.
5:05 a.m. and 30 seconds: head out. slimy. goopy. beautiful. here comes the second push.
5:06 a.m.: heave ho, we have a baby. alright! olive is olive and not oliver (we were worried) (thanks rob and stephanie for your life experience striking fear and doubt into our hearts…).
so there ya go. there’s the play-by-play. after just one minute of pushing (as compared to about 45 minutes with lucy), we had a beautiful and incredible and perfect little baby girl: olive grace. in all her goop and blood and general mess, she was gorgeous and just what we hoped for. through my tears and my exhaustion, i cut her little umbilical cord and proudly handed this beautiful little girl over to her mommy for the first time.
i hope to give further notes and observations in the coming day(s), but i thought i would at least get you through the actual delivery for now.
time to go to sleep (no exaggeration or joke, in the last 40 hours, i’ve had about 1.5 hours of sleep…aye carumba…).