One of the most annoying thing about becoming a new parent – for me at least – is the lack of empirical data. Nearly everything is based on individual experience or opinion. This is especially true about the timing of your baby’s arrival.
“First borns are always late.”
“Labor for your first born is always much longer.”
It becomes a series of nonsense noise that has no actual implication on your own experience.
RAD was due Wednesday, October 25th. Her arrival was 8 days early on Tuesday, October 17 and wasted no time getting here.
For a Monday night, I spent too much time catching up on Hulu and not going to bed. Had I been aware of what my night was going to become, a little sleep would have been awesome. I finally roll into bed around midnight and begin staring at my phone, like the good millennial that I am. At about 1:00am, Kerstyn wakes up in distress – contractions had started.
We begin to time them, as instructed by the doctor and by 2:30 they’ve already been holding steady at the designated 5-1-1. Five minutes apart, 1 minute long for an hour. It was time to get to the hospital.
The general expectation given once at the hospital is that even once contractions are steady there is a lot of time left before actual delivery. Not our kid. We checked in at the desk and Kerstyn was whisked away to get examined. I was left to check in with security and wait nervously in the lobby as I hear her throw up. They move Kerstyn to Triage as I still stand anxiously in by the check-in desk that has been left unstaffed. I guess not a lot of people have babies at 3:00am.
After waiting for nearly 15 minutes, and Kerstyn having been asking where I was, I get brought to the Triage room, where they have already got her examined and speedily determined that the baby’s arrival is imminent. I’m handed a bag of Kerstyn’s belongings as they begin to roll her over to the elevator and up to a delivery room.
At this point the morning begins to move extremely fast. Kerstyn’s contractions become unbearable and she is considered far enough along to move forward with an epidural. Her doctor arrives during that time and after giving it about 45 minutes to settle in, he pops the amniotic sac and preps her to begin pushing. As the baby starts to crown, he and the nurse get splash guards and masks and shoe covers.
I should note that I was helping stabilize one of Kerstyn’s legs and wondered why I was offered no such protection.
Minutes before 8am Kerstyn gives one last push and suddenly I am officially a dad. My champion wife – from first contraction to delivery – gave birth in less than 7 hours. Something that makes every other mom we know very jealous.
They one thing they never tell you about newborns is that they do this strange “inflation” as they fill with air for the first time. That was weird.
RAD doesn’t cry at all on her first day. Not about having her first shot, or the roughness of the towels, or being cold. She is colorful and breathing and beautiful.
Welcome to the world, tiny one.