Friday, November 30, 2018

I'm A Dad Now

On Monday, October 29th at 1:45pm, my wife Corey had an appointment with a neonatologist to assess why our baby appeared to be smaller than expected given that she was only two weeks away from the due date. I joined her for the majority of that appointment, but had to leave early to go to my own annual physical at 2:30pm.

When I got home at around 4pm, Corey was awaiting a call from her OB-GYN because, she explained to me, the neonatologist had determined that labor would likely have to be induced before the end of the week. I didn't get to learn much more about what I'd missed before the OB-GYN called to tell us that she could schedule us for induced labor at 7pm that night. You see, it turned out that the umbilical cord was no longer giving our baby the nutrients she needed to grow at the expected healthy rate. Since Corey was technically at full term, the earlier they could get the baby out, the better.

We panicked. We texted our families. We finished filling our overnight bags and frantically cleaned the house so we wouldn't have to once we returned home. We entrusted our dog with my in-laws. We panicked some more. We got in the car and drove to the hospital where we would deliver and meet our first child.

The Timeline:

Monday October 29th, 7:00pm: We check in to the hospital.
8:20pm: The first dose of pitocin administered.
~6:30am: 1-2 centimeters dilated. Corey is taken off of pitocin.
8:10am: The OB-GYN induces labor by breaking the water. She says that labor likely would have started soon anyway given how well Corey's body reacted to the pitocin. She doesn't anticipate a long labor due to Corey's hight and the baby's small size. The baby is expected to be born this afternoon.
11:45am: The contraction pains become too great. An epidural is administered.
12:00pm: 100% effaced, 3 centimeters dilated, at -1 station. This all means that, respectively; the cervix is paper thin so that the baby only has the uterus between it and the big world, Corey is only 30% of the way to full dilation (the first 5cm typically take much longer than the last 5cm), and the baby's head was 1 centimeter away from Corey's pelvis (stations are measured from -5 to +5, the latter of which is known as "crowning").
6:35pm: 5 centimeters dilated. The epidural slowed down the contractions and made the pregnancy much more drawn out than we expected. Corey goes back on the pitocin to try and speed things up and make the contractions stronger. We're still hoping to deliver the baby before midnight, but that's much less certain than it was when the OB-GYN visited this morning.
9:30pm: 10 centimeters dilated! It's time to start pushing!
Tuesday October 30th, 11:36pm: After spending 28.5 hours in labor, my amazing wife gave birth to this beautiful baby girl:
Measuring 5lbs 4.1oz and 18.25 inches long, she was the smallest baby on the wing.

One Month Later

As of today our baby is one month old, and holy crap it's been a wild month. We've been getting barely enough sleep to function during the day and all hopes of continuing to be productive while raising a newborn have fallen by the wayside, but I'd still say we're doing relatively well. Besides, it's all worth it for her. Oh yeah, and our dog Henna seems to like her, too.

As for how the baby's doing, she's still got to pass a hearing test in one ear, she's got torticollis in her neck (a short, tight neck muscle) that we and a physical therapist are trying to help her work out, and her belly button has a hernia that should resolve itself by the time she's 4, but otherwise she's totally happy and healthy. She eats a lot, makes adorable noises when she stretches, and seems to be trying her hardest to make sense of the world around her.

In fact, it turns out that all the milk she endlessly consumes is being spent on more than just full diapers, because as of her one month check-up she's already 7lbs 10oz and 20 inches long! While that's still pretty small, it's a lot of growing for her to make in only one month!
Look at those chubby cheeks!!!!
She's slowly learning to hold herself up, and we can tell she's starting to notice more sights and sounds (especially heartwarming when it's us she notices). Still, she has a long way to go. Her eyes don't have any color and can't see very well yet, she won't sleep through the night for a while (though her stretches of sleep seem to be getting longer!), and we're desperately eager for her first smile and laugh.

Corey and I are incredibly fortunate. We have a healthy baby who's progressing well, we have supportive families who can't wait to see her and lend a helping hand, and neither of us has lost our minds quite yet. I don't know what else we could possibly ask for ... aside from more sleep and fewer instances of her making a mess on the changing table immediately after we think we're in the clear, of course.

As a final note, I've been trying to be conscious about how much I share of her online, since I have to bear in mind that one day she'll be a fully-developed human being who may not want her name and baby photos plastered all over the internet. That being said, in closing, I want to share just a few of my favorite photos of her, because as hard as I try to be sensitive to her future wishes, I'm still just a proud dad who wants to show off his amazing daughter to the world.

So small!


Ready for the game with mom.

Snugglin' with dad.

Hanging out on the ground with Henna.

Looking super snuggly.