So this is the first (probably last) post by Daddy to East River Baby. Dad's posting because Mom's a mom now and too busy momming to blog.
Today is Tuesday 10/23/2007 and Fay was born on Monday (early at 2:16 am, so it FELT like Sunday night) on 10/22/2007. This is basically the story as I remember it.
The weekend was much like the rest of our weekends of late--taking it relatively easy and waiting for the baby to come. We went to a movie (My Kid Could Paint That) on Friday and played poker on Saturday (Jessi won big... Joe lost big... nothing new there). On Sunday, it was beautiful, nothing was happening, so, like many many a weekend day here in NYC, we decided to go for a walk.
Bored Picture taken before walk:
Forced Picture of Dad before walk:
We walked and walked and walked.
Down the East River Park to the South Street Seaport for ice cream:
Down to Battery Park for some lemonade:
Back around to South Street to Paris (a favorite bar of ours) for some wings (no picture available).
Now I'd like to take a moment to point out two unusual features of this stop: 1. We never eat out on Sunday (I had Tilapia and Squash to cook at home) and 2. Jess actually (kinda) ate a buffalo chicken wing. Now this second point may not seem like a big deal to an outsider, but that's because you don't know us. I LOVE chicken wings. I eat them regularly and consider them a great meal. Jessi finds them disgusting (something about some offensive vinegar odor). In fact, in the 8 years I've known her, and despite my constant coercion, she has never tasted a chicken wing. That night she did (sorta... she ate about a half of one), and there is little doubt that wing's spiciness played a contributing role to that evening's events (I hope the significance of wings is no longer questioned in our relationship from this point on!).
Regardless, we walked back to our apartment around 7:30. On the way home, Jess felt some wetness, but it was a small enough amount that we weren't sure it was her water breaking (the fact that she did NOT continue to leak fluid indicated that it was NOT her water breaking... subsequent events may indicate otherwise).
When we got home, we relaxed, and went to bed around 11pm. At 12:30am, Jess woke me and said she thought she was having some contractions. I (half asleep) suggested she time them (from beginning to beginning) to see if this was something we should be concerned about. She informed me that she wasn't capable of doing this and that I'd better get up and help. I got up, I timed, and the contractions were 2 and a half minutes apart. I called the doctor's answering service and called a car to go to the hospital.
I got a call back from the doctor (our backup was on duty) and she asked to talk to Jessi. She talked to Jessi for a bit, Jessi couldn't concentrate, so I took the phone. The doctor suggested Jessi relax and take a nice warm shower as it would be quite a while before the baby came. I countered that the contractions seemed pretty real. She said (condescendingly) that if Jess really couldn't handle them, we could go to the hospital, but she would probably be better at home.
This was a tough spot. Neither Jessi nor I wanted to be the "first time child" couple who shows up to the hospital and gets sent home because they came too soon. I told Jess what the doctor said, and she thought maybe she should just take a shower. She then proceeded to get down on all fours and have a contraction. I got my sweater, her bag, and her and proceeded down the elevator to the car that we had waiting for us.
I put Jessi in the back seat, explained things to the driver, and went to the deli to get her some water and Gatorade (we didn't want IV hydration). I got back and she was having pretty serious contractions in the car. I asked the driver to blow the red light we were waiting at (the whole street was empty), he declined, but we eventually proceeded to the FDR and to the hospital.
The whole time in the car, Jessi was having pretty major contractions. She was in the back, I was in the front (she wanted the WHOLE backseat), and I was holding her hand over the seat. She was pretty much like a caged animal at that point--writhing in the back, kneading the side door with her feet as she lay across the seat, and crushing my hand. I reassured her and continued to exaggerate how close to the hospital we were.
We arrived at Lenex Hill, but the main entrance where we were instructed to enter was closed. We walked to the emergency entrance, pausing for Jessi to have contractions. When we got there, I walked through the glass revolving doors to get the security guard while Jessi had a contraction just outside. When the guard saw me and then saw her, he came flying out with a wheel chair (Jess protested "I feel like I'm going to be sitting on her head"--not too far from the truth).
When we got up to the maternity ward, the staff (of about 5 or 6) were casually strewn around the nurses' station. I explained that my wife was in labor--uh-huh. She'd been having contractions for about an hour--uh-huh. We were first time parents --uh-huh. Then Jessi stood up out of the wheel chair and had one of her contractions--the entire staff fell off of their chairs simultaneously.
Jessi was rushed into the delivery room shouting her social security number (we never did fill out the card). She got stripped down, put on a hospital gown, and was assisted onto the table. The doctor on call (a very nice, very young woman named Claire) took one look at her, went bug-eyed, and started yelling, "Don't push! Don't push! I've got to get my gloves on!"
They got Jess in stirrups, the doctor got her gloves on, and with no less than 6 staffers and me standing around we began to cheer simultaneously "Push, push, push, push". Jess pushed--I saw hair. Jess pushed--I saw a head. Jess pushed--the baby was lying on the delivery table crying. I cut the umbilical cord, Fay opened her eyes, and that was about it.
We "checked in" at 2:08am. Fay was born at 2:16am. Total delivery time--8 minutes.
We were lucky Fay wasn't born in the shower or a cab. All's well that ends well though. Fay came out at 7 pounds, 11 ounces and 20 inches long. She's been nursing since she was about 5 minutes old, hardly cries, and coos when she sleeps. The only concern is that she presently looks like a little old man, but we're hoping that she outgrows this phase (or at least has a great personality to get her through high school!). The first of what will no doubt be MANY pictures are below.