How it all finally happened…

October 1, 2007

Okay, okay, the people have spoken… I’ll go ahead finish the story, continued from here (Sorry Sariah, I was going to take my time and include every detail for you but apparently some people are suffering from Attention Deficit Disorder, which is really sad becau — Hey look, a pony!)

So Cristina went in for her ultrasound and the ultrasound technician estimated the baby at close to 8 and a half pounds. My how the world changes when you know that instead of potentially carrying the baby up to and beyond the due date, you are now looking at delivering a week early. When Cristina reported to me the results I said:

“Well dear, you’d better give me that martini, you’re going to need to be sober for the next couple of days…”

I’m just kidding… Cristina had stopped binge drinking at least 3 weeks ago.

After the ultrasound, I had a craving for sushi so we went to a little place nearby. I had a California roll and Cristina had some cooked Teriyaki chicken (Are you wondering why I am including this little detail? Well, go on the the next sentence.) After dinner Cristina started feeling pretty yucky (which is a medical term for “wanted to puke her brains out”). As a consequence of the yuckiness, she started puking her brains out.

Herein lies our first of many labor quandaries: Is she sick from the sushi joint or is she sick because of the baby? We decided to wait it out and after researching on the internet the next day Cristina proudly declared that she had toxemia. In fact, she declared this in between bouts of puking her brains out. Which is the second symptom on the toxemia diagnosis checklist. The first symptom is: “Feeling toxemic”

The toxemia came at a very considerate time because we had an appointment with Dr. Byrne that very day (September 26th) to review the results of the ultrasound. After testing Dr. Byrne agreed that Cristina did indeed have toxemia and explained it thus:

“Your body is having an allergic reaction to the baby”

Awesome. Because nothin’ says lovin’ like being allergic to… YOUR CHILD!!! *sigh*

“The good news” continued the doctor “is that this is the last appointment you’ll have with me while pregnant. I am scheduling you for induction this Friday. I would schedule you for tomorrow (Thursday) but the hospital is already overbooked, so hang in there for an extra day and we’ll get you started”

We walked out of the office feeling a bit dazed. We had literally just scheduled the day for our baby to be born. No more worrying about a surprise trip to the hospital after a middle of the night water breakage. With that issue having been dealt with, I went to a 7:30 pm church meeting and left Cristina at home to deal with her toxemia in peace.

At this point, I’ll move into timeline mode as it starts to get a bit wild.

9:00 pm – I leave the church building and see that I have missed three call from Cristina. I call her back thinking that she wants to send me on an errand on the way home. She informs me that it seems the baby has decided that she will not be induced and maybe she’ll just come when she d— well pleases.

11:00 pm – After some intense back pain, contractions begin coming at regular intervals. I break the stopwatch out and begin measuring the time in between contractions.

1:00 am – Cristina hits a milestone: 5 minutes between contractions and 1 minute contraction duration. Being giddy and anxious parents, we called the hospital to give them an update. The nurse was unimpressed: “Give us a call when you are 3 minutes apart and 1 minute in duration”

2:00 am – Cristina’s back labor is getting pretty intense and she can’t seem to slip below the 5 min. / 1 min. mark. We call the hospital again and a different nurse is similarly unimpressed with our tales of pain and misery. She advises Cristina to hop in the bathtub to alleviate the back pains (a piece of advice which turned out to be quite helpful.)

3:00 – 5:00 am – After her bath, Cristina labors in bed for another couple hours while I alternate between timing contractions and napping. At 5:00 am she has three straight contractions that last over a minute and a half each. Despite the fact that they were still 5-6 minutes apart, I make an executive decision to head to the hospital against the nurse’s advice.

5:30 am – We arrive at the hospital and after a brief examination the nurse declares that Cristina’s water has already broken and she is almost six centimeters dilated. Very nice.

7:00 am – After some pretty intense contractions, Cristina finally gets her epidural and settles in nicely (she has already dilated another 2 cm by the time the epidural takes hold, so we are now at 8 cm)

9:30 am – They move us into the delivery room as Cristina dilates to 10 cm. In the meantime one of the nurses brings in a bag of Ampicillin because they can’t find the results of a test Dr. Byrne did for Strep. B. When she connects the bag, she turns up the infusion pump thinking this will deliver the antibiotic. What she doesn’t know is that the pump is actually hooked up the epidural. About 20 minutes later Cristina begins to feel numb from the chest down.

10:00 am – The baby is in position to be delivered. The doctor however, is not in position because the nurses can’t find him. On top of that Cristina can hardly feel the lower 2/3 of her body. When the nurses finally figure out what happened, they call the anesthesiologist who orders the epidural immediately turned off. On a positive note vital signs for both Cristina and the baby stay at very safe levels despite the mishaps.

11:30 am – Dr. Byrne shows up and declares that until Cristina can feel her legs, her pushing will be worthless. He leaves and we wait for the epidural to wear off.

2:30 pm – The epidural has worn off… completely. Cristina can not only feel enough to push, she can feel every intense contraction. Dr. Byrne appears and everyone gets all dressed up for the big moment. Cristina pushes for about 30 minutes but is too worn out from trying to push earlier when her legs weren’t working.

3:00 pm – Dr. Byrne brings out the plunger, snakes it up to Sariah’s head and grabs hold of her dome. With every push from Cristina, Dr Byrne pulls hard on the plunger until finally…

3:09 pm – Sariah begins to come out… Head, shoulders, knees and toes… eyes, ears, mouth and nose. Due to her prolonged time in the birth canal and the trauma of the vacuum, I am not even invited to cut the cord, much to my pleasure.

Pictures to come…



  1. Awww! Now, I’d say that is still quite a detailed story, even if it wasn’t in chapters. šŸ˜‰

    Wow, so that was exciting! I’m glad all worked out and that everyone is healthy!

  2. Great play by play Ryan… though I can’t believe you got out of cutting the cord that easy… Maybe someone tipped off the nurse in the hallway ahead of time?? And don’t feel bad about the plunger either… Jake needed one to come out too. I also had crazy numbness and couldn’t push well. But we all survived, as did you – and I’m sure Christina was happy not to have a c-section… though Ouch sounds like she had to feel most of the worst. Good job Christina! Was Sariah posterior (face up)? Just wondering because of the back pain and the need of the vacuum… That was the problem with my first. Makes things a lot more difficult. Anyways – this was long. Have fun with your baby! She looks great.

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