play-by-play, part ii

Tuesday, 12:40am

Sharaun can’t sleep at all; says it’s like the night before Christmas times ten.

Tuesday, 5:48am

Just waking up. Sharaun’s been up for an hour already.

Tuesday, 6:24am

Showered and ready. Sharaun is packing her bag (you know how she rolls). She’s still convinced this labor will be as intense as the last one, and so is a little nervous – but mostly just tired from her sleepless night. Leaving in about twenty minutes.

Tuesday, 6:48am

Hard to believe we’re about to leave and the next time we come home it’ll be with Cohen. My mom says it’s like we’re going to the baby store. Yeah, it kinda is like that. Pretty different from the last time. Will update from the hospital (which is conveniently located just five minutes down the road).

Tuesday, 7:15am

Here at the hospital and Sharaun is getting all be-gowned. Being in this room brings memories flooding back. Sharaun is steeling herself for the show.

Tuesday, 7:55am

All hooked up to the monitors and awaiting the doctor’s initial checkout for some starting stats. Waiting and waiting.

Tuesday, 8am

Something interesting: Sharaun has had two honest-to-goodness contractions, au natural, since we’ve been here. Maybe her brain kicked her body into action? Stay tuned.

Tuesday, 8:16am

Contractions continue; aided by naught but my awesome wife and the good Lord. Keen on hearing what the doc has to say when she arrives…

Tuesday, 8:55am

I gave up on trying to get the timestamps in bold… the stupid WordPress app for Android stinks at formatting. The doctor came in and called Sharaun 3cm and a ways off; they are starting a pitocin drip now and are planning to check-in again around noon. Sounds like we’ve got some more waiting to do.

Tuesday, 10am

I went back and re-read the birth entry from when Keaton joined the world and realized that, coming down to it, things really aren’t that much different yet than last time. We’re waiting around for something to happen. What is different: I actually left the hospital for a few minutes and went home to grab some things Sharaun wanted. Picked up some DVDs (a Friends best-of collection and two New Kids on the Block concert things) and grabbed the computer.

If I would’ve been thinking more clearly I would have ate a piece of cold leftover pizza from the fridge. Sharaun at least got to have some toast and jam before we left; all she gets here is broth, jello, and ice water. We’re both hoping she can use these waiting hours as a chance to maybe take a short nap. I’ll of course update as more happens, and for the time being Sharaun is keeping Facebook posted from her phone in bed (what a digitally tied-in family we are) – thanks for all the comments.

Tuesday, 10:30am

For me, at least, this room really is nice. I’m currently reclined on a sofa in front of a large one-way window. The weather outside is about as perfect as one could hope for (a stark contrast to the storms that met Keaton), and I’m staring at snatches of unadulterated blue sky through the leaves of a big elm. In the background I can hear the steady heartbeat of our coming son, woosha-chugga-woosha-chugga; an audible “No rush guys; I’m still up in here.”

As far as the laboring goes – the pitocin is starting to work and contractions are normalizing in frequency and becoming increasingly “uncomfortable” for Sharaun, and I can hear pointedly exhale through pursed lips each time one hits as she tries to drift off to sleep. It’s strange, but all these sounds, for whatever reason, make for a very “comforting” environment (at least, for me that is).

Tuesday, 11am

Sharaun has managed to get to sleep, I can hear her snoring softly (in a totally cute kind of way).  I think this is good.

Tuesday, 11:30am

The nurse continues to adjust Sharaun’s pitocin drip every half hour or so, and so Sharaun’s nap was short-lived.  She’s having them fairly frequently now (every four or five minutes or so) but they are still not the cripplingly painful kind I “remember” from the last time around.  When the doctor came in earlier he mentioned he be back around noon to see how things were going and consider breaking her water to move labor along – that’s our next checkpoint I assume.

Additionally, a much-loved friend called and offered to bring me a cheeseburger & fries from In-N-Out. Things are looking up.

Tuesday, 12:50pm

The doctor showed up right as promised.  No change to the 3cm dilation, and furthermore the doctor noted that although her “outer dilation” is 3cm that “inside” she’s hardly dilated at all (I don’t know what that really means).  The doctor tried, for quite a while and with much OBGYN gusto, to break her water but was unable to do so – her cervix is not reachable or something.  And boy did he try; I thought Sharaun was going to scoot backwards off the bed.

Upon this failure the language and tone of the labor and delivery team changed significantly.  That she’s having regular contractions about every minute means the pitocin is dialed-in correctly, but the lack of any real pain means real labor hasn’t started.  Being unable to break her water to accelerate things, the doctor noted that, occasionally, labor cannot be induced.  To prepare us for this, he and the nurse both mentioned that if things continue to not progress as they have been that they might just call the whole thing off and try again tomorrow.  They said that sometimes the body’s just not cooperative (I can hear the “told you so!” chants of the “natural motherhood” message board crowd now).

The bad part about this is that it’s reinforced to some small degree Sharaun’s notion that she’s “bad” at having babies.  In fact she even tried to apologize to me, saying she felt like I must be disappointed.  Yes people I did and said all the right husband things to counter this silly line of thought, but it still made me feel sad.  I mean, she’s doing a great job.

So the mood is a bit down around here.  Neither of us relish the idea of an “extra” night in the hospital and we’re both praying for nature to take over and respond.  Wish us luck.

Tuesday, 1:30pm

Got the details on the whole keep going vs. stop thing from the nurse.  Apparently the doctor will come by again later in the afternoon (around suppertime, as Andy Griffith would say) and check Sharaun again.  If her water hasn’t broken naturally before then and there’s no other notable progress they’ll take her off pitocin and have her sleep through the night.  They do this for a couple reasons: 1) they told us her body can become saturated with pitocin and it loses its effectiveness and 2) they don’t want her to be laboring all day and all night and be exhausted for delivery.  OK; fine.

So the story goes: Continue the pitocin drip until later afternoon where the doctor will make the go/no-go call.  Unless, of course, things take flight of their own accord and get moving before that.  I think you know what we’d rather have happen.

Tuesday, 2:30pm

Nothing happening.  Onto the second Friends DVD and we’ve both had unsuccessful attempts at napping.  The nurse came in and took a ho-hum look at the charts but left with little said.  Yawn.

Tuesday, 4pm

Some napping for me; none for Sharaun.  I’m about to head home and grab Keaton and a Scooby Doo DVD so she can have a visit with mom and cheer her up a bit.  Doctor’s due back around 6pm so we should know if we’re camping out or not around then.  No real change from Sharaun’s side… still having regular contractions but no other sign of progress.

Tuesday, 6pm

Not writing much because there’s just not much to write.  I think it brightened Sharaun a bit to have Keaton sit in bed with her, and it was good to have family in the room to break the monotony.  We’re still waiting on the doctor’s evening assessment, but from my observation the contractions have gotten markedly more painful since Sharaun got up and walked and stretched and squatted a bit.  Painful may not seem like a good thing but in this case pain (hopefully) means progress.  Sharaun is now focused on if she’ll get to eat tonight or not (if they stop the induction, she’s free to chow down) and if she’ll get any rest.  Stay tuned…

Tuesday, 6:30pm

Once again the doctor was right on time.  And as expected he recommended they “pause” the induction effort for the night and give Sharaun a chance to rest and recuperate before trying again first thing tomorrow.  The good in this is that Sharaun truly is drained and needs the rest, not to mention she’s been cleared to eat both a “real” dinner and breakfast.  I’m glad, actually, because by this point she’d been looking forward to some food and some sleep.  It’ll give her a nice chance to get a little more mentally prepared, too, and start the day without that somewhat dejected feeling she had this afternoon.

So folks, I’ll be updating off and on throughout the evening but for the most part won’t do the every-hour thing until bright and early tomorrow – on what will hopefully be Cohen’s birthday.  Thanks for all the thoughts, prayers, and comments – Sharaun definitely feels the love.

Tuesday, 9:30pm

Being sufficiently “paused” for the evening and well-fed to boot, we’re turning in.  Here’s hoping that 5mg melatonin has me dreaming sweet dreams until our 5am wake-up call and 6am pitocin drip.


Wednesday, 5:15am

Up and at ’em!  The nurse came carrying the Round 2 card and roused us from our (very restful, thankfully) sleep.  Sharaun gets some breakfast and about 45min to prepare, then comes the pitocin again.  Updates as I can as things progress; same Cohen-time, same Cohen-channel.

Wednesday, 7am

Sharaun’s been on pitocin now for about an hour.  Contractions are here again but currently irregular and building.  The nurse says this is normal and that they should normalize in frequency and amplitude (who’s the engineering major around here?) shortly.  We expect the doctor back around 8am and I think the plan is for them to once again attempt to break her water at that point.

Right now she’s actually fallen back asleep, which is awesome.  I took the chance to run home for a quick 20min to grab some coffee and seed some “to-do with Keaton” ideas for my folks.  I think they’ll try to get Keaton out of the house a bit today, maybe even try and meet up with a friend at a park or something.  Last night when I popped home to kiss her goodnight she was upset that Sharaun and I are going to be gone two nights instead of the probable one we’d already talked about.  She’s still excited about Cohen, but I think she wants mom and dad back home too.

The doctor yesterday said that the 2nd day of two-day-long induction efforts is typically pretty accelerated.  I don’t know what to expect from that comment, and Sharaun is of course leery of getting her hopes up at this point.  So again we wait and pray and again you’ll be able to hear about it here.

C’mon Cohen!

Wednesday, 7:30am

So it’s been a little more than a full day (as we humans measure such things) since we arrived at the hospital yesterday.  As expectations go then sure, we may have been a little “put out” that yesterday’s intended results didn’t materialize… but when it’s all said and done I’d rather have things go smoothly than adherent to any arbitrary schedule.  Yeah sure, today isn’t much less arbitrary than was yesterday as far as an induced birth goes… but heaping rushed upon rushed just seemed bad for both Sharaun and the baby.  Then again, what do I know… the doctors and the Man Upstairs are apparently working on different schedules and at the moment I’m not interesting in debating the pros and cons of whose we follow.

Having a good night of sleep makes it feel like a true fresh start.  I can see the renewed energy in Sharaun and I can tell she’s trying to get as much rest as possible in anticipation of today being the day.  I’m back sitting on that same couch looking out that same window at the same blue sky through the leaves of that same oak (I was wrong about it being an elm; I’m bad at IDing trees… it’s something I want to get better at – no really).  So I’m trying to imagine today was the planned day all along; this is just the beginning and yesterday wasn’t any kind of setback… more of a day to prepare and ready.

It’s a good approach, right?  Until later.

Wednesday, 8:30am

Water broken.  Doctor expects things to move quickly now.

Oh boy… contractions are coming in rapid succession and look to huuuuurt.  Here we go?

Wednesday, 9am

Oh yeah, I remember this.  Sharaun says, “They hurt so bad.”  Teetering on the precipice of signing that epidural order and the nurses say she’s currently around 4cm dilated and the baby is spot-on in position where they’d like him to be.  Now I’m beginning to remember that feeling of abject helplessness that I had last time, alternating  between equally ineffective attempts at cheerleading and rubbing/hand-holding.

They’ve decided to stop the pitocin as Sharaun’s body is running the show at this point.

Wednesday, 9:45am

In her best attempt to compete with highschool me, Sharaun has indulged in some narcotics.  I think she’s comforted because of it, and I’m glad of it.  Contractions seem to have slowed just a bit since they took her off the pitocin, and we’ll now see what happens post-drugs (for that highschool me, a 1am trip to Wendy’s would be in order – but she’s currently unable to be so carefree).  I’m optimistic because her attitude is great; she’s upbeat and focused and it’s still early in the day.

Eyes on the prize at this point, my friends.

Wednesday, 10:30am

Better living through chemistry.

As women of cultures throughout history discovered and exploited before her, plant derivatives can be wonderful.  A little opiate here, a little opiate there… and things become a lot more tolerable.  In her case, she was voluntarily dosed about an hour ago and is currently laboring along blissfully.  OK so when the baby comes out he might be jonesing for a fix, but I think we can get him detox’d in week-one and move on.  If not, we can stage an infant intervention; invite all his baby friends and have them confront him regarding the seriousness of his problem.  In fairness, he learned it by watching her – just like the old commercial said.  She keeps telling me, “Babe I feel so amazing…”  Ha.

OK, enough tomfoolery.  Sharaun is at about 5cm and things are moving along nicely.  The nurse flippantly made reference to a before-noon delivery and while far from an oracular statement, it does perhaps give some indication of their anticipated endgame.  Right now she’s at about 3min apart and closing in on the pushing part of the game.  Keep it right here friends and family, we’ll keep ya informed.

Wednesday, 11:30am

An hazy hour that would’ve made Burroughs proud and Sharaun’s beginning to feel her contractions just a little bit.  The nurse says her “patterns” are great and her cervix is softening up as it should (I’m sure you wanted to know that).  They are now predicting Cohen will debut sometime between noon and 2pm.  That means I’m just another few updates away from posting the first picture of our new little man to the internet.  I am getting excited, and Sharaun continues to sleep.

Wednesday, 1pm

10cm and time to push.  Home stretch.

Wednesday, 1:30pm

Pushing.  Nausea and pushing.  She’s doing well.

Wednesday, 2pm

Pushing.  Oh boy pushing.  I can see brown hair inching closer with every volley.  Push Sharaun; push!

Wednesday, 2:30pm

Cohen is here!  Pictures in minutes.

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24 Replies to “play-by-play, part ii”

  1. Looking forward to hearing updates! You and Sharaun are in my thoughts and prayers. I read the Keaton post and it made me cry! Good gravy Sharaun is a strong woman!

  2. Just like it was when Keaton was born, this blog will be up and open all day today. And tell Sharaun, she’s already way ahead of schedule than she was with Keaton. It’s not going to be as long at all. I’m a doctor. I know these things. Ha! You’re going to meet Cohen soon!!!!

  3. Congratulations guys! Tell Sharaun that Jamie and I are pulling for her. I’ll be praying for all of you today. BTW- we found out yesterday we are having a boy as well!

      1. LOL… Did I mention a date above? I’m still holding for 2:30 delivery. Today. Your wife is a trooper. Hopefully things will progress quickly today!

  4. Be sure to read that last paragraph back to Sharaun when she’s in the throws of labor. I’m sure it will be really comforting to her. 🙂

      1. Also steer clear of saying “I like that we have big babies with big heads, it makes me feel like I won’t break them. (i.e. Erik)” and “I saw a cow do this once.”

  5. So, when the water breaks, get ready for those crazy contractions! Not that she can’t handle them, but that was about the time I was like “bring on the drugs!!”

  6. Loving you guys and sending some sweet love and prayers your way. Hope you get some sleep. We’re not calling b/c we don’t wanna bombard you, but please know we are thinking of you constantly. XOXO

    1. Oh… I assumed you weren’t calling because because you’d written us off as friends. Told Sharaun that too. Sorry 🙂

      Nah… thanks for the comment!

  7. Your readership must sky rocket any time Sharaun goes into labor. I mean you get two full days out of us. Ha! Glad to hear things are moving better today. Water broken means the clock has started. He’s coming today no matter what!

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