Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The Rest of the Story

You already know that that at 10:46 this morning, Daisy Cazier made her debut here on the stage we call “Earth.” You’re already aware that she clocked in at 6 lb 9 oz, and measured 19 inches. And as you’re informed, she’s got a beautiful sprinkling of dark peach fuzz for a hat.

And now, the rest of the story.

For three children now, Maleen has made friends with a chemical compound named Oxytocin, a generic concoction for the renown over-due pregnant lady’s best friend, Pitocin. Maleen, in absolute defiance of precedent, has been mentally forcing her body into labor: “I will go into labor by myself. I will go into labor by myself. I will…” I believe she’s already mentioned that one should be careful what one wishes for, or one may be surprised by how readily the fates obey.

This morning Maleen awoke with a start at about 1:00. Dutiful husband, I was awake—anticipating her pregnant needs (okay that’s total BS—I was actually playing a computer game: shame on me). She’d been having contractions throughout the evening and now they were too powerful to sleep through. She awoke and started into the “hee-hee-hooooooo” breathing patterns that tell a husband something’s up.

A debate followed. The funny thing about this debate is that I wasn’t part of it: Maleen argued both sides aloud. During contractions, the argument went something like this, “Tyler, I think it’s time we went to the hospital. Tyler, now!” And then the contraction would pass, and she’d say, “No… Nevermind. False alarm. I’m okay. Turns out it was just a dud.” Back and forth she’d go about every eight or ten minutes.

It was like we were having our first child. We scheduled everything before! We didn’t know when to go into the hospital.

This endless un-winnable debate continued for nigh an hour until I recognized a distinct increase in the ferocity of the “Tyler, we’re going NOW” side of the argument. I finally proposed this test (Men, never do this unless you’re certain you’re between contractions), “Maleen, do you think you could drive to the hospital by yourself? That way we don’t need to call someone and wake them up at 2:00 in the morning.”

It was answered with, “Oh, that’s a good idea. I could totally drive myself, then you could come later for the delivery.” I went back to my computer game.

She discovered this was in fact a test and then, as if on queue, a contraction started. She grabbed the bag she’d been packing, handed it to me, and indicated in a forceful fashion it was time to be on the road to the hospital.

This time I did not question her. I grabbed the bag, called our emergency contact—Keri Scoresby, and off we went.

Thank you, btw, Keri for coming over to the house in the middle of the night—it made all the difference.

Upon arriving at the hospital we had to go through the check in process amid contractions. (If you haven’t already pre-registered—do it, it saves all kinds of time. Besides the nurses might give you sort of a sour face when you show up to have the baby and you haven’t filled out your paperwork yet.) We finally got admitted and they tested everything and decided that we were in fact in labor—light labor, but labor none the less. Yay!

Then comes the numbers game. We started at a 2 on Monday morning after a membrane stripping. When we got admitted on Tuesday morning at roughly 3:00 a.m. we were at a 4. Things progressed pretty well from there. To guys this numbers game is a simple explanation of how long we have to wait—it’s like a reverse launch countdown. So there we were at T minus 6. The next hour brought not very much sleep, more contractions, and T minus 5. The next hour followed suit and brought us to what we would later discover was a screeching halt at T minus 4.

At T minus 4 (i.e. dilated to a 6), it was time for the epidural. If you’ve never watched this take place, you haven’t lived. They bring out this gargantuan catheter—they don’t even call it a needle. They may as well call it a pipeline for how huge it is. They’ve got little yardage markers on it so they can tell what layer of skin / muscle / bone / spinal fluid piece they’re at. At each down-marker, the anesthesiologist prodded around a bit and found where he was going to make his next short-drive and tapped the back of the pipeline with his hand until it popped through. It’s so insane it’s memorizing. Anyway, epidural went in great and contractions became much more bearable for the misses.

At 5:00 a.m. I went down to get breakfast. I could only imagine Maleen was starving, but they don’t let her eat anything on account of the fact that they don’t want to be wearing what she was eating during a contraction. Me on the other hand, I wasn’t going through this on an empty stomach! So I went down and ordered up some breakfast and took the opportunity to call some family to alert them to our situation.

When I returned to the room, I found that we hadn’t progressed any more, and we settled in for the tedious wait of checking things every 15 to 30 minutes and making sure NOTHING has changed. We tried to get some snatches of sleep—have you ever tried to sleep for 15 minutes at a time? I was trying to look like I was alert every time a nurse came in. I felt like I was back at college during one of those boring lectures when your head is bobbing up and down and you are staring through the speaker… It’s always the same, the person doing the trick always feels like their trick is convincing; everyone around them knows they’re 95% asleep. It’s funny to look back on.

At about 8:00 a.m. I decided that I needed to check on the kids, get them dressed, fed, watered, potty-ed, etc. With the countdown hung at T minus 4, I decided it wasn’t going to be too bad to take off and check on the chillins. I departed with a kiss, and blazed home to meet my kids. It turns out they were ALL still asleep. Awesome. Robyn must have heard my voice downstairs as I discussed strategy with Keri. She showed up at the bottom of the stairs, officially the first one to wake up. And officially the first miniature Cazier to discover that Daisy was on her way, TODAY!

Robyn was pretty excited. Keri left to get her own family ready for the day, we agreed that I would drop off kids in about 45 minutes and she’d have them until my family got bigger.

Accordingly, I woke Ivory and June and explained that today was Daisy’s big day. They were all excited and plowed through breakfast. They all hit the potty, got dressed, and were ready in what I consider to be record time.

As quickly as I had arrived, I departed, leaving the children with Keri, and returning to T minus 4.

Meanwhile back at the hospital, things were not carrying on as mundanely as I had anticipated. Daisy had decided it was time to get something done—so she started ramming her head in the direction instinct told her was the only way out. The only problem was that the wall blocking the way out hadn’t been disassembled quite yet.

And so Daisy joined the rank of every mini Cazier—she started having labor distress. We figure this is normal for everyone since it happens for EVERY one of our children. The doctors assure us we’re an outlying case, but for us 100% is a tough number to argue at. She started having substantial decelerations in her heart rate during contractions and people started talking about the C section.

Tyler didn’t want to watch the game from the C section, so I didn’t buy seats in the C section. I bought seats in a different section entirely—the “Way God Intended It” section. I didn’t like the sound of this C section.

Daisy managed to stabilize and found her way back to normal labor, but now the contractions were coming more frequently and it only took a matter of time to reach T minus 3, and T minus 2. Unfortunately, each T minus brought new bouts of challenges from Daisy. She appeared to be getting worse with each step closer to delivery. On paper it looked like the closer she was getting to entering this life, the closer she was getting to leaving it.

And so the doctor bought us some seats in the notorious C section and tossed me a set of haz-mat coveralls and started wheeling Maleen and Daisy into another, much more-like-the-tv-shows room. There the anesthesiologist punched the last of the epidural as numbing for what was about to be a belly cut. He informed us rather matter-of-factly that we had a few minutes for this to kick in and then they were going to do some cutting. We were now at a solid T minus 1, but not quite ready for lift off.

As for me and my miniature humans, I didn’t like the idea. Maleen could only apologize that she’d kept her stomach so free of stretch marks only to be marred by a scar. This amazing control caught me a little off guard. She’s quite the trooper, my little Maleen. The doc came over and explain that while we were waiting, we didn’t have anything to lose by doing a few rounds of pushing. We heartily agreed and a very-motivated Maleen pulled off some amazing feats of superhuman strength and contortion. The result of these amazing pushes and stretches was the appearance of little Daisy’s head.

Well, the doctor jumped right on that! He grabbed the vacuum (this is a cool little device I must see again), suctioned it onto her little head and as carefully as one can control an outright yank, extracted Daisy at precisely 10:46 a.m. from a rather tight spot.

And then we discovered the reason for the labor stress: Daisy had a full knot cinched in her umbilical cord. It wasn’t around her neck—it was just cutting off all circulation. I wish I’d shot a photo of that, but I was a little busy. It turns out that each contraction dropped her a little farther in the path to freedom, thus tightening the knot and causing her to not enjoy the lack of oxygen and blood.

A few quick cuts severed the cord, some nice bulb work from the one of the green-clad docs and little Daisy Grace just screamed away at us. She was finally here.

Happy doesn’t begin to describe it.

There was outright cheering in the room. I trailed the package into the other room to make sure all was well, and it was.

Here are the first pics we took after the delivery. We’re back in the non C-section seats now.

From there, of course I followed her to the nursery where little Daisy endured another 90 minutes of cleaning, testing, shots, blood draws, etc. She did NOT like her bath.

When I finally brought her back to Mom, she was spent. She was sleeping soundly and convinced there wasn’t anything anybody could do to wake her up. She slept peacefully while I started making phone calls.

And now you know the rest of Daisy Grace’s story.


Raging Stallion said...

Sorry for the delay, everybody. I've been functioning (if you can call it that) on very little sleep. It took me a while to actually string these words together in what appears to be a coherent fashion. When I read this tomorrow, I think I'm going to laugh at how loopy I am.

Kaylene and Joshua said...

Congrats!!! She is so cute, we can't wait to meet her.

Love, The Jacksons

Stacie said...

Mark and I are so excited for you guys! We're so happy that she made it into this world healthy after these struggles you all had to go through at the last minute. We're so glad you didn't end up having to watch from the "C section"! Good thing for those last few moments to try with the pushes - good save for the belly!

Kayla said...

She is adorable! I'm so happy for you that things ended up going ok. Complications can be scary! But she's beautiful and will make an adorable addition to your cute family! Congrats!

¡Vieve! said...

She is adorable! Congrats on the delivery! Good thing you didn't have to use your seats in the C section!

Deanne said...

HOORAY!!! I loved every detail of Daisy's appearance. I'm especially glad that Maleen's tummy remains un-marked (for the obvious reasons...not the vain one). I'm so glad that she's here and healthy. She's the perfect addition to your clan of cute girlies!

Ker said...

Congrats Maleen! She is beautiful! I cant wait to meet little Daisy!
PS- Your girls were awesome!

S&E Mack said...

We are soo HAPPY for you all! She is beautiful and we are so thankful mom and baby made it through everything fine! We love you and wish you the best!!

Rynell said...

What a birth story! That's quite a memorable tale. We are so excited for you guys!

Cindy B said...

Thanks for the full story. Hope you can manage to get some sleep. But she's just beautiful and well worth the wait.

Stacy said...

Tyler I loved this! I love to hear this story from the man's point of view. I would love to see Maleen give us her version so we can get the whole he said/she said going with the play by play.
I'm so glad everything turned out well, but if you ask David, he preferred the C-section seats to all the drama we had with the "way God intended" the first time around. So, unfortunately for me, I've got the stretch marks and the scar to show for it all.
Beautiful name, beautiful baby. (you know if we have a boy next time, we are going to switch for this one, right? Or do you already have that deal with the Ryans?)

Chelle! said...

Maleen, thanks for letting me hold Daisy Grace. She is absolutely adorable and precious!! You, also, look fabulous!!! Congratulations!!!

Anonymous said...

I am so happy for you guys! that does sound like one very intense day! I am so glad everything turned out ok and Maleen you truly are amazing... I am very excited to meet cute little Daisy.:)

Rachel said...

Yeah! Congratulations to you all! What a cutie! How crazy about the knot in the cord, I have never heard of such a thing! I am so glad everything turned out well for Maleen and Daisy. I am hoping to find out soon (after ultrasound number three) if I will have to have a planned C section due to a placenta issue. I am also not at all interested in the C section, especially not after 3 "normal" deliveries! I'm looking forward to more updates and photos!

Carrie said...

Congratulations. How exciting. I'm glad everything turned out well for Daisy and Maleen. She's a cutie pie.

Tim said...

so cute!