Saturday, May 02, 2009

Dear Claire

Dear Claire,
This is the story about the day (or days) you were born.

Your due date was Wednesday, April 29th. Lots of friends and relatives guessed on when you were going to arrive. We knew if you were going to be a boy or a girl, but we didn't tell anyone else, you were a big mystery.

On Monday April 28th, at 2am. your mommy had some contractions, but these were very infrequent, off and on throughout the middle of the night. The following afternoon mommy and daddy went for a walk to try and move things along, but you stayed put.

On Tuesday April 29th your mommy's water broke about 5:30am. Daddy had gone to the gym shortly before that. When he came home, we waited around the house for the contractions to get stronger, watching Good Day LA on t.v.

We went to the hospital at about 11am. We got checked in and met our first nurse Lelah. The doctors were not sure that the waters had broken. The doctors checked and saw your mommy was 2 cm dilated. Mommy had lots of contractions, each 5 minutes apart. At 5pm the doctors checked and mommy was still 2 cm dilated. Mommy was exhausted and the doctors gave her an epidural to help with the pain.

At about 7:30pm we moved to a much fancier delivery room with a big view of the Hollywood Hills. Our second nurse, Sparky, took over. We watched the Dodgers beat the Giants 5 - 3 on t.v. as we wondered what was taking such a long time, but the doctors and nurses all said that this was normal and we should just try and get some sleep. Both your mommy and daddy tried, but didn't sleep much.

Oh La La (Francine, Sarah's mom, prefers Oh La La to 'grandma') drove up from great grandpa's house in Torrance at 12 noon and dutifully stayed in the hospital waiting room. She finished your baby quilt while she waited. She also ate lunch with daddy and gave mommy some crystals for good luck.

At about 2am the water finally fully broke, much more than it had before. The nurse checked and mommy was 5 cm dilated, showing things were moving along. Your mommy felt cold late at night and shook some times also.

Throughout the night lots of friends and relatives all sent their best wishes. saying how excited they were to meet you.

The entire time at the hospital we could monitor the contractions and your little heart beat. At about 4am your heart rate became elevated for a couple hours. The doctors thought that there may be an infection and gave you & mommy Tylenol other antibiotics and put ice packs on your mommy's belly to bring down her temperature, and therefore your temperature & heart rate. At about 4:30am the doctors were thinking you might be getting too tired and we talked about maybe having to do a c-section. We waited 30 minutes and see if you got better. By 5am your heart rate came down and things were all looking pretty good.

Your mommy liked the nurse Sparky a lot. She did a great job of making her feel comfortable in the middle of the night when she was scared and uncomfortable. At about 7:30am we got our 3rd nurse, Dawn. Both mommy and daddy took little cat naps before Sparky & Dawn switched.

At about 8am Dawn had mommy turn on her side to hopefully get you to speed up. At about 9:30am Dawn checked and found mommy was 10cm dilated, meaning you were ready, hurray! Mommy turned on her other side to try and speed things up more. At about 11am mommy started to push. You were ready to come and meet us!

We pushed for about 2 hours. Your mommy was getting pretty tired, everyone was wondering if you were really going to show up or not. Dr. Lee realized that you were a "Cephalic Presentation", or going to be delivered face first, or "sunny side up". This was probably one of the reasons you took so long. During the pushing your mommy's temperature rose to 103 and your heart beat went up, higher than what the doctors thought might be good.

Dr. Lee and nurse Dawn really started to encourage your mommy to push hard & she did. Your little head started to show and then a couple really big pushes later your head & shoulders came out all of a sudden.

There were 2 pediatricians waiting to check you out right away since your heart beat was high. Dr Lee also noticed that there was meconium in the amniotic fluid (you had pooped inside before you were born) and that you needed to be cleaned up quick and have your lungs cleared out, which the pediatricians did. After you were weighed & measured, your daddy followed you to the observation room where they bathed you, lowering your high temperature, drew some blood, gave you an IV line and a shot of antibiotics. 1 hour after you were born you, daddy and mommy were all back in the same room together.

Oh La La visited you after we moved to the post partem room, which was much less fancy than the delivery room; there was a view of the other building, not the nice hills.

We couldn't believe how happy we were once you arrived Claire Abigail. You were all we ever wished for. We will remember this day better than any day before.

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