Violet Elizabeth Loughman
A quick recap of how we got here:
- Decide to have a baby - check!
- Kristine cuts out one of her faves - Diet Coke - check!
- Matt gets life insurance - check!
- Kristine gains an appropriately perfect amount of weight and no more - check!
- Baby waits until her due date - UH OH!
Just as we were almost asleep Kristine had her first contraction at about 11:30 PM on Sunday night, February 21st. On one hand we were very thankful of this. People had been asking us for weeks if she had felt any contractions, and to that point Kristine's only response was something like "I don't know what they feel like - this is our first!". Kristine is quite the planner so this was terribly disappointing to not have a more appropriate answer for this question. Anyway, Sunday was 6 days early so we weren't worried much about not having any contractions yet.
Now to the other hand. Immediately following that first contraction was a situation neither Kristine, I, or Spooky the cat were prepared for - Kristine’s water broke. We were assured that an overwhelming majority of women (say, 80% or more) do not go through they "joy" of their water breaking at home. Furthermore, we were warned on multiple occasions by multiple practitioners that most first time moms feel something and confuse it with their water breaking, then head quickly to the hospital only to be turned away and advised to come back when the "real" labor begins. I can assure you that in no uncertain terms were we going to interpret the situation we were in with anything but Kristine's water breaking.
After completely freaking out the cat and a quick shower for mom-to-be we were off to the hospital. Kristine was, as always, prepared. She had bags packed, snacks ready, and two days worth of clothes already prepared for Violet. I, on the other hand, grabbed the nearest bag I could find, shoved a couple of extra pairs of socks & underwear, a few t-shirts I assumed were clean, and the laptop in the bag and threw it all in the back of the car. We were off. Luckily for us at 1:30 AM there isn't much traffic on the 16 mile route to the hospital.
We finally arrived at about 1:30 AM. Kristine had her 2nd contraction while walking between the waiting room and the exam room. After getting all checked in we settled in to our room for the long haul to parenthood. It didn't take the doctors long to start Kristine on Pitocin - a both wonderful and horrifying drug. Wonderful because the show was on the road in no time. Horrifying because the pain level each contraction went from 1 out of 10 to 7 out of 10 almost immediately, and the time between contractions quickly shrunk to about 5 minutes. Oh, and I should mention that her contractions lasted, on average, 3 minutes. At 4:30 AM Kristine was checked again and was only dilated to 2.5 centimeters - not nearly enough considering the pain she was going through. At around 6 we started the epidural - a little sooner than expected but at that point the relief provided was welcomed by all. We finally were able to sneak in 3 hours of sleep.
At 9:00 AM the nurse returned to check Kristine's progress. We were both anticipating being 5 to 6 cm dilated with the tough part still far away. To our shock the nurse's response was "You're about 9 cm dilated. We're going to get the equipment ready for the midwife so you can start pushing soon." What? No warning? No breakfast? No coffee? Kristine fully admits that her nerves kicked in at this unexpected announcement.
She started pushing around 9:45 and at 11:25 we were welcomed with Violet. She arrived weighing 7 pounds 3 ounces, was 19 1/4 inches long, had a full head of hair, and there were no questions about her lungs - the crying/screaming told us all we needed to know about her lung development!
First family portrait
(edit by Kristine: so that's what I look like after giving birth! Rough.)
The Grandmas were patient enough (or maybe I mean wise enough) not to sit in the hospital all night. I must say their timing was impeccable; surely a wisdom that only comes with being a Grandma! They rode up together that morning and arrived with just enough spare time to find the waiting room, say a few quick hello's to Kristine between pushes, and settle in the waiting with a couple of magazines before Violet was born. Grandpa Loughman arrived shortly after the birth and was able to see Violet's first bath. Unfortunately Grandpa Frank was en route back to the States and not able to make it to the hospital. In his defense he asked Kristine not to have the baby while he was out of the country - Violet's already breaking rules!
Daddy Daughter Time
Kristine and Violet are both doing great. Violet might have her days and nights confused, but we will have some time to work on that. I'm tired, but nothing compared to the exhaustion that my two brave, wonderful, and beautiful women must be going through.