The Saga of Lulu Mae Yost
Lulu's (back) in town!
Born at 9:23 on 12/21 and weighing in at a miniscule 5 lbs, 14 oz., Lulu managed to beat the clock to be a Sagittarius. Also of note, she was born on the winter solstice, greatly increasing the odds that she will have psychic abilities. 18 1/4" stretched out, she will probably not be a basketball player, but neither is anyone else in her family.
Her arrival was quite an ordeal, and I thank modern medicine for both her and Karen ending up safe and healthy. Karen went into labor just as the blizzard here in New York hit. We decided to make our way to Karen's parents' house on the Upper West Side in order to be closer to the hospital (on the Upper East Side) than we are in Brooklyn.
I called every car service in Brooklyn, but with no luck. Because of the blizzard, cars were either unavailable or unwilling to drive into Manhattan. We saw a few taxis go by from our window, so we decided to try and hail one. Once on the street, there were no cabs that weren't off-duty. I finally hailed one, but when I told them Karen was in labor and we needed to go into the city, he just drove off. We had no choice but to walk to the subway station.
A nice guy on the street tried to help by calling car services on his iPhone, but he had no better luck than we did. He then called 911 to get us an ambulance. Once we realized what he'd done, we tried to call and cancel. At this point, Karen's contractions weren't terrible, so we didn't want to take an ambulance out of circulation just to give us a ride. Apparently, you can't cancel an ambulance request, and we didn't have time to wait around. We kept going on to the subway.
Once in the station, Karen's contraction were becoming worse and more frequent, so we decided to go straight to the hospital. Once there, they examined her and proclaimed that they couldn't admit her yet since she was only 1 cm. dilated. They discharged us back into the snow storm.
Back at Karen's parents' house, we tried to get some rest. Karen's contractions were inconsistent, but getting closer together (around 3 min. apart). Needless to say, she wasn't getting any sleep. Finally, at around 4 in the morning, we went back to the hospital. Again they discharged her because she was still only 1 cm. (although her cervix was 90 percent effaced).
By around 8 am the next day, Karen was completely exhausted by constant labor with no sleep. We drove back to the hospital and were once again discharged. We didn't want to risk going all the way back to her parents', so we just hung out in the lobby of the hospital for three hours.
When they checked her again at 11 am, she was still only 3 cm. dilated. We could've stayed at the hospital this time, but she would not have been able to eat or drink and we figured she would need all the energy she could get. Our doctor said to come in to his office (in Brooklyn) on Monday for an exam. It was another night of no sleep.
Driving into Brooklyn was pure agony for poor Karen. She was splayed over the back seat, screaming in pain with every bump in the road or sudden stop. Dr. Brennan decided to sweep her membrane to try to speed up the labor since she was still only 5 cm. dilated. We jumped back into the car and drove back to the hospital.
The hospital exam showed her holding strong at only 5 cm. This time we stayed and eventually Karen was able to get an epidural. The difference once the epidural kicked in was night and day. You could see the relief in her whole body and face. We got a bit of sleep waiting for Dr. Brennan to arrive after his office hours were over.
When the doctor showed up, Karen was still only 5 cm. dilated. He broke her embryonic sack and found meconium (when the baby is in stress, they will sometimes poop in their embryonic fluid...not good for them to be breathing). Also, Lulu had not descended down into the pelvis. Babies usually descend well before birth, so this was puzzling. Upon examination, the doctor told us that Karen's pelvic opening was tiny, and that even if her dilation were to speed up and the baby was to drop down, it may still be a difficult or maybe even impossible delivery. It was later discovered that her umbilical cord was wrapped around her neck.
One of the things I like about Dr. Brennan (besides his easy going nature) is that he does everything in his power to avoid a C-section. Unfortunately, there didn't seem to be any avoiding it in our case, but he still left it up to us.
The operation was surprisingly quick, only lasting about 20 minutes tops. There was a curtain drawn between us and the doctors and nurses, but we were able to hear what was going on. One of the nurses was kind enough to take photos with our camera. When we first heard Lulu cry on the other side of the curtain, we both broke down in tears of relief. I got to hold her while they stitched Karen up. Despite being covered in gooey meconium and having her eyes slathered with vaseline, she was the cutest thing I've ever seen.
We were lucky enough to get a private room for Karen's four day hospital recovery stay. I slept on a cot next to her bed and tried to do anything I could to help Karen rest. Lulu is a natural born breast feeder, so we were spared any difficulty in that department.
We were discharged on Christmas day, and now we're falling into a little routine in which I change the diapers and burp her and Karen breastfeeds her. I had no idea how often these little dudes feed n' poop! It takes every ounce of my will not to squish her cute little face or eat her little body parts. So far, she's very sweet and unfussy, and I look forward to watching her grow and develop. All hail Lulu!