Wednesday, June 10, 2009
On Friday, June 5th my daughter gave birth to my first grandchild, Zachary Michael. He was 7 lbs., 2 oz. and 21 inches long. She had natural childbirth without an epidural and her husband, Josh and I were with her throughout labor. He is sooooo beautiful and a total joy to hold and take care of. He is of course a night owl and comes alive during the night so his parents have that sleep deprived look of new parents. Grandparents get all the pleasure and none of that – What a deal!
That’s the summary and here’s the full story for those of you who love the details. On Friday morning I went with Fran and Josh to a regularly scheduled ultrasound. The ultrasound technician said that he was in the right position and she estimated a weight of 6 lbs., 14 oz. She spent a lot of time at different points in the exam looking at the heartbeat. All seemed well.
The nurse called my daughter ‘s cell phone on the way home and she said that the baby had a slight irregular heartbeat and a slightly decreased fluid level and she should go to the hospital and be checked on the fetal monitor. To myself I thought – the baby is full term, he’ll induce today. I dropped them off at the hospital and went home to pace around and get ready for the next step.
By Noon I was on my way to the hospital with Fran’s bag, the baby bag and lunch for Josh. They had started Fran on pitossin but she still had well spaced medium contractions. Her doctor was off, but who should walk in and be the doctor who would deliver my first grandson – my own gynecologist. I felt better right away – so did Fran. He is my age and as experienced as can be in delivering babies. I also like his straightforward and honest manner.
At 2 PM he broke her water and contractions picked up. When she told him she would want an epidural he discouraged it and she decided to wait. At around 4 PM they moved us to a birthing room which had a section all set up for the baby and a bed that converts for delivery. Fran had a lot of back pain and decided to take a shower while she was standing from the move. So far everything had progressed at a moderate pace and seemed on track for a normal first delivery. We were taking bets about whether he’d be born on Friday or Saturday. I was betting on Friday. Fran was betting on by the start of the Yankee game at 7 PM.
Once she settled into the bed the doctor examined her and I had to help get the ointment on his gloves. Where was the nurse anyway? She was 9 cm dilated and it was too late for an epidural. He told her to call for the nurse as soon as she had the urge to push which happened about one minute later. The woman next door was delivering her third baby and both babies were going to be born at the same time. That’s where the nurse was. The doctor decided to stay with Fran since she was a first time mother and the resident delivered the baby next door – with frequent reports between the nurse and doctor between contractions.
The doctor performed an episiotomy and soon thereafter with some determined pushing Zach was born! The Neonatologist performed the Apgar test and declared him a 9, 9 – perfectly healthy. His Dad took the first picture while he was on the scale but Fran had to wait to hold her son while she had a lot of stitching. Besides the episiotomy she had a big tear on the other side. I think this may have been the worst part.
Finally Fran had Zach in her arms, the table with all the medical stuff, bloodied pads, etc., was removed and other grandparents arrived on the scene. A star was born and cameras flashed away. Godparents arrived and balloons, teddy bears and flowers filled the new room. The parents beamed and Zach looked angelic and comfortable to be in his mother’s arms.
Zach came home on Sunday. He is settling in and seems quite at home. Sleeping during the night is yet to be mastered. But we are all dancing on air with joy. I love holding, singing to him, changing his diaper and just looking at him. Yesterday I got to help with his first bath.
I’ll keep you posted. God has truly blessed us.