Surprise, surprise, surprise (as everyone's favorite gas station attendant says). The little bugger came early! Since I had to have an emergency c-section with Edith, we were scheduled to have another c-section with Eric on April 12th (his actual due date was April 18th). Dave was pretty excited about the April 12th birthday, if only because David Letterman has the same one. Dave and I have speculated on why Eric came early, but I'll just give you the story.
The last week of March was a busy one for us. I was trying to finish up work for my clients, and Dad and his bud (Timmy) were at our house remodeling the home office. They were here for a few days (Mom tagged along towards the end of their stay), and when they left, I got busy priming and painting the new office, knowing that I had about two weeks to get this house into shape before Eric made his arrival!
I was up painting until about midnight on April 1st. I knew that I shouldn't be doing such silly things while pregnant (I wore my Darth Vader mask and used low-VOC paints!), but I really wanted to get everything in order before Eric came. Things were pretty stressful when Edie joined the family (more on that later), and we wanted a smooth transition this time around.
A little before 4am on April 1st, I felt my water break in bed. Thinking, "no this CAN'T be it... I'm not ready!! Maybe I just peed a little," I went into the bathroom, and lo and behold, it was true. Remembering how long it took to actually have contractions with Edie after my water broke, I thought I had plenty of time to get to the hospital. I laid back down in bed for about 5 minutes. I woke up Dave, which went a little something like this:
Me: Dave, are you awake?
Dave: (mumbling) yeah, huh?
Me: Dave, you have to wake up or else I'm not telling you this.
Dave: Okay, what's up. You okay?
Me: My water broke. We're having a baby.
Dave: Okay, what do you want to do?
Me: I think we should go back to sleep.
So, we went back to sleep for about 15 minutes. I called Dr. Dropkin, who sounded like he had no idea what was going on (you'd think as a practicing OB-GYN for over 20 years, he has probably gotten this call before). I told him I wasn't having any contractions, but he insisted we make our way to the hospital, since I needed to have a c-section and delivering Eric naturally would be detrimental to both the baby and myself. I called Mom and Dad to tell them the news, and then called our good friend Leone to see if she could watch Edie until Mom came out to get her.
Since Dave and I thought we'd have plenty of time before Eric came around, we had nothing packed. I showered, Dave got Edie ready to go and packed some things for me, and we were out the door. Before we left the house, I starting having contractions around 7 minutes apart, which quickly escalated to 6, then 5, minutes apart. After a few quick emails to various colleagues and clients, we arrived at the hospital around 6 am.
Our wonderful nurse Sue admitted me, and Dr. Byrd (who also delivered Edie with Dr. Dropkin!) checked to make sure I was really in labor. Sure enough, it was true. Sue's shift ended shortly after we arrived, and Megan came to tend to us. Eric, it turned out, was nearly breech. Dr. Dropkin came to see us, and told us Dr. Costello would be performing the c-section. A series of other health care professionals came to take down some information including: Eric - the anesthesiologist; Eric - the obstetrician; a med student and a nursing student (both of whom would be watching the c-section). I think my medical history was taken, oh, about four times. Things the pregnancy books don't tell you:
1. They count your teeth
2. They check your windpipe
Apparently, this is all for the anesthesia given during the surgery, but no one tells you that.
I thought we would have plenty of time for belly shots - I guessed wrong. This is all we've got!
Finally, Dr. Costello stopped in to say all systems were go, Dave was given scrubs, and I was whisked off to the OR. I was told the spinal block wouldn't be nearly as bad as the epidural I had with Edie - they lied. I can't even begin to describe how excruciating it was. Apparently, I have a "strong back" and "thick ligaments." I think that was the doctor's way of nicely saying "Why the hell won't this needle go in?!" Three nurses had to hold me down, as I just about jumped off the operating table several times. After about 20 minutes of attempting to stick a needle into my spinal column, but instead drilling straight into bone, the doctors thought it would be best to "put me under." Then, as if by magic, the needle went in, and I could feel my legs going numb. I hope nurse Megan has regained circulation in her hands by now.
Dave was allowed in, and it was confirmed that the spinal block had done it's job (did you know they continue to poke you with another needle until practically your whole body goes numb? Fun!). It's so amazing how fast it goes after that. Seriously, it's like 20 minutes! As anyone who has had a c-section out there knows, you feel nauseous (from the drop in blood pressure), you feel a lot of pressure (which makes you feel like you are suffocating a bit), but you don't really feel any pain. I thought Dave was going to watch this time; instead, he sat by my side and held my hand through the whole thing. I think it was still too early in the morning for him.
Eric Mitchell Henry Goldschimdt was born at 9:42am, April 1st, 2010. Indeed, a little April Fool. I was so excited to see his full head of dark hair, and to hear that he was healthy. He weighed 7 lbs and was 18.75 inches long. He was, and still is, perfect.
It didn't take her long to figure out all the buttons on the bed