Nipple time!

Remember how I mentioned we would be giving Emilia our first solo bath last night? Well, that went well (my main marker for success being that she didn’t drown). I’m glad we were both there, trying to coordinate her flailing limbs all while keeping her head out of the water and washing her was a challenge. Thankfully, with Lauren’s help and some suggestions from the nurse, we managed to get through it with nothing more serious than a newfound appreciation for Emilia’s lungs.

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“Please never again” – Emilia, 2017, after her first bath by mom and dad.

Some good news; when we got to the hospital this morning we found out that Emilia has gained weight for the second day in a row. She is now up to 1496 grams, almost back to the 1540 grams she was at birth. She still has the odd pause in her breathing, which sets off a number of panic inducing alarms, but these incidents seem to be getting less regular. She is still receiving daily doses of caffeine which keeps her brain active in an effort to reduce the apnea. In other good news we were told that she may be able to leave her isolette soon for an open air bed which has a heated water mattress. It will be fun to have her a bit more accessible to mom and I; it will be a lot less like I’m handling nuclear fuel rods each time I want to pick her up or change her.

Speaking of changing her we’ve discovered that mom’s perpetually cold hands are a guarantee of Emilia having a little pee during the diaper change process. When I change her, no problem. As soon as mom’s cold hands get in there, peepocalypse. I sympathize with Emilia, having felt those cold hands sneaking under my back in the dead of night, and I secretly hope that maybe she inherited my circulation.


Yesterday Lauren took her first shot at breastfeeding. At this age, now 32 weeks, the nursing staff said not to expect too much. The process is more to familiarize Emilia with the breast and nipple (something I had to wait till my teenage years for, lucky girl) and slowly work on her strength. Emilia was a champ. With some help from the nurse on how to position her, and a little bit of milk for encouragement, Emilia latched on properly a few times and even had a few little sucks. The process was almost a little game; wait until Emilia opened her mouth wide and then throw her mouth over the nipple before she closed her mouth again.

We were told it is incredibly tiring for premature babies and you could tell this was the case as I watched her feed: open mouth, mom throws her on the nip, few little sucks, sleep time, wake up, and repeat. For now the plan is to try this once or twice a day just prior to her NG tube feeding sessions and slowly work it up over the coming weeks. Emilia learning to feed on her own is one of the major steps in coming home!

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Emilia after her first breastfeeding.

 

Here’s to another successful day and more growing,

Damon

 

 

 

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Moving on Up

Today I am writing this one-handed as Emilia lays on my chest to feed (through her NG tube, I haven’t gone full Meet the Fockers yet). During rounds we learned from the doctor that Emilia is up 76 grams! Having just weighed out my garlic sausage for breakfast (yes, weighed out, dad needs to make some opposite progress) in a similar amount I feel like I’m in a well educated position to know we are making good progress.

This weekend we have some friends staying with us who have two young daughters. Unfortunately the little ones can’t visit, despite the cute questions about where is baby Emilia, but it’s fun to see them around and look forward to what things will be like when Emilia can come home.

Which reminds me, don’t be afraid to accept the generosity and support of your friends and colleagues. We have been amazingly lucky to have so many people helping us out; from dog walking, prepping meals, to having our driveway shoveled after a big snow. These people have made what could have been an incredibly stressful experience one that is actually at times quite pleasant.

I’ve never been one to lean on others much. Displays of affection and receiving gifts usually give me a good dose of social anxiety for some reason. I think internally my computer (brain?) is always running some unrealistic tally where I believe I’m falling behind.

I’ve tried to move past that, turning my heart towards seeing friendship and help for what it is, not something to be repaid but something to be experienced and shared. So for those to whom I am not always the most expressive in my words, know that I sincerely appreciate your help.

Alright, now that the gross mushy stuff is out of the way what is going on with Emilia?

Emilia’s cool new clothes.

Since she has turned things around with gaining a bit of weight the doctors have shortened her feeding time. Rather than having 28 ml of fortified MOM over ninety minutes we are going to try it over an hour. As I sit here writing we are about ten minutes in and no regurgitation yet so hopefully she keeps it up.

Outside of that small detail her treatment will continue as before. Lots of skin on skin time coupled with dad’s poor attempts at lullabys. I actually looked up the words to some yesterday when I started waxing poetic to her video games and realized nothing rhymed.

Later today we get to give her a bath, mostly by ourselves (uh oh). I’m a little concerned by how easy the nurse made it look last time compared to how much of a wild snake Emilia can be when we dress her. Her little legs shoot out straight like a dancers and she wriggles around. I’m sure it will be fine though; firm grip, steady hand. Who knew washing a baby was so akin to the claw game?

So there you have it. Another day, one step closer to home.

Thanks for reading,

Damon

Two steps forward, one step back.

So later in the day yesterday we got the results of Emilia’s head ultrasound. We were told all-in-all it was “unremarkable” and there was nothing to cause concern. The NNP Tara did mention that there were two bright spots, or cysts, located inside her brain; however, they were not anything to be worried about. “Nothing to be worried about” has become a code phrase for me, it activates the google sleeper agents inside of me for better or worse.

I did a little bit (okay, a lot) of research and came to the conclusion that outside of obvious bleeding there isn’t much known about the impacts of various cysts, bright spots, or just plain normal head scans on whether a premature baby develops cerebral palsy later in life. As a creature of logic and firm answers this frustrated me but, like the old adage, ill have to learn to accept the things I cannot control.

Today I stayed home in the morning for cleaning duty (we have guests coming tonight) while Lauren went in to the hospital to be with Emilia. I was wrist deep in dirty dishwater when she told me Emilia had lost 60 grams, just a little over 2 ounces, overnight. I sat on my worry for a while as the doctors hadn’t yet come along to speak with Lauren. Loosing weight? Isn’t that the wrong way? An hour or two later I had good news. The doctors were not worried about the weight loss. Emilia hadn’t had any regurgitation so she was digesting her food, it was just a matter of bumping up her intake possibly if the weight loss continued. I felt reassured by their lack of concern.

On the milk front Lauren is doing well. She graduated from the tiny cannisters a few days ago and today it looks like shes jumping up again! Lauren appreciates being able to provide something of benefit to Emilia, although the nighttime wake ups don’t seem fun, and it looks like her body is cooperating for future breastfeeding. Prior to Emilia’s birth there was some worry about this as a lot of people we know have had lots of trouble in this department.

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The fruit of a half-hour of Lauren’s labour.

 


Lets talk jaundice for a minute. Premature babies are more likely than their full-term counterparts to develop jaundice. Jaundice is a result of the liver, basically the body’s faucet filter, not being able to clean up all of the bilirubin in the blood. Bilirubin, despite its pokemonesque name, is a natural product from the once again nature breakdown of red blood cells. Left unchecked it results in a yellowish tint to the skin and eventually brain damage.

Emilia, not one to be left behind by her peers, developed a nice case of jaundice which had to be treated as of her fourth day of life. The nurses showed me how they checked for bilirubin using a cool gadget which is placed on Emilia’s skin (there is also a blood test which can be used). As a premature baby gets older they can tolerate higher and higher levels of bilirubin; however, in Emilia’s case she needed some therapy.

You know all those warnings against tanning beds? Get ready to watch your newborn bask in their glow. Phototherapy is the treatment for jaundice in premature babies. Emilia was given a nice eye mask (with a dab of eye gel underneath on each eye to keep them moist) and a light was placed over her isolette. For the next forty-eight hours she was turned like a slow-roast chicken from side to side to ensure an even treatment. During this time we were still able to hold her, but only for short periods of time (about an hour each).

On the second day of Emilia’s treatment she was placed back onto the CPAP (it was removed after the first day as they felt she was doing well). The doctor during rounds noticed that her little chest was working harder than it should, and diverting important calories away from growing to power it, so he ordered the CPAP for an additional day.

After two days Emilia was tested and we were told her bilirubin levels were within a normal range for her age. I was thankful we could hold her for as long as we wanted now and I think my eyes were a little thankful not to be living inside of a disco anymore.

That’s all for now! Hopefully she grows a little bit tonight!

Damon

PS – Bonus pic of Emilia with mom today!

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Emilia resting on mom and having a little peek around!

 

Intubations, Surfactant, and CPAP! Oh my!

Emilia is officially one week old today. Rather than dive right into the day of her birth again I thought maybe I would break things up by writing about how she is doing today.

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Emilia bundled up and waiting for her head ultrasound.

 

We have made a habit of arriving at the hospital each morning for Emilia’s feeding at nine in the morning. This gives us time to get things sorted with the animals at home, prepare our food for the day, and still get there before the doctors rounds so we can be present for any discussions regarding her treatment.

Today there was some discussion about Emilia having a bit of regurgitation last night (she is drinking MOM (mother’s own milk) mixed with a calorie boosting powder). The doctors told us that her stomach was checked and it didn’t seem to be an issue with volume or digestion, she may just not like the powder. They decided to watch and see if she regurgitated tonight again and if so they would reduce the amount of powder in her milk.

Emilia is still fed via a nasogastric tube which is a small orange tube fed through her nose into her stomach. During feeding times the required amount of milk is placed in a syringe which is then placed in a timed dispensing plunger and slowly fed down her line into her stomach. We try to give her a soother during this time so she can work on her sucking reflex (Soothers for preemies are okay! They need to learn!) and she seems to be doing quite well at it.

Emilia had a head ultrasound planned to check for any bleeding or damage in her brain. There is a risk of trauma during birth which can sometimes be a contributing factor for cerebral palsy. We’re pretty positive on this front, no one has mentioned any uneven muscle tone on Emilia, but better safe than sorry. Thankfully they bring the ultrasound right into the room so Emilia isn’t disturbed too much. She took it well and got her first hair gel!

Outside of the ultrasound she seems to be doing well. Mom and I are slowly being taught the basics from the nursing staff on how to bathe her, change her diapers, and handle her. Each time we touch her there is this irrational fear that I am going to break her but in reality I am assured she is pretty tough. I’m now at two diaper changes, mom only has one (score one for dad!). We spend time taking turns holding her and giving her skin on skin care when possible. All of this is going on while we try to sort out the paperwork associated with our sudden absence from work.

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The after-bath outfit. Her first onesie!

 

As usual the nursing staff are great. They are very patient and explain anything we don’t understand. Emilia is hooked up to leads which monitor her vital signs and the results are displayed on a monitor both in our room as well as at the nursing station outside. Every once and awhile Emilia will have a little drop in her heartrate and oxygen levels when she forgets to breathe but she has, thus far, been able to bring herself back on track. You still feel a lurch in your stomach each time that alert panel flashes red.

Mom has been pumping milk since the day after Emilia was born. I won’t get too in-depth about it but so far the experience hasn’t been that unpleasant for her. The first day or two she was mainly obtaining small amounts of colostrum. Even these small amounts were given to Emilia as it is apparently great for her nutrition. As of day seven mom is now able to pump enough that Emilia is exclusively using MOM rather than DHM (donor human milk). We went for the DHM for the interim period because we were told it was better for Emilia’s digestive system and there are rigorous safety mechanisms in place to ensure the DHM is safe.


Alright, back to day one.

When I got to the other hospital I went straight to the NICU and was shown to the room where Emilia was. Her room was at the end of the hall and as I walked up towards it the crowd of medical staff breathed some more life into the fear I thought I had swallowed. I was greeted by the staff with congratulations and allowed into the room where Emilia was being attended to by a resident doctor and nurse neonatologist practitioner (NNP), Tara.

The first order of business was an x-ray of her chest to check how her lungs were doing. Back at the first hospital they had placed her on oxygen; however, there was concern that she was still displaying too much effort in breathing. With each breath Emilia’s tiny little sides would suck deep into her chest and you could tell it wasn’t a natural movement. A portable x-ray machine was wheeled into the room and we were all cleared out for the actual taking of the x-ray.

Tara came and got me and brought me over to the nursing station where she sat me down to show me the results of the x-ray. I feel like she expected me to break down as she spoke in very soft tones but plainly explained what was wrong. Emilia had respiratory distress syndrome (RDS) due to her premature birth. Her lungs had not developed fully and lacked a substance called surfactant which is a natural lubricant which helps the lungs open fully. I was told that Emilia would need to be intubated (where a tube is placed down into her lungs) and given extra surfactant in order to assist with her breathing. I looked at the little x-ray in front of me, the umbilical IV line streaking a trail up from Emilia’s belly to her liver, and said they should do whatever they needed to. It was around this time that Tara asked me what I did for work as she suspected I was a tad too calm! If only she was a mind reader she would have known that wasn’t the case.

 With a plan in motion the resources were gathered and the procedure began. It was a surreal experience, watching a group of medical staff intubate my daughter and then inject a soapy white substance into her lungs. I recall Tara, always the educator, asking the nursing staff and respiratory therapist questions on the possible complications of surfactant use (including, among other things, airway obstruction).  I didn’t mind, I’d rather everyone have a fresh reminder of these things anyway prior to working on Emilia, but it struck me later as such a peculiar experience.

The surfactant was administered successfully without any major issues and you could almost immediately identify an ease in Emilia’s breathing. There were a few touch-and-go moments during the process when I felt my heart drop as an alarm went off but all in all it went well. She was then fitted with a CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) mask which kept pressure blowing in through her nose, along with a bit of extra oxygen, in order to assist her breathing. I couldn’t help but notice that my daughter happened to have quite a bit in common with a certain super villain.

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Emilia Bane?

With all the excitement done Emilia was made comfy and left to rest. I settled in beside her to watch for any hint of distress like a mother hen while I waited for mom to arrive from the other hospital. Mom arrived, along with support in the form of a good friend, within a few hours. When she got to the desk at the front of the NICU they didn’t believe she was the mom at first! Who has a baby and is up and running around within 5 hours!

When Lauren arrived we were sat down by a very nice nurse who gave us some sage advice:

  1. Don’t stare at the monitors, they will drive you crazy. Watch your baby, she will tell you more about how she is feeling.
  2. Get some rest. Right now there nothing more you can do, even if you feel like you should stay at the hospital all night. Better to return rested and ready to go in the morning.
  3. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about your childs care and take and discard advice as it comes. Everyone wants the best but you are the parent (even if that notion seems scary right now!).

The whole day seems in retrospect like a strange dream. I wouldn’t say a nightmare, because obviously we were gifted with an amazing little girl, but certainly not the normal birth experience you expect. You picture holding your baby in your arms, staring into their eyes, and immediately feeling that bond. If I can offer any advice to those who find themselves in this position it is that it is okay to feel a bit robbed of that experience. No one expects to have a child in this manner. I have found though, over the past seven days, that every small achievement is another chance to recapture that moment which was stolen. It won’t be a “normal” experience, and you will have lots of mixed emotions about that, but don’t worry. You will treasure every moment you have together from here on out.

 

That’s all for now,

Damon

 

 

 

Baby’s First Procedure

Jeez, I need to catch up here so I can get writing about what is currently happening rather than filling in everyone on that first day. For those keeping track at home Emilia is now five days old and doing well! So, back to the mad rush of her birth.

I followed Emilia and the army of nurses out into a central area where her isolette was moved against a wall and the real work began. Leads to measure her heartbeat, respiratory rate, and blood oxygenation levels were attached to Emilia’s chest and tiny wrist. A respiratory therapist arrived and taped a breathing apparatus to Emilia’s face which had two little prongs sticking into her too-small nose. I was told that this would provide her with necessary oxygen until she could be further assessed.

The neonatal nurse practitioner Barb (who I later learned we were extremely lucky to have on hand, apparently lots of non-university hospitals do not have these specialists) asked me if I was okay with blood. I’ve never had a problem with blood but I did take a moment to consider it would be coming from my daughter before saying no and that I would like to stay. Barb nodded and began dissecting Emilia’s umbilical cord in order to insert an intravenous (IV) line. Apparently this is the best site for premature babies to have an IV as the site is readily available and provides a direct route for live saving nutrition and medication. It also saves them any extra pokes which I can tell you will chip at your heart a bit each time, even if you like to pretend it’s made of stone. Blood samples were drawn from the IV line in order to check her blood gas levels and for a quick infection check.

Once that was done and Emilia was on some IV dextrose (sugary type of fluid to give her nutrition) things slowed down a little bit. I was told that a transport team had been called from the main hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) and were on the way. We took a moment to weigh Emilia which consisted of Barb holding her above the isolette, which has a built-in scale, and then lowering her gently back down. She was 1540 grams, or 3 pounds, 6 ounces! So small!

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Emilia’s weight on the isolette. I like that the designers took the time to make the friendly giraffe graphic.

With things having slowed down I was given an opportunity to hold Emilia, along with her heated blanket, for the first time. I’ll admit I was a little concerned. My siblings are quite a bit younger than me, so much so I’ve held my fair share of babies; this was something different. I couldn’t get over how small she was. Each perfectly formed little finger seeming to me a blazing exclamation point warning me how easily she could break. I stood there, lost in the smallness of her, until it occurred to me that oh yes, I still have a wife.

I asked Barb if she wouldn’t mind checking in on Lauren and telling her Emilia was doing okay. I wanted to go to her myself but I didn’t want to put Emilia down until the transport team got there. About twenty minutes later, they arrived.

The team consisted of two paramedics and two nurses. The nurses were very polite and professional. I could tell they dealt mostly with parents who were in the stages of total meltdown, a group which by my own estimation I didn’t feel quite a part of, by how they calmly explained each and every thing they did to Emilia as they did it. After some discussion they decided she was stable and we moved together over to where mom was waiting. I was told later that it is rare that premature babies as young as thirty weeks are allowed to visit their mother before transport so I took that as a sign of how strong she was.

After their short visit Emilia was placed in her pod and with that she was off. I stayed with Lauren for a few minutes and we caught up on what had just happened. We were parents! This really just happened! With Lauren’s labour only having lasted just over an hour, and the fact that she didn’t receive any pain medication, the doctor estimated she could be discharged within a few hours. I decided I would go ahead to the NICU to be with Emilia. I gave Lauren a kiss goodbye, keenly aware that suddenly I had two women in my life to love, and ran out to our car to give chase.

Well, that will have to do for now. I keep trying to catch up but I feel like so much has happened there is a lot to the story. I’ll do my best to get up to the present day by the end of the week!

So long for now,

Damon

Here she comes!

While we waited Lauren’s cramps started to get stronger and quicker. We ended up sending each other text messages as a way of timing them.

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Our scientific contraction measurement system.

I think we both started to realize this didn’t seem right at about the same time. Lauren asked me to go get the nurse and some water. When I found the nurse she was already on her way with an IV; her suggestion that we hold off on water until the doctor got here sending up a red flag.

Lauren was put back on the contraction monitor and set up with her IV. The doctor was apparently still busy with a cesarean but we were assured she would be there shortly. Together we both watched (me from quite a bit more comfort) as this time the TOCO graph showed huge spikes every time Lauren had a contraction.

When the doctor arrived it didn’t take her long to want to take a look down below and see what was happening. As a precaution she ordered an injection of steroids first, in case this was premature labour, which if the labour could be delayed 24 hours would allow the baby’s lungs to develop faster. She then tried to have a look to see if Steve was responsible for the bleeding but her speculum was hit with resistance (not pleasant for Lauren). She apologized and tried again with the same result. A finger check from the doctor confirmed what we feared, Lauren was five centimetres dilated, the baby was coming and it was her head which was blocking the speculum.

I felt my heart plummet into my stomach. We were only at seven months! I didn’t know anything about premature babies? Was this too early? Were we losing the baby? Lauren’s eyes reflected my own and I could see them beginning to well. Thankfully our doctor was amazing told us right away that babies could be born this early without lasting issues. Her calm demeanour did a lot to help bring us back from the panic we were heading towards. She explained softly that the hospital we were in was not set up for premature births and we would need to be transferred.

She said she would have to go make the arrangements right away but before leaving she asked Lauren if she needed any pain medication. Lauren, thinking that labour usually takes quite a bit of time and not being in that much pain other than the mildly painful contractions, declined. Lauren had always intended to get an epidural but we thought there was still time for that once we got to the next hospital (BIIIIG mistake).

The doctor left behind a resident to take a full history from Lauren. I stood there, Lauren’s hand clenching mine as her contractions worsened minute by minute, as Lauren did her best to answer the resident’s questions. It didn’t take long before Lauren was asking for pain medication, medication which unfortunately the resident wasn’t authorized to approve. Nurses returned shortly to get Lauren on some magnesium through her IV (apparently this helps protect baby’s brain). I switched sides to give the nurse more room which is when it happened, splooosh.

A wave of liquid came out of Lauren and covered the bottom half of the gurney (Lauren tells me this feeling is amazing and a relief from the contractions). I knew right away from the sudden uptick in the speed of both nurses that this was going faster than anticipated. One nurse called for the doctor and the reply came that the doctor was unavailable again. Her partner checked Lauren herself. “She’s fully dilated, we need to get upstairs.”

All of a sudden we were off. Lauren’s contractions had taken a turn for the worse and I could tell she was in a lot of pain (so could my hand). I did my best to stay at her side as we sped down the hallways of the hospital with her bed, Lauren groaning in pain and surprised onlookers dodging out the way. The nurses did their best to try to keep her calm, asking her to remember her breathing and focus. I didn’t say anything at the time but part of me was thinking WHAT BREATHING, OUR PRENATAL CLASS WAS NEXT WEEK!

Inside the elevator I noticed Lauren’s hand reach down between her legs. The nurses were telling her repeatedly not to push and Lauren was saying she wasn’t but the baby was just coming. Lauren had a blanket over her so I asked what she was reaching for. A nurse told me women just reach where it hurts; however, I learned from Lauren later that she was actually holding the baby’s head and trying to keep her inside!

The elevator ride seemed an eternity but when we reached the second floor we were whisked down the hallway and into a delivery room. We couldn’t have gotten there with a moment to spare. Lauren’s bed wasn’t even completely in the room when the doctor came rushing in. The doctor called out for some gloves but it was too late, Emilia was here. The doctor caught her in her bare hands and started apologizing while the army of nurses and other medical staff started working in a frenzy. I was told that normally the dad was offered the opportunity to cut the umbilical cord but in this case there wasn’t time. Naturally I didn’t complain. I recall Lauren crying at the time about the loss of Emilia’s cord-blood which he hadn’t had time to arrange the preservation of. It seems like an absurd thing to think about but at the time it seemed incredibly important.

I looked down at where my too-small daughter was being held above the table. She seemed too small, too frail, her tiny body perfectly formed but to my eyes not yet suited for this world. Then she cried. Lauren sagged backwards with relief and I felt the ball of fear that had clenched inside myself loosen. A portable premature baby table (an isolette, it basically has a heater and other medical devices needed to take care of premature or other babies)  was wheeled into the room and Emilia was transferred there, although not before holding her up for mom to see quickly. The army of nurses descended on Emilia again and we were told she needed to be moved for treatment. I looked from Emilia to Lauren, who herself looked pale and in shock on her bed, and felt my heart tear a little bit. Lauren told me to go with Emilia and I told her I would be back as soon as I could.

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Emilia Rose in her isolette just after birth, born March 2, 2017, at 11:52 a.m., 3lbs, 6oz.

Well, my turn for some kangaroo care (you hold the baby skin-to-skin) so mom can take a break. More later!

 

“This is happening now…”

As a way of introduction my name is Damon. I am in my thirties, have a job with the government (at which I met my lovely wife Lauren), and was once the proud parent of nothing more than two cats and a dog. I’ve been described as a bit “organizationally obsessive” so when I heard the above words from the doctor my head took a bit of a spin.

The morning had started out normal enough. Lauren, who was at this point thirty weeks pregnant, was getting ready for work when she casually mentioned that she had a bit of  light bleeding. We had some previous issues with bleeding related to a polyp, embraced into our lives and named Steve, so at the time I wasn’t too concerned. After she took the dog out for a quick walk around the block, the bleeding then worsening, we decided we had better take a trip to the hospital.

Things proceeded in much the way they had during our last visit (whereupon we chanced to meet the aforementioned Steve). We attended the registration desk, were brought into the obstetrics assessment room, and then hooked up to the nice monitor which let us hear baby’s heartrate. We figured it had to be Steve acting up so we weren’t worried, the news from the nurse that the doctor was busy this morning with three cesarean births was met with nothing more than smile a nod.

Lauren was taken off the monitor after about thirty minutes. The nurse told us the baby was fine and the cool TOCO graph (otherwise known as a contraction monitor) showed nothing of concern. When the nurse slipped off to deal with other patients we settled in to await the eventual arrival of the doctor. How naïve we were. I remember sitting there, the sounds of women in the beginning stages of labour around me, and intimating to Lauren that she was probably glad she still had some time before she would have to share that experience. Little did we know that our daughter had other plans.

After a few minutes Lauren started complaining of menstrual-like cramps. Neither of us knew anything about labour so we promptly did what any information-age person does; we started frantically googling for possible answers. Pre-term labour, Braxton-hicks contractions, ligament pain; all of there were posed as possible solutions. Both of us were pretty sure it couldn’t be labour, it was way too early, and besides, Lauren’s pregnancy had been flawless so far (with the exception of lovable polyp Steve of course). How could it possibly be labour?

Well, more to come… the baby beckons!