As Mom and new baby sleep, I thought I would continue my Diary of a Delivery with the second and final part (thank God!).
If you read yesterday’s post then you’ll know that I signed off the computer at 11:12 p.m. (If you didn’t you can read it here.) I should have gone to bed. Instead, I thought I would sneak in a game or two of MVP Baseball 2005. Stupid idea and let’s find out why!
Sunday, March 27, 2011:
3:17 a.m. – I wake up to what sounds like Lis having labor pains. I hear a lot of heavy breathing as she slides out of bed. I stay where I am.
3:38 a.m. – I wake up to the sound of more breathing and pacing. Stupid me! I decided to stay awake until 1 a.m. playing my Nintendo GameCube. I didn’t know this was going to happen so soon! Oh well, it was kind of worth it as Lukas went 4-for-5 with three home runs and seven RBI cementing his claim on the MVP race. Don’t ask.
4:45 a.m. – I text my Mom and sister-in-law letting them know that Lis is having contractions every four minutes and she seems to be in pain. I tried to ask her but she just groaned. I’ll take that as a yes.
4:48 a.m. – Funny how the sounds she is making now resemble the same sounds she made when she got into this mess nine months ago.
5:00 a.m. – Lis decides it’s time to go. She showers as I sneak in a 10-minute nap. When she gets out, she tells me I need to get ready. I take a lukewarm shower as we await my parents arrival.
5:30 a.m. – Mom (and Dad) arrived at the house. I give Mom the option to come with us or stay and wait for the kids to wake. She decides to come with us so I call Plan B. They says they are on their way. They’ll watch the kids before heading out to the hospital. Dad will leave shortly before them.
6:02 a.m. – We’re on our way to the hospital. Lis seems to be having contractions every two minutes apart. I’m hoping the baby doesn’t pop out on Highway 2. (Little did I know what lay ahead).
6:09 a.m. – Leaving Monroe passing the Arco. (This was in Mom’s notepad. What she failed to mention was the new Jack in the Box that just opened a week or so ago).
6:45 a.m. – We enter the hospital. Only one of us is allowed in – not including Lis. Mom and I draw straws. I pick the small one and head in to support my wife. We go over the checklist of items that usually surprise the nurses: Blood transfusions (too many to count), the special antibody in her blood thanks to those transfusions, cancer, prior C-section because of low platelets, delivered the second child with no problems, allergy to Tegaderm.
8:35 a.m. – The nurses confirm Lis is in labor so we book a room one floor down and head to Room 320. It’s a nice room with a view of the parking garage. The doctor checks in with Lis and lets her know everything is going great.
8:48 a.m. – Dad, my brother, and his wife arrive with the kids and more importantly donuts. The anesthesiologist finishes the epideral with Lis. He may have stabbed her in the back five times (there’s a joke here about me stabbing her in the back fewer but since that has never happened it doesn’t really work) before getting it right or giving up and saying that it was right. Lis and I have questions about this. He was a nice dude but Mom, Lis, and I all agreed that the poking seemed to take some time. That coupled with later in the day Lis feeling pain she shouldn’t have felt make us think maybe something wasn’t done completely right.
10:26 a.m. – Our first non-Johnson guest arrives. It’s my good buddy Ian Barnes. Ian and I met working at the Boys & Girls Club in Monroe back in 1996 – I think. Wow…we’re at 15 years now! Ian was my first and only roommate and is explained best by saying “George Costanza”. He’s a good dude and he played topper at my wedding giving a nice speech after my brothers both spoke. Ian’s primary concern right now is that he was the first of my friends to arrive. He thinks this should move him above Josh in the rankings.
10:28 a.m. – Lis asks the nurse if she is having contractions. She must be feeling good. Lis asks the nurse for grapes. Supposedly, I was going to peel these grapes and feed them to her. Luckily, they never arrived.
10:30 a.m. – Lukas has an explosion in the men’s room. I think he’s got a mix of his Dad’s nerves and his Mom’s unwillingness to hold it in. Not pretty.
10:35 a.m. – Lis is getting her hair braided. First-class service!
10:55 a.m. – Dad and I feel like we just cleaned up a crime scene. We calmed down Lukas. We put clothes inside of trash bags, inside of trash bags, inside of trash bags. I scrubbed down everything. We soaped and sanitized everything. As we finish up two dudes walk in. We look back…there is no sign of evidence. Let’s hope this doesn’t play out later in life, though it was nice to have my Dad there as a co-conspirator. Lukas whispers to us, “Don’t tell Mom.”
Noon – The doctor pops in and decides to pop the water balloon inside of Lis. Things seem to be progressing nicely. She’s at 8 cm. This thing looks like it’ll be here within the hour.
12:15 p.m. – Dad, my brother and Lukas escape to go get lunch at Burger Stop.
12:40 p.m. – Ian and Mom strike up the most fascinating conversation of the day – peeing in a public restroom. I was about to go into detail but … do we really need to?
1:00 p.m. – There’s always the question of who’s going to be in the room when Lis gives birth? Just me? Do we include my Mom? We included my Mom when Lia was born so she was granted a free pass this time around. I thought it might be nice to ask our sister-in-law. She and my brotherhave done a lot for us this past year, helping with the kids, coming over every Tuesday to hang out with us so I thought I would ask if she would like to be in the room. Her face lit up, turned red and she said she’d be honored to be in the room with us.
1:10 p.m. – False alarm. She’s not ready yet. We all wait.
2:00 p.m. – The doctor comes in to do the hourly check up on Lis. Lis is still at 8cm and her contractions have calmed down. They are not as hard as they were or should be. This causes a concern for the doctor. The doctor is going to give Lis’s body one more hour to do what she does. If nothing progressed then there would be two options.
Option A) Give her Pitocin, a drug that would increase strength of her contractions but, because of her prior C-section, also causes a bigger risk of having a uterine rupture. If she has a uterine rupture then she would need an emergency C-section, which is a much bigger concern because of her prior blood/cancer issues. Lis would need a special type of blood that carries an antigen and is not found in blood banks near you but has to be specially ordered.
Option B) Just skip straight to a C-section, which is something Lis did not want to do. We all know what a C-section is – surgery and a few more days in the hospital. The plus…can we tie her tubes while you’re in there (thus getting me off the hook)?
The doctor gives us time to think about this. We sit in silence trying to figure out what to do. Meanwhile, a friend from church texted me saying that they are in the congregational meeting waiting to hear news. I had texted a few close family and friends at 7:45 that morning and it’s now seven hours later. The natives are getting restless. I tell our friend what the doc just said. He texts back and says they are stopping to pray for us. How cool!
2:35 p.m. – The nurse pops in and says we have a guest. It’s Ian, leaning up against the nurse’s desk. Like a little kid, Ian comes up from the lobby. Dad is pestering him with a toothpick. The chairs hurt his back. The room is a little tense and Ian thinks that it’s because of him being there. We fill him in and he becomes one of the ladies.
2:40 p.m. – I go downstairs to visit with friends and family, who have all arrived and been waiting for a while thinking that the end was near. Dad is on his phone; Lia is asking my sister-in-law 100 questions; It’s too much chaos for my mind at that time so I skip out on the fun and head back upstairs to the Room of Tension.
3:00 p.m. – The doctor pops in again, does the ol’ lube and poke and says Lis is at 9cm and that she seems to be progressing. He’ll give us another hour.
3:30 p.m. – Lis starts getting serious contractions and is in serious pain. Her hands are so tense (and numb) that the veins on her hands are bulging. She wonders why she’s feeling this pain (see: 8:45 a.m.) after all she’s had an epidermal and he’s refilled it twice already. Oops?
3:45 p.m. – Classic Ian! Ian pops his head in and we all shake our heads as if to say, “Not a good time.” Lis waves her tense hand in a, “Get the hell out of here!” motion and Ian quickly disappears.
3:50 p.m. – Lis grunts out, “I think I’m ready to push.”
4:03 p.m. – The doc checks her and … can’t feel the cervix! We’re ready to proceed. A few tears may have arrived as I thought about my belief in the power of prayer. Two hours ago, this didn’t look like a strong possibility. Our church family prayed and well …
4:05 p.m. – Mom, my sister-in-law, the doc, three nurses and an EMT learning how to do on-site deliveries all stare at my wife’s vagina.
4:13 p.m. – Levi Edward Johnson has arrived! Lis did great. It was only two forceful pushes and he was here! His head was turning as it was coming out of the canal. The doctor gave an explanation to my Mom about what was going on. I cut the cord causing blood to squirt like a B-action movie all over Lis’s face, the bed, the wall and part of the nurse. Oops! “That’s what happens when you let two men try to do something,” jokes the Doc.
4:25 p.m. – My Dad brings in Lukas and Lia to introduce them to their baby brother. Lukas is excited to see him. Lia’s not sure what to think. Later she was wanting to touch him and was saying that, “He’s a good baby.” My brother comes in followed by our pastor. He heard things were somewhat hectic so he thought he would drop by to represent the church. Pastor asks what his name is. “Oh…that’s right I should mention that to everyone…Levi Edward.” Edward is my dad’s middle name and mine. We gave Lukas Lis’s Mom’s family name of Stevanato. Lia is a Marie, after my Mom.
5:30 p.m. – The entire Johnson clan is here. The First Five, the daughter-in-laws, and now the four grandkids. Our little family has grown from seven to 12 within 2-1/2 years.
Since I don’t recall how everything else went down, I’ll summarize the rest of the night. Josh brought pizza for us so we all (minus Lis and Levi) went downstairs to eat. While we did that Levi got his first bath! Darnit! My tired family left around 8pm and Josh hung out until 9pm or so. I received a ton of congratulations via text and Facebook. It made me feel special.
Levi has been great! He’s quiet. He sleeps and eats a lot (that’s all they’re supposed to do at 20 hours right?) and is pretty alert. He came in at 9 lbs and 20.5 inches long. And he was eight days early! Yikes! Everyone loves to compare babies when they first arrive. For the first time in three tries all the comparisons are with me. He’s got a conehead, just like I did when I was delivered. In fact, that went through my mind when his head arrived first. I thought of my late-great Uncle Jeff comparing my cabeca (head) to a football and how Levi’s head was similarly shaped. Actually after looking at him longer I thought his head looked like Grandpa Simpson’s.
If you ask people that have kids what the best day of their life was they more than likely would say the birth of their kids. I thought this was cheesy at first. If you have multiple kids, would they all be your best day? Well yesterday (after Levi arrived) was a pretty darn good day. I got more emotional with the third one than I did with the first two. I will blame the long, long day and the mental and physical exhaustion it took on me. Lis’s family got to meet the baby just minutes after he was born via webcam – how cool is that?! It might sound funny but they often get lost in the shuffle because they are in Brazil. But this baby is as much a part of them (though this one looks like me while the other two resemble the Brazilians) as it is with us so it was special watching the happy Tia’s and Avo light up.