Tuesday, July 22, 2003

Out She Comes! Part 5

When the doctor said, "Let's have this baby!" I was puzzled. I thought that's what we were already doing. What he really meant was that Jennie was going to start pushing. I don't remember if he increased the Pitocin dose or not -- come to think of it, he may have reduced it -- I can't remember for sure:

So, as a contraction started Jennie began to push. And push she did. I had never seen anyone go through labor before, but I'd heard that women show so much strength that it behooves a man to appreciate and respect her so much more.

Cindy was taping the labor, which we later determined to be about 21 minutes long. I can hardly imagine going through 21 minutes of pushing, but Jennie did. I recall Sue asking Cindy, toward the end of that 21 minutes, "Is that hair I see?" which I took to mean that Keisha was close.

After about 17 minutes, the doctor became concerned. Every contraction was beginning to affect Keisha's heartbeat. We weren't getting anywhere with the natural birthing, so he ordered a Caesarean section. An anesthesiologist came in to administer a "spinal" to Jennie, but she couldn't find the place in Jennie's back to inject the anesthesia. So the doctor ordered a "general" anesthetic, which would put Jennie to sleep.

Jennie was taken to an Operating Room, where they would perform the Caesarean. Because she was under a general anesthetic, I wasn't allowed in the room. I felt very saddened by it. Cindy, who manned the camera, asked me to comment on camera what was going on. I explained it to an older Keisha, who would later be watching this video.

Then I heard something that made me break into tears. I heard our baby crying behind me. Keisha was born at 10:42 PM, July 17, 1997! The nurse came out to get a port-a-crib thingy, which they would use to transport Keisha to the Transitional Nursery. She said that I could come in to see her. So Cindy handed me the camera.

Just minutes from being outside the womb, there she was: all wrapped up in cloths, crying. I was in awe. God's creation, which we'd waited for nine months, was here!

I followed the nurse to the Transitional Nursery, where I met Ms. Yvetta, the Transitional Nurse. She checked all of Keisha's vitals, and I was able to tape the whole event. It would be important, I knew, for Jennie and an older Keisha to see all of this. Yvetta gave Keisha her first bath, and Keisha cried when she got her hair washed. She still doesn't like getting it washed.

Then it was time for me to clean her umbilical cord. I was so nervous; I didn't want to hurt my baby or anything like that. Yvetta reassured me that everything was okay. Then I got to put her very first diaper on her. It was a little thing! But then again, so was my baby! Sort of. She weighed in at 7 pounds, 2-1/2 ounces, and 21 inches long.

After the Transitional Nursery, we took Keisha to go meet her Mommy, who was waking up in the Recovery Room. It was a beautiful event. I can remember holding our baby in my arms, just like it was yesterday.

Having a baby changes your life forever.

Entire series:

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