IT's amazing...the birth of a child. I cannot even begin to describe the well of emotions felt in witnessing the birth of our son.
Calan Joseph was born at 7:57pm on February 3, 2010 at Saint Joseph's Hopsital in Denver, CO. He was 8 lbs. 5oz. and 20 inches long...every ounce and every inch pure beauty. He is truly perfect, and I am better just in knowing him for these few short hours.
His birth was certainly well thought-out. I dare not say planned, as we certainly had no intention of stealing his thunder...yet, we did have ideas, and as I sit on the other side, I am graced to say that although those ideals did become our reality, we never married them, for which I am so grateful.
We wished for Calan a natural, vaginal delivery, short of medicines and intervention. We desired to do it God's way. Yet, in some simple twist of fate, or a beautiful reminder, God desired to do this His way as well. And our "way" seemed to clash just a bit with the Divine way of our Maker. Lesson learned.
After his water breaking at about 1:30am on Monday, February 1st, we knew we were beginning this joyful yet awe-inspiring journey. Although attempting to sound poetic, it was nothing but, as Eric and I raced around our house trying to tie up lose ends, and launder the ends we couldn't tie. After all, this was Cal's home, and he deserved perfection...but perfection does not come easy to Laniers when you expect it 2 weeks early.
We called the doctor, and they said we needed to be off to the hospital. But, as Laniers can do, we opted out of that plan. We continued to clean, organize to get ready to meet our little man. We called again, and we were told to go right in. Yet, again, we opted out...and went Mass. It was the feast of the Presentation, an amazing day to begin this labor of love. We reflected on that reality, as we resolved that after Mass were going to heed the advice given to us, and head to the hospital. After a quick blessing, we headed right...to 7-11. Gotta have snacks for labor. Then right...to Einstein's. You have to have carb load for labor. Then on to Labor and Delivery.
When we got to the hospital, we spoke to the triage nurse midwife and told her that our water broke at 5am (small fib) but contractions were not yet regular. We asked if we could head home and keep trying to jumpstart the process. Neko promised that she would pretend that she never saw us, as long as we were back within a few hours, and then we were off. We spent the afternoon walking the neighborhood, having random contractions, hoping. All that hoping left us hungry, so we stopped at Park Burger for a quick bite and a little white wine. As twilight loomed, so too did the clock and we were once again off to meet our son.
We checked in, and triaged. Indeed, water had broken, yet contractions were slow and irregular. They sent us up to our room, and upon donning the fabulous hospital gown, we presented our birthplan to our awesome nurse, Kat. When we reread the plan, knowing full-well the realities of water breaking, looming infection, and the 24 hour timeline post membrane rupture, we realized that most of our plan would be null and void. In went the IV (not a small feat) and on went the Pitocin. Tethered, we spurred onwards, carrying the loss of a natural birth on the hope of meeting Calan.
The contraction started off small, but regular. Yet, the masochistic reality was, they Piticin was to induce agony, and agony would produce results. After 8 hours on the Pit, they finally checked dilation. Assuming that we must have been dilated to at least 3 cm by now, we were shocked at hearing we were 1/2 cm dilated and only 80% effaced. We upped the Pit, and continued to do so until the contractions became extremely uncomfortable...which we were sure would produce results. Yet, again, we were maybe at 1cm...only 9 more to go. They continued to up the Pit, and we went well into the 60ml per hour...the usual max. Although speech was limited, and contractions every two minutes, we were still at a standstill. Up, up, up went the Pit. To 108 ml per hour. My response...epidural.
Ahhhhhh...sweet relief. 8 more hours, no more progress. 4 more hours, 1/2cm progress. 2 more hours...dreaded word...C-section. We had seen three shift changes, enough to have one of our docs, Dr. Keppler, go home, and return... and it was time to talk about surgical intervention. Dr. Ballenoff entered the room, felt for Cal's head, confirmed our lack of progress and also mentioned his compromising position and we made the decision. It was time to meet Calan...
After 45 minutes of asking questions, and crying with Dr. Ballenoff, we were off to the O.R. Scared? Yep. Anxious? Yep. Excited? Yeah, that too.
The operating table was very thin, leaving only enough room for the docs and me. Anesthesia began, as did my nerves, and we were off. Attaching the arm plates to the side of the table was, perhaps, the most incredibly meaningful moment of the entire labor. Stretching myarms straight out to the their sides, I was laid out...as Christ on the Cross, preparing to sacrifice my body for the life of my son. It was strangely peaceful. Eric sat eagerly next to me, holding my hand and my heart...
Roughly ten minutes into the surgery, I feel a large push and then heard a loud cry. He was here!! Calan Joseph entered the world at 7:57pm on February 3, 2010...crying and completely perfect!!! He was lifted up over the sheet, and my tears began to flow. After 41 hours, we got to meet the fulfillment of our Vocation, and it was WELL worth the wait!!
Sitting here on the eve of our discharge from St. Joe's, I must say it is bittersweet. Taking our little man home to where he will spend the first few years of his life (maybe more, if we don;t move) is such an incredible blessing! But I struggle with the thought of leaving this place. For a gal who was once scared of hospitals, it is a sobering thought.
This building, moreso, these people, participated in the single most profound event in both Eric's and my life. It is so unfathomable to me that they will be here one minute, and will most likely be gone just as quickly as they came. Leaving us forever changed. It is sad...I feel saddened by the fact that I will not be awakened to the sound of Dr. Phil's calm voice at 4am "to check-in" and distraught that LaurAnn will not be at home with us to carry on jokes about leprechans. It sounds so strange, yeah? But it is true. These people became of vital importance to us, and will be gone in an instant.
I guess all that I can say is how truly grateful I am to them for this experience that has brought forth the life of the most beautiful being I could ever imagine. Thank you for your service of us, your care and concern and thank you for changing us for the better! Calan would thank you too, but he is currently dreaming.