Thursday, October 23, 2014


Emmett Scott Allan was born 5 days early on Sunday, August 31st at 5:36 in the morning. We barely made it (he was delivered naturally-- which was not our plan-- in triage)! We were only in the hospital for 5 minutes before he was in our arms! But at least we didn't have him in the car or the lobby! He weighed 8 lb 1 oz

That is the synopsis. Here are the details:

I had been having contractions every evening since Thursday. In fact, they were so intense on Thursday that I put my toiletries in the already-packed hospital bag because I just knew I was going to wake up in labor. I had 4 distinct dreams that night that I WAS in labor and was sorely disappointed each time I got up (to go to the restroom) to discover that it was only a dream and I was NOT in labor. Same deal with contractions on Friday and Saturday. So you have to understand that when I woke up at 3:50 am on Sunday morning with contractions, my first thought was NOT "let's get to the hospital!". Actually it was more like, "hmmm. let's see if this does anything today."

Well, within 20 minutes I knew I would have a baby that day. So my second thought was, "well, it is only 4:15 am. I'll be in labor for a couple of hours. Might as well let Eric sleep a little while he can and I'll just labor a little here before rousting him." By 4:30 I was unable to keep quiet and Eric woke up. So, I texted our middle-of-the-night babysitter. Had to wake her up and all, so while we waited I went ahead and ate breakfast and brushed my teeth and everything. The contractions were painful, but still very far apart, so I thought we had time. 

We left the house at 5 am and discovered our tank was empty. We went ahead and stopped for gas. Contractions were painful, but STILL very far apart, so I wasn't worried about the stop. I texted family members that we were on our way to the hospital during our 25 minute drive down there. We pulled up to the hospital and Eric asked if I wanted to be dropped off while he parked the car. I said I'd rather stay together. (good thing too or he would have missed Emmett's arrival!) So we parked the car about 5:27 or so. Everything was still manageable. 

When I stood up to get out of the car, things were not so manageable. I could barely walk. Eric practically carried me to the bridge between the lot and the hospital, then he ran and found a wheel chair for me. The contractions were REALLY painful, but still at least 3 minutes apart, so the thought never occurred to me that maybe we were cutting it close. 

When we got up to triage, the receptionist seemed to share my feelings. I heard her say later that I was so "calm and coherent, she never thought"... Well anyway, we spent a couple minutes at the reception desk filling out paperwork. Yes, PAPERWORK. I stood up from signing... and felt recognizable "pressure". I was surprised! I think I even remarked "that's a lot of pressure to be feeling already!" before the receptionist cheerfully and unhurriedly gave me a gown and showed us to a triage room "where the doctor will come check you to see just how far along you are, sweetie". 

Right about then the intensity picked up about 10-fold. Everything happened so quickly. I was in the midst of very painful contractions, but Eric managed to help me undress and get the gown on. I stood up so he could tie the back... and then I peed all over the floor. Or so I thought. I was crying and apologizing over and over (certain that I had just peed all over Eric's feet or something equally embarrassing) but Eric took one look and assured me that was not pee. Apparently it was pink tinged. My water had broken. 

The contractions were awful at this point and Eric's proddings to get on the bed were met with me saying "I can't, it hurts to much to lay down!" But he was firm and persistent, practically putting me on the gurney (not bed, I should be clear) himself when I was deliriously struggling to get up there. That's when the fire started. 

Now I did not intend to deliver naturally, so I had not done any research. Apparently this is a common feeling often described as "ring of fire" when the baby has entered the birth canal. That name does NOT do it justice. I was certain there was a flame torch on my skin, inside my skin, on my legs... it was EXCRUCIATING. Nothing I've ever experienced has been so painful. and I was terrified. Of the pain. Because I didn't know how much worse it could get. (Lucky for me, that WAS the worst. As you'll see, we weren't in pushing mode for long at all) 

Eric took a peek between my legs as soon as he got me up on the gurney and said later he could see Emmett's hair. I was just screaming by this time, so Eric stuck his head out the door and saw doctors and nurses scurrying around in Labor and Delivery, trying to locate the woman on their floor giving birth at that moment, unaware of the fact that I was actually in triage still. Because the receptionist had not even had time yet to enter us in the system. They didn't even know we were at the hospital. Eric called out that we were here, in triage, and a baby was coming RIGHT NOW. That only took 10 seconds for him to accomplish, but when he came back in the room, Emmett's head was out. 

I could feel his head come out and that worried me. Because I couldn't see what was happening, there wasn't a doctor there yet, and what if the umbilical cord was wrapped around his neck? I know Eric is a doctor, but if something went wrong I didn't want that to be on him. So at this point I was holding Emmett in. As soon as I saw a flicker of movement at the curtain, I knew a doctor had arrived and I just let him go. He popped right out. And just like that the pain was gone. I never pushed. Quite the opposite, actually. :)

Needless to say, I was in shock. So was Eric. (He says he held it together while I was screaming and he was the only one with me, but as soon as the medical team arrived, he pulled up a chair next to me because he was a little woozy.) So, shaking all over, pleased to be holding my boy, but honestly just in disbelief that all of THAT actually happened, I was informed that the time of delivery was 5:36. Time in the hospital, about 5 minutes. 7 if you count the parking garage. Quite an adventure! I guess Emmett was just in a hurry to join us!

I am proud to say I did it all by myself, naturally, I mean (since I wasn't alone-- couldn't have done it without Eric by my side). Though I have to admit I'd prefer an epidural next time. Interestingly, I discovered that my tolerance for contraction pain must be very high, but I definitely don't have a high pain tolerance for the actual delivery. Wooh, if I can not do that again, that would be great! Good news is that I no longer need to fear natural child birth. I know I can do it if I have to. 

So that is the story! Exciting, eh?

Anyway, Emmett is healthy, recovery has been great for me, we were home by middle of the day on Labor Day, Eric took a couple days off since my mom didn't get here til Thursday and we both loved the time to cuddle and get to know our little man. The girls adore him, he nurses like a champion, and makes the most adorable snorting noises when he is ready to eat (mostly because he seems to be congested more often than not)! We are so blessed!
 Emmett 4 days old
 these precious portraits were taken by my talented MIL... THANK YOU!!!!
 The girls LOVE their brother

Everyone getting in on the snuggle action. Mama Allan and her magic spankings could put this boy to sleep almost instantly.
Grandma Sugar arrived just in time to catch the HEINOUS cold that Gwen shared with the whole family. We were all exhausted!
 Caroline maintains that NOTHING is quite as exciting as a newborn brother!
 Gwen tries very hard to be a good big sister.
Grandpa got to come for a very brief visit, but made sure to get lots of Emmett snuggles during that short time! 
While Eric spends much more time holding the boy or helping Emmett get some shut eye, I just love this one of my two boys sleeping side by side. ;)

Emmett regained his birth weight and then some by his 1 week appointment. At his 1 month appointment he was 11 1/2 lbs in the 83rd percentile. Quite a change from my 25% girlies! The good news is that his chubbiness also makes him a good night sleeper. 4-5 hour stretches are the norm (when he is not so congested that he gags on his boogers). Now that he is just a week shy of being 2 months, his grins are starting to be bigger and easier to get out of him. Love that boy!