Delivery Room Surprise

Rocco Gavin Oliver

Rocco Gavin Oliver~Two Hours Old

I went into the hospital expecting to give birth to a big baby, weighing between eight and nine pounds. I was planning to name her Amelia Elizabeth Grace. Based on three ultrasounds, I was told that I was carrying a girl. Three different doctors at the end of the pregnancy estimated the birth weight to be over eight pounds. Taking into consideration the size of my first child, my birth weight, and the father’s birth weight, this seemed within reason. The baby’s father is Italian, with dark hair and eyes, so I envisioned a dark-haired baby girl.

I was admitted to Kaiser Foundation Hospital in San Francisco just after eleven o’clock at night on the 21st of December, after it was confirmed that my water had broken. My estimated due date was December 24th or 25th based on both my last missed period and the date of conception, so the baby was going to be two or three days early. My first contraction on the monitor came at 3:03 a.m. on Friday, the 22nd of December, 2006. I opted for natural child birth because of my horrible experience with an epidural during my first labor.  That is a topic for another blog. At 7:02 a.m., I was 10 cm and the doctor told me to push. I pushed twice on the next contraction at 7:03 a.m. The baby’s heart rate dropped sharply after that second push. My nurse yelled “The baby’s heart rate is down! Get that baby out on the next push!” When the next contraction came, I pushed with all my strength and the baby was born at 7:05 a.m. I saw a bright pink face and heard a strong cry. I couldn’t wait to see my baby and make sure she was healthy. As the doctor was suctioning the baby’s mouth, my nurse looked at me and said “You have a perfect, healthy baby boy!” If I’d been standing up, I would have fallen over. They took him over to weigh him and the scale read just six pounds and seven ounces! Then came the third shock when they cleaned him up and he had a head full of blond hair! Rocco Gavin Oliver was born at 7:05 a.m. on Friday, the 22nd of December, 2006 in San Francisco, California.

I had gone into the hospital expecting a very different baby. I was thrilled beyond words when I had a son. When I conceived at the beginning of April, we were trying for a boy. I had his name picked out, and I was sure that I was having a boy, so I purchased a lot of boy things during the first half of my pregnancy. After the results of my 20-week ultrasound, I packed up all my baby boy things and put them in the garage. Thankfully, I already had a gender neutral nursery, but when I brought my son home, his closet was full of pink newborn clothes, all washed and ready to wear *sigh*. It took me a few months to pack them all away, mainly because life was so busy with a newborn.

Thanks for reading ~ Sid

Published in: on February 1, 2009 at 10:54 pm  Comments (1)  
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Advanced Maternal Age

Eating Healthy ~ Living Well

When I first heard those words, “advanced maternal age,” I felt sick to my stomach.  What a truly offensive and vulgar term to use for a vibrant, healthy, fit woman in her thirties!  It was May 2006, and I was sitting in the office of a new obstetrician.  I was eight weeks pregnant and had just seen my little duck on an ultrasound for the first time, beating heart and all.  What a crushing blow to such an amazing experience to listen to this woman.  She went on to lecture me about genetic testing and recommended a very long list of tests.  When I declined without hesitation, she looked at me as if I were the most irresponsible, idiot on the planet and did not deserve to have a healthy baby.  She then had the audacity to tell me that my eggs were old and that I should not be taking this so lightly.  I was really rattled by this experience.  I never saw her again.  I continued my prenatal care with a different doctor whom respected my choices.  I kept telling myself that I was much healthier than I had been eighteen years earlier with my first child.  I was walking five miles every single day on hiking trails that gave me a great cardiovascular workout.  I started taking prenatal vitamins a full year before I became pregnant.  I had also lost about thirty pounds two years earlier and kept it off.  I really had never felt better and was taking great care of myself.  I understand that our eggs are older than we are, and that the majority of them are damaged.  I read that a perfectly healthy 25-year-old woman only has a 20% of conceiving each month because four out of five of her eggs are already unsuitable for fertilization.  Well, I got pregnant too quickly and too easily, but that is a story for another time.  I chose to have a positive attitude and tell myself that my healthy egg was fertilized because it was perfect and that my baby would be fine.  He would be healthy and I did not need any of those tests.  After reading about the odds of miscarriage from the invasive tests, there was no doubt in my mind that I was making the best decision.  Although not invasive or dangerous, I declined the maternal serum screening, which is just a blood test, and the nuchal translucency.  It simply tells you if there is an increased chance that your baby has a problem.  Because I was unwilling to do the invasive tests, including the chorionic villus sampling (CVS) or the amniocentisis, the blood test results would only cause me more worry and stress if anything negative was indicated.  I was not going to consider aborting, so why risk miscarriage?

Looking back on my pregnancy, I had nothing to worry about.  If only I’d had a crystal ball.  I worked full-time in a physically demanding job up until the night before I gave birth.  I continued walking five miles a day up until I delivered.  I never had heartburn.  I never had aches and pains.  I never had swollen ankles.  I passed the glucose test for gestational diabetes with flying colors.  I never went into premature labor.  I had a painful, but very fast labor and delivery with no epidural or pain medication.  I was up and ready to leave the hospital the same day I gave birth.  In one day, I shed every pound I had gained during the pregnancy and wore my pre-pregnancy jeans home from the hospital.

In the end, my Christmas baby boy was born several days early and could not have been healthier.  I did the best I could, kept a positive attitude, and the outcome could not have been better.

Thanks for reading ~ Sid

Published in: on February 1, 2009 at 10:26 pm  Leave a Comment  
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