Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Clara Joyce Williamson Is Here!

I said that I'd keep everyone informed about our new addition and lo and behold she is here. Only a few days after my last post, on Sunday, October 6th she was born. The coolest part of the story is that she was born on my birthday, imagine that!

We'll Forever Share a Birthday.
There are so many emotions that come with having your first child and seeing her being born, but I'll try not to cry on the keyboard,lol. As soon as we found out that we were having a baby and I heard she'd be due here around October 8th I said, "Hey she could be born on my birthday." I didn't believe it would actually happen. I guess I can thank God for answering a small prayer that I might've put in back in January.

Wait, wait, wait, is what it feels like when you're waiting for your baby to be born. We've been fortunate to have been able to come back to the U.S. for Clara's birth, which allowed us to be close to family and possibly more importantly, state of the art medical care.
I suppose I should tell the entire birth story since it is really interesting. Of course by Oct. 6th Julie and I were both ready for Clara to come out and be with us. The day started just like any other day here in Wadsworth, Ohio, at her parents. When we first woke up Julie said to me, "Clara has something to tell you. I think she wants to share your birthday." I thought, well cool, but not much more than that, so Julie's father and I set out tinkering with our cars until around noon.When we came in I checked on Julie to see how she was and she said, "I think we should probably call the midwife and see if we should go to the hospital because I don't feel good." Of course being a man I asked her if I could eat lunch first and call afterwords and she begrudgingly agreed.

By the time lunch was finished she was having contractions close to three minutes apart so I set off in our temporary "trans" to Akron City Hospital, around 25 minutes away. (As a side note, Julie hates the station wagon I bought because she said we don't need one with only one child. She agreed on it since it's only for a few months.Also I paid $1500 dollars for it and it only has 105,000 miles on it. Try to get that in St. Kitts and you'd be spending 5 grand easily.)

By the time we arrived she was having painful contractions. I could tell by the look on her face. We found a wheelchair and a kind gentleman helped us navigate the maze like hallways up to labor and delivery. He pushed the help button, picked up the phone, and told them, "Hey there's a lady out here that is having problems." and left.

Soon the automatic oak double doors opened up and a short dumpy nurse with Halloween springy bats on her head meandered out at the rate of a turtle. At that moment I thought, " Oh my God! If this is the service we're going to get then we're in trouble, because I've never delivered a baby but I will probably have to with this lady as our nurse."

I was immediately sent out to get a security tag while "turtle nurse" took Julie to who knows where. Once I got my tag I found that they had put Julie in Triage. What! I mean she was having Clara and even I know it was coming very soon. Julie went through a stage of transition in the triage room and I had to go out and tell "turtle nurse" and two doctors that she needed help and now. The resident doctor checked Julie and realized she was dilated 7 centimeters! (For those of you who don't know, and I didn't either, 10 centimeters is completely dilated and ready for birth.) Reality finally hit them and "turtle nurse" went into action calling on her voice activated neck clip phone to a delivery room. The two of us unplugged the baby monitor that she painfully strapped over Julie's belly and we just pushed the entire bed to a delivery room.

Since Julie was a first time mom everyone thought that we were in for a long haul or that she was overreacting, but two things told me it wouldn't. 1. Julie's mother had really quick births and 2.) Julie is as tough as nails and when she's hurting, something really is going on.

Thankfully once we were there we had two fantastic, friendly, and competent RN nurses and a crew of others who kicked into gear. I'll mention I did stay fairly calm and collected on the outside, but that's not what was going on in the inside. The entire drive to Akron I felt sort of out of body as I tried not to speed and navigate traffic and that feeling didn't leave for quite a while. (I can't even imagine what Julie was thinking or feeling when contractions were taking place.)

I do know that they were asking her lots of information questions and she'd poke me to answer the questions and once she did swing at me in pain. The nurses paged the anaesthetist and soon he was there to give Julie her epidural shot. What a scary looking process and of course I had to watch. First he numbs the area then jambs in a super long catheter with a hook on the end and feeds some wire into it. Then he hooks up the medicine and pushes it in. Ouch! The question was whether or not the epidural would kick in before Clara came. It did.

OUCH! Courtesty:
The other question was whether or not the midwife was going to make it there before Clara showed up. She did too, but only had to be there for about an hour. Soon enough Julie pushed (only for 20 minutes), Clara came out, I cut the cord, which is a scary process itself when the baby is kicking around, and Clara was crying. A feeling of awe, happiness, and completeness filled me.

Yep, Clara Joyce Williamson weighed 6 pounds 13 ounces and was a tall 19 1/2 inches long. She was born at 3.28 p.m. only a few hours after I was born on the same day 35 years ago. She had all fingers and toes and looked like a perfect mixture between the two of us. What do you think?

My favorite picture so far of Clara.
The entire experience was a whirlwind. Evidently Julie had been "in labor" from about 6 a.m. until 3.28 p.m. Immediately Clara was a hit with everyone, including her proud parents, and both sides of grandparents, who all came to see her at the hospital.

We stayed two days and we were released. I'll tell you that those car seats aren't as easy to hook up as you'd think.

Proud Parents
Now we've just been enjoying every minute with our new addition. So far she has been to Target, Giant Eagle, and on a few baby stroller rides around the neighborhood. If you count the feats she accomplished while in Julie's belly you can add: Rode a scooter a lot, Swam the St. Kitts-Nevis Channel, Climbed a Volcano, Ran a 5K race, Toured Ireland, Rode a horse, and a few more I'm sure I'm forgetting.

Channel Swim

Volcano Hike
5K Race
Cliffs of Moher, Ireland
Horseback Riding

Hot Springs in Nevis. That's why Julie's not in the water.

We both believe Clara will be an active little girl and I can't wait to share St. Kitts with her. So if you see us out don't be afraid to say hi. We'll be back in December in St. Kitts. You never know she could be the next Island Babble writer.