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Andrew Pollock

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Wednesday, 05 May 2010

Crazy few days

Here's why:

Zoe's birth

Zoe Dianne Pollock was born at 12:30pm PDT, at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital, via Caesarean-section.

Her birth weight was 2920 grams (6 lbs, 7 oz) and she's 49.5 centimetres (19.5 inches) long.

As for why she was born 11 days early than her previously scheduled early arrival...

Monday morning started off like any other normal Monday morning. I got up at 6am to go to the gym with Dan. I got home at around 8am. I asked Sarah if she'd felt any baby movement, and she said she hadn't. Even after some jiggling and a cold glass of orange juice, there was nothing.

Not wanting a repeat performance of what happened last time, we wasted no time in heading to Labour and Delivery to get things checked out. When we were nearly at the hospital, Sarah felt some small movement, so that was a relief.

When we got to the hospital, they performed a non-stress test as they have previously. They spent a good couple of hours with Sarah hooked up to the monitor, and then the on-call obstetrician asked us how we'd feel about just having the baby today.

I asked if there was anything particularly concerning about the NST, and the OB said that she (the baby) was doing marvelously now, but was "less than marvelous" when we first came in. I haven't had a chance since to ask her if there was anything untoward observed during the delivery.

Anyway, she (the on call OB) said that rather than have Sarah get stressed out for the following 11 days, she'd talked with our regular OB, and they felt that since she was at 37 weeks (and considered "full term") that it was okay to deliver at that point. At the end of the conversation, it was upgraded to a recommendation, rather than an option.

So so much for an attempt at VBAC. We got to the hospital at around 9am, and I think they/we made the decision to deliver at about 10:30am. I had enough time to race home and grab the camera and race back again, and the next thing I knew we were all in the operating room, and Zoe was being delivered.

It was amazing getting to see the "extraction". They dropped down the sheet that was blocking our view of the action right at the end, and I got to see (and photograph) Zoe's head and whole body being pulled out. She gave out a little cry, and Sarah and I totally lost it with relief.

Things were a bit of a blur after that. I got to come over and meet Zoe while they were weighing her and measuring her, and then they bundled her up and let me take her back to Sarah's head-end on the operating table, so Sarah could get a look at her.

Sarah handled this C-section better than last time. She didn't get any nausea, but she still got the itching and involuntary shivering, courtesy of the morphine.

While they were still putting Sarah's insides back in, Zoe and I went to the nursery, where they put her under a heater for a little while to warm her up a bit. Then it was back to the recovery room to have a proper meeting with Sarah.

Once Sarah was ready to move to the maternity ward, Zoe and I again returned to the nursery, where she got her first bath, had her umbilical cord trimmed some more, and her anti-theft device fitted to her umbilical cord clamp. Then it was off to the maternity ward. I think we were all in the maternity ward by 3pm.

After a little while, we managed to get bumped to a private room, which was a lot better than the shared room (the other bed was vacant, but just having more space made a big difference), and that's where we've been ever since.

I've stayed each night on the roll away bed, helping out with diaper (sorry Aussies, I've been here too long, and dealt with too many babies, I never think of them as "nappies" any more) changes, and burping and other miscellaneous tasks.

Monday night was okay. Tuesday was a bit rough. Sarah didn't get any sleep on Monday night, and the anaesthesia totally wore off and she was in a fair bit of pain. She slept better on Tuesday night, and today, the breastfeeding has been going well, and the post-operative pain is well and truly under control.

She's lost a bit of weight since delivery (as is to be expected). She was down to 5 lbs 14 oz (2664 grams) at last night's weigh-in, and at tonight's weigh-in she came in at 5 lbs 13 oz (2636 grams). So the weight loss is starting to plateau. We're already supplementing the breastfeeding with syringes of colostrum/milk that Sarah's pumped previously, so I hope the weight loss will have turned around by tomorrow night's weigh-in. The breastfeeding in general is going pretty well as of today. Mum and bub have both mastered the latch. I think it's just a matter of Sarah's milk coming in now.

I've brought forward my 7 weeks paternity leave (an excellent benefit Google offers) to start as of Zoe's delivery. Sarah's Mum arrives on the 19th for 4 weeks, which will be great. We expect to be discharged from hospital on Friday.

Luckily we were pretty much all ready for this happening a little bit earlier. We had our last baby classes on the weekend. The nursery is ready enough to bring a baby home to, so aside from Sarah's Mum being disappointed that Zoe's going to be a bit older when she first gets to see her, we're all good.

The WiFi in the hospital is great. We've already Skyped with both grandmothers and they've had a chance to see Zoe. We've had a steady trickle of visitors, and the whole baby routine is making the time go pretty quickly.

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