Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Welcome to the World, Owen!

Okay, I am finally blogging the story of Owen’s birth…
Owen Marshall Stapf 7lbs 4oz 20 inches
It all began on a warm July day (insert magical, hazy imagery here) when I began having contractions every 8 minutes. Since I was not scheduled for a C-Section until August 4th and that was a week early AND my doctor assured me that it is very uncommon to go into labor before a scheduled C-Section, imagine my surprise.

Baby Girl's Room...all packed up now!

I called the hospital that evening and spoke with my Doctor who was on-call in the E.R. and I assured her that I did NOT want to come in that evening. She told me if they became more frequent or more intense to call back, otherwise take a Benadryl and go to bed. I one upped her and took a Benadryl and a Tylenol PM. I slept pretty well, but every time I woke up I would have another contraction.

The next morning, Andrew was supposed to go fishing with our neighbor and good friend Todd (who Ian calls Dot because he can’t say Todd). Andrew offered to back out but I didn’t want to over-react and told him to go ahead…especially since he assured me they would only be 30 minutes away (liars) and would have cell reception.
Talking to Andrew on the phone and telling him to get home...I may have been a wee bit misty eyed and a wee bit panicked...

Later I got up and let’s just say more was going on then I thought…I told my mom to call Andrew because I thought I was losing my plug. She called and told him not to come yet but we may be going to the hospital soon and he may need to get back but she would keep him posted. Unfortunately for the guys they had only cast their lines about 4 times at this point… my bad…actually, Owen’s bad. Then I hopped in the shower and I was positive something more was going on so I told my mom to call Andrew and tell him to get back immediately. More than AN HOUR AND A HALF LATER Todd and Andrew finally showed up. Andrew kept calling and telling me to go to the hospital (which FYI is about 40 minutes away) but I told him I was NOT going without him and I wanted him to shower so he didn’t smell like fish on our special day. It’s all about priorities people.

We finally got to the hospital and they hooked me up to a fetal monitor and sure enough they were anywhere from 6-10 minutes apart, “Yes! I’m not crazy!” I thought. However…they weren’t sure if they wanted to keep me or send me home. If you are FORCED to have a C-Section because of hospital policy then I personally think it is completely unfair to have to experience ANY labor! 4 hours of monitoring later I BURST into tears in front of a nurse because I thought, what if they send me home? I know I will end up back here, only this time we will be rushed and I really don’t want another horrific emergency situation like we had when Ian was born. The nurse went on the offensive for me and called my Doctor and then came back and said, “Dr. Gustafson is trying to assemble a team”. (Gotta love small towns...)

Daddy and Owen Marshall

A little while later the nurse came back and said, “Okay, you are scheduled for a C-Section today at 4:30pm”. At this point I had been having contraction still about 8 minutes apart for 24 hours. I was relieved and nervous and SOOO glad my mom had surprised me and flown in 4 days early!! Thank goodness she was there to take care of Ian and help us with everything.

Mommy and Owen

Soon after the nurses announcement they began prepping me for surgery. I may have been more nervous for the Spinal than the C-Section! They brought me into the O.R. and the head nurse, Dan and the anesthesiologist rolled me on my side and gave me the shot. It hurt. But it wasn’t as terrible as some others I’ve had.

Immediately they made me straiten my legs and switch beds so that my brain would know my legs weren’t still bent before I lost all feeling. Then my ribs began to tingle and slowly it spread downward until I couldn’t feel anything. I tried with everything I had to wiggle my toes (you know, just to make sure it was really working!) and to move my knees, but they were dead as could be. What a bizarre feeling. Finally, they let Andrew back in and everyone began getting into place. 3 doctors (one for baby, two for me), 4 nurses, the anesthesiologist, Andrew and myself – it was a packed room.
Looking over his little boy

Everyone asked what we were having and I confidently said, “a girl.” Then I told everyone how we had heard that the hospital had been wrong twice in the past six months about the sex of a baby and I may have said something along the lines of… "if this is boy we will sue!" To which the entire O.R. went dead quiet and I learned one should never say the word “sue” before a surgery to a bunch of doctors! I tried to cover after Andrew squeezed my arm and said, “Or at least I will have a strong talking to with the tech that did my ultrasound”.

The anesthesiologist then looked down at me (he and Andrew were by my head and the only people I could see) and said, “I’m happy, you know why I’m happy?” To which I said, “Why?” “Because they have already made the incision and begun”, he said. Then I was happy because I hadn’t felt a thing! A little while later the pressure began. I found out later I had a band of scar tissue that they couldn’t get the baby past. So this nurse was pushing (and I mean PUSHING) down just under my ribs to force the baby out. Andrew said that at one point she actually came up off her feet. Today, 11 days later is the first day I’m not aching where she pushed.
Memere and Owen

The anesthesiologist grabbed Andrew’s elbow and made him stand up to see over the curtain so that he wouldn’t miss seeing our baby for the first time. Andrew said, “I see her head! Ohh.. she’s so cute Brittany”… (again, I am looking up at Andrew’s face) then I see the he looks confused for a second – he kind of cocked his head to the side and furrowed his brows… then he GASPED and his eyes got huge and he put his hand over his mouth and nose. I said, “What? What?!!” although, oddly enough I knew it wasn’t something really bad… I think a part of me sort of knew from the puzzled look.

Ian and his little brother (who he is still referring to as "she")

The anesthesiologist looked at the baby and looked at Andrew, looked at the baby again and looked at Andrew and said, as serious as could be, “You need to tell your wife”. Other than hearing the baby cry once it was COMPLETELY SILENT in the O.R. – NO ONE was talking! Andrew said, “the baby is fine, it looks great, but… it’s… a boy.” Then, all the emotion I thought I would have at the birth of our child was sucked out of my body and all I could feel was SHOCK! I think I said some things like, “but we have a girl car seat! And a girl room!! And everyone has spent so much money on girl clothes!! And Rachael has been working of girl accessories for months!”

Owen was having a hard time breathing in the mean time, so Andrew went to be with the baby as they sucked out his lungs and worked on him. Again, other than the things they had to say to carry out the surgery, it was SILENT. Kind of like a black cloud settled over the Operating Room. I think everyone was worried I would freak out and start thrashing around or yelling “I sue you and I sue you and I sue you!” About ten minutes went by, which I needed to process everything. Part of me felt like I had been bonding with a little girl this whole time and I didn’t know this boy they were about to show me, but when they lied him down next to me and I kissed his little head I was fine. Until they took him away and then the freak out continued as I thought of all the people we had to tell – first and foremost, my mom - who had her own freak out!

Daddy and his little men

But here is the one really special thing about what happened. The first 19 weeks of my pregnancy, before I had the ultrasound, I told Andrew and my family that I KNEW we were having a boy! I felt as strongly as I’ve felt about anything that a little boy was waiting to come into our family. I told Andrew I just felt like I knew him and that if I was wrong, I would NEVER trust my intuition or spiritual inklings again! I do not claim to have strong spiritual insight into many things – it is VERY rare I feel 100% confident about something along these lines, but I was sure it was a boy. Until the ultrasound that is… Andrew and his parents can testify as to how shocked I was. And I thought, “I am in idiot – I have no more insight into matters of the future or answers to prayers or spiritual matters than… I don’t know… a duck.” (I’m on Oxycodone right now and duck is the first thing that comes to mind).

And now, I LOVE that I have two boys – not sure we will have any more little ones, but for the time being, my family feels complete. Two boys sound just right. I think maybe I was more excited about the clothes, bedding (as you can see!) and accessories that went with a girl then in actually having a girl. Andrew, although he has always wanted a little girl, is THRILLED to have another boy! He adores his little boy and is a phenomenal dad. He thanks me everyday for giving him Owen and he may have said, “I think he is the greatest thing to ever happen to mankind” (in addition to Ian of course!) …. Which makes me laugh~

So, that is the story of Owen Marshall (middle name named after Rita’s father, her maiden name) Stapf. Not Mya Stapf or Anderson Stapf like we thought, but Owen – who rode home from the hospital in the girliest car seat you’ve ever seen.

Another FAV!!