February 26, 2004—9:30am: Sunday was looking deeply in my eyes, wishing I would have never touched her. Ever. I tried to hold her hand and comfort her, but she punctuated her feelings about my touch by gently but firmly attempting to break the small bones in my hand. I could no longer stand the pain, so I called the anesthesiologist to get an epidural. While she got the shot, I was required to leave the room—which I did—so I went to the waiting room where my brother-in-law, sister-in-law, nephew #1, nephew #2, father-in-law #1, mother-in-law #1, and mother-in-law #2 wait for word. (Yes, you read that right. All those people waiting in a very small room with the bad network television). Fun times.
February 26, 2004—9:32am: Sunday loves me again, but I was still a little shy about holding her hand. The epidural was particularly effective, almost shutting off Sunday’s vascular system. Apparently, the epidural is not supposed to be administered to someone lying flat in bed. Thus, the numbing power of the drug traveled north of her chest, which caused the difficulty in breathing. Adjustments were made and she breathed freely again.
February 26, 2004—10:00am through 2:00pm: I traveled back and forth between the waiting room and the delivery room shuttling Sunday’s family members, making sure that the order of the visits coincide with the expectations of the hierarchy of the power structure in the family….ok, I just made sure that certain people did not have to attempt small talk in the hall on the way to the delivery room. The entire group—now friends and family—seemed to be getting along swimmingly. To be honest, I didn’t know how they are holding up so well. It was my child and I had moments where I just wanted to go home and shut the door and never come out. Nevertheless, the conversations between Sunday and her visitors went something like this: “How’s it going, babe?” She returned the question with a look of, “Are you on crack? I have a human being shooting out of me!” Or, “How’re you feeling, Sunday?” She returned this question with a look of, “Are you on crack? I have a human being shooting out of me!” Or, “What’s the doctor saying?” She returned this question with a look of, “Are you on crack? I have a human being shooting out of me!” You get the picture. I felt good for Sunday that she had support from her family and such, but I really felt bad that she couldn’t eat or drink during this entire time, especially when I was down in the cafeteria eating chili and onion rings. (I am a bad, bad person).
February 26, 2004—2:00pm through 4:00pm: Sunday and I attempted to sleep because we both knew that she was not quite progressing and this birthing process was not going as planned. She passed out, but I simply could not get the rest I require. This was uncomfortable for me and I was considering not having any more children. In addition, Sunday’s health was doing well, but Jonah was not. The amniotic fluid had mostly escaped, so Jonah’s body pinched the umbilical cord—much like a garden hose—and cut off his circulation. I noticed his heart rate cut in half when Sunday shifted to certain positions. A few times during this section of the day, the nurses came running in the room to stare at Jonah’s heart rate on the monitor. As they stared, the little blips plummeted to one-half the previous level, then rose at an excruciatingly slow pace. These were the moments when I was glad Sunday couldn’t see the computers.
February 26, 2004—5:00pm through 6:00pm: The Simpsons. Priorities.
February 26, 2004—6:00pm: The doctor returned after taking most of the day off. When he returned, the doctor gave us mixed news. Sunday had dilated to about seven centimeters, but Jonah was looking at her bellybutton instead of her backbone, which was not a good thing. His head and shoulders would not fit through the birth canal as easily as if he were faced the other way.
February 26, 2004—7:00pm: Nursing change: The wide-eyed Romanian left in exchange for Helga the nurse from the Hinterlands. I think we got the most evil, vicious woman they could find. She was tough and she had a potty mouth. I saw her out in the parking lot later kicking the snot out of bikers and young children in wheelchairs. Mean woman. She was good, though, because Sunday and I both needed more encouragement, since the nightly news just finished and I didn’t know how I was going to pass the time until Jonah was born. The doctor determined that Sunday had dilated 9.5 centimeters, so we planned on starting to push at 7:30.
February 26, 2004—7:30pm: Doctor “checked on” Sunday, and tried to turn Jonah while the nurse verbally abused elderly hospital volunteers out in the hallway. I was completely shocked by her rough language. Sunday remained unfazed.
February 26, 2004—8:15pm: After about forty-five minutes of pushing, the doctor determined that “we” could be pushing for another two hours and not have any progress. What’s this “we” business? I almost asked if he had a mouse in his pocket, but I didn’t think humor at this point was a good thing. Thus, the doctor made the decision to go for the C-section, which was music to Sunday’s ears, in addition to other parts of her body. While most of her pregnancy was spent discussing this eventuality—and we really didn’t want this to happen this way—the welcome news of a C-section was just another step in the realization that, THIS AIN’T OUR LIFE ANYMORE! Since Sunday’s epidural had been wearing off for about two hours, the thought of more drugs was a good thing, too. I think the anesthesiologist could have handed her a crack pipe and she would have gladly sparked it up.
February 26, 2004—8:45pm: I got dressed to go into surgery. The nurse brought in what I have to wear, and it looked like something Elvis wore in his “fat Elvis” Vegas days, but I kept my mouth shut and put it on. In fact, she could have brought a bikini-style surgery outfit and I would have run down main street wearing it, just to get our son delivered.