Labor Photos

Mom in the tub at home in early labor - feeling pretty good! (Note that she's still smiling).
Dad timing the contractions.
Skip to the hospital. Things aren't so easy anymore (at least Dad can still smile).

It's Time!

On October 5 (1 week early), Mom went into labor. Here's the birth story that she sent to people in our Bradley birth class, with some noted additions from Dad:

On Friday (Oct. 5) I had contractions all day, but that was nothing new - I'd been having contractions since 5 months. These contractions did seem a bit stronger, a bit longer, but there was no discernible pattern. I tried to clean the house a little and get some rest.

That night Ron and I went out to eat (Ethiopian food - yum!) and then walked to Whole Foods to get dessert. By the time I had finished my strawberry-rhubarb pie, the contractions did seem to be coming in a pattern - every 10-12 minutes, more or less. They were accompanied by pains that were like strong cramps. I decided to try and sleep for awhile, but I discovered that lying down made the pain twice as bad! So I got in the bathtub instead, which felt lovely. The contractions were still pretty mild, so Ron went to catch some sleep while he could. I stayed in the tub.

Ron woke up around 3:30AM (Oct. 6), and I was still in the tub - the contractions were coming every 7 minutes, and they were stronger, but still easily bearable with some deep breathing. I got out of the tub for a change of pace, and... yowza! The contractions felt much more powerful. It seemed like I couldn't find a comfortable position - I tried walking, sitting, lying, sitting backwards on a chair, all-fours, etc. None of them were really working for me, and lying down was still definitely the worst. So I got back in tub and stayed there, for a loooong time.

At around 5:30AM the contractions were coming every 6 minutes, and each one was about 1 1/2 minutes long. At 7AM Ron suggested I get out of the tub, since I seemed to be "stuck" - not really progressing. I tried walking around the apartment, and pretty quickly the contractions were coming every 5 minutes. We called the hospital, but they told us to wait an hour and call back.

By 8AM I was very frustrated and tired, and I was telling Ron it was too hard, I couldn't do it. I really wanted to go to the hospital, but Ron did his best to hold me back, telling me to wait for 5 more contractions. I demanded that Ron call the hospital again. The nurse made me get on the phone and talk to her, and she again told us to wait an hour and call back. At that point I started getting shaky, sweaty, hot-and-cold, and the contractions were really painful and hard to relax through. I insisted that we get in the f-ing car and go to the f-ing hospital... NOW! Ron agreed because the shaking and sweating got him to really realize that I was in transition or close to it. In between contractions Ron would run out to the car and throw our stuff in, then run back to coach me through another contraction. As we were getting ready to leave, my water broke.

The drive to the hospital was quick, but it didn't feel that way to me - I was turned backwards in my seat, hunched over, moaning through contractions, and Ron was just doing his best to get us there in one piece. **Ron: I never thought I would be one of those useless fathers to be, but in fact I took a wrong turn at one point and then drove in the bus lane to get us over the bridge--thinking it was the FasTrak lane. Also, we had driven to the hospital about four different ways, and I am horrible about getting lost. I found that Sara was somewhat useless--and even somewhat belligerent--about giving me directions. The nerve!** We got to the hospital at 9:15AM. In triage, a doctor examined me and declared that I was 8 cm dilated. At this point I was in some serious pain and really, really, really wanted to get in the big tub I knew was waiting for me in my labor and delivery room.

Our nurse finally took us to our room and I labored in the tub for about 2 hours, but it was nowhere near as soothing as it had been at home. **Ron: When we first got into the room, even the nurse was nervous about the baby coming at any minute. Our car was in the 15 min. zone out front, and I had to literally run and get it into the parking lot. This is when I felt the responsibility of being a coach--and how I was failing miserably by running out to move the car. Luckily, Desmond waited for me, and then some.** The contractions were really long and really strong at this point, I would get panicky and overwhelmed and Ron and the nurse would remind me to breathe, and make low noises. **Ron: Towards the end, the low noises were mostly "NOOOO!"** Finally, I began to feel an urge to push, so they got me out of the tub and got me on the bed. The doctor checked me again, and announced that I was - still - 8 cm. And that I was not to push. I couldn't believe it - transition doesn't usually last so long! Spending 3+ hours in transition with no progression, and no end in sight, just got the best of me. I asked for something to take the edge off, and they offered me 3 options: an epidural, fentanyl, or nitrous oxide. **Ron: This was really the toughest point for me as a coach. I knew I should have been talking her out of this, but Sara was totally decided at this point. After one or two, "Are you sure?" questions I knew that it was going to be the only way that she was going to be able to go on. At this point I was more worried about the doctors putting a lot of pressure for interventions, so I went with it. We had discussed this pretty clearly beforehand, so I knew to trust Sara when she made the decision.** I went for the nitrous, because the nurse explained that it was the mildest of the three, it would have the least effect on the baby, and I could control the dosage - you have to hold the mask to your own face.

While we waited for the anesthesiologist, the nurse had me get up and walk - which really did not feel good, especially because I couldn't push even though I felt a strong urge. I felt pretty out-of-control at that point, like the contractions had gotten the best of me. The anesthesiologist finally arrived, I got my mask, started breathing in the gas, and although the contractions were still super-powerful, I did feel like I regained a little bit of control over them.

When the doctor next checked me I was 10 cm and was given the OK to push. They suggested that I sit in the bed leaning on Ron like a pillow, and with each contraction he would grab my legs and pull them back for me. They said I was pushing correctly and strongly, but I felt there was a point where the baby was getting stuck. So I pushed... and pushed... and pushed... 3 1/2 hours later, I was still pushing. **Ron: At first it was a total trip--we had this amazing view out of our window. We had been put in "the suite" with views over the whole city. The Blue Angels were flying that day, and it was surreal to watch them flying by as Sara was pushing and contracting. Toward the end Sara started getting horrible leg cramps, which totally took the steam out of some of her pushes. I felt very helpless at this point to get her to the point that she needed to be in order to get Desmond out without the doctors demanding to step in.**

I could tell the doctors were starting to get antsy, and one of them was suggesting pitocin. Our nurse, who was awesome, whispered to me that if I wanted this baby to come out without interventions I was going to have to dig deeper and PUSH. **Ron: Our nurse told us later that she was a fully trained midwife.** So on the next contraction I pushed harder than I thought I possibly could, and finally felt the baby move further down. They told me to "hold him there" as they ran around and gowned up. On the next contraction they told me to push, again, as hard as I could. At 3:34PM, Desmond arrived. As he came out, the feeling was so intense that I literally screamed - never would I have thought that I would be a screamer, but there you go! **Ron: There was a whole audience there at this point--nurses, doctors, interns, students.** They immediately put Desmond on my chest, and he managed to start nursing within 3 minutes. His Apgar scores were 8/9. Having Desmond lying on my chest making little noises and looking very cute made it all worthwhile. They let us alone for a good hour after that, and we got to relax and bond. I was utterly exhausted, and in all photos taken I look like a corpse (I lost a bit more blood than usual), but I was and am so happy to have Desmond out here in the world with us.

Desmond is just beautiful. He sleeps all day (night is another matter). He looks constantly perturbed by our attempts to wake him during the day. He is a good nurser - though he likes to take little "snacks" instead of eat big meals. He loves to nap on daddy's chest. We're adjusting to all the changes, and to the sleep schedule - so far, so good!

Baby Shower for Dad

The nice people at Dad's work threw him his very own baby shower. They even got Dad his favorite cake - chocolate with rasberry filling and whipped cream icing. Dad was happy.

Belly at 35 Weeks

Belly at 30 Weeks

Baby Shower at Patty and Kendal's

On July 28, Patty and Kendal threw us an awesome baby shower. The food was delicious (everyone's still talking about the burgers), the garden was gorgeous. Aunt Alisha set up a onesie painting table and entertained the kiddos for hours on end. It was really nice to have so many of our friends and family in one place at one time. Thanks everyone for coming - it meant a lot to us.

Click here to see all the photos Grandpa took at the baby shower

Belly at 24 Weeks

Road Trip!

Our cross country trip from Houston, TX, to Oakland, CA. Dad got a job in San Francisco, which allowed us to move back to California. Even though we were driving a huge moving van with a car carrier, we decided to make the trip memorable by taking an alternate route, visiting family in Pueblo, Colorado (home of the Consumer Information Catalog!) and Arches National Park in Utah. There were some pretty screamadelic moments when the van was going over Loveland Pass and the traffic would slow down but the big truck wanted to keep on truckin'.

We stayed in Winnemucca, NV in a casino flop pad for the last night between a brief stop at the Bonneville Salt Flats and before we rolled into picturesque Oakland near Lake Merritt. Then mom and dad almost killed each other trying to return the rental van. But after that everything was happy. Really! Almost like a fairy tale.

Houston Baby Shower

Mom at the going-away-party/baby shower at Keith and Kelly's. What a great way to say goodbye to all our Houston friends. Thanks y'all!

20 Week Ultrasound - May 25, 2007

These images are from our 'big" ultrasound at 20 weeks. By that time the baby is big enough that they can check for certain diseases and conditions. According to the tech, this babe we're having is "perfect." And, a boy! So now we know what you are - a Desmond. And so cute, even though you're only halfway to hatched!

Belly at 20 Weeks

There's definitely something in there...

Belly at 16 Weeks

Oh! Starting to see a little bump!

More Baby, Less Bean

Ultrasound images taken March 29th, 2007 when Desmond was 11 weeks, 6 days in utero. We didn’t even know Desmond was Desmond, as we didn’t know if he was male or female. These ultrasounds showed that he was growing at the proper rate, and that he had a mighty fine salute.

More Belly Photos

One week later - 9.5 weeks pregnant.

1st Belly Pic

8.5 weeks pregnant, taken in our bathroom in Houston, TX. Doesn’t Mom look happy? She took this picture to send to Dad, who was living in San Francisco at the time. He had just graduated from UT Austin with his masters in Information Studies, and had gotten a job in SF. Mom had to finish out the school year in Houston - she was teaching science to 5th graders.

Hello World!

This is the first picture ever taken of Desmond. He’s but a wee bean in this photo, and yet ready for his 15 minutes of fame.