Archive for June, 2005

How Cool…

Saturday, June 18th, 2005

I’m Feeling: Curious

Bill & Sandy, the couple whose house we bought last November, just stopped by to say hello and get a look at Ian. It was neat – Sandy retired from a position as manager of labor & delivery nurses at MoBap (where Ian was born), so she was asking who cared for us, etc. We had a neat visit.
Not necessarily the most exciting news, I realize, but I had a minute, since Hannah kicked me out of the room while she talked to her mom about what I’m getting for my very first Father’s Day. I guess I’m okay with that. :-)

It’s A Boy!

Tuesday, June 14th, 2005

I’m Feeling: Contemplative
I’m Listening To: James Taylor‘s Greatest Hits, Caedmon’s My Calm – Your Storm

So, do you remember how I said that I’d probably not keep up with this journal? Well, as much as it hurts to point out my own failing, I was exactly right.
As a result, no one who has ever read this journal has seen that Hannah and I not only got pregnant, but that we have even had a baby! So, there you go… that’s what happens when John Haefele tries to keep up with anything. People have babies, and nobody knows about it.
Anyway, my son, Ian Michael Haefele, was born on Friday, June 10, at 9:26am. For the ladies (and dads) in the audience, he weighed in at 10 lbs., 1 oz., and was 22 1/4″ long. He was a big boy. And he takes after his old man – his head was 14 3/4″ in circumference. Another Haefele who has to have “the big helmet” in little league.
So, to catch you up: the due date was June 6th, but he decided to cook a couple extra days. We had intended to have a home birth (yes, at home, no drugs, no doctors) with a midwife, but things changed a bit. Hannah went into labor between midnight and 12:30am on Thursday morning (June 9th), after only about an hour’s worth of sleep. Her mom (who was our doula) came over pretty much right away, and our midwife got there around 6:30am.
Hannah was a real trooper. She labored lightly in the morning, and then the labor kind of slowed down… in fact it all but stopped for about 4 hours into the afternoon. We waited for it to kick back in, which it eventually did. Labor progressed (as labors are wont to), and Hannah went into transition labor around four in the afternoon. She was fully dilated by the early evening, and began pushing.
Only nothing happened.
Hannah kept pushing, and breathing, and enduring, and screaming, and crying… everything but delivering. Her water didn’t even break until 11:50pm, after she’d already been dilated 9cm and had been having transition contractions for seven hours. So at almost 24 hours, she was beginning pushing, and still no baby was coming.
Our midwife assessed the situation, and finally “called it”, suggesting we go to a hospital. If you want my reasons for being into home birth, I’ll share them, but suffice to say, this is not a desired outcome. Going to a hospital at this point, when to date we hadn’t had a single prenatal visit or sonogram with a physician, means that not only do we have to deal with whatever complications are going on with Hannah’s labor, but we also have to get scolded by every doctor and nurse with whom we talk, decrying how unsafe home birth is (which it isn’t), and how untrained midwives are (which they aren’t). Not a pleasant prospect. More importantly, I didn’t know what was wrong with the little boy or girl (no sonogram, remember) who was, for lack of a better term, lodged in my bride.
So, we headed to Missouri Baptist Medical Center, expecting the worst, but praying for the best. At this point, God really took over the situation. (Not that he didn’t have control before, but here’s where it became super-obvious)
On the way, our midwife mentions that she really hopes that a certain nurse (Jane) is on staff that night, since she’s attended several births at the hospital, and Jane has taken exceptional care. The only potential problem is that Jane only floats at MoBap – so there’s a really great chance that at 1:30am on a Friday morning that she won’t be there. We got to the hospital, parked, and went up to the OB floor. We walked in, and who should be sitting at the nurses’ station but Jane. It was awesome.
Another nurse began taking care of us, but our midwife quickly asked for Jane to replace her, which she did. The house doctor that night came in and did an ultrasound (oh, did I mention that we heard what we were pretty sure were two heartbeats? Yeah – we thought we had twins). He let us know that we had just gotten a really strong echo – that instead we just had one really large kid in there. The house doctor seemed really good, and hadn’t gotten on our case about the home birth, so we asked if he could see us through the delivery. He told us he was legally unable to, that we had to call the OB on call, a Dr. Knight (pronounced “night”, not “k-nigget”). We asked Jane about her, but all Jane knew was that she was young, and pretty fresh out of medical school.
So, here our worst fears are realized – we get to have a no-experience doctor freshly indoctrinated with the “medicine, medicine, rah, rah, rah” mentality, who gets to be called out of bed at two in the morning to come help the idiots who tried to birth at home. Ugh.
Anyway, Hannah got an epidural to stop the pain so she could sleep for a few hours and try to push again. This was a big must at this point; Hannah was absolutely exhausted by then. So Hannah went to sleep, and I tried to catch a few while I could, since I knew I’d be needed again once she woke up.
We were both wakened by the doctor, who, it turns out, was delivered at home herself! In fact, the only reason she became a physician instead of a midwife was so that she would have all possible tools available to her. So, no lecture. In fact, she let Hannah labor however was most comfortable, and encouraged her to keep pushing. Hannah pushed for about three hours (which is about two and a half hours longer than most doctors would have let her try), and we could even see the baby’s head, before Dr. Knight said we were kind of at a decision point. We could either turn down the epidural to try and induce stronger contractions, or we needed to call the labor altogether and prep for a C-section. Oh, and by this point Jane, our nurse, had left, but not before waiting an extra few hours past her shift to hand us off to another nurse who was sympathetic to home-birthing.
Hannah was even more exhausted by this point, so we made the toughest decision, which was to have the baby delivered by section. This was probably one of the most heartbreaking decisions I’ve ever had to make – we had tried everything we could, had taken all the right steps, and yet here we were about to undergo the very type of intervention we had wanted to avoid. Dr. Knight backed us up, but again was very open to Hannah laboring longer if she so chose.
We went into surgery with Dr. Knight, Wendy (the nurse who had replaced Jane), and a team hand-picked by Dr. Knight. And guess what? She picked a pediatrician, anesthetist, and surgical assistant who were all down with the home birth. Like I said, God really worked here… for all of those people to be on hand at that exact moment? Amazing.
So, Hannah, her mom, my dad, and I were all in the OR for about a half-hour. I was behind the sheet with Hannah the entire time while her mom watched and my dad videoed (an awesome tape, I assure you). And they always tell you that the first time you hear your baby cry is one of the happiest moments of your life. Before he even cried, though, hearing the nurse tell us that we had a “big boy” blew me away. Hannah was, unfortunately, kind of out of it. They were really cool, though – they let me cut the cord once he was out (the nurse did the initial cut to separate him from Hannah, I did the one to crop the cord to clamped length). Like I said, amazing.
He was beautiful – he was huge, but tiny and fragile. I looked at him, and I couldn’t see anything but my son… I didn’t see Hannah’s eyes, or my nose, her ears, my overbite – until much later. But at that moment, he was just perfection. He was the fruit of ten months’ prayer and care. Awesome.
We spent a couple hours in recovery before being moved to the post partum area. We got into our room there, and our nurse, Pat, came in and introduced herself. We got to talking, and wouldn’t you know it? Pat had her last baby at home, with the same midwife Hannah’s mom had used for two of hers!
We spent a couple more days in the hospital, enjoying a host of visitors, meeting nurse after nurse, doctor after doctor, none of whom had one bad thing to say about the notion of home birth. To say we had an ideal situation would be a drastic understatement. It was absolutely ordained.
That’s about it… the story of how Ian came into the world. It wasn’t the road we had laid out for him, but it was great, all the same. We came home from the hospital on Monday morning. In fact we could have left earlier, since Dr. Knight said she figured we wanted to be home, and would authorize us to leave on Sunday. Man… just thinking about it again makes me praise God for His work. Awesome.
Not that they’ll ever read it, but to Dr. Knight, Jane, Wendy, Pat, Andi, Julie, Dr. Wallace, Donna, and Suzie, thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
If you’ve made it this far, thanks for reading. I’ll try and keep up with this a little bit more often… I hate not following through with stuff like this… maybe I’ll post some pictures.
Now, to go and get some sleep…

Happy Birthday, Ian!

Friday, June 10th, 2005

I’m Feeling: Pumped
I’m Listening To: The Birthday Song (in my head)

(See Above)