Thursday, June 14, 2007

The New Baby & The Scariest Day of My Entire Life

Well, as you can see by that picture on the right, the long-delayed (OK, only two days past due date, but Katy was early and we expected the same) new addition to the Lander family has arrived. Unfortunately, his arrival did not come as easily as Katy's, but the good news is that things seem OK now.

It was a bit of a rough week. On Sunday night, I was up way too late (as usual) and after finishing up the 2-disc Kitchen Confidential, I came to bed about 3:00 AM. Just about the time Suzanne's water broke and she realized the "gas pains" she'd been having were in fact labor. We grabbed our stuff, called my parents to come to the house and watch Katy and called the midwife.

At about 5:00, we headed to the birthing center. I could tell that Suzanne was in more pain this time, and that continued throughout. She was still remarkably calm, nothing like the screaming pregnant women you see in TV and movies, but I know her well enough to know that it hurt a lot more this time. Aaron hadn't made it easy on us... there was a miscarriage scare, a week of bedrest brought on by fears he was coming too early and then he waited a couple days to come out, and did so more painfully than asked for.

After he was born, at about 9:00 in the morning (8 lbs. 5 ounces), I noticed that there was a lot of blood. The midwives handed my son to me so they could attend to my wife, and I wasn't panicking, hoping that this was, if not normal, not a big deal. That all changed when one of them called an ambulance and I was told that they couldn't get the placenta out. That's when I went into "scared out of my goddamned mind" mode.

I don't think I fell apart, because I knew I couldn't afford to and Suzanne couldn't afford me too, but man was I panicking inside. We got into an ambulance, rode to St. David's, and left Aaron with the midwives to follow us in the car. I didn't get to ride in the back with Suzanne, I rode up front with the ambulance driver, worrying the whole time that it was taking us too long. Forget about all the movies you see where ambulances are careening down the road at breakneck speeds... when you're in the cab, and you think your wife might be bleeding out in the back, driving into oncoming traffic doesn't seem fast enough. It really did seem like we were doing like 30 mph, even though I know based on how fast we got to the hospital that it wasn't the case.

Same with going into the hospital. There were a couple techs, three nurses and one doctor in the room, but it wasn't the crazy fast-cut movement of ER or even Scrubs. Everybody was doing their job methodically, but at that point, I just didn't see the urgency I wanted. I'm sure it was there, but it all moved really slow for me. Fortunately, the doctor, Dr. Fitzwater, got the placenta out and got Suzanne onto some medications for the pain. She was allergic to some of the anti-biotics, which meant she got some Benadryl to control the reaction, and combined with a dizziness side effect from the pain medication and general loopiness from the loss of blood, I could tell she was kind of out of it. We all kept talking to her, though, and she stayed awake, and after what seemed like an excruciating amount of time, the doctors got her stabilized.

We were in the hospital for a couple of days, but we got to come home fairly quickly, and Suzanne seems to be feeling well and recovering nicely. She's stuck in bed for at least a few days, but she's able to feed Aaron and get him to sleep, and both her parents and my parents have been in to help with Katy. We've also got a great support system in my friends and in the Austinmamas, who have had an outpouring of offerings of support. Kind of funny, when we got home from the hospital, there was a phone message and an email from members of the listgroup, wondering if everything was OK because they hadn't heard from Suzanne in a couple days. My wife is what you call a frequent poster when she's involved with a list. :)

At any rate, it was a scary, awful day, but the end result is a recovering, soon to be fully healthy mom and a healthy, happy (by newborn standards) baby boy. Anyone who wants to see pictures can look at my flickr set. And right now my email priorities are, in order: Family, Business, Friends & Scheduling Stuff and then everything else. So if I'm less responsive than usual, or if you notice my workload at Comic Pants has grown even smaller, now you know why.


AntiGravity: Your New Orleans Alternative said...

Holy shit, dude--that sounds like the scariest time ever. I'm sure it's a relief to have everything back to normal. Congrats on the son! How long until Katy is teaching Aaron how to read comics?

Zack said...

Oh My God.

I'm so sorry you two went through that...and glad that they both turned out okay. That's a beautiful best wishes to all of you.

haikumama said...

I'm so, so glad things turned out well. Aaron is precious and Suzanne is a superhero!

Randy said...

Leo wrote:
Holy shit, dude--that sounds like the scariest time ever. I'm sure it's a relief to have everything back to normal.

Well, relatively normal. Suzanne's not a person who really enjoys a week or two of bedrest, and my laundry, etc. skills aren't at their peak either. ;)

Congrats on the son! How long until Katy is teaching Aaron how to read comics?

I'd say 3-4 years, given how Katy has taken to Owly and Akiko of late. :)

Btw, Leo, I owe you a review, my Comic Pants contributions have been really small lately... I'm hoping to get a review of Mouse Guard HC or some of the DC Minx line (among other things), drop me a line if you've got any preferences.

Randy said...

Kari and Zack, thanks for the well wishes! Kari, I love your blog, it's one of my favorite reads on my RSS feeds!

Gus said...

That's definitely scary, but congratulations just the same!