Friday, January 11, 2008

Awaiting Alex

The first part of this Blog entry was written prior to answering a very special phone call thirty minutes ago. A news update follows.

Here's a picture of Amy a month or so ago when she was still mobile. This morning she went into labor. She's still in labor and she's not mobile anymore. I spent most of the day and all evening at the hospital in company with her dad, sister Laura, and son-in-law Elias.

Amy is in a new state of the art facility that only delivers babies. It looks more like an upscale airport or hotel than a hospital with an atrium design, a giant lobby with soaring glass windows that go up several stories, and a large open cafeteria and patios. What it doesn't have are waiting rooms for parents and friends on the maternity floor or a big nursery behind glass where you can see all the rows of babies in little bassinets. No anxious fathers pace in the hallways. Nothing looks or smells like a hospital. It's quiet. You have to be photographed and wear ID badges and pass through locked doors and checkpoints to get to the rooms where the mothers to be await. The bathrooms are more luxurious than mine. The rooms are private and pretty posh with leather recliner chairs for the dads and flat screen TVs with cable. Internet connections, too. The baby is actually delivered in the room instead of in surgery. Almost like being home in bed for delivery.

Amy was pretty calm all day. Obviously in pain even after the epidural but she never cried out. She did keep telling the nurse that she was in pain and the pain meds weren't helping. The nurse seemed to shrug off the statements. When the shift changed, the next nurse discovered the pump wasn't working and no pain medication had been delivered for four hours! Once the meds kicked in, all was well, except that Amy was ravenously hungry, not having eaten for nearly 24 hours.

Since this hospital doesn't really have convenience for family and friends in mind, they like to close down to visitors at ten. Only the husband or labor coach is permitted upstairs in the delivery room. (The valet parking closes too, so if you choose to huddle in an obscure corner of the lobby, you will have great difficulty getting your car to leave before nine the next morning.)

Well, by ten pm Amy wasn't having regular contractions and was only dilated six centimeters. She decided to try to get some sleep. She sent her dad and me home. Sister Laura went back upstairs to say good night and decided to stay behind awhile longer.

Here comes the update:

My phone rang at twelve-fifteen. I raced across the house to grab it, thinking that it was probably Elias signing off for the night. I was wrong. It was Amy. Tired, weak, but happy.

About forty five minutes after Amy's dad and I left, Amy dilated up to eight centimeters and the contractions began in earnest. Baby Alex made a grand entrance at 11:45 pm on Thursday January 10th. He is seven and a half pounds, twenty one inches, dark haired and blue eyed.

Now that its over, Amy sounded as if it was as if was easy.

Congratulations to the new parents and Alexi Paul Khoury.

God bless us every one.

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