Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Ethan Makes a Grand Entrance!

As promised, here are the details of our wild ride of a birth experience:

Sarah went into labor at around 9:30pm on Thursday night. Wanting to make as much progress as possible before heading to the hospital, she labored at home until about 3:30am. When we finally went in we were a bit disappointed to find that Sarah was only 1cm dilated. The contractions progressively became stronger and more frequent, but after a few hours there was still not much progress. The doctor decided to put Sarah on Pitocin, which encourages the contractions to increase significantly in intensity, frequency, and duration. Her water broke on its own shortly after that, and we thought we were on our way to a speedy delivery. Ryan was particularly excited since he chose the 25th as his guess for the baby's birth date!

As we all know know, a speedy delivery was not in the cards. Sarah lasted for about 24 hours before opting for an epidural for pain relief. She was much, much, much happier once the medicine kicked in, but had only dilated to 3cm. Still, she was able to get a bit of much needed rest. She slept comfortably until the epidural stopped working. The anesthesiologist came in to check things out, and determined that Sarah would need a second epidural administered. As with the first, the second lasted for a short while, and then began to wear off.

Shortly after the second epidural stopped working, the baby's heart rate crashed. Buzzers started sounding in the room, and about eight people rushed in and started working on stabilizing the baby. At the same time, Sarah's temperature shot up to almost 103 degrees, so more people came in to work on her. It was very difficult for Ryan to watch, unable to jump in and help. Thankfully, after what seemed like forever, the baby's heart rate returned to a more normal rhythm. The doctor checked Sarah's progress, and somberly announced that she was only 5cm dilated.

It was at this point that an emergency C-section was decided upon. Sarah's fever could have been an indication of an infection that would be very risky for the baby, and with his unstable heart rate there was really no other option. Sarah was rushed to the operating room and Ryan prepped to join her.

The last hurdle to jump was the anesthesia for the surgery. As indicated by the failed epidurals, it was impossible for the doctors to get Sarah totally numb without being completely put under. Disappointed not only with the fact that she would not witness the baby's birth, Sarah thought that Ryan would not be allowed into the operating room.

It wasn't until she came to after the surgery that Sarah discovered that she was wrong - not only did Ryan get to be present in the delivery room, he also was able to participate in a lot of important "firsts" with the baby! He was able to cut the cord, put on Ethan's first diaper, and was there for the weighing and measurements in the operating room. Ryan rolled the baby's crib down to the nursery where he saw the sponge bath, helped with the footprints, and combed Ethan's hair. After the baby's first pediatrician exam, Ryan put on Ethan's first shirt - and quite skillfully, according to the nurses! Finally, after all of that was finished, Ryan and Ethan went to the recovery room where Sarah had been since the surgery. It was good timing, as she had recently woken up from the anesthesia and was very ready to see her boys!

Even with all of the pain, fear, and curveballs, our experience was an absolutely incredible one. While we have the option of a natural delivery with the next baby, for safety's sake we'll probably opt for a repeat cesarean. When we were faced with the placenta previa, we were a bit bummed about missing out on the total pregnancy experience. Though we ended up with a C-section, we still experienced Sarah going into labor, having her water break, contractions, and the waiting game. Most importantly, our beautiful baby boy is completely healthy and an absolute joy.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

He's Here!!!

After about 36 hours of labor and an emergency C-section, we are overjoyed to announce the arrival of Ethan James Notch! He was born July 26th at 8:05 am, weighing in at 8 lbs. 13 oz. and measuring 21.5 inches long. More details of his birth are to come soon, but for now we thought we'd post some pictures and a video of the newest member of our family!

Ethan James Notch just minutes after his birth!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Less Than a Week Left!

My goodness, our due date is only a few days away! We had a BBQ party today with some friends to celebrate Ryan's incredibly successful graduate thesis review. It's hard to believe that it was probably our last get together as a family of two... we'll have a tiny party crasher from here on out! It was a fantastic day with good eats and great friends.

MacKay, Allison, Ingrid, Jim, and Ryan enjoying the yummy food!

Hmm... do you wonder how Sarah got her "Kool-Aid Man" nickname?

Baby Joey was a big hit, and he had a great time playing with Nelson!

We're so glad that Laurie & Joey were here! Matt - you were missed!

We also have a bonus picture for your viewing pleasure, taken at Ryan's birthday celebration at Rogue two weeks ago. Thanks to everyone who was able to make it out to celebrate - it was a fantastic night!

We're in full on waiting mode in the Notch household, looking forward to the big day! Sarah is having lots of contractions, some that are pretty intense and close together, but they don't last long enough to make any difference. We have a doctor's appointment tomorrow, and will hopefully be told that we've made at least a little bit of progress since last week. If the baby doesn't arrive in the next few days, we'll go to Skipolini's with our friends Matt and Laurie for their famous Preggo Pizza that's guaranteed to bring on labor. We're not sure that this will work for us, since Sarah won't actually be eating the pizza... it's loaded with TONS of meat. Do you think that one of Skipolini's veggie pizzas will have the same effect?

Mommy Update:
- Has her fingers crossed that the baby has dropped since last week, and would be delighted if she's a bit dilated already.
- Is looking on the bright side if the baby arrives late... her family will be in town soon and may catch the birth!
- Has cleaned just about every surface in the house, and is running out of nesting activities to keep her occupied.
- Sends her love and thanks to everyone who keeps checking in and sending good luck wishes her way!

Monday, July 14, 2008

The Video Tour of Our New House!

As promised a loooooong time ago, we have finally finished the video tour of our new house. We thought about being cheesy and doing an MTV Cribs parody (especially considering we have an actual crib in our tour), but ended up playing it straight. The house is still a work in progress since we have a lot of decorating left to do, but you'll get the gist. We send our love to our friends and family who live far, far away and can't be here with us in person... hopefully this is the next best thing.

We had another doctor's appointment today, and things are still looking good. Sarah is at -3 station and not dilated at all, so while in theory the baby could come at any time, we probably have at least a week or so to wait. It's getting harder and harder as we near the end of the pregnancy, but it will all be worth it when we get to hold our little boy in our arms for the first time.

Sarah ended up in the hospital again, this time for a non-stress test due to decreased fetal movement. Our hyperactive baby decided to stop moving for several hours, which was very abnormal for him. After trying all of the tricks to encourage movement, we ended up calling our doctor who sent us to Labor and Delivery. Of course, everything is fine, and we're back to the one-baby conga line type of constant movement. Hopefully the next time we end up in the hospital will be for the big day!

Mommy Update:
- Big. Uncomfortable. Not sleeping. Lots of contractions. Loves being pregnant, but ready to have this baby!
- Though anxious to give birth, hopes it doesn't happen before Ryan's graduate thesis review on Wednesday.
- She and daddy-to-be have finished all of their childbirth classes, will get the car seat inspected this week, and are (in theory) ready to go.
- Can't wait for her family to arrive... not too much longer until the troops are in town!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Baby Poll Guesses Revealed!

Over the past two weeks we've collected lots of baby predictions. Thanks to everyone who has participated - this has been fun! Some of you are going with family names (you'll see a trend below), while others are having a grand ole time coming up with something off the wall (such as Luminarium Darjeeling, submitted by Jim). The due date prediction strategy has also varied widely. Most players are guessing one date, others are guessing many. For those of you who have guessed more than one date, we've picked one to post for you. Don't worry - we've logged your other predictions just in case! If you haven't submitted a guess yet, you have up until Sarah goes into labor (again) to do so. Unless the baby arrives before we get to it, we'll update the list and repost if we get more guesses.

Here are the predictions so far:

Baby Boy's Birth Date
July 4th - Cristy P.
July 8th - Gina W.
July 10th - Cindy N.
July 11th - Ines G.
July 14th - Christin L., Sydney J.
July 15th - Stephen G., Wanda R.
July 16th - Java D.
July 17th - Pete E.
July 18th - Sarah N., Crys M.
July 19th - Emily Q., Jen G. & Eric W.
July 20th - Amanda B., Candace H., Angie S.
July 21st - Sarah B.
July 22nd - Cheryl E.
July 23rd - Jim A., Anne R.
July 24th - Linda P.
July 25th - Ryan N.
July 28th - Nancy E., Ryan H.
July 30th - Laurie B., Mary E., Ally W.
August 1st - Patricia P.
October 1st - Ingrid R. (Sarah's least favorite vote... October?!?)

Baby Boy's Name
Christin L. - Christopher Cole
Ines G. - Noah
Amanda B. - Nicholas
Mary E. - Christopher or Ethan
Sarah B. - Owen or Jackson
Cristy P. - Ryan Jr.
Jim A. - Zephre Sun, Forrest Steens, or Caterpillar Jarvis
Stephen G. - Dances with Ryan (Ooh, Jim has competition!)
Ingrid R. - Hefeweissen (Joins Jim & Stephen in the "not likely" club)
Patricia P. - Curtis James
Linda P. - Tyler or Quinn
Crys M. - Ryan Jr.
Anne R. - Ryan William
Emily Q. - Christopher Ryan
Sydney J. - Samir Narong (Sydney's traveling in Thailand right now!)
Gina W. - Ryan Otha
Wanda R. - Christopher Emerson, Stephen William, or James Robert
Nancy E. - Curtis William
Candace H. - Samuel or Kyle
Ryan H. - Michael
Mai C. - Aidan or Adam
Jen G. & Eric W. - Parker Ryan
Java D. - Brandon Joseph, Huxley Joshua, or Ronan Michael
Jessica S. - Alexander, Tyler, Benjamin, or Sam
Leslie R. - Tristan Lynn
Cindy N. - Charles Ryan, Joseph Ryan, Christian Ryan, Michael Ryan, or Ryan James

As promised, here are the latest preggie belly pictures. Months three through nine are featured below. Click on the images to view them in a larger size.

We'll be doing one more of Sarah and baby to complete this set!

Whew... that's the last time Sarah has to squeeze into those jeans!

Mommy Update:
- Wishes Ryan a very Happy Birthday, and is translating the baby's kicks to mean the same!
- Excited and relieved to be full term, though not sure if she's quite ready for the big day.
- Has incredibly swollen feet and hands, as Sarah B. spotted in recent pictures.
- Has packed her hospital bag and will take her final childbirth classes with Ryan this week.