Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Matthew's First Moments

Matthew Kenneth Steen IV - born November 16th, 2009 at 5:37 p.m. 9 lbs. 7 oz. and 20 3/4 inches. He surprised all of us in his timing and his size!

Baby Matthew is here! We thought for sure we'd be waiting a week after his due date to be induced and welcome him to our family, but this boy has good timing. I started contracting on a regular basis at church Sunday the 15th (his due date) during Sunday School. I didn't really say anything until we got home and when I started timing things, contractions were coming every 10 minutes. Around 6:30, I realized my water broke while I was sitting on the couch eating a yummy dinner - Cafe Rio Chicken Salad. I thought I felt something strange and when I got up to go upstairs, realized that indeed, water was flowing down my leg. Thank goodness I was home! I let my mom and Matt know and they both started frantically packing their bags so we could get to the hospital. I called Matt's sister, Aunt Mary (who lives nearby and works in Towson, Maryland as a labor and delivery nurse - she's been nursing in L&D for 17 years). We had been texting about the contractions and when I called to tell her that my water broke, she was at work and telling everyone she had to go! They all knew that she had been anticipating this event for months and agreed she would go as soon as things were under way. She planned on meeting us at the hospital, but after contacting Cheri Gard, my midwife, I decided to stay home for a few hours to let the contractions progress. Around 9:30 p.m., we decided to head into the hospital. My contractions were every 5-6 minutes by this point. Matt was speeding. I had to give him a hard time. We take Route 30 into Lancaster to get to the doctor and the speed limit is only 55 mph. He always gives me a hard time for going too fast. He was going 80-85 the whole time. He said it was different this time and I was just praying that we wouldn't get in a wreck :) Mary and mom followed behind us in Mary's car. Matt dropped me off and I headed to triage. Luckily, Matt brought in all the bags and I found my I.D. to give them and was happy he had his insurance card in his wallet, because for some reason, mine was not in my wallet. After checking me, I was only dilated to a 1! I was pretty frustrated by that, but at least something was happening. The last few weeks of going to the doctor and being told that nothing was progressing was getting a bit depressing. Since my water ruptured, I was stuck in the hospital until Matthew came. They gave me a sleeping pill and mom and Mary went back to our place to rest up for the coming day. It was a LONG night. How is anyone supposed to sleep through contractions? I would lay down and get up every time a contraction came. Finally at 4 a.m., I called the nurse to see if I could try something else. She brought in a birthing ball and I sat on that and leaned on the bed for a few hours. Matt was sleeping through all of this, I'm sure not well, but I was glad he was at least in the same room, albeit envious that he could sleep. At 6:30 a.m. the nurse started me on pitocin. Meanwhile Mom and Mary showed up all rested and ready for the day at 7:30. I sat in a rocker and tried to breathe through contractions until Cheri showed up to check me. She came soon after 8a.m. She actually didn't check me, but told me she would come back around lunch time and look. I decided to get an epidural, which I got around 8:30 a.m. Contractions were evey 2-3 minutes by then. Wow - all I have to say is that epidurals are truly a blessing from God. Immediately, I felt SO much better and able to relax.

At lunch time, I was at a dilated to a 5. The nurse kept upping the pitocin - until I was at a level 16 and was consistently still getting 5 contractions every 10 minutes. At 2:30, the nurse checked me and I was at a 9 - so close! They told me to let them know when I was feeling pressure down that way and they would call Cheri to come in. Around 4:15, I called the nurse, she checked and I was fully effaced, ready to go, at a 10. I have never been so thrilled to hear the number 10 in my life! Cheri came in around 5:15. We got into position and after pushing for 15 minutes, Matthew arrived! It was amazing! I never thought I would opt for the mirror, but I was curious to see and I think it probably helped me know where to push and be more aware of how things were progressing. I had an incredible amount of support in the room. Aunt Mary, Cheri, Susan - a nurse at Women's and Babies who Mary used to work with, the nurse assigned to me, Bethany, my mom, and Matt. I met Susan a couple of times over the last few months and she actually gave me a private tour of the hospital. She came in on her day off to help me out. I am so grateful to have had such wonderful people with me. Matt stood at my left shoulder with his head nuzzled into my shoulder/the bed. He has a hard time with blood, so I expected this. I did see him peek up a few times to look. My mom and Mary were in charge of taking pictures. Here are some of the photos they took:

Matt and me before the big push!
Mary updating family on facebook. Baby Matthew getting his first look at mom.
The Delivery Team: Left: Cheri, the midwife; Susan, Grandma Shipley. Right: Aunt Mary, Bethany, Robyn's L&D Nurse, Matt
Proud Aunt Mary with Matthew. We've been waiting for him for a long time!
Me after the workout! Looking tired, but so happy to have Matthew here with us.
Susan swaddling Matthew.
Our first visitors (besides mom and Mary) - Jessica and Cody. He was excited to meet the baby and anticipating being a big brother in May!
Matt helping Cody hold Matthew - and me thinking how fun this will be when we have our next little miracle.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Guess the Baby's Measurements, Win a Prize!

The days of Robyn's travail are almost over. In fact, according to the scientific countdown clock on the blog, the baby should be born today! While that probably won't happen, it should be anyday now (we're hoping). Robyn is ready to have Baby Maffew evicted, but he is a stubborn hold over tenant to say the least. I thought it would be fun to have a contest, inspired by our discovery this week of Andes Creme de Menthe cookies. Whoever is closest to correctly guessing Baby Maffew's weight and length will win a box of these highly desirable cookies, shipping paid. Trust me, these cookies are awesome. The rules are simple:

* There shall be two prizes given: one (1) box for the person who correctly guesses the weight, and one (1) box for the person who correctly guesses the length. Should the same person guess both measurements correctly, that person shall win both prizes.

* In accordance with time tested game protocol established by The Price is Right, should a person be closest, but go over the official measurements, that person shall be disqualified, and the next person who is closest without going over shall be the winner.

* All entries must be registered in the comments section of this post and must be received before the arrival time of the baby.

* The official arrival hour and minute shall be that time established by the hospital staff.

* Amending entries is allowed, but only the last entry received before the birth of the baby will count.

*All readers, casual, loyal, or by happenstance are eligible for the contest.

* In contrast to other contests, family members of the Steens are eligible to compete, especially the parents of Baby Maffew.

* All measurements should be in pounds/ounces (if ounces are part of the guess) and inches. The length measurement should be rounded to the nearest whole inch. Entries given in grams or centimetres or some other Socialist scale will be immediately deleted and disqualified.

* In the event of a tie, the names of the person(s) with the winning guesse(s) shall be drawn at random. The person whose name is drawn shall be the winner.

Good luck to all participants.