Sunday, June 24, 2007

Keelie's Birth and Everything Since - So Far

As any of you who’ve had a child of your own know, life has been very different for us this past week. The anticipation, and then the joy and elation - the nerves, the running on adrenaline so that it doesn’t matter that you haven’t slept. It's so strange, in a good way!

Here’s what has been going on.

I worked on Monday the 18th, and Kori had a morning appointment with the doctor. Kori experienced contractions throughout the day. I went to bed at roughly the usual time, and was awoken by Kori around midnight. The contractions were consistent to the point where we decided to gather up our bags, give the dog a “we’re going to be out all day” treat, and head in to the hospital.

Kori’s mother was not on shift that night.

We were admitted to the hospital around 1am.

As it turns out, Kori wasn’t actually in labor, but seeing as how the due date was close and there were some other concerns, Kori’s doctor, talking with the staff by phone, told them to go ahead and induce. That’s how the process began, in the wee hours of the morning.

As the hours grew more appropriate, I contacted various family members and friends to update them on the situation.

The doctor came in before her usual office appointments. She’d come back during her lunch break, too.

Pam and Bill were there early, Pam dressed for work because she was scheduled to work later that night. My father was also there fairly early, and throughout the day, others arrived – my mother, my sisters Kim and Vicky, Kim’s husband Mike and sons Blaine and Macon, Kori’s brother Troy, and her youngest sibling, Kirby. Our younger brothers – Chris and Toby, couldn’t make it, and Kendra & Steve were out of town but there in spirit.

I left the room just once – to eat lunch, which my father had picked up from the cafeteria.
Pam, used to a nighttime schedule, took a nap in the middle of the day.

The process was going slowly at first, and then spend up incredibly in the afternoon, so that when Pam woke up from her nap it was almost showtime.

As it turns out, Kori is a very good pusher. With her mother and I by her side, and with my mother replenishing cold damp washcloths, Kori pushed so well that the attending nurse had her breathe through three contractions without pushing, as Keelie’s head was in plain view for everyone to see, because the doctor was still on her way over. Because of how slowly things were going before, the doctor was contacted later than she should have been – but that’s hindsight for you.

I was an emotional wreck.

More medical staff appeared, anticipating the moment of delivery.

While holding Kori, I kept an eye on the monitors to check Keelie’s heart rate and Kori’s contractions. I just wanted it over with! I wanted Keelie out and Kori to be able to rest. Kori was just amazing – absolutely amazing.

Finally, the doctor, literally running, popped into the room, threw on some gear and out came Keelie at 4:27pm!

She was adorable and perfect, and had a head of thick, dark hair. I cried more than she did.
I cut the umbilical cord, and Keelie was placed on Kori’s chest. As Keelie was introduced to her mother face to face for the first time, Keelie made an “I love you” sign with one hand, as if she was going to suck on her middle fingers, but didn’t.

Then, Keelie was taken off of Kori to be examined and cleaned. She was placed on a warmed table while the doctor attended to Kori. Happy and shaking with excitement, I was trying to get video and pictures of Keelie, and I let Keelie hold on to my finger. At one point, Pam joined me and Keelie had one hand grasping my finger, and the other hand grasping Pam’s finger. It was around 5:30 or so before the doctor was done with Kori and Keelie was back with Kori.

After that, it was a parade of family coming through to see the mother and daughter. Kim and Vicky were the first back in the room with us.

Cousin Macon and Uncle Mike!


Pam was given the night off.

In the early evening, I went home to check on Shelby, who had been home alone since a little after midnight (she had access to food, water, and the doggy restroom). Pam and Bill stayed with Kori and Keelie. That’s when I was able to shower, upload the first couple of pictures, and call to make arrangements for Shelby to stay with our friends who live close to the hospital who have graciously watched Shelby many times before. Shelby knows them and gets along with their dog, so it works out.

When I got back to the hospital, Kori, Keelie, Pam, and Bill had been moved to the private postpartum room.

Keelie was sleeping. I picked her up in my arms and she made little humming noises. Lord, I was wrapped around her little finger!

Pam and Bill went home to get some rest. Kori has a great doctor, but it was also so helpful through the pregnancy and the delivery to have Bill and Pam’s experience and reassurances. Pam was not just being a grandmother and mother, she was a coach and so much help.

It was also nice, during this and the previous hospital visit (they kind of run together in my mind) to have friends and former coworkers of Kori - who now work at that hospital - stop by.

I turned the convertible chair into my bed, but Kori and I really didn’t get all that much sleep. Nurses were coming in to check on mother and daughter throughout the night, and of course there was our wonder over our little bundle of joy.

Wednesday the 20th, I pried myself away from the two most important ladies in my life to keep an appointment with the CHP in Santa Fe Springs. They check car seat installation for free (by appointment) and give some other safety tips. What a service! That was at 11am. I had scheduled it for late morning so that Kori could manage to go while I was at work, but since Keelie emerged a little early, I took the minivan.

From there, I went home to pick up some things per Kori’s request, then returned to the hospital.

Aunt Kirby, Uncle Troy, and for the first time, Uncle Toby dropped by to see our little bundle of joy and take pictures.

Pam worked that night and checked on us. It was so special to have Pam there as grandmother, mother, and postpartum nurse!

Thursday morning, the 21st, Pam spent some time with us after her shift.

I had been hoping to make it up to Arcadia for a previously scheduled baby shower at the office, but by the time everything was done and we were released in the afternoon, I would have arrived late, smelly, in casual attire, and with a beard going. I hated to disrupt plans, but the baby shower had to be rescheduled.

So, Kori, Keelie, and I dropped in to Pam & Bill’s on the way home. This allowed for more pictures with everyone. Pam woke up and joined us. She had prepared food for us to take home - bless her!

Back home, we enjoyed some of the food that Pam had prepared. Pam came over later and then we were joined by Aunt Kendra and Uncle Steve, who came straight over after getting home from being out of town. Bill came over to pick up Pam.

Friday, the 22nd, I ran some errands. In the evening, Kendra and Steve came over again, and brought food – bless them! After dinner, Steve and I went to retrieve Shelby from our friends.

We were worried about how Shelby, who sleeps in our bed, would react to the new addition to the family. Kori was nursing Keelie in bed when Steve and I returned. Shelby jumped up onto the bed, sniffed around, sniffed Keelie, and then softly and briefly licked the back of Keelie’s head. She seems fine with Keelie, even with the crying. Actually, she seems to be protective of Keelie and was looking at us like she had done something wrong when Keelie would cry.

Saturday the 23rd, nobody came over and we were home all day except for my short drive to pick up a new wall unit air conditioner I found on Craig’s List. We have an air conditioner working in the bedroom, but we need to replace one in the dining room. Nobody seems to do wall units anymore, unfortunately. So, I’m still trying to pry the old one out so I can stick the new one in.

Today, Sunday, we’ve been home all day, but Pam stopped by after working and going to church, and brought food – bless her! Also, my mother (Nanny) and Aunt Kim came down to see Keelie, and they brought food – bless them!

Keelie has been delightful. She seems to love being held by her grandparents, aunts, and uncles, reserving most of her crying for when they are gone.

Kori is such a wonderful, patient mother. I’m so proud of her and so amazed by her.

The nights are broken up by attending to Keelie, with Kori doing most of that and with me trying to do as much as possible to assist her and make her comfortable.

It’s quite a time in our lives, an incredible new journey on which we have embarked.
Thank you for all of your prayers, advice, and help. We’ll likely have more pictures to upload soon.



Anonymous said...

Ken, Kori--

Congratulations on reaching this incredible turning point! Kori, I'm sorry that we've never met (the commute from Seattle and all that). Ken, I see you only once every few years, and usually by chance. It's a challenge to reconcile the sweeper and writer I know with your life as a loving husband and father, but by gum, I'm going to do my best!

--Andy Megowan

Unknown said...

Congratulations Kori!

I'm so very happy for you!!


Heather Hume

Anonymous said...

CONGRATS Kori & Ken!! You are going to be awesome parents. Keelie is absolutely beautiful!! We should make a play date when she gets a little older!! Take care...let me know if you need anything...Luv you guys!! Oh, and email me your address so I can send you something cute!

Jessica Walsh (aka Beach)