This is Dan. I've decided to document our little Vivian's birth story, mostly because I think Lindsey was so delirious with pain and suffering during the whole thing that I don't think she can remember it properly. Also, because I was so traumatized by the whole experience it is engrained in my memory like writing on a stone wall. So anyways, here it goes...
Thursday, November 1st was an exhausting morning for both of us. Lindsey and I both spent the night before chasing Max up and down the Arkansas hills as he went door-to-door trick-or-treating for Halloween. Additionally, I was on night call at the hospital, so essentially, I worked overnight without any sleep until 7 AM. After coming home from the hospital that morning, Lindsey told me that she had been having more contractions early that morning, but that they were irregular and not too painful. No big deal, I thought, as she had been having these now for 2 months and they typically would go away after a few hours. Both of us weren’t thinking it was the real deal. Lindsey wasn’t due for another week and a half, so we thought it was just Braxton Hicks. We decided I would try and get some sleep, and that she could wake me up in a few hours if they hadn’t resolved. Well, wake me up she did…around noon, telling me that the contractions were getting a little more regular.
We spoke for a bit and decided we should probably start making preparations to go into the hospital just in case things progressed. But we goofed around for another couple hours, gathering Max’s clothes for the babysitter and just kinda hangin' out. Finally, around 2:30, contractions were getting a little more intense and we knew it was time to head to the hospital. We dropped Max off at a sitter. Every stop and bump on the road would make Lindsey’s contractions worse and she was constantly saying, “Slow down! Go over that bump slowly!” I basically had to park the car on the side of the road every time she had a contraction. On the way to the hospital, Lindsey wanted to stop and get some food since she knew she wouldn’t be able to eat once she checked in to labor and delivery. We stopped at Wendy’s and she hooked herself up with a burger, fries, and frosty. We continued on to the hospital, Lindsey was contracting and chowing down on a hamburger. By the time we pulled into the UAMS hospital lot, her contractions were hurting so badly she couldn’t finish her food.
We sat around there for about an hour and finally one of the resident doctors came in. Assessing the whole situation visually, she didn’t seem too impressed. She told us that they were completely full that day, no beds, and that it might be better for us to just go home and wait things out for a while and come back if things changed. But when the doctor checked her cervix, she was at 6 cm, and 75% effaced. “You guys aren’t going anywhere, baby is coming today,” she said.
She told us to hang out for a while and wait until a room became available. Apparently all the anesthesiologists were in the OR and they would come see Lindsey about an epidural when they had time. When a room finally became available, they walked us from triage to the delivery room (yes, Lindsey was still walking at this point).
As soon as we got to our room, the proverbial crap hit the proverbial fan. We were placed in the delivery room around 4:00 p.m. Before even getting into bed, Lindsey decided she needed to go to the restroom. I helped her into the bathroom and left her alone. By now, contractions were extremely intense and she was hunched over in pain. I started freaking out. I thought she was dying right there in the bathroom. As she gripped the bathroom handrail and tried to contain her pain, I could tell that things were getting serious. She moaned and groaned and held her abdomen as she walked towards the delivery bed. I told her to get into the bed. She tried. But as she got to the side of the bed, she stopped, hunched over, hands grasping the side of the bed and said, “this baby is coming right now!” I really started to freak. There was no one in the room at this point besides the nurse and I. I was sure not going to be delivering this baby. I pictured Linds squeezing this kid out onto the floor. Panic gripped me. I kindly prodded her to get into bed. She said she was in too much pain and that she couldn’t move. Umm, no, I thought. I considered just picking her up and throwing her into bed, but figured Lindsey would not appreciate this. I finally got her to get into bed in-between contractions. Relief.
In the end, we spent 2 nights in the hospital. Lindsey was, understandably, in a decent amount of pain and pretty worn out. We stressed out the entire 2 days about choosing a name. We had so many mixed feelings. We almost flipped a coin between Lilian and Vivian. I was really close to just going with Lilian (everyone seemed to love it) but we just felt like Vivian fit our little girl better. So Vivian it was. Beautiful little girl, amazingly strong and wonderful wife…things were good. Came home after 2 nights and that was that.
In conclusion, I just got to give a shout out to Lindsey being so completely awesome. I’m pretty sure I’ve never had to go through anything like that before, and hope I never will. Thanks for our darling little Vivi, babe!