Saturday, January 15, 2011

Introducing Alice Verona

I'm not sure if this is an auspicious or dignified way to come into the world, but our daughter was born in a bathroom.

Shortly after Kelly was admitted to the hospital yesterday, she asked if she could use the restroom before getting set up in a bed. I was settling in for what I thought would be several hours of labor (hello, I made three CDs' worth of mixes!) when suddenly Kelly cried out from the bathroom.

I figured it was just a painful contraction, but then Kelly started screaming for help. Several nurses dashed in, and it quickly became apparent that the baby was coming NOW. The delivery room wasn't set up yet or anything, but that didn't matter because it was too late to move her from the toilet. When I peeked in, a tiny head had already emerged. The nurses were shouting at Kelly to "PUSH." It was like a scene from "Grey's Anatomy," except there were no doctors (he arrived when it was basically over). After a final push, the baby popped out and they rushed her over to a table to make sure she was alright.

As you can see, it was all worth it. Here is Alice Verona, born at 6:22 p.m. in San Francisco. She weighed 6 pounds, 14 ounces, and measured 19.5 inches.

Shortly after birth
The good news is, we made it across the Bay Bridge. But it's scary how close we came to delivering this baby outside a hospital entirely.

Kelly's contractions were big and painful, but they weren't evenly timed. When we arrived at the hospital, the admitting nurse and doctor were contemplating whether we should come back later. (With Elliot, they sent us home for a few hours, until Kelly's labor progressed.)

Given what happened, I feel like Kelly should go find that original admitting nurse and be like, "You work on commission, right? Big mistake." (But Kelly pointed out that nurses don't in fact work on commission.)

When it was all over, I wanted to snap some pictures of the bathroom, since it was little Alice's birthplace. But they hadn't cleaned it up, and it pretty much looked like the Fort Griffin jakes at the end of "Blood Meridian."

Because of how quickly it all happened, Kelly wasn't able to get any pain meds — even though she DESPERATELY wanted them. They were supposed to set her up with an epidural as soon as she used the bathroom.

Now I feel like we should claim this was the plan all along, especially since we live in Berkeley.

Mother and daughter

I've asked Kelly to tell people in a haughty tone, "Well, we had a natural birth, of course. I really think it's a richer experience that way."

We won't mention the bathroom part.