To say that the last few weeks have been hectic would be the understatement of the relatively new millennium. So much has gone on and happened, it has been a whirlwind of activity that has left my head spinning still.
On the last weekend of July, we had my son's birthday party. Even though his birthday is August 6, we moved his party up a week because of the fear that Laura (my wife) would be delivering our second child. We wanted, if at all possible, to avoid spoiling his third birthday party with mom and dad having to be at the hospital, instead of being at his birthday party.
Except, we didn't calculate it quite right. The day that we chose for his birthday party was the exact time (gestationally) in this most recent pregnancy as when he was born: 36 weeks, 2 days (normal gestation is 40 weeks). Statistically speaking, if your first child comes early, then there's a great chance your second one will too.
So, we just held our collective breaths, and hoped for the best. Indeed, it looked at the end of his party as if we might be in for an extra dose of drama. As the party was winding down and we were starting to pack things up at the shelter house at the local park, my wife started having strong contractions. Fortunately, they subsided and the rest of the evening was calm and uneventful.
A week later, we celebrated his actual third birthday, with just him with mom and dad. He got a cool little Lil' Tikes 4x4 pickup truck that is foot powered and that you ride in. Just put your feet on the floor and push. He was so excited about his new toy truck, I'm a bit surprised he didn't try to sleep in it.
By this time, we're doing weekly doctor appointments with the OB/Gyn, along with weekly sonograms of baby's development. Mom was already dilated to 5 cm, which is half way (10 cm is considered "complete"). Just as with our first pregnancy, mom had a problem with PIH, or more commonly called "Pregnancy Induced Hypertension." Basically, it's high blood pressure as a result of the pregnancy. It can be cause for concern, as it can lead to (and is usually a precursor to) preeclampsia, a condition that can be dangerous for both mother and baby. Fortunately, mom had been taking blood pressure medication to control the condition since we discovered it early in the pregnancy, and it was pretty well controlled throughout the course of the pregnancy.
Because of the PIH, the OB/Gyn doctor scheduled an induction (where they "force" or nudge the delivery along) for Friday, August 12. The doctor also said she'd be surprised if we made it to Friday. The baby's gestational age at the time of induction would be 38 weeks and 1 day. Uhm ... we made it all the way to Friday without going into labor.
So, early on Friday morning, the three of us -- myself, Laura and Ryan -- dutifully were at the hospital at 6 a.m. By the time we got to the labor and delivery room, it was 7 a.m. (SO much paperwork!). The nurses started an IV to run the pitocin in with. Ryan, having endured -- like a champ, I might add -- the hour long paperwork BS, was getting a bit antsy. So, I took him on a walk so he could get out of the hospital room and see some different scenery.
Before we left on our walk, a call was placed to the anesthesiologist to place the epidural catheter for pain management during delivery. When we asked who the anesthesiologist was, my wife and I both rolled our eyes. We both used to work at this hospital, know this man well, have dealt with him a lot, and knew that he (or his associates) would be a while showing up.
However ... the OB/Gyn showed up before the anesthesia folks, so the epidural catheter had not been inserted yet. Ryan and I were still taking our walk. Dutifully, the OB/Gyn broke the water. What happened next happened VERY, VERY fast.
Finally, the anesthesia folks show up. One CRNA (certified registered nurse anesthetist) and a trainee. Great! Once the water was broke, contractions started coming very quickly and very hard. So, here's my wife, enduring not only frequent and hard contractions, but also enduring the anesthesia folks poking around on her back, trying to place the epidural catheter.
Unfortunately, the medication they run through the epidural takes about 10 to 15 minutes to take affect. Things are progressing VERY fast at this point. The epidural didn't kick in until the last two pushes of the delivery.
With only 10 minutes of "hard pushing," Alexandra Emily Arnote was born on August 12, 2016, at 8:36 a.m. Mom and baby are doing very well, and Lexi's big brother, Ryan, is already very smitten with his new baby sister. Several times a day, he will walk by and give her a kiss.
My son and mother-in-law had been "banished" to the waiting room while they placed epidural catheter. But things progressed so quickly, neither had a chance to come back into the room for the delivery. My mother-in-law said that our OB/Gyn doctor walked past her in the delivery room, saying "unbelievable," over and over again.
My two week vacation also started with Lexi's arrival. I haven't taken two weeks off from work at one time since my son was born in 2013. (The U.S. is the ONLY advanced country in the world where there is no paid maternity or paternity leave. We have to use "vacation time," if we have it accumulated.).
Thanks to knowing when we were going to be induced, I had already completed laying out the cover for the September 2016 issue of The PCLinuxOS Magazine ahead of time. I knew that things would be hectic, and boy were they ever!
To top it off, the September 2016 issue marks the 10 year anniversary of The PCLinuxOS Magazine. 10 years is a HUGE milestone, for any publication. It's an even grander milestone for a community based project ran by volunteers from that community. This month, we have several articles celebrating this momentous milestone, in addition to the "regular" stuff we usually have in each month's issue. So guiding this larger, milestone issue of the magazine has created even more tasks for me to keep track of.
In just my family alone, August is a very busy month with six birthdays (when you add in Lexi's birthday). My niece, my son, my daughter, mine, my great niece, and my niece's husband (my great niece's daddy). By the time you read this, all of those birthdays will have come and gone. Hopefully by then, things will start to slow down around here a bit. And I have only hit the highlights here.
Until next month, I bid each of you happiness, peace, serenity and prosperity.