The Big Day: We Meet Daniel For The First Time

Wow…Monday got here quickly. The weekend just seem to fly by and now we were in crunch time to get everything ready to leave that evening to start the inducing process.

  • The bags were packed.
  • The dogs were taken care of.
  • We knew what time we had to be there.

I was trying my best to get some things sewed up with work as I was taking a week off starting the next day. Jenn and I also decided to go ahead and take a look at the Kids R Kids down the street from our house as that is going to be the daycare he ends up going to in January. It was a busy day…but that was a good thing as sitting around staring at each other waiting to leave would have dragged on for what seemed forever.

After everything was done and we had some dinner, we waited for clearance to head to the hospital. Around 8:30pm, we got the go ahead to get our room at 9:00pm. We packed up the remaining items in the car, put the dogs up and headed out. As we were leaving the entrance to our neighborhood with the empty car seat in the back, I looked at my wife and said, “You realize that will not be empty the next time you get in this car.” A tear came to her eye with a smile…and we were off to complete our family.

The Inducing Process

In all reality, the inducing process really kind of sucks. I wish there was a happier way to say it, but you end up hanging out in the hospital a lot and my wife was put through a laundry list of things just to force her body to do something it wasn’t really ready for yet.

We got our room at Northside in Dunwoody (the baby factory, they deliver more babies in a year than any other hospital in the country) and tried to settle in. First up on the list was a medicine for Jenn that gets her body ready to have a baby and have contractions. This medicine was going to settle in over night so she could then get the Pitocin which would actually start the contractions. Side effect of the overnight med…contractions and cramps. This started the fun 18 hour process for my wife. Not only was she really nervous about the upcoming day (understandably so), but now we are using meds to start the process.

Jenn got as much sleep as she could over the course of the night while hooked up to all of the monitors and with the cramps going. At 6:00am, the nurses came in prepping everything to start the Pitocin at 7am. By 7:30am, contractions were in full swing already. Here we go…no turning back now!

Apparently…unknown to us before this time…the contractions from inducing are actually more painful than those that you get naturally. There is some technical reason behind this that they tried to explain to us that involves how the chemicals hit your brain and what chemicals are actually formed during the process. The short story, it was going to hurt but that didn’t really matter too much as we had already decided that Jenn was going to get an epidural. The pain should have been minimal thanks to the aid of the drugs…or so we thought.

What started then was the longest day of both of our lives. My lucky wife does not react well with epidurals and by that I mean they don’t work. Throughout the entire day, she was in nothing but pain as numerous doctors and anesthesiologists came in to try to figure out what the hell was going on. The only relief she could get was about an hour at a time with a kicker they would put into her IV stream that was another pain med. Other than that…the epidural wasn’t doing anything. Half way through the day, they even tried to redo it (that wasn’t pleasant) and that didn’t even help. She was going to have to try to work with the periods of relief until Daniel finally came.

Get Ready To Push…

About 11:30pm that evening, our midwife came in and told us Jenn was ready to push! Finally! After this long process we are ready to have Daniel! I say we…but I am really just there for Jenn to break my hand at this point.

We started the pushing process. Jenn was doing great and getting the hang of it quickly, but then things started to go wrong. The midwife asked the nurse to take Jenn’s temperature and it had peaked up to over 102 degrees. To make matters worse, Daniel’s heart rate was now floating around the 185 bpm range. The mid wife called the doctor immediately. It was time for an emergency c-section before things got much worse…and quickly. The midwife looked at Jenn and said, “This breaks my heart that we have come this far, but we have to get him out now.”

We have to get him out now…

The entire process of getting ready for the c-section and getting her in the surgery room was incredibly fast. Once they made the decision to go forward with it for the health her and Daniel, she was under the knife in under 15 minutes (12:15am). They allowed me to come and sit by her head as they started the process. At 12:32am, Daniel Merrill Sutton made his first entrance into the world. I looked over the curtain and saw my son for the first time. About 30 seconds later, he cried and my wife got to hear him.

Everyone always seems to talk about this emotion moment where everyone shares a good cry once the time comes that your baby is born. We didn’t have that but that is ok. Once they had Daniel out, all eyes were back on Jenn as they tried to get her closed up…but that wasn’t going to be easy. One of the symptoms of Preeclamsia is that your platelet numbers come down. This means your blood doesn’t clot. The doctors and our midwife were now struggling to get my wife to stop bleeding so they could finish the process. I also now had to leave her and go with Daniel as they finished the process of cleaning him to get him ready to go to the room. I brought Daniel to Jenn so she could hold him for a second before we took off.

The next hour and a half was a long one. I was trying to enjoy the process of cleaning Daniel up and getting his vitals, but all I could really think about was Jenn still laying on the table. Luckily, D was a really healthy 7 pounds 1 oz at 20.5 inches long (great job buddy for being 3 weeks early!), so now all attention was on getting the glue that holds my family together sewed back up. Finally, after what seemed like forever, they rolled Jenn down to post op and I had everyone happy, healthy and tired in the same room.

The most stressful day of my life was now over. Our son was born, my wife was taken care of. All of the crap of the past no longer mattered. The constant trips to the infertility doctor, the miscarriage from earlier this year, the entire birth process…none of that mattered as I enjoyed taking pictures of my new son with my smiling wife laying in the bed next to him. At that moment, everything was calm and we had our miracle baby.

Everyone Has A Different Road To Take

When we finally got up to our room (around 4am), I got a free 5 minutes to sit down and think as the nurses had Daniel and my wife passed out.

Everyone’s road to this moment is different. Some people seem to get pregnant just by looking at each other and others go through a really hard time to this point. During the labor process, some are able to just pop them out while others have more difficulty.

The reality…

None of that matters. It is no longer about the hardships you went through to get to this point. You are now a parent holding what you have worked so hard for. In one split moment, you are now ready to lay everything on the line for someone that you have only known for a brief moment. As a person who has never really believed in “love at first sight”…I can tell you that is exactly what happens.

Your thoughts shift from the past to the future as I started to think about roads we will take from this point forward…not the roads that got us here. Everything changes and the future is looked at completely differently than in the past.

The only reason I really share the events leading up to this, the birth and the pregnancy process that we went through is to share our story. There are those that will have it easier and those that will have it harder. That is just the way life goes. This is the road that lead us to this day and it is the road we had to take. When I held my son for the first time, none of that was on my mind. All I could think about was the adventures we would be taking as both of ours lives continued to move forward.

Daniel was here…my wife was starting her recovery…and we were a family. It was the best day of my life to this point even given the stresses. My first real picture taken of Daniel after the birth is above that I posted to Facebook with my iPhone. The second…oh the irony! The life as “The Clueless Dad” begins…

Daniel Merrill – 7 lbs 1 oz – 20.5 inches – born at 37 weeks on 10/5/11 @ 12:32am


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Turner October 21, 2011 - 3:35 pm
What a roller coaster for you! We induced as well... It was strange sitting around our breakfast table, looking at the clock and saying, "Well, I guess we should get going to have our baby now."Congratulations again!  Daniel is beautiful!
Robb Sutton October 21, 2011 - 6:20 pm
That is exactly how we felt. "Well...are you ready to go?" Thanks! He has been really cool.
Shamus October 24, 2011 - 5:31 pm
Congrats Robb! Enjoyed reading the story! Fatherhood is great! It will get better with everyday.  I can still clearly remember the days that Shamus Jr and Joanna were born.  Your life will never be the same in a good way.  Hope ya'll are getting some sleep!
Joel Williams October 26, 2011 - 8:52 pm
Many congrats to all of you! Sounds like it was a tough time but it will soon be forgotten :) Hope the sleep is going well and you're looking after yourselves as well as Daniel. Great looking kid!
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