Still 2cm But Almost 100% Effaced

Moving along nicely.

Jacqui had an epidural. The contractions from the pitocin were barely 30 seconds apart and very intense. Jacqui had really really wanted to have a “natural” childbirth, but under the circumstances, we’ll call this a 100% natural childbirth in 100% unnatural circumstances.

She is now resting nicely and the doc is hopeful that the effacement will be followed by a widening cervix for Lester to jump through.

The Great Flood

At 12:36pm Jacqui’s water broke (the doctor broke it with a very long device with a tiny poker at the end). And by broke, I mean Noah’s-flood-like broke with animals lining up two-by-two outside the room to get on the ark. The waters poured forth, drenching Jacqui, the bed, her socks, the floor, the nurse, and the doctors on break eating lunch on the floor beneath us. The doctor and nurse said she hadn’t seen water like that in years. Wow. Go Jacq and Lester!

The contractions are now getting more intense, and we are hoping to move things along…

Still Only Slightly Ajar


Jacqui is now having regular contractions, but is still not in labor as the door is still only slightly ajar.

She began receiving pitocin about an hour ago, which made the contractions a little more intense, but no head spinning, green slime spewing labor yet.

Right now mama-to-be is eating raspberry water ice, and resting in between contractions.

Hopefully things will speed up soon.

More later…

Early Labor Update

A quick morning update.

Jacqui’s is having increasingly intense contractions, and we are waiting for the doctor to examine her.

In preparation for having a kid, Jacqui is about to eat a kid’ s breakfast… Jello and water ice. Yum.

As soon as I know something, you all will too.

Zero Hour

Jacqui and her friend Kojak just before they left for the hospital last night.

It is a little after 10pm and we are now checked-in to Pennsylvania Hospital to bring Lester into this world, whether he or she likes or not. Today we decided with our doctor that it was time to induce labor, and tonight the process begins with a vaginal insert called Cervidil that will open up Jacqui’s cervix in preparation for labor.

It is a little strange for me sitting here in Jacqui’s hospital room, our having spent so much time in the hospital for me. But this is what we have all been waiting for, and by tomorrow afternoon we will have our first child in our arms. I and we could ask for nothing better.

Jacqui’s nurse just tried to place an IV in her arm, and missed two times. Ouch! Jacq’s forearm is now a bit swollen, and she asked that I, now an expert in IV placement, try to find a good vein. The nurse looked at us cross and quickly went to get another nurse to try to place the IV.

I’ve had mixed feelings about inducing Jacqui’s labor. Because next week I begin a battery of tests in preparation for my stem cell transplant–the final step in the process of de-lymphomatization–and then get locked away for three weeks for the transplant itself, we wanted to maximize our time with the baby. And although there are no risks to birthing a baby at 39 weeks, and no risks to Jacq with the induction, I only wish we could have let nature take its course. But with our lives so crazy, we know that little Lester will understand, and we also know that he or she will someday look back on being evicted from their womb with understanding and love (and then have a womb eviction party at the house when he or she is 17 while Jacq and I are vacationing in the Caribbean).

So check back for periodic updates throughout the night (if anything happens) and all day tomorrow. And mark your calendars. If Lester is a boy the bris will be December 7th or 8th (depending on what time he pops out), and if she’s a girl, the baby naming will be December 9th. See you all there.

Kick in the Butt

Just a quick post to let you all know that the bone marrow test wasn’t all that bad (although my tush is pretty sore) and that Lester continues to be uncooperative. We just got back from Mexican food (Jacq had a spicy dish to try to drive Lester out), and we took a 3 mile walk before dinner to try to move things along.

Should Jacqui not give birth in the next 24 hours we are planning on inducing labor Thursday so that I am able to spend time with the kid before I have to go into the hospital for 3 weeks in late December for the final de-lymphomatization fest. But hopefully the kid pops out tonight and we don’t have to worry about that.

Platelets

Today I was a patient again after more than a week of freedom. I am amazed at how quickly life returns to normal once I am not on or recovering from chemo. I was hoping that Lester would have come last night or today before my appointment so I could have a few more days without thinking about chemo, blood counts, or transfusions.

At today’s visit with my doc, we discovered that my blood counts have returned to normal, which is a very good sign given the fact that just a week ago they were at rock bottom. I am getting my money’s worth from each chemo blast, and the devastation that the chemo is wrecking on my immune system seems to be doing its job. Last week my platelets couldn’t get above 10,000 without help from repeated transfusions. Today my platelets were at 260,000 and still rising. I have been given a green light to resume exercising, and with my platelets so robust, I even asked the doctor if I could take up boxing.

There will be a few more tests this week to confirm that de-lymphomatization is going as planned. On tomorrow’s schedule is a bone marrow biopsy to confirm that my marrow is lymphoma-free. The biopsy involves our favorite nurse practitioner, some lidocane, and a medieval looking corkscrew-like instrument that is slowly and painstakingly turned into my lower back to take a sample of my marrow. It sounds painful, but it is more uncomfortable than anything else. Once the corkscrew penetrates into my marrow, it feels like someone has stuck a straw into my bone and is blowing bubbles. It is a strange sensation.

Now if Jacq has the baby tonight, we can put off the biopsy for a few days. Come on out, Lester, your daddy needs you.

The Water Has Broken (But not Jacqui’s)

When it rains…

This morning, while making some yummy challah french toast for everyone (Jacq, me, her parents, and Jacq’s cousin Anna) Jacqui’s dad discovered that our basement had become the indoor pool I had always wanted. An inch of water lined the floor of our soon-to-be-formerly-finished basement, with no source of the water visible. I quickly checked with our neighbors. They were dry.

In the middle of my search for the source of our Nile, Jacqui went to the bathroom. Her flush solved the problem. I heard water pouring out of a pipe behind the wall, which I could see by removing a small crawl space door. Thankfully, no little turds floated by, but still a mess.

Now we are just waiting for a plumber to call us back. Good luck to us on a Sunday morning.

Hopefully this all is a harbinger for someone else’s water breaking…