On Saturday, Feb 16th, at around 4:30 am Rebecca woke me up. While she told me that “something was going on”, she also told me that we shouldn’t get too excited. This could pass and it could easily be another week before child birth. A half hour later she told me she was hungry. I got her some snacks and after a few minutes she decided that this wasn’t hunger pains, she was having some minor contractions/cramps. Still, we knew this could this could pass.
Before long, the small contractions seemed to be at a regular pace, maybe 12 minutes apart and we figured that, just in case, we should get a suitcase together. We knew that the longer we stayed home, the happier Rebecca and I would be. Sometime around 6:30 (I think), we called the Dr’s office. As expected, they told us to relax at home.
I took this picture of Rebecca around 7:30 am. She was acting pretty funny and decided that she needed to clean and vacuum the house before we left! At this point her contractions were around 5 minutes apart! Another call to the doctor. Since we live only 5 minutes from the hospital, she told us that we could come in if we want, or stay home for a while longer. Eventually we left and around 8:30 we got to Bryn Mawr Hospital.
Upon arrival, we met our delivery nurse, Karyn. She also introduced us to Carissa, a student nurse who would help out for the day. Karyn checked out Rebecca and warned us that we could be there a while, she was only 1.5 centimeters dilated. We immediately questioned if we came in too early. Around an hour later, Rebecca was really starting to complain about the pain. The nurses and I calmed her and kept her on track. But even the nurse was getting concerned about Rebecca’s pain level. During the next examination, Karyn’s face lit up and she said (I am paraphrasing) “No wonder you are in so much pain, you are 7.5 centimeters dilated!” That was an unexpected change in about 1 hour! At that point, things got pretty busy and exciting. Rebecca’s contractions got pretty intense but she was really strong and I was very impressed. Pretty soon Karyn informed us that it was “now or never” for the epidural. One or two contractions later and the decision was obvious to us! “Bring on the epidural” (I won’t repeat what Rebecca really said!). I have to say that I think the epidural was a good idea. Things really calmed down after that and in about an hour, Dr Craparo brought Benjamin Harry Schwam into the world.
It was a pretty fast delivery (we were at the hospital at 8:30 and he was born at 12:22) and we had a great experience. I can’t say enough good things about our team. They were very helpful and caring. Karyn took care of Rebecca all morning. She is an awesome nurse and we are very thankful to her. Carissa told us that Benjamin was the first baby she ever saw delivered naturally. No matter how many deliveries she takes part in after this, we know that Ben will always be her first. The doctor is kind of like a closer in baseball. The nurses play the whole game and in the last inning the doctor comes in to win the game. Don’t get me wrong, Dr. Craparo was terrific and did a great job. she is very warm, skilled and confident and that is very reassuring to expecting parents. We owe them all our gratitude…THANKS!