The best place to start the story is on Tuesday, August 26th. We were already overdue as the expected due date was the 21st, so the doctor had us in for a non-stress test and a sonogram to make sure everything was okay. The sonogram estimated her weight at 9 lbs. 11oz., a tough delivery for a any woman, especially one Shannon's size. So on doctor's orders we checked into Winthrop Hospital at 9am Wednesday. Mild contractions had started at about 3:30am Wednesday morning, so we sat in triage for a few hours. A few minutes after the Showcase Showdown (Drew Carey is no Bob Barker) the PA administered Cervidil to aid in opening up the cervix. At about 3:30pm the doctor stopped in and said the usual course of action would be to give another Cervidil at around midnight, and that he would be by at about 9am the next morning to discuss our options, his gut feeling was that we'd be talking C-section around then.
About five minutes after the doctor left the pain really started to pick up at that point so we flagged down a nurse to see what we could do about pain management. The nurse said she would be happy to oblige but she would have to do an examination first. Well this examination showed dilation of 5 centimeters, completely unexpected to even the most optimistic among us. Next stop was Labor and Delivery!
Not long after arriving in Labor and Delivery Shannon made a dear friend for life in the form of the anesthesiologist who administered the epidural. Within minutes the mood changed from "Oh my God I'm going to die and take you all with me!!!!" to "Let's hang out and watch some of Apollo 13 for a bit while the contractions strengthen, and then does 7pm sound like a plan to start having the baby?". If the epidural manufacturer's need a spokesperson I think we have a candidate.
Well that 7pm time seemed more or less right to start pushing Mary Pat out into the world. Shannon was pushing for about at hour or so and soon enough wouldn't you believe it there was our precious little girl Mary Pat looking up at us with those big eyes saying "Hey, I know that voice!". If we took the best feeling either of us had ever felt and multiplied it by a million it still wouldn't even come close to the joy we felt.
Everyone we dealt with (with the exception of the parking attendant who shall remain nameless) at Winthrop was outstanding and couldn't have been nicer and more supportive. Melissa's tips in the birthing class were top notch and it was great to see her when we checked in. The doctor who delivered Mary Pat was actually our doctor's backup but Dr. Dolisi was just outstanding, what a great doctor who I would recommend to anyone. Our nurse Stephanie who was with us throughout the pushing was incredibly supportive and understanding, and we can't wait to get the slide show made of pictures that Donna took, and thank her for all the help even though she was off duty.
Finally, and not just because she is the only one of the people mentioned here likely to read this, we want to extend our most sincere thank you's to Dr. Katie Gallagher, Shannon's old, good friend from college. It was so comforting for both of us to have Katie there with us every step of the way and it is something we will never, ever forget. Thank you Katie from all three of us!
So that's our story of how our little Mary Pat came to join the world. The whole 10 months has been an unbelievable journey. But stay tuned, this isn't the end, its just the beginning......