Monday, December 04, 2006

Birth of Abigail Miyuko Ko

November 25 started out as any day after Thanksgiving ought to begin - we got up at 6AM to make sure we got to Stanford Shopping Center to claim a prime parking spot in preparation for "Black Friday" - the busiest shopping day of the year. We were surprised that it was actually quite empty when we arrived around 7AM.


Post Thanksgiving Shopping
Originally uploaded by amiura.
We first went to Nordstrom's where we bought some shoes (Ann got some nice leather boots, Al got UGG house slippers). We also got presents for friends at other stores and managed to finish part of our Christmas shopping. We were so involved in our shopping we almost forgot our 10:30 appointment with the OB (the final one before giving birth). Luckily, we remembered in time and headed over to Redwood City.

There, we did the non-stress test to make sure the baby was moving and then had an ultrasound to check on the baby. The doctor commented that the amniotic fluid was very low and continued to look around the baby. After he finished up, he came back into the room to tell us that the amniotic fluid was so low that he wanted to induce that day. We could go home to pack but I should head back to the hospital in the next 3 hours. The doctor was so calm that we asked if it would be possible to induce tomorrow since we had a birthday dinner planned for me that evening with over 25 friends attending! The doctor, however, was pretty insistent that we induce that night so we went home to pack. At home, we spent some time figuring out our video camera and sending out some last minute emails. We tried to contact friends to make sure they knew the party was off. 3 hours later, we headed off to the hospital. My mom was so nervous that even after I told her I was leaving for the hospital, she headed to our house. We luckily spotted her driving towards our house and we stopped so that she could wish me luck.

At the hospital around 6PM, we started with a very mild way of inducing labor using a foley catheter. Unfortunately, the catheter fell out but I had not progressed in dilation. They called the doctor again who said he would come back to put in a larger foley catheter. They were monitoring the baby's heartbeat and my contractions. I didn't know but I was having contractions every 10 minutes or so. My doctor had been in China for two weeks adopting a baby so he had a huge backlog of patients that day. He didn't make it back to the hospital until 10PM. At that point, he checked and felt that I was almost at 3 cm so he decided to break my water. I felt a big gush and within an hour the contractions were pretty painful.

Contractions for the whole night came anywhere between every 1 to 10 minutes. Some of the contractions lasted only 30 seconds whereas some of them would last 3 minutes. The lack of consistency really made it hard to fall asleep and the pain made me tense up as soon as I saw the monitor show that a contraction was about to take place. Albert was very supportive all night whether it was through back rubs or words of encouragement. At 8AM after spending the whole night awake, I asked the nurse to see how much I had progressed. I was so discouraged when she reported that I was tenuously at 4 cm. I had only progressed 1 cm after 8 hours of really painful contractions! I asked for the epidural at that point. For the ladies out there who are wondering, the epidural was well worth it. I was so tired from the night and the thought of having to spend many more hours in pain and then having to push was overwhelming. The epidural was done well so that I actually had quite a bit of mobility in my legs and feet. I didn't fully dilate until 4:30PM that day. I could feel a good deal of pressure so I could push with the contractions. Pushing took 3 hours - or as Albert said, the length of the USC football game. My doctor arrived around 7PM to coach me through the remainder of the pushing. I could sense the excitement as I pushed and the people in the room could see the baby start to emerge. With each push I could feel the baby move just a little bit lower but she would move back as I relaxed. I asked if she had hair and everyone was nodding. The pushing was both physically and emotionally taxing. Knowing that my baby was just a few pushes away from being here, I wanted to push more and push harder but physically, it's a full body workout. I'll never forget when she finally came out. The sense of relief and the joy at seeing the baby whose kicks and hiccups I'd felt for so many months just surged forth and I burst into tears. The doctor placed her on my belly and Albert cut the umbilical cord. Before I could even compose myself, they took the baby to the table to check her and clean her off. I delivered the placenta and the doctor put in a single small stitch. Within an hour, I was able to stand and walk a short distance.


Little Abby
Originally uploaded by amiura.
Little Abigail Miyuki Ko was born 7lbs. 8oz., 20.5 inches lon at 7:37PM on November 25. Abigail means “Father’s joy” in Hebrew. She is already the source of many happy memories. We also were inspired by Abigail Adams' strength of character and the love she had for learning and family. We also that Abigail will have the same affect on us that Abigail Adams had on John Adams:

You who have always softened and warmed my heart, shall restore my benevolence as well as my health and tranquility of mind. You shall polish and refine my sentiments of life and manners, banish all the unsocial and ill natured particles in my composition, and form me to that happy temper that can reconcile a quick discernment with a perfect candor.
- Letter from John Adams to Abigail Adams before their wedding in 1764

Miyuki is a Japanese name meaning deep snow. It reflects the season in which she was born as well as a sense of serenity we had hoped she would embody. So far, this has not been the case but perhaps she'll turn a new leaf in the coming weeks.

1 comment:

chris chua said...

Hello Guys!!!
So happy for you:) Congrats on the new baby!! We'll have to get together some time after the new year! Hey i've got a blog too...check it out if you've got some time!

Congrats again. Chris