Our little "Squirt" was due on July 20th, and for several months we'd been preparing the house: patching and painting the walls (covering up any old lead-based paint...), removing all the *old* carpet (think 1950s) and even a stair climber - "the Inclinator" - ...which I would have been happy t0 have reinstalled by the end of July. Not only was the house ready, but the help had arrived. Grammy Bartells began her stay on July 19th.... cooking, cleaning, doing laundry -- the house was spotless, and we didn't go a day without a fresh baked cookie, pie, or cobbler! By July 20th we were ready for this baby to arrive; the nursery was set up, the (gender neutral) clothing all washed and folded, and so on. Squirt however, was not ready, and after two weeks (of hearing "you're still here?!" from each any every one of my co-workers), our OB decided it was time to schedule an induction.
Monday night (August 3) we went up to Mt. Washington, just to get out of the house and get our minds (or at least my mind) off of the awaited middle of the night phone call to go to Magee. We got some nice pics of the city and a few last "belly shots" -- and best of all stopped at Dave and Andy's for a delicious comfort ice cream!!
(The abreviated details follow, for those who are interested.) We expected the call between 1 and 5 am.... no call.... Around 6 I started to look for the hospital phone number, when the phone rang, and we were told a room was ready for us at Magee. (Nervous? Yes.) We checked in and found our way to the LDR room, met about a thousand different nurses, residents, and attending physicians; got changed; got stuck with about a thousand needles, and hooked up to as many monitors... dang. They started the pitocin around 8 or 9am.... and so it began. I'd had some "contractions" during pregnancy, but nothing real or painful. Contractions started pretty easily, but regularly, and got pretty intense by early afternoon. By evening, contractions were very intense, but progress was slow.... and I was exhausted, so we decided to consider an epidural. What sweet relief! Finally able to rest, labor progressed much better, and by about 9pm the Dr. announced, to our surprise, that it was time to push! About half an our later our baby boy was born! Joseph Stephen took his first breath at 9:51pm, and tipped the scales at 9 pounds 3.4 ounces.