Hey You: It’s Your Birthday

Hey You –
Growing up, Grandpa had a tradition.  Every year on Daddy & Tio Maxx’s birthday, he would tell the story of our birth from his point of view.  Obviously it was a legendary story.  Every year, things would get embellished here and there, but the main points were always the same.  Then one year, when Daddy was about 27, the whole story changed.  Grandpa swore nothing had changed, but he was outnumbered 3-1.
For the sake of my memory in the future, consider this the official story of your birth.
Tuesday April 24, 2018
3:30PM – Considering Mommy and the Doctor expected you to be premature, I still can’t believe we are still going in for regular appointments.  Our due date is two days away, but signs seem to be pointing to you staying in there for another week.
3:35 PM – Mommy comes from work to pick me up at NBC.  Last week, Mom was on Spring Break and she wasn’t expecting to have to work at all this week.  She is achy and ready to meet you.  Not a good combination. But she is a tough cookie.
4:00 PM – For our appointment this week, we are heading over to the Fetal Heart Monitor first before we even get another sonogram picture.  At our last two appointments, your chart hasn’t been the greatest.  You’ve been sleeping most of the time which the nurses don’t like to see.  Fail another one today and I’m not sure what will happen.
4:20 PM – Twenty minutes into the monitoring session and you’ve been asleep for 60% of them.  Not ideal.  The nurses bring Mommy some food and juice in hopes of sparking some movement from you.
4:45 PM – No Improvement.  Dr. Viscarello is currently at the hospital preparing to deliver another baby so the nurses get him on the phone.  Since this is your third straight questionable test, he wants us to go to the hospital for some overnight monitoring.
4:50 PM – The nurses call the hospital to have them prepare for our arrival.  Before we head over, we stop in for some sonogram pictures.  Rosie spends a lot of time snapping away which helps put Mom at ease.   From this vantage point, everything looks normal.
5:15 PM – We leave the office and start heading to the hospital. Mommy texts Nanny and Poppy to give them an update.  She tells them everything is ok and she is not worried.
Daddy: They are definitely going to hop in the car and meet us there
Mommy: Nah.
5:30 PM – Arrive at the hospital.  This time we valet park (It’s cheaper).  Being optimistic, we decide to leave our overnight bags in the car thinking we might be going home tonight.
5:48 PM – Mommy is checked into her room.  Valencia will be our new nurse until 7P
5:55 PM – Daddy is introduced to the nutrition room that has graham crackers, saltines, peanut butter, jelly and lots of juice.  (Ed. Note: I’m typing this up 10 days later and I really miss that Apple Juice)
6:00 PM – Mommy is hooked up to a fancier version of the Fetal Heart Rate Monitor.  The thought is that a full 12 hours of monitoring will provide a full picture.  If you pass the test, we’ll go home in the morning and the wait will continue.  If not, we go to plan b.
213 Mommy Bed.JPG
6:15 PM – Dr. Viscarello is literally performing a C-Section right now on another patient so maybe we’ll see him afterwards.
6:25 PM – The hospital has a great selection of movies on the TV.  Bunch of Marvel movies included.  We decided to go with Inside Out to keep Mommy relaxed.
6:43 PM – Stamford Hospital is big on teaching.  Patrick, a resident comes in to ask Mommy some questions.  We all get to chatting about life
Daddy: Where do you go to school?
Patrick: Fairfield.  What do you do Sonya?
Mommy: I’m a teacher.
Patrick: What grade?
Mommy: I used to teach elementary but now I teach 9 and 10th grade
Patrick: Which do you like better?
Mommy: Probably 9 & 10th Grade, but to be honest they are babies just like the younger kids.
Daddy: I work with the interns at NBC.  Interns are babies too.
Patrick: <Leaves>
Mommy: OMG, you realize he is an intern right?  I can’t believe you
Daddy: Oh.  Whoops.
6:55 PM – Valencia brings Daddy a cot.  Maybe we’ll have to get those overnight bags…
8:15 PM – Oh my god, that’s Nanny and Poppy’s music.  Mommy is very surprised to see them.
8:50 PM – Daddy orders his first meal from Hanover Pizza.  Chicken Parm Hero & Garlic Knots.  Spoiler alert, it is all delicious.  He only eats half of each and throws the rest in the nourishment room fridge.
9:19 PM – Daddy is texting with Grandma and Grandpa too.  As luck would have it, Tio Maxx is in Virginia this week.  But Grandma is in Portland, OR.  She is supposed to be leaving Thursday morning to come home, but now her excitement level is peaking.  She is looking into flights that leave tomorrow morning so she can try to make it on time.
10:00 PM – An extra sleepy looking Dr. Viscarello makes an appearance.  (Note: He always looks sleepy.  Now he looks even sleepier).  He got the download on the readings for the last four hours.  Still more of the same from Baby C.  The next step is to give Mommy some drugs to induce labor.  This is starting to get real
10:45 PM – Nanny and Poppy leave to get a hotel room for the night
11:00 PM – Francesca, the new nurse, stops by to apologize for Mommy’s medicine not arriving yet.  The pharmacist is apparently busy.
11:15 PM – And we found out everyone is busy because  a person just gave birth down the hall and they didn’t know they were pregnant until today.  The same thing happened in Uncle Raymond’s ambulance last weekend.  Poppy has been telling that story all day.
11:45 PM – Mommy’s medicine finally shows up.  The medicine will stay in Mommy for 12 hours.  Hold on to your butts.  Hope this works.
11:55 PM – Daddy finally gives in and goes to the car to pick up the overnight bags.
April 25, 2018
12:30 AM – Mommy is already fast asleep.  Daddy settles into his cot for a good night’s sleep.
7:00 AM – Daddy wakes up.  Emails the office and tells them he won’t be making it in today.
8:00 AM – Daddy gives Nanny and Poppy a morning update.  A little less than 4 hours until the medicine is removed.
8:21 AM – It is almost 5:30A in Portland, OR and Grandma is at the airport.  She will be flying into NYC and landing at 3:00P.  Grandpa and Maxx will pick her up then head to Stamford.
9:06 AM – The nurses come in and say they are taking the medicine out early because it is not having the desired effect.  Mommy is barely having contractions.  The plan now is to step up to a higher level of medicine.
10:00 AM –  The nurses are back with some Oxytocin which will be given through Mommy’s IV.  Oxytocin is the same hormone your body produces when you go into labor, so the hope is that boosting Mommy’s levels will jump start her labor.
10:20 AM – Nanny and Poppy show up.  Mommy is having small contractions, but we are still not at the main event.
12:30 PM – The nurse come in to ask Mommy if her water broke.  It has not.
1:06 PM – Without saying anything the nurses come in and disconnect Mommy from the Oxytocin.
1:07 PM – Mommy is concerned.  She thinks something is wrong.
1:45 PM – Dr. Viscarello comes in, looking sleepy, and explains that the baby hasn’t reacted favorably to either form of medicine.  We can either wait to see what happens or proceed with a C-Section.  He suggests the latter.  Mommy is not prepared for this option so we ask for sometime to think on it.
1:53 PM – Sensing Mommy’s trepidation, Valencia climbs into bed with Mommy to soothe her.  It works.  Despite this not being Mommy’s vision, we have always said we would trust the Doctor’s opinion over anything else.  We are ready to talk to the doctor.
2:02 PM – Doctor Viscarello is back and for once he doesn’t look sleepy.  We let him know that we are good with the C-Section and he says we are making the right call.  Mommy expresses her concern that future pregnancies could be complicated by a C-Section this time around, but the doctor does a great job of walking through proof that is not the case.
2:05 PM – The Doctor walks us through the entire process.  About an hour from start to finish.  The baby is below seven layers of Mommy and he will cut each one individually then once the baby is out, he will stitch all seven layers back together individually.  The majority of the surgery will be putting Mommy back together.  He mentions in passing that in a real emergency, he could have a baby out in under a minute.  (Ed Note: I believe him)
2:15 PM – The Doctor finishes his speech and Daddy asks him when the procedure will take place.  Doctor V says within the next 30 minutes.  Whoa.  Now things are really real.
2:20 PM – Nanny and Poppy relocate to the waiting room.  Poppy in tears.  They tell Daddy to text them with updates.
2:25 PM – Daddy realizes he hasn’t eaten yet today so he grabs his leftovers from last night out of the fridge.  This is will either prevent Daddy from throwing up in the OR or make Daddy throw up in the OR.
2:27 PM – Daddy scarfs the whole sandwich and all the knots before leaving the nourishment room.
2:30 PM – Daddy gets back to the room.  Mommy is missing.  Daddy panics.  Did she get taken into surgery? He paces.  Checks the hallway. Pouts.
2:32 PM – Mommy walks out of the bathroom.  Daddy can breathe.
2:40 PM – Now Mommy is taken for real.  Daddy is very nervous watching her walk away.
2:45 PM – Daddy changes into his scrubs.  Spends too much time taking selfies of himself in the bathroom.
15 Daddy Scrubs.JPG
2:48 PM – Starts to think the nurses came to get him while he was in the bathroom and since he wasn’t around, they are doing the procedure without him.  Mom is going to be so mad at him.
2:50 PM – This is officially the longest ten minutes of his life.
2:55 PM – Finally, the nurse comes to get Daddy.  She makes sure that he has his camera.
2:56 PM – Daddy walks into the OR. He is instantly overwhelmed.  Mommy is splayed out on the table already.  Daddy is guided behind the curtain where a drugged up Mommy greets him.  Her spinal tap has kicked in and she is lucid, but can’t feel a thing.  The anesthesiologist is calmly sitting behind them on his phone.
18 Anestesia.JPG
2:59 PM – Before he starts, the Doctor asks Mommy and Daddy one more time what they think they are having.  Despite thinking it was a girl for the whole pregnancy, they both say boy.  Mostly to hedge their bets.  Can’t be wrong either way.
3:00 PM –  The first incision is made.
17 Mommy OR.JPG
3:05 PM –  Daddy peeks around the curtain. Half a second total
3:07 PM – The surgeons are having idle chit chat like they are on the golf course.  Doctor Viscarello is showing the residents what cuts need to be made.
3:09 PM – Grandma lands at JFK.  Based on the tone of her texts, she is excited.  As per usual Daddy keeps them in the dark because he likes surprises
3:10 PM – Daddy peeks around the curtain.  A whole second this time
3:12 PM – Daddy peeks again.  See’s Mommy’s insides.  Doesn’t puke.  Win.
3:13 PM – We hear the Doctor say he is going to pull.  Mommy braces.  Daddy stops breathing and gets as close to Mommy as he can.
3:14 PM – “Congratulations.  You have a beautiful baby girl.”  In the next second we hear the sounds of a baby crying.  It is the most beautiful sound we have ever heard in our lives.  The doctor asks if we want to take a picture.  In disbelief, Daddy jumps up and just starts snapping over the curtain.  He was not prepared for that moment.
Kaylee Ray Casanova
7 lbs 8 oz
21 inches
3:16 PM – A nurse comes and takes Daddy’s camera.  They go and take pictures of Kaylee on the cleaning table.  All we can hear is them saying how cute she is.
30 OR Table.JPG
3:18 PM – Mommy and Daddy still in shock.  Daddy is bawling.
3:21 PM – The nurse returns with Daddy’s phone and Kaylee.  Daddy gets to hold you while the doctors put Mommy back together. Daddy can’t keep it together.  He takes his first picture of you then goes on a 40 minute rant about life lessons.  He starts with the two best words in sports: Game Seven, and ends with a full breakdown of his grandparents and every Aunt and Uncle you will have.  Frequently, Mommy asks to see her daughter, but Daddy is holding her so tight that he can’t get Mommy a good viewing angle.  This is the longest 40 minutes of Mommy’s life.
41 Daddy First Pic.JPG
4:00 PM – Daddy is escorted back to the room.   He is so hyped up he can’t control himself.  He runs to the waiting room to share the good news with Nanny and Poppy…again…since he already texted them from the OR.  They all head back to the room to wait for Mommy.
4:03 PM – While cleaning up, Mommy can hear the doctors counting the number of instruments they have to make sure they didn’t lose any.  To double check, they run a metal detector over Mommy’s tummy.
4:04 PM – Doctor Viscarello tells Mommy he was impressed by Daddy’s lessons.
4:20 PM – Mommy is wheeled back into the room with Kaylee on her chest.  Daddy and Poppy are both crying now
4:49 PM – Grandma and Grandpa show up at the hospital.  Daddy texted them pictures but they just now find out it is a girl.  Grandma is crying
5:21 PM – With newfangled technology they start the cloning process.
75 Footprints.JPG
7:10 PM – We are moved into our new home on the third floor.  We’ll be here for four days so that Mommy can recover and we can learn a thing or two about babies.
The next four days became a blur, so here are the major events presented sans timeline.
 – Nanny and Poppy leave us alone at 8:15P.  Hold on to your butts.  Night 1 of 4 underway.
– Daddy is not good at waking up and doing what Mommy says.  He’s swaddled about 10 empty blankets
– You had a lot of visitors this weekend: Nanny, Poppy, Grandma, Grandpa, Maxx, Laura, Yoshi.
– You have a security bracelet on your ankle.  This prevents two babies from getting on an elevator together.  And prevents any of the doors from opening if you are close to them.  Better safe than sorry
– Daddy learned the perfect Swaddle
– We had so many good nurses who took care of you.  Only one mean one.
– Uncle Maxx saw Avengers twice
– Daddy changed a lot of poopy diapers
– We found out that you have a cyst in your nose.  That’s a whole thing we’ll deal with next week.
11:00A – Check out time
The nurses cut off your security bracelet, check your car seat and escort us to the parking lot.  Mommy and Daddy get into the car, buckle up and drive off to start the best adventure of their lives.

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