Window of Opportunity

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Having Conrad, Claire and I learned that there is a certain window of opportunity in which the anesthesiologist can give you an epidural. In the middle of the night, we realized it was time to go to the hospital. By the time we got there, Claire was breathing a little more heavily than usual and, by the time she was in the bed, Claire mentioned that she felt like she should push. We waited and I tried my best to comfort her, but we were both hoping everyone would hurry up with our epidural. When the anesthesiologist finally came in our room, I wanted to make sure he was well informed and mentioned Claire’s urge to push. The doctor stopped suddenly and said, “You shouldn’t have told me that.” I asked why and he explained that if she’s that close, they can’t give her an epidural. This is when Claire took charge and said, “I didn’t say that! I don’t feel like pushing!” Awkward. I looked at the doctor and tried to give him a look that conveyed what I was thinking, “Who are you going to believe? Why would I lie?” In case the look didn’t register, I discreetly nodded and mouthed, “Yes she did.” Probably fearing her wrath more than mine, the doctor ultimately decided to give Claire the epidural and we all went back to normal — talking, making jokes and enjoying the rest of the delivery.

Claire was more keenly aware of the window of opportunity when Harper decided to come. I had been reading all kinds of hippie propaganda about the benefits of natural child birth and was half tempted to try it — or have Claire try it, anyway. When we first got to the hospital, the nurses didn’t seem to be in any hurry. They told Claire they would get her some water to drink and asked if she would like anything else (maybe some blankets or a pillow or something). Claire must have sensed the window was closing because she replied with a polite, yet urgent, “I would love an epidural, please.” The nurse looked slightly confused but said something like, “OK, I’ll let them know.”

As it turned out, Harper was in much too much of a hurry for any epidural and Claire, after a quick psychological adjustment, made us all proud and proved that she was just as tough as any mom out there. When all was said and done, Claire never fully converted. When I asked if she could do it all over again, would she go natural, Claire thought for…well, she didn’t have to think about it at all actually. She said, “No,” or “Absolutely not,” or “Are you kidding?”…I’m not sure exactly which words she used, but the message was clear: if we could do it all again, we would have gotten to the hospital before the window of opportunity slammed shut.

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8 Comments

  • November 30, 2009 - 10:24 am | Permalink

    She is ADORABLE! I don’t recall your other kids having that dark of hair. Congratulations you guys! Way to go Claire!

    (and I LOVE her name too)

    P.S. Richard is specifically NOT mentioned as he dogged Trever while in town. The jerk.

  • November 30, 2009 - 12:07 pm | Permalink

    All of our kids have had dark hair at first, then they lose it all.

    As for the issue of Rich dogging Trever…Rich tried to visit on each day he was in town. Day 1: he had no ride home. Days 2 and 3: Trever was busy. The jerk.

  • Kourtney
    November 30, 2009 - 6:30 pm | Permalink

    How exciting! Congrats on number four. Wow.

    I love Claires enthusiasm for epidurals. Being a hippie birther myself I love stories of joy in and success with epidural births. Do what you like best. I’m sure Claire is great in every situation.

    Give our best to the kids. You guys going to be in UT for Christmas? We will be and wed love to see you.

  • November 30, 2009 - 6:58 pm | Permalink

    Claire has always looked up to moms who go natural — and do it intentionally.

  • Mark
    November 30, 2009 - 10:32 pm | Permalink

    Congrats! So happy for you guys. I love the name, too.

  • Diana
    December 1, 2009 - 9:04 pm | Permalink

    Congrats!! I must have missed a post that you were expecting?!? What a beautiful baby!! Congrats on #4! Hope things are going well.

  • December 1, 2009 - 9:10 pm | Permalink

    You didn’t miss a post. We’re sneaky like that.

  • Claire
    December 2, 2009 - 11:30 am | Permalink

    You know me, Kourtney. Up until the contractions actually start to hurt, I keep thinking I’m going to be tough and go natural. And then I cave, oh, so quickly, as soon as real pain is involved… Now that the experience is a couple of weeks in the past, I’m totally proud of it — I’ll do it again for sure! (At least until it starts to really hurt…) Sheesh, what a baby I am.

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