Ethan's Birth Log


This page contains the original log of events that we recorded from the time Dawn went into labor until Ethan came home.

5/12/02 (Sunday - Mothers Day)

At long last, Ethan is home with us.  He came home on Friday, May 10th around mid-day.  What an exciting day it was.  It was also pretty scary, but we're pretty sure that it's scary for anyone first bringing a child home.  Were were told on Wednesday that he would likely get to come home on Friday.  On Thursday night, Don rode the train up to the city (so we could ride home together on Friday) and he had a nice dinner ... while we still could.  When we arrived at the hospital around 9:00pm, Ethan already had his leads off.  It was the first time we had seen him without wires since the first moments after he was born.  It was so exciting!!  

They let us take Ethan to our room for the evening.  It was a great time to get our feet wet while knowing that help was just around the corner.  What a night.  We thought we would be up all night because we would be afraid to take our eyes off of him.  It was a poor sleeping night, but not for the reasons we expected.  Ethan was up pretty much non-stop until 3:00am.  He did better once we left the light on.  He really had not been in the dark since he was born.  We were pretty tired on Friday morning.

But the excitement of the day made up for our fatigue.  In the TCN, there were a total of 8 babies, including Ethan.  Five of those babies went home on Friday.  There were lots of excited parents there.  We had a doctor checkout visit around 1:00am or so.  Then mom_dad_ethan_0510_01.jpg (57208 bytes)we packed the car and the milk (which filled our Entire cooler that we bought plus required a separate trash bag of ice) and got ready to go.  After a final picture , we got in the car and said goodbye to the hospital.  It was very exciting!

The first day home went well.  Ethan has been eating as well at home as he was at the hospital, which is a good sign that he is adjusting well to his new surroundings.  Simon has been pretty disturbed by the whole affair.  He's not really sure what's going on.  When Ethan cries in the room, Simon will whimper out in the hallway.  When he gets close to Ethan, Simon mostly just sniffs him.  He wants to lick Ethan too, but we do our best to keep him from doing that.

The nights have continued to be rough.  Ethan apparently does not like to sleep at night.  He sleeps in nice long runs of 3-4 hours during the day, but rarely goes more than 90 minutes at night.  That makes for some sleepy parents in the morning :)  Speaking of, it's closing in on nap-time now after a good feeding by Ethan.  Off I go!

5/08/02 (Wednesday)

Wow!  Where has the time gone??  It's been along time between posts.  With dad at work and many projects at home, it's been tough to keep up.  I'll try to summarize the highlights of the past 3 weeks.

bulletEthan just keeps growing.  He broke the 5 pound mark on May 7 or so.  He's typically putting on a about an ounce per day.  If he holds that same pace, he will be around 7 pounds by the time his due date of June 7th comes.  It's nearly impossible to think about the fact that he's still not due for almost another month.  It feels like we've known him for so long.  It's odd to think about this little personality still in the womb.
bulletGot into a bassinette towards the end of April.  That means he was holding his temperature.  It's so much nicer.  We can see him better and we can easily scoop him up for feeding or holding. 
bulletHad a hearing test.  Passed with flying colors.  Yeah!
bulletHad a vision test.  Everything was as-expected.  He has 20/100 vision (i.e., he sees from 20 feet what people with normal vision see from 100 feet).  He may have better vision than mom :)  The doctor said that his vision is still immature.  For a preemie at this stage, premature vision is a good thing.  If it has overly matured, it cam somehow lead to issues later on.  He will have another vision test a couple of weeks after coming home.
bulletOne of the nurse practitioners teased with the prospect of Ethan coming home on May 6th, but we learned a couple of days later that he was not coming home then.  We were disappointed, but we were also glad to know that they were not sending him home before he was ready.  
bulletStill some Bs every few days or so, but they are limited to feeding time.  He self-corrects (i.e., we do not have to stimulate him to get his heart rate back), but these events keep him from coming home.
bulletStarted taking vitamins in the morning with his milk.  This will continue for a few weeks.
bulletMom is doing MUCH better.  She's getting around just fine, and is not experiencing nay significant pain.
4/24/02 (Wednesday)

We went up to the hospital on Tuesday, spent the night, and left Tuesday afternoon.  Our room was some unused room with 2 cots in it, but at least we got a place to stay.  We requested that Ethan be transferred to the hospital that he was slated to be born at.  Unfortunately, our request was denied.  He's OK to transfer, but the insurance company refused to pick up the $1,500 ambulance ride.  So, we will continue to drive over twice as far to the hospital.

Mom is doing much better.  Her incision is starting to heal, getting better each day.  She can even drive now, so Don is heading back to work again.  The heater move in the basement is almost done.  Bedroom floors will be done on Friday, so Ethan should have a room by the end of the weekend :)  Simon is in a kennel for the week since the contractors are here.

Ethan Update

bulletGaining more weight.  Gained 7 grams on Monday and 36 on Tuesday, bringing his weight to 1,805 grams.  That's just a touch under 4 pounds, which is 1,814 grams.  Perhaps his 3-week birthday on Thursday will see him reach 4 pounds.
bulletGot his last caffeine dose (to stimulate breathing) on Monday morning.  That's the last helper (e.g., oxygen, IV, etc.) that he was receiving directly.
bulletThe nurses are steadily reducing his isolette temperature towards room temperature.  They indicated that he should be out of the isolette and into a bassinet within a few days.
bulletOn Tuesday afternoon, Ethan "graduated" to the Transitional Care Nursery (TCN).  The TCN is another, smaller, NICU room.  It's run by the same nurses and doctors.  It has significantly fewer babies than where he was before, and it's a lot quieter.  The babies in the TCN are "less sick" than those in the main NICU.  They are basically babies who need to grow and who still need to be monitored.  It's a big step towards going home and a sign that things are going well.  We were very excited.ethan_042402_04.jpg (78992 bytes)
bulletStill working on the breastfeeding thing.  Ethan is making  progress, but still has a ways to go.  Did really good with bottle feeding on Tuesday though, taking in 40 CCs with little effort.
bulletWe're holding him a lot more now since he does well when out of the isolette.
bulletAs & Bs are down a lot.  One of the many criteria for going home is no As or Bs for 7 days.
4/22/02 (Monday)

Although a late starting day, it was a good day at the hospital.  Not too much to tell besides the Ethan stats, so ......

bulletNasal canula (i.e., nose air tube) was removed sometime during the day.  At long last, we can see his entire face.  ethan_042202_05.jpg (58569 bytes)This is most joyous!  He was wide awake when we got there, and it was great to see him completely and talk to him.  He almost looked relieved to be rid of the canula.
bulletGained 29 grams, getting back most of what he lost the day before.  Heading back in the right direction.
bulletThe nurse informed us that Ethan took one of his feeds during the day from a bottle.  This was quite a surprise to us, since there was really no discussion about that starting anytime soon.  We mentioned to another nurse later that we wished they had not done his first bottle feed while we were not there.  She told us that they basically have to take whatever opportunities they can when Ethan is energetic.
bulletMade another go at breast feeding.  Ethan is far from a pro, but is making good progress.  Finished the feed with a nipple feed and some impressive burping.
bulletWhen we first arrived, the doctors were making rounds.  One of cake_sign_01.jpg (73899 bytes) them asked where the cake sign on the isolette came from.  We told them it was from Grandma Shirley.  They said that they might need to talk to her since her sign is better than theirs :)
4/21/02 (Sunday)

Sorry about the gap in entries.  Back to work, which leaves less time.  The week has just flown by.  Grandma Shirley was here all week, and flew out this afternoon.  It was great to have her here .... and we have a hunch that she enjoyed her time with Ethan ;)  We'll be on our own starting Monday for the first time since two nights before Ethan was born.  We hope it goes well.

Friday was like Christmas for Ethan.  We got gifts from Grandma Shirley, Don's teammates at work, and from the ex-Calico crew at work.  On top of that, the car seat arrived and Don picked it up.  Thanks to everyone for the kind gifts.  Official thank you cards to follow of course!!

Grandma Shirley made a cake cut-out/picture for Ethan's isolette.  She also made candles, one for each week, and laminated them all.  We will put a new candle on his cake every Thursday.  The cake even says "Made by Grandma Shirley".  It's too cute.  Pictures to come later.

House is absolutely crazy.  With the early arrival, the scramble continues to ready the house.  Floor guys started on Thursday of last week.  They will lay the kitchen floor on Monday and begin staining and coating the bedrooms.  Asbestos removal guys will be here Monday morning, and the heating duct replacement guys will be here Tuesday morning.  We're hoping to get the bedrooms back in order this coming bedroom_floors_042102_02.jpg (44832 bytes)bedroom_floors_042102_01.jpg (53370 bytes)weekend or early next week.  We now live completely in the living room and office when not at the hospital.  Even our fridge and oven are now in the dining room so the floors can be laid in the kitchen.

Ethan Update

bulletCentral line was removed early in the week since he was feeding enough (30 CCs) so that he does not require additional nutrients.  He seems to enjoy having his left hand back in action after being in a splint for about a week.
bulletContinued gaining weight throughout the week.  The gains decreased to around 15-20 grams per day.  We think the lower rate is related to the shift from pure calories via IV to milk.  Ethan even lost 36 grams at his weigh-in for Sunday.  The nurses think the loss may be a result of excessive stimulation on Saturday.  We spent a lot of time with him, and perhaps he did not rest enough.  They often advise us not to worry about daily weight change, but instead look at the weekly trend.  He's at 1724 grams (about 3 pounds, 13 ounces ... or 1 pound over his lowest weight and 10 ounces over his birth weight).
bulletBreathing regular air almost always now.  They sometimes give him 2-3 percent extra oxygen when they first take him out of the isolette since the change can bother him at first.  Incidence of A's & B's are down a lot.  We do not see the chart anymore, which is a sign that they are not very frequent.  We learned that one criteria for going home is that he must go 7 straight days without any incidents.  They tell us that these things usually stop around 34 weeks, which is the end of this week.
bulletDawn took her first try at breast feeding today.  We did not expect much, but they told us it would be good if Ethan could start to try.  He could at least taste the milk.  Of course the "tough guy" exceeded our expectations.  He was actually sucking a bit 2-3 times.  It will take him a while to learn what to do, but this was a good, and very exciting, start.
bulletOn Monday, we will be discussing a potential transfer to our original hospital.  Depends on insurance.  A nurse told us that he is stable enough to transfer.  Getting him at least 50% closer to home would make things much easier.
bulletSeveral holds from Grandma Shirley, Mommy, and Daddy.  Ethan isethan_0421_05.jpg (56692 bytes) ethan_0421_08.jpg (42189 bytes)doing much better when being held, often staying out for over an hour without any issues.  He does get tired eventually though from all the extra stimulation.
bulletDaddy experienced some more like a 6 on the POOPGAR scale.  He did not have the next diaper ready (rookie move) and Ethan decided to put his feet in the dirty diaper while Daddy got the other one opened up.  Lesson learned ... we hope.
4/15/02 (Monday)

Quick entry tonight.  Getting sleepy.  Had a very good weekend.  Ethan continued to get stronger.  Diana left on Sunday at 2:15.  She said it was tough to go, but she had to get back to work.  Something about "paying the bills".  We had visitors right after we got back from the airport.  Our friends, Kel, Kirsten, Paul, and Susan, all came up for a visit.  Kel and Kirsten brought their children, Lyndsey and Trent, along and we had pizza for dinner.  Their kids are exceptional.  It was great to see everyone!!

Don is heading back to work on Tuesday.  It will be very tough, but it must be done to conserve time off for when Ethan actually comes home.  Grandma Shirley arrived tonight.  Simon was simply overjoyed at once again seeing one of the people who watched him for 3 months during MOAV 2000.  We sure do love the company and the help.

Ethan Update

bulletGained 106 grams (not a typo) on Saturday and another 41 on Sunday.  His weight coming into Monday was 1603 grams, 141 grams over his birth weight.  They say that making it back to birth weight in two week is doing well.  Ethan made it back in 10 days!!
bulletHad a few more A's and B's over the weekend.  Situation normal they tell us.  Got a dose on caffeine on Monday to help him along.
bulletHas been off of CPAP and the jaundice light for 3 days now.  Excellent!!
bulletGot another kangaroo hold from Mommy on Monday.  He did very well during that, with no A's and B's.
bulletPeed on Mommy's hand during a diaper change :)
bulletDad changed his first poopy diaper.  Not so bad.  Probably only a 2 on the POOPGAR scale.
4/12/02 (Friday)

Mom and Dad spent the day at the hospital, leaving at 3:30 for Dawns doctor appointment. Diana came by around lunch. Our friend Brian Adams also visited for lunch. Its impossible to explain how great it is to have the friends and family we have. Their support, your support, makes this entire process so much easier to bear. We went home in the afternoon. This will be Dawns first night away from the hospital since April 1st.

Ethan Update

bulletGained 31 grams. Up to 1403, about 60 below his birth weight.
bulletFood intake increased to 8 ccs. That even required a new IV syringe since the other one only held 6 ccs. He digested the 8ccs well.
bulletTwo good poops!! These are a good because it means that his body is processing the food hes taking in. They are also good because mom was there to change both and dad was not J Can you guess whos writing this entry??
bulletHad his first "kangaroo hold" with Mom. The kangaroo hold involvesdawn_roo_041202_01.jpg (193762 bytes) holding Ethan against ones chest. He wears nothing but a diaper and the holder wears something that opens in the front so Ethan can lay skin-to-skin. He liked it very much. For that matter, we all liked it very much.
bulletGot the IV taken out of his head since the central line is now in. They had the IV there since they were running out of places in his hands and his feet do not provide good access.
4/11/02 (Thursday)

Today was a pretty good day overall. Dawn and Diana spent the day with Ethan at the hospital. They had to leave their assigned room early, so it was a bit uncomfortable until another room was assigned. Don spent the day filing taxes, putting in grout so the sink can be installed, and organizing contractors for work that is suddenly more urgent.

The stresses of being in the NICU everyday are starting to mount. There are so many little alarm sounds that occur. Most of them are unimportant, but they get your attention just the same. Were constantly looking up to see if its our alarm. Also, there are some babies there because of illness, and some babies that do not seem to have many visitors. Its just a bunch of little things together that make things tough. Dawn has slept at the hospital every night, with the rest of us taking turns with her. She is planning to sleep at home on Friday night. It will be challenging, but we can call 24 hours a day to get an update, so we can always know how hes doing.

Ethan Update

bulletGained 22 grams. Trending in the right direction.
bulletCame off of the light therapy for jaundice. His levels are now acceptable for his weight. HE could go back on later, but its a good break from his daily tanning routine.
bulletFood intake increased to 6 ccs. Trending upward.
bulletThey put a central line in. A central line is basically an IV that goes into his arm, threads up a vein, and ends up in his chest. Sounds pretty scary, but then ensure us that it is pretty routine, at least at this hospital. The upside is that he can get better nutrients this way and they do not have to stick a new IV location every couple of days. Poor little guy has lots of stick marks. The doctors tried putting the line in twice in the morning, but they were not successful. They finally got it in sometime in the afternoon.
bulletEthan had 6 "As & Bs". As are apneas, where he stops breathing for several seconds. Bs are Bradys, where his heart rate goes below 100. In all cases, he pulls himself out of it, either without intervention or with a gentle shake. The doctors and nurses tell us that these are to be expected and that his number is pretty normal. At 33-34 weeks, they usually stop having them. The doctor also told us that if the frequency stays at this level, they will start Ethan on caffeine to stimulate him a bit. They said they might put him on caffeine almost every day, but it has not happened yet.
bulletHes now on a cycle of 3 hours on the CPAP and 3 hours off. Hes doing well off, but starts to labor a bit towards the end.
4/10/02 (Wednesday)

Ethan Update:


Up to 4 CCs of milk every 3 hours.  That's 32 CCs per day.  Targeted feed rate is 60-80 CCs.


They tell us that he will need a "central line".  It's basically an IV tube that they actually snake up through a vein in his arm and into his chest.  It's necessary because he needs more IV nutrition than his little veins can handle.  Once his feed rate is normal, he will not need the line anymore.


He's on a cycle of 3 hours on the CPAP and 3 hours off.  When he's off, he does not even have the normal breathing tube that they have been using.  He just breathes regular air.  They will continue to wean him from the CPAP.


Mom and Grandma Witham got to hold Ethan today.  It was Grandma's first time holding him.  She was very happy.ethan_dawn_061002_02.JPG (34073 bytes) ethan_diana_061002_02.JPG (41432 bytes)


Ethan added 34 grams of weight today.  Babies lose 10-15% of the weight in the first week.  Today was the first day that Ethan has put on weight.  We hope this is the start of the growing.


Since everyone asks, there's no target date for Ethan to go home.  We've been told to aim towards what would have been 40 weeks gestation (about 8 weeks from now), and maybe he will get to leave earlier.  He may also get to transfer to our original hospital at some point.

Diana and Dawn are sleeping at the hospital tonight.  Don is home (which is why this entry is here).  We picked up a video camera today.  Perhaps there will be some video on here soon.

4/5/02 - 4/9/02 (Friday - Tuesday)

I have no chance of remembering these days correctly as I am trying to get caught up on the diary after the fact.  After the birth, the days started to run together in a constant blur.  Some highlights:


Ethan progressed each day.

He started taking some milk.  He started with 1cc every 3 hours.  A cc is roughly 1/5 of 1 teaspoon.


His breathing was pretty strong, although he was on a CPAP often.  The CPAP provides small constant air pressure so his little lungs will not collapse down with each breath.  Unlike us, his lungs are not developed enough to keep some air in them.  By Tuesday, they were starting to wean him from the CPAP, giving him longer and longer times without CPAP.


Ethan received extra oxygen early in his stay.  He was often on 40-50% oxygen.  By Tuesday, he was down to 21%, which is the oxygen content of the air we all breath.


Ethan "had some Bradys".  A Brady is an alarm that sounds if his heart rate drops below 100.  It can happen when he gets too physically tired.  He pretty much brings himself out of it, but sometimes requires a little shake.  This is one of the many reasons why a premature baby needs to be in the NICU.  Another main reason is something called apnea, which is when the baby forgets to breath for more than 20 seconds.  {Knocking on wood} Ethan has not experienced any of these.


Dawn's Dad, Ed, flew in on Saturday (4/6) evening.  He stayed that night at the hotel.  Ed had to return for work on Tuesday (4/9).


Diana and Ed did some serious nesting around the house.  You know, the house that would be ready within the next several weeks for that baby due in June.  Ha!  Diana and Ed painted, tore up carpet in bedrooms, mowed the lawn (a.k.a. weeds), packed stuff for Dawn, removed stumps, and performed a host of other tasks to get our house ready for Ethan's arrival.


Mom and Dad got to hold Ethan a couple of times.  A most excellent experience!!!


Dawn was discharged on Sunday (4/7).  Since Ethan is in the NICU, the hospital lets us use a room, assuming there's one available.  Dawn has slept there every night, and the everyone else takes turns staying with her.


We decorated Ethan's isolette a bit.  We put some pictures of us on there, put a blanket on the top, and placed some stuffed animals (and one Mizzou Tigers ball) nearby.


Dawn started breast pumping.  This is important since Ethan will not be able to nurse for quite some time.  She has been SuperMom thus far.  Ethan will have plenty of milk :)  The nurses are pretty impressed.


Don laid much of the kitchen tile one evening in an effort to get the sink installed.

4/4/02 (Thursday)

Dawn slept through the night, really only waking once.  Drugs are a wonderful thing.  Her contractions were down to 3 per hour, well below the target "fantastic" rate.  We were pretty sure we'd be living in this room for several days.  The doctor would be by sometime, but nobody knew when.  We made a lengthy to-do list (e.g., notify people what was happening, sign disability papers, feed Simon, get clothes, books, etc.) and Don headed for Redwood City to work through it.  Not long after he left, Dawn had a couple of larger contractions.  An alert nurse thought that something did not quite seem right.  Our doctor was in surgery and not expected for a while.  The nurse grabbed a partner doctor in the hall and had him take a long.  He is quoted as saying, "Looks like we're having a baby this morning.  I see a butt".  Dawn was suddenly fully dilated.  If the baby was not breech, he would have been born right in that room.

Diana called Don at 9:11am and told him to hurry back.  With warnings not to drive too fast, Don rushed back at about 90mph.  But there's not much one can do when trying to get across the city.  We only knew the route down I-280 and 19th Avenue at this point and it is not a fast route.  Don arrived at 9:55, ran down the garage stairs with people clearing out of the way, and ran into the nurses station.  They gave him his scrubs.  He immediately tore the size-circa-high-school pants in an effort to put on the booties.  Into the operating room he went at 10:05.  

Our baby was born at 10:03.  The nurses had him on a little table.  birth_01.jpg (18033 bytes)He had good color and was crying pretty loudly.  He even managed to pee on the nurses when he first came out.  Show off!!!  The doctors were already sewing Dawn up from the C-Section.  In the span of 52 minutes, they prepped her, moved her, and brought that baby out.  It was shockingly fast.  Dawn had a minor panic attack when the local was put in.  She felt like she could not breath, which is apparently a common effect of a local.  Had we ever made it to our birth classes, which were scheduled to start the next week, we might have known such things.  We both got to touch the baby before they took him away to the NICU.

Don felt (and still sometimes feels) ill at having been late.  Some decisions are so clearly wrong when viewed through the rearview mirror, even though they may seem sane at the time.  It was an extremely unfortunate circumstance, but having a healthy wife and baby somehow makes such things not seem so bad pretty quickly.

Don and Diana visited Dawn in the recovery room for a while, but then they were kicked out so she could rest.  Off to see the baby in the Newborn Intensive Care Unit (NICU).  first_isollete.jpg (19428 bytes)We were planning to tour the unit on this day, but that was before we knew we would have our own guest there.  He was already settled in when we got there.  He was breathing on his own, which is a great sign.  His little name sign said, "Stacy, Boy".  Poor lad had no name.  We simply had not gotten that far yet, although we had a short list working.

Dawn got to our new room sometime in the afternoon.  She was sore, to say the least.  It was hard to imagine that they would discharge her after only 3 nights.  We decided that we better come up with a name because "Boy Stacy" would simply never work.  We worked through the highlighted entries in our name book and built a longer short list.  We narrowed that down to 4 names: Brian, Ethan, Whittaker, and Zachary.  In the end, he would be Ethan Donald Stacy.  Don sneaked down the NICU and had them update Ethan's sign before Dawn got there.

We switched to a private room around 8:00pm.  Dawn had not yet seen the baby, which we've since learned is very uncommon.  They usually wheel new mothers into the NICU on their gurneys before taking them to their rooms.  The nurse that was moving us to the new room suggested that perhaps Dawn should wait to see the baby the next day.  Yeah right!!!  Dawn was having no part dawn_ethan_01.jpg (33640 bytes)of that.  So, the nurse wheeled her down to the NICU, where she got to see her son for the first time without being under heavy sedation.  It was a fantastic moment!!  It was sad to see him with all the wires and tubes, but it was also great to see that he was well.

The phone calls went out that afternoon informing as many people as possible about the surprising early arrival.

4/3/02 (Wednesday)

Dawn's water broke at 11:50 PM on 4/2.  She had been asleep for almost an hour when it happened.  We called the doctor and got a return call from an on-call mid-wife in about 10 minutes.  We were already starting to pack since we were pretty sure what had happened.  After a few questions, the mid-wife had us come in to our normal hospital.  An on-call doctor that we had not previously met arrived sometime between 2:00-3:00am.  She was at least half asleep.  She did a quick test and said, "yep, your water's broke" and then "the babies breech".  She did not really explain much without us asking and the whole thing was less than comforting in such an uncertain time.  They gave Dawn a steroid shot to help the baby's lung development.

An ambulance came to take Dawn to California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco (about 25 miles from our house).  They transferred us there because that facility has better care for children that are as premature as it appeared our child would be.  Don followed, making a reservation on the way for Dawn's mom to fly from Kansas City that day.  United told Don that he would need to come in person to sign for the ticket since it used miles and the passenger had a different last name.  Dawn was pretty uncomfortable after the ambulance ride as it was quite bumpy.  We arrived at about 4:00am.

Don set out sometime after 5:00am for SFO to sign the all-important paperwork for United.  After a brief stop to feed the dog (Simon), Don returned to the hospital to find that Dawn was having contractions 5 minutes apart.  The surprises just kept coming .... and they were not done yet.  After a shot and an IV with Magnesium in it, the contractions lessoned a lot.  The doctor came in around 10:30am.  He was great.  He explained things well.  He said our short-term goal was to make it 48 hours before having the baby since that's how long it takes for the steroid shots to reach full effect.  Our longer term goal was to go as long as possible without having the baby.  Each day makes him stronger and stronger.  They would go to greater lengths to defer the birth prior to 48 hours than they would after that.  He also told us that babies past 29 weeks typically do well.  He said they have all the pieces, but they are just smaller versions and their systems are less developed.  Dawn had monitors tracking her statistics as well as the baby's.  The doctor said he would be happy with 8 contractions per hour or less and he would be "ecstatic" with 5.  Dawn got down in the 5 range pretty quickly and the severity lessoned.  A sonogram showed no dilation.  No baby today.  All was looking well, so Don left around 1:00pm to go get Dawn's mom from the airport.  Dawn was moved to another room, in anticipation of a potentially long stay, and rested pretty well through the evening, although contractions continued.  We got our first real sleep in about 36 hours that afternoon.




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