By Jacob Luecke
It was 4:30 a.m. when I was jarred awake with four magic words: “Jake, my water broke.”
It was just days before Meghan’s due date, so we knew our baby could come at any time. And we were certainly prepared.
Our hospital bag was packed, the nursery was freshly painted and the baby’s car seat was already installed in our recently-purchased minivan.
Yet, as we drove down Highway 63 in the morning darkness, it was still hard to believe that today was the day I would become a father.
We arrived at Boone Hospital Center and checked in at the brand new Labor and Delivery Unit — it’s a beautiful facility and worth a trip to the second floor if only to see the artwork and admire the attractive design.
Meghan was given a room and soon a nurse came to test whether her water had actually broken. When the test came back positive, it suddenly sunk in that today would be the day.
After the test, we spent a few pleasant hours together talking and waiting for the strong contractions to begin. When they wouldn’t come, Elizabeth Wilson, MD, suggested that to get things moving we could either fully break Meghan’s water or administer Pitosin, a hormone that helps bring on contractions.
Meghan chose to have the rest of her water ruptured. This was a conscious decision. Meghan had researched her birthing options for months during her pregnancy. She decided that she wanted as few medical interventions as possible.
We explained this to our nurses and Dr. Wilson and they respected Meghan’s wishes. During the entire process, we felt like we were in control of Meghan’s delivery and our caregivers were there to support us. It was an empowering experience.
Yet, after Meghan’s water was fully ruptured, the contractions became very strong. We used a birthing ball and lots of back massages, but the pain was simply more than Meghan could stand.
So she decided to request an epidural, which almost completely relieved her pain. Because an epidural can slow down labor, Meghan also agreed to a small dose of Pitosin to help keep the process moving forward.
Although hours and hours went by during this process, for me, the day was flying by in a blur.
By mid-afternoon, it was time for Meghan to push. This is where Boone’s technology really shined. With Meghan’s lower half numbed, we relied on a monitor that accurately showed when a contraction was coming, so Meghan knew when to bear down and push.
At 5:41 p.m., our daughter was born — Brynn Marie Luecke. She weighed 7 pounds and was 21 inches long.
For me, Brynn’s birth was an amazing rush of energy. While I had spent months waiting for her and getting everything ready, my daughter remained a very abstract concept until she was suddenly there in my arms. In a mere moment, the abstract became reality — two became three.
Seeing her face, I could physically to feel my heart stretch and expand itself, making room for this beautiful little spiky-haired girl.
While I certainly knew the great reputation of the Boone Family Birthplace, experiencing it first hand was another matter. Everyone who came to our room was outstanding.
I could go on and on about all our caregivers, but I’ll just tell you this instead — two days later, as we pulled out of the hospital parking lot with Brynn, Meghan turned to me and said, “Having a baby was fun.”
When is the last time you heard labor and hospitalization described as “fun?”
And even more recently Meghan said she wished she could come back to Boone just to have the people there take care of her. I think that illustrates how amazing the care is here.
By the time you read this, Brynn will be almost three months old. She smiles at us every day and is starting to like toys — especially her stuffed penguin.
We are still just getting to know her, but Meghan and I are absolutely in love with little Brynn — our Boone Baby.