Wednesday, September 12, 2012

evaluation of the baby situation pt 2

it was a waiting period. the only difference from the waiting that took place in a state side hospital was that this room felt like we were waiting literally while on the sun's surface. i didn't mind waiting so much because the anticipation of a whole new life completely removed that frustration that comes with being forced to wait. while i waited i took advantage of the internet as soon as i could to enjoy a little texas rangers baseball.

actually, the way this whole search for the "wireless password" began was i had a monster energy drink that i had purchased for the explosion meeting. usually these all day events drain me by the time the meeting is actually supposed to begin so a little pick me up is appreciated. however, at this particular moment at the hospital my energy drink had began to heat up, as everything else did in that inferno of a room, and therefore rendered my beverage too unbearably warm to consume. it seriously was like a sauna in there. you may be able to drink a coke at room temperature but i dare you to drink a red bull or monster energy drink at 90 degrees.

the same shirt that welcomed dutch, titus, and now baby finn
i searched for a nurse to retrieve me a fridge and the wireless password so that i could access twitter and inform the very anxious grandmas from all the way around the world about the happenings. upon asking for a fridge she quickly gave me the look as if to suggest she knew american's spoiled rotten nature of needing a lot of ice and free refills. the answer to the fridge was a quick, "no we don't have that" and i would only be able to retrieve the wireless password when i had a room registered to me. i found said room which had a fridge in it and quickly moved the stuff in order so that i could find entertainment. this fridge, even at maximum cooling capacity would be useless but i still gave it a shot. around 9pm belgian time i not only was able to enjoy my beverage but the rangers as well.

nearly 45 minutes later liz began the process of multiple contractions that were very painful. the strength of that woman as she clenched my hand ever 30-45 seconds. after nearly an hour of this i didn't know what to do. i wanted to call a nurse in and tell her to check on liz but i didn't want to leave her either so i waited. finally a nurse came in and i tried to aggressively nudge with my vocal tone that my wife need to be attended to by a medical professional. she checked and sure enough liz was ready to push this nugget out. the nurse said she was going to go call the doctor, i knew this meant i wouldn't see anyone for another hour for sure.

the chair in the far corner folded out to a rather comfy bed
surprisingly 5 minutes later the doc came in and they stared sliding stuff around, turning directional lights on, shifting the bed at the footboard, getting the warmer on, and of course, suiting up...oh, and that trash can looking thing was wheeled over as well. i had some experience in helping liz before with this sort of thing so helping her breathe and count was easy enough. and  before you knew it, all of a sudden voila! baby finn comes out 10 minutes before the 19th of august. it really was only about 15 minutes of pushing.

overall the staff was awesome, the room wasn't too bad in size, the bed was great for me, privacy and noise was superb. so i would say that if you are thinking about having a baby in belgium...go for it. oh, but make sure and have some money to pay for it or have insurance.

now we are balancing 2 young boys and a new born. i have been really trying to tend to all the boys needs while liz focuses completely on baby finn. sleep is a commodity that is as valuable as gold around these parts.

we will persevere!!!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

evaluation of the baby situation pt 1

liz had come home from her doctor's appointment and kind of casually revealed her doctor's thoughts on lowrie number 3.

"the dr. said that she would be surprised if i didn't have this baby this weekend."

it went into my brain but it didn't really register as a possibility. actually the thought that came to me was that i have an explosion service tomorrow so hopefully it comes late that night. liz would have another appointment the next day (saturday the 18th) so that the doctor would make another evaluation of the baby situation. both of my other boys were late so to have one early was new to me and therefore the urgency of it all escaped my conscious.

the next day was a big deal because of the explosion service and possibly the birth of lowrie number 3. i felt it so i tweeted it.

as you can see this was on the day before his entrance.

waking up on the 18th my honest thoughts were, "please baby finn wait until late tonight." i really wanted to be apart of the worship service and carry my weight in the meeting. we were doing a new stage design and playing new songs and i was excited to do this.

this is without the lights on by the way
the whole day of course i had to just plan like i was going to do the service...set-up, rehearse, interact, pray, and then play the guitar. well...someone had other plans. at 2pm i had everyone who had a phone on alert and ready to receive a call incase i would not respond promptly enough. the dr said contractions that are 10 minutes apart consistently for at least one hour is reason to come in.

that call came about 430pm and it hit me like the police car lights flashing in the rear view mirror...oh my goodness! except i knew i wasn't in trouble.

i grabbed all my stuff and headed to the house. thanks to christophe vandeput for the prompt ride to my house to get my wife and go to st. elizabeth's hospital (how appropriately named).

now, here i need to mention that this was already one of the hottest days of the summer so combine excitement with the heat and NO a/c in the car and you have for yourself the perfect cocktail of sweaty back and butt.

this is our car, dash, literally right in front of the hospital
upon our arrival of the hospital, i remembered how we were told that even in the case of a baby you are not given a refund for your parking. here in europe they charge for


there are just a few spots that are right in front of the hospital on the street and not behind the gated area. lucky me, lucky me as the parking spot gods were smiling upon me.

never having to rush to the hospital i didn't know what kind of time we had. did i need to leave the stuff in the car? do i need to grab a wheelchair? did i need to phone ahead? i abandon all of these thoughts and began the trek up to the 2nd level maternit√© luggage in tow.

this long hallway to the birthing room resembled that of an old western ghost town. it was quiet and dark. i found out why the reason for low lighting...less heat generated. this birthing room was equipped with cheapest a/c unit known to man, otherwise known as the window. this system literally made the lynn lowrie sweat shop seem like the arctic pole.

don't let the look of a ghost town fool you in these parts. it doesn't mean they are not busy but rather that they are not prompt. we played the waiting game for a few hours as the contractions grew worse and worse. thankfully the excitement of an early, european style birth drowned all the excuses to complain about the temperature or lack of prompt service. if you know liz, you know she gets cold in even the sahara desert. for her to not be wearing a sweater gives you a clear indication that we were dealing with heat. not to mention that a tired, worn out, contracting woman who is NOT lying down in the bed because said heat would cause this to be a tub birth experience.