Tuesday, June 30, 2009

the boognish chronicles: part 9

june 29-30, 2009 (yes, it takes two days to write to you now)

dear little boognish,

well, i guess i did you a bit of a disservice by not writing when i meant to a couple of weeks ago, because somebody got a little impatient and decided to be born four weeks early. you turned two weeks old on sunday, and you’re already so different from the day you were born that i think the next thing we know, you’ll be heading off to college in the car that we bought you to try to make you like us again after you decided we were horrible people because we wouldn’t let you date a 42-year-old tattoo artist fresh out of san quentin. in the meantime, i’ll tell you the story of how you came into the world to two very surprised parents who now spend every day wondering what life was like before you were in it.

tuesday, june 9, i had a “lady exam” with our doctor, and he told me i was already dilating and that you were “really far down there,” which all sounded to me like you were dangerously close to being born. he assured me that no, it was highly unlikely that i would deliver you much earlier than your due date of july 11. sweet, i thought. i’m going shopping. and i did - saturday, june 13, which, by the way, meant a 4-hour round trip to vegas. (as i typed that last sentence, you let out a noise of what i call mount vesuvius erupting from your bassinet in the kitchen. yeah, that’s right - i just let the whole internet know about the things you do in your diaper. tell that to your therapist.)

anyway, i drove to the vegas area to exchange some car seat bases and shop around a bit, and i was gone from about noon till about 7 pm. when i got home, i made myself a huge bowl of pasta and settled in for the night in front of the tv with my computer and your papa. at about 9 pm, i reached across the room to show your dad a picture on the computer, and i thought i had peed my pants. embarrassed, i practically threw the laptop at him and ran to the bathroom, thinking i had reached the point in the pregnancy of being completely incontinent, and i was not pleased. once in the bathroom, i realized that the fluid flowing out of me was bloody, and i started bawling. i had just been assured that you were not coming early, so my thought was the only other option was that i was losing you. your dad rushed in and tried to calm me down, and then he ran off to find the doctor’s pager number, which i had only just received during our last appointment. a lightbulb went off in my head, and i just started yelling across the house, “bloody show! bloody show! i don’t remember what it is or when it’s supposed to happen, but this could be bloody show!” yeah, papa didn’t really understand what the hell i was talking about, and i was pretty sure i was a terrible person for not more fully reading all the books that were so readily at hand in our house.

we got the doctor on the phone, and your dad talked to him for what seemed like forever, while i sat on the toilet crying and trying to stop leaking long enough to figure out what the hell we were doing. the doctor said, “yeah, she could be in labor. you should go to the hospital and they’ll do a test.” realizing that you were quite likely making an appearance soon, i did my best to pull myself together and told your dad i had to brush my teeth before we went anywhere. (you’ll eventually learn that i have an abnormal love of brushing my teeth, so this was a completely appropriate response to “hey lady, you’re about to give birth and should get your fat ass to the hospital immediately.”) during this entire process, your dad and i kept looking at each other going, “no, this isn’t happening right now. we have four weeks! we’re not ready for this!” apparently, you didn’t care about our needs though...

we worked our way out of the house and made it over to the hospital by about 9:15 - one of the perks of living only a mile from the place. i stood in the emergency room trying to keep people from noticing the rivers of fluid running down my legs while we waited for someone from the OB ward to collect me in a wheelchair and take us upstairs. they put me in a hospital gown and into a bed surrounded by scary looking equipment, and they did some kind of bizarre litmus test to determine that i, in fact, was in labor. again, your dad and i just stared at each other with these completely terrified eyes, saying “holy shit, holy shit, holy shit.” i told the nurse i didn’t think things actually happened this way - the whole dramatic water-breaking-unexpectedly thing. i didn’t even feel any contractions or have any other indications that this was about to happen. inside though, i figured it was probably a good thing that everything went so fast and furious because, i gotta tell you kid, i was totally terrified of the delivery process, and this course of events made it so i didn’t really have the time to think about anything.

the nurse also checked to see how dilated i was, and she told me i was at 2 cm, which was what the doc had written during my exam as well apparently. i had no idea i could feel absolutely nothing different about my body when this process would start. i was hooked up to machines that showed me when i was having contractions, but i didn’t feel those either, which was just crazy to me. in fact, i didn’t feel them at all until after midnight, and they didn’t become at all uncomfortable until around 5 or 6 am sunday.

so there we were, just your dad and me, hanging out in a delivery room, watching tv and dealing with the arduous process of taking a bunch of medical instruments with me into the bathroom every half hour because, oh yes, you were still making me pee constantly, only now i had to do it with an IV uncomfortably inserted into my arm. every time i moved to try to get comfortable on that god-forsakenly-unforgiving bed, the monitors would lose your heartbeat and set off an alarm that would beep continuously until the nurse came in to reset it and find you again. finally she had to insert a monitor directly inside me and attach it to your head, which i have to tell you was neither a pleasant nor entirely clear process. at least that made it so our alarm wouldn’t go off, but it didn’t keep the alarms from other women in labor from going off on the screen, so we had to listen to those well into the morning. i was able to drift in and out of sleep sometimes, but with my ass constantly falling asleep, none of my rest was very fitful.

my progress was checked around 6 am, and we were told that i was far enough along that i could get the heavenly epidural around 8 am when the anesthesiologist would be in. i think the part i was looking forward to the most was the fact that i would need a catheter once i had the epidural, which meant i would no longer have to drag IV equipment to the bathroom. the doctor came in around 8:15 and proceeded to torture me for a good 15 or 20 minutes. he had to stick me four times because he kept getting bloody taps when trying to thread the epidural catheter into my spine, and after the third try, mama started cussing. this did not please the nurse or the doctor, and i didn’t care. i was bawling and my feet looked like sausages from hanging over the edge of the bed for so long. the process itself wasn’t really painful, just a bit uncomfortable, but the doctor kept saying things like “uh oh” and “that’s not good,” and your dad and i were both about to shove a chair up his ass to get across the point that these are not phrases one should utter when dealing with soon-to-be parents. i finally told the guy he needed to stop dicking around with the damn thing and either make it work or start talking to me about other pain management options. apparently that did it, because the guy finally got everything to work properly. instantly, i felt no more contractions, and i was much happier, although if i see that doctor on the street, he should probably stay as far away from me as possible.

at 11:15 am, i was told i was at about 6 cm and that i would probably deliver you around 3 pm. i sent this message on to all my friends, and your gran came by the hospital to see us for a bit. i started to feel pressure in my lower back and butt, and since i had been told to let the nurse know if i felt like i needed to “go to the bathroom” (and you know what i mean when i put it in quotes), i called her in to let her know i thought i would need to get up. she didn’t seem to think that was the issue, and within a few minutes, she explained to us that we would be having our baby very, very soon. this bewildered me for two reasons: 1) i thought we had hours yet. it was only about noon, and i had just been told you would probably be arriving around 3 pm; and 2) i really thought i probably needed to poop, and i just didn’t want to be one of the many women who poops while giving birth. i really did not. the nurse did not seem to care.

the doctor came into our room at about 12:15 and quickly met your gran before we ushered her into the waiting area, and i was told that i was about to start pushing. this is when we all learned that your mama probably should have taken just one birthing class, because apparently i don’t listen to a long list of instructions very well. i was told to hold the bed handles in a certain way, to breathe a certain way, to start pushing at a certain time during a contraction, to hold it for so long, to take a breath and push again, and on and on. i just looked at the nurse like, “um, yeah, i’m gonna need the remedial version of that.” i made the first push, and the doctor walked away afterward, saying “yeah, it’s gonna be a bit yet.” the next thing i knew, though, he was being called back in, and i was pushing, and independence day was on the television, and i was noticing that jeff goldblum was on the screen above the head of my doctor who greatly resembles jeff goldblum, and i thought that was pretty funny, and then you were born at 12:33 pm. i kid you not, it happened that fast and that…surreal.

there you were, all purple and instantly crying, which was a huge relief, and your dad helped to cut the cord, and then you were on a table next to me being cleaned up, and i just looked at you like you were this alien lifeform that had suddenly materialized in the room because surely you couldn’t have been born yet. it was too fast! it was too...easy. yes, i said it. it was too easy. and i don’t mean that it wasn’t difficult at all, that it wasn’t uncomfortable. i certainly don’t recommend childbirth as a suitable alternative activity to listening to jazz in the park on a saturday afternoon. but you were just ready to be born, and you did an amazing job of it. i was mostly along for the ride. minutes after not understanding what the hell i was supposed to be doing, you were lying in my arms, all red-lipped and shivering and swollen-eyed. you were perfect and amazing and beautiful, and mama and papa could not be happier or more proud of you...and of us for bringing you into the world.



p.s. yes, i pooped. i am not ashamed. you're worth it.


jamie said...

never ever has the comment. "i pooped. i am not ashamed. you're worth it" brought a little tear to my eye. It's ok though, I am not ashamed, she is worth it. : )