Saturday, October 5, 2013

Birth days to remember, and remember again.

The Sophisticate was born in the wee early hours of February 15. That means that I labored on Valentine's night. Valentine's DAY - no labor. Valentine's night was fast and furious. This week, on Valentines Day I was telling Pretty Pretty Princess that for ME, Valentines Day is always about her sister's birth.

Then PPP's eyes glazed over and she leaned her head on the cool car window. If she could have, she would have put her ear buds in and listened to music....since she knew what was coming...the BIRTH STORY. I had already called The Sophisticate and attempted to have a similar convo with her - but she cut me off on the birth story. "I've heard it, Mom. I know, it was fast and you almost had me in the hall or something."
She thought it was interesting when she was a baby.

Most of the time my retelling of the birth stories need to be heavily edited. Since I worked for years as a Lamaze teacher, and have given birth a few times, I have no shame.

Nevermind all that - this is the Sophisticate's birth story. She was almost 3 weeks late. We went to the hospital in false labor on her due date. What was I thinking? It was the night of the Super Bowl and my mother had to leave a party to come and pick the 2.5 year old soon-to-be-big-brother. I didn't have the baby that night, yet all my mother's friends thought I DID have the baby that night. Thus the next 2++ weeks were filled with awkward encounters with people who thought I had the baby weeks ago ...yet still looked 10 months pregnant. Because I WAS 10 months pregnant.

So, on Valentine's night when I mentioned that I thought I might be in labor, BigD rolled his eyes. We called Mimi ONCE AGAIN, feeling like putting Brother to bed at her house was a better choice than maybe waking him up in the middle of the night. We had done that about 5 times between the Super Bowl and Valentine's Day. So, everyone assumed it was a false alarm, me included.

BigD was watching vintage Miami Vice, on TV every Friday night at 9. He loved that show. He loved it so much he ignored me that whole hour, in which I moved from 'Maybe I'm in labor' to "Whoa, I need some help here." Remember that I am a classically trained Lamaze teacher, so I was all into the breathing and walking and the shower. We did all of that - once Miami Vice was over. About 10:30 I started begging to go to the hospital. BigD kept saying "Let's wait and see what happens" which is his standard response - to everything. Later, we went outside into the very cold weather and took a walk around the block. When we were FAR AWAY FROM HOME I had a definitive contraction. As a Lamaze teacher, I always told people "You'll's a different feeling." That's ridiculous, you don't know. You just think you know. HOPE you know. Mostly, afraid you will miss something important. So we hurried home - as much as one can hurry when you are having contractions 2 minutes apart and are 10 months pregnant.

As soon as we walked in the house I was yelling "We're going now, I don't care what you think" and other stuff like that, only probably more profane. Definitely more profane. I don't remember whether we had a bag packed or anything, we just left. During the drive, I was begging for an epidural. I'm not sure how I thought I was getting an epidural in the car, but it seemed pretty urgent. I was also convinced that I was going to NOT EVER teach Lamaze again . . . because of the epidural I was begging for in the car.

At the hospital, I got dropped off at the door while the car was parked by BigD. We made our way to labor and delivery and the first words out of my mouth were "you better check me."
Lady "Well, m'am, I can't check you. What's your name?" I guess BigD gave them that info, because all I said was "You better check me." When I got to a bed I just laid across it and told them to check me. The nurse took my blood pressure - which by the way was fine. I was quiet and appeared to be listening to her spiel. I signed anything she put in front of me. Except for some reason, I refused to sign permission to circumsize. We had no idea if BigB was going to have a sister or a brother, so for some labor-related reasoning exercise, it made perfect sense that I not sign that permission.

In a moment of clarity I said "Look, all this is great, but you really better check me." And she did. And her eyes got real big, and she hit the call button and said "I need some help." She looked at me and said "Oh, you've got a way to go. Keep breathing." That is what her mouth said. Her face said "Well, hello....we're getting ready to have a baby."
Which of course, I had already told her - many times. Blur, blur, blur....people, people, people....blow, blow, blow. By the way, all that blowing they tell you to do - and I am totally guilty of having told people for many years that blowing counteracts the urge to push - anyway, all that blowing? It does NOTHING regarding the urge to push. When there is a 9 pound baby headed out of close quarters, there aren't a lot of options. (Right now, I could go into the physiology of this...but that part is a part I am editing.)

I then entered the bargaining phase. I looked at those nurses - and there were MANY of them in there (by now, I'm thinking it was about 1:15 am. For reference, we were eating dinner at 6ish, with not a sign of labor, we left our driveway at 12:30.) anyway - regardless of the time, I looked at those nurses and said - perhaps yelled - "I KNOW you can deliver this baby." RN: "No, honey, we can't." ME: No, I KNOW you can - you cannot trick me. I know it." That went on for a while. Then I started begging some more ME: Get someone in here to deliver the baby. Is there a resident here?" RN: The resident is in a C-section. Keep blowing." Me: Find somebody, the baby is coming now. RN: Keep blowing, bleh, bleh, bleh. Me: "Husband of mine, get down there, no one around here is going to deliver the baby, so you will have to do it. Get down there." He looked a bit startled, so I said "I can talk you through it, let's go." I have never had a clearer moment in my life - I was going to deliver the baby - no questions asked. You have never seen people move as fast in your life as those nurses did when DAD-delivering-the-baby became an option. Next voice I hear is unknown male: " I'm Dr. D. and even though I'm not your doctor, it looks like I am going to deliver your baby. There are a few things I'd like to talk to you about before..." Me: "No talking, I'm pushing." Dr D: "Have we called anesthesia? (Seriously....I mean really? Anesthesia? What, more people to watch?) Well, I just need to let you know...." Me: "I honestly don't care who you are, I'm pushing this baby out right now, and we're not waiting for anybody." The room was full of people yelling the word BLOW BLOW BLOW - it sounded awful, and all that yelling did not make me blow. Then, beautiful music...."Let her push, I'm here." and MY doctor - or the doctor on call from my practice, I had actually never seen him either - walked in, got himself a gown and gloves,

....hello... baby .... GIRL!

It was awesome. I felt like superwoman. OK, I WAS Superwoman. Flooded with hormones, I felt like Champion of the Universe. If we could bottle that...we'd have a big problem, because we'd have a whole bunch of women trying to run the world at the same time. The Sophisticate herself looked like she had been scrubbed with a Brillo pad. And she had here eyes squished closed and kept them that way for about 3 weeks.

The next day we bought brother up to see the baby. He thought she was fine, and was relatively willing to have his picture made with her - but mostly he was fascinated with the way the hospital bed moved. He had a great afternoon pushing buttons on the bed.

And we went home on the day her induction was scheduled. And the daffodils were blooming. And this year, though not in FULL bloom, I see yellow in the daffodils. And The Sophisticate remains my most special Valentine.

Sunday, August 15, 2010