So, That Happened
This time last week I was stuck in the hospital. In fact, I’d been stuck at said facility for nigh on 4 days. My baby was here… inevitably, finally, amazingly, at long last. But, due to the loooooong process to get him here, we were held for observation. Testing. Sepsis. Glucose. Temperatures. Heart rates. Stool softeners doled out on the regular. Percocet should I so choose. Funny that I chose the former over the latter. Eagerly. Missed opportunity, that. Lots of pestering and interruption in a very small recovery room, with limited and sometimes no hot water. Well meaning pestering. Professional pestering. Slightly obnoxious nonetheless.
Our birth story did not go as planned. My written birth plan was pretty straight forward. The people that would be there. Yay or nay on vaccinations and circumcision. Drugs? No drugs? Maybe drugs? I felt no need to write paragraphs and timetables about a process I could not control. I was planning to roll with the punches, which was a good thing. Although, perhaps not this many punches. My one little sidebar note was that I’d like to ‘avoid induction’. That right there is where I shot myself in the foot. Maybe both feet since I ended up flat on my back for the better part of 3 days.
Avoiding induction meant keeping my chances of cesarian low. It meant letting my body do its own thing. Having faith in this process that was beyond my control. That simply had to happen, as all things like this do just happen. If we leave them the fuck alone. Yet I found myself having a Friday morning conversation with an OB I’d never met, for routine tests (routine for week overdue babies), informing me my kid, who’d had a completely uneventful stay in my guts up until this point, who was by all accounts happy, healthy and just staying put a bit too long, well, that kid was running low on amniotic fluid. Apparently a lot low.
Oligohydramnios. There’s a big ass word I’d never heard of before. Even the nurses abbreviate it as OO. Could be my placenta (which has a limited shelf life) was no longer up to procesessing the required amount of fluid. Could be my kid had used up the room to store the fluid. Could be a lot of things. Bottom line, less fluid, no good. Cords can become compressed during times of stress, like say labor, compromising the baby.
Maybe this was alarmist bullshit. I furiously phone googled and tried to find information for myself as they started to talk to me about admittance NOW. No, you can not go get your stuff. No you can’t have lunch. Monitors and really uncomfortable adjustable beds, balloon catheters were in my future. What do you do? With no objective information, with no time, with concerns for your kid on the line, what do you do? I can and will argue with a vet to advocate for my dogs. All day long. I am old hat at what they really need and what is just western medicine fear mongering. Here I was immediately and hopelessly out of my depth. And I’ll admit it, also a little scared.
And so began 3 days of various forms of induction. Thirty plus hours of pitocin at increasing and decreasing dosages. Lots of fluid. Manually broken water. Very little food. Even less sleep. Monitors, monitors, monitors. Leading to lots of held breath every time that little heart beat changed. At all. Gadgets up the wazoo. (my wazoo, that is). One epidural, a couple crying episodes, 3 hours of pushing, and a bigger baby than anyone anticipated later, he showed up. Reluctantly, but still perfect. Perfect. Bright eyed, bushy tailed, healthy.
All that worry. Over the last 10 months and especially the prior 3 days, it didn’t evaporate. It stood back in disbelief. Lingered in the hallway. So much of it, and it produced nothing. Our baby was red faced and hollering and so, so good. I think I sort of couldn’t believe it. That worry and the trauma, it had to be processed. I think I’m entitled to a little ‘WTF just happened?’. Would I have ever gone into labor on my own? Was there any reason for all this?
I’ve spent the last week contemplating that question. Among other things. And it just doesn’t matter. The other things? Such as the feeding of my kid, tracking that feeding, reading ebooks in the middle of the night, oogling the facial expressions made by the pooping of very small people, and sniffing their heads, contemplating the pro’s and cons of cloth diapers versus biodegradable, marveling at The Husband, already such a good father, and how suddenly my life has changed. All the shit, I just didn’t know. But, how could you?
Yeah, the birth story sucked. Terrible. Down right miserable. I will not be signing up for that anytime again soon. Ever. Everyone says I’ll forget. It’ll fade. Maybe. Probably. All memories change and evolve. For now, I’ll tell my story. Again and again. Because can you believe that shit? Really? Three days?! With the happy ending swaddled up pleasantly tucked onto a shoulder, under an arm, or doing a little more of that red-faced screaming, potentially for inexplicable reasons. All while I, The Husband, and the world falls in love with him. Because how could they not?