Saturday, September 30, 2006

Maternity

Tonight I'm feeling motherly. The Man (TM) was gone most of the day on errands and things, taking one or the other of the little boys with him and leaving the other with me. (#1 Son is off with Mommy this weekend.) So I've had a lot of mom practice today. When TM came home at dinner time with Pirate Boy, the little guy went straight to his room to lie down, so I didn't see him for a while. Eventually, I heard him sniffling and went to check on him, though he was reportedly "taking a nap."

Ack! What is going on? My precious Pirate Boy looks like he's been beaten in the face repeatedly and is having a really hard time breathing. What the ----?! Poor little guy croaks out that he is probably allergic to cats and wonders aloud if we have any medicine. Poor little sweetie. Fortunately, we did have a couple of doses of children's Benadryl left, and I soaked a washcloth in cold water for him to put on his poor puffy purple eyes. He tells me that's what "the lady" did, too.

Oh yes, the lady friend of Daddy's that you guys spent 2-3 hours with this afternoon instead of coming home after your errand, or at least after you started getting sick. I'm not even going to mention "without calling home." I'm not. She's an old professional contact of Daddy's, after all. Shut up, I know it's Saturday and he's not working.

Anyway, Punkin Boy was also feeling a little needy today; he was up last night until nearly 11 and then up again by 7 a.m. with his brother. Dang, what do you eat, spark plugs? And he was up until after 9 again tonight, with no nap. But fussy and whiny and wanting Daddy when he wasn't home and wanting to be read the same book 100 times. Well, that's pretty standard, really.

But my thoughts keep straying to my good friend Kory O, who was supposed to have her baby this week, or that was the intent of scheduling labor induction on Thursday afternoon. She's my age, having her first baby, and he's a whopper (not unlike my Punkin Boy, whom I had by c-section thank-you-very-much). Now, I've had a couple of inductions myself, so I know that they take a good long time, even when they go well. But dangit, it's Saturday night, and I still haven't heard anything. I'm worried.

OK, let's think about what we know about having labor induced. First, when you show up at the hospital at the time they scheduled you for, they inevitably send you home because somebody else is already in labor and after all, you can wait. Even if you can't, you can. Go home and wait another day or two. (With my first, I had to wait from Friday until Monday. Those punks.) Eventually, though, they will let you in and the real fun begins.

So let's see, maybe she didn't get in until Friday afternoon... OK, then they take a year putting in all the IV needles because at 9 months along, you're swollen like a beach ball and you have no veins near the surface. The ones they do find either roll over or burst, turning you a lovely shade of black in no time. That kills a couple hours. Then they start the pitocin drip.

For a while it seems nothing is happening, but you start to get a little irritable. More irritable. If you're me, your husband develops a nasty case of the hiccups that nothing-- including a trip to the emergency room-- will cure. This will make you homicidal within another two hours. You will banish him for a while, then get lonely and scared and call him back. Then the cycle will repeat. Occasionally, a nurse will appear to check your vital signs. This will irritate you more.

You may try to listen to music, do crosswords, or read. Everything will irritate you in short order, and you will fling it aside and pace around the room, if there's space. You will start feeling like you're having menstrual cramps and think "Now we're getting somewhere." But you're not. Trust me; you'll be able to sleep through these, no problem. And you do.

No, it's not until about 1 p.m. of the second day that things get interesting-- again, if you're me, but I hear this isn't uncommon. At some point, you enter what my childbirth-class teacher called "the speeding car." Suddenly, there it is, full-blown labor, and it takes your breath away. Things after that get a little blurry, but you will start crying out for the drugs. If you're me, you do the tame stuff, the analgesics that last for a couple hours maybe. They might even knock you out. If you're Kory, you're wily enough to have asked for an epidural right up front. No messing around, just make the pain stop. I am a little leery about epidurals, but I won't tell the horror stories here.

The rest depends a lot on mother and baby and a little on the doctor and hospital. I never did dilate enough to deliver a full-size baby, and finally, about 28 hours into the process, the doc suggested maybe I might consider a c-section. Yay. That would be about... now, if Kory had to start a day later than she was scheduled. So I guess I don't have to worry too much unless I don't hear from them tomorrow. I'm sure they'll call. Or email. Or something.

I worry. They have no relatives in the area, and nobody will be arriving to help, even if things go awry-- his family lives half a world away, her parents are in the next world. Her brother and his wife just had a baby a week or two ago-- with Downs Syndrome and a heart defect. They have enough to deal with. So I worry. Ten years ago, I'd have been there for her, with her. But now all I can do is worry and pray and write about it. Did I mention worry? Aye.

On the up side, Pirate Boy is feeling better and can actually breathe enough to sleep tonight. Well, that's a relief.

3 comments:

Jack said...

With our first, Becky was going on a couple weeks overdue when the doctor had us come in on Friday morning to induce labor. He went through the whole shot process (which, like you say, took a couple hours) and told Becky, "Okay, this might work. If not, we'll have you come in again Monday to try something else."

I think Becky willed herself in to labor after hearing that.

Kory O said...

Oh, hell, now I really feel terrible about not calling before! Damn! I'll call you real soon....all went well, and the c-section wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. (Was tempted to tell the doc to put a zipper in just in case I wanted to do this again in a couple of years....it would save time ;) )

And yeah, how did you know I'd be asking for the epidural starting at registration? ;) Guess you do know me pretty well after all....

Scone said...

How long have we known each other, anyway-- 20+ years? Yeah, I know you. I'm just glad you were OK.