Sunday, January 15, 2012

Wednesday’s Child [Side Salad’s birth story]

At the ripe old age of 25, I was pregnant again.  Lettuce & I and the kids had just moved to our new place (we’ve been here nearly 5 years now).  I discovered I was pregnant 3 days after being laid off from my corporate job. This was in the early days of the recession, before we knew how bad it would get.  Though he was unplanned (like all the rest) it wasn’t such a dire financial situation. Lettuce was making a lot more money. I had a lot of money saved because I knew I was going to be laid off about 4 or 5 months before it happened. We’d cancelled our cable and become far more frugal. We saved from our pay checks and tax returns, I cashed in my 401(k), I was basically guaranteed unemployment and I was back in school pursuing my BA in education and maxing out my loans. We actually doing financially better and I was able to spend more time with the kids.  I volunteered in the classrooms and attended school full time. We immediately budgeted for baby. We bought a pack of diapers every month so we’d be prepared. We had also decided that I would EBF as long as possible.  We were ready!
I only gained 18 pounds during this pregnancy. Since this baby was Squirrel’s full sibling and she was 6 lb 13 oz (Lettuce was 6 lbs 13 or 14 oz and I was 7 lbs 1 oz), we estimated that our little boy would be around 7 ½ pounds or so. Late in my pregnancy, I noticed that he seemed more squirmy than kicky so I suspected he might actually be closer to 8 pounds.
My friends and I had a calling circle to ensure that everyone’s kids made it to the bus on time. At 6 am, we all called each other. I woke up at 5:55 am on a Wednesday morning in the middle of a contraction. I wasn’t worried; I’d been contracting for several days.  My friend Tonya called me but I didn’t answer immediately. After the contraction passed, I called her back and she joked that I might have my little one that day. I laughed with her. I got Astronaut and Princess (they were in preschool and 1st grade by then) ready for school and Lettuce took them to the bus stop. I had been having contractions all morning, and they’d been fairly regular so I decided to dress Squirrel just in case. I took a shower. They got stronger, so strong in fact, that I just had to stand still for a while.  I called my mother who said it was time to go to the hospital and that she’d meet us there.  After searching futilely for my purse for a while, we left. Lettuce suggested that we stop for gas but I was really feeling the contractions by the so we went straight to the hospital. On the way, I received another call from another friend who wanted to make sure that the kids made it to the bus. I couldn’t speak during the contractions so it went to voicemail.
I was completely silent by the time we got to the hospital 7 minutes later at 7:22 am.  An employee brought a wheelchair out for me. Since my water hadn’t broken (notice how my water has never broken outside of the hospital?) and I was quiet, they assumed that I wasn’t in active labor. The porter was instructed to take me to maternal assessment. Lettuce parked. My mom arrived and went to L&D to wait for me. She ran into my doc and told him I was on my way in. As it turned out, he’d been on call all night. The porter wheeled me to the elevator and my water broke before we got in. He told me he was taking me straight to L&D-smart guy!  However, once we got there, we were turned around because he had been instructed to take me to labor and deliver. He tried to explain that my water had broken but the nurses just turned him around. My OB apologized for not being able to deliver me but assured me that the on call OB was a great and would be in soon.  After we left, they noticed the huge wet spot on the floor.  By that time, we were back on the elevator.
When we got to maternal assessment, they noticed immediately there was fluid pouring off the seat of the chair. They told the porter to take me back to L&D while they called to advise them that I was on the way.  We got off the elevator again and was guided to a room. I was hustled into a bed and checked.  I was a 9-with that persistent lip-and baby’s head was visible. The nurses paged my OB-he was in the garage –and he came back. The next doc wasn’t there yet. They tried to get a monitor on the baby but couldn’t as he was on the move. My doc came in, booted my mom and Squirrel from the room. He told Lettuce and me that our baby  could die if he wasn’t born immediately and tried to use the vacuum extractor. My little guy was on the move so he couldn’t get any suction.
As he crowned I told myself that once the head was out, I’d be done. I pushed his little noggin on out.  They told me to push again, that I had to push his shoulders.  I pushed again and delivered his shoulder.  “That’s it,” I thought.  “Now, he’ll slide on out.  They told me to push again to get his body out. I was a bit confused but pushed again to get his lower body out. Finally, my little guy was born. My hubby stood to the side crying. He was afraid we were going to lose our son. I hadn’t taken the doctor so literally. I was confident in his health and my ability to birth him. He as born with his eyes wide open and APGARs of 8/10.
Side Salad was extremely alert, looking around. His time of birth was 7:53 am. I had not been up for two hours. When I called my friend whose call I missed, she thought I was joking.  I called my daughter’s school to tell her teachers. I did most of my volunteering with them. They said that I didn’t sound like a woman who’d just given birth!  As I nursed my baby for the first time, I signed the consent for an emergency c-section and other paperwork they give you in the hospital. I had him early enough to eat breakfast while he nursed for the first time, so I didn’t even miss a meal!
The biggest surprise was his weight. He was over 9 pounds. I actually thought the nurses were kidding but it was true. My little chunky had arrived.
GA: 39 weeks 4 days
Weight: 9 lbs 1 oz
Length: 21 ¼  in
Length of labor: Approximately 2 hours
Interventions: none

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