When Tornado A came to town

It started Tuesday evening.  If they weren’t so strong, I would have said they were Braxton Hicks.  They were painless, but they felt like a giant fist was squeezing my uterus.  So we waited, sure that we would have to go soon.  At 1:30, I fell asleep on the couch; while, The Husband snored on the floor.  At 3:00, I woke to nothing.  I sat there waiting, but nothing happened.  After an hour of waiting, I joined The Husband in bed.  I felt so cheated by my body that I slept on my side, the position denied to me by my body, unless I wanted to be sore and stiff the next morning.  I gave my body the finger.

The next morning, it gave me the finger right back in soreness.

About 9:30, they were back.  Only they weren’t painless.  They were uncomfortable.  In between contractions, like the night before Tornado A would kick and hit, trying to stop whatever was squeezing him.  Everyone was on high alert.  After all, Tornado S came in six hours.  While the time in between contractions became shorter, the intensity barely got stronger.

Though I was starving through the day, I only nibbled here and there.  I didn’t eat anything but crackers and cream cheeses for lunch.  It was the last I would eat until Tornado A was in the world.

My mom kept calling.  The Husband kept asking to go to the hospital.  At 4pm, The Husband was beside himself and started asking if he could call the doctor.  It sounded more like a plea.  If anyone remembers, we got to the hospital to deliver Tornado S, and I was already 7 cm and nearly missed the window for the epidural.  The Husband was NOT about to let me deliver without massive amounts of pain killers.  That’s love, people.

So I gave in and let him call the doctor, who said I could come down whenever I was ready.  She happened to be on call that night, which was nice since I hadn’t met anyone else in the practice.  Of course, if I didn’t have her, I would be fine as long as someone was there to catch the baby.  I called my mom to ask her to take the boys.  The Husband went and got her, and I started to get things ready.

I dinked around for another hour or more so we wouldn’t drive in rush hour.  Sure, the hospital was only a couple of miles away, but that’s EIGHT lights, people.  And yes, when we drove there, we hit all of them red.  Thank God I wasn’t in real pain or I would have been demanding for some law breaking.

When we finally got to the hospital, we went into the main entrance because we didn’t know where else to go.  Because we’re not a tour-taking kind of people.

Me: Hi.  We’re looking for labor and delivery.

The two kids at the desk stared at me and blinked.  They looked at each other.  Then they looked back at me.

The Dude: Uh.  Um.

Me: Yeah, I’m in labor, and I need to get to labor and delivery.  Can you tell me where it is?

The Chick: Um.  Uh.

The Husband seethed behind me.

The Dude: Ok.  (pulled out a paper)  Just follow the map.  Go down this hall to almost the end and turn left.

He handed me “the map.”  I looked at it.  All it had on it were arrows in the shape of an upside down L.  Right.

I rolled my eyes and started down the hall.  When we were out of ear shot, The Husband started on his comedy rant, which is only reserved for the most incredibly stupid.  I wish I could remember it because I was laughing so hard, but I was in labor.

We find labor and delivery by following the large signs, not by the map.  The reception desk sent us on another hunt down more halls.  We found our special doors to find them locked, even after they tried to buzz us in.  Luckily my doctor was coming down the hall and was happy to let us in.  See ya, in a couple hours.

So we were admitted in triage.  And apparently when I get nervous, I start cracking jokes.  The nurse was happy to joke with me.  I got into my gown and was hooked up to machines.  I was 4 cm.  Woohoo.  I went to the bathroom Again.  (When I was in labor with Tornado E, I was dehydrated which means it was more painful.)  I wiped myself to find blood.  Ohmygodohmygodohmygod.  Calm Down.  Calm down.  We’re already at the hospital.  Just tell the nurse.

Me: Um, I’m uh bleeding?

The triage nurse: Oh. No worries.  That’s just your bloody show.

I started to laugh hysterically.  Three pregnancies and this was my first bloody show.  I had no idea.

The nurse decided to get ahead and get my blood drawn and get my IV going.  I hate needles.  I hate shots.  The Husband hates them even more and sat in a place where he could miss it.  Baby.  On the third vial, the needle slipped, I felt blood run down and pool into my palm.  Fun stuff.  The nurse was so embarrassed and kept apologizing.  My labor and delivery nurse showed up to collect me.  And also helped to wipe up my blood.

I was allowed to stay.  The doctor’s orders were to let me labor for two hours, and if there was no change, I would get Pitocin.  Fine.

It wasn’t long until my contractions stopped.  Stopped.  One more time with feeling.  Stopped.  And I became what I dreaded all day.  A watched pot.

One thing proved that not all was normal in Fae’s body.  Heartburn.  Horrible, terrible, wild fire heartburn.  I kept tapping my chest in a vain attempt to settle the fire.  When my mom arrived, fresh from her line dancing class with dinner for The Husband, she began asking if I could have water  or ice chips to cool down the blaze.  But the nurse and I both told her it would only make things worse.

The Nurse: The only thing that’ll make it better is having the baby.

My cousin came down from her station at the NICU to say hi and see how I was doing.  I assured her labor wasn’t that bad and that they had drugs to deal with the pain.  Hell, it isn’t so bad when your contractions stopped.

Two hours hit, and the call was made to the doctor.  If I was going to get Pitocin, I sure the hell was going to get my epidural.  The call was made to the anesthesiologist.  The Husband went out to get some coffee, and the nurse explained to my mom only one person could be in the room with me when I got my epidural.  I assured my mom that The Husband would not be in the room when I received my epidural.  At that moment, The Husband entered the room and was explained the situation.  He reassured my mom that he would prefer to be out of the room and proceeded to run out of the room.

The anesthesiologist came and gave me my shot.  But without contractions it was hard to let him know if it was working.  My feet were numb.

The Husband came back into the room just in time for the volcano in my stomach to spew.  My heartburn burned up my chest as I threw up the junk in my stomach.  Which was weird because it wasn’t what I ate for lunch.  Looking on the bright side, the nurse told me that I shouldn’t have heartburn any more.

I wish.

Then came the horribleness of the damn catheter.  We should have known then something was wrong with my epidural.  I don’t know how any one does it without drugs.  It was the most uncomfortable experience I ever had.  I started to weep.  I begged the nurse to take it out.  The Husband, my mom, and the nurse tried to soothe me and comfort me.  I got The Button to give myself another shot of painkillers.  I took both shots.  (I can still see the tape residue of the catheter and I still shudder.)

Then came the contractions.  We were now nearing midnight.  I couldn’t believe it was taking so long.  It was like starting again.  But then the intensity and the pressure began to increase.  I started to moan.  The nurse called for the anesthesiologist again, waking him from his nap.  I held on to the hope that he would be back and in fifteen minutes I would be fine.

And fifteen minutes came and passed.  He arrived at last.  The pain was worse than ever.  He asked me if it was a pressure or a sharp pain.  It was both.  He increased the dosage up because the medicine wasn’t up my spine far enough.  He left.

Ten minutes until relief.

Instead I vomited again.  The nurse got the go ahead to give me something for the heartburn.  But she insisted that I wear an oxygen mask.  God, I Hate oxygen masks.  I took it off the first moment I could.  Stupid oxygen mask.

And hell began.  I can’t put it lightly.  I’m a wimp with pain.  It’s why I take painkillers.  It’s why I will never pierce a sensitive body part.  It’s why I’ve never given blood.  I have never been in as much pain as I was that night.

I pressed my button.  I moaned.  I cried.  I squeezed that rails to the bed.  I refused to hold The Husband’s hand or my mom’s in fear that I would break them.

In the middle of one contraction, as my back arched, I felt and heard my water pop.  It burst out of me like a broken water balloon, landing all the way down to my ankle.  In my last labors, my water never broke.  Another first for me.  I wished someone had seen it because I was curious to know how it came out.  The Husband said he heard it but missed seeing it, since he was busy trying to calm me down.

The nurse checked me, and we were ready.  The doctor was called.  Nurses came in.  The room seemed so much more crowded, but I was just aware that I. Needed. To.  Push.  NOW.

Breathe.  Breathe.  Breathe.

No.  No.  No.  He’s ready.  He’s here.  Oh, God.  I have to push.

Calm.  You’ll be fine.  The doctor is almost here.  Breathe.  Breathe.  Fae, look at me.  Look at me.  You’re doing fine.

I can’t look down or I’ll push.  Oh.  God.  He’s here.  Please.  I have to push.

Breathe.  You’re doing great.  Hold on.  Breathe.  The doctor is almost here.  You’re doing fine.  The doctor’s here.  Let’s get the bed ready.

With my feet in stirrups, my hands gripping the bed rails above me, I arched like a possessed victim, crying.

Ok, Fae.  Next contraction I want you to push.  Bear down.

Push.  Push.  Push.

One push.  And Tornado A came spiraling out.  I felt his head come out and then the slowing at the shoulders, but I kept bearing down, feeling that if we stopped now I wouldn’t be able to take it.  I don’t know if I had it in me to push again.  But Tornado A kept coming out.  The Husband barely had time to cut the cord and get out of the way before I forced out the afterbirth.

They placed Tornado A on my stomach so I could see and hold him.  They whisked him away to test him and clean him up.

The doctor began to sew me up, and I moaned with pain.

The doctor: Fae?  You can feel that?

Me: Yes.

The Doctor:  Hmmm.  Let me numb the area.  You’ll feel a pinch.

Me: Ok.

The doctor waited a minute for the pain killer to take affect and started again.  I moaned, trying to be quiet.  Then I felt someone take my hand, and I opened my eyes.  My mom looked down at me and squeezed my hand.  The doctor had to numb me two more times, but at least, I could hold someone’s hand.

Once the doctor was done, I was able to take in my surroundings.  My cousin was in my room as the assistant to the natal nurse.  The Husband was holding Tornado A.  My labor and delivery nurse asked me if I wanted something to eat.  I shook my head, and she told me to tell her when I was ready to eat.  My doctor finished filling out paperwork and congratulated me.  My mom took pictures.  She held Tornado A for a little bit, but rushed off around 2 because she would have the boys the next morning.  The room cleared, leaving the nurse, The Husband, Tornado A, and I.

The Husband fell asleep on the couch, snoring.  I fed Tornado A, and the nurse brought me a turkey sandwich with apple juice, graham crackers, chips, and jell-o.  After Tornado A had fed (painfully because he didn’t latch properly), the nurse washed him again and insisted I eat.  Oh, glorious sandwich, which now I’m sure would suck under normal circumstances.

At four, we were admitted to our room.  A single room, so The Husband’s snoring wouldn’t wake anyone else and I could take care of the bathroom rituals, which accompany all post-delivery mothers (pee, wash, dab, spray, change pad, add witch hazel pads), with the door open to view Tornado A.  I finally slept.

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Learning and relearning this week

  1. I am not superwoman, and I need to rest.
  2. Breastfeeding is hard . . . . at first, but more on that in another post.
  3. Nothing is more sweet or dangerous than big brother love.
  4. The best meal you’ll ever have is after you give birth.  Even if it’s a plain cafeteria turkey sandwich. 
  5. The Husband and I have very different ideas on what a “clean house” means.
  6. The Husband and I have very different ideas what is grocery shopping, what a list should include, and how much money to spend.
  7. My breasts need to be informed that I did not give birth to triplets and should stop producing milk as though I had.
  8. When one child pees the bath and I replace the water, I do not care if the other one pees in it; I just add more water and soap.
  9. It’s ok to ask for help.  It’s ok to ask for help.  It’s ok to ask for help.
  10. No matter how many babies you have had, you will always check to make sure that newborn is still breathing several hundred times a day.

My future doctor

Last Wednesday.

I sat there, breathing through another uncomfortable contraction.  Hey, this breathing thing actually works!  When there’s no pain!

Tornado E: Mommy, are they going to cut you open to get the baby?

Me: (chuckle) No, sweetheart.  They do that for some women, but I doubt they’ll do that to me.

Tornado E: Oh.  Ok.

He ran off.  I sighed.  Like I needed The-how-do-babies-get-out-of-Mommy’s-womb talk during labor.

A couple hours later.

Tornado E: Mommy, I’m going to be a doctor.

Me: Awesome.

Tornado E: (pulling out his Kung Fu Panda sword) And I’m going to help you.  Let me cut you open and get the baby.  (He sliced me open.)

Me: Thanks, baby.

A Quick Note from a Sleep Deprived Mama

I think it’s going to take a little longer than planned to put up The Tornado A Birth Saga.  As I’m only a few paragraphs in and I was called away by a baby that thinks it should have gas this early in his life.  Pre-Chocolate!  So I don’t know how I gave it to him, since I haven’t consumed any of the usual suspects.  But I will.  Oh, I will.  So instead of the baby saga, I’ll post little antidotes.  Because I don’t have a lot of time right now.  Because Tornado E and Tornado S have cracked me up so well so often lately.  Because I can hardly string to coherent sentences together beyond “Could you hold the baby?” and “Could you go pick up Tornado E from school?”  (Note to self: Ask The Husband in a two minutes to pick up Tornado E.)

As I waited for my dreaded first bowel movement, I read the label of that awesome pain reliever spray the nurses send you home with after having a baby.  (God Bless the spray since my mom has said twice already, “Fae, she did give you quite a few stitches.”  Yes, I know.  I felt every damn one.  Ok, where was I?) Spray.  The spray says to use it no more than two to three times a day.  You know, unlike what the nurses say to use, which is like every time you pee, which should be like eight times or so.  I like the nurses’ instructions better.  Much Better.

Sushi and Pregnancy

Back in the days when I was pregnant with Tornado E and working and the economy was rolling, The Husband and I ate out about three dinners a week or more.  Our favorite was sushi.  We had a neighborhood sushi restaurant with the most amazing rolls like an awesome dynamite roll and my favorite a killer spicy tuna roll.  We probably went at least once a week from the grand opening on, and yes, we got to know the owner quite well.

But then I was pregnant.  And all those books and websites said NO SUSHI.  And that lasted about two weeks when I learned The Husband felt no moral obligation to give up sushi as well.  (Bastard.)  So we returned to sushi.  My beloved sushi, how I missed you.  For several months, we did well and only ordered the cooked stuff.  We feasted on crab, shrimp, scalloped and the occasional cooked fish.  But in time, my beloved spicy tuna handroll began to call me again.  I gave in to its spicy yumminess.

For The Husband’s birthday (when I was 36 weeks), I surprised him with a huge sushi party platter custom made from our favorite sushi place and a few friends.  As I indulged, I forgot that one of our friends worked for my OB/GYN.  Ok, I didn’t forget.  I just wasn’t sneaky enough.  She caught me.  And lectured me.  Damn.

So the next doctor’s appointment, The Husband felt the need to confess.  (Which is odd, because he’s not the Catholic one.)

Doctor: So any questions?

The Husband: Yes, one.  Well, and a confession.

Doctor: Oh?

The Husband: Well, um, we, Fae has been eating sushi, and we were told that was bad for the baby.

Doctor: The reason we don’t want Fae eating sushi is because of the danger of food poisoning.  If you go to a reputable place, there shouldn’t be any harm.

We sighed with relief.

Me: So, sushi tonight?

Random pregnancy thoughts

Everyone is trying to get me out of the house.  Everyone being The Husband and my mom.  (Yeah, I married my mom, go figure)  I just want to stay home and prepare the house.  Hello, pregnant woman nesting.

But no, The Husband thinks we need a movie this afternoon (and my mom agrees) because we won’t have couple time for months (not that we have it that often  to begin with).  He’s right.  But I would rather be home blogging, reading blogs, sleeping.  If he wants to make me happy, he could pick up his stuff in the bedroom or hand me a couple hundred so I can buy everything I want for the baby.  I’m not holding my breath for the either.

My mom has decided she’ll treat me to a pedicure tomorrow.  Of course, this is sweet and wonderful and all, but again, I would rather be home doing the same stuff I mentioned in the last paragraph.  Heck, I’m trying to keep on top of the chores because I know they’re going to fall to the wayside.  So mom, if you want me to be happy, grab a sponge or an apron; I’ve got some more nesting to do.

In other pregnancy news, Tornado E and Tornado S are declining to be in the hospital when the baby is born.  Which is fine because they weren’t going to be there any ways.  But they are now both boys are convinced that the baby is going to “pop” out of mommy’s tummy.  And that would be gross and messy.  Let’s thank all the people who said I look like I’m about to pop.

Until I have a moment to write and read again.

April 9th Friday Recap

I’m really enjoying these weekly top 10 things I learned this week.  I hope you are too because I don’t see myself getting bored of them because I figured out how to do theme ones when I run out of 10 things.  Though I am running out of catchy titles.  Blame it on the lack of sleep (and the Damn black eyes I’m developing).

  1. Making chocolate nests for Easter is a lot harder than it looks.  Because it’s hard to mold the liquid chocolate and chow mien noodles.
  2. The best part of chocolate nests is to snap off the jelly beans and eat just the chocolate; next year it’ll be Jordon Almonds.
  3. Nice day + nice clothes + four boys + pool = 4 wet boys in nice clothes  (Yeah I should have seen it coming.)
  4. The more my grandma tells me about her mother, the more I’m in love with the woman and I wished I had met her.
  5. If I want The Husband out of bed, I should send in two tornado alarm clocks.
  6. Tornado S is still insisting on Kit Fisto for the baby name; we figured out a name that would use Kit as a nickname.  Either Tornado S’s a good sales man or we’re suckers.  (But it’s not set in stone.)
  7. Tornado E has learned to scream like a girl at first sign of trouble.  And I’m a little embarrassed by it.
  8. I now have a killer meat sauce for spaghetti.
  9. Two weeks out from the due date, The Husband starts turning into the Perfect Husband.  It’s weird.
  10. There are some conversations I have to have over and over with The Husband.  They are usually about bills.

And a bonus:

  1. My readers rock my world.