So here’s a concept – an actual post. We’ll see how far I get before the howling begins.
Going waaaay back to the last time I was talkative – September 19th I reported to the hospital. I was very surly, but I tried not to be ungracious. I was only moderately rude when I informed the nurse that nothing was going to happen until someone told me what was supposed to be happening and why. She was rather unhappy that no one had already gone over everything with me. The conversation included
“Which doctor did you see?”
“Oh.” (eye roll)
Very telling. I told her what we knew and what the current situation was, and she actually agreed with me that she didn’t see any need for me to be there. But we decided that she’d set me up on the monitor and see if there was anything off kilter. Indeed, there was not, and my blood pressure was fine. As Dr. Alkass was going to be going around in about another hour or so we decided to hang out and chat with him to see if we could make sense of things. I figured they had to want us there for a reason, and before I overrode my doctor I wanted to know what it was. When he came around, he finally explained what was going on including a few pieces of information that we could have used several weeks prior. The first one being that my doctors’ goal had only ever been to get me to thirty-nine weeks. They never had any intention of letting me go into labor just whenever nature decided. You’d think someone would mention that to me, eh? Rather disconcerting to find that out at the proverbial last minute. This is the really big downside to five minute appointments. I pointed out that it would have been really, really nice if I’d known that several weeks previously. He asked if I’d been stewing over this for the past week, which of course I answered in the affirmative. The next conversation went like this:
“Who scheduled you for today?”
“Oh.” Frustrated/annoyed look
Notice a theme? He may be a brilliant doctor, but I’m really not fond of his style. He probably would have been spectacular back in the ‘50’s when people didn’t ask awkward questions. The rest of the conversation was what made up my mind. He went over all the risks associated with preeclampsia and emphasized that’s why they had me coming in for non-stress tests twice a week etc. I pointed out that I knew all of that, rattled back at him all of the warning signs I’d been told to look for, and asked why I couldn’t just play it by ear – my theory being that I was in every couple of days, or was this something that could come on in a matter of hours? His response was that they really don’t know if it can or not. Now THAT was the important piece of information. That was the information that make it all make sense. Again, this was information I needed several weeks in advance of actually having it. Knowing that the rationale was that there was a possibility that the bad things could start happening at any time with little or no warning, we went ahead with things.
We had lots of fun trying to establish an IV. Apparently, I’ve got spectacularly good veins for taking stuff out, but not so good for putting stuff in. My nurse was the one they get when they have trouble, and she failed four times. (My left arm was black and blue from knuckles to elbow for the next two weeks. She kept apologizing, even though she wasn’t hurting me. I guess most people aren’t as laid back about it as I am.) I ended up with the IV in the back of my right hand, which was exactly where I didn’t want it, but it’s what worked. But because I then couldn’t flex my wrist, I couldn’t work on the handwork I’d brought. So we both hung out and read for a few hours.
Ah- the pin was just pulled on the baby grenade. I’ll come back later…
I hate nursing. But I’ll address that in a subsequent post. Where was I? Ah, yes…
Another nurse finally got the IV set, and we started fun with Pitocin. I don’t feel any need to go into gruesome detail about labor and delivery. Anyone who wants to know can Google it and find plenty of gory in-depth stories. However, those of us here don’t want to know each other that well. I made one big mistake. Well, two. I waited about fifteen minutes too long to ask for an epidural. That’s about how long it took to go from “this really isn’t any fun” to “shoot me NOW.” I’d anticipated a shallower ramp-up of pain. That was my first error. Then when the anesthesiologist was called away to a bone fide emergency I made my second mistake – I went for the option of Stadol to “take the edge off.” It’s now official – I don’t react to narcotics in the fashion that the doctors/dentists are looking for. They don’t cut pain for me at all. They do put me to sleep, and that’s all they do. So all it got me was sleepy excruciating pain and eventually dozing off in between contractions after the epidural. Not helpful or what I’d been looking for. Altogether, I was in labor for six hours and pushed for thirty minutes. I’m told that as these things go, that’s very easy. Still not fun. All those women out there who have had C-sections and felt cheated of the “whole experience” – what are you, HIGH?
However I am glad to have avoided a C-section, although there was a time when I was contemplating that if I’d had one I wouldn’t have been sitting on my stitches. Let me just say that sucks. Really. Like a
In the remaining day and a half I was in the hospital, it was a pair of ongoing battles: to get some sleep, even just for ten minutes, and to get her to nurse. It seemed like every fifteen minutes they were either bringing her in to try (and fail) to nurse, taking my blood pressure, drawing blood, or bringing in paperwork. Can’t they try to coordinate some of this stuff? Bring in three people at one time less often? I guess it’s not that easy. Nursing was a nightmare – she wouldn’t wake up enough to suckle, and nothing that the nurses suggested had any effect. They’re yelling at me that she’s losing too much weight, but when I’d show them the problem the only advice anyone had (including the fancy lactation consultant whom I couldn’t stand) was to keep at it, it will all come together in time.
Bullshit. Let me say that again: Bullshit. Was that unclear? Bull. Shit.
Saturday was very busy with visitors. I discovered that the way to cause one to appear was to try to go and use the bathroom, because all but one appeared while I was in there (the fact that using the toilet was a huge, involved, four-step process made it worse.)vynehorn stopped by and visited for a while (commented that the johnny was “very Roman. That’s going to give me the giggles intermittently at events for a while,) followed by my parents, my boss, and my step-daughter. My father-in-law decided not to come to the hospital so that we could get some rest. What a nice man. Sunday we were supposedly going to be discharged by 11:00 a.m., but we didn’t actually get out of there until mid-afternoon. If I’d anticipated that, I would have slept longer. She’d lost so much weight that they sent us to the pediatrician the following day. He was also alarmed by her weight loss and we went to formula for a few days just to get calories into her while I continued to try to nurse, and also pumped. The milk didn’t come in for thirteen days. So much for “just keep at it, it’ll all be better in a few days.” Hrrrmmph. It’s better now, but I’ll address that later.
I think that’s all I’ll report about that part of the process. I was back in my regular clothes the next day, much to my surprise. I gained fifteen to twenty pounds all told, so I’m currently below my pre-pregnancy weight. I still need to lose about sixty pounds, but at least I’m not trying to get rid of baby fat.
We won’t talk about the stretch marks. Good thing I’ve never worn a bikini to begin with.
Future episodes will include “why nursing sucks,” “things they don’t tell you or just flat-out lie about,” and maybe some house updates. I know you can’t wait.