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Update - Septemberish

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?”

“Dr. Walsh.”

“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?”

“Dr. Walsh.”

“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 Hoover.  Oh, and I now have a life time winner in the category of “places I don’t want someone stitching me up.”  That part was really unpleasant.

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.



( 12 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 18th, 2008 12:02 am (UTC)
I know it sounds completely insane from your perspective at this point, but I still envy you.

I hope that things are getting better and I can't wait to meet Charlotte.

Nov. 18th, 2008 04:52 am (UTC)
No, it doesn't sound insane. Hang on to that idea - we may need to take advantage of Auntie Isabeau at some point... :-)

We'll all be at BBM/Bergental Yule, and we're kicking around the idea of 12th Night. Haven't made up our minds about that one just yet.
Nov. 25th, 2008 01:09 am (UTC)
That's all well and good and I'll happily help out.

I still want one I don't have to give back at the end of the day. I'm creative by nature...I want to make one myself!!
Nov. 18th, 2008 12:52 am (UTC)
I don't envy you even the TEENIEST bit. You've done amazingly, amazingly, and I'm impressed. I'd much rather go through what I do than have to do what you've done.

DO get And Winter Came. It's like drugs.
Nov. 18th, 2008 04:54 am (UTC)
At the moment it's an awful lot like work. But as the sleep deprivation evens out and we all get back into some sort of routine (a sucky routine, but a routine) it gets easier.

Good music will help too. ;-)
Nov. 18th, 2008 12:56 am (UTC)
I was in light labor before my c-section, and I did *not* feel cheated; in fact, I felt very good about the decision--that taste of labor was enough for me. (I'm happy for you, though, that you didn't need one, since that was your slant...)

I hope the situation improves soon--it sounds like things are rough.
Nov. 18th, 2008 04:55 am (UTC)
I just didn't want to deal with the recovery from abdominal surgery. It was a real bummer after my gall bladder surgery.

Things are getting easier - we've figured out how to pack her up and go places. That helps.
Nov. 18th, 2008 03:16 am (UTC)
you know, if this nursing thing isn't working out for you then maybe you just shouldn't. I know that it's supposed to be all natural and lead to world peace and stuff, but if it stresses you and you aren't having a good time with the baby maybe you would both be better off with a bottle. It's not a crime to use baby formula and it might just make you all happier. Really, in 20 years when she's driving you crazy with her inappropriate relationships in college, neither of you will care. Take the easy path, because you need every advantage you can get :)
Nov. 18th, 2008 05:07 am (UTC)
So far, it's working. The honest truth? I'm in it for the fiscal savings. Formula is *expensive.* Sickeningly expensive. I, on the other hand, make food for free. We're weeks from $210/week for day care, and every little bit will help. There are also some advantages that I'm loathe to give up - neither the spit up nor the diapers are as nasty as they would be otherwise (although that'll all change with solids.)

Luckily, I've never been emotionally invested in the *idea* of nursing. On the other hand, it's a bit of a disappointment to hear and read about how wonderful/fulfilling/etc. that people find it, and have it be something that at best I tolerate. But we're making it work. We'll see how it all holds together when I go back to work - it may all fall apart at that point.

It's gone from being a major stress point to being annoying. All we can do is wait and see where it goes from here. We're making all of this up as we go. Poor kid. ;-)
Nov. 18th, 2008 05:15 am (UTC)
yeah, all you can do is make it up as you go along. The darn things don't come with user manuals :)

glad it is working okay for you, then... and good luck with the going back to work part!
Nov. 18th, 2008 05:45 am (UTC)
No manuals, no money back guarantees. What's with that?

I'm actually looking forward to going back to the office. As hard as it's going to be to juggle things, it'll be a greater sense of normalcy for me. I'm incredibly lucky that my bosses are both understanding and supportive - I couldn't have a better work environment for having an infant.
Nov. 18th, 2008 10:03 pm (UTC)
Well, someone at least made a minor attempt to rectify that part...

Although they do admit it's humor...wouldn't it be nice, says the tech writer.

( 12 comments — Leave a comment )