Archive for the ‘Delivery Date’ Category

Hello, Baby

September 17, 2009

It was 2:30 in the morning and my husband and I were driving over D.C.’s silenced streets, bound for the hospital. The only sound from outside my open window was the truck’s engine and the ambient noise of the humid summer night. Inside it was just Wolfmother’s “Vagabond” coming from the stereo because we were both quiet, processing what was unfolding. As we drove past the monuments they glowed under the moon.

It had been a dyslexic version of the classic scene that night. Instead of waking with a start and calling the hospital, we were awoken by the hospital calling us at 1 in the morning to tell us we could come in. With the baby deciding to hang out for an extra week, I was supposed to be induced on a Wednesday. With every baby in the D.C. metro area deciding to be born on that particular Wednesday I was delayed until Thursday morning. “We’ll call you when a delivery room frees up,” the nurse had said Wednesday evening as the wait dragged on.

Finally, at 3 a.m. on Thursday we settled into our delivery room. It was dim and cozy and we reveled, albeit sleepily, in what we knew now were the waning hours of quiet in our lives. The last of You and I.

As it turns out, there would be more of those hours than we expected. An early induction drug did nothing, necessitating the high-octane juice later that morning. With that came an epidural. (Gotta love a process that makes you actually ask a doctor to stick a needle in your spinal cord.) And then came…nothing. Over the next 16+ hours things progressed only so far and that wasn’t far enough.

Around 8:30 that night the baby played her high card. Through the epidural that kept me from feeling contractions so strong the monitor printout read like the screen of a treadmill set to “Alpine Adventure”, I felt her kicking. Like crazy. “That was odd,” I thought. A minute later the doctor and a nurse came hustling in the room and asked if I’d felt the baby moving. Shayeah. The baby’s heart rate was dropping at the same time that her sudden activity indicated some sort of distress, the doctor said. It was time to consider that a c-section was likely necessary.

Up until this point the best word to describe labor would be boring. Too drugged by the epidural to get out of bed. Too overwhelmed by the experience to read or do a crossword puzzle. Clockwatching becomes the pastime. When the doctor starts talking emergency c-section it becomes un-boring. It becomes terrifying. When she asked what my feelings were about having the procedure I said, “I do not care about the type of birth. Just get the baby out now.”

The minutes that followed were the cliched blur: husband getting into scrubs, me telling him to follow the baby and not me after she came out, me telling him to save the baby and not me if something went wrong, me telling him not to remarry or I’d haunt him if something went wrong, anesthesiologist asking questions, residents who looked like they were 18 introducing themselves, wheeling to the operating room, staring up at the glaring lights, arms strapped out on both sides, “Can you feel this?” and through it all, uncontrollable shaking due to the nerves or the anesthesia or both. “Stop shaking or you’ll screw them up,” I told myself. Also through it all: my husband’s head right next to me, eyes locked on mine, whispering to me through his mask.

At 9:42, our baby came into the world. You and I became The Three of Us.

Because of something hinky that had happened when my water broke earlier that day I’d expected there would be problems at her birth. I didn’t expect to hear her cry. I’d spent the afternoon preparing myself for the likelihood that there would be initial respiratory problems and that silence would likely mark her arrival. But at 9:42,  through my anesthetized haze, I heard her cry. Loudly. Sustained. This baby was peeved.

With good reason as it turns out. The umbilical cord was wrapped around her neck. Because of her ample carriage she’d been jammed in with little to no chance of moving. One side of her face initially showed the signs of being smushed. Her check-out of the Hotel Tummyington had not gone smoothly. A stern letter to the management was in order.

Luckily, in the days that followed she agreed to forgive us. Because she is perfectly lovely.



And Then There Were Three…

August 16, 2009


All the news that’s fit to print to come.

Oh and that business about the Stork bringing them? It turns out that’s not factually correct.

We Choose the Moon

August 12, 2009


Today it is. Nature has done the heavy lifting these last nine+ months and now Science is going to lend a hand at the end.

It is quite a thing to spend a day, as we did yesterday, knowing that it’s the last day we will ever be something else entirely. To know the exact day when life will change irrevocably and to know that that day is “tomorrow.”

Are we nervous? Of course. Excited? Beyond measure. As wholly, naively unprepared as every other man and woman who takes this on? Naturally.

Looking back on the previous nine months and pondering what’s ahead, I can’t explain why anyone does this. So I’ll let someone else come as close as I’ve ever heard to doing it:

” We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too.”

Hopefully these past nine months have not left you with significant eyeroll strain. But if I’ve fallen prey to the prattling and complaining that seem to nip too often on the swollen heels of pregnancy blogs, bonus points to the person who wires me a telegram, as Dorothy Parker did to the wife of Robert Sherwood upon the birth of her much-discussed baby (a little too much for Mrs. Parker’s taste), stating:

“Good work, Mary. We all knew you had it in you.”

She’s Late For a Very Important Date

August 10, 2009


How was your weekend? Mine? Oh, you know, just dabbled in a bit of NOT HAVING A BABY! She was due last Thursday. For those of you not keeping track, today is now Monday.

Some might argue that this is karmic payback for me routinely being late for social appointments. And some might also get socked in the nose if they argue this at this particular moment in time.

By the way, we have three contenders still in the running for BumpWatch Bingo:
LJ-Aug. 10
Farar-Aug. 12

and of course Phil, with his Oct. 31 guess. At this point, he doesn’t seem that far off.

Pony Express

August 6, 2009


My voicemail to Daddy O: “Hi Dad, it’s me. I promised the baby that you would buy her pony if she came today. Sooo, um, yeah…you’re going to need to buy her a pony.”

Daddy O voicemail in return: “No problem. What color?”

As of yet, the baby does not appear to be buying it…

Anything Happening This Week?

August 3, 2009


Oh, that’s right. We’re slated to have a baby.

This is What Two Weeks Left Feels Like

July 23, 2009


That is all.

“The Sabine and the Sulpher Hold Beauties A’Many”

July 8, 2009

ipodmybabyAt long last, I finally put together a labor day playlist: 161 songs clocking in at 11 hours, 14 minutes and 18 seconds. If this baby requires more than 746.2 megabytes of music to arrive I’m going to assume I’ll have long since stopped caring whether Wilco or Whitesnake is tinkling out of the iPod speakers. You’ll notice that the last section is when we have to go to Plan B—forget the variety and just play something that won’t make me want to hurl a bucket of ice chips at the stereo.

One thing I found puzzling: everything I read said to make a playlist of soothing music that will be calming during labor. But considering that delivering a baby seems to be most akin to the time I ran a half-marathon, I’m thinking that the last thing I wanted to get through the final miles was soothing music. Although I did refrain from putting Dropkick Murphys tunes on here, figuring the nursing staff might mutiny.

While there are some tunes selected because they slyly reference babies, little girls, or childbirth, in general you’ll find a dearth of sappy “we’re having a beautiful little angel baby poofypants” pablum on here. Also, I’m sure there are plenty of songs on the list with lyrics that reference horrific events, relationships torn asunder and the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald. I didn’t care, as long as it had a good beat and our little Soul Train contestant could dance her way out to it.

Feel free to begin psychoanalyzing at will…

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Part II: I Say Traditional, You Say Pohtahtoe

May 27, 2009


After I warned him last night that I would be using him as the Lucy to my Ricky in this morning’s post, my husband mounted an indignant tri-part defense, starting with, “Any man who says he wants to be in the delivery room is lying.” Other attempts: “You don’t want to be in there either!” (Response: No, but if I’ve got to be, you’ve got to be.) “So you’re saying that if I were having surgery on my prostate, you’d come stand there the whole time?” (Response: If I was allowed, of course.) Steeee-rike three.

However, in his next at-bat, he swung for the fences. And to borrow a line from The Royal Tenenbaums, “Immediately after making this statement, [Bird’s husband] realized that it was true.” He looked at me, his expression softening and his tone now serious, and said, “I just don’t want to be in there, seeing you in pain, and not be able to do anything about it.”

Heart. Melts. Here.

I Say Traditional, You Say Pohtahtoe

May 27, 2009


Last week, my husband and I got into a discussion about how things will go down in the delivery room when this baby decides to grace us with her presence. I had told him previously that I am all about “traditional” and that I in no way need him loitering about anywhere south of my bellybutton when it’s go time. I’m a firm believer that the sight of such, er, complex goings on during birth can haunt a man for years and besides, I’d want him within grabbing distance so when I’m imploring, wide-eyed, “ICHANGEDMYMINDIDON’TWANTTODELIVERABABY” he can calmly say, “Too late, Sweet Pea,” feed me an ice chip, and smooth back my hair.

However, when he heard “traditional” in my original shpiel he interpreted that somewhat differently, as I learned in last week’s conversation. A rough transcript:

Him: “I’m actually going to be in the room for the delivery?”
Me: (double take) “Yes. Why?”
Him: “I thought you said you wanted it to be traditional.”
Me: (triple take) “I did, but I meant you staying up with me by my noggin’.”
Him: “I thought you meant I’d be out in the waiting room.”
Me: (quadruple take) “WHAT?! No, you cannot be in the waiting room! I said ‘traditional’ not 1950s!”
Him: “Oh. OK.”

And apparently after we had this conversation he actually went and conferred with other dudes at work to see if this was a normal request on my part. There you have it, ladies and gentlemen. I’m married to the entire male character lineup on Mad Men.


[STAY TUNED FOR PART II LATER TODAY: Briefed last night that this post was coming (hey, I’m nothing if not fair, especially after he sicced his PR firm on me last time), my husband provided a mock-incensed defense that gave way to what was clearly the heartfelt rationale behind his thought process…]