Yesterday a Child

Today is the thirteenth birthday of my sweet Oldest.  She’s an official teenager!  Thirteen years ago on October 10, 1996 I sat at my baby shower feeling like I was going to throw up.

My Mother had organized the entire event.  My due date was November 12th, so we weren’t expecting any birthing any time soon.  We played ridiculous games and opened gifts, then the pain became too intense and I asked my Mom to drive me home.  I only managed about an hour at the party, so Mom was quite upset.  She tried to convince me it was heartburn, “Every new mother experiences it in the last trimester”.  I didn’t quite agree, but had no backbone.  I apologized and thanked her for her hard work.

Once at home I felt so sick.  I was a bit dizzy and very nauseous.  Husband and I called the Doctor and he stated that I was a panicky first time mom; if my water hadn’t broke, then no baby was coming.  We disagreed.

Around nine o’clock I’d had enough so Doctor’s permission or no we were going to the hospital.  When I arrived my contractions were strong and three minutes apart.  The nurses ushered me into a private room and explained how everything would proceed.  First I would have a monitor tied round my tum to watch the baby for signs of distress as well as measure the contractions.  Second, I would eat nothing except ice chips so I didn’t vomit or poop during the delivery.  Third, we would wait for full dilation then usher in my new baby girl.  All this seemed like an excellent plan to me.  I was on board and ready.

Once my Doctor arrived, he had different plans.  First I would have some drugs administered that would stop my contractions.  Second I would be given pain medication that was considered safe for the baby.  Third I would get in my car and go home.  The baby was four and a half weeks too early.

I was shocked to say the least.  After I received the meds, I felt much better.  I was quite giggly and happy.  The contractions had slowed considerably, so I was released from the hospital and given instructions to relax.  I was not to move around much to help keep the baby from deciding to come early again.  No eating spicy foods and no sex.

Once we arrived back home, the contractions began anew.  Husband phoned the Doctor.  Doctor told us to relax, the baby would not be coming if he could help it.  Too much risk for her to have lung problems, brain damage, etc.  I was to rest and not move unless I was going to the bathroom.

I stayed on the bed as instructed.  I rubbed my belly and put a pillow between my knees to help take the pressure off my hips and lower back.  The contractions stayed steady; one every four to five minutes.  I was in agony by four a.m. on the 11th.  Husband called the Doctor again.  Doctor said he would meet us at the hospital, but that in his experience, we would not be leaving with a baby.  Husband stated he did not care.  Wife was having baby without his permission.

At the hospital, the nurses smiled and said, “Oh!  Your back!  Now it’ll happen for sure.”  They wheeled me to a private room, put the monitor on my tum, and took my temperature.  Everything seemed normal.  I was fully effaced and ready to go.  Husband and I joked that the second time’s the charm.  I was given more pain meds, and thought I was well on my way.  The nurse came to check again and stated that I was dilated to a three, so she would call the Doctor.  Happily we phoned family and friends.  This is it!

Within an hour, the Doctor arrived.  “Well Mrs. Blanketgirl, I’m afraid that there hasn’t been much change since you were admitted.  If this had been true labor, you’d continue dilating.  I’ve given instruction to your nurse to give you more medication to stop the labor.  We’ll see you in a week or so.  Stay lying down, avoid stress and spicy foods.  Goodnight.”

Husband and I were godsmacked.  Okay then.  Goodbye and goodnight family and friends, we were mistaken.

Back at home again, the contractions would not let up.  Despite my body not expanding as it should, the contractions were kicking my ass.  I couldn’t sleep.  I couldn’t eat.  I couldn’t watch the X-Files box set Husband had gathered for me to help me pass the time.  I writhed on the bed and wished it would stop.

Finally in the mid afternoon of the 12th I could take it no longer.  I called the Doctor myself.  I explained that I was vomitting and hungry.  I couldn’t sleep.  I hadn’t slept or eaten properly for two days.  I explained how close my contractions were (every three minutes) and how urgent everything felt.  He explained very slowly and calmly to me that his wife had given birth to seven children and he knows and can almost sense what real labor is.  Furthermore, I was not experiencing what he thought was full labor.  He would not meet me at the hospital as it would end in another fiasco.  Not to mention that he would not be held responsible for delivering a baby this early before term without good reason.  The longer we could keep her cooking in the oven, the better.

ASSHAT!!  I cried and moaned, and walked the house and wailed.  Husband held my hair while I barfed and held a cool cloth to my head.  I had decided then and there that I would not have anymore children.  Ever.

At five o’clock a.m. the morning of the 13th, I snapped.  The contraction had not let up.  I was ravishingly hungry.  I wanted to take a shower.  This was it.  This baby wanted out whether the Doctor or the King of Space and Time were ready.  I phoned the Doctor and told him I would sign whatever he needed me to sign, and would do whatever he needed me to do, but that I had to have this baby.  I had to do it before I was too tired to help her into the world.

With a sigh and obvious chagrin, he agreed to meet us at the hospital.  With much relief Husband loaded me into the car.  Once at the hospital the nurses greeted us with warmly familiar smiles.  “We’re sure you’re ready this time!”  The now practiced routine fell into place.  The monitor on the tum, pain medications, and the inevitable dilation check.  The nurse grinned back at me, “You’re at a five!  I’ll call the Doctor!”  I think they were as happy to see me making progress as I was.

A huge wave of relief passed over me.  Hazzah!  My baby girl would finally be here.  Maybe.

My parents arrived at about the same time as Husband’s.  Our friends were not far behind.  Everyone was waiting to meet our little girl.  The nurse kept checking each hour, and I hadn’t progressed.  I was beginning to feel nervous.  Four hours and no progress meant that I may be sent home and I just couldn’t do that again.  I had to have her now.  Finally my nurse came in and said, “Sweetie, I’m going to break your water.  It’ll help move things along.”  After she did that, I went up to a seven.  Yay!

After another three hours, the nurse came back and said that the anesthesiologist would be in momentarily to administer the epidural.  This was what I was waiting for.  Once the epidural was in and active, the labor went on like magic.  Within twenty minutes I was fully dilated.  The Doctor came in the room and asked me to push once.  I did.  “Wait!” he shouted.  “Just hold it right there while I clear her nose,” I waited.  “Can I push?” I asked meekly.  “Almost…okay, yes.  One more push.”

I pushed.  Husband beamed at me.  The Doctor said, “Okay, one more please.”  At 6:55 p.m. I gave one last push and heard it.  My little girl crying for the first time.

The Doctor smiled and held her up for me.  She was pink and pinched.  She was mad as hell.  Husband rubbed my shoulder and said, “Oh sweet girl, shhhh!  You’re okay!”  with that our angel stopped crying.  The nurse had a funny look on her face.  “We’re going to take her to the nursery, she’s not breathing well on her own.  Everything is okay.  We’ll have her back to you soon.”

With that they rushed off with my new little baby.  I was so stressed out.  The Doctor finished up the rest of the delivery, then noted that I was hemorrhaging terribly and must not be moved for two hours.  Despite the warning, I was wheeled into another room because the hospital was delivering a record number of babies and simply didn’t have enough space for everyone.  Once I was in my room, I paged the nursery.  “I’d like to see my baby please,”  My Aunt Carol was the head nurse for the nursery, so she told me that normally they would keep the baby in the nursery a bit longer, but for me she’d make an exception.

There was a small knock on my door.  Aunt Carol wheeled a tiny cart towards me.  It had a plastic bubble over the top of it.  Inside was my tiny baby.  She was pinkish purplish, and sleeping with a bit of clear jelly on her eyelids.  She had two tiny bows in her wispy brown hair.  Aunt Carol explained to me that the bubble was keeping her warm and providing extra oxygen.  She had already fed her, but the next feeding was all mine.  Baby would be stable then.

I cried a little and put my gloved finger into her little fist.  She was so sweet.  Aunt Carol took her then so I could sleep.  She assured me everything would be okay.  Oldest was breathing well again and didn’t have signs of jaundice or any other issues.  She also stated with a giggle that the sleep I had now would be the last bit of sleep I would ever have again without listening for my baby.  We both smiled and she wheeled my darling back to the nursery.

When I woke up, I panicked a little.  I still couldn’t feel my legs and I wanted my baby.  I needed to hold her.  Husband calmed me down and called the nursery.  Aunt Carol came back with my Oldest on a wheeled bed, but not in a bubble.  She picked her up and gave me my tiny baby.  She was 6 lbs. 14 oz. – big for a month and two week early baby.  She was fine.  Everything was okay.

I held her in my arms and gave her her bottle.  She searched for the nipple breathlessly until she found it, then settled into my arms.  I fell in deep love and fascination then, and have never fallen out of either.

The rest of our journey has been tricky.  Oldest is on the autism spectrum; however she is miracle case.  She is very well spoken, super intelligent, makes excellent eye contact, and has friends and many interests.  I’ve raised someone after my own heart, a proper little geek.  We have been privileged to work with the same thoughtful therapist for eight years who has helped us along.  Now he has asked Oldest to speak at the opening of his autism clinic, so that newly diagnosed children and parents can see what Asperger’s Syndrome looks like and how it can be tamed.  He boasts that we are the most successful case of his career.

I love my darling daughter with all my heart.  I will for the rest of my life.  She is my angel.



~ by blanketgirl on October 13, 2009.

One Response to “Yesterday a Child”

  1. You sure make nice babies. Well done darling. 😀

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