So Anna turned 3 the other day. My "baby" is 3!! How did that happen? Life is going by way too fast and I always say "YES!" when Anna asks me if I miss my Anna baby. I am turning 40 in a few days (GROSS!) so unless Chuck and I hit the big Power-ball Jackpot on Wednesday and use our winnings to adopt some kids we are done having babies. So the past couple of days have got me thinking about how it all began...
I got married a little later than most and we were hoping to start our family right away. I knew that the odds were not in my favor since it was the first month but I was hopeful nonetheless. I came home from work with an awful headache. I went to take something for it but I thought what if I am pregnant? I did feel a little dizzy in the playroom earlier in the day and I threw up a little in my mouth on the shuttle bus. Or did I? Was I just imagining these things because I wanted it so bad? Maybe I shouldn't take anything. I decide to take a test knowing full well that it was going to be negative. Chuck thought I was nuts. But that is par for the course. I take the test, leave it on the counter in the bathroom, set the kitchen timer and wait. The buzzer goes off and Chuck gets to the bathroom first and I hear this sound. Nothing I had ever heard come from him before. I guess the best way to describe it is kind of like a gasp. I head in to see what the commotion was. He holds the stick up and clear as day I see the word, "Pregnant". I stopped in my tracks. Nothing much was said after that. We kind of avoided each other and eye contact was non-existent. I think we both knew in that one instant our lives had changed forever. We were going to be parents...our lives were going to be enriched by the pitter patter of little feet, we were going to have a child that we would be able to impart all kinds of wisdom upon, that we were now going to live the all American Dream. YEAH RIGHT!!! I am confident that we were both thinking, "What the hell did we just do?". OK, I know exactly what we did. For 2 weeks straight we put all of our efforts into becoming a family so much so that there may have been an occasion when technically I may have been asleep...
But here I was pregnant. I found out very early so I had a LONG way to go...a long, long way to go. I started off with a local OB. Just gonna put it out there; she was AWFUL! I vomited for the first 15 weeks. Everyday, all day! Everything I ate came right back up. When I brought it up to her she said, "well my sister puked up until the day she delivered"..really? That was her professional, medical response. My response was to think, "Oh, she had a sh*tty doctor too?". So for that and several other reasons I switched practices. I was much happier. After the puking was under control I had a very uneventful pregnancy... Just the typical pregnancy stuff. I did have a bout with plantar fasciitis. Not going to sugar coat it...I was enormous when I was pregnant. Like I said before, I thought I was a cute pregnant lady in my head. In reality I was gigantic. One morning I woke up with the sun shining in my face, heard the birds chirping and I was thinking how life was beautiful. I stood up to get out of bed and I had unbelievable pain in my foot. My first thought? Holy Sh*t! I am so fat my foot broke under my own weight!! I was horrified at that thought. Of course I was home alone and had to hobble/waddle my fat ass to the doctor. Turns out my foot was not broken, just a case of plantar fasciitis due to my "extreme weight gain" and wearing flip flops. So going forward I was going to have to stuff my feet into sneakers.
Speaking of my enormous belly...not only did it nearly break my foot it caused "logistical" problems if you will. Chuck constantly refers to my T-Rex arms...he thinks they are disproportionately short. Like Cee-Lo Green if you will. I don't agree but he is so insistent...he even shared his opinion with my nephew on Thanksgiving and man did he think that was funny. Back to the big belly and short arms. That is a set up for failure for one very crucial aspect of daily living. Wiping my ass. Yup, I said it. I would dread going to the bathroom because every time I knew I was going to have to contort, stretch and reach into ungodly positions in order to take care of business. Again, Chuck delighted in this and would always say, "I wash myself with a rag on a stick" when I would come out of the bathroom. It may be a line from some obscure movie...he is good for that...but either way, it was funny once but ran its course after about the thousandth time. Oh and my friend Amy heard of my plight and sent me a link for an ass wiper. Yes! There is such a thing. Turns out this is a problem for many...I clicked on the link and was fascinated. And to be quite honest I never laughed so hard. I did my own Google search (which I am sure some of you will now too) and I was surprised to find out there is a whole cottage industry dedicated to cleaning asses world wide. I will wait while you go look it up........
OK, so back to my story. The rest of my pregnancy was uneventful until my 39 week appointment. I went in and things were good. I was about to step on the elevator and the nurse practitioner came running out and announced I wasn't going anywhere. I had very high blood pressure and needed to be induced. Great. It was Game one of the World Series...something the Red Sox don't do often so it was a big deal. Oh, did I mention my hospital was right down the street from Fenway Park? It was going to make for an awesome amount of traffic for poor Chuck. He might not make it to the delivery in time! Those sentiments would come back to bite me. So I get all set in my room, Chuck makes it in and they induce me at 7 p.m. on Thursday night. My contractions start getting pretty strong around 9. But I could handle them so far. I did have a birth plan in mind. It included a traditional medical setting with as much stainless steel and antiseptic as possible. I also had a plan to take as much pain medication as humanly possible. In fact, if they could have placed the epidural at month 8 just to be ready I would have been all for that. I wouldn't have a tooth taken out without anesthesia and that is about one millionth the size of a baby if you think for one minute I would have a baby pulled out of me without anesthesia then you are crazy. I take a Tylenol at the first sign of a headache for God's sake. So I say bring on the meds!! I, however, had the one hippie nurse in all of the hospital. I was asking for something to take the edge off...something, anything...it could be a flippin Tylenol, just something. You know what she suggests? A hand massage. Betcha never would have guessed that. She is doing a hand massage on me and teaching Chuck how to give me one. Hey lady, guess what? Not my friggin hand that hurts. She left and I took one look at Chuck and gave him the look as if to say, "you touch my hand that will be the last thing you ever do in this life". I made it 24 hours without pain meds. Yes...I said 24 hours!! I finally got my epidural at 24 hours in. At about 12 hours in I got this wonderful, magical cocktail known as Nubain. It was when a normal nurse came on. Thank God the hippe and her magic crystals went off shift. Back to the Nubain...It was just enough to take the edge off. I still felt all the contractions but I didn't care! Kind of like when you have 1 too many glasses of wine and you bang your knee really hard. You feel it but you don't give a sh*t. You just laugh it off with your friends like it is the funniest thing that ever happened to you. A little side note, I think at the time of discharge when you are taking your newborn home your doc should give you a prescription for Nubain refillable 12 times a year for the next 18 years. That way you can just laugh off all the craziness that is motherhood. Wouldn't that be awesome? But I digress...That was the Nubain. It doesn't last too long though. But it was enough to let me rest. Because apparently 24 hours of labor is not enough. Oh no my friends...I had a ways to go yet.
So like I said at the 24 hour mark I get the epidural. It was magical! It was on a pump delivering the medication continually. I also had a button I could push every 9 minutes if I felt I needed a little more. I wasn't feeling anything at this point and I wanted to keep it that way so every 9 minutes on the dot I pushed that button. It would make a slight beeping noise. Well Chuck thought that was a bit excessive, he thought if I wasn't feeling anything then I really didn't need the "extra" so I had to disguise it. So now on top of clock watching I needed to make sure I had a cover. I would push it and simultaneously cough or ruffle my sheets making sure to mask the little beeping noise.
I was feeling good. What I wasn't feeling were my legs. You could have driven an ice pick through them and I would not have flinched. Great! Along with that though came the inability to move my legs. The hospital I was at was a teaching hospital. Fine, I am all for higher education. What I was not fine with was a parade of people coming in, pulling the sheets up and getting extremely intimate with me, then discussing my progress all the while not moving the sheets back over my "area". There was nothing I could do. I was so numb and we have already established I have T-Rex arms so all I could do was lay there with it all hanging out as they taught the med students about the stages of labor. This is not the stuff they tell you about in "What to Expect When Expecting". I had an IV in my arm, heart monitor on my chest, pulse ox on my finger, oxygen mask on my face, a urine catheter and a probe on the baby's head.. for the record she was still inside of me so use your imagination on how THAT was attached. Not the pretty "Facebook ready" ladies I see on The Baby Story. I swear someday I am going to write a book called, "What to REALLY Expect when Expecting!"
So I am now 35 hours in. It is Saturday morning. I have been in labor since Thursday evening!! The crew parades back in and announces, "We need to talk about other ways of getting this baby out." Other ways? I'm not a doctor or nurse but I am only aware of 2 ways...the traditional way and a C-section. What the hell did they have up their sleeve? They then bring up the idea of a c-section. They do it ever so delicately as if not to crack a fragile egg. I told them I didn't care if they had the janitor come in and take the baby out...just get it out. I waved the white flag hours ago.
So off to the OR we go. Then they give me some gross drink to neutralize my stomach in case I had eaten anything recently. Hmmm....let's see...I have been here since THURSDAY FRIGGIN NIGHT....it is now SATURDAY!! I think my belly is clear. As soon as I swallowed it I puked it right up. All over my self because I was a load of jelly from all the anesthesia I had pumping through my body. (Truth be told when I went to deliver Anna I took a tiny sip and threw most of it away...and guess what? we both survived!!) I get on the operating table and they get to work. I get this unbelievable case of the shakes. I was terrified that I was shaking so bad that my scar would be this weird Frankenstein zig-zag. My teeth were chattering so hard I thought they would shatter, that I would have a beautiful baby to hold up in the pictures but I would have a smile resembling that of a crystal meth addict. Fortunately my teeth held up. Again, this is common for a c-section but surprisingly that was left out of the book. Despite all the pain meds dripping into my spine I felt way more than I should have. They were going to put me out completely but it was only going to be another few minutes and I told them I wanted to be awake...we didn't know what we were having and I really wanted to be awake for that. Finally!!! It's a girl!!! Chuck said, "It's Sara!!!" I saw her for a quick second and the next thing I knew I could hear myself snoring very loudly. They then snowed me with meds to finish the surgery. I finally got to see baby Sara a few hours later after she briefly visited the NICU to get an IV and some quick tests because I had a fever. It was amazing!! It was worth every second of pain to hold her for the first time. I was her mom. Forever!! We spent the next four days in the hospital getting to know each other. Basking in the glory of mesh underwear (fellow mommies know what I am talking about!), napping while Sara hung out in the nursery and just getting ready to go home as a family.
Reality quickly set in once we got home but despite all the craziness we did it again two years later when we added Anna Banana to our family. Like I said at the start of the entry, that was 3 years ago! My baby is 3!! I wish I could slow life down and keep them little forever! At the same time I love the little ladies they are becoming. Hopefully we will win Powerball tomorrow and we can afford to adopt more children because even though my blog may not always show it...I love my kids more than anything and I am so lucky to be their mom.