Friday, November 29, 2013

Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo?

Sorry for the long absence.  I hope the long delay has not driven off my faithful readers from Russia, England, Germany and Latvia!  I have been pretty busy.  I had my baby!!!  I had a beautiful baby girl at the end of September.  Emily is the sweetest, easiest baby ever!!   I am so in love with her!!  Of course, if you have been following my blog you know NOTHING with me is drama free.  Well, this has been NO exception.  So about 8 days before my planned c-section I was at work.  Nothing out of the ordinary...finished my dinner at about 5 and noticed I was having some sporadic contractions.  Again, not unusual, I had  Braxton Hicks for a few weeks.  I thought nothing of it since my section was still a week out.  I never went into labor on my own with the other two and if any of you have met Sara you know she would climb back in my uterus if she could.  By about 6:30 the contractions were coming a bit more frequently and were making me sit up and take notice.  One of the nurses walks by and says, "Are you in labor?"  (Hi Sue!!)...I ask, "why do you say that?"...she replies, "because you are really pale and sweaty"..."well, I am having some contractions and it feels like a watermelon is coming out of my ass" I reply.  Someone else sitting close by said it sounds like labor starting and I shouldn't ignore it.  So I head for home at 7 still contracting.  I come home and fill Chuck in on the situation.  I put Anna to bed and tell Chuck I think I will call my doctor.  He asks me why? and what are you going to tell them?  Again, I mention the frequent, uncomfortable contractions and the watermelon trying to escape out of my ass.  He sighs...he does not want to spend the night in OB triage only to be sent home at 2 a.m.  (He later admitted that Breaking Bad was coming on and he didn't want to miss it...thank God for DVR).  I call and have the MD on call paged.  It takes over an hour for him to call back.  He tells me to head in.  Sara is NOT happy.  I tell her that I will probably be back in a few hours, she tells me she really wants me to have the baby tonight.  Don't get your hopes up kid...I am not a woman who goes into will be another 8 days.

We get to the hospital at about 11:45 p.m.  So we are in the OB registration area, they give me my bracelet and then quickly mention something about The Today Show is there filming in the maternity unit would we be OK with it?  Sure I say not really understanding what they are asking me.  The registrar has us wait for someone from PR to come and chat with us.  This really perky, fresh faced girl comes strolling in, did I mention it is almost midnight on a Sunday?    She explains to me that the Today Show is filming at 3 hospitals around the country hoping to catch a live birth on TV.  Would we be interested in participating?  Now, usually I am of the school of thought that the only ones allowed in the delivery room should only be the ones there when the baby was the appropriate medical personnel.  Sorry, I don't want my mom, sister or kids there.  That being said, how cool would it be for Sara and Anna to watch their new sibling born live?...Plus, 1) it would make a cool birth story for the baby, 2) I was having a c-section so I knew for a fact that I would not sh*t myself as I pushed out my kid and, more importantly, in the same vain I knew I would not fart on live TV.  I'm in!!  The one stipulation was the baby had to be born in between 9-11 a.m.  OK, we shall see!

Back to my contractions...I head up to OB triage, they hook me up to the monitor and guess what?  I AM in labor...the contractions were every 2-4 minutes!  They decide that since I am past 38 weeks they are just going to section me at 2 a.m. There goes the Today Show, but we will finally get to meet this little person inside of me.  I am so excited, and Sara is even more so.  She was practically vibrating with excitement when we left. I couldn't wait to call her in the morning and tell her she is a big sister again.  2 a.m. comes and goes and I am still not in the OR, but it is all happening so fast the next 2 hours fly by.  I am being wheeled into the OR by a twenty-something, Asian doctor named Romeo.  Technically he pronounces it Roh-May-Oh, but I like the traditional Shakespearean pronunciation better.  So I am sticking with that. So as I am getting prepped for surgery I should be contemplating the new life that is about to come out of my womb, but instead, I sh*t you not I kept hearing over and over in my head, "Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou...arm hair?"  I have never felt a smoother arm in my life!  He was holding my hand as they were inserting my epidural.  He was  rubbing it in this awkward kind of way, almost like he read the chapter on "Bedside Manner" and it  mentioned comforting your patient with a therapeutic touch and this was his attempt at translating it into his clinical practice.  Um, didn't work.  But I was fascinated none the less.  There was not one strand of hair  to be found.  I was zoned out just rubbing his arm, almost trance like.  But I digress...don't worry though my friends... you will hear about Romeo again...

So it's show time...the c-section is underway and the baby comes out!!  IT'S A....girl...I hope you read that with a slightly defeated tone to your voice, because that is how Chuck said it.  Don't go thinking he is an ass, it is just we were all convinced it was a boy, really there was no doubt, and truth be told it would have been nice to have a boy in the mix..but we were just as thrilled with a girl.  At this point I am thoroughly exhausted.  It is about 4:30 a.m. I have been up for almost 24 hours, but, then through the haze I am hearing things like, 'meconium'...'respiratory distress' and 'NICU' of course I am automatically thinking, 'ECMO' and fast forwarding to me having a drug withdrawal baby in the NICU.  They take the baby to the NICU and I send Chuck with her.  Fortunately, everything turns out fine with Emily.  Me, however, not so much...but that won't show itself for a few weeks.

Because I had a c-section and since it was overnight Sunday into Monday I got the pleasure of staying in the hospital until Friday.  I delivered at a teaching hospital known for its birthing center, some say a factory if you will.  I went through hell for 3 years to have Emily (another story for another day) so I was floating on clouds.  Whoever wanted to come in was welcome.  You have a nursing student?  Sure.  You want to show them how to feel my fundus? Have at it.  Oh, you need a baby for a med student demonstration of the Brazelton Developmental Assessment?  Sure, you can use Emily.  What you say?  You want to have someone observe how a breastfed baby latches.  No problem, pull up a seat.  A study is underway to compare language development in full term and premature babies and you would like to get an MRI of my baby's brain while listening to music?  Where would you like me to sign?  I was a model patient.  I took care of all of my needs and only pushed the call button twice during my 5 day stay.  I was absolutely thrilled to be a mom again and I wanted everyone to bask in my post partum glory.  I had an amazing night time view of the Boston skyline, I got a lot of quality bonding time with just me and Emme.  It was a great experience.  The only thing that marred my stay was the reaction I would get each and every time someone would come in and look at my incision site.  I would pull back the blankets and they would recoil in horror.  They would all comment on the bruise.  "wow, that is a huge bruise"..."that is the biggest bruise I have ever seen"..."do you usually get such big bruises?", there was ALWAYS a comment on my bruise.  Since my belly was still swollen I couldn't see the bruise so I had no idea what they were talking about.

Anyway, we go home and we have a wonderful week at home.  Emily is fitting in great with the family.  The girls love her and all is right in our little world.  It is a Sunday morning and Chuck is going back to work the next day.  I decide to take advantage of his last day home and I get up to take a nap.  I notice the front of my black sweat pants (aka my uniform) are soaked all across the front of my belly.  Hmm, I had just nursed the baby, can't be leaky boobs.  No one was sitting on me so it wasn't pee.  I know I hadn't spilled anything.  I put my hand on it to see what it was.  When I looked my hand was red.  It was blood.  I panic!  I tell Chuck that my c-section scar had opened up and I was bleeding.  He says "are you sure its not just from your vagina?".  Um...I am 40 years old.  I think I know where my belly is and where my vagina is and this was definitely belly blood.  We go into the bedroom so I can lay down and we can survey the damage.  Of course Thing One and Thing Two (Sara and Anna) tag along.  I am terrified that when I pull down my undies my uterus and other slimy innards are going to be falling out.  Thankfully they aren't.  Chuck tucks a hand towel under my skin apron (long time blog readers know all about my skin apron) and stops the bleeding.  He says it looks like the incision just came apart a tiny bit at the end.  Just hang out for a while and you'll be fine.  Sara on the other hand grabs the phone and asks if I want to call my doctor.  I go with Sara's plan of action.  I call the doctor and they tell me to come in town.  My dad is on his way to watch the kids but he is about an hour and a half away.  No worries.  No worries that is until I take a shower and blood is dripping all over the floor.  I call a local friend to come and watch the kids.  This is totally the 3rd kid because when she gets here  I introduce her to Emily who is only 13 days old, show her where the bottles are and head out the door in a matter of 5 minutes.  I figure she has two kids she has kept alive and well for 7 years now, she'll be fine.  

We get to OB triage, I am slightly nervous but not overly worried.  While working in the ER I always remember patients saying it was a ton of blood, or a ton of vomit and the staff reassuring them that it always looks like a lot more than it is.  The doc and nurse come in and start to check things out...the nurse is making some pretty disturbing faces.  "I don't like the faces you are making Kendra" I say to her.  I tell them that I am sure that I was over reacting when I said it was a lot of blood to the doctor on the phone.  "Oh, no, you did the right thing by coming was a lot of blood"...Dunt, dunt duhh....


  Chuck said I would bore everyone if I tried to blog about the past two and a half months in one post.  Stay tuned to see what happens next...vacuums, seaweed and potentially a stalker.  I seriously could not make this stuff up!!!

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