Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Happy 6th Birthday, Laura

We celebrated Laura's sixth birthday on Monday. She is a Pearl Harbor Day baby.

Laura was born early...a surprise, since Emma was VERY late. We lived across the street from the hospital at the time, and had just moved back from the Berkshires a few months before. Our life seemed to be in a state of transition.

I woke up from a dead sleep at exactly four a.m. I was instantly awake and coherent. I felt something deep inside almost suck in, and then I swear I felt something "pop."

Within seconds my water gushed out, and by the time I got to the bathroom my pants were soaked around my ankles. I know, I know. Quite a visual. I tried my best to wake up Gary, but if you know Gary, you know he does not wake up easily. He is like a bear coming out of hibernation.

{I am going to insert a public service announcement here to always buy a mattress cover. We had a BRAND NEW MATTRESS and were waiting to buy a cover. I still have a large stain on my mattress where my water broke. Grrr.}

"Gary, my water broke."
"Are you sure?" he mumbled into his pillow.
I flushed the toilet behind me as red water just kept coming.
"Oh, I'm sure."
I was frightened. I didn't know what to do.
Gary stumbled into the bathroom and was awake quickly. He was scared, I was scared. There was so much blood, and I was pretty sure there was not supposed to be blood. He called my sister, our Emma-sitter, but unfortunately she had taken a sleeping pill and it took many many calls to rouse her. We stared at each other. We didn't know how much time we had, or if things were okay, or what we should do.

We were about to wake a neighbor when she arrived. We rushed around the corner to the hospital and I was admitted.

Now, I have to tell you, I enjoy epidurals. Very much. I have never, ever had a moment where I wanted a natural delivery. It has never even been a desire to me in the slightest. So you can imagine I began to panic when they happened to have a huge accident somewhere in town and both on-call anesthesiologists were in the OR with surgeries to monitor. There was a long hallway full of unhappy, very volatile pregnant women. I had taken enough lamaze classes that I sort of new what to do. But, panic set in. I tensed, I didn't breathe, I began to cry. "My bones are breaking," I said, "why won't you listen to me? I can feel it!" I also said a whole bunch of other things that didn't really make much sense. When I am in pain, I get very, very quiet. So I sort of turned inward, writhed around a bit, didn't breathe, and cried. Pregnant women, don't do that.

To my relief, a nice anesthesiologist whisked in before I hit the Point of No Return. I looked at him with stars in my eyes as he explained the necessary risks and side effects. "Look," I interrupted, "I don't give a rat's butt if it gives me a brain anuerysm. Just give me the epidural now. Please."

There is a moment when the eppy hits that is just wonderful. My body relaxed, my muscles unclenched, and in thirty seconds I was asleep.

Laura was born at 12:30 in the afternoon. My teeny little girl was 8'14". Due to low oxygen and some other complications, I didn't get to see her for four hours. But Gary stayed with her, and when they finally wheeled me in there, and I caught a glance of her, I had to laugh. And it was such a beginning clue to her personality. There she lay, in a diaper, spread out and totally relaxed under this warmer. Other tiny babies cried in other corners of the NICU. But Laura was cool as a cucumber. She just radiated this feeling of, This is my domain, I am queen of all things here, and all is well. I knew she would be okay.

I had a horrific hospital stay. The worst I have ever had. Not that I've had tons, but, you know. Seriously, you will drop your jaw when I tell you what happened. But it will have to wait until tomorrow. I am beat. When I had the stomach flu last week, I didn't take my thyroid for a week. It has hit me this week. I can barely function. I feel like I am in the ocean, trying to walk against the waves and getting nowhere. I am about one level higher than a slug. But I'm back on my thyroid so I should be back in the groove pretty quickly. Amazing how these things can affect you.

So part two tomorrow, I'll tell you the story behind someone else's blood all over the bathroom floor and a nurse telling me, "if you want it cleaned you can take care of it yourself." It's a lovely story.


  1. Thank you for sharing your story! And I remember part 2... All I can say is O MY GOSHHHhhhhhhhh!! hahaha HAPPY BIRTHDAY LAURA! We were so happy to be able to spend time with her on her special day! Hope she liked the lil petshops!!

  2. I know have blogger's remorse. That post was way too TMI. I think maybe I should delete it. Ugh.

  3. No! I'm so glad you didn't delete it! Loved it. YOu are so funny, and I never got to hear the story...so it's all good.


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