It’s 12:45 and I just realized I haven’t even brushed my teeth.
I wouldn’t go there if I were you… February 3, 2009
We’ve been ever vigilant in keeping a safe distance between Lars and Andrew. We should have known that just allowing her to approach him this way would be enough to dissuade her from ever getting near him again:
Seriously, one whiff and she headed for the hills. Can’t say I blame her.
PSA: This will be a detailed, dramatic, and probably slightly exaggerated account of Lenny’s/Andrew’s birth. I will spare no medically relevant details, so if you’re not comfortable knowing exactly where babies come from you need to skip this post. Dad, this means you. Oh, and I was on drugs for 90% of this story so you’ll understand if a few parts are fuzzy/completely false.
Okay, so our journey begins Tuesday night, January 27th. Being my child, it’s not surprisingthat Andrew was bothstubborn and dramatic. I’d spent the previous week going to see Dr. Doom and to triage to try and get my cervix to do its job and get out of the way with minimal progress. (That’s where the stubborness comes in.) We decided to induce, and Mother Nature decided to up the drama factor by sending an ice storm to Texas. Thanks, lady.
Anyway, Tuesday night we got to the hospital before the roads got too bad and got settled in. I was given a dose of cytotec to bully my cervix and we began to wait. I was able to forgo the second dose at midnight because for once my cervix was cooperating. I was also given ambien to try and help me sleep. It didn’t work at all and I stayed up all night freaking out about labor/parenthood/pooping on the table.
At 6:00 a.m. the Pitocin Posse rolled in. The contractions picked up immediately, and around 11 Dr. Doom broke my water and signed me up for the glorious epidural. I was 4 cm at that point and not too miserable, but the anesthesiologist was going in to do a series of c-sections and wouldn’t be available for a while. The epidural didn’t hurt at all, but it also didn’t work all that well.
I was able to relax for about an hour or so before the contractions picked up again. Now I had to breathe through them, listen to my iPod, and think of ways to harm Mr. Aggie for doing this to me just to make it through each one.
I was somewhere between 8-9 cm when the epi wore off. My butt was numb and so were my ladybits, but that was all. It was not much comfort considering nothing was happening down there yet. The lovely anesthesiologist came back finally to top off the epi but it didn’t seem to help. This is the part where I seriously began to lose my confidence/mind.
Eventually I was told by my fantastic nurse that it was time to start pushing. Here’s where the random numbness became a problem. My pushing seemed to be about as efficient as a game of Pin the Tail on the Donkey since I had no idea what I was doing.
And tried to breathe.
And said I couldn’t do it. Repeatedly.
And meant it.
And pooped on the table at least four times.
Mr. Aggie held one leg the whole time and the wonderful nurse held the other. She was always extremely honest with me, which I didn’t always appreciate (Me: “I’m going to die. How much longer do you think?” Her: “I’d say at least 45 minutes.”).
Throughout my labor/pushing I was extremely quiet. I never yelled or cried out (though I certainly cried). Screaming is for people who have extra energy and I wasn’t one of them. Especially after the meds wore off, I was just trying to survive.
After an hour and a half of pushing with no break (and minimal drugs, did I mention that?) Dr. Doom was finally called. He swept into the room moments later and commandeered a front row seat. I pushed through three contractions and the baby finally came out. I really didn’t think that would ever happen.
Once the kid arrived with no bruising/no coneheadeness it was obivious why it sucked so bad for me and took so long: he was never engaged and I had to push him all.the.way.
It seemed like an eternity before he finally told us it was a boy. I don’t remember my reaction-I think I was just numb and exhausted. Of course we’ll tell Andrew how magical the moment was, but honestly I would have reacted with the same enthusiasm if he’d announced what he had for lunch.
The kid started wailing immediately and the nurses were shocked by his size. Once they put him on the scale it was confirmed- 9lbs 15.3 oz. I wish I’d eaten a little more ice cream so it could be an even 10, but whatever. He received a 9 and 10 on his Apgars (why that is something parents need to share I don’t know). Mr. Aggie soon got to hold him, and stood by my side. The nurse who’d handed him to Mr. Aggie said we should name him Andrew. She had no idea it was one of the three choices we were considering for a boy name, and it was my top contender.
Mr. Aggie agreed and said there was no question this kid was meant to be an Andrew, and that was that. Ten months of wondering/debating/questioning all resolved within thirty seconds.
Resolving what happened to my nether regions was not such an efficient process. Dr. Doom worked silently down there for over forty minutes putting things back together in layers (!). I had a forth degree tear and as of this writing, the idea of pooping still brings me to my knees. It still hurts as bad as an epi-free contraction at 9 cm, and all you get out of it is poop.
Other than that my recovery has gone well. There’s still a ton of upkeep that has to be done every time I go to the bathroom and the term “sitz bath” is one of my favorite new words, but I hardly notice. I have the most gorgeous child who is sleeping on my husband right now and I couldn’t be more thankful. Even feeling like I’m passing Stonehenge every time I defecate is worth it to be Andrew’s Mommy.
We had our first visit to the pediatrician yesterday and it was certainly blogworthy. I took my camera, which I’m sure many proud new moms do. The difference is they’re probably documenting the momentous occasion so it can be recorded in the kid’s voluminous baby book; I took mine hoping Andrew would do something funny I could post on the blog.
I was not disappointed. He began the departure from his usual M.O. by starting to wail about two minutes away from the office. He’d had a pretty short feeding during his previous meal, so I figured he might need to have the tank topped off. Of course we had to fill out thirty million forms before we could get back to an exam room and whip out the lunchbox, so that was a little stressful. As someone who rarely seeks attention in public, I’m having a hard time adjusting to the reality that I can’t control everything he does. Eeek.
So we get the room, and get him some dessert. The nurse comes in to start the initial questioning with Mr. Aggie and myself, and I continue feeding. Suddenly from under the blanket the loudest, juiciest, and most fragrant poop explosion interrupted the discussion. She had just asked about how many poop diapers he’d had that day, so she cheerily scratched out our response and increased it by one .[Sidenote the iPhone has apps for nursing and diapers that make our life so easy. Who knew Mr. Aggie's obsession would prove to actually be useful?] Come to find out, breastfed babies have been known to poop very often–some after every feeding! Chunks here eats every 2 hours or so, meaning now’s a good time to buy stock in Pampers.
Okay, back to the explosion. Luckily it was all contained in the diaper (“Go Pampers/ it’s your birthday…”) so the nurse told us just to clean him up and lay him naked on this puppy pee pad thing so he could be weighed. One of the few things we know about this newly formed human is that he hates, hates, HATES having his clothes and diapers changed and that he will not tolerate nudity (for himself, not sure about his position for others). So even after sitting in his own poo while we finished the initial interview–all the while trying not to asphyxiate in the tiny room where the air had turned green–he wasn’t too keen to have all his parts exposed.
He immediately began to wail, which triggered another First! moment, though I couldn’t find the page in the baby book: First Time I Got So Angry That I Spit Up, Which Soon Pooled In My Ear Where My Mom Should Have Cleaned It Up Immediately But She Didn’t Because She was Laughing Too Hard.
Oh, and he was continuing to poop on the pad at the same time. Finally we got him all pretty again, clothed only in his dwindling dignity, and were ready to continue with the pediatric party.
Background: Andrew had gotten very jaundiced and had lost 9% of his initial birthweight by Sunday. We were instructed to place him in sunlight and feed him as much as possible between that appointment on Sunday and this appointment Monday. My boy and my boobs rose the challenge, apparently, because when he was weighed he had gained back half a pound in twenty four hours (Go boobies, it’s your birthday…”). His billirubin levels had dropped significantly during the same time, so he’s been liberated from the South Beach sunfest. Which is a shame, because he really loved it as you can see here:
The only other unpleasant part of the exam–taking his temperature rectally–was done quickly by the expert nurse and received just a peep of protest by Chunks. You can be sure whenever I have to do it, the procedure will not be so smooth. I’m already dreading it.
Our darling boy was pronounced healthy and I was pronounced a modern miracle for having him “the old fashioned way”, praise I will cling to as long as it takes for me not to dread pooping more than almost anything on Earth.
So there you have it, internets. Andrew is healthy if not slightly traumatized, and we are not scheduled to leave the house again until our two week checkup. The pedi recommends not taking Andrew out in public because strangers feel the need to touch a baby, which is dangerous during the best of times and especially unadvisable during cold and flu season. As much as I’d love to rejoin the human race, I prefer to keep both Andrew and any well-meaning but potentially infectious strangers safe.
If you know us and live nearby, please let us know if you’d like to come meet the rockstar in person. I feel bad hiding this glorious babe under a bushel and I’d love to have the company. Please bring a cassarole or some other food-related bribe if you want to touch him. I’ll pretend we didn’t need it and feign surprise at your thouthfulness, then you can touch him without fear of physical reprisal UNLESS YOU FORGET TO WASH YOUR HANDS IN WHICH CASE IT WILL BE ON LIKE DONKEY KONG YOU GERM-INFESTED NITWIT. That means you, too, Grandma.
**This exceedingly long post brought to you by the geniuses of Fisher Price yet again. Man I love that bouncer.**
How’d we make such a cute kid?! February 2, 2009
I’ll share more photos with the understanding that you will not be so blinded by his majesty as to miss the actual posts below this.
Of course, there will be more to follow once I download the latest from my camera, and once his jaundice has gone down. Right now he looks kind of like a mystic tan gone wrong, which is a post for a different day.
Every once in awhile, I catch Andrew looking at me (ok, we all know he can’t really see more than a few inches in front of his face, but humor me) with this expression that says, “You really have no idea what you’re doing, do you?”
Last night was our first night unattended with the babe. There was a moment of sheer terror when I realized that all our guests were gone and no one had forgotten their baby-he was ours and ours alone, forever. Eeeeep. I stayed in the living room with him until after his midnight feeding, me playing on the internet/watching the cat watch him, him rocking out in the bouncy chair that makes me want to pledge all my worldly possessions to the geniuses at Fisher-Price. We went to bed after the feeding and he only woke up to nurse or politely (read: at the top his lungs) request a diaper change. I still didn’t sleep more than a few hours, but I’ll be taking some naps today.
We’ll be enjoying the day as a family (!), the highlights of which will include our first trip to the pediatrician and a stroll around the neighborhood. Perhaps it is the hormones (and if so, bless them) but I just feel overwhelmingly blessed and content. Mr. Aggie and I enjoyed our marriage immensely before Andrew came along, but now it’s so much…more. It has a purpose and a product and a depth I didn’t imagine. There is a new life on this planet because we fell in love, and that’s pretty amazing.