Thursday, February 21, 2008

It was two years ago today...well, almost

Ok, so I got sucked into another contest. I can't help myself, I am an addict... This one is from Michelle at My Semblance of Sanity who is now collecting the birth/adoption stories. The best story will get a prize... Since I already wrote this one on my pregnancy blog and only had to tweak it a bit, i.e. no thinking required, I decided to participate. My apologies to those who already read it...

This is the birth story of my DS, and it happened almost two years ago... Time flies..

Since my daughter was born 2 weeks early, I was ready to go into labor at approximately the same time, but at 38 weeks along, I was still working. I told my boss about four different times that "a day after tomorrow would be my last one because I can't take the commute any more" only to push it off by a few more days. Then I finally decided that my due date would be the last day at work. Everybody told me that I was crazy (well, no argument there), but what was I to do? My maternity leave was 10 weeks, so every day taken off before baby's birth meant that I would spend one day less with him after he was born. And I would rather spend as much time with him as I could afterwards. Plus, any housework was much more physically demanding than anything I did at work. My biggest fear was that I would go into labor on a subway, but what were the chances of that happening? I finally cleared my desk on my due date. I had ob/gyn appointment that night, and the doctor said that I was 2 cm dilated. He also jokingly added, "It's my turn to be on-call in the hospital, so I might see you tonight." Yeah, right.

I came home that night hoping for a couple of days of quality time with DD. Around 9 p.m. I got a call from Gevalia Coffee. They were desperate to get us back as customers, and the sales guy was describing me the beauty of the coffeemaker we would get if we signed back on. I actually wanted that coffemaker, and their coffee would probably come in handy after the baby's arrival to battle exhaustion. Nevertheless, I had to cut him off, and he asked when would be a good time to call back. I said, "I don't know, probably a couple of days or a week because my water just broke." I don't think he believed me, but I bet he never heard that excuse to hang up on him. I called my mom and asked her to come. (Being a strep-B positive, I had to go to the hospital immediately.) When we arrived, the first thing I asked my doctor was, "Couldn't you have said that you might "see me tonight" about two weeks ago?"

When I was about 6 months along, my OB's office signed up for the cord blood donation program. Since I wasn't planning to bank it, I decided to donate. The only thing was - you had to remember to bring in the kit b/c they could not collect the cord and the placenta without it. In addition, they have only a minute or so to collect it, so the kit has to be ready; otherwise, no donation. So I brought the kit. Hubby dropped me off in the admissions and then came back later with a couple of bags, but without a kit. He said he would get it once I was admitted into the labor room. I didn't think much of it since I wasn't yet in labor. By the time I got admitted into my own room and induced with a dose of pitocin strong enough to floor a horse, it was about 12. DH went to get the kit, but turned out the parking lot was closed from 12am to 6 am and NOBODY had the keys!!! Isn't that weird that the parking lot of a hospital would be closed, EVER??? Don't people get sick at all times of day and night? I really wanted to donate, but the doctor wasn't very reassuring and said he didn't know whether I would or wouldn't be done by 6.

This time around I decided I would tough it out and not get an epidural. Right after DD was born, DH was kind enough to show me what exactly they had inserted in my back. I don't think I was ever that mad at him in my life. After that I was more scared of that needle than of any pain and thought I would never get an epidural again, unless my life depended on it. That notion lasted until I got the first contraction, and DH quickly went looking for the anesthesiologist. When they came, I got even more scared. The guy refused to turn on the light; he said he was more comfortable with the lights off and moonlight was more than sufficient for what he had to do (ok, ok, there was a teeny lamp in the back of the room and some light was getting through the closed door from the hallway - so much more ressuaring than the moonlight, right?). Then the head of the department came to supervise the procedure, but instead turned his back to me and bent over to check on the equipment - and WOW. The entire thing was just surreal - I was sandwiched between Dracula and his boss' butt crack (and no, his boss was not young and gorgeous, not that I judge beauty by that body part anyway). All the while, Dracula was inserting something very long and scary into my spine and neither I nor his boss were quite sure that he could properly see what he was doing (no, the guy didn't turn the lights on even for his boss). I was whimpering and moaning during the entire procedure, not because I was in pain, but out of fear. It was over soon, though, and afterward - bliss and no pain.

In a few hours I drifted off to sleep. DH brought the donation kit at 6 a.m. Around 7 o'clock my OB's shift was over and he bid us farewell (he works in a group, so they are on-call only for twelve hours at a time). I was relieved in a way that he didn't have to be the one delivering the baby because he looked so tired. I ordered myself to sleep and then, around 9 o'clock, another doctor from the group came in and told me that I was ready to go. Unlike the last time, I didn't panick, at least not as much. The nurse asked me why I looked so surprised, after all I came here to have a baby. I told her, "I wanted the baby, I never said that I wanted to push." DH was nowhere to be found - he went out for coffee, but then suddenly reappered seconds before I started pushing. I was too busy to get mad. And then after about half an hour of pushing, I heard the doctor say, "It's a boy, it's a BIG boy!" He was surprised that I was told the baby would be average b/c the baby looked like a ten-pounder. Turned out he was only - lol - 9lbs 14oz! In the process of recording the data, they got the last name of my pediatrician wrong - instead of Vernov, they wrote down Vermin. It was a shame because she really is a nice lady and an awesome doctor.

One of my first phone calls was to my boss, and I told her that I would be late for work that day (it was only 9.30am). Poor woman was so exasperated with me, she said, "Wasn't yesterday your last day? Are you sure you want to do this?" Hehe...can't miss a chance to make a joke... Not to be outdone, she sent out the following email, which I only read a few weeks after delivery, "SubWife had a 10 pound baby boy, so she will be available to answer any work-related questions this afternoon. Feel free to call her on her cell phone." FYI, no one did, and if they did, she would probably bite their head off...


  1. You know, I have heard and read this story few times before, but I was still laughthing.

  2. I first looked to see where you live...then thought, wow! Then read you don't live in Afghanistan...I guess it's somewhere near a subway. Our stories are similar in many ways...and different. I hope to work on mine today. Will you post both? Theresa

  3. Loved your story! WHat a blessing to be able to donate chord blood!
    Thanks for playing the game!

  4. Love the story.

    I finally got the last of my three (which was actually my first, but I am backwards like that) posted this morning.

  5. You inspired me to post mine. Thanks. Also, I'd like a short tutorial on the bells and whistles of blogging...Hope I can get an appointment before the tax season is over...


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