again. friday april 13, 2001 9:50 p.m.>
suppose I should call this entry "Mum's perspective."
If you haven't read it, Mark offers a
Dad's perspective on this too. :)
hardly know where to begin! The past few days have been life-altering.
When I left this house we were a family of three. Now we are
new person now exists. And for good or for bad, she will make
an impact on the people around her. It's hard not to feel
overwhelmed by it all.
I suppose I should start at the beginning.
had told everybody that I was hoping to have this baby later
than sooner. After all, I had so much stuff to do! I spent
Monday running errands and playing Loop.
closets? Oh they can wait. Organizing the baby clothes? Plenty
of time! Little did I know that the next day would be The
I had contractions for most of Tuesday.
I didn't tell Mark right away because I didn't want him to
worry. They were so mild and far apart that I really couldn't
tell if they would lead to anything, but I packed my bag just
drive was a quiet one but I wasn't aware that it was because
Mark was so focused on getting us there, and that his main
concern was my giving birth on the road. It's not a possibility
I considered for even a second but I suppose I was just as
busy with my own thoughts. The sky was incredibly pretty.
The sun was setting, and it was a lilac-coloured peppered
with clouds... the kind of colour you would see on a painting
and think looked fake.
had control of the stereo and listened to Blur's" Coffee
and TV" twice in a row. Loud. We were there in a matter
whole labour thing only lasted a few hours. In hindsight it
went pretty quickly, but man, as I was lying there it wasn't
going along nearly as fast as I would have liked.
before I launch into the nitty gritty and my treatise on pain
and pain management procedures, I would first like to outline
a couple of the more positive aspects of my hospital stay:
maternity wards keep a little kitchen stocked only for patients.
My godsend. I raided it daily for juices, ice-cream, bagels,
crackers and cheese, and fruit. The regular hospital food
fit the stereotype of hospital food: bland, mushy, flavourless
and overcooked. I don't think there was a single thing that
was served to me that I could honestly say tasted good.
in labour, enter deep hot water with lots of bubbles and strategically-placed
massage jets. As contractions progressed I made the move into
my own private jacuzzi, and it was great. I was only in there
for about 30 minutes, and as it turned out it sped my labour
along. I don't think anyone expected it to go the pace that
I had Emma I had an epidural that took exceptionally well.
I couldn't feel anything from the waist-down and most of my
labour was painless. I wasn't so lucky this time around.
anesthesiologist was tied up in surgery when I was approaching
the end of my pain threshold. Nurse Teena called (they are
all equipped with cellphones nowadays) to find out when he
'd be available... the verdict came down, not for at least
least? Could that be less than an hour? More? If so, how much
more? I looked at the clock and tried to figure out how many
more contractions I'd have to work through before I got the
shot. I can't do math at the best of times, so I just figured,
tried to make light of this. I think I said something like
"Well, I guess there isn't anything we can do" and
resigned myself to the fact that I was just going to have
to seek relief by digging my nails into Mark's arm.
was a real trooper through the whole thing. He fetched me
anything I needed, held my hand and gave his support every
step of the way. There was only one point when he got on my
I laboured through every contraction the nurse gave me peppy
pointers like telling me to "breathe easy," not
to "focus on the pain," and "work with it."
(I was only able to do the exact opposite of everything she
told me; hyperventilate and think about nothing but the pain.)
stalwart and strong, sat by my bedside and chewed his gum
LOUDER THAN ANYTHING ELSE IN THE ROOM.
I say anything or will I just look like a total bitch? I decided
that I was the focus and that what I said should be done without
question. But I didn't want Nurse Teena to hear me.
gum. Spit it out. Now."
rose and spit without a word. I was happy.
contractions continued sans drugs. Imagine, if you will, dental
surgery without the freezing, or someone knifing you in the
suppose everyone has a different tolerance for pain. Some
are able to process it better, both physically and mentally.
Let's just say mine is very low, and I was reduced to scraps
at the get-go.
watched the clock. An hour after the news about the delayed
epidural Teena's phone rang. I could hear the voice on the
other end, "He's done, he's coming now."
felt like I now had a chance.
long fifteen minutes later he dropped by.
for the delay..."
no problem." (That's me, polite even under extreme duress.)
ran down the possible side-effects... paralysis and even death.
I didn't care. Just give it to me!
skip over the gory details, but I will mention that getting
a needle in your spine is a very creepy ordeal. They tell
you a hundred times not to move, "Don't move, now don't
move. You don't want to move. You can't move, ok?"
as my luck would have it I had a huge contraction as I was
getting the needle. And he also had to reposition it. Enough
epidural didn't take. When I touched my left leg it was as
if I was pawing a rump roast. I felt the rest of the contractions
on my right side, and I felt the pushing part like I had no
drugs at all.
my pain-ridden state I said lots of ridiculous things and
was very close to just giving up. I reached a point, physically
and mentally, when I couldn't cope anymore. Fortunately that
was the same time Sarah popped her head out.
to expectant mothers:
The hospital is NOT a hotel. Bring your own soap. Same
goes for towels. Hospital towels are not fluffy, and
they have an uncanny ability to dry only small parts
of your body at any time.
Bring whatever other toiletries you use on a regular
basis. Don't try to save space in your bag by paring
down the number of products. I only brought my spray
gel, thinking it would suffice. Had I brought my hair
wax my coiff would have been more textured, less flat.
Hey, it makes a difference.
Bring your phonebook. There is nothing worse than lying
in bed thinking you should be calling so-and-so and
not remembering their number.
Bring reading materials. Magazines are better than books,
as they require less attention.
cord was wrapped around her neck, and they jumped to cut it.
I think in my stupor I said something like: "please save
my baby!" Man. I wish I could erase that. Why could I
have not been my cool and collect self? All that went out
the pain was worthwhile, because in the end we got this wonderful
reward. They pulled her out and put her on my stomach. I dissolved
into a puddle of tears. She was healthy, she had the right
number of fingers and toes and she was ours.
melts my heart. She has this great blonde brush-cut, deep
dark blue eyes and the tiniest blonde eyelashes. Toes, nose,
lips, ears ... every small part of her is immense in its cuteness.
But the sweetest thing is her breathing. When she's hungry
she'll bump against me and huff and puff with what only can
be described as a snuffle-snort.
rest of my stay in the hospital was uneventful. The nurses
were all very nice, I slept and ate and waited impatiently
to get back into my own world.
picked us up from the hospital this morning. It took forever
to get us signed out and home again. And when we walked into
the house, each of us was that much different. I was a mother
to a new person, Mark was a dad, Emma was a sister, we are
a family of four now. I get misty just thinking about it,
because being a family is the one thing which is the most
important to me in this world.
would like to thank everyone for the flowers you sent, and
your wonderful calls and emails. It's so good to know you
are all out there. I hope you will all be able to meet our
little brood very soon.
tuned for lots of updates.
love and thanks to you all,