The End of the Beginning

Dang! Everything was "smooth sailing" until I made that bend in the river. I wonder if this raft came with instructions for "operator-oblivion" emergencies?

As Lorna, studious graduate student and incredibly expanding woman, nears her due date, the waters begin to rile…

My pregnancy was a by-the-book affair until sometime in the 7th or 8th month. It was “my” pregnancy because, as I recall quite vividly, my body was stretched, poked, hormonally zinged, and incessantly patted by a cadre of passersby, some who I actually knew. I understand that fathers want in on the baby-action, so saying  “we’re pregnant” was/is all the rage. I resented Chuck talking about our pregnancy, although I had to admit he knew more about it than I did–and he gained weight during my pregnancy, too. Hmmm.

How touching. Does he get hemorrhoids, too?

But I digress… I was a busy graduate student: studying, going to evening classes, TA-ing (cool down, I’m referring to my teaching assistantship), and RA-ing (working part-time as a research assistant at GWs hospital). My days began with a 7:00 AM metro ride into D.C. and ended with a 9:30 PM metro ride back. During my RA-ing, I had my consistently low-end-of-normal blood pressure monitored, just to keep Chuck and Baby-Doc happy.

No one was happy when my readings started to go up from “low-normal” to “normal” to “high-normal.” When they reached “border-line high,” Baby-Doc ordered strict bed-rest until the baby came (one month before classes ended). This was disasterous impossible not feasible unlikely. I talked to all parties concerned, including Getting-Bigger-Bugger. They were all understanding and accommodating for about two weeks. So I bed-rested for two long weeks, worrying about what I missed and if I was missed. I told Getting-Bigger-Bugger that s/he better appreciate my sacrifice of lying in bed all day while Chuck made all meals, cleaned the house and took care of Humphrey.

I know I shouldn't get up, but I'm developing bed sores. Hey, what's for lunch? I'm bored. If I stretch I think I could reach my Sociological Theories text-book...

Against Baby-Doc’s orders and Chuck’s instructions advice, I resumed my schedule after the 2-week sacrificial period. My blood pressure went back down and I only had 2 more weeks before the semester ended. I checked my blood pressure daily. It stayed higher than normal, but didn’t escalate like before.

One night I came home, exhausted as usual. I didn’t feel like eating and laid down. My rest-time was Getting-Bigger-Bugger’s cue to act up. I got ready for kick-ball time inside my belly. This night was different. No activity. I waited an hour before I told Chuck I was pretty sure I’d killed our child. I tearfully told Chuck about the not-kicking. We both used my bulbous belly like an Ouija Board, moving our hands around, asking Getting-Bigger-Bugger probing questions.

Pretend that's my belly and the words floating in the air are: "Are you still alive?" "Did your Mommy kill you?" "Should we call an ambulance or the police?"

We both felt a flutter, then a regulation kick. I was so relieved that I didn’t start my career as a mother with a manslaughter conviction. This time, the bed-rest thing wasn’t such a hard sell. I finished my semester by mailing in my term papers, quit RA-ing and scheduled twice-weekly appointments with Baby-Doc.

Three days before my due date, May 7, Baby-Doc told me Getting-Bigger-Bugger wasn’t budging. I was hysterical upset troubled. Mother Nature is wise. She has a plan for wimps afraid of the pain of childbirth. The thought of keeping a growing human contained inside forever is much worse than somehow getting that growing beast out of you. I wanted my body back, poofy and achy though it was.

Look closely. That's me. Yeah, the little one with the big attitiude and something strange happening in the butt area. Getting-Bigger-Bugger is in for a rude awakening if s/he thinks I'm like Unemployment Benefits--no Act of Congress is going to extend your stay!

On the evening of May 8, I asked Chuck to massage my feet. He told me something he learned in Lamaze class: never massage a pregnant woman’s feet–it’s likley to induce labor. Really? I missed that (like everything else except than vile birthing film). I said “Massage like your life depends on it.” In the wee hours of May 9, my “water” broke and contractions started; they were as irregular as most travelers bowel movements.

The enchanting birthing-details aside, note these observations:

  1. Pitocin, a drug to make contractions occur more often and virulently, was probably devised by Josef Mengele.
  2. Demerol is useless to help you rest between contractions when on Pitocin because there is no “between contractions.”
  3. Breathing exercises work quite well after the epidural.
  4. Epidurals were invented by Divine and Merciful Angels.
  5. C-Sections have a bad reputation, but they saved two, maybe three, lives that night. You can speculate on whose…

Alexander, nearly 10 pounds worth of him, was born at 1:23AM on May 10, my due date.

Thus ends Lorna’s pregnancy and begins some wild adventures into the unknown: parenting.

~ by Lorna's Voice on September 21, 2011.

29 Responses to “The End of the Beginning”

  1. Well, then, your mother has a much different birthing story. We mothers all have our birthing stories, you know 🙂

  2. I get exhausted thinking about all the things I juggled back then. Oy vey! Youth… 😉

  3. Isn’t it amazing what you can do when you’re young???
    WOW … 10 pounds … I guess that the biggest shocker
    of the episode. Childbirth … you’re said it all.
    Toodles, Izzy

  4. 10 lbs! I was 4.5….then again, I was 6 weeks premature…

  5. If you look closely, that guy seems to be paddling backwards, which is what I would be doing! That’s what I love about people–we’re all the same only different.

    When I read “multiple orgasms” and “childbirth” in the same sentence, some synapses in my brain went haywire–the two terms should NEVER be in the same sentence. Trust me on that one!! 😉

    Thanks for the encouragement to keep writing my wonky life stories. 🙂

  6. ahhh to be a man and miss out on multiple orgasms and childbirth… as for your ride, i’m glad you made it through…since i love ya and I love your experiences…

    As for the first pic on this post? That’s my life…only i’m never scared wehn i see the water like that…I normally am paddling full steam ahead….

    T.

  7. My husband kept snapping pictures of the operation, not knowing what else to do. Those were some gross pictures, let me tell you! It’s a wonder any couple has more than one child…

    And you are very welcome for the award. I hope you get some increased traffic, subscribers, and supporters from it. Also, have fun tossing it to other bloggers!

  8. Not having been down the road of having children yet, I can only imagine. I’ve been told that a man should never actually watch the birthing process… that they cannot handle it. At least my friend’s husband couldn’t.

    Thank you so much for nominating gapingwhole for an award! I am very much looking forward to perusing your lovely blog 🙂

  9. When I look back on my life, the one thing I hear myself saying to myself is, “How the heck did I manage to do that? I sure couldn’t do that now!” I don’t have a clue. I guess when you’re in it, you just plug along and don’t think about it. If you did, you might stop plugging along!

    Yeah, just shy of 10 pounds…whew! 😉

  10. “Now the real fun begins.” You don’t know the half of it! Or do you?

    Thanks for stopping by, reading and commenting. Hope to see you again soon.

  11. Let’s just say I made a much better alcoholic than I did a mother. I hope you find these mother stories funny. At least Alex lived through them, as did I! 😉

  12. Taurus, eh? Are you “stubborn” or just “strong-minded?” 😉

  13. It’s a small world. Great people were born on that day! And Hoo-rah for the C-section. 🙂

  14. That’s my Dad’s birthday!

    I had two C-sections and I have nothing but good to say about them.

  15. Great post. Love the observations… and my bday is 5/8!! LOL Oh, the irony.

  16. Brilliant – fair brightened up my day. Looking forward to more.

  17. Nice story! I enjoyed it, thanks!

    Now the real fun begins, 🙂

  18. I can’t believe you kept up that grueling schedule while being pregnant, Lorna–how in the world did you manage? Well, I guess your rising blood pressure was trying to tell you something wasn’t it!

    Ten pounds?! Wow!

  19. Did you ever consider the possibility that I was nuts to try all of this at the same time? 😉 But thanks for the vot of confidence!

  20. I’m sure you’re right. No one can feel another’s pain or pleasure. He was powerless in this situation and that’s an uncomfortable postion for anyone to be in.

  21. You’re the kinda gal that gives us all a good rep, Lorna it’s live a little, love a little, cry a little – laugh a lot – cheers, catchul8r molly

  22. Yeah, modern dads have it rough. 😉

    Great story! Chuck never heard any profanities from me, but there must’ve been blue smoke coming from the birthing room down the hall from us. She was making me nervous, so I can’t imagine her coach was anywhere in a two-mile radius.

    All I know is once they gave me the epidual, I was golden. Ah, modern medical miracles…

  23. I can’t help but chuckle at it all, because ours was a similar experience. My wife was almost one week late and not dilating so the docs said to bring her on in and let’s induce with Pitocin. After 10 hours of contractions with no significant dilation occurring, doc took her off the Pitocin, told her to get a good night’s rest in the hospital bed and they’d go C-Section in the morning. Right after he mumbled that, her water broke.

    I remember all the instructions from Lamaze, and told my wife to remember her breathing pattern, whereupon she screamed some profanities so loudly in my face that I backed off like a frightened turtle. Yep, 6 weeks of Lamaze class down the drain in on single post water break contraction…

    Needless to say, they had to perform an emergency C-section, and I’m sure my own life was saved. I kind of like the old fashioned way, when men used to sit in the waiting room and handed out cigars when the deed was done. 🙂

    10 pounds? Wow.

  24. You under estamate the emotions that men go through during pregnancy. I’m sure he was much more worried about the whole affair being that he could only support you and not actually feel with you were going through.

  25. And I thought I was amazing, holding down a full time job and college at the same time. You win. Wow. Love the way you tell your stories, and the pics are great!

  26. DOn’t know what happened, but at least they all look the same and are readable. I often have “operator problems”…:(

  27. Yes, I saw that and fixed it–thanks!

  28. They are now bright white.

  29. Now a new way of life stands in front of you, .

    Numbers 2.3.4.5 are unreadable, there must be a colour code mixed in them, they look black

Silence can be just what the doctor ordered. You know I'm a doctor, right?

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