mama kumquat

A blog from someone who has little of importance to say

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Part II

Thankfully for you all, my evening playing Taipai on the computer ended disasterously and thus, i decided to continue on with this story. I realized when i reread Part I that there are times when it might appear i write short sentences for effect. But really, as i was telling some aspects of Part II to Sarah this weekend, i could feel my heart rate accelerated and i was aggitated all over again. Also, i apologize for not being able to convey emotions very well through my writing. I can write a kick-ass essay on Kierkegaard (sp?) but when it comes to "journaling", i notice i always sound a bit cliche. So apologies in advance.

Back to the story: I can tell my husband is trying really hard to look and act calm. His eyes betray him. He is scared every bit as shitless as i am. The machines tell me that i am having contractions about 7-8 minutes apart. I can barely feel them. My husband and i debate calling our families but it is so late, though i don't have any idea what time it might be but i might guess it was about 1 or 2am. We decide to wait until we know what is happening to us and our baby boy. The nurses come in periodically to check on me. I pepper them with questions but being nurses, they don't feel they can answer them. No hospital staff will ever speculate on the what ifs--fucking litigious society we live in. They couldn't reassure me that Charlie would be OK. They couldn't tell me what my odds were that i would have him soon or whether he could stay inside of me. Me, being a bit ignorant about this whole thing, didn't know what it really meant for the baby that my water broke. What happens then?
After waiting for so long, the doctor comes in and says that they need to transfer me over to a hospital that is more equipped to handle preemie deliveries. "Should i just drive over with my husband?" No, you will be transported my ambulance. My first ambulance ride.
The trip to the first hospital was pointless. The advice nurse told me on the phone to go to the hospital i would be delivering at. This was poor advice. While nothing dire came of it, it was another layer of stress that we didn't need. Another complication. It was obvious that this little hospital in Vancouver, WA was overhelmed with the complexity of my situation. The nurses seemed unsure. Even the Dr. seemed as though he just wanted to get me off his hands. However, he called over to the hospital we would be going to and he discovered that my OB was on call there. She would see me when i arrived. I had just had a check-up with her on that Tuesday. Everything looked great. No problem. Even scheduled the appointment for if you are overdue. Here it was Thursday night (i guess technically, early Friday morning) and the baby seems to be on his way.
We decide that my husband would drive the car over--follow the ambulance. I hated parting with him but i was still feeling practical: he might need the car. He might need to get me clothes, books, pillows, slippers.
The ambulance staff came. They were young. Younger than me. The guy who was to be in the back with me was cute. That made it even worse. I was in a gown. I flashed them my ass. I was tearful. I had to pee. Do you want a bed pan? the cute one asked. No, i can wait. I can hold it. I was too embarassed. I tried to be charming as i lay in the back and was transported. My water was still leaking out of me. This was one of the most excruciating feelings. I couldn't stop it. Even if i didn't move, the ambulance moved, braked or something, and out came more. I tried to be, like, the coolest scared pregnant lady they ever transported. I still was wondering if my baby was alive. They don't monitor the baby's heartbeat in the ambulance. I was terrified he would die on the way to the hospital and no one would know until we got there. Please can you monitor him? We can't but he'll be fine. We'll be there soon.

I have no idea when we got there. I asked the driver if he could see my husband when he pulled up. He thought he had lost them. As they open the doors and pull me out of the ambulance, i see my gallant husband bounding up. I have no idea how he parked the car so fast and made it to me, but i will never forget the relief and pride i felt when i saw him. I am so in love.

They wheel me through all these bright corridors. They are not sure what floor to take me to. They say it had been awhile since they had to go to the maternity ward. We get to a room and i really don't remember much about this part. I don't know how long it was until my OB comes in and tells me they are going to try to keep me on bed rest for two weeks (35 weeks is the goal when you are preterm--it most likely means the baby won't have to be in the hospital much). They monitor me and they monitor the baby. His heart sounds strong. Relief. I have to go to the bathroom. They want me to go with the nurse in there to help me. I pee in the bedpan. Oh the shame.
They ask me to rank the pain. No pain. Just tightness across my belly. My husband and i obsessively watch the monitor. Is the baby OK? Was that a contraction? Is the baby OK? Is the baby OK? Every 6-8 minutes tightness across my stomach.

Can't do much more writing tonight. This will indeed be a multi-part story. There is so much and it feels so good to recall this story (like a pleasure pain--hurts to think about, good to process: catharsis) Until later. Hope everyone had a decent holiday!

Sunday, November 19, 2006

My Son's Birth Story--Part 1

I have decided to write out my baby's birth story because it was a somewhat traumatic event that i have not yet fully processed. I think it's having residual effects on my psychological state and when talking with my supervisor at work, i realized that i need to get it all out, grieve about it, and just sit with the pain that i experienced instead of just pushing it aside. So forgive me if some parts sound like a pity party. The story ends well--i have a beautiful baby boy who is my sun and my moon but in order to put his arrival behind me, i think i must purge it.

May 25th started like any other. However, it had been a tremendously stressful week at work (no, that's not what caused me to go into labor). I was at the grocery store getting myself a sandwich for dinner because my husband was going to have a meeting that evening. I was getting into my car when my man called me and asked me to drive out to his work because he locked his keys in his car. After a brief moment of irritation, i said Ok and headed out to his work, which was about 25 minutes outside of portland. It was a beautiful night. A tiny bit cool but the sun was out. I did my wifely duty of helping my husband and decided to stop at Old Navy and buy a maternity swimsuit, because the summer was starting and i wanted to swim. On my way home, the sun was starting to go down, the sunset was beautiful, and a few blocks from my house, U2 came on the radio--One Tree Hill. The sun roof was down, i was singing badly at the top of my lungs and i remember having one of those moments where you think, "Everything is so perfect right now." You know those snapshots in time that you get when for that moment, life is just GOOD. That was one of my moments.

After my hubby came home, i remembered my sister had sent me a maternity swimsuit but it looked so huge i had put it away. I thought i had better try it on, just in case it fit, as i was getting pretty huge myself. As i was putting it on i felt a leak. Hmmmm, curious. I had leaked a little urine before but this felt a little different, like it came from a different place. I moved again and there was a little more. I started getting a little nervous. I went to the bathroom and recalled that if you can stop the flow with a Kegel, then it's urine and not your water breaking. I thought it stopped with the Kegel. A sigh of relief. Getting ready for bed and there's a little more coming out. Hmmmm, starting to get nervous. I call the advice nurse who tells me to lie on my side for an hour and if, after that, i am still leaking, head to the hospital i had planned to deliver at. I lay down and it had been about 12 minutes when i moved around a little. More came out. Ok, let's go to the hospital. I was agitated. Wearing my favorite yoga pants. I threw on some flip flops, grabbed a book (you never know how long you have to wait in the emergency room) and a towel (i didn't want to mess up my husband's car if things did get worse. I can't believe i was thinking this.) That's all i had with me.

We get in the car and on the drive there, i am trying really hard to relax but my legs are shaking. No more leaking. I start wondering if i am making my husband drive me to the hospital for them to just tell me i lost bladder control. It's about 11pm at night.

My husband pulls up to the hospital and wants to know if he should drop me off. No, i say, i want to stay with you and also, i'm not leaking anymore. I get out of the car and immediately, my water breaks. Gushes down my legs. My foot gets wet in my flip flop. I am walking with the towel between my legs. I can't cry but i'm practically hyperventilating. I am not even 33 weeks along.

The nurses see me and realizing that i am not exaggerating that my water broke. They usher me into a room where they monitor me. Every time i move, i feel more leak out. My baby's protection seeps out of me. It was one of the most discouraging and helpless feelings i have ever had. More fluid just leaving my body and i can't do anything about it. I feel as though i wait for an eternity. The machine tells me that i am having contractions but i can barely feel them. I receive my first IV. My husband and i just look at each other.

Must complete this later because baby is waking from his nap. Part 2 coming later.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Election Night and Britney

I am so on to you, Britney Spears! I know she filed for divorce today because it would coincide with election news and she thinks it will not get as much press coverage. But i am on to her, dammit. And i think about K-Fed and his breaking heart this election night and how he must ache despite the fact that he doesn't care about anything else, not even his own four children. He probably never even made it out to vote. The whole country loses out when k-fed doesn't show up to vote. I am really going to miss interviews of them talking about how much they love each other and how this marriage is going to last forever and ever. Damn those kids....why couldn't they work it out?

Yeah, work it out just like those Democrats who had enough fucking common sense to shut their damn mouths the last few months (save Kerry's idiotic comment) and just let the venomousness of the Republicans come back to bite them in the ass. As my wise grandfather had been known to say, "People fall of their own weight." I have been waiting six years to watch this implosion and while i thought it would happen a bit sooner, i can honestly say that this election time will make me happy for a long long time. Take that Rick Santorum! Shove your loss and your arrogant-ass comment about how you'll win the election and then run to be House Majority Whip right up your self-righteous tookus. I feel so much better writing that.

Noah's Flood has arrived in Oregon. I am hoping it is symbolic of the cleansing this whole damn country needs. Thank God (and i mean that literally), i hope i have a ride on the ark.

Monday, November 06, 2006


So i made the mistake of telling my husband that i was blogging and that he could look at it. He apparently read it while at work and when he came home, his first comment about was, "You cuss a lot in it." Ummmm, i guess i should take that as a compliment(?). Then, he also said that i write well about myself. Also, a compliment (?) or just an implication that i am really self-indulgent and love talking about myself, hence, am really good at it. I love this man but he is clueless as to the psyche of the woman. I can hardly blame him, being that he had no sisters and i'm not even sure if he has even ever had a really close friend who was a girl. Surrounded by boys his whole life, girls are complete enigmas, i suspect. But he's such an interesting specimen, being that so many of his best friends don't even have sisters in their families. So like, he ran around with all these kids who also do not know anything about girls/women. I am wondering if there truly is something to the saying about things being in the water because B's neighborhood was filled with boys and now that they are procreating, are filling the world with more boys, my son included. Thank good-diddly-golly that i don't plan on being an evenly remotely indulgent parent to what i am predicting will be my brood of boys (only one now, but i feel it is my destiny given husband's genetics and the drinkable water in his hood when growing up).
So, um, i am wondering if it is normal to feel somewhat alienated from people when you first have a kid. Mol, Shan? Any feedback on this? Even with my oldest friend in the world, who is pregnant herself (due in Jan), there is a small little chasm. I am not too worried about these little lapses of intimacy with my friends, as i have faith that true and close friendships ebb and flow but it is indeed a curiosity to observe how distant i feel from so many people.
My mom was here for a long weekend and just left today. I miss my mommy. No shit. 30 years old and i still get choked up when she leaves. I told her that it feels so natural to have her here, like she could just hop in her car and drive home after a Sunday night dinner. But no, off to the airport today to her home, where there has not been, nor ever will be, 5 days of torrential downpouring.
I had so many crazy dreams last night. One of those that i remember is that i was driving around HUGE roundabouts (i know those of you who have been to europe know what i am talking about). But these fucking roundabouts were miles around consequently, i would drive through the country, then the city, then a little suburb, and a little forest. That was my dream. I remember the scenery being beautiful but the vibe being completely surreal and confusing.
I never have heard from the woman at work who has blown me off. Tomorrow, i leave a note in her box essentially threatening to involve her supervisor unless she gets off her butt and schedules a time to meet with me. Sometimes, i fucking HATE being a manager. It's rotten being the bad guy.
This blog has no beautiful or clever theme woven throughout. It's just a compilation of tidbits of my life. However, tidbits seem to me to be symbolic of my life right now---aside from my baby (who is totally awesome), i pay attention to very little for an extended period of time. I can't even sleep for more than about 4 hours at a everything that happens to me is a tidbit. The more i write the word "tidbit" the more i loathe it.
Hey, a few messages to my fellow blogging friends:
1) Sarah, i am going to bust your ass for that Steelers crack
but, i have to admit, i am a little embarassed for them....they really bite right now.
2) Also for Sarah, I am not worried about you and your falling down drunkeness on Seattle streets. But fer crissakes, wear some sensible shoes when it's raining! What the fuck are you thinking when ambling the streets in the rainy season? Also, goodluck with jobs. R u still not having plans for Turkey day? I need to remember to check with Bri and Les re: eating with us.

3) Moll, you are doing the right thing. You are taking an aggressive approach and i hope it pays dividends for you both. It must be so painful for you right now, but you are right, you have a kick-ass family and you are a wonderful mom. Love you.