Thursday, November 7, 2013

Happy Birthday Lucy!

From this:
to this:
 in eleven short years!
My baby is eleven today. I know she's not 'the baby' but she's still my baby!

What follows is the story of Lucy's birth, as I think that how we are born in some ways is a predictor of who we become. If you're looking for knitting content today...I did knit a bit on a pink baby sweater while I was in the hospital :)

I got pregnant on Valentine's Day, 2002. My family doctor was on leave (he had a rare form of lung cancer and later died, at the much too young age of 34) and his replacement--although young, and nice--did not deliver babies. She referred me to the other doctor in the clinic that did babies, but he felt I would be better treated by an obstetrician. I have high blood pressure, controlled by medication. My original family doctor had no issue with it, and it actually was not an issue, but there's a doctor shortage here so they can certainly pick and choose. There were two OB/GYNs in town at the time. One was a brash, out-spoken Indian woman who had treated me in the hospital during my miscarriage. Although she got my treatment moving, I wasn't keen on how she talked to the nurses in front of me, especially since it was regarding me ("Put the sides up! She's lost a lot of blood, doesn't have an IV yet? She's going to pass out, roll off the bed and sue the hospital!"). So I thought I'd check out the other doctor (the woman doctor also later died, having been murdered in India when she went back to care for her ailing father).

Dr. C. is a very quiet, reserved, short, guy, also Indian. We live in a town of 26 000, and it is very white. Both OB/GYNs were Indian. Later, we get another woman OB/GYN who is also Indian, but also another man who is African. Sort of odd, in some ways, but hey, when you are so short of family doctors that 13 are needed just for those who don't have a family doctor, any doctor who comes to town is a sort of celebrity.

During my appointments, Dr. C. rarely said anything. How are you doing, and take it easy were the two most common lines. He wasn't ...unfriendly ....he just had nothing to say, LOL. Around week 20 I pulled some groin/ab muscles when Huey took off down the street. I was in such pain during the night, I was sure I had ruptured the placenta, and if I turned on the light there'd be a pool of blood. There wasn't, and I went to my regular appointment the next day, still in pain. Dr. C's response to the story--"Don't do that again." LOL. It was an uneventful pregnancy, some arthritis pain (didn't know that's what it was at the time). I had one trip to the hospital when I hadn't felt movement for awhile. The ER people couldn't decide if their Doppler thingy was working or not, so they sent me to the OB ward. The nurse there decided after having me on the monitors for a while (which showed a lot of movement that I never felt) that the placenta was in the front (near where I had the muscle pull) and she had moved behind it, so I didn't feel the kicking.

I never discussed my birth wishes with Dr C, but my 'plan' was in my file at the hospital. At my last appointment, he wanted to book me for an induction. I said not until after my due date. We discussed it a bit (the hypertension and all that), and I agreed that I would go for an induction any time after my due date. The first date I could be booked was Nov 11 or 12, my due date was Nov 6, so I was fine with that.

I woke up Nov. 6 with a major headache, nausea, dizziness...all signs of pre-eclampsia, a big risk for me. My internist and Dr. C were both not in their offices, and at this point, I had no family doctor. I was advised to go to the hospital to get checked out. Well, I knew that if I went, I wouldn't be coming home without a baby, LOL. Rob came home from work early, and we went for our last family ride in the pick up :) There were no other signs of pre-eclampsia, but Dr C said he'd induce me in the morning just to be safe. It was, after all, past my due date!

I was pleased to find out he wouldn't use Pitocin, and used Cervadil (a 'tampon' used to soften the cervix). I put up with the required bed rest time, then I was up and about. I had had much worse contractions in the weeks prior. A couple hours later, he asked if I was having any 'twinges'. I laughed! I had wanted to avoid negative language, but to hear this little Indian doc call them 'twinges' and 'rushes' caught me off guard. Before lunch, he asked if I was having any 'tightening'. LOL. Not much was happening, and after lunch he checked me and I was 4cm. I was surprised! I called Rob and told him to come back.

The nurse said it was time for another stint on the monitors, but then went next door to do a delivery. I got bored of waiting, so at 3, we took a stroll down to the breastfeeding clinic. I was having real contractions now, not regular, and not painful (no negative language!). I was chatting in the clinic, and at about 3:15, I felt a pop. I thought my water must have broken, but no.

However, the contractions suddenly took off! It took 15 minutes to make it back down the hall to my room! At about 3:40, a nurse walking down the hall, getting ready to go on shift at 4, heard 'the birthing sounds' and came in to check on me. She asked if I wanted an epidural (obviously she hadn't read my birth plan). I said maybe, if I have to do much more of this (thinking that I was just entering active labour and was still only 4cm--don't forget, this was my second baby!). She went to put away her coat, look at my chart to see if I could get an epidural or something else, and came back to check me to see if I could get the epidural yet. LOL.

I was completely dialated!! Talk about shock!! Dr. C was called, they gave me laughing gas, and at 4, the doc came in. He wanted to wait a few more minutes before I started to push. At 4:15 my water broke, and at 4:18 (don't quote me on that) Lucy Raylene was born! She was 7lb 10 oz, and had Daddy wrapped around her finger instantly. He wouldn't let me hold her!

In retrospect, it was good that I was already in the hospital, because if I had been at home, I probably wouldn't have called Rob until 3:15, maybe 2:30.

Would he have made it home, and then to the hospital? The recovery was so easy compared to the highly medicalized birth of Huey. Besides all the side effects and complications of epidurals that no one tells you (did you know that drugs used in child birth are not approved by the FDA for use with infants/fetus?), there is a recovery period just from the epidural. With a non-medicalized birth, the recovery is instant, as soon as the placenta is out, life goes on! It was incredible. Not painful at all, I think because of my attitude, and my preparedness. After all, I'm the gal the dentist knows to give extra freezing to, automatically, LOL. Anyhow, this is about Lucy, not about epidurals :)

If it weren't for Lucy, we might never have gotten the Sensory Integration Dysfunction diagnosis for Huey. She is funny, sensitive, very clever, and a joy to know.  There's no one else just like her, and that's fine with us!

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