Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Open Wide

It was one of those long, hot days of summer, made longer by my 35 week appointment this afternoon and the maternity tour at the hospital this evening.  Somewhere in the day I left my cell phone in a class.  Since the teachers and I left about 15-20 minutes after school got out, I didn't bother going back for it.  There is some mild anxiety about not having my cell phone, lame as that sounds.  Aside from having everyone's numbers, I use the calendar to track my plans.  Moreover, I often play Scrabble or some version of solitaire before falling asleep at night.  Perhaps most importantly, I use the alarm to make sure I get up in the morning.  Our regular alarm clock is across the room.  Normally that's great, but ever since dealing with that torn hip muscle, getting out of bed for the alarm seems like cruel and unusual punishment.

After visiting classes and employers all morning, I headed back to the office for a meeting.  Between the heat and our office chairs, my feet have swollen beyond recognition.  At one point, the skin on top of my left foot was shiny.  Gross!  And I got shiny, swollen feet because of what all-important meeting?  Oh, you know... the one for the freaking brochure committee.  So, at least it was worthwhile.

Next stop was the doctor's office.  Normally I'm in and out, but from what I gathered, Doc was very likely performing a D & C on a woman, so things got backed up.  Once the receptionist blabbed to someone on the phone that "he's doing a procedure," the mood in the room changed.  There were two men sitting with us, and it didn't take long to figure out who the "lucky" guy was.  Doc called him back and, although he spoke quietly, I think we all heard the, "I'm sorry."  As he and the woman left, I had a hard time not breaking into tears.  I have been in her painful shoes.

Once we were in the exam room and I was naked from the waist down (Group B Strep test today), Doc walked in.  We always exchange pleasantries.  Part of me wanted to say, "Rough day, huh?"  But I figured it wasn't my place to bring up this other woman.  So instead I asked about his vacation last week.  He started off in my hometown, San Diego.  I wanted to hear more about it, but he came over, laid the table back and examined Fynn and me.  She's head down, though not engaged, and he estimates her to be around 6 pounds.  She measures 38 weeks, which he thought was great.  Her heartbeat was a little tricky to find, but she'd been moving all over just a minute before so I wasn't too worried.  Eventually he did find it and she sounded beautiful.

Then he went to the end of the table and told me, "Open wide."

It was all I could do not to say, "Ahh."  And thinking about it made me laugh.  Laughing isn't exactly something you want to be doing when someone's swabbing your rectum.  Especially not if you're dealing with lovely pregnancy side effects, like hemorrhoids.  That's right, I'll say it.  The man stabbed me in a 'roid before getting the job done.  Nice.  Thanks, Doc.

After all the technical stuff was handled, we asked our questions.  We didn't have a lot.  Tom asked, "What's it like when you deliver a baby?"  One thing we learned that I was very happy about, is that he will remind me to watch the baby being born.  That was probably the one thing I'd do differently about Mad's delivery (what came next, of course, I'd change a bunch of different ways).

This evening Tom and I went on the hospital tour.  Someone was laboring away in the very room where Mad took her first breaths.  Whenever I am near that door, I want to go in.  If someone else is there, I want to talk with them and tell them how wonderful it is to share this space with them.  I wonder if they know to open the blinds so they can see the enormous pepper tree outside.

Tom and I both feel a connection with the room.  Does that seem odd?  As we stood outside it, listening to which rooms were for what purposes, he mentioned that maybe we could request room 149 if it's available when we go in.

Then we saw what an actual labor, delivery, recovery and postpartum room is like.  Holy moly!  Turns out we got placed in what used to be an "alternate birthing room" back in the day.  Now they just use them if the others are full.  That's why a few hours after Mad was born and we'd seen her off to the NICU, they moved me to a room in the "maternity" section.  I had no idea!  If I end up in an LDRP room this time, I probably will use the shower as a soother.  It's a nice size  The other bathroom was claustrophobic.  It was a tiny shower, sink and toilet, with the wall maybe 12-15 inches in front of it.  The only good thing was that they'd put a bar on that wall, which came in handy during contractions.

In the nursery we saw a two day old baby.  Adorable.  All of the stories we heard about what they do with babies under normal circumstances made me hope even harder to have a baby without complications this time.  I've been telling Tom that I really want to bring her home with us when I leave.  Like he doesn't, right?  But having a baby go into the NICU has apparently shaken my normally reasonable expectations that everything will be alright.

After the tour, we picked up Mad and brought her home.  Tom took over Mad duties while I went to work re-organizing the loft.  Mad's baby clothes were everywhere.  Since I'd asked my mom to come up and be here when Corey got out of school, she (quite naturally) assumed she was spending the night.  I didn't have any thoughts of the sort, so the sleeper sofa was buried.  But now it is ready for her, and my bed is ready for me.  Hopefully the morning will bring smaller feet and then the return of my phone! 

1 comment:

The Rambler said...

guess who...I know..Rambler who? Pfhtt.

Just wanted to stop by and say hello. My new job has been a killer and sucking any outside life out of me.

But you still make me laugh my old hemoriod off if that's possible. kidding. sorta.


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