Friday, October 25, 2013

Birthin Babies

Yesterday I saw the newborn baby of friends from work. I call her Papoose because she was breach, sitting on her bottom, arms and legs crossed like a little Indian. She even has Indian roots. I wanted to hold her but she had a couple minor issues. I'll get my hands on her soon though.

Didn't I just have one, tiny and precious like Papoose? Almost fifteen years since the son came along and completed my family. Memories of pregnancy and childbirth came rushing back. Let's see what I can write that is suitable for this forum. I only have about four readers, but still I'll try and not say anything too obscene or grossly detailed.

My pregnancies were a breeze. Labors were all long and difficult lasting at least 24 hours. Deliveries were incredibly easy thanks to big old child bearing hips. I wasn't good at dilating, but how many women have actually given birth without pushing? They just crawled out on their own.

I had great experiences with doctors and nurses. There was the nurse who told me nicely several times not to dig my nails into her hand. After Rebecca was born the nurse, walked me to the toilet, stood in front of me and while peeing I grabbed her skinny waist and pulled her close. I buried my face in her tummy and started bawling. I thanked her for being so patient with me. I chalk it up to hormones. There was the doctor who had to keep assuring me everything was fine, when I kept insisting something is terribly wrong because, "I don't think it's supposed to hurt this much." With Rachel, the nurse who had been with me for her twelve hour shift, stayed late, when I told her I was really close and wanted her to be there with me. Lots of great people supported me.

Number 1 was supposed to be a boy. We never could tell from an ultrasound, but the doctor told me all along that the heartbeat sounded like a boy. So much for that scientific method. Cliff and I didn't even agree on a girl's name, although we knew we needed one, "just in case." I wanted Sarah. He wanted Rebecca. When someone announced, "It's a girl," I asked "A girl?" x 5. When she was laid on my chest, I cried, "Oh, Rebecca!" So she was Rebecca not Sarah, and in that instant was exactly the baby I wanted. She was perfect for me and I couldn't imagine having a boy, now that I had my baby girl.

Rachel came along 25 months later. A healthy 8 lbs. 9 oz. I did have to work a little bit to get her here. She was my only chubby baby. Not much comes to mind about her birth. The best part about her arrival was seeing Rebecca with her. We still laugh when we imitate how Rebecca said, over and over, "Ana hode it." (I wanna hold it.) I was determined that Rachel would not be fed a bottle. On her first night home, she cried nonstop. I didn't produce enough milk to fill her tummy. So we both cried. Rachel from hunger and me because it was 1 AM and I was stupid enough to have a two day old baby at home and no formula. I was the biggest loser on the planet. What sorry excuse for a mom doesn't have a bottle for her baby? I left my mom sitting in the kitchen, with a hungry baby while I trekked to Farmer Jack in the middle of the night. They had the goods to feed a baby. I didn't. I was such a terrible mother. I should have called DHS on myself. Rachel was easier to take care of than Rebecca. It was fun watching the two of them together. They became best friends right away.

Fast forward 24 months. That's three babies in four years if you lost count. James is a week overdue. My mom had already been at my house for a week.  She came from FL to MI to be with me all three times. I had a brilliant idea. I called the University of Michigan Women's Center, where I would have the baby, and asked to speak to someone in Labor and Delivery. I explained to the lady on the floor, as pitifully as I could sound, that I am a week overdue. "Do you have a bed available so I can be admitted and you can induce my labor?" I think it took her a minute to figure out what I was saying. Then I'm sure she had to try really hard not to laugh at me. She explained that just because I was a week overdue I couldn't just check myself in. My doctor would have to do that. She made a suggestion, to try and start labor naturally, that was just nauseating. Well, when you are 41 weeks pregnant, big as a bloated beached whale, cranky and do not want touched, it's nauseating. I said, "Fine, I'm calling my doctor and I'll be there tomorrow," and slammed the phone. That was back in the day, when you could get mad at someone and actually slam the phone in their ear. I imagine her sitting at the desk telling all the other nurses about the crazy lady who thought she could just come in and be induced. Well, when one is overdue with her third baby in four years, the irrational becomes rational. The crazy becomes perfectly logical. I digress. My doctor did take pity on me and I showed that nurse I meant business by checking in the next day. I was not anywhere near being in labor. They had to get it started with Pitocin and a bunch of other drugs, needles and tubes. I stayed in that bed for 2 days as labor dragged on and on. Finally, James was ready. I must have dilated quickly at the end, because it went from quiet with one nurse in the room to a bunch of worker bees scurrying around, trying to keep calm in the midst of chaos. I knew there was a sense of urgency. I just kind of sat up, and he fell out. I don't even think a doctor caught him. When it calmed down and the room cleared out it was just me and Cliff staring at this beautiful boy. All three were born pretty. No really, they were. No coneheads here. It occurred to me that I was famished. I sent Cliff off to find me something to eat. He returned with Wendy's, cold fries and burgers. He went on home late that night. I kept James in the room with me. I was absolutely exhausted and James was not happy. I fed him. Rocked him. Patted him. Cry. Cry. Cry. I was sitting up in bed holding him and fell asleep. I nearly dropped him! Once again, loser mom! I called the nurse and sent him to the nursery.  Finally, I slept. I woke up a few hours later and walked down the hall to find the baby I kicked out. There was a row of bassinets and without looking at faces or reading name cards, I was drawn to my baby instinctively.

My friends will have stories to tell Papoose about her birth. Their story is unique, just for them. I'm anxious to see the three of them together. A new family is born. Enjoy your baby and ana hode it.