Full Disclosure:: The Birth Story Part Two

So there I was in the O.R., breathing through an oxygen mask and not quite sure how I got there. The whole thing was surreal, yet there was a strangely familiar element involved that helped to mitigate the fear & trauma; the 'voyeur of my own experience' feeling. I get this now and again-part of me stands back, watching myself do something and I think, "Here I am, doing this crazy thing. Huh. So that's what that feels like. Interesting." This has gotten me through a cornucopia of life experiences, ranging from grade school spelling bees & my first kiss to walking down the aisle on my wedding day & giving birth to G, my firstborn.
I got a spinal block, and felt mild panic when my legs went numb. I kept trying to wiggle my toes and ended up flapping my arms around, just trying to move something. The nurses hung a curtain in front of me, over my stomach, and B sat on a stool at the edge of the curtain, so he could at once see my face and the um...big show on the other side of the curtain.
He said later that it was hard to go from the horror of sitting beside me as I was cut open, seeing all my interior bits and pieces and then on the other side of the curtain, there lay I, doped up and smiling, teary-eyed and excited to hold our son. In fact, the poor guy got faint and the nurses made him sit on the floor in the ante room.
I'm glad I didn't know how serious the situation was, I had a very real feeling that Jesus knew what was happening, and that He was present. I mean this actually, not in a Precious Moments sort of way; I mean I really felt that Jesus was looking out for us. This also helped mitigate the fear.
He Was Green
Babies aren't supposed to poop in the amniotic fluid. They're supposed to have their first poop after they are born, thick, tar-like stuff called meconium. When there's some sort of problem, and the baby experiences trauma, he often poops. This is dangerous because the baby is also breathing the amniotic fluid, and aspirating the meconium can be life-threatening. When the doctor finally got H.O. out, he was green with meconium staining. This means that he pooped about an hour or so before and probably had aspirated it. So little H.O. went to the NICU (Neo-natal Intensive Care Unit), but not before he had been given to me and I could kiss his sweet face.
As I was being put back together, I started to shake. And shake. I couldn't stop; and I had intense pain in my shoulders. I found out later it was a deferred gas bubble, air had gotten in during the surgery and risen to my shoulders. It went away after a few days.......but the shaking. It got worse until my whole body was convulsing (except probably my legs, which were still numb.) They got me into a recovery room and gave me ice chips for the thirst and warm blankets for the shakes. This part seemed to take forever. I think the shaking was from the adrenaline, but I'm not sure. After an hour, H.O. was doing well enough to be brought to me. And the days of recovery began.
"Furthering the Healing Ministry of Jesus"
We delivered the baby at the local Catholic hospital in town, the same one where G was born 4 years ago. There's 2 hospitals in town, and this is the only one with the NICU. I was so relieved and thankful that we didn't decide to use the other, newer & swankier hospital across town, even more relieved that I didn't have a home birth.
Thank You
Thank you to everyone who visited, and prayed. Two people told me later that they woke up that night with an urge to pray for us, one person was awakened when we assume little H.O. was first in distress, an hour before we went into the hospital, and another person was awakened to pray at 3:30, when he was born-just about an hour after we checked into the hospital, on May 1. Our little May Day basket.
"The world's favorite season is the spring. All things seem possible in May."
- Edwin Way Teale
Later that morning, after sleeping a few hours and trying to de-groggy myself (didn't work, still groggy, in fact) a sweet L.O.L. came in to visit. She was there for some innocuous purpose, a survey or something. Sister Mary something.
"Are you a nun?" I asked.
"Yes, dear."
"Would you pray over our baby?"
She laid hands on H.O. and prayed God's blessings on his life in a tremulous yet strong voice.
And all the other blessings that I've left out, like that my dear sister was here from Australia just in time to see the baby, and that B's paternity leave came through the day before I went into labor-all these things serve to highlight the biggest blessing: our little guy.

1 comment:

Lucy Corrander said...

It really sounds horrific. It's quite astonishing what people have to go through when giving birth.

And thank heavens for modern hospitals and modern training and all sorts of scientific things that preserve life.

(Now I'll read the next instalment. You are brave, re-living this, Rosa.)


Read Your Way Through the Garden: Choice Tomes From Garden Literature

  • A Book of Salvias by Betsy Clebsch
  • Botany for Gardeners by Brian Capon
  • Making Bentwood Trellises by Jim Long
  • RHS Encyclopedia of Plants & Flowers
  • Rose Primer: An Organic Approach to Rose Selection & Care by Orin Martin
  • Start With the Soil by Grace Gershuny
  • Sunset Western Garden Book
  • Sunset Western Landscaping Book
  • The Book of Garden Secrets by Patent & Bilderback
  • The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Botany
  • the Gardener's Table: A Guide to Natural Vegetable Growing and Cooking by Richard Merrill & Joe Ortiz
  • The Gardener's Year by Karel Capek
  • The Hutchinson Dictionary of Plant Names: Common & Botanical
  • We Made A Garden by Margaret Fish

lotsa latin: rosa's botanical & etymological ruminations

  • vespertinus: flowers in the evening
  • vernalis:spring
  • veni vidi nates calcalvi: we came, we saw, we kicked butt. This was printed on a T shirt I bought at Abbot's Thrift many years ago. It encircled the NEA symbol. I wish I knew why.
  • superciliaris: shaped like an eyebrow ex: sturnella superciliaris, the White-browed Blackbird
  • rosa-sinensis: species of Hibiscus: Hibiscus rosa-sinensis. Lit. Rosa of China, so named by British plant hunters.
  • placentiformis: shaped like a cake ex: discocactus placentiformis
  • nudiflorus: flowers before leaves show ex: flowering quince, magnolia
  • nivalis: growing in or near snow ex: galanthus nivalis (common snowdrop)
  • muralis: growing on walls
  • mirabilis: marvellous, wonderful
  • formosa: beautiful ex: dicentra formosa, a.k.a.western bleeding heart/dutchman's breeches/lady in a bath
  • carpe vitam: get a life
  • Carolus Linnaeus: Latinized name of Carl von Linne (1707-1778), Swedish naturalist considered the father of plant taxonomy. Whatta guy.