Re-launched, but still slightly under construction. :-)

Friday, January 28, 2005

Ooh, Baby I Love Your Way

We had the baby, but I wouldn't have known unless someone told me. I don't remember it.

She was late. I went for my now-weekly Wednesday checkup, hoping to be rushed to the hospital in dramatic fashion by the doctor. "Get the I.V.! Outta the way! Moveitmoveitmoveit!"

"Well, two centimeters dilated. You want to come back next week?"
"No," I said. "Can I have her now?"

She looked up in surprise. I didn't care; man, I was tired. I'd been having contractions for two weeks, pretty much continuously. It kept me awake, tired me out at work, freaked out my husband - and it hurt. I guess she saw it in my face.

She returned a few minutes later: "Tomorrow night at six, ma'am. Check in and I'll see you Friday morning to induce."
I nodded, wearily, and met my husband outside.
"What did she say?" he asked.
"She said to have me at the hospital by 6 p.m. tomorrow," I said, as I struggled to stretch the seat belt. I glanced at him and saw that he had paled noticeably. I smiled, secretly. It was hitting him, too.

My parents met me at work at the next day, and I left at 4 p.m. with a merry, "See you tomorrow!" Ha ha. We all went and scarfed a big Mexican dinner and checked in. THEN came the I.V.'s, the poking, the prodding, the "No, you cannot have some water." Dang, woman! I'm thirsty!

When Nurse Ratchett and her cronies left, Scott sneaked in some Chick-fil-A and we reveled in our secret stash. Then I sent him home to get his last night of sleep for 18 years.

After some argument, I agreed to take a sleeping pill I didn't want. Big mistake. Sometime around 2 a.m., I went into labor in my own. I don't know what possessed them, but they gave me a shot of Demoral. I do not do well with opiates, and my husband was instructed to intervene. But he wasn't there. For some reason, they gave me another not too long after. Then they came in and tried to do an epidural.

Let's do the math: 1 sleeping pill, 2 shots of Demoral = 0 control over my own body. When the epidural-doctor-man sat me up for the needle, I fell over on the floor... on my face.

Somewhere around 9 a.m. I realized Scott was feeding me ice chips. Apparently, he had been for some time because my lips were frozen. I asked him to stop, but he didn't hear me. He was watching my girl-parts. Please, let my husband watch the previously enjoyable parts of his wife's body expand until he could yodel inside of them. Hoorah.

At some point, I was commanded to push. I tried.
"Am I pushing?" I asked. I couldn't feel anything.
"Oh, yeah!" the nurse exclaimed.
Cool. Thanks, yoga.

"Really? Am I done?"
"No, we're waiting for the doctor."
"Can't you catch?"
But she was gone.

The ice chips, however, were ever-present.
"Honey, my head is frozen."
"Huh? Oh, sorry."

About a half hour later, the doctor shows up. Nice to see her, and all, but we've done just about everything there is to do.
"Okay, push!"
I do. I look up at Scott, and he has gone completely white. All I see are red hair and freckles. The rest of him blends in with the sterile walls.
"Okay, dad, cut the cord!"
Scott reaches out to take the scissors. His hands are shaking and I'm afraid he'll cut the wrong thing, but before I can protest, it's over. They clean her up, Scott gets all in the way with the photography, and I drift in and out. Suddenly I notice the room is silent.
"Um, how is she?" I ask.
There is still silence. I know they are doing an Apgar score. I wonder what it is. Finally, I hear a weak cry and see the nurse hand our little girl to Scott. He holds her and marvels. I smile and nod back off.

"Here, sweetheart," he whispers, and tries to hand me the baby. I do not want to hold the baby. I want to sleep.
"That's okay. I'll hold her later."
Through my opiate induced fog, I see something in his face I do not like - a mixture of fear, anger, and disappointment.
"Hold. Your. Daughter."

Oh, yeah. This is good. Teeny baby, just 7 lbs? Give it to the drugged out lady. Under normal circumstances, this would be considered endangerment. I hold her, try to focus my eyes. I do not remember her face. The nurses sense it is time to take her away. I am grateful... but I already missed her.

I awaken in a room surrounded by relatives. God knows what I was doing in my sleep. Snoring? Talking? Drooling? Farting? I do not ask, but I am told that when they were wheeling me down to the new room I kept saying, "Wheeeeeee!"

I drifted in and out for a good 14 hours. They brought Emerson Renee McGowen Hudson in and she didn't go back until the relatives left. Then they brought her back and she slept on my chest all night.

I didn't go home for four blissful days. People brought drugs right to my bedside. I was not required to shower or change. I ordered every meal from a menu.

The downside is that random hospital employees kept coming in to check my stitches all the time. I think there might have been a janitor mixed in there somewhere, but you get so used to people looking at your hoo-ha that you just stop asking. Finally, they kicked us out. They didn't even ask us to be nice to her.

We took her down in her car seat.
I marveled at the clean car, the car seat, and the baby while Scott pulled out of the parking space.
"Honey, how does it stay in?" I asked, thoroughly confused.
"What?" He was intent on the traffic on the road outside the parking lot.
"The car seat - what holds it in?"
He glanced back: "Oh, shit!"
I giggled nervously, hysterically, while he affixed the seat belt to the car seat.

We were off to a great start.

Sunday, January 16, 2005

Exploding Kitchen Terrorist Attack

<>I try to have dinner ready when Scott gets home from his 6 p.m. class. Today, I was making stroganoff, which I love, even if it is a box mix on sale for $2.99. I put the Pyrex baking dish in the oven to cook, and took it out and laid it on the stovetop about 20 minutes before he was to get home. I went into the living room to watch Wheel of Fortune and I could not believe you did not see Winston-Salem, North Carolina in that puzzle what are you morons?! when a loud crash and the sound of glass shattering sent the dogs into a frenzy and almost sent me into labor.

Thinking someone was breaking in the apartment, I grabbed the closest weapon-like object - the iron - and leapt into the kitchen with a mighty “YAAAHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!” - and promptly fell over with glass sticking out of my bare feet. No one was breaking in. The stroganoff had exploded.

Glass shards and creamy, beefy noodles were strewn all over the room. The stove, the floor, the ceiling - hell, across the room behind the door and inside the dog kennel. The dogs had a field day licking up the food from the floor. Barkley even merrily crunched some glass in his mouth like it was ice cubes, or something, before I got myself together and pulled it out of his mouth.

I was lucky to be out of the room when it happened. I would have been studded with painful shrapnel. So I picked the glass out of my feet as best I could, corralled the dogs before they hurt themselves, and cleaned the vomitous-looking mess. When Scott got home, I was still shell-shocked, so he sent me out for fast food.

But before I hauled my pregnant ass off the floor to clean up the destruction, I sat for what must have been five minutes, looking around the room in amazement while the dogs frolicked, my feet bled, and I tried to make sense of the scene. I could come up with no explanation but one: al-Qaeda.

Long has the Department of Homeland Security warned about infiltration and contamination of our food and water supplies. This, I think, is just the beginning. We must protect the integrity of our freeze-dried, sodium-infused, cardboard-flavored food imitation box mixes. Or woe be unto us all. Woe be unto us all, my friends.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Goodyear Blimp

I’ve had a relatively easy pregnancy. There have been some issues, but for the most part, they have been minor.

Not anymore.

They warn you early on that you may swell.They mean due to water retention. I’ve gone 9.5 months without it and now it’s hitting me all at once - that, or I have Elephantitis of the Ankles. None of my shoes fit. None of my clothes fit. I had to wrench my wedding and engagement rings off my fingers because I thought they might cut the circulation off.

I’m like one of the balloons in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. I need 20 handlers with ropes strapped to my body to keep me from bouncing into the surrounding buildings. I soar over the city, ridiculously benevolent smile etched permanently on my overinflated face, praying that high winds don’t blow me into the nearby power lines.

I’m afraid that in the middle of the night Scott will hear “skree... skreeeee.... skreeEEE.... BOOM!” and wake up, terrified, but unable to find me because I will have exploded from the pressure.

I’ve never been so uncomfortable in all my life.

I’ve taken to torturing Scott with stupid crap I know will annoy him, but that I find funny as hell. Like, a tiny little baby spider dropped from the ceiling right in front of my face. I hate spiders, bugs, anything with an exoskeleton. So I whine for Scott to get it for me, and then - I swear - it bit me. I mean, I didn’t see it bite me. Or even land on me. But there was a sharp stabbing feeling on my ankle (yes, one of the swollen ones).

I spent about 20 minutes insisting that I was dying and demanding he suck out the venom, call poison control, call a doctor, anything. It was making me laugh, but he gets really worried about me so I had to stop before his head exploded.

I never understood those pregnant women who got angry with their husbands for assisting in getting them pregnant. But I’m so pissed off at Scott right now that I don’t even know where I am most of the time. I’ve told him to fuck off about 8 times in the last week, and I hate speaking to him that way. It’s not fair to him. But I want to throw myself on the floor, kicking and screaming, blaming him. I know he’s spent 9 months worrying about me, taking care of me, and preparing for the baby in various ways.

HOWEVER, he’s also spent the last 9 months “trying” to quit smoking and drinking. I didn’t have nine months warning to work on it. I had to quit everything right away - not that I smoke all that often; like one a month, max. But he also hasn’t had to give up sushi, wine, feta cheese, deli meat, and 100 other small dietary considerations that seem tailor-made from the “Stacey’s Favorite Foods” list. He ordered a dozen raw oysters at Rhinehart’s on Sunday and proceeded to eat them right in front of me, knowing I can’t have any!

Then there’s all the physical things you hear about being pregnant that I have to suffer but he doesn’t: constipation, thirst, hunger, weight gain, back pain, abdominal pain, nausea, fatigue, mood swings, painful contractions... I had a bladdar infection and a sinus infection at the same time, and the antibiotics I took for them gave me a yeast infection, even though I ate about 20 containers of yogurt to help prevent it (sorry, boy readers).

What I’m saying is that I AM the irrational, horrible wife pissed off at my husband for the way I feel. I warned Scott that he should probably head for Canada when I go into labor. He laughed. I wonder if he noticed that I didn’t...

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Dopey Dog

“So, how were the ruffers today?” I ask Scott, referring to the dogs.

“They were fine. We all took a nap together about 1 o’clock. Then, Scrabble leaped up onto my chest and went ‘RRUUF!!!!’ for no reason. And, of course, Barkley followed him.”

“Barkley is so stupid," I laughed. "He’s worse than a lemming. You don’t have to lead him over a cliff. You could just say, ‘Hey, meet me at the bottom,’ and he’d be there.”

Scott laughs and nods: “I love it when he wanders into the room, looks at nothing - I mean, at the wall, or something - and goes ‘RRUUFF!!!’ and then looks at you like, ‘Did you see that?!’”

I laugh, knowing exactly what he’s talking about. Sometimes he runs from room to room, completely undone by some invisible predator, barking his fool head off and freaking me out.

“I think the reason he barks is because he too stupid to understand what’s going on around him, so he just gets frustrated,” I said.

Scott imitates Barkley, dopey look on his face, head cocked to the side: “Duhr, what’s going on? Who am I? What am I?”

I imitate him waving his paws in front of him in a panic: “What are these things at the end of my legs?!”

Incidentally, the baby is dropping, I’m measuring right on schedule with size and weight gain, and all of the other very personal, technical aspects of the process are where they’re supposed to be. Countdown: 21 days, if that. I had some contractions about 4 a.m. this morning. It was cool. I mean, it hurt, but it was still cool.

Saturday, January 01, 2005

Momnesia Picture

Saturday, January 01, 2005 By