Wednesday, July 23, 2008

finally: the end of the story

I've just been kind of finishing parts as it felt natural to do so, and also stopping when G happened to be getting up from naps...hopefully, this is the last installation.

Joe finally made it to the hospital around 9 am, and good lord, I have never been happier to see anyone in my entire entire live-long life. We cried, and held hands, and talked. And we decided that since he was coming soon, we should probably tell the grandparents his name (it was the one thing we had been keeping secret). I don't know what I thought was going to happen when we said his name out loud - the g'rents were certainly suitably excited - but there must have been some fantasy in my head in which the heavens parted and down from above boomed "THAT IS THE BEST BABY NAME EVER IN THE HIIISSSSTORRRRY OF TIIIIIIIIIIMMME!" Eh. We thought it was awesome (and still do, although Joe is insisting on his secret original choice for the next baby, if applicable).

And then, it was really just waiting. And waiting. And waiting. The mag went on, the mag came off (thank you, pritty pritty nurse, thank you so much). The monitors beeped. Joe slept in a chair. We tried to communicate with our respective bosses that this was a CODE UBER-FIERY-RED no work situation. I became, after 3 days, "steroid complete." Which meant that they had done all they could for Graham's development, and while it would be best to not have to deliver until 34 weeks, if labor started it wasn't getting stopped. On about day 4
(and during those four days I continued to leak fluid), Graham started rolling over on his cord. This? Was Not Fun. It required teams of nurses running in at all hours urging me to "roll over, sweetie, we gotta move the little guy" as his heart rate fell precipitously. Monitors were readjusted, Graham's heart happily started bip-bopping away again, and then? I couldn't move. Hours on end, I would be in one position as Joe and I both bolted awake whenever our subconsciouses (subconscii?) registered the slowing of those bleeps. I began to get a little cranky.

I think, if I may give myself a little credit, I only seriously lashed out at Joe once. I think it
was towards the end of the day, and Joe was getting ready to try to sleep in his hospital chair for the fourth night in a row. And I loudly blathered something to the effect of how it wasn't fair, and that I couldn't sleep, and that I was in pain, and couldn't move, and he was just going to go to sleep and leave me ALL ALONE. Whoops-a-daisy! Sorry, sweetheart! I loooove you!

And then, on the fifth day, they gave me drugs. Sweeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeet. I think I was
beginning to complain about not being able to sleep (much like the above, but in more kind and dulcet tones than reserved for my husband, because, you know, it's important to be polite) and I think that my contractions were starting, although it just felt like a backache. Which was difficult to differentiate from the backache of being in a hospital bed, not moving, for 4 days. Ooh! Did I say they let me have bathroom privileges on day 4? It was AWESOME.

Anyway, late that Thursday night, they gave me...something. I don't even know what it was, horrible medstudent that I am. All I know is that literally 30 seconds after it went in my IV,
I turned my head, said "I feel dizzzzzzy and sleeeeeepy," and conked out for five blessed hours. The next morning, we had a decision to make. Joe was scheduled to go with the band into the Fox News station to play the morning show. The band was playing the Hot Stove Cool Music show at the Paradise that weekend, and because the drummer is the (NBA CHAMPIONS) Boston Celtics owner, Wyc Grousbeck, the media thought it would be cute to have them on. What to do? It seemed like labor was starting, but none of the contractions were registering on the monitors (they were all in my back). But they also weren't going to start doing manual exams unless absolutely necessary given the risk for infection with ruptured membranes. So we talked, and decided that of course, he should go. Joe stayed by my side almost every single moment of those five days, and had even attempted to work a full forty hours from the hospital room. We thought he deserved a little break. (So, now, Graham, you can tell people that on the day you were born, Mommy said "I'm going into labor" and Daddy said "I'm going to play a rock and roll show." How cool is THAT?!)

So Joe went and played the show, and because of course by this point he had charmed all the nurses in South Shore Hospital, there was quite a little crew in my room watching him play. Then he zoomed back, and none too soon, because this thing was on like the proverbial
Donkey Kong. They did my first manual exam around noon, and I think I was 3 or 4 cm dilated. They came back a few hours later, and blammo! I was 9 cm and fully effaced. Epidural, I love you, how wonderful you are, especially since it had to go higher up because of my tattoo. Mr Dr Anaesthesiologist, you are my BFF4evah.

This is the point at which Joe and I looked at each other and realized that we had not THOUGHT FOR ONE HOT SECOND ABOUT THE ACTUAL BIRTH. We were due to start birthing classes that next Monday! We were still months away from the due date! We knew nothing. Crap! Push here? Breathe when? Ha-ho-ho? Hee-hee-hee? Legs up, legs down, swing 'em all
around? I don't knooooooooooow!!!! Luckily the nurse stepped in, noted that she actually did this for a living, multiple times every day, and proceeded to basically deliver Graham herself. I think the attending came in for the last five minutes...maybe. Our nurse was amazing. But apparently? The secret to labor is pushing through your butt. Sorry you had to watch me poop on the table, darling! The romance lives on, right?

I ended up pushing for about an hour and a half. Graham was face up, and so his (enormous) head took forever to pass. But the moment where I could reach down and feel the tip-top of his little skull was only surpassed by the moment when he slipped free. I have never cried so hard, so deeply. And when I grabbed out at Joe, he was shaking and tears were crashing down his crumbled face. And Graham, he cried with us.

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