Friday, April 15, 2011

Same but different

While in the hospital I made a choice that may cause a bit of a dilemma down the road for us. I was asked numerous times whether I wanted Cab circumcised. The first time I hesitantly answered "Yes" with a glance at Steve. The next time I replied "Not really, but my husband does." Then the final time I was asked I told them "No. Absolutely not. No." So Cab stayed intact much to my relief. Steve didn't put up a fight like I expected, but I think since I was the one who had just had major surgery he figured I should have the say in any other cutting that took place during our stay. But my decision places us in a curious position. When Finn was born I didn't think twice about having him circumcised. I hadn't done any research on the topic and even though I'd occasionally see a post from a crazy "intactivist", I didn't feel the need to. Steve is cut so our boy would be too. And on his second day out in the big wide world, that's what we had done to him. I was shocked when I saw his baby boy bits all bloody and swollen. I cringed each time I changed him and feared I would hurt him more. It looked far worse than the 7-inch incision across my abdomen. That sealed the deal with Cab. I'll never be a nutty anti-circ extremist, so don't worry about seeing rants about the topic. I just did not have the stomach to see his little bits all bloodied up. But how in the future do we explain to the boys why their penises are different? Do I tell Finn that I was stupid and didn't think before signing him over to the nursery that morning? I'm hoping we have a few years to figure this one out because I'm seriously perplexed at the moment.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Special Delivery

I know I said I would write up the story of how Cab came to join us, but after starting it and only getting to half way through the first day I realized I don't recall all the details. And that 50 or so hours of labor are way too many to document. So, I guess I'll cut to the chase.
After laboring over the entire weekend, I along with Steve and our doula Amy (who I will be forever grateful for) headed to the dreaded hospital Monday the 7th  around 4 AM. My contractions were 5 minutes apart and lasting a minute. I was exhausted and getting shakey, and I know both Steve and Amy were tired as hell as well. We were all certain that I was progressing nicely. But after an extremely uncomfortable exam we learned that I was no more dilated than I had been a week earlier. I felt completely crushed. And even more tired. Then when the doctor on call came in (remember I hadn't met any of the doctors in the practice at all) she dissected my birth plan and made it pretty clear that she wouldn't budge on anything. I wanted to punch her. Especially after she insisted over and over that I wasn't even in labor. That what I was doing could go on for weeks.  I wanted to scream at her that I knew what my body was feeling, that it was her practice that told me to come in when I was having contractions exactly as I was at that point and that damnit I was in labor.  But I didn't. I sat there and held back tears. They kept me monitored to see if I would progress any more and the doctor was going to come back to give me my options. I already knew what they were. Go home with an Ambien and try and get some sleep; stay, get pit started and re-live the awfulness of Finn's labor, or opt for the c-section. When the staff was gone from the room and told Steve and Amy that I was done. That I just wanted the section and wanted it to be over.  They were both concerned since it was the complete opposite of what we had envisioned for the past 9 months. Steve asked what could make me change my mind. I told him that unless he was somehow going to get Ellen to meet us back home and have the baby there that I was completely done.  When the doctor came back in I told her my decision and she seemed shocked but accepted my decision (of course she did, it's much more money for her). Then started the prep work. The IV was put in, the handsome anesthesiologist brought in a stack of consent forms, and I had a very awkward shave.  Before we knew it I was wheeled off to the C/S OR. Which was unbelievably crowded since it was in a temporary space due to the regular room being flooded. I was a trooper getting the spinal inserted, but when I was laid back down I started feeling a little of the panic that I experienced with Finn coming back. And nausea. They quickly killed the queasiness, but I still struggled to hold back the anxiety and feeling of claustrophobia. I felt a little better when Steve was allowed in, crammed in with what seemed like a million other people. Then the pressure and the pushing and pulling. I felt sea sick. Steve alerted someone that I was woozy and they gave me more of the anti-nausea drug. I remember silently pleading for everyone to stop touching me, to hurry up and get the baby out so the touching could stop. Every touch made my skin crawl. Luckily, we soon heard "We have dark hair!" and we both got excited. Then "We have chubby cheeks!"  and one of said "Of course!"  Then someone asked "Umm, how big was your other baby?" Steve told them 8 pounds. The same person replied "Oh, this one is bigger!" I thought, "Well, duh. Of course he is."  I heard Cabbie squeal and then cry out in what would quickly become his signature noise maker cry.  They brought him around and all I could see was his dark hair and his perfect little face. I held his chubby little hand and kissed his head before they swooped him away. I got really panicky again and wanted to lift my hands up to tear the oxygen line away from my face. And the touching needed to stop. They were stitching me up and I knew it would be over soon, but the touching could not end fast enough. I yelped for the nearest nurse and she took away the oxygen line for me which helped some. Finally I was popped back over to the bed (again more touching that made me want to scream) and wheeled to recovery.  I wanted so badly to get out of there ASAP and be with Cab. I kept silently willing my toes to wiggle so that they'd give me the all clear. No such luck. That spinal stuck around for a good three hours.  And when I was finally given the okay I arrived in my room to find Steve and Amy semi-worried because no one had told them what was going on. Then they brought in my handsome little boy. I hated that I had been kept from him so long. He was clearly hungry. Steve said that he'd had his little hands jammed in his mouth, ferociously sucking the whole time.  Amy helped me get him latched on for his first meal, which was no easy feat considering I had an IV taped up my left arm, was shaking and still couldn't move much.   I know I cried (happy tears). Amy got a little teary. I think Steve cried too. I was so stinking happy to have him safe in my arms. It was truly surreal to realize that our little family had gone from 3 to 4.  My mom brought Finn in towards the evening to meet Cabbie for the first time. While he was interested in the baby for 10 minutes or so eventually the tropical fish in the lobby won out. Nothing can compete with clown fish as far as Finn is concerned.

Hmm....I don't really know where to go from here.  Describing the hospital stay seems silly. And the few other things I wanted to add will be better as separate posts.  Drats.  Sorry to leave with a crappy ending.  Next post will be better I pomise.