Back in May, 2007, I needed a break. I had this grand idea that I could be the General Contractor when we were renovating our home and I had absolutely no experience. Eighteen months of fun and spent the dollar equivalent to 3 modest homes before we moved in while last minute work was being completed. I was fried! I approached my husband with the idea that we would take roughly 6-8 weeks to go see what we can see and get a break from home. He was all for it.
Off we went and finally when we were tired of hotels, we went home. Day 2 home and I had both laundry rooms filled with laundry as I vowed to get us back on track. I was walking downstairs, on the second stair down with a basket of said laundry when the thought came from nowhere that I was pregnant. Where did that come from? I wasn’t trying, in fact quite the opposite. We left the door open for conversation but with our first two children only 15 months apart we are always busy. I count the days until I could take a pregnancy test and realize that would be about 3 more days away. So I say nothing and I wait it out.
Three days later I wake and take the test. I KNEW IT! Really, someone should write a poem about my reproductive organs, they are that impressive. So I save the test and wait to have a free minute with my husband. Finally when the kids are in bed, I walk into our master where he is lounging quite comfortably on our bed watching golf. I ask him to turn the TV off. He turns the volume down. I say firmly, “Turn. It. Off!” He turns it off with a click and a smile. I drop the pregnancy test on his stomach and he picks it up. He takes one look and says…. Get ready for it….
“Is this yours?” What? That’s disgusting! Why would I have someone else’s pregnancy test? Instead I say, “No, it’s Dr. Partenope’s.” (Doc is my 96 yr old male neighbor who is 4’10” and smokes a 12″ cigar constantly.)
“I don’t understand. How did this happen?”, he says. We have 2 other children, I am not recounting Bio 101 to help him figure it out. Then he smiles from ear to ear and announces that this is great and he loves me.
So now we are having our third child. I visit my OB and he notices that I am very quiet. I say that I don’t know if I can be like the other pregnant moms that I see and I am having a hard time reconciling this because I am older and I know who I am. He takes a minute and he understands exactly where I am mentally because the next words from him are said softly with his hands on my cheeks….”So don’t. Be you.” Just like that every reservation about having a baby 7 years after my last is gone. I am going to rock this! I rarely ever wear maternity clothes, I wear stilettos with baby doll dresses, great jeans with fitted tops and all the things I was too afraid to wear the first 2 times and while it seems like a superficial thing, it is exactly the opposite. It is permission for me to be the mom that doesn’t do nannies, night nurses, day nurses, flip flops or maternity jean shorts which while there is nothing wrong with any of these things, they are not me. In fact this baby would be 5 before I spent a night away from her.
The months tick by and I look amazing. Truly, I know it sounds obnoxious but my hair is long, thick and shiny, my skin literally glows and I am all belly. I feel delicious and ripe and magnificently feminine. I drive the old ladies at my club crazy with my pregnant belly exposed in my bikini. This is my best pregnancy yet. I eat when I want and roll into the hospital for my induction with only a 21 pound weight gain.
I check into the hospital to start the induction and my first full shift nurse is amazing. I love her. I start labor immediately and she comes right in with something to help me sleep because she thinks I will go during the night and wants me to rest as much as possible. Unfortunately, there is this beeping that keeps waking me…. In she comes to keep checking my monitors and fix my IV. She tells me that my blood pressure is low and they are increasing my fluids to help. Fabulous, I say with a slurred smile. Except increasing fluids means I am up going to the potty every 30 minutes, the contractions now hurt and I can’t believe my husband is just going to sleep like that. I make it a point to graze (read “slam”) the IV pole into his shin on the way into the bathroom each time and when he wakes to ask how I am feeling, I apologize and ask if I hit his leg.
A few hours later dawn is breaking and speaking of breaking, my OB is here to break my water and get my epidural ordered. Holy hell! I am immediately in strong labor, where the hell is the anesthesiologist? My new nurse comes in and there is no love…. She hates me. It’s my worst nightmare. I need her compassion, I need her love. I do not need her attitude. The anesthesiologist comes to the door, at least he loves me. That is my husbands cue to scoot until it’s over. He is way too squeamish for this.
Anesthesiologist gets to work and that folks is where my labor takes a very unexpected turn. In he goes with the numbing shots and then as he tries to insert the catheter, alarms go off everywhere. Apparently, my blood pressure has dropped to 54/32 and this they say is a problem…. But I feel fine I say. They tell me that they are afraid I may have a stroke. AGH! That’s not good. Nope, not good at all. He tries to quickly get the catheter in but goes too far and I immediately have the mother of all headaches. He says he will have to try again… Try what again? OMG, the whole thing? This one goes in easily but the alarms are going crazy. They disconnect the happy juice and begin multiple injections of epinephrine. After 30 minutes I am stable and my husband finally finds his way back to my room after the last doctor leaves. He is pale and sweating. Poor thing, they must have told him what happened here.
“You have no idea what I have just been through, what I have just seen.”, he says as he flops himself down in a chair. I have one eyebrow raised to the nape of my neck. Apparently, a woman came in on a stretcher after having the baby in the car and she was a bloody mess, as was the husband helping her and the nurse who was carrying the baby up the hall. The woman still had the placenta and this is where he tells me that it was too much and he threw up in the hall way. I stare at him and wonder so many things…..
“You poor thing”, I say as I try to muster up some sympathy but these contractions are terrible. I push the button for the epidural repeatedly and nothing is happening. I feel like I am in the game show Jeopardy and Alex Trebek refuses to call on me. I get the nurse but she rolls her eyes at me and says that the anesthesiologist is busy in a c-section but will come check on me in a bit.
What does that mean? How long is a bit? I am coming unglued here… Give me the drugs, now! Please. I will be your best friend! The labor gets worse and worse and I just don’t understand why I am getting no relief. A janitor comes in to mop this green liquid up from the floor. I am locked out of my pain med button and crying. My husband gets up to see if he can help when he finds the problem. He picks up catheter coming from my back and trails along and ta-da, instead of being hooked up to the machine with the meds which has been leaking all over the floor, it is hanging loose with my last syringe of epinephrine hanging from it. Well that explains a lot. We call the devil nurse and she comes in and says, “I can see you are going to be one of those patients.”
That’s not nice! That’s not nice at all!
I don’t even get a chance to reply because my husband picks up the catheter to show her the problem and gives her such a dressing down that I wince and she scurries from the room to find someone else. She brings her nice attitude the next time with some meds and another anesthesiologist but it’s too late, I hate her with the fury of 1000 burning suns. I will be polite but I am NOT sending her a gift.
It’s pushing time in no time flat and I am finally comfortable. My husband is situated behind my head with my cool towel and words of encouragement. He is so good at this, he has finally gotten the hang of it, third baby in…. CRASH! I glance over my shoulder to see the bottoms of his shoes….. Really?…..Again?… The nurses are checking his head and he is apologizing to me and telling them that he will be fine…. Unbelievable! He sucks at this.
OB- “Push harder. You aren’t pushing hard enough!!!”
Me- “I am f’ing pushing, you jackass.”
OB- “Maybe if you quit bitching so much you could actually deliver this baby.”
Me- “F*** off. I am sick of your shit.”
This goes on every time I deliver a baby. My husband is mortified and says he cannot stand the way we talk to each other. He doesn’t get it. It’s ok, I love him anyways. My OB and I stare at each other for a beat and then we look at him.
OB- “Bear down like you are trying to take a……”
Me- “Oh Please! Just shut the hell up…”
And then a little cry from the third party as she makes her way into the room and into the world. My beautiful Evangeline Anne, so tiny but feisty. I hold her to me, staring in awe. She is perfect, tinier than any of my other children and I know instantaneously without a single tidbit of doubt that we were never complete without her. She is a tremendous blessing and I am so very humbled by this gift. My husband hugs us both crying and as they take her away to clean her up, he can’t keep his eyes off of her. He is instantly smitten and a goner for life.
Happy birthday Evangeline! You have tremendous spirit and so much zest for life. You are unswayed by obstacles and you find the light and love in every corner of life. I pray you never lose that or your spirit. I pray that life gives you all that you desire but I know that it can’t help but give it to one so filled with love. You are my sunshine, my joy and my every rainbowed sky. I love you more than you will ever know and I am so grateful to be your mother. To the moon and back…..