Everything went fine, no drama. Despite the all-night application of the cervical gel, and the all-day administration of Pitocin (the contraction-causing hormone used to induce labor) my body still wasn’t ready to deliver him. But (explanation for Angela -- the placenta can only hold out so long, then it starts to break down, which is what was happening to me. Hence the reason my doctor wanted to move forward with the delivery.) That day, March 25, 1998 (nine years ago today) I dilated to a “9” and stayed there for almost eight hours without making any further progress. I hadn’t slept well at home on Monday night, hadn’t slept at ALL at the hospital on Tuesday night, and by 7pm Wednesday night, it was obvious the baby still had no intention of being born anytime soon. He gets all sulky and pouty and drags his feet like that now, too. I remember my doctor coming in that evening and giving me two choices …. Either turn off the pitocin, try and get some sleep, and start again in the morning, or just give up and have a c-section. I responded with “I don’t care if you pull this kid out of my NOSE, I’m pooped and I want it over with so I can get some rest.” His reply? “Good, because I have tickets to the Lakers game tonight and to be honest, you’re messing up my evening.” (Actually, that made me smile.)
So, forty-five minutes later, Kellen was born via a calm, orderly c-section. Weighing in at 8 lb, 13 oz, it’s probably just as good that I never got around to pushing. I’m sure my vagina thanks me.
What I remember about that day:
*Worrying about Brayden and if she was ok with the girlfriend who was babysitting her, especially since we hadn’t planned on her being there anywhere near that long.
*Thinking that the man who invented epidurals should be sainted.
*That the air conditioner in my room wasn’t working and despite maintenance coming in to work on it, while I was in labor, it still felt like a sauna. I was relieved to get to the cool atmosphere of the operating room, even if it meant that oh holy crap, I was fixing to be cut open and a live baby was going to be pulled out of me, like a rabbit out of a hat!
*Vomiting on Blaine when they increased the meds for the section. (I’m fairly confident that is NOT one of his favorite memories.)
*Blaine looking at me during the delivery, with a mixture of disgust and horrified fascination on his face, and saying to me, “Oh my GOD, your guts are laying all over your stomach.” Ooh, that’s nice.
* That after the c-section, and then all the other junk they do before sewing you back up (I’m assuming they put all my guts back where they belong? Just a guess.) and then they take you to recovery, and take the baby away to clean him up and get his apgar scores and prick his heel and put drops in his eyes and play canasta or whatever it is they actually DO with newborn babies, it was after midnight before I got back in my
*Choking on my dry eggs at breakfast the next morning and having to cough, and thinking I was going to rip open that incision and the staples from my c-section would probably shoot out and poke someone in the eye and blind them and that my guts would be all over the place again from the forcefulness of the coughing. Gosh, that hurt. You have NO IDEA the number of times each day you use your stomach muscles (even someone with stomach muscles as flabby as mine) until they’ve been cut open. Coughing, laughing, sitting up, laying down, getting out of bed, getting into bed, talking, breathing, watching tv …. It all hurts. Every single bit of it.
But of course, like all women everywhere who’ve suffered through the physical pains of delivery, no matter the method, it was worth every single twinge and second of discomfort. Take one look at this smooshed up little face and tell me it wasn’t worth it:
Although, this picture makes me laugh every time I see it because I was still in my “What do you mean I can’t lift anything over ten pounds with a c-section? The baby by **himself** is almost ten pounds!” phase and I asked Blaine to dress Kellen in the outfit I brought for the Obligatory Ugly Hospital Photo (OUHP). Not only did Blaine put his hat on backwards, as evidenced by the seam going right up the front of his head, he also had his ear all flopped down and didn’t notice. So really, it’s funny. Even if my baby does look like an orphan already.
Almost as funny as the fact Brayden was flipping all of us off in her OUHP.
Can I just say that the first pictures I got of them together make me smile even more?
Brayden, meeting Kellen for the first time:
And I knew, instantly, that despite the fact none of this had gone as planned, and the pregnancy certainly caught us by surprise, that it wasn’t going to ruin Brayden’s life. I smile now when I remember how on the day before I was induced with Kellen, I sat in the middle of the living room floor, holding her on my lap, tearing up and apologizing to her for what was about to happen. Oh, sure, there are days now when he’s annoying the crap out of her and they’re fighting like cats and dogs that I’m sure she wishes he’d been swapped for a life-size Barbie in the hospital, but overall, they’ve loved each other since day one.
And if the very long labor wasn’t enough to convince you he is my child, let me tell you what he said after soccer practice yesterday. After the games, the parents normally trot out on the field and make two lines facing each other. We hold our hands up and make a tunnel for the kids to run through, as we yell congratulations to both teams. It’s just a fun, silly little ritual they do in our soccer league and probably in every league across the country. This is Kellen’s first season in the older kids league, though, and the first game the parents didn’t do the tunnel. I was a little sad, thinking how they must not do it for the older kids. And thinking about how basically Kellen and the other kids must be too old to enjoy it, and soon he would be shaving and driving and dating and then some little bimbo in a tight skirt would break his heart and I’d have to squash her like a bug …..
Anyway, back to the tunnel.
After Saturday’s game, I heard some of the kids on the team yelling, “Hey, where’s the tunnel?” and then I heard the coach holler, “You parents didn’t do the tunnel the first game … do one this time!” and I felt so happy, and even got a little misty-eyed, thinking about the tradition of the tunnel and how my baby, my sweet, precious little baby is still TOO young enough to enjoy the tunnel. Then, from across the field, as loud and clear as anything, came Kellen’s voice, for all to hear: “Who cares about the tunnel? Where are the SNACKS???”
Ah, yes. He definitely sprung from THESE loins. We do have our priorities.
In the meantime, happy birthday Kellen, my nine-year old boy. I love you more than life itself, and will never let you live down the fact it practically took a stick of dynamite and a load-lifter to get you to come out on the day you were born. And I’ve adored you every moment since.