Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Third Time's The Charm

My wife and I went to a movie yesterday afternoon for the first time in ages. The children hung with grandma. We saw Milk in the hopes that the title itself might stimulate hunger in Threepeat and thus drive her out. Not so much. She is apparently content to remain cramped and wedged.

The Girl was a week late. She didn't want to come out. After much discussion we finally opted for an induction much to my wife's initial objections. We scheduled for early the next morning. When we arrived and got settled they slapped on the monitor and lo and behold labor had already ensued - no pitocin. The Girl got her act together and got the hell out. Unfortunately she showed up with a congenital defect (thanks for the gene pool, honey) that caused hip dysplasia. She was in a brace for the first three months of her life that kept her constantly in the most un-ladylike of positions. She was also big - over 9 lbs and Threepeat appears to be attempting to beat that record so we would prefer to not go a week overdue.

As it stands, today is the official calendar due date (the widget was set to the sonogram due date and btw, it gets all messed up if you go past the date). We will just wait and see if Threepeat is uncomfortable enough to beat a retreat. If she doesn't we will no doubt go through the same arguments regarding induction as last time, though our midwife appears to be more accomodating to my wife than our previous OB. Either way it will probably work out better than the Boy's birth. It would be hard to be worse than his.

Four years ago my wife and I were having an early dinner. It had become a regular ritual to visit a little brewpub close to our OB's office after our visit to her. We would slip in and my wife would satisfy her cravings for garlic fries. We had only left the office 15 minutes earlier and just ordered when my lovely wife leaned across the booth to tell me she thought her water had just broken.

"Are you sure?" I inquired in that way only dumb expectant fathers can.
"Yes, I'm sure," she answered.

She slipped off to the bathroom while I told the waiter we wouldn't be eating and he probably needed to get some towels. I called our OB and we raced home to pack the bags. We hadn't done that yet - my wife was only 36 weeks along.

When we got to the hospital they put her directly into a delivery room, skipping triage entirely. It was fast and relatively efficient. Our OB wasn't on call but whe wanted to deliver so monitored progress from home in order to race in for the actual delivery. Unfortunately things went more quickly than expected and as the Boy crowned my wife was told to hold off - don't push - the doctor hadn't arrived. For twenty minutes we waited. When she finally got there it took a little work, but the Boy popped out. He had the cord wrapped around his neck (oxygen deprivation explains a lot about that kid), but was otherwise fine. His little Apgars were 9 and 10 and he was a 6 pound bundle of joy. The three of us hung out together for a while, cooing and snuggling, wondering at it all. Then I stepped out to make the phone calls. It was after 2 in the morning so I woke a few people. They didn't seem to mind.

When I returned I came across the nurse wheeling the Boy out of our room. She said the blood pressure monitor wasn't working and wanted to take him down to the NICU to get a better reading. It wouldn't take but a minute and I could come along. So we wandered down the hall and started taking the reading. Pretty simple stuff until...

Everything got crazy. The neonatalogist in the NICU took a look at him and suddenly started shouting orders. I was confused but stayed out of the way as an army surrounded my newborn son. They were strapping him down in an imitation of Christ and trying to shove a line in his umbilical stub. The doctor for some reason assumed (possibly because I was quiet and calm) that I was a physician. He turned to me and said the Boy was crashing. He told me that he suspected an infection in the Boy's lungs and considered it unlikely he would live through the night.

"Um, what? He was fine fifteen minutes ago."

At that point the doctor realized I wasn't a member of his select profession and was instead the father. He tried to temper the scalding water he had just subjected me to, but it was too late. Although I remained calm my mind was racing. Despite my primal concerns for the Boy my biggest worry at that moment was having to return to the room and tell my wife that the child she had just seen leave for a simple blood pressure reading was not likely to return.

When I entered the room my wife told me they had taken the Boy down for a blood pressure reading. I said that I knew and had gone along.

"Where is he?" she asked - um - demanded.

Then came the most uncomfortable moment in our relationship.

A long night followed. And a long week after that. The boy recovered, his tiny body intubated and bily-lit in the NICU as it fought off the infection. During that stay they also discovered a hole in his heart (a hole that was finally pronounced closed last year by our pediatric cardiologist).

It sounds strange but as harrowing as the experience was it was good for us. Like a new car that you fret over until sombody finally dings it, our Boy doesn't get us terribly concerned. We love - no, adore - him, but once you've been through a night like his first, a scraped knee or nasty cold is nothing. We seem to take every day we get with him as a bonus. I wouldn't recommend it, but it had upsides.

I also never want to go through that again. So a little extra womb time for Threepeat beats the alternative. Just once we want a birth with no added bells and whistles - no extraneous issues - no visits a week later to Children's Hospital for a workup.

Threepeat, hear my plea, make it simple, make it easy, make it on time, but most of all, make it.


Judy said...

I am thinking good thoughts that little threepeat will come into the world with no problems.

Love the website. The little bits of humor are a good break to a long and rather monotonous day at work.

Judy said...

I am thinking good thoughts that little threepeat will come into the world with no problems.

Love the website. The little bits of humor are a good break to a long and rather monotonous day at work.

Blaize said...

Right now I'm going to go light a candle to the Santo NiƱo de Atocha. Not because I believe in such things (which I patently don't), but because I just bought the candle yesterday (because I was out of power outage candles), and why the heck not?

Just my way of saying I'm thinking good thoughts about the Threepeat.

Baywatch said...

best wishes and thoughts