Friday, December 30, 2011

Spreading the News

We broke the news about little UB (Urban Banjo) to our families on Christmas morning. Each person got a calendar with a different picture of Shubu on each month. Most were themed (an orange-and-black striped outfit in October, for example), but July's was of Shubu wearing a "Big Sister" onesie and holding the sonogram. I had filled in each family member's birthday and anniversary, and on July 13, "Baby H 2.0 Due Date!" It was fun to see each person slowly "get it". My favorite was my mother-in-law, who was so touched at the calendar concept (her late mother used to do the birthday calendars) that she never made it to July. Everyone else had already seen it and shrieked, and we had to convince her to sit down and look at it more carefully.

With my Facebook friends, I had to be a little more cheeky. I posted an album with pictures of a "bump" road sign, a jar of Prego sauce, a pea pod, a hamburger bun in an oven, and finally the Big Sister/sonogram photo. I can't wait to see little UB again next week!

Excuses, Excuses

WELL, I took an almost three-week sabbatical here, but for a moderately good reason. All I could think about was pregnancy and it wasn't time to announce it online! I am 12 weeks along with baby number two.

In mid-October, I dreamt I had a new baby boy and named him Urban Banjo.

The first week of November, I had a friend and her two boys over in the morning. I made a couple of jokes about being forgetful, so I must be pregnant. Then I started counting. And thinking about how my breasts had gone up two cup sizes. And how tired I was. And how I had pimples on my forehead. And freaking. Out.

Two more friends and their babies showed up to make Christmas ornaments as the first friend left. I couldn't wait for them to leave so that I could go buy a pregnancy test. DJ was sleeping after a night shift, and hadn't gotten good rest for days, so after dashing to the drugstore and getting a big, fat PREGNANT on the digital test, I didn't want to wake him. I stayed up, panicking, all night long. I re-did our budget. I figured out what we would have to buy (a double stroller and diapers). I realized that as long as this baby did not also have allergies, we would be okay financially.

DJ took the news beautifully for having just woken up and it being a complete surprise. We took a long family walk and saw the sun rise, and later I made an appointment with a new OBGYN. We were going to become a family of four in the new year. Oh, and that dream? Was probably the night the embryo implanted.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Murphy's Laws of Childbirth

In the last few years, there has been a lot of talk about women being allowed to eat and drink during labor. Babycenter and Babble frequently mention it. Homebirthers talk about how nice it is to eat their own food in their own homes while they labor. Yet I was told immediately upon entering the L&D unit that I couldn't have anything PO. "Um... I'm not getting induced for 11 hours?" Didn't matter.

I begged DJ to bring me a snack. He refused. I cited studies that showed that it was safe to eat and drink during labor (I had recently read this article). I went about 20 hours without food or drink until my OB came in to check me. I was manipulative in how I phrased my desires.
"Dr. S, what would you recommend I eat right now?"
"I... what? Nothing. You're not supposed to eat."
"Come on. You know, and I know, that I would do better with a few calories in my system. So if I am going to drink something, what should it be?"
"Uh... iced tea?"
DONE! DJ, get me a Brisk iced tea! He reluctantly got it for me, and allowed only small sips. This was just enough to mentally get me through the rest of labor. However...
About thirty minutes after delivering, I felt a sharp, throbbing pain in the scene of the crime. A nurse came in, widened her eyes, and said "Let me get the doctor." The doctor came in and said "Ehh... I've never seen that before." Shortly afterward, I vomited, straight Brisk iced tea, as I was wheeled to emergency surgery. I was so confident that I would not need emergency surgery, that those precautions would not apply to me, and lo and behold! Since I had opted for an epidural, I did not need general anesthesia, but if I hadn't, I would have been the textbook case for not allowing eating or drinking during labor.
Everything about this experience makes me question my crunchier inclinations regarding childbirth. I love the idea of a home birth, but if I had attempted it with Shubu, I would have died. I was certain it was safe for me to eat and drink, but if I hadn't gotten the epidural (and I nearly didn't), it could have further endangered my life during surgery. With my next baby, I am torn between thinking that lightning can't strike twice, and the idea that whatever can happen, will happen to me. Just something else to think about!