I feel like I’ve aged 5 years from the last week.
We checked My Fair Lady into the hospital Tuesday night and she began the fluids necessary to initiate induction. The induction proper commenced at 6 a.m. Wednesday morning. When no progress had been made by noon, Doc burst the bag of waters (yes, with an ‘s’) and out flowed enough water to render My Fair Lady a tributary.
“Oh wow, we’ve got a gusher!” is not normally something you expect a doctor to say in a cheery tone of voice.
Six hours later, no progress. My Fair Lady had been under Pitocin (which induces labor, or more specifically, labor pains in a big, big way) for 12 hours by that point and only progressed to 2cm. This is what’s known as a bad thing. She of the iron cervix was apparently having nothing to do with delivering our child. But she would warily take the epidural, thank you very much. This may have made her feel significantly better but the baby still wasn’t coming. Nor was it about to, ever.
Then we had our second gusher of the night.
The epidural brings large scale pain relief to your lower half and based on the dosage you may or may not feel your toes for the next few hours. I feel sorry for women going through it because it literally looks like they're being plugged into the Matrix and have sit still and lean forward over their belly for roughly half an hour. All well and fine by itself if you're not pregnant and in labor. If that's the case, then you have to lean over and sit very still while in the throes of massive labor contractions so the joy adds up quickly. Once the drugs started it took about 10 minutes for her pain to subsist.
At one point, My Fair Lady tried to sit up and her elbow came back on the bed and broke one of the plastic vials on the IV line. We saw clear fluid spill (a small amount) onto the bed, so I left to get the nurse. I returned 30 seconds later to find My Fair Lady covered in blood, the baby monitor was going off the chart and she was clutching her arm while forlornly looking at me.
This is exactly the combination of look and circumstance you never, ever want to be in.
The nurse came in right behind me, saw what was going down, and sprang into action. She called in another nurse who in turn brought another doctor with her. The mighty trio sealed the wound, removed the broken IV, and replaced it all within two minutes give or take. Apparently this never happens, as one nurse kept repeating, and my guess is that for some reason the broken IV triggered a blow-back from the vein. But all was cleaned up and My Fair Lady and Pending were declared just fine.
Thirty seconds later Doc walked in from her rounds and asked if anything was going on. It was one of those sitcom moments life throws at you every now and then to break the tension.
Following another six hours of non-progress, a decision was made to schedule a c-section at 6 a.m. Thursday morning so I went home close to 1 a.m. to get some sleep. I’m laying down and not five minutes later the phone rings. I saw it was My Fair Lady. Now, take into account all that happened that day and tell me what you think she might want to tell me.
Good night? Sweet dreams? Oh no.
Apparently the baby’s heart rate had started dropping while they were administering a new batch of Pitocin right after I left and since Pending wasn’t engaging at all then Doc opted to release Pending a few hours in advance of his/her street date.
Fortunately we live literally five minutes from the hospital. I’ve timed it.
I get back just as they've finished prepping My Fair Lady for the surgery, and she's understandably terrified. It's been a day from hell and the capper is highly invasive surgery to remove a large parasite from her insides. I again gave thanks to the Creator for letting me be the cause of this chaos and not the recipient. As they wheeled her out, Doc tossed me some scrubs.
This proved interesting. I threw on the scrubs followed by the hairnet then looked at the blue shoe covers. I was assured they would fit just about anything. I compared them to the Merrill hiking boots I was wearing. If those fit over the shoes I was wearing, then I was a WWII fighter pilot (Ret.) So I opted instead for the white boot covers and when I stood up I looked like part of a hazmat team. Doc's assistant came to get me and after sanitizing up, into the OR we went.
Doc had me sit next to My Fair Lady’s head while the rest of her remained thankfully obscured by a large drape. I comforted her and told her everything was going to be fine. Meanwhile, all I hear is a giant vacuum going strong on the other side of the curtain. Suddenly an urge struck me. It was the urge to stand up and see what was going on. I just had to see it if only for the sheer novelty of...
I promptly stomped that urge into the ground then rolled over it like Kent did to Otto in “A Fish Called Wanda.”
All of a sudden we heard a loud cry. We stared at each other. Then Doc spoke:
“Oh! It’s a boy!”
Pending had officially hit Release Status. We welcomed Max 0.1 into this world on November 20, 2008, at 1:47 a.m. My Fair Lady was confined to quarters until Sunday when we brought him home to Casa de Skim. Thus far he’s doing well, but Sunday night and Monday night screamed and cried to all hours of the night pushing My Fair Lady to the verge of insanity. That’s how I wound up carrying him for an hour before collapsing onto the couch with him on my chest... a position we remained in for the next three hours. Repeat the following night.
Welcome to parenthood.