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The Living Without Series

This is a series of posts that I wrote back in 2006 on living with less stuff. Check them out: liv011Living #2liv031liv04

Coal Creek Farm on Facebook

The Chicken Doctor

April

The Architect

Clay

5 years ago

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Five years ago today I was waiting in a lobby at St. John’s Hospital for my name to be called.  After three natural births that contained zero preservatives,  additives or food coloring and one terrible, awful miscarriage that still haunts me at times, I was carrying around a baby that decided to use my body like LazyBoy recliner.  The attempt to turn him while he was still in my belly was the most painful thing I’d ever experienced and remember, I’d given birth without drugs three times, I thought I’d be able to handle two men pushing on my belly a little bit, but no, I had to ask them to please, please, please stop.

I never found out what gender I was having before my kids were born.  I liked the surprise, but I knew this had to be another boy.  He was huge inside my belly.  Stretched out with his head under my ribs and his butt sitting on my hip bone and his toes tickling my bladder without reprieve.   My doctor decided to give me another week to see if the baby would turn.  I was two weeks from my due date.  My mom came to help take care of the kids thinking I would have the baby any second and we all waited and waited.

One night a couple days after the failed attempt to turn the baby I felt a huge swish in my belly and some relief from the hernia that had erupted from my belly button.  It was such a huge movement I yelled, “Oh!  I think the baby turned!”  The next day I had an appointment with my doctor to check the progress.  I can’t tell you how disappointed I was when he confirmed that, no, the baby had just moved but was still not turned correctly.  That’s when I looked at my doctor and said, “I want it out, now.”  He knew I was miserable.  I couldn’t breath, I couldn’t poop, the energy that I would have used to perform all the amazing tasks I’d done the previous moments before the birth of my other children was being used to walk, stand and go to the bathroom every five minutes.  Did I mention we were trying to sell our house?  We had people walking through it every other day and I had to keep the house in tip top shape while being constipated and not breathing.  I was done, I was toast, I was desperate to get that baby O U T.

I found myself begging for a c-section.  Just do it, please, I neeeeed it out.  My doctor agreed and he scheduled the surgery for early Monday morning which was two days away and an eternity for me.

I’d never had an epidural. I must say I found it terrifying.  A huge needle going into my back, no thanks.  I cried just because I was so scared.  Clay thought it must have hurt, but I was just so nervous that I didn’t know what else to do since I couldn’t run away or claw at the anesthesiologist who was only there to make me more comfortable. Seriously I didn’t like him the second I saw him and heard the words, “A little pressure.”  A little pressure my big fat arse and believe me it was big…I have proof.

The surgery went as expected.  The doctor pulled out a giant baby boy and like all my other births he was surprised by the size of the baby and glad I talked him into not waiting because it was obvious that baby wasn’t going to turn.  Now, why would anybody be surprised that Clay and I would have big babies?  I’ve never understood this.  We are huge people.  Do you really think a woman that is six feet tall  would have a tiny baby?  I don’t think so. Weird doctors, weird nurses, weird tiny thinking people.

So, we had another boy.  We cried, we laughed.  The doctor hooked up the epidural pump and  I was wheeled into a big room with a lot of other patients to recover.  I remember the curtains were very close to the bed, but I don’t really remember how I got there.  The nurse came to check on me, I told her that I was starting to have cramps and she nodded her head.  It’s normal, right?  After you give birth you have those awful cramps.  I’d felt it all before, nothing new.  Clay came in and showed me pictures of Levi and then I was wheeled to my room.  Long narrow halls filled with so many lights, so many lights that burned my eyes and the cramps, oh the cramps, I hoped they would give me something for the cramps.   The lights, they were so bright and the incision it burned.

The nurses asked me to just roll onto the bed and not worry about all the tubes they would move them with me.  But, what about my incision, it’s all going to fall out.  I can’t do this, I don’t want to roll, no, it hurts, it will all come out if I roll.  They coaxed and assured.  I shook and cried.  They patted me on the shoulder, tucked me in and left me in my tiny room.  Clay brought in Levi.  I nursed him and then begged for Clay to take him.  I never wanted my babies in the nursery at the hospital, I always wanted them right there by me and then I wanted to get home as quickly as possible.  But, this time I couldn’t hold the baby, my arm was numb and the burning pain from the incision was too much.  I cried and moaned.  A nurse came in to check me, she asked on a scale of 1-10 what was my pain?  Well, 10 would probably mean I was a big sissy and near death.  I was still awake and able to breath and every other woman I had ever talked to said that having an epidural was the most wonderful thing that ever happened to them, so I said, ” Five, maybe six.”  and then I went back to weeping and cringing and moaning.  The nurse looked at the epideral pump and left.

I looked at Clay who had not left my side since we entered the room, “Honey?  I don’t know how much longer I can take this.”  He didn’t know what to do, how to make it better, they were giving me drugs, I should be fine.  “Do you want to hold the baby?”  I looked at that sweet little boy, so perfect, so beautiful.  “No, I can’t.”

Another nurse came in to tell me how to take care of my baby.  She was a big bossy woman.  She told me all about pacifiers and how to use them.  I wanted to shove a pacifier up her nose, but I was in too much pain so I just nodded my head.  Does she not know I have three other children?  Idiot.

Finally, an angel entered my room.  My new nurse that just started her shift.  She looked at me and introduced herself.  “You don’t look like a c-section mommy.  Are you in pain?  You shouldn’t be in any pain.  I’m calling the anesthesiologist.”

The pump wasn’t working.  I had been without any pain meds from the moment they had hooked up the pump after surgery.  Good times, fun stuff.  We got some gift certificates for our trouble to use in the gift shop.  Good thing I’m a forgiving person.

When my kids came up to visit the big bossy nurse came in to check on the baby.  She thought this was my first delivery because I’d never had a c-section before.  She apologized for telling me how to take care of my baby and asked why I hadn’t told her that it wasn’t my first.  It’s was too long of a story and I was too tired, I told her it was no big deal and thanks for the help.

The rest of the story is that I had a terrible reaction to the epidural and couldn’t walk for a few days.  A neurologist was called in and I drug my foot around for  awhile.  Clay didn’t think I’d ever walk again and was working out the details in his head how he would care for me the rest of my life.  He didn’t tell me this until much later.

My mom had to go back home the day I got home with the baby.  I was so glad to be homeschooling my two older children so they could help carry the baby while I recovered. Church friends brought meals and cleaned my house.  It was a strange, but wonderful time.

Eight weeks after Levi was born we moved to a new house in Missouri.  I did all the packing by myself and took as many loads in my van that was possible with the children helping me lift boxes and the baby.  It was crazy.  I would have lost my mind if I wouldn’t have had such a wonderful husband, three sweet children willing to help and the most beautiful baby that I’d ever seen snuggling with me to calm my nerves and ease my pain.

I remember looking at him one night while he was screaming bloody murder and thinking, I wonder what you will be like in five years?  Where will we be?  What will you be doing?  What will you sound like, look like, act like?

Today I’m thinking those same thoughts.  What will he be like when he’s ten?  What will he look like?

I’m glad we got through those first few moments of his life.  I don’t know what we would do without him.  And I don’t think epidurals are all they’re cracked up to be, I’ll take natural child birth any day, thank you very much.

Happy Birthday Levi, I love you.  You’ve turned my world upside down….thanks.

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