(What happened on Friday May 13, 2005)
DotThoughts wakes up. She feels a slight tightness in her belly. She can’t fall back asleep. After about 10 minutes, it comes again. A slight squeeze of belly muscles. Has it started? It’s 3:45 a.m. She decides to wait and watch before waking up everybody. She notes the time. 8 minutes later, again. Slightly stronger. She counts. Seven minutes this time. She calls out to her mom. Loudly. Her mother rushes in. “The contractions have started.” DotThoughts tell her. They time. Its seven minutes. DotThoughts is excited. Not scared as she thought she would be. But very, very excited. BigGeek is fast asleep, but stirs with the commotion. “What happened? Are you OK?” he asks sleepily. “The contractions have started.” “How do you know?” he asks. “Because we are timing them. Seven minutes apart.” He sits up straight. A little amazed, a little confused. “Let’s pack my hospital bag. You have to still assemble the crib and the swing. We haven’t picked out a name. Now where did I keep that list of names? And you still have to put in the car seat.” DotThoughts is wide awake and planning and doling out instructions. She pulls down a gym tote, puts in her clothes. The grandmother-to-be selects soft clothes for the soon to be arriving grandson. The yellow and white shawl knitted by her, a small sweater sent by DotThoughts’ grand mother, tiny shirts sent by the aunt, a satin blanket sent by her mother-in-law. Everything is packed and ready.
The contractions are coming at 5 minute intervals. DotThoughts is very, very hungry. She knows she won’t get anything to eat once she gets into the hospital. She stuffs her face with a blueberry muffin and drinks a cup of coffee. The contractions have started to slow down her activity level. She has to pause and stop when her stomach squeezes. She calls Dr.V and tells her that labor has commenced, gives her BigGeek’s cell number since she doesn’t plan to carry hers. After a small chat and planning to drive to the hospital when contractions are 1 minute apart, she hangs up. The contractions are stronger now. She and BigGeek walk on the deck enjoying the beautiful sunny Saturday, waiting in breathless anticipation for their son to arrive.
The list of names is no where to be found. BigGeek prints another copy from an old email and they debate on the names. They have been at name logger heads for a while.
Dr.V calls to check on DotThoughts’ status. At 4 minutes now and stronger. She asks DotThoughs if the pain is bad. “No, not really.” replies DotThoughts swinging gently on the deck swing with her mother. “I am just impatient. Can’t wait for the baby.” She confesses.
At 4 minutes. Sometimes at 3 minutes. Sometimes at 2.5 minutes. Stronger.
DotThoughts is bored. How long will this continue. She asks her mother. “Don’t complain.” She tells DotThoughts. “Women can be in labor for three days. You are already at 3 minutes and progressing.” DotThoughts nods. “And remember what I said. No screaming even if you are in pain. It’s not that bad. And the nurses talk when you scream. So no screaming. OK?” DotThought nods again.
BigGeek calls Dr.V and tells them they are headed to the hospital. The contractions are 2 minutes apart, some are 1.5 minutes apart. He suddenly remembers their lunch date with M & R, their close friends who just had their baby. He calls them. “Hey R we won’t be coming to lunch.” “Whhhyyyyy” comes a piqued voice from the other end. “Because we are headed to the hospital.” BigGeek is grinning. “Oooooh. Let us know if you need anything.” Comes the excited voice at the other end. “We will keep you updated.” BigGeek hangs up.
They arrive at the hospital. BigGeek escorts DotThoughts and her mother to the maternity ward. Despite pre-registration, they need more paperwork, so BigGeek grabs DotThoughts’ wallet and goes to the other wing to finish it. The hospital is not so busy. They ask her if she wants a room with a Jacuzzi. She shakes her head. She plans to take an epidural anyways.
The nurse comes to check in on DotThoughts and says there is no progress. “But the contractions are 1 to 1.5 minutes apart.” DotThoughts is puzzled. The nurse goes to call Dr.V.
Dr.V comes in and examines DotThoughts. “You are fully dilated.” She announces. The nurse is summoned and is given a good talking to about the mistake she made. Dr.V tells DotThoughts that she can get an epidural if she wants. DotThoughts gets up from the bed and goes to the rocking chair and rocks herself gently. She tells her mom and BigGeek to eat lunch and not in her presence please. She is very hungry, carving real food and not just ice chips.
BigGeek and DotThoughts’ mom are out getting lunch. A nurse comes in asks DotThoughts if she want an epidural. DotThoughts shakes her head. Not yet.
BigGeek and DotThoughts’ mother get back from lunch. The nurse comes in to examine DotThoughts who is still rocking herself on the rocking chair. The contractions are stronger now and she thinks they are about 30 secs apart now. BigGeek asks if DotThoughts wants an epidural. She hems and haws, asks her mother how bad the actual delivery is and in the end decides to get one.
Epidural. DotThoughts sleeps. BigGeek sleeps. DotThoughts’ mom sleeps.
Nurse comes in to check. Doing nicely. Dr. V arrives to check in. She tells DotThoughts that she needs to do an emergency C-section at 5:00 or so and someone else might have to deliver DotThoughts’ baby. It is unlikely that DotThoughts will deliver by 5:00pm. There is a good chance she will, but there is a good chance she won’t. DotThoughts wants Dr.V to deliver the baby. She likes Dr.V and trusts her. She tells so to Dr.V. “I cannot postpone the other c-section. The baby there is in distress. We are trying for things to progress naturally there and I have given her two hours, so I have to be out of here by 5:00. How do you feel about a small oxytocin drip to speed things along?” asks Dr.V. DotThoughts is absolutely fine with it. The oxytocin is put in. We all drift back to sleep in the cool, dark room.
Nurse comes in to check. Everything looks good. Textbook.
Nurse comes in to check. She turns on the light and announces. “Come on mommy, its time. Come on Daddy, come on grandma, baby is going to be here soon. DotThoughts looks with fascination as two more nurses come in and set up a small cart with necessary implements. Another small cart with a steel tray and a warming light on top of it. They ask her if she wants a mirror. DotThoughts shakes her head. No thankyouverymuch. Dr V. arrives and the final phase begins.
DotThoughts is joking away telling them this is easy and she totally does not need 6 weeks to recover and she could be at work on Monday. They all laugh and the nurse tells DotThoughts to concentrate on getting the baby out first.
DotThoughts finally get the hang of it. It’s an a-ha moment for her. The baby will be out in 15 minutes she tells her doctor and the nurses with confidence. Dr.V laughs and tells DotThoughts that she has managed to deliver a lot of hair so far.
The baby has a lot of hair. Wow. That’s what everybody is talking about. DotThoughts’ mother who has been holding her hand peeks over to see the progress. BigGeek who is by DotThoughts’ head also walk around to see the progress. They are both totally awed.
DotThoughts and BigGeek’s son gets his first shampoo when Dr.V slathers his crown with tear free baby shampoo.
Head is out. The cord is wrapped around the neck. Dr.V expertly untangles it and pulls out Chip. He lets out a deep, loud, throaty cry. They cut the cord, and put the shivering little newborn on DotThoughts’ bare bosom. DotThoughts has become a mother. BigGeek has become a father. DotThoughts’ mother has become a grandmother and half the way across the globe another grandmother, two grand fathers, one great grandfather, two great grand mothers, two uncles and an aunt are born as they sleep in the still of the night.
Happy Birthday Dearest Chip. May you be showered with health, happiness, wisdom as you step into your fourth year.
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
(What happened on Friday May 13, 2005)