If you are looking for the ABCs of Fun Monday -- sorry. I had a different story to tell today ...
I mentioned earlier that all of my children had unique and creative beginnings, but for the most part, their entry into the world was pretty ordinary.
Drummer Man is adopted, but -- other than the fact that I wasn't there at the birth of the person who bestowed the title of mommy upon me -- his arrival was nothing unusual.
Z-man -- scheduled c-section.
Roo-girl -- the same.
J-bear -- she's my stepdaughter, so I didn't have anything to do with that.
Hmmmm, she said. Who is missing in this list?
As befitting his station, it's the Drama King, of course!
For purposes of this story, I am skipping over the drama (naturally) that led to his conception, which included a trip to Israel and a fervent wish scribbled on a piece of paper and lodged in the Western Wall.
Anyway, the presence of an adopted child made my pregnancy a little different than usual first-timers. I was experiencing all the symptoms for the first time, yet I was still chasing after a toddler we had nicknamed Mr. Destructo (for obvious reasons).
Trust me, I'm not complaining. It just makes things a little creative for a first-timer.
Anyway, his birth story. Right.
Drama King's due date was Nov. 10, 1983. And in one of the only predictable moves he has ever made, he began to make his presence known in the afternoon hours of Nov. 9.
Contractions were ... not so bad. I drove around with them (still needed a few things at the grocery story, etc.), I came home, we went out to dinner (mistake!), we came home.
I put Drummer Toddler to bed.
Where he didn't like to stay.
We had transitioned him to a big-boy bed, but he had refused to stay in it, choosing instead to take his 2 1/2-year-old self on walks down the hall. In a fit of holy-crap-now-what-do-I-do, I had called a "warm line" to ask for some parenting advice.
"He's concerned that you won't be there. Lie on his floor till he goes to sleep, then sneak out. As he becomes accustomed to this, gradually transition yourself a little further and further away until you work your way out of his room entirely."
Nervous Nellie mom, with impending second child. I had been lying on his floor for days now, leaving me AGAIN on the floor at 8 p.m. on Nov. 9, holding Drama Toddler's hand (at his insistence), timing my contractions.
Eventually, sanity prevailed. "Drummer," I said. "Mommy has to go back to her room. YOU STAY HERE."
Funny. He did just that. Kids.
Anyway, we took a midnight'ish run to the hospital, just for yucks, only to be told that I was barely dilated and would be "more comfortable" laboring at home (in other words: GO AWAY).
By the time I got home, though, I was in full-blown labor. Piggy-back contractions rolled in one after another, and I was fuh-reaking out.
Lamaze? Um, sure.
Mr. Now-Ex-Husband drove me once again through a winding canyon road in rush-hour traffic to my doctor's office. I pressed my "focal point" (a photo of Drummer Toddler) to my nose, trying to breathe through pain I had never imagined.
The doctor confirmed that, why yes, I was in active labor, and they put me in a wheelchair to wheel me to labor and delivery.
I was too busy breathing to notice the nurse and Mr. Ex collapsing in hysterical laughter as they rolled me into the elevator and he reached for the button -- knocking off the toupee of the guy standing next to me.
I miss all the good stuff!
This story gets longer by the second, doesn't it? I can cut to a bit of the chase here, though.
Drugs. They gave me blessed drugs.
Never let anyone tell you different: The epidural is your friend.
The rest of labor was a piece of cake. Then it became time to push.
Please note -- at this point it was about 3 p.m. on Nov. 10. I had been in some kind of labor since about 3 the previous afternoon.
Pushing was no picnic. What they don't tell you in Lamaze class is THEY LET THE EPIDURAL WEAR OFF to push.
So I pushed.
And I pushed.
And I pushed.
And every time I pushed, the Drama King would move down through my cervix. And every time the pushing contraction stopped, he would slide back up.
Someone had the bright idea to pull the edges of my cervix back by hand.
Not just one hand, mind you. I had more hands up my hoo-hoo than I thought it was capable of handling.
And still I pushed ... and DK lowered himself ... and I relaxed ... and he slid back. For an hour and a half.
"Let's talk about a c-section," my doctor said.
"NO," exclaimed the labor nurse, who I instantly despised. "You haven't given her a chance. Let her go another hour ..."
"Well," says my kindly doc. "What do you think, Janet? Do you want to push for another hour?"
"If I push for another hour, will I have a c-section anyway?" I asked.
"Probably," she said.
"THEN DO THE C-SECTION!!!"
"Ok," she said. "But I want to make sure you are good with having a c-section instead of a natural childbirth."
"Let me ask you something," I said (and I remember the words I spoke as clearly as if they were yesterday). "Will I have a baby when you're done here?"
"Yes," she answered.
"I don't care HOW it gets out -- just get it out already!!"
Born: 5:23 p.m. Nov. 10, 1983
Weight: 9 pounds, 2 1/2 ounces
Length: 21 inches
Head circumpherence: I don't know, but there was no question that he wasn't getting out the way he got in.
This post is part of the Birth Story Carnival, thought up by Lotus, the Sarcastic Mom.