Tuesday, June 05, 2012

In which I have the power to multiply the loaves and doctors talk about cars. In other words: Jordan's birth story

I don't think I ever told you Jordan's birth story.

It stands in stark contrast to India's, and I figure I might as well write it down before I forget it entirely. Although truthfully, I've had to ask Nick about Jordan's birth, because I was stuck behind a sheet and also rather drugged up.

I mean, my face was stuck behind a sheet. They had the rest of me. Probably goes without saying.

I'd gone in to be induced on a Tuesday night, and then Wednesday they tried to manually open my cervix and it wouldn't budge and also caused me to practically fling myself through the roof with pain.  So they they gave me an epidural and tried again and nothing doing.

So they said: "You're going to wind up with a C-section. You can decide to have one now, or you can wait until your baby goes into distress."

In retrospect I think, oh fuck you very much for the manipulation. But at the time, it only seemed reasonable to not wait until potential harm came to the baby.

Anyway, the bitchy OB on duty that day was having an allergic reaction, and so my OB came to fill in for the surgery.

(On a side bar: I told my now-ex-OB how awful his colleague was, and he said that actually she was about to have a baby herself. I was all, "How nice for her." And only because of Karma, which I hope exists but don't actually much believe in anymore, did I not wish her a C-section.)

Anyway. Back to the Sibley operating room, August 19, 2009.

I don't know if they added more drugs for the procedure or not. I do know that I was awake, but barely present.

I also don't know if they always spread your arms straight out from your sides for surgery? Maybe so there's easy access to your sides? Or it's easier to manage the IV?

Regardless, they had me on the table with my arms out at my sides, completely numb from the chest down, unable to see anything that was going on. And the men - the doctors were all men - started talking about cars. Seriously. Cars!

I recall being puzzled but not bothered, because it was so surreal. And also I was having my own personal mental rave party right there on the operating table.

I'd been so upset all day, but at that point, I was not much bothered by anything. 

So there I was, looking up at bright lights, arms out, face behind a white sheet, listening to car chit-chat. I remember turning my head from one arm to the other. I felt very floaty.

I lay there thinking, "Wow. I. Am. Jesus."

And then there was a loud wail, because Jordan cried as soon as his head was out in the world. And then they got the rest of him out, which I knew because Nick said, "He's out. And he's perfect."

They whisked him across the room to do all the drops and cleanup and whatever.

I smelled burning and wondered if I was on fire, so I asked Nick. Who said they were cauterizing the incision.

And then they showed me my baby, all wrapped up in a hospital blanket.

I was no longer Jesus at that point, in case you're wondering.

And then, as they wrapped up, no fewer than three people said to me, "Look at the size of that head! You are so happy he didn't just come out of your vagina."


  1. Oh, Karma exists. Trust me on this. Mwahahahahahahahahaha....

    And that's some pretty powerful guilt/manipulation. I'm something of an expert, and that guilt goes to eleven. Sheesh.

    1. Mwahahahahaha...is somehow reassuring. Thank you!

      And yes, it is. I had a Catholic father, so have experienced my share, and theirs was well done, wasn't it?

  2. I had some guilt/manipulation thrown into the mix when I got my c-section, but nothing like that. Wow.

    (Although in the end, based on how the kid was positioned, it was highly unlikely he would have come out on his own, so I don't resent the section, just the OB who did it for me.)

    1. At the time, we were just like, of course we don't want any harm to come to our baby! If a C-section is inevitable, of course we will opt for sooner rather than later.

      And then as I learned more and got more aware I was all, you fuckers. I don't dwell on it, but I do have residual hostility towards the OB profession.

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  4. What I meant to say was... definitely a different story than India's. Wow!

    1. Very different, huh? I'm so glad that my second one was so good! Now that I think about it, I feel lucky that it wasn't the reverse - that would've been much harder.

  5. Oh my god, the OR is such a strange, surreal place, isn't it? I don't remember a lot, but I do remember wondering why on earth my arms had to be jesus-style too. Being strapped down like that was really disconcerting. And I remember I couldn't stop shaking. I asked someone -- the anesthesiologist? -- if I could stop shaking now, and he said no, not yet. And I remember lying there thinking how chaotic and crowded the room was. So much talking! And I have no recollection of what all they were talking about. No idea. It very well may have been cars. At least your guys weren't talking about lunch.

    Thanks for sharing this story. It makes your VBAC story all the more wonderful, miraculous, beautiful, astounding, and other superlatives.

    1. Yes! Totally surreal! I don't remember shaking...I wonder if I was? I remember the post-drug itching. And I suppose the room was crowded - there were a ton of people in there. But I felt very alone behind my sheet.

      Thanks for appreciating the story!

  6. I guarantee the Karma bus will get that doc eventually!

    If it makes you feel any better, while I was laboring my nurse midwife and my hubby were talking about motorcycles. I said "Hello? I'm having baby over here" and my nuse midwife looks at me and says "Not right THIS SECOND you're not!" For the record, I LOVE her, so I just laughed.

    She redeemed herself after I had Jess. As she was sewing up the episiotomy, my husband said the man thing. "Can you throw and extra stitch in there for me?" She never even looked up as she replied "Whatever you need, small fry." I actually applauded her.

    1. HAHAHAHAHAHA! That's funny. Good for you, and good for her! So funny!

  7. Shawn was wearing a Gibson Guitars t-shirt when I had Grady. At one point my doctor starting talking to him about music and I was fucking enraged. I can laugh about it now but at the time I was so mad.

    1. I wonder if I know anyone who got through birth without being enraged about something. One of my friends tried to kick her OB while in labor. I don't remember why, but I will always remember that she did.

  8. I (never having had a baby myself) watch way too much of birth tv shows and get so angry when the doctor says, "Okay, we're going to give you pitocin now" or "we gonna go ahead and do a c-section now" or "we're going to go ahead and break your water now." They so rarely discuss it. I have to tell myself there was an off-camera conversation in which the mother was fully informed of her options and made her own decision just to keep myself sane.


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