maarmie's musings

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Introducing Elliot Grace Smith

I tried

Bureaucrat: Registration office

maarmie: Hi. I gave birth three weeks ago on Monday. My husband and I are having a hard time coming up with a name for our baby, and I was wondering if you give any extensions on that three-week time limit.

B: It depends. How long do you think you'll need to come up with a name.

m: Um. I really don't know.

B: Well, we can offer an extension but only a couple of days. It would have to be a good reason to give an extension.

m: Isn't not having a name a good reason?

B: No. Not really.

m: Oh. OK. Thanks.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Feb. 8, 10 p.m.

Thought I would have a day off but didn't. Had a tablet at about 9:45 a.m. Kept me in serious contractions all day that dilated me 2 cm and caused fluid to leak. Waters still not broken. Registrar did a sweep of the membranes but I freaked out, so she didn't do everything she had wanted to. Very painful. I'm sitting on my bed in the six-bed room, curtains pulled. Need privacy.

Scott Walker documentary on TV. Never heard of him, but he seems like a dark, tortured, twisted individual who takes himself way too seriously while having lots of fun. Talk about an outlet for your demons.

Hope that contractions continue even though they hurt. They're going to hook me up to oxytocin tomorrow and most likely break my waters.

Feb. 7, 4 p.m.

Thought I was in labor at 10:30 p.m. last night. Contractions off the Richter Scale - then nothing. Gave me inducement this morning. Stronger contractions today than yesterday, but cervix still posterior and closed. I hate internal examinations and contractions and walking the halls of this dingy hospital to keep upright and moving. When will it end? All around me, women are having their babies. My body is cooperating only to the extent that I don't get a second inducement on any given day. I am 39 weeks plus 3 days and in the owie zone.

Feb. 6, 6 a.m.

Midwife came in at 6 a.m. doing more temperatures, blood pressure, fetal heart monitoring then did internal examination before putting the (inducing) tablet in. Breakfast of Rice Krispies and dry wheat roll. C* having breakfast now. Registrar bugging me about medical cards and passport/visa. Hm. Twinges in uterus like period cramps. "That's something, anyway," says midwife.

1:15 p.m.

Not giving me a second dose of the hormone. Contractions small but pretty regular with pain in back. See how it progresses. Hopefully, I'm underway.

Feb. 5, 9:45 p.m.

Bed 22 at Raigmore Hospital in Ward 10. It's a full house. C* just left 10 minutes ago. I'm scared. It's hot. Midwife has done fetal monitor and taken urine and blood pressure. Just changed channel from whale dissection on TV. Couldn't stand watching them pull out intestines. C* beat me at three games of backgammon before he left. Now I'm trying to entertain myself. I'll eat and watch TV.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Sunday, February 17, 2008

On the sixth day, she brought forth new life

The 12 days I just spent in the hospital had its ups and downs. The biggest "up" was that I got to go home with her:

But, before I could do that, I had to pay the price: five days of medically-generated on-and-off contractions, a 12-hour labor that was painful beyond belief and almost ended in a caesarian section and an incredible amount of sleep deprivation both before and, especially, after, the birth.

Miss no-name-as-of-yet baby had a rough and fitful first night at home last night. I'm assuming her tantrums were due to the strange surroundings she's found herself in as of late. After all, she was warm and cozy in my womb her entire life but was a week ago cruelly squeezed into this harsh world, bound by clothing, made to feel hunger and feed on her own, thrust into an incubator blindfolded under blue lights

and has now been brought into the entirely alien environment that is our home. I'm hoping her mood will level off with a bit of consistency.

I'll write more about the days leading up to the birth and the birth itself in future posts. I'm tired just now, though, and will leave you tonight with this photo I call "Love Feeding Love":

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Ooh baby, baby

I check into the hospital tonight, and labor will be induced around 6 a.m. tomorrow. I am terrified on so many levels. What will the pain be like? What if something goes wrong? What if something bad happens to the baby? To me? What if I need an emergency C-section?

Beyond all the labor stuff, there's also the fear surrounding the baby itself. Will I be a good mother? Will I enjoy being a mother? Or will I quickly come to realize that I never should have had a child? That this is all some horrible mistake?

C* and I talked about all these things last night, me in tears for hours. All in all, what I was most sad about last night is that C* and I never got to have a traditional relationship. We haven't really had any significant time alone together. We haven't been able to travel, to go out and have fun. Overall, our relationship has been filled with really stressful situations that would tax even veteran couples. I'm constantly amazed that we're still together at all.

But together we are. And, soon, we will be three.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Too cute

The Boy: Are you positive the baby is a girl?

maarmie: No.

The Boy: So it could still be a boy?

maarmie: Yes.

The Boy: Well, what if the baby is born bald? Then how will you know if it's a boy or a girl?

maarmie: You don't tell if it's a boy or a girl by how much hair it has.

The Boy: How do you tell?

C*: What's the difference between boys and girls?

The Boy: Girls have long hair?