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Grizzly Mama

There's a Grizzly who has escaped the City of Brotherly Love..(and she's going back to homeschooling!!)

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Location: Out of Philly, Pennsylvania, United States

"All who have meditated on the art of governing mankind have been convinced that the fate of empires depends on the education of youth." Aristotle - Greek Philosopher.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Another Baby's Birthday.

She's not a baby anymore, though. The big '09'. She's perfect. She's beautiful. She deserves all the best life has to offer. I thought I'd regale you with her birth story.

Lots of problems with this pregnancy too. Gestational Diabetes but controlled easily with diet. The problems didn't crop up until the end. Pre-term labor at 32 weeks which was stopped with some asthma medication. As soon as I was taken off of the medication at 36 weeks - PROM. Premature Rupture of the Membrane. So - my water broke but no labor started. Blood pressure starting to look worrisome. Into the hospital they sent me. I felt safe and thought, 'Thank goodness I'm in the hospital.' I had been seeing midwives and was determined to have a natural childbirth at a hospital that had Labor, Delivery, Recovery and Postpartum rooms - everything all in one cosily decorated room. Plus they had jacuzzis used for pain control while in labor. My membranes ruptured before we could finish our classes - so we did the best we could when the time came.

The next day still no labor so Pitocin was started. I was hooked up and a monitor put on and confined to the bed. No jacuzzi. :-( NO JACUZZI! *sob*

After 12 hours and no progress it was off the pitocin and onto something that would knock me out for the night - then back on the pitocin in the a.m. Nothing. So they ruptured the membrane again after about 4 hours - and BAM! Hard labor. Fully dilated from almost nothing in about 4 more hours. I was good for about 1 of those hours. Well - not good but hanging in there. Well - not really hanging in there but - well - I didn't do well at all. You just cannot believe that frigging pain! It consumes you! I was having these horrifying labor pains with about 10 seconds between each one! I couldn't catch a break. After that hour I was begging for something and said the 'F' word to my sweet and most favorite midwife. She was so good to me though and then the angel came from anesthesia and took all that nasty pain away with the beautiful epidural.

After - oh - what are we up to? 3 or so hours - they checked me and got the shock of their life to realize that I was ready to push. They had estimated about a 6 1/2 lb. baby. Epidural off and commence pushing. For FOUR HOURS I pushed and pushed. The epidural was worn off - my baby was stuck. Reluctantly the OB was called and she grabbed that baby's head and twisted and turned and I screamed at the top of my lungs. Couldn't get her out. Emergency C-Section time.

Epidural back on and into the O.R. we traipse. Unbeknownst to me the OB had informed my husband that our baby would have a head shaped like a banana. Swear to God. A jovial atmosphere in the O.R. and then the doc couldn't get her out of my belly - her head was stuck in my pelvis. Poor baby. The midwife had to push up on her head from my nether regions - I heard a huge POP and then screaming! They held her up and she looked right into my eyes with those beautiful eyes of hers. Her little legs, arms, fingers and toes fully extended and screaming at me.

Her head was just as round as can be. She was perfect! Five and one half pounds. 19 inches long. Long and skinny and she is STILL long and skinny.

It was after the birth that the REAL problems cropped up. Birthing is still a dangerous thing to many women and it's hard on our bodies in many ways. We both would have been dead 100 years ago. Thank God we are alive and healthy.

I noticed that even with all of the IV fluids they kept giving me I wasn't going potty. My BP was up. I was huge. HUGE! I've never seen my legs look SO FAT AND HUGE! The doc came in and told me I had to leave. She was born at 11:30 p.m. and that counted as one night. I spent one more night and then was out of there. I told him I felt awful and wasn't pee-ing! He basically told me tough shit. The night nurse was very concerned and arranged for a home visit the next morning. That night at home was horrible. My heart was beating real slow and felt like it was flopping around in my chest. I was scared. In the early a.m. I awoke with a splitting headache that was only relieved by standing up. The visiting nurse called and, when she heard what was happening, told me to go to the hospital immediately. My husband took us and I was admitted. Blood pressure 195/125. Kidneys shut down. The skin on the top of my feet was splitting and bleeding.

I ended up on magnesium sulfate in the hospital for 5 more days. They were letting me drink fluids but no food. They allowed the baby to stay with me and I nursed her and took care of her through my mag. fog. My kidneys kicked in. Once that happened the nurse that was sitting in my room with me 24/7 was released and this sweet male nurse in training was charged with emptying my catheter bag and was amazed at how much fluid was coming out of me. He would sit with me and hold the baby for hours and comment how perfect she was. He loved to hold her. He was a sweetheart. When I recovered my senses I insisted that the doctor who released me after the birth was never to touch me, my file or my baby. They would have to get another doctor to deal with me. They did and he was a nice guy.

God bless you my big birthday girl! Every minute was worth it. I'm so glad we came through healthy and happy!


Blogger Alison said...

Oh my lord ..well HAPPY BIRTHDAY to your baby!!WHAT a story. How very very brave. I am terrified at the prospect of having a baby. Me and husband will need to get round to it very soon..!! Ive had a look at our local hospital's birthing centre (when my mate had her baby). ive seen the most eyeballing poppng 'things' they use to ease the pain of child birth..from jacuzzis to birthing 'balls' to bean bags and swings!!? Mesmerising. I am scared WITLESS! Ill be on the drugs, yes ma'am.

A very happy birthday again to your little girl. 9 is a lovely age.

11 November, 2005 11:14  
Blogger MonicaR said...

Alison - don't be afraid! My birthing stories are harrowing but I'm positive that most women have no problems at all.

Had my labor come on naturally at the proper time I think I could have handled it. Pitocin causes unusually strong contractions and they come on way too fast. I had no time and my baby wasn't positioned properly - it was too early.

We prepared for a natural labor and didn't prepare ourselves for problems. Plan the kind of labor you want BUT! understand that it may not go that way.

Thank goodness for modern medicine. Most problems that crop up will be dealt with quickly and aggressively to save the mother and the baby. AND yes thank goodness for the drugs! You don't have to be a hero! LOL!

11 November, 2005 14:25  
Blogger tshsmom said...

Alison, labor usually feels like severe menstrual cramps. You'll handle it just fine. Remember: Monica had numerous problems and still fondly remembers the experience!

11 November, 2005 17:18  
Blogger alix said...

first things first: HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!
wow, a big NINE!

secondly, alison, fret not. i was the biggest pain wussy you'd ever meet, but i managed a natural birth with a 9 lb 9 oz baby, born sideways and after a cervical lip. (you'll learn ALL that fun stuff!) i did it, and you can, too!

that said, grizzly mama is ABSOLUTELY on the money when it comes to the technology being there when it's needed. just don't sell yourself short, we were built for it. but hell and high water wouldn't have been able to keep me away from the medicines and techniques if my lil bit needed it.

grizzly mama, you amaze me.

11 November, 2005 18:38  
Blogger Abe said...

What a story, indeed. Mrs. Abe had some similar problems with "Tycho" back in '87. I never tell those stories to expectant parents, especially not first time parents.

Mrs. Abe had high BP and swelling for weeks before the birth. One night when I came home from work, we realized the normally highly active baby was not moving at all. Off to the hospital, where we were greatly relieved to hear a heartbeat on the fetal monitor. The next day with high BP and "pre-eclampsia" (sp?) they started magnesium sulfate and attempted to induce. No sign of labor pains, but fetal monitor showed contractions and bad effects on the baby when they happened.

So, quickly stopped the petocin, and off to C-section-land. Tycho (9 lb, 12 oz) had meconium (sp?) and poor Apgar scores (later he got 35 on his ACT, so apparently one can survive low Apgar, lol). Both were a bit dopey from the magnesium sulfate, which Mrs. A had to continue for another 24 h. On the bright side, Tycho was regularly sleeping for 6 hr straight when he came home from the hospital.

Now "Viper" was a vaginal delivery (3 yrs later) and only slightly smaller. Mrs. A is not large (ca. 5'4'') and decided afterwards that on the whole she prefers C-sections.

On the plus side, they're both great kids, and we're thrilled to have them.

11 November, 2005 19:43  
Blogger The Sparky said...

Blimey you went through it didn’t you Monica. It brought memories back, memories of our first-born, wife had a long labour, about 13 hours! She also had Lots of swear words for the hospital staff (also my hands reduced two gloves sizes down because she squeezed so much) but they understood! They thought I was a comedian and laughed, I said did have time to go to the toilet before the birth. Little did I know that I could have gone a hundred times. Yes, your right very dangerous giving birth in the past, but if we men had to give birth it would be the end of the Human Race. LOL

I should imagine it’s like passing a Melon, Oh no the thought of it LOL
But Many Many happy returns to your little one.

11 November, 2005 20:16  
Blogger MonicaR said...

Tshsmom and Alix - you are both right. Listen - I know mothers who pop out 10 lb babies with no problem. I've spoken with many women who were surprised to find that the pains weren't as bad as they thought. Grizzly Mama just doesn't do the pregnancy/childbirth thing very well. LOL! I was always the girl in my family who they said was shaped for making babies -- little did they know I wouldn't even be able to birth a 5 pounder. *sniff* Well - thanks to modern medicine and in SPITE of a crappy doctor we are here and well. (God bless ya Alix...dang - it sounds painful!)

Abe - it can be frightening can't it? I'm so glad Tycho was fine and what a big boy! I thought I preferred the C-section, too until the little air embolism thing happened with the 2nd baby. Lesson learned: make sure the anesthesiologist is NOT in training at a university hospital!! Since then I've learned that the anesthesiologist is the ONE person that can screw you up big time in surgery. One nice thing about the C was it was over in, like, 20 minutes. The 2 weeks following are pretty crappy though.

Sparky - I'm sure my husband has some stories to tell about his experiences with the births! He actually imitates a little walk I was doing in the throes of a bad contraction - and it IS pretty funny! He lost a few buttons off of his shirt from my grasping and pleading for help.

11 November, 2005 22:58  
Blogger Steve Donohue said...

Happy birthday little grizzly!

As a man, watching child-birth hurts me horribly. I imagine the adrenaline pushes you through, though; how many times can a person produce something like another huma being?

11 November, 2005 23:18  
Blogger MonicaR said...

Thank you Steven!

It is quite a miracle. Amazing really.

12 November, 2005 00:38  
Blogger The Sparky said...

The weaker sex indeed! I suppose after childbirth nearly everything else in the pain department is a pinch. We males are quite the baby when we are not well and sick. Did hubby get new shirt or did you re-stich it, anyway you got his attention. LOL

12 November, 2005 14:15  
Blogger MonicaR said...

That's the thing of it, Sparky. We forget. All we remember of it is the first moment we lay eyes on the baby. THEN we forget about how exhausting those first few months were and so we're ready to do it again about a year later! LOL!

I never did get around to sewing those buttons back on. It sat there in the mending pile (along with everything else) for a few years...heck - I can't even find the mending pile anymore.

12 November, 2005 18:52  
Blogger The Sparky said...

Well at least today the husbands and partners get the opportunity to help out and witness the birth and bond with mother and child. Before (and it was not their fault just the way it was) it was the big mystery to a lot of men who would arrive half cut from the pub after childbirth, only to be told by the midwife or mother in law the Stork had delivered the baby and all was well.

I don’t think anything can supersede witnessing the birth of your child from a males perspective, yes it brought tears to my eyes (no not the thought of the melon) LOL No just to witness your own little miracle enter this world, something very special to behold. There you go, now I’m showing my feminine side big softy LOL

I don’t blame you with the mending, I think that was more our parents generation, no one darns socks anymore when they get a hole. We are more comfortable than they was we sling them and don’t think twice, well I do.

Did you hear the one about the doctor who was about to slap the baby’s bottom after birth to get its lungs going. But slapped the mother first for producing such an ugly baby, sorry for this non PC joke LOL

12 November, 2005 19:56  
Blogger DV said...

Yes - and a Happy Birthday to baby Grizzly from me!

13 November, 2005 09:13  
Blogger The Sparky said...

I thought that one had done the rounds! No more from me on the subject, I promise. LOL

13 November, 2005 16:29  
Blogger sandy said...

Being a man, it's hard to relate to childbirth. I was asked once if I wanted to see what it felt like.

I said:"Sure". "Ok", I'm told, "Just grab your lower lip and pull it out as far as you can.

I do this and say:" That's not all that bad." Then she says:"Now pull your lip over your head" "Ouch!"

13 November, 2005 21:01  
Blogger sandy said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

13 November, 2005 21:02  
Blogger MonicaR said...

Thanks for the birthday wishes David.

Yes Sparky - I have heard that one before. According to my husband ALL newborn babies are ugly. It's not the way MOTHERS feel about it though!

Sandy - here's how my sister described it to me. (*warning* offensive and graphic!**) It's like crapping a watermelon. OUCH! LOL!

13 November, 2005 23:56  
Blogger Gina said...

happy B day for your little one , Glad all was a good out come , you had me at the grip of my seat ...whew !!!

I will tell you my birthing stories sometime ..

17 November, 2005 19:28  
Blogger MonicaR said...

Oh - I'm dying to hear them, Gina.

Thanks for the b-day wishes. She is such a big girl now.

17 November, 2005 23:20  

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