Friday, April 03, 2009

The Goober's birth day. Plus a few days.

The carpet beetle situation is still too traumatic to write about (and I'm not done digging out The Pit), and Amy Lane made me sentimental over on her blog, so you're all stuck hearing about how the Goober got born. (Unlike Amy, I did not go into labor over the X Files. I'm gonna laugh about that all day.) Don't worry, it's a funny story. Everything seems to be when I tell it.

Well. The Goob was a planned kid, and I'd made the plan when I married the husbeast at the ripe old age of 23. I didn't want to haul a kid around the world with the Navy, so I would wait until he was near retirement and my reproductive tract was on its last gasp, and have a kid. Simple.

Except at age 23 it's impossible to take into account the concept of AGING. Other than AGE, the whole thing went well enough.

So at age 36, there I am, pregnant for the first time, which in retrospect was a really hare-brained thing to do on purpose. But, whatever. You make your choices, you live with the fallout. There was much fuss made over me being adopted (no genetic history, and no idea how I'd do in labor), and also me being old. I was sent off for genetic counseling at one point, at the high-risk pregnancy center. They were used to dealing with women with MAJOR health problems, or daily cocaine habits, so they almost giggled at me, sitting there wringing my hands and worrying over the two glasses of wine I'd had (on different days) before I realized I was pregnant. Never realized before, how comforting it is to be almost-laughed-at.

So anyway. What with one thing and another, I was done with the whole pregnancy thing as a novel concept by, oh, month five, and ready and raring to give birth by week 38. The kid was done, everybody out of the oven, was my thought. I started obsessing about what would happen if I went overdue and how long I'd have to BE overdue before they'd induce me. I was all in favor of scheduling my inducement the day after my due date, but no one would commit to anything. With hormones raging, feeling like I was fifteen months pregnant, I was going batshit crazy.

Nothing is quite as crazy as an 8 1/2 month pregnant woman, obsessing on childbirth. Men, get out of the way. Duck and cover.

I was due on, no joke, Labor Day. I'm telling you, things in my life just fall into place for joke-telling.

Anyway. For those overseas, I'll explain. Labor Day is on a Monday, always, so folks who get it off can have a three day weekend. And as a federal employee, the husbeast always got Labor Day off. So in my psycho-pregnant-woman state of mind, I was thinking, I could go into labor Saturday, and we'd have the other two days to get things together before work on Tuesday (even though the hub got paternity leave and it didn't matter when I went into labor... did I mention I was psycho?)

Saturday rolled around and I started having what I thought were Braxton-Hicks contractions, or false labor. I'd been having those since month five, if I stood up for more than three or four minutes at a time. Whoopee, I thought. But, ever hopeful, I started timing them and walking around the house a lot in the hopes something would happen.

Nothing. Or at least I didn't think so. Too far apart, too weak, and they didn't feel like contractions had been described to me. So I'd pace some more, mutter to myself, and time things some more. The husbeast, wise man, stayed the hell out of my way. As I recall he mostly huddled in the recliner watching TV and left the rest of the house to me.

After two days of pacing, I gave up. Nothing. All those damn false-labor contractions that didn't even hurt (have I mentioned I have a high pain tolerance?) and too far apart to mean anything.

By Monday, I was having a full-blown pity-party. The hub went off to a party with his friends (I sent him; he had a cell phone and I knew I was in a horrible mood), and I stayed home and ate everything in the house and pouted.

Tuesday morning, about the time the husbeast was arriving at work, I got out of bed and realized I was bleeding. Not a lot, just a spot or two. The Goober was kicking away, just fine (she took up clog dancing around month six), so I assumed it was the normal stuff related with, hello, GOING INTO LABOR. Yay! Still didn't feel any 'real' contractions according to the nurses and mothers I'd spoken to, but who cared? They could induce me. I remember calling the doctor's office and them putting me on hold to talk to the doctor, and coming back and telling me, yes, to go to the hospital. And I remember thinking "thanks so much for the permission honey, but I was going anyway. This is a courtesy call."

Checking into the hospital, the nurse wanted to know when I'd last eaten. I said, "Uh, Heath bars, two AM." She looked up, said "Pity party?" I said yes. She grinned, patted my foot, and kept on writing.

The doc (the doc I liked) examined me, and we talked, and he said I'd been in labor for FOUR DAYS. Apparently as a first time mother with a high pain tolerance, I was just too dumb and tough to realize it. Emphasis on the dumb. So they induced me, about ten hours later I had the Goob, and a good time was had by all.

You know, those contractions NEVER DID feel like they were described to me. Even when I pushed the kid out. So it was NOT MY FAULT I was in labor for four days. Really. Honest. Okay, it was, but how in hell was I to know?

Everything in my life turns into a circus, one way or another. Took me thirty years to learn to sit back and enjoy the ride.


Roxie said...

Well, at least you're not one of those women who shows up in emergency with every passing gas bubble. And evidently the Goober suffered no lasting impairment. You do good work!

amy said...

I also have a decent tolerance for pain (except in my mouth, but that's another story). So when I told the midwife over & over during my second pregnancy that I was having pain and she ignored me, I finally found another practitioner. Turns out something WAS going on. That's the kid born 6 weeks early b/c of abruption, and I still wonder if I had called that wench and told her I'd had a contraction that felt wrong if she'd have told me to go back to bed because, as she loved to say, "second pregnancies are always more painful." I still hate that woman.

And yes, being pregnant in your mid-30s is no picnic. I asked my sister how she managed it at 40 and she said, "I didn't. It nearly killed me."

Galad said...

How would you know? Obviously, from the beginning, the Goober did things her own way :-)

Anonymous said...

So when is the next one?

easy for me to say I don't have any kids ;-)


word decuss. I think that is when you take all of the swear words out.

Emily said...

Such a great story! Anyone who's ever been pregnant must surely recognize that "Ok this is long enough" feeling at around 7 months. And the not-knowing about which contractions are real! Oh yes. Lucky you, though, to have such easy pains; my aunt did, too. Not me.

I remember well into the labor process with my first, around the time that I realized with horror that something the size of a watermelon was going to be forced through my pelvis, a fact that was clearly beyond impossible...I decided, very clearly, that I had changed my mind. I wasn't going to have this baby. I quit. I was going to go home.

And look at the Goob! Is she not worth anything on the planet and more?

Alwen said...

Hey! We even did pregnancy at similar points - I was 35 (turned 36 two months & a bit after the child was born).

I worked all day the day before he was born, ate my lunch on the way to a lawyer's office and back, drove 30 miles to my pre-natal after work, and decided I was too tired to walk the dogs when I got home.

Then I had close to precipitous labor (I always say "They call it precipitous because it's just like being thrown off a precipice."): from start of labor to birth in 5.5 hours. Boy. I can't say that didn't hurt.

Especially since I showed up fully dilated at the hospital, too late for an epidural (which I had hoped to go without anyway), and did the whole thing without painkillers.

But that's really for the best, because painkillers do funky things to me, like send me into fullblown depression as they wear off. Hate 'em!

walterknitty said...

What a story. Babies and bodies have their own sense of timing, no matter what we may want. My boyfriend's Mom was in labour with him over Christmas. His birthday is Dec 28th. Whenever my birthday rolls around I try to think of what my Mom went through (I dont have any kids) being pregnant in the heat and humidity of summer in Iowa. I was born at the end of July. I cant imagine what it must have been like for her to be 9 months pregnant when it's 98 degrees with 98% humidity. She must have had a great deal of restraint not to kill my Dad.

Mandy said...

I totally sympathize with the late pregnancy! I was 35 when my son was born. I went 10 days past my due date, then told my boss that that would be my last day at work (working retail, on my feet all day, and they were finally sore enough to call it quits) and my water broke the next morning!

After 9 hours of labor, I stalled at 7cm for 3 hours with baby sunny-side-up and trying to come out face first and they called a c-section. I'm just as glad, since he was 10 lb 4 oz! And yes, they are worth every minute of everything, aren't they?

My husband and I think that what we lack in energy having him later in life, we make up for in patience and craftiness - we just have to out-think him, rather than outrun him!

Louiz said...

4 days! Blimey... I have no idea what labour pains are like, Kathryn was an elective c-section (because she was breech and the doctors all suggested that was the best choice), and I was in my 30s. In fact, almost every mum I know in person is in her 30s and I can only think of one I know who didn't get pregnant after her 30th birthday.

Bells said...

that photo is beautiful! No birth story to contribute but I watched my niece come into the world and it was amazing.

Amy Lane said...

LOOOVEEEE the snarky nurse! (Heath bars at 2 a.m.--awesome!)

Yup... those of us w/high pain tolerances... we lead interesting lives. (Your pain tolerance is way higher than mine. I knew I was in labor--I just would rather do it home than in the hospital!)

Kym said...

I have absolutely no tolerance for pain. When I was 15 it took 6 men to hold me down to get an IV in me, and at the time I was half passed out.

But I'm not likely to have children, really. My only goal in life when I was younger was to get married at 22 and have my first baby at 25, but I'm about to turn 28 and I have yet to have a relationship that lasted longer than 6 months that wasn't an exercise in wheel-spinning (fiber has nothing on me when it comes to spinning wheels). I've only just come to terms with the fact that I'm going to have to get a life for myself...

Courtney said...

I have six weeks until my due date and I am so done. My daughter's labor was induced because of very low amniotic fluid due to a slightly abnormal placenta, but this time around everything is normal so I have no idea when I'm going to pop.

But even induced two weeks early, my first labor was less than seven hours long and wasn't so bad pain-wise despite my low tolerance. We're crossing our fingers that we get a similar deal this time around.

I almost hope that I don't pop until a few days before I'm due, though, because there's a sheep and wool festival near me the weekend before and knitting group are all going together. I'd love for my last very preggo outing to be yarn-related.