The Dragon makes an Appearance

That last post is a bit heart breaking, isn’t it? What a difference a week can make. TL,DR: Widget’s on the outside. I’m doing So! Much! Better! and I’m so infactuated with her.

Not too long after that post, I pointed out to Cups that one of my (swollen, painful) legs was more swollen and painful than the other, a baloony stiff feeling that was markedly different than the general “my feet a a bit swollen” that had been happening. Weird, assymetric pain in a pregnant person on bedrest that had been going on for a while, even with drinking water and elevating? With a discoloration of the skin? Cups, RN made a worried face and had me call the after hours OB support people. Who had me have her take my blood pressure and pulse. (Living with Cups has perks, people. She doesn’t like doing nurse stuff on her sister, but *I* was happy she was able to.)

And then we went to the hospital. Not because anything was obviously Wrong… but things were not obviously right either. And “not obviously right” is not a chance anyone likes to take with pregnant people.

My leg continued to be elusively weird feeling, and my blood pressure continued to be high and higher. It was a very long night with Angel and Cups in the triage area of a busy Labor and Delivery floor. And then, at 5 am, the doc on duty sat us down with some options.

“We could induce-”

“Yes, lets do that.”

Any of the issues that may or may not have been happening would either be treated by not being pregnant anymore or be easier to treat once Widget joined the outside world. So we did it. The L&D staff were so very sweet. Really, with the exception of whoever it was who wandered in while I was getting an epidural and offered to the anethesiologist that she should give me more local, everyone else was exactly as amazing as I could ever ask for. (That poor hapless bystander got snapped at more than was possibly merited, but they left before I could apologize. I don’t respond to the common local anethetics and I was in the process of having a needle shoved in my spine. I don’t like local anethestic or the eternal suggestions that I really should respond to them. I don’t. Don’t use them. I did apologize to the anesthiologist, who told me it was okay and that some things are just triggers. See what I mean about amazing? She also had a Wonder Woman lanyard. Seriously, the entire staff was full of awesome.) We had a midwife, a nurse or two, and an OB, all being amazing and supportive and coming and checking on all of us.

They sent us all to take naps before kicking off the proceedings. Which were basically slow and boring – we all napped through a fair bit of the day. I think the most traumatic part was failing to get an IV in my left wrist. (Back of the hand people. I know everyone else hates the hand. I actually have veins there, use them. Angel found the vein they ended up using. A week later my left wrist still looks like Jackson Pollack’s purple phase and the place where the IV actually was looks like a half remembered mosquito bite.)

Slow boring day. I took Mike’s advice on when to get an epidural, even though I kind of didn’t want one. I wasn’t finding the centered place with my body to handle business from, I was just too tired and had been in too much pain I think. And then I may be one of the only times getting an epidural actually sped things up, when I finally relaxed everything went much faster – water broke, baby dropped fast and hard, they pulled the anethesiologist back in to top off the pidural and get it caught up to the new, harder order of things. They turned off the pitocin, let things ride, and kept insisting that I should rest, that the work later would need more energy.

I really should warn people that “my pelvis and hips come apart” means that the parts of labor that really suck for the rest of humanity I manage to get a bit of a pass on. I think I skipped transition and basically skipped pushing. (They had me start, then demanded I stop while they finished unwrapping gear and finding a nurse for the baby. If they weren’t ready for her, why did they have me start at all?) One push and I was holding my baby! I vaguely recall Angel cutting the cord and the OB on duty helping identify that she has girl bits. I very much recall holding her. A lot. Because I like that part.

The rest of the hospital trip did its thing. We moved from L&D to postpartum recovery for a couple of days.  The baby got evaluated for after effects of the narcotics I was on (which had been communicated as having been perscribed for several weeks, instead of under 4 days, and created one of the faster turn arounds in tone I’ve seen from a human being when we made that correction. Plus she got an OT consult, who was fun to talk to about me, since I’m all sorts of weird, and then looked at the baby for about 10 seconds, which was how long it took her to unwrap the swaddle and watch the Dragon KICK, and declare her “Completely fine. Watch the feet angle.” … the baby has some solid muscle tone in her thighs, its pretty impressive.) and held an extra 36 hours for jaundice so she could be put in light therapy. (Which sucked. Naked, lonely baby screaming for a day and a half. Not allowed to hold her for more than half an hour every three hours, where we had to try to force feed her while she tried to sleep. I don’t know how people deal with sicker or smaller babies, that was heart wrenching and almost more than I could stand – and its a super treatable, basically normal thing.) We continued to learn that nurses are better than doctors.

Nurses are better than doctors. I’m sure that doctors do Very Important Things, but man, the doctors I kept wanting to toss from the room and having to listen to burble about inane crap anyway, and the nurses I kept wanting to come back and help me figure this stuff out. The person who responded to me crying that I couldn’t take my baby home by perkily reminding me that stuffed animals are a suffocation hazard? Doctor. The person who offhandedly calmed me down from said basically inconsolable weeping by talking to my baby with basic human compassion? Nurse. The person who accused me of taking street drugs before giving birth? Doctor. The person who declared that Tummy Time was doable in the light therapy box to give the baby some time of not screaming? Nurse. There are decent doctors – I liked the OB on duty and I think my OB is pretty good for what I ask of her – but in general, I ask doctors to be part of my problem solving team and to believe me, and if they can do those things I’m satisfied. Nurses are the people who overawe me with what they understand and their impact on my care. I trust nurses. I ask doctors to cite their sources. (Or I double check it with nearby nurses.)

The hospital ceased being fun long before we left. I think my favorite part remains the wonderful nursery nurse who managed to keep me calm and stable, not by anything she did for me, but by how good she was with the Hatchling. I think she sees babies more clearly as people than the big people they come with. She certainly didn’t recognize Mike or I when we came to finally get released – but her face lit up when she saw the baby, celebrating with her that it was time to go home. She also gave me the greatest piece of hope/advice “She’s a fine lady, you listen to her and she’ll take good care of you.”


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2 comments to The Dragon makes an Appearance

  • QueenofWands

    Nurses are so much better than doctors, learned that at Epic when nurses were trying really hard to make it all work and keep everything running and doctors were throwing tantrums and refusing to do anything. Also, they accused you of doing street drugs? Jesus…

    Very happy for you all.

  • QueenofSwords

    I think we need to rewrite the lyrics to “Reindeers are Better Than People” for “Nurses are Better Than Doctors”

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