August 20, 2010

What Happened After What Happened After the Brownies

Well, and now there are requests for a part three to follow part two, but...there's not much. Paul is the one who made the calls to our parents, and I was asleep: not only had we been up most of the night, but I had a post-surgery itchiness reaction to the anesthetic and got a nice big dose of benadryl in my IV. My mom answered the phone and was VERY SURPRISED that the baby had been born, and she told me later she was SO RELIEVED to not have to fret all through the labor (she had a very bad first labor and had been fretful all through my pregnancy). Paul's mother wanted him to start making calls to a bunch of other people, which we thought should be HER job. Paul couldn't get his dad and so left a message on his machine, and we didn't hear anything from him until he called three weeks later with a lot of dumb excuses about why he was so late acknowledging the birth of his first grandchild and wanting me to comfort him about how it was okay and not his fault and so on (YES I AM STILL MAD).

I do remember my grandparents called later that day. We'd named the baby after my grandpa, and I KNEW he'd be pleased and had been looking forward the whole pregnancy to having him know, and he was INDEED VERY PLEASED. He choked up a little on the phone, and my grandma was on the other line and she said something like, "Boy, you sure made your grandpa happy!"

To backtrack a little, when I was still in Recovery, my OB came in to talk to me. This paragraph will contain some medical stuff, not too gross but it involves A UTERUS, so if you're squeamish you can skip to the next paragraph. She said that after she'd made the horizontal incision, my uterus tore diagonally up from one end of the incision, so now the opening was two sides of a triangle instead of one small straight line. The uterus is...not supposed to do that. She said the uterine wall was very thin and fragile, and that if I decided to have more children I should be aware of the increased chance of uterine rupture during pregnancy (fatal to both mother and child if not immediately handled, and in the best case scenario involving an emergency hysterectomy), and that I should have c-sections: she thought the thin uterine wall (and the weird triangular scar, where it would be weaker) could probably withstand a pregnancy, but not labor contractions.

Hearing I'd have c-sections for all future pregnancies, I felt two things: one, a twinge of weird/sad "So, I'm never going to..."----like when I realized I was really NOT going to go to medical school or be a trial lawyer. It's not that I wanted to go to medical school or be a trial lawyer, but it's weird to realize that it's an experience I'm not going to have, along with many other experiences I'm not going to have. And the rest of it was a FLOOD of relief: NEVER going through the labor part again, ONLY going through the c-section part, WHEW WHEW OH NOW I CAN LOOK FORWARD TO THE NEXT BABY INSTEAD OF DREADING IT!

So, with all the other babies, our families knew when the c-section was scheduled. For the second one, my mother-in-law sent an email AFTER WE'D LEFT FOR THE HOSPITAL, with a list of people she wanted us to call after the baby was born. I'm really glad I didn't see that until we were home from the hospital, because we had already been really clear that our plan was to call both sets of parents and that's it.

Bringing the baby home was exactly as weird as everyone always says it is: there's that much-documented feeling of "Seriously? You're just letting us...take this baby home with us? You're not sending a nurse with us to make sure we do it right? OMG WHAT IF WE DON'T DO IT RIGHT??" We were nervous driving, and I remember we got home and we put the baby's car seat on the floor and then it was like "...Now what?" There's the familiar house with all the familiar things, but now there is a BABY in it, and presumably this baby is going to NEED THINGS, and REGULARLY, and now there is no nurse coming in to make sure he's been fed and changed enough, and now there is laundry and meals and dishes to deal with instead of just the baby and a perfectly clean hospital room. And where will I sit to nurse him? I don't know what most new mothers do in the face of this, but what I did was take a narcotic pain killer and a nap.

20 comments:

wisdomandpeace said...

Why are MILs so effing clueless??? Mine certainly was when my daughter was born (by the time my son was born, they had moved out of state). I pray that someday when my son marries and he and his wife have a family, I will remember how exhausting pregnancy/childbirth/bringing home a new baby are and remember my place as the mother IN LAW at a time when my DIL will probably want her OWN mother for comfort and reassurance, not her husband's. Also, I teared up just a little thinking about your grandfather hearing the news of his little namesake!

Lippy said...

We have pictures of Owen in his car seat on the floor. After we took pictures, we had a long discussion about whether we should take him out of the car seat. He was sleeping, so we left him in there for a bit. Also, we got our best present ever. My brother and SIL had a cleaning service come clean our house while we were in the hospital. Our shower didn't get cleaned again for at least a month!

Lawyerish said...

I love these entries. I could read one about every one of your deliveries!

And yes! That feeling is so crazy when you first get home with a BABY! One that wasn't there before!

I cried the whole cab ride home from the hospital, because I felt like I'd been waiting for that moment FOREVER, and the whole world looked different. I remember thinking, all these people are going about their days and having lunch in cafes and stuff and we are going home with a BABY!

And then when we got home, after letting the dog sniff the baby in her carseat on the living room floor, I carried her around the apartment to show her everything (she was dead to the world) and we took a video of the little house tour, and then I don't even know what we did. Oh, except we had to change our bedding because the cat had peed on it while we were in the hospital.

sara said...

They wanted YOU to make the calls...excuse me!? I'm outraged on your behalf!

I have some issues that will require me to go the c-section route should I ever get pregnant (unlikely) but that was always somehow comforting to me. I like knowing it won't be some crazy surprise.

Jess said...

Oh, I can imagine the puzzled silence when you get home, you set the baby down on the floor, and then... what? OMG. Five months.

Rah said...

Thanks, Swistle. Your tolerance for my curiosity/voyeurism is probably exhausted. However, if you were to take Lawyerish's suggestion I wouldn't mind hearing about subsequent births, either.

Your MIL (RIP) was an interesting person. You have to wonder what her thought processes were, to think you would be the ones to make those calls.

JCF said...

Your MIL stories continue to make me more and more grateful and relieved to have the most helpful and gracious MIL and mother when it comes to births/postpartum period.

Also, your MIL sounds like my grandma who kept telling me before my youngest son was born (last month) that she must be called RIGHT AWAY and she would need ALL of the pertinent information immediately. Our babies have all been born at home and we haven't weighed them immediately (we've waited until after holding/greeting/nursing/resting/etc). We also had been warning her that there was a good chance we wouldn't have a name chosen until a few hours after the baby was born (we didn't know the gender). But no, according to her, we must disrupt the baby nursing and choose a name immediately because grandma MUST know!

Melospiza said...

Ooh, I love that first moment after bringing the baby home. It's a little like bringing a new pet home for the first time, only the baby is fortunately less lively and also less interested in crawling under furniture to pee. But my first instinct is to bring the baby all around the house and SHOW everything to him/her. And then my second instinct is to sleep and/or eat, and then something comes up and prevents that, and things start to fall apart.

d e v a n said...

That story about your grandpa is very sweet!<3

Katie said...

Oh my dog, your MIL is the exact same person as my husband's grandmother.

Who sent us a typed out spreadsheet of people we were to invite to our wedding, none of whom we had ever met, and all of whom were on her EX HUSBAND'S (my husband's grandpa) side of the family. Apparently anyone who shares a last name with you is automatically entitled to a wedding invitation. I did not know.

Oooo, and to top it off she was a bitch at our wedding and actually said, and I QUOTE: "You're lucky I even showed up." Because we had not invited these people to the wedding. Strangely my husband's grandpa was not the slightest bit peeved that we had not invited all his long lost relatives.

Wow, totally went off there didn't I? I love your story. I'm having my second C in 2.5 months and while I could have tried for a VBAC I feel a tremendous sense of peace in knowing I don't have to wonder if and when and what will happen.

Christy said...

We did the same thing, got home and were like, "...Okay....but what do we DO with it?"

Of course, my in-laws, despite being told point blank that they were not wanted here for the birth (we decided we wanted to have a day or two to freak out in peace), when warned of an induction drove 13 hours anyway and got to see the baby for 10 minutes in the nursery. I was never prouder of my husband than when he was like, "Nice to see you, we'll catch up tomorrow." and ushered them out of the hospital so we could be alone.

Now that this is the longest comment ever, I'll sign off.

TJ said...

I have greatly enjoyed this entire series.

Saly said...

I love that the experience of "well, now what??" is so universal. When I think back of those first few weeks after Bud was born, everything is so hazy, as if we were sleepwalking or having a dream. I did find it to get better after each of the other babies.

Jenni said...

Since we had our babies at home, our "well, now what?" moment came six hours after Oscar was born and midwife left with these parting words, "Okay, goodbye, new parents! Good luck!" I think my husband and I had expected her to stay for a week or three to help us get things underway. (She left at like 3AM and did come back to check on us about 12 hours later.)

Suzanne said...

I think the nicest thing anyone can do for new parents is to stock their fridge/freezer with nutritious healthy meals, hire a cleaning service and if it's a first time Mommy, maybe a baby nurse to come over for a couple of days and help with stuff. And I think you need that kind of help MORE with the subsequent children because there you are with a newborn and there are these other children that also need food, love, attention and clean clothes, you know?

Raisin'Cookies said...

Oh it is such a weird feeling to leave the house WITHOUT a baby, and to come home WITH one. Like, did I just land on an alien planet with a house just like mine, only now I'm a parent? What was my life before 12 hours ago? Did that even exist? I DON'T REMEMBER. It baffled me every time.

I lucked out with my fourth baby 11 weeks ago, though, and managed to have her at home. The weird alien-from-another-world feeling never came. It was nice.

Beths said...

Your birth story is my favorite. It's your own story, but totally familiar.

I remember about two days after we brought our first baby home realizing, OH MY GOD, I HAVE TO KEEEEP DOING THIS...? FOR THE FORESEEABLE FUTURE. LIKE THERE IS PROBABLY NO END.

With #2, I had been thinking my whole pregnancy, "Oh! I am so much more relaxed not being a new parent! I will definitely do what everyone says now and SLEEP WHEN THE BABY SLEEPS" (which I didn't do with #1). I will never forget walking in the door with her and realizing, OH HOLY GOD. I CAN'T sleep when the baby sleeps. I have a THREE-YEAR-OLD walking around.

Funny how there are these totally obvious things that you are completely surprised by with new babies.

Kelsey said...

I loved reading this!

BUT did you have a VBAC at some point? I don't know why I was thinking that you did...

Swistle said...

Kelsey- Nope, all c-sections. (whew)

NikiN said...

My in-laws have gone so far the opposite direction that my husband's hurt by how hands-off they've been.

Swistle, I love your labor stories and hope you'll tell more of them.