Just popping in to let you know that Baby F was born on Weds night and that mom and baby are both doing well!! I’ve left them sleeping in the bedroom while I’ve snuck in here to check emails and post a quick update.
You’ll have to forgive me if I sound a little tired under the circumstances. Here’s a shortish version of what happened.
On Tuesday night we attended our last antenatal class and just in time as it turns out because L went in to labour on Wednesday. Not that she knew it was labour to start off with. She’d had tea with her sister-in-law and (very cute) niece in the morning and then gone off with her mom for some shopping in the afternoon. Except that they’d barely reached the mall and bought one item when she felt decidedly not well and they had to come back. When I saw her at home she looked pretty grim and she was worrying about the pain that she was having and thought that something might be wrong with the baby.
Now you might think that as a gynaecologist L would recognise labour pains when she was having them! But apparently they felt like nothing she had experienced before (other than very sharp period pains). She lay down for a while to count fetal movements and when she couldn’t feel any, it was off to the hospital for a CTG to measure the baby’s heartbeat.
We didn’t pack a bag of course since we didn’t think this was labour. But on the way to the hospital I was half-joking to L that she should practise her J-breathing and do some toning to ease the pain. After all, L’s due-date was about three weeks’ away. This wasn’t labour. This was some worrying other pain that might be threatening to the baby’s life. We made our way up to the second floor, explained our situation and they ushered us to a room and connected L up to a CTG-machine. I’d brought along a book and some grapes and straight away Baby F’s heartbeat came through loud and strong. She was peaking at around 170 beats a minute but when I started making some “Om” sounds to L’s belly (softly in case the gynae walked in and found us getting all New-Agey) Baby F seemed to fall asleep.
L’s gynae arrived in pretty good time and then things seemed to speed up. It was now after 5.30pm and yes, L was in labour and they would need to do a Caesar since Baby F was lying breech. Not only would they be doing a Caesar but they would be doing one in an hour-and-a-half’s time! I needed to quickly confirm L’s admission and then fetch her bags from home. Just thinking about it now, I’m amazed at the irony of these things. That last month seems to drag on for an eternity of uncomfortable sleeps and worries and then it’s all-systems-go in 90 minutes. My poor brain couldn’t quite cope with the adjustment.
Walking through the parking lot I called my mom and managed to say, between swallowing back tears, “We’re at the hospital. No, the baby is fine. But L … is … going … to … have … a Caesar … at … 7pm.”
Then I rushed home, trying no to rush at the same time that I was rushing, fetched L’s bag and sundry items and rushed back. And promptly managed to get the boom in the parking lot to land on the windshield of the car. It was crazy. These things have a sensor to prevent exactly this thing from happening. But perhaps it sensed my panic and I hesitated for too long. Fortunately it bounced off and there was no damage to the car (or the boom). But as I parked the car and carried the bags through the door, the security guard put a restraining hand on my arm and wanted me to leave my details with Security.
“My wife is about to have an emergency Caesar,” I said quite reasonably, politely postponing his request for a chat with security. All the while imagining that of course this was my fault and that I would have to pay a fortune for what had just happened at the one moment that was the least convenient for it to happen. And then also thinking how strange to be saying the words “my wife” as well “emergency Caesar” in the same sentence. And anyway, ‘emergency Caesar’ is probably a bit of an exaggeration, I thought. It’s not exactly an emergency, is it? We’re not talking life and death are we?
But there was no time for rationalisations since I was already back in the ward and putting on sterilised clothes and trying to reassure L that everything was fine and not panic myself. And of course failing miserably at the not-panicking bit since as soon as I saw the anaesthetist and noticed that he was wearing a wedding ring, I looked down at my own left hand and noticed that there was no wedding ring. Where was my ring? In the dustbin were I’d just thrown the paper towels that I’d dried my hands with?
But I managed to calm down, smile reassuringly to L and tell her (correctly as it happened) that my ring must be at home and then take up my position next to L on the right side of the blood-brain barrier.
(To be continued)