Monday, October 03, 2005

And now, the rest of the story

Contrary to DOB's confusion of the medical lingo, the placenta was not abducted, which sounds like some urban legend email forward ("And then she woke up in a tub of ice, and her placenta had been abducted!"), but abrupted, which means it decides it's ready to leave whether baby is or not.

Anyway, my plans for Thursday included driving D1 to the chiro and then Grandma's house, driving back to our town for my doctor's appointment, taking a nap, meeting DOB in town to run several errands and get a caramel apple cider, going back down to get D1, and coming home and catching up on the dishes and laundry I left lying around in my rush to get out the door.

Up until 10:30 everything proceeded according to plan. My only regret was that I had not put "pack snacks in my purse" on that list and was ravenously hungry. The doctor had just finished checking things and announced that although there was no sign D2 intended to come really soon, he was in the wrong position and we would need to get him scooted around. She went out to call the doctor who does the scooting around, and I started to get up.

I promptly realized that something was very, very wrong and sat down again before the carpet got messed up worse. Unlike hospitals, doctor's offices are not equipped with handy buttons to call. And, as is probably necessary in a family practice, the walls and doors are very thick. So it took awhile before someone realized I was yelling for help, in a calm and dignified manner, at the top of my lungs. Once they came in, though, they promptly called the ambulance. My doctor said later it was fortunate the ambulance was handy, as otherwise she would have had to drive me herself and she had just had the inside of her car detailed.

Meanwhile I called DOB and his mother. I was apparently a little too calm at that point, because it took them awhile to realize the seriousness of the situation. I let them work it out between them, because by this point the parameds were starting to pelt me with questions. One guy asked me my name twice in thirty seconds.

"Not doing too well today, are you?" said one.

"I'm testing the patient's coherence!" he retorted, and rammed the gurney into the doctor's scales.

It's not as exciting to ride in an ambulance as it should be. The ride is very smooth, so you can't tell if you're going fast, and you can't see that you're running red lights. It only took about five minutes to get to the hospital, and hardly any more to thread the hospital hallways to a room where about fifty people commenced to introduce themselves, brandish papers that needed signed, and prepare me for surgery. I signed and hoped I was doing the right thing. (I was.)

I commented to the doctor, "Well, I guess we won't have time to go over the birth plan today." "Oh, that's what did it," everyone said, "Birth plans always jinx you."

The anesthesiologist's name was also Karen, which was most confusing. People would keep yelling at her to do something or other medical, and I would wonder how on earth I was supposed to do that. Fortunately they decided they had time to give me a spinal instead of knocking me out completely, which was good except that I was still acutely aware of being hungry and they wouldn't give me anything to eat.

At 11:29, within less than an hour of when things started, I could at least hear them announce D2's entrance into the world. Unfortunately they brought his head out first and started commenting on what a pretty baby he was, so for a few minutes I thought he was a girl. But that was quickly clarified.

Meanwhile, DOB was proceding at a safe but somewhat superlegal rate of speed in an effort to arrive before it was all over. Unfortunately, he encountered Inspector Javert, who is now patrolling rural Ohio highways, and does not think such trifles as emergency c-sections justify exceeding the precise legal rate of speed. Fortunately DOB decided to take it up later with the judge rather than forcibly debate the distinctions between the letter and the spirit of the law on the spot. But the delay was enough that he reached the hospital only in time to learn that he had a son.

Anyway, D2, though a little small and early, came through quite strong and healthy, rating a 9/10 Apgar score (for those of you who know about such things) and eating like a small version of his Papa from the beginning. I seem to be recovering pretty well, the doctor being amazed at the discrepancy between the mess in her office and my blood count when I left the hospital. Either of us could have easily had much more serious problems, if I had been anywhere else when it happened or if anything had been delayed longer.

And now, we are all very, very happy to be home. Especially D1, who has discovered that even Grandpa and Grandma's house palls after four days.


Jeremy said...

Well, "congratulations" you guys... And AMEN for the way things turned out. I was praying for you all from the minute I heard what was going on. Praise the Lord!!

amanda said...

Wow! This kind of makes me grateful for my 30-hour labors that leave time to clean house, do laundry, eat a couple meals, find childcare and take a nap (as if women can actually sleep through that) before proceeding to the hospital.

Ravenous hunger aside, it's really amazing how all the details worked out...your toddler was safe and out of the way, you were at the doctor's office, you remembered your name every time you were asked, etc. Orchestrated Coincidences?

Anyway, congratulations to all four of you. I hope Ronald went out and got you the caramel apple cider you deserved.

Maggie said...

What a story! Praise God for such a well-arranged situation. :)

And I must say, I absolutely love how you've kept your wit and humor through all this.

the Joneses said...

Happened at the doctor's office --you couldn't have planned it much better. And if it's any comfort, I'd love to smash a sharp boot into that officer's shin. Obviously he's never had a wife in emergency labor. Welcome home!

-- SJ

Carrie said...

Congrats again! Thanks for telling the story. Wow. I retold it to Jonathan and the part about Ronald being stopped and given a ticket sent him HOWLING (not with laughter). Poor Ronald!!! Idiot cop. I'm not too fond of Ohio cops. They seem to be the bored type that are just looking for something to do.....

The Duke said...

Hmm... so Carrie, what interaction have you had with Ohio cops? ; )

Marsha Louise said...

Amazing story, Karen. I managed to miss most of the excitement here in WA, since I was out of the office most of the day. When I got back and Juliana came in to tell me, you and D2 were already doing well. I'll plan some post-trauma stress though. D2 is a doll. I can't believe that cop!!

Ben, Kyri & Rachelle said...

What?! You mean you didn't write instructions for this very scenario into your birthplan? You are a tough woman and I'm glad D2 is safe. -rlr

Devona said...

"Contrary to DOB's confusion of the medical lingo, the placenta was not abducted, which sounds like some urban legend email forward ("And then she woke up in a tub of ice, and her placenta had been abducted!")"

I almost stopped reading there because I didn't think it could get any better than that. But, I'm glad I read the whole thing, and I'm glad that at least one of you was present and conscious for the birth of D2.

Take your time getting situated, and I wish your family many blessings.

Carrie said...

Ah hem. Ronald. Yes. I do recall driving through Ohio, stopping to eat dinner with a rather large family with mostly boys, and attempting to get to a certain Legal Assistant's house at midnight. Only problem was - Legal Assistant, nor her mother, knew their way home. In the confusion of finding their home, *I* was stopped by Ohio cops who thought I was drunk because I kept making turns on different streets. The story about "not being able to find some" was a rather tough pill to swallow. Even for me.

Bruce said...

Congratulations, and I'm very glad to know that you and kin ended up safe and well.

-- Bruce A.