Displaced Yankee Chick in Texas

This blog chronicles my life as a displaced Yankee chick in Texas. I'm from the NY/NJ/PA area and quit my job 1.5 years ago to move to TX with DH and become a SAHM to our 3 kids (2 DDs and 1 DS). **Please note that names have been changed to protect the innocent.**

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Six years ago today...

I woke up when DH got ready for work. He had an appointment out of his office, which was unusual for him at that company. Before he left, he leaned into my belly and said, "Come to the light." I, of course, got annoyed because I wanted my pre-birth maternity leave to last as long as possible.

I was hanging out in bed, watching some TV, and fiddling around on my laptop. One of my coworkers had emailed me asking me if there was any news. I responded that no, there was nothing to tell. Someone was very happy to stay where s/he was. Then I worked on a 360 review of my boss. As I was sitting up in bed, I stifled a sneeze, and felt a sensation like I had just peed a little. Except I knew I hadn't just lost control of my bladder. I ran to the bathroom, cupping myself, and relieved myself. However, once I had finished peeing, there was still water dripping into the toilet. My worst fear has just been confirmed. My stifled sneeze had caused my water to break.

As any self respecting woman would do at that point, I jumped in the shower and made myself presentable. I didn't want to look terrible in the post-birth photos. LOL! At this point, I have to thank my friend Courtney for giving me a package of Poise pads for my 30th birthday. They came in handy during the time before I got to my hospital room. DH called after I got out of the shower. He was checking in on me while he was on his way back to the office. I told him he should probably stop at Circuit City to pick up some videotapes for our videocamera and come home because I thought my water had broken. His practically squealed, "Really?!" Then we said our I love yous and he then called his mother. MIL worked at the same office that DH did, so then the family phone tree was put into action and EVERYONE knew. Meanwhile, I still wasn't convinced that I was in labor, and hadn't wanted DH's coworkers and family to know just yet, in case I had only peed my pants.

After I was dressed and made up, I called my mom but she was at lunch. I called my parents' house and spoke to my dad. I told him that I thought my water had broken and I'd be heading to the OB's office when DH arrived home. Dad congratulated me and told me he loved me. He'd round up my mom and grandma and would meet us at the hospital. I then wolfed down a HUGE bowl of Cheerios, knowing that they wouldn't allow me to eat anything before delivering. Meanwhile, every so often I had water leaking from me. In hindsight, I realize that I was having contractions I couldn't feel and that was why I was periodically leaking fluid.

When DH arrived home, we loaded our bags in the car, and I put some mail in the mailbox. The neighbor across the street was in her driveway so we waved to her as we pulled away. She was the last persone we saw in the neighborhood. I considered asking DH to stop at McDonald's since it was on the way. However, it was on the other side of the road, I had just eaten Cheerios, and I hate vomiting and wanted to avoid doing so. We stopped at the OB's office and the rather stern woman doctor in the practice saw me. As I lay back on the table for her to examine me, I leaked what felt like a lot of fluid. She didn't even need to take a peek. She just said, "Yes, your water is broken. Head to the hospital." I asked the nurse which doctor was on duty that day and she told me it was the old school OB whom I had seen most recently. I HATED him because he stripped my membranes without telling me first, and was just typically a man. Naturally, I was upset and asked the nurse who the next doctor in the rotation would be. She told me, but said that the mean doctor would be on call until 8am the following morning, and since it was just after noon, there was no chance of me going that late. Damn.

Upon our arrival at the hospital, DH dropped me at the door and parked the car. I carried my pillow up to the Labor & Delivery ward (yes, I walked in there). We got settled in the room and I put on my belly band (to hold the monitors) and hospital gown. This was probably around 1pm. MIL, my parents and grandmother arrived and were shown into our room. This would be the room where I would deliver and recover, but then I would be moved across the hall into one of the semi-private post-partum rooms. We all hung out talking for a while, and when the contractions got a little painful, I asked for a rocking chair. It felt good to rock during the contractions, plus the fronts of the arms were rolled under, so I had a good place to dig in my fingernails when things got intense.

I can't exactly remember when they decided to give me Pitocin, but it was probably around 2pm. The contractions weren't really that bad at the beginning, plus I have a high pain tolerance. So we all talked and chatted for a while, until I really needed to concentrate on my breathing. Gail, my nurse, realized that I needed for the family to get out of the room, without my ever saying a thing, and asked our family members to wait in the TINY waiting room (imagine a phone booth that seats 3). So they all went down to the cafeteria and got some dinner. I had preordered a sandwich, since that would keep the best. I worked on my breathing for as long as I could stand it. Ultimately, the contractions felt like they were coming one on top of another with no breaks. I thought I was losing my mind. I couldn't think or make a decision. All I knew was that I needed some pain medication, and as much as I didn't want an epidural, I couldn't decide if I did want one. Finally DH and I agreed that I'd try Stadol, and if I needed more then I'd go for the epi.

Once we made that decision and DH could verbalize it for me, I was relieved. However, the wait to get the anesthesiologist to see me was excruciatingly long. I know at one point I was crying and saying as loud as I could that I wanted meds and I wanted them NOW!!! I was tempted to start screaming, knowing that the squeaky wheel gets the grease, but my wanting to not freak out everyone on the floor got the better of me. Finally, the anesthesiologist arrived and I got my Stadol at around 5pm.

The following hour was pretty good. The Stadol took off enough of the edge so that I could handle the ctx with breathing. I was complete at 6pm, and I could push. However, the nurses and doctor were convinced that I had a full bladder and it was preventing me from feeling the urge to push. Now I'd already made one attempt at using the bathroom since I had arrived. I did not want a catheter, fearing that I'd get a nasty infection; plus, I'd had the milk with my cereal, and perhaps a few ice chips, but nothing else to drink. I simply did not have to pee. However I was overruled and got the catheter. Much to their surprise, I did not produce much once it was inserted, and the nurse said to me, "I guess you really didn't have to go." No shit.

At some point during all this, DH realized that our families were hanging out outside the hospital, and just below our 2nd story window. He got their attention, and periodically gave them updates on how things were progressing. When I began to push, he went to the window and gave them his pusing sign. So at 6pm, with a vague urge to push, but more wanting to find out who was in me, I started pushing. Rather surprisingly, the most hated doctor was a decent cheerleader, and I decided he was much better in the delivery room than in the exam room. When the baby crowned, DH again went to the window and encircled his head with his hands so they'd know. After about an hour, little miss B was born. She weighed in at just over 6 lbs, and had great Apgar scores.

I didn't even realize when DH went to the window and signaled to them to call our room, so when the phone rang minutes after delivery, I wondered who in the hell would have such impeccable timing. LOL! DH announced the arrival to the family by phone and then we enjoyed about an hour of private time with just the three of us. Then the family members were allowed in to see baby B.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Where was I

six years ago today? This was my due date with B. I was convinced that my due date was June 21st, per my ovulation date. However, the doctors didn't listen to me, and calculated my due date by using the date of my LMP.

I had enjoyed a few days off of work, starting my maternity leave a week late. My last day of work I went out to lunch with the ladies from my department, and they treated me to a yummy lunch at Red Lobster. Their cheddar bay biscuits are DELICIOUS!

On this date, I celebrated the passing of my due date by shopping at Sam's Club, and then meeting my best friend at her office for lunch. I think I ate a chicken salad sandwich; I remember something falling onto my belly and leaving a greasy stain on my shirt. I remember thinking that everyone could see that it was my due date. However, I don't recall anyone asking me when I was due, and that disappointed me.

If I only knew how soon everything would change...

Saturday, June 03, 2006

A fun (and expensive) way to spend a Saturday

I spent all of today on an all day bus tour sponsored by our local scrapbook store (LSS). We went to three other stores around our huge city. Our home store is the largest of the four, and has, in my opinion, the nicest staff of the four. The highlights included the make-and-takes we did at the stores (a beach themed tag, a magnet, a "stained glass" pin, and a squash book), and meeting other women with the same hobby. Two other stores had lovely staff, and quite an assortment of scrapbooking supplies, albeit rather crowded. Our second stop brought us to the lowlight of the day, a store that I have no interest in returning to. Why? I was sitting in the front third of the bus, and we all exited the bus in a polite row-by-row order, so I was one of the first customers from the bus tour in the store. I (along with other women from the tour) overheard one of the workers explaining to a "customer" what was going on. The conversation went something like this:

Customer: "What's going on?"
Employee: "Oh, there's a bus tour today. We're giving all of our customers a 20% discount today due to the inconvenience."
Me (in my head): "So WTF am I? Chopped liver?!"

There were a few other women who overheard it, and at least one called the employees of that store on that snarky comment. Once we arrived back at our home store, the owner was told about that incident. I did jump in and say that I head heard the same thing.

Apparently our money is no good there, so I won't be going back. No loss though, because I'll have more money to spend at the stores who actually appreciate our business. And if I go on another tour, I'll either just stay on the bus at that stop, or I'll just browse and perhaps mention that I'm not a valued customer there. Or, my favorite idea, fill up a shopping basket with embellishments and then just leave it for some poor fool to put back.

All in all, it was a great time and I can't wait to do it again. It seems that they do this tour every six months, which is enough time for my pocketbook to recover. LOL!