life in and around NYC is insane

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Birth story, part 2

How could I tell you the birth story of my older daughter but not share my younger daughter's story as well?

Three people in a one bedroom apartment, even when one of those people is an infant, is not exactly the most comfortable situation.  So when Jen was a few months old, we started looking for a larger place.  We wanted to stay in the neighborhood, because my aunts were providing us with childcare.

Eventually we found a two bedroom apartment, four blocks away from our current apartment.  Closer to the subway but a tad bit further from my aunts and grandmother.

I remember when we looked at the apartment, I was impressed with the size of the second bedroom.  I told Drew "We could easily fit two children in here."   How prophetic those words turned out to be.

(I interrupt myself here to talk about the weekend we moved.  It was May and Jen was 6 months old.  We planned to move out of the old apartment on a Friday.  The realtor was hoping to be able to show the apartment during the weekend.  Against my better judgment, Drew insisted we could do the move ourselves.  We rented a truck and got a group of friends together, left Jen with my aunts.  It was an unmitigated disaster, and when we eventually moved out of that apartment we hired a professional moving company.  We did not completely vacate the apartment until Sunday, and it took weeks to unpack.

Ironically, two factors in deciding on an apartment were my job situation and our child care arrangements, but by the end of that weekend . . .

That was the weekend I accepted a job offer from an insurance company, where I would handle legal malpractice claims.  Challenging work, more money and best of all, better hours.  there would never have been a second child if I had not left the law firm and its insane hours.

It was also the weekend Eileen died.  Forgive me, but I won't share those details right now.

So not only were our possessions scattered, our lives were in disarray as well.)

I found out I was pregnant again just before Jen's first birthday.  My children would be born 20 months apart.  (My mother rolled her eyes.  "Two in diapers at the same time?  Didn't you learn from my experiences?")

My due date was July 4.  Hence the baby's nickname, Yankee Doodle Dandy.

If you think your second pregnancy will be just like your first, think again.  Morning sickness was more intense, back pain was worse... started my maternity leave in early June, and yes, I needed to do that.  I'd put Jen down for an afternoon nap and then I would take a nap in my recliner.

So July 4 finally came, and there we were, standing on our balcony, watching fireworks all over Queens...and no sign of our baby! 

Wednesday, July 8.  Drew and Jen and I drove to Dr. S's office for my weekly appointment.  I was absolutely miserable.  I was ready to ask him to induce me.

That is, until Dr. S told me I was already in labor.  I wasn't feeling any contractions, but all the other signs were there.  "You're going to have the baby tonight!"  I was given instructions to come back at 7 PM, or earlier if my labor progressed.

Ran to the pay phone and called my mother.  "Drew and I are on our way, we have to drop Jen off with you because I'm in labor."

The contractions began while we were in the car.  Dropped Jen off and turned around to go right back to the doctor's office.   We were in the hospital by 8 PM, and I was in a labor room by 8:15.

She's probably never seen a single episode, but Becca  knows all about Quantum Leap, the time travel show  that starred Scott Bakula.  The show came on the air at 10 PM that night, and Drew and I thought we could watch one of our favorite shows while waiting for the baby to be born.  Only problem was, my epidural was wearing off, and I needed more medication.

"Sorry," Dr. S said, "I can't give you more medication, you're about to have the baby."

"No, I can't do this without drugs!"

But I did.  She was born at 10:17.  And then the anesthesiologist gave me some demerol to take the edge off.  If I had been able to move, I would have sat up and kissed him.

Once again I was supposed to have a semi-private room,.  And this time I thought it would happen, since the hospital had added a new maternity wing right after Jen was born.

No such luck.  There wasn't a single bed available in the new wing.  I wound up in a room with three other ladies, in the part of the hospital that had been maternity before the new wing was built.

Whatever.  It was only for a couple of days.  And Dr. G said I had another perfect baby. 

Another child who delighted me.  Another young woman who is smart and funny and wonderful and makes me so proud.

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