The Doctor wanted us to induce because she thought the baby was getting too big. (Later we found out she's going on vacation next week - maybe part of the reason she wanted us to induce was so she'd be here...) Monday rolls around, we set the alarm for 6 AM, call the hospital from bed, and see if they have a slot. Yes they do, can we be there by 7? Um, ok.
When she starts pushing, Cathy can't really feel it. Maybe the epidural's too strong. After an hour and half of trying, Cathy suggests turning the epidural off. The exact conversation is lost in time - Cathy claims it was the nurse's idea - I think maybe the nurse was the first to mention that some people do that, it was later that Cathy said "Maybe we should turn the epidural off" and the nurse responded with an enthusiastic OK!
Word of advice: if you're doing back labor aka the baby is posterior aka "sunny side-up" DO NOT turn off the epidural. Because it hurts. A lot.
She started feeling it, pushing well, but eventually the pain got too much and she couldn't do it anymore, so we got on the queue to have the epidural turned back on, which took a while, and even once it was on it took another half hour before she was feeling good, which left us fifteen minutes to push before our three hours were up and a C-section became the recommended choice.
"So you blame me for the C-Section?" Cathy asks. Like the C-Section is a bad thing. I'm just reporting what happened. We made some choices, ("What choices did YOU make," Cathy asks. Fine, she made some choices.) stuff happened, nobody knew. We didn't know for sure the baby was sunny side-up this time, either.
Anyhow - C-Section. Although there's a little wall up to prevent me from having a direct view of the gore, there's a mirror on the other side of the room I can pretty easily sneak peeks from, and I can see the cannister where they collect the blood they're suctioning away. So when they've got umbilical cord snaking everywhere like so much intestine and the cannister is at the 500 ml mark I'm pretty freaked out. Trying to do the math in my head - aren't there 6 pints of blood in the human body? How many pints in a liter? Damn you metric system. But I don't ask, "Um, hey, is that much blood normal?" because I don't want to freak Cathy out, either.
After they have Zara out (the umbilical cord was wrapped around her neck, apparently, another factor that must have made our delivery difficult) and by the time they get Cathy all sewed up the cannister is over the liter mark, and that doesn't even include the blood on the Doctor's smock and all over Cathy's belly, etc.
But, hey, I guess that's normal, because Cathy's fine, everything's fine, and all things considered I think this birth has gone smoother than the last. Cathy's able to use the bathroom, for example...
Zara: 7 lbs 15 oz, born 8:46 on 6/8/09.
Honesty time: with Sofi, I was like, "Wow, what a miracle, what a fantastic little person, look, she's so incredible, wow." With Zara it's like, "Huh. She's like Sofi but different. Can I go back to sleep now?" I'm probably going to have to delete or censor this blog when they get old enough to read...as long as I'm being honest, I'll also say I already have a favorite. One of the reasons I didn't want to have a second is I'd knew I'd have a favorite, that in my head I'd make Sophie's Choice, and now I've done it. But hey, maybe my favorite will change over time. And maybe the integrals of favoritism will balance out.
My memory is that newborns cry all the time, and that's not actually the case. Not even most of the time. Most of the time they sleep. Not so bad.
Overlake Hospital is pretty awesome. We like it better than Cedars-Sinai all in all. Bigger rooms; more attentive, competent nurses; better food. "It's like a little vacation," Cathy said. "I don't want to go back." My bed was pretty uncomfortable, like a sheet stretched over some metal coils.
Now that we're home, I don't know what we'd do if my mom and dad weren't here. Kill each other, I suppose. They've been entertaining Sofi and feeding us and cleaning up after us. We've been feeding and soothing Zara. We're having the same breast feeding problems we had with Sofi - milk not coming in, Zara losing weight, and so we're going to pump again (just helped Cathy set up the pump.) We'll have to supplement with formula, and part of me goes, yes! We'll be able to get more sleep!
On the sleep front, I realize although Cathy has it harder than me in almost every way, she does have one advantage: she can fall asleep in seconds flat. She just has to lie down and boom, she's snoring. Me, I lie there for an hour and then my cell phone in the other room beeps to indicate that its batteries are dead and I snap back awake. I'm also really bad at coming out of naps - groggy and surly and unable to move.
So far, Cathy's been in high spirits compared to last time; last time she was often like a surly mother bear, cooing over her young but when I approached or dared speak she'd menacingly growl. (If I ever want to get a laugh out of Cathy I just have to playact "here's mama with Sofi...(looks down) aww, coo iddy biddy coo coo aww...(looks up) GROWL!!!!) Not this time.