The birth of the Bunlet
Wednesday, August 22nd, 2012.
I slept like complete shit the night before the excision. Something about my esophagus being ON FIRE prevented me from falling into a deep slumber, plus Bunlet had decided that he wanted to take up residence under my ribs, and then he’d streeeeeetch and my ribs would go creeeeeaaaaaak and I’d go OWWWWWW. Eventually it was late enough that I could get up and make some coffee…for Mr. Bunny, as I wasn’t allowed anything. I went in to spend a little time with Bun Bun since I knew the shower would wake her anyway.
For whatever reason, I’d been super stressed about the whole separated from my existing child while delivering my other child thing. I was so worried about how she’d do without us, and so unhappy at the prospect of being without her. I’d written an elaborate manual for my mother (who was looking after her while we were in the hospital) describing every last detail of her day, hoping that having a familiar routine would keep her happy, and that knowing she was happy would keep me happy.
So I snuggled her and tried not to think about leaving her. And then I took a shower, and contemplated the fact that, last time, I’d been wracked with sobs while taking my pre-excision shower, so overwrought at the idea of having her cut out of me before she was ready, so unsure about my ability to protect her. This time I was mainly like I’m so fucking tired and cranky. I finished packing, said goodbye to my daughter (who was happily playing with her grandmother), and off we went into the quiet morning streets. We parked in the familiar lot, walked through the familiar halls, past the doors to the suite housing the OB and IVF clinics, and once again took that magic elevator to L&D. They put me in the same room as last time, good old 12, and soon enough I was sitting in a bed, fetal monitors attached, listening to my child’s heartbeat. An endless procession of people began dropping by to ask the same questions, my favorite person being the anesthesiology resident whom someone had told that robotically patting a patient’s knee at two minute intervals was comforting or something, and who asked me what my previous C-section was for. A baby, I replied, not even trying to be a wise ass. And then they took me to the OR.
I’d been holding it together fairly well, but when I got into that room, I crumbled a bit. It’s such a scary and cold (literally cold) place, and everything in it says MEDICINE and TECHNOLOGY and not warm, organic, squirmy, little life, and it seemed like such a wrong place to bring a child into the world, even though I know it ISN’T and DOESN’T MATTER. (See the birth of the Bun for my feelings on C-sections.) Tears started. The nurse asked if I was nervous and I just nodded rather than trying to explain. Spinal and epidural in, no big thing, foley catheter in, lots of people swarming around, my OB arrives, I start to worry that they have forgotten my HUSBAND. The drape goes up (I seem to have switched to the NARRATIVE PRESENT FOR ADDED DRAMA), they start doing their surgical checklist. A nurse calls over the intercom for the dad from 12, but the dad from 12 doesn’t come. There’s a lot of murmuring from the other side of the drape. Someone calls out INCISION! I am now convinced my husband will miss the whole thing, and bite my tongue to resist begging them to wait. There’s the smell of cauterizing flesh, most likely mine. The nurse calls over the intercom again, and at LAST, the dad from 12 arrives and holds my hand and strokes my forehead and am I EVER glad to see him. Almost immediately someone calls out UTERUS! There’s a pause, and a vigorous shoving on me, and then a wet little bleat! Hello, Cutie Pie, says my OB, which I love, perhaps because it’s so totally far from what I’d say and yet very affectionate. And then a great big shoving on me, and a healthy little wail of new life. My OB says something I can’t remember at ALL that ends in boy, and then there’s laughter. It’s a boy? Mr. Bunny asks, and they confirm, and add that he’s peed on them. And then I see his face for an instant above the drape, blue and smashed, but I know this time that he won’t look like HIM until we are close to each other. He’s whisked away and Mr. Bunny goes with him, and he (Bunlet) pees on someone again, and holds his father’s finger, and is perfect.
Meanwhile, the shitty part has started for me, the part where they pour gallons of acid into my chest cavity for some reason, and I try not to whine too much, but FUCK, that shit HURTS. Until they give me some more drugs, and I’m okay. And then Mr. Bunny brings my son to me, and I can nuzzle him and tell him that I’m his mama and that I’m so happy to see him.
Soon enough they’ve put me back together and hoisted me onto a bed and wheeled me back to 12, with Bunlet and Mr. Bunny following behind. And this time they give him to me right away, and because I am a total expert now, I expertly latch him onto my expert breast and he expertly nurses. And nurses and nurses, and I can stroke his tiny face and miraculous hands and suck on tiny, miraculous ice chips.