The Birth of the Bunter
Details! For the one of you who cares! I know there is at least one of you, because I care about details in your lives, and there has to be at least one other person like me. But also I write these posts so I can Relive the Amazingness any time I feel like it and have an internet connection.
Let us return to 5 am on the 19th. (Of October, because I see that it has now been a MONTH since Bunter was born!) *Wavy lines indicating flashback*
I hadn’t been sleeping well for weeks, so it was not a surprise to find myself awake at 5. I dragged my weary carcass off to the shower. I thanked Bunter for waiting for her appointment, and apologized to her for the abrupt entry into the world she was about to experience. I’d promised the babies I’d say goodbye to them, so after my shower I finished packing (funny how little one actually needs–underwear, because the giant granny hospital issue polyester ones give me hives, some lip balm? That’s about it…) and went in to see them. Turns out that was a bad idea, because they both started crying. Not in a Mama, don’t go! way, in a Why the fuck did you wake me up what is HAPPENING TO ME way. So I’ll make a note for the next time I go off to have a baby: Don’t wake the toddlers. The kitchen smelled like the delicious coffee I couldn’t have. Down the hill to the hospital. Mr. Bunny dropped me off at the door and I waited for him to park. The woman at the info desk saw me sitting there and asked if I was having a baby. Yes, but not until 8 am, I explained. She didn’t understand why we weren’t using the valet. (Because it’s annoying and unnecessary, is the answer.) Down the hall to the elevator, up to L&D. In all my visits, I’ve never laid eyes on another woman having a baby. As far as I know, that floor exists entirely for me. They did not put us in room 12, where we’ve been before. This actually made me anxious. Things had gone so well in room 12! We do not know anything about this [virtually identical] ROOM TEN. The fetal monitor went on, Bunter’s heartbeat loud and strong, and the endless series of questions I’ve answered many times before began. A nurse attempted to insert my IV. It did not work, and turns out that when it doesn’t work, it’s quite painful. I looked over and saw my spouse fucking around on his phone. It made me feel really alone, and that coupled with the minor but real pain led to me weeping some. The nurse tried a different vein. That one did not work either. My tears clearly made her feel super bad as she apologized many times. The whole questions I’d already answered plus blowing my veins took an hour, and then it was time to meet with the anesthesia people to answer some questions I’d already answered and get an IV inserted with the benefit of some lidocaine first. Then it was time to be wheeled across the hall to the OR. It wasn’t the one Bun Bun and Bunlet had been born in, either, but a tiny little backup OR. I guess because the other one was awash with the gore of some other emergent case. Okay then, guess I don’t want to be in there! The anesthesiology resident began on my spinal + epidural, and seemed to be struggling. Her voice went from calm to rather stressed and I wondered whether I should have paid more attention to the possible risks. Probably not. A great many people began crowding into the tiny room. The guy who was there entirely to count the surgical towels seemed very salient for some reason. They finished immobilizing me and, as before, I started thinking about how weird it is to bring a baby into the world in such a cold, strange place and began weeping quietly. I presume it’s some kind of stress reaction. My doctor came in, and was warm and reassuring. The drape went up, the pace of events began to speed up. Again, it seemed like they were fairly far along before they brought Mr. Bunny in, warning him no to trip on various things. I felt better with him holding my hand, but the shoving and the hauling on various parts of me, and the burning flesh smell were still unsettling. I heard my OB issuing quiet instructions to her various residents. I felt the really major hauling and heaving sensation, and then that wonderful little wet squall. Hello, cutie pie, my OB said. I guess it’s her standard line. A squashy blue face popped up over the edge of the drape for a moment. I waited to be told what flavor of baby I’d won, reminding myself that despite my strong feeling that Bunter was a girl, I didn’t actually know and should prepare myself to be wrong. Mr. Bunny asked, and someone said It’s a girl.
Oh good. I hated all the boy names, he replied.
Because the room was so small, they had to take her next door, and I asked him to go along. I could hear her crying. I really wanted her, but she was a little cold, so they were trying to warm her up before handing her off to her daddy. Meanwhile, I was in a lot of pain, the chest flooded with acid experience. The anesthesiologist administered something or other, but the pain would come and go and was quite unpleasant. I whimpered like a sissy. The tubal ligation added some time, and it all seemed to be taking forever. All while not being able to see my baby. I asked what layer we were up to: Fascia. At long last, Mr. Bunny came in with Bunter, an astonishing little bundle of new human, so precious and small. We were able to meet. My voice seemed to calm her, and I touched her little face. The team wrapped up the sewing job and the drape went down. One of the many people in the room insisted that Bunter be placed on my chest, which I am so grateful for. Funny how a tiny thing like that makes such a difference to a mama. We were wheeled back to room ten. The crowd melted away and I got down to the awkward but far less awkward than the first time business of nursing my fine new baby and peeking at her tons of hair and her tiny, awe-inspiring appendages.
Because Bunter had been chilly, a nurse decided to crank the heat up in the room to 80. Soon I was unbearably hot, but it turned out that the heat would not go back down. A person had to come and replace the thermostat. The overheating made me very unwell and led to a lot of vomiting and a weird hazy period where I felt totally helpless and weak and also extremely furious because I’d felt great before.
When one of the nurses started her shift she looked so familiar, but I couldn’t place her. Soon we figured out that we have kids in the same class and have seen each other in the hall at drop off time. Amusing!
The mattress of my bed automatically and very, very loudly adjusted itself every 15 seconds. I guess it prevents bed sores. In addition to being totally unnecessary in my case, it also very effectively prevented sleep because of the suddenness and the noise. I get the idea, designers of medical equipment. But do you get that there is a HUMAN on the other end of your design?
Nursing went well, in general, but was painful. I stared to feel a bit panicky that I was going down the Bloody Nipple Road again. Eventually a lactation consultant came by. No, nursing always hurts a little at first, she reported. If the pain goes away after about a minute after latching on, you’re okay. So different from the breastfeeding should never hurt LLL rigamarole in all the pamphlets they kept showering me with. My milk came in a day earlier this time, too, which was cool.
The babies visited in the hospital. I had the sense to keep them away as long as possible, which meant that I was much more mobile when they came. Better able to defend myself and interact with them in a semi-normal way. They’d made lots of art to welcome their sister and we hung it around the room. Very cheerful and sweet.
On Wednesday morning, a pediatrician came in and asked How would you feel about going home early? I’d feel very good about that. Tell me more. I replied. It took them six hours to discharge us for no good reason, but at least I got to avoid another night in that fucking bed.
Coming home with my precious little bunny and crawling into my soft, still bed, where only a few people were likely to interrupt me was the most wonderful thing in the universe.