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waiting for the whoosh - badgergirl's journal

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  • I am sick. Not dying, but unwell. In true Jeffrey Bernard style though, I am planning to drown the virus in vino shortly.
    I like badgers, books and booze, more or less in that order.

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    • Originally posted by badgergirl View Post
      I am sick. Not dying, but unwell. In true Jeffrey Bernard style though, I am planning to drown the virus in vino shortly.
      All the antioxidants in the wine will help.....

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      • Originally posted by ssn679doc View Post
        All the antioxidants in the wine will help.....
        Let's hope...
        I like badgers, books and booze, more or less in that order.

        Comment


        • Well, it's a new day here on the east coast of the U.S., hoping the wine has worked its magic...also time...
          My journal - The Walrus: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread108103.html

          Be silly, be honest, be kind. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

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          • Throat still sore and nose still snotty. Reeling from the MZB news. Ugh. And, word to the wise, think carefully before googling 'child abuse fantasy author'.
            I like badgers, books and booze, more or less in that order.

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            • Somewhat odd to think you are experiencing what I am experiencing on the other side of the world. An author whose work was an integral part of my teenage and young adult years was a...a...I can't say it.

              I haven't had a runny nose like this since I was a kid. Ugh ugh ugh ugh
              My journal - The Walrus: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread108103.html

              Be silly, be honest, be kind. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

              Comment


              • Mists of Avalon was a key text in my adolescence. She also mentored Mercedes Lackey whose books I adored and read cover to cover until they disintegrated. I'm horrified, but there was some dodgy content with those priestesses moulding children that suddenly, sickeningly, has taken on a darker dimension.
                I like badgers, books and booze, more or less in that order.

                Comment


                • It’s a good job, really, that pregnancy lasts as long as it does – there’s a lot of things to decide and ideas to get used to before the grand unveiling (and once they’re out there’s no putting them back in again). One of the first things on the agenda was to finally choose our family name.

                  For a year or more, after we got married, we batted suggestions back and forth. Squirrel favoured the quirky, Tolkienesque with ‘unique’ spelling. I did not. My criteria were fairly straightforward: must be at least two, ideally three, syllables (as we both have short, choppy first names) and must be easy to spell over the phone. We both wanted something with meaning. Perhaps three years in we decided that ‘Fortune’ had a nice ring to it. Squirrel wanted ‘Fortuna’, but I pointed out that aurally it was indistinguishable from ‘Four tuna’ and therefore, er, fishy. Then, one day, strolling home, I stopped dead in my tracks: my daughters would be misfortunes. We went back to the drawing board.

                  Pregnancy focused our minds – we had a deadline. Ever a lover of the odd spelling, Squirrel suggested Wighthaven to honour the Iggles. I liked the sound of ‘haven’ but nixed ‘Wight’ – are you kidding me? I’m not naming myself after the Isle, badgers preserve us! Okay then, he said, how about keeping your one-syllable, easy-to-spell family name and adding ‘haven’ to it? We rolled it round our mouths and liked the way it fitted us. It was elvish enough (they depart in that direction and find a home) to tick Squirrel’s boxes, plain enough and easy to spell to tick mine (you try spelling Eichhörnchen over the phone – it gets old, fast).

                  Then there was the small matter of a first name. We each wrote lists. We each had veto rights, but we decided if Sprout was a boy Squirrel would get the choice and if Sprout was a girl I would. It is with some sadness that I had to say goodbye to my dream of a daughter called Vita Athene.

                  Thank goodness for veto powers. ‘Winlam’ or ‘Wynlam’ was Squirrel’s frontrunner. No way, no how. What about Tobias, I said, what about Odin? Squirrel was lukewarm. He wanted Brock. No, Squirrel, we are not calling our child another word for badger. The discussions went on for nearly the full nine months before a decision was made.

                  I searched the etymology of Squirrel’s last suggestion: borrowed from Persian رخ rokh, Sanskrit रथ rath, "chariot". So, let me get this straight, I said. You want to name your firstborn son ‘tank’, yes? It transpired that he did indeed. I also had qualms as in my favourite childhood books – The Dark Is Rising Sequence – birds of this name are agents of the dark. However, it was the best name on Squirrel’s list and we were nearly out of time. Being both dark haired, we assumed any child would have our colouring, it seemed to suit. I got my choice for a middle name: Apollo, because he is my sunshine.

                  We told the family. Everyone was broadly supportive of our odd approach to the naming of our child. Everyone except, that is, Aunt P. I said to her: if he doesn’t like it he can change it when he’s older. To which she replied in her best Lady Bracknell tones: ‘Yes! I expect he will.’
                  Last edited by badgergirl; 10-29-2014, 06:11 PM.
                  I like badgers, books and booze, more or less in that order.

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                  • part 2

                    Squirrel returned to work after New Year. He’d been back less than a week when I went into labour. Not that I was willing to call it that in the moment. I’d spent the day doing chores and running errands and had put lamb shanks in the oven when I decided to take a little nap. It was four o’clock and the moment my head hit the pillow, I felt a strange griping sensation just below the bump and an urge to visit the loo. Now, I’d had something similar occur much earlier in the pregnancy and demanded husband come home from a party as I was convinced something was happening, but it turned out to just be a stomach upset so this time I didn’t want to get worked up with no cause.

                    In the weeks leading up to Christmas, I’d become an avid reader of other people’s accounts of giving birth and had resigned myself to a long, long labour with contractions merely marking the start of a multi-day process. I was quite reluctant to consider that this griping pain could be a contraction.

                    The crampy sensations came at around 15-minute intervals for the rest of the afternoon as I pottered about and prepared the finishing touches for our dinner. Husband rang on his way home from work and I told him that I thought just maybe this might be the start of labour; however, we were both somewhat sceptical. I’d read all about ‘the show’ a mucus plug that blocks the uterus until labour begins. It was at this point that I rang our volunteer dog sitter, my friend Em who lived a bus ride away, to say that perhaps we’d need her help on Wednesday or Thursday as I might possibly be entering the early stages of labour. Unfortunately, she said she was unavailable this week. I tried not to panic at this news.

                    By the time husband got home the cramps were coming harder and faster, perhaps every ten minutes or so. They weren’t terrible, but I couldn’t sit down through them so periodically through dinner I’d get up and pace around for 30 seconds or so. Yet another desperate need for the loo revealed the ‘show’ had arrived, but since we were eating I decided to hold off telling husband.

                    At this point - around 8pm - I was in denial that we might need to go to the hospital that night. I was convinced that these cramps would continue for hours before anything really got moving. Squirrel insisted that I get ready to go, just in case. I showered, washed my hair, trimmed the foliage, plucked my eyebrows... perhaps it was nerves.

                    At around 10pm we decided to time the cramps, which I suppose even I realised were contractions now. They were regularly coming at five minutes and lasting 30-40 seconds. Also, there seemed to be more blood than online accounts warranted. I rang the hospital and was told to wait until the contractions were three minutes apart and told not to worry about the blood, just take a paracetamol and go to bed. Husband went to bed, but there was no way I was going to lie down through a contraction so I stayed in the living room. I sent emails to people and tried to stay calm in the intervals between the contractions. I kept up the pacing every time a contraction came. Another visit to the loo - my bottom was very sore by this point - now there was a truly scary amount of blood, surely this couldn’t be right? At a little past midnight, I made another call to the hospital and now I was told to come in.

                    I woke husband and we got ready to go. We had done our due diligence – husband had a card for the local minicab firm, practically next-door, had checked that they worked all hours. He rang, only to be told that there would be a 45-minute wait. In retrospect, I am perplexed that it did not occur to either of us to ring for an ambulance. No, we decided to take our chances on the Old Kent Road, figuring that in 45 minutes we’d either be able to get a bus or hail a passing black cab (actually, in 45 minutes we could almost walk there). As we walked down the road I reminded Squirrel about having to hail a cab on Greys Inn Road to take us to the Register office. We found a black cab quickly and sped to St Thomas’s.

                    After a couple of false starts - most of the doors were locked - we found our way up to the maternity centre triage waiting room. St Thomas’s has two birth centres - one is called home from home (HFH) this is midwife led and supposed to mimic having a home birth; the other is the more medically oriented hospital birth centre (HBC). There were two other pregnant women waiting to be assessed in front of us - a black woman with two attendants and a stereotypical mid-thirties white couple. I took an instant irrational dislike to the white middle-class couple - a few things stand out: they had TWO roller suitcases with them (as compared to our modest rucksack - more on which later); she was plugged into a TENS machine (no idea why this bugged me, but I thought it was overkill); she was gasping and puffing every five minutes or so, which I thought was hamming it up a bit; her husband/partner kept whispering ‘you’re doing really well, really well’ (I felt like telling her to pull herself together, for goodness sake); she looked as if she hadn’t brushed her hair. Like I say, it was irrational. Anyway, there was no way I was going to huff and puff no matter how uncomfortable I was, so I tried to keep my pacing fairly low key and stay static, but standing, or perched on a chair and when I did need to pace I covered it up be getting water for Squirrel and myself. Squirrel wasn’t fooled, he timed my pacing - I was now contracting every three minutes.

                    Finally, after about 30 minutes, it was our turn to be seen. I was ushered through to a room in the HFH and questioned about the blood. The pad didn’t do it justice I tried to explain to the brusque midwife - most of it had ended up in the toilet. She seemed to piss-fart around a lot - I suppose there’s a lot of paperwork to do during admission - and I needed to have blood pressure and temperature readings taken. Now it was time for the internal exam - I braced myself as I knew that lying down was not going to be pleasant. The good news: I was 5cm dilated, in other words I was in established labour. The bad news: I was bleeding a fair amount and needed to be transferred to the HBC so that the baby could be monitored. Yet more fucking around. And by this stage I was in no mood to put up with it. The brusque midwife disappeared and now it was my turn to huff and puff. Pace, pace, pace. ‘Squirrel, I can’t handle hours of this. I want the drugs. It’s only going to get worse and it’s bad now. I know I said I wouldn’t but once we’re in the new room I want an epidural.’ Pace, pace, pace.

                    Suddenly a euphoric feeling of release and a loud pop - loud to me anyway, somehow husband didn’t hear it - my waters broke. I started to laugh, it felt incredible, almost orgasmic. I was suddenly standing in a puddle. Brusque midwife was back and trying to get me in a wheelchair. ‘I want to walk,’ I said, but she wouldn’t listen. The contractions were more intense now and what the books call ‘the urge to push’ kicked in. Now, I don’t know what it’s like for other women, obviously, but this was no urge. My body was pushing and there was nothing I could do to stop it – ‘Jesus M*thercnuting Christ!’ I shouted – I am very proud that I invented new swears in labour. Every woman should seize the opportunity. The brusque midwife was really angry, both at the profanity and the pushing, ‘You’re pushing!’ she said accusatorily. To which I replied, through gritted teeth, ’I can’t f*cking help it!" She left the room and husband told me off for inappropriate swearing.

                    We got to the HBC - me in the wheelchair getting my hands bumped against walls, doors and various pieces of medical equipment, it didn’t occur to me to move them inside the arms of the chair - and brusque midwife disappeared yet again. She flitted back in ‘I want drugs - where’s the gas and air?’ my voice was plaintive. I finally got hooked up and started inhaling like a desperate stoner. At least I was able to stand up again now and the gas and air began to work its magic. Nice midwife arrived, but had no clue what was going on - more minutes ticked by as she tracked down brusque and got a rundown of what had happened so far. Puff, puff, push, puff, puff. ‘I want an epidural.’ Puff, puff, push, puff. Nice midwife tried to explain that the anaesthetist was unavailable. ‘I want an epidural.’ This time she said there was no time. I didn’t believe her. I tried to send husband home to look after pupster. ‘Nothing’s happening here, it’s going to be hours, you must be so bored...’

                    Now came the really crap bit of the whole experience. I had to have various things attached to me to monitor the baby and this meant lying down. That was done and I’d hoisted myself back up on to all fours - no easy task - when they decided they needed to stick a cannula in my hand and I needed to be on my back again. ‘No!’ I shouted. They tried to reason with me: ‘It’s for the baby’. ‘Fuck the baby!’ was my trenchant reply. Somehow they dealt with my compromise measure of sticking my arm out while remaining on my knees.
                    Last edited by badgergirl; 10-29-2014, 06:37 PM.
                    I like badgers, books and booze, more or less in that order.

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                    • part 3

                      With all the periphery nonsense sorted out, finally, we got down to business. I was told to stop with the gas and air and concentrate on pushing. I still thought that the birth was hours away and when the midwife said she was checking for hair I thought she was eyeing up my bikini line. Squirrel told me he could see the head. I have no idea how fast the contractions were coming now, but they still seemed a little spaced out. I was able to get in three or four pushes per contraction and thought I really couldn’t push any harder. ‘Push down with your bottom’ the nice midwife said. The inevitable happened and was cleaned up. ‘Stop holding back with your stomach muscles - you’re pulling him back in!’ I was getting pretty cross now as, as far as I was concerned, there could be no bigger push in the world. Quite soon after this she said ‘I want to get the head out on the next push.’ It didn’t quite work out that time, but soon afterwards - now that I was focused on it - the head came out with a burning stretching feeling. Then there were a couple of contractions where she manoeuvred the rest of Sprout out - very odd and uncomfortable squirming. I rolled on to my back and saw our son.

                      Disbelief. Total bewilderment. Was that it then? Was that all there was to giving birth? Not hours of hard labour? Joy! Suddenly I was back with the birth plan - since entirely against my will I’d managed to fulfil its terms so far – ‘I want a natural third stage; don’t cut the cord,’ I declared. It wasn’t to be as I’d already been bleeding, so with an injection in my thigh the placenta was out in minutes. ‘With onions for breakfast?’ I said to husband, smiling weakly. The midwife rushed the placenta away in a kidney-shaped bowl before I could make good on my threat. Squirrel checked the time - it was 3.40am, about two and a half hours since we were admitted.

                      Then it was a mixture of forms, tests and skin-to-skin time. It passed in a blur. I had a shower while the midwife cleaned up the bed - the forms say I lost about a pint of blood, but I can tell you I sure did spread it around. The bathroom looked like a crime scene. Sprout had his first feed and I asked when I could go home. I felt a little weak and shaky, but mainly fine so I got dressed – including boots, obviously - and ready to leave. I was told that I could probably head home at lunch time so husband and I parted company and arranged that he would come back after 10am when I’d be on the postnatal ward.

                      The rest of the day was really boring. I sat on the edge of the bed, rang people whose numbers I could remember - somehow I had Squirrel’s mobile and he had mine - and asked every passing member of staff if I could go home. We had to wait for a paediatrician to check Sprout over and there were babies in the queue ahead of us. I was press ganged into attending a breastfeeding propaganda session just as I was about to go to sleep; a session where some of the information was inaccurate and some of the flip charts were misspelt. I was not amused and learned nothing. Not only that, but Sprout – wheeled in in a cot and parked at the side of the room – started crying and someone else had to tell me that it was my baby (pro tip – put your newborn in something snazzy and easily recognisable).

                      All the other women seemed to be either crushed or enjoying their stay so much that they had settled in for the long haul. I ignored all the things I had brought with me in my rucksack - pyjamas, moogie, book - and concentrated on looking as though I was about to leave. Husband turned up and lunchtime came and went – luckily, he found me some food as I’d missed breakfast while moving to the ward. Squirrel went home to take care of pupster. Finally, at around 3.30pm, we saw the paediatrician and Sprout was declared fit and well and good to go.

                      I summoned husband back in. While we were waiting for my discharge papers I overheard a conversation between two other women on the ward - they were discussing how long it takes to be discharged and the consensus was days. I began contemplating discharging myself, wondering if this would mean Sprout would get put on the ‘at risk’ register. At 4 o’clock, a full 24 hours after my first intimation of a contraction, we were finally back in a cab and coming home.

                      Last edited by badgergirl; 10-29-2014, 08:58 PM.
                      I like badgers, books and booze, more or less in that order.

                      Comment


                      • At this point - around 8pm - I was in denial that we might need to go to the hospital that night.
                        ‘Fuck the baby!’
                        ‘With onions for breakfast?’ I said to husband, smiling weakly. The midwife rushed the placenta away in a kidney-shaped bowl before I could make good on my threat.
                        You had me roaring with laughter.

                        I had a friend go into labor when she came over for dinner. It was so mild in comparison to her first baby that she didn't realize it. But her other friend and I noticed that she'd complain about indigestion every few minutes. As soon as she realized she was indeed in labor, she begged me for some of the pasta. "They won't feed me now that I'm in labor, and I'm starving."

                        The EMTs arrived to find her eating pasta like she hadn't eaten in days. When I told them why, they just smiled, and said, "She's right. This is her last meal for awhile."

                        And Sprout is gorgeous!
                        "Right is right, even if no one is doing it; wrong is wrong, even if everyone is doing it." - St. Augustine

                        B*tch-lite

                        Who says back fat is a bad thing? Maybe on a hairy guy at the beach, but not on a crab.

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                        • Originally posted by JoanieL View Post
                          You had me roaring with laughter.

                          I had a friend go into labor when she came over for dinner. It was so mild in comparison to her first baby that she didn't realize it. But her other friend and I noticed that she'd complain about indigestion every few minutes. As soon as she realized she was indeed in labor, she begged me for some of the pasta. "They won't feed me now that I'm in labor, and I'm starving."

                          The EMTs arrived to find her eating pasta like she hadn't eaten in days. When I told them why, they just smiled, and said, "She's right. This is her last meal for awhile."

                          And Sprout is gorgeous!
                          I was told, were I to do it again, to book a home birth because second time round was likely to be even faster.

                          He was/is quite the cutie.
                          I like badgers, books and booze, more or less in that order.

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                          • Originally posted by JoanieL View Post
                            You had me roaring with laughter.
                            And me, that was one of the best installments so far BG.... What did he weigh in at, as he looks quite a lump in the photee?

                            My sisters last labour lasted 7 minutes, (but she's had more kids than a randy goat mind....)

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                            • Originally posted by Dhansakdave View Post
                              And me, that was one of the best installments so far BG.... What did he weigh in at, as he looks quite a lump in the photee?

                              My sisters last labour lasted 7 minutes, (but she's had more kids than a randy goat mind....)
                              He was four kilos.Gravity helped, clearly.
                              I like badgers, books and booze, more or less in that order.

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                              • 8 and a half pounds is a good size, I can see why you wanted the entonox and gravity usually works....

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