Saturday, February 23, 2008


Alright ladies...this was a tough one so I am calling a tie...and with good reason! So, BOTH nominations are here...these are amazing stories!!
MaBunny had a rough time of it and took the advice of her doctor who told her never to have another child...that in itself deserves a nomination.
This happened 9 years ago in Arlington, TX. I had always wanted a baby. I thought being pregnant would be a joyous miracle and fun. I wanted to go shopping for cutsie baby clothes, strollers, all the little gadgets you need. What I experienced was indeed a joyous miracle, however that its the only thing said above that turned out true.When Chris and I found out I was pregnant, we had only been trying for two months, so it happened pretty quick. I found out relatively early because at the time I worked at an OB/GYN office so I had access to pregnancy tests out the wazoo.
When I took the pee-stick test it showed a light positive, so I had a friend draw my blood and sent it off for an HCG level. It came back that I was about 3 weeks or so. Very early pregnant. The doctor I worked for at the time took a look at the results and said it was probably a blighted ovum. I didn't think so. The nurse I worked with said she would do a quick vaginal ultrasound to see if there was actually anything there. There was. I was ecstatic. It looked like a little peanut. So there started her nickname - the Precious Peanut.
Well around 6 weeks or so, I started spotting. Doctor said if I was going to miscarry there was no way to stop it but ordered me to bed for 3-4 days. I didn't miscarry. Everything was going fine. No morning sickness, just a touch of the queasies. I was working at the local hospital from 5am - 130 pm. At 17 weeks the spotting came back. I was ordered on bedrest for the next week or so. Now all of you who know me know that I love to read. At this exciting time in my life was no different. I read everything I could get my hands on. Therefore I had read that late term miscarriages start with spotting of pinkish red/brown dishcharge. I was spotting brown. I was scared. The week was over, no miscarriage. I went back to work, everything was ok again.
Then about 20 weeks it happened again. This time I was ordered to bed for 2 weeks. By this time we had found out it was a girl. We had picked out her name and everything. Her nickname had grown to The Precious Princess Peanut.Her due date was November 18th, which was my Grandmother Lela's birthday. ( She had passed away in May of 1988)I thought Grandma had chosen her especially for me and had scheduled her to arrive on her birthday. I missed my Grandmother terribly at that time. I also must mention that at the time of my pregnancy my Uncle David was very sick with Cancer. He was always the jokester of the family and he told me he was going to live long enough to see his newest great niece. I talked to my uncle more in those 7 mos than I ever had before.
Anyway, everything went back to normal. They had taken me off my normal job in the lab at the hospital and plopped me in Medical Records so I wouldn't be on my feet so much. Fine with me.I developed Toxemia around 28-30 weeks. They monitored me closely and I was told to cut job to half days. Then around 32 weeks or so they told me to go on bedrest till I delivered. Chris was working nights , but we only lived 5 houses down from my parents at the time, so I had plenty of people to watch over me. We also had a friend that played drums in a band and would come visit me when she got off work. Sadly enough, my Uncle David passed away on October 19. I didn't get to say goodbye. I wasn't allowed to go to his funeral because the doctor said it would put too much stress on me and the baby. I was devastated, but took some comfort that he would meet her in Heaven before she was delivered to us.
I got through the rest of the weeks in a blur. They finally told me I was going to be induced. I was scheduled to go the night before and they would give me some stuff to try to jumpstart labor. They gave me a cervidil suppository which is supposed to soften the Cervix and sometimes it brings on labor. I had a reaction to it. Before I knew it I had the head nurse in there and they were bringing in the sonogram machine and putting me on my hands and knees with my butt in the air, which is the emergency position if the baby is in distress. I was scared.
Turns out that my Uterus began to fibrillate, and it did it all night long. They gave me Breathine to try to calm it down but to no avail. This lasted all night. Chris , my mom and MIL were there in the room with me, all helping me ,and praying and I don't know what else. My water broker the next morning around 715 am or so. They started me on the Pitocin and said to get comfy, it would be awhile. My cousin Julie ( who had 2 kids of her own by then) told me to sit straight up and let gravity help me along. I did and boy did it ever. The nurse came to check me , said I was dilated about 3 1/2-4, so she would go notify the epidural dude. While she was gone, I started complaining of really bad, strong contractions. My mom and MIL were looking at the monitor and telling me to toughen up, my contractions were not registering all that hard, so why was I being so wimpy??!!!
Well 25 minutes later the nurse came back in to check me and I was dilated to a 7-8. I was in transition. No drugs for me. ( What? this wasn't the plan... I wanted DRUGS!!!) . The nurse said they could shoot some stuff into my IV but it probably wouldn't help much at this point. She did and it didn't. I felt it all.
I started pushing at 10:02, and she popped out at 10:14am on Thursday November 5, 1998. She weighed in at 7lbs, 9 1/2 oz and was 19 3/4 in. long. She had a head of brown hair and my MIL yelled when she saw her " She's got my nose!!" Her name was Honor Lela Nicole. So to this day her full nickname has emerged into ( and she will get mad at me for telling ya'll this since it embarrasses her but ) The Precious Princess Peanut Honor Lela Nicole Boo Boo Bear :)))
The doctor told me that I should never do that again. I haven't. She is the only baby I will have and I thank God for her every day.
(Thats the end, sorry if I was a bit long winded. I've never written that down before, and doing so brought back a swirl of emotion)Thanks for allowing me to share it.
Kalynne Pudner, our PhD and mom of 9 gets the other nomination! Need I say more?!
(grab a cup of coffee - we are talking NINE BIRTH STORIES!!)
My favorite birth story is the Number Seven and Eight combo. (But Michelle has to read them all, because the birth story contest was her idea.)
Number One (1989): It was my first year of grad school, and instead of reading my assignments, I read WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN YOU'RE EXPECTING, over and over and over again. It's a miracle they didn't kick me out of the program. I took spring semester as maternity leave: I read, I napped, I took a prenatal exercise class. The Engineer was due February 25. My husband was a legislative aide for the Virginia General Assembly, which was in session from the second week of January until the end of February. On the 24th, my friend Susan (who might have been the next First Lady of the United States, if only her husband George wasn't quite so quick to attempt one-liners -- but I digress) called to see what I was doing: I was dusting light fixtures. "Call John and tell him to come home NOW," she said. "Dusting light fixtures means you're going into labor." Susan was right, but being a first labor, it wasn't until late on the 26th that I went to the hospital, convinced I was going to be sent back home to wait it out. The hospital was so crowded that women were laboring in the hallway. Lucky for me, I was already at 5 cm, so I got a double room -- that had been makeshifted from the fathers' lounge. Transition lasted for 3 hours, pushing for another 2. My mom was there (she and my dad lived in Saudi Arabia at the time, so it was rather a big deal). I remember throwing up in transition and wishing someone would just shoot me. The doctor was so busy that he didn't get to me in time for an episiotomy, so I escaped that part of it; the next day, I was up and walking around pretty normally, while all the other new moms looked like they'd been on a horse for a week.
Number Two (1990). Mom was sure this one was going to be early, so she arrived August 14 (my due date was the 28th). Starting around the 20th, she'd ask me every time she saw me -- which was pretty darned frequently, since we lived in a two-bedroom duplex -- "Anything going on yet? Having contractions?" By the 31st, this interrogation had gotten very old indeed. On the 1st, I went with my husband to cover an NCAA track meet (he moonlighted as sports editor for a local weekly), mostly to get away from the questions. Sitting on the bleachers watching pole vaulters, I had The Moment of Recognition. Any mom of more than one knows exactly what I'm talking about: that unforgettable instant during that one unforgettable contraction when you say, possibly very loudly, "OH, S**T -- NOW I remember why I swore I'd never do this again." We had to wait until the event was over, but then we went straight to the other hospital in town (the 16-year old unmarried roommate with half of Greene County as her extended and constantly visiting family in the lounge-turned-double room had scared me away from UVA hospital forever). This was my first birth with the Most Fabulous Doctor on the Planet. It was magnificent: three hours exactly, one hour transition, twenty minutes pushing. A 9-pounder to show for it.
Number Three (1991): We had moved 80 miles from Charlottesville to Fredericksburg, which worried me, given that my last labor had been three hours from start to finish, and everyone said they got quicker as you went on. I mentioned this worry to some nice ladies at a retreat up in Northern Virginia; just so happened one of them had a condo in Ch'ville that they used only occasionally. She invited my family to come stay there around the time the baby would be born. So we did, and during the Kevin Costner version of "Robin Hood," I went into labor with Beastie. Again, three hours to the minute. (Later, I would be deeply struck by the correspondence to Jesus' time on the cross.) The Brogans, who owned the condo, are her honorary grandparents.
Number Four (1993): We refused to relinquish the Most Fabulous Doctor on the Planet, although we never lived in Ch'ville again, so all the rest of the births were calculated long-distance risks. Again, we mooched off the Brogans, but this time there were six of us: we five plus my brother-in-law, who was finishing college and living with us as a kind of uncle-figure au pair (he was really an uncle, kind of an au pair). After a full week, I felt we'd overstayed our welcome, so we went to Bruce's office (that's the doctor, in case you didn't follow the Most Fabulous Doctor link up there) and he broke my water. Another three hours, another baby. I was getting good at this.
Number Five (1994): A dear friend with whom I've lost contact, a Marine wife whose husband was deployed somewhere, brought her young daughter to stay at my house with the other four while we drove our 80 miles in early labor with Anime-Girl. Of course, we didn't call her that then, but we did know she was a girl -- the only one of our babies whose gender we knew ahead of time. That's because Bruce thought at 20 weeks that she might be twins. Which is quite remarkable, because at 10 weeks, he couldn't register her heartbeat, so he'd thought she might be dead. It was my first sonogram. Very interesting, very uncomfortable for those of us with nerve endings in our bladders. Because we'd started early, this one went longer than three hours, but otherwise the pattern was the same. Walk around the hospital, hike some stairs. Lie around in bed a bit. Get into the jacuzzi (laboring in a jacuzzi was one of the things I'd appreciated most about Martha Jefferson Hospital -- the first two times. After that, and to this day, the sight of one turns my blood to Kool-Aid.) Yell for an epidural. Have Bruce come in, whistling and grinning, to say, "Oh, did I hear the 'E' word? Someone must be in transition! Too late now!" But this time, it wasn't too late, because I yelled for the epidural earlier in the process. (It takes me a few tries at doing something to get smart about it.) The epidural almost killed me. My blood pressure dropped like an anvil from a cliff; my conscious self-awareness went into some kind of nirvana-like state of calm and detachment; I was being flipped upside down, given oxygen, John was crying, I didn't care. (I mean, I cared that he was crying, but I knew it was all good.) Obviously, I did recover, Anime-Girl was born; but the epidural had the last word as I developed phlebitis and couldn't walk for three weeks. Then I broke my toe and couldn't walk for another two. Five kids under six, five weeks immobilized, traveling husband. Yeah, the near-death experience in the hospital was looking like a teaser.
Number Six (1997): Two miscarriages later, I didn't want to risk anything happening to me or Pseudo-Tomboy by messing around with needles in the spinal corridor. Nor did I want to risk getting stranded in F'burg. So with snow in the forecast the first week of January, we headed to the hospital BEFORE The Moment of Recognition. We were there for 30-some hours: stripped membranes, broken water, castor oil and orange juice cocktail (you have to drink it through a straw, and it's still liquid evil), even special permission to -- er, well, you can figure it out (though I strongly believe this "labor-starting trick" is a ruse made up by desperately deprived husbands) -- in the hospital. Nada. Pitocin. More pitocin. OH, S**T! The first thing Pseudo-Tomboy did upon finally entering this world was to pee on Bruce's shoes. I could hardly reneg on naming her for him after that. (Oh, wait...I haven't told that story here; it was in the comment section of someone else's blog, and I don't remember whose...)
Numbers Seven and Eight (1998): The "no, I'm sure there's only one" birth. Sure till 36 weeks, that is. (See that part of the story here, if you haven't already.) Bruce told me ahead of time that I'd have to have an epidural ("Awwwww, no. Really?" I wasn't scared of death anymore), in case they had to do an emergency C-section. And I had to be in the actual delivery room, which I'd never seen before, always having been in birthing rooms -- or daddy's lounges with a portable screen stuck in the middle. It was very bright. No jacuzzi ("Awwww, no. Really?") And it was very crowded: me (well, duh), my husband, Bruce, the labor nurse, the high risk OB who would do the C-section if needed since Bruce was barred by the Medical Board from performing surgery since he was missing some fingers (go follow that link!); two perinatalogists, two nursery nurses, and a couple of interns because I was a gravissima mega-multipara (something like that, meaning I was over 35 and already had a boatload of deliveries). And it was a freakin' blast. I'd never imagined I could have so much fun birthing a couple of babies! I was cracking jokes, and singing, and laughing, practically dancing on my delivery table. Bruce said years afterwards that I was STILL famous at Martha Jeff for that delivery; no one could believe how well I did.Well, no kidding, says I. IT DIDN'T HURT! SOMEONE GAVE ME THE DAMN EPIDURAL AND DID IT RIGHT! Besides, I was in awesome physical condition, having spent over an hour on the treadmill and another on the weight machines three times a week my entire "singleton" pregnancy.That was the last delivery I had with Bruce. Way to go out with a bang.
Number Nine (2002): Most muscles in the human body get more efficient with use; that's what strength training and aerobic exercise are all about. Not so the uterus. It can take only so much stretching before it loses its spring. Add to this sad biological fact the logistical one that I was in Atlanta, with a huge group of rotating OBs who didn't know me from Aunt Pittypat; who didn't know that my water NEVER broke until I got to transition, or that asking me if I want my tubes tied "as long as we're here" is a flashing neon gauntlet. Finally, add the financial one that we didn't have friends like the ones we'd left in Virginia, and were therefore paying a babysitter $10 an hour while I was at the hospital. OF COURSE, I was going to be there for more than a full day. I got the epidural before even asking. That stopped my labor cold. Then I got Pitocin, but in order to keep me comfortable, another dose of epidural stuff, too. Twelve hours, I'd dilated from 3 to 4. And I'd been at 3 for a whole month already. I kept hearing the "ch-ching" of an old fashioned cash register in my mind. Finally, I remembered what my very good friend Colleen, mother of 12, told me about birthing her Number Nine: "The doctor said, 'You're only at 6, but you've had a whole lot of kids; your cervix must be pretty stretchy. Why don't you just push 'im out." And she did. So, I tried it, too. It didn't work...until I got to 8. Then I did it, and Cuteness arrived without my having to experience The Recognition Moment.
And I'll never experience it again; the production facility is, shall we say, obsolete. Am I wistful? Has reliving all these miraculous events made me wish for one more encore? Oh, S**T, no.
Click to read the rules and hop on the BABY BUS!
Click to see the prize up for grabs!
Keep your eye out for some unique creations from ME! COMING SOON!


Kalynne Pudner said...

I am beyond honored! Thank you! I knew all those hours of horror would pay off someday!

(Just kidding. I really do consider the whole passel of 'em worth the trouble. Most days.)

Mabunny said...

Thank you so much for putting my story on the showcase. I feel honored. I will check back in when I have time tomorrow to read my tie story. Nine children... I'm looking forward to reading the stories!:))


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