Where to start? So much has happened and is happening. I'll try to get it all in. First an apology for the long break. I really wanted to take time to enjoy the holidays in MI since I won't be back there until October when we do our big wedding shindig. I am sorry. And I know I've been lacking in the blogging department but I think we'll be cosy-ing up pretty regularly starting soon.
These posts are going to be split up a bit so you don't have to read a novel in one sitting. So to begin: Holidays with the Families.
We drove from L.A. to Oklahoma City and crashed a night, then drove OKC to Michigan to spend time with Joe's family. We got in really late and crashed on a full bed. Joe & I are 6'3" & 5'11 3/4" respectively and with a 30lb. beaglerrier and 14lb. terreagle it was a full bed for sure! :) We woke up and hung with his folks and siblings. Mostly just hanging out that day, we did open a joint bank account (which is WEIRD!). We had a big event in my hometown the next day so we decided since there was a snow storm coming to drive up that night before it hit.
The big event was my sister S. being induced to have her baby. We drove up to be there all day with her. Things went great from when they induced her at 9:30AM until about 10PM. Then hard contractions started happening and she was fully effaced & dilated almost to 10. The baby's heart rate dropped and they kicked us all out of the room. My parents, my sister G., Joe, and I all held our collective breaths. The doctor ran in with a "I'm going to have to have a heart to heart with this child" and we waited. A few minutes later everyone emerged saying the baby was fine & that she just needed to switch positions. My sister S. was crying hard, a few minutes ago she had been laughing and loving her epidural and talking about "everything is awesome, these drugs are awesome". She was scared for her baby boy. We tried to soothe her but how can you in moments like these? Then another rush of nurses as the baby's heart rate dropped again. Out to the hallway we march and hold our breaths once again. Then "Code Pink" was called and every nurse on that floor came out of the woodwork while blue lights flashed, the doctor was running to the room, a woman yelling about release forms came, we got pushed to a different area of the hallway, they rushed my sister and her husband past us, my sister S. was sobbing & her husband looked frightened, my parents and other sister G. broke down, someone tried to tell us to go to the waiting room as we planted outside the emergency surgery door, my Pops told them to get lost, we moved back from the doors and waited for answers. Someone came to us in the hallway and said that they were doing an emergency C-section and that all should be fine, when the doors opened I saw my sister's husband putting scrubs on over his clothes, he wasn't even in there with her.
We waited more. "My little sister might die, her baby might die" was all that was screaming through my head. My parents were crying, my little sister G. had disappeared to calm down and had reappeared, Joe looked panicked, I made a bargain with myself: "you need to hold it together until you see her, you can cry when you see her, DO NOT CRY UNTIL YOU SEE HER!". I don't believe in God, so I didn't pray. What I did was get very quiet, I took deep breaths, I squeezed my husband's hand, I told my parents not to panic and fear until we heard answers, I held my sister G.'s hand, I called out with every molecule in my body to the universe to make me strong enough to bear what came next and I asked projected out that my sister and her baby would be fine. I kept repeating that: "my sister and her baby will be fine and healthy, my sister an her baby will be fine and healthy, my sister and her baby will be fine and healthy, mysisterandherbabywillbefineandhealthy, my. sister. and. her. baby. will. be fine. and. healthy." over and over and over. I sneaked into the bathroom near the emergency surgery door and called my brothers who weren't there and told them or left voicemails telling them what was going on. I started to shake and could feel tears rising, I stuffed them back down reminding myself of my bargain not to cry until I saw her. I left the bathroom and rejoined my family.
We waited. It seemed like hours. A man came out with a name tag that said paternal care, his last name was pastor, he walked to us. I felt a lump in my throat rise. I felt strangled. I couldn't breathe and I couldn't swallow. I braced myself. In the most monotone voice, with no expression on his face he said "Did you hear?", my mother started sobbing, we all leaned in frightened to this man whose badge read care and pastor, my father said "No.", the man said "Oh. They're fine, I'm so sorry, they're fine, I didn't mean to scare you". I thought my Pops was going to kill this man. Everyone breathed out. My parents hugged, my folks & sister started crying again, I hugged Joe, I said "thank you! THANK YOU!" to the universe/to god/buddah/allah/yaweh/ganesha/zeus/whoever! THANK YOU. We thanked the man and made it clear he should get fucking lost. We were all breathing again. We waited for the doctor to come out.
After many moments more the doctor came out, he said mama was fine & baby were fine. Our little baby was 22.5" long and 9.97lbs. He was a big boy and he was fine. Doc said they don't know what happened, everything looked good in the placenta and cord, the cord was a little short but on paper this should have been a perfect birth. My Pops hugged this man who saved his daughter and his first grandchild. We all did. The doctor asked us to go wait in the waiting room because my sister and her husband would be in the recovery room for a few hours. We walked towards it, relieved. I made more calls to let my brothers know that S. and baby were okay. We all sat feeling like lead.
I am trying really hard to remember not to judge people too harshly but I will say in these moments following I was exhausted and raw and still scared as we didn't know what would happen next and if something could go wrong still I judged these people in the waiting room with us. I thought they were the most obnoxious family. I thought they were loud, and trashy, and smelled bad, and fat, and horrible. They were talking about hating how long recovery took, about shopping at Walmart, about who they had slept with, baby mamas and baby daddies, about drinking too much and every subject you don't want to hear after fearing someone in your family might die. I wanted to scream "SHUT UP!" I wanted to take everything that I was feeling out on these people. I sat silent and felt rage build up. I texted back and forth with my sister G. about wanting to punch one of them. The matriarch of this family asked us if we were waiting for someone in recovery. I snapped that "my sister just had an emergency C-section and could have died so we're a little raw (inner monologue: and leave us alone thank you very much!)". The woman asked if we knew if they were out and ok, I said we heard they were in recovery we were just still a little nervous. She asked about the baby, I told her his stats in length and weight. She went on about how he was a big boy, he was from God, what an angel. I wanted to scream at this woman and hit her and rage towards her. I didn't. I sat silent. In this moment I judged her through eyes of anger and fear. Now I look back and think how wonderful that she tried to reach out, that she tried to connect, that she was being really human towards us. I've been in therapy for a few years now and this is something I should have applauded from her. She might have been scared too, she might have been reaching out to me so I would reach out to her. I didn't. I'm sorry to this woman for that. I am sorry for judging. I was scared. I shouldn't have judged in that moment and I did. I couldn't help it right then and I didn't recognize what I've learned through therapy about trying to connect to others through emotion because we're all human damn it, I just didn't. I'm sorry.
This family left after about an hour, they got to meet the new little in their life. It felt like a huge relief to us to have quiet, to have space. My sister S.'s step daughter and her grandmother showed up. We updated them on everything. We all waited. We drank coffee or pop to wake up a bit. My Pops fell asleep for a bit from the exhaustion of this all. My sister's husband came out, he told us how he never even made it into the surgery room before they got the baby out, how he is perfect, how my sister was out of it from the drugs and surgery and now pain relief drugs, we gave him a camera and asked him to bring us a picture of the baby, he left to snap some. We waited and started to chat a little. He came back with pictures of my perfect nephew, my Mustache Man, my little buddy baby, my Stasz (it's Polish for Stanley). He left to take care of my sister. We passed around the camera a million times to soak that baby in. Around 3AM they wheeled my sister to us on the way to her new room. We saw her and the baby for the first time. A huge rush over took me. They were safe, I could see for myself they were safe.
We rode the elevators to the room on the new floor. We rushed to hug her, to scoop that baby into our arms, there were so many tears of relief and joy and exhaustion, there were so many pictures taken and kisses and hugs given, so many flashes of the cameras, so many texts of pictures to my brothers not in that room, we sang happy birthday to our little man who wasn't ready to come out and fought to stay in. He was born 12/21/12. He is perfect and everyone was safe, everyone was fine, and everyone was healthy.
We went to my parents' home and crashed. We had been in MI for 2 days and all this had already happened. "What's next?" was all I could think as I cried in Joe's arms in that bed. I finally let it out and cried. I went to sleep after the stress of it all hit and I cried and it knocked me out for a few hours. I think I needed it.
More to come my dear chickens, more to come.