Sunday, March 12, 2006

Thing 1 is born Part II

Thing 2 has an interesting bedtime ritual. She lets me boost her into the crib and I lay her down, then kiss her good night. THEN she announces she needs medicine. Medicine means the slightly flavored colored water that I keep in an old Motrin container in the bathroom. I suck a teaspoonful up with a syringe and take it to her in the bed and squirt it into her mouth. It is at that point that she tells me she needs to go potty. Which is awfully hard to refuse. She can almost always produce at least a teaspoonful – is there a relationship between the teaspoonful I squirt in her mouth?

- Continued from previous post -

SO I pushed. The doctor hadn’t been called yet because I guess sometimes you can push for a couple hours – something I don’t even want to imagine. The resident positioned himself between my legs and I pushed, just like he told me. Good and hard. The resident and the nurse exchanged a couple of glances, which made me a little nervous, and then he smiled and said “Stop pushing, it’s time to call the doctor.” The look he gave the nurse scared me but I decided not to think about it.
So I had to wait in that position, not pushing, for half an hour (until around 3:00 a.m.) while my body is screaming at me and contracting and trying to push out a baby, while they called the Dr. and she came. Looking proper as always… I’d heard nurses joke that even at three in the morning she comes up the hall with her hair looking good, wearing her pearls and high heels… I don’t know about that I just know it took her half an hour to get there.
So she checks me out and said unfortunately I’m only dialated to nine centimeters, not ten. She says she’ll just put her hand up there for the next contraction and ease the peritoneum over the baby’s head. That was probably the worst part of the labor. But once she did that, and told me to push, it was pretty fast and Thing 1 was born at 3:35, I believe. Without so much as an asprin, as Hubby liked to brag later.
I was just so terribly glad it was done, she was out… And Hubby watched, holding my knee and coaching me, and telling me when he could see her head, and cried. I cried whenever I saw movies of anyone else give birth, but when it was me, I was just so stunned and tired I couldn’t muster up one tear.

She was not very big, a really nice size – 6 pounds 10 ounces, I believe. I’ll have to check her baby book. But very healthy without being so big. She was really pink and responsive and the nurse brought her right over to me to breastfeed and she caught on quick, and looked around with these big dark eyes. I remember being so amazed at this new tiny little person.  Hubby said “Look at how she’s looking right at you! She is so brilliant!”

The hospital people kind of cleared out and told us they’d be back in an hour. We called my mother and father, who had known we were going to the hospital. She was already awake, even though it was something like four thirty in the morning. She had woken up an hour before – probably about the time the baby was born… and said she had lain there wondering what was happening and if the baby was born yet. We called Hubby's sister since she knew we were going into the hospital too. Then they took the baby to the nursery for her first bath and checkup. They had sort of toweled off the cream cheese stuff babies are covered in when they’re born, but she needed a proper bath and her full check up. They took me to a private room, where Hubby and I kind of moved in, talking about everything and rather too excited to sleep. It was probably about 4:30 in the morning.

We didn’t find out about what was going on in the rest of the world on September 11th until we called my brother's house around 8:00. My sister-in-law answered, and I told her the baby was born and she said “Oh, it’s wonderful to have good news on such a horrible day!” I thought oh no, her father (a rancher) has been cornered in the corral and gored by a bull again. She said no, a plane has crashed into one of the twin towers. I imagined a little tourist plane… bzzzzzzzz....  We turned on the TV and every channel but the hospital baby channel was showing video of the one, and then the second plane flying into the towers in New York.
Very surreal.  No one talked about it.  Just the TV showing it again and again.

The doctor came in on Thursday morning and said everything was going well, and I could take the baby home after dinner that night. I decided that I wanted one more good night’s sleep before I launched into taking care of this baby by myself, and so we’d check out the next morning.
Of course they wake you up all night to take your blood pressure, and every time the baby fusses the least little bit they bring her in to be fed. The next morning as we were getting ready to leave I told one of the nurses that’s why we’d stayed and she said if she had known that she’d have advised me to go home, you never get as much sleep in the hospital as you do at home, they’re always waking you up for something. But it’s kind of like my neighbor told me later… I was just scared to bring this little helpless baby home. I didn’t feel like I could take care of it. Did they have any idea how stupid I was? Surely they wouldn’t let me leave the hospital with her? They seemed alarmingly unconcerned at my incompetence.
A lot of people go into the hospital knowing what they will name their baby. Some people refer to it by its name long before it’s born. Two days after Thing 1 was born we were getting ready to check out of the hospital and we STILL didn’t know what to name her. I had been toying with Madelyn Rose… because I like Madelyn and Rose because Hubby's mom’s favorite flowers were roses, and my mother is and my grandfather was such big rose gardeners. The other name we were toying with was Grace. Those were the two front runners.
I’ve always wanted to name a daughter Michal, because I was almost named that and I’ve always liked it, but I worried that she’d be one little girl in a classroom full of Michaels in school and didn’t want to do that to her. I think it was the day after she was born that Hubby was holding her and said “What about Grace Michal?” And it was like I was hit with a brick. Oh…. I really liked it.
But I wanted to KNOW…

One of the nurses was named Charity. She was really pretty, a little bit older, but very attractive and nice. I was thinking I kind of like the thought of a name with a virtue behind it.
The lady from the records department came in with the forms that you need to fill out for the baby’s birth certificate and everything, and we told her we still weren’t sure. She asked what we were considering, and said she’d give us her advice. Looking for any sort of advice, we told her.
She said something like “Madelyn Rose is really popular right now.” I said I wasn’t surprised that Madelyn was popular, it had been on the popular lists for a while, but Madelyn WITH Rose as a middle name? She said yes.
Of Grace Michal all she said was Grace is more often a middle name.

So we took our anonymous baby home on Friday and were told we had until Monday morning when the records lady got to work to decide. I decided to call our baby one name each day and see which felt best.
On Saturday I called her Madelyn. “Good morning, Madelyn.” “What a pretty girl you are, Maddy.” It was okay… but… I wasn’t sure. Maybe it just didn’t quite sound right to me. One of my problems with Madelyn was that I like Madelyn but I am not as fond of Maddy. Or Matty. Of course we could have called her Madelyn and corrected people who called her Matty, but it was a strike against the name.

On Sunday I called her Grace. “Would you like some breakfast, Gracie?” “Oh, what a lovely burp that was, Gracie.” “Grace, darling girl, time to wake up!”
It sounded better, but I still wasn’t positive. But by Monday morning, even a couple of quick but thorough searchings of the baby name lists hadn’t revealed anything I liked better. I was a little frustrated with Hubby that he wasn’t taking this too seriously.  I think he thought the decision was already made in the hospital, why am I belaboring it?  So I decided a rose by any other name is still as sweet, and went with my initial response to Grace Michal, and that’s who she is.  Or Thing 1, on all blogs but this one.

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