After what was supposed to be my last day I felt I could not leave on that note so I made a last, last day out of yesterday. The jokes are flying already that I can’t be gotten rid of. It is hard to leave. Happily my last last day was a quiet one with one wonderful breech birth.
Mom has two girls at home and was hoping for a boy. Baby had been head down until labor started so we count that as one “surprise” breech even though we had some time to prepare before the actual birth. The birth was, to say the least, felt quite strongly by the mother. The mother’s power, to say the least, was felt quite strongly by a string of relatives and workers, myself included, who bare the marks of her strength and pain all over our bodies today. I am covered in bruises the size of fingerprints, scratches and red reminders of her grip from my neck, down my left arm and down the left side of my back. A doctor was doing the actual delivery and I was in there as part of the team. I made myself as useful as possible which seemed to be at her side, helping support her legs and rub out the cramps between contractions and as a foam brick for her squeezing, pushing, pulling, gripping, and general wrestling during them. I spoke gently to her, washed her down with wet cool gauze, and watched the birth unfold. Baby was in a cock-eyed position. His rump was born and the body came well and then the head seemed to be hung up. The head OB came in and saw the mother in her fits and announced to the room that although it might look like she is being uncooperative, she is really just in so much pain and her behavior is a reflection of this. Well said, doctor.
He did some work on the baby’s head position and baby was born, not looking awful but not great either. The baby was just kind of stunned by the whole thing. They took him immediately over to the warmer to help him get started and I was watching the baby so was stunned and surprised myself as I was pulled into a massive bear-hug from the mother. She was clutching me to her and whispering sweet-nothings in my ear. I hugged her back and whispered back about how amazing she was and she did it and all of the great things we say to each other upon the birth of a baby. Baby gave a good cry (hooray, because otherwise I was going to have to have a third last day) and was shortly skin-to-skin with mom. His poor head had been squished and his forehead and skull in that area were flat as a chalk board. We know the skull will mold, we just usually see it in the other direction.
An hour and some change later I took baby for a float in the baby tub and clearly his left eye had been squished as well and he spent most of his bath winking at me as he tried to keep that eye open. He was playing with his toes, his legs still folded neatly up against his chest in the position he had decided to be born in. He finally got the eye open and then stared at me and went cross-eyed a few times before everything straightened out and looked as it should. His personality was so evident and full. I had a great time with him, getting him dressed and singing to him while mom got settled in.
After he was safely tucked in with mom I went to check on the twin’s mom, who had been readmitted for twin 2’s rash. I have been checking in with her regularly and went to say goodnight two nights ago. She told me she was really not feeling right herself and there was a terrible smell coming from the uterus, and asked if it was normal. We had a long talk while I got all of the details regarding the color, odor and feelings. It sounded to me like an infection. I went to go discuss with the night shift midwives and they said they would put a note to have her checked in the morning as even if they took a swab at night, it does not go to the lab until the day time. One of them said that she is always going to the shower and complaining and kind of blew her off. I went back to mom and told her that they were planning on doing a swab in the morning and that if they did not do it she should ask, keep asking, and get really demanding and cranky if they do not respond. I gave her the only lecture any of us ever needs when it comes to our health care—that we are our own best experts. Whatever the professionals know about medicine they do not know our bodies and our lives the way we do, and if she did not feel right, she needed to follow up with that until she found an answer that seemed correct to her.
I went in to check with mom to make sure they had done the swab with her today and she looked so much better, sitting up where I had only seen her lying down, and her color looked better. She told me she had been looking for me to tell me that she pushed until they examined her and they found a piece of gauze that the doctor left inside of her a week ago—so no wonder she looked like she was getting an infection, her body was yelling at her! She felt so much better and was so happy to have that healthy feeling back again.
I said goodbye again and promised to come back on Monday to say goodbye again. I took bunches of pictures of the hospital and Chicken Road and some of the kids climbed inside a big box and wanted their picture taken so I did that too. I got a few shots of the dog that wants to like me but has chronic low blood sugar crankiness, and some of the chickens that follow me every day.
My flip flops have gained 1987 Toyota Camry status as they have about 100,000 more miles on them than they should and they just keep going. I took them for a long road trip and walked to some of my favorite spots to snap photos. I then walked way out of town to the WanSmolBag Community Center/Theatre and purchased 3 seasons of Love Patrol on DVD. The finance lady is one of the stars of the show so I got to get my receipt from her. I tried to play it cool but in the end offered to send her a picture of us watching Love Patrol at home in America and she was really excited about that idea. I was really excited to meet her. It was hot and humid today and it only got worse on the walk back to my room. I was not unhappy to see some clouds roll in and feel a little cool rain on me as I walked. It did not help the fact that I was walking through steam except in the seconds that the drops hit my skin—I tried really hard to enjoy it as I hear terrible things about the weather at home and expect to be longing for the heat soon. It didn’t really work. Weather, like birth, is something that is hard to really understand with our imaginations and you kind of need to be in it to really feel it.