Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Discrimination - Kenneth Rexroth

I don’t mind the human race.
I’ve got pretty used to them
In these past twenty-five years.
I don’t mind if they sit next
To me on streetcars, or eat
In the same restaurants, if
It’s not at the same table.
However, I don’t approve
Of a woman I respect
Dancing with one of them. I’ve
Tried asking them to my home
Without success. I shouldn’t
Care to see my own sister
Marry one. Even if she
Loved him, think of the children.
Their art is interesting,
But certainly barbarous.
I’m sure, if given a chance,
They’d kill us all in our beds.
And you must admit, they smell.

** Kenneth Rexroth is my spirit animal.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Birth Announcement for Escher! (uhm, only 9 days late, no big deal).

Escher Aemilius Keorkunian-Rivers burst forth (quite literally) from my body at 7:46AM on November 2nd, 2014. He weighed 6lbs 14oz, and was 21" long. He was purple, covered in vernix (goop), and silent. This caused his normally very stoic father to damn near panic, as he considered the possibility Escher didn't make it through the birth process. I forgot to mention to him that babies are sometimes a cute little lilac color when they come out, and they don't immediately scream, as he wasn't present for Dahlia's actual birth.

The birth process started at Midnight on Halloween - well, actually, I had my membrane stripped a few days prior to birth, so that allegedly started the process, but for the purpose of inducing me, that started at 12AM on 10/31. I was sure we were going to have a Halloween baby on our hands, but he decided to wait 57 hours to be officially born. At 1:30AM on Day 1, I had a cervical softener (prostaglandin) put in place. After waiting 12 hours with no discernible progress, they inserted a cervical squeezer (one balloon full of saline in my uterus, one balloon full of saline outside of my cervix) to try to dilate me further. That started the contractions, but did not do much to dilate. Pitocin was added at this point, which made the contractions even stronger. Somewhere between 24 and 48 hours in, I caved and got an epidural (95% because Escher's heart rate was getting in the danger-zone every time I got a contraction, and 5% because the contractions were exhausting and seemed like they would never yield a higher dilation, only tiring pain). Ironically, this was the most painful part of the delivery, and in fact, I ended up crying, which is incredibly unlike me, as I am usually the bared-teeth warrior birther - but... I felt the needle scraping against my spine as it went in. The local anasthetic wasn't very helpful (or maybe it would have been even worse?). Apparently I was sitting crooked, which didn't make the process any easier. I joke the the worst part of birth is the IV and epidural, but, uhh, it's really not that much of a joke. I fucking hate IVs, and the actual procedure of being epidural'd. Contractions are bad, but if they weren't so long-lasting and exhausting to the point of not being able to push properly, I'd do birth au naturelle. I did get a catheter, though, which I love. Having to pee in a hospital is no easy task, dragging long IV carts along to the bathroom, navigating around wires and whatnot... it's all obnoxious and fragile. Not to mention the possibility of banging my IV port on random crap on the way to the water closet, which I did twice. Even recalling the IV-banging incident NOW is enough to make me shudder. I cannot express enough how much I hate IVs.

As I got closer to the birth point, they popped my water. There wasn't much to report, but I was in a haze and Rick was getting food so I don't recall exactly what they said about it. The epidural started to get weaker, and I started to feel every contraction again, which caused Escher's heart rate to become dangerously high - so they started to check my progress more carefully at the end. I was also fitted with an oxygen mask, which ironically made me feel like I was being very slowly suffocated. Since I had been in labor for a long time, they felt the need to add more water to my uterus, as I had gotten another dose of epidural fluid, so Escher's heart rate started to dip into the 90s. They figured the added fluid would help him (which it seemed to). The only problem with it, was that the fluid never leaked out of the catheter tube, so it just pooled in my uterus, on the bottom left side, and felt so intensely painful that I was sure my uterus was doomed to rupture.

About an hour and a half before Escher catapulted out of my vagina, I was asked to start pushing, just to see if I'd get further dilated from 8 to 10. Not much happened, so the doctor briefly left. She came back half an hour later, and announced I should start pushing. So, I did. Ten seconds of pushing, one intake breath, ten more seconds of pushing, one intake breath, ten final seconds of pushing. I had to remove the oxygen mask at one point, because I literally could not get enough breath to sustain my consciousness (the O2 wasn't being pumped into the mask fast enough for how I was breathing). For about twenty minutes, I had my legs up in the stirrups, but then my doctor informed me that I should drop my legs down and lay on my side. So I actually gave birth out of stirrups, keeled over to the left. Nurses held my legs, Rick held my hand, and Dr. Bernardo held my baby. An hour after the pushing began, Escher exploded out of me in a gush of amniotic replacement fluid, blood, and general gross. I pushed out the placenta shortly after, while he was receiving an APGAR score, and I was informed that I was one of the best, most patient patients ever. I'd never seen my husband look so afraid, but once it was established that the baby was healthy and fine, he was quite relieved.

And with that, Escher was born!