Happy Birthday little Xuxu! He is, by the way 27 and a half inches long, 17 and a half pounds, and can support his weight on his feet !(for maybe a minute), and is comfortable supporting himself on his arms,
And now, the rest of the story...
(Continued from Jan 7th, 2009 posting)
The wait was interminable. Astrology geek that I am, I was pacing back and forth, looking at my phone (with no second hand), looking at thier computer systm's time, and trying to synch those up with my pretty-but-inconvenient constellation wristwatch to try to synch up the second hand, and figuring out how I was going to get an accurate time measurement (I wanted the birth-time to the second -- ha!). And all the while freaking out. What was taking so long?!
At one point I realized I had a headache. So I sat down and started giving myself a neckrub. Then, as some of the tension started to fade, I started to feel a wave of exhaustion and sleepiness. I realized I hadn't eaten very much, if anything all day, and I asked a nurse for something to drink, and she got me some juice, which helped some. At some point I got a text and/or phone call...I think out friends had showed up, but I didn't want to get stuck on the phone for obvious reasons, so I just shot a quick message back.
Eventually, one of the doctors poked her head in and said they would be ready for me soon. I was very excited, and very anxious. I wanted to be next to Tauna (indigo_eris
). It felt very weird to be separated from her for so long after being constantly by her side for the past two weeks.
Then it was time. They explained to me that they would be starting the operation right as I was coming in, and that it would be all over in a matter of ten minutes! (WaitwaitWaitaminute!!) Tauna was very pale, and looked more scared than I've ever seen her. They had a big sheet up, hiding all the fun, interesting parts of the operation, which made the long tube running the the big Jar on the wall which was quickly filling with blood all the more scary. I was realizing that my future was very uncertain -- in the next few moments, I might very well lose both Tauna and Xerxes, or one or the other, and how awful that would be, and how very different from what (thankfully) actually happened.
I snapped a picture of Tauna with her Mom's camera. No one will ever see that pic. The lighting was terrible, and the breathing mask was totally out of fashion. Tauna panick-ily asked the anaesthesiologist "What's that burning smell?!" "Oh, that's just the cauterizing chemical." (or something like that)
We heard one of the doctors (or nurses?) ask "Did her water break?" To which another replied, "No..." It turns out, all the bloating she had was peritonitis....her abdomen was literally filled with water/fluids.
And then, at 5:54pm (it all happened so fast, and I couldn't see well, I could never get the exact second of first breath!) he was out, and they were whisking him away to a room across the hall. I was little red arms flailing, and heard a soft little cry.
One of the medical staff prompted me to follow...I was torn, not wanting to leave Tauna. But she urged me on, and I grabbed the camera and snapped the first few pics of my little guy, scrawny, and translucent, and red, surrounded by purple-gloved hands busy putting the surfactant in his lungs. I went back to Tauna, for a bit, to sare the moment with her as well. The anaesthesiologist asked her if she wanted to be more out of it....she did. Meanwhile, the doctors were stitching her back up. I went back across the hall again, snapped a few more pix, and then came back to Tauna. Dom sent me a text message saying he got pics as the wheeled Xerxes away (downstairs to the NICU).
Billy, Ashley, Tauna's Mom, Shari (asphyxi8ing
),and Dom ( lyfschaos
) were all outside waiting. The exact order of the next events may be a little off (lack of food at that point), but here goes. I went with Tauna to the recovery room, though I think I told everybody about a place to grab food first, because it would be a little bit before they could visit Tauna.
Tauna had really high blood pressure, and low hematocrite, so they gave her a transfusion right after the surgery. Then she started shaking. Really intensely, for a long time. Apparently shaking is normal, but this was a little more intense than most. Thankfully, we had them re-test her BP before they gave her more meds....there had been a false reading...anyway, she eventually stabilized. Her Mom came in to be with her, and I went out to the waiting room to where our friends were waiting, and got some of the food they brought me. Then they went in one by one to visit Tauna.
At some point I called my parents to let them know their newest grandson had been deliviered, and my father told me about when my older brother, his first, was born. He sounded different than he usually does...younger, it was a very neat bonding moment. Eventually, they were ready for us to visit Xerxes. After making sure Tauna was ok (she may have been passed out by that point) We went downstairs. Only two of us could go at a time, and one of us had to be me. I think the order was (though I'm not sure) Sandi (Tauna's Mom), Ashley, Shari, Andrea, Billy, and Dom. Or maybe Ashley was first. In any case, we had our first experince with the scrubbing-up, and putting on the soon-to-be ubiquitous yellow gowns we would come to know very well in the next six months.
Poor little Xerxes. So tiny. His face was all taped up, bending his little nose to the side, and he looked as red as Hellboy. 1 lb, 11 and a half ounces, and only 12 and a half inches long. "Touch, but don't stroke." sweetrn621
told us. I took some pictures. I talked to him, introducing him to his grandma, aunts and uncles. It's indescribable how I was feeling. I wished Tauna could have been down there. Happy, proud, and worried and scared all at the same time. Eventually it was time to go.
Everybody left, and I went back to be with Tauna...they had moved her regular room (still on the 7th floor). Tauna's Mom was still there.
More visiting ensued, and probably some talk about middle names. In any case, it very quickly became after 11pm (or was it 1am?), and time to go home. Sandi was going to give me a lift back to the train station, where my car was. But her car wouldn't start. So I ended up walking ALL the way from U of MD back to Penn Station, through not-the-nicest part of one of the most dangerous cities in America. I became acutely aware that I'd brought my backpack with me and that might not have been the best idea. Finally, I banished all negative thoughts with this idea: MY SON was born today. If I have any Cosmic Mojo, if there's any day I can walk tall and proud and happy through my city, then today was it. And so I walked tall (well, as tall as *I* can) back to Penn Station, smiling and nodding at whoever I happened to pass.
So I drove back to get Sandi and to give her car a jumpstart. She was in a tow-away zone and needed to get her car out of there by like 4 or 5 in the morning. It wouldn start with a jump either. So we went back up to Tauna's room at about 3 in the morning, and luckily she had her laptop, and we searched for an all-night towing company to come get her car. Eventually we found one, got moved from the tow zone with not a whole lot of time to spare, and I drove her back from where they dropped her car off (incidentally it was all because of a bad battery terminal), and headed back home. I broke out the good Scotch and we had a drink in Xerxes' honor, and (I, at least) went to sleep.