Thursday, April 1, 2010

Mission Interrupted

I went to Sacramento. I came back a day early.

Chanel is fine, don't worry. And the baby is still incubating in there. That's ok, it's warm and safe in there.

But the rest of us got the biggest let down on a dark Tuesday morning. And it's just now I am feeling up to talking about it.


Monday I arrived at Chanel's place around noon. We talked and talked and talked. I made her open all the presents I brought her. We talked some more. About being a mom. About us. About nursing babies. About her childhood. She shared more with me on this trip than ever before. I sense in her a real arrival, a maturity that I’ve never felt. She was so grounded, so present. My heart swells with pride and admiration.

We went to Target to stock up, too. Baby clothes, a swing, nursing bras and other do-dads. She didn’t even know that nursing bras existed. I bought her three! It felt great to be helping her get started, especially with the breastfeeding. In her world, no one nurses their babies. “Too much trouble.” But Chanel, she’s already spouting things like, “Nuh-uh. Nothing easier than whipping out your boob to feed your baby.” Gee, wonder where she heard that!? She mentioned that maybe she’d end up being a trendsetter, starting a new wave of breastfeeders in her group of friends. I wouldn’t put it past her.

After that we went to lunch and hung out a little longer before I left her to rest and prepare for Tuesday’s event.

I forgot to mention in my last post that I was staying with my friend Kendra, one of my very best friends from my high school years. We connected last year on Facebook and saw each other once last summer, the first time in 18 years! But this was really a fantastic making-the-most-of-a-situation opportunity since she lives about 20 minutes from Chanel. I met her adorable younger boys (15 and 13) and saw her hubby. (Who knows when the last time I saw him was?) But the best part was just getting to talk to her for hours and hours. We had a blast. And we tried to take a good picture of ourselves. I think K looks terrific. Hasn’t changed a bit in the…um…30 years since we graduated! I, on the other hand…

I shall blame my forced smile expression on the long wait time for a double flash exposure.

Tuesday morning Kendra made me a cup of tea and a bowl of strawberries at 4:30 am. What a good friend! I drank my cup, popped a few strawberries in my mouth and headed on over to the hospital. Chanel and Marlin (the baby’s dad) were there. Chanel checked in at the registration desk and we went upstairs to the OB department. As we emerged from the elevator we saw a group of nurses congregated at the nursing station. One of them stood up and said, “Are you Chanel? I’m afraid we have some bad news.”

Now what do you think when you hear that? I mean, Chanel is fine. We know that. She’s right here with us. The baby’s fine. There’s nothing bad in that department that they could tell us. The doctor? Did his alarm clock not go off on time? What? What could be bad news? Did he have a car accident?

“We only perform C-sections at 39 weeks or more. You’re not there yet so we can’t perform your C-section today.”

*cue crickets chirping in the silence*

Huh? We must have looked like deer in the headlights.

“My doctor made this appointment. How could this happen? What am I supposed to do?” Chanel asked.

“Well, you can go to Denny’s!” the nurse replied.

Uh, what?

If only I’d gotten her name. I would SO report that woman. How incredibly disrespectful. How rude. How flippant. I truly would love to clobber her. Even today, two days later.

Poor Chanel, it was such an enormous let down. The planning, the expectation. Everyone was there. Everything was ready. We slowly turned around and went downstairs and sat in a waiting area, composing ourselves. Trying to get a grip on this new reality. The nurses, the woman at the registration desk just kept giving her the party line: “It’s for the health of the baby.” Yes, indeed. As if that isn’t paramount to Chanel? This was planned folks, the doctor’s office made the appointment. She was three days shy of the 39th week. Seems a bit ridiculous to me. (Since Tuesday Chanel’s found out that the hospital has never really upheld this “rule” before in all the 32 years of her doctor’s experience there. Go figure.)

We ultimately went home to her place. Sat around in a depressed stupor for a while. Arianna was there and she did a fashion show of all the clothes I’d bought her. She also started reading the books I’d brought for her. She didn’t seem too sad about the turn of events. More attention for her! Then our appetites returned and I took my girls out to breakfast…a diversion.

But what I really wanted to tell you was that I talked to Chanel tonight. I wanted to tell you how cheerful she sounded. How she was making lemonade out of lemons. Enjoying the time she has all to herself for the next few days while Arianna is at her dad’s. Enjoying the time she has to read the books on breastfeeding and babycare. Tuesday we thought there was no way we’d feel excited again when the baby did come, but tonight she said she could feel it building up again. The anticipation. The exhilaration.

I’m glad for that. And glad that we have another week to chat on the phone, me giving her pep talks and her laughing along. And I’m glad I have another week to knit a hat for baby Josiah. That was something I hadn’t gotten around to. The flannel baby blankets, yes. The hat, no.

In the meantime, I’ve developed an infection in one of my breasts. Hot, red, and very sore. I’m taking antibiotics and today the doctor inserted a needle to see if any fluid would come out. Nope. Just pain! I’m feeling very sorry for myself. I swear it’s sympathetic. I mean, Monday I spent a good part of the day talking about breastfeeding with the amazing Chanel. I think my breasts thought they were back in business.


By the way, I'll be heading back up to Sacramento on Wednesday of next week. The surgery is scheduled for 1 pm that day. That is, as long as she doesn't go into labor before then! I'll stay the night at Kendra's again. And this time, I'll come home with baby pictures!!


G said...

I'd like to slap that nurse myself - you couldn't get much ruder than that IMHO... give someone a total let-down and then the flippancy!

I think it is great though that Chanel is taking the extra time to make sure she's ready, and awesome that she'll be breastfeeding!

Cathy said...

Lovely smiles!!

What fun shopping for baby stuff and nursing bras!!

Long live breastfeeding!

Awesome blog!