I wasn’t expecting to have a baby the day Trinity was born but like all babies, they never seem to follow the plan. It was April 4, 2002 and I was mad dash rushing around, even though I was allegedly on bed rest. I can’t even remember what I was doing all day, I just remember I was busy and exhausted. I sat down at the kitchen table around 5pm and was having the worst labor pains. I had been having labor pains for months now, but these were horrible. Trinity wasn’t due for 2 weeks so I figured it was still more pre-labor. As a side note, I find it fascinating that during Lamaze class and every book you ever read about going into labor, they always tell ” you will know, when you are in labor.” That is such a bunch of crock, I never know. I had 3 kids and I could never tell when I was in real labor until my water broke and water came gushing out all over me. Even then, I was like “did my water break, or did I just wet my pants?” God knows when you are pregnant it could be either one.
Anyway, I had spoken to Mara earlier in the week and she told me to have a half glass of wine when the pains got really bad. Just so you know, I am a freak about drinking during my pregnancies. I absolutely refuse to even drink one sip of alcohol. She told me this whole theory that if you were in real labor the pains would continue but if it was pre labor the wine would relax you and the pains would go away. So for 2 days I had been contemplating the wine. I kept asking Lou what he thought and I think he was so sick of me asking he finally poured me 1/2 glass and put it in front of me. I sipped it like it was poison, really slow, waiting to be struck down by lightening and suddenly I felt so much better. Oh I guess, I am not in labor because the pains lightened up. Then one hour later they really kicked back into gear, so I was super confused now. Was I in labor, or not? Then I kept feeling drips of wet, but no gushing water so I figured it was my normal loss of bladder control. Finally it was time for bed, but once I got in bed, I was miserable and in so much pain. Of course I still did not know if I was in “real labor” so I kept waiting it out. Finally at around 2am the burst of water happened and I finally knew it was time to go to the hospital. Typical, my doctor was on vacation, but we called the office anyway and they said to head over to Hoag. My family came over to sleep with Tabi and Tiara and I was super nervous to leave Tiara, but obviously I didn’t have a choice unless I wanted to give birth in my home. Which, I am not a fan of home births, I like the whole sterile hospital option.
Once we arrived at the hospital, I got my epidural and everything was great until the doctor I had never met came in to deliver my baby. Once she positioned herself at the base of the table and I was in that lovely position with my feet in the stirrups , I suddenly panicked when she said to push. Oh my God, what is something is wrong with this baby? How am I going to take care of a new baby and Tabitha and Tiara? What if God gave me this baby because Tiara is going to die and he doesn’t want Tabitha to be an only child? What if this baby is a replacement for Tiara because she won’t live much longer?
Every fear I had been suppressing my whole pregnancy came pouring out with the doctors directive to push. I starting sobbing hysterically and Lou figured why since he himself was completely panicked. The new doctor just looked up at me in shock and asked what was wrong. She could tell it wasn’t pain, but something else. I then explained in short spurts that I had a child with Tuberous Sclerosis who had seizures every day and numerous other medical and emotional issues. She looked horrified and stunned and then said “well, I hope you do the genetic testing for this baby! Do you know if this baby is ok?” I then explained that we knew Tiara’s TSC had spontaneously started with her, so we had not done any extra testing with this baby. She just looked at me in horror and the room was silent. She didn’t even try to lie and say it was going to be ok. She then later said something rude or rather I interpreted it as rude as I lay on my back pushing out my third kid, about how difficult it must be to have a child who is developmentally delayed. Really, is that all you’ve got?
Suddenly I hated this woman. Clearly, she hadn’t won any awards for her bedside manner, and I was in desperate need of a compassionate doctor, but there wasn’t one around. She seemed repulsed by the fact Tiara was not a “smart, healthy baby” and I wanted to focus all my anguish and pain towards this woman. She clearly had a perfect life, with perfect children and couldn’t even conceive of having a child who wasn’t perfect. I totally felt tension coming from her as if she feared she was going to help deliver a baby who may not be perfect. Lou could see my eyes start to spin, so he calmed me down since he didn’t want me to start berating the woman delivering Trinity. Might be a bad omen. I finally pushed Trinity out and she looked perfect, but rather large. She was a whopping 9 pounds!
The funny part was that I couldn’t keep my mouth shut about the half glass of wine I had drinken. I was still feeling guilty so I told every nurse who spoke or checked on me during the delivery, Mara’s theory. Well apparently some of the nurses misintepreted what I had said and told me they had to take Trinity for extra blood tests to measure her blood alcohol level since I drank everyday during pregnancy. WHAT, I never drank during pregnancy, only that 1/2 glass yesterday. Clearly, there was a misunderstanding and I had to repeatedly explain the situation as they were about to call in social services and put Trinty through extra tests. OMG, if only I could have shut up about the wine, no one would have known. But, apparently since Trinity was so big, 9 pounds or over, she did have to have extra tests for diabetes and we had to remain in the hospital an extra day. When Tabitha and Tiara were born we were in and out of the hospital in 24 hours and now they said Trinity and I had to stay 3 days. I was so happy. I couldn’t believe how tired I was and staying in the hospital seemed like such a rest. They kept bringing me those fabulous cranberry spritzers and offering to take Trinity to the nursery. Poor Trinity. I never let the nurses take Tabitha or Tiara away from my bedside, but now with Trinity I was like, “sure go ahead, I am going to sleep.” My life with Tiara had caught up with me and I was really enjoying my rest.
Once we arrived home, we were all nervous to see how Tiara was going to react to the new baby. We were concerned she might try to hurt Trinity because she would be jealous of all the attention Trinity was getting. Well, she just pretended Trinity didn’t exist for the first 2 weeks. She wouldn’t look at her, touch her or acknowledge her on any level. When Trinity would be in my right arm, Tiara would just climb up and sit on my left side. Then all of the sudden after a few weeks she completely changed her tune and became fascinated by her and kept calling her “baby, baby.” And so I knew it was going to be OK.
Read Week 10 of my Journey with Tiara, here…