Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Great Auntie

Or Where's My Rocking Chair, Sonny?
I knew those gray hairs were coming out for some reason. It's official! I'm old! Why? Because my nephews are having babies! And to top it all off, they are doing it before me!

Here's the latest edition to the Clan: Scarlett at her healthy 8 lbs. 6 oz. and 20 inches. I like a girl with meat on her bones!

So here's the story, though I am old, I am officially too young to be a Great Auntie. My sister, 11 years my senior, probably feels too young to be a Grandma, but what age are you old enough to feel great about being a called grandma, even if you are ok with being a grandma? Here's a picture of the proud Papa and my sister, Rebecca (don't we look alike?).
I was my parent's "Are you sure your pregnant?" baby. My other sister, Michelle, is 10 years my senior. So no baby for ten years-they thought they were in the clear, ha, ha, Ha, HA! I had other plans, no way was I going out without a fight. I just had to think about things for a while, see if it was in my best interest to get born, and mull it over for a while. Not like I've ever done that in any other part of my life . . . It's wild to think that my mom was the same age I am when she had me. And had she had thought she was done with the diapers, bottles, and late nights--good thing she had two babysitters already living at home. So, I was an Aunt at a very young age and now I am a Great Aunt at a semi-young age.

Congratulations Nick and Jodi! You've made me a proud Auntie! I can't wait to play with Scarlett at my wedding!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Weebles Wobble

And Do Fall Down

A couple of weeks ago we decided to hike Massacre Bay again. You might remember an earlier post of mine a little less than a year ago about hiking this trail. It is not for the faint of heart. Hard work, hot and disorienting, and apparently, it's also dangerous. Well, that is when you walk over palm leaves which happen to be hiding a pile of rotting coconuts.

After walking for a couple of hours to get to the beach, I was rambling around in the jungle trying to find the path out to the beach when I twisted my ankle and came down hard. Rolling around on the jungle floor, holding my leg, sobbing and crying, "My ankle! My ankle!" was not exactly how I imagined my hike to end. Of course, I immediately started imagining myself on crutches at my wedding and began kicking myself for not having enclosed myself weeks ago into a hermetically sealed environment.

I had to do the treacherous climb out of the jungle on a bum ankle. It REALLY HURT! Thank god for the ever present lava-lava and the diverse uses it can be put too-for example, the Samoan Ace Bandage.

Once off the mountain and drugged with pain killers and beer I was a little better. It's gotten A LOT better over the past couple of days and I'm even thinking of running again, though with my ankle encased in one of my pathetically many braces. Thank the powers that be that I won't be shopping for white, satin crouches when I head home in a couple of weeks.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

My Friend Had A Baby...

And I Nearly Had A Heart Attack

I was really looking forward to the delivery of my friends’ Melanie and Paul’s baby. Though I’d taken care of my friend Carol during her pregnancy here, she decided to have her baby off island, an understandable, though sad for me decision. So Melanie was going to be my first friend to deliver!

Luckily, I am a seasoned midwife and I know not to get any fantasies going about how things are going to work out. I wasn’t going to jinx this birth with thoughts of an easy, effortless labor where the baby miraculously appears with little effort, into arms free of exhaustion and tears of joy and champagne corks popping.

But I’m not a doom and gloomer, either. I have great faith that things will work out if you don’t ignore what you don’t want to see. Hope for the best, prepare for the worst, is my motto.

Melanie’s labor took a couple of days to kick in with a few jump starts. Nicely, Ona and she waited until after I had recovered from my Sunday night shift and had a full night’s sleep on Monday night. What great gals, eh?

We’d planned to do early labor at home, with Carol who’s a NP as well as a long time L&D nurse, as support person and attendant. Melanie had bought a fetal heart monitor-not a bad one I must say for the home type-so we could listen in on the baby. Melanie bought a wading pool at my suggestion, which Paul attended to when Mel was in labor.

I came by at lunch but had to go back to the clinic. It was nice and peaceful there in comparison to the labor ward-I had a really hard time going. Carol brought Scott, her baby, to hang out for a while too. Not long after I got back to the hospital, I got a call from Carol that Ona was starting to feel the contractions now that Melanie was having hard labor. They came straight into the hospital.

Low and behold, little Ona was not having a great time at her Birthday party. Even though Melanie was moving quickly in her progress it would be too stressful on Ona to wait. So I had to do what I dreaded and make the decision for a cesarean delivery. No warm and fuzzy delivery for us today! Plus that would sign up Melanie to 2-3 days in the unairconditioned, low-rent Maternity Ward and Ona to the nursery!

Things went well, Ona was out in a very short period of time, after unwrapping the umbilical cord from her neck twice and proving my assumption that she had been in what we call a “posterior” position, meaning her head was down but she was looking up at the ceiling instead of the other way around like she should have been. That was probably the best position she could manage with her short umbilical teether. So her stress explained, she transitioned well in the beginning except some fast breathing that she eventually grew out of, aka transient tachypnea of the newborn.

I won’t lie to you, it’s stressful when someone is near and dear and their well-being lies in your hands. I don’t know why it should be different then all the other people I care for, but it is. It probably shouldn’t be that way, but I tell you if I had a heart attack every time I had to decide that a baby was in distress, I would have a lot more gray hairs than I have now-and I’d be in another business all together. I think it’s fine to take care of people you care about, I don’t think it clouds your judgment, I just think it puts the caregiver into a temporary state of split personality. A state that is a relief to let go of when it’s over.

I loved taking care of my friends and would do it again in a heartbeat. I just wouldn’t trust anyone else to do it as well-haha (sorta). I am so happy to have been part of Paul, Melanie, Ona and, big sister, Emma’s experience. You can Melanie and Paul's account of the experience on their blog, don't miss their fun review of the hospital, I mean the Tropical Medical Center.

Now I just need to go and take a nap . . .

Happy Birthday Ona Lily Brown, born May 6, 2008