Thursday, August 21, 2008

The Story You Don't Know...

When you bring your child to the pediatrician for a check up they will plot out the measurements on a curve to see if their progress is on track. The measurements are the physical measurements of their head, height, weight, and probably some other things.

I practically have an aneurysm every time I have to bring Sabrina for her check ups because of this. Under the line is below average, on the line is average, above the line and you've given birth to Yao Ming.

First, let's talk about the paper that the curve is printed on. It's a bunch of evenly spaced boxes with a curved line on it. I was never very good at math and my math teachers made us do our homework on graph paper, which for some reason made it even more intimidating to me. I have not used a piece of graph paper since high school and when the doctor pulls out this piece of paper I am suddenly back in high school in math class, my heart is racing and my pits start to sweat. (I didn't say it would be a pretty picture.)

The first time I saw this chart was at my last ultrasound when we realized that Sabrina was too small and that the amniotic fluid was low. I was at the very beginning of my 38th week which was the good thing. It's officially a 'term' pregnancy if you make it to the 38th week.** Dave had to leave for work around the end of it so I was by myself. It was pretty obvious that the tech was concerned about the measurements she was getting. She kept remeasuring everything. In addition to all this I had been going to the hospital twice a week for evaluations because of my diabetes and the last time they found that the fluid seemed a little low, which was why I was having another ultrasound. After the ultrasound the tech walked me to a computer where she plotted the points and I slowly watched these dots show up UNDER the line. I think her plan was to calm me down but it backfired because she did not seem to expect to see the dots be so far under the line either. Her reaction made me really realize that something wasn't right.

Try to imagine what would be going through your mind at this moment if you have already spent your entire life with the fear that you would die during childbirth which is why you never wanted to get pregnant in the first place.
Yes, this was my fear. No joke.
I have always thought this ever since I was a child. I seem to recall having a dream when I was really young that this would happen and I have always believed my dreams - even to this day. I never spoke out loud about this because I knew people would tell me I'm nuts and because I am very superstitious I was afraid if I said it out loud it would DEFINITELY come true.

I went home in a daze after the appointment. I was thinking, "This is it. It's happening." Dave came home and I told him what happened with the tech and then broke down. The next morning my OB called me and told me to go to the hospital because she was pretty sure I needed to be induced. I hung up the phone and Dave was looking at me waiting for me to tell him what she said. I had half a mind to just not tell him because...well, follow my thinking here:

1) If I didn't tell him then...
2) he wouldn't make me go to the hospital, which means ...
3) I wouldn't have to die.

Makes sense, right? I know! I may not be good at math, but I sure know how to rationalize anything to make it work for me and my situation, can't I?

Of course I told him. Reluctantly and totally freaked out. We took showers, pulled everything together and went to the hospital. The entire time from when I left for the hospital to when they told me I needed to push I was SURE I was going to die. Absolutely Positive. I had even secretly written a will during my pregnancy and hid it in Sabrina's baby book where I figured Dave would find it easily. Before I had my epidural I was in a lot of pain from the contractions. We were up all night and at one point I got annoyed with Dave because he kept yawning while I was trying to breathe through the contractions. However, I never once got mad at him or yelled at him or swore at him. I knew he was tired too and I didn't want his last memory of me to be of me yelling at him for yawning in my face. OK, I may have snapped at him ONCE for yawning. But I didn't swear. I just asked him, "Are you tired?!!?"

When the nurse asked me if I was ready to push I looked her straight in the eye like she was out of her mind and said a simple, "No." Then I started to cry. Dave said I looked so scared. I WAS, but I didn't want to tell him why because I didn't want to scare him too. That nurse was really starting to piss me off too because she kept trying to get me ready to push and I just wasn't having any of it. I can't believe that while laying on that table I seriously considered getting up, grabbing my iv tower, walking over to her and just bitch slapping her for being so pushy. I know...she's just doing her job. But in my head she was trying to KILL ME.
Obviously it all worked out, but I have to be honest here. The entire 45 minutes I was pushing I was silently chanting that I wouldn't die before I could meet Sabrina.

I just wanted to see her. Just once.

And then after I saw her I was silently chanting that I could spend one hour with her before I died.

And then when I didn't die after an hour I was praying for 1 day. 2 days. 3 days. 4 days.

I never asked for more than one more day. I didn't want to be greedy and this line of thinking seemed to work for me...I think I was trying to set 'reachable' goals. I don't know. Each and every time I woke up from a nap or night of sleep I was soooooooooooo surprised that I hadn't died yet. And very grateful. But everyday I was sure that 'today is the day'.

The first night we went home from the hospital I couldn't sleep. I was up the entire night because I thought maybe I got my dream mixed up and it was the first night at HOME that I was supposed to die. Dave, to this day, thinks it was because I was just in such awe of my daughter. Well, yes and no.

I know this doesn't sound rational. But this story isn't about being rational, is it?

These days when I bring Sabrina for a check up I watch the doctor plot his points while I silently chant my ass off. Sabrina always plots right on the curved line. The doctor then proceeds to tell me she's...AVERAGE. And then they have the nerve to say this with a smile!

Oh, bite me. What do you know, doc? You obviously don't see the genius things Beana does at home all the time - pick up cheerios with 2 fingers AND get them into her mouth, pick up anything and everything she can get her hands on and get them into her mouth, manage to have pieces of cut up chicken stick to her eyebrow and the top of her head (how it lands there, I have no idea), wave bye-bye, clicks her tongue to the beat of the music while dancing (seriously), says "dada", "mama", "Hazey" AND "xie xie" (which is mandarin for 'thank you').

Yes, you read that right - my kid is bilingual. I'll bet your 11 month old can barely blink without assistance while my Beana is doing translations for the UN.

Is my fear gone? No. Not at all. Even as I write this story my chest and throat are tight with emotion. I know you may think I'm silly for believing in my dreams and being superstitious...but I could also write a few stories where my dreams have been right on - to a tee. So, I just try to have a lot of fun with Sabrina and teach her what I can while I can.

My kid is an AWESOME kid. My husband is an AWESOME husband and friend. So long as I keep getting my 'just one more day' I'm going to try and enjoy it all.

**I'm no doctor so please consult with your physician before you take any of my medical jargon as being correct in any way.


**Maria ** said...


Tova said...

wow! not sure how i missed this story. You totally had me balling at "I just wanted to see her. Just once."

love you. love that you have found peace and happiness. Brings a smile to my heart.

Frances said...

Any child of yours CANNOT be average... so there! I hope to speak Mandarin like her someday!

I absolutely LOVE your blog. You are destined for great things as a writer - Dream about that!

Love you and miss you!