Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Xaelen's 1st Ambulance Ride

I could have named today's post "Xaelen's first ER visit", but that would be false as we've already been to the ER once, when he was about a year old and sounded like he was wheezing.

I could have named today's post "Our first ambulance ride", but that would also be false, as I've had the pleasure of riding in one after I was crushed slightly being in the 1st row of a Morrissey concert when rabid fans rushed the stage. But that's neither here nor there.

Today's post is all about our ordeal last night. Adam has been out of town for weeks now, coming home on weekends and then flying out again to his next destination. I've been managing with the help of my mother in law (god bless her!) and my grandma. Last night it was just X and I in his room and my MIL in her RV outside. I've been sleeping in his room when Adam is out of town. X has had a runny nose for a day or so and a bit of a little cough. Nothing special, I wasn't too worried. I was laying there listening to him sleep when I realized his breathing had changed. It sounded more labored and somewhat wheezy. I wasn't yet worried, just aware that things sounded different.

After about 20 minutes of listening to his breathing get worse and worse, all the sudden he begins to cough. Like a barking dog. Like a seal. Like something he had never coughed like before. And he coughed, and he coughed, and it was getting worse. And his breathing sounded like his entire throat had closed up. He looked red, somewhat sweaty and was crying. But not his usual crying, but rather a choking cry that made me realize things were DEFINETLY not right. I didn't know what was happening, but I'm carrying around my toddler in my arms with him sounding like he was fighting to breath in between bouts of barking coughs.

I ran outside with him in my arms, knocked on MIL's RV and said "Something's not right, I don't know what to do". She agreed he sounded strange. That was enough for me. I had her find my cell phone and dialed 911. I've never done that before. The hold for someone to come on the line was ABSURD! What if something TRULY tragic had happened? Why is there such a delay getting someone on the line? Anyhow. 911 finally answered, patched me through to medical help which arrived minutes later. By now X had mostly calmed down, still breathing funny and coughing, but less dire seeming. 7 Emergency Medical Personell arrived. 3 vehicles. Wow. More than I had expected.

They checked him out, took all his vitals, listened to his breathing and proclaimed he probably has croup. They all recommended he get to the ER and be seen. Do you want us to take you? Or would you rather drive yourself? I asked the lead medic, is one way better than the other? And he states that in his oppinion it is better to have him looked after in the ambulance than to strap him in the car in case he has another coughing fit and needs help breathing. Ok. In that case, let's go in the ambulance. (I don't even want to know what my bill will be. The idea of it makes my head spin.)

The trip in the ambulance was fun for X. He took his Elmo with him and while they administrated his breathing treatment, he would make sure Elmo got some as well. (So thoughtful of him!) We arrived at the ER at Children's Hospital, the wait was minimal and he was seen within minutes of arriving. He did indeed have croup. He was treated with an oral steroid and was released after 20 minutes of being there.

So, lessons learned? I'm not sure 911 was necessary, but on the other hand - you don't mess around when your kid has breathing problems. Breathing is essential to life. You stop breathing = You stop living. I will obviously know for next time that barking babies = croup. But I'm glad I have good health insurance that covers everything under the sun. I'm glad that X is ok. I'm glad we live within 10 minutes of Children's Hospital. And I'm glad that I now know what to do with barking babies.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Disc Golf

I played in my 4th disc golf tournament this weekend. I didn't do as well as I would have liked to do, but I'm none-the-less truly happy with my performance. I am, afterall, pregnant, so my physical abilities are an itty bit affected. I came in 3rd and I feel like my game is developing more and more.

I also hired my doula today! Her name is Dawn and I'm hoping she will be our partner in making my VBAC a reality.

Pics to follow... soon!

Friday, March 7, 2008

Business of Being Born - Part 1

Last night I finally had a chance to see The Business of Being Born. I think I cried through at least 40% of it. Not tears of sadness, per se. Tears of release perhaps. Rather cathartic. Obviously, I'm still dealing with my previous birth with Xaelen. Don't get me wrong - I have a healthy, happy, amazing toddler out of all this. But it was everything that I had wished would never happen to me. Intervention after intervention.

I guess today, I really wanted to talk about something I don't usually talk about. I wanted to address the intervention that actually happened back in 1990 or perhaps it was 1991. The actual dates are lost on me now. I realize that my road to a c-section did not begin on May 5th when I went in to labor. My road to a c-section started when I was 16 or 17 years old.

I lost my virginity right before 11th grade started. I was in love, or I guess what was possible to be love at so young an age. I had sex. The only fear plaguing my mind at the time was the prospect of getting pregnant - god forbid. There was no pregnancy, so I breathed a sigh of relief and went on with my young and naive little life. I visited a gynecologist sometime that year. Routine pap. Nothing fancy. My first pap spear, and wouldn't you know it - it came back abnormal. 1 punch biopsy later (you really don't want to know how painful that was), I was determined to have HPV which leads to cervical cancer if not treated. I had cervical dysplasia. This was way more than I could really even deal with at this age. I was told the only way to treat this and come out healthy on the other end was to have cryotherapy (again, you really don't want to know how painful this was either). I did what I was told to do. It was painfully, emotionally and physically. It made me feel broken. What's worse, my boyfriend at the time seemed to claim no responsibility. In fact, he questioned whether it was even from him that this was derived. Sad. He was the only one, and would remain that way for years to come.

Over the years I had routine paps done. In the beginning it was twice a year. Then just once a year. Clean, every one of them. Over a decade of normal paps. I was in the clear. It never occurred to me that this situation would rear it's head again.

But it did. On May 5th, I went in to labor with Xaelen. For those who don't know my birth story, I never dilated. When checking my cervix, nurses couldn't even tell if I was 10 cms dilated or 0. That's common with a scarred cervix. My cervix is scarred. My brokenness wailed down upon me again. They tried Pitocin, which required an Epidural, which led to distress, which led to this, which led to that, which led to a long corridor leading to an operating room where Xaelen was removed from me. I didn't birth him. I had surgery to remove something from my uterus which happened to be my son. Sad.

The more research I've done, the more I've come to realize that my c-section might be a direct result of that chain of events back in 1990. With this next baby, I might be fighting an unwinnable battle to birth him naturally. I don't know, and no one else seems to know for sure either. We can only try and see what happens.

The reason I bring all this up, is that The Business of Being Born addresses what's flawed in American hospitals when it comes to birth. That avoiding unnecessary intervention can be achieved more likely through homebirths, midwives, birthing centers, etc. I can't take that risk. I may never dilate on my own. I may rupture. Anything can happen. So I'm left with birthing at the hospital and hoping beyond hope that I can do this.

My little family

My little family
Mama bear, Papa bear & Xaelen bear

About Me

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San Diego, California, United States
I'm gLobey, also known as Rita, also known as Mama. I'm a married mother of two awesome boys named Xaelen (age 3) and Quillan (9 months). They are super cute! My other half is Adazm, he's quite cute too.

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