Baby blues, part 2

Subtitle: Our late September miracle is happening this weekend

Spent the better part of today finding hanging out at the hospital with Shan in D.C.

The news is that the doctors have decided to induce labor tomorrow. She’s at 32 weeks — not great but not bad, when you think about it. Right now, they’re pumping the little one full of steroids so that her lungs will develop more quickly. And they gave Shan something to kick-start the cervix into dilating. If When all goes well, we may have a new arrival on Sunday or Monday, at the latest.

To say I’m worried, well, that doesn’t begin to cover it. I’ll spare you all the gruesome details, but on the upside, the doctors say the baby has a 90 percent chance of survival. I have great faith in the medical staff, as it’s the hospital where all the presidents choose to be treated, and everyone seems to be pretty on-the-ball. But it seems that the umbilical cord is either wrapped around the child’s neck or ankle (too fuzzy to see which), and that explains the fact that her heart rate either stops or plummets. But she’s still kicking like a trouper.

Shan’s hooked up to a fetal monitor 24/7, so we were treated to hearing the little one’s heartbeat throughout my visit. But it was scary — it dipped for awhile, and I had to crank the volume up to high until we started hearing it again.

She’s holding up divinely, although the hubby’s family is trekking into town tomorrow and will probably be up her ass until she gives birth. I’m going to head down there again and try to distract them. The mother-in-law called no fewer than four times in four hours, and each time I told her Shan was asleep or that they had taken her out for tests. The mother-in-law was all like, “And WHO are YOU?!?!” every time I picked up. And I said, “I’m Dawn. Who may I ask is calling?” And she’s heard my name enough times to know that I’m a welcome visitor, but I was annoyed that she would assume she could snap at whomever was kind enough to pick up the line while Shan’s arms are tied down with IV tubes and BP monitors.

I did curtly remind the woman, though, that the phone rings pretty loudly and is pretty close to the bed, so if no one answers after a couple of rings, no one is there. (I think I missed two of her calls, as the phone rang off the hook, but I was busy helping Shan to reattach her plugs to the monitors after bathroom trips.) Shan was most grateful.

We think the mother-in-law is going to force herself in the room during the delivery, which Shan has made clear is a no-go. I told her I’d be more than happy to be there when the little one arrives, but if she’s more comfortable with just the hubby and the team of doctors, I won’t be offended to wait in the hall.

I feel like everything will turn out all right, but it’s this middle time that just sucks. She’s terrified of what’s going to happen — that 10 percent chance of disaster is high enough to instill panic in all of us.

I left when visiting hours were over. Shawn Metroed down to meet me, and we went out to Dupont for hummus and a pitcher of daquiris at Pepper’s. I cried so hard when I got to my car after the hospital visit that I lost my parking ticket for a few minutes and just couldn’t otherwise function. He generously offered to drive, which I took advantage of, and he even paid for my (outrageous) parking because I couldn’t locate the money to get out of there. *sigh*

As always, friends, I need you to send happy, positive and healthy thoughts and vibes toward the little family in the hospital room this weekend. And other than shutting off my cell phone so I could go drinking tonight, I’m on-call for them and will go running when I hear anything. Thank you for the love. I hope to write back by Sunday night with good news. 🙂

I just hate when things are out of my hands and I can’t do a damn thing. But you can count on it, I’ll be there. Shan and John both said that I need to be worrying about unpacking and getting the rest of my shit out of the old place, but fuck that. They need me more than my stuff does. At any rate, I can’t wait to hold that baby, if they ever let her go for two seconds so that I can. 🙂

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