WBEZ | baby http://www.wbez.org/tags/baby Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en 'Aren't you going to have a hard time giving the baby up?' http://www.wbez.org/series/storycorps/arent-you-going-have-hard-time-giving-baby-111974 <p><p>Carrie Moon loved being pregnant.</p><p>When she gave birth to a son a few years ago, she says it felt natural, even fun.</p><p>Their one child was plenty for Carrie and her husband Charlie to take care of.</p><p>But Carrie wanted to help someone who wasn&rsquo;t able to give birth.</p><hr /><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/RS7285_StoryCorps%20booth%20%282%29-scr_13.JPG" style="height: 120px; width: 180px; float: left;" title="" /><em style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 22px;"><a href="http://storycorps.org/" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: inherit; font-size: inherit; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; line-height: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; text-decoration: none; color: rgb(0, 104, 150); outline: 0px;">StoryCorps</a>&rsquo; mission is to provide Americans of all backgrounds and beliefs with the opportunity to share, record and preserve their stories. This excerpt was edited by WBEZ.</em></p></p> Fri, 01 May 2015 10:48:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/series/storycorps/arent-you-going-have-hard-time-giving-baby-111974 Breaking the silence about being bipolar http://www.wbez.org/series/storycorps/breaking-silence-about-being-bipolar-110988 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/StoryCorps 141024 Andrea Tim_bh (1)_0.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>When Andrea Lee was diagnosed with bipolar disorder 20 years ago, she wanted to talk about it all the time.</p><p>&ldquo;Everywhere I went, I would introduce myself and I would try to work in - maybe in the second or third sentence of that conversation &ndash; &lsquo;By the way, I have Bipolar Disorder.&rsquo;&rdquo;</p><p>Eventually, though, she realized that people treated her differently.</p><p>&ldquo;So I stopped talking about it,&rdquo; Lee says in this week&rsquo;s StoryCorps.</p><p>Now Lee wants to talk about it again.</p><p>She came to the StoryCorps booth in the Chicago Cultural Center earlier this month with her husband, Tim Fister.</p><p>&ldquo;I remember in high school sitting at the lunch table with my friends,&rdquo; Lee says, &ldquo;and there was all this commotion around me and I couldn&rsquo;t hear any of it&hellip;And I remember just putting my head down and feeling so&hellip;empty.&rdquo;</p><p>Later that day, she drove to her family&rsquo;s home and parked in the garage. &ldquo;I was crying and crying. I left the car on and I remember thinking: I could just close the door and I wouldn&rsquo;t have to feel this pain anymore.&rdquo;</p><p>She sat in the car, contemplating suicide. She imagined how her mother would feel when she got home and saw her body slumped in the driver&rsquo;s seat of the car.</p><p>Lee&rsquo;s parents are from Korea and Lee says, &ldquo;There&rsquo;s such a culture of shame in Korea that people would rather suffer in silence then let the world know that they&rsquo;re in pain and that they need help.&rdquo;</p><p>Lee turned the car off and went inside the house.</p><p>Soon after she saw a psychiatrist who prescribed anti-depressants to her. Within a few weeks, the drugs helped lift her spirits. The sky was bluer and the sun was brighter. But what she didn&rsquo;t realize was that she was quickly spiraling into mania.</p><p>A short time later, Lee experienced her first manic episode, and the police brought her to a mental health facility.</p><p>&ldquo;So through all of this stuff that was going on, I&rsquo;m just curious: Did you have anyone to talk to frankly?&rdquo; her husband, Tim Fister, asks. &ldquo;&rsquo;Cause it sounds like your parents were out of the picture.&rdquo;</p><p>&ldquo;Yeah, I don&rsquo;t think that in that state of mind I was really able to connect with anyone,&rdquo; Lee says. &ldquo;What was it like for you when you met me and I started telling you about my own mental illness?&rdquo;</p><p>&ldquo;It wasn&rsquo;t really that big of a deal. It was maybe a little bit of a relief &lsquo;cause on both sides of my family there&rsquo;s a fair amount of various levels of mental illness. So it didn&rsquo;t bother me&hellip;that much. You know it&rsquo;s something you think about in terms of the logistics. I still think about that even today, especially now that Juniper&rsquo;s born. What are we going to do if such a thing were to happen? But you know when it&rsquo;s coming. You know the signs. And you know what to do.&rdquo;</p><p>&ldquo;So we&rsquo;ve been married for nine&mdash;no, we&rsquo;ve been married for four years, but we&rsquo;ve been together for nine years, but you&rsquo;ve never seen me in a manic state. How do you feel about that?&rdquo; Lee asks.</p><p>&ldquo;I think it&rsquo;s very possible you might never have another manic episode again,&rdquo; Fister says. &ldquo;You&rsquo;re lucky that you found the right combination of meds&hellip; And you have a good support system. You have a good doctor now.&rdquo;</p><p>&ldquo;You know for a long time I didn&rsquo;t want to have a child because I didn&rsquo;t want that child to go through that,&rdquo; Lee says, &ldquo; but then also selfishly if that child committed suicide I didn&rsquo;t know how I would live. I didn&rsquo;t know how I could live with that knowledge: That I knew what that experience was but still decided to get pregnant and to bring a life into the world where that could happen.&rdquo;</p><p>&ldquo;So what turned it around?&rdquo; Fister asks.</p><p>&ldquo;I think that I&rsquo;ve experienced things in our relationship together that made me feel like that chance was worth it,&rdquo; Lee says.</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="450" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/playlists/6250422&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_artwork=true&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false" width="888px"></iframe></p></p> Fri, 24 Oct 2014 11:41:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/series/storycorps/breaking-silence-about-being-bipolar-110988 Young couple prepares for the birth of their first child http://www.wbez.org/series/storycorps/young-couple-prepares-birth-their-first-child-110958 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/StoryCorps 141017 Meg and Bobby Hart.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Megan and Bobby Hart met after college, while preparing to do the Peace Corps in Burkina Faso.</p><p>Three years ago, they got married. And now they&rsquo;re on the cusp of yet another adventure.</p><p>&ldquo;We&rsquo;re gonna have a baby,&rdquo; Bobby says, in this week&rsquo;s StoryCorps. &ldquo;Very soon,&rdquo; Meg says. &ldquo;Tomorrow I will be 37-weeks pregnant, so that is considered full-term. The baby could come any time now.&rdquo;</p><p>As if that weren&rsquo;t enough excitement, they bought their first home a month ago, and Bobby is spending all his time getting it ready.</p><p>&ldquo;I&rsquo;m hoping that the child doesn&rsquo;t come for maybe another four weeks,&rdquo; Bobby says, &ldquo;to allow us to really do all the work that needs to be done on the house&hellip;I mean I love this person who&rsquo;s coming into the world but I don&rsquo;t want them to come just yet. I want a solid four more weeks if I can get it. Three would be acceptable. Please no sooner than two.&rdquo;</p><p>&ldquo;What makes you think we are ready to be parents?&rdquo; he asks.</p><p>&ldquo;I don&rsquo;t know if we&rsquo;re ready,&rdquo; Megan says.</p><p>&ldquo;I think we are ready enough because there&rsquo;s a lot of love in our house so I think there&rsquo;s plenty of room for a new person to come into it and be loved and supported. And I think we&rsquo;ve also traveled, we&rsquo;ve gone to school. We&rsquo;ve kind of settled down and I think we&rsquo;re ready to bring somebody else into our lives now.&rdquo;</p><p>&ldquo;We&rsquo;re not woefully underprepared,&rdquo; Bobby says, &ldquo;but how do you know if you&rsquo;re really ready for this new experience that you&rsquo;ve never had? I&rsquo;ve never even really babysat. So this is really something that it&rsquo;s tough to say that I&rsquo;m absolutely prepared for.&rdquo;</p><p>&ldquo;What are you most looking forward to with this child coming into our lives?&rdquo; Meg wants to know.</p><p>&ldquo;Oh, gosh! This is the person I get to hopefully teach the lessons that I think are really important. And maybe expand and move those things. I&rsquo;m excited to be able to have a relationship similar to the one that my father and mother have with me. All those sorts of cultural things you take from your parents. I&rsquo;m looking to be on the other side of that equation. And share those with a son or daughter. What about you?&rdquo;</p><p>&ldquo;I&rsquo;m looking forward to that relationship,&rdquo; Meg says. &ldquo;You know I love you very much. But the way that our parents love us, I&rsquo;m excited to experience that love for somebody that is uncontrollable and overwhelming. I already feel it a little bit but I can&rsquo;t wait to meet the person.&rdquo;</p><p>&ldquo;We hope we do a good job,&rdquo; Bobby adds.</p><p>&ldquo;I&rsquo;m confident we can do it,&rdquo; Meg says.</p><p>&ldquo;I am too.&rdquo;</p></p> Fri, 17 Oct 2014 11:38:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/series/storycorps/young-couple-prepares-birth-their-first-child-110958 Brookfield’s baby dolphin dies suddenly http://www.wbez.org/news/brookfield%E2%80%99s-baby-dolphin-dies-suddenly-108368 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/AP178379265245.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Staff at Brookfield Zoo are mourning the sudden death of a newborn dolphin. The female calf was nearly a week old. She was born to a 26-year-old dolphin, Allie, one of three Brookfield dolphins who were pregnant this summer.</p><p>The baby weighed around 40 pounds at birth and measured 3 feet long. At the time, Brookfield staff said the baby was healthy and strong. But by Wednesday, veterinarians started seeing signs that the baby, who was not named, wasn&rsquo;t well. According to Dr. Michael Adkesson, Vice President of clinical medicine at the Chicago Zoological Society, the calf seemed weak, and the frequency and duration of nursing with her mother began to decline.</p><p>Adkesson says the first days of a dolphin&rsquo;s life are extremely critical, and studies have shown that deaths of young calves in the first 30 days of their life account for the largest rate of loss to dolphin populations in the world.</p><p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s not an animal like a primate where the mom&rsquo;s able to carry the animal around, or a tiger or a lion where it&rsquo;s able to be tucked back in a den,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;The animals really come out in the water and have to really be able to go from the first minute of birth.&rdquo;</p><p>Dolphins have to learn skills like swimming, eating, breathing and how to nurse right after birth. These are skills Adkesson says Allie was correctly teaching her offspring, but the baby&rsquo;s health still continued to decline.</p><p>Veterinarians tried to intervene, including using CPR and other tactics, but they the dolphin died early Thursday.</p><p>Adkesson says Allie is doing well, health-wise, but that it&rsquo;s hard to tell if or how she&rsquo;s dealing with the loss.</p><p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s difficult for us to really know that, in terms of how much they grieve, &ldquo;he said. &ldquo;Obviously, we know they&rsquo;re very intelligent animals, but as far as the level of emotion that they feel, it&rsquo;s not something that we can really speak to.&rdquo;</p><p>The calf&rsquo;s autopsy report is expected to come back next week.</p><p>For now, Brookfield Zoo staff is focused on its two other mothers-to-be, and the two, hopefully healthy, babies that will be swimming alongside them in the water this fall.</p><p><em>Lauren Chooljian is WBEZ&rsquo;s Morning Producer/Reporter. Follow her <a href="http://twitter.com/laurenchooljian" target="_blank">@laurenchooljian</a>.</em></p></p> Fri, 09 Aug 2013 15:46:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/brookfield%E2%80%99s-baby-dolphin-dies-suddenly-108368 Like stealing from a baby: Stealing from the baby http://www.wbez.org/blogs/claire-zulkey/2013-06/stealing-baby-stealing-baby-107820 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/8727806498_5e117df804.jpg" title="The baby and the bath products his mother generously lends him." /></div><p dir="ltr">Babies! They&rsquo;re not just for getting attention or trying to win money through beauty pageants anymore. Did you know that they are actually great sources of stuff that you can steal? More than once I have discovered second, adult uses for baby gear, and the best thing is, when you steal from a baby, what&rsquo;s the baby going to do, call the police? Nope. Here are a few baby items I have co-opted for my own use:<br /><br /><strong>Baby shampoo: </strong>When the baby was born a lot of nice people gave us a lot of baby shampoo. But I gave birth to a very small, bald baby with a small baby head. He is not going to go through all that shampoo anytime soon. So one day, when I ran out of soap, I grabbed a bottle of Johnson &amp; Johnson baby shampoo to use as a body wash. I&rsquo;ve also used the stuff to clean my makeup brushes. The baby, meanwhile, is almost a year old and is just halfway through his second bottle of baby shampoo/body wash. I figure I have time to buy a replacement bottle before he notices.</p><p dir="ltr"><strong>Baby lotion:</strong> It&rsquo;s just as good as adult lotion and it smells like a baby, which is more than I can say for the baby, who has a tendency to stink.</p><p dir="ltr"><strong>Baby wipes:</strong> <a href="http://gawker.com/update-do-you-use-butt-wipes-and-if-so-what-the-fuc-511428757">Despite what Gawker says</a>, these things are awesome. They just get the job done--and not just for private wiping. I have used baby wipes on the dog, on my feet, on my hands, on the floor. It&rsquo;s like if some Good Samaritan was like, &ldquo;Here, stop wasting time running a paper towel under a running faucet: I took care of it for you already.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr"><strong>Sunscreen:</strong> I applied sunscreen for the first time to the baby the other day, squirting out the amount of sunscreen I am accustomed to applying. Did you know that babies don&rsquo;t have a lot of skin, though? And that you can probably just keep them covered by the stroller? I think my husband and I are going to be dipping into that SPF-80 a lot this summer.</p><p dir="ltr"><strong>Baby food:</strong> We have a plethora of snacks to encourage the baby to practice picking up food and feeding himself, yet all he&rsquo;s interested in, so far, is Cheerios. That&rsquo;s fine. Did you know that in a pinch you can serve baby snacks as a cocktail hors d&#39;oeuvre? I haven&rsquo;t tried this yet but foods like <a href="http://www.mummums.com/">Mum-Mums</a> (made by a company called Hot-Kid, I feel compelled to point out) and <a href="http://www.gerber.com/allstages/products/snacks/lil_crunchies_mild_cheddar.aspx">Lil&rsquo; Crunchies</a> (which taste like Pirate&rsquo;s Booty) would be excellent served in an attractive bowl alongside a nice cold glass of wine.</p><p dir="ltr">I look forward to when he gets bigger and I can start stealing his clothes, too. If you have any creative ways you have used your kid&rsquo;s stuff for your own use, please share.</p><p><br /><a href="https://twitter.com/Zulkey">@Zulkey</a></p></p> Mon, 24 Jun 2013 10:04:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/claire-zulkey/2013-06/stealing-baby-stealing-baby-107820 List: Creatures on the baby's clothes last week http://www.wbez.org/blogs/claire-zulkey/2013-03/list-creatures-babys-clothes-last-week-106042 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/8540546556_24e96b3c4e.jpg" style="float: right;" title="Friday's dinos" /></div><p>Monday: Dino<br /><br />Tuesday: Monkey<br /><br />Wednesday: Whale<br /><br />Thursday: Bear<br /><br />Friday: Other Dino<br /><br />Saturday: Pierogi<br /><br />Sunday: Dogs, then Monkey, then Lots of Teddy Bears (it was a messy day)</p><p><em>What animals are on your clothes? Tell me </em><a href="https://twitter.com/Zulkey">@Zulkey</a></p></p> Tue, 12 Mar 2013 08:15:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/claire-zulkey/2013-03/list-creatures-babys-clothes-last-week-106042 Time for your six-month performance evaluation, baby http://www.wbez.org/blogs/claire-zulkey/2013-02/time-your-six-month-performance-evaluation-baby-105628 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/8489499167_b05bdd3b72.jpg" style="float: right; height: 532px; width: 300px;" title="Employee of the month" />All right, baby. You&rsquo;ve been with the company for six months, now, and, as is customary, we&rsquo;d like to review your performance since you&rsquo;ve joined us and look over your goals for the future:</div><p><br /><strong>Sleeping:</strong> Good; room for improvement. You&rsquo;ve come a long way, baby, since those first few weeks when we were all living on the edge there. Now you get up once a night to eat and once a night to be rescued after you&rsquo;ve backed yourself into a corner of the crib.<br /><strong>Goals for 2013: </strong>According to the pediatrician, by eight months we can just close the door on your room and say goodnight for ten to twelve hours. This may be a difficult goal to achieve but we know you can do it. It is in the company&rsquo;s best interests that you meet this milestone.</p><p><strong>Crying: </strong>Satisfactory. You have gotten a lot better about not crying as much as you&rsquo;ve grown older, partially because we have figured out that it&rsquo;s better to put you down at 7 PM instead of watching you fuss and bitch and moan for another hour or two.<br /><strong>Goals for 2013</strong>: Still room for improvement. While we know it is unreasonable to ask that you never cry again, that would be okay. In the meantime, try to see the faulty reasoning behind crying when we put you down for a nap when, if we didn&rsquo;t, you&rsquo;d just cry out of tiredness instead.</p><p><strong>Diapers: </strong>Satisfactory<br /><strong>Goals for 2013: </strong>Stay the course.</p><p><strong>Play:</strong> Good. You enjoy the squeaky giraffe Sophie, grabbing at people&rsquo;s heads, putting everything in your mouth and having t-shirts put over your face.<br /><strong>Goals for 2013: </strong>Stay the course. Literally. Please don&rsquo;t bang into anything too pointy when you start crawling.</p><p><strong>Eating: </strong>Good. You&rsquo;ve moved on from formula to carrots and peas and oatmeal and seem to be figuring it out, at least, after you make that initial face like your whole world is ending. Could be a little tidier but we showed foresight by stocking up on what we thought were too many bibs but what turned out to be just enough.<br /><strong>Goals for 2013: </strong>If you&rsquo;re good, sweet potatoes, maybe a banana.</p><p><strong>Cuteness/lovability:</strong> Exemplary. We can&rsquo;t believe that we ever thought the dried up little peanut we brought home from the hospital was ever appealing. Now you have big eyes with girly lashes, nice fat cheeks and thighs, an amusing dearth of hair and a tendency to make funny squeaks and squawks. You&#39;ve become pretty fun to be around. We have grown quite fond of you since you started becoming more of a little person and sometimes even miss you when you&rsquo;re gone.<br /><strong>Goals for 2013:</strong> Keep it up.</p><p><strong>Any feedback for us?</strong> &ldquo;Goo?&rdquo; you say? Well, all right, we can&rsquo;t argue with that.&nbsp; Now, unfortunately, you were not born into parents who knew what they were doing right away so your new bosses have been learning right along with you. However, I think that we are all doing a great job and would like to offer to sign you up for another six months.</p><p><em><a href="https://twitter.com/Zulkey">Follow me on Twitter </a></em></p></p> Wed, 20 Feb 2013 09:22:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/claire-zulkey/2013-02/time-your-six-month-performance-evaluation-baby-105628 The Valentine's Day Baby http://www.wbez.org/blogs/claire-zulkey/2013-02/valentines-day-baby-105527 <p><p>Last year I shared with my readers the wonderful Valentine&#39;s Day video my husband makes for me <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blog/claire-zulkey/2012-02-14/some-valentines-videos-96380">every February 14</a>. This year, he had an accomplice:</p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="360" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/GyjXc6kCrew?rel=0" width="640"></iframe></p><p>Bonus: this is what my computer looked like when I came downstairs this morning:</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/2013-02-14_06-38-02_475.jpg" title="" /></div></p> Thu, 14 Feb 2013 09:11:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/claire-zulkey/2013-02/valentines-day-baby-105527 'Baby Art': Starring baby http://www.wbez.org/blogs/claire-zulkey/2012-11/baby-art-starring-baby-103689 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/zulkey baby foot.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Here&#39;s a palate-cleanser from yesterday&#39;s rather earnest post about maternity leave and whatnot. Made by my husband, Steve Delahoyde, starring Baby.</p><p style="text-align: center; "><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/kbI3NpV18i0?list=UU9m74qNCCynEhhIBoG-YHEg&amp;hl=en_US" width="560"></iframe></p></p> Fri, 09 Nov 2012 05:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/claire-zulkey/2012-11/baby-art-starring-baby-103689 A baby story http://www.wbez.org/blogs/claire-zulkey/2012-08/baby-story-101815 <p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/MaandPaul_0.jpg" style="height: 400px; width: 300px; float: left; " title="The new mom and Paul." />I&rsquo;m writing this for my friends and family as well as those who might be interested in hearing another one of those stories about how you really can&rsquo;t make much of a plan when it comes to having a baby. Don&rsquo;t read on if you are squeamish.</p><p>Our baby was due 9/4 and in my head, he or she was going to come that day, or September 1st, or around September 11. Don&rsquo;t ask me why, but part of it had to do with the fact that my pregnancy had been so run of the mill, so &quot;boring&quot; as my doctor called it, that I figured the date would to according to plan. Everyone told me I looked good, I admit I took a certain measure of smugness in how active I was, so why wouldn&rsquo;t things go according to plan? I was even proud of the fact that I didn&#39;t have a &quot;birth plan.&quot; But my lack of a birth plan still failed to entail anything seriously unexpected, uncomfortable or frightening.</p><p>Last Monday I went to the doc for a routine 37-week checkup and was told that my blood pressure was a little high, so no big deal, I got some blood drawn. Then Wednesday the offices called to request that I come in to triage at the hospital because the tests were a little concerning. My husband Steve and I met there, nervously, him telling me stories to distract me while we watched another couple, in labor, freak out in front of us. &ldquo;That&rsquo;s not us,&rdquo; we thought.</p><p>In triage I had tests run and we joked around a bit with our friendly nurse and dorky nervous med student. As we waited to hear back on the tests as I figured I&rsquo;d go back to work where I left my computer on. No go, it turned out: the docs wanted to keep me at Prentice overnight to observe me: my blood pressure was at a level they considered &ldquo;gestational hypertension,&rdquo; on the verge of preeclampsia. This was serious enough business that I got put in a gown and wheeled up to my room.</p><p>Prentice Hospital is gorgeous so the rest of the day felt a bit like I was hanging out in a hotel room, looking out our nice view and watching TV as nurses came by to test me. Steve went home to take our dog to my parents&rsquo; house and grab the hospital bag that I luckily had packed a few weeks before. We were supposed to be there until 7 pm Thursday after which, in my head, we&rsquo;d be going home.&nbsp; I slept fairly well despite hourly visits from the nurse to check my blood pressure.</p><p>The next morning (Thursday) Steve brought me some hospital food (I wanted a fruit/yogurt/granola parfait but for some reason the hospital&rsquo;s version omitted the fruit and added whipped cream instead.) Shortly after, a doctor came by and told me, nicely but bluntly, that my blood pressure was high enough and I was full term enough that I was just going to get induced that day.</p><p>Blammo. Too bad I didn&rsquo;t get a better breakfast, because I wouldn&rsquo;t be eating again until after I had the baby.</p><p>Steve came over to me to reassure me while I stared off into space a bit. When I called my parents I cried a little when I realized how scared and overwhelmed I felt by all of this. I know you&rsquo;re never really ready to have a baby but I really wasn&rsquo;t, not now, and not to be medically induced as such. It sounded really scared, uncomfortable and unnatural.</p><p>A few people have asked me how I felt about the doctors&rsquo; calls here and I have to say I never second guessed, never wanted to explore other options. I know doctors aren&rsquo;t infallible but I had felt completely, 100 percent fine up until now (except for hand/feet swelling) so they obviously knew something we didn&rsquo;t. I would do whatever they thought was right.</p><p>The doctor checked my cervix which was quite uncomfortable, so between the news, that test (basically a hand jamming up, uncomfortably, inside you) and the information that I would soon be having a balloon put inside me to dilate my cervix, I was jumpy. I took a shower, because god knew when I&rsquo;d be able to do so next. Here is a tip: when someone gives you life-changing, frightening news, do not shave your legs with a new, cheap razor. Although I guess it was a good introduction of what was to come (i.e. blood.)</p><p>I got wheeled up to our Labor and Delivery room from our antenatal room, which had a much crappier view than the first. This was irrelevant except for the fact that the Air and Water show was this weekend and hearing the planes practice can be disconcerting without visual cues. Anyway, I was first given the crib, the balloon that was inserted inside me to dilate my cervix. Having it put inside wasn&rsquo;t a party but it wasn&rsquo;t much worse than a fairly uncomfortable gyno visit. What was weird was having the rubbery ends taped to the side of my leg. After that I was given a dose of magnesium, which sounds like a harmless vitamin you might get from broccoli or something but is actually an anti-seizure med given to people with high blood pressure. I had been warned that this would make me feel warm and then crappy, which was exactly what happened. Nice and warm all over and then gradually sicker and sicker over the hours, like I was coming down with the flu. Magnesium is a muscle relaxant and so I was no longer allowed to get up to use the bathroom, so every time I had to pee I needed to get on top of a bedpan, which was uncomfortable thanks to the balloon taped inside me and my IV and blood pressure monitor. Peeing in your bed is a strange experience, plus, now, I just had a small fountain of blood running between my legs after the crib insertion, so that was additionally fun.</p><p>From noon to six we killed time reading and watching TV to see if I would be dilated enough. I wasn&rsquo;t allowed to eat real food but at one point I was given juice and broth and jello and since I hadn&rsquo;t eaten since that crappy parfait, when I did, it felt like Thanksgiving.</p><p>Here I need to say something about nurses. Jamie, Sarah, Caitlin, Leah, DeAdre, Jackie--these people all should make way more money than professional athletes or talking heads on the news. They empty catheters, change bloody pads, reassure you, clean up your pee. God bless them. That is all.</p><p>At around 8 pm my cervix was checked again (and again, no party): nothing really happening, so back to business for another six hours. This time we tried to sleep, although not very successfully.</p><p>At around 2 or 3 am my balloon was taken out and I was given Pitocin to induce labor. I had been thinking this whole time of the baby-delivering process as a really long trip with a lot of legs to get through and I still felt daunted by what lay ahead, most specifically next, getting my water broken and the inevitable epidural. I knew I wanted an epidural since minute one of this pregnancy. &ldquo;I want drugs, give me all the drugs&rdquo; I told all the doctors and nurses I saw since I got to Prentice on Wednesday. My nurse had told me I could request an epidural once I started feeling pain, but I remembered all my friends who told me to get an epidural as soon as humanly possible. I decided to head the pain off at the pass and asked for the epidural.</p><p>I was scared of getting it, since you <em>should </em>be scared of getting a needle in your spinal cord. The numbing needle was the worst part (Steve was sent out of the room for this since it was a sterile environment procedure, although the ladies who gave me the epidural were a merry group), just a real good sting, but after that I couldn&rsquo;t feel too much except an occasional rooting-around feeling in my spine which I can&rsquo;t describe as anything but <em>visceral</em>. But then, oh my god. It wasn&rsquo;t just that the pain went away, or that the discomfort went away. I felt <em>good</em>. It was almost sexual, if I&rsquo;m being completely honest. Plus, now I had a catheter in, so no more bedpan for me. I got my cervix checked and my water broken and it was no big deal. I wanted to go online to Facebook/Tweet how awesome the epidural was but it was 3:30 in the morning and I was exhausted and the magnesium was still making me feel like crap, even with the epidural taking the edge off.</p><p>I slept happily until a few things started taking over. The long labor began giving me a fever and I began feeling contractions, which was an unwelcome surprise after not feeling anything. Meanwhile, I wasn&rsquo;t making much progress with my cervix. As my fever reached 101, 102, 103, my doctor came by to talk to me about the possibility of a C-section. I really didn&rsquo;t want a C-section as the recovery sounded&nbsp; much worse to me (the description of stitches &ldquo;tugging&rdquo; sounded awful) but now, at around noon on Friday, I just didn&rsquo;t care so much anymore. I wanted to arrive at this destination. Rolling over onto each side was difficult enough: the thought of pushing a baby out sounded impossible.&nbsp; Meanwhile, I felt like I was stuck in a permanent contraction. A woman from anaesthesiology came by to go over some pain relief options with me (I think at the time I had erroneously expected the epidural to take away all pain, and any pain felt like too much pain after the fever and magnesium), including rearranging the catheter in my epidural but the thought of sitting up and getting my spinal cord tube refixed sounded awful. We discussed the possibility of me being put to sleep during my C-section. Remember, I had done a workout video on Wednesday morning.</p><p>My doctor came by again and I started to throw up, which she joked about having a hard time not taking personally. She wanted to monitor me for a few hours to check on my dilation and fever. I was given a cold blanket and ice packs and antibiotics and Tylenol in my butt. I slept and was monitored. Steve set an alarm on his phone so that he knew when to push the button to administer me more fentanyl through the epidural. I sent him away when I could so that he could eat. He cried a little bit as he confessed how unhappy he was to see me in pain as I just slept and got prodded and tried to keep warm and not worry. A &ldquo;baby,&rdquo; the final destination, was so far from my mind at this point.</p><p>At 5 pm though my OB, Dr. Katz, checked me and reported that I was dilating and it looked like I would actually be able to deliver this baby vaginally. I was worried about having the energy to do so but she and the nurses promised I&rsquo;d be able to. We did a few practice pushes and then I was left to figure out how often and when my contractions were coming, which didn&rsquo;t take long, so we decided to get the show on the road around 6:30 Friday night. I wanted a little bit of a distraction so we put on <em>The Simpsons</em> and eventually an NFL game, I guess it was the Lions versus somebody else, I dunno. I just didn&rsquo;t want it to be completely quiet in there.</p><p>Pushing is hard but apparently I was good at it. The most difficult part is focusing all your concentration in this weird triangle of your body, your head, your legs and your butt/vagina. You&rsquo;re supposed to hold your breath as you do it which seems weird, yet not stress out your face so it felt like my head was going to explode at certain points. Dr. Katz promised me that I&rsquo;d be done, probably around 7:15 which seemed almost like b.s. to me but that beat pushing for four hours which was what a friend of mine recently did. I couldn&rsquo;t imagine it.</p><p>Pushing didn&rsquo;t feel extremely productive to me (I never even pooped on the table even though I was mentally ready to do so) and I was so tired from the magnesium that I almost fell asleep a few times after each round of pushing, but Dr. Katz promised me I was making progress. I felt like she wasn&rsquo;t kidding me when the pediatrics team showed up and all this gear arrived so I figured they knew something was coming. On around my tenth cycle of pushing (&ldquo;Come on come on harder harder harder&rdquo;) finally my doctor pulled something out of me and told me to stop for a second. We had told her our baby names, Paul or Amelia, and with one more push, she said &ldquo;It&rsquo;s Paul!&rdquo; The baby came out, very small and doll like.</p><p>Steve started crying a little bit (but in a manly way) and the baby was scooted over to the warmer to get cleaned up and checked. He cried which sounded good to me but I couldn&rsquo;t get over how surreal this all felt. I had always envisioned this moment my entire life, how emotional I would be, but I had a really hard time believing that that baby came out of me, that that was the thing I had carried around for 8.5 months, that I had <em>made </em>that. I kept wanting to fall asleep.</p><p>Postpartum cleanup was not my favorite. My abdomen got massaged, hard, which hurt and I still felt a lot of pressure from the placenta, so getting that out felt good.. Dr. Katz stitched me up for awhile which you can imagine was not a pure delight (meanwhile Steve held Paul, whom I had barely touched thus far, and I couldn&rsquo;t see either of them really beyond the side of my hospital bed.) I was half-delirious and so I asked Dr. Katz a million questions about what she was doing and what I needed to do and she basically told me to shut up for a goddamn minute which was kind of funny in retrospect. She apologized and so did I. I talk when I&rsquo;m nervous and overwhelmed I guess.</p><p>I held the baby finally, all teeny (only a little more than 5.5 pounds but in good health) and alien like. I think he actually looked pretty good for being so fresh and new (I imagine the shortish amount of time pushing helped not beat him up too bad on the way out) and tried to wrap my brain around the fact that he&rsquo;s <em>ours</em>. We called my parents who wanted to come over immediately but I told them to hold off til the next day.</p><p>Finally I got cleaned off and Steve brought me some M Burger (I had been wanting a Diet Coke for like 18 hours now) and finally moved to our fourth and final room in the hospital. I was pretty sore in all my nether regions from hospital beds and stitching so I was given a Norco, which helps with pain but also makes you really hot. Paul had to stay in the nursery for four hours for monitoring due to the antibiotics I was on for my fever. We were given the chance to get him back around 1 in the morning but we decided we&rsquo;d meet up with him after we&rsquo;d gotten a full night&rsquo;s sleep since we didn&rsquo;t know what we&rsquo;d do with him at 1 am anyway. We have the rest of our lives to get to know each other.</p><p>Except that I couldn&rsquo;t sleep so well, maybe because of this goddamn magnesium that I&rsquo;m still on until tomorrow night, maybe because I kinda slept all day yesterday, albeit in fever dreams, maybe just because I can&rsquo;t quite believe it. I figured writing this all down will help and I think it did. There is a baby squalling in the room next door and I am tempted to go check on Paul except that as of a few hours ago my legs still didn&rsquo;t work that well thanks to the epidural so maybe I should wait on that. It&rsquo;s 4:15 now, Saturday morning. We finally got here, all of us.</p></p> Mon, 20 Aug 2012 09:30:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/claire-zulkey/2012-08/baby-story-101815