But it's hysterical. It's much funnier when told in person though. It loses something in the translation when written out. But since I can't see all of you in person, you'll have to settle for this version. Remember the "I Love Lucy" episode when Lucy and Ethel were working the assembly line at the chocolate factory?
On March 29th 2005, my phone rings at about 9:15pm just as I was settling in to watch the Amazing Race. It's my sister, Carla, saying that she thinks her water just broke. Now this is her 4th child AND she's a labor and delivery nurse. I'm thinking she should know if her water just broke, right? So I ask her "Well did it or didn't it?"
Now I have to preface this part by saying that my sister's a trooper when it comes to labor. She labored so long at home with her third child they almost didn't get the tub filled in time for her water birth once she got to the hospital. She's a pro at the labor thing and seems to have a high tolerance for pain. So when I turn the corner and see her gripping the sides of the tub in obvious distress, doing the blow-blow-blow thing with her breathing I got a little worried.
My bro-in-law and mother show up a short time later. We ask Carla how far along she thinks she is as far as the whole dilation thing. This is important to know. Because her worst fear is delivering the baby in the car. She absolutely wants to avoid that happening. But the hospital is 20 minutes away.
I, being the great sister that I am and since I'm trained to remain calm under pressure, ask her if she wants me to give it a try. Yes, my sister and I are very close. Even closer now that I've had my hand up her.... well you get the idea.
Now we all start moving a bit faster. Bro-in-law rounds up the kids and heads them off to the van. My mom and I start working on getting her dressed. Which is nearly impossible. Every time we try to get an article of clothing on her she tells us not to touch her. We manage a pair of undies, a bra and one sock. Remember she was dripping wet naked in the tub a few minutes ago.
K: "Should I call your midwife?"
C: "No she won't make it."
K: "Okay how about one of the nurses you work with? Maybe someone's off tonight. Maybe they can help."
C: A little louder now and more excited "No they won't make it."
K: "Paramedics then?"
C: Screaming now and very excited. "They won't make it!!! Oh ##$$@ Oh $$%%%!! I'm going to tear! Help me!"
K: "What am I supposed to do?!" A little perplexed on how I'm supposed to help with that.
C: "GET IN HERE!!!!!!"
Since I'm in the room standing right next to her in the tub I assume she means to REALLY get in there. So I push up my sleeves and try to head in.
I step to the rear...pun intended.... and just that quick the little guy's head is out. COMPLETELY out! At this point, I realize there's no going back now and I've got to deliver this baby.
Now my sister's arse is still up in the air and she's looking back over her shoulder trying to get a glimpse of him and asking if he's okay. I tell her that he is. She says for me to give him to her. I look at her like she's lost her mind cuz how am I going to do that. They're still attached by the umbilical cord so I can't just hand him to her.
This time he was in to it. He talked all the time about the birth of his baby brother and was very excited to be a part of it. So when he made it back up to the bathroom and saw that the baby was already out, he was pissed off! He got mad because we hadn't waited for him. Uhhhh ..... sorry buddy.
Now a police officer arrives because my bro-in-law had called the paramedics. Sis and baby are still hanging out in the tub. I'm on my knees right next to the tub as he timidly peeks his head in. I assure him that everything's okay. Baby is out, baby is fine. I'm a cop and she's a labor and delivery nurse. We've got it all under control.
He looks relieved and hightails it out of there to go outside and wait for the medic to roll up. Then the paramedics arrive. They ask my sister (who we've now at least covered with a towel but is still hanging out in the tub) if she wants to be transported on the stretcher. She looks at them as if they have 3 heads and says she's not going to the hospital.
With that response from her, they look at her the same way. Why bother now? The hard work is done and he's fine. That's her rationale. So just to make sure, she calls her midwife and the midwife approves.
She asks the paramedics if they have something to clamp off the cord. But she doesn't want to cut it yet. She wants to wait a bit until all the blood is out so it doesn't make a mess. And she wants to deliver the placenta first, too. See, she just got new carpet. Which is also why she went to the tub for his delivery. Way to think it through, sis.
The medics don't want to touch her if she's not going to the hospital. They basically just want her to sign the release so they can get the hell out of there. She does and they leave.
We get her out of the tub and help her to bed. Now don't forget... baby still attached to cord, cord still attached to momma. It was a little precarious. She gets in bed and gets comfortable. She's already been breastfeeding him the whole time she was in the tub so she continues.
Travis now has become fascinated with the placenta. He's determined to see something come out of there so he camps out at the end of the bed waiting for it. Hey, you have to understand my sister. She's very "all natural-crunchy-granola" with her family. It's just biology and nature. So she wanted it to be a learning experience since the kid was so interested.
Well now it's coming up on 2 hours later, there's still no placenta coming out. She's using all the tricks.... massaging the uterus, breastfeeding, etc. But the sucker ain't out yet. Travis still only has a 5 yr old's attention span so he decided to go play. But makes us promise to call him when it's time. Every 15 minutes or so he checks in, yelling from the other room "Is that THING out yet?" Nope not yet, buddy.
She's starting to get pissed cuz she'll be damned if she managed to deliver the baby at home but then has to go to the hospital for the stupid placenta. She tells her husband to go look in the bathroom and bring her a vial of this special medicine (of which I'm not allowed to mention the name of at her request) that she had "just in case".
So she loads up a syringe and after about 10 times of chickening out finally jabs herself in the leg. I told you she was a trooper. The special medicine then starts working. But all it's doing is increasing her contractions. Still no damn placenta. Call to the midwife. Midwife tells her to go ahead and cut the cord then go sit on the toilet. Apparently that will allow the placenta to drop down naturally.
Too much information? After the last few paragraphs you've been so engrossed in, I don't think anything is sacred anymore.
This time she yells out to her hubby to go get the sewing scissors and BOIL THEM! Seriously...WTF?! Are we pioneers now?! So he brings them in and she cuts the cord with the SEWING scissors. Craft projects will never be looked at the same in that house.
No mess cuz the placenta's been empty of blood and goo for awhile now. She hands the baby off after tying the cord with some kind of dental floss looking stuff. Then heads for the toilet with a big old plastic bowl. Did you think she was supposed to flush it? C'mon! How would she explain that clog to the plumber? LOL!
A few minutes later we hear her frantically yell out to her husband again. This time cuz she apparently sat the bowl on the counter out of her reach. "Bobby!! Hand me the.... uhhhh nevermind."
Oops! So she fishes it out of the toilet and inspects it. That's what nurses do in the hospital. Well, inspect it, I mean. Not fish a placenta out of the toilet. Plus don't forget little Travis and his curiosity. He checked it out and thought it was pretty cool.
Next thing you know she grabs a mirror and inspects DOWN THERE. She mentions that she has a slight tear but uses a much longer medical word for it. I swear at that point I halfway expected her to yell for hubby to bring the needle and thread. Thank gawd she didn't. Call to the midwife who says it's fine and so minor that it'll heal on it's own.
We finally choose a name. He was Tucker or Teagan for the first 2 hours. They couldn't decide. But after a group vote, everyone decided that Teagan fit him better.
At the suggestion of my mom, Christopher was chosen as his middle name in honor of the most awesome super amazingly-calm-under-pressure aunt that helped deliver him.
Okay fine, Carla. You DELIVERED him and I CAUGHT him! Semantics.
So at 11:15pm on March 29th, 2005, Teagan Christopher made his wild and crazy entrance into the world. Only 2 hours and 15 minutes after my sister THOUGHT her water had broken and she MIGHT be in labor. He was in a hurry.
Oh and about the placenta. The next day when I drove her to the pediatrician to have Teagan checked out I asked what she did with it. She told me it was in the freezer. WTF?! She was going to use it to plant a tree. Apparently, it's symbolic. To use this thing that nourished a new life to then nourish a new tree and watch them grow together. Uhh...yeah okay. Whatever.
And recently when I told this whole birth story again in her presence, I turned around and said "By the way, whatever happened with the placenta anyway?"
Yep... you guessed it. It's still in the freezer.
Happy 2nd Birthday Teagan!