The journey of a thousand miles begins with...the perfect pair of shoes.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

The greatest shower of my life-it's good be clean

Most women seem to be bath people. I am not most women (as you may know by now). I've never been big on baths. It just seems like you're soaking in your own juices and that's just icky. If the water is too hot, you get hot and that's no fun. Even if it's the perfect temp. it will eventually cool and then you'll be cold. What do you DO in the bath? I've tired reading, but after dropping 2 books in the water, I gave up on that. I'm just not a fan of baths. I'm a shower kind of girl. I loves me a good shower. I can stay in the shower forever. I've even been known to sit in the shower. I get a lot of thinking done in the shower (in fact I wrote a good portion of this post in my head in the shower earlier). I find the sound of the falling water relaxing. I've been in showers so long that James Bond has come in to check on me and make sure I didn't somehow drown myself. My dream home has one of those great big tile showers with multiple shower heads (and a steam option) and a big marble slab for me to lay on while the water beats down on my back.  A girl can dream, right? 
I know to most people a shower is just a way to get clean and one is pretty much like the next, but there is one shower I will always remember and the closer I get to giving birth to Han Solo, the more I remember it.

Back in July of 2002, we were once again living in Heidelberg, I was pregnant with Indy and it looked as though I would give birth at any moment (despite the fact that I wasn't due until late Aug). We had been to L&D (labor and delivery for those who might not know) numerous times to stop contractions and the docs told me that if I went before 36 weeks, they would have to medivac me to Landstuhl because our small hospital had no NICU (at the time they weren't sending women to German hospitals, I have no idea why). When they sidy medivac, they meant they would put me in a helicopter to get me there.  As you can imagine, I was violently against this idea.  Being in labor was one thing.  Being in labor in a helicopter was a whole other animal, and I was not about to go there.  Every day I rubbed my stomach and told Indy we just needed to make it to 36w.  The night of July 24th, James Bond and I went to bed around 11pm and he promptly fell asleep (I hate that he can do that!) while I stared at the clock.  Only 1 hour to go and we would be at 36w.  The minute the clock flipped to midnight, I sighed, rubbed my stomach and said "We made it."  The moment the words were out of my mouth I had my first contraction.  I lay there timing them for about 2.5 hours (they were about 15 mins apart) and finally decided to get up and take a shower to see if they would stop (sometimes warm showers or baths will stop false labor). They didn't so I went back to bed and kept timing them. By 4:30am they were about 10 mins apart and I woke James Bond to tell him. He groggily pulled on his clothes and grabbed the keys, thinking this was going to be yet another night spent in L&D, only to be sent home. When we got to the hospital, the OB on duty checked me out and said we would be having a baby that day. WHAT? YES! We were terribly excited, and hunkered down to wait. And wait. And wait. At 7am the OB went off duty and midwife came one. She checked me out and said it would be a while yet, so just get comfortable. At 1pm I was miserable and in pain. We had walked about 100 miles in the hallway, JB had rubbed my back (I had terrible back labor), held me while I cried (labor sucks) and listened to me rant and rave. The midwife would NOT give me any sort of pain medications, despite the fact that I begged for it. She said it would be "better" if I just worked my way through the pain. I really hated her at that moment. 3 hours later, James Bond had had enough and went to tell her that it was not her decision to make and if I wanted pain meds, it was her job to make sure I got them. She finally agreed and came in with something to inject into my IV. It reminded me of a movie (you know, how they inject stuff into IV's and the people immediately fall asleep?). I tried to tell James Bond this and said "It's just like in the moooo..." and I was out. I slept for about 2.5-3 hours and my contractions seemed to stall. James Bond was cranky and irritable, though from MY perspective, he had no reason to be. When I woke up (feeling much better-I was exhausted), they were back with full force, but the evil midwife had gone off duty and my favorite OB, Dr. Gobern, was on. He checked me out and said I was dilated to 7cm, so it would be much longer. He also offered some pain meds that merely took the edge off and made me slightly more comfortable. At 9pm he offered me an epidural. YES, PLEASE! Life got so much better after that. Finally (FINALLY) at 11:41pm (23 hours, 41 minutes after the first contraction) Indy made his appearance in the world weighing in at a very tiny 4 pounds 14 ounces. I was delirious, but got the "post birth" energy surge and was awake until about 1am. Indy was sound asleep, as was James Bond, so I laid down and drifted off, happy to be able to sleep without being kicked from the inside. Indy slept great and woke me at 6 to eat, and then promptly fell back asleep. The nurses came to bring me breakfast and check on me. James Bond went home to take out the dogs and call our families and drop off several rolls of film at the one hour film developer (we didn't have a digital camera back then). I asked if I could have a shower. Giving birth is messy and gross and I just wanted to be clean. The nurses told me I needed to wait until the doc gave the ok, but brought me stuff to give myself a sponge bath. Let me tell you, after nearly 24 hours of hard, sweaty labor and then all that goes along with giving birth, there was no way a sponge bath was going to be good enough, but I took what I could get. The doc was supposed to see me at noon (12 hours after the birth), but some very inconsiderate woman came in around that time and gave birth to twins, keeping the doc from my room until nearly 2pm. How rude of her. I spent those hours trying not to smell myself (I'm extremely sensitive to smells), taking an obscene amount of photos of Indy and just staring at this perfect little person who had been in my body just a few hours earlier. By the time the OB got there I felt gross. I hate to be dirty, and this was just too much. I begged to be allowed to shower and he said if I felt up to it, it would be fine. Oh, happy day!!! James Bond helped me out of bed and into the bathroom (giving birth also makes you quite sore) and promised that if Indy needed me, he'd come get me post haste. The bathroom was small, the shower stall roughly the size of a coffin, with 1960's greenish-yellow tiles that were cracked in places and there was a bit of mildew in each of the corners (believe me, military hospitals are less than glamorous), but I didn't care. I turned the water on full blast and climbed in. HEAVEN! I bumped my elbows trying to soap up, and I couldn't sit down, but this was the single greatest shower I had ever taken. It was so good that I was in there for almost an hour. James Bond came to check on me several times (and to report that Indy was still cute and still asleep), but I just wasn't ready to get out. I had unlimited hot water and I was getting clean! Once I resembled a prune from head to toe, I finally pulled myself away from the cleansing spray and dried off. I slathered myself with pretty smelling lotion and felt more like a human than I had in about 48 hours. Seriously, cracked tiles, mildew and all, this was the single greatest shower of my entire life. It's honestly the only shower I can ever remember.
When I give birth to Han Solo, it will be at a very nice German hospital that I know from my experience with food poisoning back in Nov, has wonderful, huge corner showers and is scrupulously clean. I'm sure that first shower I take after giving birth will be a moving experience and will rank as one of the TWO greatest showers of my life.

BTW, come back tomorrow to adore me some more as it is my birthday and I know you want to wish me well.


Raven said...

I hate baths. Unfortunately I also hate showers, but since I have to either choose one or start hosing myself down in the backyard, I choose showers.

Happy early birthday, in case I'm not able to worship you tomorrow. :)

Toni said...

I'm a total shower person. I agree with you about baths. It's like you're soaking in your own dirt. (WHY would you want to do that?) As Chandler from Friends said "Sitting there stewing in your own filth."

Give me a nice Long HOT shower!


Michele Feltman Strider said...

Stopped by to drop some additional adoration on you, as instructed. Happiest b'day, MIHH!

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