A new mom, forced down on her knees!? A new baby, shoved under a bed!? A new grandma, accused of almost killing her new grandson!?
Oh, wait: That last one is in the NEXT post 🙂
(If you missed the beginning of our exciting and sometimes-gross-but-still-riveting story, here it is.)
A Helpful Baby Doctor
Where Babe does not let nature take its course.
By 1987, Babe and Joe had been trying to get pregnant for two years. Babe had no problem getting pregnant. Staying pregnant was another thing.
Her body had no rhythm: Flows from 5 to 9 days long, 26 to 42 days between them, periods two days after ovulating…
Babe’s OB prescribed an ovulation regulator. But the day Babe was supposed to swallow the first pill, she knew she was pregnant again. She phoned her OB.
“Bob, I’m two days pregnant. If I take this pill, it will abort the fetus, right? Isn’t there anything we can do to keep this one?”.
“Babe, how can you possibly know you’re pregnant by two days?”
Though not entirely convinced, Bob said there was something experimental they could try: A progesterone suppository.
That two-day-old egg is 27 years old now.
Wouldn’t that old an egg be rotten by now?
How DID Babe know? Does the toilet paper turn blue or pink THAT soon!? 😉
Off the Lupus Drugs and On to Adventure!
Where Babe lets nature take its course.
Babe’s rheumatologist was not happy with her.
He had strongly advised her never to have children (the lupus bible points to a disastrous life for lupus moms), and here she was, pregnant.
Now, he was telling her that she should continue her lupus drugs through her pregnancy.
“No way!” said Babe. “You don’t know what those drugs will do to my baby!”
Dr. R.’s mood changed from unhappy to really irked. Her previously-sympathetic diagnostic savior turned stiff with resentment at a patient refusing to follow his advice.
To be fair, Dr. R. truly cared about all of his patients. He was probably very concerned for Babe. But some of his sudden transformation still seemed like it stemmed from ego.
It’s Learning to Crawl Time—for Mom!
Where Babe gains an excellent perspective for baby-proofing.
Even off the drugs, Babe’s lupus almost entirely disappeared while she was pregnant. (Some lupus moms have the opposite occur.) However, because she kept having vaginal bleeding, both Dr. R. and Bob, Babe’s OB, sent her out on disability early to be cautious. A small price to pay for her first wonderful son, Justin.
Part of the story of Justin’s birth is told elsewhere. But that other post doesn’t say how Babe kept calling “Give me back my baby” (he didn’t breathe for a very long time–the doctor was trying to fix that);
or how they put Justin on his tummy on Babe’s tummy at last and she was finally happy when she put her hands on his little back;
or how he pushed himself straight up on his arms and looked right at her, with his eyes wide open, and then all around the delivery room;
or how, a week after having Justin, Babe couldn’t walk.
Oh, she could walk. Just not for the first hour or two after she woke. The arthritis pain was so severe and the morning stiffness so bad that she was forced to crawl to her baby like a baby herself.
Even after she could walk upright, walking was slow and painful for the first half of the day. Everything was painful.
Who thinks Babe should NOT have gotten pregnant?
Where Babe jams her new baby in a dresser drawer.
Babe moved Justin from his crib to one of the drawers under the captain’s bed (open, of course). When he woke, all she had to do was reach down and grab him.
She was scared that her stiff fingers might make her drop him, but she learned to lift with her wrists. When this became too iffy, Babe kept Justin in the bed beside her.
Changing his diapers was really challenging. Babe could soon no longer unpeel tapes. For the worst times, Babe fastened and unfastened Justin’s Huggies tapes with her teeth.
It didn’t help that little Justin had 24-hour colic. (Some of us are just Luck Magnets.)
If he wasn’t feeding or moving, he was crying.
In the early mornings, Babe would stay abed and let him nurse to bursting until she could move.
Later she would try to rock him to calm his fussiness. The pain in her hip while rocking was brutal. Justin was happier (and he was worth it), but Babe was miserable.
Each afternoon, when Babe was finally able to really move, she would walk or jog him in a front carrier up and down the driveway. (Her neighbors thought she was insane.)
Where was Joe through all of this?
How the heck did Babe clean up Justin’s backside during the times her fingers were really stiff? (Don’t ask!)
The next post will reveal the cause of Justin’s fussiness. He did not sleep through the night until over a year old.
Joe did not do one night feeding. None. There was a night I begged him to get up and just carry the baby to me because I was in so much pain. He refused. He said he was too tired and he had to get up for work the next day, whereas I did not.