Last Things First

One correction; Hippo was born at 7:17 am, not 7:20. Some of you might scoff at the importance of three minutes but I have a special relationship with the number 17 and you may not scoff at that.

I want to write out the birth story while I’ve still got adrenalin and positive hormones (I have had 5 total hours of sleep since my afternoon nap on Saturday! But I feel SO AWESOME!) in my system. But right now I just have one hand and the energy for one amusing, hospital bureaucracy-related anecdote. Also, Baby Brother (remarkably un-hippo like, so I cannot continue to refer to him as such) still has no name and I don’t feel the story is complete until he has a name. So far we have ruled out Flava so please don’t suggest it.

On Friday at my doctor’s appointment, I peed on the dipstick that measures your protein and sugar. Both were negative but there are other boxes on the dipstick that can change colour and though none of them has before, on Friday, the top one went from white to bright purple.

Yes, I thought it was worth mentioning.

My doc sent me upstairs to the lab to leave a urine sample. “Just in case it’s a bladder infection,” he said.

Well before this, at week 36, I had a test done for Group B Strep, which lives harmlessly in many peoples’ nether regions, multiplying and partying and reading Proust. Group B Strep is a concern for many pregnant women and their doctors because if the mother is a carrier, has no actual illness, the baby can pick it up on the way out and get quite sick. It is very rare that this happens but gosh wouldn’t you feel bad if it did.

It’s one of those Somewhat Controversial tests because treatment is with antibiotics, which leads to questions of antibiotic overuse, the harm antibiotics do to your system, the side-effects they cause and whether you really need those running your body when you’re recovering from a birth. But I digress.

With Trombone I was negative for GBS. With Hippo I was positive. So when I got to the hospital in the wee hours of Sunday and it was determined that I was, in fact, in labour, I was fitted with an IV and given a dose of antibiotics. Luckily, I gave birth so quickly that I didn’t need the second dose so I don’t have to worry as much about side effects.

We walked out of the hospital at 11 am today, right past the lab where I’d left the urine on Friday. A little surreal, that. I commented – “I wonder if I have a bladder infection after all.” ‘Cause wouldn’t it be grand. Etc.

We got home shortly before noon. A few minutes later the phone rang. It was the hospital. The baby was sleeping in his cushy new car seat so I knew we hadn’t forgotten him.

“Oh hi,” said a woman, “this is Dr. so-n-so at BC Womens Hospital. I just wanted to let you know we got the results of your urine test.”
“Oh – OK,” I said.
“Yes, you’re positive for Group B Strep,” she said.
“O…K?” I said.
“So we’ll have to treat you,” she said.
“Uh…” I said.

Mistaking my hesitance for resistance, she went on to explain that if left untreated, GBS can sometimes cause pre-term labour. And can be quite dangerous to the premature infant. And so it really is important –

“I had my baby yesterday,” I interrupted.
“I had my baby yesterday. He was full term. I just left the hospital an hour ago. I had the antibiotics in labour. Everything is fine.”
“Well no WONDER I couldn’t find your patient file,” she said. “I was looking everywhere. Never mind. I never called you. Enjoy your baby.”
“Thanks,” I said.

So now, I am going to feed Baby Brother, have a beer and then lie on my back. BECAUSE I CAN.

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