The day after Lila was born I was changing her diaper and noticed something strange. I hate to disclose details involving my daughter’s private parts but she had a little, um, dimple above her, um, butt. I didn’t think much of it other than it looking a little odd but the pediatrician came in the next morning to talk to us about it.
I was listening to her as I was hoisted high in the air on my hospital bed, frog legged as a student nurse was learning how to insert a catheter. On me.
For whatever reason I was unable to pee after they had removed the catheter so after a few hours it went back in.
Apparently the dimple can mean many things, blah blabbedy blah… I wasn’t really listening until I heard Nick ask a question that included the words spina bifida and her answer included the word yes and I immediately launched into a sobbing fit.
Me: Wait, wait just a minute. I don’t understand what you’re saying. What’s going on?
Pediatrician: Well, we’re doing an ultrasound as a precaution – I’m not concerned…
Nursing Student: Is this the hole where the rubber hose goes? I’ve never done one of these before.
Nursing Teacher: Yes, but turn it this way.
Me: NOT THE HOLE!
Pediatrician: … or I would have ordered an ultrasound today. It could be one of three things…
Nursing Student: Is it supposed to be wiggling around like that? I think I hit something I shouldn’t have.
Nursing Teacher: No, let’s take it out and start over.
Me: (sobbing) Hell no. You get one shot with this shit. Give the hose to the one who knows what she’s doing.
Pediatrician: all of which are treatable…
But I didn’t hear any of that. I heard my baby will never walk. She looked at Nick who subliminally communicated that he would take care of this (this being the blubbering hormonal mess on the hospital bed with all of the tubes hanging out of her) and she left.
He tried to calmly explain that it was nothing to be concerned about and listed the things is was NOT but all I heard was my baby will never walk.
So the next day we had the ultrasound and it turns out that everything is fine – she will just never be able to be a stripper. However, the pediatrician told me that she could even wear a thong and you wouldn’t be able to see it.
As I was telling this story to my friend “H” she told me that she too has an extra butt hole, and thought everyone did until a few years ago when her daughter was born. Her Mom was examining her daughter’s extra butt hole and said “oh, she has a an extra butt hole there just like you do.” H was perplexed because she didn’t realize having an extra butt hole was not normal.
Don’t you hate it when you find out something you thought everyone had or did is actually something exclusive to you, like an extra butt hole?
Meanwhile, I still can’t pee and have been walking around for three three days toting a big urine filled purse which I’m sure everyone in the cafeteria appreciates as they try to eat their meals. A CT scan shows nothing abnormal, and again Nick tries to explain everything it’s NOT. He starts by saying it’s not nerve damage but all I hear is that I will never pee again because I have nerve damage and launch into a fit of hysterical crying.
I will either have to learn how to insert a catheter every time I have to pee or walk around with a pee bag strapped to my leg for the rest of my life. I cried myself to sleep, and all morning because I will be forever known as pee bag woman. I cried until the nurse came in to remove the catheter to see if I could pee and I peed on the toilet.
Oh. Well. Good. I won’t be pee bag woman after all -sniff-.
So that means everything is back to normal. Oh, except for the fact that Ellie has labeled me as dead. She came to visit the baby for the first time and took one look at me with a baby on my lap and hasn’t looked at me since. She’s been to visit us three times and I might as well be a roll of toilet paper sitting in the chair because she won’t even so much as acknowledge my existence.
The person who has dedicated the past 16 months of my life to catering to Ellie’s every whim. Who loves her more than I’ve ever loved anything in my entire life. Who still wakes up in the middle of the night every night at least twice to tiptoe into her room and cover her with a blanket and stare at her because I love every single breath that she breathes.
I am dead to her.
But at least the breastfeeding is going well.