Yesterday's appointment schedule was pretty grueling - I got to the first (anesthesiologist consult) to get blank looks, shuffled around to a few different departments in confusion, and finally to end up in the right place with a really *wonderful* nurse who said they were expecting me three hours earlier. Who knows where the mixup was - I didn't make the appointment myself, so might have been told something wrong, or written it down wrong, or transposed it to my calendar wrong... or who knows.
Anyway, I have in my hands a complete anesthetic record, going back to my earliest surgery in 1990, the written analysis of my broken back x-rays, and recommendations from an anesthesiologist regarding my current state, all in hard-copy to put into my hospital bag. I don't *want* an epidural (or a C-section, of course), but if something happens, I don't want to have to explain my history Right Then, or assume they can call up these records from my file easily. My injury was L5, with some offset between the L4 and L5. Guess which space they most like to put epidurals! Why yes, the L4-5 space. However, they can easily put an epidural in several spaces above that joint without getting up into the spinal cord (which ends about L1). The anesthesiologist on duty at that time inspected my back, and actually came back into the room after he'd wrapped up with me to say (in a charming, thick Germanic accent): "Any anesthesiologist would be be delighted to work on that beautiful back. Very clear vertebrae, not like many women where you cannot feel them; that is scary for an anesthesiologist. You are not high risk. Very easy." I thanked him (laughing), because... well, what else do you say?
Strangely (in that 'this IS a small town' sort of way), the wonderful nurse who was helping me out was actually an assistant on the eye surgery I had in 1990. She remarked on how long that surgery ended up being, and was not at all surprised that I had trouble coming out of it.
In all, a very good, very fruitful appointment. I'm glad I insisted on getting it, even if I end up not needing it. It makes me feel better to have all of that in writing.
The massage was wonderful, though I'm past the point where they'll give me deep-tissue massage, so it was a little less vigorous than I really like.
Then, the post office, where I picked up five packages and wrestled them out to the car on a dolly. Coloring books are re-stocked! At home, I found that the UPS driver had braved our driveway, and left the crib mattress and sheets. The mattress fit in the cradle perfectly (a worry, since it is homemade and perhaps not standard-sized), but the sheets were 6" too wide. I have to check today and see if I spacily ordered the wrong size, or if they shipped the wrong ones to me.
Then, BACK into town for a quick Subway dinner and childbirth class with Jake.
Class was very useful. The labor and delivery nurse teaching it had clearly done this before, and was funny and had great props (a knit 'uterus' prop with all the right stretch properties, a placenta plushy with attached cord that snapped onto the baby prop, which fit through the fake hip bone model). There were hands-on bits with balloons and golf-balls that Jake got to play with, and it ended with a tour of the facilities. I was very relieved to find out that they are not the old-fashioned, draconian model of hospital... the rooms are big and private, they do not bundle babies off to nurseries, but emphasize an hour or two of skin-to-skin bonding time after birth, and encourage rooming-in. They do not strap you to a 'table,' or dictate your laboring positions, she told us that if anyone tried to make us hold our breath and count, we had every right to ignore them, and there was a lot of nitty-gritty 'this is what is happening inside, outside, visibly and emotionally' that some of the books I'd been reading had touched on, but not really laid out so clearly.
Unfortunately, class ran very late, and then we had truck problems. Jake's truck does not particularly appreciate these temperatures. I have a Subaru, which sort of coughs a little if it hasn't been plugged in at 40 below, but sighs and starts and runs beautifully if you let her warm up. The truck, alas, has this fancy 'emissions' sensor, which regulates the catalytic converter and will FREAK out at these temperatures, occasionally going so far as to cause mis-fires, and CAN cause damage to said catalytic converter. We won't know until it warms up, but running the truck with a misfire may have been problematic. By itself, this is a minor inconvenience - Jake is taking my car to work, and I am homebound (or carpooling) until it warms up enough to try the truck again. (Even 10 or 15 below might be warm enough, it just hates that 30 below and colder snap.) However, it leads to a much larger inconvenience: water.
We haul water - there is a 150 gallon tank in the back of Jake's truck, and nearly every day on his way home, he stops at the water fillup and gets a load of water, which is dumped into the tank in our basement. (Some people in our area have wells, but it is a serious gamble - you might dig 800 feet and hit brackish or arsenic-y water. You might dig 150 feet and get delicious perfect water.) Now, when it's this cold... actually, due to thermal resistance, a few weeks after it starts being this cold, you have to keep dumping warm water into your septic tank, or your leach field and septic tank can freeze. So, while we could certainly ration water and showers between now and truck-working-again, it is better for our overall system to continue *using* water, or if anything, use more than usual. Our driveway is such that we may have problems hiring someone else to bring a water delivery. We have it snow-blown, but... it's a long steep driveway and a delivery driver MAY balk.
A frozen septic tank/leach field will generally remain frozen well into summer, if we don't pay to have it steam-thawed and pumped. (Which is decidedly NOT cheap.) And I don't really want to go back to no running water with a newborn, for some picky reason.
So. Here's hoping for a nice mild chinook to blow in quickly and warm things up, and the truck to work alright once it does so.
Between the class running late, the truck problems, feeding the pets and fire and general 'stuff,' we did not get to bed until after midnight, and when the alarm went off, it was turned off and we went back to sleep for another several hours. Much needed.
We have class again for the next two nights; Jake will have to come back and get me after work. (And he, poor guy, is still not entirely recovered from his food poisoning...)
This is too long... I will make a separate post about today's plans, business stuff and such... after I hang up the laundry and put more wood in the stove.