Sunday, October 12, 2008

Conan the Destroyer (Of Bottles and Low Expectations) Or Conan: Part Two

So, I wrote this post last month and have taken, um, quite awhile to continue it. Sid has been nagging at me. FINE, SID. HERE. Heheh.

Anyway, when we last left off, Andie had been taken in for an emergency c-section, as baby Conan was in distress. Sid sent out a mass text at about 7 pm. I waited. And waited. And waaaaited. I may have squawked NUMEROUS times, "Dude! How long does it take to do a freakin' c-section? It's so fast on Maternity Ward!" Yeah, I know. I got a call from Sid about an hour later that Andie was doing well and that baby Conan was out and breathing, hooked up to vents and things. I didn't get a lot of details, we mostly talked about how ridiculous Sid had looked in his O.R. scrubs and whether the obstetrician had given Andie a Britney Spears-style tummy tuck while she was in there. (They didn't and we thought it was hilarious to tease about it, but the doctor was appalled. We, um, get that a lot.)

Andie calls me some hours later, at about 1 am. She sounds WRECKED. I mean, like she'd taken over the lead singing for AC/DC. We talk for a little bit and I ask her to tell me about Conan. She tells me that he's red and has a head of black hair that will probably be curly like Sid's. That he has blue eyes and Sid's chin. That he's ANGRY and keeps trying to kick off his tubes and wrappings. Then, her voice breaking, she tells me that the doctors gave him about a 10% chance of survival. I find out later, their lead doctor advised them to make funeral arrangements.

I tell Mame, who breaks down in tears. I spend most of that night and the next day praying in a manner which can, if I'm being honest, best be described as "begging." I go to my Friends meeting and get the local chapter of Quakers on the case. Conan is baptised, guerilla-style in the NICU. Sid and Andie have a huge network of friends and family members who cover a wide variety of religions. I don't believe that any one religion is the right one, but if there is one right one? One of us had to have hit it. We had Born-Agains, Catholics (Including EGT with her special Pope-blessed rosary), Muslims, Jews, Methodists (My Gram had her prayer chain going), Lutherans and Hindus all praying for this kid. Someone heard us. Someone said, "Ok, let me take a look." Someone granted our prayers.

At one point, I have a very amusing conversation with a stoned-off-her-gourd-Andie. Hey, if anyone deserved the good pharmaceuticals, it was her. Conan starts to take a turn for the worst. But by the next morning, he's still here. He's still fighting. He's apparently decided that yeah, this whole dying thing? DOESN'T WORK FOR HIM. He begins to improve a tiny bit. Just the fact that he's still breathing is a HUGE deal. His status, according to Sid, is upgraded from "Really, Really Critical" to "Cautiously Non-Pessimistic." And he just continues to improve. Andie is sent home, in good condition.

I decide, fuck this noise, I'm driving out there. I need to see my friends. I need to meet Conan. I drive out on a Friday night after work, arriving at their house at about 1:30 in the morning. And EXHAUSTED looking Sid greets me at the door and sweeps me into a huge hug. He shows me video of Conan and I start crying. I suck. Conan is doing really well, far better than expected.

The next day, we all go to the hospital to see Conan. He's a week old and no one's been able to hold him yet because he still has a central line in his navel. We all pile into his tiny room: me, Sid, Andie, Mothra and Sid's sister Red, who is Conan's godmother. The nurses all bounce over to announce that they've taken his central line out, because he's doing THAT awesomely, and that we can now hold him. They sit Andie down and hand Conan to her. I'm holding Mothra on my hip, trying to dissuade him from grabbing at EVERYTHING in the room. As soon as the nurse hands his brother to their mom, he stops and stares. Even he realizes what a big deal this is.

Conan was the tiniest baby I've ever seen. His face was the size of the palm of my hand. His chest was about 3 or 4 inches wide and fluttered heart-breakingly. His fingers and toes really get me: they are about the size of matchsticks. He sleeps most of the time, but he keeps trying to wake up. His little eyebrows shoot up as he struggles to open his eyes. They open for about 5 seconds and then...close again. Hey, life is TIRING, ok?

Conan's room was right outside the nursing station and finally, one of the nurses slams down her pen. "We can't get any work done! We're all too choked up about you guys FINALLY getting to hold him!" Conan was a great favorite of the nursing staff. They admired his kick-ass nature and his beauty.

I get my chance to hold him. He's swimming in his pile of blankets. He's still pissed off at his tubes and has to be restrained from yanking on them. I rock him in my arms instinctively and hum under my breath to him.

Sid: Bea. Are you humming My Chemical Romance to my kid?
Me: No! That would be ridiculous! (I totally was. And if you're a My Chemical Romance fan, you know what song it was.)
Sid: Riiiiiight. Because you're never ridiculous or anything...

Conan continued to have his ups and downs. He was still having heart fluctuations and many of the usual preemie issues. But also continued to be awesome. But more on that later!

I've decided this will be a three-part series. Hey, this is Mame's and my blog. We can be verbose and long-winded if we want! However, I think I've run out of stupid jokes for the titles. So, I'll be accepting suggestions if you guys have any...


Anonymous said...

This cannot be a true story. Who would name their kid Conan?

"Lady" Bea said...

Who would put a kid's real name on the internet?

Sid said...

Listen keep making us cry! Sigh...I cannot believe this actually happened to us. Lady Bea, you are such a wonderful writer and utilize perfect turns of phrase to help describe what was happening vividly.

You write good...write more stuff gooder and moreer!

Anonymous said...

I heartily approve of the name Conan and the entire series of stories. What could be more appropriate than linking this child to the movie that gave us the phrase (that I love and truly believe in) "That which does not kill us will only make us stronger".
Great story, wonderful family and best wishes.

Bea's Mom

EGT said...

Hahaha! Of course you hummed My Chemical Romance to him.

Dr. Fabulous said...

If only Dr. Fabulous could help!

Dr. Fabulous said...

But alas! All she can do is assemble furniture!!