So as most of you know, Taylor and I took a little while finding the right doctor here in Korea. By a little while I mean I went for my frist appointment in the month of September with our new doctor after the epic fail at the doctors office in Masan at the end of May. Yes, we may have procrastinated and been a little indecisive within that limbo time frame, but it seemed to have all ended up working out in the end. Our doctor, who works out of a Women's and Children;s hospital in Daegu, speaks incredibly good English. The head nurse in her wing also speaks a decent amount of English and so I was feeling more and more confident with each visit... I know, all 3 of them! ;) Anyways... I knew this baby was getting pretty big. I had reached the uncomfortable stage and the doctor was getting concerned with the size as well. No at first I didn;t think much of it because most Korean babies weigh a whole whopping 6.5 pounds and so big to them was 7. I can handle 7. I can handle 8.2. I was NOT prepared for the whopper we got! 9.7 pounds! What? Neither of the other two were over 8.2, so this was totally unexpected. Well... we will get to that in a minute.
So Monday, the 26th, I had an appoinment. I knew the doctor was going to talk to me about inducing based on her reaction the week before and the fact that I had had some contractions the previous week with nothing to follow it up. Sure enough, I walked in much to her surprise... still pregnant and no action. I told her that Taylor and I were interested in induction only if we could do it all natural. She also wanted to try a natural method before medicinal. A point for the doctor! :) So she agreed to "stripping the membranes." Google it if you are interested... I am not going into details. (You are welcome guys)
So I went home from my 3pm appointment hoping for the best. Sure enough, by the time we got home ( after our 45 minute drive) I was starting to have contractions. They were really far apart so I decided to eat and lay down to take it easy until later. Glad I did. Around 8 they got fast and furious... I mean out of no where they were 5 minutes apart! Bam. I was in labor. We were rushing out the door and making phone calls along the drive.
Once we got to the hospital, I was a little less nervous in thinking there would surely be some English speakers. I was wrong. Oh so wrong. Anxiety rose as I had to labor via phone... I ended up calling one of our church leaders and his wife (who is Korean) and she was able to translate all our requests and answer all our questions. I was so thankful to have an interpretter at that point that it didn't matter that I was having to talk to people through contractions. Soon though, the phone had to be passed as I hit the "every two minutes hard and heavy stage." I hate contractions. I mean I love them because they get the baby out... but I hate them.
So push time came... this was the only word the nurse on duty knew. "Pushi" "Pushi" .... "No pushi." Yeesh. How does a gal get so lucky?!
Praise the Lord, we had friends in Daegu, who were so willing to ditch their parents who were in town visiting, to come take Corin so Taylor could be with me during this stressful time... otherwise... well, let's not think about me having to have done that alone. They moved me from one bed to the next. I went through 3 beds during labor and delivery... then back to another bed. Then to a wheel chair... then to another bed! Yeesh. Laundry must be outrageous at this hospital.
Anyways... I was in the "pushi" stage when they tried to transfer me to this strage table out of the 1950's that had massive box lights over head and had leg holster thingys. It was a little scary. I was in a crazy amount of labor pain, and there was no way I was getting on that table. Taylor and nurses ended up lifting me onto it and I immediately found myself recalling reading about how Koreans like to strap laboring mothers down to "birthing tables" from my research on Korean birthing in hospitals... so out of the mouth of the laboring white girl came "Taylor, don't let them strap me down to the table!" Yes. I verified with Taylor later. I actually said it out loud. :/
Anyways, only a few minutes after the table change, I was pushing our what I thought to be baby girl out. Well... I told you I was hoping the doctor who decided I needed to know was wrong when he "spilled the beans." ... yeah, he was. Taylor asked if I wanted to know what we had... I kind of grinningly said yes as if he NEEDED to tell me. But then he said "boy" and I froze. What? Huh? Wait, are you kidding me?! He smiled and said that the first thing he saw was man parts... If you want the actual term he used, please consult Tay... and I was in total shock! A good kind of shock! I was a little nervous about this whole girl thing... but boys I can do! :) Plus... as usual, we still had not decided on a girl middle name and the boy name was all ready and waiting for him! God sure has a fun job, don't you think! I always think He comes up with the most creative ways to bless us!
Then they moved me to another bed and I was being moved back into another little room. No baby. I got to hold him a total of 25 seconds. This was hard for me. Taylor stayed with Henry while I was wheeled to the room.
Soon, I was transfered from there to what I thought was to be a private room... as they had told us when we were playing phone games at the beginning. Then, last minute, a nurse came and said "private rooms, all full." Okay, whatever, so I will have a roommate and I will get over it.
They stuck me in a wheel chair and rolled me through a maze of hallways and elevators and soon I was rolling into a room with not just one roommate, but four. Four roommates and their husbands on the floor next to them. The room was hot. I mean, floor heaters on, 4 inch window cracks, and no airconditioners or fans hot. I got nauseous almost immediately upon entry. Tay looked at me and pretty much asked off the bat if he could sleep in the car. I laughed and agreed... thinking to myself... maybe I can sneak out too.
After the nurse struggled to communicate with us (still not sure what all she said) we found out we would be able to feed and hold Hank in a few minutes and then I would be coming back here until the next feeding... without Hank. Sigh. To not have your baby when you are used to walking out the door and heading home with your babes only hours after birth.... not to mention watching the midwife process the baby in the meantime was a massively hard thing to have in comparison with the night so far. I had seen my baby for 25 seconds... and he had been in the world for almost 2 hours now.
Finally, Taylor went to go get him only to find out I was to walk down to go see him and feed. What?! Me, who just popped out an almost 10 pounder is supposed to stand up and walk down to see him? This was a little concerning to me considering all my previous experience was that I should stay off my feet as much as possible for the first few days. Hmmm. Oh well. So down we went. I finally got to hold my baby!!! Henry Aaron Lett.
He was such a cute looking little old man. Serously, looked like a new born old man! haha! But oh so sweet. I could have stayed in the room with him and stared at him all night, but eventually they kicked us both out of the nursing station... with no baby. Taylor and I both had a really hard time leaving without either of us there to stay with him. Really hard.
So back to the room. Taylor walked me up and then headed to the car due to the ridiculously hot room and I was there... lying on my back with the sounds of the room rushing through my ears.
You know those crazy sleep soundtracks that have recordings of mating jungle frogs and screaching birds? The ones that are supposed to let you fall asleep to the "sounds of nature"?! Yep... I lay there thinking that this room's soundtrack would make a funny prank version of those. I'll try to explain it as best as I can, but you really had to have been there to truly understand what I suffered that night. First off, you should know that all the other women in the room had a c-section and were therefore on drugs. Apparently really strong ones. The three gals on my left all made random moaning sounds through out the night. Two of the 8 people on my left (remember that husbands were on the floors next to them) were snoring out of sync. The girl directly to my left was talking in her sleep all night. As to what she was constantly chattering about, I have no clue, but it got pretty intense there for a while.
Now... the couple on my right... oh man. I think they alone would have been sufficient to make one want their own IV of goodies. So the lady apparently had just come out of surgery since she was awake when I first got there. Then the nurse hooked her up to a bag of something neon yellow... which with the lighting in the room looked neon green with the lights off and all I could think of was the toxic ooze from teenage mutant nunja turtles. Anyways, she was on the neon drip and that is when it started up with her. She fell asleep and immediately started up with a light moaning. A CONSTANT light moaning. Then it progressed to a moan mixed with sleep talk about a cute baby (I picked up on at least that much) and then she progressed to a hybrid mix of moaning, sleep talking and snoring all intermingled with a regular flail or two of her arms... which cause the bed to sound like crumpling newspapers.
Not long after she fell into sweet dreams, her husband dozed off and OH... MY... WORD.... this guy was sawing logs. I don't think I have ever heard someone snore as loud as he did. My bed was only about a foot from his little trundle bed and the entire right side of my bed was vibrating with each wave. I was miserable. I stared at the clock wondering when Taylor would come through the door with the good news that they had called us to come feed Hank. Hours passed and all I could think of was the verse about praying for your enemies. It was that bad. So I prayed for them. I prayed for me. I prayed that the Lord would keep me from hurting any and or all of the noise machines. I prayed for sanity. I prayed for sleep... I prayed a lot that night. God was probably fairly entertained. It was after I "prayed for my enemies" that I began to think how fun it would be to record the room sounds and give it as prank sleep soundtracts for friends for birthdays and Christmas. :) Perhaps I was a bit dilerious by then.
Finally, Tay walked through the door and I don't think I ever hopped out of bed so fast in my life. I was out the door before he couls say we got a call!
Now, because this post is getting rather long and because I have other things to do than just sit at the computer all day to tell you how funny it was (in retrospect) to stay in a Korean hospital, I will have to let you go for now and continue the saga at a later time. I hope you enjoy the story so far... cause it aint over yet. :)
Discloser: Please forgive any and all spelling errors as I am not fully recovered from the trama of the events stated above. I leave you with pictures.