January 27th, 2008


Alpha, and Omega

Maia missed an event at school yesterday. So to, for a related reason did one of her friends. Her friend had to fly to New York to attend a funeral.

Maia and I were attending Mrs. skeetermonkey's birthing of her first child.

All went well. She had about 20 hours of total labor, about five of which were hard; then she asked for an eipdural and things got easier. None of us slept much. First, there was the constant shuffling (we went from triage, to a labor room [i.e. curtains to a closet] where we waited for the anaethesiologist.

I was reminded of my quirks. I can deal with all sorts of blood and pain; in the heat of the moment. The Blonde (aka Mrs. Skeetermonkey) is a terrible stick. Needles hurt her, and she has hard to find veins. For whatever reason she was even harder to stick than usual in the wee hours of Sat. morning (we got to to Kaiser Sunset, where both Maia, and skeetermonkey were born, some years ago).

I don't like to see people getting stuck (much less cut), and so I stepped out. Queasy, lightheaded, generally shocky. Feh. So when the gas-passser said he felt croweded, and only wanted one person present for the epidural I was more than willing to leave. He didn't insiste, when The Blonde said she needed two, and he didn't actually move anyting, so it was more an emotional, than a phsyical crowding.

Someone, as I was waiting in the hall, and reading in the Father's Waiting Room, was getting a C-Section. Came back and The Blonde commented that the Birthing Center had much nicer rooms.

When we got moved on to the BC, she was right. Not as cozy as the room my mother gave birth to my middle siblings in, but larger, and with more furniture.

Being in the room for a modern delivery is strange; in an SF movie sort of strange. There are all sorts of widgets plastered to the expectant mother. Fetal Hearbeat, contractions, Blood O2, blood pressure, IV (required for the epidural, as it plays hob with all sorts of bodily systems). Some of these make noise. The fetal heart monitor also lets one hear the various gurgling and sloshings in the uterus, come a contraction... it was reminscent of being belowdecks on a, tolerably, quiet ship.

We got to the hospital when she was about 5cm. and the baby was presenting at -1 (those are good numbers, there were, in fact, never any bad numbers). We got to the BC at about 8cm, and +1. That was about 0500. I asked for some blankets, and while Maia perched at The Blonde's feet, took the chair (a strange lounger, he was the only one tall enough to place his feet on the floor when it was closed), I laid down on the floor; with the glorified sheets they called blankets, for a mattress, pulled my coat around me and we all dozed.

It wasn't sleep. He said he would get toward a dream state, and something would make a noise, and he would rouse, sort of. Maia would drift off, and The Blonde would move, or want her feet rubbed, or need something scratched (a side effect of the epidural). I probably got better rest than most, but it wasn't good rest. It was pregnant rest. As when one is certain something is going to happen. Had anyone said my name, called out for something; or spoken in distress, I should have been on my, groggy, feet in a heartbeat.

About 0700 things changed, and I moved to the chair, where I was more asleep, and less. When I drifted off, I was gone, but I kept pulling myself too. I probably did fall completely asleep from 0800, to about 0830.

A little after nine, when things were quiet, but we were all awake, I did what I was there for (Maia had gone to the Lamaze classes with them. I had merely helped with two other deliveries. My job was to backstop the calming function, and run errands), and headed out to get some food.

It was a beautiful morning. I wanted coffee. There was no decent coffee to be seen. I stopped at a local market (lots of armenian and russian imports) in a plaza with, "Gevorkian Medical Center", and bought some juice, and bread. Then I stopped at the Los Burritos, and bought a huevos ranchero, and one with bacon (tocino... it's good to speak menu), an horchata for Maia and a Mexican cocoa for me.

Went back. The Blonde's mother, and stepfather were there. It suddenly seemed much more crowded, but it meant we could go to the patio for brekkie (a good thing, as women in labor are not allowed to eat). skeetermonkey came out, and I made him a couple of tacos from the beans, rice and scrambled eggs.

We went back in, and they were getting set up to catch. The Blonde was worried she'd not be strong enough to push, all assurances to the contrary notwithstaning. Then she was told to push, if she wanted, and she pushed. And pushed, and pushed. Maia and holding her head, skeetermonkey holding her hand, and her head, and moving about as father's do in such times.

Another pair of pushes. The baby was past crowned, was almost to the point of being out. Push, and stop (so she wouldn't tear too badly) and then another bit of push, and there he was, blue, in the way that new babies are blue. Squalling, in the way that new babies squall.

Turning pink, in the way that new babies turn pink.

All his fingers, and toes, and two eyes, a pair of lungs (in good working order) a bunch of hair, and all the other wonders that are a new baby.

Off to post partum (where the fellow; who wife was having their fourth, and so he says last, kid) was already standing in the hallway being ebullient). Maia and I spent some time but it was smaller than the closet in which we'd waited to move to the BC. Off to USC, to make an appearance, and collect some cookies. Back to the hospital, to deliver the cookies. Got home about 1900, which was some 20 hours after we left.

Missed the dinner plans we'd made. Slept until 1000, are still a bit fagged out. I have to go through the picutures I took, and print up the good ones. Have to figure out some quick meals to go and fix, so they aren't more swamped than they have to be when they get home. Have to sleep some more.

It was more than worth it.

hit counter

and now for something completely different

What I was doing when The Blonde called was monkeying with plant genetics.

I found, you see, this wonerful time waster. Seed.

It starts with one little flower. You can clone it, or cross it (you can, I think, self-cross).

Mutation will creep in.

You can also call up the genotype, and edit them. Really drastic edits lead to very ugly blobs. Those can make for interesting crosses. You can save the genotypes. You can send them to the guy who made the applet (it's a flash application) and you can cut and paste other people's wonders.

Every so often, I may publish some genotypes, such as these:

50.0, 0x408c49, 5, 10, 31.5, 0.1, 1.5, 1.3, 46.8, 68.5, 0.9, 2, 0.0, 0.2, 0.0, 0.1, 1.3, -0.1, 0.1, -0.1, 0xad8e3c, 0x647b21, 5.8, 13.8, 7, 8, 0.6, 0.3

50.0, 0x408c49, 5, 10, 31.5, 0.1, 1.5, 1.3, 46.8, 68.5, 0.9, 2, 0.0, 0.2, 0.0, 0.1, 1.3, -0.1, 0.1, -0.1, 0xad8e3c, 0x647b21, 5.8, 13.8, 7, 8, 0.6, 0.3

50.0, 0x408c49, 5, 10, 31.5, 0.1, 1.5, 1.3, 46.8, 68.5, 0.9, 2, 0.0, 0.2, 0.0, 0.1, 1.3, -0.1, 0.1, -0.1, 0xad8e3c, 0x647b21, 5.8, 13.8, 7, 8, 0.6, 0.3