This is a post about how I had a kid

November 9, 2009

So last Tuesday I got up and started puttering around- the main thing I had planned for the day was a conference call with a director who apparently digs one of my scripts. These calls usually get initiated by Your Agent’s Office, and then they have to tie it in to His Agent’s Office, and to him, and to you… and anyway, I always get paranoid, for no reason at all, that something is going to go wrong.


But instead of that call going wrong… or instead of even having that call! Let me tell you what happened.

I had a baby.





So there are going to be lots of gaps here, because of how I was unconscious for most of it. And then when I was technically conscious again, I was on this hilarious drug cocktail that made me completely vague. So I wasn’t really conscious-conscious again for days and days and am only now, almost a week later, sort of back to my normal personality.

LESSON ONE ABOUT ALMOST DYING: man, we take shit way too damn seriously. I could elaborate on this, but I won’t. Because, see:

LESSON TWO ABOUT ALMOST DYING: if you almost die and then don’t die, people who love you are going to be really upset and then really relieved. They won’t dig it very much when you tell them things like “Hah, man, we take shit way too damn seriously.” So… you should shut up.

LESSON THREE ABOUT ALMOST DYING: if you have my personality and you almost die and then you can’t speak because of how they put in an emergency airway thing called a “tracheostomy” so you could breathe-and-not-die, you are just going to be wasting a lot of jokes in your head. If you married the right person you will occasionally look over at him and he will articulate the exact joke you are dying to make. (Also, your best friend will say of this entire thing: “Man, it must be SO ROUGH to be you and not be able to talk right now.”)

So anyway! Long story short, most of the time pregnant ladies have totally normal pregnancies and totally normal births/etc. And honestly I feel like in general people are way too scaremongery about stuff and I am super sciencey and skeptical about peoples’ crazy medical paranoia… so it’s totally embarrassing that I am the one person who actually almost does the out of the blue dying! Pfffft. Awkward.

BUT, very occasionally it turns out that there is this thing, “eclampsia”, that basically involves crazy seizures and almost dying and nobody really knows why or how it happens or how to prevent it (yes, it’s like an overly-complicated episode of House.) and it can kill you and the fetus and it happens in one out of every two or three thousand pregnancies, and they can look for the signs but sometimes, like in my case, there aren’t really any.

So that’s what happened. Out of nowhere, I had spectacular seizures and had to have an emergency c-section and blah blah blah… I totally survived, and my kid was Forced Into This World Too Soon but is basically a pretty cool person.

Everyone else, understandably, is kind of shaken by the drama of this week. But I, the person who did the actual almost-dying, am lamely kind of unmoved by the whole thing. But NOT because I am a cool person or anything like that. No… it’s because of how I was either unconscious or on the hilarious drug cocktail OR basically coming off the brain trip of “Man… we take shit too seriously!” the whole time and so pretty much missed everything.

(Don’t get me wrong! I am pretty sure this is an epic event blah blah blah, and as soon as I can stay awake for more than a certain number of hours in a row I am totally going to start processing it and then do some Serious Writing about it, because, man, if you are a writer and you almost-die and you don’t milk it for material you are some kind of sucker, you know what I’m saying?)

Anyway, here is a short video of my kid from his third day of life (I think it was his third day, anyway.) – he is Very Small, because he wasn’t ready to be born, so he only weighs four pounds (!!!) – but he appears to be in otherwise splendid shape and he really likes to eat (right on!) so hopefully we can fatten him up ASAP.

We named him Henry Oak Charles.

Charles for my father, and Oak because I’m named after a tree, too, and Henry JUST BECAUSE (and because Husband Guy and I are enamored of the possibility of calling someone “Hammerin’ Hank *lastname*”.)

He’s pretty cool, like I said. Mostly he sleeps or eats, and I don’t want to brag, but he’s totally mellower than the OTHER babies in the unit, who are all whiny about stuff all the time. Henry is more like “Oh, hey, milk you say? I should eat that. And then kind of wave my hands around vaguely yet meaningfully in front of my face… After that I’m taking a nap, feel free to join in.”


9 Responses to “This is a post about how I had a kid”

  1. Jenny Says:

    Dean said, “As soon as she starts making coma jokes we’ll know she’s back.” How true. Welcome back Elana and Welcome to your C.r.a.z.y family Henry!

  2. DougJ Says:

    Congratulations seems like an odd thing to say in this situation. Congratulations for having a baby or for not dying in delivery? Well, congrats on both counts.

    My mother went through a similar situation with my oldest brother – eclampsia, almost dying and premature birth. He turned out okay although he only wears black clothing. Not sure if there’s a connection.

  3. […] the somewhat more common pregnancy complication preeclampsia. You can read Elana’s take on it here. Or you can read the always-funny Natalie Dee’s description of her experience. It’s a […]

  4. Cher Says:

    Well as an onlooker to the whole thing, I can add that from over here most things do seem less pressing? Important? And some things, like you joking and laughing and Henry doing anything seem waaaaay more important and interesting.

  5. […] I’d like to congratulate friend-of-the-blog Elana on her newborn.  You can read all about the birth/near-death here.  Also, if you haven’t read her posts “Life of a Pseudo-Writer” and “Life […]

  6. Chris Kittinger Says:

    Wow, that is heavy. I am so glad to hear you are both doing well. Here is to you and to “Hammerin’ Hank.”

  7. Jenny Says:

    You were named after a tree?

    • Anna Says:

      Just after Elana was born a lovely song came into my head about her –

      Strong winds are going to blow you,
      strong forces toss you to and frow,(sp?),
      but like a young tree,
      you will grow into the wind.

      Like a young tree you will flower,
      growing more and more into your power,
      like a young tree
      you will flower again’.

      A wonderful Israeli friend from childbirth class heard it and said, ‘No wonder you named her Elana, because in my language her name means Tree.’

  8. jengod Says:

    ACK! Congrats on the birth of your son and congrats on the not dying! This not making me feel better about my swollen ankles and all possibly serious side effects, but I’m really happy that the system succeeded with both of you guys.

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