Sunday, March 11, 2012

Two months of hard labor

“Did I take my pill at 2 o’clock?” my wife Kara asked.  I stared blankly at her, which is how I answer most of her questions.

“I don’t remember if I took a shower this morning,” I replied.

“It would be a little early to take my next dose, but I’d better do it anyway, just in case,” she said.

Kara’s doctors have been pumping her full of medication for over a month now, attempting to reinforce the levees that our unborn baby keeps trying to breach.  We’ve been to the hospital twice already, and since our first son Evan was born two months early, the doctors this time around have taken to injecting several ounces of prevention into Kara each week.  Still, she’s having contractions regularly, which will come in handy someday, when our future son misbehaves.  “I was in labor with you for two months,” should be a surefire argument-ender.

Some of her medications can’t even be bought at regular-people pharmacies.  A few weeks ago, I wandered around the hallways of the local hospital, trying to find the pharmacy that was hidden somewhere deep within.  Finally, I found a sign by the elevator that said, “Radiology: Second floor.  Oncology: Third floor.  Pharmacy: There’s a pharmacy in here?”

It wasn’t so hard to find, actually, once you pushed the boulder out of the way and removed the vines from the door.  And there, in a normal hospital room that looked like it should have curtain tracks running across the ceiling, was a miniature pharmacy, stocked with everything a normal store dedicated to human health would be expected to have, except Red Bull, candy and cigarettes.

The pharmacist charged $75 for the small paper bag that she pushed across the counter.  When I peeked inside, I expected a bright light to shoot out of the bag and light up the room, like the briefcase from Pulp Fiction.  Instead, the bag contained a tiny green vial with a mysterious-looking liquid, which supposedly contained ten doses of a medicine that would improve our baby’s chances of going full-term, but looked much more likely to turn Kara into the Green Goblin.

Every week, she has to have a specialized nurse give her an injection in her back, and she has to bring this vial with her, which seems a little bit like having to bring your own bamboo to your caning.  In any event, when she brings up the two-months-of-labor thing for the entirety of our future son’s teenage years, she should remember to mention the shots, too.

For all the trials that Kara’s enduring right now, including suffering through my rendition of scrambled eggs for dinner three nights a week, she does seem to be improving the prospects for a delivery that won’t involve whisking our son to the neonatal intensive care unit.  He’s already five-and-a-half pounds, a good deal heavier than his older brother at birth, though he’s still likely to spend his formative years on the receiving end of any wedgies given in our house.

Before going through this firsthand (some a little more firsthand than others), Kara and I thought that pregnancy was a simple matter of waiting nine months for the baby to be done, but the reality has been much more touch-and-go.  Hopefully, it’ll keep going for a couple more weeks.

Even if the baby were to be born tomorrow, he’d have a bit of a head start.  Two weeks ago, they found some skin on Kara that hadn’t been jabbed yet, so they gave her a steroid shot meant to help the baby’s lungs develop faster, in case of an early delivery.  There’s a very good chance that he could be the first child born into our family already holding the home run record.

You can call your shot to Mike Todd at


  1. Who knew that pregnancy was not as easy as others make it look? Not me, that is for sure. What others take for granted, Kara and I seem to struggle with. Here's to a longer incubation for your baby #2!

  2. The more I hear from other people going through this, the less I think anyone really has an easy time with it. Thanks for the kind thoughts - so far, so good!