Friday, July 18, 2008

Stalled at the finish line

Yes it has been a while between drinks here on the Maori in Mexico site. But all has not been dull in the life of this Maori.

To fill in the gaps...

Most people arrive in Mexico to take advantage of the cheap and ever plentiful golden, bubble filled beverage beer, sample the local delicacies (cran -bull penis- tacos being a speciality here in Toluca), dare each other to eat the hottest chilly, and inevitably catch some little bug that keeps them glued to the porcelain god for some of their holiday.

Never to quite do things per the "norm", this Maori did some of the above (forgoing the exotic taco) and instead of catching a bug, I caught a baby. Yep. Got "up the duff", "bun in the oven", "hapu", "with child" and any other slightly more colourful analogies you can come up. Imagine. Preggers. In a country very foreign from my own. With their own weird and wonderful way of doing things. So after the initial freaking out period, I embarked on an interesting learning experience.
Here in Mexico you can do your whole sprog thing private or public health system (like anywhere). Private here being expensive (cheap when compared to other countries), and public being well, scary.
The public hospitals, people assured me, are fine and provide good quality care and attention. I am sure that's true, but after visiting one (recommended by a doctor) where during the pelvic examination (without a curtain), legs splayed in the most unladylike fashion, doctor's hand up my wo-hoo, ordelies, doctors, nurses, relatives of other women (it was a veritable "stages of pregnancy" live action show line up) passing by, the "receptionist" watching tele and a general lack of visible hygiene, I decided to give the public sector a miss.
Call me anal but first impressions do count. So we went private. A very small, very clean, very friendly clinic opposite the aforementioned public edifice. And they treated us goood.

Baby's arrival date was predicted between June 3-16 by my private sector doctor and June 19 by the public sector doctor. Junior showed up on June 10. Money well spent furnishing luxury offices I reckon, private dude knows his stuff.

The whole labour thing was a bit of an anti-climax really (probably because I was well drugged up). From whoa to go, or in this case from go to whoa, it was about 5 or 6 hours. Junior started the descent just before midnight on June 9, and was in one hell of a hurry to get out. Making my hips and back feel like they belonged to someone much older, frailer and quite frankly in need of some serious reconstructive surgery. I tried to endure the back pain, the hips were fine, but the dancing on my lower back was quite energetic and well, crippling. After a couple of hours we were off to the hospital, being driven by the expectant granddad who had never driven on the "wrong" side of the road and being given directions by the non-English speaking father via the pregnant woman in pain and on all fours in the back seat. Two red lights run, some speeding, no wrong turns and fifteen minutes later I was in a hospital bed, with a HUGE disposable nappy under me, awaiting the arrival of the doctor and expelling the odd expletive. That was around 2am. Around 5am I got the instruction to push (see what I mean by in a hurry), but lo and behold junior suddenly got all shy and refused to come out. Little bugger. There I was feeling almost nothing due to the epidural they gave me, but pushing my little heart out and junior just would not co-operate. At all. Even going so far as to bloody well roll over and be face up, thus preventing even the doctor's best efforts to bring the wee one into the world. So they decided to slice me open and drag the little Maori out.

They made a few calls, got the "team" in (another gyno, a pediatrician and someone else I think), drugged me up some more, played some music, left me alone for a bit, came back, shaved me, and as I was not wanting a cesarean I was quite ready to get up and leave at this point. Legs were having none of it and neither were the doctors, unfortunately. So arms splayed in the crucifix position, full of drugs and hormones, I took the only option available to me- I cried. Yes pregnancy hormones can turn even the strong willed stubborn types into blubbering lunatics.
Ignoring the crying mess on their table, the surgeons got on with it. In my drug addled state I did have time to register and disapprove of the person who in the middle of all this had decided to cook toast. Yes toast. I was not impressed. Then it dawned on me that it was my flesh being cooked (cauterized) and there was no toast. I would have laughed out loud if I hadn't been nauseous from the drugs.
An hour and some later, the next travelling Maori made an entrance. With very little fanfare, not a whole lot of wailing, and a kiss from an emotional, teary eyed female lunatic that the poor sod will have for a mum. Sigh.

Now the adventure truely begins.