[ Uncategorized ]

Cathed by Mimi, thankfully!

WARNING: Viewer discretion is advised. I am taking part in Momalom’s Half Drunk Challenge (see button to the right). So I have to be daring, as if drunk. It’s a crazy story. A long one. And there is one questionable photo-you know, just for proof that it happened. You have been fore-warned! Oh, and sadly, I am not drunk. Just still stupid.

 I’ve probably never mentioned that my mother in law Becky, aka Mimi, and I are very close. And when I say close I mean close. Besides the fact that I truly believe Mimi has a smile glued to her face, she has one glued to her heart too. She is crazy happy. Seriously. I have never seen her mad and she has had ample opportunity considering I have been glued to her son for 13 years. Also, she could have gotten mad when Will and I moved back from San Antonio and we lived with her. For 2 years. And all of a sudden, her empty nest, spotless clean home became home to 2 recent college grads, 2 yappy little chihuahuas, and a 3 bedroom house full of our crap.

Mimi is a nurse. A fantastic one at that. So when things get kinda hairy, and we don’t know what to do, we call her. So naturally, when I was in labor, I invited her into the delivery room for the birth of her first grandchild. I know what you’re thinking, that’s weird. Most people are very private, and discreet. But you should know better than that. I am not. Not private. Not discreet. Nope. Not me.

Childbirth was a snap. An absolute breeze. I loved my epidural. But after Cole made his entry into the world. I felt some pain. An indescribable plain. Almost not really a pain, but a discomfort. I knew something was wrong. When I finally got up to pee, I passed out on my decent onto the potty, and somehow managed to pee and vomit at the same time. Bless Mimi’s heart, she was there through it all. The nurses were all frantic. I could hear them and I could hear scurrying, and one nurse yelling for the Charge Nurse. And all I could think was that I was going to die. I wanted to ask them to just carry me to the bed but I couldn’t. My energy, my voice had fled me. Finally, they got to the bed and the blood rushed back to my head. Slowly,  I came to. This, as it turns out, happens. A LOT. And they had warned me before I got up to go potty but I insisted I was fine. Guess not so much.

So, a few hours passed and I had trouble urinating. I cried to pee and only droplets would come out when I would go. So finally, my mother in law checked my bladder. She commented on how distended I was. She also mentioned that I looked pregnant. Um, hello? Just had a baby not 12 hours ago? But I knew deep down she was right. I couldn’t pinpoint the discomfort and I just attributed it to delivery.

But still every time I peed it hurt. And nothing came. And then they pushed on my tummy and that hurt to. I had the urge to pee. But still. Nothing. So they finally brought in an ultrasound for my bladder. It read and the numbers went up and then it started flashing red 999. They all looked baffled. They weren’t sure if the machine had broke or if it had topped out. By this time I had realized that the discomfort was pee. Like when you’re on a road trip and have to pee but here’s no where to go. So you hold it. Till you think you can’t anymore. And you’re just like, pull over, I’ll go on the highway. Ok, like that. Times 10. I had to pee soooo bad!

So they cathed me. And out it came. And out. And out. They pulled out a second pee bag. And out it came some more. Over 2 liters! Everyone was amazed that it was a few times what a normal bladder could hold. Another talent I could add to my freakish resume. Yay for me!

But I was fine now. I wanted to go home with my new baby boy. To start our lives together. To welcome friends and family. To dress him in all his new onesies. To hold him, and rock him, and nurse him in his new room. In his new glider. But they wanted me to pee first. So I went. Pee dripped out. We were making progress. I could feel it. The nurses worried that it wasn’t enough. But I assured them I was a little pee-er. I peed very little, but I peed often. Really. I get up like 2-3 times a night to pee. Always have. I suspect I always will. Finally, they caved. They let me go home.

As we were piling our new bundle of joy into the car, having signed all the release papers, I felt regret. Regret that I had rushed my recovery. Instantly, the urge to pee came back and I knew I wouldn’t be able to. But I got in the car and I didn’t look back.

You see, I was a new mom. A very nervous mom who had heard about breastfeeding. Who had read about nipple confusion. Who was susceptible to postpartum depression. Susceptible to any kind of depression. And the thought of leaving my new baby to have to go back into the hospital would have killed me. And since we had already been released, I knew I could be readmitted. But he could not. So I went home. In pain. In remorse.

Mimi came over that night. I told her about the pain. I told her about my fears. So we called my OBGYN. He advised us to call him in the morning to check in or go back to the hospital if things got worse.

Morning came. Finally. After counting sheep. And toes. And fingers. And staring all night at this little miracle that we had prayed for for so long. And I was afraid. And in pain. And in love. Mimi checked my tummy. Distended again. I begged her to talk to my Docotr. To please ask him if she could cath me so that I wouldn’t have to leave my baby. I cried as she called. I feared what his answer might be. But he ok’d it.

So Mimi went to the pharmacy to buy the supplies. She came back. We went into the guest bedroom and she cathed me. Another 2 liters. So all weekend I was cathed. But I felt good. And I was able to care for my baby. I had to go all weekend with that cath. Training my bladder to pee again on it’s own. We found out Monday all this trouble and pain was attributed to a Urinary Tract Infection. Which is common after labor.

But I guess you could say that this was the beginning of a beautiful relationship with Mimi. Not sure if it was the cath, or if grand-babies just have a way of bringing people closer. Whatever it was, I am thankful. And I’d do it all over again.


  1. that is so very sweet. but not in a creepy way, as i am also a nurse. and a mom. i remember those first few days after i had my oldest: you want everything to go smoothly so badly that you tend to ignore things that don’t fit with that picture. i was not confident with latching when i left the hospital, but i said i was. the night after the day we left the hospital, my milk REALLY came in; i was in sheer agony all night. my baby was getting more and more hungry and my boobs were getting more and more swollen. it wasn’t until the next morning when i had a well baby/well mother visit that the nurse showed me how to properly latch the baby. i had spent most of the night rocking a crying baby, crying myself, and feeling like a total failure. thank god my mom was staying with me, or i would have had a total breakdown, i’m sure.

  2. What a unique and wonderful tribute to your mother-in-law! I felt your pain through the details you recount.

    There is just nothing worse than a UTI…okay, maybe a UTI just after giving birth. You poor thing!

  3. Great post, Vanessa. I can completely relate to Stone Fox’s comment as I, too, left the hospital a bit early after having my first baby. Or maybe I just didn’t have the confidence that I needed with the other two.

    And, like Kristen said, I could totally feel the physical in all of your descriptions. The picture of you two and the pee? Awesome. 🙂

  4. Wow, you are lucky to have a mother-in-law you feel that comfortable with! And I think for me, I’d have to be drunk to let my mother-in-law do that! =) Cool story.

  5. I love my mom-in-law, but am still not brave enough to allow her in the room during the delivery. I think I am too prideful or something.

    I love this story!

  6. OK. I love that you had the foresight –or something–to take a picture! I was cathed after delivery of my firstborn, which was not exactly what we’d had planned. But he was fine eventually, and so was I. And I agree with everyone else’s comments here, about how you captured not only your relationship with your mother-in-law but the feelings of new mom-ness. How powerful and unknown they are.
    Great post!

  7. heehee, that is a bag of peepee!

    I, too, enjoy a very good relationship with my mother in law. I am very lucky in that I just flat out adore her. Isn’t it wonderful?

    When I had my first, my mom was there. She’s a nurse, too. My doctor didn’t make it and the doctor on call was…well, I don’t know what he was doing, but he wasn’t paying attention so my mom put the gauze over the dookie I was pushing out along with a baby.

    I remember – clearly, mid-contraction – her giggling and saying, “Well, Nat, I guess I”ll never be done wiping your ass.”

  8. See, I think that’s fabulous, that you had someone you were so comfortable with and trusted so much that you were ok with it and so was she! I’ve had 4 babies and am just now at the point where something like this wouldn’t phase me. So extra super applause for being there with your first!

    UTI’s are horrible…I can’t believe they didn’t catch it in the hospital. I’m glad everything turned out to be ok!

Send a Comment

Your email address will not be published.