At my 40 week OB appointment, nothing much was happening. For the last few days I’d been having a lot of pain in my ribs below my right breast. I’d been having contractions for weeks and weeks, but nothing serious. I was dilated a centimeter. I reminded my OB that he had mentioned at my 39 week appointment that he was going to do an ultrasound at this appointment. Well, it turned out that pain in my ribs was the baby’s head!
It was too late to try to turn the baby and there’s only one OB who delivers breech in the area, so we scheduled a c-section for Friday, October 21.
The morning of the birth, my parents came over at 5:30am to watch my older daughter and take her to school. My husband and I headed to the hospital at 6am and the nurses got me prepped for surgery.
My husband had to stay out of the room while they gave me the epidural. I don’t know why they do that. I absolutely hate getting numbed, so I was just laying there shaking and trying not to have a panic attack. It took a while for them to get things numbed. They kept tilting the table this way & that way to get the medicine to numb me enough. Finally they were satisfied, and all the rest of the medical team came in. It seemed like they were about to start without my husband, so I asked for him.
He came in and held my hand while they did all the surgical things. It was surprisingly quiet. The medical staff barely spoke at all. The anesthesiologist occasionally asked me if I was OK. Finally, the Dr. said there was about to be a lot of pressure. There was a lot of pressure, and then a cry – baby was out! My OB said “wow, that’s a big baby!”
And then, I was in INSANE amounts of pain, radiating from the spot in my ribs where the baby’s head had been up into my shoulder. I could barely speak, but I managed to get across that I was in a lot of pain. The anesthesiologist told me, “I’m going to give you something to help with the pain, but it’s going to make you foggy.” I sputtered, “I don’t care, just give me something now.”
I saw her hang something cloudy from the IV pole and start squeezing, and then… I was floating in white space. I could hear metallic sounding voices, but it was incomprehensible gibberish. I was a square in white space and there were a couple of triangles floating around.
I came out of the haze for just long enough to ask my husband if the baby was OK. He got her for me and I tried to crane my neck around to see her. She looked like a big, dark haired version of my first daughter. Did I mention she was BIG!
And then the pain was back. And then I was back in white space for a while.
I came out of it again long enough to ask how much she weighed (9lbs 14oz) and to remark that, “it really sucks that every time I am clear enough to notice my surroundings I’m in unbelievable pain.” Then more floating in space.
At some point (husband says about 20 minutes after the baby was born), I woke up, they put my baby in my arms, and they wheeled me down the hallway to recovery. The baby wanted to nurse right away, so we did. I was so relieved to have my beautiful girl in my arms! And not be in insane pain!
They came in to take her blood sugar – I guess this is something they do with big babies (?) and it was low. They told me to keep nursing her and that they’d come back to check on her. She had to get up above 60. She nursed like a champ and when they came back to check she was at 62.
I overheard the nurses saying that I’d been given propofol – so I have something in common with Michael Jackson, apparently. That stuff was cuh-rayzee.
My husband called around to family to let them know the baby had arrived. A few hours later they wheeled us to my more permanent recovery room. That evening my husband left to go pick up my daughter from school. My Dad and my Mom came over to meet the baby.
And then I was left alone with the baby. It was actually nice to have the baby all to myself. I remember how terrified I was to be left alone with my first daughter. This was a piece of cake, pain notwithstanding. I really liked having the quiet time to get to know my little girl.
By 7:30pm I had my catheter removed. I was amazed by how much less blood there is with a c-section. The next morning, I woke up with a migraine (I frequently get them when I haven’t eaten). The nurse made me an emergency frozen chicken dinner since they wouldn’t feed me actual food until lunch.
My husband came over with my older daughter to meet the baby. I was so glad they let that happen! They’d told me on the hospital tour that kids under 13 weren’t allowed during flu season, but no one stopped us.
After they left, my Dad & stepmom came for a little while, and that night my best friend from high school came to meet the baby.
The nurse I had over the weekend was so encouraging. She complimented me on my breastfeeding efforts and said my daughter had the lowest bilirubin counts of any breastfed baby she’d ever seen. I did start supplementing a few ounces on day 2 with the lactaid.
On Sunday, my husband came over around noon and they released me from the hospital. The first night home I attempted to sleep in my bed, but between my c-section pain, a husband, a dog, and a very enthusiastic 3 year old in the bed, there was just no way that was happening. I spent the first few weeks sleeping in a recliner next to a pack and play. Seriously, I do not know how I would have been able to get up and down in bed to nurse the baby those first few weeks with the pain.
So, while it certainly wasn’t at all the birth I had hoped for, I am so very thankful to have a healthy baby girl. And I had a crazy trippy experience while I was at it.