My birth stories don't involve any dialating, effacing, contractions (that I can actually feel), or any of that normal stuff. My body gets to 9 months pregnant and has no clue what to do next. I'm certain that if it were up to the natural order of things I would still be pregnant with Scott. I can't tell you how thankful I am for that. Not because I don't care for the labor pains...I had my stomach muscles sliced in half. That's not exactly painless. I just really prefer the surgical means of getting a baby out of my uterus. However, I'm sure that if I spent hours in labor FIRST before major surgery, I would not feel the same.
There's just something special about going in the OR pregnant at 6:58 and at 7:18 my innards are sprawled all over the place and the nurse is letting me kiss my swaddled sweet baby Scott for the first time.
Wheel me in. Slice me open. Get him out. Staple me up.
Bodda bing. Bodda boom.
I have thoroughly enjoyed both of my c-sections. They get such a bad rap. I think they are splendid---the planned ones. Yes, it's risky major surgery. Yes, it's more expensive. Don't GET me started on the dang bills we are STILL getting in the mail 8 weeks later. But I love it.
And I loved this one even more...I'll get to that in a minute. Let me start from the beginning.
Surgery was scheduled for 7, so we had to be at the hospital at 5. That means we had to leave the house at 4:15, so I had to be up around 3:15. Do you think I slept at all that night? No. Oh wait, that's no different than any other night while I was pregnant with Scott.
Brent and I walked out to the car around 4:20 Wednesday morning of July 3, and we heard this low and slow voice say, "Gooooood Luuuuck".
It was Dwight. Our elderly neighbor. Wishing us good luck for the delivery of Michael Scott. How perfect :). (A reference to The Office for those of you that have never watched the best show ever produced).
Dwight leaves his house every.single.morning at 4:30. He cranks up his old Ford F-150, sometimes has to crank it more than once, and he leaves at 4:30 on the dot. I guess he has a breakfast club at Waffle House? Apparently he hangs out in the garage until 4:30 because that's where he was at 4:20 when he wished us good luck. Peeking his head through the broken glass window in the garage door. He was smoking, so there was a smoky haze wrapping around his head. Maybe a little bit creepy. But you have to know him. Sweet, sweet man that doesn't think it's weird at all to speak to your neighbors in the dark wee hours of the morning through a broken glass window.
So off we went to have a baby! We checked in to the hospital and within 30 minutes I was in a triage room getting prepped for surgery. This is the part where I almost passed out because the nurse tried to put the IV in the back of my forearm??? Actually, she dug and jammed that needle into my arm THEN realized it wasn't going to work there, so she dug and jammed in another place in my arm. I have absolutely amazing veins. Seriously. A decapitated caterpillar could put an IV in my arm and have success the first time. I don't know what the problem was. All I know is that I almost passed out. She was a sweet nurse. I felt bad for her. But MAN it hurt! She was thankful for the shift change. She switched me over to the daytime nurse really quick!
In the middle of the shift change (I guess all the nurses were in the hallway catching each other up) some man in scrubs walked into my room. Didn't knock, didn't introduce himself, just walked in and stared awkwardly at me. If he hadn't been in scrubs and had a name tag, I would have called for hospital staff because he was super weird. He asked me what I was allergic to, told me he had never paralyzed anyone, and said he would see me in a few minutes. Oh...so you must be the one who is going to stick a very large needle into my spinal fluid to temporarily paralyze me from the chest down. Nice to meet you too. I feel very safe in your care. That must be why the nurse at the front desk collecting our co-pay said, "You'll only be charged more if you want a different anesthesiologist." I considered it because paying any extra amount sounded life-saving.
Just a few minutes before 7:00 am the nurse wheeled me down to the OR. I love that moment. It's the small span of time between "let's get this over with--I'm ready to see my baby" and "OH MY GOSH I can't do this. I'm such a wuss. SOMEBODY HOLD MY HAND!!!" It's that surreal moment when I can truly relish the fact that in a matter of minutes my life is going to drastically and wonderfully change and I am ecstatic.
I left Brent in the hallway to get scrubbed in and I went in to the OR to see that crazy anesthesiologist again. I was nervous and apparently it was written all over my face. All the nurses were trying to make small talk to keep my mind off things. Small talk just makes it worse. But in all that small talk the nurses discovered the baby's name is Scott and they got all excited. Guess why? The awkward anesthesiologists name is Scott. He wasn't thrilled at all, as you can imagine. But I felt slightly more at ease knowing he shared a name with my soon to be born son.
I sat up, hung halfway over the table like I didn't have a watermelon in my way, hugged the nurse like she was my momma, and trusted that Scott (not my son) knew what he was doing as he put the needle in my back.
Ahhh...the absolute relaxation after you get a spinal.
My doc made sure I was good and numb, they let Brent in, and the surgery began. All I could see was the blue sheet they had hanging in front of my face, so I kept asking Brent to keep me updated. He just stood there and complimented me on my fabulous looking guts. Then he casually said, "I can see him." Like, just no big deal. WHAT? YOU CAN SEE HIM? SERIOUSLY? ALREADY? WHAT DOES HE LOOK LIKE? DOES HE HAVE HAIR? IS IT CURLY? WHAT COLOR IS IT? ARE HIS EYES BLUE? Poor thing, all he could see was a bloody mess of body fluids. And before I knew it, I heard the doc say, "We're about to have a baby." It happens so fast. Milliseconds later I heard those sweet first cries and just loved it. But I still couldn't seen him. Ugh. The sweet nurse anesthetist (an old man who stood by my side the whole time and took such good care of me) told me to keep my eyes on the scale (the one thing I could see other than the blue sheet) because they would soon be weighing Scott and I would finally see him for the first time.
Oh, but THAT didn't happen because you know whose butt was in my face?! The awkward anesthesiologist's. You better believe I picked up my nearly numb left arm and shoved that hiney out of my way and somehow formed a slurred but complete sentence, "I CAN'T SEE MY SON!"
7 lbs 7 oz of handsomeness. Then they swaddled him up, brought him to me, and I gave him his first kiss and told him how much I love him. The doc let Brent and Scott stay in the OR with me while they stuffed everything back into place and stapled me up. I loved this c-section so much better. When Lily was born, the nurse immediately took her and Brent to the nursery after I saw her. But this time, I got to hang out with Brent and Scott and have a moment to ourselves (with about 10 other hospital staff) before I went to recovery.
There wasn't much to recovery. I just laid there and kept staring at the clock to see how long I had been in there. Just like when a college professor tells you he is going to let you out of class 10 minutes early and then doesn't; don't tell me recovery is only 45 minutes if you are going to keep me in there for 46 minutes. I will get antsy! I was so anxious to see the big sister and hold Scott for the first time. The nurse gave me my pain pump full of the WORST pain medicine in the world. I wanted Morphine. She gave me Dilaudid. I've never had it in the past, so I didn't really know what was to come. All I knew was that Morphine has always done the trick anytime I've had it.
Meanwhile the family kept waiting...
Sometime around 10ish am I was in a regular room and Brent and Scott came in with me. I finally got to hold my sweet baby. I had a strict rule that no one other than Brent and hospital staff could hold Scott until I did. A few minutes later, my dad came in to get the camera ready to capture big sister's first time to really see and hold him (she had already seen him through the nursery window). Then the rest of the family came in to ooo and ahh over Scott.
First pic as a family of four
Oh, she is SO proud of her little brother. Love the look on her face.
Opening her big sister gifts from Scott...an assortment of Disney princess stuff
"It's the anesthesia. It usually makes people sick."
"We'll get you some Zofran."
"I'll get you a bed pan to hold in your lap. You want a wet rag too?"
I just quit pushing my pain pump. In that moment I preferred the pain to the barfing. Do you know how impossible it is to sit up in a bed and unavoidably use your abdominal muscles to upchuck after a c-section? IT'S NOT EASY. And in the midst of all that, the nurses kept asking me all kinds of questions and I was so nauseous that I couldn't make any noise come out of my mouth. I really needed Brent to talk for me but he was busy talking to family and such. There was just too much going on in that room. I was in some serious pain. The three doses of Zofran I took within the span of like two hours wasn't working. I was flat out exhausted and frustrated. So I just cried. And I got really ugly with a nurse. I didn't know how else to make it clear that I needed Morphine, not that devilish Dilaudid. She finally got a stinkin' clue and asked the awkward anesthesiologist to prescribe morphine.
And just like the flip of a switch, I was 100% better in no time. But all the tears and barfing made the family leave, haha! They came back later though :).
The rest of the hospital stay was very restful for me. I get some of the best sleep in a hospital. Ok, that might be due to the Percocet they gave me 'round the clock after my pain pump was out...but it's just so quiet and the bed is so comfortable (yes, I love an automatic bed) and the room is so dark. It's the perfect setting for good sleep. That's not normal, I know. Despite my above complaints about nursing staff, they were all really great and took such good care of me. Except that one nurse that kept checking my rear end for hemorrhoids...just whatever.
I came home on Saturday, July 6, to my mom, dad, and Lily who had made a yummy pot roast lunch. I ate and went to bed. And life began as a family of four...
Photo credits TSW Photography (my dad)