|Out for our date!|
This was the first time that I didn't go into labor on my own before the big day. In fact, after having months of real contractions, once they got the sinus infection under control a week before the c-section, the contractions finally, mostly stopped (or at least weren't two minutes apart).
My doctor thinks, and it seems after having it happen when I was sick with Patch as well, that when I get even a little run down in the third trimester my body starts acting like it's in labor... but having a week off from that before the baby was born was great.
I woke up early on the morning of my c-section. I shuffled around the house putting my toiletries into the hospital bag and getting the kids ready for my departure and waited for Nani and Grumpa to arrive to watch them so we could head in to Labor and Delivery.
|I had to snap one picture without the sweater|
to show my bump! The baby felt gigantic!
It was odd, knowing this time around when we woke up that by the end of the day the baby would be there. As we got ready things took longer than I thought they would (as they always do around here) and I ended up rushing to install Patch and Maggie's car seats in my parents' rental ten minutes before we were supposed to be at Labor and Delivery.
Thankfully the hospital is only a couple of blocks away, and so we walked in only a few minutes after the scheduled arrival time. We were ushered back to a room in triage where I answered the lengthy hospital intake questioner and posted pictures like the one below on instagram and facebook while Paul napped in the chair next to me, apparently gearing up for a night without sleep, while I asked questions like "how can you sleep right now!!!" Because I couldn't relax... at all.
I was excited to meet the baby and nervous about the two things I hate the most... the IV and the epidural. And so I sat thinking about how strange it is to be more worried about the epidural than the major surgery I was facing... and counting epidurals and spinals on my fingers. I'd had six epidurals and two spinals going into the surgery, nine altogether afterwards, and after having a spinal headache I tend to worry more about the epidural than any other part of having the baby. And after having so many IVs go bad (they said because my blood clots fast) during the mystery illness with Patch I was nervous about being poked over and over and over again trying to get something to work.
The first thing we found out, after a quick ultrasound, was that somehow, after being transverse and breech for most of the pregnancy, he was head down (although posterior just like Sadie).
Then my doctor came in to see us and I found myself facing the first possible bad news of the day. There was an emergency procedure being done in the OR at the moment and my c-section was scrunched in during the only time slot he had available that day. After my surgery he was supposed to be at a meeting for the re-accreditation of the medical school, and so if the surgery didn't go quickly the on call doctor would have to fill in.
Cue fretting. I really, really wanted my doctor to do the section so that he could tell me what kind of shape my uterus was in after the previous three c-sections. Sure he'd have notes that let him know if someone else did it, but since he's likely going to be the one seeing me if we're ever blessed with another baby, then I'd rather he be the one to know how things looked and went in my last surgery.
|Trying not to freak out when the epidural took|
forever to kick in.
"So, we're doing a tubal today, right?
At first I said "Nope, we're not." in my politest voice, but by the end I'll admit exasperation was creeping in and while I said "no!" what I really wanted to say was, "Really? Really? A dozen people and no one knows what surgery we're doing and which one we aren't doing today?"
I didn't. But it was disconcerting... until I really wanted to ask if everyone knew we really weren't doing a tubal... and it made me even more glad when my doctor did end up being the one to do the surgery.
Finally it was time. I took the horrible tasting medicine that's supposed to keep my stomach from getting upset and walked to the OR with the IV, which actually didn't hurt at all this time, in my arm.
They laid me back and I waited for the epidural to take effect. And waited. And waited. Did I feel this ice cube on my face? Yes, I did. Did I feel it on my side. Yes, I most definitely did. Did I feel this sharp poking thing on my sternum. Yes, ouch. Did I feel it on my side? Yes. Did it feel like pressure or did it feel sharp? It felt sharp. Quite sharp. Here again, on my sternum? Yes. Ouch. Ouch. Ouch. Yes, that hurts. After a dozen pokes it really does. And I could still feel it on my side.
After ten minutes of still feeling being poked with the sharp object, I honestly felt like I was going to hyperventilate. My doctor came in and they told him it was taking a long time for the epidural to take effect. One of the anesthesiologists didn't seem to believe me (or was just grumpy it was taking so long) when I said that I could feel it and I was seriously tired of being stabbed in the sternum over and over again as a means for comparison (by the time I got to delivery there were many tiny little cuts all from being poked so many times). Then it finally took and they started the surgery.
My doctor told me when he was almost out and then that he was out and I held my breath for a moment and heard that sweet, sweet sound as he started to cry and then saw him come around the side of the curtain, screaming as they checked him and measured him and weighed him. James Ignatius was our littlest baby at 21 inches and 8 lbs 7 ounces.
I was shocked. Throughout the pregnancy I'd felt like he was huge.
He was healthy and pink and got a 9 on his Apgar score!
I asked to be sat up a bit and began to nurse James, while we discussed whether or not he had red hair. The nurse left, but came back in a few moments later. Did I feel dizzy? Well now that she mentioned it... She said that my blood pressure was low. Oh it always is, I replied, suddenly feeling faint. No, really low. 70 over 30. I needed to lay flat (where I learned that it's really, really hard to nurse while flat and not on your side and not able to feel anything from your ribs on down!).
The next four hours were a bit of a roller coaster as my blood pressure would go back up to it's normal low levels and then plunge back to 70 over 30 before going back up, over and over again. It meant I spent quite a bit of time in recovery, waiting for it to stay put. I'd called my parents after the baby was born and while I waited I called again and told them that I didn't think bringing the kids in that day was going to be a good idea. I was just a little too dizzy and weak to think about it just yet.
This, along with keeping the baby in the room after delivery, is one of my favorite things about this particular hospital (okay and the six page menu... I love that menu...). I love that I don't have to stay in bed and get to get up and walk around. They had a schedule on the board saying that I would be up and walking at 9pm, 1 am and 5 am. At 5 am I would be allowed to go out into the halls.
I've found that getting up right away is definitely better for me recovery wise and so I was really happy to be up and about so soon. After Maggie I begged to be up and walking for two days after she was born and was repeatedly told no, so I was thrilled that it was the policy to have me up and walking that day.
All of our nurses were great, but the first had me smiling from the start, when she asked how many kids we had and then said "I think four is a perfect number! We had four and then we doubled it and then had another one after that!"
And that is James' birth story! I guess I actually had more to say than I thought when I started writing!