Thursday, May 07, 2009
Jack's Birth Story
We showed up at the hospital at 7:30 a.m., as we were supposed to, and checked in through the ER. They registered us and sent us up to the Family Birthplace. We were told which room we’d be in (which was the same room as last time!) and then sent to the labor and delivery section. I changed into a gown, they took blood, set me up with and IV (on the second try) and shaved me. I opted to have my catheter put in after the spinal (duh!). We were all ready to go by 8:30 for a 9:10 surgery. M got suited up for the surgery and ready to go with me. Except we didn’t actually get to go until after 11:00 a.m.

The plan was for me to go into surgery and have the spinal administered and then they’d come get M. I went in and got up on the table so the anesthesiologist could do his thing. But he couldn’t. He stuck me and stuck me and the numbness would never spread to my legs. I don’t know about you, but I don’t enjoy needles in my spine. Finally he announced he was out of medicine. A minute or so later he announced that he’d never seen a case like mine and they’d have to put me under.

Now, I’ve always been a bit proud of myself that I never had a “birth plan.” That I was flexible or adaptable to whatever it would take to get the baby out safely. But honestly, it never occurred to me at all that I could end up giving birth to Jack under general anesthesia and that I would miss the whole thing. I started to cry right there on the operating table. Not boo-hooing, just tears that dripped, dripped. The nurses were so nice, trying to reassure me that it wasn’t my fault, that everything would be OK. But, oh by the way, now we need to put in the Foley catheter with no numbing. Oh God. Talk about insult to injury. So I’m laying there crying, with the oxygen mask on me and the anesthesiologist says he’s ready, the doctor says he’s ready, and then they put the stuff to knock me out in my IV, I was told I’d be out in 20 seconds…

Meanwhile the respiratory therapist went to break the news to M and Noni that I was getting a general and M couldn’t come in. He was disappointed, but when I asked him about it he said he was more concerned about how I felt about it, because he knew it wouldn’t make me happy. My assigned nurse offered to take M’s camera and take pictures for us, which she did do. After surgery had been going on for a while M and Noni heard everyone in the operating room burst out in laughter. Noni wasn’t amused since her daughter and grandson were supposed to be in there getting the best of care. M figured they’d never get to the bottom of it.

Coming out from under in recovery was awful. I was shaking horribly and the more I shook the more I hurt and the more I hurt the more I shook. I couldn’t focus on anyone and the nurse and medic-in-training were trying to get me to do things, like move this, move that, roll this way, roll that way... M made sure that either he or Noni was in there so there would be someone I’d recognize. I heard my doctor’s voice announcing to me that my baby was 9 lbs. 13 oz. and was a boy. Then he said that it was a good thing that I’d done the caesarian because he didn’t think we could have delivered Jack vaginally. He has a big head. Like his parents. Eventually I was able to gather my wits enough to be moved to my room. My first glimpse of Jack was though the nursery window. He had marks and bruises on his head and looked pretty rough. They’d had to use forceps to get him out. I’d never even heard of that for a c-section. Ugh

I finally got to hold Jack hours after delivery when my head was clear. I was told by nearly everyone who came in the room that “He’s a big boy.” Yep, we skipped right past the newborn stuff. No wonder I was suffering with this pregnancy. Imagine if I’d have gone nine days late like with Emma…(shudder).

Oh, and the outburst of laughter in the operating room…my doctor’s pants fell down.