Friday, April 14, 2017

The one with all the details

The hospital is quiet in the dark of the morning.  When you're coming in for a scheduled c-section you wake up early.  There is an incredible sense of anticipation and excitement, so you smile a lot, and enjoy.

You know... while you still can.  Because, let's face it --'re tired.  It's early.  There's no such thing as a flattering photo, because you're super pregnant and hospital lighting isn't helpful. And, oh yeah...'re about to be cut open while still awake. So there's that.

I felt pretty calm all morning.  My sense of confidence that I was making the right decision outweighed the nerves over having the actual surgery.  The hard part was that this time, I knew exactly what I was walking into.  I remembered how I felt the day Leah was delivered, and how long recovery really does take.  So there was definitely a little more of an underlying edge, but also greater steel in my resolve.  I felt the anxiety, but I also had to let it go.  This is how we meet our baby, and whatever happens to me, he'll be safe.

Although, just to put my resolve to the test, right as I got up to walk into surgery, my water broke.

Ha!  Because, of course it did!

And in a really, comically big way.  Exactly like in the movies.  You could almost hear a pop! and there it was, all over the floor.  Go figure, right?

But I wasn't in any kind of serious labor, although I had a few contractions here and there, and the fact that my water had broken changed nothing in the way of how high up and how big a baby we were expecting.

Casey didn't get to go in while they were putting in the spinal block, which was news we hadn't expected.  Seven years ago in Boulder, he was able to be with me during that part, which is scary and sterile, particularly when you're alone.

They got me situated on the table, brought Casey in, and it was off to the races.

I am absolutely amazed at how quickly they can get those babies out.

His little cry undid me.  I couldn't see him, but I could hear that beautiful sound.  It is the very best sound in the whole world.  It seemed to take forever while they checked him out and cleaned him off, but I'm sure it was really just moments.  He pinked up so quickly, a nurse made a comment that it was concerning.  I'm not sure whether she was serious.

Then, they did something which they didn't do seven years ago - they brought him to me.  8 pounds 10 oz of naked baby boy, and let me have skin to skin time while I was open on the other side of the curtain.

It was heaven.  I remember thinking with Leah, this is heaven, right here in the middle of hell.  I so feared that surgery all those years ago - it was absolutely my worst case scenario short of endangering Leah's life.  As they laid him on my chest, that same thought came back to me.

The love of a mother is so powerful.  So, so very fierce and strong.  I am always overwhelmed.  When you hear the cry, when you look into their eyes and feel the beautiful weight of their little bodies on the outside for the first time, even the fact that your own body is literally open - things that should be on the inside aren't - cannot hold a candle to the overpowering joy they bring with them.

As they finished stitching me back together, they bundled up my special little bundle, and Casey got a chance to hold him.

And then it was over.  They wheeled us back to recovery, and that was that.

The surgery went well.  The only hiccup was that I had a really good spinal block.  Which, on the surface, doesn't sound like a problem, but I was numb all the way through my chest and arms.  That made it difficult to hold and touch my little guy, and it also created a lot of pressure on my lungs.

I brought this up to the doctors, only because, well, it seemed like it might be important.  Pressure on my chest while still open on the table?  I just wanted to check and make sure everything was okay.  I was reassured that it was normal.  But it didn't resolve itself, and so I told them again that I still had pressure.  I'm not sure exactly how or why, but they ended up giving me a good dose of morphine, interpreting my concern as pain.

Whew.  Morphine.

I would make a lousy drug addict, because the morphine was really a shot to the gut.  I was nauseous, out of sorts, and the rest of the day looked a lot like this:

I was pretty foggy until sometime after midnight.  I was even worried about having the kids visit, because I didn't want to scare them.  My speech wasn't particularly clear, and the morphine made me sooooo groggy.  It was bad.

But even so...

he is worth every second. 

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