Life After the Second Line

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Birth Story -- Finally!

In honor of little Luke's two month birthday(!), here is his birth story:

My C-section, as I mentioned previously, was scheduled for noon on Thursday, May 24. It was very surreal knowing the exact date and time that I would become a mom again. G and I took P & E out for dinner the night before, for our last outing as a family of four. That night, when we came home, we took out our rarely used video camera to capture that last night before everything changed. I have to say, I was feeling kind of sad. Don't get me wrong, I was very eager to finish being pregnant and to meet my new little boy. It was just weird knowing it would never be G and I alone with the twins again, and that they would never even remember those two years. The most beautiful and special two years of my life, up to that point.

I didn't sleep at all that night. G did, deeply, and he snored so hard that I doubt I could have slept even if I'd wanted to! Finally, at about 5:50, I gave up and got out of bed. I had about three hours until I needed to leave for the hospital, but we still ended up running late. By the time G's grandma got here to stay with the twins, I was pissy. I hate being late, and yet I nearly always am. Anyway, we kissed them goodbye and told them we'd see them the next day when grandma and grandpa would bring them to the hospital. Then we were off.

It's bizarre to check into the hospital when you're feeling perfectly fine. As I stood at the elevator, waiting to head up to the labor and delivery floor, a woman noticed my massive stomach. She said, "Whoa -- you're not in labor, are you? Shouldn't they get you a wheelchair?" I assured her I was fine. When we got upstairs and checked in, it turned out all of the usual C-section prep rooms were already filled, so they put me in a big recovery room with another newly delivered mom and a visitor. As I waddled in the visitor said, "Oh my goodness, look at that belly! Walk over here so she [the other new mom] can see. You've got to have a ten pound baby in there. And it's a boy, I can tell."

Next, I changed into a hospital gown and got hooked up to a fetal monitor. By this time I was feeling pretty scared and was wondering why I'd wanted to schedule the C-section in the first place. I could've been home watching The View! My mind kept racing with thoughts of how, when I finally got to go home in three days, I'd be a mom of three.

G was with me right up until it was time to go into the operating room, but then he had to wait outside until the spinal had been administered. I hated going in without him! I'd been warned it would be cold in there, and it definitely was. When I asked why it had to be so chilly, the anesthesiologist replied that the doctors get hot while they're working, and that when they get hot, they get bitchy. That made me laugh. Then he gave me the spinal, which felt just like it did when they started on my tattoo back in the day, and laid me back on the table. Before long, I couldn't feel anything and couldn't move my legs or feet. I swear, that is such a creepy feeling. Luckily, there was a radio playing in there the entire time, and at about that time "Little Wonders" by Matchbox Twenty came on. I like that song anyway, but I figured it was a good omen to hear it in the OR so near to when my baby was going to be born.

Right after that, Greg showed up, and the doctors got down to business. It was different than my C-section with the twins. During that one, they could've been operating on somebody in the next room for all I could feel. Not so much, this time. It didn't hurt, but there was all kinds of pressure and tugging. At one point, I remembered a line from the C-section information in "What to Expect." It said, "You may have the sensation of being unzipped." Yes. And I did not enjoy it one bit. I also had a burning sensation way up in my rib cage, near my chest, which I didn't remember at all from last time, but the doctors said it was normal. Meanwhile, they had both of my arms stretched out to my sides. My left hand fell asleep, and I decided to focus on that.

The surgery seemed to go on for a long time, much longer than I remembered with the twins. That's probably partly because my memory has faded, but also because I seriously couldn't feel anything the last time. It was much better that way. Greg kept trying to distract me by talking about what the baby would look like. Maybe he'll be a redhead, he speculated, since he does have a handful of cousins with flaming red hair. Anyway, while I laid there concentrating on my sleeping hand and trying to make idle chitchat with, the doctors and nurses started discussing American Idol. The finale had been on just a couple weeks earlier, and there was much controversy in the OR over whether Jordin had really deserved to win over Blake. Being an avid AI fan, I decided to jump into the conversation from my spot behind the blue sheet. I told everyone that I'd heard that first round auditions would be coming to a city near here in the fall, and that that figured, since this is the first year I am too old to try out. My doctor asked if I could sing, and I said no, but that I would've tried out anyway, just to say I did it. Who knows, maybe I could've made one of the bad audition shows?

Finally, when I thought all the tugging might never end, my doctor said, "Who said he was going to have red hair? Wrong!" I felt my stomach cartwheel. "You can see him? Does he have hair at all?" "Oh yeah, but it's not red. It's dark," she replied. And then Greg went down to check out the action, apparently getting there just in time to see Luke's head emerge from the incision. Yikes! He came back quickly and said, "I saw him. He looks good." Then, right after that, I heard the sound I'd waited so long for -- a strong, short, angry yell. "Waa! Waa! Waa!" It was nothing like the tiny cries P and E had managed to make. She held the baby up for me to see, and he looked HUGE. I guessed he probably was a ten pounder. His color was not very good; he looked pretty gray to me, but since nobody else seemed worried about it, I chose not to, either. I was shocked by all of his hair, because we'd seen almost none on ultrasound. Shortly afterward, they wrapped him in a hat and a blanket and set him up by my head so I could look into his eyes for the first time. I never got to do that with P & E since they were whisked away to the NICU so quickly. It was an amazing moment that I will never, ever forget. We'd done it. He was here and he was healthy. I couldn't speak, except to say, "Wow."

They did have to take him to the nursery for weighing and measuring and all that good stuff, but it wasn't long before they brought him to me in recovery. That was when I really believed that he was fine. Until that moment, there'd been a voice in the back of my mind telling me to brace myself for a NICU stay. But when he came in the room, wrapped in just his hat and blanket with not a monitor in sight, I felt a huge weight I hadn't even known I was still carrying lift off my shoulders. The nurse handed him to me, and I stared into his sleeping face, and I welcomed him into the world. Greg, who had gone with L to the nursery and then to give all the details to our parents waiting outside, arrived a few minutes later. As we looked at each other and then down at our new son, it was as if we were the only people on earth.

3 Comments:

  • Congratulations again. What an amazing story.

    Sarah

    By Blogger abessarah, at 1:39 PM  

  • That's a beautiful story and I'm glad that your experience this time was so much better. I hope you're feeling a little better these days; I know firsthand what it's like to be in that place...and I thank my lucky stars for A-Ds every day when I pop mine in the a.m.

    By Blogger Dee, at 8:07 PM  

  • Thinking of you five during the holidays and hoping all is well.

    Missing your "voice" :-)

    By Blogger Dee, at 8:49 PM  

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