I’M ALIVE! That’s the tip of the iceberg, but a good place to start. I may end up making no sense, but that’s just the Lortab / Motrin / mojito combo they give for pain around here. Tasty and effective.
Let’s see. I’ll start with some details if you all have the stomach for it. Finish your breakfast, I’ll wait.
The start of the C-section really begins about two hours before the baby arrives. Baby’s are SO the second act. We got to the hospital and they put me in a Labor and Delivery Room where Kathryn, my nurse, got everything started: new gown, IV fluids, take these pills, drink this lemon shot, answer lots of questions and “sign here” stuff. My blood pressure seemed to be the only thing that troubled the staff; it was too low for their liking. It got as low as 95 over 49, so they pumped lots of fluid and meds to get it back up. (Hold on: here’s the nurse now. She just came in and took my vitals: 119 over 69 – my going average.) When they give you an epidural, your blood pressure tends to go down anyway, so if it’s low to begin with, there could be barf, or worse…
After they got me pumped up, the Anesthesiologist came is to get me numbed down. We’ll call him Dr. Bin-here Donethat. A serious, stoic sort. It was all so clinical and matter of fact. Oh and painful. Strangely painful. Nurse Kathryn proved herself to be a reassuring and comforting figure right then, soothing me and helping me relax. (Before I forget, Tony wins the prize for best all around person to have with you in a hospital. I will be getting his trophy engraved soon…) A few minutes and 43 rolls of tape later, I was set for some test medication, which gave me the sensation of going up in an elevator. My ears felt like they needed to pop, and Dr. Donethat said this phenomenon expresses itself in only about 10% of patients. Whoo Hoo. Top 10 already! That came and went very quickly, and then came the tingles and then finally the numb. (and after the numb comes the unpleasantness of razors, Foley’s, more adhesives for the tubes that come and go as well as many of the other indignities that even I am too delicate to express on-line.) Then the Anesthetist, Noli, took over. Yes, the ANESTHETIST. Recall the promises from an earlier post? Nevertheless, Noli was a highlight of this whole experience, but more about him later.
About ten till 9, they had me all ready to go, and Tony was in his
Devo Halloween Costume um, surgical coveralls. They banged me and the hospital bed down the hall to the chilly O.R. As we clattered in, someone said “57”, so I asked “Is that the temperature in here?” And the voice behind me said, “No (stoopid). It’s 8:57, but I bet it is about that cold in here…”
Since I can’t actually get myself on the O.R table, there’s a process for that, too. It involves a little grocery store checkout type conveyor belt and a good bit of shoving. Then there is much rocking from one side to the other to get me “just so”, they they strap you arms down so you won’t be tempted to “help” in any way. I’m thinking this would work well with toddlers: “No Touch, or we strap your arms to the board!”
Noli (hero of the first act, see we got there), hooked up all these drapes around me and stuck sensors all over, including the middle of my forehead. All I could see was Tony at my head and a papery blue drape. Noli was my eyes and ears for this whole procedure. He managed my drugs and told me what what happening, what was about to happen and how things were going to feel to me when they did. He was also very comforting and sympathetic.
When the surgery started, I felt some nausea, but very little else. Numb from the ribs down. The doc didn’t tell me much through the operation, just “We’re starting,” and “Won’t be much longer now.” When we got to “here comes a head,” all the people in the O.R. (at least the ones I could see from Drapeville) all kind of stopped there rushing around to crane their necks for a peek. What a funny moment. With the exception of me and Tony, everybody in the room’s done this at least 100 times, but the draw of the first glimpse of brand spankin’ new baby is an irresistible pull, I guess.
Once the head is delivered, the rest is quick to follow of course, and I was all about the tears. Tony says he looked. He said he wouldn’t look over the drape, but I caught him peeking more than once. When Saralyn cried… Ahhh…. what an emotional release. She was out. She was crying. There were lots of Ooohs adn Ahhhhs. I wept like a toddler with a skinned knee. I’m such a girl. I eventually let go of Tony’s hand and sent him to check out the new kid in town. Noli sopped up my tears and gave me more meds and info. After the APGARS (8 and 9 – which I heard, but thought were the pounds and ounces – stoopid me), they brought Saralyn over for me to see. She was all swaddled into a ball and I thought she looked SO round and SO short. She was my perfect little Halloween Pumpkin! All I could do was blubber “I love you,” again and a gain and kiss her fat, fat cheeks. They took her away, and daddy, too, and everything calmed down.
The doc said that everything was fine inside, there was some scaring from the last pregnancy, which she removed, and that nothing needed to be sent for pathology. However, she said she’d NEVER seen an umbilical cord so long before. She said that there is a link between long cords and High IQ. Really? You’re not just blowing sunshine? Huh. I guess I will have to google that later…
When I got back to the L&D room, Tony was there with Saralyn on his lap making phone-calls as fast as he could. I was happy to see them, but was feeling cold and jumbled. I wanted to nurse Saralyn and rest. She was making the “feed me” face, but I kept on having to wait for some detail or another before they would hand her off to me. Eventually, it was just me, Tony and Saralyn.
More on recovery soon. I have to feed a baby and myself and see if I can get sprung from this joint today.