Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Doc appt & Baby D's birth story

Yesterday was my last OB/GYN appt (with Dr. OB) prior to my c-section next week. During the appt, I asked about the following:
  • Anxiety - I'm so anxious about this surgery. I know I shouldn't be, but the closer I get to the date the more anxious I get. My biggest fear is that I will feel them cutting. This is all based on Baby R's birth and emergency c-section. *sigh* Dr. OB said that if I started feeling "buggy" that I could ask the ane for something. I think I will, thank you very much! :)
  • 4th pregnancy - I spoke to Dr. OB about Dr. Cardio's recommendation to not have a 4th baby. Dr. OB said he was more concerned @ this time with my scar tissue. He recommended that we wait to discuss a 4th baby until after he sees what my scar tissue is like next week. If the scar tissue is "a mess" then he too will recommend that I not have a 4th pregnancy. Keep in mind that after Baby D's birth, he said my scar tissue looked great.

On a separate note, today is my MIL's masectomy (surgery). Everyone please keep her in your thoughts and prayers. As a wonderful gift, she sent us a fat check so that we could bring our housekeeper back. I've been w/o my Housekeeper Extaordinaire (HE) since Jan 2009. Could there be a better present???? :)

HE is coming tomorrow morning @8AM. Woot! Woot!

Baby D's Birth Story - Long, long post below
Our hospital's policy is that you have to have a scheduled c-section if you want to deliver in their facility - if you've had previous c-sections. So, we scheduled Baby D's birth for the end of Oct 2008.

My MIL arrived to take care of Baby R a few days before the surgery. I was so relieved b/c I needed to know that someone I trusted was watching my firstborn. This was the first time I'd ever been away from Baby R overnight. It was difficult to leave him - for many reasons; all tied to a mother's guilt.

The morning of the surgery I was petrified. Everyone told me, "Oh, this will be so different. You will have a spinal and you won't feel a thing!" Seriously, everyone said these same words to me. "You won't feel a thing." But, it wasn't enough to hear others say it, even Dr. OB. I wanted to experience it!

When they prep you for a c-section, they have to give you an IV. To do this, they have to use a huge-a** needle. Much larger b/c of all the meds they have to pump in you during the surgery. Nice.

Let's just say I was crying by the 4th stick. It takes alot for me to get a good stick while I'm preggers. Don't ask me why - any other time I bleed freely :)

During your pre-op, a million people come in to chat with you - the ane, the ane's assistant, Dr. OB, Dr. OB's assisting doc, all the nurses, etc. Everyone wants you to talk about your fears, any questions you may have, etc. This was all good for me. B/c I had a million questions about the spinal, and I wanted EVERYONE to know my fear of feeling that first cut!

The surgery room is freezing cold. Freezing! Like walking into an indoor freezer. And after they wheel you in, then the party gets started. They are in a hurry to get baby out. I can understand this. Why drag it out? Plus, the doc needs to get to his first 8:00AM appt with patients. I have no prob with this...except, that you generally feel left out of all the discussion while you're laying there.

You feel like there is a flurry of activity all around you and you have no idea what is going on. Questions like, "When will they start cutting? Why do they need that? What should I be doing?" all float around in your head.

The ane's assistant and one of the nurses stood by my head. My ST wasn't in the room yet. These two women were so wonderful. They kept asking me how I was feeling, and tried to assure me that everything would be fine.

The ane came in and we did the spinal. Okay, a spinal...this doesn't necessarily hurt. It stings a little but more than that it just feels funky to have something rooting around near your spine. It almost (almost!) tickles.

So, after your spinal, they lay you back down and wait for it to take effect. I started to feel all warm and tingly from the chest down, but I was still able to feel the assisting doc pinching around my groin area. I looked at the nurse and I said, "I can feel pinching." She said as much to the docs and the assisting doc leaned over with a look of "Come on, really?" Right then, I could have died. I thought that it was all going to happen again. I was going to feel them cut me. He had such a disbelieving look on his face.

So, every few seconds he'd pinch me again and I was very vocal about saying where he was pinching and when.

Finally, the ane decided to give me another spinal. Everyone took my arms and hauled me up to bend over my belly. Not easy to do when you're 9 mos...I was so uncomfortable.

After the 2nd spinal, I was laid back on the table and I heard some movement. I turned my head and saw my ST come into the room and stand by my head. He said, "Oh my God, he has so much hair!" I thought he was kidding. I even said, "Are you joking? They haven't started cutting yet."

My ST assured me that the baby was almost out - he was standing and watching everything. I couldn't believe that they'd already started cutting...why didn't they ask me if I felt the pinching again. Did they just take it for granted that the 2nd spinal would do it????????????

Well, I guess it worked. Thank you Jesus!

I know, I sound overly dramatic. But, Baby R's birth was enough to put the fear of God into me for any future surgeries. Especially those surgeries where you are awake.

As I looked at my ST, I was so grossed out that he was watching everything. I said, "Isn't it gross?" And he said, "Yeah, it is." He was grimacing the entire time and I could see vague shadows of everything through the whites of his eyes. I was grossed out!

But, then they held up Baby D and he was huge with all this black, curly hair. He was so big. I heard one of the nurses say that she thought for sure I'd only have a 6-pounder in there. Instead he was 8 lbs 12 oz.

They bundled him up and brought him to my head. I just wanted to hold him and touch his little face, and baby lips. I wanted to give him kisses and whisper in his ear. And I couldn't. This is the bummer of having a c-section.

And at that moment, my body decided I was ready to be sick. They very quickly took Baby R away as I started dry-heaving. They also ushered my ST out of the room and into the nursery with Baby R. Not my best moment, I'll admit. But, hey. I had 2 guys rooting around playing with my internal organs. I couldn't expect much less, right?

As they were closing me up, one of the nurses brought me a picture of Baby D. She propped it on the blanket on my chest so I could see him. They told me they were taking me to recovery and said that the baby had to stay in the nursery; no babies allowed in recovery.

The ane's assistant said, "As I wheel you by the nursery, I'll ask one of the nurses to bring your baby to the window so you can say goodbye." So thoughtful. I really, really liked this woman.

But, as she wheeled me by the nursery and asked someone to hold up Baby D I heard one of the nurses respond with, "We can't...her baby is in level II...breathing troubles..." And then I didn't hear anything. I got really frantic and I couldn't find my ST. The ane's assistant said she would find out more.

This is not a moment that is fun to re-live, as you can imagine. Fearful that something was wrong with my little boy and totally incapable of rushing in there to find out what was going on. All I could do was stare at his little picture and try to recover as fast as possible.

In the recovery room, they wheeled me into a corner and left me. With a spinal, you have this heavy-weight feeling in your chest. I kept feeling afraid that I would stop breathing. I watched the clock overhead, looked at my baby's picture, and started beating my fists against my thighs. I was trying to get the blood-flow moving in my legs b/c you cannot leave recovery until you can at least wriggle your toes. I was determined to beat the 90 mins they said it would take to recover.

It took me 3 hours to recover. This is why I alternative love and hate that 2nd spinal.

When they wheeled me into my room, my ST wasn't there. I asked if I could go see my baby and they said I wasn't allowed to sit up for 5 hours so I had to stay here. They said Baby D had a pneumothorax and wasn't allowed out of the Level II nursery.

My ST came in as I was crying and showed me pics, brought me up-to-speed on what the docs were saying, etc. He had me record a message for Baby D and he ran back and played it for him. Awesome, right???

He then came back in the room with me and we waited for the 5 hours until I could see Baby D. Keep in mind, I kept sending my ST back to see Baby D to make sure he was okay. Poor guy was running the halls the entire day.

During this 5 hours, I was feeling pretty doped. I was scared, sad, weepy, and ready to fight. I wanted to get out of that dam* bed and see my baby. Everyone kept telling me to sleep. Unfortunately, after a c-section, they hook you up to a heart monitor. This heart monitor lets out a series of very loud, annoying beeps if your heart rate drops to a certain level; which mine did everytime I started to close my eyes.

After my 5 hours were up, I had my ST and the nurse help me into a wheelchair and they wheeled me to the Level II nursery. This nursery is beside of the regular baby nursery - the only thing it has in common with the regular nursery is the name "nursery." You have to "scrub in" before you can enter - every time.

You also have to put on a special gown. Once they wheeled me back, my Baby D was the only baby in Level II. He was under an oxygen hood and he had a ton of tubes and stickers all over him. He had a couple tubes down his nose and his little chest was pumping up and down fast as he was drawing air. It was the saddest sight to see, but also the sweetest.

I wasn't allowed to pick him up, but I could rub his arms and legs and talk to him. The Level II "specialist" came in and talked to us about Baby D's condition:

  • a pneumothorax was detected soon after he was born. They noticed this b/c his nostrils were flaring each time he tried to breathe in.
  • X-rays confirmed the pneumothorax - a small air pocket in his lungs.
  • the oxygen hood was 100% oxygen. He would gradually (over the next 24-36 hours) be brought back down to our normal, oxygen level (~27% - I can't remember the exact #).
  • basically, the oxygen ensured that his lungs would reabsorb the air pocket and allow him to breathe on his own

Over the next few days, my ST and I would walk to see Baby D, and 36 hours after he was born I was able to hold him. I started nursing every 2 hours after that. I think this walking was what allowed me to heal from the c-section so rapidly.

Five days after he was born, Baby D was allowed to come back to our room. An hour later, they dismissed us from the hospital.

Not an ideal birth story, yet it had a happy ending. Baby D was able to get past the pneumothorax, and we were able to leave the hosp with our baby.

Plus, Baby R said his first full sentence that afternoon while holding Baby D for the first time.

"Dada, I got a baby!"

You can see his nostrils flaring here. This is a pic my ST took soon after Baby D's birth.

Daddy and Baby D in the nursery after his birth.

Baby D under the oxygen hood - minus the tubes down his nose.

Me and Baby D in the Level II nursery. After they took him off the oxygen hood, they moved him to that little warming, incubator you can see on the left-side of the pic.


  1. Well, I certainly understand why you are fearful of another c-section. Those are two very dramatic stories! I hope this one is as normal as possible. You have also just increased my fear of c-sections! And it was pretty high before I read this!

    It had to be hard to look at that perfect, gorgeous little face and not be able to hold him!

    P.S. My sister in law had 4 c-sections...2003, 2004, 2006 and 2008.

  2. Sorry about the fear...I worried about that when I was writing it. Ugh!

    Please know that I don't think my experience was typical.

    Thanks for letting me know about your SIL. I've only heard of one other person who had 4 c-sections. This helps!!!