I have been really excited about this one for quite some time. I found this day, to be one of the biggest surprises. Did you know that when you arrive at the hospital and check in (“Hi, I am here for my 11 o’clock”), you then get separated from your spouse, taken into some small room to get asked very ill-fitting questions? Oh, you do. It is by far one of the strangest situations I have encountered in motherhood. You are, like a kid getting taken to the principles office, escorted into a small interrogation room where a nurse is there waiting for you. The nurse then proceeded to ask me questions regarding the safety in the home, implying abuse, and being held against my will, forced into doing things, etc…No joke! I walked out of the (twilight) room wondering what my husband or I did, or say that would have prompted such an interrogation. Was it my swollen face? It couldn’t have been that bad? Honestly, I am not sure when I figured out this was a “routine” procedure. I just knew, it would be my solemn vow to tell everyone I could about this. I never want to someone to feel they way my husband and I did that day. The day we expected to be, the “best day of our lives” (not sure I really thought that anyway to be honest). I mean, I was already nervous as hell. I was about to have my belly sliced open, organs completely removed and slapped onto a tray, while the doctor pulled out this baby inside me that I have spent 39 weeks wondering what the heck she looked like, sewn back up, and left to be a mother for the rest of my life. All within an hour and half. What the heck did we get ourselves into. All I know, is I was about to go into the pre-op room.
My daughter was Frank Breech, which is why I was having a c-section, and was able to “arrive” for my 11 o’clock delivery. Another perk about a scheduled C. After pre-op evaluations (heart monitoring,checking contractions, etc.), they walk you over to O-R. Your entourage has to wait outside the door. You walk into the coldest (I mean you can see your breath cold), brightest, heavily populated, most sterile room you have ever seen. In the center of the room is a table (bed) that you sit on. This is when you get your spinal tap. A strange feeling and awkwardness in and of itself. Only to then be laid down (fully naked, basically, spread eagle) so the nurses can put in your catheter (I actually wish I one of those in all of the time). Did I mention how bright this room is. After this, they crucify you. Why does no one tell you about this stuff! They pull out the arms of the “bed” and strap your arms to them as you lay on your cross. I guess to keep you from reaching around the blue tarp that is shielding you from any view of your lower-half that you can no longer feel, to grab onto an organ, or the baby? CRE-E-P-Y! I mean, really? It is at this time that your entourage is allowed into the room. Minutes after, the doctors are well on their way. You know this because of the distinct smell that enters the room. No, not the poop, that you vaginal birthers just shit, but the lovely smell of burnt flesh. I actually asked them, “Is that my flesh I am smelling”. Yep… fabulous! We are off to a great start. Another minor detail I wish someone would have told me. After some tugging, lots of doctor/nurse small talk, and tool clanging, a baby is pulled out. Crazy! It was only about 8-10 minutes from the initial slice (burn) of the skin, and there she was! A not crying, purple, alien looking baby girl. No one tells you that your baby might not cry immediately and still live. I immediately started to panic. They rushed her over to the table where the oxygen was held, put the cup over her face and then she cried. You will never be so thankful to hear a cry again. I too was crying. Not because I was overjoyed, but out of sheer fear. She had the ugliest looking anvil head, I have ever seen. Again, no one tells you that the “c-section” baby would possibly have a misshapen head. You expect it from those who travel through the birth canal, but not the babies you just gently pull out of the belly (trust me, there is nothing gentle about that either). I remember my mom was very distraught by this. She couldn’t even lie and tell me she was cute. She wasn’t. She was completely black and blue in bruises from her unique in utero position, and that head was something else. It was NOT at all the baby that I spent the last 39 weeks envisioning. Brandon took a picture of her for me (they couldn’t give her to me immediately because of the breathing complication nor did Brandon get to cut the umbilical cord) and I could see in her face that she was beautiful, and her lips where every womans dream.
Finally, I felt peace amongst the chaos. That moment was what I expected. Everything else in the room was foggy. Then I got to hold her. I was shaking so bad that I think Brandon didn’t really let her go. Not sure he ever will…
My son was also delivered via c-section and it was a much better experience. I wasn’t even taken away to the interrogation room upon arrival either. It was a different hospital. So maybe not all hospitals perform that grueling ritual? I am pretty certain Sutter and Kaiser do. I think it was easier to because I knew what to expect. It also helped that he wasn’t stuck inside me in a contorted position like my daughter was. However, I did get severe anxiety during the “tugging” and had to be administered anti nausea meds through the spinal ( I think because the first one was so traumatic for me). It took them almost 30 minutes to get him out though. I think because of the extra scar tissue that they have to cut around. He cried right away, as did I, and I have never been more relived to hear him cry! His cries are pretty ear-piercing. I keep saying he is going to be an opera singer with the lungs he has. He is, and was from the beginning, absolutely beautiful!