Four years ago my little T Bear made her debut. One of the most amazing phenomenons is that we each have our own birth story. We are all amazing individuals with unique stories. The miracle of birth is truly astonishing. This is T Bear's birth story.
T Bear was due to arrive on January 29th, 2009. She had other plans. On January 28th in the middle of the night I had a great deal of trouble sleeping. I woke up several times and amidst one of the many trips to the bathroom discovered that I had lost my mucous plug (God I hate that term but it is what it is). When I woke up the next morning the weather was atrocious. It was a snow day; it was cold, slushy, and icy. Hubby was home anyway for bereavement, because we had just lost his grandfather. I remember I had Raisin Bran Crunch for breakfast and just hung out for the rest of the morning. I had an OB appointment scheduled and they called to see if I was going to cancel. Due to the events of the night I decided to keep my appointment in spite of the icy weather. I wanted to make sure everything was alright. I was anticipating labor beginning at any time since I had been dilated over a centimeter for over a week.
My OB was not available so I saw Dr. S (whom I had designated as sausage fingers). I really didn't care for this woman. She was gruff, had referred to the baby as a parasite, and was known for rupturing things to get labor started. Needless to say I was not thrilled to be seeing her. Once the exam began Dr. S discovered that I was leaking amniotic fluid, and had been for some time. She quickly did an ultrasound and discovered that the baby was breach and there was a serious lack of fluid. So she told us that I needed an emergency c- section. What?! I was freaking out. That was not how this was supposed to happen. I hadn't even read about c-sections in my What to Expect book. I was not prepared for this. Plus, she made no indication if the baby was alright. I had my hospital bag with me but it did not have everything in it. I was teary eyed and panicking. Hubby was wonderful. He reassured me and calmly took me to the hospital. He contacted our parents and really did take care of me. He even had enough composure to make sure our pets were going to be taken care of.
When we arrived at the hospital the nurses set me up in a room, hooked me up to a fetal monitor, and did an ultrasound. The problem was that still no one was reassuring me that the baby was alright. I was full of anxiety and just really unsure of what was going to happen. I was surprised when my doctor, Dr. G, arrived (even though she was not working that day) to help perform the c-section. At this point she actually apologized to me that she missed the baby being breach. On a side note, Dr. S had done an earlier exam on me and told me that the baby was breach; Dr. G had been telling us all along that the head was down, so I did not put any merit into Dr. S's assessment. I should have.
Now the fun really began. The nurses put in an IV and then the dreaded catheter. That was by far the most painful thing I have ever experienced. Apparently I was in the early stages of labor, but I didn't really feel any contractions. I did, however, feel the excruciating pain of the catheter being inserted by a grumpy nurse. By this point the grandparents had arrived and were anxiously awaiting the arrival of our baby. Later I was told that when my father was told I was having an emergency c-section he uttered some explicative phrases!
We headed to the operating room and donned our cute blue caps. Hubby got dolled up in his blue scrubs. He actually looked quite handsome! The anesthesiologist gave me an epidural (which Hubby was not allowed to witness) and before long the surgery began. Things seemed to be going very smoothly. Hubby was able to witness the whole thing. His recap of events: "When they told me I could watch, I did not expect to see what I saw. You were completely cut open; the baby was still inside, and I basically saw your insides. Then they pulled the baby out. Wow." We did not find out the sex of the baby before hand so it was a wonderful surprise. I was convinced for most of the pregnancy that the baby was male; I was wrong! I remember the doctor saying "It's a girl!" and I uttered: "Are you sure?". The anesthesiologist was very light-hearted and counted her fingers and toes. I cried true tears of joy. I was ecstatic to hear my baby cry; it was the first point in this experience that I was able to know that the baby was okay. I had been so freaked out up to this point that she was not okay due to the leaking fluid that I really did not feels secure until I heard that cry. However, when the nurses and the pediatrician examined T Bear they realized that her hips were dislocated. At the time I did not really understand what this would mean for her, because they tried to reassure us, but it was an ordeal for sure. It became clear to us that she had been breach for the majority of the pregnancy, which was missed by my doctor. Perhaps her hip displaysia could have been prevented. We will never know. Now I am grateful to sausage fingers for saving the life of my T-Bear.
Before they took T Bear out of the operating room I was able to see her. I cried elated tears upon seeing her angelic face. It was also at this moment that I became severely nauseous, so the anesthesiologist pumped me with some other medication. The rest of the procedure is somewhat foggy for me. I vaguely remember being unable to hear clearly and just feeling overwhelmed. There is so much whispering during a c-section, and I was left wondering what was going on. Then they wheeled me into the recovery room where I spent a great deal of time. My hearing was still unclear and they covered me with hot towels and blankets to bring my temperature back up. My body was trembling for a long time. I remember hearing other people in there recovering from other surgeries. It was all very surreal. I just wanted to meet my baby. Laying there on my back, shaking, unable to hear clearly, and pretty much left alone was not what I had pictured for my post delivery. Such is life. After about an hour or so I was reunited with my new bundle of joy. It was all worth it. Although, this recovery was not enjoyable and seemed to take forever, but that is another story!
One of the most profound things about this experience is the fact that I can remember the event so vividly. So many things in life are blurry, but the birth of a baby stays with you. I recall sitting in the hospital room the night she was born and all of the emotions that were coursing through me. The excitement, anxiety, exhaustion, and wonderment were overwhelming. I don't think that I slept at all those first few nights. I love remembering the quiet of the room and the feeling of being a new mommy, now responsible for another human being. There is nothing like that new mommy feeling. Truly electrifying.
High: The beauty of bringing another human being into the world.
Low: The angst experienced during and after an emergency c-section.