Well, I promised you my birth story, and I’m finally getting around to telling it.
I was scheduled for a c-section on July 28 at 12 noon. I was very nervous, as my experience with my first c-section was horrible — I felt way too much due to a faulty epidural, and felt like I was being gutted alive. My doctor kept assuring me that a spinal block would be much more effective, but I was still scared out of my wits.
We arrived at the hospital shortly after 10 to perform the pre-operation requirements. I was immediately shown to a room, given a gown, and monitored. Then the nurse said, “we have a paramedic student here — would you mind if he observed you getting your IV?”
I said no problem, as I’m all for helping people learn. So this cute, spritely paramedic trainee came in, chatted with me, and next thing I know, the nurse asks him if he wants to put my IV needle in. That made me a bit nervous, but figured he has to learn somewhere…
I mention all of this because getting my IV needle in was easily the most painful part of the whole experience. This guy blew through my vein not once, but two times, and was fishing around with that humongous needle inside my hand. I was writhing in pain. It was horrible, and I was pretty pissed, considering I had only agreed to let him watch. Finally, the nurse took back over, and she got it in the first attempt.
Anyway, the doctor and the anesthesiologist both came in to brief me on the surgery. I told them both under no circumstances was the surgery to proceed if I told them I was feeling too much. Luckily, it wasn’t a problem afterall.
I was walked to the surgery room, and the spinal was administered seamlessly, and they lay me down. We all waited for it to start working, JB was allowed in the room, and next thing I know, the anesthesiologist told me that the incision had been made. I breathed a sigh of relief, as I wasn’t feeling a thing. I remember the doctor saying, “I’m bar-b-queing down here!”, and I could smell my flesh burning as he caurterized the incision. Yum!
So my doctor was right — the spinal block was so much more effective. I was completely numb, and hardly felt a thing. But I was still so scared from my prior experience that I lay there with my eyes closed, concentrating on my breathing, and trying not to freak out. At one point, the anesthesiologist said, “are you ok?”
I answered, “yes, just freaking out” in a very calm voice.
“Well, I like how you freak out,” he said.
Next thing I know, Little Man is out, I hear a cry, and they take him over to the observation area. This is my one beef — they didn’t show him to me (hello — I grew that boy for 9.5 months, didn’t I deserve a peak?!), and then when they took him over for observation, no one said a thing to me, and a nurse was blocking my view of him. I had to ask multiple times, “is he OK?” And finally, a nurse said, “oh, he’s fine.”
That would have been nice to know before I was starting to panic there on the table for a few minutes.
Anyway, they stitched me up super fast, and they were done with me before Little Man and JB headed for the nursery. Honestly, I think I was so freaked out from my previous experience, that I almost completely blocked out Little Man’s birth experience.
I was wheeled into recovery, where a nurse monitored me, and she received updates on Little Man on her computer, so she reported to me his weight and height, and that he was doing well. I dozed a bit, and kept an eye on the door, looking for JB and Little Man to come join me. It seemed like an eternity before they did, but it was probably only a half hour. JB wheeled him in and then picked him up so that I could give him his first kiss from Momma.
I had wanted to start breastfeeding right away, and had arranged for a lactation consultant to help me in the recovery room. Since my spinal block hadn’t worn off, I was told I had to remain flat on my back, and so I had the nurse and the lactation consultant holding Little Man up to my chest and manhandling my boobs. It was incredibly awkward. We never got a good latch in there, so I ended up just holding him.
The recovery from my second c-setion was also leaps and bounds better than the first. I was still pretty sore and immobile the day after surgery, but I managed to get up and walk around that day. Then, each day, I got better and better, and I was able to walk around the block the week that I got home. I went in for my 2 week checkup, and was cleared for any exercise I wanted to do, with the directive of “take it slow”. So, when Little Man was only 3 weeks old, I was back swimming in Lake Tahoe.
So there you go. It was uneventful, just as I wanted, and it was a much better, enjoyable experience than my first c-secion. I’m so glad I won’t ever have to go through an emergency c-section again!