She Graces Us With Her Presence

Well, with @#!*% Week behind us, we looked forward to meeting the girl. We did not have a name picked yet, but had it narrowed down to a few of our favorite choices. I was really nervous about the recovery from a c-section and kept wondering if I should call off the whole thing and try for another VBAC. Each time I would do this, I'd look at Allen and say, "But..." and he would shake his head in an emphatic NO! No more pitocin, no more laying in the hospital wasting time, no more wondering if we'd even be successful at a VBAC, No. No. NO!

I've never had a scheduled c-section before. With Lexi, it was in the middle of the night after 72 hours of Pitocin, zero food, dilating to a 10 without any sort of pain medication and pushing for an hour before I cried uncle and begged to be done with the whole process. I remembered how uncomfortable the spinal was, but as soon as it was administered, I fell asleep on the table. They woke me to show me her cleft chin and she was gone. I didn't see her for another day and half since she was in the NICU and I was in a narcotics haze. I vaguely remember excruciating pain the first time I tried to walk. And, that is that.

Of the whole thing, I was dreading the spinal the most. I tried to stay calm. I started shaking as we made our way into the operating room. The anesthesiologist had promised me he would drug me up a little before he stuck the needle into my spinal column, so I was really hoping it would take the edge off. Um. Thanks, but those drugs so did not take the edge off. I tried to stay still and tried to be quiet. And, it's kind of important that the patient doesn't jerk around and act like a dolt because, hello, they are putting something in your SPINE! I did neither. I said, "OUCH! OUCH! PLEASE TELL ME YOU ARE DONE!" more times than I want to admit. My legs starting jerking and burning. The whole time, he's loudly and firmly asking: "Is it getting better? Is it better now? NOW?" Finally, the feeling would subside. As soon as it seems like the process has worked, they lay you down and fast so the drugs stay in your lower half. He kept testing me to see if I had feeling from the rib cage down. I knew we were ready when he pulled out a pair or scissors and pinched the @#!*% out of my legs and hips and I was none the wiser.

They put the blue tarp up and brought Allen in. Allen seemed so excited and had our camera in hand. Why shouldn't he be excited? He's not getting filleted on the table! Anyhow. There was a lot of jerking and pulling and some quiet conversation. Then, when the pressure mounted in my chest and breathing became a little big difficult, I knew they were pulling the baby from my womb. She started screaming immediately. That was new to me. Both of my others had lung problems and the rooms had been quiet for what seemed like forever. Everyone exclaimed, "Oh my gosh. Be glad you didn't try to birth her!!!" I looked back over my shoulder to the warming table as they ferried her across the room. Allen and I looked at one another both said, "It's totally Emily." Allen told me he thought she looked like Addie. He cut the cord while I cried with joy. Welcoming your newest family member to this Earth is a rush like no other. The feeling literally swells up in your bosom and comes flooding into your chest and is so pure and overwhelming it has to come out as tears. It's got to be the closest thing to knowing heaven while still living on this Earthly plane.

While I sobbed, they closed surgery and Allen hovered around the baby. My doctor looked at me and said very sternly, "Your uterus lining was extremely thin. You have to wait at least 2 years before you can try to get pregnant again." And with that, he was gone. I had a great nurse who took me into recovery. Things got a little tense at this juncture as I kept bleeding. And bleeding. And bleeding. Now, in my personal experience, a V-birth usually has more blood loss than a c-section. The doctors do a lot of cleaning up in the operating room for sections. So, I was surprised to hear them talking about blood loss and slowing things down and frowning every time they came over to me.

Anyone who has birthed a child knows they massage your tummy (essentially your uterus) to help it contract back down before they turn you loose. It is uncomfortable to say the least. And, they keep massaging until they feel secure with the amount of blood loss they see. In this case, they started referring to my massage as "mashing" and came back every 20 minutes to mash on me. And, every time they mashed, they would need to change my bedding. That entailed me rolling over to one side and then the other. I was there for 3 hours. Lest we forget that I just had my gut spliced in half, too? At first, I was still quite numb from the spinal and all of the drugs so pulling myself up and turning over wasn't a big deal. The mashing wasn't that bad either. After about 2 hours of it, though, I started to feel it all. I mentioned how uncomfortable I was getting and the nurse said to me, "Honey, with how we've been treating you, I'm surprised you're even conscious." They kept dosing me with morphine every 10 minutes and I got at least two shots of Demerol in my thighs to help manage the discomfort. My doctor came in toward the end and expressed his concern while the nurses discussed my situation in hushed whispers. Thankfully, after a while, they felt like things were slowing down and released me to my room.

Several days later, I registered everything that happened after surgery, I felt like I had made the medically sound choice to have a c-section. My uterus lining was thinner than most and could have more easily ruptured. I had already been on pitocin for 30 hours the week prior and the longer a woman is on pitocin, the higher her risks of hemorrhage are. Considering that I had a c-section and still lost that much blood, I wondered a bit about if I had gone VBAC and what could have happened. I probably would have been worse. Of course, that is all unknown, but it seemed like for my safety and Emily's we did the right thing.

1 comment:

Amy Buff said...

WOW Traci!!! What an adventure, that sure makes me want to dive in and get prego...NOT! But what fun that you are growing your family so much. My husband travels to NM this weekend for work and it makes me miss you. I hope one of these days I'll get in on that trip and come visit your fun family. Loves to you and yours.

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What started as a way to communicate with far away friends and family has become a place for this horse trainer/HR manager turned stay at home mom of 3 girls to hold on to a bit of her own identity. It's my take on the ins and outs, the ups and downs, the thoughts and feelings, the mistakes and triumphs of this family as we bumble our way to eternity.