We were having a baby!
Knowing I was c-section, they asked about the last time I had eaten. I confessed I'd eaten an orange at 1 p.m. Sometimes, eating can help stop false labor so I'd figured I should try to stop it on my own before going all the way to the hospital. Because of that orange, they would have to wait until after 8 p.m. to do the surgery.
I was incredibly nervous about the spinal. I'd had really bad experiences with my last two sections during that part of prep. I knew that two difficult spinals probably meant it was my body and not the anesthesiologist who was the problem. I fully anticipated another horrible time with it. The doctor came in, tried to assure me he would walk me through the whole process, take his time and make sure I was really numbed up, and do his best to keep me comfortable.
The surgeon came in to discuss the procedure. She also asked me about my last section and the hemorrhage I'd had. They called the blood bank to be sure they could get blood quickly if anything went wrong during the procedure.
Finally, 8 o'clock rolled around. I walked down to the OR. Allen was shown to a waiting room while they prepped me.
Dr. Harris (the anesthesiologist) started to prep my back for the spinal. I was shaking, trying so hard to be still, and round my back so that he had the best chance of doing it right the first time. He talked me through the numbing process. Then, he said he was waiting for the surgeon to arrive to finish. Meanwhile, he did some more numbing and poked around back there. At one point, I asked him, "Is that the spinal?" He assured me it wasn't, that we were still waiting. He said he would do more numbing action and then move forward. I had some quick nerve pain and he said, "Lay down fast!" He was done. He hadn't told me a single thing he was doing. It was the least painful and fastest spinal ever. I started crying with relief and exclaimed, "You lied to me! Bless you my child!"
After some other prepping, they brought Allen into the room. A c-section is kind of surreal. You know they are cutting you open, but you can't really feel a thing, it's a little hard to breathe because the spinal creeps into your chest but you are completely aware of it so it takes some concentration and focus not to freak out (think snorkeling), your body is being jerked around and tugged on but there's no pain, suddenly, there's an elephant sitting on your chest and then TA!DA! you're a new mommy!
The baby came out just a hollering like a wild cat. I mean the minute they took her out, she was screaming!
Even though you've done almost nothing to help with her entrance into the world during a c-section, the relief after delivery still comes washing over your entire being. And the love for this little person rises up into your bosom and is completely overwhelming. Tears streamed down the sides of my face while I let out some silent sobs of gratitude and satisfaction knowing we'd gotten her here safe and sound.
Allen rushed over to help with the weighing, cleaning, and other fatherly duties. The nurses are all a flutter with excitement with this new life in the room. They were throwing out the different weights they thought she would be: 8.11, 9 lbs. and then finally - 9 lbs. 13 oz! And two weeks early!
As they were closing, the doctor told me that everything looked great. There was no excessive blood loss. We would be done shortly.
While they were doing their work, I started to feel really nauseous. Dr. Harris offered to give me some Zofran in the IV to help. Allen came back over, holding the baby, ready to introduce us for the first time.
About that time, I started having a hard time breathing through my nose. I figured it was just part of the surgery and started breathing through my mouth. Then, I couldn't take a full breath. With each breath, I was taking in less and less air. I tried to ask for help and remember saying to Allen, "I...gasp...can't...gasp...breathe..." and then I started sucking air and wheezing. Sharp sounds replaced what should have been inhaling and exhaling. The nurse grabbed the baby from Allen and got out of the way. Dr. Harris started injecting all sorts of things into my left arm, then my right, then my IV. I kept fighting for air. I wondered if I was going to pass out right there. I'd never had a response like that to anything in my life and it was scary. He kept injecting me with medicines. And then, with deep relief, I could suddenly breathe again.
After I took some deep breaths, I wondered out loud if I'd just had my first anxiety attack. I'm not one to have much anxiety and when I do, I usually deal with it internally. Sometimes, though, our bodies just take over. Dr. Harris was doubtful about that and told me he thought it was a classic case of anaphylaxis caused by an allergic reaction to medication. He figured the Zofran was the culprit and made sure it was noted on my charts.
With the dramatics over, the doctors finished up with their part of the surgery, gave us the thumbs up, and the three of us went to recovery.