Monday, January 16, 2012

Cal's Birth Story

Tuesday morning started out early.  We had to be at the hospital for my routine c-section at 5:30 with surgery at 7:30.  After very little sleep the night before (nerves anyone?) I was up at 4:00, showered, shaved and finished that last minute packing.

We got checked in at the Family Maternity Center and were brought back to a room immediately.  Our nurse came in and had me change into a gown, took my blood pressure and my temperature and put the fetal heart monitor bands on my belly.  All pretty routine things.  I did have a slight fever because Jack Jack gave me his cold.  Not enough of a fever to delay the surgery though!

Jason was the designated picture taker of the day since I obviously had other things to be concerned about.  He got some shots of me in my lovely hospital gown, filling out paperwork and other boring things.  I was more looking forward to baby pictures, duh!

The anesthesiologist came to my room fairly early so we could talk about complications, allergies, etc.  I am so glad I told her my entire history of anesthesia and its complications because I had a completely different experience this time.  More to come on that later.  With Jack, as soon as my epidural was placed, my blood pressure tanked.  I believe it was around 70/40.  It was enough to make all the monitors and bells go off.  After the blood pressure scare, I got severely nauseous.  I remember being so out of it that the delivery of my baby was a blur.  I don't even remember the next 24 hours.

After speaking with anesthesia, we decided it was best to do a patch behind my ear, similar to those prone to motion sickness would wear.  Speaking with the anesthesiologist took a lot of time which is fine by me.  It made the time go much faster and it kept my mind off the worries that I had.  She answered all my questions about how the line is placed, when it would need to be taken out, etc.  Come to find out, a spinal for a repeat c-section is different than an epidural.  The needle is smaller and there is no line that stays in.  It's a shot of numbing medicine in your spinal column and that's it.  The medication wears off in about 3 hours although you would still have the tingly feeling in your legs. 

My nurse placed my IV line but it took some time.  My veins have this pesky condition where they blow out as soon as the IV is placed.  In the end, the anesthesiologist had to do it.  When that was in, I was given a shot of antibiotics since I tested Strep B positive.  I was also pushed fluids to help curb the nausea that I was worried about.

Lynn, my mother-in-law arrived around 6:45.  She had dropped Jack off at daycare and came immediately to the hospital.  It was nice having the extra support. 

We visited and chatted and filled out paperwork until the time came.  I was able to walk myself to surgery without passing out or shaking uncontrollably from nerves.  Jason waited outside so my spinal could be done and the draping set up.

I remember the room being so cold and climbing up on the table and thinking I wouldn't fit.  The compression booties were put on my legs at that point and I sat criss-crossed so the spinal could be done.  Honestly, it didn't hurt at all.  The numbing shot worked so well and the only thing I felt was the warm sensation going into my butt.  When I was substantially drugged, I was laid down.  I was absolutely freaked at this point because I was expecting the alarms to go off because of my blood pressure or I was worried that I would throw up.  I was shaking a bit from the nerves, but I took deep breaths and prayed to calm down.  That was all it took for my mind to go calm. 

Believe it or not, I didn't have any issues with the anesthesia!  There was one point while I was being draped that I said "Uh oh" and the anesthesiologist came over with a basin for me to use.  I coughed (have you ever tried coughing when you are numb?) and I did spit up a little but I was instantly better.

Jason was brought back and the surgery started.  I could feel the pressure and tugging but no pain or any temperature sensations.  Jason held my hand the whole time and as soon as Cal's head came out, my doctor said "The head is out".  He pulled the rest of Cal out and said "Rachel, this looks like a big baby".  Cal immediately started screaming.  He was NOT happy to be ripped out of his warm environment. 

I got to see him being carried over to the isolette and that was my favorite moment of the day.  I never got to see Jack when he was fresh born.  I had my eyes closed and I was so sick that I didn't get to have that special moment.  When Cal was being carried over, I said to Jason "Oh my gosh, he has dark hair!". 

The nurses and respiratory therapist were cleaning Cal up, measuring him and getting him in a diaper.  Before the diaper went on, the RT said "Don't pee on me buddy".  He really shouldn't have said anything because right then Cal let off a stream.  It was pretty funny.  I got to see everything they were doing to him which was so great!  He was crying the whole time but I was so proud and happy to have a healthy baby that the crying was music to my ears.

I got stitched all up and then rolled onto the hospital bed.  As soon as I was in place, they brought the baby over to me so I could hold him on the way back to our room.  I finally got to see his handsome face and see who he looked like. 

I closed my eyes on the ride back to the room so I wouldn't get sea-sick so to speak.  When back in the room, I laid in bed while the nurse checked over Cal and weighed him.  He cried quite a bit but that is completely normal.  After all, he had just been cut out of me and was probably hungry and cold and the light was so bright! 

After a few minutes, Cal was showing hunger signs so the nurse helped me latch him on.  I was glad to do so because I really wanted to establish a good breastfeeding routine this time around.  It took a bit but we got Cal latched.  He still doesn't really open his mouth super wide but he's eating so I will assume his latch is normal for him.  He ate for a while and then rested.  I made sure and mark down on the feeding chart when he ate so I could make sure and nurse every 2-3 hours. 

All in all, my repeat c-section was a success!  My overall experience has been completely opposite from my first time around.   I got sick, I was having severe hormone crashes, didn't sleep, didn't take advantage of the help that was offered to me and got so frustrated with how I felt afterwards.

I will do a post about my recovery later but let's just say it's been much better this time as well.

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