On Monday, I went to the hospital for a growth ultrasound. It all seemed so routine even though I was a day overdue. The ultrasound lady kept making weird faces, but chatted with me, so I wasn't too worried. I asked her how big my baby was and she told me 'only five and a half pounds', and I started to fret a bit since that is pretty small for a full term birth. She asked me when I last ate, as he wasn't moving and I started to panic. I told her he was a nighttime baby that only liked to move then and I had eaten two hours previous. She kept poking my stomach heavily and he wouldn't move. I began to get pretty upset, and she gave me some photos after half an hour and told me to go sit in the waiting area. She would be calling my doctor and possibly sending me to labor and delivery immediately.
I tried not to panic further, and called Paul instead. He had just gotten home from work (due to an air conditioning problem at work) and I told him to come to the hospital, just in case, and to pack the items on the list I had given to him for my labor bag which I hadn't gotten a chance to pack. He seemed surprised, but said he'd be over. I chatted with two very nice women in the waiting area about my baby and they were very kind, reassuring me.
The ultrasound lady came back to me and told me to go upstairs to labor and delivery. I would be monitored and probably induced that night. I kind of flipped out, but started up. I almost threw up in the elevator on the trip up I was so nervous. I got to L&D and they were pretty calm and slow, taking about half an hour to hook me up to a monitor and not minding as I took a call from Helen. I told her that I'd probably be induced that night and deliver either than night or the next day. I also called Paul to ask where he was (buying himself snacks as I had specified) and that he'd be over.
About half an hour after that (and my baby moving so that the monitor noticed), Paul came into the room as did my doctor. My doctor was chatting with me for several seconds before he asked, "Is that the baby's heartbeat?" He looked at the nurse who said yes, and they both paused. He then simply said, "Start her on an IV now. Start prepping her for a c-section, just in case." At that point, he began to explain to me that the baby's heartbeat was a little slower than they liked and he'd be back after checking the ultrasound results.
Several minutes later, he came back and told the nurses that we were all going ahead with an immediate c-section. He explained that I could be induced if I'd prefer, but the heartbeat had been odd enough that he felt the likelihood that I'd be pulled into an emergency c-section an hour or two into labor was extremely high. I, at this point, was terrified and panicking and gulping huge amount of oxygen they were giving me. I was also almost crying, telling Paul that I didn't want a c-section and that I didn't want to do it, as they gave me an IV so quickly I barely felt pain. I just knew it WAS painful. My level of anxiety was so high that when they started to monitor MY heartbeat it sounded like I was a rabbit, or BABY myself.
They explained to Paul that he had to get into scrubs immediately to follow me, and he did so. I HATED this as he had been standing next to me to tell me how well I was doing and how it wasn't going to be bad and how we'd have our child that night. I think I did start to cry in fear at this point, mostly our of fear of the operation, but some out of fear for our baby. At that point, they had also given me a catheter which was PAINFUL.
Downstairs, prepping for the surgery, they gave me a spinal while Paul waited in the other room. The first one wasn't potent enough, so they gave me another. Believe it or not, these were barely painful, more like a sting. The nurse who held me during this time was extremely kind. I had told her, prior to all the c-section stuff, that I was a Catholic. She held me gently and calmly while I got the spinal and asked me if I wanted to pray to the Virgin Mary for calmness and health, as she was the ultimate mother. Scared nearly to death at this point, I sat there and prayed more earnestly than I ever had in my whole life. And after that, and several more minutes of extreme movement in everyone in the room, they bound down my hands (to prevent them from touching the incision) and put up a shield and brought Paul into the room. He sat next to me, told me how well I was doing and kissed me.
Several minutes later, I felt them pushing on my ribcage to push the baby down, and then I heard a LOT of baby wailing. I also heard, "Congratulations! You have a son!" At this point, the warm air they were blowing over me had finally started to take effect and calm my extreme shivering. I barely had enough energy, after freaking out, to ask, "Is he alright? Is he okay?" They assured me he was doing fine, and Paul viewed him. I was told that they had started to sew me up and I'd be done in forty or so minutes. I ignored them and watched them haul my baby around, doing whatever they needed to do to move him to the nursery. They lifted him up, examined him, basically whipping him around a lot (or so it seemed to me).
About five minutes or so later, they told me they were taking him to the nursery, and that Paul would be going too. They held my baby close to me and I kissed him several times. They told me to sleep as best as I could, but I couldn't. I just lay there drowsily, asking some questions about time, thinking about my baby, and asking when I could see him next. They told me it would be several hours. The doctor finished on me and had me moved to recovery. I knew then that my wait to see my child was nearly over, or I would have flipped out in recovery.
I was so cold that I was shaking at this point. My temperature fell to 95 degrees and they bundled me into several blankets. I couldn't move my legs and they felt dead to me when I touched them and it caused me to get a little weirded out, but I just lay there and listened to people talk around me. At one point, no one was in the room and I hated that. I also felt the extreme compulsion to move my legs and couldn't. The nurse kept asking me to try and I couldn't do anything. She asked if I felt any pain and I told her that my stomach slightly hurt at that point. She gave me some drugs and left me alone.
About half an hour later, I noticed that if I touched my thigh it no longer felt dead to me. I felt some slight sensation in it which calmed me a little though I still REALLY wanted to move my feet and couldn't. I asked the nurse to do so and she did but it didn't make me feel better. Another half an hour after that, I noticed that the pumps the nurse had put on my calves was slightly pushing on them. I told her so, and interested, she asked me to move my toes. I told her I couldn't and she told me I had though I couldn't feel it. It was time to move me to my room so I could see my son.
I asked her for more drugs as the pain I felt was now increasing a LOT and she said to ask my nurse. I was moved, with the help of several people and a board, into my hospital bed in Maternity just ten minutes later! The guy moving me was extremely kind and stopped at the nursery where I again got to give several kisses to my son. I asked if I could get him tonight and they told me yes.
Several minutes later, I was in my room where my mom waited and I was barely able to breathe due to the pain I felt. They gave me a narcotic that calmed me enough for me to ask for my son rather than further drugging, and they came along with him and a bottle for me to feed him. I had hoped to breastfeed that first night, but no luck. As I almost fell asleep several minutes after feeding him, they took my son from me and left me to sleep. My mom went home and after I assured him it was okay to leave me, so did Paul. I told him I would need him more tomorrow when I would be recovering and trying to walk.
I couldn't sleep that first night, nor really move, so I listened to knitting podcasts all night -- a big thanks to PixiePurls for putting out the BEST knitting podcast. I also listened to KnitPicks and LimenViolet. I also read some Pride and Prejudice and drank some ice water. I think I fell asleep at 3 am.
We spent the next several days in the hospital, with the last day being the worst as my baby had jaundice. It took him a day to recover and I spent the majority of that time traveling to feed him or just relaxing in my room with Paul.
We're all home now and the first day at home was the scariest because I felt I had no safety cushion if I screwed up, AND I was in pain still. Nathan wouldn't eat at first, but now seems content to take up to two ounces at feedings which is an acceptable amount according to everyone.
I love my son so much, guys. So much. How can anyone love anything this much? It's unimaginable. I am writing this blog entry to tell people, but mostly just to remind myself in the future of the feelings I had during the delivery. I think it was scary and horribly frightful AND painful, but if I had to choose between doing it all again and losing Nathan, I'd take twice as much pain if needed. I love him more than I ever knew I could love anything.