They pointed me in the direction of the room and told me that if I would have been having a natural birth this is where it would have happened. At that point, I was still having quite a few natural birth contractions so I didn’t really give a crap about what room I was wheeled to. I could have stayed in the elevator and been just as comfortable.
The nurse asked if I was planning to breastfeed and gave me a gown to change into. This particular gown was of the regular ginormous variety but had the extra special two slits in the front for your boobies to slide right out of. Those hospitals, they know how to make a big pregnant girl feel good don’t they? As I went into the bathroom to change, lord knows why I was all modest, I heard Brooks on the phone in a mock whisper about just getting to the hospital and how I was in the bathroom changing. I am pretty sure he was talking to my dad since he is the only person that would call at almost 4 in the morning.
I fussed at Brooks to get my clothes off the floor since the effort of bending down was too much. I held onto the sink several times as the contractions rolled over me. Since my beautiful gown was open in the back, again with the modesty, I asked Brooks to tie it for me.
The nurse came in and asked a few questions but directed me to lay down so they could start an IV and check my progress. Everyone seemed to be moving quickly but not in any real hurry. They helped me breath through the contractions which amazingly enough did seem to help. I was still groaning and feeling the pain but I was okay.
The nurse checked me and at that point things went into warp speed for me. She told me that I was ten centimeters dilated and fully effaced but that my water hadn’t broken and she didn’t want to anything more that might break my water. I barely remember the next few minutes because it was a barrage of the nurses flying around trying to get things done quickly. Apparently breech baby and fully ready to go mama means HURRY THE HELL UP.
It seemed like my contractions went from groaning and bearable to holysh#tmotherf*cker in a matter of moments. The nurse was having trouble getting the IV in my left hand so they went to my right. They couldn’t get it in there and so they moved to my left arm. I thought there were three or four of them working on me at one point, all in a hustle bustle. Then I heard it.
“Okay, someone check on Dad over there. He’s not looking too good.”
There it was. Brooks thought he was going to pass out. I looked over and he was a lovely shade of gray. He had changed into scrubs and was being pushed into a chair. I didn’t realize this but my nurse count was a bit off. There were at least six or seven nurses doing various things to me but in my state and with my eyes being clamped shut because of the pain I didn’t notice. There was also blood and apparently the nurses were a lot more frantic than I realized. The doctor came in to check me and at that point I thought I wasn’t going to make it through contractions. They were coming so fast and the pain was unreal. I am not a screamer but there was screaming. Serious screaming. All of that and frantic pace everything was happening at was enough to make my dear husband afraid for both me and the baby. I don’t think it is too often that nurses and doctors really work that quickly.
I can remember feeling the baby drop down and immediately the contractions got even worse, which I am not sure how was possible at this point. The nurse right next to me just kept saying breathe honey, breathe. I told her that I couldn’t do it anymore. I don’t know what I thought I couldn’t do but apparently I was done with contractions and was ready for them to stop. Apparently it doesn’t work that way.
The next thing I know the nurse says to me – DO NOT PUSH! DO NOT PUSH! As soon as the doctor checked me and verified my dilation and effacement I was immediately rolled into surgery. I can remember not even being able to give Brooks a kiss but I wasn’t even thinking about that. I just told him to make sure that he brought the camera with him.
As soon as I was in the room and on the surgery bed, I heard the doctor start doing a head count of basically every one of her staff that needed to be in the room. She was definitely not wasting any time calling out who all she needed there. They immediately started prepping me for the spinal tap. The anesthesiologist started to introduce himself to me and I can only remember yelling at him – I don’t care WHAT your name is. He launched into the verbal consent for the spinal. Then they made me sit up and hump over like a cat. Well let me tell you that when you are having contractions and are as big as a house, arching your back like a cat is not the easiest. It took two tries for them to get the spinal in and within moments I felt relief. Relief and nothing. It was like the skies opened up and the most glorious pain relief that was ever invented just rolled itself over me.
I immediately apologized to the anesthesiologist for being so mean and told him that I wasn’t usually like that. That was apparently when I got it together.
The doctor was working quickly to get me cut open and the baby out. Brooks came in at this point and I think he was relieved and astounded that I, who was screaming like no other five minutes before, was splayed out on the table in a zen state. I professed my love for the spinal over and over.
I heard my ob say here he is. But no crying. None. I can remember feeling panic because you always hear the baby cry right away, don’t you? I kept saying – is he okay? Why isn’t he crying? Why don’t I hear him crying?
No one would answer me. Not Brooks, not the doctors, no one.
And then after a few minutes, which felt like hours, he cried. Apparently there was merconium, likely from the stress of the last hour or so, in his lungs and they were working to suction it out. Brooks could see them doing that but I think he was paralyzed with the same fear I was but also didn’t know exactly what they were doing either.
Immediately I felt a crazy happiness that my baby was okay and here safely. At the time I didn’t realize the stress and pressure that the medical staff had been under to get me and the baby safely through the csection. It seemed like there was a sort of jovialness in the room right after the baby started crying. They did it! The baby was safe! Mom was okay! If high fives would have been appropriate I think they would have been flying.
After cleaning up the baby for a moment and Brooks cutting the cord, they brought him over for me to look at. He was so red and sweet. I loved him already.
I only got to see him for a few minutes before they took him down to the nursery and out of the operating room but it was the most amazing few moments of my life. Our baby. I was a mother in that moment. It is cliché and ridiculous but that is how I felt.
That and exhausted.