Jeff said he sat in the empty birthing suite in his scrubs for 15 long minutes as they continued to prep me in the OR.

It was definitely a long 15 minutes. Not having a hand, specifically his hand, to hold at the scariest, most painful time in my life was much more than I could comprehend. While I laid on the operating table, I kept my eyes closed but would peek intermittently to see if the anesthesiologist had arrived to save the day yet. Considering I’d never had surgery or even stayed at a hospital overnight, I remember thinking that the OR was exactly how it’s portrayed on TV. It was sterile and white– exactly the way I’d imagined it would be. Actually, it was THE only aspect of my birthing experience that was just like it’s shown on tv. And finally, when I peeked again, I heard an unfamiliar voice among all the counting of the surgical equipment. It was my savior– the anesthesiologist! He had to measure stuff, ask me questions then finally after all the moans and groans, he topped my epidural off with some good, strong stuff, enough to hold me off for the C-section. He didn’t have to inject anything directly in me since I had the epidural already wired in. Within minutes, the excruciating, imploding pain had subsided and then I could focus on what was going on besides my pain. I heard my dr’s dialogue with the anesthesiologist, basically implying that the medicine needed to hurry up and be administered because we were on a tight time table. I then realized that beyond the nurses, my dr. had another OB assisting in my surgery.

And then, what was probably the weirdest thing ever, my dr. had to do a test cut to make sure the meds were strong enough. He did a quick slice, starting on my left side. I felt the sensation of the first cut, but not the pain. Dr. said I wasn’t quite ready but would be within the next 3 minutes or so. I felt the urgency in his voice. And then finally, he told the nurses to go get Jeff. Once Jeff arrived, I was even more relaxed…well, considering the circumstances!

The drugs made me feel 10000% better than I felt half an hour earlier. I remember getting pretty inquisitive. Since the anesthesiologist was sitting by my head, I kept asking him questions, like he was the tour guide for C-sections.”So, what does it feel like?” I asked him “Well, many women have said that once the baby is pulled out, it feels like a giant elephant sitting on your chest.” he told me. I’m glad I befriended this doc because all the questions I asked him made me almost forget what was going on. Even though there was a tarp like thing hiding the surgery, I was within earshot of the drs and nurses. I heard my dr. telling the other dr. that he had to do something quick because the baby was so far down in the birth canal. I even heard the dr. realize part of the reason why the baby wouldn’t descend. And then I tried to focus on the different sensations and tugging that was going on. I didn’t want to miss the baby’s first cry. So after a minute or two of forceful pulling, my dr. finally pulled the baby out and the giant elephant sat on my chest. Wow. He wasn’t kidding about that analogy! That’s exactly what it felt like. It was right about then when my dr. asked Jeff if he wanted to see his baby boy. He told Jeff he could stand up, but could not touch anything sterilized that was in blue. Jeff stood up, saw our alien-like squirmy newborn and was completely smitten. Jeff also said, as he sat back down, the dr. shifted and then he could see my “insides” just sitting on the table. mmmmm. nice.

After Jeff sat back down, I could hear that the baby was finally here. And it was then that I first heard him. I knew they had to flush his system a bit to remove fluid, so it took a moment for him to cry. But once he let out that first cry, my heart thumped a lot louder and the tears began to flow. I couldn’t see him yet, but I knew I loved him, just from the sounds of it. The dr. continued with my surgery. It felt like he was rearranging my organs and cleaning up shop and even rattling my vertebrae just a bit. It was quite uncomfortable to feel all that movement going back in. I felt him sew up the insides and then do stuff to the outside. I also heard a blow torch thing?? and smelled a strange burning thing. I still have no idea what THAT was, but whatever. It took another 10 minutes for all that to finish up.

While he was sewing me up, the dr. started to tell Jeff and me that we made the right decision at the right time. He said we didn’t have just 1 thing going against us causing the distress, but we had basically 4 factors that could’ve created a different result, had we gone another route. The dr said, first his size was an obvious factor. We knew he was big, but nobody really doubted that he’d have problems coming out. UM, I KNEW! Secondly, the baby had meconium stains on his face which can be very serious. Meconium stains indicate distress during delivery and if too much is swallowed, it can create a lot of problems. Then the baby had the umbilical cord around his neck almost twice. While it’s almost common to see this among babies being born nowadays, that too can create problems. And then the big one– the baby had a true knot in his umbilical cord. Since Jack was so active in utero, he created an actual knot in the cord. The knot could have created circulation issues and even resulted in a cord accident, but thankfully things worked out in our favor. We were told that with the cord around his neck combined with the true knot, the umbilical cord was like a bungee cord for the baby, so I could’ve pushed for 2 days, and he probably would have never completely descended on his own. My dr. said the the true knot is so rare that it only occurs in 1 in every 10,000 or so births. And basically, it means good luck. WHAT! good luck? haha. you’ve got to be kidding me. After all that? Now you tell me I have good luck. We could’ve used the luck before the birth!
We didn’t really need luck afterall– we made one quick decision that ensured the safety and health of our beautiful boy. And that’s all that matters.

After all the serious talk, I asked, what day it was? I couldn’t figure out if it was Wed, Thurs or Friday at that point. I wanted to know when Jack was born, as well as all of his stats. I was so excited and drugged up, I had to know right then! The drs told me they had to take the baby right away to the nursery to do all of his stats and the initial testing, so I wouldn’t be able to see him for long. But thankfully, they brought him around to show me. I kissed my boy, sobbed a lot and glanced at my husband, who beamed even brighter. Even though it wasn’t the way I envisioned my birthing experience, it was still the most unscripted and seemingly characteristic way to welcome our first born. We wouldn’t have had it any other way. From going overdue and then finding out that his umbilical cord could have created long term, even fatal problems, all we could think was how blessed we were to be able to finally meet Jackson Foster. Jack measured at 21 inches, 8 lbs and 14 oz. and was officially welcomed into the world at 10:34 on September 27th.

The nurses kept saying, wow he’s a big boy. Yeah, he’s really big! In fact, he was the biggest newborn in the nursery during our stay. haha. go figure.

All it took was just a few seconds and I immediately (well, temporarily at least) forgot about the years of heartache, the 9 months of morning sickness and discomfort, the 27 hours of difficult labor and 2 painful hours of unsuccessful pushing.

In just one instant, I was so completely in love and he was FINALLY all ours.

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