Monday, December 3, 2012

Delivered Part 1: The Good

A week ago today I was riding the R train to the 4th Avenue/9th Street stop, climbing those ridiculous stairs, catching the F train, hopping off at 7th Avenue, and walking to New York Methodist Hospital to have a baby. And while it may be too soon to write about this little "adventure", I want to do it now so I remember it all. The Good. The Bad. The Ugly.

Riding the train to go have a baby. I bet no one else on the train could say that!
Before I continue, I must explain that I had numerous offers from friends to be given a ride to the hospital so we wouldn't have to take public transportation. And 5 months into this pregnancy when Evan said we could just take the train when it was time to go to the hospital, I laughed in his face and said, "Uh, you can take the train. I'll be riding in a car." But as D-Day approached, taking the train didn't seem so bad and was a heck of a lot cheaper than calling a car service to take us to the hospital. And, because of the time I needed to be at the hospital, most of my friends were taking their kids to school. I'm sure we could've worked something out with someone, but riding the train wasn't bad at all and is part of the birth story I will get to tell Trevor one day. (I would not, however, recommend using public transportation if you are actually in labor. Pay the money. Take a car.)

A few days prior to my appointment at the hospital, I was scheduled to have a pre-operation check up in which I'd have my blood drawn and overall health checked so I could be cleared to have a c-section. As luck would have it, I wrote down the wrong day for the appointment and missed it completely. When I called to find out what I should do, I was told to just come early to the hospital on Monday and have it done. As understanding and kind as the nurse was who I spoke to, this little mishap bumped my stress level up to where the anxiety was bubbling just below the surface of my emotions. I tried to hold it together until Monday, but Sunday night it all came crashing down over a bowl of corn flakes at 11:30pm in one big, tear-filled confession: I did not want to have this baby. At least not the way it was going to happen.

I had convinced myself that my body's inability to go into labor with Blake was just a fluke. This time was going to be different. I visualized my labor starting and continuing like it was supposed to, only to end at the hospital with some pushing and the delivering of a baby the right way. None of this "slice me open" stuff like I had with Blake. Unfortunately no amount of visualizing was going to coax my body into labor. I tried everything short of castor oil to get things going, but nothing worked. So Sunday night at 11:30pm it finally hit me that a repeat c-section was most certainly going to happen. And all of the painful, horrible memories of Blake's birth came flooding back. I couldn't go through it again. But there was no choice. This baby had to come out.

Strangely, there was some sort of comfort that came from not being able to control this circumstance. I knew very well that this baby had to be born. I may not like how he was going to be born, but he absolutely could not stay inside of me forever. So instead of dwelling on the slicing and dicing part of this birth, Evan calmed me down and I began to focus on everything after the operating room.

Running late, but I needed a picture!
I woke up Monday morning and announced to Evan that I was ready to get this over with. After dropping Blake off with a friend, we arrived at the hospital where I had my blood drawn and was asked a flurry of health questions. A nurse escorted Evan and me to the labor and delivery floor where we were told to wait in the waiting room among laboring women who were waiting to be checked in and relatives who were waiting to meet the newest member of their family. After only a few minutes, Heidi, my labor and delivery nurse, came and got us and prepped me for surgery. My c-section wasn't scheduled until 2pm, but by 10:30 am I was laying in a hospital bed, hooked up to fetal monitors and an IV.

Pre-surgery. Feeling good.
Evan stepped out for a little while to grab lunch while I laid in bed and tried not to think about the juicy Five Guys burger he was eating a block away. I knew I should try to sleep, but that was impossible. So I stared at the TV trying to take my mind off my impending surgery.

Finally around 1:45 my doctor came to speak to me about the surgery. We were both disappointed I hadn't gone into labor on my own, but now it was time to focus on the matter at hand. Heidi tossed Evan some scrubs and told him to get dressed quickly because it was time to go. She helped me out of bed while Evan stumbled behind us trying to get ready. In his haste, he put one of his shoe covers on his head which the nurse pointed out as she opened the operating room door. I laughed as I followed her in, thinking it was the perfect thing for me to see before my body was cut open.

I sat on the operating table while nurses busily prepped the room. I noticed my heart rate starting to rise and tears forming behind my eyes. My doctor walked in and asked if I was cold. I said I was a little chilly but I was fine. He brought me some clean sheets that had just come out of the dryer and covered me. I was grateful for the warmth. He stood a few inches away from me and started a light conversation. At first I found this awkward, but I soon realized talking about trivial things was taking my mind off the surgery and had a calming effect. My heart rate returned to normal and I found myself starting to joke around with the doctor and nurses.

The anesthesiologist came into the operating room and began to explain the risks of an epidural. 1 in 200 people experience spinal headaches after an epidural, I was told, and then I was asked to sign a consent form. Without much choice in the matter, I mean, I have to be numb and I didn't want to be knocked out completely, I signed the form and the placement of the epidural began. The worst part was the prick of the needle to numb the area where they would be working. My legs started to tingle as the anesthesiologist finished up, and one of the nurses helped me lay down on the operating table.

At this point my body was positioned like one of those dead frogs high school kids dissect in biology class. Even though I couldn't see my body, I pictured it in my head and felt incredibly embarrassed. How many times in one's life do you carry on a normal conversation while a nurse is trying to insert a catheter, another nurse is placing electrodes on your chest, and a doctor is scrubbing your stomach of any germs or bacteria that could compromise the incision he is about to make? It was all very awkward. Not to them. Just to me.

Once everything was ready, they had Evan come sit next to me. Donning his scrubs correctly this time, he sat down beside me and held my hand. I said, "Hi Doctor Jordan!" and thought to myself, "He'd make a cute doctor."

After apparently pinching my stomach really hard and seeing no reaction from me, they knew I was numb and surgery began. I tried to keep my breathing steady and not think about what was happening behind that big blue curtain. I didn't feel anything until the nurse warned me of the pressure I'd feel when they pushed the baby down from his current position and pulled him out.

Trevor cried out. And I immediately started crying, just like I did with Blake. He was here! He was finally here!
Told you Evan would make a cute doctor!
I caught a glimpse of him as he was carried to the warming crib and checked by nurses to make sure he was ok. The doctor commented that he was not a small baby and the nurses confirmed it when they called out that he was 8 pounds 3 ounces, 20 inches long. Evan said, "You were right! He is bigger than Blake." I wasn't surprised at all by his measurements. I felt every inch of him inside of me!

Trevor Wesley Jordan
The doctor worked to stitch me up and then I was moved off the operating table into a bed. Trevor, Evan, and I were wheeled into the recovery room where I would spend the next 6 hours throwing up and having doctors and nurses push on my stomach to make sure everything was returning to normal. Women who had a vaginal delivery stayed in the room where they delivered their baby. Us c-sectioners had to recover communally. So everyone heard me throwing up. And everyone heard me writhing in pain when a nurse pushed on my stomach. But at some point you stop caring because you just want to feel normal again.

Finally a bed opened up and we were all transferred to the mother/baby floor. By this time it was almost 10pm. I sent Trevor to the nursery so I could rest and Evan left to pick Blake up and take him home. It had been an exhausting day, but I was healthy and Trevor was healthy. We had made it through. Now I just had to survive the  next 3 days in the hospital.


Tori Wilding said...

I love your blog posts!!! You're such a trooper!

cherry said...

You really are very brave and such a trooper!! Congratulations! So sad i missed the baby shower i was working that day--i hope to come visit and see the baby. Take care!