Because my girl was breech, a C-section was my only option. I was terrified. I cried from the time I found out I was having a section until we arrived at the hospital. My husband was great supporting me and encouraging me the whole way. Not only was I so scared, I knew the complications that arise from Cesarean births. I knew that my girl may not be born healthy due to not travelling through the birth canal. I knew that I was going to have to have all kinds of medications tunneling through my body. I knew the recovery was going to be really hard. I was overwhelmed by fear.
We had to be at the hospital at 7:00am, so I woke up extremely early, showered, finished packing, cried a little, and put my make-up on. I walked around the house and made sure everything was in its place. Husband and I took one last picture of the two of us, we took a picture of my belly, and loaded the car.
The ride to the hospital was very ominous. I was in a fog. I didn't really think at all.
We finally get settled into my triage room, and the ball immediately starts rolling. My blood pressure goes way up, and my nurse gets worried. It is simply due to my fear. I made my own hospital gown and asked if I could put that on, but she told me not to because it would get dirty (lies... my gown stayed on my side of the surgery and was spotless). We immediately get my IV going. Or at least try. Needles... I'm terrified of them. She starts on my left hand, and collapses my vein. After the second attempt on my right hand, she get's the IV in. For some reason, though, it was not flowing. She had to do all this stuff to try and get the fluids flowing into my vein. At this point I just lay back and try...TRY... to relax. And keep my hand covered because I didn't want to see my IV.
I got a sweet visit at this time from a dear friend of mine, Kelly. She is a nurse who would be attending my C-section. She kinda gave me the run down, a "heads up" if you will, about the procedure. This clarified several things for me, but I was still terrified. Family came to see me at the last second, and got to see me wheel by with huge tears of fear rolling down my face.
As I lay in the "holding cell" I began to tremor with fear. My entire body was shaking. It was like I was freezing, but I actually felt nothing. My husband and sister are by my side waiting with me to be rolled back. I continue to ask for drugs to calm me down, knock me out... or something. I didn't want to be coherent at all. Of course they couldn't give me anything.
My anesthesiologist was a student from UAB who was wonderful. She tried to help calm my fears and tell me that everything was going to be great. I couldn't think about being excited to meet my daughter. I couldn't think about anything positive. My body was completely taken over by fear. I knew that within minutes my girl would be here, but I, honestly, was not excited. I was not ready to undergo this surgery.
They finally wheel (or did I walk?? can't remember) me into the OR. My knees got weak, and I began sobbing. Seeing all the medical equipment, needles... It looked just like operating rooms from the TV. I'm pretty sure I turned 8 shades of green. I immediately got on the table for my Spinal Block. My #1 fear of birth & labor. I never ever even wanted an epidural.
This process was excruciating. It was not painful, but it was such a crazy experience. As you may know you have to lean over and curve your spine. They then push and poke you and find "a good spot." Then there is a numbing shot that's not too painful, but it's just weird. Then there is the pressure. Terrible. I don't know how to describe it, but it's like being nauseous in your back. It took three attempts to get mine to work, which did not help contribute to my fear.
It finally works, and boy did it work fast. I couldn't get down quickly enough to get my right leg up on the table so someone did it for me. They immediately put the sheet up where I couldn't see anything. They began to test my block by doing things to my body that should inflict pain, but obviously did not merit a response from me at all. I felt very childlike and vulnerable laying naked on that table without my husband. I remember asking several times when they were going to let him come in.
I'm not exactly sure at what point he was allowed to come in, but seeing him was my breath of fresh air. I needed him by my side to make me sane. At this point, though, all the sucky parts were over. I had no control over my body, and the worst part was behind me. Husband says that I was a different person when he came in. He says I was content, but I just didn't know how to feel at this point.
Everyone says that during a C-section all you feel is pressure. I'd agree with that, but that doesn't mean it's comfortable. I had trouble breathing and felt extremely nauseous the whole time. My anesthesiologist had to keep this little suction vacuum thing in my mouth in case I threw up. My spinal block began to rise too high at one point and I couldn't feel my arms. Weird feeling being completely numb, I swear.
My incision time was 10:05, my "rupture" time was 10:10, and Madison was born at 10:11.
I didn't hear her scream at first, so I began to worry a little. RJ peaked over the sheet and saw her. He came back to me and told me all about her... "She's beautiful, she's got dark hair, she's beautiful..." Then he got to go be with her as they wiped her off and got some measurements and such. At this point she wasn't breathing too well, and I heard them pounding her back. I knew something wasn't right, but I didn't worry too much. I was still kind of in my fog.
They brought her around to me, and I began to cry all over again. I was sad because she was sad. I was happy because she was beautiful. I got to kiss her cheek, and she was then whisked away. Husband left to be with her (as I instructed him). While Madison was getting cleaned up and meeting the family, I was there again... alone in the operating room getting sewn up.
This part took the longest. This is my least favorite part of my experience because I was alone with all these emotions; I had no one to share this moment with. Except some nurse who stabbed me in the back (literally) three times.I was happy for my baby. Scared for her health.... and of course post partum hormones. Fortunately my sweet nurse friend, Kelly, was there so I didn't feel too alone. At one point, my doctor asks me if I'm ok... My response? "Hormones, doc, hormones."
After I was all stitched up and covered up, they moved me onto a new bed. I had a funny moment with the nurses at this point. I apologized to them for having to lift me. They chuckled and told me about having to move much heavier women than me.
Once I was able to wiggle my toes, they let me go see my girl and take me to my own room.
Then my husband and I got to have a moment just the two of us in the room. I just cried in his arms....
Then my fears were confirmed, Madison has what they called "wet lungs." Her condition wasn't too serious, but she was being monitored. She eventually ended up in the NICU, and was not able to leave. We visited her every three hours for feedings and were able to get some bonding time in. Family and friends visited, but most were only able to see me.
My hospital experience was great, and we had a great staff. The overall birth experience was not at all what I expected or wanted, but it was our only choice. Our girl is here safe and sound, and that is all that matters.