Saturday, February 10, 2007

October 5, 2005

Qtpies7 is having a contest for the best birth stories. I'm always up for a good contest! So here goes:

My pregnancy was rather uneventful...or so I thought. I knew that the dear little boy inside my womb was large ("hoss cat" as I called him) as several ultrasounds had declared. I also knew that this dear little boy was also breech and he was stuck. His head sat under my right rib cage for at least the last month of pregnancy. It was about 4 weeks out that I realized my obgyn had diagnosed my pregnancy as "high risk." And how did I discover this? I read it on my chart when I went to go check out after an appointment. I was high risk because of the large and breech child inside of me. I had a lot of swelling throughout the entire pregnancy so nothing was very alarming to me. During the last few weeks my blood pressure continued to rise. I was scheduled for a C-section at 39 weeks.

Hormones, anticipation, and nerves lead to tears daily for 2 weeks prior to this arrival. I am not a very good patient and I HATE needles, so the word C-section did not settle in my mind very easily.

The day arrived. My husband and I went to an early morning breakfast for my "final" meal and then got things ready. I made sure I had everything packed, the house was clean and I just sat and waited. I had to be at the hospital at 3 p.m. My parents arrived around 2 and off we went to the hospital. I had not had one labor pain to that day, but I was familiar with the hospital as I had been there 4 times during this pregnancy (once for dizziness/high bp, once for lack of fetal movement, and 2 falls -- one 2 days prior to the scheduled C-section).

We arrived and I settled into my room. The first order of business was vitals and an IV. I was a bit panicky and due to my incredible swelling the IV was difficult to start so after 3 tries (and on a bad patient, this was not good) the IV was flowing. As the nurse left the room she asked if I needed anything, my response, "Valium." She laughed, but I wasn't joking...I needed something.

5 p.m. arrived, the time for the actual procedure. I am walked back to what I remembered as being the coldest room I had ever been in (the operating room) to have the spinal and other prep completed as my husband was left to dress in the husbandly c-section attire. I was incredibly nervous about every second. The anesthesiologist met me in the room and began the spinal. This was nothing I tell ya...the IV was worse. Within 20 seconds of the spinal being in place my legs were numb. The anesthesiologist also told me he was going to give me a "calming" medication through my IV (I guess my request for Valium and the IV experienced warned them that I was not the best patient).

Next enter the doctor and the assistant. Catheter placed, stomach prepared. I layed on the table with both arms stretched out and the thought kept crossing my mind, "I am going to die right here like Jesus on the cross." I was petrified.

My husband came in and he said I was already "gutted like a fish" (there's a visual image for ya today). Soon the doctor asks the nurse what my BP was when I came in. She said she could not remember, but would check the chart. I pipe up "144/90." I knew it was high when they took my vitals so the number stuck in my head. The OB was impressed with my knowledge, but then I hear him tell the assistant, "this fluid and swelling is the beginning stages of pre-eclampsia." Oh, I forgot to tell you, I had to have a vertical incision for the excessive swelling on the bottom of my stomach.

I don't remember much more of the procedure except I kept trying to move my feet, like it was a game. I couldn't feel ANYTHING...nothing from my chest down. My arms were even tingling. I guess this game is why I was given a second dose of the "calming" medicine by the anesthesiologist.

There was some difficulty getting Hoss Cat's head loose from under my rib cage, but he successfully emerged and the following statements were made:
"Wow! Look at him!"
"This is a big boy!"
(You get the drift)

The next thing I hear is "18, 11." As I have previously posted, I immediately stated "He does NOT weigh 18lb, 11 oz does he?" And as soon as the statement left my lips I realized "18, 11" was the time he was born.

No, he did not weigh 18, 11, but he did weigh 10lb. 5oz. I saw Hoss for a few seconds and the dh took him off the nursery with the nurse. I lay on the table relieved and extremely happy from the "calming" medicine. About an hour later, 2 drainage tubes applied and lots of bleeding I was rolled back to my room.

The dh was waiting for me, but the baby was still in the nursery (due to his size he was being tested for diabetes...which he did not have). The next thing I know...the nurse is checking my incision and draining and is commenting on the amount of blood. Then the doctor returns, checks the bleeding and says that I may have to return to surgery if the bleeding does not subside. Well, it subsided, but those first few hours were scary.

The actual "birth" was not nearly as traumatic as the recovery. The removal of the last drainage tube 2 WEEKS later was extremely painful. The nurse telling me I had to give myself shots in my stomach daily led to a post-partum disaster right there at the hospital. I cried every day, once because the hospital did not bring me dinner (the poor girl who came to get my tray...that I did not have...sure witnessed a complete post-partum break down).

And now 16 months have passed and the pain, the post-partum, the nervousness have all subsided and I'm ready to do it all over again....eventually!


Qtpies7 said...

Thanks for playing in my contest!
I hate c-sections, my last two babies were c's. But I think the spinal was HORRID, and I do not do well with needles either. I look like I have good veins, but most people have to stick me a couple of times to get an IV in.

Ms. Tammy said...

Got here from qtpies7... it is a small world... I'm here in Frankfort, just down the road from you! Loved your birth story... will have to post one of my own. Visit me at
Have a great day.

Janean said...

OH, hon! I am so with you. My C-section was one of the worst experiences of my life.
I'm sorry you had to go through that...but the blessing that came from it is priceless.
Congratulations...a little late.
Here from QTPies7 link. :D

Stacitee said...

Wow. That is an amazing story. I had two big babies too and tons of swelling so I can sympathize.