Monday, August 15, 2011

birth story (part 3)

(You can read parts one and two here and here).

When they were rolling my bed down the hall towards the operating room, I honestly felt like I was in a movie or a television show. It still didn't feel real. Ian had to wait outside until I was all prepped, and my mom wasn't allowed in the room.

I remember in our childbirth class our teacher said many times, that you can't worry about being dignified during childbirth. It's primal and messy and raw. Now, I've never given birth vaginally, but I think there's a whole different kind of undignified for a cesarean birth. I was laying there on the operating table, completely naked except for a hairnet thing on my head. I'd say there were 10 people in the room, at least. Then I had to be lifted, naked, from the bed I was rolled in on, to the operating table. But of course I couldn't help at all, because I still had an epidural, so I was pretty numb. You just feel so helpless and exposed in every way.

Once I was on the table, they began prepping me. Gave me more epidural so that I was completely numb. Then they put up the blue curtain thing in front of my face. My arms were each stretched out to the side. One had an IV and the other had a blood pressure cuff so that my blood pressure could constantly be checked. The anesthesiologist was at my head, explaining things to me; I THINK trying to make me feel better, but it wasn't really helping. I got so nervous, because they never asked me "can you feel this?" while poking my leg or something, so I was SO freaked out that I was going to feel them cutting. I should have probably realized they do these all the time and knew what they were doing. Finally, I was all prepped, numb and ready to go, so Ian was allowed into the room.

As soon as I saw him and heard his voice I got really emotional. It had been a long 30 hours, and a much longer journey to get to this point. All of that rushed through my head; the fertility tests, the ups, the downs, the miscarriage; all of it leading us to this point. We were about to meet our girls. It was finally time.

Dr. Leipzig asked me if I was ready, and off they went. It really only took a few minutes before she was telling me that Baby A was here and she was big! They had a little trouble getting her out, because of how she was positioned. I didn't feel any pain, only lots of tugging and pressure. Then after several minutes, I heard a beautiful little cry. It was so amazing. I remember being too afraid to look at Ian, because I knew I'd start crying; and not just a little, but the kind where you sob and can't stop. Baby A was whisked off to be cleaned. Ian tentatively went over to try and see, and the mean nurse- (remember Ida?) shooed him away. When I think about that now, it pisses me off. He wasn't in their way at all; just wanted to see his first born! Really makes me mad. Anyway, Baby B came out a lot quicker, and after we heard her cry, she was whisked away as well. A few minutes later, they brought Baby A over to us. She was a little bruised up since it had been a little difficult to get her out. But she was beautiful. SO AMAZING. So unreal. There was a tiny person laying there on the table staring up at us, and we made her!

Then they took Baby A back, and brought over Baby B. She looked a little smaller and very different from her sister, but just as beautiful. We had our names picked out, but hadn't yet chosen which baby got which name, so I asked if we could please see them side by side. As soon as they laid them down next to each other, we quickly chose their names. Baby A would be Poppy Lorelei, and Baby B would be Amelie Violet. Our two beautiful girls.

Here are the only pictures we were able to get in the OR:



We got to sit there with them for a few minutes, but then they had to take Poppy to the NICU. She had been in the bag of waters that ruptured 30+ hours ago, and since she was also premature, they had to take her there for observation because of a higher risk of infection. Once they had finished stitching me up, they wheeled me to recovery with Amelie. Ian went to make some phone calls to our families.

Amelie was with me for a few minutes. We attempted breastfeeding for a bit and then they took her to the nursery. I had to stay in the recovery room for about two hours (well, that's what they said then). However, two hours turned in to 6. After six hours, they said I could probably go to my room soon. However, they realized that even though I was being given lots and lots of fluid, my urine output was REALLY low. Not good. So, after 9 hours, Ian and my mom went home, and I was still in recovery.

The time in recovery is SUCH a blur. I was so exhausted and still not able to eat anything. It was a super hectic place to be during the day. I saw so many new moms come and go, and I just stayed. Some people from the high risk OBGYN team came in to see me, and let me know that they were concerned about the fact that I was so dehydrated and holding on to all of the fluid they were pumping in to me, therefore, until that improved, I had to stay in recovery. They hooked up bag after bag of fluid, and I drank apple juice and water as much as I could. I wasn't really scared, but I could tell that the doctors were worried. Finally, things started to improve in the early morning of the next day, and after about 24 hours in recovery, I could finally go up to my own room.

Poppy had to stay in the NICU for longer than they first expected. She ended up being in there for a full 48 hours. I was able to visit her once while she was in there, but it was difficult to get out of bed with a catheter in. We figured it out with a wheelchair though, and I got to hold her after not seeing her for over 24 hours. It was so hard to see her in there all by herself. I knew she was fine, and a lot better off then most of the babies in there, but it was still sad.

I won't bore you with all of the details of my stay in the hospital. I won't lie though; it was rough. First of all, they don't let spouses spend the night, so Ian had to leave every night around 10pm. Also, the first night I attempted to have Amelie in the room with me, and it just didn't work. I still had a catheter in, so I was stuck in bed, and I wasn't able to move her in and out of her bassinet on my own. So, she went to the nursery. I pumped as often as I could and saved the colostrum to feed to them, but it still wasn't how I had wanted it to happen. I had really wanted them to stay in the room with me, but with one baby in the NICU and the other in the nursery, it just didn't work out that way. I cried a lot that first night, feeling like I had let my baby down. It turned out to be just fine though. I got some sleep, and my babies were well taken care of.

And.... that's pretty much it! I hope you weren't bored to death by all of the detail. Writing out this story was just as much for me as it was for the blog. I don't want to forget any part of our experience. It didn't turn out the way I had pictured and hoped, but I think that's pretty much what happens to everyone. You can't plan these things. There are times I still get really sad that I didn't get to have a natural birth. But when I look at these sweet faces every day, it really matters less and less as time goes by.

~ M

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