Throughout my pregnancy I read lots of birth stories. I honestly did not read ANY about cesarean births, I'm not sure if it is because there isn't a whole lot of c-section birth stories out there or if I just wasn't looking. Either way I decided to post a detailed description of my 4 days in the maternity ward.
Labor and Delivery Day 1:
I barely slept that night, the night before my scheduled c-section. I'm not sure if it was anticipation or from my chronic pelvic pain. Either way I woke up nearly every hour before i actually intended to. 4 AM came around eventually and It took me no time to pull everything i needed together seeing as i had spent the last 3 months packing and re-pacing my hospital bags.
My husband and I were supposed to be at the hospital at 5am but we ended up being nearly half an hour early. I stood in the parking lot in the cold air , staring at the third floor. Staring at Labor and delivery. I was terrified.
Eventually we made it up to the third floor and began the process.
The fun begins... A short squatty woman rolls into the Room with a large intimidating cart. From what I could judge from my hospital bed the cart was nearly as tall as me and was plainly labeled " DOTTY'S EPIDURAL CART". Though that was probably the fear exaggerating things. Dotty was nice, and candid. She didn't sugar coat the answers to my questions. But no one could tell me what an epidural felt like. The only description I could pull from anybody was "Its weird". Other than the few seconds Dotty touched bone with the needle, the epidural was painless. Indeed it was weird there is no other explanation.
Half of women experience a blood pressure drop after an epidural. Hooray for being a statistic.
My parents and mother-in-law came into the room a few minutes before they wheeled me to the OR. Rob was given his scrubs. I was
The OR was freezing. I couldn't feel half of my body. Every time someone moved me or touched me i felt like I was falling. Nameless nurses and doctors hovered over my face and introduced themselves. They were smiling even through their masks, smiling with their eyes. It was a comfort, but not enough. Rob couldnt come in till the last second before surgery.
He was finally allowed in after they raised the curtain and laid me out like i was about to be crucified.
20 minutes later after staring at my husband and hearing the stereotypical operating room sounds ( suction, forceps ect) Lyla was born. She cried, I cried, Rob cried. Immediately she was taken to the bassinet to be cleaned. I could see flailing feet and hands, I could see rob taking pictures and holding her hand, but I couldnt see all of her and it killed me.
Rob brought her to me, but I couldn't hold her. Dotty took pictures. Then they wheeled her back to my room, Rob followed. She was meeting her grandparents and my best friends while I waited 45 minutes to be put back together. Dotty held my hand. The doctors talked to me. I was still shaking.
I was still completely horizontal as I was rolled back to my room. They raised my bed roughly 20 degrees so could at least look at my daughter when I held her for the first time. It was a bit unreal. She was calm and sweet. I felt like the bed was holding more of her than I was due my my position.
In the next hour or so my family and best friends passed her around, she was still calm, I clumsily attempted my first nursing session with help from the nurse (and multiple pillows), and I was severely drugged. The drugs kept me talking but I couldn't really focus on much and I was still confined to my bed.
I was helped into the bathroom, I didn't ask for help. Especially not the extensive help that they nurses provide. I realize now that I couldn't have done everything myself. Not 6 hours post surgery, not with an IV and a catheter... No one tells you just how naked and exposed you are going to be, How much you will be touched, I guess they forget. I guess I'm still not normal. Thats OK.
I stared at her and cried in the middle of the night. I couldn't tend to her when she cried, I couldn't move. Rob changed her, helped me nurse her, and put her back in the bassinet. I continuously woke him up because she had covered her face with those super long sleeves they put on her. I needed to see her and know she was breathing, it was the least I could do. Actually it was the only thing i could do.
I know that she probably wouldn't have come into this world any other way. My hips had prevented that from the beginning. I just wish I would have known. I wish I would have known what to expect on a realistic level rather than just a medical level. They next days were immensely better. I will post those later...
She is wonderful, and has been fairly easy on us thus far. Lyla Mae Baird. I never thought I;d be able to have children... and here she is.