So after a couple of hours of pushing, my OB, Dr. Bellardo, comes into the room and checks on Ian's progress. Apparently the little guy is facing the wrong way, and pushing doesn't seem to be accomplishing much. Dr. Bellardo gives me the option of trying a little longer.
After another hour or so and no progress, I agree to a C-section.
“I just want to see my baby,” I tell the OB.
Suddenly, the activity in the room picks up. Nurses and the anesthesiologist whip into the room and start preparing me for surgery. Before I know it, I am being rolled down the hallway in my hospital bed.
Paul is pointed to a waiting area while I am taken into the operating room. At this point, I realize that I have never had major surgery and somebody is about to CUT ME OPEN. The tears start flowing down my face. I am trying really hard to be brave, but it's not working very well.
Dr. Bellardo walks over to me while I am being prepped for surgery and lets me know that he has to step out of the room but he'll be right back. I'm thinking, “That is really very kind but right now I barely have any idea who is in the room other than being acutely aware of Paul's absence.”
Finally, I'm ready for surgery (“Can you feel that? Does it hurt? Okay, good.), and Paul is allowed to sit by my side. He smiles gently and comforts me while I feel crazy amounts of tugging and pulling in my abdominal area. Suddenly, we hear it — the beautiful cry of our little boy. “That's our baby!” I exclaim.
A nurse takes the baby over to the isolette and invites Paul to hold little Ian's hand. My reaction, upon seeing my baby for the first time: “Oh my gosh! He's huge!” Sweet, I know. Ian looks like he was already a couple months old.
While I'm being put back together, Paul and Ian sit by my side. I try to stare at my new little boy, but also in my line of sight is the suction tubing. I see blood fill the tubing and feel light-headed and whoozy. “I'm sorry,” I say to Paul. “I have to look the other way.”
For whatever reason, the post-birth part of the operation is worse than the beginning. The tugging, the blood loss — ugh. A couple of times I think I might pass out, and I try to say something to the anesthesiologist. Apparently he is slightly hard of hearing and can't hear me (Paul later confirmed that it wasn't just my slurred speech — the doc really couldn't hear me). Finally, just when I think I am never going to leave this OR, they're done. Paul takes Ian to the recovery area, and I soon meet them there. (First, though, they had to move me from the operating table back into a hospital bed. I felt like I was on MASH.)
Much of the rest of my hospital stay is a blur of shakes (from the epidural), midnight feeding sessions (for Ian, not me!), and painful tummy exercises. I spend hours just staring at my little boy as he sleeps in his little isolette. I love watching him breathe, and I treasure those moments when he opens his eyes and absorbs his new world.
I want to thank my family and Paul's for helping us welcome Ian into the world. Thanks for putting up with my new mommy paranoia and for accepting me as I deliriously walked through those first sleepless nights and drugged up days. And thanks especially to Paul, for being a great daddy to Ian and for changing all those diapers when I couldn't get out of bed.
I am so thankful to be a mommy!