Writing a birth story for a scheduled c-section seems so silly, but there are instances where I’ll love reading over this in years to come – some truly wonderful things that happened in this final delivery.
Lets start off with saying that I’d had contractions on and off for two weeks, and was very uncomfortable because Gabrielle had decided that my bladder was her favourite toy… everything was okay in her world if she was mashing it at every opportunity. When Mum arrived from Australia, we went off to get a final 3D/4D ultrasound… but baby was soooo low, we ended up getting it for free because her little face was stuck behind my pubic bone. Goober.
The week of the 18th came around and that Monday I was a certifiable basket case. I was crabby, short tempered, easily tearful and just generally upset despite my desire to take Bob Marley’s Three Little Bird’s was my mantra: “Don’t worry ‘bout a thing… cus every little thing is gonna be alrigh’”. I packed and repacked the hospital bag, then did it again. Stressed about the weekly menu, stressed about everything. On Tuesday I was worse, I was driving myself around the twist. My poor husband had just about reached the end of his tether with me too.
Tuesday night, I slept through with no issues. The alarm surprised me when I woke up. I was cool, calm and collected. Made sure everything was organized for the baby sitters and when they arrived, I had everything prepared. The only thing I forgot to do was brush my hair. We, (my mother, husband and I), even arrived on time at the hospital. Everything went swimmingly – until they tried to stick me for the IV. Yeah… not so much fun. The first “nurse” (and I use quotations just because she had the personality and bed side manner of a wet sock) blew her first (and only) try. The second person was called in because he “never missed!” Yep… he missed and I have the HUGE bruise to prove it. Next they called in the pediatric nurse, who was apparently brilliant. She took a look, pointed out some promising veins and then ran from the room. The next nurse also played dig around in my arm, to no avail. Everyone either blamed my veins or the fact that I’ve lost weight… that apparently makes my veins floppy? Anyways, they wasted over an hour on trying to get the IV in, and I am sitting there watching the time for surgery getting closer. Eventually, the actual surgical nurse came in, and she had it in the back of my left hand in three seconds and was done. No pain (!!!), plugged in and going.
Things started moving along at this point. I was grilled about every surgery I’ve ever had, was told that the drug that drove me nuts with itching last c-section was going to be used this time, but they’d give me benedryl to try and counter act it. Suddenly it was all systems go – I started panicking a little because I wanted my husband in the room, and my OB had said no… only one support person. Then I was getting upset at the idea of my baby being held in the nursery for ages, and I really wanted her to have kangaroo care with her Daddy, since I would be unavailable. The first one was calmed when Dr Watterson allowed Sean in because he’s a nursing student. Woot! Mum and Sean got to watch the spinal, which was an ick experience, and the next thing I knew I was lying back and my arms where being tied down. It felt like someone was pouring cold water through my veins in my left hand – they were trying to force as much fluids into me as possible because of the problems getting the original IV in. It made me freezing. Shortly after they came me the nasal canula, and made sure my spiffy paper head gear was in the right spot – right across my eyebrows 😛 Then the nurse told me she was putting in the catheter – the one thing I was really not looking forward too.
Shortly after, the Doctors came in and it was all go! My Mum sat/stood by my head. As a midwife (retired) she was interested in what they did. They also allowed my husband into the actual OR, after telling me over and over that only one support person per c-section and that he’d have to watch through the observation window. He did have to stand back in the corner, out of the way, but I felt better knowing that he was there.
Before I knew it, Dr Watterson told me she was almost here. I held my breath and got yelled at by both my Mum and the Anesthesiologist LOL! Then there was a loud cry and Dr. Watterson came around the curtain with a tiny, angry mad person. She was perfect! I started crying of course, which was weird because I couldn’t feel my chest all that much. Sean and Mum went to the warmer with her, and Mum got to cut her umbilical cord. She scored 8 and then 9 on her apgar scores – the 8 was because her feet were a little more blue than they liked, but she soon sorted that out. They gooped up her eyes, wrapped her up and tagged her and then brought her to me again. She didn’t get to stay long because it was so cold in the OR, but both my Mum and Sean went off to the nursery with her, whilst the Doctor finished the surgery and made sure my baby making days were over. Yes sirree… 5 daughters is enough for me!! The nursery called back and said that my little Peanut was just that… 19 inches long and 6lbs 10.9oz. After Hannah (who weighed 9lb 10oz at birth), she was tiny!!
After about 30 minutes, I was taken straight back to my room, where I was delighted to see that they had made an exception to their rules, and my husband was getting to hold her, skin to skin – under a blanket and under a heater. We’d heard so many times that she would have to go under the heaters in the nursery, and I’d been wanting her to get skin on skin contact so badly. I was/am so very happy about it and the bonding experience my husband got with her through that. She was rooting around a bit, but for the most part was calm and happy. I had to wait about another 20 minutes before attempting to nurse her because I was shaking so badly, and they had to give me pain meds a little sooner than they expected, but I was soon ready – more than ready honestly – to hold her.
The nursery nurse Marlene (or Marla – I’m a bit hazy on that part), came in to help me, but was shocked to see I didn’t need any assistance at all. I just snuggled up with Gabby, offered her the breast and she was on with no issues. It was a little painful, but I chalked that up to being a newbie and maternal sensitivity. She stayed on for about 20 minutes, before I decided to swap sides with her – LOL! I discovered, that whilst she is even tempered for the most part, little girl does not like to be messed with thank you very much, and she was happy where she had been. She let me know in short order that she was displeased, but thankfully the other breast pacified her again 😉
When she was done and all cozy again, the nursery nurse came in to bath her – another first for me at Spring Hill Regional. Then Sean and Mum had to leave to go and relieve the baby sitters. By now I was starving, so I asked for food – only to be told that Dr Watterson had ordered that I am not to eat until the next morning. Wot wot WOT?! Hello? I get sick if I don’t eat, and I need to eat small, high protein meals frequently – a point I had made clear to him. Fortunately for me I’d made friends with most of the nurses there, so they got me some yoghurt, crackers and juice before I expired.
The rest of the hospital stay was uneventful for the most part. They wouldn’t leave us alone for any great length of time – someone was coming into the room every 30 to 45 minutes day and night. Dietary tried hard to find food I could eat, but failed miserably – not their fault really I guess. Sean had to ferry me food twice a day, and other than that, I lived on cereal bars, apple juice and rice crackers 😉 My last night there the night nurse told me that Gabrielle was tongue tied, which explained the pain and damage being done to my delicate bits and also tried to convince me to give her a pacifier – which I said no to. Apparently she didn’t believe me, because after she’d taken Gabby off to be weighed, she came back in with three different kinds of pacifiers for me to “experiment” with. I threw them out 😛
Gabrielle is now 11 days old and is for the most part and sleepy, peaceful individual. She still hates getting her diaper changed and has anger issues with being swapped from one breast to the other – even if she’s so deeply in a milk coma, you wouldn’t think she’d notice 😉 We took her to a pediatric E.N.T at one week 1 day old and she got her frenulum snipped to fix the tongue tie issue. Since then, aside from the damage already done, breastfeeding as been a breeze. We are still having issues with night feeding – she just pain refuses to latch when I am lying down, so I end up sitting up and zoning whilst she eats… I rather latch her on and go back to sleep… I’m lazy that way.
Her sisters adore her… Hannah won’t leave her alone during the day… she is always coming to the cradle thing Gabby sleeps in and kissing her or gently rubbing her head. The older three fight over who gets to hold her – which right now is none of them due to them being filled with some kind of coughing crud. Everyone seems to be adjusting well, I am exceptionally tired but for the most part happy – I can’t wait for the two week period to be over so I can be my own person again – drive, go out and rely on myself rather than my husband and Mum. I am very, very grateful to have had both my husband and my Mum’s assistance though. I would have gone nuts without them.