Sunday, 11:32 a.m. Pretty Black Doctor Barbie was standing in front of me with a clipboard, saying something about the risks involved and that I will need to sign the paper. I grabbed the pen and scrawled the first half of my first name and the first few letters of my last name. Good enough. Let’s go!
Sunday, 11:35 a.m. The nurse gave me a little plastic cup of milky-looking stuff. “It’s an antacid,” she told me. “It tastes terrible, so just shoot it!” Um, I have never “shot” anything in my life. I have a bad gag reflux. I gulped it down in a few sips. She was right — it was terrible. Like vomit-y tequila. I still have no idea why I needed to take an antacid before the C-section. Anyone know?
Sunday, 11:38 a.m. Someone handed Darling Husband a set of scrubs, and he was putting them on. It was spooky to see him all dressed for surgery — my surgery!
Sunday, 11:39 a.m. I didn’t get scrubs, as I was already in a hospital gown. I had to wear a stupid cap thing, though. The nurse struggled to get it over my hair.
Sunday, 11:40 a.m. The nurse disconnected all of my lovely IV drugs. The pain was still unbearable, so I couldn’t believe I was actually getting taken off my drugs. When I protested, the nurse explained that I’d get drugs again once I was in the operating room.
Sunday, 11:41 a.m. I was wheeled out of my delivery room, into the hallway. I was still writhing with the pain and whimpering, but very happy to be getting down to business and finally getting the baby out.
Sunday, 11:43 a.m.
I was wheeled into the operating room, and I could see the bright lights in the ceiling. “It looks just like an operating room on TV,” I remember thinking. There were a ton of doctors and nurses in there, but it was hard to focus on them. I knew several of the doctors were from the neonatal team, to attend to Baby Boy as soon as he came out, so he wouldn’t inhale the meconium
Sunday, 11:44 a.m. There was a lot of commotion all around me. Not in a OMG-this-is-a-total-emergency way, but just in a quick, let’s-get-this-done way. I was still crying about the pain at this point, so they were probably eager to get me to stop.
Sunday, 11:45 a.m. I was moved over onto a skinnier bed. It had special jut-out pieces near the top, so that my arms were stretched out on either side of me — exactly like Jesus on the cross, actually. They opened my hospital gown to place little suction-cups on my chest, and put heated blankets on my arms.
Sunday, 11:46 a.m. Darling Husband was sitting on a stool right next to my left shoulder. He held my hand and looked worried. Several doctors and nurses repeatedly asked him if he had a camera, and he kept saying that yes, he did. There was an anesthesiologist just over my right shoulder, who kept giving me drugs. Every time he did, I felt a cool gush near that shoulder, and I would strain to look up at him as if to say, “I felt that … should I be feeling that? Just want to make sure you see that I FEEL THAT.”
Sunday, 11:47 a.m.
The anesthesiologist started giving me experimental pokes to see if I could feel things. “Can you feel this?” “No.” “Can you feel this?” “No.” “Can you feel this?” “Yup.” “You can?” “Yup. I can move my whole leg, see?” Apparently the resident who did the epidural
screwed it up. No wonder I was having excruciating pain on my right side — the damn thing was only working on the LEFT!
Sunday, 11:48 a.m. “Flip her! Flip her!” The anesthesiologist sounded pissy that it had been screwed up. They flipped me over to my left side, and he played around with it until it was working, and I couldn’t feel anything on either side. Very annoying, as it made me wonder how much EASIER labour would have been if I’d been properly drugged.
Sunday, 11:49 a.m. “I’m going to throw up,” I said suddenly. Someone held out a little plastic thing and told me to turn my head to the side. I did, and miraculously was able to throw up while lying down — something I would have assumed not possible. I threw up eight times in a row, very quickly, and then felt fine. Darling Husband (who was a bit splashed in the process, poor guy) later told me he suspects I threw up because of the tequila-tasting “shot” I had to take before the surgery.
Sunday, 11:52 a.m. There was a sheet blocking my view of what was about to happen (thank God), but Darling Husband saw a nurse pressing on my belly to get an idea of the baby’s size. “Wow, this baby’s huge!” she commented. “I can feel him here, and here, and up here and down here. He’s definitely huge.” I wondered if he was actually going to be 11 pounds or something. I didn’t mind, though, because I knew I wasn’t pushing him out!
Sunday, 11:53 a.m. Sometime around now, I think, the actual C-section started. I just remember feeling very comfortable. No pain. No crying. Nice toasty blankets on my arms. It was hard to stay awake, actually, because I was so comfy-cozy. I smiled at Darling Husband reassuringly, and told him I felt fine. I was fine. I was finally fine! I did tell him (three times) to please not look at the surgery, though. It would have been horrible if he’d passed out from the blood and guts and everything.
Sunday, 11:54 a.m.
I couldn’t see any doctors or nurses because of the sheet. Suddenly I remembered Cute Medical Student
, and wondered if he was here. “Luke!” I called out frantically. “Luke, are you here?” “I’m right here!” he answered. I relaxed. “I know Luke,” I told no one in particular. “I was the first real person he ever did a fetal heartbeat
on, and a fundal height
.” Darling Husband swears I sounded high as a kite during this little tribute, but I remember it as being very genuine! I wonder if Luke will fondly mention me in his med school classes? I acted like he was the most renowned surgeon in the land.
Sunday, 11:59 a.m. They had a nice big digital clock on the wall, and I could see it easily from my skinny bed. At this point, I looked at the clock and wondered if the baby was almost out. Would he be born in the morning, or the afternoon?
Sunday, 12:00 p.m. Guess he was going to be an afternoon baby! I started to wonder if he would be born at 12:13, like I was (except I was born at 12:13 a.m.). I considered mentioning this to the doctors, in case they could time it that way, and then decided I didn’t really care. And I definitely didn’t want to distract anyone! Who knew what organs they were handling?
Sunday, 12:07 p.m. “You’re going to feel some pressure,” someone told me. I just nodded or smiled or maybe did nothing. So cozy. So sleepy. So comfortably, blissfully pain-free. It just felt like someone gently pressing on my belly. No biggie!
Sunday, 12:09 p.m. Crying! There was crying! He was here! It didn’t seem especially dramatic, like on TV. No one shouted, “It’s a boy,” because they already knew that we knew. I don’t remember what anyone said. I just remember hearing him cry. “Is he OK?” I kept asking, as tears rolled down my face. “That doesn’t sound like a healthy cry!” I don’t think anyone answered me, but they were calling Darling Husband over to take photos, so I relaxed.
Sunday, 12:10 p.m.
“Did you have a lot of heartburn
?” a doctor or a nurse called over to me. “‘Cause he’s got lots of hair!” Seriously??? Medical professionals actually believe that crap? Or were they joking? Hmm.
Sunday, 12:11 p.m. I could hear my baby crying, but I couldn’t see him. Darling Husband was also hidden from view. They let him cut the cord — something I had hoped he could do, but hadn’t expected because of the C-section — and he took tons of photos. In them, Baby Boy is naked on the scale, and then bundled up in blankets like a teeny burrito.
Sunday, 12:12 p.m. Darling Husband came back into view, holding out our perfect little son. All I could see was his little face, with tufts of brown hair peeking out from the blanket. Hair that was not as dark as mine, but not as light as Darling Husband’s — the perfect mix of both of us. He had blue-grey eyes, and the same little button nose I recognized from the 3D ultrasound. Darling Husband’s nose. He was perfect.
Sunday, 12:13 p.m. I couldn’t move, and I was lying flat on my back, but I wanted him as close as possible. He was still crying a little.
I had Darling Husband hold him over my chest, so that his tiny face was right in front of mine. I could strain forward and brush my lips against his cheek, and kiss it, but that was it. I knew that he would recognize my voice, so I talked to him.
I told him how happy I was that he was here. I told him how happy I was that he was early, and went on a tangent about how punctuality is very important to Mommy, and it meant a lot to me that he was early.
His cries faded away as I babbled and kissed his velvety little cheek again and again. After nine long months — and eight months of wishing and praying and dreaming before that — he was finally here …