Two weeks ago yesterday (I really started writing this on Monday!) I was lying in a hospital bed trying to sleep after nursing a newborn I wasn’t supposed to have in my arms yet. It was an emotional and unforgettable day that went something like this:
7:30am – In shower getting ready for last OB appointment before my scheduled C-Section that upcoming Thursday, contractions began to get more frequent and strong. This was something I was quite used to at this point, after all my false labor and daily Braxton-Hicks bouts. So upon getting dressed, I began to keep track of them – again. Figured it wouldn’t hurt seeing that I was on my way to the doctor anyway.
By the time we were getting out coats on, Derek looked at me and said, “Do you think we should take the hospital bag, just in case?” I shrugged and answered, “Couldn’t hurt.” The contractions were not really letting up, but not bothering me too much either. I kept on writing times and intensities down anyway and ran upstairs to get my glasses and contact case again, ‘just in case’.
8:20am – arrived at my parents house with Ariella in tow and all packed up. I was still timing and writing. Every time I thought I was in the clear, another one would come on a bit stronger than the last one. I didn’t bother getting out of the car. It hurt too much and we were running very late to the doctors.
8:35am – arrived at Hamburg OBGYN, got the closest spot we could (thank God), got my little cup to pee in and headed to the bathroom. I was a bit nervous at this point, because the contractions kept coming and in the back of my head a little voice kept telling me this was it, that they would send me in. I kept arguing with that voice, however telling it that I wasn’t really ready to have a baby that day and I was only getting my hopes up anyway.
8:50am – Got called in to see Dr. Z. Got weighed (172lbs, which hadn’t changed in two weeks), got situated in the room, heard Cambree’s heart beating strongly and then waited for the doc to come in. Not sure what Derek and I talked about then, but I think we argued about something baby related. A few minutes later, Dr. Z. walked in and asked how things were going. I told him about the contractions going on all morning at this point and he said, “Why don’t we send you in and see what happens? If you go in and the contractions keep going like this we’ll do the section today, if they die off, we’ll see you Thursday anyway.” I must have looked a bit spooked, but he kept reassuring me I was only going in to be monitored and that if they did take her that day she would be fine; I was turing 39 weeks the next day. I checked out and made my 6 week appointment with Dr. Z, because I wanted to make sure it was done and Thursday was when I was going to have the baby.
9:50am – I called my parents from the car on the way to the Hospital to let them know we would not be coming right back to the house to pick up Ariella. My Mom was very calm and cool on the phone with me and told me to let them know how things were going.
10:15am – Derek dropped me off at the bridge to the lobby where I waited, still keeping track, until he found a parking spot. Five minutes later he came to meet me and we did our walk to the elevators and up to Labor & Delivery. “We’re checking in!” he told them for the third time this pregnancy and they buzzed us through. When we walked in through the second set of doors and asked for my name, they smiled and exclaimed “Oh! It’s our C-Section!”
My face must have betrayed my panic when I told them, “I’m just here to be monitored.” Because the Nurse taking us to the room said, “Oh, Dr. Z. called and told us you were having contractions and they were delivering you today!” The other Nurses at the station asked me, “Don’t you want to have your baby today?” I was honest with them and said, “I’m a bit nervous about the surgery,” and then we were whisked away into a L&D room.
From there everything moved very quickly, but calmly. They listened to me when I told them again what Dr. Z.had told us at the office, I was only there to be monitored and if it looked like something was happening THEN they would be doing the surgery. But then Dr. C. (who was on call that day) came into the room and basically told me that with all the contractions I was having and the risk of rupture and the fact that I was basically 39 weeks and my section was scheduled only three days away they wanted to just go ahead and get me in before their 1:30pm scheduled section. That everything would be fine, they would take good care of me, the baby was ready and it was a good day to be born.
The Nurse came in with the IV, they took the monitors off me and prepped me for surgery. They gave Derek his little outfit, and gave him instructions about what was going to happen and we got in touch with UNYTS about going in early so I could still donate my placenta. They were able to get someone there quickly.
Derek and I only had a few moments alone before anything was going to be in motion. He made phone calls to Grandparents and made sure I was ok. I asked him if he was ok too and he was not even nervous. That I could tell. Before I knew it, it was time to walk to the OR, which happened to be right next door. I thought I would have more time before being confronted with that room, but it was so close and so cold, sterile and right there in front of me. Wow, this was actually going to happen!
My Anesthesiologist was an older foreign gentleman who did not say much and had me extremely nervous. I was surprised I wasn’t passing out at this point knowing what was coming, but I got up onto the table and did what he told me to do. Getting the Spinal was not fun, I felt way too much of it for my liking, but it took effect immediately and I was completely numb before I knew it. Trying to get quickly numbing legs onto that little skinny table is not an easy task, let me tell you. As the Spinal took effect I did almost pass out, but whatever adjustment was made got me back quickly. And after that it was almost fun!
Dr. C. came in and talked with me while he prepped my belly, made sure I couldn’t feel anything and then they started. Derek came in a few minutes later and I almost broke his poor hand squeezing it so tightly. But I was amazed at how good I felt! No passing out, no pain, I even asked for a sandwich because I hadn’t eaten anything all morning (just in case). I kept telling Dr. C. “Just tell me she’s beautiful!”
12:13pm – After a little bit of pulling and tugging, everyone congratulated us at once with “It’s definitely a girl! And she’s beautiful!” I almost remember cheering, but I’m sure that was just in my head! Then I heard her crying, screaming for air, and they held her up to me so I could see her. My eyes welled up and I said hello to our Cambree for the first time. What an experience! She screamed so much and so loudly that everyone was commenting about her lung capacity. It was amazing! Derek ran back with his camera to take pictures and video while I laughed with everyone else about her high octave range. I’ve never heard a newborn scream so much!
The rest of the surgery went relatively quickly, Dr. C. yelled at me for being too skinny and him not having any fat to sew up with and I was still asking for food. They wheeled me back into the L&D room I had been in before and Cambree was there minutes later. She nursed right away, latching on without any difficulty. I got my sandwich, and still felt great! I couldn’t feel anything from my boobs down! About two hours later they gave me pain meds and took me to my room.
All in all, I was amazed at how everything went exactly as I had really wanted it to. I guess I did in fact go into labor, albeit the early stages of it and they found the uterine lining to be extremely thin near the old scar, which would have made for a very dangerous VBAC attempt had I gone that route. I didn’t really have a lot of time to think and worry about the surgery as everything happened so quickly. And, Cambree picked her own birthday!