Tuesday morning came slowly as I woke up at 2 am to a thunderstorm. A storm usually puts me back to sleep, but not this day. I had ridiculously bad heartburn. And couldn’t take anything past midnite. So, there I laid. Burping fire. Awful, burning fire. I think I drifted in and out of sleep for the next two hours. Until finally I fell asleep, just in time for Eric’s alarm to go off, and then mine.
The day began.
I got dressed, shaking ever so slightly. I couldn’t breathe. I also couldn’t decide if it was Maycee pressing against my lungs, or if it was that I was so anxious about the day that I couldn’t quite catch my breath. I decided it was both.
Eric and I packed quickly. He reminded me, a couple of times probably, that we lived literally less than 10 mins away from the hospital. Anything forgotten could be easily picked up at our convenience. Another reason we chose Metro to have our third, and final, baby girl and Charlee (our second).
We got to the hospital promptly at 5:30 am. You wait a lot in hospitals. A lot. We waited in triage for 2 hours. During this waiting time is when I got prepped for the surgery. The looming cesarean section. My third, my last. I’ll keep repeating last throughout this because this is a very final chapter in our lives.
IV in, 1000 questions answered later and an awkward encounter with a med student and we were ready to go. The med student, oh my gosh, just awkward, shaky, odd. And the first question he asked was “what brings you in?” I just looked at him, mouth agape. “Uhm, I’m having a baby.” As I sat there, naked, belly bulging, in triage. Ya know, where you have babies. You could tell he was attempting to recite a script. And all I could think was “if this kid touches me in surgery….no. just no.” I turned to Eric, “if he reaches for a scalpel, you say ‘NO!’ and you knock it out of his hand.” I wasn’t kidding.
Finally, there I was sitting ass out on the cold operating table. There’s always a nurse there to talk you through what the anesthesiologist is doing. This time the nurse attempted to distract me with questions about me, and then decided to tell me about her daughter that lives 10 mins from her but has to come and stay with them when her husband is out-of-town. She played that correctly, because the rest of the time I was thinking about her daughter, and how odd that is to me. An empty house? Hell yes.
But, the pain still came as the needle entered my spine. The uncomfortable feeling of numbness, and then the dead weight of my legs. I always giggle when this happens because they ask me to swing my legs up on the table. Do you know how much these thunder thighs weigh? I’m gonna need some help with this.
After I laid down everything started to move so quickly, yet so slowly.
Here are my thoughts in order if I could have written them down:
People are everywhere. I can’t find Eric. Where’s Eric? What the hell is that? OMG why can I feel that? Oh, never mind, can’t anymore. Why is this lady scratching my arm? I should really pay attention. I think I’m having a panic attack. Yep, that’s a panic attack. Where’s Eric? THERE HE IS! (enter sob).
I couldn’t breathe through my nose at this point because I had already been congested going into it, and then I had a panic attack which made me cry so it just kept getting worse. Eric was the best. He wiped my eyes, then he started wiping up my snot. God, I love him. So much.
Here are things I then heard the doctor say:
“We’re getting through some layers of scar tissue.” -on why it was taking so long.
“Here’s the flood.” -commenting on my remarkable amount of fluid.
“Oh, god. She’s big” -Enter sounds and visions of wrestling a large fish out of a lake.
This is when the worst happens every time. It literally feels as if they’re holding your lungs and heart in their hands and just pulling. It’s painful and it’s very uncomfortable. I started sobbing at this point. I couldn’t breathe, I couldn’t see. The best way I have heard this described is “intrusive.” Which is completely correct, it’s highly intrusive and will be the one traumatic thought you have after a c-section.
Then the nurse turned to Eric and said “Get your camera out.”
The pain subsided. Eric stood up and I heard a nervous giggle from my doctor.
“She’s huge! Look at that umbilical cord!” Apparently one of the thickest umbilical cords they had ever seen. Which apparently only means that she was well fed and getting more than her share of nutrients.
Stitching me up took forever and it sounded as if the doctor was teaching. I learned how to cross stitch I think. I also learned that the med student didn’t even want to be an OB. No wonder he was awkward. Lady parts must make him nervous. At one point I said “uhm, how’s it going down there?” The doctor came around the curtain and let me know that he was stitching multiple layers and was almost done.
Maycee, in all her beautiful glory, laid on my chest during all of this. I looked at her dark jet black hair, her eyes seemingly glued shut, her purple/pink/red skin. My last. I would never see a newborn so new again in my life. I cherished every moment of it. I memorized every sound, her cry was strong, her whimper cute. Amazed by her squished face. That old man grimace. She wanted back into her large ocean that had kept her safe and warm for 38 weeks.
They took my last newborn to be weighed finally and Eric got more pictures. 9 lbs, 9 oz, 19 inches long. My last was by far my biggest. And hey, I just lost 10 lbs for sure. That’s always a bonus.
Her birth was not riddled with drama, it wasn’t hard, and it wasn’t my worst experience. But, I would like to include some tips for mommas out there about to go through what I just did.
Pack light and make sure you know what your hospital will supply you with.
At Metro we are supplied with diapers, wipes, bottles, swaddle blankets, pads, underwear, baby shirts, baby hats, a MAM pacifier, a TV, wifi and so many other things. I really only needed to bring a change of clothes for me, my brush, tooth-brush, chargers, glasses, contacts, travel shampoo (although they did say they would give me some shampoo), deodorant, Maycee’s going home outfit, dry shampoo (my secret weapon) and emergency snacks.
If you’re having a C-section know these things:
The pain is real. But, getting up and moving will only do you good, so do it. The first shower makes you feel human again. The nurse has probably seen worse, let her help you with your lady business. Pooping and farting will become your main, and greatest, concern. Eat a high fiber diet; beef broth has been helping me immensely. Ask for meds 5 mins before you need them, and they’ll get to you on time. Drink so much water you think you’ll drown. A nurse loves to see a good amount of pee output. Take advantage of the nursery (if there is one) for a couple hours of sleep at least. You will itch horribly bad all over for 24+ hours. The Belly binder (also something Metro supplies you with) will save you and make you feel svelt.
This is the last birth story I will write. I guess unless someone wants me to write theirs… but I doubt that will happen. I’ll end on a sappy note.
I never thought I would have 3 kids. I certainly never thought I would have 3 daughters. I always dreamed of having twin boys (because that’s definitely something you can predict/request). But, I feel so unbelievably complete. I couldn’t have asked for a better husband, or better kids. Kylee is happy, will make you smile and continues to amaze us on a daily basis. Charlee is a little mama, a force to be reckoned with, an independent soul. Maycee is obviously a little too young to put labels on at this point, but so far she’s an excellent sleeper, a good eater and seems to get over things quickly (like having her heel poked every 2 hours to check her sugar). We cannot wait to see how these 3 girls grow into their personalities, and we cannot imagine our lives any other way.
We are Complete.
I am tired.