Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Birth story...2 1/2 weeks later

I've gotten quite a few private e-mails asking for Savannah's birth story, so I thought I'd finally take the time to share it.

If you recall, I was scheduled for a c-section on May 14th. I had a pre-op appointment with my OB on the 13th. NST showed that the baby was fine. Ultrasound showed that the little stinker was still breech. The c-section was a go. Standard late-pregnancy appointment, but also received my instructions for preparing for surgery the next day - no eating after midnight, no blood thinner injection the morning of the surgery, arrive at the hospital no later than 9:30 a.m. for a 1 p.m. surgery...things like that. I made a point of asking my OB twice during this appointment if she'd be the doctor performing the surgery...you know, just for clarification. And sure enough, yes indeedy, she'd be making the cut. As the appointment came to a close, she patted my knee, told me to rest, and said she'd see me the next day.

So the night of the 13th was a bit bittersweet for me. My "last night" just with Baby Boy...of course much of it was spent in tears, a lot of hugging and kissing Baby Boy. I had no appetite for much of the day, but of course was starving as soon as the clock struck midnight.

The drive to the hospital the next morning was filled with sadness, anxiety, and excitement. Anxiety over the fact that my guts would be laid out on a table in a few hours. Sadness over being away from Baby Boy and the thought of him having a hard time with the new baby's arrival, and excitement, obviously, over the arrival of the new baby. We arrived at 9:30 as we were told - took the trip on the elevator to the third floor...only the elevator skipped the floor and went right on to the next. Hmmm, I thought. That's not a good sign. I pressed the button again, and this time the elevator went to the correct floor - only the doors didn't open right away. I should've known right then that this day was not going to go well.

Up to the registration desk I went, feeling like an inmate on death row, and announced that I was there for a scheduled c-section. The lady behind the desk looked at me funny, but I chalked it up to potentially being on her period (even though she was about 100 years old), and filled out the paperwork she pushed my way. Twenty seconds later, a nurse with the disposition of a drill sergeant marched over and asked why I was there. I politely stated - again - that I was there for a scheduled c-section. She asked my name, looked at the chart, and told me no, I wasn't on their schedule.

STOP. Excuse me? The nurse looked at the schedule again and repeated that I wasn't on the schedule. In fact, she told me, that hospital doesn't perform scheduled sections on Wednesdays. Oh really? Well lookie here, nursie - I happen to have a note from my doctor that has today's date on it. Wednesday, May 14th. 1 p.m. Read it and weep. I didn't exactly put it that way, but I wanted to. With a few added expletives. It turns out that I was on the schedule for the 15th. In fact, they already had all of my paperwork raring to go - I was even written on the white board for the 15th. I went through a roller coaster of emotions the night before for nothing? I went without eating FOR NOTHING? They got my doctor on the phone - she apologized. She made up some ridiculous story. She spoke with anesthesia and they told her that they weren't comfortable performing the surgery with only 24 hours off the blood thinner. Really, you freaking ass-thesiologists? Why, then, when I called you for a consult, did you TELL ME specifically to only stop the blood thinner 24 hours prior to the surgery? A fake doctor resident from anesthesia came to speak with me to tell me the risks associated with performing the surgery, including the development of a hematoma on my spinal cord, if they were to administer a spinal that day. Yes, Doogie, I know the risks - this will be my second spinal. But you TOLD ME TO STOP YESTERDAY. NOT BEFORE! And WHY did my doctor, a supposed world-class doctor and surgeon, make this mistake?? In any case, I was told that I could have the surgery that day - they'd make arrangements for it to happen - but I'd have to be put under general anesthesia AND my doctor wouldn't be performing the surgery. I passed. And I went home. But not before I sat hooked up to a fetal monitor to "just make sure the baby is okay." For 3 hours. My doctor's genius idea. And I experienced the same roller coaster of emotions for the rest of that day and night.

Onto the morning of the 15th. Arrived at the same hospital, at the same time...wearing the same damn clothes, even. Mom and Dad were there, as they had driven in the day before to watch Baby Boy during the surgery that was supposed to have taken place. I was admitted. I was hooked up to the IV. I was told that Dr. Vayas would be performing the surgery. Okay, Yes, Dr. Vay....wait a minute. That's not MY doctor. MY doctor is cutting me open. She told me so. I was told that it's unlikely my doctor would be the surgeon. She rarely performs surgeries because she's a high-risk doctor. Only in the most extreme cases would she be in the OR. Oh, contraire, nurse-lady. Unless you want to see my head spin and get your scrubs covered in pea soup, get my doctor on the phone NOW. She did. The doctor would be there. This was apparently a major deal. Lots of people came in to see the young woman that Dr. Lele would be performing the surgery on. I became a bit of a celebrity. I had an ultrasound...except the rent-a-doc resident couldn't find her head. Oh great...my baby no longer has a head? CAN THIS WHOLE EXPERIENCE GET ANY WORSE?? The resident was having a hard time getting anything because the baby was so low. Wait a minute - what did you say? She's LOW? You can't find the head - isn't it right up in my ribs, where it has been for much of the pregnancy? No head in the ribs. The resident asked if I minded if she examined me. Oh, please - yes, that would make my stay at Chez Women and Children's Hospital SO much better. Not only was the baby low, but she was engaged. I was dilated to a 2, and about 75% effaced. What? WHAT?! She turned? THAT must've been what I felt last night. Unhook me - I'm not having the surgery. Hasty decision, no? I consulted with the attending. I consulted with my own OB. Induction was a possibility, but I needed to understand the risks. My OB felt it was in my best interest (and in the best interest of her checkbook, I'm sure) to just have the surgery. Hubs didn't want me to have the surgery. My mom said, "Let's have this baby today." I didn't know what I wanted. After some praying and some thinking, I opted for the surgery. I was convinced that God had listened - He gave me the opportunity to try it on my own, like I had been asking for the entire pregnancy - and I was hoping that it wasn't some message telling me not to have the surgery.

And so away I went. The surgery was a much more...enjoyable (?)...experience than the first time. The spinal wasn't painful this time. The anesthesiologist kept on top of the drops in blood pressure as a result of the spinal and I wasn't loopy or googly this time, so I remember the entire experience. I cried when I heard my baby girl's cry. I stared at her, in awe of her beauty, when I saw her the first time. She stopped crying and turned her head when she heard my voice for the first time. I was in love. I got to hold her myself when I was wheeled from the OR to recovery. I spent about an hour with her before the took her off to be cleaned up.

Recovery was a bitch. I spent 3 or 4 hours under a warming blanket because my temperature refused to rise above 95.4...the nurses' slight looks of concern made me a bit nervous, but I was so doped up that I didn't panic. My parents and Baby Boy got to come in immediately to meet the baby. Once I warmed up and could wiggle my toes I was moved to my room.

That was a Thursday. I was released on Monday. The few days in between were spent eating bad food, struggling with nursing and trying to make a difficult decision, missing Baby Boy like crazy, awful drops in blood pressure (one nurse's exact words were Well, that can't be right. If it were, you'd be dead.), and a constant flow of people coming in and out of my room. My private room was rarely private. The nurses on the Mother-Baby unit were wonderful. Angels, really. My experience was so different from the first time around, and for that I was grateful. It made the perfect ending for a less-than-perfect pregnancy.

And I got this perfect little creature in the end:


Dan & Misty said...

wow - i can't imagine going through the motions of "today is the day!" for it not to be the day... oh wait, i can, lol - i am so sorry you had to experience that. but you're right, you were given a perfect little being. sorry for my grammar etc today, i am having a very hormonal day. Congrats again on the new baby love :) PS ~ I still really need to know about that cord and the gaping hole, what happened???

Jessica said...

loved your story. sorry about the mishap of it being this date and not that date. love your sarcasm in the story, too funny. It will deffinetly be one to be remembered. Hugs again she's a cutie.