With all the events of the last several hours highly impacted by emotions, exhaustion, and anesthesia, it may be difficult to write/recall just how beautifully our journey into “Earthly parenthood” began. None-the-less, my emotional cup is currently so “full” that if I pass on jotting my feelings down I simply may burst in two.
So here goes…
We arrived at the hospital on Tuesday, July 17th at 5:30am. There was excitement, anxiety… all the feelings one would expect before a planned C-Section. We were prepped in the “pretty room” (with view of the pond outside…not the one overlooking the parking lot) where I had to immediately change into the lovely hospital gown after wiping my body down with some fancy pre-surgery wipes.
Once “wiped” it was into the hospital bed for a liter of fluid. While being “pumped up,” I realized I must be having some reaction to the wipes as my legs were itchier than ever in my life. Aside from dealing with the “itch” – the time from 5:30am-7:30am went by both rapidly and painfully slow. Not sure how that’s possible, but it’s truly the only way to describe it. Dr. Pae, nursing staff, our pastor, and the anesthesiologist all stopped by for introductions, well wishes, prayers, paperwork, etc. Then finally/all at once it was time to go.
At 7:30am on the dot I was wheeled off to the OR. Joe was asked to stay in “the green chair” in the hallway until it was “time,” and I was further wheeled in what felt like parade fashion closer and closer down the ever more chilly hallway and into the frigid operating room. There I was introduced to all of the additional surgery staff and positioned for the spinal. I got to pick which kind of music I wanted playing for the surgery (humorous, as I NEVER heard it playing over the screaming emotions of my mind) and chose “Broadway Show Tunes.” So baby boy… you came into the world listening to something “Musical” but I sadly have no clue what it was!
I thought getting the IV placed would be the worst part of this experience, but man was I wrong. That spinal. Thank God for my sister-in-law, Amanda who was able to work that day and hold my shoulders/talk me through the process. One big numbing poke (which felt like a big bee sting followed by a burning sensation) preceded three-very-much-felt attempts to place the spinal catheter and we were finally ready to go. They told me I would feel my legs get very warm, but in general my feet just felt like ice. My body had to be positioned by the staff as I had lost feeling/mobility so quickly in my legs that I could not do it myself once the spinal was complete.
I remember being very worried Joe was not in the room yet. I did not want him to miss anything, or get forgotten about back at “the green chair,” requiring him to have to walk into the room and see me “partially opened.” Throughout these “worries” I instantly began to feel nauseous and informed Chris the anesthesiologist who quickly caught my “productions” with one hand while simultaneously adding something immediately into my IV that made all my nausea disappear within 60 seconds. Just as the nausea left, Joe was suddenly next to me and apparently things were getting started. Much of the next couple minutes were a blur. I tried my hardest to see anything in the very minimal reflection that the plastic ceiling trim offered me of the events happening on the other side of the blue curtain, but really saw very little. Then, all of a sudden I was told he was out (although I felt NOTHING – no pulling, pressure… NOTHING.) It didn’t feel real.
“He can’t be out already.”
“Is he breathing?”
Then a scream.
I remember Amanda saying, “He’s a cutie,” a couple times (and have come to find out after the fact that she was indeed the nurse who was handed our little man from the arms of Dr. Pae. Baby Boy, your Aunt Amanda was the one to clean you up right away. How cool is that!)
Joe was soon up and over by Amanda and the baby (who were stationed at my feet, not my side – meaning I could still not see a thing) and I remember asking, “Does he have hair?” multiple times and being ignored. I’m not sure I was actually ignored or if I was just beginning to feel so light headed that I wasn’t hearing the response. One time I thought I heard Amanda respond, “kind of,” but how can one “kind of” have hair? Regardless, about that time I began to feel very dizzy and light headed. My eyes began to feel immense sensitivity to light and it was a fight to keep them open, but I needed to see my boy. And to say his name.
Finally after what seemed like hours, someone brought him over to me. You can tell in this video that it was Amanda, but at the time I did not have any idea.
I wasn’t able to hold him right away, but I don’t think any words typed in this blog would embody the feelings I felt during this first moment. The truest feelings of joy, thankfulness, and praise to God. Followed quickly there after with the most intense headache/nausea/light headedness/ sensitivity to light…
…All of the above which continued until about 5:30pm that night.
I type this as a woman who is now a mother. My sleeping child either on my chest, next to me in his “Ben Bucket” (so appropriately named by Daddy), or while in the nursery while Daddy is getting his last little bits of rest next to me. Today we go home and start our lives together as a family of four. Today you get to meet your big brother George! Today our “house” is finally the “home” that I envisioned it would one day be.
Little boy, you give me so much hope for the future. I pray you continue to grow to be strong and healthy. Learn to be kind to those around you. And continue to be a reminder of love, faith, and trust to all those you meet.
Strength for Today. Bright Hope is here.
(A few more pictures from the last few days. Both from the OR and our recovery rooms.)