Monday, March 05, 2007

Birth Story part 2

Continued from prior post.

So I'm about to get my first c-section, about to become a mom for the first time, and I remember as they're wheeling me into the operating room, I was crying. The whole situation was overwhelming: getting surgery when I wanted natural childbirth, the drama of my bad reaction to the epidural, and having my first child. The anesthesiologist didn't like that I was crying. I think he was worried that I was still having problems with the medicine. He kept telling me not to cry (but he also pestered us to bring a camera into the delivery room, which I heartily vetoed).

The actual birth was uneventful. There were forty-kazillion people in the room (it's a teaching hospital, and a frank breech made me a good teaching case) and I wasn't wearing glasses so it was all a blur. I felt pressure, then a whole lot of pressure, then my baby was born. But she was quiet. Too quiet. Wasn't she supposed to be crying? After a long, long pause (it felt like years), she finally started squalling. My husband was moving between the baby and me, trying to describe what was happening, what she looked like, and trying to support me.

The nurses wouldn't tell me her first APGAR score (I found out later it was a 5), but they happily told me her second was a 9. Susie had been born quite blue, but she pinked up nicely.

Because she had some trouble getting started, I didn't get to try to breastfeed here on the operating table. That came a bit later, after she had been weighed (8 lb. 5 oz.), measured (19 inches), footprinted, bathed, and dressed. So the first time I really saw my baby, she was all wrapped up like a papoose. Only her face was visible.

Fortunately, the hospital encouraged breastfeeding and rooming-in. Breastfeeding got off to a great start, and our time in the hospital sped by, punctuated by a baby's cries (she was lucky to have a dad who could walk and pat, pat and walk).

Best part: the hospital had awesome food
Worst part: it hurt to laugh after the c-section

My son's birth was very different: still a c-section, but a different hospital and a much more experienced mommy. Stay tuned.


Anonymous said...

I was terrified to take a shower after my c-section. I was convinced my intestines wre going to spill out of the incision after the water dissolved the surgical tape that was holding me together.

After the VBAC, I was so sore (with two stitches) that I was scared to poop. I don't think I did for DAYS.

Many women Identify with the drama of the actual birth, but not so much is said about the physical consequences after the birth, be it vaginal or surgical.

Thank you for reminding me to be pissed at your doctor for being too chicken (or unskilled, more like) to deal with the breech position. What a wuss.

Anonymous said...

I don't remember ever hearing about the teaching hospital bit. That would have totally pissed me off. I would have been crying too.

Good thing for them they put me out under general. I would have grouched through the whole operation.