Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Oh So Worth It

So I was on another blog a while ago, and I can't remember the name of it, but the author mentioned there was a birth meme that was going around. There was no sort of formal invitation to it, and it can include any kind of birth story. From your "real" children, to your adopted children, to your adopted parakeet, they are all good. As I am feeling sentimental about my ever-so-big little boy, I will write his birth story for history today. It will be long, but oh so worth it.

Let me first say that I became unexpectedly pregnant. We knew that we wanted children, we just wanted to wait about a year and then try. Despite the best efforts of birth control, our son was conceived less than two months after we married. We just knew that he was meant to be, as God had so very firmly placed him in our lives at that juncture.

I was working, but was exhuasted from having to get up at 4:30 am to get ready for work, as I got there early to avoid traffic. My body rebelled against what it perceived as lack of sleep, and I wound up calling in sick quite a bit. This is when my supervisors decided that even after 3 perfect years, I was suddenly an unreliable employee. They took away my projects and basically demoted me to "support" as needed. They told me that I could work shorter days, but that I would have to commute in the heaviest traffic hours, which in LA means 2 hours up and back. So, I promptly went to the doctor the next day and voila, I was put on bedrest. I did have gestational hypertension, so it wasn't just me getting back at them. I remember telling the doctor that if she thought my blood pressure was high now, she should see me when I was going to have to commute 4 hours a day.

But as my pregnancy progressed, so did the elevation of my blood pressure, and I was soon taking a lot of medication. It made me a complete slug, and taking a shower was a huge effort. I am not kidding. It was all I could do to go grocery shopping without needing a two hour nap. In my last trimester I developed gestational diabetes as well, and was soon injecting insulin into my belly three times a day. I was considered high risk due to the hypertension and diabetes. In my last trimester, I had to go thrice weekly for a test in which they chart the movement of the fetus, which can take anywhere from 20 minutes to 2 hours. Plus an ultrasound after each test.

Mr. Personality was a breech, and the "bad" breech at that. His head was up by my ribs, butt planted firmly down, and his legs were up in a pike position. His feet were literally touching his head. I knew that there was no way this little booger was going to turn, and he never did.

About three weeks before my due date, I apparently started having contractions. I say that because I felt absolutely nothing, but they were showing up on the fetal tests. I was also dilated a centimeter or so, but again, I had no clue. So I had a chat with my doctor, and she had some concerns. The baby was breech and unturnable. She told me that if my water broke, there was a significant chance that the umbilical cord could slip out with it, as breech babies do not "descend" like normal ones. The umbilical cord coming out is a bad, bad thing.

So it was agreed that I would undergo a C-section, and we picked a date. There went our money we paid for Lamaze classes right out the door. We were lucky enough that one of the dates available had some special significance to Hubba-hubba, so we knew exactly which one to pick. I nervously packed and sat for a couple days praying that my water wouldn't break. On a Monday morning, I checked in at 7am for a 10am surgery.

I should have known it was not going to be a piece of cake when the nurse put my IV needle in, and blood literally spurted everywhere. Don't ask me what she did or didn't do, I just know she did it wrong. Then the shaving of the private parts and such, but I was in a sort of daze, probably panic-induced. I scolded my mother, as she was there and would witness the birth, for not watching the nurse more carefully.

So they wheeled me into the operating room, alone, as no one could be present for the anesthesia part. It was never really explained why. So I hunched over, with the nurse supporting me, and the anesthesiologist inserted my epidural into my spine. It didn't hurt, and I was surprised. I laid down on the table, looking at my surroundings. It was the first time I had ever been in an operating room. It was as I suspected, cold, lots of shiny steel that glinted under lots and lots of light with which to shine upon my soon-to-be-exposed insides.

They erected a sort of tent below my waist, which I think is a good idea. I am not sure I would have been able to resist looking at them cutting me open, and that would probably not have been a wise move.

As it turned out, I would not have the energy for anything like that. Before they began opening the incision, I all of a sudden felt like I was going to vomit. I told the anesthesiologist very calmly, "I think I am going to throw up." He ran to get a bowl, and soon my prediction came true. He then looked at the nurse and angrily told her, "Why did you wheel her in here when she hadn't competely gone through the dextrose bag?" Apparently that is a key thing to which they squabbled about for five minutes or so. In my mind, it was both of their faults for not checking. Suffice it to say that I threw up 4 more times throughout the process due to not having enough of the dextrose solution in my body to counteract the anesthesia. I remember feeling grateful for the no food for 12 hours policy that I had followed.

So finally they allowed Hubba-hubba and mother in, and the cutting portion commenced. I felt absolutely nothing. Hubba-hubba told me that they had cut, and I remember being shocked, since I had no clue and was kind of waiting for it to happen. Hubba-hubba and mom were very excitedly looking over the tent, and I was busy throwing up. Apparently Mr. Personality did not want to leave the comfort of the womb, as they needed two physicians to get him out of there. I did feel some sort of weird tugging sensation that was hard to describe, and Hubba-hubba told me later that it was quite a wrestling match.

At 10:32am, Mr. Personality was ushered, albeit reluctantly, into his new world. The next thing I know, they have handed this loud, yowling bundle to Hubba-hubba. Mr. Personality was then placed on my chest for a few moments. and I remember thinking that he had an awful lot of hair and where had it come from? I kissed him on the head, felt his lovely warmth, and then they took him away.

Due to my vomiting, I was in a very bad state and they needed to get me to recovery, pronto. My base body temperature was down to something like 95, and I was dizzy, weak, and shaking convulsively. I was also itchy, but that was due to the morphine. I was in surgical recovery for about two hours. It was a complete blur, I was drifting in and out of consciousness. All I remember is that they slapped a temperature thingy on my forehead, and I was surrounded with warm packs of something to raise my body temperature.

Finally, they deemed me fit enough to go up to my room, and it is there that I made my first real visit with Mr. Personality. Everyone had been in my room for hours except me, holding and visiting with the baby. I remember being panicked and not knowing how to hold him with my IV being stuck in the back of my right hand. I was drugged and groggy, but I felt a definite sense of trepidation as Hubba-hubba walked over to me to place him in my arms.

The things that stand out in my mind were his lovely calm face and big, beautiful eyes. I remember being surprised that he had no eyelashes yet. After looking in his eyes, really looking in them for the first time, I came to the sudden realization that this little guy had me wrapped around his perfect finger. And there was absolutely nothing I could do about it. But that was just fine with me.


Piece of Work said...

Gina, what a great story.Thanks for sharing! Vivian was breech, too--and refused to turn-- so her birth was similar.

Suzanne said...

Wow -- that's quite a pregnancy and birth story! Thanks for sharing!

Mel said...

Well-told story, but I wish you'd been able to have a nice peaceful birth! Maybe next time! ;)

WordsRock said...

Wow, your birth story is completely opposite of my own.

I'm sure you are completely excited about trying it again sometime soon!