Our appointment for the c-section was for 10:00AM but they advised us to be there for 8:00 and to report to triage and be prepped for the surgery. We got there right on time with my Nininne in tow (as she spent the night at our home so as to be on time in the AM). Once we got to Triage we got the message a few times that there were a few emergencies that came through and that all scheduled appointments were unfortunately pushed back. So the first nurse we spoke to told us we could go downstairs and (everyone else) could eat and come back around 9. Which we did. Got back to Triage at 9AM and they started strapping me up with all the accouterments of prep – baby monitor, IV line, hospital bracelets, designer open to the back gown, mesh cap for my hair, footie socks with grips – the whole kit and kaboodle. And then… we waited. Between Earl and Nininnie and Cora they switched shifts on who could be in the room with me at the same time (they only “allowed” one at a time but we broke the rules when they weren’t looking). We spent the time just chatting and talking about the very near future (when we would meet this little cherub that was steadily kicking my baby monitors off of her booty or arm or wherever they were that she didn’t like them). More people came in to talk to us… More emergencies were lined up before the appointment folks. But I was assured that as soon as they had an opening for an appointment person – I was first up. At around 12:30 they started to make moves to get me into the operating room. They told Earl to go dress up so that he could be in the room with me.
I got to the room and everything was bright and white and there were some anesthesiologists there waiting for me so that they could perform the epidural. They cued up Billy Joel’s Greatest hits and I sang along to “My Life” and “Piano Man” as they tapped on my back and asked me if that felt central or off to the side… Constantly realigning my back (because of how long it was taking i’d slump to one side or the other). Finally, they started administering the medicine and I felt tingling going down my legs. It got very hard to move and feel them so they laid me out and started prepping me for everything. They put the blue curtain up so that I wouldn’t be able to see what they were doing. I never expected it to be so close to my face though. They I felt them touching me on my abdomen. And they would ask “Do you feel anything, Victoria?” and I said “Yes, I feel you touching me… but that’s it.” There was a giddy 3rd-year medical student who was invited to watch the c-section in the room with me and by my head giving me encouragement. She assured me that everything was alright and that soon I’d feel tugging and pulling and that was all normal. Admittedly, at this point, I started to get really nervous. Were they cutting me already? Where was Earl? Oh Gosh… this is really happening. The anesthesia – although localized – really was affecting all of me. I felt dizzy and nauseous at times and overall, I was fighting the desire to just sleep. The door to the OR opened and in came my Earl who was rushed to my side. I felt so much better seeing him because I was really starting to get scared – I began to cry when I saw him. And he held my hand and assured me that everything was alright but that they’d already started cutting me. I said “you saw that???” and he said, “Yeah… I walked right past it.” GEEZ.
The next few minutes felt like an eternity… but I know it was only a few minutes because of the huge clock that was on the wall directly in my line of sight. All the big action happened between 1:12 and 1:25. There was talk of suction not being strong enough… Wait… there’s scar tissue here…. Okay… have we made it through that layer yet?…. More suction. All the while the numbed poking and prodding was felt by me the entire time. When would be this profound pulling and tugging I read about and that they assured me I would feel? When would this baby be delivered? GOSH I was tired… I just wanted to close my eyes, but I want to be awake when she gets here. “Stay with me,” Earl encouraged as often as he could. At 1:25 they announced, ” okay… here we go”… I felt one good tug and there was a flurry of action off to my left. Then I heard it: Her first shrill little cry and gasp!! My baby was here!!! Well, over there, but here in the world! She cried and cried as they cleaned and weighed and poked and prodded her… then finally placed her swaddled body in Earl’s arms where she PROMPTLY stopped crying. She was peaceful and quiet and BEAUTIFUL! So plump and perfect… My baby was here in the world… with me. We took a few photos (thankfully) to commemorate the moment and of course – we couldn’t dwell on it all. They had to rush her for more tests and more preparation and of course – they had to now sew up the gaping hole that was my abdomen. They whisked her and Earl away and then it was just me again for a long while. Getting sewn up. In recovery (for an inordinate amount of time). Then finally to my room 5 hours later where I could gaze upon my cherub goddess again. And I haven’t stopped yet.