July 31, 2011

The Gift of Life Part Three: A Baby is Born

It doesn't matter how many times I've been wheeled into the operating room, the sounds are always hauntingly the same.

"Cla-Dink, Cla-Dink, Cla-Dink, Cla-Dink."

This time was no different. The Wheels on the hospital bed seemed to shriek like two metals being rubbed together. And then, what seemed like a lifetime of pregnancy, with a 30 second trip down the hallway to the O.R. will soon be over.

I still can't help but be shocked when doctors and nurses prepare me for surgery. One would hope that the casual banter displayed on television shows like E.R. or Grey's Anatomy would only exist between Actors and Scripts, but the truth of it is...it has existed in every operating room I have ever been in. Instead of, "When was the last time you performed this operation?, or Are you awake enough to place this blade into her body?", I hear childish chit-chat about cars, camping, vacations, and food. It is as if they are riding a bicycle. Not really needing to concentrate on the woman and the baby whose lives are in their hands. It is scary. And it isn't that I don't think they are skilled enough to perform the surgeries. It is the ease and merriment associated with it that disturbs me most.

I listen in as the assisting Surgical Nurse reports how he was pulled over on the drive into my emergency C-section. He jokes as it was the first time he has been pulled over in the middle of the night in 10 years of taking emergency calls. He reports that he wasn't ticketed. I'm relieved.

I'm told to lay stiff like I'm a board and then I realize they are going to move me onto the operating table. I begin apologizing over and over again for the 'heavy' load they are lifting. They roll their eyes like I'm the bazillionth  person to ever feel like I was too heavy for them to move and then on the count of three they lift me with ease. I'm pretty amazed after feeling like a lead ball for the past few months. They are stronger than they look.

They sit me on the side of the bed and I am told to curl my back like the letter "C".  The Anesthesiologist quickly and painlessly numbs my back and gives me my spinal. I'm completely perplexed by how painless it was. The spinal I received in the fall for my spinal meningitis diagnosis was so horrifyingly painful that my mind spins with wonderment at the stark contrast.

I'm strapped to the table with large Velcro straps, both my arms and legs. As soon as my arms are secured I get this terrible itch on my nose. I scan the room for someone to help relieve me. The Anesthesiologist steps up as if reading my mind and asks if I need anything. Thank Heaven's. He scratches my nose, which I take as a true labor of love, and I feel much better. There is  large blue partition placed on my chest and it rises up towards the ceiling; it's purpose is to act as a shield so that I don't have to look at the huge mess they are about to make in my pelvis.This is when Scott is invited into the room and takes his place beside me. I am so happy to have him. He gently holds my hand and I squeeze his hand back so hard it is like I am communicating my anxiety through my grip. He reads my signal and steps a little closer brushing my hair on my face and down towards my head cap. I know that if I can just hold on for a few more minutes there should be a sweet cry echoing in the room, replacing the stale static.

A few minutes later, after felling some serious pressure on my abdomen, hearing more causal banter by the doctors, and squeezing my dear Scott's hand some more I heard it.


The volume of the sweet cry grew in intensity and then quieted to a soft sob.

I waited for them to bring the baby to me, but all I got was a short glance. He was perfect. My sweet, tiny, baby boy.

And then they robbed him from me which is the harshest cruelty associated with a C-section. But I knew I would see him again shortly. Or, so I thought.

And then the Doctor's voice chimed in delivering the hard blow.....

(to be continued in The Gift of Life Part Four: You Chopped My What?)

This picture is from Sawyer's birth, my third C-Section...but I think it does a good job with the visual for those of you who have never experienced a C-Section before. Pretty gross. Pretty Amazing.

(Still trying to write part 4. To be continued)


Jill said...

I've been waiting for part 3 for so long!

Jenna Robert said...

That picture is incredible. Really amazing.

Jaime said...

I've been one of the anxiously waiting ones too. It never ceases to amaze me what our bodies go through to get these little ones here. I can't wIt to read the rest.