This is my very vivid memory of my first c-section.
So I told myself I would tell the story of the c-section in hope to help women understand there is no reason to be afraid, IF you have all the facts of what could/will and probably happen in that room. If there is one word to describe it, for me, that word is traumatic. All my life I have been healthy, never having spent one night in a hospital. This is probably the case for most people my age. So when I was told at week 32, my wonderful pregnancy would end with a cesarean section in order to deliver my wrong side up baby girl. I was disappointed to say the least. The reality was I was scare to death of labor and childbirth but most of me wanted to feel it, wanted to experience it so that I would get tha euphoria that most vaginal delivery moms get-that I could do anything. A c-section hardly yields that feeling afterward. At best you feel like your vagina is still in a royal state of perfectness since it didn’t get tore up from the floor up, but that euphoria that I knew 70% of moms get, never showed itself to me.
At 8:30am on July 5, we pulled up to Banner Desert Mesa Hospital and Adolfo dropped mom and off at the front. I checked in, started filling out all the paperwork and such. By 9:00am, we were in the back meeting our pre-op team. 2 nurses, a student, the anitesiologist, the delivering doctor from my ob practice, and a few other people that came to say hello. They gave me my IV and asked loads of questions. They gave me a piece of paper that told me and Adolfo what to expect in the operating room. Step by step. Apparently I read some of it out loud to Adolfo and later I would not remember doing so.
By 10:15am, I was being wheeled into the O.R. Adolfo would suit up in his scrubs and be waiting until after the spinal was given the. He would be allowed in. The room was cold and there were so many people in there. They talked me through the spinal and had me lean forward, resting my chin on my chest and remaining still. While they prepared the shot, some other people were at my legs, strapping on these contraptions that keep blood clots away. During the spinal, I got a cramp under my thigh and I jerked almost having a new hole somewhere. The anithesiologist had an assistant that walked me through all the medicine he was giving me. He kept my distraction from the people at my pelvis that had opened my legs spread eagle in front of everyone in the room to secure the urine catheter inside my bladder. This I could feel. Lit was like threading a needle, a lot of pressure but no pain, it seemed like this part took forever.
I heard someone say, go get the husband and my heart melted, “oh yeah,” I thought, “I am not alone where is Adolfo? I need his hand.” a few moments later he was at my head. I began shaking uncontrollably. Richard, assistant and my drug lord for the day, was explaining to Adolfo it was normal. I was shaking so hard I thought my hands were free, but atlas I was strapped down in the Jesus Christ On a Crucifix pose. Once Adolfo was there it was easy to look into his eyes and tell him I was scared, he tried to calm me down and for a minute it worked. They started cutting and I felt pressure on my waist, abdomen and legs, basically everywhere. I smelled something but I don’t know what, flesh? Blood? Who knows it was faint.
The tugging continued on and in my belly, at one point I visualized spaghetti and meatballs living inside my belly instead of baby Zuzu. I kept telling myself to not die on that table that this was a procedure 1 in 3 women have nowadays and some women preferred it. I kept thinking too that this is how I die, and in that split second, the pressure changed. Thank god I would have my baby girl at the end of this ordeal because otherwise I would be traumatized forever and the memory would never fade.
Adolfo describes the moment Zuzu exited my womb as the ending scene in Braveheart where Mel Gibson is being dissected while he is still alive in the town square; pretty sick and vivid I know, but remember we are visual designers. He says I looked up at him and arched my back and said “there she is” not even a second and we heard crying. Dr. Williamson raised Zoey above the curtain and made her say “hi Mom,” in response I said, “oh my gosh that is so creepy!” I was pretty medicated. A few seconds later They brought her around to us, Adolfo and I kissed and burst into tears. It was scariest, happiest moment of my life. Emotionally pushing me from 0-60 in about one and a half minutes.
The team pronounced her birth at 10:48am and weighed her in at 6lbs. 15 oz. My little Zuzu indeed. Proud daddy went with her to recovery and I would join them as soon as I was put back together again.
Being sewn back together after your uterus has been removed, blood has been suctioned out and the baby is gone seemed easier said then done. Once the baby team left and Adolfo was taken away with her they starting putting my parts back in. I felt heaviness in my chest, the shaking was less but had not subsided, I knew I would feel more tugging as they pushed everything back into place, and I did for sure. I thought to myself this is all for her and she is here, I reflected on what I remembered about her face, but my chest grew tighter. I heard suction and smelled something else in the room, and then nothing. I mean I was in recovery, he last thing I remember is saying something out loud about the heaviness in my chest and Richard said he would give me something for that. Which is where the void starts…
The next thing I knew I was back with Adolfo and Zoey and this was only the beginning of our new life… The very best of me and Adolfo was in Zuzu, as I looked at her for the first time on my chest, skin to skin, she looked as exhausted as I felt and I knew she felt the same. Our bonding began.
More about the “real” hospital stay and what really to expect if you are expecting – over the next few entries.