K and I decided to bank our baby's cord blood stem cells this time around. Some people felt we were silly and that it is a waste of money. Well, that is okay. It isn't your baby and it isn't your decision and you are entitled to your opinion. K and I have decided that this is what is best for our family. We felt it was like life insurance. Hope you don't need it in your 30's, but glad you do if something happens so your family will not have to take on the burden of such a huge expense.
Wednesday morning, March 24th at 5:30am we arrived at the hospital. My husband was with me of course, as was Big C, my dad and my brother. My cousin Ashley arrived a bit later, while we were in the OR. After checking in and verifying all my pre-registration information, I was taken to a triage room and prepped for my c-section. IV was started, and my blood was drawn for the maternal draw for the cord blood collection. After a few minutes my doctor and the anesthesiologist came in to see me and we went over the details of what was going to happen.
After the usual chit chat, it was time to get the show on the road. I slid out of my bed and kissed my Dad & brother and took my darling boy into my arms and I hugged him and kissed him and told him that I loved him. It was different this time. I was excited to see this baby that I have been growing for 40 weeks. But I was scared. Scared that I would be leaving my son without his mother if something went wrong. Its funny how children change your outlook on things. I slowly began my trek down the hallway to the c-section OR. A nurse beside me pushing my IV pole, I waddled steadily, my husband walking beside me.
Thoughts began flooding my brain. Will the spinal go OK? Will the baby be OK? Is it a boy or a girl? Crap, we still haven't decided on a name yet! OMG...this is really happening now. Jesus, how did this day come so fast already? Wait...I don't think I can feel the baby moving anymore. Oh God, please let this go well and fast! I want to hold my baby and know it is OK. I hope Big C is behaving with Dad & J. OMG...will there be the burning at the incision like it was last time? Man, that sucked! Will the cord blood collection go right? I don't want it to be contaminated and useless. Did I bring everything? Please, please PLEASE God keep us safe and healthy.
Yeah....all those thoughts weren't helping keep me relaxed. In fact, it was giving me more anxiety than I think I had ever experienced. I felt my chest begin to tighten. When we arrived at the doors to the OR...I kissed my husband and walked inside as he sat down in the chair outside the door and waited for the spinal to be done. I sat on the table and the nurse smiled at me. I remembered her from my last c-section. She was the one who gave Big C his first bath.
The nurse told me to lean into her and to relax. I felt the anesthesiologist swab my back and begin poking at my spine. A few moments later he told me about the sting I would feel...and I did. No big deal. So he inserted the needle into my back, searching for the epidural space to inject the fluid that was going to numb my body from the waste down. My chest is continuing to tighten. The nurse squeezes my shoulders and tells me to relax again. I take a deep breath. I can hear the doctor behind me making sounds as he is trying to hit his mark. And they don't sound promising. Beads of sweat being form along my forehead and my legs and back are beginning to ache. I feel the pinch of a needle pushing into my skin and I wince, but don't dare move. The nurse again tells me to relax and that everything is going to be OK. Another pinch. I feel it 4 more times, but I don't say anything. I just want this over with. I see both my OBs standing there...waiting. The anesthesiologist asks one of the nurses is Dr. So-and-so is in the hospital and can he come down to the OR and give him a hand. My mind begins racing. My chest tightens even more now. OMG...if they can't get this spinal they are going to have to put me under. No...no, no, no. I want to hear my baby cry. I want to know everything is alright right away. This can't happen like this. I feel another pinch and then the exasperated breath of the anesthesiologist as he apparently misses his mark...again.
After a few minutes the other doctor walks thorough the double doors. After some discussion, he comes over and begins pressing on my back. I'm sweating pretty hard now and the nurse is rubbing my shoulders and telling me things are going to be fine. Yeah...sure...they haven't been so far. I feel another pinch, this time from the other doctor. I wince a little and a few seconds later I feel what resembles an electric shock shoot down my left leg. I stammer out, "I felt that" and they ask me in which leg and I tell them. Phew. Finally, its in. Egads where the hell was this doctor before? I didn't have this much trouble with my first child. This took 30 minutes. 30 freaking minutes!!! My heart is pounding, my chest is tight and I'm sweating bullets.
They help me to lay down and swing my legs up onto the table before I go completely numb. Suddenly, I can't breathe. Not that I can't feel it...but I start having an anxiety attack. My arms have been strapped down to the table and my neck is hurting. I can't move to rearrange myself. I need to move. OMG...I can't stay like this. So I tell them that I feel like I can't breathe, my neck hurts....I can't move...I need to move. I get a bit phobic when I feel trapped. I start shaking and crying, which only leads to the tightening in my chest and now I am hyperventilating. The anesthesiologist tries to calm me and tells me he is going to give me something. One of my OBs rubs my shoulder and tells me I'm feeling like I can't breathe because the baby is squishing my diaphram because I'm now laying flat and that I'll be fine as soon as the baby is out.
I am still crying and all I can say over and over is I'm sorry, I'm so sorry but I can't help it. Please, I'm so so sorry. They assure me that it is normal and that before I know it the baby will be out and everything will be fine. Soon I begin to feel my chest relax, my neck stops hurting and although I still feel like I can't breathe well, I am calming down. I close my eyes and just keep telling myself that soon I'm going to see my sweet, darling baby. Just a few more minutes and then I'll be so excited about the baby I'll forget about everything else. The sedative the doc had given me was kicking in. They finally brought K into the room while they finished prepping me for surgery. He held my hand, and kissed my forehead. I told him how I freaked out. He told me he knew...he could hear it from outside. Damn. Now I felt really stupid too. Stupid for freaking out like I did. I looked at him and I asked him to just keep talking to me so I didn't start thinking about a million things.
So what is the first thing he says? "Have you decided on a name yet?" I laughed a little. That is what happens when you wait until 2 weeks before your due date to decide on names for your baby. You are laying on the table and waiting for your baby to be yanked out, or you are bent over pushing your little bowling ball out while trying to decide on what to call him or her. Everything went pretty quickly from there. Before I knew it, I felt some tugging and I was being rocked back and forth a bit. I heard the sound of the big suction, some soft murmurings of the doctors and the sound of a bulb syringe. And then it happened. The most beautiful sound a mother can hear. The sound of her baby taking that first breath of life outside her womb and then crying. I was so overcome that I began sobbing like a crazy woman and asking if the baby was OK. The doctor poked the baby's head over the big blue drape and I laughed and cried at the same time. Various voices were speaking all at the same time saying the baby was fine and how cute and what a beautiful baby and of course, Happy Birthday!
If you've followed my blog during my pregnancy, you will know that we did not find out the sex of our baby this time around. We tried in the beginning, but it was hard with a fetus who was camera shy. K and I were so excited and happy at hearing the baby cry and seeing 10 little fingers and toes that neither of us even bothered to ask the sex. The doctors were murmuring once again about blood bags and the cord blood collection kit. They were in the midst of collecting the blood when a nurse came over and asked, "Did anyone tell you what the sex is yet?" I looked at her and shook my head no. They carried the baby over to be examined. The nurse leaned down and she said to me, "It's a beautiful little girl." At that I fell apart again and cried. I really didn't care what sex the baby was, I just wanted a healthy baby. But a girl. A girl! I had a boy and now...I had a girl!
I'd like to tell you that instantly I knew what I was going to name her. But, I didn't. I had names narrowed down to 2 for a girl and 2 for a boy. I knew I was going to name her after my mother. We had it narrowed down to 2 choices. Later that day it was pretty clear that she was going to be Little C. My beautiful Little C. Once we rolled into recovery the first person I wanted to see was Big C, but they wouldn't let him come back. But my brother and father did come back and each assured me he was doing fine, although tired and starting to get cranky. That's my boy!
I looked at my husband and I said to him, "We have a daughter." A daughter. I now have a son and a daughter. I thanked God for the beautiful, healthy and amazing children he has blessed me with. I try to thank him everyday. I pray that he reminds me just how special I am to have them, how precious they are and to never once take them for granted.
On a side note, the incision did not burn like it did the first time. In fact, the second c-section was considerably easier than the first. I wasn't ready to go out and boogie across town or anything, but I had Little C on Wednesday and they told me the earliest I could go home was Friday. So I did. I even drove home. Unfortunately, my first outing, other than taking Little C to the pediatrician was when she was 7 days old to my Uncle's viewing and funeral. It was pretty much life as usual, except I couldn't pick Big C up...because he weighed like 30 pounds!
So that is it really, in a nutshell. Little C was born healthy and is amazingly beautiful. There were a few snags this time, which I really could have done without. But the ends have justified the means. I have a beautiful healthy daughter. She was worth every second of it all.