I was using Guppy for this little guy, but it really doesn't fit him, and I decided I didn't like it much, so I changed it to Nemo, which does fit him. It really is a bit of a boring birth story, but here are the sordid details.
On Tuesday afternoon I went in to the doctor for my regularly scheduled old-fart's test, or biophysical profile. Since I've been doing these things for weeks now, the tech has gotten to know me a bit, and she asked how I was doing as we walked down the hall for the required bathroom visit before she started pushing on my belly with the ultrasound probe. I told her I was “done.” Ready. That I had been hoping for some sort of sign from God, like my water breaking in dramatic fashion or an excruciating contraction; something to indicate that It. Was. Time. I was tired of all the contractions that weren't doing a damn thing, and just wanted it to be over with. I had planned to talk to Dr. G about delivering on Saturday, the 11th, since I knew his hospital schedule and very much wanted him to deliver this baby – he had delivered Trout and Little Man, but not Sunny, and some annoying mistakes were made when Sunny was delivered, and I knew he would fix them for me – like put my right ovary back where it belonged. They usually don't do schedules on the weekend, but given the history with Little Man, I didn't want to deliver too soon this time, and Dr. G is the kind of doctor who bends over backwards for his patients; I was pretty sure he would say yes. Otherwise, we would have to wait until the 17th, a full 5 days after my due date, and I really felt like that would be too long (Sunny was that late, too, but her placenta had started to break down by that point, and I worried about the risk of that, too, because I'm like that and just don't have enough to worry about).
So, anyway, we go into the ultrasound room, and suddenly the tech says “Fishy! Your fluid's low!” Since we had just had the conversation about the sign from God, I thought at first that she was kidding me. “No, really?” I said. Yup. It was low, but the baby looked just fine, big and moving and “breathing” and everything he was supposed to do. So then I went in to see Dr. G.
We talked about delivery times and how I was feeling. Dr. G is probably the best doctor I've ever encountered – the perfect blend of technical precision and know how and bedside manner all in one. He always makes you feel like you are his only patient; you never feel rushed or moved along, despite the fact that he talks a mile a minute the whole time he is with you. He noted the fluid, too, and said I had two choices – he could deliver on Saturday, but I would have to come back every day to have the fluid checked and if it got critical I had to be prepared to deliver right away, OR he could just move his schedule around for Wednesday and go ahead and do it then. I knew his schedule was booked, but he said “Let's see.” He had me sit in his office while he made a bunch of phone calls; he moved his own schedule around to fit me in for my c-section the following morning.
I skedaddled over to the hospital to do my pre-op blood work to help move things along in the morning, and called BigDaddyFish with the news. We were both basket cases. This would put our delivery at 39 weeks 3 days, and Little Man was delivered at 39 weeks 2 days. We were really terrified of having another NICU baby, but we trust Dr. G, so we knew he wouldn't do it now if it wasn't necessary. We attempted to distract ourselves by watching the amusing treatment of the Maryland election returns, with various networks calling the elections both ways with only 19% of precincts reporting and watching them say “Martin O'Malley has won the election!” with their own numbers showing Bob Erlich ahead at that time. This got old pretty quickly, and we went to bed, only to be up at 4 because we couldn't sleep.
We got to the hospital at about 7:30 am, right on time. We tend to be late to everything, so I had told BDF we had to be there at 7 am; it is a good thing, too, because it was raining, and even at 6 am, when we left, there was a bunch of traffic, and BDF was under hospital orders to eat first, so we had to get him some breakfast. Of course, I hadn't eaten since midnight, nor could I have anything to eat or drink until well after the surgery. Oh, well, wasn't the first time. They whisked us right back to prep for the surgery – we found out Dr. G wanted to try and go a bit early, so they were in a big rush to try and get my fluid into me so we could go. I need to have at least 2 bags of fluid prior to my anesthesia because my BP crashed after the first c-section with Trout. We got those in, got my antibiotics in (I have a slightly leaky heart valve) and were taken right in.
I have a terrible fear about anesthesiologists. I tend to, well, hate them. I am convinced they are going to kill me. I am only 4'10” tall, and I tend to be more sensitive to medications than I should be, given what my weight is, and if I get an anesthesiologist who believes me when I tell them that, I am fine, but most doctors I've encountered have a bit of a God complex and they never believe me. This time, the anesthesiologist came in and told me that he wasn't the anesthesiologist who would be doing the surgery, but he was running late, so this Anes. #1 was doing the consult and would get us started and the Anes. #2 would catch up to us. Anes. #1 mentioned my height and mentioned that I am difficult to dose, and they would do their best not to overdose me, but I “needed to know” it was a possibility. Believe it or not, this actually made me a little more comfortable, in part because he brought it up and I didn't have to, and also because it showed he was aware of the problem and would do his best to mitigate it. I was really nervous at this point, because the hospital had changed policies since Sunny's birth and wouldn't let BDF into the room while I was getting my spinal, and I am terrified of “dying alone” (yes, I know I wouldn't be alone, but I would be without MY people). It actually worked out okay. The PA came by to talk to me, too, and I recognized him from one of my previous births; it turns out he is one of the hospital's oldest employees, so it was nice to see another familiar face. It helped me relax a bit.
We went into the OR, and as usual it was freezing. They got me up on the table, and Anes. #1 started to get everything set up for the surgery. Dr. G came in and scrubbed up, the nurses set everything up, and they made the call to “PEDS” to come attend the birth. Just then Anes. #2 came in. I was a little disappointed, because Anes. #1 was very, very nice and I liked him, and had hoped the other doctor wouldn't make it, but Anes. #2 turned out to be very nice, too. Anes. #1 stayed behind, though. He held my hand and talked me through the spinal going in, which is a really good thing because they had to (don't read anymore if you get queasy easily or are a first time mom) STICK. ME. THREE. TIMES. To get the spinal in. The first time, I said “Ouch!” and they asked where it hurt – it went straight through my right hip and down my right leg. Then they moved a bit but I guess they didn't like where it was, so it took a third time to get it in. This was the worst part.
They laid me down, got me all prepped up, and put the drape up so I couldn't see, and then had BDF come in. Now, with the other 3 births he watched the surgeries, but since the hospital changed policies, he wasn't allowed to stand up anymore and look over the drape. However, Dr. G knows BDF is fine and isn't going to pass out from watching, so my drape was kinda off to the side, so BDF was able to watch everything around the side, anyway. It was really weird – I could feel the first cuts and clamping, but nothing hurt – it was more like when you get novacaine at the dentist, just a tingly pushing sort of feeling. A couple of minutes later, Nemo was out, and screaming his head off, sounding super healthy in the lung department. I cried and cried and cried. He was checked out and brought over to BDF to hold where I could see him and touch him, so I had something to distract me while they finished up the surgery, which took a long time comparatively speaking. Dr. G made some comment about my uterus looking really good and me being able to do this “ten more times, if you want” and I said that's okay, shut it down. He did a bunch of stuff; it was taking a long time, and he made another comment about “giving you a six-pack down here now, and cleaning up the old scar tissue.” I wasn't sure exactly what that was about at the time, but it sounded good to me. It was the best of my surgeries. Dr. G is the best.
He told me later that my abdominal muscles were completely split off to the sides – I had no muscle in the front at all, so he put them back, and basically “tidied up the place.” He also did the tubal, and put my right ovary back where it belonged. If my current soreness is any indication, it was an extensive amount of work. He also removed all of the old scar tissue and cleaned up the scar for me, so it actually doesn't look too bad. This time they used sutures instead of staples, and they tilted the table so I was kind of sitting up, so obviously I didn't have any issues with my blood pressure this time. They put Nemo between my legs, and we went to recovery.
I had wanted to nurse Nemo right away, but for some reason they didn't want to let me – I think it was all the shaking I was doing, so they took him off to the nursery pretty quickly, and BDF went with him while the nurses took care of me in recovery. I went through 8 of those wonderful warmed blankets before I finally warmed up. The anesthesia wore off pretty quickly, and within 2 hours I was taken to my room.
BDF brought Nemo to me shortly thereafter, and he immediately nursed like a champ. It only took 2 days for my milk to come in. We were in the hospital for 3 days, coming home on Saturday. He tends to nurse all night long, so we aren't getting much sleep, which is a huge contributing factor in me dropping him. He still doesn't seem to be suffering any ill effects from it, though. The other kids just love him – we have to watch Sunny carefully so that she doesn't love him to death. So now we adjust – I am still pretty sore, so it will be a while before I am back to “normal” but we are figuring this out. He is adorable, with a squishy little face, and he is so tiny, and I am absolutely smitten. It took me a while to fall in love with my other kids, but not this time - I am head over heels for this little guy. Of course, check with me in a few weeks when I still haven't slept and postpartum depression is setting in, and maybe I'll feel differently, or maybe not. But for now, we are in love, and I am happy.
And BDF is doing a lot of laundry.