Saturday, May 3, 2008

The adventure begins.

N. is napping, just a little angel face in his crib, and rather than sleeping myself I thought I should start getting everything down before it evaporates into thin air.

I think a good place to pick up the story is at our 40 week appointment, which we had on Monday (the day before my due date). We ended up seeing another different OB in the practice, and I fell in love with her immediately. Which is strange, considering the conversation we ended up having. She wasn't the one that ordered the sizing ultrasound, but she'd conferenced with the OB that had, and we had to have a serious talk about what should be done.

N. was measuring +/-10lb, and there were no signs of labour as of 40 weeks. The OB wanted to make sure we understood the risks of labouring with a big baby, and what might happen. Beyond a long labour, there's also the chance of shoulder dystocia, which then often leaves only one option - breaking baby's collarbone to get him out. I can't remember the medical terms for the potential conditions resulting from the clavicle fracture, but we were weighing probabilities pretty carefully. Because it looked like his estimated weight could be over 5000g by the time I went into labour (the cutoff for non-gestational diabetics), I was offered the choice of a C-section, rather than starting labour and seeing what happened.

Hubby and I talked and talked about it, and in the end, we decided to schedule the section. The risks from a section were smaller than those from the possible dystocia and fracture, and tend to affect future pregnancies, whereas the risks of a normal delivery affected *this* baby. We felt that it was our responsibility as parents to ensure the safety of this baby, rather than put him at risk for the sake of future babies (which I hope there are many!). So, I told them to go ahead and schedule the section, which ended up being Friday morning.

Then, of course, the false labour contractions kept on coming. And coming. And I started to worry that I would go into labour *before* Friday. I kept off my feet, and obsessively tracked contractions, but fortunately by the time I woke up on Friday morning, I was still pregnant, so we hopped a cab and headed into the hospital.

I'd spent the majority of the week trying not to think too much about the surgery, because up until that point I'd never spent a night in the hospital in my entire life. I'd never put on a hospital gown and tried to maintain my dignity, never ridden on a gurney, never been hooked up to monitors, nothing. Then, all of a sudden, they're handing me a lovely hospital ensemble in light blue with back ties and telling me to climb up so they can start my IV. I was hooked up to monitors for both Baby N.'s heartrate, and my contractions, and they blew two bags of lactated ringers into me before I could even notice. I wanted to sleep, but I couldn't, so Mom and Hubby kept me distracted.

At 8:45, they walked me into the OR to start the spinal block, and all of a sudden I was nervous. But, I had a terrific nurse, Nurse L., who was funny and kind and talked to me and looked me straight in the eye all the time, so I felt calmer. She held my shoulders and breathed with me while the anesthesiologist put the catheter in, and it was much better than I'd expected. I was still scared of the actual procedure, though; I've had serious dental work before where I was supposed to be both sedated AND frozen, but neither was true and the surgeon didn't bother to check. The anesthesiologist was thorough, and kind, and I guess pretty darn good at her job because all of a sudden I couldn't move my legs. I got oxygen, and they brought Hubby in, and we were ready to go.

I didn't feel much of anything until the demerol took effect, and then I was pretty sick for about 20 minutes. Hubby and the anesthesiologist were right there with cold cloths and basins and everything else a girl needs when she can't do anything but turn her head to the side. Fortunately that passed, and all I felt was pushing and tugging. I kept breathing, and trying not to think about what was happening to my innards on the other side of the drape. Then, they warned me that a lot of pressure and tugging was coming, and I swear it felt like I was in a plane going through the worst turbulence I've ever experienced; even so, I wasn't scared. Then, I heard some suction, a lusty cry, and they told me I had a son, a big healthy boy.

And I cried.

I looked at Hubby, he looked at me, and we were both just so happy that we didn't have to say anything.

They cleaned him up, brought him over, and we spent a few minutes with him while they started to put me back together. He had to spend about a half hour in the NICU because they were afraid of meconium aspiration, and he still had a bit of fluid in his lungs, but he met us back in recovery quick-smart. I couldn't believe I had this big, almost 10 lb bundle in my arms, when just a few hours earlier, he was in my belly kicking and squirming.

I have a son.

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