When I was 37 weeks, Maddox was still transverse in my belly until that Thursday when I had an ultrasound and it showed that he had turned head down. I had been scheduled to go in the following Monday for a c-section but since he turned, they changed it to an induction. So I went in Monday evening to get started with the induction process. Which by the way, NO one told me what that process even involved. You’d think they could at least walk you through what they are going to do. My sister in law emailed me the process she went through but that’s all I knew of it. Anyway…. the maternity ward was SUPER busy so we spent the night in the observation room. Several times we heard someone screaming…. so that was fun. Nothing like hearing someone scream in pain to make you look forward to what is to come. Tuesday morning, we were moved into a labor and delivery room and I got started on Pitocin. They cranked it up through the day to the highest dose and that evening, they went ahead and broke my water. I was only 2.5ish cm at that time and they thought it was worth trying to get things going. Contractions got quite uncomfortable but when they told me I was only 3cm, I opted for just some "regular" pain meds rather than an epidural. The pain meds (as do most) knocked me out. They also caused Maddox’s heartrate to drop. They came in the room and stopped the Pitocin and had me move to my side which hurt extremely bad. Then moved me to my other side which hurt just as bad. I had still made no further progress. So they stopped everything for the night. The next morning, they gave me the choice to either start the Pitocin back or to go ahead and schedule a c-section for that morning. I kind of already knew that I’d probably end up with a c-section regardless so I opted to go ahead and schedule it rather than to put myself in an emergency situation. Also since they had already broken my water, I only had until 6pm that evening to have him before they would take him anyway because of the risk of infection. I really wished I had just stuck with the original plan of having the c-section on Monday.
So I walked back to the OR. I think the thing I feared the most was the spinal block. It was difficult getting that because they want you to tell them if what you are feeling is more to the left or the right or the middle while you’re sitting there freezing and scared out of your mind. He had to do mine twice. Then they laid me down and did some testing to make sure I was really numb like I was supposed to be. They started it by using this cold cloth and saying “is it colder here or here?” kind of like at the eye doctor when they say “is this more clear or is this one?” when really they look the same. But considering what they were about to do to me, I didn't feel bad telling him I couldn't tell. Then the doctor pinched me a few times and I told them that it felt like I was being pinched. The anesthesiologist was like “the doctor is squeezing your skin with metal tweezers, if you felt what she was really doing, you’d be coming out of your skin…I think you’re good” hah. How was I supposed to know? The nurse anesthetist was really nice and I told her I just needed her to keep having a conversation with me so I wouldn’t think about everything they were doing and I could get through the intense pressure and pulling they were doing. No one can really describe to you how it feels to have a c-section. Once they made sure I was nice and numb, they brought Darren in the room. I know he was a nervous wreck but he hid it well as he always does.
They pushed and pulled and felt like they were rearranging my insides and then I heard Maddox cry and they said "here’s your baby" and held him over the curtain. It was pretty intense. The emotions are kinda crazy. Then they gave me morphine as they were putting me back together. By that time, I could focus on what they were doing with Maddox and they bundled him up and handed him to Darren so he could bring him over to me. He was so tiny. 5lb 15oz and 19.25in long. It seemed like it took forever but it really was all super fast. It was all still so surreal that we now had a baby and he was all ours.
I was wheeled into recovery where I should have only stayed for an hour or so before I was taken to my room but my blood pressure was crazy high so I ended up staying there for a good 4 or 5 hours to get it under control. They said they could give me stronger meds faster if I stayed there. I didn’t argue obviously. I was basically at stroke level (up to 220/120). Stroke level high blood pressure and then they hand you your itty bitty baby. Not sure if that’s the best solution when you don’t know what you’re doing. Plus they were giving me pain meds too and I’m super sensitive to pain meds. They put me in a different world. Darren was there with me but left a couple of times, one to go talk to everyone in the waiting room and then to go with Maddox to the nursery where they gave him a shot and warmed him up a little to bring his temp up.
Also, starting in the OR and continuing for hours afterward, they have to “rub your belly” which really means they are going to dig into your stomach to get your uterus to shrink down to avoid hemorrhaging. That was the most horrible feeling. It hurt worse than any contractions or the whole c-section itself. They continue to do it in recovery every 15 minutes or so and then every hour and then every couple of hours. It’s basically a form of torture in my book. I mean… I understand it’s necessary but wow.
Due to my blood pressure, I had to do my recovery in the high risk area (hello medical bills!). There, we had my nurse, a tech, Maddox’s nurse, and visits from my doctors and his. So we got lots of rest… yeh right! They had me on percocet for most of the time I was there until I realized that it would cause me to involuntarily shake at random times. It was kind of weird. So I asked to be put on something different. They then put me on hydrocodone. Hydrocodone puts me into a different world (hence the drugged look in the picture above loll). Definitely not something I should be on and be responsible for caring for a newborn. They sent me home with a prescription of it and after the first night, Darren kindly asked me if there was any way I could do without it. So I stopped taking that and just relied on Tylonel for pain.
A few days after we were home I started noticing that my incision was really uneven and more painful on my left side. Given that I’ve never had a c-section, I figured maybe I was just going through the healing process. I decided to go ahead and see the doctor anyway. The doctor thought maybe I had a hematoma but they did some stuff to it where they sprayed this really cold saline stuff into it. Nothing bad came out so they didn’t run a culture. I went home thinking that maybe it was just something that would take some time to go away and had an antibiotic to take “just in case”. I then started having really bad pains on my right side and went back that same week. It’s always encouraging when your doctor doesn’t know what is causing the pain and “maybe it’s connected to the infection on the left side”. The doctor went ahead and did the saline thing again and that time, it was infected so they ran a culture. They wanted to set me up to get a wound vac but they couldn’t find a company that was able to do it so they told me to go to the ER the next morning and get it packed. We went to the ER the next morning and thankfully we were there less than an hour. They showed Darren how to pack the wound which I’m really glad I didn’t have to see. Knowing what they were doing with the stringy stuff was enough to make me queasy if I thought about it. It’s not so much the packing part that gets to me...it’s the pulling the stuff out that grosses me out. Thankfully Darren is intrigued by medical stuff and he’s a really great nurse. So for over a week, he changed my gauze twice a day and my packing every couple of days. I told him he should have been a nurse. Oh...so I had been on the antibiotic for like 4 days or so (4x a day) and I got a call that my infection was actually resistant to the antibiotic i was taking so I had to start over with a new one. Fun times.
One big thing that I want to remember for the next baby (if there is one) is that I need to write down things that I want other people to remember to do for me because I will be too caught up (or drugged). For example, other than the pics that my mom took with her phone (the ones above and maybe a couple more) and just a couple in the OR, we have no pics from the hospital because I was completely out of it. So next time... we have to remember to do that! The only pics we have of Maddox in the hospital is the first one Darren took in the OR and then the one I took of him in his going home outfit. That's it :(. Can't go back now...
Oh yeh... one thing no one bothers telling a first time mom is that C-section babies tend to still have amniotic fluid in their lungs (I'm sure other babies probably to but more so C-section babies because they are squeezed when coming out) so it's possible that in the middle of the night (or whenever), in your drugged state, you could be awakened by strange noises and something hitting you (oh yes, it came out with a force evidently) and you realize that your baby in the box beside you has stuff coming out of his mouth and nose. WHAT IN THE WORLD IS HAPPENING?! lol Of course this happened to me and I sat straight up using my freshly cut ab muscles (ouch!) and yelled for Darren to call the nurse. I mean seriously...they could have warned me or something. That's one of the scariest things... The nurse (who obviously has to stay calm about stuff) came in and just acted like it was no big deal and suctioned his mouth and nose. Sheesh...
So in a nutshell, that's my story and I'm sticking to it. I'm probably leaving something out but I think I did pretty good to remember that considering they were giving me good drugs around the clock lol.