November 18, 2013 was the day that life changed. Or maybe the day that changed me. But first, let me back up a bit.
Chris and I got engaged on Christmas Eve 2012. A month prior, he had surgery on a benign cyst on his spine. So we were in "live life to the fullest" mode. We knew we wanted children ASAP, so we decided to see what happened. On March 30, 2013, just about 3 months from our wedding date of July 6, I found out I was pregnant.
I had a very easy pregnancy, aside from utter physical exhaustion.
I was on a mission to get all of our decorations up and have the house ready for Christmas prior to my due date, December 8. So I spent all day November 17 decking the halls inside our house. Chris came to bed at about 1 am on November 18, so I got up and made one of my many trips to the bathroom. To my utter horror and disbelief, I found blood. Lots of it. So we grabbed my hospital bags (which had been packed for months) and off to the hospital we went. I was admitted and put in a birthing room around 6 am, after about 5 hours in triage. I was progressing slowly so they put me on pitocin, which scared the bajeesus out of me, but they increased my dosage slowly so it wasn't too terrible. I knew long before I was actually pregnant that I had NO desire for natural childbirth, so I received my epidural in the early afternoon hours. I was scared for it but it was great- I had no headache from it, no pain with it... until it fell out. Yep. Around 3:30 or 4:00 my parents arrived from Pittsburgh, and I was hurting. They called the anesthesiologist back up to give me more medicine in my epidural... to no avail. I had pushed for an hour with my nurse, and made zero progress. Now with my pain level skyrocketing, I couldn't even put my legs in the stirrups. My doctor came in and I pleaded for a c section. Enough was enough. He argued a bit at first, but then gave in after he realized I'd already pushed for awhile with no progress made. So about 4:45, they put me on a gurney to wheel me to the OR. It was only then that we realized that my epidural had completely fallen out. Both our families were standing in the hallway as I was wheeled by... I was in a daze from the stupid Fentanyl that they gave me (don't do it ladies, don't do it!).
Now I was in a cold, bright OR, laying on my side as they shot me up with lidocaine before my spinal. They put the sheet up, asked me if I could feel anything, and then a few short minutes later I heard my doctor say "Well no wonder, this one is sunny side up!" (Meaning Sabrina was facing up, not down as babies normally are) and a second later, I heard my baby cry for the first time. Sabrina Elizabeth was born at 5:02 pm on November 18, 2013. She weighed in at 6 lbs 15 oz and 20 inches long, born at 37 weeks, 1 day. It was surreal. I cried tears of happiness and struggled to see her. They showed her to me quickly and then took her to the nursery to clean her up. By this time, I was shaking uncontrollably, therefore not able to hold my precious new baby right away. They took out the rest of my "guts" (eww) and then started to sew me up. They transferred me back to the gurney for me to go to recovery, and as they moved me, I threw up all over myself. Lovely. Apparently they usually give anti-nausea meds but had neglected to give me any. Bummer.
They wheeled me one room down to recovery, where my nurse and 2 nursing students massaged my uterus, moved my legs, and all kinds of other things that I could not feel in the slightest. Those spinals aren't kidding- I felt like I didn't even have legs, let alone feeling them move. They put this heavenly warm blankie on top of me while I still shook uncontrollably. It was dark and cold and scary. Chris had gone to stand outside the nursery as they cleaned our little girl up.. and couldn't find where they had taken me. I was probably alone for close to an hour before he found me. While in recovery, my parents went to our house to check on our dog Baby. They sent me a picture of her and it brought me to tears. I had major guilty feelings that I was ruining the dog's life by having a baby.
They wheeled me out of recovery after about an hour, and I got put in my real room. My husband and I are both employees at the hospital where I delivered, so we were assured our own room. The nurse asked me if I wanted a popsicle, and I said yes. I was parched. So after sucking down a blue jolly rancher popsicle, they brought my baby girl to me. I held her for the first time, my tiny little one who wasn't supposed to be here for another 3 weeks. She had her own agenda, and here she was. My little love. I was tired, scared to death of the catheter inside me (of all things!), but here she was. The nurse came in and helped me breastfeed her for the first time. Which really meant getting her mouth to open as wide as possible and shoving my nipple as far down her throat as it would go. She sucked for a bit and hopefully got some colostrum, and then fell asleep. Once everyone left for the night, I had the nurses take her to the nursery for a bit so I could sleep. I couldn't obviously get out of bed to pick her up if she needed something anyway, and I told them to make sure they brought her to me if she needed anything.
I don't think I slept much though. Between the noise, the strange bed, and the stress of the day, I was wired. So I watched Sister Act. I'll never forget it as long as I live.. that I laid in the hospital the night my baby was born and watched Sister Act, a movie I loved growing up as a good Catholic School girl.
So that's the story of the arrival of my Sabrina. This was just the start of my new life, and I have so much more to tell. I have to say, my c-section wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it would be. Others told horror stories, but mine was only moderately uncomfortable. But more to come on that fun! For those of you reading this blog, I would love to hear your own birth stories, or your thoughts on mine. Thanks for reading. Tired mamas unite! :)