Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The birth

While it lacks the excitement of the middle-of-the-night "honey, it's time!", there are some definite advantages to having a scheduled C-section. My in-laws had arrived to stay at the house with the girls, my hospital bag had been packed and re-packed, and my clients had been notified. I'd even gotten to take care of some minor details like folding laundry and assembling casseroles. When we pulled out of the driveway at 5 AM, it felt great to know that everything was all squared away and ready for the baby.

When we got to the hospital, they started an IV, did my pre-op meds, and monitored the baby, and they wheeled me into the OR at 7:02. I had been concerned about the spinal, since I'd had some trouble with my first CS and had also had a failed spinal for one of my knee surgeries. However, the anesthesiologist (who, in an odd coincidence, is the wife of my former RE Dr. Boss), took her time placing it, and in short order I was lying down on the table. I thought I was doing well, but while Dr. Pro was beginning the incision, I did start to feel nauseated. Anti-nausea meds and ephedrine helped, but not before I threw up several times. Let me tell you, it's surreal to be throwing up while listening to the scissors going snip-snip through your uterus.

Dr. Pro announced that the baby's head was out, and that he had a full head of dark hair, and I started to cry. Some tugging and pushing, and there he was, squalling like a scalded cat. She brought him around for me to see, then off to the warmer for cleanup. With the girls, that took place in a separate room, but this hospital has the warmer right in the OR, so I could see and hear him the whole time (he was Not Happy about the proceedings). I didn't hemorrhage this time, and wasn't so messed up from the meds, so I was lucid enough to talk to him and ask about him while they were stitching me up. They told me he had "wet lungs", i.e. transient tachypnea of the newborn, and that he'd need observation for a while. However, it's not an urgent condition, and he wasn't in any real distress, so I got to hold him and kiss him before he went off to the nursery and I went to recovery.

The immediate recovery period is the only part of the experience that was not much fun. I started to hurt as the spinal wore off, and was given a shot of Demerol and Phenergan (in my thigh for some reason, rather than via IV). They brought Andrew back in for me to try to nurse, but he wasn't the slightest bit interested in latching, probably due to the TTN. I did enjoy holding him, though, and G and I tried to decide who he looked like and where he'd gotten his freaky monkey toes. Unfortunately, my pain medication was starting to wear back off about the time they took him away. They gave me some Percocet right before taking me to my room, but the Demerol wore off much faster. I try hard not to be a baby about pain, so when I'm hurting enough to feel like I need more drugs, I expect to get them. When it got bad enough that I was crying and unable to keep my legs from twitching, and the nurse told me I couldn't have anything else and that I just had to wait for the Percocet to kick in, I was very unhappy indeed. They relented after an hour and gave me a shot of Nubain, which got me back to feeling human, but it was a very, very unpleasant hour. After the Nubain shot, I did fine with just Percocet from then on, but I don't think they managed it very well in the immediate post-op period -- the hospital I used for my first delivery did a much better job.

Andrew spent most of the day in the nursery, with my husband popping in to visit him every half-hour or so. He was finally brought to me late in the afternoon, at which point we tried again to nurse, but he didn't actually latch on until later in the evening. I knew it was because of the TTN, so I wasn't too fussed about it, and they assured me that his blood sugar was fine and that he didn't need formula or sugar water. He stayed in the nursery that night for observation, but was brought to me for nursing and cuddling every time he woke up. Honestly, I didn't mind all that much, because I was able to get some rest in between visits. At mid-morning Friday, he was moved to our room for good, by which point I was feeling much better prepared to be his mother!

After the initial post-op misery, I actually recovered much quicker from the surgery this time around. I was able to get out of bed much more easily, and was starting to wean off the pain meds by Saturday. My milk began to come in on Saturday, whereas with my first birth, it didn't show up until the fifth day. Once Andrew got the initial idea of nursing, he proved to be a good eater, and of course it didn't hurt that I've done this before. His breathing began to slow down as the fluid cleared from his lungs, and he began to be very alert and interested in the world. In retrospect, we could have gone home on Saturday, rather than on Sunday morning -- it would have been one less night of the Grand-Central-Station experience.

I'm feeling very nearly back to myself, and better in some ways than I have in months. The asthma is just about licked, now that I'm back on my inhaled corticosteroids, and it's nice not to have any contractions or heartburn. I did not get nearly as engorged as I did with the girls, and aside from some minor soreness and chapping, I'm having no breastfeeding trouble at all. I'm moving almost normally, though I'm still a little sore if the girls start crawling over me. My lower back hurts a little bit, and for some reason I'm having some trouble with dizziness, but nothing too bothersome. Andrew is a very good baby indeed, so I'm getting a reasonable amount of sleep, especially in comparison to the nightmare that is newborn twins. Overall, I think I'm doing pretty darn good for six days postpartum.

So, that's the birth, and our current physical status quo. I've got much more to say about having a singleton this time, and about the girls meeting the baby, but that will have to wait until after a few more feedings and snugglings of Mr. Monkeytoes!


Jody said...

Thanks for sharing! (Pain mgmt needs to be a top priority -- I'm sorry they fell down a bit on that one.)

Eva said...

Great to read all the info. I'm glad you're doing well. Sounds like things are under control, and I definitely look forward to reading about having a singleton.

pinky said...

I am so happy for you. Congradulations on your son.

HEATHER said...

He is a doll!