February 18, 2013 by malaikakerr
I wanted to be sure and write down Micah’s birth story before I had another to confuse it with. Like Abel’s, this really is for my own reference, but you’re welcome to read along!
My due date with Micah was February 23, so the c/s was scheduled for a week prior on February 16. I took off from babysitting a day early to treat Abel to a Mama-date day before his brother was born. I am so thankful I did! That day is such a sweet memory with my first born. That evening, my mom arrived. She cared for Abel while I was in the hospital, and stayed for a few days after I came home.
Waking up the morning of Micah’s birth was surreal. When Abel was born, I had an unplanned, emergency Cesarean section a month before his due date. This was so different! Our bags were packed, our house was clean, I wasn’t sick like I had been with Abel. It almost felt like I just had another appointment to go to that morning.
After my mom snapped a few pictures and I said an extended goodbye to Abel, Reed and I were off to the hospital. Parking the car and walking in, my stomach was a bundle of nerves. For Abel’s birth, I had to be placed under general anesthesia. So this time I was pretty concerned about the new territory of spinal blocks.
After registering, we were admitted into the labor and delivery unit. I was brought to a pre-op room where I had to clean myself head to toe with antiseptic wipes and put on a hospital gown. We chatted with a nurse, filled out paperwork to avoid the unnecessary “eye goop” being used on Micah, and texted updates to friends and family. We made it abundantly clear to the nurses that as soon as I was in recovery, the baby was to be brought to me (rather than the routine: baby waiting in the mother baby unit until my spinal block had worn off, which can take hours). I had an IV placed and they hooked me up to a non stress test for quite a while to make sure Micah looked okay.
The time slot for my surgery came and went, and nurses changed shifts. We found out later that the labor floor was completely filled, and they were actually sending home women who had medically unnecessary inductions and c/s scheduled. Thankfully (I guess?) mine was medically necessary, so we were allowed to stay. The hours passed, and right about when I was scheduled for surgery, the woman in line before me was just beginning hers. The nurse told me that after the surgery before me, the doctor had four women waiting for him to deliver their babies the old fashioned way. (Never having been in labor, I am a little curious how these women were able to hold off until the doctor was ready for them? I didn’t really think that was something you could hit the pause button on?)
While we were waiting, the anesthesiologist came to introduce himself, and to explain that some labs I’d had drawn at my pre-op appointment the day before caused him some concern. He apologized for pushing back the c/s even further, but said that he didn’t feel comfortable giving me a spinal block unless I had new labs drawn. The medication I take to protect both the baby and myself from my body during pregnancy was showing up in my blood in levels a little higher than he liked. The results of the new labs would determine if I had to have general anesthesia, because a spinal block could cause paralysis if I had too much medication in my system. He came back later saying that I was out of the immediate danger zone, but that if he couldn’t place the spinal block on his first try, he would have to knock me out rather than try again.
It was time for me to head into surgery. They wheeled me away to the OR after I said goodbye to Reed. At this point, we didn’t know if the doctor could place my spinal on the first try, so Reed wasn’t sure if I’d be awake when he saw me again. One of my greatest fears throughout Micah’s pregnancy was having to go under general anesthesia again, so it was difficult for me to leave him, not knowing. I know it was just as hard for him, waiting in that room as the minutes slowly ticked by, wondering what he’d see when he walked into the OR.
The OR was extremely freezing, and I was thankful to have on cozy, fuzzy socks. My whole body was shaking, I’m sure due to a combination of the cold and my nerves. The anesthesiologist put something in my IV which relaxed me immediately. I sat on the edge of the operating table, and leaned over as the nurse held my shoulders and the doctor gave me my spinal block. The drug in my IV must have had a powerful effect on me, because I was completely calm and still. Praise God, it went in smoothly on the first try. I knew I wouldn’t remember the sensation itself but I wanted to reassure myself that it wasn’t painful. I repeated, “Remember for next time: it didn’t hurt! Remember!” and as I face my 3rd c/s, I am thankful I have that memory.
The spinal took effect nearly right away, I could feel my legs becoming heavier even as the anesthesiologist had me lay down. He sat near my head, and narrated the surgery as it took place, making sure I was comfortable. They put up a curtain so I couldn’t see the surgery, and Reed was brought in. I felt like we’d been apart for ages! Reed was also seated at my head, but he actually stood and watched the entire surgery. They let me keep my glasses on, which I realize may not sound like a big deal, but I was extremely thankful. I feel very panicky without my glasses!
I didn’t even realize I had been cut open yet, and someone said the baby was nearly out. The doctor held him up for me to see, and I remember feeling like I knew him already. I’d had many ultrasounds due to my pregnancy being high risk, and had even seen Micah via 3-d ultrasound a few times. He looked just like himself! 🙂 I cried when they showed him to me, I was so thankful that I was able to be present for his birth (unlike Abel’s, when I was asleep). Though I still grieve over not being able to actively participate in the birth of my children, it is beautiful to at least witness it.
After checking his weight and getting him stable, Micah was moved to the nursery until I was sewn back up. Reed had to leave, too. It takes them much longer to sew you back together than it does to get the baby out, so I just chatted with the anesthesiologist. I was wheeled back to the recovery room, and Reed met me there. Micah was brought to me almost immediately, and I had the pleasure of nursing him just minutes after my surgery was over. For some reason, you’re required to stay in the recovery room much longer post c/s if you have your baby with you, but I didn’t care.
Looking back, I think that I really had the perfect c/s delivery experience with Micah. I am praying that Titus’ delivery will go just as smoothly!