Monday, May 31, 2010

Itsy Bitsy

My husband Kent barely survived the birth of our first child. I give him huge credit for being present when he wanted to pass out. We all have our thresholds and I respect childbirth as a low one for him. As beautiful as it is to bring new life into the world, it's messy. The anesthesiologist made it every clear there was not enough space in the operating room for a mother who was having complications, a premature baby and a father who was going to pass out. Someone needed to be with me, in seconds it was my mother.

I knew life was not going to be the same after this moment. It was more than a second child. It was a strange combination of anxiety, peace, hopefulness and uncertainty. I had no concept of what it meant to have a premature baby. What would it mean for me emotionally, physically and spiritually? What would it mean for my family?

I remember parts of the conversation with my doctor before going into the operating room, other parts were a blur. The physician listed off a long laundry list of "What Ifs" including telling my mom if they needed to save my life due to complications, they would ask her to leave the room. The uncertainty of how much blood I lost when I hemorrhaged and if my uterus would clamp off were unknowns in this equation. I know, a tad more information than you wanted to know, but hang in there with me.

I never had surgery before my C-section. My greatest fear of surgery was feeling the blade cut through my skin. Whether or not our fears are based in reality, they are our fears. Mine ended up being real.
Quickly prepped for surgery, my mom gowned up, I kissed my husband and headed into the OR all in a matter of minutes. I had never been in an OR before, the whiteness of it all and the coldness of the steel was shocking. It was chilly and people were busily moving about in controlled chaos. My fear and anxiety were increasing, my prayers getting stronger.

Out of nervousness my mom and I sang children's songs, "You Are My Sunshine", "Itsy Bitsy Spider" and flirted with the anesthesiologist. "I can do this, I can do this," I kept telling myself.

The notes from our songs flew around the room, connecting a group of people working and anxiously anticipating the arrival of a little girl.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

No Going Back

The neonatologist never made it down to see us. Instead we were surrounded by a multitude of nurses, my OB doctor and the anesthesiologist. I felt a gush and thought I was hemorrhaging again. It wasn't blood, but my water breaking.

Now there was no going back. There were no more wait and sees, no more guesses what the next few weeks of my pregnancy would hold for us. It was safer to have her out in the vulnerable world then it was to keep her in my womb. Time stopped. I wasn't ready but was forced to realize it wasn't about me.

A tornado of activity began prepping us for an emergency C-section. I have always heard if a physician needs to get a baby out quickly, they can do so. Thankfully her heart rate was still strong and she wasn't showing any signs of distress. Just her mother, father, grandma and uncle.