Thursday, July 22, 2010

Emma's Birth Story

When I think of Emma's birth and our hospital stay, it is already growing fuzzy, at only 5 days post partum! I want to get the details down because I know that by two years out, those fuzzy details are but mere whispers in my mind. I will do it in three sections so it doesn't get too long for any one read. That being said, I am sure most of the mundane details will be pretty boring and you are under no obligation to read it all (well, obviously!). I just want to get it all down for posterity and also because I always have a few "pearls of wisdom" to pass along for those of you with planned c-sections in your future.

The Day Before

Friday was our final day to get things done. I had a pretty jammed packed morning planned and a call from the doctor's office needing an "urgent" call back was not on my list. I called them back right away and they told me that some issues had been uncovered with my presurgical bloodwork and that I would need to come in immediately for a follow up blood draw. The results from that bloodwork would determine whether or not we could go through with the c-section as planned.
Basically, my blood platelet count was low. Not horribly low, but far below the lowest "normal" value. With low platelets, your blood will not clot normally. Now, this is always a problem, but when you are about to undergo surgery it becomes even more so. Vaginal births can also be dangerous for the same reasons, so the baby would still likely be taken by c-section, but a general would be used and it would be delayed so coagulating agents could be used first. So, this was potentiall a pretty serious issue.

I threw Will in the car and most of my To Do List went right out the window. Of course, the lab was backed up, so it took awhile to get it done. My OB's nurse also had a few questions for me. It turns out that thrombocytopenia can be a symptom of pre-eclampsia, so they had to get some other vitals for me as well. I asked the nurse what our chances of having the surgery delayed would be and she was unable to say, only that she would proceed as planned unless I heard otherwise. We never heard from the doctor for the rest of the day, so we assumed all was fine.

Meanwhile, I finished packing Will (he had been packed for three weeks, but I had to pack and repack him - nesting is a nasty business sometimes) and get things in the car. M got home from work, we had another flurry of things to do, and then we took our dogs to the kennel and headed up to my MIL's.
I was having more of those irritating contractions all day. They were pretty uncomfortable by the time we were at my inlaws'. We got Will settled and then just hung out in the sunny backyard for awhile. My SIL was there and was amazing with Will, especially since he got a little sad when we talked about leaving, and she kept distracting him. We finally left and he was okay, but I was a mess. I sobbed for about ten minutes after we drove away. I was such a jumble of emotions, mostly fear about the upcoming surgery and sadness to be leaving my Little Man. He was fine not two seconds after we pulled away and I was fine, too, it just took Mommy a bit longer.

It felt surreal as we headed home. We each had some last minute things we wanted to get done, silly, boring stuff like water the plants and change the sheets on the bed. Then, we took advantage of our last "kid free" night for what will probably be a long time and went out to dinner. I was too nervous to eat much, but it was still nice to get some last minutes with my hubby before it all changed again.
We ended up chatting with a couple at the next table and when it came up that we were having a baby the next day, they remarked how calm we seemed. It may have seemed that way on the outside, but I was trembling on the inside, on perpetual pins and needles. I know I have used the word surreal already (probably more than once), but there is really not another word that captures the feelings of that night so well.
I kept wanting to implant pieces of the day in my mind's eye. I knew time was passing and I wanted it to both speed up (and be done with the surgery) and slow down (so that I wouldn't have to have the surgery at all!). I made sure to stop several times and really take it all in. M kept teasing me, but folks, these are the days our lives.
We got home at bit before nine and I took a final warm bath. I chugged some water (none allowed after midnight) and went to bed. I was tired but my mind was racing. I was worried about so many things (mostly sleeping through the three alarms we had set) and nostalgic about so many things and basically just a lump of pregnant hormones. It took awhile for me to go to sleep, and of course, I woke many times during the night.

And soon, it was morning! Emma's birthday. ..
One last look at Da Belly (and da Back Fat, but that isn't as cute to say).


It is what it is said...

Love, love, love this belly shot. I know it will be a happy treasure to have many years from now, too.

Ms. J said...

LOL, youre belly reminds me of mine the day before I had Peanut. It's like they are stretched out forward in a dive pattern, just ready to descend downward.

HereWeGoAJen said...

Ah, I love stories that I know have happy endings.

Sunny said...

I'm sorry I'm late in saying this (I'm perpetually late on everything right now)... but


Emma is absolutely beautiful, mama. Well done! Sounds like things are going well, I hope your healing has gone more smoothly than it did at first!