Like I was saying...
The anesthesia went fantastically well. I had one of those super time-to-push contractions while getting the spinal block. Talk about needing to have self control. You move while there's a needle in your spine and you may never walk again, but you hunch over while being perfectly still during one of those sort of contractions. It took a sec for the block to kick in, but once it did I felt no more contractions.
The doctor comes in. His behavior is exactly what you'd expect for 1:30 am. In fact, he was telling so many jokes that I had to ask if he was the doctor. He laughed and said, "Nah, I'm the janitor!" Guess dumb questions deserve dumb answers. We talked for a second before he started to work, but I asked one favor of him. "This is my third malpresentation. Something is going on. Please see if you can tell me why my kids keep having bad presentations." He said he would do what he could. And the jokes kept coming for a while, until...
The doctor went behind "the veil of the temple" as I jokingly call it. I'm referring to the curtain that goes up during surgery so that Jeremy and I can't see what's going on. I called it that when I had John because you know what's going on back there, part of you really wants to see what's going on back there, and the rest of you knows that if you happen to peek behind the veil it will not be good. I started to smell that familiar, nasty, burning flesh, laser scalpel smell. Gross, I know. It doesn't usually take too long from the time that they make the incision till when I hear baby crying. It just makes everything better, ya' know? Music to my ears! The seconds ticked. The tensions and chatter in the room picked up and sounded more frantic. I don't remember if I said it to Jeremy or if I was talking to myself, but I said, "He should be crying by now. Why don't I hear him? What's wrong? It shouldn't be taking this long."
A nurse runs out of the room. The mood in the room is still very frantic. I say frantic, but definitely not chaotic. Everyone was very collected. The nurse comes back with forceps. Forceps...for a c-section. Time ticked on. It seemed like forever. Still no crying.
Now, those contractions that I had right before surgery...those transition labor contractions. They hurt. I mean they really hurt. But compared to the pain while they were trying to get Josiah out, they were child's play. My whole body was literally moving on the operating table as they struggled to get Josiah out. My chest felt like it was on fire. I'm not really going to go into details, because I'd rather just forget about that part, but I would have gladly taken an hour of even stronger labor contractions than I was already having than to go through that again.
Finally, they had him out and Jeremy could see several nurses working on him. Still no crying. Finally, a very weak, barely audible cry. More like a squeaky moan or something. Then another little cry. Certainly not a strong, loud cry. I can't tell you the relief. My chest was still on fire, but it was just all better once I heard him cry. I've had 4 sections and none of them, even ones accompanied by a room full of interns, took this long. My surgery lasted over an hour and a half...not counting the anesthesia kicking in time. My spinal block had started to wear off even before they had me sewn up. Not to where I was in pain, but I had tingling back in my toes.
After all was said and done the doctor comes back out from "the veil of the temple." He explained that the baby's head, which is rather large, got stuck. The very difficult presentation (like I mentioned transverse footling breech) made it even harder to get him out. They were able to get out his feet, belly and arms, but the head just wasn't coming. That's when the nurse ran out for the forceps. His umbilical cord was pinched as he was stuck also. He also explained that usually when baby is delivered once they dry him off and give him a good rubbing they take their first breath. Josiah was completely unresponsive after they did that. They had to use a bag valve mask to get him to take his first breath, then they got the weak cry. They rubbed him hard again. Then they administered a bit of oxygen and got the little cry. What a scare! They also mentioned that he had gulped down a large amount of amniotic fluid, which has made lots of pretty nasty spit-ups for several days, but is pretty much cleared up now.
Oh, those other bit of news from the doctor. I asked about all my breeches. The doctor agreed with me, saying, "One breech happens. Two breeches? Well, you're just really unlucky. Three breeches? Yes, something is causing your babies to not turn head down." Turns out that at the bottom of your spine is a bone called the sacrum. He said that I have a prominent sacrum. He said that he doubted I would be able to deliver a 4 pound baby, much less an 8 lb, 10 oz baby.
Honestly, you have no idea what a relief to know this was. I never ever ever wanted to have a c-section. I always longed to have a totally unmedicated home birth. When we were sort of pushed into having a c-section with John, I always wondered if we had made the right choice. I also would second guess this conclusion was made from an ultrasound. I think a lot of times women are told they have pelvis problems or back problems or whatever problems, when in fact a technician is just misreading an ultrasound or a doctor is being overly cautious. But the doctor is literally looking at my backbone from the inside. Not too much room for error there, I believe.
I just can't tell you the satisfaction I had from getting to actually say that I got to labor. It was such a very long time answer to prayer. The Lord was so wonderful to me that night. I remember sitting up watching the sun rise at dawn that morning, listening to my baby's sleepy deep breathing and Jeremy's light sleeping noises thinking about how the Lord didn't have to tell me why I'd had 3 breeches. He didn't have to tell me why I couldn't have things my way. He was just gracious enough to let me know not to worry about. That all things are for His purpose...even when it's not what we want. Even when it's difficult to face. Even when it makes no sense. Even when you ask for a good thing and you don't get that good thing the way you expect. He gently reminded me in a very real way that no matter what His grace is sufficient. It's never been okay with me to have c-sections. I've always felt like I didn't have children, that the doctors had them for me. I'm just thankful now that I have children instead of complaining about how they got here.
That my birth story...hope you enjoyed!
Monday, August 31, 2009
Like I was saying...