This sucked for so many reasons.
#1 - I could have had a few more hours of
#2- I could have had another meal. They won't do surgery unless it's been 8 hours since you last ingested food or beverage (except in cases of emergencies, of course). So, according to my calculations, I could have been eating all night instead of
#3- We were given the tiniest glimmer of hope that they might get us in early, since we were there already. I was overly-eager to get the show on the road, so I insisted that we stay and wait. Could we have gone home? Sure. But I was imagining all kinds of bizarre scenarios that would prevent us from getting back to the hospital by 11. So we stayed.
#4- In a show of solidarity, The Husband didn't eat, either. By delivery time, he was downright woozy.
#5- A day that had already promised to be very long and tiring would now be painfully long and tiring. I have photographic evidence of how exhausted we both were.
Eventually, it was our turn.
Some of it is a blur...some of it is still crystal clear.
My nurses were fantastic. Explaining every step. Holding my hand. Chatting. Keeping me focused at times. Keeping me distracted at other times.
Change clothes. Place the IV. Do an ultrasound. Strap on the monitors to watch baby's heart rate. Drink the nasty medicine. Answer the questions. Answer them again. Sign the papers. Hi! I'm your anesthesiologist and it will be my job to keep you comfortable and safe during the surgery.
Okay! We're ready to go. I'm going to walk to the O.R. with you and I'll stay with you the whole time. Let me just slip these booties on you to keep your feet warm. Daddy, you're going to change into these scrubs and this nurse will bring you down to meet us once Mom is prepped and ready. Okay? Do you have any questions?
She walked with me to the operating room. And if not for her, I might have had a panic attack right in the hallway. This was my first surgery of any kind and I hadn't the first clue of what to expect. She held my arm firmly with one hand and wheeled my IV pole with the other hand. When I started to shiver, she apologized for the cold. The O.R. has to be cold, but we have ways to keep you comfortable.
Sit on the table, legs dangling.
"Are you shaking because you're cold or because you're scared?"
The shaking was so violent, I could only manage to nod.
"I'm going to sit in front of you and hold your hands...you have to arch your back as much as you can. Curl around your belly."
"I have to clean your back. This will be very cold, but not painful. Okay. You're doing great! Now this is going to sting for a second but it will go numb very quickly. Okay. You're doing great! Now you shouldn't feel any pain, just my fingers pushing on your spine. Okay.....good...okay.....you're doing so great....okay....we're done! Do your legs feel warm and tingly? Good! Let's lay you down before you can't move your legs anymore. You did great!"
There were so many people in the room. Swirling around each other. They all had a job to do. They chatted with each other. They chatted with me.
And then I turned my head to see Nick walk in. Hi. I'm so glad you're here. Can you hold my hand? My hands were strapped down and covered with layers of warmed blankets...the anesthesiologist helped Nick find one. Are you okay? Why are you shaking?
Alright....you're doing great! How are you? We're almost there! Do you know if it's a boy or girl? Do you have a name picked out? You're doing fantastic. It won't be much longer. Okay, you're going to feel a lot of pressure on your chest. I have to push down on you and pull the baby out at the same time. Oooo! Look at all that hair! Hold on...suction....okay lots of pressure now.....okayyyyy..... and here he is!! It's a BOY! Hello, Nicholas! Hi! You are just so cute! Look at those chubby cheeks!
He drew his first breath and wailed. That indignant, newborn wail. "Come ON! I was so comfy in there!"
"Holy cow! We have a baby boy!"
The nurses cleaned him up, swaddled him, and gave him to Nick. The anesthesiologist unstrapped my hands so I could touch my son's soft cheek and silky hair. Nick held him near me so I could kiss his warm forehead. Is this some kind of dream? Is he really ours? We get to take him home with us? Tears rolled down my cheeks. He's so beautiful. And perfect.
We stayed there...it might have been an hour or it might have been 10 hours. We were lost in him...his silky, brown hair, his warm, chubby cheeks, his tiny nose...he was amazing.
* * * * * * * * * *
Ten years later, I still don't know the answer to that question. I also don't know how it's possible that my silky haired little boy became the kind-hearted, lanky, funny, handsome kid who stands before me. I just know that he was a great beginning for our family. He made us Momma and Daddy. And today, he makes us proud.
We love you......to the moon and back.