After months of fretting about what labour would be like and my ability to handle the pain, needless to say, I had resigned myself to letting it happen. I’m pretty sure whimpier women have done it, right? (Feel free to jump in and back me up anytime here). Losing much of my mobility and excruciating sciatic pain helped me get ready. Not like when it starts I can be like, “I’m not ready“. That’s too bad though. I could have used that.
So I went to my regular weekly 38 weeks (38 weeks and 6 days) checkup appointment and during, when the doctor asked how her movements had been, I mentioned that she didn’t move as much as I was accustomed to her doing. In my head, that was okay because I reasoned she was running out of space to carry on with her usual dynamism. My doctor disagreed and explained why a term baby with decreased movements was a cause for some concern. Internally, I should say wild panic ensued. The thought of my little nugget potentially being at risk for anything is more than I care for. My doctor instructed we go to the hospital following our visit for an NST (Non-Stress Test) and he would join us thereafter to review the results. So off we went.
Once my doctor arrived, he explained that while the results weren’t ‘bad’, they weren’t satisfying given the reduced movement scenario. Those results also weren’t ideal to handle the ‘stress’ of spontaneous labour or an induction added to the fact that I am also RH- and with an RH+ partner, Baby Reid had a 50% chance of being RH+ herself. Ergo, the recommendation was delivery via Caesarian section as soon as possible. A second opinion sought was in agreement. This was about 6:30pm and the procedure scheduled for 8pm.
I should point out that in my mind, I screamed. I panicked. This wasn’t the way I envisioned it at all. Yikes. Thoughts of all the horrible things that could go wrong, is actually understating my feelings. My heart was in my throat and quite possibly beating harder and louder in my ears than I can ever recall. Tears burned the back of my eyes while I tried to think of all the reasons that I shouldn’t cry. I wanted to have her, just not like that. I looked at my doctor and he seemed calm and sure… as if he’s done it a hundred times before successfully (I should point out that my mind knows he most likely has, but there’s a lot to be said for composure). I looked at my husband. Truthfully, I was looking for any signs of distress. I didn’t find any. He looked agreeable and rubbed my hand. I thought okay, so I don’t need to cry. I’ll be fine. My baby will be fine.
I had some time alone while Boobles went home for my bag. Again the panic rose. The nurse came to prep me. She was nice. Chatty and talked of congrats and the ‘shame tree after pregnancy’. She was funny and made it easier to relax which stemmed from the obvious embarrassment and discomfort of catheters and nakedness. (Oh my horror at realizing I needed a catheter! Someone couldn’t have told me this??) The anaesthetist came and she was friendly and soothing. Half of what she was saying to me was flying through one ear and out the next but I tried to focus nonetheless. Fail.
When the epidural kicked in was another panic moment. I was there. Awake. Wanting to shift my leg but unable to do so. Wanting to shift a little for comfort but unable to. My body just immensely heavy. Surely this was one step away from death. The doctors came and got busy and I panicked a little at Boobles’ delay. When he finally sat down and asked if I was okay I felt better. I asked if they had started and he said yes. He asked if I could feel anything and I said no. He said “good”. The anaesthetist talked to me constantly. Asked how I felt. That was helpful too. Before I knew it I felt something akin to a push. Then I heard someone tell me her head was out. I recall thinking ‘Oh, that’s quick.’ Then I heard my doctor say “S….. is out“. I heard suction but no cry. I told Boobles I couldn’t hear a cry and he laughed and said I hadn’t waited. By the time he finished his sentence, I heard the unmistakable squeal and all the tears I had been holding for the previous 2 hours came.
And then, she wailed.
And everything felt better. My baby was here.
A 9:28pm, one day after her father’s birthday.
When Boobles brought her over I saw 3 things. She was white as a sheet, had lots of eyebrows and had her father’s and my father’s hairline. Double dosage.
After that, I became nauseated and was given meds/fluids intravenously. So my memory of the after is not great. I remember dry heaving, waking up once outside of the OT, and next, I was in the hospital room. I saw Boobles holding her. I remember waking up at 2 am, starving, extremely thirsty, a mixture of extreme pain and tingling in my body. The nurse said I could only have ice chips. Freaking ice chips! I’d never been that hungry or thirsty in my life!
By daylight, my baby was with me and while drowsy, I was able to walk around some. Finally, after what felt like an eternal but all too brief pregnancy, Baby Reid is here!
S.M.A.R.R. Welcome to the world baby! ☺