Monday, February 26, 2007

About my c-section delivery after myomectomy

Friday morning I woke up early, as was typical for my pregnancy, though I couldn't have a snack as I would normally do -- no food after 1:30 AM. I took a shower at 6AM and got myself, my mother and partner ready to head out to the hospital by 7:30 but we were still a little late.

I waddled into the hospital entry and we figured out which elevator to take up to obstetrics where my sister was patiently waiting for us (actually she had texted me on the way to the hospital and I jokingly replied that I had changed my mind about the delivery).

They got us into a room right away, which was used for both pre-op prep and recovery. I changed into a hospital gown with nothing else on though I did leave my socks on for a while as my feet were cold. The nurse hooked me up to a monitor on my belly and the baby started kicking right away -- he hated having things resting on the belly such as books when I was reading in bed at night. They were checking his heartrate and checking me for any contractions. I didn't think I was having any contractions, braxton-hicks or otherwise and this was confirmed by the nurse (I was proud to know my body so well). They got my IV started, hooked me up to some IV fluids to keep me hydrated and then the nurse gave my pubic area a shave with an electric razor.

I explained that my sister would be attending as a doula and they were cool with that. My partner and sister both changed into surgical garb with booties, hats and masks. My sister had brought some lavendar with her to help calm me during the procedure -- a French lavendar sachet smelled awesome. My doctor came in to check in with us, and soon it was time to get into the OR. I rubbed my baby's knees and feet inside of me for one last time.

They wheeled me down the hall just a few doors and into the cold operating room which was full of people who would be assisting with the delivery. There was my OB, another OB, the surgical nurse who helped prep me, another nurse, two anaesthesiologists, my partner and my sister -- and possibly more. The first thing was getting the spinal set up which wasn't painful at all as they had one of those automatic blood pressure cuffs squeezing the life out of my left arm -- I didn't feel anything in my back. Next they lay me out on the operating table and pulled a drape up close to my face -- closer than I thought it would be. We then waited for the spinal to take affect, first a warm feeling and then they kept checking to see if I was getting numb where they would be cutting me open. Finally I was numb enough and they quickly got into action.

The anaethesiologist said to let him know if I felt nauseous and quite soon after I was hit with a wave of nausea. I barely had to say a word before he put in some medication to help control it and it passed quickly. I was feeling stressed and overwelmed though as I could feel pressure of them working on my belly and the curtain was so close to my chin and the spinal does make your breathing feel a little weird. I had my partner rub my shoulders and my sister brought the lavender close to my nose and that helped to keep me together. It was intense being awake during the procedure and they don't give you any sedatives or anything as they don't want to affect the baby, just the spinal which removes the pain sensations but not the touch sensations.

The time came for them to pull out the baby from me and one doctor was pressing (more like heaving) high on my belly while they yanked him out with a suction cap. Oh boy that was a crazy feeling.

Then there he was. A wet, vernix coated crying baby boy. He was a big healthy baby I could see as they whisked him across the room, with long arms and big hands. I got misty at seeing this little being finally here -- and with me in such a state. My partner was recruited to help trim down the umbilical cord and they wiped him off some and did what not and all I could do was look over at him in wonderment. The doctors continued working on me but having the baby to focus on helped to distract me from the pushing and pulling sensations.

Finally they brought the baby over to me (really it was only a few minutes after he was pulled out) and as I started talking to him little Jonah started cooing and making all sorts of noises to me. There was no doubt about it, he knew I was his mama -- what a precious memory that is for me. I was able to touch his soft cheek and give him a kiss and then they had to tend to him some more mostly stabilizing his body temperature I think.

The whole affair lasted about 40-50 minutes total and after that we were wheeled back in to recovery where they got me set up with the PCA pump. A nurse helped to get the baby to latch on and showed my partner what to do. I was totally out of it with the narcotics. My partner, sister and mother got to hold the baby lots at this point while we tried to stay ahead of the pain. I loved how they would try to give me directions and things while I could hardly keep my eyes open.

They moved us into our private suite and over the evening hours they removed my catheter (inserted after the spinal took affect), had me go to the toilet, had me drink cool water, took my and the baby's temp religiously to make sure we were both stable, and switched me onto percocet and ibuprofen. I was able to nurse Jonah with my partner's help and he was wetting diapers, and soon started passing meconium.

I fell asleep with Jonah layed across my chest at one point and when I woke up and saw his little face I just about melted; he was so tiny and perfect. My partner stayed with us in the room and slept a few stretches with the baby next to him. I also shifted to one side of the hospital bed and he lay next to me with Jonah which was super nice as well. It was just a really nice nesting experience and it was like the rest of the world didn't exist for those couple of days.

He was very tied into my voice in the first few days post delivery and would seek me out and start to root if he heard my voice. He's more confident about my presence now so he isn't quite as anxious to seek me out and knows I will come if he needs me.

We decided to check out of the hospital as soon as possible on Sunday as the nurses kept pushing percocet, stool softeners, gas-x and ibuprofen on me. I didn't have that much pain after my myomectomy and also since I had been through that experience my body wasn't as shocked about the pain and I found it manageable. The nurses couldn't seem to understand that even though I kept telling them I was doing okay. On a scale of 1 to 10 my pain never got to be more than a 4 -- unless I was moving around a lot and most of the time it was barely a .5. I also hated that the percocet would make me feel all loopy and I couldn't keep my eyes open. I took ibuprofen for the next five days and after that I didn't need anything.

I found one of the most interesting things about my recovery from the c-section is that compared to how tired and big I felt in late pregnancy my body felt a lot better post delivery. The operation itself also was less invasive than excising the large fibroid and even my OB confirmed that nature wants to make the mother heal quickly to help tend for her baby.

My incision actually looks better than after the myo. The skin lines up better and that extra pad of fat above the incision isn't there any more. Not bad, now I just wonder how I'll look in a bikini (LOL).

My OB said that they felt around while they were cleaning me up and the fibroid didn't feel too significant. He said I can get an ultrasound in six months to see how its doing. My partner asked him how soon we could start trying again (oh brother) and my doc said 8-9 months post-partum as ultrasound studies have shown that the site where the placenta had attached still showed signs of healing at 7 months post-partum.

So, while I don't think the c-section was fun, it was definately not an entirely miserable experience and all things considered I would rather have a scheduled c-section than an emergency c-section.

(I'll add more details as I recall them)


Agapetospaidiske said...

Thank you for your post. I hope to someday be able to conceive and have a c-section. Your post was very informative.

Caprice said...

I'm sitting here in tears! Thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing your story. I feel SUCH tremendous joy for you. And you brought back the memory of the first time I saw my little guy. It's the best love affair! Enjoy!

Hetty Fauxvert said...

Thanks for taking the time to go into such detail! That's really helpful for those of us who are facing the same thing soon (yikes!).

What joy it must have been to see little Jonah for the very first time. I am so very happy for you!!!!

Ann J.

The Rebound Girl said...

This is great information. I am wanting so badly to do vaginal birth,but after my myo my doctors are against it. I begin to research the c-sections with epidural and spinal versus general anethesia. Sounds like that is the way to go.