Something happened today, and now I must finish telling you the story of Zander's birth, because I have a few other stories to share, but I can't seem to post them because I still needed to finish up this story.
So. Here's a shortened-ish version of what happened on my 30th birthday.
At some point in the day after the decision was made to induce, we met the neonatologist. I'm not going to lie, I didn't pay a whole lot of attention to the words that were coming out of his mouth. I spent most of the ten minutes I spoke to wondering if I should ask him to tell me his name again, because I could have sworn he told me his name was Dr. Whore-bath. (It's not. But again, no lie, that's what I called him during conversations outside of the hospital for the next month and a half. And it took me two weeks before I finally asked one of the nurses what his actual name was.)
I also didn't have a whole lot of questions about the NICU, since it would not be our first trip inside the saddest ward in any hospital. Zoe did her five day stretch, and I saw and learned a hell of a lot. And the guy sounded like he was a pretty competent doctor. (Add to that the fact that the nurses who staff NICUs should all be nominated for sainthood, so I knew I didn't have a whole lot to worry about in that regard.) Before that, one of the nurses had brought in the transport bed for the little guy as well. So we had seen all the bells and whistles and all that fun (read: extra scary) stuff.
By 9, the pitocin had started to work, and the anesthesiologist had stopped by, and been sent away. I had absolutely no intention of needing his services at all, and I promised that I would send for him if it got to a point where I needed him to come jab a needle into my spine and make all the pain go away.
I made it a little more than 10 hours. There was something funny about the contractions I was having. I don't know if it was the balloon they were using to help me dilate, or because there was too much room for my uterus to contract since Z3 still had a fairly good sized kiddie pool to swim around in at that point, but it felt like there were corners digging into my abdomen with every contraction and while it wasn't unbearably painful, I had this overwhelming feeling that I was not going to be having a natural delivery and I would much rather have the epidural put in when it was still 100% my decision, and not something that they would need to hurriedly put in before slicing me open.
I was prepped for surgery by 2:30 in the afternoon. And this is where my memory gets really, really fuzzy. (For a reason you will not believe!) Zander's cord was too far below his noggin for a regular delivery. Cord prolapse was a guarantee, and not something we needed to deal with on top of the fact that I was still only 31 weeks and 5 days pregnant. Not that my doctor didn't attempt to come up with a plan to avoid surgery. There was talks of breaking my water with multiple tiny holes, so it had a slow dripping shower effect, in hopes that that could give the little guy more time to drop down. I'm sure there were other things, but that one was the most bizarre so it stuck in my memory.
I remember Paulo putting on the lovely pink scrubs, and being wheeled down the short hallway to the O.R. Like all operating rooms, it was freezing, and my teeth started chattering. The anesthesiologist chose that moment to become the greatest medical professional to ever jab needles into my spine. He had them pull out this plastic balloon deal, and they put it on my arms and across my chest. And it filled up with hot air. It was fabulous.
The little guy was pulled out of my guts at 4:32 pm. At that moment, nothing mattered at all. I just needed to hear him cry. Or for someone to tell me he was okay. I got both of those in less than 45 seconds, but I swear it felt like an hour. I think I asked at least three times. In the first couple of minutes, a nurse called out his weight, and if I had had feeling in my body at the time I am sure that I would have felt my stomach fall into my foot.
3 pounds 7 ounces.
With an Apgar score of 4.
While they were working on the baby, my doctor began putting my guts back into my body. And my epidural started wearing off.
I (unfortunately) now know what it feel likes to have your uterus dropped back into your abdomen. I also know what it feels like to have your skin tugged back into place and stapled together.
The first two times I said something about being able to feel everything, I was given a bit more morphine, and they kept working. After the third shot of morphine, they stopped for a minute. That third shot of morphine maxed out my morphine limit for the day. I could still feel every single thing they were doing to me. And that's when I got my first (and ONLY) experience with heroine.
It wasn't actual heroine. I'm not sure exactly what it is called, I just know that not six seconds after it was administered, I was the happiest and sleepiest I have ever been in my whole life. I knew they were still tugging on my stomach, trying to rip off my belly button, and I may have still even been able to feel it at that point. But you know what? I didn't give a flying monkey. I apparently looked at the doctor and told him I "really like him now".
There are only a few things I remember about the six hours that followed. I remember when they took Zander out of the O.R., and Paul went with him. I remember Paul telling me he was going to run home and see the girls and tell them, and take a shower. I had to stay in bed for 12 hours because of the magnesium, so I wasn't going to be able to see the baby until 4 am. We figured I'd be asleep for most of that time.
I remember that I was bleeding a whole heck of a lot more than I had with the girls. It seemed to just gush every few minutes or so. I know those nurses got sick of me pushing the call button, but there was nothing I could really do to help myself. I was still stuck in bed. I know the doctor came in, and told me she was concerned, and that they were going to prep a blood transfusion "just in case". I called my aunt to tell her the news, and while I was talking to her, a nurse had come in and told me that they were considering taking me back to surgery to figure out the bleeding problem, but they weren't sure yet.
The only other thing I remember is that while I was on the phone with my aunt, my cellphone battery died. Lucky for me, I had told her that Paul wasn't at the hospital with me, so she called our house and told him they were getting ready to send me back to the OR, but she wasn't sure exactly what they were going to do.
It just so happens that since magnesium relaxes your muscles, my uterus was having trouble contracting back to where it should be, and that was causing the bleeding. They shoved an inflated party balloon into my uterus to help the process. It worked, and by the time I got back into my room, Paul was back. And fairly close to wetting himself, since all of my nurses were in the OR with me, so none of the ones at the desk had any kind of detail as to what was going on, other than there was too much blood, and I was being sawed in half again.
To make a really long story slightly shorter, I will end this little tale with what I claim is the craziest thing that has ever happened to me. (That's saying a lot coming from someone who was mugged by an old lady because of some tapioca pudding!)
I assumed for two and a half weeks that I came out of surgery, nearly bled to death, and talked to my aunt over the course of about an hour. In reality, SIX HOURS had passed from the time I came out of surgery to the time I went back. I can honestly say I cannot account for at least five of those hours.
One of the major life lessons I took away from all of this? There is a reason why no one ever says"I want to be a junkie when I grow up!"