Sunday, September 27, 2015

The Birth Story

Remember when I promised the birth story within a week? Whoops!

My C-section was scheduled for 2pm when I was 34 weeks along.  To refresh: we were scheduled so early because baby C was supposedly 25%+ off of the weight of her twin baby B.  I only had to fast for 8 hours before surgery and so I did get up early (5am!) to eat a big breakfast.  I wasn't going to starve all day!  Of course at around 9am the hospital called to see if I wanted to take a 12pm slot instead. I wonder who really jumps at that chance? I would have literally had to leave my house within 10 minutes to make it there in time. We declined, I found out later they filled it, probably with someone who wasn't serious about waking up to eat.

We arrived at the hospital and checked in.  The room was nice and spacious, both my mom and DH were with me, I got to strip in front of everyone and wipe down with those stupid antibacterial clothes again.  Why do they even have you do it twice at home?!  Ugh, not a fan. The nurse checking me in was great, they hooked up the babies and asked lots of questions.  We discussed hippies and placenta encapsulation...and that weird thing where you just let the placenta fall off "naturally".  I did want them to delay cord clamping on baby C, if possible. 

My perinatologist stopped in and chatted, they offered a tube tie and that was literally the first time they brought it up.  I had not considered it at all and was not in any way prepared to make that choice.  In hindsight I wish I had it done. Oh well, I suppose I will have to figure out something when sex ever happens again.  I can't assume I'll be infertile since I've heard of lots of people ending up with additional children that way!

The sequence of events was a blur, I was wheeled down to the OR and had the epidural shots in back.  I was a little worried about these as I'd heard they are painful, but they weren't bad at all!  There was only some slight referring pain and I'd had worse than that during a massage, although I've been told my masseuse is ... well she's Russian and fits the stereotype.

They bent my legs up and put in the catheter, unfortunately my legs were bent when they went numb.  I really, really wanted to put my legs 'down' and even asked the doctors to do it at one point.  They laughed and said 'oh they're down'.  Definitely wasn't my favorite part and for hours all I wanted was to put my legs straight! It did get better once I could see them and my mind reconciled it.

Honestly, as they were putting the iodine on me I thought "never mind, don't want to do this, I'm fine being childless".  I was that terrified of the surgery, it didn't really get better, although I didn't have a panic attack.  I was fairly scared the whole time, mostly for their health and if they would be ok outside.  It's a lot of control to give up at the end, especially when you are doing it prematurely. 

So, the iodine being put on is the test to see if the drugs have taken effect, I was trying to decide if I could feel it or not, and ended up saying 'I think I felt that', but at that point they had already cut into me and I definitely couldn't feel that!  I don't think I'll ever get the iodine out of my bellybutton though...

As the babies were being born I remember thinking I should kiss them when they were presented to me, but my actual feelings were very numb.  I think it's important to share this part: I did not feel that 'rush of love' that everyone else talks about.  I was worried, fearful, numb and dizzy.  Part of those feelings are surely the drugs during the C-section, but part of it may just be me.

One thing I have failed to mention at this point: there are a lot of people in the OR, like a lot, not just 'a lot of people for my vagina', which to be honest at this point would probably be more than most people would be comfortable with after all my infertility experience.  There was about a team of 5 for each baby plus the two MFMs, the nurse practioner from my MFM clinic, the anesthesiologist and then at least 10 other nurses for support.  When baby A (H) was born the head neonatologist took him and I remember him waiving my son's foot at me from his crib.  It was honestly slightly disturbing as he was not crying (that I heard) and his foot was pretty limp.  Not really what I wanted to see, BUT in my head I said 'well he's not worried about anything' and that was slightly reassuring.

Baby B (L) was born one minute later and she was SCREAMING, so right away I knew she was fine.  She ended up having her stomach pumped because she had swallowed so much amniotic fluid. 

And of course baby C (V) took longer to be born, and I was anxious because she was the whole reason we were having this surgery.  I couldn't hear her cry over Baby L, but she was fine too.  Actually all 3 babies scored an 8-9 on their first APGAR and a 9-10 on the second one, which was impressive to me, I didn't really dare to hope for that. 

AND Baby V was only 5% off from her twin, so they were both fine.  However, she did have her umbilical cord wrapped tightly around her foot and loosely around her neck, so it was good we delivered when we did and that I didn't attempt a vaginal birth (though honestly, who wants that for triplets!).

After all of that my DH left with the babies, which was good, I didn't want them to get mixed up with any other babies!  I started heaving, which is apparently super common and I was not at all prepped for that.  I got a few doses of various anti-nausea meds as they were stitching me up.  I was more worried that I was going to ruin their stitching up, but that's probably not a thing.  The doctors raved about my placenta, I believe specifically the twin placenta was pretty impressive.  One of them said 'I wish you could see it!', I'm sure if I had asked they would have shown me, but I wasn't interested at all. The process of being sewed up takes forever, but no staples! I only had internal stitches and glue for the skin with a honeycomb silver bandage (silver is a natural antibiotic). My scar looks great and I didn't have to have staples removed later (thank God). 

Once I was all set they took me to recovery, where I don't remember much except that we almost got in trouble for having both my mom and husband in the room at the same time (they were switching spots).  When I was ready for my room they wheeled me through NICU to see the babies.  I could barely raise my head and was still very nauseous, but I touched all my babies!  I try not to worry they didn't get that 'skin to skin' after birth, but there's only so much I can control and I have to let the rest go. 

Obviously once I was in my hospital room I wasn't allowed out of my bed and I was jealous that DH and mom were running back and forth from my room to the NICU and I couldn't go.  Although I was grateful that they were able to hang out with the babies.  Late that night the nurse came in and took out catheter, I was annoyed as seemed early and I had to pee within 6 hours of it being removed, which was a real chore.  I barely peed in time (about a half hour before the maximum).  I did love my hospital and (single) room! I was there for 3 nights 4 days, it was so nice to order food instead of trying to figure out what I was going to eat.  The last night was walking colostrum down to the NICU and seeing babies at 3am and I was so sad that I wouldn't be there at night anymore. It was hard to leave, I did not have that urge to leave the hospital, but this is probably unique to NICU moms as we just want to be close to our babies.  I could have stayed in one of their rooms on a couch, but I never did and the nurses urged me to rest at home while I could. 

So, routine C-section, it was great, recovery was ok and I didn't really use the binders I bought.  I was worried about the doctors leaving something inside of me (an acquaintance has received permanent disability from this happening to her), but they assured me there are nurses only responsible for the sponges, etc, they use.  You do hear counting a lot during your surgery, which is reassuring to me.

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