Thursday, August 28, 2008

Birth Story

It feels like I have been their mom forever already but Penelope and Ned were born only 3 days ago. Below is our birth story. It is a bit graphic but don't worry - it has a happy ending.

We had to be at the Hospital by noon on Monday, August 25th. We woke up around 8:30 am (I actually got up to snack at 5 am) and tried to be as normal as possible - showering, checking the news/blogs we like online and watching a bit of TV.

Driving into Boston was a bit surreal - after all, we were heading in to have our babies! I wasn't too nervous - trying just not to think of the surgery or what was happening in general. As soon as we arrived on the L&D floor they put us in a room and a million people were in and out of the room. A resident came to take my medical history - he looked about 23. I told Husband I didn't like that the doctors were younger than first year associates at my Firm!

The nurses were amazing - the woman above is named Susan so she loved that we were naming our little girl Penelope Susan (my mom's name and Husband's mom's middle name is Susan). The hustle and bustle helped keep us distracted. My parents arrived and came by our "waiting" room. They were going to wait while I had the surgery.

Finally - right at our appointed time of 1:30 pm it was time to walk myself down to the OR. The anesthesiologist said I walked quite fast. I was ready to get the show on the road.

The OR was smaller than I had imagined. I sat on this tiny metal bed while the anesthesiologist started the spinal tap process. This was the part I was most worried about - so I was shaking like a leaf. A nurse in front of me held my arms/hands and asked if I was cold - "no, nervous" I stuttered. A few trials later putting the numbing needle in (this is a teaching hospital so the anesthesiologist was a resident who was supervised by a full doctor). I kept noting that I didn't feel anything going numb but that is because it takes some time before they actually put the "medicine" in. Once it was in I definitely felt it! My butt and legs got tingley and numb. The numbness reaches all the way up to just under my armpits.

Right away I started feeling really weird - not sure how to describe it but like everyone was far away. Apparently my BP had dropped and they have to do some stuff to get it back up there. My legs were hoisted high in the air (they looked large, sigh). I knew that could happen and probably would with me since I have low BP to begin with. It took a few mins to get it back up and once they did I felt amazingly good. Just in time for them to start cutting me open. I guess they cut me open, put up the drapes and then Husband came in. See him in his scrubs:
The screen is right in my face - but I didn't feel claustrophobic about it. There were a couple of splatters of blood that I hoped Husband hadn't noticed (he's a fainter) but he assured me later he did. The anesthesiologists were great - telling me what was happening on the other side. I thought I might not want to know but I really did when the time came. The kids were both out within 20 mins (or less) of them starting to cut me. Ned was out first at 2:12 pm - 5 lbs, 5 ounces, 20 inches long. He didn't really cry - more like grunting. Penny was just 2 mins later at 5 lbs, 11 ounces and also 20 inches long. She cried and cried and cried - it was AWESOME! It made me feel like she was so healthy. Husband and I had guessed their weights and we were close - she was slightly bigger than we both thought and I was thrilled both were over 5 lbs. My gestating the last 2 weeks at home really paid off.

I tried to stay distracted by asking for their weights, measurements and apgar scores (Ned was 8/9 and Penny was 9/9)) but the sewing up took a LONG time. I kept asking - are they almost done? And the anaesthesiologist said a few times - only 3 more layers. Those last 3 layers took forever. Dr. Whatscooking was instructing a resident in doing the surgery. They did end up stapling me (I had heard he didn't use staples).

Husband, carefully not looking at any happenings on the other side of the curtain, went over and took some photos of our progeny (I'm pretty sure the first two are of Ned, last is of Penny).

Just like on TV they moved me from the operating table to a bed (my recovery bed) - it took a bunch of people. After a couple of hours they moved me to another floor. The kids were with us but checked a million times - especially Ned who was grunting and eventually moved to the transitional nursery for the first night. I even tried to put them both to my breast during recovery.

At some point my grandparents came but they couldn't see us until I moved to the post-partum floor. I will say it was rough having visitors - we were both exhausted and had our first night to get through with Penny (Ned in the transitional nursery).

The recovery is a bit tough but overall the whole birth process felt controlled which works well for our family. Husband thinks it was very "civilized" which of course will get my natural birth enthusiast readers up in arms but honestly I felt the same way. I was surrounded by so many professionals and didn't feel any pain and very little fear - especially once I heard the kids were out and doing fine.


Liz Jimenez said...

Excellent, it sounds like everything went as it should have! And just look at the end results: two perfect babies! Hooray!

A. said...

The benefits of a scheduled C - you look so cute in your post delivery picture! Next time I'm slapping some make up on my face, no matter how long I've been in labor :-).

I hope your recovery continues to go well - can't wait to see you all!

Anonymous said...

Sounds like everything was textbook perfect! Glad they got here safe and healthy!!