I barely slept the night before October 25, 2013. I had so many thoughts going through my head. I was feeling too many emotions. My husband and I stayed up and talk about the coming day well into the morning hours. He joked and played Hair’s “Final Countdown”. We were so excited to meet our baby girl.
We checked into the hospital at about 6:00 a.m. We were a half hour earlier than they had asked us to be there, but we were so excited. We just could not sit around the house and wait one minute more. I texted my father, who had come to visit for his granddaughter’s arrival, to let him know in which room we were placed.
From that moment on, there was a scurry of nurses in and out the room. I felt overwhelmed. They asked many questions about my pregnancy and medical history. I was shaved around where they would make the incision. I was given Pepcid and Reglan to keep my stomach calm for the procedure. It took two nurses to get an IV started on me.
After my dad arrived, a C.R.N.A. (certified registered nurse anesthetist) came in to explain the procedure. I had never had a more detailed conversation with another human in my life! He not only explained what they were going to do, but all of the possible side effects and how they would treat them. He gave us the good and the bad perspective of everything that could happen. I have never been more thankful. His name was Brandon.
My doctor arrived with a smile on her face and said she was ready to get this baby out. We all smiled with her. I stepped into the wheelchair and a nurse wheeled my chariot to the surgery room right there on the Birthplace floor.
If I thought they were scurrying before, I didn’t know what to think in the surgery room. Someone helped me climb up onto the thin table, which it quite a feat when you are nine months pregnant and there is nothing thin about you.
Brandon prepared the site they were going to inject my spinal numbing agent into. He placed a drape on my back and cleaned the area well. Right around this time I started shaking uncontrollably. I personally do not like things I cannot see. The fact that I could not see them inject terrified me even more than I already was. When the anesthesiologist came in to oversee the injection, his new task became wrapping his arms around me to keep me still.
I felt the pinch.
I felt the pressure.
The injection was done. I couldn’t move almost immediately. The nurses present had to help lay me back onto the table because I was unable to do it myself.
Drapes where placed blocking my view from the chest down. Although I am no stranger to surgery, I was still not allowed to witness my own. Brandon started touching my skin with an alcohol pad. I had to let him know if I could feel it in two different ways: cold and wet. When he came above the nipple line, and I couldn’t feel this “cold and wet” object still even though I was staring right at it, he started moving faster.
Right about then was my first scare. “I need you to keep talking to me and don’t stop.” I knew what this meant. The numbness had traveled higher than anticipated and if it kept traveling toward my head, I could lose control of my breathing. These turn of events would mean I would have to me intubated and my husband would not be allowed to witness the procedure.
So I started repeating, “When is my husband coming in?” I am sure I annoyed Brandon with my monotonous question, but that was the only thing I could think of to say.
Nausea hit. “Brandon! I’m going to be sick!” I looked up at my blood pressure and it had dropped very low. This is one of the normal side effects of the spinal injection they gave me. Brandon injected a medicine to raise the blood pressure and brought a basin to my head as I started to dry-heave.
Soon after I no longer needed the basin, my doctor and my husband appeared into the room. He was dressed in all blue surgery gear including a gown and cap. I don’t remember what my doctor was saying to me at this moment because I was too busy examining my husband’s garb. All I knew was that it was time to have this baby.
I could feel my body rocking back and forth as the doctor started working on me. My husband later described their work as “violent.” I continued to feel sick and Brandon gave me medicine to raise my blood pressure at least three more times throughout the procedure. Several times he even pet my head as I dry-heaved into the basin he would bring me.
After what seemed like forever, my husband and I heard a cry. No, make that a scream of a baby. She was not even completely out of me when the cries began. My doctor removed her and cried got louder.
Erin Elizabeth was born at 8:20 a,m. on October 25, 2013. She weighted 7 lbs 11½ oz and was 19 inches long. She was perfect.
I would like to thank my nurses, doctors, and everyone who helped take care of me during the scariest and best procedure of my life. I wouldn’t have made it through without any of you.
And of course, my deepest thanks go to my husband. Who when he brought my baby girl up to my head to meet me, I saying “Brandon, I’m going to be sick again!”, and still waited for me to say hi to her. I love you, Paul.