Recently, I have had no trouble sleeping. Last night was the exception. I have only hinted at the terror we went through bringing LMC into this world. It's something that I have trouble talking about, not because it was scary, painful, and literally heart-stopping for both Cagle girls, but because someone who is pregnant with their first baby does not need to hear it and someone who has had a baby can only relate with sympathy. It was a tough two days.
I know the difference between an urgent c-section and an emergent c-section. The difference is about 10 minutes to deliver instead of 60 seconds. LMC came to us via an urgent c-section after unwilling to leave her warm home that held her for 38 weeks.
There was a negative reaction to the epidural- when the medicine hit my heart, the itches started and got worse. And worse. And horrible. So much so, to the point where Modest Me shucked my soft hospital gown and Husband put towels dunked in ice water on my chest and arms to cease the itch that could not be quelled with my tears.
That led to the maximum dose of IV Benadryl, which welcomed blissful ignorance found in sleep and agony in a different type of epidural that metabolized at twice the rate, thus lasting half as long, as the the kind that caused the itches. The morphine flowed like water- until I asked the nurse if I could half doses at closer intervals instead of larger doses every four hours.
She thought I was bartering with her and cut me off. Bitch.
Husband felt sorry for me as the first of three epidurals wore off and sought out our friend, my doctor, to let her know. She informed the nurse that I was not an addict, rather a very practical person and if I wanted half doses closer together than do it.
My blood pressure kept creeping up- past the point of safety. And so came the doctor and said, "I'm sorry guys- I've been treating you more like friends and less like patients. I kept hoping your blood pressure would come down, but it's not. Wife, I've ordered magnesium for you. Plenty of women...." I tuned her out and kept my tears inside. I knew what it meant. "Mag Babies" come out gray and floppy. Mag babies are lethargic. Mag babies require a NICU team at the delivery.
Moms who get magnesium get a little, uh, loopy. Compound that with the Benadryl, morphine, and the fact that I had been in the hospital over 24 hours already... I was not just loopy, I was down right insane.
Progression progressed and I woke up from a magnesium induced coma (just sleep, don't worry) and I asked Husband to please get my mom. It was somewhere between 4 in the afternoon and 8 at night. Mom came in and I started crying. Everything was raw, on the surface, and very very real. While I won't relay the whole private conversation I had with my mom, it boiled down to I was afraid that I could not do it. I was so tired. So very tired and all I wanted to do was just go. to. sleep. I don't know what she said, but she kissed my forehead and somehow I felt better. Very tearful, but some courage somewhere had been hiding and found it's way out.
I fell back in a coma of ignorance as nurses checked on me, doctors checked on me, and the waiting room sent Husband text messages every 20 minutes. It got later.
Finally... the room was transformed, my blessing of a doctor joined us and the time came. After pushing for two hours-- two very hard hours, where I calculated the progression it would take per push and I needed to push 21 more times to get her out. After 28 pushes-- and begging for a vacuum... and getting my wish... Doc said she is allowed three "pop-offs" (where the vacuum holds on to the head and loses suction/can't hold the grasp) and she has already had one.
My third epidural was gone. I knew what natural birth felt like-- and it sucked. I thanked the Lord for the morphine I still had coursing through my veins as it did not block the pain, rather it made my brain and my memory soft.
Doc said we needed to think about other options. I knew she was going to say episi.... and I was unsure as to my opinion. She said C-Section and I, literally, screamed, "DO IT! But, this epidural has worn off- so don't go slicing and dicing willy nilly."
The room was silent. The nurses had stepped out. Doc was preparing and, I hoped, praying. The contractions were coming hard and fast. Husband and Wife sat in the dark. In silence. I cried and held his hand and told him I wanted to push. It hurt. So very badly.
He called my family. I cried. It was sometime around 2am. They were the last family in the small waiting room. All five of them, my brother and our parents. As they rolled me down the hall, the nurses opened a secret door and there they all stood with big smiles on their faces and thumbs in the air. Husband got into his bunny suit and was able to stay with me.
On a board, I flipped one way and came face to face with the floor- strong nurses held me in the air on a board while they flipped me to the operating table. It gets a little hazy here...the anesthesiologist took some pity on me and gave me the Good Stuff. I could have kissed her, had I not been strapped to the table, arms akimbo. A slice, a dice, some tugging, and doc said, "HUSBAND! Look!" Out came this perfect, tiny, little baby- eyes wide open, looking left... looking right... back to the left...
The NICU team grabbed her, checked her, and passed her off for the cord cutting. Husband was offered the scissors and he said, "No thank you, I've cut hundreds. I need to stay with my wife," and squeezed my hand. The pusher-man gave me something even stronger and within seconds, I was gone.
I have a scar about 6 inches in length that no one can see. The area is still numb. It took six weeks before I could drive again, four weeks before I could carry LMC down the stairs- every morning I had to call a family member to come over and bring her down for me, and three years before I had to sit down and admit that I am afraid of giving birth again. Afraid to need a step stool for weeks to climb in and out of bed. Afraid to do this without my doctor. Afraid to be sliced open again. Afraid of what will happen. Afraid that this hospital won't let my doctor-husband be by my side the whole time.
So, I had some trouble sleeping last night; this fear at the very top of my reasons. There is no turning back- and I do not want to turn back- but, I want to acknowledge this fear growing inside of me. Fear in a box only compounds the fear.
So, here I am -- putting it out there. Admitting it. And moving forward. I already feel better putting pen to paper what has been in my mind- as it seemed bigger in my mind and now smaller on paper.