Monday, June 11, 2007

Birth: Part 2

The saga continues….

On a side note, I was on the phone with my friend Jen today and fell asleep. So that pretty much sums up my current state!

After the decision to do the C Section, things moved really quickly. Someone started taking all the monitors off of me and removing my IV drip. Someone else showed up with scrubs for Nicole and when I saw her covered head-to-toe in that blue outfit, it really hit home to me that this was happening. My SIL took pictures of her and then I was wheeled off while Nicole was told to wait in some staging area.

The room was so bright. I know this is necessary for an operation, but still. I had to be moved from the hospital bed I was on to the operating table. Somehow I managed to do this, with the help of like ix people, but I felt like a beached whale. Adrenalin kept me moving: I was so excited that we would finally be meeting these babies soon.

But I felt like a piece of meat: The nurses and doctors arranged me Just So, laying me flat with my legs together, completely naked from the chest down. There were so many people in the room: My doctor and several residents, a nurse for each baby, a pediatrician for each baby, two anesthesiologists, and some other random people whose role I couldn’t figure out. It just felt like a circus. Not the warm and fizzy I pictured. Nicole was ushered in and positioned next to my head.

The anesthesiologist kept testing me: Pricking me and asking if I still felt sharp pain. I was horrified to suddenly realize that I wouldn’t be completely painless from the neck down as I though but rather just numb. I wouldn’t feel the slicing and dicing, but I would feel “pressure,” which I still contend is doctor-speak for pain.

There was no narration. I knew the doctor had begun when I smelled my own flesh burning. Because of all of the equipment, Nicole was slightly behind the side of my head, so I kept telling her to lean over really close and get close to my face. I wanted her right up in my face. All I could see were her eyes, but that was enough. I started to shake uncontrollably. It might have been the medicines and also the fear.

I started to feel all the pulling and tugging that everyone talks about and the aforementioned pressure. I’m not going to lie: It hurt like a MF. I developed some bizarre personal coping mechanisms: I counted backwards from 5 to 1 for most of the surgery. I kept thinking “I can handle this for five seconds” and then I would count. And then I told myself I could do another five seconds. In between I chanted “1-2-3-4 Pressure,” and ode to the Billy Joel song, until Nicole reminded me there was also “Under Pressure,” the Queen song. So those were my mantras.

The anesthesiologist was very nice, and answered all of my questions as we went long. She would warn me whenever when were about to have a “pressure event.” It was nerve-wracking being behind the curtain, unable to see, only hearing hushed voices.

Then someone told Nicole to stand up to see our first baby (Madeline) being born. At then, at 12:33, we heard that little cry. One minute later, Baby B (Avery) entered the world. It hurt so much when the doctors were removing the babies from me, but hearing their cries was the best pain medicine.

Nicole went over to the bassinets to meet and photograph the babies (just seconds old and already we are snapping their pictures!) while the doctors went about the business of putting my internal organs back and sewing me up. This is when things got a bit tense. Of course, no one was really telling me what was happening, but I know something was not quite right when I asked the anesthesiologist how much longer and she would say about 15 minutes. 15 minutes later, she said the same thing. The doctor kept ordering new medicines and new drips were put in me. People were moving quickly but I still had no idea what was going on. After, I found out that my uterus wasn’t contracting and therefore wasn’t going back into my body. I also lost a lot of blood. And then there was something about blood in my bladder and blue dye being put in my bladder to figure out if it was damaged in the surgery or not.

The anesthesiologist warned me that another “pressure event” was about to happen and I could expect to throw up. Within seconds I started dry heaving, and almost laughed when a tiny little vomit basin was tucked under my chin. If I vomited it would be all over, not in a dainty little cup! Luckily it was all dry heaves. But still. No one told me these sort of things would happen.

Eventually someone said they were putting my uterus back in and that is the moment someone else brought over Maddie. Her eyes locked with mine and it was again like the best medicine in the world.

The babies left to go to the nursery (no NICU for them! Yay! Go babies!) and Nicole went with them. I was pieced back together and taken to the recovery room. Nicole met me there and within moments the babies were brought in to eat. Already! I was the only patient in there, so my mother and SIL came in to spend a few minutes with the babies. By then it was almost 2:30 a.m. They stayed for another 20 minutes or so and then took a cab home. The babies were whisked away again for routine maintenance and Nicole and I were left alone.

At this point, the pain was creeping up on my but I was given some strong medicine. Nicole was exhausted and I finally convinced her to go home and sleep for a few hours and come back (we are a ten-minute walk from the hospital). There was only an office chair in the recovery room for her and I knew she would get no sleep in that. And how would she get through the next day with zero sleep? How can she bond with her babies if she was falling asleep? The medicine was making me drowsy but I knew I wouldn’t sleep if she didn’t. So she left and I closed my eyes.

But then there was a lot of action around my bed again. Doctors were coming in and nurses and checking my vitals. My blood pressure was rising quickly and my heart rate was lowering. And then there was the problem of all of the blood in my urine. Doctors came in and did weird things, like check my reflexes. My reflexes weren’t working and I asked if that was ok. They wouldn’t say. They asked me all sorts of questions that seemed so random. Something was wrong but no one would tell me. It was pissing me off. Then the nurse returned to take blood for blood work. I started to really panic. The drama of the days events plus the pain plus Nicole not there made me feel really vulnerable. A doctor came in and said they got my blood work back but she didn’t want to tell me what they found because they didn’t not to worry me. That pissed me off SO much. I told her to tell me now (I’m an adult, for the love of g-d. I just gave birth to two babies. And they were treating me like a child?)

OK, so this is a three-parter. I will finish this saga up tomorrow I hope!

Pictured above: Meeting Maddie for the first time. Below are both babies, hungry out of the womb!


K J and the kids said...

aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah !!!!!!!!
How do you stop at that ?
You see, I'm not the type of person to put a book down at parts like this. I read through the night if I have to.
PLEASE don't make us wait that long !

By the way...I would love to see a picture of you and those babies.

I hope you are feeling better. Get some sleep.....aaaah haaaa haa haa uh uh ah. That's funny that I would say that when GOD KNOWS if anyone does that I know you won't be getting sleep for a while. maybe.

Kerry Lynn said...

You're really going to keep us in suspense like that?? So not fair!

Strange you felt that kind of pain during the c-section. I felt NONE! But I did proceed to throw up once they were out and continued to for 3 hours!! Talk about pain with torn stomach muscles! Anti-nausea meds tend to make me MORE nauseous so I kept refusing them. It wasn't fun...but wow, so worth it.

Nancy in Redmond, WA said...

Good grief! I had two C-sections in 22 months....glad they were easier than yours! I felt the pulling and pressure, but it didn't hurt. It just felt creepy, especially since I knew what they were doing down there. The anesthetic made me horribly sick after my second one and I spent 8 hours vomiting, which I don't recommend. I spent 5 days in the hospital each time and recovery at home was easy as can be. Good luck to all of you!

nycphoenix said...

I'm biting my nails!!

francesca said...

Wow, that is a lot of trauma for your body and mind during that time. I'm so sorry you had that kind of pain - does not seem like 'pressure' at all. No wonder you've had a hard recovery - that is some serious body invasion. Hope you are on the mend now and able to enjoy your little bundles. Can't wait for part 3 -- this is like the Harry Potter of birth stories!

bri said...

Ack! I want to know the end! What was wrong? Did they figure it out?

I am horrified by the pain thing. I have never heard anyone say it hurt to have a C-section, really (during, I mean). That is scary and I am sorry you had to go through that.

Dee said...

Seriously!! How can you keep us hanging like that! That's crap! Now I'm angry. Guess I'll just have to check back tomorrow for part three.

Big hugs to Mom's and girls!

infertilepediatrician said...

OMG - for the love of god, I know you just had 2 little girls but is the cliff hanger really necessary? I know that you are alive and well but still... And really, what's up with your doctors and nurses not telling you what's going on with YOU. I would have been going nuts. I strongly believe everyone has the right to know what's going on - even kids (I once had a big disagreement with a family who didn't want to tell their child that they had leukemia. They wanted to keep the child in the dark about why she was being hospitalized every few weeks and getting medicine that was making her hair fall out - the kid was smart, she already knew but her parents kept lying to her).

I will be eagerly awaiting the third installment of the adventures of Jennifer's womb.

calliope said...

ahhhhh!! holding my breath over here.
hey- how is your hand doing?
xo to you & your 3 girls.

Eva said...

I can't believe you cut it off at that point. That was just torture. At least we know you're home and okay or else I'm sure we'd all be freaking out now.

Anyway, I'm an idiot because I think I told you to feel free to e-mail about BF questions and then left my wrong address. You probably have a big support system but if you DO have any questions about BFing twins, my e-mail is blue8444(at)

Melinda said...

Oooh, 2 cliffhangers in a row!!

What great pictures. They look like little characters already. :)