Luckily she’s slept for most of the first 24 hours because she’s been with me the whole time (this hospital doesn’t take bubs away to the nursery) and I’ve been sick. Really sick. Apparently morphine and my person don’t mix. We’re not friends. And I never ever ever want to meet again. Ever.
Being prepped for the caesarean was strange because I’ve been in that room so many times before being prepped for surgery – all of those surgeries leading me to be able to have this one. I was really nervous. Lucky my sister was there with me. Sisters are exactly the person you need with you when you need to be side-tracked.
Case in point: she says we should sing a song to take my mind off everything. Good idea.
The only trouble is, the only song she can remember the words to (and we are girls who love our music) is our school song. Seriously. So we’re in the stick-the-needles-in-you room, I’m in the bed with a big fat needle in my arm, about to feel nothing from the mid-section down, and we’re singing the school song.
The anaesthetist thought it quite amusing and said he could remember the words to his school song too (he was at least 50). I’m guessing it’s probably the first time he’s thought about his school song in that setting.
My lovely obstetrician comes in, gives us a kiss, squeezes my arm and asks if I’m ready. As I’ve ever been. But still so incredibly nervous. He’s delivered over 15,000 babies and has also successfully repaired my body any number of times to get me to today, so I’m not worried at all about him. Not even if (god forbid) anything went wrong. I know we’re in good hands.
The doors to the operating theatre open & I’m wheeled in. Onto the operating table, screen up, big sticky clear bandaid like item stuck to my belly. Feeling nothing from the base of my ribs down. I start to shake. I’m cold. I can’t stop shaking. My teeth and jaw are chattering. I feel utterly awful. But I don’t want to feel awful, I want to feel blissed out.
I’m trying to tell my sister with my eyes. Side bar: she looks cute in her scrubs – I can imagine her being a doctor. I’m feeling so awful that I can’t say a word. My obstetrician sticks his head over the screen and says in all the years he’s known me (that would be 17 or so) I’ve never been this quiet. I don’t know what to say except hurry up! I want this horrid feeling to be over.
Are you ready? I’m ready. It’s odd not being able to actually feel anything, but at the same time there is a sensation of pulling. I hear his voice. It sounds like he’s really far away. He says I’ll have my baby in five minutes. Then I feel what seems like drawing across my belly, but it’s not a pencil, it’s a knife. I’m trying really hard to focus on my breathing and not shake. Pulling sensations, people talking. I’m vaguely aware of people talking to me and my sister being beside me. Then I notice she stands up. I know she’s seen my baby. She also saw other parts of my insides that she probably didn’t ever need to lay eyes on!
I hear a little noise and I know it’s my bubba. They wrap her up and put her beside me for a minute. I’m incredibly overwhelmed and cry immediately. And I have a hallmark moment. I say something along the lines of “dreams really do come true”. I think my sister laughs through her tears.
My longed for, perfect, incredible baby is here with me finally. She’s bundled up and all I can see is her gorgeous little face. I want to take her in my arms and never let her go. But she needs to have her lungs cleared out and all of her measurements taken. She will be in good company – my sister will be with her the whole time.
They take her not far away and if I turn my head I can see them. But she feels so far away. She’s never been this far from me. And the distance makes me feel a little lost. And reminds me that I still feel utterly awful and can’t stop shaking.
A while later we are in recovery. I am good for nothing at this point. I’m still shaking and I feel like I am going to throw up. My baby girl is right here with me and one of the nurses unwraps both of us enough for her to latch on for her first feed. Which she does like she’s done it a thousand times before. She feeds like a little champion. I hope the ease of that first feed continues. And I also hope I feel better soon.
(photo credit to our dear friend and amazing photographer Israel Smith)