On June 5th around 10am Johann and I headed to St. Mary's Medical Center for round three of childbearing.
Things were pretty slow once we checked in. There were about 6 other women in the initial check in at the same time as me and it took almost two hours to get into triage.
I've felt like a jerk both times I've been in triage because aside from the normal 3rd trimesters complaints, I feel pretty good while the women all around me are moaning and in a lot of pain. I guess mine just comes later and maybe less audibly.
Things were fine in triage except the hospital had just switched to a new computer system the day before and they were asking for all my information all over again, and yes, here comes a spoiler alert, it factors into me not being thrilled with my stay during the subsequent days.
Then the anesthesiologist came in. He was not like the one I had last time; he was completely rude, uncooperative and unhelpful. I actually considered unplugging myself from everything and leaving because I was sure he was going to over medicate me and kill me. This is actually a very real and genuine concern for me as the over medicating of my dad during an operation he had caused complications that led to his death. They didn't factor in his clean living and sensitivity to medication with his size and since I'm none too thin, I worry about them doing the same thing to me.
Already long story less long, I stayed and was finally taken into the operating room around 1pm. I listened to the doctor and anesthesiologist complain about nurse availability since it was so busy and how the hospital should fix it etc. It was delightful. Then my doctor told me this was the last caesarean he would perform on me because it was so annoying the other day to get through 20 minutes of scar tissue for this woman who was having her fourth child. I think I said five words the entire time I was in the operating room.
Finally everyone was in place and the anesthesia took hold. I felt horrible. My arms were strapped, (they weren't the previous times) and I started to feel like I was going to throw up and pass out all at once. I've never felt as physically out of it or sick as I did those few moments. I really felt like I wasn't going to stay with it then I remember saying in my head, "I am NOT letting that *insert unkind word I never say out loud* kill me. NO WAY. I WILL LIVE, YOU JERK." After a few more minutes I felt less awful and then the thing worth all of the awfulness came.
At 1:40pm Leo Frederick Wirthlin Simonds was born.
So, so worth it.
*See how I look like a crack head in this photo?
I'm still sad I couldn't be as 'present' for Leo's birth as I was for the others and I can only hope he doesn't hold it against me some day during a psychotherapy session.
The nurses mentioned he was having some breathing issues as they stitched me up and then in recovery they tried to lay him on me but it didn't help his color or breathing and honestly I could not hold him or quite figure out what was going on. I remember her taking him and saying something about just in case and realizing he was going to the NICU with Johann.
Johann took this first one shortly after they took him to the NICU.
Johann stayed with him while I was in recovery and I just remember the nurse poking me and talking very loudly to me and telling me to wake up. After I don't know how long, I felt mildly human again and they moved me to a room. Johann came in after a while and told me how Leo was doing and showed me some pictures.
After Leo had been in the NICU a while I saw the above picture of him and eventually cried my eyes out once Johann left. He looks so tired and haggard for a newborn, it broke my heart and I couldn't go to him or do anything to help him.
When a new nurse came on for the night shift I convinced her I would be able to walk over to the NICU earlier than the doctor said. He said I could get out of bed the next morning, we decided 3am is technically morning so she helped me get ready to go over to the NICU before it closed down from 5am-7am so I could finally see my little man. I remember saying it felt like Christmas and it really, truly did. I had at least had Henry for a while before he had to go to the NICU and Thea I had with me right away. Being away was so hard and I was so, so happy to be with him finally.
*Last visit to the NICU before he was later released.
*Freshly delivered to the room!
That next morning I went in two more times before the doctor came and said he could be moved to my room that afternoon. Almost exactly 24 hours after he was born, I got to really hold, snuggle and get to know our little Mr. Leo.