Birth Story: Part 3 - C-Section and the Technicolor Dream

I can't describe the disappointment I felt when the OB told me that the baby hadn't descended and that my only reasonable option was to have a C-Section.  I'm sure I could have said no and insisted on continuing to push but by the time the 25 hour mark came up, I was so tired and all the pushing felt so futile.

I relented and now have no regrets.

During the pushing, the nurse had removed my catheter to make more space for the baby to pass.  As a result, they had to reinsert the catheter before surgery which proved to be a difficult task because the baby's head had been pushed far enough to block access to the bladder. I'm not really sure how they handled this issue because I was exhausted and ready to sleep.

They wheeled me into the operating room and after a nifty bed switch with what felt like an inflatable raft, the anesthesiologist administered a local anesthetic which allowed me to stay awake during the C-Section without me feeling any of the pain.

Did I mention that before receiving my epidural I had an extreme case of involuntary shaking that continued after I had the epidural?  It scared the living daylights out of me at first because I thought I was seizing.  Turns out it was just my body's way of dealing with pain.  I started shaking uncontrollably again in the OR.

Now, a C-section is an odd experience.  They put up a barrier preventing any glimpse of anything below the shoulders.  The anesthesiologist talks and directs the staff like you aren't even there on the other side of a flimsy cloth wall.  I felt no pain but pressure but did feel violent pushing and yanking of my insides while my body shivered and shook.

Had I not already gone through a whole day of labor, experienced vomiting and someone manually voiding my bowels during pushing already, my birth story would be of this C-section alone where I was completely disconnected from my body and the moment.  Where labor and pushing were visceral, the C-section was totally clinical with an unreal dream like haze. When my baby was yanked from my body, the only way I knew that it was him and not some organ was that I heard his cry.  The only way I knew it was my baby was because I felt the yank vaguely in the lower parts of my body.

I heard the doctor say, "He's much bigger than I expected.  If I had known, I would have made a bigger incision."

I heard the someone else say, "Those are really big feet."

I heard my husband say, "8 pounds, 12 ounces?!"

I hear another voice say, "22 inches."

And I heard someone ask me if I wanted to hold him and I had to say "No."  I couldn't hold my baby. I felt weak and out of control from the anesthesia, my shaking had me worried that I would drop him. Instead, my husband held my little boy next to me and I was able to kiss him before he was taken away to recovery for my husband to do skin-to-skin with him and I stayed to be stitched up.

Then I passed out.

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