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Melia’s Birth

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I was so concerned about being late for check-in that I told everyone we needed to be there a half-hour before we were scheduled to arrive…and then completely forgot about my little white lie. I rushed Jon out the door so quickly that he didn’t have a chance to eat breakfast, and then we showed up at the hospital 40 minutes early. I think it may be the only time I wasn’t late through the whole pregnancy!

Once our room was ready for us, my doctor, anesthesiologist and nurses all came to my room one by one to meet me and explain what role they would have in the OR before we got started. I don’t know if this is standard procedure for a scheduled c-section or not, but it really helped me feel supported and calm.

I had one nurse assigned to me for the whole first day. She got my vitals, checked the baby’s heart and got my IV started in our room before walking us down. We had an exciting moment when the nurse’s hand slipped while she was finishing up the IV. She accidentally sent a squirt of blood all over my arm. Jon, who was starving and isn’t a fan of needles anyway, was trying to avoid watching the IV situation. He glanced up when he heard us both gasp just in time to see the gush and passed out for a minute. The nurse was appropriately concerned, but I cracked up laughing and couldn’t pull myself back together. Jon was fine, obviously, except for his ego, which I believe sustained some permanent damage. We’re just glad we got that little bit of hilarious unpleasantness out of the way before we really got down to business!

The OR reminded me of a dental office. It was very surreal to walk into that room and know that I’d come out again with my baby! The anesthesiologist, an older, burly Italian man, ended up being my main support person through the birth, which I certainly didn’t expect. He was extraordinarily attentive and responded quickly when I expressed discomfort (my blood pressure took a few dips early on and left me feeling a little queasy), and when he realized that I have some medical knowledge he moved out of the way so that I could keep an eye on my own numbers on the monitors. That was very helpful for me.

I didn’t get much sleep the night before Melia was born, because I was up thinking and worrying about what it would be like to add this second baby to our already pretty darn perfect little family. I remember thinking that it would be hard to love anyone else as much as I love Darren. The moment I heard Melia’s first cry, though, I knew that I had nothing to worry about. It sounds corny, but I felt like in addition to a baby, I’d suddenly gained a second heart full of love just for her. 🙂

I was also concerned about the delay between Melia’s birth and my being allowed to hold her. I thought that I would be a nervous wreck as I waited for my baby to be brought to me. As it was, I actually appreciated the delay. Her birth was so sudden (15 minutes!) that it didn’t feel real at first. Looking back, I think that it really helped me to have that couple of minutes to let it all sink in. Seeing her for the first time was a great moment…and we have a sweet picture of it, too, which was taken by the anesthesiologist.

The stitching up part ended up being the hardest for me. My doctor warned me that I would feel some pressure, but for me it was seriously painful, and it took me by surprise because I didn’t realize that I’d be feeling the pain in my neck, shoulders and chest. At one point I felt tears welling up in my eyes and I thought I was going to lose it. I told Jon to move Melia away because I didn’t want to scare her. The anesthesiologist came to our rescue again and held my face in his hands as he told me that this was the worst part for most people and that it was not going to get significantly worse. Once I was calmer, he moved away to add some narcotics to my IV to help dull the pain. I tried to focus on taking deep breaths, but I have always been crap at those deep breathing exercises and just made myself dizzy. I switched to humming (“La Marseillaise,” weirdly enough). The anesthesiologist thought it was really funny and commented that someone ought to be making a video to send to “America’s Got Talent.” I guess the narcotics were starting to kick in at that point, because I thought that was the funniest thing I’d ever heard.

I really felt like the nurses were on my side all the way through this experience. Darren was whisked away minutes after birth and had been given eye drops when he returned. I’m convinced that the drops were to blame for our rocky first few days of breastfeeding, so this time around I was determined to delay them as long as possible. The nurses here were great about it and delayed the drops ever so slightly longer than they are legally allowed…but you didn’t hear that from me! Melia had plenty of time for a successful first feeding and has gained a full pound over the last two weeks, and I credit the nurses for letting that happen.

My recovery since the birth has been a breeze. I was up and walking within about 5 hours, and I only needed pain medications for 4 days. Melia was alert and happy all through our hospital stay and we got some very precious bonding time in there.

Overall, I couldn’t be happier with my birth experience. It was very healing for me and gave me a lot more confidence in my own judgment and instincts. It is nice to know that I am safe with me.


Written by GRSeim

September 6, 2011 at 5:14 am

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