Nurse Bernie said that the OR would be cold. She wasn't exagerating. Oh my gosh...the room was freezing...like a walk in freezer. I started shaking from the cold and from my nerves. There were several people wearing scrubs and masks walking around and talking. I looked around the room and saw the table with all the surgical instruments and sort of zoned out. I was doing everything I was told - walk over here, get on the table, pull your gown to the side - none of it seemed real. Several people introduced themselves to me but I couldn't tell them apart with their masks on.
I was on the table and nurse Bernie wrapped me up in two warm blankets and the anesthesiologist went to work. The pain this man caused me was almost more than I could bear. I was already emotional and just knowing I was about to get stuck in my spine brought me to tears. Nurse Bernie was great. She told me I was doing a great job and to just breath and try to go limp. This was not an easy task because I was shaking uncontrollably. Getting the epidural was horrible. I was supposed to relax while being hunched over and freezing and getting poked with a needle. It hurt so bad. It was like a sting and a burn all rolled into one. He was telling me to communicate but at times it hurt so bad I couldn't even speak. I think I must be a wimp. At one point, I told him it was stinging really bad and he asked me if it was just pressure or pain. My words were caught in my throat and Bernie answered for me...PAIN. And then finally it didn't hurt anymore.
I laid down on the table and the rest of the machines were hooked up...my pulse ox and my blood pressure cuff. The nurses were doing an instrument count and trying to figure out what music to listen to during the procedure. I was lying there listening to them and would ocassionaly tell them that I was getting more and more numb. One of the ladies started cleaning my stomach with a very scratchy sponge. She was singing Moves Like Jagger while doing so. I will never forget that moment. The curtain went up as more preparations took place. I was still shaking although I wasn't cold anymore. I was begging God to let my little girl be ok. I came to the realization that so much of my fear was the fear of not taking her home with us. We had been through so much to get pregnant and now it was all coming to a head and I just couldn't wrap my head around the fact that I was about to have a real live baby. It still wasn't real to me. I was so afraid she wouldn't cry upon birth or that the suspected problems with her head would prevent her from coming home with us. It was a very scary place to be.
BJ entered the room and came to sit by me. I was so happy to see him. He sat there like a cat on a hot roof. He was jittery and looking around. The nurse asked me if we had a name and I told her the name. It was amazing to be able to tell it to someone. We had kept it a secret for so long. BJ was so nervous. I have never seen him like that. I was talking way too much and saying things like:
she's going to be ok, right?
God is going to let her be ok, right?
We are going to be able to take her home, right?
BJ just kept saying yes and I hope so. He wasn't looking at me...he was looking everywhere else. He was holding my hand and hunching over. I couldn't believe what was about to happen.
My doctor came in and made some small talk with us and the team and then it was time to get started. At that point, my whole body went still and I felt like I could breathe again. I took a deep breath and in my head I said to myself, "she's going to be fine, this is all going to work out". I don't know what came over me at that moment but I sort of just disconnected from everything and relaxed for about 30 seconds. It was an amazing feeling that I can't even put into words.
They told me that I would feel pressure and tugging and pulling and then I would feel a very hard push just below my sternum when it was time to get the baby out. They made sure I couldn't feel anything and started going in. They were chatting about someone they all knew and I blocked most of it out. I tried to focus on BJ but he was a wreck. His eyes were filled with tears and he was so far away. I wanted nothing more than to hold him and tell him that all would be ok. I kept saying the same things over and over again because when I'm nervous I make idle chatter and can't seem to shut up. :-) BJ didn't seem to mind, he was in his own world and I don't think he heard anything I was saying anyway.
My doctor announced that they were about to pull her out and then she said the most magical words I had ever heard up to that moment...."TeeJay, her head looks fine..." I asked her if she was sure and she repeated that yes, her head looks perfectly fine. And then BJ relaxed a bit and I could hear him breathing again. I was so elated that I didn't even care that they were pulling and tugging on me so hard that I thought I was going to be yanked off the table. Apparently, Baby Girl's head was still very far away from the birth canal. And then came the HUGE push they were talking about. It actually took 3 pushes on my stomach to get her out. I thought I was going to hurl.
And then we listened. We waited for any sign of life. I was whispering to BJ, "do you hear her? was that her? did you hear that? I think that was her" And then she cried. And then I cried. And then BJ cried. I said, "oh my gosh, that's HER! That's our BABY! She's here and she's alive...do you hear her?" It was the sweetest little cry I had ever heard in my life. They were sucking her out and massaging her and she was not liking it one bit. Nurse Bernie had been put on picture duty so she was snapping pictures while we waited. BJ kept trying to sneak a peak but he was too afraid of seeing my surgery to really get up and look at her. Nurse Bernie brought the camera over and showed us a few pictures. I couldn't believe it...there was a LIVE BABY on the table that came out of ME...and she was MINE. I commented on how big she was. I couldn't believe how big she looked. And then they finally brought my bundle over to me. I was able to put one arm up to sort of hold her. My first words were, "oh my gosh, she's so TINY!" The pictures made her look huge but her little face was so tiny and precious...it was amazing to see her. And then I said, "she looks just like the Little Guy", because she did. We took some more pictures and BJ talked to her and then it was time for him to take her away to the nursery. I laid there in awe as they finished me up. The phone rang and it was the nursery telling us how much she weighed and how long she was...6lbs, 15.5oz and 19.5in. If you remember, 2 weeks before that, she was estimated at being over 7 pounds. Those techs can kiss my ass for making me worry and making me think I was going to have a big baby. They obviously do NOT know what they are doing.
As they were finishing up they gave me a shot of Pitocin to help my uterus go back down and it apparently did not agree with me. I felt sick and faint and started to see spots. I told the anesthesiologist this and he checked my blood pressure. I was crashing. He asked my doctor what was going on and she said that she was just about finished. He gave me something else (I can't remember what) and I immediately felt better. For about 45 seconds I was worried that I would never see my baby girl again. It was a pretty scary minute. Before they wheeled me out of the OR I asked what her apgars were and was told that she scored a 9/9. Way to go, Baby Girl, way to go.
I have so much to write about and I never wanted to be that woman that stopped writing once the baby came. So, I'm going to come back here and share our story. There is much more to tell and if any of what I have to say can help someone else then it needs to be said. It has not been an easy year but it has been absolutely amazing. I may start a new blog about parenting after IF or I may just stay here since this is my home. I do know that I need to write this stuff out so that I can work it out in my own head and heart. If you are still out there reading, thank you...I miss you.