If you have read this never-ending story, then congratulations! You have FINALLY made it to the end! 🙂 You deserve about 18 gold stars! ha! Like I said, I never meant to make it so long, but I just started writing and couldn’t stop. Thank-you for reading it and for the encouraging words……they mean a lot! I love to write, but I’m always afraid when others read my stuff, they’ll just hear Charlie Brown’s teacher “wha, wha, wha-ing….” in their head. (sorry if you did happen to hear that! 🙂 ) And sorry it took me so long to finish posting it. I really wasn’t trying to be all dramatic and leave you hanging (not quite that clever!), but I just recently got 2 new part-time jobs and have seriously had zero free minutes to do much blogging. But training period is almost over and I’m hoping things will settle down soon so I can come up for air. But anyways. Here’s the very last of my little Georgia’s birth story. After this I plan on doing a post of her birthday party we had last week. It was so much fun and she devoured her cake- so many messy pics to come! 🙂
Georgia’s Birth Story- Part 3
The operating room it is.
And it’s ok. After hearing “3 centimeters” for most of the day, I’m not surprised. At this point I just want my baby in my arms. I have no energy left and can tolerate no more pain. Pain with progress, maybe. Pain like this? No. And to drink some water……to drench this sandpaper tongue!
But just because the decision for a c-section has been made, it doesn’t mean it’s happening right then. I expect that because my quest for a natural birth has come to an end, so will the pain. Not true. Dr. Q. must be paged, paper work must be signed, clothes changed, the nitty-gritty. And in the midst of all that, the contractions continue, the tightening as strong as ever. Before I had a goal, my mind made-up, an ounce of determination to help get me through it all. But now? Now I’m defeated. Who knew how much that iron will bore each contraction? Kept me somewhat centered and together. Now I am truly loose at every end. Unraveled from the hurt of this baby trying to come out through a body that won’t budge.
I resort to crying and whining. Tears to deal with the hurt, pleads to anyone who will listen to hurry up this procedure.
“When will I get the shot?” I ask over and over again. “How much longer?” The shot that I remember from Bailey’s birth. The one that comes out of a long needle and goes in my back and makes everything from my stomach down numb. The one I have to sign a release paper for that acknowledges the chance of paralysis if it goes wrong. Or worse. Before I was so scared of signing that paper, so scared of feeling numb. Or worse. But now I can’t get a pen in my hand fast enough.
After what feels like forever, but in reality is more like 45 minutes, a new face walks through the door and I am rescued! It’s the anesthesiologist! The shot-giver! My savior from all this pain!! And what??!! It’s also the dude from that show “The Doctors”! No seriously! The good-looking one who looks more like he belongs on a daytime soap opera rather than a panel of degree-ed professionals who answer questions about immunizations and cholesterol. It really is him! At least I think so? But when I whisper to my mom and ask for her opinion, she just laughs and says, “Yeah, he kind of looks like him.” The pain must be messing with my head more than I realize, because I swear it’s the guy from T.V.
He introduces himself and explains the process of the anesthesia. For the life of me I can’t remember his name. But I do know that somewhere in his little speech I catch the word “intern”.
“What?!” I ask, suddenly perking up out of the pain-induced blur I’ve been in for the past hour. “You mean you’re not a real doctor?”
I am never one to be so blunt or forward or to question authority in such a manner. I don’t Google my sicknesses or try to self-diagnose myself on WebMD; I don’t even pay that much attention to all those scary 20/20 shows that try to convince everyone they’ve contracted some rare, tropical disease. I generally trust my doctors and all the zillions of years of schooling they’ve had. But all of a sudden I am on edge with this Doctor Look-alike Intern.
“What do you mean you’re just an intern? Have you ever done this before??!!”, I ask, not hiding my panic very well. This is so not like me.
He explains that he is an intern, but he’s done this procedure many, many times, and then assures me that a fully certified doctor will be there the whole time observing and helping out.
I listen and accept that this is how things are going to be, but my worry doesn’t subside.
It’s about 8:30 now and Kristen informs me that Dr. Q is ready for me. Time to make the trek to the O.R.
I’m more than ready to go and am about to jump off the bed and into the wheel chair they have prepared for me, when all of a sudden Mom says, “Wait! Can we have a minute to pray?”
Thank goodness for Mom! I had been so out of it the last hour, so ready to just have this baby, that I hadn’t thought much about what a sacred experience we’re about to have.
The room empties and it’s just me, Steve, Mom, and Kristen. The lights are dim, we hold hold hands, close eyes, and Mom leads us in a prayer. Thanking God for his protection, asking for peace, asking for a safe delivery, praising him for the gift of our baby. Amen. It’s impossible to hold back the tears now. But these are different. Not coming from pain, but coming from joy and gratitude.
I give Mom one last hug as I climb into the wheelchair, ready for Kristen to lead the way for me and Steve. Mom is the only one we have waiting for us at the hospital- Grandmom is at the apartment with Bailey, Dad will be up from Georgia the next day, and Steve’s parents are flying in from Colorado in a few days. As Kristen pushes us down the hallway I worry for Mom. Wonder how tough it must be for her to be the only one in the waiting room hoping to hear good news. I pray the time passes quickly for her and that she doesn’t worry too much.
We finally get to the end of the hall and those double doors are waiting for me. I kiss Steve goodbye, knowing he has to wait outside the O.R. while I get the anesthesia. I know it’s only for a few minutes, but I can’t wait till he’s beside me again, holding my hand….. my lifeline in the midst of all the strange nurses and sterile hospital equipment.
The doors open and immediately I jolt upright as all the bright, fluorescent lights hit me. I had been used to the quiet, dim setting of the labor room, and now here I am again, the place I had been hoping to avoid ever since I found out I was pregnant all those months ago: the operating room. Everything feels harsh and cold, metallic and white, noises clicking and echoing off the bare walls , half a dozen strangers mulling about their medical duties. I feel so alone and so scared and I begin to cry again. The weight of the past 18 hours pulls me down. My hopes were raised and now I feel like a failure. Like I gave up. All that time, all that pain, and it’s just wasted. Here I am again, back on the operating table. Drugs, so many strangers around, and who knows how long before I get to hold my baby. I just let all the emotions out and cry, not caring who sees or what anyone thinks. No one seems to mind.
I somehow manage to get seated on top of the operating table and the Intern comes over. Dr. Q is there, and so is Kristen. It’s time for the shot. I am instructed to hunch over, and push into Kristen as the Intern injects the numbing medicine into my spine. It only hurts for a second, just a little pinch, and then I am laid down flat onto the table as everyone starts getting me prepped for the surgery.
I try to zone out, let the anesthesia sink into my body, and pray to God that everything will be all right. The pain from the contractions ends quickly and for the first time in 18 hours, I feel I can somewhat relax and breath. Everything is going to be ok.
Dr. Q’s face is there, hovering over my body, and he’s being so gentle and nice. He knows what a rough day it’s been . I can’t remember what we talk about, but somehow he calms me down. Kristen is there too, offering her continual support. I worry about her, hoping she’s not too tired from being with me all day. I mean, she is pregnant herself.
About 15 minutes pass and Dr. Q. tells me they are almost ready. He just needs to check me over and make sure the anesthesia is working well. Good idea! Don’t really want to feel my stomach being cut in two!
He prods my belly here and there and asks if I feel anything.
“Oh wait! I do feel you there. On my right side. Now you’re moving up…….yes, still feel you”.
Uh-oh. This can’t be good.
“Ok, let’s lift the table and give her another 10 minutes to let the anesthesia go into effect,” instructs Dr. Q.
“What’s going on? Is everything ok?” I ask, feeling the tears crawl up my throat.
“We just want to make sure you can’t feel anything. So we’re going to give the anesthesia more time to work. Just to make sure.” Kristen is trying to be reassuring, but it’s not working.
The lower end of the table, where my legs are, begins to lift upwards. Kristen explains this will help the drug flow more quickly over my body. Time passes slowly and everyone just goes about their business, all busy with one thing or another. I feel so helpless and stuck. Nothing to do, no where to go. What’s wrong with me? With my body? First I don’t contract enough to get my baby out, now I’m not handling the anesthesia like I’m suppose to. I’m just messing everyone’s day up. I just want everything to be ok. God, please let this be over soon.
I guess it’s been 10 minutes because they begin to lower the table.
“Ok, that should do it,” says Dr. Q. “Let’s check one more time just to be sure.”
Here we go again.
“Nope……no……still don’t feel you…….
Oh no! I think I feel something now. Yes, I do. On my right side. He’s poking me and I feel every bit of it! What is wrong with me??!!!
I begin to cry, scared to say something and mess up everyone’s schedule- again! – but more scared to not say anything and feel everything. Now some of those haunting 20/20 episode are coming back to me! People who are awake, but immobile during a surgery and end up feeling every ounce of it, but can’t speak out!
Kristen must see the emotions on my face. “Renee, if you feel something, you have to tell us. Don’t worry about it. Just tell us.”
“Yes…..sniff, sniff…..I do feel you. I feel every poke you’re giving me.” More tears. I must be the most frustrating patient they’ve ever had.
“Ok, get her up. Let’s give her another shot,” instructs Dr. Q. I think I can detect a hint of annoyance in his voice. Probably not; I’m sure I’m just being sensitive.
The team jumps into action and starts lifting me up off the table. Because I am mostly numb, I can’t move myself at all. Helpless. The Intern comes back over. Oh no! Not him again! I knew he wasn’t a real doctor! He must not have done the shot right! No wonder I was so worried!
I don’t say I word, but I silently pray that they get it right this time and that I don’t feel a thing and that I get to see Steve soon. It’s been SO long!
The Intern steps to the side and I hear him and a woman discuss the shot – the placement of it, the amount. She must be the certified one who guides him. Please let her be the one to give me this second shot. I don’t want to go through this ordeal again.
My prayer is answered and this time the “real” anesthesiologist gives me the shot. I’m laid back down and another 10 minutes pass. At this point I just close my eyes and try to shut everyone and everything out.
Finally Dr. Q is back and there’s more prodding. This time I don’t feel a thing. Not one poke or pinch or touch. Hallelujah! I allow myself to smile and to think about the fact that hopefully, in about 20 minutes or so, I will get to hear my baby’s cry. After this roller coaster day, I’m almost there! Oh my baby! You still feel so far away! I just can’t wait to hold you in my arms, to see your beautiful scrunched up face!
Steve is brought back into the room and I can see the question on his face, wanting to know why he had to wait so long. “I’ll tell you later,” I explain, not wanting to relive the last half hour.
Now it is time.
The surgery begins and I just look at Steve and try to get my head in the right place. Try to not think about all the blood and the scalpel. The staples and the needles. The half dozen people who are circling me, names I don’t know, yet people who are seeing all of my insides. Try to not think about throwing up, like I did during Bailey’s c-section. Try to not feel so exposed and helpless and like a failure. Try to not focus on those bright lights, the ones that feel like they’re burning holes in my eyes. We’ll be in a quiet, darker room soon hopefully. Well, not too quiet. A baby’s cry would be ok…..
The baby! The baby! I can’t believe after all these months the baby is coming. My baby. My girl. My beautiful daughter. I just know it’s a girl! She has put me through the ringer and I love her even more for it. She is going to be spunky. Going to be spirited and full of life. I can’t wait to meet her! Oh God, thank-you, thank-you, thank-you…….praises to the King of Kings! Thank-you, thank-you…..
I look at Steve and try to hold his focus. I know last time it was hard for him to see all the blood, to see his wife laid up and open like that. He brushes my hair and we talk. Quiet talk about nothing really. Just between him and me. He has been the best partner through this all. He is my partner and I feel so lucky, so blessed. How did I end up so lucky? I thank God again.
The moments pass and then finally, at 9:15, almost 12 hours exactly after my original scheduled c-section, I feel some pressure and a pull, and Dr. Q loudly proclaims, “It’s time! Here’s your baby!”
And like we had planned, Steve gets to call the sex.
“It’s a GIRL!” he shouts. Joy-filled pride. The purest of smiles. “Another GIRL!!!”
Ah! Of course it is. It’s you! Closed eyes, deep, satisfied smile. You are finally here. My Georgia is here.
And I breathe and I never stop smiling.
Immediately they thrust her tiny purple head over the curtain and I see the most beautiful, perfect baby, with the fullest, prettiest lips I’ve ever seen. She’s crying so loudly and I love every note.
Where have you been? What took you so long? And all I want to do is hold her.
They take her about 10 feet away to be weighed and measured and cleaned-up, all while Dr. Q is sewing me back together. But this hospital is different than where Bailey was born. They have a camera on her the entire time, with the image displayed on a 42 inch screen only a foot from my head. I turn and never stop watching her. Though I can’t touch her yet, or be right next to her, I see every little thing she does and what they do to her.
And I am captured. She has captured my heart, my being, and I love her totally and completely. I am unaware of everyone else in the room. Of what’s happening to my body. Of the fact that I had another “dreaded” surgery, that I can’t hold her instantly. None of it matters one little bit. All that I care about is that gorgeous 7 pound, 3 ounce gift that I see squirming and crying on the screen. I don’t care one drop how she got here; I’m just so thankful she’s here.
The next half hour consists of nothing but me staring at that screen, whispering over and over again to Steve how beautiful she is, how lucky we are. He agrees and we are in awe. My neck begins to get a crick in it and my cheeks are actually sore from smiling, but I can’t help it. I just want to stare forever, be lost in this little girl The events of the day, the changes in plans, the hopes I had, the pain I went through, the failed dreams……it all melts away into some blurry, distant past, into a time that in comparison to the moment at hand, means absolutely nothing. Nothing matters except our little Georgia Wren. Thank-you God, thank-you God, thank-you God…….all the Glory is Yours…..
After they get her ready and I’m all stitched up, we head to the recovery room. It’s quiet here – no one around but me, Steve, and a new nurse. An occasional beep of a machine, soft lights. Georgia is quietly swaddled. It’s only been about 45 minutes since our world forever changed, and the moment we get settled a nurse comes over and asks if I want to hold my little baby.
“You mean I can hold her now? Already??? Yes, yes, yes!!!” Heart beats fast.
The nurse props me up, and I am giddy with anticipation. She hands me the sweetest, wrapped-up bundle of life, and my heart breaks and fills all at the same time. I kiss her, breath her in, hold her tight, and I just can’t stop smiling.
Update – After writing GA’s birthstory I was talking to my parents about babies and having kids and things like that. When talking about my desire to have more kids, my dad acted shocked, saying something to the effect of “Wow! after reading Georgia’s story, I’m surprised you’d ever want to have more kids! I didn’t know it was so rough having her!”.
Well let me say that in hindsight it wasn’t so rough. Sorry if I made it sound dramatic and crazy. I mean, at the time it did feel that way and it was rough while I was going through it. But heck, it’s LABOR! You’re bringing a human into the world and I think that pain and heightened emotions are just part of the process. But honestly, the second Georgia was born, I was so happy and elated that any pain or drama just disappeared and meant nothing. And whatever it did mean, it was all worth it! And like any mom will tell you- I’d do it all over again and again if it mean getting GA. And I know the same will be true for future babies.
Now I will say that not getting the type of natural birth that I wanted did make me feel a little sad/disappointed. But those feelings didn’t come for weeks later…..after my body began to heal and the reality of her birth settled in. For a while I felt a lot of guilt and disappointment in myself. Like I gave up too quickly, like I wasn’t strong enough, like there was something wrong w/my body for not being able to dilate more. And to be honest, I sometimes do still struggle with those feelings. But 99% of the time I feel just so thankful and happy to have her, that I really don’t care how she got her. There are so many women out there who long for children, so for me to be sad or upset over the way mine entered into the world, just makes me feel silly and ungrateful.
Also, the whole situation has just taught me to trust in God more and more. When they did pull her out via c-section, the doctor found that she had been effaced, which means while she was head down, she was face-up (or sunny-side up like my friend Melanie says 🙂 ). They said that when babies are in that position, they can have trouble coming out even when fully dilated. I had been praying and turning to God through the whole laboring process, asking for His will to rule the day, not my own plan or dreams. And I believe He is faithful and NEVER lets you down! Even though I wanted her to come out a certain way, I trust He was guiding it all and got her out the way He intended for her to come- safe and sound! Though I sometimes still have questions, I trust in His perfect plan and know it is all for His glory. The words are simple, but oh-so-true….He is good!
“Now we only see a dim likeness of things. It is as if we are seeing them in a mirror. But someday we will see clearly. We will see face to face. What I know now is not complete. But someday I will know completely, just as God knows me completely.” 1 Corinthians 13:12