Wednesday, April 4, 2012

The Birth of Memphis...

  The drive to the hospital was surreal, traffic was light, we didn't talk much.  I have no idea what we listened to on the radio, in fact, all I really remember looking back is that I couldn't get my mind off of the little being I was getting ready to meet that day.  I was contracting mildly, in a very steady but not very painful rhythm.  At that point I wasn't worried about being in labor, I knew I had plenty of time. 

  We checked in really rather easily, there was no one in the waiting areas and within just a few minutes they had me in the back getting my admitting papers done.  A woman came to talk to me about cord blood banking.  We were extremely fortunate to be able to take advantage of a program they have in that hospital in which we could donate half and the other half they would store for us for free.  Otherwise, there is no way we could have afforded to bank it.  We took care of that paperwork too.  Because of my genetic condition, they will not use his cord blood for anything more than research, but to me, that is enough. 

  We were taken back to a small room and they strapped me to the usual monitors, keep in mind this is my 5th delivery so this is not an unfamiliar experience for me at all.  At first, he wouldn't quit moving, so they had a hell of a time keeping him on the monitor.  It worried me, but then again, every damn thing about this pregnancy worried me.  It really had been an amazingly easy pregnancy all things considered.  I never really had complications with the baby, it was always just me.  It was me they were concerned with all along.

  The dr came in, and at this point we were totally in love and comfortable with her, so she didn't have to explain much to us.  She watched my contraction pattern though and realized that I was indeed in labor.  Memphis was going to arrive that day one way or another anyway, so at that point we both kind of sighed in relief because that meant he would almost surely be able to breathe on his own.

   It took a while for the cardiologist to get there, so we had a little bit longer of a wait than any of us wanted, but my wonderful ob/gyn (who is actually the head of maternal/fetal medicine for that hospital) had cleared her whole day just for me.  My very sweet, but very busy cardio showed up and we got the incredible and very wonderful news that I would get to stay on the maternity floor rather than go to cardiac care.  She didn't see a need for me to be on a monitor, my ICD would take care of any complication that would arise due to my heart anyway.  There wouldn't be anything that anyone could do different that would save my life than they were already doing cardiac wise.

  So we get to the part where the anesthesiologist comes to talk to us to explain the spinal and guess what?  I got the head of anesthesia for the hospital too.  So that's all three heads, cardiac care, maternal fetal medicine and anesthesia.  I had an incredible surgical team. 

  I had had epidurals before but never a I was not sure what to expect.  It was very very different.  I'd only had one effective epidural in all my deliveries and that was for my lost angel so I wasn't nearly as far along.  I never really got more than about 10 pounds over my pre pregnant weight due to the hyperemesis like morning (all day) sickness I had until I was about oh..12 hours after I delivered!!! LOL  It was ok, I was still huge.  So anyway, they get us to the OR, and get the spinal done, lay me down and I go numb.

    It was awesome.  I'm prone to panic when lying on my back because even on a good day, I can't breathe lying flat, so I was promised good drugs when the baby was out.  It was very quick from the time they layed me down to the time I got good drugs :)  I could actually see in the reflection of the surgical light what they were doing, and I could of course hear them, but I couldn't feel a damn thing.  It was pretty cool really.  I didn't feel the tugging and pushing you hear about, I didn't have any sharp pains at any point.  I was in labor when they began, and the baby was never in any danger so it was way less scary than I would have imagined.  It was really quite beautiful.

    I heard the most glorious sound, my baby crying.  All of a sudden I was complete.  He was fine, he was breathing on his own just fine.  I was fine too, extremely stoned on whatever the hell they gave me, but I was fine too.  Turned out I was huge because I had an ovarian cyst the size of a grapefruit though. 

  They did a tubal while they were in there, and stapled me closed.  Mr peanuts weighed a whole 5 pounds 8 ounces and was 18 inches long.  My tiniest baby.  In fact, the tiniest I'd ever seen up close, but not bad for a 36 weeker at all.  He was BALD though!!!! Save for a few straggly blonde hairs, he was bald!  I'd never had a bald baby, it was a shock.  But he was adorable none the less.  I have to giggle still, he was the only white baby in an East LA hospital, so it was pretty funny, they made a big deal out of it.  The only white baby and the smallest baby not in the nicu so he was a marvel.  Add that to a one in a million mommy and we got a shit ton of attention.

   It was pretty embarrassing for the first 12 hours or so when I couldn't stop vomiting though.  He was breathing fine when he was born but in recovery we noticed some grunting, and when we'd gotten to our room, they were worried, but not enough to take him to the nicu.  He also couldn't hold his temperature even a little bit, every time they'd take him out of the warmer he'd get cold.  But they kept him in the room.  R sat helpless, watching us both, not able to help either.  He was scared shitless, I could see it in his eyes.  I couldn't do anything, nothing but throw up.  I was helpless too.  I had amazing nurses, one of them gave me a spongebath because I was covered in sweat from vomiting.  Finally, the nicu team came in as I was getting the last of the morphine out of my system and told them to give him to me.  They laid him on my bare chest and he immediately rooted for a boob.  They noticed a pattern, when they'd take him from my, his temp would drop and he would start to grunt to breath.  When he was with me, he was fine.  So, from then on he stayed with me. 

  They even let me hold him when they took my staples out to switch over to the steri strips before I went home.  I had a hell of a time getting him to eat though.  He ended up having a pretty severe tongue tie and what they call a heart shaped tongue.  The tip looks like the top of a heart.  I actually gave in to exhaustion at one point and gave the poor kid some formula.  He didn't particularly like it though and would only eat an ounce.  He promptly threw it all back up anyway.

    I was a wreck those first few days.  I eventually got him to latch on and he's been a boobie baby ever since.  In fact, those first few weeks he gained weight at such a rapid and steady pace they decided he didn't need the tongue tie clipped.  The recovery from the c section was not bad, I was sore, but it wasn't more than I could handle.

  The scar still itches, but it's only been 9 months now so it's not unheard of at all for it to go on for even longer.  I'm lucky, he has been very healthy for all he had stacked against him.  He's  a bright little boy, the love and joy of my life, he made me complete.  Don't get me wrong, I love my other children and maybe I'm just enchanted with him as a baby but he did make my family complete.  He will be my last baby for sure, I can have no more so there is a special bond.  For now I must close, I'm being summoned for boobies...
Until next time


Momma Jorje said...

What is your genetic condition?

J. said...

It's called Brugada syndrome. It's an electrical problem that causes sudden cardiac arrest. It's relatively rare, and the only treatment available is an ICD (implanted cardiovert defibrillator). I had my first one implanted in 2007 and had a new biventricular pacemaker/ICD put in Oct, 2011.