They stripped me of all jewelry, my glasses, and wrapped me in hair nets and puffy leg warmers. I could see blurry blobs of the OR. It was freezing. My husband had to stay out while they prepped me. They started giving me different meds- something for stomach acid, something for nausea, something for I don’t even know. The anesthesiologist introduced himself but I couldn’t tell you his name. My nurse was new and I could tell- she seemed unsure and rattled at how quickly we had moved from labor to section. She had come in at the tail-end of my pushing. I missed my first nurse- she was strong and determined. I wanted my husband. My mom. I wanted my baby not cut out of me.
The Dr. ran something along my stomach and asked if I could feel it. Yes, I could. Glances between Dr. and anesthesiologist. My epidural had a hot spot that we’d already discovered while pushing. I could feel pain on my right side. They pushed more drugs. Could I feel it still? Yes, I still could. Did I want the epidural replaced? It would mean re-doing the whole thing, delaying the section, and possibly still having a hot spot in the same or another place. No, I would do this.
My husband came in. I couldn’t see his face but his presence helped. Even with weekly appointments preparing me for a C-section, countless conversations with my mom and best friend about their experiences, and lots of saved Pinterest articles, I wasn’t prepared for this. My water had broken on its own, I dilated on my own, I pushed for hours. Why was I here?
The anesthesiologist told me he had meds at the ready as soon as Baby J was out of me- they’d pump me full of pain meds to offset the hot spot but needed baby out first. I tried not to cry. I didn’t like any of this. It wasn’t the plan. I wanted a natural, vaginal birth. I wanted a gentle C-section at least. I wanted to see the baby pulled out of me. I wanted delayed cord clamping. I wanted skin-to-skin. I couldn’t think clearly. My focus was on the Dr. When would she pull the baby out of me?
Then I heard the cry. And I couldn’t fight the tears back. Thank God he was safe. My husband tried to tell them we wanted delayed cord clamping as they cut the cord. There goes that. They pushed the drugs. My husband apparently brought Baby J close to my face but all I remember is thinking I couldn’t see him without my glasses and the world went black.