A Birth Story – Part Three

An emergency cesarean birth is exactly the opposite of what I had envisioned for Blake’s birth. I had my heart set on giving birth at home, but my body had other plans. Perhaps it was the anesthesia, but as I lay in my hospital bed as it was being wheeled through the hallways towards the operating room, I felt like I was watching the whole thing happen from afar.

It was strange being conscious during the operation. I am squeamish, so I was thankful that there was a curtain between my eyes and what was going on. My poor husband was simply in shock. He had not expected that things would turn out as they did. After Blake was delivered, I started gasping for breath. I was very scared and started calling for help. The doctors must have thought that I was crazy, because they told me that I was breathing just fine. The problem was that I could not feel myself breathing because the anesthesia had gone too far. It was only supposed to render me numb from my toes to my chest. I was numb all the way up to my nose. It took a couple of hours before that feeling  and the accompanying panic subsided, but after all was said and done, I was relieved that Blake had come into the world safely and that he was healthy.

I was unable to hold Blake for a few hours because I had to wait until I could move my arms. My husband cuddled him and they sat by my bed. The details of that first day are very unclear, except that I remember that my dad and Dylan showed up a couple of hours after Blake was born (around 3 in the morning).

Dylan had gone to bed okay for my dad, but around one thirty in the morning (the exact time of Blake’s birth) he woke up crying inconsolably. My dad could not get him back to bed, so into the car they went to make the hour long trip to the hospital. Dylan was so distraught that he somehow wrangled my dad into stopping at a Dunkin’ Donuts to get him some donut holes. When Dylan and my dad showed up, my husband took Dylan home so that they could get some rest and my dad stayed with me.

The rest of my hospital stay consisted of me drifting between enjoying my newborn son and being incredibly annoyed and frustrated with my body and with the hospital staff. My husband and I decided that it was important for him to stay home with Dylan, and I was fine with them being an hour away because I knew that it was what Dylan needed.

While I was fine with being on my own at the hospital, the hospital staff were very judgmental. I overheard a young, female doctor talking to a nurse about how she thought that my son and I had been abandoned by “the baby’s father”. I was incensed. How dare they judge me when they did not even know anything about our situation.  I decided not to waste time on anger and instead concentrated on recovering from the cesarean birth. I was able to keep Blake in my room the entire time as I cared for his needs without asking the nurses to take him to the nursery. We both got plenty of rest, and I was relieved when on the fifth day, my blood pressure had stabilized enough (with the help of medicine) for us to go home.