I knew Munchkin’s birth was traumatic for me but it wasn’t until Punkin was born that I truly realized how traumatic is was. In many ways, Punkin’s birth was healing for me, in ways I didn’t know I needed. I LOVED the hospital that we picked for deliver Punkin. We will be going back to have our next kiddo (if we’re blessed with another one!) It was perfect for us. The doctors, nurses and other staff that we interacted with are professional and friendly and they really care about you. They did whatever they could to help us. Three months later and I still miss my 3am sandwiches!
We had Punkin’s birth day all planned out. Surgery was scheduled for 3 and I had to be there at noon. That morning I was going to go to Munchkin’s hour of preschool and then The Man & would head to the hospital. Munchkin was staying with Nana and she had fun things planned. The next day they were going to come and spend a good portion of the afternoon with us in the hospital. It all sounds very nice, doesn’t it? It just goes to show that even with a scheduled c section birth doesn’t always go as planned!
In the days leading up the Punkin’s birth, Munchkin came down with a fever. I mean, a real fever. I think it was around 102. Munchkin very rarely gets sick. I mean, she’ll get a 99.5 “fever” but usually nothing above that. We’ve been blessed with how little she’s been sick. A fever meant no preschool and no hospital visit. Thankfully by the morning of it was a little lower. So we just stayed at home, getting Munchkin cuddles and enjoying our last morning as a family of three.
The weather was yucky and there was high winds predicted, so we left a little early because we had to cross the Tacoma Narrows bridge. It turned out that the weather was fine and we hit no traffic so the usual 45 minute drive only took about thirty minutes. It’s better to be early, right? There was also no one at admissions where we had to check in, so we were able to go right in and ten minutes later we were on our way up to the maternity ward. It was a little weird pressing the buzzer (both the L&D and recovery floors are locked and people have to be buzzed in and out) and saying “I’m here for my c-section!” They asked if I was Poe and when I said yes they let us in.
After a few minutes wait we were taken to a room. I got to undress and get wiped with sage wipes. I have no idea why but we did it! Then I got to get comfy on the bed and answer lots and lots of questions. I got the IV I needed to have. I ended up having a few different nurses for the prep process. Eventually the one who would be with me through the surgery came in and finished up. She made the comment that she was my new BFF and it was true! She was the flow of information for me. She also got to do fun things like shave me. Yeah, not my favorite part but I’m glad I knew it was coming from last time!
Then we waited. And waited. And waited some more. I was supposed to go back to the operating room for 3 pm but there was a back up. So we got to wait. I was hungry as I hadn’t had anything to eat since 6:45 that morning. I tried to take my mind off of my hunger and the upcoming surgery by reading, being online and talking to The Man. It helped some. At one point I just laid there and realized I was exhausted. I tried to nap but couldn’t. Instead I laid there and tried to soak up the feeling of Punkin moving and kicking inside. Feeling the baby move is my favorite part of being pregnant and I knew I’d miss it. The nurse kept coming in to keep us up to date on when we might be going back. 3:30. Then 4:15. Then 4:30. Then 5. Somewhere in all of this my OB visited as well as the anesthesiologist. Then finally around 5:30 I was able to walk back to the OR with the nurse. They brought me back first to prep me and then The Man would join me.
Once in the OR they had me get up on the table. The anesthesiologist gave me my spinal block. It was much easier than getting the epidural with Munchkin cause I didn’t have to stay still during contractions. Then they had me lay down. It worked really fast and they had to position my legs for me. There were several people in the OR prepping for the birth and they were working fast. Not hurrying but not wasting time either. I remember not being able to move my feet but they were uncomfortable so I asked them to move them for me. They checked Punkin’s heartbeat and it was perfect. They put up the curtain between me and my belly. My OB came in and said hi and did some stuff. Then they all stopped what they were doing and introduced themselves to me. They told me their names and what they would be doing during the birth. It was AWESOME! I loved knowing who was there and why.
Then all of a sudden I started feeling nauseous. It wasn’t totally unexpected as the anesthesiologist told me it often happens. So she gave me some meds. At this point I was really wanting my husband. Thirty seconds after I asked for him he walked in. He looked amazing in his white protective outfit. He was at my head as the surgery started. It was very surreal. There was some talk among the surgery team but it was quiet. The anesthesiologist kept checking in with me, making sure I was ok.
I felt pressure and all of a sudden I could tell that Punkin was out! I’m not sure how I knew, I just did. I looked at the clock as I heard someone ask for the time. It was 6:04. She made one little cry and then was whisked away to the warming table. As she passed by me I realized that she had a bald head! I was expecting a head full of hair and while she had some around sides there was none on top. She wasn’t making any noise and I remember being concerned. After what felt like a long time (it really wasn’t though) I heard Punkin start to cry and I could catch glimpses of her. The Man went over to see her and to trim the cord. It was a little tough and he got blood EVERYWHERE. Once they wiped her down and did some other stuff they brought her over to me. The anesthesiologist also took photos for us while The Man was cutting the cord. It was so nice for me to be able to look at them and “see” it. The Man also managed to get a few photos of Punkin being born. It’s so cool to see it and I know I’ll treasure those photos (don’t worry, I’m not going to share them here!)
This was the part I was waiting for. I wanted to do skin to skin SO BADLY. They had put a tube top thing on me, the kind they use to keep the monitors in place when they use the wireless ones (to measure contractions and the baby’s heartbeat.) I’m just a little too chesty though and Punkin wouldn’t fit, so I just kind of held her sideways. The Man kept a hand on her cause I was a little woozy. I was fighting and trying to stay present in the moment. Instead I was kind of disassociating with what was going on. I was there but I wasn’t. It was awkward holding her like that so after a few minutes I asked The Man to take her. I was really afraid I was going to drop her. He snuggled his little girl and at my prompting went with them to our recovery room. I really wanted him to do some skin to skin time with her while they finished up on me.
The Man carried Punkin out and I just laid there while they finished up. Before I knew it they told me they were done and it was time to transfer me to the bed to be taken to the recovery room. I hate this part because I feel like I should be able to help them move me but of course I couldn’t cause I still couldn’t feel the lower half of my body. As they wheeled me into the recovery room The Man looked at me in surprise, as he had just started skin to skin with Punkin. They had done a few more things with Punkin when they first got to the room so I could get her as soon as possible when I arrived. I ditched the johnny (I had them cut the tube top off in the OR cause it was really uncomfortable) and had them help me latch Punkin. I tried sitting up and had barely moved the bed up when the nausea hit me. I had to stay laying down for the next 2 hours. They did give me some medicine and while it helped some, getting to eat something helped more since it had been over 12 hours since I had eaten.
Punkin latched like a champ and nursed away! She would fall off the nipple every once in a while and I would have to have someone come help me get her latched again. It’s really hard to do it yourself when you’re laying flat on your back. At one point when she fell off they took her so they could weigh her. She weighed 6 pounds 15 ounces, which was much smaller than we were expecting. She was such a peanut! Once the nausea was mostly gone they wheeled us down to the room that we’d stay in for the rest of our visit. Once I got there I was able to sit up and order some dinner. Punkin kept sleeping and eating. The Man and I took turns holding and cuddling her, loving the fact that we could now get to know our little girl.
After talking our nurse and Nana about Munchkin’s fever, we decided to have her come visit us. The fever was down and almost gone and had been that way for almost 24 hours. The nurse said it was our decision and I needed to see my firstborn. They didn’t stay long, only about an hour but they did bring me a dozen cupcakes. Munchkin was very happy to see us but was unsure of Punkin. She held her and gave her kisses but really just wanted attention from The Man and I. So we gave her lots while Nana met Punkin.
As nice as it was to see them, it was nice to just have Punkin time too. We knew that we would never really have just time with Punkin so we enjoyed every moment. I did ask several times about getting her bilirubin checked as well as her weight. We had had issues with both of these with Munchkin and I was really nervous it would happen again. They weren’t concerned at all and put me at ease. They checked her weight and yes, she was down to 6 lb 6 oz but losing weight is normal. Her bili levels were around 5 which was in the acceptable range. I just needed to keep nursing her. There were a few sticky spots with that but overall not bad. By noon on Saturday they were kicking us out the door to go home…so we did!