When we made the decision to have a C-Section I was both incredibly relieved and stupendously horrified at the same time. One of the items on my wish list* was to have a detailed and honest account on someone else's C-Section so I could know what I was getting myself into.
In the weeks before my surgery when I was in full blown panic mode Chris would ask me, "On the day of the operation, what would you do if the surgeon walked into the operating room and said, I'm going to cut you bitch?" Oddly enough that question always calmed me down and made me laugh when my imagination got the best of me.
The day of surgery we set the alarm clock for 7AM so I could have my "last supper" before I began fasting for surgery. Yes, I really am comparing my last meal before my children were born to a death row request.** While we waited for the clock to strike 12, literally, we played cards, talked, showered and tried, unsuccessfully, to take a nap.
At noon my mother picked us up and dropped us off at the hospital. We knew that we'd be in for 48-72 hours and didn't want to pay the $150-$200 required to stay parked there for a few days. Registration was a breeze as we'd pre-registered the week before. Our choice of paying the extra $100 that our insurance wouldn't cover for a private room was the best money I think I've ever spent.***
This is me and Chris at just over 6 months pregnant.
Next Chris and I headed to a four bedded hospital dorm room for people who were awaiting to go into delivery/surgery rooms or who had just had their babies. I was stripped down to a hospital gown and the nurse took my blood pressure and inserted my IV drip.
Everything was seamless at that point, until we met our anaesthesiologist. She was a wiry, hyper woman who had a nervous energy that did not put me at ease. She seemed more freaked out about the surgery than I was. She insisted on trying to remove my ring from my swollen sausage finger for about 5 minutes, even though I explained that I had spent the better part of a week trying to remove the ring with no success. Once she was done attacking my finger with her little squirrely paws, she gave up and put surgical tape over the ring while she warned me, "The surgical equipment may make this ring burn your hand." and then left.
About an hour later I was called into the operating room to get my epidural while Chris waited in the dorm and changed into his scrubs. The operating room was big and bright and looked like a giant, insanely sanitary bathroom. It was also incredibly cold. I was ordered to sit on a large metal bench for my epidural. They took my blood pressure again. "Your blood pressure is going up. Do you know why that is?" the anaesthesiologist asked me as if I was willing it to rise. "Nervous about surgery?" I suggested. She then called my surgeon saying that she wanted to delay my surgery until we could get blood work done to ensure that I was okay to have an epidural. From my metal perch I could hear my surgeon insisting that I was okay and that she had run blood pressure tests just a few days before for that very reason.
The anaesthesiologist refused to give me an epidural and told me that if my blood work came out too high they would have to knock me out for surgery - meaning I would not be awake to meet Molly and Jack. I was both terrified and livid at the same time - this woman was messing with my birth plan. They took my blood and then sent me back to the pre-postnatal dorm room. My surgeon went home to walk her dog while we waited.
My results came back within half an hour as completely normal. I was both relieved and furious about the overly nervous anaesthesiologist. It didn't help matters that I was hangry****, cold and had to routinely use a public washroom complete with stall while in a thin cotton hospital gown and dragging around my IV drip like it was Linus's security blanket.
In the mean-time three other women came into the hospital in labour, rendering my operating room occupied. So Chris and I sat, in near silence watching Beavis and Butthead and Jackass on the dorm's TV*****, as we heard three other women deliver their babies, all before me.
We were finally given a 7PM surgery time, so Chris called the grandparents to give them an update while I, once again, returned to the operating room...
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*Beyond someone waving a magic wand to remove the babies from my uterus.
**Oddly enough my pre-surgery meal is the same one that Ted Bundy ate prior to his execution, AKA the "traditional" last meal - http://www.petapixel.com/2012/12/06/the-last-meals-requested-by-death-row-inmates-before-their-executions/
***Four of us in one room was bad enough without adding other parent(s) and newborn(s) into the equation.
****Combination of hungry and angry.
*****I don't know why the hospital was playing late 1990's programming, but not even Johnny Knoxville getting punched in the crotch could make me laugh that afternoon.