Monday, 11 February 2013

The Star and the Sea - Part 2

It was 7pm and I was in the operating room for the second time that day.  My over-cautious anaesthesiologist kept on repeating that she had run the blood work that delayed my surgery because it was better to be safe than sorry.  I nodded while the attending nurses rolled their eyes.  A moment before she was about to administer the first freezing needle my anaesthesiologist paused. "Where's the surgeon?" she asked. "She's on her way." one of the nurses assured us all. "I'm not administering the freezing until I have confirmation that she's in the building." she said.  "Here we go again." the nurse in front of me mumbled under her breath.  We sat in awkward, passive aggressive silence while we waited for the call to confirm that Elvis was in the building.  The only thing calming my nerves was my amusement at the tension in the room.  We got the call from my surgeon and it was finally time to administer the needle. 

My back was cleaned with a cool, soapy solution and then I was instructed to bend over as far as I could from my seated position.  This was extremely difficult with the giant moving beach ball sized baby belly in the way.  I wasn't the only hungry one, it felt like the minions were circling my belly like gators awaiting their next meal.  I was instructed to stay still, Molly took this as a sign to kick me as hard as she could.*  They had to reposition me a few times before I was in the proper position.  A kind nurse gave me her hands to hold and squeeze while they administered the first, numbing needle.  It hurt.  A lot and I wasn't going numb.  When they administered the second needle I felt a warm, pins and needles sensation going over just the left side of my body.  I let them know, and they made some adjustments, but I don't know what they were.  I was finally, comfortably numb** from my chest down.  Next they inserted my catheter, shaved my bajingo and moved me over to the operating table.  The surgeon came in and started testing exactly what I could and couldn't feel before she made her first incision as they walked Chris into the room and directed him to the other side of the green curtain by my head.

Our surgeon asked us how we were doing and if we had any questions before she "got down to business"(my words not hers). Chris wanted to know whether on not Molly would be born first.  The surgeon explained that birth order was based on positioning and whomever it was easiest to get out first.  I explained to her why Chris was asking the question, Three days earlier on a car ride Chris mentioned Jack and Molly.  I disagreed and said it was Molly and Jack (since she is twin A).  We then proclaimed that forevermore whomever exited my clown car of a uterus first would have their name mentioned or signed first on all greeting cards and written documentation. 

Chris and I began to talk to each other quietly while the operation began.  I was lucky and didn't feel any of the tugging or redirected pain that I'd read/was told about.  Maybe it was partially because Chris had taken his surgery assignment of keeping me distracted with witty conversation very seriously.  Suddenly out came Molly.  We were all speechless, Molly included.  A nurse showed her to us and took her over to the corner of the room so they could assess her vitals.  Chris turned to me lovingly and said, "Do you know why she's purple?" clearly spooked by the fact that no one seemed to be even slightly dazed by the fact that I had given birth to a Gnap Smurf.  A nurse assured him that once Molly got some more oxygen into her lungs she would no longer be aubergine.

Molly - One Week Old

"Oh my, you've moved." our surgeon said and then explained that Jack was in fact head down (Jack being breach was one of the many reasons for the C-section in the first place) and he had made this bold move in the last week.  They removed Jack, but we didn't get to see him right away.  Jack was hyper-breathing so they had to keep a very close eye on him. 

They sent Chris out into the hallway, with Molly in his arms and instructed him to meet us in the recovery room after they finished stitching me up and decided whether or not Jack would need to get additional treatment.  Jack's breathing regulated while my doctor sewed me up.  She assured me that while she was completing the surgery that she looked at my reproductive system and that everything looked really healthy.***

Two nurses picked me up and placed me on a bed on wheels.  Another nurse handed me Jack and they wheeled me out of surgery into the recovery room.  Still quite frozen, I kept repeating over and over again inside my head, "Don't drop him."  I felt as if we were floating through the halls at 80kms an hour. 

Jack Attack - One Week Old

We were finally together as a family for the first time ever.  Chris and I took turns holding babies while I slowly regained feeling in my toes and began obsessively wiggling them to make sure that everything was all right.  A few minutes later my parents and brother showed up to meet Molly and Jack.  I was feeling very coherent and excited, however, Chris later informed me that my medication had me on a three second time delay, which he thought was hilarious. He was also convinced that our surgeon had pulled a fast one on him purposefully grabbing Molly first.

Over night the babies were tested every two-three hours for blood sugar and other vitals with a blood sample taken by a prick at the back of their feet.  After a borderline result Jack had to give hourly tests for a while until we were able to get three good ones in a row. 

The next morning I was ravenous.  I dug into my breakfast veraciously and immediately regretted it when I threw it up all over the floor just a few minutes later. (I later learned this is a really common side effect after a C-section).  It took me an hour or so to get my nerve up, but I insisted on getting up and walking to the bathroom.  I had been warned that things might feel loose or weird, like organs were going to start falling out of my abdomen, but I was fairly steady, considering and nothing hurt or ached badly.  I even managed to brush my hair, put on a fresh pair of pyjamas and deodorant before any visitors arrived.  By lunch the only medication I was on was extra strength Advil.  I felt like a champ, like we had won some sort of lottery.  Because we had.

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*Molly has been consistent in temperament since she was a zygote apparently.
**As comfortable as you can be in a giant, freezing operating room with 11 near strangers staring at your unmentionables.
***I was relieved that my oil change also involved some diagnostic testing, so to speak.

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