Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Welcome Baby!

During our stint on bed rest in the hospital, I feel like we were taking things minute-by-minute and test-by-test. Lennie was a trooper, sleeping on a less than comfortable fold-out bed/chair in my hospital room, experiencing everything with me throughout the week. After a very long night on Thursday night where the nurse had to literally stand over me for over an hour in order to keep our little one on the monitor, we awoke less than rested and still feeling less than stellar. My obstetrician, Dr. Otto, came in for morning rounds to check on us and to have a discussion. Based upon my morning test results and the troubles with the monitors, she advised us that we needed to be monitored longer that morning, and that it was possible that we were going to deliver that day. Baby was most likely on the way -- 4+ weeks early. We immediately got on the phone with my parents, who were wintering in Phoenix, and told them that they needed to get on a plane because we might be going to the delivery room that evening.

I'd had breakfast that morning, a delicious combination of cream of wheat and grapes (which, oddly, I'd been craving while in the hospital), so that presented us with a bit of a problem. The doctor and anesthesiologist conferred / argued about the timing of the day's events, and eventually came to the conclusion that it was go time. Once the decision was made, we went from having two people in the room to what seemed like a swarm of people. It was craziness!

As the craziness unfolded around us, I observed to a nurse that I needed to go to the restroom. As I was finishing up,  I noticed some clear fluid on my leg. I thought that perhaps we were having plumbing problems in the room! When I walked out with a confused look on my face, I told the nurse about it and she said "Actually, I think that your water broke!" It seems that our little bundle of joy agreed with the decision to be born that day, and was exercising some impatience!

The craziness continued, and we were prepped to go to the operating room for a C-section delivery. (Between my exhaustion and our son's distress, it was determined that we wouldn't be able to successfully deliver any other way.) Our dear friend Alycia arrived to say hello, and she snapped some photos to commemorate the day. (Alycia, you're right: I do appreciate these photos now!)
Being wheeled down the hall and into the OR was a surreal experience for me. First, I was going down a hall that I had only hoped to be able to walk down for the last four or so days. Second, I was about to become a mother! As we were being brought into the OR, one of my favorite nurses ran over to me and leaned down and said that God had a plan for me and that everything would work out. She said a little prayer, and her words were exactly what I needed to hear at that moment. (Isn't it amazing how God provides in your time of need!)

When the doors opened to the operating room, I immediately wished that we had been able to take that hospital tour earlier (we were supposed to take the tour the next day!). The OR had all of these things hanging from the ceiling (were those chains!?), and all that I could think was that it looked like a torture chamber. Scary moments, but we survived!

Again, everything becomes a blur. I got onto the operating table using a step stool, and I remember working with our anesthesiologist to begin the surgery prep. (Now that I think back on the experience, the spinal tap is the one thing that scares and amazes me at the same time!) Once the drugs were on board, she used this really cool (literally) spray stuff to check to see that the drugs were working appropriately. Nurses buzzed about and two doctors worked around me, but again it's all a blur.

At one point, I remember looking up and realizing that I could see where they were working reflected in one of the surgical lights. I also remember looking at Lennie and saying "I don't want to see the reflection, so I'm going to look at you instead!" When they say that all that you will feel during the surgery is tugging and pulling, they are completely right (at least in my case!). I remember giggling at the feeling of them hitting one of my muscles -- it felt like rubber bands springing in my stomach.

Lennie, by the way, is still one of the heroes in this story. He sat in his appointed spot by my left hand and my head and was completely mesmerized by the process while also being attentive to me. It was awesome. The nurses made sure that Lennie had his camera ready, and when the time came, the anesthesiologist even took some family photos for us!

After all of this adventure, we had our son -- a healthy 5 pound 12 ounce, 18" long bouncing baby boy. Lennie and I had narrowed down the list of names to a handful, and when he came out we both simultaneously looked at him and then at each other and said "Matthew." It just felt right, and it was.

Next time: our time in the NICU.

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