Better late than never, right?? I am going to start with the weekend before he was born, which was Halloween. We had gone to the pumpkin farm a few weeks before, which ended up being a windy, freezing cold day. We opted to not do our usual tradition of a hayride, and apple picking was also scarce so we didn't do that either, and decided we would come back on Halloween, because we always get a family picture on the hayride every year. This day ended up being quite a bit warmer, and it being Halloween it wasn't crowded at all. This was the last weekend of the season that the farm would be open and they had one last crop of apples to pick, so we made sure we got to the fields early. We got to get all of the apples we wanted, do our hayride and got a great family picture( although I do look like quite the beached whale on the hayride haha) and we even got to have lunch at the farm as they had food trucks. We took our time and really enjoyed the last big family outing before baby.
After we got home I had to head to the hospital to get my pre-op bloodwork done. I got home in time to make chicken pot pie and get everyone fed before trick or treating. I decided to hang back at the house so I took lots of pictures and sent everyone on their way. The 3 older kids went by themselves and my husband took Toddler Boy, who really wasn't into wearing his costume or cooperating in general really. Just give him some candy and call it a day! So it was probably one of the more relaxing Halloween evenings I have ever had.
The next day we went to church and I got to see a couple friends there and get well wishes for the next day. We just kind of hung out the rest of the day and I threw some more things in my hospital bag. I had decided I wanted my last meal to be ham, so I made a big dinner with a huge ham, mashed potatoes and a veggie I can't remember right now. My mother in law came for dinner as she was staying the night so she could be with the kids while we left for the hospital. We had decided it was easier to keep the kids home from school the next day so she didn't have to run all around doing drop off and pick up while wrangling a toddler. It worked out well because we let the middle two kids camp out in the basement and she got one of their rooms.
Monday morning I got up really early full of excitement. I showerd and got ready, throwing the last couple things in my bag. As I was heading downstairs I heard a lot of commotion. When I got downstairs I found my Middle girl at the bathroom door. Her brother had been gorging himself on Halloween candy (that we tried in vain to hide) and it had acted like a laxative, so he wasn't feeling good. Instead of getting us she was trying to take care of him, poor thing. I had to make sure he was ok and situated back to bed, so we ended up leaving way late for the hospital, but we still ended up making it there by 6:30. We took my husband's work truck, and it was a bumpy ride. So bumpy, I joked he was going to bounce the baby out! Haha My mom was already inside, but the guard wouldn't let her back with us. I told her I would have a nurse come get her once I got to the back. I checked in and a few moments after 6:45 they took me to the back. For the next 45 minutes or so I was getting hooked up to the monitors,going over the medical history, signing forms, ect. When they hooked me up to the monitors I realized my joke of my husband's truck bouncing the baby out hadn't been too far off. While the baby had been on my right side all night and morning, the baby was now completely on my left side, which it never had been before!! I had a ton of people around because it was both night shift and day shift staff there. At some point my mom showed up back there;the guard inexplicably told her to come in back? I don't know it was weird. Since my sister, who has always been with me and in the OR with me and my husband wasn't able to make it, my mom was there in her place. I thought she was just wanting to be at the hospital, but around now I realized she wanted to go into the OR with me too. I was shocked but totally ok with it, we just had to ask like we always do but they are always ok with it. Heck, my doctor thinks the more the merrier and I had my husband, my sister, AND my mom in the OR when I had my first! (More than one support person in the OR is extremely rare almost anywhere.) I also asked about getting my baby right away to nurse in recovery (which doesn't always happen) and they offered to let me do skin to skin in the OR if I wanted. I said I normally get sick right after the baby is out but as long as I could have him in recovery right away I was good with that.
Anesthesia came in next. This is what I was really anxious for, since I know what works for me and what doesn't. There were 3 people, the head of OB anesthesia, the attending, and a resident. The head of OB is new, but the attending has done a couple of my C-sections before. The new head was amazing! She listened to everything I said and addressed my concerns of where we could do better. My biggest issue is I tend to get VERY sick after the baby is out, but I don't want them to drug me so much I am too out of it to hold my baby in recovery. She promised she would do her best. My second issue was pain management afterwards, because I can't have a certain drug in my spinal that they normally use that helps with extended pain relief. She gave me some alternative options and what she suggested kept my pain managed extremely well through my entire hospital stay. She assured me she would hold my hand and take care of me.
I was all done and prepped and signed so we had about a 30 minute wait for my doctor to get there before we could get going. I made sure to tell the resident I wasn't going anywhere without my doctor. Repeat C-sections can be risky and I am only ok with having my 5th one because of my doctor. Period. He got there right around 8am to his usual fanfare. He checked with me that I had anesthesia straight, ok'd my mom being there, asked anesthesia who said "whatever this mom wants" and with that they got me up to walk to the OR. My doctor and husband were talking football, specifically the game the day before my doctor actually went to, and I said "Sorry to interrupt but can I have a kiss before I go?" And my doctor joked "Football is more important!" I got my kiss and on I went.
It is SO weird to walk yourself into the OR. Especially because of my job, I am so used to the OR but on the opposite side of things. I got up on the table where they started the spinal and an extra IV in my hand. The resident stood in front of me holding my shoulders down. I am always SO nervous during this part but my lovely anesthesiologist gives me some anxiety medicine to relax beforehand and it helps so much. (This isn't routine. I was given it once before so I made sure to ask for it!) As epidurals don't work for me, I have learned to help them doing the spinal by telling them which side I feel pressure on and it helps them get it in the correct spot quicker, so I did that this time and soon felt the numbing take effect. They laid me down and got me to work prepping me. I wasn't getting numb quite as fast as I have in the past, so she made sure to do the ice test over and over. (My first baby, I wasn't completely numb before they started and it was a bit traumatic!)
My doctor and everyone appeared. I had my husband right next to me and my mom just to the side of him. And I had this wonderful angel of an anesthesiologist next to me. They started and I talked to my doctor through it. He told me because he was going through scar tissue he was going to have to be a little more rough, so expect a harder recovery. I always ask about adhesions (build up of scar tissue) because my family is prone to them and my doctor joked how nosey I am, that I can't just lay there like everyone else lol. He commented Uterus looks good (always a concern after so many surgeries!) and I asked if I had a window (dangerous uterine thinning over previous incision sites) and he said no at first and then said no, there is a small window. He told me he wasn't even going to have to cut open my uterus because it was so thin in that spot he could just use his fingers to open me up, which would be less bleeding which is always a good thing. And then...
"Fluid is clear" "Dad, tell us what it is" "It's a boy! It's a boy!" I had tears at this point. "Is he ok? How does he look?" "He looks good, he's huge." "Really?" "Yeah, he's huge. But he's fine" I hear him cry. I cry. My doctor mentions that he has a short foreskin. It's some weird genetic thing, I seem to produce boys with no or short foreskin. So no circumcision or very little of one is ever needed. Weird, right? He also notes that he has a thick umbilical cord, and that I still had lots of amniotic fluid left. Totally normal, just noting his findings.
At this point they are starting to try and dislodge the placenta. I start feeling sick from the weird bouncing. I have the baby against my cheek, and my anesthesiologist in my other ear asking me if I want drugs. I nod yes because I feel too sick to talk. She has my hand and is whispering in my ear that the drugs are in and she's got me. Thanks God. I hear things and am not asleep but I'm not there for the next minutes as they finish and close me up. I start to come out of my fog as they are getting ready to get me off the table. My doctor tells me my hematologist will be happy as I didn't lose much blood at all. Just like she promised, I was clear-headed by the time I got to recovery. I immediately got my baby and nursed him and had a lot of skin to skin time with him less than an hour after he was born. I was getting a push of pain meds every few minutes so I was a little loopy but we face timed with my sister at work. Turns out my gown was not covering me so her whole office got to see my boobs and baby but oh well! We tried to talk names but my mom was there and she loves to give her input so we just didn't worry about it right them.
When I was coming down to my last few doses of pain meds, before they hooked me up to my continuous pain med drip, my pain wasn't under control. Because I didn't have the one drug in my spinal, every time they would press on my uterus the pain would increase (and my blood pressure) and we would be starting over trying to get it under control. All of the narcotics made me sick, like always, so then I was sweating and dry heaving. It was around now that they took the baby to the nursery to do all his stuff, and they got me stable enough to move to my room. As they were wheeling me down the hall, an employee who looked familiar said Hi to me with a bright smile but I was way too high to figure out who she was. We did all the check in stuff and I got my baby back. My husband left to go home to our other kids so my mom was there for a little while.
Baby boy was pretty lazy nursing. He would latch and start off great but doze off quickly. I worked super hard in the hospital to keep him awake and feeding him as often as possible to get my milk in and keep him from being jaundice, and get his weight back up. We did skin to skin the entire stay it seems. I never had any nurses fuss at me for keeping him on my chest in bed, even though I know that's not "allowed". They also told me I didn't have to have anyone stay with me in the hospital the first night if I didn't want to, which was different from previous times. (This is supposed to be post-C-section protocol for the first night if you want the baby in the room with you.) I still had my best friend come, she has had 3 c-sections herself and isn't squeamish and can deal with a hospital. Plus I knew she'd be good for not getting much sleep, as her kids are older. My mom wanted to spend the night with me, but as she was watching Toddler boy I wanted her to get real sleep.
Other than having my friend stay that first night, my mil the first day, and my mom, I didn't have any other visitors. I am not one who really likes having a big party of people in and out all day every day. With my first kid I had people who wouldn't leave after I said I was tired and expected me to sleep with them all there, and it bothered me. My husband actually only brought all of the kids the first 2 nights only because it became really difficult trying to deal with that many kids in a hospital environment. The room is pretty small to begin with, and even the older ones create quite a circus. And my Toddler boy was so off from missing me and not having me there the short confined visits made things worse. I did end up turning down a lot of people who requested to come visit, like I always do. So I am sure some people got their feeing hurt. But oh well!
So I had a pretty great hospital stay, really just staying doped up on pain meds, eating 3 hot meals a day, and keeping my sweet new baby on my chest as much as possible. The only weird thing that happened was that I slept weird the second day and had a tight muscle in my neck. Lots of heating packs and Tylenol later it finally loosened up. This time was seriously the best experience ever because it went so incredibly smoothly. I never had to ask for pain meds, we stuck with the drug and dosage that worked the best, and every single nurse I had was amazing. I can't believe this was already 3 months ago!!