|Natalie in the NICU|
As I write this so many feelings fill my heart. Tomorrow I will go in to get my filter removed, and see if stents will need to be placed in my pelvis. I am nervous, but I think I need to do the procedure without the sedation again. I don't want to be asleep when you need me, but it was scary when they punched that hole in my neck the first time, and it really hurt. There is time to decide now. When you were born, things were happening so fast that there was not time to think, only act.
So we did.
The moments after we left the triage room and left your daddy behind were a blur. I have a faint memory of hearing my doula Willow's voice saying "I'm here, darlin'," but I never saw her. I don't really remember seeing anything until we got to the operating room. The midwife, kind Erin, told me she would stay with me, and she stood close to my head and looked into my eyes. I climbed on the operating table. I remember being prepped, but mostly I remember contractions. They were huge, and coming about a minute apart. We waited and waited for an antibiotic that was ordered, but was not coming. An anesthesiology nurse put an oxygen mask over my face and it blocked most of my view of the room. All I could see were her hands as she talked to the anesthesiologist about some other woman and some other birth from earlier that day. I began to feel like a spectator. I pushed at the mask, "Can you move your hands so that I can see Erin's face?" I asked. Suddenly, I was back in the room with them. Erin stepped close and held my hand tightly. Her phone range and she answered, "I promised this patient I would stay with her, " she said into the phone. "I'll be there in a while." More insane contractions came. I tried to breath and moan through them. I felt so lost.
The OB, Dr. H. was truly kind, and was talking to me, but the contractions were too strong for me to concentrate on her. Strangely, and typical of me (still trying to maintain some sense of control) I asked her to do a nice job closing me up; my last cesarean was a lumpy mess. She assured me she would.
Then she asked, "Laine, would you like me to check you to see if the baby has maybe moved down into place?" I guess I only partly understood what that meant. I really mostly felt confused, not sure why the plan was changing. I think I said I didn't care, or didn't know, as a contraction built. I later learned that she had stepped out and told my husband she was going to try to move the baby down to the outlet into position for vaginal birth. She wanted me to have what I had really wanted; she was still trying to let my body do this, if there was any possible way. She reached in to check, and said "Big bulging bag... 8 to 9..." and then there was a sudden gush as she said, "I did not mean to do that,". A torrent of water left me, pouring onto the floor and causing a bit of a ruckus as towels were placed to prevent everyone from slipping and falling.
"Okay," Dr. H. said, calling our attention back, "I have cord and fingers." I suppose in that moment I should have been disappointed, and I would have been if I had realized this sweet doctor was trying to help me to salvage my natural birth, and that the opportunity was now passed. I should have been scared for you, knowing as I do what it means to have cord coming first with nothing to protect it from being compressed except her hand. But all I heard was that this doctor was holding your tiny hand, and that it was your first contact with the outside world. I actually felt a little burst of joy.
Time passed, and the antibiotics still didn't come, but I realized that the next contraction had not come either. More time passed, and nothing. Everything felt a little calmer. I began to get more of a sense of my surroundings. I heard them check your heart rate, "Is the baby okay?" I asked. You were fine, I was told. I began to drift to you, wondering about what you were feeling, thinking about what we were missing. I didn't have time to really think about the specifics, I just suddenly felt the heaviness of all of the things I love about birth as they slipped past us, you and I.
So I started to sing.
I sang to you, softly behind my oxygen mask, "Sweet dreams till sunbeams find you, sweet dreams that leave your worries far behind you..." I knew you could hear me. That despite all that was happening around us, you were still inside me, hearing my heart beat. That my voice surrounded you, wrapped around you, bathed you in the love I felt so much for you. I couldn't give you everything I wished I could, but just as I had with your brother and sister, I was still in labor, and I could sing to you. We were still one, together in that moment, regardless of whatever came next. "But in your dreams whatever they be, dream a little dream of me..."
My voice trailed off and I looked at Erin, "When I wake up, I will see my baby?" I don't know why I felt like stating the obvious. I think I needed someone to tell it to me, but since no one did, I had to speak those words out loud. She smiled, "Yes, you will."
"Okay, Laine, you're going to feel sleepy." A voice said. A green screen went up in front of my face.
"How long will it take?" I asked, suddenly nervous, even though it didn't really matter whether it was four seconds or twenty.
"Very fast, just a few moments..." a voice said. I felt a burning sensation run up my arm, and a strange icy heat pass through my lungs. I started to tell them something was wrong, but I didn't get the words out. That is the last thing I remember.
|Waiting to see my girl|