The OR is a strange experience. It's something very medical for a very personal experience. It is the farthest thing I could have imagined ten months ago when I was planning my perfect home birth. While I planned what I would have wanted in a c section I never really considered it a possibility. My body knew what to do and while I was transitioning in what I would consider a perfect way, but my sweet baby was having problems.
I don't know why I was so emotional to need a cesarean. I don't think it was the experience itself. I think I was so excited for another perfect labor and after a rough pregnancy it was the last thing that could go wrong, and to me, it did.
My Doctor was truly amazing, he did everything he could to keep baby and I safe while also holding out for the c section as long as he could, and when he told me it was time, I trusted him enough to know that it really was time and we had waited as long as we could. We asked about having a gentle c section, which means I would do skin to skin in the OR and he would go to recovery with me.
I had my labor room thermostat set very cold, I felt nauseous and that was the only thing that helped, but when I was wheeled into the OR without my husband the cold air hit me in the face. I have had surgery before, I knew what to expect but it's different when you're being wheeled back to have your baby.
|Here you can see how small his cord is. That, combined with the lack of fluid, was causing the decelerations.|
I was having one contraction on top of another by the time I was there. They asked me to change beds and halfway through I had to stop and breathe through a contraction. I sat criss cross on the table with two nurses holding my shoulders while the anesthesiologist put in my spinal. The first time he put in the numbing shot it burned bad and I started crying, and it opened the flood gates. I started bawling. I cried the entire time my spinal was being put in, which took two tries and there was a spot on my right side that was numb but it burned. That stayed throughout the entire c section.
When I was laying down they started the prep and checking to see if I was numb. They tilted the bed where my feet were a little above my head and that helped the numbing sensation go up higher. The anesthesiologist came over to apologize that it took two tries to get it in and grabbed my hand when he was talking to me and he went to walk away after and I just held on. I was feeling anxious and claustrophobic and it felt good to just have someone there. As soon as my H came in he snapped a couple pictures and handed the camera over to a nurse and sat with me. I instantly felt better. I needed him next to me.
My doctor started the cesarean and it was the strangest feeling. I was prepared for how the pressure would feel because I have had minor surgeries where I was awake before, but I wasn't prepared for how rough it would be. At one point both doctors were shoving on River up near my ribs with all their weight. Afterwards my Dr told me he made the incision smaller so it would heal nicer but it made it a little rougher during the caesarean and would bruise a little more. When they were pushing on him I mentioned I felt a little anxious and a different anesthesiologist came up to me and scolded me and told him I had to tell him when I was feeling these things so he could help me.
Minutes later, at 12:54am on June 3rd, our sweet River Jayce Jude was born! They asked Bryson if he wanted to look when River was born and Bryson looked at me and I told him only if he wanted to. He stood up nervously, slowly and I saw his nervous face turn to a smile. He was able to cut the cord and grab River and bring him over to me. When Bryson set River on me I asked him to stay close, I was feeling a little light headed from a combination of the meds and being at an incline. I don't know how long I held him but it was perfect. Bryson took him to the nursery and all the anxiety and sadness I had been feeling was completely gone. They finished sewing me up and did another minor surgery and transferred me to the bed to go to recovery.
It was the strangest feeling when they were moving me to the bed. They rolled me onto my side, my back, side again and then onto my back. I was giggling through the whole thing because it felt so weird to not be able to move at all.
When I was in recovery I could not stop talking to the nurse that had to watch me for an hour. I was so elated that I was able to do skin on skin and breastfeed in the recovery room. Bryson wasn't able to come in with us so I'm pretty sure my sister ran and got him some food. I was shaking very hard afterwards but holding River and lots of pillows it slowly went away.
He is a champion eater and it's awesome to have something go so right after such a rough labor. Because it was so late when we had him, Bryson, River and I had the full night to ourselves to just bond with each other, and let Bryson sleep for a little bit after what I'm sure was a stressful day for him as well.
When River was getting checked we found out that his heart never completely resolved itself. The top section of the four chambers wasn't closing all the way and he has a murmur so he had an ultrasound to check everything out and all of the tests were sent to Albuquerque to the specialists we had been seeing for them to review it.
We got the results back the next day and we have to go in for a couple of follow up appointments but they all agreed, even though it was a high pitch sounding murmur, that it was resolving itself and would continue to resolve itself. We have already been to one appointment and so far there is nothing but good news.
We really had the most amazing nurses and doctors. Even though it wasn't the birth I had imagined they did everything possible to make it as easy on me and River that they could. They held me when I cried and Bryson wasn't there to hold me, they made jokes to lighten the mood and made sure that even though it was a medical experience I had my skin to skin, early breastfeeding and they even packed up my placenta to be encapsulated.
Recovering from a c section was a million times harder than I could have imagined. It took a couple of days to find a pain medicine regime that worked....and then my night nurse would screw it all up and it was like starting from square one again. I had a nasty cough from the sinus infection (and still do 10 days later). I tried to move and walk as much as I could the days I was in the hospital but that consisted of showering and walking around a the hall. Very short trips exhausted me, just moving out of bed took a lot of time and every time I coughed (which was a lot) I felt like my guts were going to come flying out of my stomach.
One of the nights there my mom came and stayed with me and helped me shower while Bryson went home with Foster and to get some things ready for River, like setting up the pack and play, changing the sheets, all that good stuff :) Really I felt like I was there forever but at the same time I didn't want to leave because everything was set up to make life easy. The bed moved to help you get up, there were handles in the bathroom, no steps to the shower... Then to go home and have to exert all my energy into getting up to where I can't walk as far, stepping into the shower was terrifying even with Bryson helping me, having a coughing fit in the hall and having nothing to grab onto so I fell and just had to hang out in the hallway for awhile until Bryson eventually carried me back to the room because I was just too tired.
It has been an emotional roller coaster but almost two weeks later it seems like life everything is slowly falling into place. I think there are still a couple weeks of recovery left until I feel more like myself and once this ear/lung infection is cleared up and my incision site isn't so tender still. It wasn't at all like I planned but the outcome was a perfect little man who stole my heart.
River Jayce Jude Ballard
12:54am June 3rd, 2015
7 lbs 6 oz
19 3/4 inches long