Friday, January 21, 2011

Braxton's Birth!

Today is the day that we have been waiting for and we finally got to meet our new little man! After having had a c-section with Brookelynne, Braxton's delivery was scheduled in advance at 39 weeks. Originally he was scheduled to come around 7:30 am, but after some hospital issues, they tried to cancel our section all-together and make us wait until sometime next week. Thankfully, my amazing OB (Mike Phelan) went to bat for us and told the hospital that if they wouldn't put me back on the schedule for today (Friday) that he would just come in first thing Saturday (when we officially hit 39 weeks) and do it then. (They REALLY didn't like that idea! lol) So they put me back on for noon.

Mitch and I got up around 6:30, dressed Brookelynne and packed up the car for the eventful day ahead. We dropped off Brooke at Mrs Lindsey's house (our sweet friend who teaches Brooke at church, and lives a few miles from the hospital) for a morning of fun with her friend Chandler. Then we stopped to by dvds for the camcorder and made our way to the hospital. At 9am, we checked into the surgery center and began our waiting experience. Half an hour later, they came and told us that Labor and Delivery was going to transfer us up there early because they were very slow, and would take care of our intake paperwork up stairs. So my friend Susan (who threw us a sweet shower for Braxton and works as a surgical tech in L&D) showed up at our curtain to take us upstairs and told us that someone had had to cancel their hysterectomy because they were sick, so Mike was planning on taking us early. This was quite a surprise, so we immediately started making phone calls to our parents and siblings who were planning on being there around 11 (the new surgery time) to tell them to hurry up! My mom was the first to arrive, about 15 minutes later, followed by my sister who made very good time coming from her son's school. About 10:50, Mitchell's parents and my dad came in as well. They sent everyone out to the waiting room (just as Josh and Amy arrived) at 11.

A minute or so later I walked over to the OR (yes, I walked), and Mitchell had to sit outside while they prepped me for surgery (a part of our previous experience that I had no idea had happened). They took me into the room (which was freezing) and gave me my spinal anesthesia. For the record, this hurt worse than the spinal epidural that I got with Brookelynne, and kept shooting these pains down my left leg-seriously scary, because I couldn't stop myself from 'jumping' and every time I did, I pictured the doctor jerking and paralyzing me. (On a side note- I probably wouldn't have been so jumpy if I hadn't already come to the conclusion that he was the rudest doctor that I had ever dealt with and had lost my respect after the way he had talked to me in pre-op) Once the spinal started 'warming' my feet, I was told to 'quickly' lay down. Things started happening pretty quickly at this point, as people started swarming, putting in my catheter, tying my legs together and down, putting up the sheets and scrubbing my skin to prep. Once all of that was complete, Mitchell and Mike made their way in as well. (Apparently the dads get to watch the doctors scrub up in the hallway while waiting). When they came in, they began checking to make sure I was numb enough, from my legs up, and waited for the medicine to work completely before getting started. Mitch sat down next to my head and held my hand, telling me he loved me as they began the procedure.

I listened and tried to pay attention to everything they were doing, mentally associating the 'pulls' and 'tugs' I felt with the general order of the surgery as I understand it. It took a little bit longer to get inside of me, because Mike wanted to get rid of my previous incision site. So instead of cutting in along the line they used last time, they cut just above and below the scar I had and removed all the scar tissue, so that when they came back out, and sewed me up, I wouldn't have scar tissue developing on top of scar tissue. About the time that they began to start pulling things out, the anesthesiologist assistant, Veronica, had encouraged Mitchell to watch, so he stood up and watched as they manipulated my organs, pulled up my uterus and took out our baby boy. I had told him to get the camera ready so that he could take pictures once they pulled him out, and  Veronica was like "Yeah, Dad, get some shots of his birth" and he looked at her like she was a little crazy and said "You mean I can take a picture of that?" and she told him 'yes'. He looked at me for confirmation, like she might have been pulling his leg and when I told him that he was allowed to photograph all of that, he started taking pictures as they pulled him out of my uterus.

The whole thing seemed extremely slow and long to me, because I only remember 'clips' of my c section with Brookelynne, so every time we would get to a point that I remembered from before, I would tell Mitchell, "I had no idea that they did all this _______ before they did _______. That's crazy" :) And while I really hadn't been nervous or scared going into the surgery, in those final few seconds before Mike started cutting, I got very anxious for a moment, but once Mitch had grabbed my hand and told me he loved me, it seemed to melt away as quickly as it had come.

The doctor took him over for the cleaning/weighing/testing/etc that had to be done and Mitch went with them. As I laid there it was interesting the things that happened while Mitch and Braxton were across the room. My little man cried the whole time, and it was interesting, because I know how big the room was, but it seemed like he was 100 yards away, not 20 ft. That seemed really weird to me. I also started getting light headed even though I hadn't moved. (The doctors said that that was normal, but I still don't know! haha). Thirdly, I have a place in my shoulders/neck (that I've had problems with in the past) that has spazmed and frozen in this contracted position for hours or days before, and while they were finishing up, it started hurting really bad. This was a slight problem because my husband was across the room, my hands were still tied down to their places on the table, and the only way to help the pain is to pinch the spot really hard. So I looked up at Veronica, asked her to pinch my shoulder/neck and then told her why I needed that. Do you want to know why it was hurting in the first place? Because (while I couldn't feel this at all) Mike (my doctor) was yanking on my ab muscles so that he could get them all stitched back up, and this causes a chain reaction of muscle reactions that I couldn't feel until they got above my breasts (which is where the spinal stopped). How weird is that?

Then they brought Braxton back over to me, all cleaned up and told me that I could even go ahead an hold him if I wanted! I was so thrilled and it was so sweet to feel him on my chest and touch his little face and talk to him! This was also something else I didn't get to do with Brookelynne, which makes it even more special. (I love that since there will always be plenty of things that I was able to do with Brooke that I won't be able to do with our other children, that there are some things that are new with Braxton that I didn't do with Brooke.) At that point, Mitchell left with Braxton and went to the waiting room first (to show everyone) and then to the nursery for his testing/cleaning, and I got transferred back to my bed, and then to the recovery room.

When we pulled into the recovery room, the first thing they did was check my vitals. At check in my blood pressure, heart rate, and pulse had been good and my temp had been 96.5, a little low, but fine. When we got back from surgery, my temp was 95.1 which kind of freaked me out a little bit. Not because I was worried that I was sick or something, but because they didn't tell me why they were acting weird until they had already come in and out of the room a couple times, put me under an incubator, gotten me 4 more blankets, and were in the process of hooking me up to a 'hot air blanket'. I thought the incubator was weird, but really just assumed that Braxton had been a little jaundice and that they were putting it in place so that I could hold him when they brought him back.

I asked them what the risks were for having a low temp after surgery, and what temp I had to be at to get to see my son and/or leave recovery. They ignored my first question and refused to answer it, and then told me that they just needed me to warm up because they couldn't let me leave recovery until my temp reached 97. (This really bothered me since it hadn't even been that high at check in.) After 25 or 30 minutes and 3 temp checks, I was still only up to 96.1. This really bugged me, but there was nothing else that I could do but lay there. The two nurses came back in and one nurse asked the other how high my temp had to be and instead of the answer she gave me, she said "As I understand the policy, she just has to be within a  degree of her intake temp." WHAT???? I was so angry it wasn't even funny, because that is a very simple and easily understandable answer that would have been much more helpful to me than her earlier comment. At this point I just told her that I was already there, and that I was sending my husband to get my son and bring him to me. She didn't argue, and that's what they did.

Mama, Daddy and Braxton!

A couple of minutes later, Mitch pushed Braxton and his cart down the hall to my room, and handed him to me. He was still so sweet and cleaned and wrapped up, he was just perfect! My mom was practically shaking she wanted to hold him so badly, so I handed him to her. :)


She held him for a couple of minutes and then passed him to Jeanna (Mitch's mom) who held him for a couple of minutes and was going to pass him to my dad, but my dad said to let Wayne hold him first. Once Wayne had held him for a couple of minutes, my dad did and then Aunt Tricia. :) She was just a little excited about it! lol. Then Uncle Josh got him followed by Aunt Amy. They were all so happy to hold him. By this time, I was to the point that I was getting anxious about when I would get to see Brookelynne and let them meet, so I got Mitchell's attention (he was very involved in following Braxton around the room and making sure that whoever was holding him was doing it right and safely, lol. He did the same thing with Brooke and it cracks me up everytime!) As soon as I mentioned going to get Brookelynne, my dad offered to do it himself, but I told him that I wanted Mitchell to be the one to get her and bring her to the hospital, not just Paw Paw, so they went together to Lindsey's house while Mom, Josh, Amy and Tricia stayed in the room with me and Brax. About the time that Mitch left, Jeanna and Wayne headed home too. The nurses were talking to me at the time, so I honestly don't remember exactly when they left, just that when we went to go to my other room, Mrs Carmen had just walked in, and they weren't there anymore. It was only 20 minutes or so after Mitch left, that they wheeled me and Braxton down to my normal room (about 1:45 or so) and hooked me up in there.

 Nay Nay and her first Grandson

 Uncle Josh, Grandma and Braxton

 Braxton and Aunt Tricia

Paw Paw, Daddy, Braxton, Poppy, and Uncle Josh

Overall, the csection process, was just different this time. I wouldn't say that I liked it better, because while I thought I knew what to expect this time, having done it before, there was so much of it that I hadn't realized I had missed the first time around, that I spent most of the morning being surprised by what was going on or how long it took. I didn't like that they didn't/wouldn't/couldn't give me my spinal in my room or even with Mitchell in the room. It would have made a huge difference in how comfortable and relaxed I was if I had been holding his hand or even just able to see that he was there. I did like that I was really awake and aware of what was going on, and didn't miss anything. I liked that I was competent enough to talk to the different doctors there, get any questions asked and be a contributing member of the birth process (ie, not asleep for it! and able to respond to them). I didn't like the lack of answers I got from the nursing staff or the way that the anesthesiologist spoke to me or him in general. His assistant was very nice and helpful but he was just a jerk. In fact if I had been the caretaker, instead of the patient (ie- if it was my mom having surgery instead of me) I would have been talking to the nurse supervisor and in the faces of the OR nurse and the anesthesiologist on multiple occasions demanding that they treat me with respect and make sure their responses to me are honest and not flippant, but I really didn't want them to cancel the surgery after all the other issues we had already had trying to get it on the schedule. I have a strong feeling that I'll like the 'scheduled c section' process a whole lot more when it is 'first thing' and not the 4th or 5th procedure of the day.

That was the whole process from beginning to end and we are so grateful for our new little miracle! He's just precious and I can't wait to get to know him even more! I'll post about the hospital stay and of course, the first meeting of brother and sister, asap!

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