After starting this post, and then failing to finish, I'm going to post it in increments. Here's the first part of Emily's birth story:
We went to the hospital around 6:30 that morning. The sun wasn't even up yet. We checked in at labor and delivery, and I was taken to my room and immediately asked to change into my gown. The nurse, Amanda, was lovely. Young and fresh faced, and clearly loved her job. Another nurse, who thought her sh*t didn't stink, was around too, but I didn't care to get her name. It took three people and three sticks to get my IV in (ugh), but shortly after it was finally in, my OB stopped in, answered a few questions, and was called into surgery, assuring me that we were right on schedule. The nurses asked a battery of questions while I was being prepped, and I was happy to be asked if I was planning on breastfeeding (yes), if I was open to bottle/formula supplementation (no), if I was open to pacifier use (no)... When Noah was born, a nurse popped a bottle of formula in his mouth either the first night or next morning, and as a new mom, didn't know that I could say no or just didn't have the energy or wherewithall to say no, and was adamant that I wanted things to be different this time.
My surgery was scheduled for 9:15, and it probably wasn't too much later that they walked me to the OR. It was a different experience this time. Going in of my own devices, mentally alert and aware of what was about to happen. Looking back, I'm not sure I even hugged Ben or said anything to him before walking down the hall. It was about at this point that the nerves and emotions set in.
The OR was bright and cold. They always area. I sat on the table and the anesthesiologist prepared me for the "bee sting" that would proceed the actual procedure to place the spinal. As he started, I completely lost it. My emotions took over, and reality hit me. It finally hit me that I was about to deliver my baby girl and meet my miracle daughter for the first time. The young nurse, Amanda, was amazing. Last time, I got my epidural in my L&D room, leaning on Ben while the anesthesiologist did his thing. This time, I was alone, but Amanda made sure that I didn't feel so much so. She grasped both my hands while I literally cried on her shoulder. She was so lovely.
The spinal was a different experience from an epidural. It took effect very quickly, and by the time they were laying me down and positioning my legs, I was feeling very tingly, and I remember it being a very gross sensation. The anesthesiologist warned me that the spinal would effect me all the way up to my chest, and that I may feel at times like I was having difficulty breathing. This sensation did occur a few times during surgery, but the doctor assured me my breathing was fine and reminded me to take a few deep breaths.
Surgery itself was fine, and seemed quicker than my c-section with Noah. I think a lot of it had to do with my being mentally and emotionally prepared for the c-section, being significantly more coherent having not gone through induction and several hours of labor, and also not needing other drugs during the surgery. With Noah I think I got some narcotics because I had the shakes so bad and was really feeling weird during surgery. This time, the worst side-effect was that I vomited/dry heaved on several occasions. The anesthesiologist took care of me though, holding the barf bucket, sucking up the liquid with one of those things they use at the dentist, and wiping the dribble off the side of my face....
And then the moment we'd waiting 40 long weeks for (and then some)!!
Emily Reese Koechling was born on Tuesday, December 13, 2011 at 10:24am by scheduled c-section. She weighed 6lbs, 7oz and was 19in long. When I heard her first cry, I burst into tears, and when I first saw her, ever so briefly, I was amazed at how different she looked from Noah!
It seemed like an eternity before they brought her back so I could see her close up - probably not more than five minutes - and I later learned her APGARs were 7, 9, & 9. The first was lower because she wasn't breathing as quickly as they wanted and they wanted to give her a little oxygen. I barely even remember seeing her up close, but it was at that point that they took Emily and Ben to recovery and the doctors finished closing me up. Again, it may have just been because I was mentally in a different state this time, but surgery seemed to go much more quickly this time, and the time between Ben leaving and me going to recovery seemed much shorter.
When I got to recovery, Emily was under the heat lamp because she was having difficulty regulating her body temperature. It wasn't long though before they asked if I wanted to try to nurse her, and it brought tears to my eyes when she easily latched and nursed.
Once we were in recovery, Ben contacted our family to let them know we were out of surgery, and would hopefully be in a room in a few hours. We wound up being in recovery for probably and hour and a half. They kept telling me I could go to my room when I could wiggle my toes. I tried desparately on several occasions to wiggle my toes, and when it finally happened, they said we could head to my room and Emily would go to the nursery to get a bath before joining us in the room.
More to come, because my story could not be THAT simple...