We got all checked in on Monday he 4th, and had a pretty quiet day...Had a non stress test to make sure everything was looking ok and had surgery prep. We had a talk with the anesthesiologist, going over how things would happen the next day and we got a little surprise...at my last checkup, we had confirmed that I would be getting an epidural and would be awake for the surgery, just like when Joshua was born. But, when the anesthesiologist came in, he started talking about giving me a general anesthesia...meaning I'd be asleep during the surgery. Obviously we were a little surprised by this, because I really had my heart set in being awake to be able to see Noah right after he was born, knowing that I wouldn't be able to for the next 24 hours. The anesthesiologist was the same man who put me asleep when I had my gallbladder taken out so his reasoning was that a general anesthesia was safer than an epidural because among other reasons, he knew that I didn't have any reactions or anything last time.
But, that news was really hard for me to hear and in spite of my best efforts to hide my feelings from him, halfway through our conversation, he told me that because he could see it was really important for me to meet my baby, he agreed to try an epidural first (3 attempts) and if that didn't work, he'd do a general anesthesia instead. I was thrilled to hear that and really appreciated his accommodation!
Tuesday morning was quiet...got an IV and then we just waited for 1:00 to roll around!
Tuesday pm- wheeled into OR at exactly 1:00. The anesthesiologist attempted an epidural for about 40 minutes but had no success. The nurses were very helpful and sympathetic, but everyone kept saying I would be able to see the baby tomorrow which made it harder not to cry. I was awake until right before surgery started as they didn't want to make the baby sleepy, but I started to wonder if I was going to be awake when surgery started...I was relieved when anesthesia kicked in so fast ;)
I felt real peace while I was in the OR and wasn't really nervous...I was praying it would work to get the epidural, but at the same time I felt kind of like maybe God was using this as an opportunity for me to grow...and let go of my desires and give this over to Him and allow it to be a testimony for Him. I really didn't want to make the anesthesiologist feel bad because I know he was doing his best and was looking out for me, but I am not sure I communicated that very well with the tears that came after he told me it wouldn't work. I wish I could have told him I was really ok, and to please ignore my tears! He was so kind and gentle and spoke enough English to help me feel at peace and again I really appreciated his efforts to accommodate my wishes.
The anesthesiologist is actually an acquaintance of ours (his wife is an English student) and he felt so awful for not being able to do an epidural, but we were able to talk with him afterwards and let him know that we were completely fine about how things turned out and did not want him to feel bad because we know he tried so hard.
I remember waking up, but not being able to talk or even really open my eyes...everyone said surgery was finished and everything was fine. The tube in my mouth was really bothering me and I think I woke up before they really noticed and took the tube out. They asked plenty of questions that I could barely respond to which was frustrating...I felt like I was pretty aware of what was going on around me, but didn't have to ability to communicate because I was so groggy! Thankfully I was at least able to nod and shake my head. I remember getting wheeled out and knowing Bobby was with me, but not being able to let him know I knew he was there. (When I had my gallstone surgery, I was so out of it I don't remember waking up at all...I woke up back in my room long after everything was all done, but nothing in between!)
The Doctor and nurses knew how badly I wanted to see my baby and really went out of their way to wheel me into the nurses station and past the nursery so I could see him, but I couldn't open my eyes wide enough to get a good look because he was far away...they recognized that and got me closer (apparently moved some desks around just for me!) and I was able to look at him! And right when I got wheeled up beside the window he turned his head with his eyes wide open and looked right at me, as if to let me know everything was ok. It was one of the most precious moments of my while life and it was the moment I needed to get me through the next 24 hours of not being able to see him. It was definitely a gift from God that I will never forget! I will always be so grateful for how the staff went out of their way to accommodate the one wish that I had not wanted to compromise on.
The rest of the day was pretty much a blur...I tried to sleep as much as I could and wasn't in too much pain. This time felt so different because all the nurses and the doctor kept telling me to let them know whenever I was in pain because there was medicine! I think when I had Joshua, I was basically in constant pain, and didn't really have much sympathy (which is actually kind of a long story behind that one, but I won't go into it)
One funny thing I almost forgot was that they were playing 'music box' music in the OR and right before they put the mask on me to go to sleep, I heard Brahm's Lullaby (I think that's the name) where it says 'lullaby, and good night...' I just thought that was so funny and don't want to forget that!
We are pretty much in shock of how different this recovery experience has been from Joshua's birth. There's multiple different factors, but one of the biggest I think was knowing what to expect this time (somewhat anyway!) I knew that if I could just make it through that first 24 hours, I'd get to see my baby and everything would be ok! My sister who works on a mother/baby ward told me there's a night and day difference between moms who have scheduled c-sections and moms who have emergency c-sections...and I can totally see why, having been on both sides now! My recovery has been a lot faster and easier this time even though I was expecting it to be a lot worse. I am kind of in shock at how little pain I've been in...mostly just discomforts. I was able to walk around on the second day and after just two or three days, I wasn't on any pain meds! (Not to say I was pain free, but it was very tolerable, low pain, lessening every day)
Nursing is going ok...it's hard to remember this is a whole new thing for Noah and I need to be more patient. In a lot of ways I feel like a first time mom again, having forgotten how to do a lot of things and lacking confidence in my abilities to provide good care for my baby. His biggest issue has been waking up to eat...he is a sleepy baby!! I never thought I would mind that, but boy it makes feeding him complicated. He doesn't eat enough from me because he almost instantly falls asleep, so he got supplementary formula while he was in the hospital, but now he's exclusively nursing. Still not 100% perfect (I say that because it still hurts when I know it's not supposed to), but it works.
My parents left yesterday after having had them here for 3 weeks :( Just our first day by ourselves and I'm already wondering how we're going to ever be able to make it through a day without a meltdown (mostly mine!) J did great with our co-workers who looked after him for us while I was in the hospital and with my parents over the last few weeks, but today I can tell he's feeling the same gap we do! He's been pretty whiny and really working hard to get our attention which is hard when both of us have things we need to get done and when there's a screaming baby to deal with as well. I know God will help us through this 'season' but I sure do wonder how we're going to make it! Functioning in very little and very broken sleep is not my forte and I hate how it affects my attitude and my patience.
Anyway, enough worrying and complaining...this is hard, and I'm allowed to feel that way, but I know I'm not the first person to have 2 kids!
Life is busy and exhausting, but we are blessed and I will just have to keep reminding myself this won't last forever and I only need to take things one day at a time!