January 26, 2011

Surprise C-Section

Doc T1 and Doc T2 (yup, same first names) had alternated examining me for the weeks leading up to my due date. Doc T2 said that Baby's head was down at least a month in advance. My due date came and went with no sign of Baby. I was HUGE, I might add. Doc T1 examined me the following Monday and at my instance, checked the position of Baby for good measure. He looked up at me and said,

"You know the baby's breech, right?"

"WHAT??!? Does this mean I need a C-Section?"

A combination of anger, fear, anxiety and even a (tiny) bit of relief washed over me. First of all, how the heck couldn't Doc T2 tell the difference between her bottom and her increasingly off the charts head? Isn't he in the business of babies? I had spent my pregnancy wrapping my head around the idea of hee-hee-hoo breathing, pushing and chomping on ice while my husband said the nicest things he'd ever read off a handout from our childbirth class. Now I had to think about someone cutting my tummy AND uterus open to pull out my child.

Would Husband be present (still saying those nice things from class)? Would my future babies have to be born this way? Would it hurt? Where would they make the incision? How long will it take? Did this make me less of a woman?

As the Doc T1 answered my questions, I started to calm down a bit. We didn't talk about my 'womanhood' as much as the technical details - I'd be in somewhat of a twilight state and Husband could be right next to me while a curtain would separate us from my lower half.  It would take about 15 minutes for them to take Baby out and a little while longer for me to regain sensation while the pain meds would kick in. In the event my water broke before surgery, I would most likely wait it out or have an emergency c-section depending on how my contractions were going.

This all sounded reasonable. I can do this. This won't be that bad.

Off I went to clean, pack, inform family, etc. I had passed the point of sleeping comfortably in bed and found the most tolerable position was propped up on the couch in the living room...which is where I was settling into around 1 am just as I felt a gush of a sweet smelling fluid. I yelled repeatedly for Husband. When I told him my water broke, he asked me to make sure I hadn't just peed in my pants. REALLY? This is when normal people would grab their bags and jump in the car and go. Husband decided to spend 30 minutes getting ready. It felt like an hour. I have no idea what he needed to do, but I was 3 minutes from taking the car and driving myself to the hospital. There were words exchanged, but I won't bore you with those details. Since Baby's head wasn't down, there was nothing plugging the dam, so to speak. I was like a leaky faucet. I had started having contractions and was still walking, talking, breathing but I couldn't feel Baby moving.

Once we arrived at the hospital, I waddled my way into the Labor and Delivery Unit. At this point, things are starting to hurt. I have to answer a lot of questions. Nurse took a blood sample. A lot of people seemed to want to look 'down there' to make sure my water had really broken. Nurse returns with blood test results and says, "Interesting," and waits for Doc T2 (he was on call) and Anesthesiologist to discuss. More questions. hee-hee-hoo More pain. Anesthesiologist informs me that my platelet count has dropped below what they would consider safe for an epidural. hee-hee-hooooooo Essentially, I was at risk for bleeding out by not clotting fast enough. heeeeee-heeeee-hooooooo My other option was to be 'put under' general anesthesia. Given my increasing state of panic and that it was the lesser of two evils, I agreed to being put under. Husband and I barely had any time to process what was happening. Neither one of us knew where they were taking me or that this was it. In what seemed like 10 minutes, the population of my triage room had tripled and they started wheeling me out of the room.  He kissed me 'goodbye' and said he'd see me when I woke up.

If I believed in alien abductions, this is what it would feel like. Everyone had a mask on, I only saw silhouettes with lights behind them. I was wheeled into an even brighter, super sterile operating room. Unfortunately Husband was not allowed in the OR since the situation had escalated to an emergency. I was fighting back tears. This is no time to cry. I'm about to be a mom. There's no crying in baseball. The over-sized digital clock said 3:59 am. Someone said something about a catheter and Anesthesiologist told me to relax and just breathe in some oxygen. This might be an only child household. Just like that, I was out.

I woke up and saw Husband was sitting in the corner snuggling a small, kind of bald (by Indian standards) doll. As I marveled at Baby, I registered excruciating pain. There is a small window of time between anesthesia wearing off and whatever super-duper pain med kicking in. As Nurse connected the drip, she said to push the little button to release the meds. I was all over that button like a gamer playing Halo. If it didn't suck already, Nurse pushed down on my uterus to ensure it was shrinking and going back to it's proper place.    

Couldn't this wait until the pain meds actually entered my system? Are you really sorry? I don't think so.

The rest of a day is a hazy blur of semi consciousness and lots of visitors. I've not posted any pictures of myself in the hospital for a reason. A woman after a C-Section isn't pretty. I was a hot, puffy mess. My incision was actually the only 'pretty' thing on me. Doctor T2 was a perfectionist and had put me back together with a virtually seamless reminder of my first baby. Now, three months later, I have 10 lbs to lose and 1/2 of my incision is invisible. I'm sad Husband and I will never experience delivery the ol' fashioned way, but if it means that we're better able to care for baby afterwards, it's all good. 


  1. Wow Monika, you guys had quite an experience! Evie is beautiful, a happy ending, but scary story!

  2. Hey Monika! I don't know why I'm just now reading this post, but it almost brought me to tears. I can't imagine being in that situation. You were so brave and of course it was all worth it, because you have a beautiful baby girl!