Lindsy dropped the news that our c-section was now scheduled for 10 pm. In an hour and a half. She got right to work on my IV and only had to poke me once … a nice treat since I was retaining tons of water and my veins were very full and tight (I don't miss you, Puffy Hands and Feet of Pregnancy! No I do not!). John got on the horn with our families, and we got word that my sister's flight had come in twenty minutes early, so his dad could drop off my MIL at our house to stay with Syd, scoop up my mom, and now also scoop up my sister off the airport curb and bring them both to the hospital. My IV was done, the family was set into motion, and soon we were nervously chatting (ok so I was the one nervously chatting) with our anesthesiologist, Dr. K.
The reason I was so nervous was because I wanted him to know for SURE that my epidural failed the last time around, and that I also react to anesthesia with severe nausea (ever puked with an abdominal incision? NOT FUN). Thirdly, I wanted him to know that I had no intention whatsoever of being a hero. If there was any extra pain relief available I WANTED IT ALL. I am a very mental person and the mere idea of any personal injury or bleeding makes me freak the freak out. I fainted in driver's ed class when they played the Drive Safely Scare-Tactic Video that retold a motorcyclist's injuries during a collision. And I'm not just talking "Oh Mai! Imma feelin' fayunt! Somebody betta fayun me!" faint. I'm talking "I just keeled over in my desk in drivers ed and whacked my head on the desk and then whacked it again on the floor" faint. One day I'll have to write a post about all my fainting stories. The basic premise here is that even though they were going to put up that famous blue screen so I couldn't see anything didn't mean that I wasn't going to freak out while strapped to the table (because, ahem, you can HEAR what's going on), so he might want to get his tranquilizers ready.
Because Dr. K is a FAN-FREAKING-TASTIC anesthesiologist and person, he patiently listened to everything I was telling him and agreed that he would NOT give me too much information about what was going to happen to me or give me a play-by-play of anything unimportant in the OR. Even if I asked him to. He put up with my nervous questions and, FORSHADOWING, took amazing care of me on the operating table and beyond. He was so amazing that my mother proposed marriage to him, and he didn't even give her any drugs!
Lindsy came back and asked us more questions, John went down to the car for our bags, I plugged my phone in and updated Twitter and Facebook again and soon my mom and sister and father-in-law were shown to the prep room. And this? Is what my mom and sister were wearing.
Rocky shirts! I love my family!
It was a miracle, but the three of them made it to the room with fifteen minutes to spare. We said our hellos, prayed together, and I was soon being walked to the operating room while my mom and husband changed into their scrubs (my sister and FIL would have to wait in the recovery room).
One thing I didn't realize about my upcoming c-section was a) that my husband couldn't come in with me until they were totally ready to begin (which meant that I would be anesthesized, hooked up to monitors, prepped and on the table and everyone who was going to be there for the surgery would all be there and ready to go). This meant that I was on my own with Lindsy and Dr. K for the next 25 minutes. My heart was pounding and I was starting to get nervous and panicky about the surgery. My heart rate jumped up to around 120. Lindsy brought me one of those fantastic hot blankets they have at the hospital and tried to talk me down. I told her that my husband could talk me out of almost anything, including being freaked out. I told her about how he'd coached me through my basically unmedicated nightmare labor experience with our daughter. She commented to me that she could tell that he was one of the good ones because she also had a great husband. She said that it made her happy when she met another couple that were obviously best friends and loved each other dearly because she often felt isolated in her own happy marriage as so many of her friends and relatives' marriages fell apart. I remember this conversation clearly because I NEEDED my buddy at that moment. Everything was happening so fast.
Soon I got my spinal block. My right leg jumped and I almost kicked Lindsy as I squeezed her waist. My legs started going heavy with pins and needles and they had me swing them up on the table. They strapped me down and hoisted the curtain and a few times as she prepped me Lindsay called to say "You're going to feel me touching you!" and I felt someone rocking me ever-so-slightly. People started filing in the room in their blue scrubs, a few waved to me and went on to saying their hellos to eachother. And then John was at my shoulder. My mom said hello and encouraged me from somewhere behind my head. I presume this is when they began the c-section but I'm a little fuzzy right about here.
I started feeling the nausea coming on HARD. I got really hot and started to feel like I couldn't breathe. Dr. K (GOD BLESS HIM) shot something into my IV for the nausea and said that I should start feeling better immediately. I didn't, so that made me freak even more. John kept talking to me about how it was going to be all right and I needed to just relax and our baby was almost here. I started to feel better. I heard Dr. B from behind the curtain say "Ok, it's almost time!" and Dr. K tapped John on the shoulder and had him stand up and I heard that sweet, sweet sound: my son shouting his little lungs out. And then? They pulled the curtain down so I could see my boy. He was covered in goo, looked extremely put out, had tons and tons of black hair, and was perfect in every way. I burst into hot, relieved tears. I can still feel them running down my temples into my hair. He'd made it. After all the ups and downs, after almost losing him, here he was safe and sound, perfect and healthy. Our Rocky boy. Our fighter.
They took him over to the table to clean him up and weigh and measure and check him out. He scored a nine on his APGAR test. I kept asking "How much does he weigh!?" and they kept saying "We don't know yet!" He peed on everyone, twice. He wailed angrily, letting everyone know he did NOT appreciate being poked, prodded and worst of all CHILLY. He responded immediately to his daddy's voice, just like his sister had. They finally weighed him and my mom came around the curtain and excitedly told me "He weighs 8 pounds, 13 oz! He has SO MUCH hair, Manda! He is just SO BEAUTIFUL!!" And then ran back around the side.
And then my favorite moment of all. John finally brought me my boy. And we told him his name: Elijah Michael. We told him that his sister had chosen his name, "Elijah." We told him why we gave him the name "Michael" … because he was our warrior, we wanted to name him for the archangel Michael, the leader of God's armies, the fighter.