Tristan’s birth, mom’s perspective

It’s been so long since I’ve been able to spend time online for more than a couple of minutes at a time, and as a result, our baby’s 8 days old without much description of that time from me (or, really, either of us). Expect this entry to read as if a zombie were writing it..

So, on the 25th, we went into the hospital to get Tristan cut out of me, since he had no interest in coming out on his own. James detailed the morning phone calls that were necessary to make sure the baby wouldn’t be stuck in there until he’d be a Libra or something, and everything went smoothly with getting me into there and prepped for surgery. Way too many people were in and out, asking questions and shaving and poking me. We had to wait until the main doctor performing the c-section was back from clinic duty in order to proceed, so it was running a little bit late.

And when I was ready for the surgery, I completely flipped out. James was banished to his aforementioned chair in the waiting room, and the anesthesiologist prepared me for the spinal block.. not the typical epidural given with labor, but the full-on spinal. That shit hurt like hell! I wasn’t even having contractions that I had to ignore, yet I still could not stop myself from cringing. After what felt like forever, the real forever began. My legs began to feel warm (like they told me beforehand) and I was pushed onto the table lying down. Progressively, my legs went from tingly to ‘holy shit I’m paralyzed’ – but the worst part was that my legs and toes felt like they were jammed into an uncomfortable position, sort of like they were sticking together, and it was completely distracting since I could not do anything about this. Basically, I had a panic attack while lying down on the table being prepared for a surgical birth. It’s sort of odd to be so removed from the experience of your child’s birth like that!

James was allowed back into the room somewhere at this point, and he managed to calm me down somewhat. A drape was placed so that the details of the surgery were nice and hidden, and the doctors agreed to be kind to me and not discuss said details. Somewhere in this whole mess, I realized I was about to vomit and the anesthesiologist administered something through my IV to stop that. The actual feeling of being operated on was quite odd – I could feel it but it didn’t hurt. It pretty much felt like people pushing and pulling on my abdomen. After some instance of forever, I wondered if there really was a baby in there or whether this would turn out to be a huge tumor.

Suddenly, I felt a few yanks, a distinct relief of pressure in my abdomen, and the sound of a baby crying filled the room. I succumbed to the whole mommy pride thing right there. The baby crying was just hiding inside of my body a moment before and had been kicking me and stealing my energy for quite some time! James followed the folks taking care of the baby as they did the stuff they do at birth, and some time later he returned and the baby was placed in his arms right next to me. My arms were strapped down (probably because of the earlier panic attack) and I could not really interact with him, but it was amazing to see this creation that James and I collaborated to produce. I was so happy that the baby was so healthy and quite taken with how cute he was.

The next few days were even more of a blur. There was the recovery room, and then the private room, and being stuck in a hospital bed. The postpartum rooms at this hospital were designed to allow the baby to remain in the room with the mom (and partner) so we all got to spend time together while I was lying all stitched up in bed. I remember having urine drained out through a catheter and then when I was able to get up and walk around, it was removed. I started learning how to breastfeed and it seemed to be going well at first, but the success was limited and it took both me and James to get Tristan into the proper position and it was precarious at best. We met nurse after nurse, and I learned most of their names although I couldn’t tell them apart otherwise – other than the one who read off the expiration dates from medications and the one who wore the interesting perfume. My IV machine was highly irritating, from the rhythmic ticking to the incessant beeping when the bag was empty. Whichever nurse was on duty when it began beeping tried to have me wait 10 minutes to get it shut off, but I almost got out of bed myself to get someone when James kindly did so for me. I ate a lot of hospital food and James ate a lot of fast food.

At this point, I am too sleepy to continue thinking or writing this, so I will continue when I can find awake computer time next. Right now, Tristan is napping in his stroller and we’re hoping that when we move him to his bassinet he remains asleep. He stays awake during a good portion of the night asking for more to eat. Several of the grandparents are in town and have been a lifesaver with helping with baby care and cooking. But it’s time to steal some sleep for now.. I will work on keeping in contact and writing more later.

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