9 months old and I’m finally sitting down to write Sadie Bug’s birth story. Mom life! lol. I’ve been procrastinating writing this for 2 reasons. One is I’m a serial procrastinator that will leave everything til the last minute until I die. What can I say at least I’m honest 🤷🏻♀️😋 Two is I haven’t really been ready to revisit what happened to me, or how to put it into words. I also truly don’t want to scare mom’s, they already have enough to be scared of when they’re about to give birth. The truth is there is a risk of complications to EVERY surgery, with ALL anesthesia, and it can happen to anyone regardless of how experienced your team is. No one did anything wrong during my csection, it just happened. So please don’t use my story as an argument against csections, because I would do it again in a heartbeat.
While my first csection was not a choice, I elected to have a repeat csection with my second pregnancy in order to get my tubes tied all in one surgery. Did you know they don’t actually tie off your tubes anymore? They just remove the fallopian tubes now due to elevated risk of etopic pregnancies when just tying them off. But more on that later.
With Harrison I was way too scared to see anything during my csection, but this time I did ask for the sheet with the window so I could see Sadie when she came out. (Don’t worry you don’t see any part of yourself cut open lol I asked repeatedly beforehand 😂)
The day of my csection I practically skipped to the hospital because I had been 2cm dilated in preterm labor & on partial bedrest for 5 weeks while attempting to take care of a toddler. They now think I had Covid at 9 months pregnant as this was February. So ya I was ready to evict that child! Everything went routine; we checked in, got our room and got prepped. They make you walk with your IV from your room to the OR and this time I was literally dancing the baby out 😂😂 My husband seriously can’t handle the OR so he stayed with Harrison in delivery while my mom came into the OR with me. Say what you will about it but I’m a anxious mess and I need someone strong in there with me and if he can’t help then that’s fine just step aside while I do this lol.
When they do your spinal your support person isn’t allowed in the room. So my mom waited outside the door while they sat me on the table to do the injection. They need you really hunched over for the right angle and they definitely need you not to move, so a nurse bearhugs you from the front while you lean your head/face on their shoulder. Then the anesthesiologist does the spinal from behind you. The needle itself doesn’t hurt but the pressure in your back is def uncomfortable until it kicks in, which is in like 30 seconds. Weird fact – I could still feel my toes with both spinals. Next they do your catheter with like 6 people in the room and that is the most awkward experience in the whole world lmao.
The doctor asks if you’re ready and basically says “ok here we go” and adrenaline just takes over. I don’t really remember the time from hearing the doctor say “starting first incision” to “ok here comes baby!” in either of my csections. I just remember the moment of seeing their faces as they joined me earthside 💖 (BTW I totally recommend the sheet with the window – it wasn’t any different from them lifting Harrison up over the sheet and I didn’t see anything horrifying or gross.) After the baby’s out they clean them, do their APGAR scale, weigh & measure them, and them wrap them like the squishy baby burrito they are and hand them back to your support person for you to meet and snuggle.
While I was holding Sadie they began to remove my tubes. And my spinal started to fail. I hadn’t noticed at first but by this point I could fully wiggle and move both my feet. At first I felt the normal pressure & pulling and tugging, but then the pulling started to hurt. It’s weird but there was a delay between my bodily functions and my brain processing them. I realized I was wincing as the pain increased rapidly. All of a sudden my entire body was completely saturated and dripping with sweat. I started to get really dizzy and nauseous. I yelled for my mom to take the baby because my hands were going numb and I was going to drop her. She took her just in time too because that’s when my anesthesia completely and fully wore off. While I was cut open on an operating table and human hands were inside my abdomen literally pulling out organs. I fully felt them pull out one of my tubes with no pain medication or anesthesia. I don’t really have the words to describe the pain. As blackness encircled my vision and I heard all the alarms on my vitals going off I thought “this is what dying feels like”.
That whole paragraph above occured over a time span of about 2 minutes. My anesthesiologist acted very quickly as soon as he noticed my face starting to wince. He asked what I was feeling – pressure or pain? I said pain as my blood pressure spiked and the alarms went off. (They told me afterwards I had gone into shock). He immediately slammed a dose of medication that was waiting and ready for this situation into my IV. I asked what he gave me and his response was “just pain meds you’re going to be ok don’t worry”. The full time I spent cut open and unmedicated was about 3-5 minutes. And then I got higher then I have ever been in my entire life 😂 The pain subsided til it was completely gone and then I felt all warm and fuzzy and very very drunk. I told the anesthesiologist he was an angel sent straight from heaven and that I loved him. My OB & the nurses were cracking up saying “she’s definitely not going to remember this” but I totally do! Fentanyl is quite the drug kids, don’t try it at home 😉
The rest of the surgery was completed uneventfully and absolutely no permanent damage was done to my body. I actually had way less pain postoperatively this time around and healed a lot faster. All due to placenta encapsulation (which you can read about here: https://mamabearinc.blog/2020/04/18/placenta-encapsulation/). I was never told exactly what happened with my spinal or why it failed, but from what I’ve read I guess the catheter in your spine can slip out of position causing it to become ineffective. It’s a complication that can happen to anybody and I have no ill will towards my anesthesiologist.
And then I got discharged from the hospital the week quarantine started to go home and take care of a newborn and a 3 year old with autism alone while recovering from a csection during a pandemic while my husband was working due to owning an essential business. Dude if I can survive 2020 I can survive anything. Plus I walked away with a pretty badass birth story and zero permanent damage so win win right?? 🤪